Advice

How To Get EU Citizenship, Country By Country

Your heritage can be your ticket to European citizenship.

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ACA, IRA, 401(K): Got a Burning Question? Ask Us!

Let us know if you have questions about your IRA, your 401(K), or the ACA (aka Obamacare).

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WWYD: Bring Bottles In Yourself Or Leave Them for the Less Fortunate

The obvious thing to do is to trot down to the store with the bag of empties and exchange them for money, right?

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Female CEOs Are Not Born But Forged From the Fires of Time

Most women who make it to the C-suite start out in the mailroom.

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How to Get a Freelance Gig: Tips From Someone Who Hires Freelancers, Part III

It’s time to wrap things up with this short series–and what a coincidence, our final installment is about wrapping things up at your freelance gig and taking steps to improve your chances of turning one gig into several.

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A Father/Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: What Career Path Should I Take?

Dear Meghan and her Dad,

Hope you’re both well. I’m a 26-year-old woman with an MA in art history. Before graduating in May of 2013 I had a job lined up, and it sounded like a dream job at the time. So for the last year I’ve been working as a researcher at the art museum in my home city, part-time, no benefits, doing what I care about despite its relative unimportance in the big picture. I had a second (retail) job for several months to make ends meet, and then two months in my boyfriend moved in and I quit the other job, because the two of us combined made enough money, and also because the retail job was exactly what you’d expect it to be like.

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When Is It OK to Quit a Job Without Having Another One

Anytime you need to. You’re a millennial. No one expects you to stay in a job longer than 7 months at a time! Do what you want.

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Prudie on Having a Starving Artist for a Partner: DTMFA

Talking to the Person is almost always better than Talking about the Person, especially when the Person’s behavior is the problem.

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On Success vs. Striving

Lionel Shriver writes for the Guardian about how the years she spent getting rejected were, in retrospect, really happy. It’s an interesting meditation on what happiness IS really, anyway, and a good reminder to enjoy the PROCESS, the challenges you’re facing, the various purposes you have in your life right now, instead of focusing on specific achievements. After all, an achievement is exciting for a day or so, and then what?

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Career Advice from Amy Poehler: Practice Ambivalence, Let Go

God bless the genius Amy Poehler. Her advice to all of us — especially the ladies — is not lean in but rather take a deep breath, hang back, cool down. We do not have as much control over whether we succeed in our passions or our careers as we might like, so the only thing we can do is focus on the process.

If you are a reader who is not exactly sure what Sandberg actually does for a living, but knows it doesn’t sound like any fun, books like Lean In can feel less than helpful. If, in other words, you are more interested in a life of creativity than corporate dominance, you may find more to take away from Poehler’s advice to, as she writes, “treat your career like a bad boyfriend.”

What’s refreshing about Yes, Please, and a tiny bit radical, is the way Poehler doesn’t assume career follows passion. In fact, she writes, “your career and your passion don’t always match up.” Still, she counsels, you should work as hard as you can to follow your passion, and even then, “hard work doesn’t always matter.” So you should just let go. “Try to care less,” Poehler writes. “Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it.” Because “career is the thing that will not fill you up and will never make you truly whole. Depending on your career is like eating cake for breakfast and wondering why you start crying an hour later.”

I would cry an hour later out of pure happiness and wishing I could have more cake, but that’s just me. Poehler sums up her philosophy this way: “You have to care about your work but not about the result.”

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Experts Maybe Not So Expert-y After All

We talk a lot around here about the people who hold themselves out as financial experts, and how they’re mostly full of bologna. And while we’re on the topic: Donald Trump! Why does anyone think of that dope as a paragon of financial acumen? The dude was born rich and still managed to go bankrupt.

We also dispense a fair bit of advice, or, at least, ponderous suggestions and strongly held opinions, even though none of us is, in any way, a certified expert in matters fiscal. Luckily, that doesn’t matter, because, as a new study reveals, professional mutual fund managers, who presumably would know a thing or two about managing their own money, are just as profligate, impetuous, and generally pound-foolish as the rest of us.

One of the researchers involved suggests that the main takeaway is “average investors might be better off managing their own stock portfolios rather than paying a high-fee mutual-fund managers, because beating the market is rare and very difficult.” That is surely true, but doesn’t go far enough. Average people, who mostly don’t invest in anything beyond groceries, rent, and used cars, should take great solace in knowing that even to the experts, money is basically inscrutable and advantageous decisions are elusive. So go ahead and lace up your fancy sneakers, put your iPhone in your pocket, and go buy a latte. There is a reason they call economics “the dismal science.” There is also probably a reason they call boxing “the sweet science,” but let’s not worry about that just now.

Photo by the author.

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