Boost your Network
Find Your Way to a Better Job
The job market today is intensely competitive, and there is no getting around that. Who better to refer you to a job than the people you know? Gone are the days of endless pavement pounding and tireless searching? The best approach to your job search is to press your network of contacts for job information and a referral or introduction.

Many people mistake this approach for simply getting a job just because they knew someone on the inside, but this is only partially accurate. You are getting the job because you are qualified. Your resume gets to the interview pile because you are given more credibility for knowing an employee or associate of someone at the organization and have the credentials to warrant working there.

Having a degree and outstanding resume won't always guarantee you a spot in the interview chair. Companies today receive hundreds, possibly thousands of inquiries for each job they post and it can be difficult to carefully screen each and every resume for a select few interviewees. Having a reference that is known to the company or being referred by an employee can do wonders for getting you noticed - and will amp your credibility enough to possibly land you the job.

Here are 3 Network-Boosting Tips:

  • Don't make it all about you. Maintain your network at all times, not just when you have a need. Be visible to your network and keep them current on what is happening in your life and your career, and stay involved in their life
  • Use networking programs, such as to expand your network of contacts, and allow clients and employers/co-workers to give you positive feedback where prospective clients or employers will be able to see it
  • Spend a little. Even if you are unemployed, shelling out some extra cash to have lunches with friends, or coffees with co-workers can go a long way in landing you your next job. Sharing face-to-face experiences with someone, and a few laughs goes a long way in having people remember you the next time there is a job opening. 
Keeping your network fresh doesn't have to be arduous. If you are doing it right, it should be entertaining and pleasant for you and your contacts - and who knows where it might lead?
Road Trip: USA
Road Trip Rules Before You Go
Ahhh, the open road. As the economy continues to struggle, many Americans are cashing in their Caribbean cruises, and European summer vacations in for this Iconic American-style vacation. But before you pack up the car and head out  for the freedom of the open road, there are a few things you should know.

1.  Have a plan.  Have some goals in mind for what you aim to accomplish, see, or do.  To make it more fun with the family, sit down together and hash out a road trip theme, and some destinations together. Knowing some of the fun spots will make the kids more likely to jump in the car.

2.  Route your journey.  Once you've etched out your destination, you need to plot these points along a map. Use internet mapping programs like google maps or mapquest to help you figure out the best routes. Keep in mind the type of travel you are going for when you plot your maps. 

3.  Pack some food.  Snacks are vital to road-trips! Have 2-3 servings of snacks per person, per day of road-trip. Some great choices: trail mix, pre-popped popcorn, apples, bananas, oranges, carrots and celery, raisins, graham crackers, and yogurt.

4.  Take Breaks. It's the journey not the destination. Break every hour or two for a few minutes. You'll be fresher on the road and ready for the many surprises of travel, and your companions will enjoy a more relaxed pace.

5.  Be prepared for an emergency. Have a roadside emergency kit for the car and its inhabitants: flashlights, batteries, emergency food and water, blankets, and a 2-way radio will go a long way in an emergency. You should keep your cell phone charged and have the phone number for your insurance and roadside assistance companies easily accessible.

Regardless of your destination, taking the family for a week of cruising, music, games, and laughter will help to reconnect your family and give you a much needed vacation, without breaking the piggy bank.
Can't Concentrate? Read This.
Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity --ADD and ADHD) has been a subject of importance regarding our children in the last two decades. But did you know that if your children suffer from ADHD, that it is possible that you have this affliction as well? Adults are just as prone to ADD as children.

ADD is marked by excessive inattentiveness and impulsiveness, with the possibility of hyperactivity. Extreme procrastination, disorganization, trouble making deadlines, and impulsive behavior is common. Agitation and constant fidgeting is an indication of hyperactivity.

Many adults struggle all their lives with unrecognized ADD/ADHD symptoms.  If you experience difficulties in these areas, you might consider discussing ADD/ADHD with your doctor:

Concentration.  A Lack of attention to detail, Frequently overwhelmed by tasks of daily living, Inconsistent work performance, Transposing numbers, letters, words, and frequent bouts of daydreaming or self-imposed distractions are all common symptoms of ADD.
Organization: Difficulties with organization can manifest in a number of ways, some of which include: difficulty maintaining an organized and tidy home, procrastinating, frequently late or in a hurry, missing or being late with bill payments.
Self-Control: Impulsive behaviors such as spending, switching jobs, or over eating, losing keys frequently, being hyper-sensitive to comments made by others, tending towards outbursts or argumentative behavior, or a need for thrill-seeking.
ADD and ADHD effects your entire life and shows itself in ways you may not expect. If you are concerned that you may have ADD or ADHD, you are not alone. While exact statistics are not available on the amount of adults who are dealing with ADD/ADHD, it is well known that this affliction is not just for children, and there is help out there for you to get control of your mind, and your life. Be sure to talk to your doctor, however, as many of these symptoms might be temporarily caused by stress, or could be related to other factors.
Home Maintenance Tips
An ounce of prevention goes a long way when it comes to maintaining your home. Taking the time to take care of your home now can save you thousands down the road. Here are a few tips:

  • Heating and cooling systems: replace or clean filters monthly to keep the system working smoothly. Check any accessible belts and hoses for tautness, tears, or wear.
  • At the beginning of heating season and every other month during the cold months, use creosote cleaners on your wood-burning chimney or fireplace, to prevent this dangerous buildup. Check chimneys and fireplaces for cracks. You should have these periodically inspected by a professional to detect minor problems.
  • Keep the gutters and your roof clean and free of debris and leaf build up. Check for proper fastening and attachment to the fascia of the home.
  • Check for termite or carpenter bee damage, and contact an inspector and exterminator immediately if either of these pests are suspected
  • Check and replenish the caulking around the perimeter of the foundation 
  • Look for cracks where ceilings and walls join. 
  • Inspect the condition of wiring in exposed areas such as the attic, basement and crawl spaces.
  • Check faucets, plumbing joints, and toilets for faulty parts, low pressure, and leaks. 
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Pocket Wine Guide

One thing about wine is certain: Its easy to go wrong. Before you reach for your next bottle of wine, here is a list to point you in the right direction:

Red: Hearty robust foods, such as stew, beef, pork, duck, goose, cheeses, hearty pasta dishes and foods with lots of flavor. Red wines pair up nicely with a number of intense flavors.

White: Sweet or dry, white wine is best served with fish, chicken or lighter fare. Any main course that is robustly flavorful yet light on the palette, such as fish, should be paired with this simple classic.

Blush: The rose colored wine is a favorite staple among many for its versatility. White Merlot, White Zinfandel, and Grenache' Rose' are but a few delicate choices that compliment everything from salads to seafood to cold cuts. Rose' wines work well with dinner or luncheons.

Dessert: Many hosts overlook the importance of a good desert wine. Dinner wines go with dinner - desert needs its own accompaniment. For fruits, nuts, sweets, tarts and cakes, opt for the sweeter variety such as Muscat, Catawba, or Port.

With this easy-reference, now picking wine no longer has to be the difficult part of the meal. Experiement with different regions and styles of each major variety to find your favorites!

5 Must Read Classics

When we find ourselves with time to read, we are often at a loss, aimlessly browsing bookstores for that next "something". Here are 5 classic tales that are a must read for any bookshelf. Even if you've read them as a child, its time to revisit these stunning stories:

1.     A Tale of 2 Cities - Charles Dickens.
2.     The Odyssey, Homer
3.     To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
4.     Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5.     Catch -22 - Joseph Heller

Low Budget Fun
Singles, Couples, and Families alike can benefit from some low-budget methods of fun these days. Many of us are pinching pennies by staying at home, or opting out of our more expensive preferred pastimes - but that doesn't mean the fun stops too! There are many things you can do to have a great time on a shoestring budget. Here are our top picks!

At-Home Movie Night. Grab a few flicks and start early - order take out or make homemade snacks, and gather 'round the TV with blankets. Cozier and more relaxing than a movie theatre - at a fraction of the price!

Game Night. Cheesy sounding, we know, but greatly gratifying! Gather your friends and/or family around for some old fashioned board games for a night of laughs and brain teasers. Just the two of you? Close the shades and try some couples only games for a different type of teaser.

Splash around. Check out town pools or local waterfronts.  Lakeside beaches are clean and relatively cheap, and more accessible than their oceanfront counterparts - unless you live near the ocean. If you don't want to use the pool or go to the lake, break out sprinklers for hours of giggles and fun. Don't forget the sunscreen!

Go Fly a Kite. Or kick a soccer ball. Find age-appropriate (or childishly fun) activities for you and yours to enjoy. Add 1 part activity, 2 parts fresh air and sunshine, and enjoy the simple pleasures of soaking in the sun, getting physical, and having fun - all for very inexpensive. Want to rev up the outdoor adventures? Try going for a day-long hike and picnic, or better yet - go camping.

There are many things you can do as a family, couple, or even solo to enjoy life, without prying into your savings account. A little innovation can go a long way, and before you know it, you'll be enjoying the finer - simpler - things in life.

JBA Network • 311 Montford Ave • Asheville • NC • 28801

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