How Can You Be Happier in Your Working Life?

For many of us, work is predominantly a means to an end. Let’s face it, if you won the lottery tomorrow you’d probably hand in your notice. However, until that happens, your career should be more than just a way to pay the bills. It’s not to suggest you need to love your job so much that you leap out of bed every Monday morning (because honestly, that’s just not realistic), but you do need to find something rewarding or interesting in what you do. We live in a world that’s heavily based around work, and a huge part of our lives are dedicated to it. If you’re not content while you’re working, unhappiness is sure to seep out into other areas of your life. Here are some of the ways you can be that bit happier in work.

Live a healthier lifestyle

Living a healthy life in general can massively improve the way you feel at work. When you eat well and get enough sleep, are properly hydrated and exercise enough, you’ll feel bright, focused and motivated. You might be excellent at your job, but your poor lifestyle choices can leave you feeling sluggish and foggy minded. Most of us these days work sedentary jobs in some form or another, and so spend a large portion of the day almost completely inactive. So doing what you can in your spare time can be really beneficial. Walk or cycle to work, get yourself a gym membership, go on hikes and play sports at the weekends. Not only is this good for longevity and overall health, but you’ll more than likely improve your performance at work too. When you’re working a career you really care about (or are doing all you can to get promoted to where you want to be) then this is something not to overlook.

Get your morning routine right

Your morning can really set the tone for the rest of the day. If every morning you’re waking up late, in a rush, struggling to find what you need and making it into the workplace by the skin of your teeth then it’s going to leave you feeling anxious and stressed- not great for productivity. A few simple changes can really start every day off on a good footing, and it’s not at all difficult or complicated. Sort your lunch and work bag for the next day before you go to bed. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and have everything laid out for when you get up. If you have a bath or shower before bed, you save yourself a few extra minutes in the morning. Plan your breakfast and make sure you have the ingredients you need so you can get up and eat, instead of putting it off and being ravenous all morning. If you know your car is low on fuel, sort it the night before rather than waiting until the morning and giving yourself an extra thing to do. These simple preparations ahead of time mean you get get up, get ready and start your day feeling fresh and organised. You could put on some uplifting music, stretch and repeat a positive mantra to really get yourself in the right frame of mind.

Change careers

Your career might have once been a perfect fit for you. Perhaps you’re living out a childhood ambition, or maybe you got interested in it later on and managed to snag the job of your dreams. However, people change, and our interests and values can really move on over the years. If you’re in a job that was once a good fit but no longer is, you probably aren’t as happy as you could be. Maybe you want to do something that makes a genuine difference, such as teaching or healthcare and are no longer purely motivated by money. Maybe you’ve developed an interest and would like to pursue it as a career, it could be anything from design to psychology to engineering. Changing careers is a bold move, but something that could make you much happier in the long run. It will almost always start with study, when you’re moving over to do something new then you need to gain some qualification and certification in that area. If you’re in a position to resign and start university full time and completely commit then you’ll get it all done much more quickly. However, that’s not realistic for everyone. Thankfully there are online courses you can do in your free time in a completely flexible way, enabling you to earn qualifications in any area you’d like. From full degrees and postgraduate qualifications to diplomas, HNDs and other certification, find out what you’d need to get started in the new field. Gaining experience is also extremely valuable, chances are you’d need to do this on a voluntary basis. Find a company that’s willing to take you on as a volunteer so you can shadow an existing worker and they can teach you some of the skills and experience that you’ll need. You could also attend training days and other formal events to boost your skills and network if needed. All these kinds of things show an employer that you’re serious and willing to get out there and do what you need to do to get your dream job. Working a career you’re passionate about will bring you excitement, give you job satisfaction and generally make you a happier person all round.

Start your own business

Do you have an entrepreneurial head on your shoulders? Perhaps you have a great idea for a business but are yet to do anything about it. If you want a change of career but don’t fancy working for someone else then why not become the boss? If you’re new to business you could start with a franchise since you get to run your own venture but get a lot of support. Otherwise, go it alone but do plenty of research before time to help improve your chances of success. It can be smart to gain a qualification of some kind in business, leadership, marketing or another topic linked to the running of a company. You will need to do plenty of market research of your product or service before launching so that you know it’s something that people will buy. You’ll need to find the right employees, as well as provide them a good working space, this article 11 Tips For A Happy And Productive Office Environment explains how to do this. There’s a lot that goes into it but don’t get overwhelmed, you can always start small and grow organically. You could even begin right from your home, and move into commercial premises once things have picked up and your turning a profit. There’s less risk involved this way, as you’re avoiding many of the overhead costs involved in starting a business. Instead of hiring employees, you’d outsource and utilise third party companies, only opening your own department and finding the your own workers once you can afford to do so.

Start a side hustle

Even if you don’t plan on going into business full time, it’s always worth having a side hustle. Ideally, something related in some way to your career helps you to gain more skills and earn money, but in a fun way. You could write and monetise a blog, or work on freelancing websites. You could buy and sell products for a profit, or make your own products. If things go well it’s something you could do full time later down the line if you wanted to, so it gives you more options. And a second income source is never a bad thing.

Set goals

Regardless of what you’re doing in your career, it’s so important to have goals. Many people start feeling unhappy at work as they fall into a rut, they stop improving their skills and after being in a position for a long time, you can start to stagnate. Look for ways to move onto the next rung of the career ladder, or seek new opportunities if your current role has no progression. Having a general idea of what you want from your career and how you’re going to get there ensures you stay sharp and motivated. Your goals will probably change over time, our priorities in life are constantly shifting depending on what’s going on. For example, an aspiration you once had might no longer fit when you have a family as you might prefer something less fast paced. Or on the flipside, having a family might motivate you to reach higher job roles to earn more money. It’s all relative, so set goals but stay flexible. Look back on them at least once a year to check where you’re at, what you need to do next or whether you need to alter your path.

How do you think you could be happier at work? What changes would you need to make?

The Top Criminal Justice Career Profiles

Many people are curious about what types of careers might hit it big over the coming decades. They might be looking to make a career change or want to have the knowledge so they can help guide others in their lives, such as teens or college-age children. And criminal justice careers offer some promise of a lot of professional diversity as well as a variety of skill sets. And while many people might just think of one job, such as a police officer, when it comes to criminal justice careers, there are a surprisingly diverse set of jobs that someone with an interest in law enforcement, courts, criminals, or justice might pursue.

For example, Drug Enforcement Administration agents are part of the U.S. Department of Justice and they spend their time trying to track down criminals engaged in drug trafficking in some manner. What other careers are in this field? This graphic explains them.

The Top Criminal Justice Career Profiles

4 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Employees’ Morale

Employee morale makes a big difference in workplace productivity. As an employer, you can’t control your staff’s mood, but you can definitely ensure that they have a happy, healthy, and considerate environment to work in. Here are four simple strategies to consider implementing.

Open Up Communication

People like to feel as if their work makes a difference. This can be a difference in the world at large, or simply a difference for the person they are working for. It’s difficult to put in effort all day without understanding the reasons or seeing the results. Keep staff updated on your business’s successes and pitfalls, and make sure you let them know the results of projects they have personally worked on. Good communication builds trust and rapport. If you set a standard of openness, your employees will understand when something simply must be kept under wraps. 

Stock the Break Room 

Snacks in the break room can be a small but effective way to show that you care. A coffee machine is a good place to start; warm drinks offer comfort, and caffeine provides an energy boost to finish out the workday. To avoid the classic problem of burnt break-room coffee, try a Keurig brewing system. Single-serving Starbucks K-Cup pods let your employees brew themselves a cup when they need one, and don’t share the mess or cost of brewing an entire pot. Don’t forget to stock decaf pods too; everyone deserves something hot to drink. 

Fight for Employee Benefits 

To be an employee is to invest a large part of your time and energy into someone else’s business. The deal doesn’t have to be a bad one; as an employer, you have the opportunity to make a large difference in your employees’ lives. Look for ways that your business can provide benefits that staff would not be able to acquire on their own. This might include package insurance plans, vendor discounts, or even chances to travel. Working for your business should feel like an opportunity, not a cost. 

Encourage Career Growth 

If you’re the business owner, you’re likely already living your dream. Your business is a culmination of your career and the effort you have put in. On the other hand, your employees are likely at the start of their careers. As much as you enjoy seeing them every day, it’s important to remember that your staff want to grow and move forward in life. Try to provide opportunities for growth and success within your business. If an employee has a dream that will one day take them outside of your company, don’t be afraid to encourage them. The person you help go to school today could very easily be your industry contact of tomorrow. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to employee morale; what helps one person’s mood might make no impact on someone else. The best strategy is to set a standard of respect, communication, and care for your employees’ needs. If you have a good attitude, a good work environment will follow.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Monetizing Your Blog For Six-Figure Returns

Blogs can make upwards of $10,000 a month for even just solo-owners. With the right SEO, advertising, and readership, your blog can easily be monetized far beyond what you’d expect to find in a normal office job. In this article, you’ll be given some of the top tips for monetizing your blog, and living off the proceeds.

What Do You Love?

The easiest way to make money is to find a niche in something you love. Firstly, establish what you’re passionate about. This exercise will help you develop content that is both well researched, but engagingly communicated through your platform. Half of the battle in blogging is writing or recording something that consistently fascinates you, and having an established knowledge and potential network associated with your passion will make it far easier to become successful.

However, it is imperative that you do you research first to ensure that the angle you take on your subject matter hasn’t already been done commercially by someone else. Becoming a unique voice within your chosen demographic lies at the core of financial success with your blog. As long as you post consistently good content, there is no reason that you can’t become a success at what you love.

Work As An Influencer

Social media and web-based influencers are the new reality stars. If you’re an expert, specialist, or just very good at communicating information on your chosen subject matter, the chances are you’ll be asked to become an influencer for brands associated with your blog content. Some of the top influencers end up earning money from writing post, photoshoots, hosting giveaways with affiliated brands, and many go on to publish books on their work.

A great example of an influencer collaboration is the MedMen “Faces” campaign in California, 2018. The brand used existing social media influencers in the space to celebrate their brand, and they are now the leading recreational store in the country. Many of the influencers went on to reap huge financial rewards from the campaign too, thanks to the relationships with MedMen, and the rest of the industry.

Practical Tips

Becoming an influencer does begin with finding you bliss, but it ultimately hinges on your ability to act. Yes, some blogs become commercially successful because they sell ad space online, but if you’re following your passion you should be reaping the rewards. Acting on what you love means that your blog is now your business, and even though it may seem easy, it is easy to go off-brand.

As your brand grows, stay within your niche and earn through sponsored blog posts, selling related products via your site, or affiliate marketing. If you’re more of a hands-on person, many bloggers host seminars, webinars, and events. Most successful bloggers will always be offered free products, just ensure that you’re only advertising the ones you truly support. You have to do your research on everyone who contacts you, just in case they don’t totally reflect your ethics.

As we near the end of this decade, monetizing via blogging platforms is changing as an industry. The individual behind the words is becoming as important as the words themselves. Personal blogs are an incredibly easy way to boost your personal income, and can help you grow into an entrepreneur, or a specialist in your field. All you have to do is decide what exactly you’d like to write about, and whether you’re looking to make bank from behind your computer screen.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

 

Recruit The Best Staff With The Help Of Modern Technology

Companies are constantly finding new ways to attract the best talent and improve their hiring process. Here are some cutting-edge ways in which you can use modern technology to help source the best new employees for your company.

Advertise beyond online job boards

Whilst online job boards like Indeed and Monster are some of the most popular places to attract applicants, they shouldn’t be the only place that you advertise. Advertising on other platforms can increase your chances of attracting more applicants. Social media is now a big place for advertising jobs – you can run ads and promoted posts on Facebook and Twitter as well as posting news of your vacancy in community pages. You can also create web ads for search engines such as Google to help people stumble across your ad. Don’t forget to also use LinkedIn, which is great for scouting out talent.

Create online tests and surveys

You could also try creating your own tests or surveys for applicants to complete – these could be used to make a better judgement of someone’s personality or they could be used to test someone’s knowledge in the field. You can post a link to a survey in your job ad. There are many sites such as SurveyMonkey for generating these surveys.

Keep the application process organised with software

If you’re getting lots of applications coming through, it could be worth using an applicant tracking system to help stay organised. Being able to read and reply to applications in an organised manner will prevent you from overlooking a CV or failing to reply to an important question.

Consider hiring virtual employees

If your work is entirely computer-based/phone-based it could be possible for you to hire employees virtually rather than requiring these new staff members to come into the office. There are many advantages to hiring staff virtually. You can firstly cast your nett wider and employ staff members on the other side of the country, who otherwise would live too far away to commute. Hiring a virtual team could also prevent you from having to expand your office – if you currently work from home and are taking on your first staff members, it could prevent you from having to buy an office altogether. Studies have also shown virtual employees take off less sick days, are able to concentrate more and are generally happier.

Interview applicants via video-communication

Applicants don’t even need to come to your office for the interview – many employers are now conducting interviews via video-communication. This allows you to still have a face to face conversation with the applicant, whilst saving them the cost and hassle of having to travel to your office. Start considering this tool whenever you interview people.

Turning Your Home Furniture Hobby Into a Winning Business

If you’re looking for a new business to get underway, then you could much worse than taking your existing hobby and finding ways to make money from it! One of the best – and increasingly popular – hobby-cum-businesses is home furniture. Because this is an area where limited produced pieces are often more popular than mass-produced items, you’ll be on a more level playing field with other furniture companies than you would be in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy: it isn’t! If you’re thinking of starting your own furniture company, then take a look at our tips below, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

Perfect Your Craft

There’s a big difference between someone who does something as a hobby and someone who does something professionally. Before you look at making a viable business from your home furnishings, make sure that you’re taking the time to perfect your craft. You’ll receive plenty of compliments from friends and family when you’re just getting going, but it’s a different matter when you start charging people for your creations. As such, you’ll want your furniture to be as perfect as possible! If that means delaying your launch date by a few months while you hit the appropriate standards, then so be it.

What’s Your Niche?

As you might have gathered, the furniture world is pretty big! And you’ll perform much better if you select a niche to work in. For example, you could focus on kitchen tables and chairs, or bedside cabinets, or coffee tables for the living room. You’re likely able to do everything, but as you’re getting started, it might be better to build your company around a specific set of furniture. You’ll also want to work on a particular style, too: are you rustic, modern, traditional, or something else?

What Do People Want?

But of course, what you’re good at making and what you like to make might not coincide with what people generally want. As such, before you sink too much money into your new venture, try to find out if there’s an audience for your creations. This is where your market research will come in handy. It’ll help to determine what people are looking for, how what you create meets that end, what to charge, and so on.

Getting Creative

Having said that, it’s important that you’re putting your own spin on your creations too. You shouldn’t just give people what they want; if you do, you’ll end up playing it too safe, and if you’re going to succeed, then you need to have something different about your products! So develop your own style, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s not always about meeting everyone’s wishes; when it comes to artistic pursuits like furniture, there’s also an element of showing people where they might like to go, too.

Working From Home Or Renting

You’re going to need space to work, and that’s going to force you to make a tough decision: do you work from home, or rent a space? There are benefits to both. If you work from home, then you won’t be spending money that could be better spent elsewhere on rent. If you’re working from a rented space, you’ll have more space to work and store more of your creations. All weighed up, it’s probably a good idea to rent a space. This will allow you to make extra income by hosting workshops, and will also give you a more professional look, especially if you’re “store” is located in one of those hip industrial zones that are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas.

furniture2

Source: Pexels.com

Antique Markets

When you’re in the furniture game, your best friends are going to be antique markets. These are places to not only sell your creations, but to also buy pieces that you think you can improve upon. Take a long your best creations, and you’ll soon gain a reputation for offering top-quality goods.

Getting the Word Out

You probably looked at setting up a furniture company because word of mouth was helping to get the word out about your creations, and thus you decided to make a go of it full-time. However, when it comes to making a full-time business out of was once a hobby, you’ll need more than word of mouth. You’ll want to have a website and social media channels, and also work with a furniture marketing agency to draw more people to your online presence. Of course, referrals will also be a big part of your business, so try to come up with some sort of incentive package for your clients who direct future work your way.

Use The Best Materials

You might be able to make your furniture look good, but your reputation will quickly fall to pieces if, well, your furniture falls to pieces. As such, make sure you’re using the best materials for your creations. People have no shortage of options if they want cheap but poorly made furniture; they’ll come to you because they know it’s the best, and they’ll expect you to use good materials!

The Art of Presentation

If you’re going to sell your furniture online, then you’ll need to learn the art of taking a good photograph. Look at taking an introduction to photography course, or hiring other people to take professional photos of your products.

Building Relationships

Also, don’t forget the power of building relationships! It’s much cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer on the hook rather than fish for a new one. Work with your clients, and make yourself available for custom pieces.

Final Thoughts

So far as businesses go, there are few as enjoyable, creative, and as easily accessible as selling furniture. If you have the passion to create things for their own sake (i.e. when it was a hobby), then you’ll have the necessary drive to turn it into a successful business..and especially if you incorporate our words of wisdom above.

The Art Of Selling Your Business

There is only one thing as satisfying and complicated as starting your very own business and that is selling your very own business and that’s because more to it than just dotting I’s and crossing T’s. Girl, we’re talking about the financial and emotional considerations that crop up during a sale.

The reason for this is simple: no one starts a company with the intention of selling it. You start a company to solve a problem you came across, to make a difference, improve your lot and do something cool. The idea to sell is one that comes out of nowhere, possibly because the market makes for that environment or because an outside offer landed on your door.

Whatever it is, though, there is a lot of planning that needs to take place, and that’s what we’re here to help with.

  1. Patience Is Key During A Sale

While most companies are sold to key employees because these people a) have a passion for the industry and b) know exactly how the business works, there is still a need for patience on your part. The reason we say this is because the length of time a sale takes hinges on who the buyer is. That said, whether it’s an internal buyer, a competitor in your area of a massive corporation wanting to take you on, the process always takes longer than people expect.

  1. Preparation Is The Secret Of Perfection

If you want to get the perfect deal, you need to be prepared and that means knowing the real value of your business. The best way to do this is to arm yourself with a legal expert, someone like Dickson Frohlich Law Firm, and multiple valuations depending on who the buyer is, the nature of the business, and the deal being proposed. The other thing that you will want to do os have all your financials at the ready, dating as far back as four years if needs be.

  1. Haggle With Your Responsibilities

One of the things the new owners will ask for is you be there to help shepherd your old employees into the new system. This is not uncommon, but it is worth negotiating what this request entails. That means the length of the commitment, what expectations they have for you and how this might affect your future plans. It’s also worth knowing what the ramifications of any refusal to do so are, of which the big hit will be the money offered as part of the deal.

  1. Know What Happens Next

Life after you sell is another huge area you need to look at. You will want to have some idea of what you do with your time, how you will spend your money and how you want your life to look. The reason for this is as much for your own sanity, as well as understanding whether a non-compete clause is something you are happy to sign. After all, this is a change of careers in a way.. The point is: do some analysis into life after the sale. It will help you out both personally and professionally.