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 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.

(More History)