Social networking sites were originally created to connect people, but today’s sites do so much more. Everyone knows that successful careers are built on who you know. So, whether you’re looking for a new job or just wanting to move up in your field, these ten sites can help you move forward.

LinkedIn – The site for professional connections, leads, and jobs. These are all business people, and that’s what you’re looking for. Making connections is an essential part of any career, and, should you find yourself looking to change companies, start a new career, or simply move up in your field, you want a wide range of people to help you achieve your goal.
Facebook – The go-to site for everyone now, Facebook overtook MySpace as the most popular social networking site and caters to millions of users. The ability to make connections and renew acquaintances allows Facebook users to connect with current co-workers and potential employers they may never have come across in the real world. Be careful of what you post and who you friend though, employers will check you out. Join groups that show what kind of worker you are, and avoid things that could reflect negatively.
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Living in mansions and driving BMWs was never my passion. But right from my childhood I wanted to be rich enough to fulfill my small but expensive desires like having a Rolex watch on my hand or drive in a Toyota Camry. But as I grew and saw the world advancing, I slowly began to understand the meaning of a very old saying that “only if you aim for the sky, you will land among the stars.” And that applies for almost every living soul on earth.

Becoming a millionaire is one dream that people see with open eyes and spend their life toiling to reach their goal of being counted amongst the rich people of the world. There are those who succeed, but many are pulled back by the others in the race. But there is an interesting intermediary class of people who the world calls the ‘pretenders’. Any guesses why? Because no matter how hefty their debts are, they never compromise on their social status. But here is a piece of advice for such people, “Stop Acting Rich . . . and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.”

A former university professor and the co-author finance books like “The Millionaire Next Door”, Thomas J. Stanley has once again shared his experience of examining the truly rich people in his book, “Stop Acting Rich . . . and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.” (Wiley, $17.79). The author highlights that the credit, recession and crisis have presented us with the opportunity to treat and cure the pretenders.

“For the treatment to work, you must take a cold hard look at your balance sheet and at your life, and determine if you would be wealthier if you would stop acting rich,” he writes.

Stanley has bought very interesting facets of the life of real millionaires and the ones trying to emulate them. He points out at the major difference between the income and net worth and explains what counts to be a true millionaire. Some quite intriguing findings of his study include:

• 86% percent of all prestige or luxury makes of motor vehicles are driven by people who are not millionaires.
• Typically, millionaires pay about $16 (including tip) for a haircut.
• Nearly four in 10 millionaires buy wine that costs about $10.

His only aim behind the research is to make people aware of a very simple truth of life that only if people stop acting rich, they would be able to achieve the kind of happiness money can’t buy.

“For the treatment to work, you must take a cold hard look at your balance sheet and at your life, and determine if you would be wealthier if you would stop acting rich,” he writes.

The realistic book will help people get closer to reality, that pretending will never bring contentment or the real joy. Only accepting the fact that acting rich is far away from actually being truly wealthy will help them find the bliss of happiness.

weddingWould you marry a bachelor with a million dollars? My friends used to raise the same question when we were kids. What usually sparked a debate was the ensuing query: What if that man or woman is ugly and cruel? Obviously, we were totally clueless about romance and marriage back then.

Now, friends still raise the issue from time to time, but discussions have taken a different twist. “Would you marry for love or money?” They now ask.

I just found a report that attempts to answer the million-dollar question. According to “Marriage for love of money” at Wall Street Journal, two-thirds of women and half the men said they would marry for money.

When asked about their “price” to see them walk down the aisle, the singles said it would have to be over $1 million to $2 million in net worth.

But isn’t love the end-all and be-all of happiness? Doesn’t almost every chick-flick end with a blushing bride marrying the “man with a good heart” and they live happily ever after? Not necessarily. It’s the marriage that comes in bundles of money that lasts.

That’s at least according to Daniela Drake, a former McKinsey consultant, who recently raised the issue in her piece in Reuters. Are women better off marrying for money?

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bye1.gifI said goodbye to an old friend a few weeks ago. We’ve known each other almost thirty years, ever since I started high school really.

We were together on my first date, first kiss, and first trip overseas. We were hand in hand when I left home to go to university.

My friend was there when I started my first real grown-up job, has seen girlfriends come and go, and has been my solace when I had nobody to turn to.

We briefly parted ways from time to time but always managed to find each other. We laughed, we danced, we stressed and we wept together.

We shared our ups and downs. Some times we exercised together and every now and then we even bathed together. That’s a lot of togetherness.

In the past few months I have slowly wakened up to the fact that this friend of mine, who I thought had always been there for me, has slowly been poisoning me from the inside out.

My friend has been digging into my pocketbook on a daily basis for the past 30 years, and stealing my money at the same time as he’s been stealing minutes from my life. My friend has not really been my friend at all.

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The other day I read an amazing statistic? It said that as many as half the people who end up divorced had a strong feeling before the wedding that they were doing the wrong thing but they were too embarrassed to pull out at the last minute. The fear of embarrassment is a powerful influence in the lives of most people.

Imagine that you slipped over in a public street, what would your first reaction be? If you are like most people you would look around to see who saw you.

Another, well known, statistic is that fear of public speaking is the number one fear that people have, but is it true? I suggest that their fear of public speaking is really a fear of being embarrassed publicly if they mess up.

So what’s all this got to do with being broke?

In order to become wealthy you need to set a goal to become wealthy. Since having lots of money is a lot more fun than being broke why doesn’t everyone set a serious goal to be rich? The reason is that they are afraid of the embarrassment if they tell everyone that they are going to be rich and then they fail.

It seems crazy to let your life be controlled by the fear of what other people may think of you, yet that is exactly what most people are doing. What about you? Are you letting the fear of embarrassment keep you from reaching your full potential, financially or otherwise?

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539w.jpgIndia’s Tata Motors on Thursday unveiled its much anticipated $2,500 car, an ultra-cheap price tag that brings car ownership into the reach of tens of millions of people. But critics worry the car could overwhelm the country’s roads and create an environmental nightmare.

Company Chairman Ratan Tata, introducing the Nano during India’s main auto show, drove onto a stage in a white version of the tiny four-door subcompact, his head nearly touching the roof.With a snub nose and a sloping roof, the world’s cheapest car can fit five people — if they squeeze. And the basic version is spare: there’s no radio, no passenger-side mirror and only one windshield wiper. If you want air conditioning to cope with India’s brutal summers, you need to get the deluxe version.

While the price has created a buzz, critics say the Nano could lead to possibly millions more automobiles hitting already clogged Indian roads, adding to mounting air and noise pollution problems. Others have said Tata will have to sacrifice quality and safety standards to meet the target price.

The chairman, though, insists the car will meet safety standards and pollute even less than motorcycles, passing domestic and European emission standards and averaging about 50 miles per gallon (20 kilometers per liter).

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fotolia_3915556_womantime1.jpgIf you find yourself complaining too regularly about ‘pressure on your time’, it may be the moment to step back and try to interpret this repeated signal that seems to be flashing up an alarm. Usually just means time is controlling you.

The popular phrase ‘not enough hours in the day’ is a particular giveaway. You definitely need reminding that all hours aren’t equal. They vary widely in their effectiveness – so much so, that time management has become a formal study, keenly encouraged in corporate life. One half of time management is just ordinary good housekeeping. You look around the office and find a lot of ways you can achieve small-time savings. The coffee-machine could be closer to where most people sit, allowing shorter journeys.

Those big files could do with a bit of sorting out, to speed up the routine paperwork. Maybe put up a notice discouraging long phone calls, etc. No doubt this all adds up.

But the other half of time management focuses right in on the dynamics of time itself. And under analysis, you find that there are two completely distinct kinds of working time, which literally fight.

One of them is control time, where you control the duration of the job. The other is response time, where you react to interruptions which control you. Let’s take a typical example of control time and response time in conflict.

Two managers are working separately on a major report, which requires concentration, but are also having to allow time for dialogue with the rest of the department.

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He survived against all the odds; now Peng Shulin has astounded doctors by learning to walk again.When his body was cut in two by a lorry in 1995, it was little short of a Medical miracle that he lived. It took a team of nearly 20 doctors to save his life.


Skin was grafted from his head to seal his torso – but the legless Mr Peng was left only 78cm (2ft 6in) tall. Bedridden for years, doctors in China had little hope that he would ever be able to live anything like a normal life again.

I know what you are thinking now, “Well Mr Robin Bal, what’s all this got to do with Personal Finance, Investing, Debt Elimination etc.” A LOT, go on continue reading, get the message.

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28slim600.jpgCarlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon and the world’s richest man, scoffed at Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for “playing Santa Claus” to cure poverty’s ills. But that’s where we are. Our guys—Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—are all about giving it away. Carlos Slim? Not a chance.

A few months earlier Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, made an assertion. In an interview that was widely reported, he stated, “Our concept is more to accomplish and solve things, rather than giving; that is, not going around like Santa Claus…. Poverty isn’t solved with donations.” In a recent two-hour interview in his office, Mr. Slim promised that there would be no ceiling on his donations. “We want to get to the root of problems, no limits,” he said.

Because Mexico’s income distribution is severely skewed, Mr. Slim has come to personify the small elite who control vast sections of the economy. So he has been feeling the pressure to give much of his enormous fortune away. Some time ago, he pledged to increase the endowments of his companies’ foundations to $10 billion from $4 billion in the next four years. He promises to spend money on education and health.

Very few would argue with Mr. Slim’s assertion that poverty cannot be ended by donations. Slim wants to build huge hospitals in northern Mexico where the country-region can ship tens of thousands of Medicare patients for health care that can be delivered at much cheaper costs.

Slim was unimpressed at how Buffett and Gates vowed late last year to combine their entire fortunes into the world’s largest foundation to do good works.

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lending1.jpg“If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”

Admit it. You’ve said that at least once to someone going through a rough time–we all have. Matter of fact, it’s much more than a well-worn, well-meaning phrase that we instinctively say before hanging up the phone, anxious to our friendship duty. Do we ever question if we’re doing the routine rounds or do we feel a pull in our heart?

Let’s face it–how many of us, while in the midst of a crisis, can really get it together to tell exactly what we need? Unless of course it is an injection of a dose of money. So that brings us to the million dollar question–How do you deal with friends who need Financial help?

This could be a delicate situation that can perhaps degenerate itself into a difficult situation, as compared to your own financial status at that moment. If you’d like to help a friend who’s in a financial mess, just keep in the back of your mind that “Money really is power.” And it’s your responsibility to be sensitive to that.

Should you lend money to your friends? Shakespeare said, “Lend money to a friend and you lose both, money and friend.” My dad educated me a bit on this; his advice was that if at all you must help a friend financially, never lend more than you can afford to lose. That’s also my advice for people who are out to make a killing in the stock market–never invest more than you can afford to lose. And that’s what they call the “risk capital.” How much risk capital do you have after all your savings for the rainy day?

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