Category Archives: Maximize Career

Workplace Lessons in 365 Days

This week, I celebrated my first “work-a-versary” at my new job; although, I guess that I’ve been with my job for a full 12 months now, it’s not all that “new” anymore. When I chose to return to the workforce after several years as a freelancer, I wasn’t sure what to expect; after all, it… Continue Reading

Unlimited Vacation Days? I'M IN!

Some people look forward to their yearly raise; others aspire to the corner office. Not me. My favorite workplace “incentive” is paid time off – sick days, vacation days, personal days, holidays. The roughly 17 days of paid leave I get every year is by far the best perk you could give me. I long… Continue Reading

Maximize Your Career For The Big Payday

I have been asked by several people what it means when I say “maximize your career.”  I want to give everyone an overview because it may not be what you think.  I used these techniques and it has paid big dividends for me.  I use maximizing my career as an anchor to building wealth and… Continue Reading

Why I'm Returning To A W-2 Job

For the past 15 months, I’ve been sharing my personal stories and advice on everything from saving for retirement to avoid dumb investment mistakes. One of my favorite posts during that time dealt with how to get a raise without asking for more money; but even though I was doling out the advice, I wasn’t… Continue Reading

How NOT To Ask For A Raise

I don’t know about you, but the start of a new year always has me dreaming of the bigger and the better; naturally, a bigger and better salary is always near the top of my list. Last year, I wrote about how to get a raise without asking for more money. These tactics can help… Continue Reading

What's Really The Goal Of Small Business?

It’s been one of the central debates of the 2012 presidential campaign – the U.S. economy’s sub-par record on job creation over the past four years. Whether you’re a Republican planning to vote for Mitt Romney, or a Democrat planning to vote for President Obama, I think everyone can agree that our nation’s unemployment rate… Continue Reading

Marketing Your Small Business Stand Out

Come rain, come sleet, come snow, he’s there, dancing on the corner. Sometimes he has a sign in his hands, other times, he’s wearing a brightly colored t-shirt with a store’s logo emblazoned upon it. You can’t hear the music in his head – it’s piped in via a set of headphones, so as not… Continue Reading

Living Beyond Your Means: Is There Ever A Good Excuse?

For the past two years, my husband and I have lived on a gross income of less than $50,000 – and while we were never part of the “entitled” 47% of Americans who didn’t pay income tax (our effective tax rates during those two years averaged out to about 5-6%), we definitely learned what it… Continue Reading

How Keeping Your Maiden Name Affects Your Career

When I got married, one of the first things I did was to change my last name. In fact, within a month of our wedding day, I had my new social security card, driver’s license, passport, and credit card in my wallet, all proudly bearing my married name – Balke – where my maiden name… Continue Reading

Bain Capital and I

Have you ever played the Hollywood party game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? In the game, you take a random actor – say Jennifer Aniston – and try to use starlet’s movie roles, relationships, and friendships to connect her to Kevin Bacon within six degrees of separation. What on earth does Kevin Bacon have to… Continue Reading