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3 Reasons to Look for a New Job Even If You're Not Quitting

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If you've managed to land a job with challenging work, good hours, and a vibrant culture, you might feel like you've found the occupational Holy Grail. But that doesn't mean you should commit to spending the rest of your career with the same company—at least without keeping an eye out for other options. 

In his book Hustle Away Debt, author and personal finance writer David Carlson makes the case for periodic job hunting. “I recommend people look at job openings at least once a quarter, if not once a month,” Carlson tells mental_floss. Here's why it pays to keep your job prospects open.

1. IT CAN EXPAND YOUR SKILL SET.

Job postings help you identify what skills are in demand in your industry. By reading them, you can figure out which skills you need to hone or acquire. Not only does this increase your overall professional value, it provides leverage when it’s time to ask for a raise or a promotion in your current role.

“Most skills can’t be developed overnight,” Carlson says. “Looking at job postings long before you are actually looking for a new job lets you know what skills hiring managers are looking for. It also gives you the time to develop the skills that are in-demand so that you have them when you do need a job.”

2. YOU'LL GET AN IDEA OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL VALUE.

Browsing can also refresh your knowledge of salaries within the industry; your current role may be worth more now than it was when you first took it, or other companies within the industry may pay more competitive salaries. If that’s the case, you can be confident when you ask for a raise,” Carlson says. “You won’t know this, though, unless you are actively looking at job postings.”

In addition to job listings, sites like Glassdoor and PayScale can help with your salary research.

“Knowing what compensation is provided for each job helps you gauge how over- or underpaid you are in your current position, as well as what sort of increase you can expect if you were to make a move,” Carlson says. 

3. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU MIGHT FIND.

“Many employees get comfortable in their job and looking at job openings is something that simply isn’t on their mind,” Carlson explains. “But what if there is a great job out there that would be a perfect fit for you, perhaps even at your same company?”

Without regularly searching job opportunities, you’ll never know when the “perfect fit” might come along. You might even be motivated to break out of your comfort zone and pursue an entirely new avenue.

Looking at job openings isn’t just about keeping your options open, though. It’s career research. You learn valuable information about skills that employers prioritize (which may have changed since your last job search), jobs that are available in your field, and even how quickly those jobs are snagged, Carlson points out. “All of this can be used to position yourself to advance your career—and make more money.”

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These Are the Top 25 U.S. Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living
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Coastal cities like New York and San Francisco bustle with excitement, but residents pay plenty of hard-earned cash to enjoy perks like Central Park and world-class museums—and to pay their sky-high rents. If you’d rather have a full bank account than a hipster ZIP code, consider setting down roots in America’s most affordable region: the Midwest.

Niche, a data analysis company, has ranked the 25 cities with the lowest cost of living across the United States—and the top 10 are all located in America’s heartland. Their selections were based on factors including access to affordable housing, food and fuel costs, and median tax rates, all of which were gleaned from U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Indiana was the most-represented state in the list’s top 10 section, with Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend nabbing the first three spots. The remaining cities were mid-sized metropolitan areas in Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois, all of which offer urban conveniences at a fraction of the cost of their coastal counterparts. After that, other cities in the mix included municipalities in Texas, Michigan, Alabama, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Check out Niche's top 25 list below, and visit their website to view their methodology.

1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
2. Evansville, Indiana
3. South Bend, Indiana
4. Topeka, Kansas
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Wichita, Kansas
7. Akron, Ohio
8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Davenport, Iowa
10. Springfield, Illinois
11. Rochester, Minnesota
12. Dayton, Ohio
13. Springfield, Missouri
14. Wichita Falls, Texas
15. Kansas City, Kansas
16. Odessa, Texas
17. Cleveland, Ohio
18. Indianapolis, Indiana
19. Abilene, Texas
20. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
21. Montgomery, Alabama
22. Lansing, Michigan
23. Des Moines, Iowa
24. Brownsville, Texas
25. Warren, Michigan

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Switzerland Flushes $1.8 Million in Gold Down the Sewer Every Year
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Switzerland has some pretty valuable sewer systems. As Bloomberg reports, scientists have discovered around $1.8 million worth of gold in the country's wastewater, along with $1.7 million worth of silver.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology examined sewage sludge and effluents, or discharged liquid waste, from 64 water treatment plants and major Swiss rivers. They did this to assess the concentrations of various trace elements, which are "increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors," the scientists explained in a press statement. "While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater."

The study, which was recently published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed that around 94 pounds of gold makes its way through Switzerland's sewage system each year, along with 6600 pounds of silver and high concentrations of rare metals like gadolinium and niobium. For the most part, these metals don't harm the environment, researchers say.

With gold and silver quite literally flowing through their sewers, is there any way that Switzerland could turn their wastewater into wealth? Scientists are skeptical: "The recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted," the release explains.

However, in the southern canton of Ticino, which is home to several gold refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," they conclude.

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches, and mountains, but it's also home to major gold refineries. On average, around 70 percent of the world's gold passes through Switzerland every year—and judging from the looks of it, much of it goes down the drain. As for the sewer silver, it's a byproduct of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, which is a cornerstone of Switzerland's economy.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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