Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Job Networks

I spent Wednesday at an all day orientation for S. Professional Network, where I learned enough tips to warrant signing up. Membership is free, but with a commitment of four hours per week, plus weekly general meetings, to keep the all-volunteer network going. They also host workshops. Naturally, all but one participant was over 50.

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Job Tips for Introverts

Just noticed this great subsection of job tips for introverts, by certified career coach Wendy Gelberg, on the info-packed Job-Hunt.org site I just discovered this week. Since I am a certified introvert (not to be confused with shyness or socially deficient), I could have used these tips long ago.

The site also has a whole big section on online job hunting – and not just for beginners. It’s on the top-left side of the home page. Check it out.

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Freecycle

Freecycle.org is a moderated online community where people offer unused goods, and ask for goods needed, for free. Similar to Craigslist in its grass-roots origins and community spirit, it screens new members by local address – you can join the San Francisco Freecycle, for example, only if you live in San Francisco. The screening helps keep the spammers and scammers away. I’ve used it a few times – to get moving boxes, and to give away a sofa and some clay pots – and it works pretty well.

In fact, it’s kind of like an online version of Give Your Neighbor a Ride.

Each local Freecycle community is hosted on Yahoo Groups, but Freecycle has its own login system. So it’s best to start with the central Freecycle.org site, find your local site, and log in from there. (You might still have to log in with Yahoo separately. It’s very confusing.)

I have a warning, though: Be very careful before giving or receiving mattresses, beds, sofas, other upholstered furniture, bedroom furniture – or moving boxes – because they could harbor bedbugs without the giver even knowing it. Since this pest is expert at hiding and feeds on people and not filth, even the ritziest hotels in New York have gotten them. For more info, see New York vs. Bedbugs.

Thrifty Advice for Parents (and Nonparents)

Sather Gate at UC Berkeley

Sather Gate at UC Berkeley. Photo by Huney Kong.

The categorized advice exchanged on the Berkeley Parents Network, a volunteer-run community forum, is available to anyone with Web access, and many tips apply to anyone, anywhere, not just parents in Berkeley.

Having worked on staff at UC Berkeley for six years, I recognize the berkeley.edu address as one hosted by UC Berkeley. My guess is that it was started, probably long ago, by graduate students who were also parents, or became parents during their studies.

There are a few things to know about grad students at any university, even the top ones like UC Berkeley:

  • Grad students are required to work hard, either in teaching or research, as well as study hard.
  • Grad students are woefully underpaid. Seriously, their stipends have hovered around minimum wage. And their studies can last up to seven years. So they’re poor for quite a long time.
  • Grad students at UC Berkeley almost always have to relocate, and often bring nothing with them to save on moving costs.
  • Grad students with families usually can’t rely on a spouse’s income to make up for their low pay, because the spouse (1) had to move too, and (2) is often just starting out in a career and/or is waiting for his/her turn for grad school.

So, even though Berkeley Parents Network has evolved to include all parents within commuting distance of Berkeley, there is a definite thrifty tone to the requests and offers for advice. And all of them are categorized and searchable on the Web site.

I’m not a parent, but I have two girl cousins, 9 and 16, that I take on day trips once in a while. I’ve made use of Berkeley Parents Network for inexpensive places to take kids for fun, and for advice on handling occasionally sullen teens. But I’ve also checked it for how to handle an unusual pest problem – which has nothing to do with kids, or with Berkeley.

But if you do live within commuting distance of Berkeley, you can join for free and get email newsletters as well as the ability to post forum messages of your own. Plus, the localized resources, such as dentists and preschools, will work for you.

Whether you’re a parent or not, live near Berkeley or not, Berkeley Parents Network is an extensive, reliable resource.