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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 14:49

5 Tips for Goal Setting in the New Year

We’re coming up on the new year, which means we’re likely being inundated with ways to achieve our resolutions.  This is a perfect time to reflect on how we’re living our lives - personally and professionally - and make any necessary changes.

We all talk about setting goals, but how do we actually achieve them and keep the momentum going well into the new year?

Read along for some best tips and advice for achieving your goals.

Choose a reason

It helps to keep your motivation high when you know why you’re doing something.  If your goal is to make more money, is there a specific item you’re looking to purchase that you can envision?  If you want to make more time in your schedule, will you fill it with more fun with your kids or friends?

Find something inspiring to use to visualize your goals, which will make follow through much easier!

Make it realistic

It will only lower your confidence if your goal is completely unlikely to happen. You can always start small and build from there.

If you’re looking to achieve a certain position in your organization, and you’re quite a few positions away from this, make small goals to keep achieving the next position up.  It’s much more fulfilling to meet and achieve your goals, versus spending a long time without the satisfaction of meeting them.

When your goals are realistic, they also push you to do real things, versus picking a very “out there” goal that you won’t even attempt to truly achieve.

Stretch yourself

While setting realistic goals is very important, you should also stretch yourself a bit.  If your goals are much too easy, you’re really not achieving anything beyond the norm.

Pick a goal that is realistically achievable - but also scares you a bit. A little bit of apprehension can be a great kick start towards action.

Change the timing

Often times, people set goals that can only be achieved in many months or even years.  Pick a few goals and set time limits to keep you going.  You can even break your goals into categories of short term and long term, or by days, weeks, months, and years.

By setting goal dates and setting them incrementally, you stay in the mindset of thinking about them on a regular basis.  Plug these into your calendar for more accountability, reminder, and visual aid.

Create a plan

A famous quote says that “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  A plan is a very crucial component of a goal!

Start by writing out what you want, then proceed to determining your “why” for your goals, as explained in our first tip.  From here, create your timing - short or long term goals, or by days, weeks, months and years.  Then, you’ll want to put these goals into your calendar and/or schedule.  To really take things up a notch, you can include visualization and meditation practices to truly solidify your process.

Achieving your goals takes work, but it should also be uplifting, fun and inspiring.  Determine what process works best for you, and do your best to stick with it as you achieve your goals in the new year!

Published in Work from Home Tips

We’ve all heard it - working from home results in greater productivity! This is great news, but have you ever stopped to ask why this is?

Sure, you eliminate the commute and probably a few meetings, but there are other reasons that work from home productivity seems to be a common theme.  You would think that being home would make it easier to be distracted! However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Less distractions

Yes, you’re actually less distracted working from home, as long as you establish a clear schedule and good boundaries from the beginning.  For one, there’s far less workplace chatter! It takes a concentrated effort to speak to your employer and coworkers from home, and those conversations tend to be more task-focused and less random.

Additionally, communicating is quicker.  You don’t have the meetings that take a lot of time to gather everyone up.  Impromptu meetings and chats are also more rare, so you’re more likely to only meet up when it’s really necessary.

Lastly, most work from home jobs require a person with a lot of work independence.  In most cases, no one managing you too much, so you’re responsible for completing your work on your own, and on your own time.  This is great for productivity, as you don’t have the distraction - and slowdown - of being constantly managed.

Less sickness

No need for sick days when you work from home! That’s probably not 100% true, as there might be some sicknesses that really do not allow you to work - at all. Either way, sick days will be greatly reduced.  

Whether you’re a little under the weather or need to care for a sick child, you likely won’t need to take a day off to do this.

You can stay

If your child gets sick at school or a need pops up in the family, you can stay and handle it.  You might have to run out briefly, but it doesn’t require leaving work, covering your projects, informing bosses, and so on.

You have the ability to complete mundane and emergency tasks in between your workload, making it much easier to pick back up where you left off.

More time

You simply have more time to get work done when you work from home. First of all, there’s no commute.  Even if you choose to work at a coffee shop or co-working space, it’s not necessary and it’s likely much closer to home than a traditional office would be.

This obviously allows you more time to be actually working, and those 2 hours when everyone else is commuting?  You’re able to get work done!

Lastly, one of the downsides and benefits to working from home is the lack of interruption and lingering breaks.  It requires a schedule to set up a lunch meeting with friends, versus simply running out of the office for a lingering lunch.  This is great for productivity, but be sure to continue to schedule in social activities to stay social.

Working from home truly boosts productivity in so many positive ways.  If you’re a strong, independent worker who likes some flexibility, working from home might be for you.  Just be sure to schedule in social activities to keep yourself out once in a while, and continue to communicate with friends, coworkers and employers as much as possible.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 11 December 2017 16:08

5 Tips for a Successful Blog

 

Running a successful blog is a very important part of running a business.   How can blogging help you?  It can boost SEO, help you establish yourself as the expert in your field, and provide content for social media posting.

We’ve all heard that blogging is important, but how do we achieve success with our blog?  Read along for some best tips and tricks to make blogging painless and effective!

Post consistently

Consistency is key! If you only blog once or twice per year, you’re not accomplishing any of the goals of blogging.  You need to get on a consistent schedule, whether it’s once per week, 3 times per week, or once per month. Decide what you can commit to and stick with it! It will take some time to see results, but it’s worth sticking it out.

Create a content calendar of topics and blog post ideas and work from there.  Once you lay out your schedule, make it easy on yourself and have everything ready to go. From here, you can simply start writing and let the words flow.

Share it

Once you create blog content, you have to share it! Start by sharing on your business Facebook page - and even your personal page if it’s a widely relevant topic.  From there, you can share to Twitter, LinkedIn, and anywhere else that your business has a presence.  This allows for more eyes on your blog post, which makes the effort even more worth it.

Another thing you can do is add the blog post to your LinkedIn page.  There’s the “Publisher” or “Write an Article” feature at the top of the page, and it’s useful to share your content there as well.

Use the content

Use the content that you worked so hard to create! You can break down your blog post into little tips and advice, which you can then share on social media.

Find a central topic and create an eye-catching graphic around it.  You can simply copy and paste the information into the graphic, making it very shareable and beneficial, since you’re reusing the content for social media content purposes.

Write about what matters

Write about things that people would want to know most in your industry! When people come to your blog, they want to know more about your expert topic.  Show your skill set! Provide answers to common questions, show the benefits of your business or service, or simply write on a topic that’s also relevant to your specific audience. When people are connected to your blog posts, they’re more likely to keep reading and to share with others.

Search it out

Try the Google Keyword Planner! It’s a great place to test searches and see what people are searching within your industry and knowledge base.  You can test keywords and see how they perform, as well as the competition around certain keywords.  This is a great way to stay above the competition; it’s like you’re reading the minds of your audience!

When you know what people want to see, it’s easier to come up with a content calendar.  Create a content calendar with post topics, titles, and blog graphics at least 4-8+ weeks out, which will make it all the easier for you to blog on a consistent basis.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 04 December 2017 17:37

3 Ways to Update Your Resume

Your resume is one of the first things that a potential employer sees from you. It comes before you meet in person, and is often opened before the cover letter.

Prospective employers want to know what you’re all about - and quickly.  It’s a great time of year to update your resume before the new year and get it in great shape as you revamp your materials. These are some of our best tips to update an already established resume.

The most recent

Are the most recent items on your resume? Sometimes we only update them every few years, so your most recent job positions might need some care and expansion.  Be sure to include everything you’ve done since the last update - and don’t leave any blank time unless you truly weren’t working.

On the other side of the most recent are the old items.  If you’ve been out of high school and/or college for 10+ years with a substantial resume since then, you don’t need to include clubs, memberships, and so on, unless they’re extremely relevant to the job position for which you’re applying.  A simple note of the name, city and state of your high school, along with the name, city, state, grade point average, and major/minor from college is just fine.

Do your best to keep your resume to one page, maximum two pages.  Employers want to see quick, efficient information that will help them move quickly through the application process.  Make this easy on them!

Add some data

In keeping with giving your potential employer a break, include some data that truly stands out easily.  Saying that you “helped with the marketing” is fine, but saying that you “designed and distributed 10,000 flyers” and “helped grow attendance by 35%” is more impressive and quantitative.

Additionally, this makes your accomplishments much more concrete and easily measurable.  If you can’t find hard numbers and figures to present, get more specific about what you did at your jobs and skip the generalities.

Check for errors

Now is a great time to make sure your resume is free from errors! Nothing is worse than spending all your time on your resume materials, sending them in, only to realize that you had an error or two.

This will automatically diminish credibility in the eyes of your potential employer, so do your absolute best to eliminate errors now.  Have friends and family members review your resume for errors too.  Sometimes, all we need is a fresh set of eyes to point out something wrong - or something that can enhance your resume.

 

Published in Work from Home Tips