Erin McKenna

When Erin McKenna decided to opened a specialty bakery in 2005, she little baking experience and had never run a business. B…

  • People to befriend at work

    When you don't quite know your way around the office-or heck, even if you do-it's good to know people in high places.

    But by "high places," I don't necessarily mean the executive suite. While buddying up with the CEO probably wouldn't hurt, there are a few other well-known office archetypes who can really help you out.

    So, when you're kicking off a new job, seek out these seven officemates-stat.

    1. The Human Snack Machine

    You know the feeling: It's 3 PM, you're starting to get the "maybe that rice cake wasn't enough for lunch" shakes (or the "a client just yelled at me for 20 minutes straight" need for stress-relieving indulgence), and you're a quarter short for anything in the snack machine.

    This is precisely when it pays to know that guy in the marketing department who keeps a drawer full of candy-and is willing to share in exchange for a few minutes of office chit-chat. (Just make sure to occasionally offer treats in return or contribute to the snack fund!)

    2. The Socialite

    If yo

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  • Quit Job With Grace

    You've finally decided to quit your job-congratulations!

    Maybe you landed a great new gig and you're moving on to greener pastures. Or, maybe you hate your boss and-let's be honest-can't wait to stick it to him with your two weeks' notice.

    But whatever the situation, quitting your job can be awkward and uncomfortable-and if you don't have a clear plan of action, you might end up burning bridges and sacrificing valuable references down the road.

    So whatever's pushing you out the door, exit the right way: with grace, class, and preparedness. If you're not sure how to make the big announcement or navigate your last two weeks, don't worry-I've created an easy three-step plan to guide you through it.

    Step #1: The Set-Up

    First, set a firm date for your last day of work. Make sure to give yourself enough time to tie up any loose ends and train your replacement, if necessary. In most states, you're not required to give two full weeks' notice-but as a professional courtesy to your co-workers

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  • Life hasn't been the same for true crime author Ann Rule since her book about serial killer Ted Bundy, "The Stranger Beside Me," was published. She says her editor told her, "Now, Ann, if you could just befriend another serial killer and write a book about it." But Ann certainly didn't want to repeat that route.

    More on Shine: Using your words: 7 tips for writing a memoir

    Ann says she spent every summer in jail as a child. Her grandpa was a sheriff in Montcalm County, Michigan, so Ann wanted to grow up to be a police officer. But after failing the police eye exam, she began writing short crime stories. She got her first book contract in 1975 to write about a series of unsolved killings.

    "Mysterious Ted was abducting and killing young women in the Northwest," says Ann. "Nobody knew who it was." Later, Ted Bundy was arrested in Florida, and he called Ann. It turns out she had known the killer she was writing about. Ann had volunteered at a crisis clinic in Seattle, and the college stude

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  • Photo: Thinkstock

    By Amy Shearn

    Check Your Data Plan
    Your company might be able to offer you up to a 25 percent discount on your cell phone bill--and it's possible your boss doesn't even know about it. All you have to do is enter your corporate (or school) email onto your cell phone carrier's employee discount page to see if you qualify.

    ATT: wireless.att.com
    Verizon: verizonwireless.com
    Sprint: sprint.p.delivery.net

    RELATED: Help! The Best Way to Ask for What You Want

    Ask for the Leap Year Bonus
    Sometimes your company won't consider a raise because that will make you more expensive forever. But if you feel like you are really deserving, ask for a one time raise. Tory Johnson, workplace contributor for Good Morning America and business consultant at Women For Hire, recommends asking for a "spot bonus." Johnson told me, "You can say, 'I know it's not time for my annual review or I know salary budgets are frozen. Based on this significant contribution, I'm hoping you'll consider a spot bonus

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  • Radio personality and Point Hope founder Delilah says she can remember every lyric she's ever heard in her life. "While I'm listening to somebody tell their story," explains Delilah, "they'll say a sentence or a line and that will trigger what song I want to marry with that call."

    More on Shine: Jewel: "I know what it's like to feel hopeless"

    Born Delilah Luke, the talk show host says she's had her iconic radio voice since she was a young child. In junior high, she was in a speech contest where the judges were from the local radio station. They set up a program for Delilah at the radio station, teaching her how to write news and sports and record. After high school, Delilah started working full time in radio.

    "I moved a lot. I got fired a lot. I lived in my car on occasions," she says. Delilah did everything from airborne traffic reporting to country music before developing her signature show.

    Inspired by the stories listeners would tell her as they made requests, Delilah says, "One ni

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