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401(K) wake-up call: When was the last time you checked your savings?

Money. Career. Balance.
401(k) wake-up call—how I’m learning to be more hands on
If you’ve paid a visit to a casino, you’re no stranger to the sensory overload of flashing and clinking. And yet, I managed to fall asleep last time, seated beside a friend draining a Franklin in slots. I can’t get excited about gambling, not at the craps tables, not in the stock market. Sure, there’s a 401(k) in my name earning my employer’s match, but I’ve yet to peek into the pot to see what’s brewing.

So when this writer, in her late-20s, shared the dollar-figure of her nest egg, I got curious about my number—and whether there’s an app for that. Sure enough, there is, and it blew this uninvested-stockholder’s mind. Little did I know, about $70 from each paycheck I’ve earned over the last 20 months has effortlessly amassed to more than $4,000.

Not just that: I now know myself to be the proud (read: infinitesimal) owner of thousands of companies, like Alphabet and Alibaba, and spinning the app’s contribution calculators doesn’t demand any extra from my wallet. In fact, it spurred me up 2%. I’m still far short of being on-track to reach the recommended equivalent-of-your-salary savings by the time I’m 30. But hey, let’s take a second while I'm ahead and call this a win. What advice would you give a new and clueless investor?
Tackle money, career and balance with these tips today.

Trying to negotiate a higher salary?
Cracking a joke could be the key to getting the payout you want.

Your resume might get you an interview... 
...but it’s these six qualities that’ll land you the job.

Do you depend on snacking to get through busy days?
Step away from the chips and try these dietitian-approved bites.
Land an amazing job without much experience

Invest in yourself. Enroll in an online course, and learn a new skill. Register for a conference, and introduce yourself to people in the field you’re breaking into. A self-starter mentality will go a long way in impressing employers.

Manage your expectations. Don’t assume you’ll land the first job you apply for, and don’t expect the first job you land to be a dream. It’s a foot in the door. Prove your worth at small tasks, and before long the bigger projects will be yours.

Don’t oversell yourself. Talk up the experience you do have, and admit what you still don’t know. It’s better to ask questions and show how eager you are to grow than to guess and get it wrong.
How to find the balance between family and work

Find flexibility. You don’t have to go part-time to be a great parent and professional. You just need an arrangement that allows you to work from home or clock nighttime hours when days get interrupted. Same goes for performance: Don’t aim for perfection or having it all. Set the bar where you can reasonably achieve health, happiness and success at home and at work.

Give yourself a hand. When you need to take a day off from work, you have colleagues around to help pick up the slack. But what happens when you need to catch a break at home? Whether it’s a partner, babysitter or friend, have someone you can call in a pinch. Taking care of everyone else’s needs will be much easier once you’ve made time for your own.  

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Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has become a spokesperson of sorts for failure, with the billionaire even calling it “a necessary part of business.” And he’s right—mistakes help us grow. But how can we muster up the strength to keep bouncing back over and over (and over) again? Enter, mindfulness. By centering your attention on the present, you’ll be able to silence any negative self-talk, focus on accepting your missteps and move on.
ICYMI: Webinar — Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life
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