Biz Bits: Tips for beating workplace stress

Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2012, 4:30 pm
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Workplace stress is common in America. A recent survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College found that 73 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work.

Reasons for workplace stress varied, from lacking opportunities for advancement, working a job outside of your chosen career, long commutes and poor work-life balance.

While reasons for workplace stress vary, the most important thing you can do is take control of your career, says John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College. "It's easy to get stressed if you're working a job you weren't particularly excited about in the first place," says Swartz.

Swartz offers the following tips for taking control of your career, which in turn should help reduce the amount of stress you face at work:

- Stay on top of current trends in your field. One of the best ways to improve your situation at work is to give yourself room to grow by becoming an expert in your field. Employees who demonstrate the ability to adapt and learn are a valuable commodity, which will help ensure your advancement at your current place of employment or elsewhere.

- Learn practical skills. Don't wait to be asked by your boss to learn something now. Seek out ways you can increase your value within your company. While it may seem like a lot of work at the time, acquiring more skills will open more doors for you in the long run.

- If necessary, increase your level of education. If you're having trouble getting the job you want because you don't have the required amount of education, it's time to think about going back to school. If you're not happy at your job, it will be worth the sacrifice to get a degree that puts you in a better position to succeed.

- Choose a career in a field where growth is projected, if possible. If you are exploring going back to school, it makes sense to first take a look at the job prospects in the fields you are considering. Recent projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics note that health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020.

-- Brandpoint

Better Business Bureau Watch

Hundreds of consumers across the nation have sent in complaints to the Better Business Bureau about an online payday loan scheme that is based in Las Vegas.

Seven businesses, all with the same Las Vegas address, have been issued warnings and given "F" ratings by the Better Business Bureau serving Las Vegas.

The businesses identified by the BBB are Capital Advance Capitol (also known as Loan Assistance), Ideal Advance, LoanTree Advances, Pacific Advances, Palm Loan Advances, Vantage Funding and Your Loan Funding. All list addresses at 2780 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 3675, in Las Vegas, NV, and most have virtually identical websites.

More than 300 people nationally, including consumers in the Chicago area, have filed complaints against the businesses, most of them in the past several months.

Complainants told the BBB that the online payday loan businesses used electronic checks to take $30 from their accounts. Some consumers said the companies told them the charges were payday loan application fees, even though the consumers maintain they never formally applied for loans.

Other consumers said they have no idea where the businesses got their banking information or how they were able to access their accounts.

"When people are in need of fast cash or in a desperate situation, they often are more willing to sign unfavorable agreements," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "This urgency or desperation allows unscrupulous payday loan operations to take advantage of people who are already in a tight situation."

For more tips, visit

The List
According to the USDA, here are the most expensive states in which to raise children:
1. New York
2. Minnesota
3. Oregon
4. Colorado
5. Hawaii

Number to Know
19: is starting Black Friday early this year and will begin sales on Nov. 19. Thanksgiving is Nov. 22 this year.


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business.
1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments.
1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace.
1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually.
1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area.
1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.

(More History)