Word to the wise.

Do not answer your phone whilst you are doing the dishes. You will, in fact, drop your phone in the sink. I don’t care how careful you think you are. Lightning does strike and phones do drown. Don’t make the same mistakes I make.

Today is off to a great start.

It’s currently sitting in a bowl of rice. Rice is good for so much. I mean… cross your fingers for me.

KEEP ON SMILING. Don’t let them know your inner penguin.

BEWARE: Scammers are trying to take advantage of the unemployed during this pandemic.

As many of you know, I am an unemployed Canadian citizen who has been applying for jobs on Indeed and LinkedIn for throughout 2020. I was worried that, when shit really hit the proverbial fan with respect to the Corona Virus, there would be scams coming out to take advantage of all of the people who’ve found themselves without work due to this pandemic. And, recent days have taught me that this is a rampant problem at the moment.

I received the above email this morning.

I did, in fact, apply for a data entry position on Indeed 48 hours ago. Since receiving this email, I have reported this job posting to Indeed as being fraudulent/misleading and left them a comment that I believe it to be a scam.

If you are unemployed, or have found your job temporarily suspended during this pandemic, it’s important to pay close attention to any communication that you might be getting. Being unemployed can bring on a lot of stress and often times it can be quite easy to see a promising email and not look closely at the details, thinking you need to jump on an opportunity, any opportunity right away.

Please don’t get scammed.

Using my email as an example, here are some things to look for:

  • Who is the email from? In the case of this email, who it’s from is a pretty big giveaway that it’s a scam. The sender’s name is Maggie Susan whilst the email address is MarcThomas055@hotmail.com. The job that I applied for was with what presented itself to be a legitimate Technology Company.
  • Who is the email to? This might seem like a stupid thing to check for, but in the case of this email, it’s not ‘To’ me. I am not ‘iooiioioo@gmail.com’. For privacy reasons, I am not sharing my personal gmail address. But, seeing as this was not addressed to me, and I was clearly BCC’ed, it leads me to believe this was likely sent in a group email to anyone who applied for the position, in their hopes that people would glance over who it was addressed to.
  • Who is the greeting too? A legitimate job prospect, whether with a company that has 3,000 employees or one that has 30 employees, will ALWAYS address the email to your first name. If you applied for a position, they already have your name and information. Any legitimate job seeker will say ‘Hi [Insert First Name Here]’. If they do not, it’s probably because the software they’re using to group send this scam isn’t advanced enough include your first name.
  • Who is it from? Did the sender sign their name? Is the company included? Is their a company signature linking to their website or online portfolios? A legitimate job seeker would NEVER leave their name off the end of an email.
  • Is there a sketchy looking link in the email? Of course there is. Please don’t click it. This is a bait tool to give hackers remote access to your desktop. In the case of this email, what are they asking me to register for? They have my information. If they were actually wanting to hire me, employment contracts need to be signed, and those cannot be done through sketchy links.
  • Do they name their company in their email? If they don’t, why wold a legitimate job seeker leave the name of their company off an email to prospective candidates? Perhaps because it’s not legitimate.
  • Does it make your spidey senses tingle? Because if it seems too good to be true, it is.

If you’ve found yourself without employment during this time, please know that you’re not alone. Please, please, please be diligent in where you respond to your emails. Pay attention to the small details. It might sound stupid when you read it, but A LOT of people fall for scams just like this one. With everyone in a hard enough situation already, I do not want you to get taken advantage further.

Thanks for reading.

Updates from Canada

Places deemed essential services are still open – this includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and the hospital.

Schools are all closed indefinitely.

Daycares are all closed indefinitely.

Medical school students have now taken on the job of childminding for Doctors and Nurses and healthcare workers so that these people integral to saving lives can continue saving lives without worrying about childcare.

You can order take out from certain restaurants, but you’re not allowed to go into any restaurants to sit down.

You’re not allowed to host an event in which more than 50 people could be in the same room. You’re strongly warned against going to any event that could include any grouping of people whatsoever.

Certain provinces are threatening jail time and hefty fines for those who do not oblige with social distancing regulations.

I live in a small town, so being able to do things like take the dog for a walk has been a relatively easy thing to do. We can walk for miles without meeting anyone. That being said, I do feel people in larger centres need to be more mindful of going out for a walk. I’ve been seeing photos of people at English Bay in Vancouver the past couple of days that have made me very angry.

Our washing machine is broken. The laundromat is closed. How we are going to clean our clothing, I am not too sure. But that’s life.

It’s snowing. Yes, the first day of spring may have come and gone but we are still very much in winter mode around here.

I have an intense, sharp pain in my lower side that has been going on for about four days now. I’m a mild hypochondriac, so it is worrisome. But I’m working on staying calm right now, so I’m trying to not get too worked up about it. I think I know what’s causing it. I’ve definitely suffered from this pain before. And, it can wait for now.

Social distancing and self quarantining have included:

  • Applying for jobs, even though I know basically 96% of the world has halted their hiring right now
  • Weeding through the Corona Virus hiring scams that are posted all over Indeed and LinkedIn right now
  • Dreaming about running away and hiding out in Knight’s apartment
  • Worrying about Knight
  • Writing tons of posts that I’ll never publish on this blog
  • Hiding in my room
  • Cleaning. Everything. With bleach.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Be smart. Sending my best.

Quitting cold turkey

I’ve decided that I’m not going to take anxiety medication anymore. It’s just too tough on my body. And honestly, the withdrawals are even harder for my body to deal with when I don’t have them then the side effects are when I do. If I’m being totally honest with myself, I’ve been using them to hide from the sheer misery that is my life… and instead of hiding from it, I really need to learn to cope. This is my life, after all.

Addition after the fact: After reading some of the comments on this post, I am feeling a need to clarify. My decision to stop with medication is entirely related to my struggles with medication itself. I am a huge advocate for taking medication if it is right for you and if it helps you. I am not now, nor will I ever, judge anyone for taking medication. In my personal case, it’s reached a point where it is doing more harm than anything else and I need to make a change. I hope that you can understand.

I haven’t been sleeping lately. I doze off for twenty or thirty minute periods two-to-three times in the night, but for the most part, I just end up laying there. Perhaps it’s stress. Perhaps I’m just wired different. Either way, the nights give me a long time to think. I have been taking supplements to help me sleep but the supplements aren’t working anymore so there’s no point in continuing to take it.

Self quarantine has also given me a lot of time to think. Frankly, I’m not too happy with myself. I’m also not really happy with the people who’ve been taking advantage of me for far too long now. People take advantage of my kindness and it’s time I stand up for myself. I saw a quote that said “you can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no” and I realized that’s who I need to be.

Is it legit? Being mindful of emails that try to scam bloggers.

One of the most exciting things you can receive as a blogger is emails about business opportunities/partnerships. Sadly, a lot of these emails often end up being scams. But, in receiving one, you can sometimes get so excited that you’ve been sent this email you forget to look for the small details.

It’s important to be able to tell if an email is a legitimate business opportunity for your blog, or a phishing scam. Lately I’ve both received, and heard of, a lot of different scam emails being sent to bloggers. If you have a ‘Contact Me’ page on your blog, or offer your email address on your blog, you may have even gotten some of these yourself. Here are some things to look for that can help determine whether or not the request you’ve gotten is legitimate.

  • The email should be addressed to you, not to the name of your blog, or a generic phrase such as ‘dear customer’. If you do not provide a first name on your blog, a legitimate business request will include them introducing themselves and asking for your first name
  • The email should have proper spelling and grammar. (This email I’ve included as example is a hot mess) Scams will often exchange ‘o’ for ‘0’ to bypass spam filters that services like hotmail, gmail and yahoo mail have in place.
  • The email should include a company name, at bare minimum, in the signature. If they’re smart, they’ll include it elsewhere in the email as well. If they are self employed, they will acknowledge that.
  • The email should NEVER ask you to do something in direct violation of law. IE Post a paid for advertisement to your blog whilst not disclosing that it was paid for.
  • The email should never request for personal information such as a phone number, access to your blog, pay-pal account info, and so on and so forth. If no business relationship has been established (yet) why would they need this information immediately?
  • A legitimate business opportunity for your blog will never come from someone who ‘expects’ anything from you. Initial emails should be a request and nothing more.
  • Take a close look at the email address, not just the sender name. Often times the domain can be a dead giveaway that an email isn’t legitimate. And, while it is true that some self-employed/small business owners do use services such as GMAIL for business, they will always have their name, or their company name used in the email. In the case of the email example I have attached, the name in the email address of who the email was from did not match the name on the bottom of the email.
  • Do not open poorly labeled or unlabeled attachments. And, if attachments are labeled, be careful to make sure that it’s not a scam before you open.

Last, but certainly not least, does the email make your ‘spidey sense’ flare up?

This list may sound obvious when you’re reading it, but there are a lot of people in this world who fall for email scams. People get so caught up in the excitement of them that there are a lot of Nigerian Princes with a lot of money right now. And, a lot of Lawyers in Monaco that won’t be wiring that 4.2 million they promised from your dearly departed relative that you’ve never met that they set up the will for.

I would strongly encourage that, if you feel an email could be a scam, you do not respond. Even a simple ‘No thank you’ can send them after you for months on end, request after request, annoying the crap out of you in an effort to wear you down.

If you think it could be a scam just hit delete.


Have you ever received a business request/opportunity for your blog that you felt could be a scam? What did it say? How could you tell that it just wasn’t quite right?

Guest Post: How being a loner can be one of your most useful and powerful assets

The following is a guest post written by V from the blog StormyNook. V’s first language is Italian, and he likes to share motivational and thoughtful content to help everyone be the very best version of themselves.


If you fall in this category and you think that being a loner it’s sad, or brings you misfortune…

Think again. You’ve probably been misusing or neglecting your “superpowers” while falling prey to your self-loathing.

Useless! You should instead exploit your UNFAIR perks.

What are they, you ask?
Let me give you some of them:

1) YOUR ABILITY TO WITHSTAND LONELINESS.

WAIT.
Before you enter “forever alone” mode, hear me out. I don’t mean it in a bad way.

Because by being able to do so, on paper-you don’t have the urge to have social interactions, when compared to more outgoing individuals.

Who actually need to be around people to feel great-and might experience & feel loneliness more than you.

Instead, you’re fine both ways!

2) YOU HAVE MORE TIME THAN ANYONE.

And this, I consider a cheat code for life, IF you can exploit it.

Think about this.
If you avoid unnecessary social interactions (Spending nights out drunk, meaningless hanging around, useless partying that leaves you in pieces in the morning, ecc..)

You have the ability to use that otherwise wasted time, so you can focus on:

  • The things you LOVE
  • Your projects\business
  • Improving yourself
  • Learning stuff
  • Becoming a better human, overall

More time on your hands = More relaxation = More time to get ahead of people, HAH!

Isn’t it amazing?

3) YOU CAN CUT OFF MEANINGLESS RELATIONSHIPS MORE EASILY.

Now this might sound cold-hearted and very “inhuman” even, but…

There are some kind of relationships you’re better off without.
I’m talking about the toxic ones.

The ones that hold you back,
That damage you,
That are not giving as much as you,
That you don’t really enjoy.

And while you shouldn’t cut off people randomly from your life (because that IS IMMATURE and shows that you can’t handle cultivating a relationship)

There are times when doing this it’s much needed.

And, being a loner- this might not have the same emotional impact on you-because you’re used to being on your own.

Giving you the ability to be more detached, logic-driven & able to walk away from something that is not for you.


Thank you to V for his contribution to #MillennialLifeCrisis. His blog is StormyNooK. Click here to visit StormyNook > and, while you’re there, drop him a nice note. Being as he’s in Italy right now, he’s under Corona Quarantine and could use some sunshine in his life.

I LOVE ANALYTICS.

What can your analytics teach you? What should your analytics teach you? If you have a blog, or any form of social media, you have access to analytics. Do you use them?

346 people have visited my blog today from 53 countries and territories around the world. How cool is that? People from all over the world have found my blog, my words, my little corner of the internet.

3,321 people have viewed my published tweets.

1,106 people have viewed my Instagram page.

18 people found my blog through search engine results.

6 people found my blog from Facebook. And I don’t even have a Facebook account.

I don’t say this to brag, I say this because analytics fascinate me. I love tracking visitors, hits, interactions, popularity (or lack thereof depending on the post) and reach.

I use my analytics to determine what the best time of day is to post something, as well, what the best day of the week is to post something. I also use my analytics to determine what topics will garner more hits, and what topics won’t really resonate with my community. Also, on that note, I use my analytics to understand my community.

Why?

An estimated 40% of the people who read #MillennialLifeCrisis are Gen X-ers. That’s right, the largest group of people who read this blog are not even Millennials. That tells me that these things that I’ve felt alienated me for so long now are in fact, not generational, but more so just the overall human condition.

Quite often I’m asked different variations of ‘what’s your secret? How’d you get so many followers?’ What’s my secret? I don’t keep secrets. I use analytics. I’ve been using them since I worked in corporate settings and I can say without a doubt, that if you’re looking to grow an audience for your personal blog, analytics are going to play a major factor in your success, or lack thereof.

How many people viewed your blog today? What countries did they come from? What did you do as a measure to help convince them to return to your blog? How can you use your analytics to your favour?

Here, I’ll give you an example:

Let’s pretend that you live in London, England. Now, upon reading the base analytics that WordPress provides to EVERY user (regardless of if your account is free or paid), you notice that far and above anywhere else, the majority of your audience is from the United States. If you want the most people possible to see your post, I do not recommend hitting publish at 9:00 AM Greenwhich Mean Time. Why? Because for the majority of your audience, that’s the middle of the night and they’re asleep. Instead, I recommend you schedule your post to be published at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. Your post will be top of feed for all of your American audience to see, and you stand a much higher chance of having farther reach.

If you’e blogging for a hobby and you don’t care how many hits/visitors your blog gets, analytics probably won’t matter to you. But, if you want to build a community, your analytics can be one of your best assets. They will tell you what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right and how to improve upon all of it.

I still post what I want when I want. But, I also know that if I do something like… posting this after 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, it’s going to get far less hits than had I gotten by butt in gear and posted this 10 hours ago.

That is how I use, or don’t use, analytics in my favour. Whether I post it at the optimal time or not, I’m still going to track visitors, hits, interaction. Why? Because I’m a nerd who loves data. Because I believe in the value of analytics. Because this blog is my pride and joy and I really appreciate knowing all that I can about it.

So what do your analytics teach you? How can you use that information to your favour?


If you liked this post and would like to read more of my blogging tips, click here. All blogging tips/tricks/advice/suggestions are all categorized under ‘Marketing’ on my blog’s main menu.

If you would like to support myself and the content created on #MillennialLifeCrisis, I have an official Patreon account with patron options starting as low as $1 per month. Click here >