What the experts say
Answering the salary question
It is the question everybody dreads in a job interview: How much are you expecting to make? said Kathryn Vasel in CNN.com. Ask for too much and you may remove yourself from contention; ask for too little and you might compromise your earnings. Experts are split on when in the interview process to tackle the topic. If it does comes up early, pivot back to the job itself and your suitability for it. When you present a figure, “be strategic.” Do your homework by consulting websites analyzing salaries by industry and location. If asked about your last salary, attempt to avoid the question politely and reiterate your openness to a competitive offer. Finally, when the offer comes, “take your time” reviewing it and, most importantly, “don’t be afraid to ask for more.”
Couples and financial compatibility
The ability to talk honestly with your partner about money can “make or break your relationship,” said Lorie Konish in CNBC.com. There are some “obvious” signs you may be financially incompatible, for example if one of you is hiding purchases or debt. But “even couples who share the same priorities” may disagree from time to time about expenses, and communication is key to “getting past those differences.” Learning to talk about money more positively can “help couples overcome the instinct to avoid the subject.” Set a regular money “date,” when you evaluate budget, bills, and goals. And for recurring money issues, professional help via a “financial adviser, money coach, or marriage and family counselor” can help break the impasse.
Landing a gig for the holidays
The gig economy “offers plenty of opportunities” to earn some extra cash ahead of the holidays, said Maryalene LaPonsie in USNews.com. “The easiest way” to find a paying gig “is also probably the best known”: signing up for an app that connects service providers with customers, such as Uber or Lyft for ride sharing or TaskRabbit for completing odd jobs. You can also consult Upwork, Freelancer, and similar sites to look for short-term jobs posted by businesses. Another option is to “fill in for workers on leave.” Many full-time workers take time off during the holidays, offering an opportunity for freelancers to “fill the gaps.” These short-term openings can sometimes be found online, or just as likely via word of mouth or networking events. ■