Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Invest In Your Career!

We spend five days a week, 9-5 or sometimes even longer, working at our jobs, so it's pretty important that they fulfil the criteria that we have for them. For most folks those criteria are about making enough money, and getting a sense of satisfaction from their work. As if you are in a job that isn't working for you, it can have all sort of negative impacts on your life from emotional to financial. That is why it is so vital to invest in yourself in terms of your career. In fact, investing in your career is one of the best places to put your money to use in the long term. So read on to find out how to do it.

College Study
The first way that you can really choose to invest in yourself in terms of your career is to make the commitment to study in a formal way. This might be by going to college out of state, to a community college or on another residential, long-term study course.

Remember though, it won't necessarily always be easy, as you will have to learn to balance your time and your personal budgets to get everything done that you will need to.

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But the advantages are that you will get to immerse yourself in a subject that you love and hope to make a career out of. As well as gaining a formal qualification that will get you started on the career path to the role that you want. It will also show potential employers your commitment to your area of study, and the ability to motivate yourself.

However, the cost is often something that puts people off from this option. This is because attending college can be expensive if you don't gain a scholarship. As there are tuition fees, as well as rent, board, and the normal overheads like clothes and going out to pay for.

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To remedy this, many students decide to work as well as study, using their wages to decrease the amount of debt that they need to get into while at college. Although this can create its own problems with stress and burnout when deadlines are due.
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The best solution for this is to pick up casual work such as waiting tables or events that you can drop when you have an important exam coming up, but still, bring in a decent amount. Or get something that is closely related to your areas of study.  

For example, some student graphic designers are able to work remotely from their dorms, creating projects that they have found from freelance sites such as Fiveer.com. Then they are earning money with which to help fund their life and study but can choose what and when to work, easing some of the stress.  

Career Progress Development Courses  

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But don't think that the only way to invest in your career is to head back to college, because it isn't. In fact, there is a lot that you can do if you are already in work that means you don't have to lose the wage that you are already making by going back to be a student.

In particular, if you would like to progress in the field that you are in you can invest in some career development courses that will help you perfect the skills that you need to get to the next level and beyond.

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For example, if you are working in a business setting and are currently managing a few accounts, but you want to move up higher in the organization, you can take courses that will help you so this. Such as project management, dealing with difficult people, or data analysis.

You may even be able to get your current workplace to fund some of the cost of these courses for you. As you could argue that they will help you to better perform the role that you are doing at the moment.

However, it is likely that you will need to payroll at least some of the cost of the courses yourself. You may be fortunate to be in a position where you have some saving that will cover the majority of the training that you are looking to do. But if you are struggling when it comes to finding the funds needed, you could also consider getting a personal loan.

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These sort of loans are perfect for career development funding because you can pay a lot less interest in them that you would if you put the course cost on your credit card. You also don't have to put up any collateral for loans under $1000 which mean that there is practically no risk in improving your career prospects and resume.

Another option in this area is asking for some additional responsibilities at work, without a pay rise. OK, so it sounds a little crazy! Why would you want more work at the same pay? Well, it shows that you are committed to progressing and taking on more responsibility in the company that you are in. It also gives you experience of certain roles in a real world setting, which you can then use to barter for a promotion, or put on your resume for another job.

So, while it seems like you are investing your time for nothing now, it can really pay off in term of promotion and better wages in the future.

Internships

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Something else that you may wish to invest your time in is a volunteer or intern position. These are often the best idea for folks that are looking to change career completely, as the provide real life experience of the role, while allowing you to judge whether it will be the perfect fit that you are looking for.

However, now there are some risks associated with taking a role like this. Primarily financial ones, as you will take a big cut in wages as you will be working for free. This might create all sorts of problems in your life from not being able to pay your rent and car payments, to severely limiting your social life.

However, if you can arrange a part-time position, it may be possible to gain the experience you need without being penniless.

It can also help to have a nest egg to fall back on if you need to cut your hours for this sort of position. Which you can raise by selling some higher values items that you don't currently use.


This is a contributed post.

Beat the Heat On Your Run

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It won’t be long ‘til summer now, which means that your runs are going to get a whole lot hotter. When the weather heats up, it is normal to feel more lethargic because your brain signals your muscles to relax in a bid to bring your core temperature down. This, combined with seasonal allergies and the risk of dehydration can be enough to put you off running during the summer completely, but you shouldn’t let it. There’s no denying that running at the height of summer is more challenging, but you can beat it and keep pounding the pavements if you pay attention to these runner’s tips for beating the heat:

Before Sunrise
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If temperatures are set to soar, set your alarm a bit earlier and run before the sun rises. This is the coolest time of the day, and because you’ve just woken up, your body temperature will also be pretty low, which means you can fit in your daily run without even breaking a sweat…in summer! You’ll also get to see some beautiful sunrises, which is always a bonus!

Check the Humidity

Perhaps even worse than summer heat, when you’re running, is humidity. When the air is moist, it is even harder for your body to cool itself down by sweating which means that you can easily start to feel overwhelmed. If you check your location’s heat index before you plan a run, you will be able to see how humid it’s going to get throughout the day, and so plan your workout accordingly.

Dress for the Season

There is an endless supply of women’s running clothes in every shape, size and color imaginable – you just have to take a look at Adidas online to see that – but if you want to stay cool, calm and collected on your summer runs, you can’t just pick out any outfit that takes your fancy. What you need to do is wear light-colored running clothes, which are also loose fitting and designed specifically for the purpose of running. Ideally, you should wear technical fabrics, which will wick away moisture from your body and allow the air to cool you.

If it’s sunny out, it is also a really good idea to wear a visor, which will ensure you can see properly and keep your face protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Always slather on the sunscreen too!

Cool Down First
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It might sound strange, but instead of waiting until you’ve run your 5k to cool down, do it before you set off. Drink an icy drink, take a dip in a pool or have an ice cold shower to lower your core temperature and it will take longer for you to start overheating when you exercise.

Concentrate on the Head and Neck

If you start to get too hot, use some of your water (and you should bring plenty of water along on a summer run) to cool down your head and neck area, either by pouring it directly over your head or by soaking a sponge in the water and applying it to your body. This is the fastest way to lower your core temperature.

Don’t Push It
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You might be able to continue running in the scorching summer sun, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reach any personal bests, and if you want to stay safe you probably shouldn’t try. There is nothing wrong with lowering your expectations for the season – as long as you keep running, you’ll stay in shape, and you’ll have the autumn to smash those all-important records.

Drink Up

Whether you’re usually good about drinking plenty of water when running or not, the summertime is when it is most important to drink like a pro. If you want to stay well hydrated and avoid any mishaps on the track, you should drink a minimum of half your bodyweight in ounces each day. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 ounces of water a day minimum, and a couple of hours before you head off for a run, drink around 16 ounces of the good stuff, followed by an additional glass 10 minutes before you start.

When you’re running, you’ll want to consume 15-20 ounces for every hour on the go, and when you finish, you should replace any lost fluids by drinking an additional 8-24 ounces of water and sports drinks that contain essential electrolytes, including sodium, which will be lost when you sweat.

Do you love running in the summer? What are your top tips for getting through the season unscathed?

This is a contributed post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Living A Stress Free Life

Living a stress free life sounds a lot easier than it is. Stress is something that many of us suffer with. Some on a smaller scale, some on a larger scale. Some stress so much that they struggle to eat, or eat more than usual. Some lose hair. Some lose sleep. It all depends on the individual. Whatever your circumstances, it’s easy to see why stress should be kept to an absolute minimum. Here are a few pointers to living a stress free life:

Learn To Let Go Of What You Can’t Control
The first step is to learn to let go of what you can’t control. It’s natural for us to worry about almost everything that we experience, because we are designed to survive. If anything threatens that survival, our brains go into overdrive trying to come up with a solution!

However, you won’t ever come up with a solution if you’re in a stressed out state. The only way you’ll come up with a reasonable solution to anything, is by staying calm and figuring it out from a place of clarity.

If you know there’s nothing you can do about a situation, let go of trying to control it. You never know; the universe might just have a different plan for you!

Use Your Breath To Your Advantage
The majority of people don’t realize that we are equipped with a tool that can de-stress us almost instantly. Our breath! By taking deep breaths in slowly, holding the breath, and then breathing out slowly, you can relax in just a few moments. Many people breathe in a way that signals ‘stress’ to the body. Usually short breaths that don’t reach the diaphragm. This means the body thinks it is stressed even when it’s in a relaxed state!

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Choose The Right Therapy For You
There are so many therapies out there that have been renowned for reducing stress. Color therapy, for example, uses color to improve your mood. There’s a mood behind each and every color, and knowing how to use them could help you in the long run!
Then there’s aromatherapy. This uses lots of different oils, such as lavender, geranium, and coconut. Oils are expertly blended, and the scent of them can help you to instantly de-stress. You can place them in a diffuser in the home, a few drops in your bath, or place some in an aroma necklace to take with you everywhere you go. You can buy pre-blended oils, which is best if you don’t know what you’re doing, as some oils shouldn’t be mixed. For general relaxation, you can’t go wrong with lavender on its own!

Going for a treatment at a place like Brilliant Massage Therapy could also help to get that stress under control. If you suffer with tension and knots in your muscles, a good massage will help to release them and have you feeling brand new.

Cut Down On Screen Time
It’s the 21st century, so it wouldn’t be realistic to cut down on screen time altogether. However, cutting back on it as much as possible will help you to feel better. If you’re a social network user, ask yourself why you care about others lives so much anyway? You could use that time to focus on your own life! If you mindlessly scroll in the evening, try to read a book instead. Cut back on TV, and make sure you don’t have any screen time at least an hour before bed. The time you save from not sitting in front of a screen can make your life so much better!

Make Sure You’re Getting Good Quality Sleep
Getting a good quality sleep is just as important as getting 7-8 hours a night. Again, your quality won’t be as good if you mess up your circadian rhythms up by staring at a screen, so make sure you bear that in mind! You should keep your room as dark as possible, and make sure you have the right mattress. Going to bed earlier usually helps you to get a better quality sleep than going to bed later, even if you get the same amount of hours!

Be Mindful Of What You’re Putting In Your Body
Drinking too much caffeine, smoking, and taking in too much alcohol is going to put the body under stress. Eating the right foods and getting plenty of H20 is going to help you to feel happier and healthier!

Get Moving
Getting some exercise around 3 times a week will help you to eliminate stress too. Exercising in the morning can make your whole day seem brighter, even if you have a tough task to do at work. Exercising after a rough day can make you feel as if it never happened!

Start living a stress free life today!


This is a contributed post.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

These Tools Will Inject Life Into Your Career

Are you struggling to move forward with your career? You’re not alone. When people finish their university degree, it takes on average, one year for them to find a permanent position in their chosen industry. The good news is that there are ways to give yourself a helping hand. One possibility is to use some fantastic tools to either draw more attention to you or just give you a head start against some other candidates. So, what tools are we talking about here?

Social Media


Social media is vital for anyone who wants to get a to paid position in the modern business world. One of the first things employees do when they get your resume is search for you on social media. Hopefully, they like what they find. But to be honest finding something bad is better than them finding nothing at all. If employers can’t find any information about you online, they will a) assume you are inactive or b) assume you don’t have any industry contacts. They might also think that you are remaining hidden for a reason. None of these ideas are going to benefit you when applying for a job. So, make sure you have as many professional social media accounts up and running as possible. The main one to focus on would obviously be Linkedin. This works as a digital career history for employees and can lead to you being headhunted. That way, you don’t even have to search for the job yourself.

Resume Builders



If you are trying to create your own resume without any help, you will already have a handicap. Other applicants will have used resume builders to ensure that their CV looks professional, stylish and eye catching. With a resume builder, you can make sure that you have a killer CV that looks like it has been designed by someone who knows what they’re doing. The design can also help you highlight certain aspects of who you are such as your unique selling point and bring attention to them. It’s also best to pay for a resume builder as well. There are lots of free resume builders that you can use online. The problem is that everyone’s going to try this and as such your resume will end up looking the same as hundred other CVs that have been sent into the company.

Log Into Blogging


Last but not least, you should think about setting up a blog for yourself online. It can be useful for an industry that you’re thinking about entering into. But obviously, it’s going to be particularly important for those hoping to find a position in the entertainment industry or creative sectors. A blog allows you to share more information about who you are and what you can offer. It also demonstrates initiative, and that’s one of the key traits that business owners are always looking for in new recruits.

Using these tools, you’ll find that your application makes it’s way to the top of the pile, and you get through the struggle of finding your dream position.

This is a contributed post.