When The Personal Affects The Professional

We all have two very different parts of our lives: the personal and the professional. Our personal life is what happens to us in our own homes and is closely linked to our health and family. And then there is our professional life that is solely based on work. Of...
Read More

How To Give Your Blog A Makeover

Being an avid writer, a creator of posts and a storyteller comes with a territory. Having an idea for a blog is different to sitting down and writing one, so they take careful planning. Carving out your own corner of the internet complete with followers is an...
Read More

Using the Internet to Prepare Yourself for a Career

The internet has become a powerful tool for people all over the world who are looking to make a change to their lifestyle. Preparing for a career is a daunting task. Not only does it require you to plan extensively and cover all of your bases, but it also requires you...
Read More

Great Leaders Have These Three Things In Common

Business is a complex and fickle game. Although you may think at first that there is a set recipe for success, you will soon find out that every business is different - and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. If you have been following a rigid...
Read More

Grow Your Business From Small Fry To Hot Potato

When you start out in business, you may find your beginnings are in the living room you have at home. All businesses begin with a simple vision or idea. Regardless of whether it’s a product or a service that your start-up offers, your success will be defined by its...
Read More

Latest Posts

When The Personal Affects The Professional

We all have two very different parts of our lives: the personal and the professional. Our personal life is what happens to us in our own homes and is closely linked to our health and family. And then there is our professional life that is solely based on work. Of course, most people prefer to keep these two parts of their lives completely separate from one another. But that doesn’t mean that it always stays that way. In fact, there are some times when problems in our personal life can boil over and affect our professional lives. When this happens, work can often suffer. It doesn’t always have to be like that, though. There are some steps you can take to ensure your personal problems never infringe on your professional life.

Talk To Your Manager

If you ever run into any trouble at work, you should always chat to your manager or supervisor about them. As they are responsible for you, they will be the person who knows how they can help you the best. They might suggest cutting down the amount of work you take on a day to day basis until your personal problems have cooled down. By reducing your responsibility at work, you will thereby help to cut down your stress. There are some other ways your manager may be able to help you, such as by offering you compassionate leave.

Get Help

As well as help in the workplace, there will also be plenty of help available for you away from the office. For instance, if you have been going through relationship difficulties that have been getting on top of you, you might find it beneficial to look into relationship therapy and counseling. If it is depression or another mental health problem that you are finding it difficult to cope with, you should speak to your family doctor. He or she will be able to refer you to a mental health specialist. When you chat to a specialist about your problem, they will be able to help you figure out how to prevent it from spilling over into your professional life.

Wind Down Away From Work

There will be plenty of chances to wind down away from work, like in the evenings or at the weekend. It is very important that you use these to their fullest as it will give you the chance to relax and destress. When stresses build up both at work and at home, you will find that it can become too hard to manage. So use all of your down time away from work to regroup your thoughts and to try and get on top of your life. There are plenty of self-care tips that you might want to take advantage of and get back to a stress-free life!

It’s important that you act at the very first signs of your personal life bubbling over into your professional one. By acting quickly, you will ensure that things don’t get out of hand and spoiling things permanently in your professional life.

How To Give Your Blog A Makeover

Being an avid writer, a creator of posts and a storyteller comes with a territory. Having an idea for a blog is different to sitting down and writing one, so they take careful planning. Carving out your own corner of the internet complete with followers is an achievement and if you have successfully done this, well done you!

After a length of time, a blog can get a little stagnant and need a makeover. Not your writing – this is likely to be on point and being very well received in the blogging community. The look of your blog, over time, will need to evolve to fit your work. You may have started out with a plain blog without much excitement, but this can change!

If you’re looking at your WordPress platform and cringing over the look of your blog, then it’s obvious you need a change so make it happen. Sometimes this can start with the technology you’re using to actually support your blog, so upgrade your computer for something with a bit more oomph and take a look at this mac website to get some ideas on refurbished models that are more affordable for you. Check out our top makeover tips so you can revamp your blog and breathe a little life into it.

Colours & Themes: Your blog should be visually appealing. There’s nothing worse than a blog that looks messy and unorganised. You don’t need a blog that flashes and blinks, nor do you need Comic Sans to dominate your blog. Use a platform like WordPress if you don’t already and choose a high-quality theme for a facelift. A clutter-free design you can customise yourself is the way to go. You don’t just have to customise the theme and the main colours either, but the fonts can be changed and recoloured as well.

Social Media: Blogs are social spaces and you’re hopefully aiming for a lot of traffic and visitation. To get your reach, you need to update your social media buttons so people can follow you that way. You can attach social media sharing widgets to your posts so that people can share your posts instead of your entire blog.

Social #2: Pinterest is one of the biggest social sharing sites out there, and whatever the niche your blog fits into, Pinterest probably has a board for it. If you give your blog the option for pinning, you need to include a button on your posts so people can ‘pin’ your images as they see them.

Images: All blogs, whatever the content, need sharp images. If you have a blog full of pages of writing you are going to have your readers bored. You need to be eye-catching and if you plan to take your own photographs for your blog, you need to have some skills! Take some courses if necessary, you need to be sharp!

Your blog is your own space to have a voice. Don’t make a mess of that privilege and take the time to give it a makeover it so desperately needs.

 

Using the Internet to Prepare Yourself for a Career

The internet has become a powerful tool for people all over the world who are looking to make a change to their lifestyle. Preparing for a career is a daunting task. Not only does it require you to plan extensively and cover all of your bases, but it also requires you to have knowledge of all the situations you can get into in the future. If you’ve set your sights on a career path, be it an entrepreneurial career or a life working as a freelance designer, here are a couple of ways the internet can help you prepare for your journey in life.

Network with people on social media

One of the best ways to make new friends and network on the internet is by using social media. You might be thinking that making random friends on the internet is pointless, but you’d be surprised at how helpful it is to meet people who are on the same path as you. By meeting up with other people who have similar career goals, you’ll be able to support each other and give each other help when you’re in need of a little motivational booster. You’ll also be able to meet people who are already on the career path that you want to take. You’ll be able to ask them for advice, follow in their footsteps, and use them as inspiration for your own goals.

Learn something new online

It’s no secret that employers are looking for people who want a career, not a job. That’s why they look for people with more skills than what’s necessary to work at their job. If you meet the bare minimum requirements, then your employer is going to think that all you care about is a job, not a career. For instance, if your job involves driving around, then make sure you’ve studied at a defensive driving traffic school online so that you can put it on your resume. A driving license is great since it tells your employer you know how to operate a car, but you can take it a step further and study something in addition to bolster your knowledge. The internet is a fantastic source of online learning due to the diversity of courses it offers, and you’ll never be at a loss for what to learn next.

Study someone else’s life

Blogging is a fantastic way to share your thoughts and many industry figureheads use blogging as a way to share their life with their followers. For instance, Richard Branson has his own personal blog where he regularly puts down his thoughts and speaks about his past. There are many great articles that will help inspire you to become an entrepreneur just like himself, but even if your plan isn’t to become one, it’s still a great way to get insight into the great minds of our time to see what makes them tick. This can be a huge boon to your career. By learning what successful people think about and how they approach problems, you can apply their methods to your own actions in order to give yourself an upper hand in life.

Great Leaders Have These Three Things In Common

Business is a complex and fickle game. Although you may think at first that there is a set recipe for success, you will soon find out that every business is different – and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. If you have been following a rigid formula to achieve success with your business and so far, it hasn’t been working, don’t be afraid to switch it up a little. That being said, there are certain factors nearly every successful company has under its belt in order to get the best results. Clear goals and a strong internal team are two vital examples – but perhaps the most important one is a great leader. Business without leadership simply doesn’t work, and as the founder or CEO of your business, other people are going to look to you to take the lead. Although leadership skills do come naturally to some people, it can still be worth honing your ability to guide and motivate your team, so you know you’re always on top of your game. Here are three important things all great leaders have in common, and how you can bring such skills to your business.

The ability to maintain good relationships

We all know that the people we work with are colleagues first and friends second. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be constantly po-faced and unable to crack a smile at all with your team. A good manager knows when it is time to be serious and hardened, but also values the importance of a positive working environment. Make a point of addressing your employee’s thoughts and feelings if you have a hunch that something is slightly amiss. Staff thrives off being told that their opinions matter, so make it clear to your colleagues that you value their time and input.

Being experienced

If you have just walked straight out of high school and into running your own business, you are going to have a pretty hard time getting people (especially those older than you) to take you seriously. Leaders need to be experienced both regarding life and work so that their employees can be confident in the decisions they make. If you feel like you need to brush up on your ability to teach others, why not look into a ICF training program at Animas? Being a good leader is all about setting an example for your employees to follow, so by honing these skills, you can ensure you get the best results from everyone.

Staying tough when times are hard

As most of us know, business isn’t all sunshine and daisies. There will undoubtedly be some occasions where it seems as though everything is falling through the roof, and it is during times like this that you have to be extra resilient. Try not to crack in front of your team and maintain a cool demeanor throughout. Nothing gets done when people are panicking, so remain calm and take things step by step.

Grow Your Business From Small Fry To Hot Potato

When you start out in business, you may find your beginnings are in the living room you have at home. All businesses begin with a simple vision or idea. Regardless of whether it’s a product or a service that your start-up offers, your success will be defined by its growth. It’s the aim of every business to rise through the ranks to the big time and while a lot of small firms struggle with this, others grow unexpectedly rapidly.

Understanding how you can grow your business to that point is important. Even the step of growing your company from your private home address for correspondence to a virtual one is a big one for a small business. You can find many companies out there like Hoxton Mix, that offer this service. This then allows your company to project a more professional image and you can find more info on their website about how to do this. Most small businesses are only constrained by ambition of the business owner, rather than the type of business that they have. Some owners prefer their business to stay small, but be better as this way it’s easier to manage and they have the capability and ambition to keep it small. Others have too much ambition but no leadership skills to drive their company from small fry to hot potato, so their business will fail. You have to learn to change your behaviour as a business owner and get out of the ‘living room business’ mentality and into one where you are the driving inspiration for others.

As a business owner, you already have passion. You’ve already moved your company from nothing into something that now needs more space, more room to be bigger. You’ve grown your company to a place where you may now need to hire more employees and have the money to invest in the best people. The growth of a new business always puts strain on money, and that’s one of the biggest reasons new businesses fail. Closely monitoring your cash flow is the way to ensure you don’t let your money run away from you.

Setting goals is a key part of your growth as a company. You have to recognise the opportunities your company has in its current market and act on them quickly to progress your business. You need to plan to reach your goals. Your services have to be clear and definable. If you’ve been working from home and becoming popular from your laptop in your bedroom, you should aim to move into your own office. If you’ve been running out of space for a product you’ve been developing, then you should be looking into hiring storage space for your products. When all this happens, you can increase your capital. Aim for expansion and diversification of your product as the money starts to grow.

Your company can be the biggest, hottest potato in the world. But if you don’t turn on the oven, you’ll never make it happen. Go and make it happen!

There’s No Need To Suffer Interview Unease

It’s easy to feel intimidated when you go to an interview. A lot of people go with high hopes of getting a new job. And, often, a lot will be riding on you getting that job. So, it’s understandable that people feel uneasy when approaching something like this. Unfortunately, this nervousness won’t serve you well, though. Instead, it will make it harder for you to conduct a good interview. It’s best to be cool and calm during these events. And, to help you out, this post will be going through some ways to make this nice and simple.

The application for your job can make a huge difference to your confidence in an interview. But, it’s not the data that you submit that makes the difference it’s the people that help you. In recent years, companies offering the service of finding employees for businesses have boomed. They are called recruitment companies and are paid for new employees that they find. It is in their interest to put forward the right candidates for their jobs. So, they will often be happy to give you support in improving your interview techniques and answers. For example, if you were looking for a part time job; you would find that an agency specialising in this field would help you the best. And, they would be able to give you the advice you need to smash the interview. This sort of preparation will go a long way in boosting your confidence on the big day.

But, of course, you can’t rely entirely on the help that you get. Instead, you also need to be thinking about help from other places. A lot of people neglect the time they have before an interview. This time can be used to do research about the business you’ve applied with. And, it can be used to find common questions for you to practice. A lot of interviewers will give you weird questions which are designed to test how quickly you think. Understanding that they aren’t always looking for the best answer, but a quick one can be a saving grace. Plus, being prepared for any situation makes it easier. And, the same can be said for interviews.

On the day of the interview, you will probably have some emotions flying around. But, it’s important to keep your cool during this time. A lot of people find that they will be more nervous if they eat or drink certain things. So, it’s a good idea to avoid things like coffee or new foods right before an interview. Along with this, you also need to think of the interviewer as a person. In reality, they could be just as nervous as you about the interview. It’s their responsibility to make a very big decision about their new employee. So, just remember; you won’t be the only one in the room which is feeling the pressure.

Hopefully, this will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to beat the interviews and secure the job. Most people don’t do enough for their job interviews. And, this is plain to see in how many failed applications some people submit.

5 Ways To Travel The World

Travelling the world is one of the many joys life has to offer us. Over the past decade, our wanderlust has grown hand in hand with the availability of the travel to get us to these desired destinations.

Look for cheap flights

There are so many comparison sites out there that it’s hard not to be able to find a flight that won’t suit your budget. Flying out of the UK is cheaper than ever before due to budget airlines, and getting yourself into another European country can be done in extra quick time (it takes just over an hour to fly to Amsterdam, for example – quicker than Birmingham – London via train!). That’s not to say that you have to stay on the continent. There are flights all over the world happening for cheaper than you’d expect.

Volunteer

Offering to volunteer in a foreign place can seem daunting, but it could be just the excuse you need to get out and travel. Look online for something that appeals to what you want to do – be it working with animals, children or helping to build on a project, there are so many options available. You would usually have to pay to stay, and pay for the volunteering that you’d do it. It’s a deposit to ensure that you’re not just going there to stay and play and give up on any work that actually needs doing. Also, remember that you’ll be volunteering for a charity, so they need all of the monetary help that they can get as well as your physical help.

Do a camp

This is especially good for those on gap years or in between semesters at university. Camps such as Camp America are open for you to travel over to and have the Summer Of Your Life. They’re a blast and extremely memorable, and also great for the CV if you want to do something in your career involving kids, such as teaching. It all counts towards experience.

Invest in qualifications

If you’ve always wanted to get out and about but aren’t too sure where to start (and are stuck on where to head career-wise), apply for tourism management courses and see what it can offer you. You could find yourself jetting all over the world to top establishments, or at the very least learn about the culture you can explore.

Pick a buddy, pack your bags!

If money’s no object, time is in free availability and you’ve got the urge to hop on a plane, train or hike your way around, get travelling. There is no time like the present to make use of what we’ve got around us – and we’ve got a lot! It’s never been easier to get from country to country, and we need to remember to make good use of this. Take a travel buddy with you to enjoy the ride, or travel solo if that’s your bag. Make sure that you take lots of pictures and a diary to document everything in.

 

On the Hunt for a Job? Think Before You Apply!

When applying for jobs, one of the most common questions you should be asking yourself is “am I really a good fit?”. Far too many people look for just a job. In other words, they only care about the paycheque and not so much the sustainability. If a job offers flexible hours and allows you to work up to 12 hours per day for extra work, then that sounds amazing for someone who is out of luck and needs to pay off their debts. However, this poses the question: is it sustainable?

Let’s face it, very few of us can successfully work 12 hours for an entire week and still remain sane. However, if that job is something you absolutely adore, then it could be possible.

Plan your recruitment from start to finish

If you’re incredibly passionate about a job but think that you are slightly under qualified, then have no fear! First of all, make sure you’re using a service like purplecv.co.uk/cv-writing.html if you want to impress the company you’re applying for before you even get a chance for an interview. CV writing isn’t difficult, but it’s best that you get some assistance because it’s one of the biggest factors that will determine if you even get past the initial screening phase.

One of the major things that recruiters look for nowadays is passion and a will to find a career, not just a single job. Show interest in the job you are applying for and do your research on the company. Use your common sense when you are applying as well. For instance, if you are applying for a job in which you make many public appearances, then make sure you’re hiding tattoos and you have a fantastic suit to impress your interviewers.

Another great way to show interest in a career is to talk about your future at their company when asked. Don’t say something like you plan to move onto another company, show enthusiasm at your interview and be optimistic about your future at the company you are applying for. Recruiters want to know they are investing their company’s money into someone who is worth the time and shows potential, not someone who’s in it just for the money.

Love the job you apply for

Just take a look at michaeldpollock.com/inspiring-quotes-work-you-love/ if you want some inspiration. Loving your job is going to be very important to sustaining yourself and enforcing job security. Don’t assume that you’ll stay at a company just because you do a decent job and because it pays well. In your employer’s eyes, you’re probably doing sufficient work and they will keep you on board. The problem doesn’t lie with them, it’s you!

If you’re repeating the same tasks over and over and you hate it, then you’re going to want to quit your job and leave before your employer even thinks about firing you. To them, you’re part of their workforce and as long as you meet your quota and complete your tasks, they’ll keep you. You will instinctively try to match whatever needs they have and force yourself to do a job you hate. Is that really a future you want to live? Absolutely not! Pick a job that you absolutely love even if it pays a little less. You’re going to be doing your job for a long time, so make sure it counts.

Nailing The Art Of Landscape Photography

As any photographer will know – whether they are professional or amateur – the natural world is an amazing canvas for work. Many people work exclusively in portrait photography, or maybe interior photography. But there isn’t much that can rival a truly breathtaking nature shot. Thankfully, we are blessed to live in a world where we have nature at our fingertips, and often you only need to travel a few miles out of the city to be met with some of nature’s most wondrous sights. If you, like so many others, are enthralled by nature and want to capture some of its miracles yourself, take a look at this guide for mind-blowing landscape photography.

Find the right spot…

… at the right time. You may be lucky enough to live near to a highly regarded natural wonder, such as a national park or an amazing rock formation. If so, it makes sense to utilise this as your first port of call for your nature photography. However, going on a bank holiday weekend at 2 pm may not be your smartest idea, as you can pretty much guarantee that the place will be swarming with tourists and ramblers. Sure, the inclusion of people in your landscape shots can sometimes be a positive thing – but usually when it is just the odd few, not a gigantic crowd. Plus, when it is busy, you may also struggle to get a clear view and to use your equipment efficiently. Pick your timing wisely and either go early in the morning or during a weekday, if you can. Also check the weather before you go, as trying to take good photos in a thunderstorm rarely works out well!

Maximise your depth of field

Want to know how landscape photographers get that awe-inspiring feel to their photos? It probably has something to do with their depth of field. Having a large depth of field on your camera means that you get more of the image into your frame, which is ideal if you are shooting over a vast area. There are some different ways in which you can do this, the first being by using a 360-degree camera. These have taken the market by storm and give the viewer an incredibly immersive experience. Failing that, you can also lower the aperture level on your camera (remember, a bigger number means a smaller aperture!) to get a similar effect.

Adding interest

If you want to take a truly encapsulating nature shot, you will need to consider so much more than just the scene in front of you. Pick out points of interest that your camera can focus on, such as trees in the foreground or the reflections from a lake or stream. If there is anything moving within the shot (such as running water or birds migrating) try and include this in the shot, for an easy way to add drama and mood. Choose a longer shutter speed to capture this effect – the longer, the better. Landscape photography is sometimes considered a bit of a fine art, but with these kind of tips behind you, you should be able to produce some stunning images.

Top Ways to Invest in Your Employees

When you own a business, there are many aspects of it that demand your attention and your money. Knowing what to invest in can be difficult, but there’s one area where you should make sure you focus a significant portion of your money. Investing in your staff will help you to make sure you keep your best employees and attract new ones who you will also want to stay. If you put money into keeping your employees happy and making sure they can do their best work, you can raise productivity and the quality of the products and services you deliver. Try investing in your employees in the following ways.

Credit: geralt

Help to Create Their Personal Brands

Just as you develop your business’s brand, it’s also worth investing in your employee’s personal brands. You probably spend time working on yours, but helping them develop theirs also has advantages. It is becoming increasingly important for employees to be seen as individuals when communicating with customers, and not just a faceless voice of the company. Promoting your employees as individuals can help your business by presenting the faces behind it. You can do things like assisting your staff with building social media profiles and LinkedIn pages. You can talk about your employees, mentioning when they win an award or even if something important happens in their personal life.

Offering Training Opportunities

Offering training to your staff is one of the most important things you can do. People want to know that they can grow with you, and this might be one of the factors they use to decide if they want to stay with your company. Training helps to improve performances and also ensures that everyone is up to date on the latest practices in the industry. For example, Human resource training, such as that provided by Croner, is concerned with organisational activity aimed at bettering the job performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings. After training, you can notice a marked improvement in how your employees are performing and perhaps levels of productivity too.

Provide Unique Benefits

There are certain benefits that your employees might expect to receive as standard. However, you can also consider what benefits you can offer that might attract new employees, as well as get people to want to stay on with you. You can think of benefits that might be appropriate for your company culture. You could offer anything that might work for your business, from gym memberships to free holidays. The benefits you offer don’t necessarily have to be anything too extravagant. It could be as simple as cake in the breakroom on a Friday.

Credit:ROverhate

Be Flexible with Personal Time

For many people, balancing work with their personal lives is one of the most important priorities. An employer who can help them to do that is often one that they don’t want to leave. If you’re able to value your employees’ time and perhaps be flexible with how they use it, it can be a great bonus for many. For example, you can take a relaxed attitude to time off when employees are ill or make sure that sick pay is available. You could make it easy to book holidays or even offer flexible working hours so people can get their work done when it’s convenient for them.

Help Employees Expand Their Networks

It might seem strange to help your employees expand their professional networks. After all, it could lead to job offers from elsewhere. But if you invest in your employees, you can help to ensure they want to stay with you, even when other offers come along. With this in mind, helping employees to grow their network of contacts can have benefits for your business. It can help them find new clients, improve relationships with existing ones, or give them just the right contact to help them out in a sticky situation. It can mean increased opportunities for your business.

Encourage Health and Wellness

Paying attention to your employees’ health and wellness can also be beneficial to your company. You can try to reduce the amount of time people take off for illness, as well as help to lessen stress among your staff. Healthier and happier employees can help your business to function better. There are lots of ways to promote wellness, from a work running club to healthy snacks in the breakroom.

Investing in your employees is one of the most important things to do if you want to grow your business. It’s the best way to get them to stay and care about your company.

Hi, I'm Steffany, a graphic designer, photography geek, mummy, wife-to-be and woman on a mission. I dream of spreading positivity and following your bliss in life. Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I share my thoughts, musings and doodles.

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