Preparing for The World of Work


The Riley Guide: Before You Search

Preparing for The World of Work

These are a few resources intended to help you not only work effectively but to also manage the money you are earning, for now and for your future.

We also have resources for locating Child or Elder Care. Using Employment Kiosks and Online Job Applications, and information on Scams & Schemes in Work and Employment Services.

The resources for Ex-Offenders have been relocated to their own page.

Entering or Returning to the Workforce

Publications from the Wisconsin Job Center
This collection of guides prepared by the job search professionals with the state of Wisconsin covers everything you really need to know about job searching and always wanted to find in an easy-to- read document. They cover Job Readiness (are you ready to search and are you ready to work), Job Search (networking, what employers look for, what if you are turned down), Resume and Applications (avoiding errors, transferable skills, resumes), and Interviewing (hidden elements, informational interviewing, telephone techniques). Many of these guides are available in Spanish and Hmoob, and all can be viewed online in HTML or viewed and printed in PDF format (requires Adobe’s free reader.)
JA Student Center, Junior Achievement
…offers resources and online assessments to measure your financial and career knowledge. Some tools and areas are limited to registered JA members, but many are open to all users. Excellent resources for learning about budgeting, so this is great for anyone entering the workforce for the first time or re-entering after a long absense.
Second Chance Employment Services
…a nonprofit organization of human-resources professionals who have placed hundreds of adults in meaningful employment positions free of charge. They have offices in Washington DC and New York City. "Our mission is to promote financial security for at-risk women and their dependents through comprehensive employment placement services. Our beneficiaries are the abused, the elderly, welfare recipients and other financially at-risk women who seek long-term employment." Registered clients in the program can access their online job database, but all visitors can review their information on services and helpful career advice.

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Office Etiquette / Coping with Others in the Office

Ask the Workplace Doctors
…a free question and answer forum from communication consultants Dr. William Gorden and Dan West. Submit questions about any aspect of working with others in your office and, if selected, your question and the answer will be posted to the site (anonymously) plus you will receive a personal response via e-mail. Popular topics here include Verbal Abuse, Gossip & Rumors, Music/Noise At Work. Perfumes & Odors, Motivating Employees, Asking For A Raise, and Sexual Harassment. Lots of links to additional resources for workplace issues, and the archive of past questions and answers is searchable.
"Expert Advice on Workplace Conduct…" This site offers many articles with great advice on workplace behavior. General topics include colleague relationships, cultural considerations, outside the office, verbal communication, work etiquette basics, and written communication. Yes, the folks behind this site are based in the UK, but the advice they offer is applicable around the world, or if not everywhere certainly here in the US.
You may also want to review our resources on The Art of Netiquette

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Blogging and Your Job

FAQ: Blogging on the Job (CNET
…yes, what you say can hurt you, especially if you are saying something about your current employer, colleagues, or project. And blogging from home on your own time won’t necessarily save you. CNET covers some of the truths and misunderstandings of blogging and how it may affect your job.
How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else), Electronic Frontier Foundation
…short article offering suggestions to protect yourself as a blogger. While the EFF supports freedom of speech online, it does suggest you should set some limits on yourself to keep legal problems at bay. It also offers ways to blog anonymously. If you really want to get into this issue, look at their entire Legal Guide for Bloggers.

We also recommend you look at The Internet as a Job Reference.

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Budgeting & Financial Planning

California Reality Check
…this is a marvelous tool designed to introduce high school students in California to the reality of life and expenses after high school. Despite the fact that it uses labor market and economic data from this state, I believe it is a valuable tool which will get young people thinking about the many expenses they need to consider when it comes time to strike out on their own. It could also benefit folks who have never learned to budget expenses, making sure they consider all the variables and how they can actually reduce expenses. An excellent tool developed by the State of California’s Career Resource Network.
Choose to Save
…a campaign by the American Savings Education Council and the Employee Benefit Research Institute to help you plan your retirement savings, figure out if you are ready for retirement, and even teach your children about saving. Try their Ballpark Estimate Retirement Planning Worksheet to get an idea of where you are and where you want to be immediately. They also have an interactive Retirement Personality Profile and a test to help you determine your R3 — Retirement Readiness Rating. These are primarily saving and investment personality profiles, not monetary assessment tools.
Building Wealth: A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future
…from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, this interactive workbook is an informative introduction to developing a plan to build your personal savings through a combination of budgeting, saving,and investing. It begins with a discussion on setting financial goals, and then explains strategies for keeping track of money, making sure you are saving, handling investing, and controlling debt. A top-notch resource for those just beginning to think about their financial futures. You can use this online guide or print out a PDF copy for yourself.
Retirement Calculators and Planners
…a nice collection of information and resources to get you started with planning (or make you extremely nervous). These cover numerous options and come from a variety of sources, and all are free. This list is collected by, a provider of information on and sources for annuities, and it comes recommend from someone who offers a seminar on "planning for your future" at her local public library.
Mortgage and Financial Calculators
…a collection of simple calculators to help you figure out costs, expenses, and savings needed. These include mortgage calculators, investment calculators, retirement calculators, and how much you need to save in order to send your children to college (scary). They also have a set of Debt/Credit calculators to help you determine how much you really owe, should you consolidate, and other options for paying down your debt. A free service of
Disaster Financial Issues
…several guides to help you regain a sense of financial balance after a disaster, which may include a major illness or injury to the principle wage earner or a death in the family. These guides are a public service of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), AICPA Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
…a national non-profit network of 1,450 member Neighborhood Financial Care Centers designed to provide assistance to people dealing with stressful financial situations. Their services include counseling, a Debt Solver Program, Money Management Education, and Homebuyer Education.
Social Security e-news
…sign up now for one or all of a series of free electronic newsletters from the US Social Security Administration (SSA). The monthly newsletters will feature the latest Social Security news for workers and beneficiaries, and topics such as Disability, Law and Regulations, Retirement, Medicare, and others.
Social Security Benefit Planners
…"Social Security benefits can provide much needed support for you and your family when you retire, if you become disabled, and when you die. This web page is designed to help you better understand your Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future." It’s a one-stop shop for information on the many benefits the SSA provides, who is eligible for each program, and how to apply. The Retirement section will even take you to several more sites and sources to help you plan for your life after work.

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