How much does being ugly really cost?

Being ugly may not only be a detriment to your social life, but it could also greatly hinder your financial potential. There have been numerous studies indicating a correlation between beauty and professional success. And the verdict is…. hot people make more.

Don’t believe me? A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, found that hotties-with-naughty-bodies make 5% more per hour than their average looking colleagues. Even worse, “unattractive” people were found to be making 8% less than average looking persons.

Not only do the attractive people make more money, but they also have a higher statistical shot at landing the job in the first place. Here’s a quote from a CNN article on the study…

After variables like education and experience are factored out, Fed researchers said the “beauty premium” exists across all occupations, and that jobs requiring more interpersonal contact have higher percentages of above-average-looking employees.

And here’s another snippet from a published study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences…

When someone is viewed as attractive, they are often assumed to have a number of positive social traits and greater intelligence.

That means beautiful people (like Justin Bieber) are not just gorgeous, but also perceived as smarter. Now I know why so many people think I’m a geenyus. Haha, get it… “Geenyus”. It’s funny ’cause I spelled it wrong. Man I’m unBIEBERlievable (yeah, I got the Bieber Fever).

Don’t worry though. Even if you are beat-up-from-the-feet-up or tore-up-from-the-floor-up, you still may have a chance at earning a decent wage. That is if you are tall. A study by two professors at the University of Florida found that “tall” people earn a substantially higher wage than their shorter counterparts, with each inch providing $789/year more in income. So, I guess it’s true… size matters 😉

Moral of the story kiddos. Don’t be ugly and don’t be short. Otherwise, it could cost you some major moolah. If you’re not attractive, don’t worry. There is always plastic surgery. I mean remember how good Michael looked after all his plastic surgery…

Have you ever witnessed some beauty biased in the work place? Can any level of “equal employment policies” prevent beauty from becoming a professional factor? Who are some exceptions to the “beauty” rule (think Bill Gates, Jack Black, Amy Winehouse)?

Think Twice: Crucial Considerations before You Make a Career Change Decision

You’re stuck in a career that does nothing for you, and you keep hearing that you’re supposed to do something that you love if you are to be successful. What do you do, though? A career coach may be able to show you the way, but it can help to put in some work yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more information you’ll be able to give the career coach to help you with.

Tread carefully when it comes to picking a new career 

You’re in luck if you do have a reasonable idea what you want to do. It can never do, however, to assume that your ideas are on the money. Plenty of people make poorly thought-out career switches simply because they’ve fallen in love with a trendy choice, or because they want to imitate someone they admire.

It’s important, before you actually make a move, to take a few classes for the career in question, or try a couple of unpaid internships. These attempts will help you see how your mind responds to the career choice.

Try multiple possibilities

It can be hard to know what talents you really possess, or what really makes you happy. It can be an excellent idea to narrow down your list to three different career options, and try your hand at each one of them. In many cases, it even make sense to try a new career in your own industry. It could help you take advantage of your industry experience.

You could even try a quick internship in a career path that you know you aren’t interested in. The experience will help solidify notions that you’ve always held, and it will lend new resolve to your search for a career that will truly make you happy.

Do you have other aims?

As wonderful as it can be to finally know what you want to do, you do need to know if your choice can work well with your other hopes, dreams and lifestyle choices. Do you live in your own home, and will moving require you to sell? It could be a sensible move to do so if you are willing. Career changes can be undermined by things as simple as the requirement in a new job to commute, or the need to work late. Pay, benefits, vacation, work stress and even exposure to economic uncertainties can all make an otherwise well-loved career difficult to put up with. It’s sensible to take a year for research.

There’s the transition problem

For far too many people hoping to switch to careers they love, the stumbling block turns out to be the transition. They need a plan for how to get by in the time that they take to earn their qualifications, enter the new career and advance to a level where they make a reasonable income. Do you have savings? How about relying on a partner? You need a definite plan for what you will do.

Do you have a fallback?

Even the best laid plans are known to fail. Taking risks can come easier when you don’t have a family to support. If you do have responsibilities, though, you won’t have the luxury of taking your time to find a new job or career path. You’ll need to plan a fallback before you make any irreversible moves away from your current career. Not only will this mean less tumult in your life, it will mean less anxiety, as well. It wouldn’t hurt, for example, to make sure that your old job is always open to you before you move out.

Mentally preparing yourself

When it comes to career changes, popular anecdotes show Americans going through as many as seven in a lifetime. While there isn’t much evidence in support of the number, it does show that career changes are common across the Atlantic.

Career changes are healthy, because they demonstrate a desire to take risks. Successful career changes on a resume can even look attractive to potential employers. Yet, Britain has some way to go here. With not many used to the idea of career switches, you could see resistance both among employers and friends and family. Yet, it’s important to not give up on the idea. The freedom to change careers can mentally free you up to go after a better life.


Don’t be a Del Boy: get a steady career

The Del Boys of this world are always on the lookout for a quick fix, an easy way to make money without having to put in an abundance of hard work or real effort. Whether it’s selling moody diamonds, become a repairman for a rich home or winning the lottery, you’ll make your millions – one day.

It’s a character that’s ripe for comedy for good reason. While their plans might be well-intentioned, making stable levels of cash requires oodles of hard work and determination.

Prodigious entrepreneurs don’t just take a shot in the dark. Their calculations are risky, but are ultimately designed to pay large dividends. And where they fail, they’ve got backup plans to reinvigorate their cash flow.

It all sounds like a bit of a hassle, really, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you prefer to table your plans for entrepreneurial domination and enjoy a steady career instead?

If you would, we’ve found a few career paths that are more stable than entrepreneurialism – but will still earn you plenty of cash. Take a look and see how they could help your career.

Project Management

Every large company needs a glowing leader, someone with the charisma of Don Draper and the planning skills of a master architect. But beneath them sit people who are keeping the cogs whirring in this grand business structure.

These people are project managers – and the best of them are rolling in cash.

To become a project manager, you’ll have to study hard and work your way up the career ladder.

Start by earning an Msc Project Management from a fully-accredited distance learning provider, which will teach you all the foundations of leadership and project management that’ll keep you in good stead throughout your career. Once you’ve got a degree in your back pocket, you’ll be ready to grab the world of project management with both hands.

Tax Manager

Doing taxes isn’t for everyone. Some find those mountains of numerical values, befuddling variables and head-scratching bureaucratic forms about as accessible as a crash course in rocket science.

But some people are prodigious in the field of taxes, looking at a complex series of facts and figures and processing them like they were Sherlock Holmes. What’s more, they’re paid well for their cash.

Earning a sizeable salary in this role does, however, take a lot of time and dedication. You’ll need at least two years of experience at the bottom of the ladder before you can progress. From there it’s a case of keeping up to date with tax information and maintaining an air of professionalism that’ll put you head and shoulders above your peers.

If you’ve got any other career suggestions that could make you a ton of money, we’d love to hear them.

My weirdest job’s weirder than your weirdest job

I love Fridays. I also love Friday blog posts because I generally try to make them less financial and more fun. Today, I’m gonna be writing about the weirdest job I have ever had. Afterwards, I hope you’ll share your weirdest job so we can see what PDITF reader has had THE WEIRDEST JOB OF ALL TIME!

Here’s mine…

I graduated college Spring 2007 with a shiny new degree in psychology. I was fascinated by medicine, hospitals, and the world of mental health so I started applying to a ton of hospitals. I interviewed for a summer position at an involuntary psychiatric hospital near my parents home in Washington state. For those that don’t know, “involuntary” means the patient does not want to be in treatment but either the police, the court, or their family felt otherwise. They are literally locked inside a building (24/hrs a day, 7 days a week) as they are considered a danger to themselves and others. I was 21 years old and had no idea what I was getting myself in to.

I was paid $13/hr to monitor the ward and ensure the safety of all the patients. It may sound condescending, and I don’t mean for it to be, but I was essentially a babysitter for mentally sick adults. I made their meals, watched movies with them, counseled them, made art projects with them, changed their clothes when they “messed” themselves, etc. I loved my job. I got to watch people, who were desperately in need of help, get better. I personally can’t think of anything more rewarding than watching a “sick” person become healthy.

Needless to say, I had quite a few “odd experiences” during my three months working at the hospital. During that time I…

… was threatened to be killed (numerous times)

… watched a patient walk in to the bathroom and start taking a shower while fully clothed

… was told I have a green aura that hovers above my head

… watched someone poop in their hand and then proceed to eat it

… received a phone call from a former patient that wanted to know if I would meet him at McDonalds for lunch. (I declined)

… and was hit on by a number of female patients…and one male patient

These are a just few memories that come to mind when I reflect upon my three months as a psychiatric technician. I have more stories, but don’t think they would be appropriate to share here (you might throw up in your mouth if you heard em). It was definitely the weirdest job I’ve ever had, but also the most fulfilling. I’ve learned that weird doesn’t always mean bad, in fact it can often be fun, exciting, and new.

So now that you know my weirdest job, care to share yours? Do you think it trumps mine? If you haven’t had a totally odd ball job, do you know someone that has? Let’s see just how crazy of a work history we can get going in the comment section below!

I’m a friend whore

That’s right, I just made 10,834 new friends today. All with the first name George, last name Washington. Sure these “friends” may be inanimate objects (one dollar bills to be exact), but that doesn’t make them unimportant. In fact, they will be a GREAT asset for my future.

You know that $12,000 raise I have been talking about lately? Well I finally got it. I know what you are thinking, $10,834 is not $12,000. You are right, kind of

On 12/31/09 my salary was $50,547. On January 1st, my salary was”adjusted for inflation” to $51,617. And today my salary is $62,451, making for a grand total gain of $11,904 in the last two months. If you don’t understand the government pay system you can see my breakdown of it here.

It’s hard for me to fathom a $24,255 salary increase in the two years I’ve been working. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t turn me on a little… okay A LOT!!!!

I don’t really plan to do anything different with my larger paycheck. I will likely just contribute more to my savings and continue  paying down my student loan ahead of schedule. Even though my salary has increased, my standard of living hasn’t. And that brings me to today’s message: When one’s salary goes up, his/her cost of living does not have to follow suit.

Sure you could use the $4,000 bonus you got to buy 4,000 double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu at McDonals, but is that really necessary? Heck to the no it aint. Real wealth building occurs as salary goes up, but expenses don’t. Suck on that materialism.

Seeing that there was no real room for dialogue in today’s short message, I’m just gonna ask some questions that I hope you will answer…

1) What’s the largest raise/bonus you ever received and what did you do with it?

2) Would you stay in a position you LOVED even if there was slim to no chance of upward movement?

3) Do you have any suggestions for ways to make PDITF better?

4) What are you doing this weekend?

5) Can you “afford” her?…

Happy weekend all!!!

My job could be my own worst enemy

I graduated college at 21 without the slightest idea what I was going to do for a living. I took my psychology degree and landed myself a job with The Fed. I’m pretty vague about my specific position, but I have mentioned before it involves investigations. Over the last two years I have gotten really good at investigating things that I’m suppose to investigate. It’s a sweet job, but I knew going in to it, I had to make a decision… A decision that would impact the rest of my life.

I set a rule for myself when I accepted my job offer: Get out within five years, or do it for the rest of your life. Ya see, my job is such a narrow/specific field, that the skills I have learned over the last couple years do not really translate well in to most other career fields. I know that if I stay in my position for more than five years, I will have a freakin’ difficult time trying to find a job in a different field, because aside from investigating things, I wont have any other applicable skill sets.

I re-read that last paragraph and realize I’m not doing a very good job at communicating my thoughts (must be too much nacho cheese from the Superbowl party yesterday). The best way to enlighten you is by example. Think about a cop. Their job is pretty specific: Keep the city civil. Do you know many cops that only work for the department for a couple years and then transition to corporate America? I sure as heck don’t. Most cops are career cops. They work for their local P.D. until the day they retire. It’s not a bad gig if you love being a cop, but it’s not the greatest thing if you want to change careers.

Some positions are stepping stones, i.e. HR assistant, financial analyst, marketing intern. They are a means to an end. You take the financial analyst job so you can transition to a corporate relationship manager, then promote to vice president, and eventually become a partner in the company. You get to climb the corporate ladder and you have a billion different options if you decide you want to change companies or positions. But, what the heck are you suppose to do when you don’t have a stepping stone job? How do I keep from allowing my current job to limit my future potential?

I have some thoughts on this that I’ll be posting up tomorrow, but for now I want to hear from you. Has anyone out there found their job prospects severely hindered as a result of your current position? What do you do if you love your job, make good money, but don’t want to do it for the rest of your life? Has anyone had success changing from one field, to a DRASTICALLY different field? Gimme some insight, ’cause I need some help!

Punch Debbie In the Face

Screen shot 2009-12-07 at Dec 7, 2009, 11.33.55 PM
Now I’m not one to support physical violence towards women, but I’ll tell you right now if Debbie Downer ever finds her way around my neck of the woods, I’m gonna knock her out. For those of you that don’t know Debbie, let me introduce you to her. She is the person that points out the one stain on your carpet after you just cleaned your whole house. She’s the girl that that  reminds you of your love handles after you just got back from a run. Debbie is a professional mood killer. Debbie is a downer.

I’m a huge believer in the power of positive psychology. Penn State defines positive psychology as the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. I define positive psychology as an inherit desire to be AWESOME. I consider myself to be a pretty positive ninja. For example, I’m positive that I hate negative people.

I have a goal to have $6MM in my bank account when I retire. I can’t tell you how many people say “It’s nice that you ‘think’ you’ll have that much, but what if….you lose your job…. your accounts don’t provide the returns you anticipate… you have unforeseen medical issues ” Umm excuse me, don’t be bringing your “what ifs” around here, I don’t need them. Maybe the stock market will crumble, maybe I’ll lose my job, and maybe I will contract gonorrhea of the mouth, but I’m sure as heck not going to live my life waiting to see if those things happen.

Look here Debbie Downer, I have goals and your negativity can’t keep me from reachin’ them. Do you all know someone that seems to be a professional mood killer? Someone that always finds something to complain about?  How do you deal with them? I just don’t have the patience to tolerate it and I just tell them if they want to be negative they need to go do it somewhere else. Life’s too short, don’t be a Debbie Downer.