Thursday, March 23, 2017

Is a Career Change on The Cards?

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Our careers are so much more than simply a way to earn money. They define us, they’re essentially why we spend the whole of our young lives studying and working hard. To get to where we want to be in our jobs. However many people can reach a point where their career simply no longer fits them. When the years go by our interests and personalities can change. Maybe you dream of doing something more suited to you, or want to re-ignite your passion for work. If a career change is on the cards, here are a few things you’ll need to consider.

Do You Really Want To Change Career
Instead of just jumping in, it's worth sitting down and actually thinking about it. Does your career seem stale because you've got yourself into a rut? Is it because you dislike the company, your colleagues or boss? Could you work up and get a promotion, or even transfer to a different company? If you've spent a long time working up in your career, you don't just want to throw it away at the drop of a hat. See if it can be salvaged first, that way if you do change careers later down the line you can do so with no regrets. You'll know you tried everything.

Improve Your Skills and Education
If you're taking a completely new career path, before quitting your old job, it could be worth improving your skills or education. You could take evening or weekend classes or do some voluntary work in the field you're interested in. Not only will this help you decide if it's what you really want, but it will mean breaking into that career is easier too. A drastic change of career will probably mean starting from the bottom, but having some background understanding or experience can help you move through the ranks more quickly.

Decide on a New Career Path
Have you got in mind an area that you want to work in? You could look into more info about healthcare positions, finance, law or IT roles depending on what it is you’re after. If it’s not entirely clear in your mind what you want to do, think broadly at first and then narrow it down. For example maybe you’ve always wanted to work with kids and have a passion for music? A music teacher or tutor could be your ideal role. Perhaps you aspire to help others, working as a carer or social worker may be for you. Perhaps you have an interest in a certain area but aren’t sure where it could lead. Do some research, have an idea of what kind of career options are out there which suit you.

You Could Be Your Own Boss Instead
Switching to a new career is one thing, but have you considered becoming your own boss? Setting up your own company gives you freedom and the potential to earn a lot of money if you have a good idea. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet, more people than ever are able to successfully set up companies or work from home. Again, before quitting your job get the plans in place and get the company off the ground in your spare time. That way you know it's going to work before giving up your salary. You could sell items or services from online or your own shop, or even get into flipping properties for a profit. To keep a constant stream of income, monetising a blog or website or working as a freelancer can bring in some money plus it's flexible and free to set up. Having a couple of different flexible earning options as well as a main passionate interest gives you security and can help make the leap from employee to business owner. Having some money saved as a buffer is useful too, you need to know you can pay your bills if things go through rough patches or get off to a slow start.

Making a Career Change Later in Life
There's no doubt that stepping out of the realms of the unknown takes a lot of courage. When you've been in a particular career your whole adult life and are used to a certain salary, you might question whether giving that up is the right thing. However, it might well be the best move you ever make. If you're at a dead end in your role, or if you're unhappy then this could be a chance to start fresh. You can set new goals, chase current passions rather than continue with a career you picked out for yourself in your late teens. There plenty of reasons why people choose to make the switch later in life and the good thing is, it’s completely possible to do so. When changing careers, you will more than likely move to a well-paid position to a much lower paid one since you will be starting from the beginning. However if it’s for a career you’re passionate about, you will probably be fine with taking a cut in money. But have a think about the financial aspect and make sure it will work for you. Will you still be able to afford to pay everything you need to pay? The good thing is, changing careers later in life means you will probably move up the ladder more quickly than you did the first time round. Years of work experience in any job role all counts for something, even if it’s not directly linked to the new role a lot of your skills may be transferable.

It's true what they say, money can’t buy happiness. If your current job is making you unhappy or affecting your mental health then why not consider a switch. If you work a job you're passionate about, money will be just a bonus rather than the driving force.

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Are you considering a change of career? What made you decide to take the leap?

This is a contributed post.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Season, New You: How To Get Your Life In Gear

Spring is officially here, which means it’s time for all of us to come out of hibernation. Ditch those blankets, turn down your heat, and stick your nose outside into the fresh air - winter is gone and it’s time to re-evaluate your life. Here are some tips to help you change your life for the better...

Change Your Fitness Routine

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Now that the weather’s getting better, you can start to utilise the great outdoors in your quest to get and stay healthy. Not only does that mean that you can cancel your extortionately over-priced gym membership and the spinning classes that are, let’s face, absolutely ruining your knees, but it also means that you can get some fresh air at the same time as stretching your legs and getting healthy. Why not look for a 5K in your area that you can work up to? That means that you can earn some money for charity at the same time as getting in shape.

Makeover Your Wardrobe

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This time of year, you’re probably looking into your closet with a little consternation and wondering what exactly you should wear now that it’s too hot for big woolly sweaters and not quite sundress weather yet. That in between stage is hard to dress for - and it’s even harder if, like many people, you’re not very good at throwing out or donating your old clothes. Take an afternoon out to go through your closet and make sure you’re ruthless when you’re making your decisions about what exactly you should get rid of. Once you’ve decluttered your wardrobe a little, it’ll be easier to find old pieces that you loved and forgot about so that you can wear them again, and it’ll also be easier for you to identify what you need to buy. When you’re adding to your closet, make sure that you focus on emphasising parts of your body that you love. A lot of people worry too hard about covering up parts that they don’t love as much, which means that you might end up swathed in unflattering tents of material. Cinch dresses at the waist and don’t be afraid to show off your figure.

Take Advice From Other People

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It’s a good idea to listen to other people’s advice and to actively seek out ways to make your life better. A lot of people cite self help literature as something that’s helped them through crises and enabled them to figure out what direction to take their lives in, but you might find that coffee dates and thrashing over the ways of the world with your best friends suits you better. Remember that even though you know yourself better than anyone else does, other people may have good advice and insights that aren’t as obvious to you.

Learn To Spend Time Alone
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Finally, there’s nothing that will make you feel as at peace with yourself as being comfortable in your own company. Take your book out for company at a cafe, and take yourself to an art gallery or play at the theatre by yourself. Indulging your own interests is the best way to get in touch with yourself. In one of his most well-loved poems, the late poet Derek Walcott said ‘You will love again the stranger who was your self’ - it’s time to get out there and find your own self love.

This is a contributed post.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shift The Excess Pounds and Get Fitter This Spring!

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Most of us tend to slow down over the winter. It’s dark when you wake up, dark when you go to sleep and generally not very nice outdoors leading most of us to want to stay home and not do much else. However, with a new season on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking seriously about your health and fitness goals for 2017. Maybe you have a vacation planned this summer and want to look your best? Perhaps you want to just feel healthy and energized to make the most of the nice weather? Whatever your reasons, here are just some of the ways you can shed excess pounds and get fitter now that spring is just around the corner.


Eat Lighter
Winter is the time for comfort food. Hearty soups and stews, snacks and treats in front of a good movie with the rain pouring down outside. And not to mention Christmas! But when the weather warms up, it’s your cue to start eating lighter. Lots of healthy and delicious produce comes into season so fill up on a rainbow of colorful fruit and veg. Go with fruit salads and smoothies for breakfast and light yet tasty salads for lunch and dinner. Meal prepping can be effective when you’re looking to trim down, with all of your food for the week set out and ready to go there’s less temptation to veer off course. It also saves you time and energy in  the week too which is no bad thing! Check out some recipes online for what sort of things to include, you’ll also need some Tupperware or meal prep bags to store everything. Sites like fitnessmusthaves.com have reviews for these if you’re unsure. When the days are longer and warmer, we naturally tend to want less food, so take advantage of this.


Bike or Walk Short Journeys
There’s no doubt that having a car can make you lazy. Rather than walking to the local shops or the post box, for example, you find yourself hopping in the car. Sites like greenchoices.org state how constant short journeys are horrible for the environment (not to mention your vehicle), but it makes you much less active too. Challenge yourself to either walk or bike shorter journeys instead. Now the weather is nice it allows you to get some fresh air and some gentle exercise, and something you’ll feel far better for.


Get Active With Friends
Instead of meeting friends for drinks, why not round them up and do a sport or activity together? It could be anything from a dance class to a competitive sport like badminton or basketball- even paintballing! You can find lists like this one at mic.com for more ideas if you’re stuck. Whatever it is, having your friends with you will make it all the more fun. You’ll get a workout in without clock watching or wanting to get it over and done with. You get to socialize as well as workout- the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone when you lead a busy life!


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Have Fun With The Family
In your free time, get out and about with the family! You could take your dog on long walks in the countryside, kick a ball around at the park or go on day trips where you’re walking around and exploring new places. Showing your kids that exercise and being active can be fun (more so than staring at a screen all day!) will set them up for healthy habits for the rest of their lives.


This is a contributed post.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Looking After Your Skin and Hair Whilst Working Out

When we think about what it means to take care of ourselves, most of us immediately think of fitness. Staying fit is so important. Exercise and diet can help us to achieve our full potentials and smash our goals. It’s even been suggested that exercise can reduce stress levels and increase our focus. Which is an obvious asset in the workplace. So it’s clear that fitness is incredibly important. But how do you take care of your skin and hair whilst you do it? Workouts can be tough on our skin, we sweat and wipe our faces a lot, which isn’t good for our skin. Similarly, sweat and humidity can lead to frizzy hair. Whilst you’re at the gym, this is unimportant. But it also affects you outside of the gym. Acne, frizzy hair, dry hair, and even dry skin can all be a result of not looking after ourselves whilst we work out. Read this guide on how to take care of every part of you whilst you workout…

Face


The main issue with working out is sweat. Sweat doesn’t actually cause acne, this is a common misconception.What does cause spots, blackheads, and breakouts, is the mixture of sweat, bacteria, and sebum in a pore. Don’t worry, though, there are ways to workout and look after your skin too. What you need to do is keep it clean and hydrated, before, during, and after exercise...

Skin
If you wear makeup to the gym this is bad news for your skin. Whilst we sweat our pores open up and it becomes easy for makeup to mix with our sweat inside a pore and create new spots. Either that or our skin can become dull, lackluster, and uneven. If you can, avoid wearing makeup to the gym.This will give your skin a chance to breathe as you workout. The best way to look after your skin as you workout is to regularly wash your face. Post-workout give your skin a gentle cleanse and apply a moisturizer to lock all the hydration in.

If you can’t face hitting the gym without makeup on, wear a lightweight tinted moisturizer. Or a BB cream. Select a water-based formula which doesn’t have any oil. This will give you a bit of coverage but doesn’t risk blocking pores. Straight after your workout cleanse your skin before your makeup has a chance to set into the skin.

Lips
Working out, particularly outdoors, can be brutal. Winter workouts can be especially challenging for our lips. During a run or even an indoor workout, some people can lick their lips more than they need to. The feeling of having a dry mouth leads us to lick our lips for moisture, but this makes them drier. If you’re experiencing cracked lips when you leave the gym, this could be why. Bring a chapstick to your workout. A moisture-rich formula like shea butter works best. This will keep the moisture in, and steer you away from licking your lips during a workout.

During the summertime, an outdoor workout can also spell bad news for our lips. They’re a particularly delicate area of our face and too much exposure to the sun can lead to blistering. Put some sunscreen on your lips if you’re going to be working out outdoors. Stay hydrated too. Bringing a water bottle with you, sweat can dry your lips out too, ironically!

Hair

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Neglecting our hair at the gym is a common problem. Throwing it up into a ponytail and getting stuck into our workout is great for our fitness, but not our hair’s health. Sweat and heat are enemies or hair and can leave it looking dry, greasy, and even weak. Take some precautions before, during, and after exercise, to leave your locks looking luscious…

If your workout is going to consist of a swim, make sure you condition your hair first. The chlorine in the pool can damage our hair. A leave-in conditioner will protect it, as will a swimming cap. Post-workout try not to put too much heat on your hair. The chances are you’ll be styling it with hot tongs like these ones, http://www.hairstylinggirl.com/paul-mitchell-flat-iron/, to ensure there’s no frizz. So you don’t need any extra heat on it. Try a cold setting on the blow dry instead. Cold air can also prevent static and frizz.

If you’re not washing your hair after a workout make sure you spray it with a hydrating spritz. This make sure moisture is locked in rather than sweat. If you have somewhere to go after the gym, but don’t have time to wash and style your hair, try a French braid instead. This will give you a gentle wave post-gym and keep your hair secure whilst you workout. Also bring your dry shampoo along for some added volume! Don’t go to the gym with too many products in your hair, though. This could lead to it becoming greasy, or spots forming.

Accessories
A headband not only keeps hair off your face whilst you workout, but it also soaks up sweat. That means your hair will be less greasy, and skin will remain cleaner during your exercises. Similarly, it helps to stop you from touching your hair. This can make grease worse and transfer it to your skin. If you have a fringe the headband is a slick solution to products and grips.

If you go to the gym a lot and see people you know there, it can be easy to feel self-conscious. Try out some different hairstyles to accessorize your workout look. These can be as simple as braids, or a more elaborate up-do. You can still show your sense of style and personality at the gym!



This is a contributed post.

A Better You For A Better Career

Everyone wants a better job. A better job means more money, more chance of career progression, and higher self-esteem. But, the perfect job won’t jump out of the blue and pick the candidate – the candidate has to pick the job. And, they must have the skills required to secure the position. Otherwise, someone else will step forward and gladly sign on the dotted line. So, the trick is to make sure that the skills are there and ready to use when the right role rears its head. To do that, it is important to take a look in the mirror and ask ‘what can I do better to maximise my chances of success?’ The answer is, all of the following. Good luck.

Skill Enhancement
To start with, the right candidate must have the right skills, and those skills must be sharp if they are to take advantage. Career progression centres on employee's talents, as these abilities stand out to employers in a crowd. And, there is bound to be a crowd. People will always have their opinion on how to do it, but training is usually the correct answer. Training in the form of online courses or physical sessions is the best way to learn. Not only does the trainee get a level of hands-on experience, but they are also subject to the information they need to perform better.  A few courses a month will keep anyone sharp and ready to wow in the workplace.


Efficiency
The number of people that waste their time and energy applying for jobs they will never get is incredible. Most of them know it is a waste of time, yet they do it anyway because it makes them feel productive. Efficiency isn’t about feeling productive – it’s about being productive. For a person to be productive in their job search, they need time boundaries. For instance, it’s never a good idea to spend more than one hour applying for a job. Once the target is acquired, the process should be simple and swift. A covering letter and a sharp resume is all a candidate needs, and they should be ready to go based on the job. There are better ways to spend time when hunting for a job.

Detective Skills
A job as an investigator might not be on the hit list, but it is still imperative to act like one to find the right role. The truth is that lots of jobs are already taken before they pop up on job boards. The employer just uses the board as a means to seem as if they have given everyone a fair chance. Potential employees, then, have to put themselves in the frame early on, or else the opportunity will disappear. To do that, an ability to read between the lines is essential, as well as contacts. A can do attitude with good connections will put anyone in a good position because they will get the first opportunity to impress.


List Of Contacts
Like journalists, a job seeker is nothing without a solid contact base. After all, the contacts are the ones in the loop with all the information. The candidate, on the other hand, is out of the loop and looking for a door to open. Contacts might not open the door, but they can make introductions to the people that can blow it wide open. So, now is the time to call in favours and speak to people in high places. If a candidate doesn’t have reliable contacts, they can make them by networking at events or using LinkedIn. Contacts are everywhere – it’s all about making the initial move.


Learn To Negotiate
It might sound odd that a potential employee will need to negotiate, but it isn’t strange – it’s reality. Employers don’t always want to take the risk on a person if they are unsure. The resume might sparkle, and the personality might shine through, but there is always doubt in the employer’s mind. Most people think they can’t do anything but hope, yet candidates have the ability to seize the moment. Negotiating a short-term contract is an excellent way to show the business a candidate has what they need. It is enough time to flourish in the environment while simultaneously being short enough for the employer to accept the deal. A tip - confidence is the key to getting the best jobs at the best firms.

To invest in a better career, it is important to invest in the person.  

This is a contributed post.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ways To Rocket Your Self-Esteem

Appearance is everything nowadays and while it’s a sad thing to say aloud, it’s true. Hair, skin, nails and make-up are all booming parts of the beauty industry and with the huge range of products, it’s no wonder that women everywhere have it instilled that they’re required to use these to be beautiful. Your self-esteem and self-confidence are both important and sometimes you can be knocked by the idea of beauty products being a necessity for a fresh appearance. However, while you don’t necessarily NEED beauty products to be beautiful, a little indulgence never hurt anyone.


Feeling low about your appearance is one of the many characteristics of low self-esteem. It’s for this reason that we do what we can to indulge ourselves, to bolster our moods and feel better. It’s totally normal for you to feel low every now and then. We have a grand spectrum of emotions and these aren’t always the good kind. It’s not about feeling low, it’s how you approach those feelings that will make the difference. If you think that low self-esteem is affecting you, there are steps you can take to change things:
Self-talk: Talking to people is one thing if you need a pick-me-up, but talking to yourself is quite another. The opinion you have of yourself matters greatly and if you aren’t feeling good about how you look or the things you’re doing, it can slowly eat away at you. Talking to yourself in a positive way, to remind yourself of the things that make you amazing can help you slowly begin to believe it. Challenge your own negative thoughts and reverse the process.
Pamper yourself: Treating yourself to new clothes or a trip to the local spa is always a way to elevate your mood. Stress can make our skin dull and our hair lacklustre and if you want to fake it to a fuller, more volumized crowning glory, why not try out tape in hair extensions? You’ll boost your hair and your overall appearance and can even colour change what you have, adding highlights of colour through your hair. Pampering yourself can make you feel special, beautiful and when you admire yourself, others will too.
Exercise: Happy hormones are released when you work out. Feeling that achievement after you’ve completed a hard run or a class, while the adrenaline is still pumping through your body is exciting. It is a natural mood elevator.
Be realistic: You are a human being. Human beings make mistakes and what you should never do is beat yourself up for that. You might get things wrong sometimes; it’s how you handle it that counts.
Always help where you can: Helping other people can make you feel good. Doing good deeds that benefit others brings a feeling of satisfaction and the gratitude you receive in return can elevate you in a big way.


Taking care of yourself comes in many forms, but as long as you are aware of how you are feeling, you won’t be caught in the dark for too long.
This is a contributed post.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Four Jobs For Badass Women

Politician


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Unfortunately, this is a male-dominated world, and although things are slowly starting to change, it’s becoming more and more clear that in order to have our voices heard, women often need to yell louder. Be aware that if you decide to go into politics, you will be scrutinised and criticised more harshly than almost all the men in your position – being a female politician takes bravery and a lot of self belief. They get rape and death threats on Twitter even as policies that decide the future of women’s health are debated by rooms full of men instead of the people that they’ll really affect. Women, people of colour, and the LGBTQ community are sorely underrepresented in this arena. If you’re eloquent, tough, thick-skinned and you really want to make a difference, then let’s face it: politics needs you.
Nurse


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Nurses get a bad rap from a lot of people. Patients treat them badly – often because they’re in pain and feel generally terrible – and doctors sometimes look down on them unfairly. But the truth is that a good nursing staff is the backbone of any good hospital. They’re the people who help their patients to retain their dignity by washing them, dressing them and helping them to the bathroom, and they also perform a lot of medical jobs to keep patients safe and healthy, along with spending more time with them and their families than doctors ever tend to - if you want to go into medicine but you also want to prioritise patient care, look into nursing schools instead of medical. Nursing can be disgusting (bodily fluids!) and sometimes extremely sad, but it’s also one of the most important and rewarding careers out there.
Cop


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The fact is, these days cops often tend to get a bad name. A lot of people are drawn to jobs like that for absolutely the right reasons: they want to do good with their lives, they want to protect people and the cities that they love. But there will always be a couple of bad seeds in every job, and unsavory individuals who are attracted to power and the ability to discipline others will often be attracted towards careers in law enforcement. It’s important, therefore, for fair-minded people who want to play by the rules and do their part in keeping criminals off the street to apply for the job. Cops need to be physically tough, calm and able to react well under pressure. If that sounds like you, why not consider looking more into the job?
Teacher


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Is there anything in the world that’s more badass than managing to keep a room full of thirty nine-year-olds under your spell? Absolutely not. The best teachers have magical powers – the ability to keep kids interested, to help them behave to the best of their ability, and to help them learn on top of that – all with only a few hours’ sleep after spending the previous night hunched over their desks grading papers and projects. If you’re fine with speaking in public, you’re flexible, and you have a good sense of humour, why don’t you consider becoming a teacher? It’s exhausting, but you might just love it.

This is a contributed post.