Choosing a Job for Your Financial and Mental Health

Choosing a Job That's Good for Your Financial and Mental Health

The last two years have seen a huge shift in how the world does business. While it provides many opportunities, it has also exposed some serious social and mental health concerns for employees. Although some issues stem from the reengineering of the workforce, transitioning to a remote environment has also brought many issues of toxic work cultures into the spotlight.

So, if you are feeling burnt out, lonely, or undervalued, you’re not alone. Many of us have been taken advantage of and suffered through the day-to-day drudgery of a toxic workplace. But, this could be harming you more than you realize.

Here’s why it’s important to choose a job that’s good for your financial and mental health.

The Financial Strain of the Underpaid

When you are first starting out, you should expect to be on the low end of the salary spectrum in any field. Even if you have the right certifications and are highly qualified for the position, you must gain hands-on experience. Once you have put the time in, your salary should increase to reflect this.

However, stingy companies and penny-pinching CEOs will be hard-pressed to give their employees the compensation they deserve. In my experience, this meant denying raises, forgoing end-of-year bonuses, and canceling events or festivities on the company’s dime. Meanwhile, the top executives usually don’t have to make the same sacrifices.

Not only is it unfair, but it is a major red flag that you have a toxic work environment. Unfortunately, it is a widespread problem which I have seen around the world. I have worked for several employers in multiple countries where it has happened. Companies under-value their staff who have few options and have no choice but to accept the low wages.

In addition to lowering morale and reinforcing an unhealthy dynamic, it creates a huge financial strain for these employees. Although inflation and the cost of living continue to rise, employees’ incomes remain stagnant. This makes it harder to stretch the budget and nearly impossible to build savings.

The Mental Health Toll

In addition to the financial impacts, a toxic workplace takes a heavy toll on your mental health. Employees in these environments report higher rates of chronic stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and burnout. Furthermore, health professionals also warn that these factors can also lower your immune response and cause you to get sick more often.

At one point in my career,  it was so severe that I showed all of these symptoms simultaneously. The worst part was how long it took me to recognize the signs of a toxic workplace. I continued to push through, believing that I was the problem. Instead of trusting my abilities and training, I felt like my work was never good enough.

I can recall one manager, in particular, that would micromanage menial tasks and force employees to redo them as a way to exert her dominance over everyone. While I’m sure she justified it as a means to establish her authority, it created a hostile workspace.

Although I’m no longer there, the truth is that I am still dealing with the repercussions today. It has taken me years to rebuild my self-confidence and understand my own worth after years of verbal abuse from my superiors.

10 Signs Your Job Is Affecting Your Financial and Mental Health

I overlooked several red flags early on that led to a decline in my overall well-being. While there are several indications that you work in a toxic workplace, these were the 10 signs which told me that my job was affecting my financial and mental health:

  1. An unhealthy work-life balance
  2. Unrealistic expectations and demands from my superiors
  3. No respect for personal boundaries
  4. No encouragement for input from employees
  5. Lack of acknowledgment or appreciation for employee efforts
  6. Every task is micromanaged
  7. Work is affecting your sleeping habits
  8. No opportunities for professional advancement
  9. A general lack of enthusiasm for the job
  10. Regularly thinking about quitting

This list is by no means all-inclusive. However, it provided me with a tangible checklist that made me realize that I was in an unhealthy situation. For me, all signs pointed to one conclusion: it was time for a change.

Finding a Job That’s Good for Your Financial and Mental Health

Once I realized I had had enough of the verbal abuse, it became easier to enforce boundaries. For months, I received extra tasks, was bullied to work for free, and berated in front of my coworkers. After yet another one of temper tantrums, I simply told my supervisor I was done and walked away. I maintained my professionalism and gave my two-weeks notice, but checked out from her mental gymnastics.

Determined to have a fresh start, I decided it was time to go into business for myself. Never again would I subject myself to abusive bosses or toxic workplaces. Instead, I could create my own professional atmosphere and job that promoted positive financial and mental health.

However, starting your own business is easier said than done. I needed to find a viable career path for my skill set. So, I performed an honest self-assessment to see what my options were. With a strong background in communication, grammar, writing, and copy editing, I began researching what it would take to become a freelance writer. Since I already had acquaintances who had made the same career move, I discussed my situation and consulted with them as I got started.

Over the next year, I spent time networking with other freelancers, making new contacts in the industry, and finding ways to attract new clients. I’m proud to say that all my efforts have paid off. What was once a side hustle in college has now blossomed into a full-time career.

I won’t be making millions, but I’m much happier doing work I enjoy with people I respect. The sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with life is much greater than any financial loss.

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Sponsors Note: This article has been made possible by Jooble.org.  With over 779,000 current vacancies.  Find a new job today!

What Clothes Can You Sell on Depop?

What Clothes Can You Sell on Depop?

If your closet is stuffed to the brim, maybe it’s time to learn what clothes you can sell on Depop.

What is Depop?

For those new to Depop, it’s a peer-to-peer shopping app to buy and sell clothing. While it isn’t the first of its kind, it has become increasingly popular among online shoppers. Primarily because it is so simple to set up and start selling right away without a long verification process. Since it’s compatible with both Android and iOS, you can add the app to your smartphone or login in from your computer to start browsing.

And, although they will charge a 10% fee for every item sold, it’s completely free to join. The user-friendly platform closely resembles Instagram and currently has about 21 million members. Its versatility and accessibility attracts a younger audience. But, Depop is more than just another app for people who are looking for good deals or want to make some extra money cleaning out their closets.  It’s a marketplace that allows for freedom of expression and has built a community that shares fashion, art, music, and so much more.

Clothes You Can Sell on Depop

Some sellers will argue that Depop is the best option when selling preloved casual clothing, vintage items from thrift shops, or pieces from independent designers. So, you won’t typically find high fashion pieces that come with a high price tag. But, you have potential customers from every walk of life which means a wide variety of styles and interests.

When deciding what clothes you can sell on Depop, it’s best to begin by identifying the audience you want to appeal to. From there, you can choose all types of clothing items that fit within the image you want to create. You can start with larger items like outerwear, shoes, bottoms, tops, and dresses. Or, specialize in accessories such as jewelry, watches, hats, scarves, belts, sunglasses, or handbags.

There are also non-clothing items you can sell on Depop. Music enthusiasts can find CDs and vinyl records. Shutterbugs can browse vintage cameras. Meanwhile, bibliophiles have an entirely new source of online reading material. The key to becoming a successful seller is choosing items that are consistent with the brand image and the aesthetic you are trying to create.

Clothes You Can’t Sell on Depop

Beyond what clothes you can sell on Depop, you must also be aware of their list of prohibited and restricted items. You don’t want to have items removed or get banned from the site. Although you can sell many things on the platform, there are a few obvious things you should steer clear of, such as:

    • adult content or nudity
    • alcohol and tobacco products
    • drug-related merchandise
    • graphic or violent images
    • discriminatory or hate speech
    • counterfeit items

The site provides a detailed list of items and an explanation why they would be removed, the admins retain the right to take down any content they feel breaches their Terms of Service or poses a risk they aren’t willing to take.

Making Money on Depop

Even if you aren’t trying to make a living, you can earn some extra cash for your efforts. If you want to make money, you need to know how to market yourself and which items will get the most attention. But before you can start counting your profits, you have to create your Depop shop.

1. Create an account.

Before you can sell anything, you will have to create your own account. It’s simple to set up; all you need is your name, phone number, and email address. Then, you can set your feed preferences such as categories you’re interested in and sizes. When you choose a name for your shop, think of a catchy or memorable name that customers won’t forget. And, be sure to include a bio to tell customers more about your style and products.

2. Link it to a PayPal account.

Unfortunately, Depop doesn’t have its own electronic payment system. So, you’ll need to link it to your PayPal account before you choose clothes and accessories you can sell on Depop. After it’s connected, you can start receiving payments.

3. Choose the items you want to sell.

When you sell online, first impressions are everything. Think about the first thing shoppers see when they visit your page.  And then, choose items that you want to sell with this in mind. First, look through your closet for items you no longer wear. If you need more inventory, search local thrift stores and second-hand shops for new items.

4. Take photos for your shop.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your photos. While every item you list must have an image to accompany it, think about the presentation. Try to showcase the most flattering views and showcase each piece without distractions in the background.

You can include four photos and one video per item. Be sure to capture different angles, the tag, or someone modeling the item. It’s also better to take your own photos than to use stock images when selling personal belongings. No matter which images you choose, keep your photography style consistent to make it look more professional.

5. List the items for sale.

If you want to make money, you have to list the items for sale. You can either download the app to your phone or log in to their website to access your account.

When you create a listing, add photos, a detailed description, and hashtags to generate more traffic to your shop. High-quality pictures grab shoppers’ attention, but the details in the description are what sell it. Be honest about the condition, point out any details that make it special, and include any other information that might be useful to buyers.

The most difficult part is setting the right price. If you price it too high, no one will buy it. Too low…and you barely cover the shipping costs. If necessary, compare it with similar items to know the value of your items and price them fairly.

Since there is no cost or limit to the number of items you can list, maximize your profits by listing as many things as possible.

6. Once sold, ship the items.

When you sell an item, ship it as soon as possible. This builds a good rapport with customers and earns good reviews. To avoid any miscommunication, determine who will be paying the shipping fee before you send it. The site gives you the option to “ship with Depop” or make your own shipping arrangements. Make sure to use tracked shipping and send the tracking number to the customer once it’s on the way.

7. Look for ways to boost your sales.

Once you have established your shop, it’s time to find more customers. Follow shops you like and become more active to get more views. Linking your shop to all your social media accounts is another great way to do this. You should also consider when most people are online and post during high traffic periods like lunch breaks and evenings from 7-9:00 pm.

And, don’t overlook the value of good customer service. Being friendly and prompt with responses can earn you repeat business. You can also include a thank you note or free gift to show your appreciation. Don’t forget to include your business card and encourage them to leave a positive review as well.

If you feel like you have tried everything and still aren’t seeing the returns you’d hoped for, reach out to other sellers. You can talk to community members by browsing their shops or joining r/Depop to seek advice or discuss your concerns. Just because you weren’t successful on your first attempt doesn’t mean that you can’t turn it into a profitable venture.

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Our Greatest Financial Challenges in Our First Year of Marriage

Financial Challenges of Marriage

 

Deciding to get married is just the first of many important decisions you make as a couple. However, many people forget that there are other considerations besides how you feel about each other. For example, how to combine your finances and plan for your future together. Many of us know that financial strain can create tension in relationships, and serious money troubles often lead to divorce. That’s why it was so important to my husband and me to evaluate our financial compatibility and address these issues from the very beginning. However, even the strongest marriages face obstacles. Here are some of the greatest financial challenges we have faced in our first year of marriage.

The First Financial Challenge of Marriage

The first challenge many couples face is planning the wedding. And, with an average cost of $28,000, it’s easy to understand why this is such a hurdle. That’s a lot of money to spend on a ceremony, especially if you already have debts or want to save for a down payment on a home.

However, our situation is a little different. I never wanted to have a huge ceremony and have already started to budget for a smaller wedding for about half the average cost. Unfortunately, two wrenches were thrown into this plan. First, my husband’s job awarded him a contract that will take him out of state for at least six months. In addition to the costs of maintaining our current household, he’ll also have to rent an apartment there. Second, we received news that my dad’s health was starting to rapidly decline.

Both of these factors affected our timeline. Speeding it would have been stressful and crazy expensive with limited venues available at the last minute. However, it was really important to me that my dad was part of it. So, we decided to have a small civil ceremony at the courthouse and postpone our bigger plans. Choosing to do a courthouse wedding now allowed my dad to be present. And, it gave us more time to plan the ceremony we had originally wanted. As an added bonus, there is less pressure and paperwork to take care of later as well.

The Greatest Financial Challenges

Without a doubt, the greatest challenge has been figuring out how to file our taxes. Although nobody looks forward to tax season – besides the IRS of course – our finances are especially complicated. In addition to my husband’s primary job, we both run small businesses. Furthermore, I lived overseas previously and have international accounts which make it even more difficult.

We both have personal CPAs who have helped manage our accounts and taxes for the last several years. Therefore, my initial response was to file separately until my finances are all domestically based.

However, I have never filed jointly before. So, I didn’t realize how much of an advantage this offers couples. While it is going to be tedious tracking and itemizing all our expenses and deductions, it makes sense financially. But, the next question was deciding who we should choose to continue handling our tax returns in the future.

The deciding factor here came down to which CPA was more familiar with our situation. Although I had worked with mine for a few years, my husband’s CPA has handled his and his parent’s taxes for nearly 20 years. And with him holding more assets, it made sense for me to switch.

Despite the financial challenges in our first year of marriage, it has also been an invaluable learning experience. Not only am I more familiar with tax laws, but it has also made me more diligent with my accounting and bookkeeping. It goes to show that not all challenges have to be obstacles.

My Personal Financial Challenges of Marriage

Even though we have been very transparent, there were personal financial challenges of marriage that I had not anticipated. While we had a clear plan and shared financial goals, I had mixed emotions about losing complete independence and the disparity in our incomes.

My husband has a good job and makes considerably more than I do. However, I have been self-sufficient and paid all my own expenses since I was 18. I got used to living on a budget and prefer to maintain a minimalist lifestyle and my own bank accounts. Part of this was from necessity, and part was due to my struggles in accepting financial help, even from my partner.

On the other hand, my husband wants to enjoy the money he works so hard far. While I agree that he deserves to splurge on himself, I still find it difficult to spend anything on myself. Every extra dollar goes straight into my retirement or investment accounts or our joint savings account.

His approach in helping me deal with my own issues and perspective on money is how I know we are building a relationship that will last. He utilizes my strengths to keep us on track to reach our financial goals. However, he also is very supportive and helps me to let go and live a little. Rather than continuing to live in survival mode, he has shown me why it’s important to spend money on things you enjoy as well. In my eyes, the balance we bring to our finances also translates into other aspects of our marriage.

Overcoming the Obstacles

By no means am I claiming to be a relationship or financial expert. However, I feel we have tackled difficult financial issues that cause many relationships to fail. After our first year of marriage, I believe my husband and I have built a strong foundation. And, if we continue to communicate and work through these challenges together, it will only get stronger. At the end of the day, I know I have a partner who trusts me and supports me. And that is more valuable and important than any financial problem we will face.

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