What to do with $1,000 now

Low interest rates and the recent stock market surge make this a challenging time to find the best places for your extra cash.

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Become a star at work
Become a star at work
To shine more brightly at the office -- or to find a better gig -- divvy up the $1,000 like this.

$450: Take a class. Want a job with global reach? Learn Mandarin. Uncomfortable with public speaking? Take acting or improv classes. Check the continuing-education department of your local college.

$300: Buy a two-hour session with an executive coach, who can help you network smarter and develop short- and long-term career goals. Get a referral from a colleague or visit coachfederation.org/find-a-coach.

$91: Build your personal brand by establishing a web presence: Buy yourname.com at GoDaddy.com (cost: $11), add a year's worth of web hosting ($80), and create a simple site with your résumé, bio, and contact info. (If you can't con your teenager into creating it, hire a web designer for an additional $200 or so.)

$90: Dress a level above your job. You can start by buying a half-price British-made dress shirt.

$40: Get these two books. "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi and "Success Built to Last" by Jerry Poras are among the savviest career guides around.

$29: Network. Take a current or former co-worker you admire out to lunch -- and get career advice (and dirt) galore.

Total: $1,000

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Last updated October 12 2009: 5:19 PM ET
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