• Salary of a Private Investigator: Solving the Mystery

    Names: Andy and Traici Crutchfield
    Job Title: Private Investigators, Private Detectives
    Where: Atlanta, GA
    Employer: Self - Covert Operations, Inc.
    Years of Experience: Andy 20+, Traici 4
    Education: Andy - PI School: Gwinnett Tech
    Traici - Kennesaw State University: BS Public and Social Service/Sociology, Art Institute of Atlanta: BFA Interior Design, PI School: North Metro Tech.
    Salary: Minimum of $300 a day

    Salary of a Private Investigator

    Imagining the life of a private investigator conjures up visions of TV detectives solving a crime in less than an hour and cashing in big paychecks, but in reality, the tasks of a private investigator can involve hours of administrative work. Plus, the salary of a private investigator can vary, depending on the case and how long it takes to solve.

    In this salary story, we interviewed a husband and wife private detective team that finds lost loves and performs bounty hunter services. This normal suburban couple shares their detective resources and techniques, sheds some light on the requirements to become a bounty hunter, describes the administrative tasks of a private investigator, and explains the factors that determine a private investigator salary.

  • Where The Hell is Matt: An Interview with Matt Harding

    Name: Matt Harding of "Where the Hell is Matt" fame
    Job Title: Dancer/World Traveler/Video Game Designer
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Employer: Self-employed with a recent sponsorship from Stride Gum. Formerly employed as a video game designer with Activision.
    Education: High School Diploma

    How did Matt Harding begin his journey?

    I didn’t go to college, largely because my father took me out to dinner when I was 16 and said “I don’t think you want to go to college. I went to college and wish I hadn’t gone and I don’t think you want to either.” I was very upset by that, but gave it a lot of thought and realized he was right. I didn’t actually want to go to college, I just didn’t know what else there was that I could do.

    So I spent the next few years figuring out what else I could do. I finished high school and worked at a video game store for a couple of years. That turned into a job working with a video game magazine where I was traveling a lot and getting to know the game industry. And then at 19, I left that job and switched to designing video games for a company called Activision in Los Angeles.

  • Salary Christmas Story: Santa Claus

    Payscale recently found a real Santa Claus who gave us this exclusive salary story.

    Name: Santa Claus
    Job Title: Toymaker
    Where: The North Pole
    Years of Experience: Over 1750 years of human experience
    Salary: Volunteer
    Employer: Self

    Santa Claus Job Description:

    Maker and deliverer of toys and joy to good children of all ages.

  • Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Name: Virginia Wesley
    Job Title: Storyteller/Assistant Pastor
    Where: Indianapolis, IN
    Years of Experience: A lifetime
    Salary: My average wage ranges from volunteer to $300+ per 45 minutes
    Employer: Self

    Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Virginia Wesley, a refined and passionate church lady with storytelling power to boot, is unique. From working as an assistant pastor to telling stories to kids and performing short true stories on discrimination for adults, Virginia is always coming up with solo performance ideas. Her favorite is becoming a living Harriet Tubman biography for kids. Her wage can range from working as a volunteer to an average wage of a few hundred dollars for less than an hour.

    In addition to storytelling, she performs assistant pastor duties at her church. This is a volunteer position - which, as we all know, has no average wage. In fact, there is no wage at all. But, her assistant pastor job duties are truly a labor of love; wages are the last thought on her mind. Whether preaching or performing her version of a Harriet Tubman biography, her performance ideas are creative and inspiring. So toss away your preconceptions about storytelling or pastors - Virginia broke the mold.

  • The Pursuit of Happyness Movie: 10 Ways to Deal With Being Suddenly Unemployed

    The Pursuit of Happyness, a film based on a true story, demonstrates how easy it is to become homeless. Most believe it will never happen to them, but how many people are one paycheck from being homeless? If the unimaginable does occur, here are 10 ways to deal with facing or surviving homelessness.

    1. Believe in yourself. Being unemployed and worrying about homelessness can be debilitating on an emotional level. Remember that many famous people faced homelessness at one time - Jim Carrey, William Shatner and Oscar-Winner Hilary Swank all lived in their cars. If you find yourself sinking into depression, seek out free mental health care and/or free medical care. 

    2. Take advantage of public services. Fortunately, most public libraries are equipped with computers, providing free access to the internet (thank you, President Clinton). Time-wise, it’s far more efficient to look for jobs online and send out resumes via e-mail, than to wander around looking for “Help Wanted” signs.

  • The Pursuit of Happyness Movie and Real Life Facts About Homelessness

    The Pursuit of Happyness

    One of the many holiday movies opening this winter is The Pursuit of Happyness.  This is not the typical holiday fare, nor one of those fluffy date movies, but rather a sobering film about a man who loses his job and becomes homeless with his young son. The Pursuit of Happyness movie features Will Smith as a homeless man who finally lands a position at a Dean Witter investment firm, only to find that his new position is actually an unpaid internship.

    The Pursuit of Happyness presents a timely topic, especially when more and more salary surveys remind us how many people are one paycheck from being homeless.  That alone may be hard to fathom in the richest country in the world, but there are more surprising facts about homelessnes