When the Office Feels Unsafe: 4 Signs You’re Experiencing Sexual Harassment

A workplace should be professional and respectful. Employees and employers should treat each other with the utmost dignity. Unfortunately, some will use the workplace as an opportunity to prey on their colleagues and make unwanted advances. This can create an incredibly hostile environment. These are four signs you’re experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Uncomfortable Comments Are Made

Sexual harassment can start off seeming rather innocuous. However, it can quickly devolve into people saying things that are rather unsettling. A coworker might compliment you on an outfit but then start to ask questions that are far too personal. Should someone’s comments or questions make you uncomfortable, it’s very likely that you’re experiencing sexual harassment. They might claim they meant no harm, but they should know better about what it means to be professional.

People Won’t Take “No” for an Answer

There’s nothing wrong with asking someone out on a date. What is wrong is doing so again after being turned down. Someone not leaving you alone is a definite sign of harassment. Demanding somebody do any sort of romantic favor for you is completely unacceptable. You should never feel obligated to go out with someone you don’t want to. Your romantic life belongs to nobody but yourself.

You’re Being Demeaned for Your Gender

You may experience insulting comments based on your gender, such as someone saying you’re having trouble “because you’re a woman.” This creates a hostile work environment in which people believe they can bully others for biological reasons. No one deserves to be mistreated in this way. Some people will make sexist comments without explicitly mentioning your gender, but you can fairly easily gauge what the intention was through their phrasing.

People Don’t Keep Their Hands to Themselves

For the workplace to be professional and respectful, people must know how to keep their distance physically. There might not seem to be anything unseemly about stroking your arm or rubbing your shoulders unexpectedly, but no one should be touching anyone without their consent. You need to speak up and tell them not to do this. If they refuse, go to your human resources department and report how they’ve been mistreating you. Anyone who makes the workplace feel remotely unsafe needs to be terminated.

No amount of sexual harassment is acceptable. You come to the office every day to work and earn an income, not to be abused. If you’ve been experiencing sexual harassment, you need to speak out and fight so it doesn’t happen again. If you end up filing a lawsuit, consider speaking with a structured settlement funding company to assist you with your case.

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

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Out As An Entrepreneur

Going into business is a huge step to take. Whilst working for somebody else has its downsides (and quite a lot of them, at that), you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing before you dive into the world of being an entrepreneur, and there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself in order to be certain that you’re doing the right thing.

We’ve put together five of them here, so that you can go into business safe in the knowledge that you’ve prepared as well as you can for the success that you deserve!

1. Is this person a good business partner?

The likelihood is that you’re going into business with somebody else, and before you sign up to working alongside this person, you need to make sure that they’re the right business partner for you. It’s a good idea to make sure that they have strong values, integrity, and that they will be honest with you so that you can make the business work together. However, a business partner can have all of these respectable traits, but still not be the right fit due to issues with communication. Find somebody who you can talk to, as you’ll need to have important discussions when you’re going through stressful times.

2. Are you going to bring something valuable to your customers?

There are many businesses in operation that don’t start out with the intention of bringing something valuable to their customers, and they have to learn the hard way that a business without passion and values is a lot harder to run. If you wake up every day, and drive to work knowing that you are providing a useful and important service, it will make your role as an entrepreneur a lot easier, and a lot more rewarding. Of course, it’s important to find gaps in the market, but you may be able to find a niche in your field that works because the passion is there, so think about this before you start out.

3. Do you know the fundamentals?

Business is one of those things that you learn about as you go along, but in order to make a success out of it, knowing the fundamentals before you begin is key. For example, do you have the sufficient knowledge about tax, legal processes, contacting an appeals lawyer in case of any issues, and the financial side of running a business? If you don’t educate yourself on these things – or get educated by somebody else – then you could risk seeing your business fail within your first few months as an entrepreneur. Prepare yourself, and learn all that you can about business before you get the ball rolling.

4. Do you have a business plan?

Whatever field you’re going into, however big or small your business is, and whatever you’re hoping to get out of this endeavour, you need to have a business plan. If you’re new to being an entrepreneur, you will soon discover the importance of planning, and you will also see that without a plan, problems are much more likely to occur. Even if you only have a plan to give yourself a sense of security (and the feeling that you’re not at the helm of a business that doesn’t know where it’s going) you need to make sure you’ve got one. Focus on your finances, the direction of your company, and your annual profit expectations.

5. Are you ready to sacrifice?

All successful entrepreneurs have to sacrifice something, whether it is their current job role, their social lives, or the time that they would usually spend with their families. The truth is that if you want to be successful, you have to be putting the hours in, as your competitors are going to be doing this, too. Of course, it’s better to work smart than to work hard if you can do this, but the likelihood is that in your first few months of business, you’ll need to sacrifice some things in order to keep it going. Before you start out, ask yourself whether you’re ready to sacrifice these things for a while.

So, if you’re about to start out as an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself a multitude of questions, but these are some of the most fundamental ones. Whatever you decide to go into, make sure that you’re not just stumbling into it blindly, and you could be on the road to business success in no time. Enjoy being an entrepreneur!

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

Startup Strategies For Lawyers Just Starting Out

After nearly a decade of training, you’re not a fully-fledged attorney looking to fly the nest. Hopefully, there are offers on the table, one of which you want to accept to kick start your career. The hard work is by no means over, yet it’s fulfilling to see things fall into place after kicking ass at law school.

The thing is, you’re green and have a lot to learn and it can bite you in the ass. Inexperienced attorneys make clients and customers uneasy, especially when there is a lot on the line.

The good news is there is no better time to grow then the present. To help, here are some spectacular strategies to keep in mind.

Invest In Body Language

You don’t speak the lingo yet because you’re young and raw around the edges. Still, how you present yourself without speaking is an incredible way to make a great first impression. Everyone from your customers to coworkers will judge you from the moment you meet, so it’s vital to stand out from the crowd. A confident accident lawyer settles the nerves and puts people at ease. So, even if you’re about to explode on the inside, you should be sure to portray self-belief on the outside.

Find A Niche Within A Niche

With the market so saturated, you’ll find the competition fierce. People will step over you to realize their dreams and make it to the top. Therefore, it’s tough to get noticed in a dog-eat-dog environment. Self-esteem will help, as will a combative attitude, but it won’t propel you up the ranks. What grabs people’s attention is specialist knowledge. Then, they’ll have to come to you for advice and guidance. Lawyers that carve out a lane showcase their talents for the law but also their willingness to succeed.

Bring A Millennial Approach

You might be young and inexperienced but that doesn’t mean you don’t have lots to offer. As a millennial, there are things which are second nature to you that a law firm won’t understand. As long as they add value, you’ll get the credit and the recognition. A digital presence is an excellent example. A law company is still a business and it has to connect with customers and clients and raise awareness of its brand. Because you understand Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, you can hit these targets. Don’t stand on the sidelines – take action now.

Protect Your Rep

A lawyer’s reputation is everything. Once it is dragged through the mud, there is no turning back. This isn’t a video game and there isn’t a factory reset button. With that in mind, you should act with your reputation’s best interest at heart. Dress professionally, speak articulately, and keep your promises. Also, listen to what people have to say and try and go the extra mile where possible. Your street cred within the industry will blossom as a result. Lastly, give your all to get the best outcome for the client.

Hopefully, this will help you navigate the choppy waters that are the law.

Using The Laws of Attraction in Your Business Journey

Applying the laws of attraction to your business might seem like a little bit of hoodoo. However, the chances are you have always, in one way or another, dreamed about what you want to do for your career. Where you would like to live. What you see yourself doing finally. If you’re not familiar with the laws of attractions then this is your quick summary:

The Law Of Attraction is the belief that your negative or positive thought will bring the same experiences into your life. For example, if you a constantly in a negative mindset, and talk negatively about others, or always see why you cannot do something – then that is what you will keep getting.

So when it comes to business, thinking positively can change everything for you. Of course, no one is suggesting that positive thought will pay off your creditors for you, but seeing it in a positive light will make it feel very different. Similarly, when driving, you don’t drive around assuming you might need a car accident lawyer, and then suddenly you need one. It is a little deeper than that.

Goal-Digger

When it comes to setting goals, it isn’t enough to say ‘I want to be a millionaire.’ You need to drill that down. How do you want to make that million? What steps will you need to take in the next few years to make that happen? What are the actions that you will take part in to ensure that you are on the right path?

You need to focus solely on the goal, and the positive way you’re going to get there. It is very easy to fall into the negative mindset and only see setbacks. That has the effect that you will focus so much on them, you will achieve them instead. The very opposite of what you wanted to do.

Keep Your Path High

Have you ever met that person who walks around being negative all day? And they really crush your happy bubble. Then, after you leave them, you are also feeling a bit negative? It is a ripple effect that can keep going. So your job is to ‘vibrate higher.’ Think about everything you throw out into the world coming right back to you like a bouncy ball. Think about the joy you’re going to get from running your own enterprise, or the difference it will make to your family. Focus on the positives. Work with positive people.

Intuition

The Law of Attraction focuses heavily on following your hunches. The basic principle here is that your intuition will be signs from the universe that you are on the right/wrong path and you can adjust accordingly. But, you are also meant to do this intentionally. So if you feel something isn’t working, look at why, how you can change it and move forward.

Using some of The Laws of Attraction you can create your ideal business environment and apply some of the theories and fully immerse yourself in the journey that you have mapped out before you, with a little support from the universe.

Mediation: A Powerful Tool For Dispute Resolution

How many times have you heard of a divorced couple that has been dragging with children through court for years? Or lawsuit that your neighbor filed almost a decade ago and it still has not been closed? Even though litigation (which is just a legal term for a lawsuit) is sometimes necessary, there are more ways to settle disputes than ending up in court.

Mediation is nothing else than just another form of informal dispute resolution procedure, facilitated by a neutral third party – a mediator. Unlike litigation, mediation gives both parties an opportunity to negotiate and discuss their issues, and eventually possibly to come to an agreement. It is important to highlight that mediator does not have any legal rights of decision making, and all decisions are made by parties together. A mediator does not serve any party, and their task is to understand the positions of both parties, as they try to guide them to a negotiated agreement (without forcing any).

With that being said, it is obvious that both processes are very important, but let us take a look at numerous advantages of choosing mediation over litigation:

  • Less Time – Unlike litigation that can take years (and usually does), mediation lasts only about a few days, weeks, or months if the dispute is very complex. It allows both parties to continue with their lives much quicker.
  • Less Money – With the process being way less formal, it allows it to be significantly cheaper than formal legal dispute. When you combine it with a shorter period of time, you will end up paying way less money for a much shorter period of time. Also, keep in mind that some non-profit organizations offer these services for free (or at a symbolic rate).
  • Less Formal – As already said, mediation is an informal conflict-resolving process. As such, it allows both parties to engage more in the negotiation, than it would be allowed in the courtroom where strict rules are applied. This way the mediator and both parties can be focused on finding the best solution for both.
  • Discreet – Opposing to cases that end up at court, mediation has a benefit of staying private. No records, transcripts or evidence can be used later in court. For some cases, this solely could be a great reason to choose mediation (or not to).
  • Saves Relationships – The collaborative nature of the whole process allows both parties to stay at good terms. Years spend in court are well-known for destroying people’s relationships, as in litigation the only goal is to “win”, instead to agree.
  • More Flexible And In Control – Litigation usually leaves you with little to no control over the process, while mediation allows you to be fully in control over the upshot.
  • Better Solution – For all these benefits, people who have been through it usually report better results than those who filed lawsuits. Especially because this is not a win or lose situation, but rather the process of mutual understanding where the needs of both parties are met.

After all these benefits listed above, you are probably wondering why does anyone goes straight to the lawsuit instead of just choosing much quicker, cheaper, and better option in general? Mediation indeed is a great way to resolve misunderstandings, but it is far from being the best option for every case. Disputes that usually would benefit out of formality are business conflicts, which usually require expert knowledge on a certain subject. In those situations, best would be to seek help from experts in business legal disputes, such as Stevensen business lawyers. There are also plenty of cases where after a failed mediation, parties have turned to more formal legal processes – lawsuits. It is usually the case when both parties are under a very high emotional distress that the subject of a dispute is causing them. Under such emotional distress, it is often impossible to negotiate, and strict rules that the courtroom provides are necessary.

A mediation is a process that both parties need to agree on, therefore it is a voluntary process. It is most common and best advised for small claims courts, housing and family courts, as well as some criminal court programs. It is most common for divorced couples who cannot reach the middle ground but are reasonable enough to negotiate. Since mediation is a non-confrontational process, it allows both parties to truly try to listen and understand each other, without trying to pinpoint on who did what and whose is guilt to bare. It is a process that is simple, quick and inexpensive. Only two things that it requires are emotional stability and willingness to cooperate.

Legal procedures are almost always messy and far from black and white. Now that you are familiar with positive as well as negative sides of mediation, you can carefully estimate your situation to see if giving mediation a chance is a good option for your case.

Guest author, Daniel Brown, is a law graduate and a passionate blogger from Sydney. His areas of interest are alternative dispute resolution and its applicability in different fields of law, IP law and resolution of disputes arising from intellectual property infringement and commerce law.

Choosing New Business Software

Running a business involves making regular improvements to your efficiency so that you are able to keep up with your competitors and offer your customers a fantastic level of service which they can’t get elsewhere. And one of the main ways that you can do this is by using various different types of business software. But with so many different choices out there, it can present a major challenge to know which ones to go for. So, here is a brief guide designed to make your task just a little bit easier.

Get Your Aims Clear

Before doing anything, you should decide on your aims when it comes to your business. What are the issues that you would like to address and how can the software help to improve these? Ultimately, your best course of action is to divide these up into priority order. New software takes time to get used to and you don’t want to change everything at once. And once you have installed the software and become used to how it works, you then need to address just how successful it has been in solving your problems.

Work Out Your Budget

The next step that you need to take is to determine your budget. Business software ranges from the free to the expensive, and you don’t want to risk overspending – especially if it proves not to work out. Find out whether there is an upfront cost involved in getting the software or if you have to fork out for a monthly subscription. And remember that just because some software is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be the best.

Look for Specialised Programs

With such a wealth of business software out there, it makes sense that it fits comfortably within your aims. Of course,there is plenty of general software out there, but if you can go for something which fits your business aims specifically, this is even better. So, you could take a look at some legal software if you run a firm involved in this area. The closer the software fits your individual needs and requirements, the more useful it is likely to be.

Get Input from Staff Members

It is not only you who could end up benefitting from business software. In fact, your staff may end up using the programs more than you do! So, it makes sense that you consult with them closely when it comes to working out the best software out there for your organisation.

Businesses both large and small use software to improve the way that they run. And while it makes sense that you do the same thing, you should think carefully about the types of programs which you choose to invest in so that you can get the maximum benefits from them.