Can you survive a nomadic lifestyle? You can live globally if you make some changes to your life.

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Adulting.tv LIVE! welcomes special guest Hui-Chin Chen from Money Matters for Globetrotters and Pavlov Financial Planning. Hui-Chin, Miranda, and Harlan discuss the benefits and drawbacks of creating a lifestyle where you can and do work from anywhere in the world.

Is the nomadic life for you? What does it take to visit a variety of countries for extended periods of time?

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If you want to nail that next job interview, follow these 8 expert job interview tips.

Everything’s on the line when you go in for a job interview in person. You’re under pressure whether to earn money to keep food on your family’s table or to go as far as you can with your first job. The initial job interview for the position is your chance to make a great first impression and solidify your likelihood for employment.

Whether you get a call back for a second interview, you get offered the job on the spot, or your follow-up calls are ignored is somewhat up to you.

Prepare for the interview far in advance.

1. Be aware of the purpose of the interview from your perspective. You’re looking for a job. Companies are looking for employees. You’re not going to be a good match for every opportunity out there, and that goes both ways. The interview is a chance for you to find out if a company is right for you.

If you desperately need a job, you may be willing to accept an opportunity that isn’t a good fit. Interviews are successful when no one is desperate, and the pressure is off to accept an offer. You should use the opportunity as a chance to evaluate the company you may be spending years of your life with and the people you’ll interact with every day.

Go to the interview with the attitude that you’re not going to settle.

2. Approach your interview like an audition. Your meeting is a test of your communication skills. Practice like you would for an audition. Ask your successful friends to role-play the interview.

Go on interviews for jobs you don’t intend to accept. This isn’t a waste of time; it’s excellent practice for meeting people and communicating about yourself, even if the details will be different for every interview.

3. Learn everything you can about your role and the people interviewing you. Do your research. You should enter the interview with a wealth of knowledge about the company.

The focus of this knowledge depends on the type of job you’re seeking and the level at which you expect to be hired, but be ready to communicate about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) you expect to encounter in your role.

4. Examine your public profile. Any company seriously considering a job candidate will do their own due diligence on you. Your reputation will need to survive a criminal background check as well as cursory social media investigation. This is where always maintaining a professional image online can help you.

The first step is controlling what you publish publicly online. Don’t be stupid by sharing with the world anything that you wouldn’t want seen in an article about you in the New York Times.

Next, you have to think about what your friends are posting about you. You have little control over what your friends do, and most reasonable employers recognize that social media isn’t necessarily a professional settings, but items shared by your friends can reflect poorly on you and your reputation.

Take care of this on the day of the interview.

Nail That Next Job Interview

5. Get sleep, arrive early, look the part. You should be at your best to make a positive first impression. Be relaxed and healthy, and a good night’s sleep before the interview can make a big difference.

Plan to arrive early for the interview. If you do arrive early, you will have a chance to look around and get comfortable with your surroundings. Planning to arrive early also gives you a buffer of time, and that will come in handy if a train or bus is running late or if there’s a traffic jam on the way to your appointment. Even when your lateness is due to something beyond your control, it reflects poorly on you.

Know ahead of time what you’re expected to wear while on the job, and choose an outfit a little nicer.

6. Project a positive attitude during the interview. For the purposes of the interview, you have a better chance of getting a job offer if your attitude matches what the hiring manager or your interviewer expects. There are a number of variables at play for these expectations, and there can be subtle or major differences based on sex.

Regardless of sex, confidence is the most appealing personality attribute during an interview. But confidence must be carefully controlled. Not everyone who is confident is doing a good job of presenting themselves, especially if that confidence is interpreted as superior or demeaning to others.

Express your confidence in a way that makes everyone in the room feel good about themselves.

Along with confidence, honesty and humility go far, especially when there’s a strong desire to prove yourself to be the best. You are human — be yourself.

7. Ask intelligent, relevant, and surprisingly bold questions. Inevitably, every interviewer provides the job applicant with an opportunity to ask questions. By this point in the interview, you’ve probably done a great job answering questions about your experience and expressing who you are while in the hot seat.

Have you sprinkled well thought-out questions as you go along? Doing so helps shift the focus around during the interview and allows you to find out more about the position and the company. Even still, it’s good to have a few questions in your back pocket for that one opportunity you know will come at the end of the interview. This isn’t the time to ask about vacation days or your 401(k) vesting schedule.

Assuming you’ve already asked all the relevant questions throughout the interview, the end is a good chance to show your bold side. Ask if the interviewer has any reservations or concerns about what you’ve said during the interview — or anything that might prevent the company from offering you the job. This does two things:

  • If the answer is no, you’re solidifying the interviewer’s interest in you by making them affirm it out loud.
  • If you did say something the interviewer didn’t like, you’ll get a chance to address the concern and clarify yourself. This can turn a “no” into a “yes.”

Don’t drop the ball after the interview.

8. Promptly follow-up with a thank you note. Some companies take longer to process applicants than others. The hiring process might be long. You don’t want to pester your potential manager, but you do want to make sure they are reminded of your interest.

A thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview, sent by email, is generally accepted to be a polite follow-up. Be sincere and thank your interviewer for the opportunity and their time. You may even want to use this as an opportunity to ask an additional question about the job, just to keep the communication going.

But don’t be alarmed if you don’t receive a reply. The lack of reply likely has nothing to do with you. There may be any number of other applicants, and the manager might be busy. You’ll hear from the company if and when they’re ready to move to the next stage of the hiring process.

Good luck with the interview. Regardless of the outcome, keep a positive attitude and don’t burn your bridges.

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Can you start a side gig? It’s not for everyone, but it could be a good solution for providing more freedom or money.

Every week, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! on Blab. Subscribe and join us for the next event, and share your questions about or suggestions for future discussions!

Adulting.tv LIVE! welcomes special guest Tom Drake from Canadian Finance Blog. Tom, Miranda, and Harlan discuss the benefits of starting a side gig and how to make side gigs successful.

Is it about the money? Can you turn any old hobby into a business?

Watch the video above, or listen to just the audio by using the player below.

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Congratulations on landing your first real job! Before you get caught up in your work, take some time to navigate your surroundings.

Now that you you’re successfully navigated the interview and hiring process, you get to take a big step forward in your career by starting it. Or, if your job isn’t exactly in your career path, at least you’re working.

Before long, all of your job’s roles and responsibilities will be clear, and you’ll start making your mark. You may get a little overwhelmed with your new environment, so take some time now to deal with some of the tasks that are essential at the start of your first real job. Ignore these tasks, and you will miss opportunities to set yourself up for long-term success. Don’t blow it.

1. Get a true sense of your take-home pay.

Surprise! Your paycheck is a lot smaller than you expect it to be. A $40,000 salary after federal, state, and local taxes might leave you with only $500 a week. For reals. Even less will end up in your pocket if you have an automatic enrollment in a retirement plan.

You may get some of the money withheld for taxes back when you file your tax return, but your net pay, what you take home, is what you should focus on right now, not your salary.

2. Figure out your new budget.

Now that you know how much income you really have to work with, write down your new budget. Start with the things you need, like your rent or mortgage payment, your food (groceries), and your transportation to and from your workplace. Set aside as much as possible for savings. You’ll need something set aside for emergencies. Then try to fit in some of the luxuries, like dining out, entertainment, vacations, and nicer clothing. If you can.

If you can’t, just hang on for now. You can’t have everything you want in life the moment you start your first real job.

Read this article to see how to make a budget based on priorities. Once you make the budget, track it, so you stay within its limits or realize that you need to change your assumptions about your spending.

3. Open bank accounts if you don’t have any.

It still surprises me how many newly-minted grown-ups don’t have bank accounts. When you get paychecks for working, not cash, you need to have at least one bank account, a checking (debit card) account. Don’t take your paychecks to check-cashing places or Walmart. They charge fees that add up quickly.

Instead, find a free checking account with free debit cards. You might want to check with whatever bank has a branch closest to you, and ask about free checking and free debit cards, but some communities don’t even have any bank branches.

It might be easier to just go online. Ally Bank and Capital One 360 are two of my favorite free online checking accounts.

Once you open your checking account, you can tell your supervisor or human resources department at work that you want to set up a direct deposit. Your paycheck will be sent directly to your bank, so you just use your debit card when you need to pay for anything or go to an ATM when you need cash.

4. Invest some of your income.

6 Life-Changing Tips When Starting Your First Job

If you don’t start investing right now, you will always be trying to catch up. First, make sure you’re enrolled in your company’s retirement plan, if the company offers one. If the company doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan, or anything else, you’ll have to start investing on your own. Put money aside for a few months, and open a retirement account at Vanguard.

Choose a Roth IRA if you already have a plan at work, or a traditional IRA if you don’t. Invest in a broad index mutual fund, like the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX), for now. It’s a low-cost way to save for retirement, and keeping your costs low is the most important factor in building wealth over the long term.

5. Understand your benefits.

Your employer may offer some benefits, including health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, free lunches, a weekly chair massage, or personalized humanoid robot butlers. You’ll only find out what you get by reading all the information you receive your first few days on the job.

If you have a choice, and you might for something like health insurance, review the information carefully and ask around for advice. It’s good to know what your health insurance options are, and what’s covered, in case you need to use them.

6. Learn about your company’s culture.

Getting ahead and succeeding in your job isn’t just about your job performance or doing all that is expected of you. You’ll also need to be able to fit in — without losing your individuality, of course. Spend lots of time with your coworkers. Observe how people behave and present themselves on the job and listen carefully to important discussions. Look for the clues, both subtle and obvious, that will lead you towards making a good impression. Much of this is based on mimicking the behavior of the more successful people at your level.

Use this time exploring the culture to work on your communication skills (ask questions!) and build relationships with people in your workplace.

The most important thing about getting started is not to expect to be treated like a superstar on your first day on the job. You’re a unique snowflake, that’s for sure, but so is everyone else. As the new girl or guy, you have to put in time and effort before you are able to reap the rewards of great benefits, a salary that reflects your worth, and personal freedom.

You’re not entitled to the best of what your employer (or life) has to offer just by showing up, but when you put in the hard work and prove yourself, success will find its way to you much easier. After some time.

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Find the right balance between staying open to opportunities and avoiding too much distraction from your goals.

One of the toughest things to do is to learn which things to say no to — and which to say yes to. It’s tempting to want to do all the things. However, chances are that you say yes to more than you should.

When you are bogged down by obligations, you reach the point where you need to say no, for your own sanity. Unfortunately, when you try to hard to do all the things, you might end up in a situation where you can’t say yes to the opportunities you really want.

In order to avoid becoming overcome by all you need to do, it’s important to understand what really matters to you. Narrow it down. Focus on the essentials, and then expand from there, only saying yes to the things that you really want to do. And if you need help figuring out what’s most important, create a life map.

Concepts

  • Why are we so inclined to say yes? Why do we want to do all the things?
  • Reasons that it’s sometimes a good idea to say no.
  • How to position yourself so you can take advantage of unexpected (and good!) opportunities.
  • Tips for balancing others’ needs with your own needs.
  • The reality of “busy-ness.” Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you are accomplishing anything.
  • How to identify the true essentials in your life so that you are more effective.

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Resources

American Psychological AssociationWhen and how graduate students should say no.
Mayo ClinicStress management: when to say no.
LifehackTo boost your potential, say yes.

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Screw the huge salary and 80-hour workweeks. Do your benefits help you actually LIVE your life?

When you start a new job — including your first job — salary seems like the most important issue.

Making money is important. We all enjoy eating and most of us like to have a little fun, too. But it’s not just about the salary or the hourly wage. When my now-ex-husband got his first real job after, I was shocked, shocked, at how much easier life became with addition of benefits.

Health insurance is your BFF.

The biggest bonus was health insurance. We’d been paying for private health insurance for a decade, using my earnings as a freelancer to pay for everything. With his employer subsidizing our coverage, our premium was cut in half, and we had a better plan. I swear, one of the biggest disappointments of the divorce was the prospect of going back to being entirely responsible for my own health insurance.

Your employer might be paying as much as 68% of your premium if you have health benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are paying $250 per month for your health benefits, there’s a good chance they cost as much as $368. That’s a savings of $118 a month. It’s like making an extra $1,416 a year.

Paid vacation days are totes amazing.

Get paid even while you aren’t at work? Yes, please! If you can negotiate a package that allows you to take vacation days and still get paid for them, you are doing something right. It might be worth it to accept a little less in terms of salary if you don’t have to worry how you’ll make up the days you missed to attend SXSW.

Even if you don’t get paid vacation days, some companies are willing to offer extra personal days (although you won’t get paid). If you could take extra time off to live life, would you take it even if you aren’t getting paid? I would.

Nothing beats flexibility.

Money Isn't Everything: Are Your Benefits On Fleek?

There is nothing — nothing — I value more than freedom and flexibility. Increasingly, companies are offering benefits that include flexible work schedules. Thanks to technology, a number of jobs now come with location independence, and there are some companies that allow completely remote workers.

Even if you don’t get to work in your jammies or from the coffee shop every day, you might be able to negotiate telecommuting privileges for two or three days a week, or customize your schedule to come in earlier or later in the day.

I have a friend who is willing to accept a little less in terms of salary because his employer allows him to work three 12-hour days a week. That means that he has four days off each week, and is still considered full-time and enjoys health benefits. That level of flexibility is worth $5,000 a year to him.

How fierce is your retirement plan?

No matter how much money you make, investing can help you prepare for the future. The easiest way to invest is through your company’s retirement plan. Your money is automatically withheld from your paycheck and invested for the future. And if your company’s plan is truly fierce, you’ll get an employer match. That’s free money that goes toward your future, building your retirement portfolio. It’s hard to beat that.

Other epic benefits.

Companies are interested in attracting the best and the brightest, and if that’s you, there are plenty of other epic benefits that you might be able to enjoy at the right company — and that might be worth more than mere money:

  • On-site fitness center or a paid membership to a local gym
  • Meals in a cafeteria that serves actual food
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Career development and training resources
  • Equipment, such as a smartphone or a laptop
  • Attractive and diverse workspaces (including open offices, standing desks, and other innovative perks)

There are a number of companies willing to offer high-end perks, ranging from concerts to concierge services.

Before you get hung up salary, think of your preferred lifestyle. Your life is going to such if you work 80 hours a week with no time for true enjoyment. You might have a lot of money, but are you enjoying life now?

The right benefits can be worth more than a couple thousand extra dollars per year.

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There’s pressure to always be on, to Work It, at 100% all the time. Introverts have a disadvantage, so here’s how we cope.

Society in the United States is set up to give more advantages to extroverts than introverts. Whether in school or at work, those setting the culture make it clear that socialization and cooperation in groups is much preferrable to a collection of isolated individuals.

Introversion, antisocial behavior, shyness, and social anxiety

For introverts including myself, spending a large portion of the day navigating interpersonal and group interactions can be physically and emotionally draining. But an introverted personality type is not the same thing as being antisocial. Introverts can excel at being social and might love the company of others; they just may need time to themselves to think alone, introspect, and recharge.

Being antisocial makes it hard to succeed in a traditional sense, but having an introverted tendency does not need to be a curse. To be antisocial generally means to be able to socialize with others but to do so in a way that is unexpected or differs from others.

Shyness is an additional potential trait among introverts, distinct from introversion. Shyness makes social interactions uncomfortable, especially with people and situations that are unfamiliar.

Social anxiety disorder can affect introverts and extroverts. It’s an intense fear of interaction that leads to avoidance of situations where someone might come into contact with other people. It could be a fear of being judged by others.

If you experience uncontrollable stress when you might be the center of attention, when you feel you might be criticized, or when you have to meet a very important person, you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder.

An introvert, if neither antisocial, shy, nor socially anxious, can be outgoing, friendly, and fully aware of social cues. It’s not uncommon for these introverts to be the bosses, the business leaders, the engaging teachers, and the prolific actors. You wouldn’t know who is an introvert because only those close to them would be aware of whether they thrive from their social efforts or they require recuperation from those efforts.

Introversion alone doesn’t justify the stigma. Why do people think introverts have a lower chance of being successful?

It’s because many introverts have the other traits that do make success difficult.

When You're an Introvert But You Have to Work It

Most introvert advice sucks.

Unfortunately, most of the advice available for introverts contains no insight. That’s because it tends to simply suggest that introverts be more like extroverts. In theory, copying extroverted behavior should be enough for an introvert to gain advantages of extroverts.

The typical advice of “just force yourself to be more outgoing” should suffice for pure introverts who can socialize for a fair amount of time in ways that culture deems appropriate. But because many of us introverts also have other traits mixed in, those suggestions fail.

What’s worse, is so much advice I’ve read encourages introverts to feel bad for being who they are, going so far as to use guilt to try to convince them to take on the attributes of extroverted, successful, outwardly confident people. Keep in mind that you can change aspects of your personality without sacrificing your identity, but you should only adjust the things you want to change.

Knowing that introverts can be just as successful as extroverts should allow you to be quite comfortable with your approach to life. But shyness, antisocial traits, and social anxiety can all be improved without changing your core personality.

You probably already fake being extroverted.

This is just the first step. Think, what would an extrovert do? Maybe it’s my theatrical background, but I like to suggest approaching social situations by playing the role of the extrovert. And I think that’s what many introverts feel they are doing when they do find themselves needing to participate in interaction.

This “faking it” approach doesn’t change the fact that introverts will need recovery time, but it might change your mindset and allow you to be more comfortable putting effort into socialization.

We are expected to “work it” in front of our friends and coworkers. Taking an extroverted approach helps in those situations, even if it doesn’t feel right at first.

If introversion isn’t your biggest social problem, other suggestions might help more.

When You're an Introvert But You Have to Work It

Build connections even when you’re antisocial.

If you’re antisocial, you feel like you don’t fit in with the culture around you. You might see all the people who seem extroverted, and it all looks fake to you. You want to stay genuine and authentic, and you don’t feel the need to fit in.

But sometimes we just have to fit in. Navigating social expectations is part of being an adult. You don’t have to change who you are; you should just be aware of the world around you and how other people behave and interact within it.

One of the most helpful ideas is to seek out your partner in crime. Even in the most conforming environments, there will be someone who’s ready to accept and enjoy your approach to friendship, camaraderie, or teamwork. Find the one person you’re comfortable with, and build on that relationship.

Shyness is generally a lack of confidence.

I’ve found that I behave differently in different groups. If I know my place in a group, and especially if I feel that I am already well-respected, my confidence builds and I can be the center of attention without being uncomfortable. I can introduce myself to new friends and colleagues, and I have an energy that infects others. In a good way, I think.

But when I’m unsure of my place in a group or I’m new myself, my shyness comes out. I’ll stay quiet and reserved, and I’ll wait for someone else with more confidence to be my social guide.

Building confidence is key. If you know a situation is coming up in which you might be shy or lack confidence, consider this approach. These will work for both social and business interactions, as well as combinations like the dreaded “networking.”

Plan for it. Take the introvert approach and preview the event. Find out who will be there and have some ideas about who you might want to talk to and what you might want to talk about.

Have a goal you can measure. Decide to have a target for the number of people you’d like to have conversations with.

Replace any negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Have a mantra for the event. Give yourself a mini pep talk. It sounds corny, but it works. Convince yourself that you are confident and you will meet your goals.

Get help for social anxiety.

If you are so disabled by fear of social situations, you need to go beyond help from articles about introverts and see professional psychologists or other therapists. They chan provide you with one-on-one coping mechanisms as well as medication to help with this disorder.

You are probably overestimating the visibility of your anxiety. It feels strong to you, but others may not notice that you’re uncomfortable. So if that is in turn making your anxiety worse, you may be able to keep this in mind and do a better job coping with anxiety when you are forced into these stressful social situations.

At Adulting, we have an entire podcast episode about being calm, and that comes in handy with dealing with certain anxiety. One calming technique that has worked well for me is the 4-7-8 technique, which I explained in this video.

You can be an introvert and still be outgoing and confident. Some of the most successful people in the world are introverts, and they need their alone time to recharge. You can address shyness, social anxiety, and any antisocial traits while still being you.

You don’t have to sacrifice who you are to do a better job with dealing with people. Work it.

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