By Jodie Lynn

QUESTION/CONCERN:I lost my job two months ago and my husband lost his last week. We are very interested in working from home, even if we do it only part-time in the evenings and on weekends and have to have full-time jobs during the day, at least in the beginning. I've heard that many social networks now offered on the Internet are excellent places to learn about jobs or upcoming career changes. Needless to say, there also seems to be a lot of companies that look and sound really professional but turn out to be scams. In today's hard-hit economy, we have to be extremely careful with what little money we've been able to save and desperately need suggestions from others who have achieved success. What are some solid companies and what insight can you share about support and networking opportunities. Or, perhaps a place to inquire about investors or joint ventured partnerships.

PARENT RESPONSEWe looked for jobs and possible career moves on various online sites. However, the best one for our specific needs has been www.monsterjobs.com. It offers more specialized features under the profile section. We have also found www.twitter.com to be one of the best social media networks to make new friends and share ideas with others that have similar career goals. - Terri and Jerry J. in CA


There are endless job opportunities posted online at various sites. MonsterJobs.com, mentioned above, allows personalized home pages and profiles at no extra charge. However, check the privacy statement on each site before actually completing the sign-up process regardless of what kind of site it is. People have a tendency to forget to do this. Some say that they will not sell or share your personal information, while others add that they may share it with “approved partners.” Look for an "opt-out" clause that provides an email address that you send a separate email to in order to opt out of these privacy terms. Always investigate unknown companies and organizations by using the resources of www.snopes.com and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), both within your state, and where the company's home office is located. The nice thing about the new social networking sites is that once you become a member, you are eligible to join various groups. They're like clubs each based on an interest, and some offer groups based on member location, alma mater, etc., which expands your networking capabilities. Although I've heard Twitter.com can make a big difference in personal as well as business success, personally, I don't currently 'twitter' but hope to soon. However, I am a member of Affluence.org, and can vouch for their interactive groups and professionalism. One strong point is superb leadership and tons of wisdom among other members regarding business ventures. In fact, on most of the social networking sites there are groups within the groups, called subgroups. In any of these, you can talk to others about their thoughts and experiences pertaining to whatever; like info on various companies. Ask about the reputation, pay scales, franchising, investor and work-at-home opportunities, etc., before making decisions about any type of employment. You can also keep an eye out for scams by visiting, www.mywot.com, the Web of Trust website. Give their free browser plugin a try for colored icons next to links that alert you to scams, phishers, and known or suspected malware installers. And once more: the best defense against scams of any kind is research.

PLEASE NOTE: OK - I finally added my Twitter and Facebook -- join me: Twitter, QuirkyChic and FACEBOOK - Jodie Lynn (Parent to Parent).


What age is best for beginning tennis lessons? Our son is only six, but because my husband is an avid tennis player, he wants our son to start lessons now. I don't agree and would like for him to begin lessons in a couple of years and only if he wants to do it. Our friends argue about the same thing and it's always the moms who want to wait. Are we wrong or right? What have other parents done in similar situations?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, Mo. 63040, or, on our contact form. If you get a "BOX IS FULL" message, contact us at alternative addy: e m parent to parent at gmail dot com. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

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