5 Unusual Labor Day Facts

Wanna wow your friends and family with your knowledge of Labor Day trivia?  Read on to learn some unusual facts about this federal holiday.

  1. Labor Day Was Initially Associated with Unions.  Back in 1882, the unions of NYC decided to hold a celebration for union members and to show support for unions everywhere.  They threw a parade that drew 20,000 attendees, plenty of whom were apparently big beer drinkers.

  2. For Many of Us, Labor Day Means Exactly That.  While we tend to associate picnics and four-day work weeks with Labor Day, that isn’t the case for many Americans.  Retail workers, for instance, tend to work long hours over Labor Day weekend, because that’s when retail stores offer deep discounts.

  3. Labor Day Is the Third Federal Holiday.  When Labor Day was instituted in 1882, workers got little time off.  While today we have 10 federal holidays, there were only two of them back then—Christmas and the 4th of July.  Workers also didn’t get weekends off like we do today.  Instead, they were only guaranteed a day off every other Sunday.

  4. An 84-Hour Work Week Wasn’t Uncommon.  Not only did workers have few federal holidays to look forward to in 1882, but they also had ridiculously long work weeks.  For instance, it wasn’t unusual to work 12-hour days, seven days a week.  Eight-hour work days didn’t become commonplace until the passage of the Adamson Act in 1916 which mandated them.

  5. Labor Day Weekend Is the Most Dangerous Weekend to Travel by Car.  Careful out there, folks.  According to highway accident statistics, the most accidents occur on Labor Day weekend.  It’s surmised that this is because teens and young adults view Labor Day weekend as the last one for partying before heading back to school.

5 Great Reasons to Look for a New Job

Have you been on the fence about finding a new job?  If so, read on. We have some great reasons why finding a new job might be the perfect career decision for you in 2017:

  1. Economics.  Don't go down with a sinking ship!  If you're seeing signs of impending doom at your employer like layoffs and financial losses, consider it time to move on.  Rather than waiting around until you're unemployed, take proactive steps to find a new job in a company that's financially sound.

  2. No Room for Advancement.  Do you work in one of those companies where the only way to move up is to wait for your 40-year-old manager to die?  Rather than secretly wishing for your boss to pass away, begin looking for employment elsewhere. Interestingly enough, lack of career advancement is the most popular reason people change jobs.

  3. Boredom.  While most jobs are boring at times, you should definitely consider leaving your job if boredom is your dominant feeling between the hours of 9-5.  Look for a job that you'll find challenging, but not overwhelming.  That's the type of job that keeps people interested and feeling fulfilled.

  4. Dread.  Does Monday morning fill you with dread?  Do you ever sit in your car and cry before you head into your job?  If so, it's time to find a new job stat!  Rather than continuing to tolerate a job you despise, start looking for something that's going to make you feel happier.  Your personal wellbeing is too important to continue in a job like this one.

  5. Hostile Environment.  Is your boss a yeller?  Do your coworkers take credit for your ideas?  Is your office filled with backstabbers?  Some companies foster toxic cultures.  Instead of remaining in such an unpleasant atmosphere, polish up your resume, start networking, and begin planning your exit strategy.

Are You Having a Midlife Crisis? Learn 6 Common Signs

Whether you're a man or a woman, a midlife crisis is a fairly common thing to experience in your 40s or 50s.  During these years, people are more inclined to evaluate where they're at in their lives, both personally and professionally.

While some people may find this period to be a tremendous catalyst for growth, others can experience it as stressful or depressing.  If any of this sounds familiar, you may be in the throes of a midlife crisis. Additional signs include:

1. Restlessness or boredom.  Rather than continuing to feel interested and engaged in life, people experiencing a midlife crisis often feel a sense of ennui.  They've lost their passion and enthusiasm for their job and daily activities.

2. Buying Expensive Items Impulsively.  Research shows that at least one-third of middle-aged men do this, typically purchasing a pricey car.  Women, on the other hand, are more likely to spend money on plastic surgery.

3. Dissatisfaction with Appearance.  It's not uncommon for people experiencing a midlife crisis to feel dissatisfaction with their weight, body image, or attractiveness.

4. Increase in Thoughts About Mortality.  As we age, it's not uncommon to think about our own mortality.  However, a midlife crisis in particular is likely to make us more inclined to ruminate about the passing of time, our health, and death itself.

5. Questioning of Current Circumstances.  During a midlife crisis, we begin to ask ourselves tough questions like, “Is this all there is?” “Why am I doing this?” and “How would I feel if I died, never having accomplished more than I have right now?  Would I be OK with that?”

6. Recent Trauma.  A midlife crisis is often triggered by a traumatic experience like a divorce, the kids leaving home, or the death of a parent.

5 Ways to Socialize When You Work From Home

Working from home definitely has its benefits...you can wear your PJs all day, venture out to a matinee, and set your own hours.  However, working from home offers few opportunities for human interaction—unless you make a deliberate effort to socialize, you can go days without talking to anyone.  Fortunately, we've got some pointers to make working from home more social:

  1. Go to Meetups.  Meetup.com connects people with similar interests.  Simply set up an account, look for groups that interest you, then join them.  Having said that, it isn't enough just to join.  When your meetups schedule social events, attend them.  You can meet plenty of people and over time, you'll start to recognize attendees and begin forming friendships with them.

  2. Create or Attend a Jelly.  A jelly is a work event that takes place in someone's home or a coffee shop.  It gives freelancers and remote workers the opportunity to work alongside others in a welcoming environment.  To look for jellies in your area, click here.

  3. Join a Sports Teams.  A team is an excellent way to form close connections.  Most sports teams meet once or twice a week, giving people the chance to socialize while having “fit fun.”  In just one season, you'll be surprised at how quickly you've come to view your teammates as friends.

  4. Schedule Lunches and Coffee Dates.  A little planning can go a long way toward helping you socialize.  Aim to get at least 2 lunches or coffee dates on your calendar each week.  These events will give you something to look forward to and prevent you from becoming too isolated.

  5. Go to a Religious Service and/or Volunteer.  A place of worship is a great way to meet local people in your area, and most religions are especially welcoming of newcomers.  If religion isn't your thing, consider volunteering.  As with places of worship, most volunteer organizations love new people and they're happy to have additional help.

5 Innovative Ways to Travel Cheaply

Do you have wanderlust but a tiny budget?  Don't despair!  There are many ways to see the world at little-to-no cost:

  1. House Sit or Pet Sit.  There are plenty of people out there who don't want their homes left unattended while they're away.  Likewise, many pet parents hate the idea of boarding their animals when they're out of town.  Check out sites like Rover and TrustedHousesitters to get started as a sitter.

  2. Help Out at an Organic Farm.  There are organic farms all over the world that are looking for labor.  If you decide to work for one, you'll pay to get to your destination, but once there, room and board is covered if you work a minimum number of hours per week.  For a list of opportunities, visit WWOOF, a global organization that links farmers and travelers.

  3. Teach English Abroad.  There are plenty of countries overseas that need English teachers, and bonus, you don't need to have a degree in education to work for them.  You do, however, need a certification.  Learn about certification types and your options for teaching English abroad here.

  4. Trade Labor at a Hostel.  Hostels offer dorm-style housing at rates far below those that hotels charge.  Consider heading to your destination and once there, offering your labor in exchange for a room.  Alternatively, you might want to find a hostel job in advance of hitting the road.  To do so, check out Hostel Jobs!.

  5. Join a Crew.  There are tons of cruise ship jobs available that cover a wide range of positions.  While working on a cruise ship can be a great opportunity to see more of the world at someone else's expense, consider yourself forewarned—typically ship crews work a lot of hours and don't always get to disembark when the ship is in port.  To see what's available, visit the websites of Carnival or Princess.