Category Archives: Education

10 Stress Management and Relief Tips

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Stress is usually caused by unmet expectations, commitments made that you find hard to get out of, biting more than you can chew, expectations that others have of you and you feel you can no longer meet. Anxiety and frustration are also part of the causes of stress. Stress can kill; your eating habits change, you lose appetite and the whole meaning of food in your body, you shrink and lose weight and you can actually die out of stress related complications. Stress is a mental test. It’s a condition of the mind. It is therefore not imposed on anyone but one willfully gets into stress mode. I admit openly that I know what stress can do as I attempted suicide before in my life. Now that is the worst thing that can actually happen. I could not sleep for more than 2 hours stressing over things I had no control over. I became selfish, thinking only about me and my problem such that many people in my life were cut out and what was going on in my brain. My stress became started spreading to my immediate family and then the extended family. Their problem was finding out the cause of the stress. Whenever someone asked (my wife included), I would highlight the cause in a glossy way; pointing at symptoms more than the real problem. One day I made a resolute decision to quit this dangerous mode and live a normal life.

1. Identify the root of the stress – Stress is not generalized. The way to a solution on stress is through identification of the root cause. Without that the perpetual stress frequency will resonate. It is sometimes even stressful to find a way out of stress. If you address a problem by shooting the symptoms we can safely say you have found a very creative way of wasting time. You will not get out of stress. Is the problem caused by your character or it is external (other people, economy, social environment). If so, what exactly is triggering the stress? If you cannot be genuine about what you are going through then you will never get a genuine solution out. Living in denial about the cause of the stress simply incubates or nurtures the stress until it graduates into depression.

2. Eliminate the potential sources of stress – Once you identify what leads you to be stressed, begin to remove those elements from your life. Isolate each cause of stress and begin to walk out of it. You can do an outright shift or a gradual one where you take baby steps out of it. E.g. If debt is such a stress trigger, stop the things that increase the debt but start using your savings no matter how small to reduce the debt one baby step at a time. Disassociate from people whose conduct and speech leaves you stressed. Block online contacts that fuel the stress levels in you. Avoid doing things that remind you of pain.

3. Find alternative things to focus on – It is easy to be bogged down in one line of thinking and it seems at that point that it is the only thing to be thought of. The mind is generally a creative instrument but there are instances when the creativity processes are shut down by one line of thought which the mind locks on to. In that state everything else, no matter how good, is locked out. The mind enlarges all that you focus on. When the focus is on the problem, stress is on the increase. Pretend you have no problem and find a positive thing to lock on to. It maybe a solution to the stress that you may be processing or something totally different, a new area of passion. Just occupy your mind with a new trend of thinking.

4. Monitor what enters your mind – there are many sources of information. When you are stressed, you sometimes hop from person to person looking for specific statements, confirmations, sympathy and encouragement. When those do not come, when people pretend not to see you or know about your problem, it actually adds to the stress you may be in as well. Are you getting positive news on TV, are the friends who are calling you being positive or just telling you how you may not come out of the pit of stress? Stress is more mental than it is physical. It grows like a cancer in the mind. It only becomes physical as it leads to depression and total shutdown of organs in the body. It is hard to think differently if you continue to expose yourself to the same variables or conditions that stress you. If being among crowds is a stress point, go away to a park, drive to a game resort, interface with nature. While you are far from home, your mind may think differently.

5. Revisit the job you are doing – Are you working just so that you can feed your family and yet you don’t feel passionate about what you are doing? That could certainly be a stress trigger. Observe what you are passionate about. Sometimes people stretch themselves too far to try and be fruitful in areas that they are not competent and passionate about. You can only be fruitful to the degree that you have mastered the trade and also added your passion to what you do. Skill without passion is always produces stress. Passion without skill raises anxiety. Have a balance of the two and your work will not bring you stress. If you are an employee, always understand the expectations of your employer to avoid frustrations. You don’t want your employer to have expectations that are not communicated to you. Have your job description clarified to avoid stress.

6. Watch your standard of living – Sometimes we pitch our standard of living so many levels higher than where we are at right now. It almost seems impossible to attain that level and yet we want people to think that we have arrived. The gap between reality and aspiration gives you the level of stress people live under. If I want my friends to think I live well and I have a good job, I will do all it takes even if it means renting a big house, borrowing cars or renting a car. All this extra effort is so expensive as it eats so much into the financial resources available. If you want a stress free life then aim high but not in a way that discourages you from walking towards the aim. Live within your means while you save cash for the life you want. Do not put yourself under unnecessary pressure. The people you are trying to impress may not be interested but simply minding their own business. It is a waste of time, energy and resources to create an image which does not exist. It is actually a stress enhancer.

7. Get the skeleton out of the cupboard – this is really a hard one. Sometimes people have secrets only known to themselves only. They vouch that “I can never tell anyone about this”. I have noticed however that for me, it is so stressful thinking about my skeleton all the time. You can even go as far as dressing the “skeleton” up in such a way that even if people stumble across it, it is so prim and proper such that the impact is cushioned. Living a double life is a stress booster. The only way to bust the stress is to expose the secrets to people you know hold confidence and can walk you through the torrid moments of life. Be real; be open enough so that your attention is not always taken by efforts to conceal who you are. Get all the help necessary. I know of Pastors who because of the title and expectations of the role they carry, concealed their own struggles, didn’t get help on time and to this day they still live in denial that they have hard core morality and drinking issues. When you expose a problem, its grip on you is loosened. Become accountable to someone and walk all the way up. So what if people know? It does not really matter as long as you find the help you need. Exercise wisdom in choosing people who should know. If you are not ready for the world to know then carefully select a few trusted and close people.

8. Be intentional about avoiding and moving out of stress – Have the ability to say no. People walk in to stress by being “yes” people. I used to be like that. I couldn’t afford to “disappoint” anyone by refusing what they ask from me but soon after saying Yes I would regret for the duration of the favor. Also be intentional in terms of creating time for rest and relaxation, listening to music, eating your favorite meals. No one can create that for you. Go out and get help from those who can offer it professionally. You may need that pull from the pit. Things that you cannot control, especially other people, are not worth stressing over. Focus on what is within your capacity to manage and change. If someone is a source of the stress however, then avoid piling it all up as it will blow up someday; speak to them about how they make you feel. They may not know how much stress they put you under. Educate them on their role in lumping stress on you.

9. Make the best out of the worst – You may be facing the worst darkest season of your life but every season has an expiry date. Look at the positive side of your stressful situation and see what you can make of it. All things actually work together for your good if you decide to change your perception and line of thinking. Yes, you lost your job but it created time with family, you lost a car and you saved on fuel, maintenance etc. Think positive. There is no situation that is so dim that positive outcomes cannot be extracted. When you find the best in a situation, you avoid self pity and self condemnation. You can actually forgive yourself and turn a fresh page.

10. Prioritize the issues in your life – You cannot be all things to all men and still live normally. In a day, prioritize the things that are a must and the “nice to have”. You cannot do everything in one day and finish. Do your tasks in phases. It may be little by little but the important thing is that you are getting closer to the end goal. When you plan your activities, you have no reason for anxiety. All you do is walk into your plan and not run from pillar to post wondering how all the activities can be done. Leave out the less important at the bottom of the list. Prioritize where to spend your money as well. Focus on immovable assets that things that depreciate the day you buy them. Prioritize your education fees over heavy entertainment. It is easy to be stressed over how others are living happy lives not realizing that while you were chasing “things”, they were chasing career

4 Preliminary Tips That Will Get You on the Career Path to Success

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Not happy in your current job? Thinking about making a career change? Dynamic lifestyles and an uncertain economy are just two of many reasons to consider a new occupation, or even an entirely different field than the one you’re in now. Trust me; as a career counselor who has helped many people reinvent themselves professionally, I can assure you that you’re not alone!

Maybe you’ve seen some layoffs at your company and “the fear factor” has you searching for alternate options and wanting more satisfaction out of your work. Perhaps you crave a more flexible work situation, one that allows you to balance home and career more effectively. Whatever your circumstance, one thing’s for sure: you’re unhappy or unsettled in your current job and you want to do something about it.

When you start to get the itch, it’s time to make an assessment and begin to set early goals. You may wonder, am I really ready for a career transition? How can I best prepare myself for a change? But even before you delve into the components of a satisfying career, it helps immensely to cultivate a healthy and positive mental outlook. People who are successful at making a change are the ones who are willing to overcome their fears, doubts and insecurities in order to make it happen. You, too, can be one of these people…

Keep these preliminary tips in mind before forging ahead on your path to a more fulfilling and rewarding career!

1. Commit yourself to making a change.

Something that is incredibly important to any change you make in your life is your level of commitment. You have to be committed. How committed are you to finding a career that fits, on a scale from 1-10? If it’s not at a 10, what do you need to do to move it up the scale? The time to ask yourself key questions is now. Do your research, so you know what questions to keep in mind. Contact a career expert who can help you become reacquainted with your goals and dreams. Explore career websites. Take personality tests. You will find that the more time you invest in career opportunities and self-discovery, the more committed to the cause you’ll become.

2. Learn to overcome obstacles.

To be successful in changing career paths, you need to learn to overcome obstacles you will encounter along the way. The obstacles I see time and time again for people wanting to make a career change are: not knowing what to look for in a job (so they take one that is “good enough” that they don’t truly enjoy) and negative beliefs–not believing they can successfully make the change. With practice, you can retrain your mind to see past perceived limitations, which are only a figment of your imagination anyway! With sufficient self-exploration, you will be able to pinpoint the exact qualities of the ideal career for you… and even the characteristics that you don’t want in a career.

3. Get support.

I was able to very successfully make my career transition into coaching in large part because of my own coach. She helped me create my plan, remain positive, move forward, identify what I wanted to do and learn to overcome obstacles. I’m being honest when I say: It really helps to have support from a group or a coach to remind you to stay positive and focused. My contact information is below if you’d like more information from me.

4. Claim your life.

My last thought for you… is to claim your life. There never is a perfect time to make a drastic career change, and you can always come up with excuses/reasons not to. You do need to take some kind of risk and perhaps step out of your comfort zone. The key is to minimize the risk and be smart about it. Get support from a career coach like me or someone else who can provide solid guidance and the resources you need to move ahead with your plans.

If you have any questions about making a career change, discovering what type of career best suits your skills, or determining the key components of a career that fits, explore my website details below and then get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

6 Must Know Tips to Navigating Your Career

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With fall right around the corner executives are focusing fast on what their organizations need to get done before year end. And many rewards, bonuses – pay increases and the like, are tied to individual, collective, and organizational achievement. Keep in mind that a new year is on the horizon thus workforce deployment and succession planning before long will become top of mind among executives. Given those dynamics, how do you navigate a forward moving career and over time secure a spot as one of the organization’s most promising leaders? Executed well, you and the organization will benefit from a more capable, adaptable, business savvy, networked, and motivated you. Navigating a forward moving career includes:

1. Deliver results – Delivering results in your current role is a pre-requisite for increased or different responsibilities. Take it a step further by volunteering for tough assignments, the ones no one else wants, the ones that require risk taking, and then deliver.

2. Communicate your value and career aspirations – When decisions are made on who wins the big promotion or plum project, resorting to “my results speak for themselves” is a big mistake. Do communicate your value and contributions to the organization including the tough assignments you successfully completed. Do convey your career aspirations. When? during performance and development discussions is the obvious answer. When new business needs surface initiate conversation that links the business need with your past successes, capabilities, and career goals then volunteer to take on the assignment.

3. Build relationships – Think of building strong, effective, and collaborative relationships inside your organization as the bare minimum. Most organizations pride themselves on stellar customer relationships. Plus they work through a myriad of suppliers and strategic partnerships. Forge relationships with outside parties before your organization has a need. You will also benefit from getting known in the community.

4. Generate fresh ideas – Get out there, circulate, attend conferences, join a professional association, read, and connect with others in-person and on-line. Expand your horizons by learning about other industries and global trends. You will benefit from thinking more broadly and creatively, have fresh ideas when needed most and avoid the stereotype suffered by long service employees – being too insulated and too conventional.

5. Develop skills for the job you want – Developing skills and capabilities for the job you want before needed will separate you from the pack. How? initiate frank conversations with your boss, executives, human resources, and outside mentor(s). You will learn where to focus your development efforts while simultaneously convey your career aspirations and garner support. Which brings me to…

6. Recruit an executive sponsor – Most bosses will serve as an advocate for direct reports when a business need arises. How much more powerful would that endorsement be if it was echoed by another executive or two? Build a trusting and lasting relationship with another executive whom would gladly promote you when high visibility opportunities occur.

Success And Survival Tips From The Head Hunters of Swagap

How would you like to hunt huge crocodiles with the descendants of cannibals and head hunters? Donald MacIntyre, the journalist, had the nerve to do just that.

He has travelled to some of the world’s toughest environments to research how people manage to survive with few resources. He presented his findings in a recent TV series called ‘Edge of Existence’.

In the first episode of ‘Edge of Existence’, he went to Papua New Guinea to live with the Insect tribe of Swagap who, in living memory, were a warrior tribe of head hunters and cannibals.

The Insect tribe are named after the praying mantis which they worship and their lives centre around a river full of crocodiles – the Sepik.

Donal commented on his arrival at Swagap:

“Deep in the jungle of Papua New Guinea and I’m a long, long way from home. I’m about to come face to face with the Insect tribe. Not so long ago this tribe were cannibals and head hunters and still, today, violent disputes flare up in this part of the rain forest.

“I have come to launch myself into a completely alien world on the very edge of existence. I must prove myself by hunting crocodiles and pigs with nothing but a spear to defend myself. This is a truly hostile environment. This may be an adventure too far!”

Donal showed how he truly felt when he was filmed at night in a dug out canoe while out hunting crocodiles:

“Get me the hell out of here! Guys!”

However, he did not feel this way all the time. He had discovered a people that he could respect and whose company he obviously enjoyed.

“I have travelled thousands of miles to get to Papua New Guinea and hundreds of miles on waterways to get to the Insect tribe of the Sepik river.”

“The preconception is of cannibals, of warriors and of a stone age civilization but the reality is right here. You can hear it. It’s right ahead.”

Donal was referring to the tremendous welcome in song he received as the tribe prayed for the guardian spirits to protect him during his visit. The tribe have learned that prayer, at the very least, makes you feel safer and better about what you are doing!

There are 223 members of the insect tribe. They live on what they catch from the river, hunt from the jungle or dig out from the sago palm trees. They live on the edge of existence and were unknown to the outside world until the 1950’s.

The only means of transport are the canoes. If you can’t manage one of these you are going nowhere. Donal had already had an accident with his canoe and realised he needed to practise more and ‘try harder’.

The Insect tribe are part of the commonwealth but they jealously guard their own ancestral beliefs and customs such as polygamy.

Donal stayed with a man who had two wives and three children. One man in that region had 12 wives and 115 children.

The Insect tribe maintain their warrior spirit in the present by spearing boars and savage salt sea crocodiles. Donal took part in both activities. Spearing boars and crocodiles was routine for the tribesmen but terrifying for Donal.

A wild boar is 400 pounds of pure muscle that charges through the forest and impales any victim that gets in its way. Several hunters had been killed and injured.

Before the hunt began the ancestral spirits were called upon to banish evil spirits of the forest that might bring bad luck. A modern equivalent might be to exclude the negative thoughts and comments which can ruin any project. The hunters now believed a good spirit was with them. They expected success.

The chief placed Donal with the elders on a bamboo platform well off the ground. They would wait there until the younger men drove some boars towards them.

Donal sat with James, an elder, who would be his hunting mentor. He asked James if he believed in the magic ceremonies. James replied:

“I believe, I believe. If there are one or two pigs out there, we will kill it today. I believe.”

“The magic is powerful?”

“I believe the magic is. It will work.”

James told Donal to throw his spear first. He assured Donal that he would miss and then he would throw next and hit since he ‘knew how to kill a pig’.

Donal and James, the descendant of head hunters, were like naughty school boys chatting and joking when they should have been focusing. The chief signalled his disapproval.

The hunters passed the time by chewing betel nut with a root of ginger dipped in powdered seashells. It is a mild stimulant which turns your teeth red.

As the drums grew louder, it was obvious that things would happen. Something was coming fast – it was a boar streaking towards and past them.

Donal and James threw their spears but both missed. The other elders also threw their spears. They also missed. Donal commented:

“That was a pig!”

However, the younger men had managed to kill a large sow while they were beating the wild pigs towards the elders. The tribesmen did not forget to sing their thanks to the spirits for a successful hunt.

“As with many indigenous peoples, the men and women of the Insect tribe have strictly defined roles. The women do all the chores. It is their job to fish and make sago from the pith of a sago palm tree. Sago is the staple of the tribe’s diet.

“The men expect me to spend time exclusively with them. They become suspicious when I ask to spend some time with the women of the tribe. ”

However, Donal and Philip, the translator, headed upstream with the women and children to a spot where they could find clay in the river bed. Philip and Donal had to stand in their canoes in the dominant role. The women must sit in the submissive role.

This is clearly a cultural status thing. I once canoed down the Ardeche river in south central France on a school trip. It seemed as if I spent as much time capsized in the water as in the canoe.

My companion in the canoe was a woman school teacher. When she took the leading role at the front of the canoe we soon capsized but the same thing happened when I took the lead. I think it was more about skill and balance than about whether you were male or female. In any event we really enjoyed the trip, including the capsizing, and had a great laugh.

But we would not have been laughing if we had been in a dugout on the Sepik river. Falling into water where there might be crocodiles or borecutters – the Sepik’s equivalent of pirhanha – was not a laughing matter.

In the event, Donal jumped into the river and collected some evil smelling clay. He soon found out that he was doing the job on his own! He joked and laughed with the children and the women.

But when he tried to question the women, they were reluctant to answer his questions. There was a tribal taboo which did not allow women to talk to men outside their own families.

If a woman breaks the taboo, the penalty is death which is usually caused by some kind of accident inspired by the spirits at the request of the elders.

One woman, at least, was bold enough to tell Donal that his efforts at pottery were useless! She handed them over to the kids to put right. Despite the shared laughs, Donal found the world of the women in this male dominated society to be impenetrable.

The day came that Donal had been dreading – crocodile hunting in a dugout canoe.

They were hunting saltwater crocodiles that are valuable for their skin which fetches high prices in the fashion trade. They can grow up to 23 feet long and have been known to snatch people from the riverbank:

“We are hunting a creature so fearsome that they can rip you to shreds in seconds. Make no mistake this is terrifying.”

The hunters were making noises that imitated the sounds of juvenile and adult crocodiles to bring them closer to the dugout. Donal was appalled:

“To me this is absolute madness but Alphonse, the leader, takes it in his stride To him, it is like another day in the office.”

He asked Alphonse:

“Do you eat the meat?”

“Yeah, we eat the meat. This meat is good.”

“What does it taste like?”

“It tastes like chicken. It makes you strong”

“But a chicken won’t bite your head off.”

Donal reflected that the whole experience of standing up in a dug out canoe surrounded by crocodiles was simply not a wise thing to do.

“For them it is like a 9-5 job. For me it is the stuff nightmares are made of. I just want to go home quickly!”

The crocodile is vital for the insect tribe’s survival. They can sell parts of the crocodile for high prices and the meat is very tasty. Crocodiles are the only source of hard cash.

However, there is a looming threat that could destroy their way of life. Five hours boat ride upriver there are plans to build a gold mine. The villagers fear it will contaminate the waters of their beloved Sepik river. They have good reason to worry.

Alphonse expressed their fears:

“We don’t believe in new technology. This is man made thing. It can’t work.”

The head of the spirit house said that the power of the spirits could not control the mining company. The spirit house is the focal point for the men in the village. It is full of beautiful wooden carvings.

Donal asked if could enter the spirit house but was refused entry. In the past a missionary removed and burnt their effigies in an attempt to convert the tribe to Christianity.

For now, the tribe have managed to hold on to their time honoured warrior traditions like archery for hunting and war.

The men practised their archery. Donal’s arrow broke before it left his bow to the amusement of the others. He had to ask:

“May I borrow another arrow?”

Donal commented:

“You can’t help but think that, only decades ago, headhunting and warfare went on with these weapons – spears and arrows. In their psyche there seems to be a sense of preparedness for war. Can you imagine being in the middle of the jungle facing the prospect of war with these weapons – spears and arrows?”

The head of the spirit house remembered the stories of war and head hunting told him by his father as a boy:

“The warfare used to take place on the lake. They used arrows and spears. My father was a great warrior He used to fight fiercely. He killed several men from other tribes.”

Donal was now brought back to today’s reality which was frightening enough:

“It may not be war but it is certainly dangerous. Crocodile hunting is on the agenda again – this time in the pitch dark. We gather in a secret huddle for another magic ceremony calling on the spirits to protect us during the hunt. It is going to be a very long night.

“It is so dark in these crocodile infested swamps that we need night vision cameras to see what is going on. At night the crocodiles are more active than in the heat of the day…

“The crocs are very close. It is a terrifying prospect. The hunters are the best in the world but crocodiles are very unpredictable.

“I can’t believe what I am seeing. One of the men is standing in the water just a few feet away from a huge crocodile. It’s totally insane He tried to spear the crocodile but just failed to make a hit.”

Later, Alphonse picked up a baby crocodile and then dropped it back in the water. They eventually captured a four foot crocodile which they kept in the dugout after tying up its jaws. Donal was still highly nervous:

“Every time we career headlong towards the river bank after a crocodile I break out into a cold sweat. If this canoe capsizes we become the hunted.”

It seemed for a moment as if this had happened as the world appeared to turn upside down as the cameraman lost his balance or control of the camera or both!

They had just missed killing a huge crocodile about twelve feet long worth a six months’ salary to a Swagap villager – the croc was harpooned but escaped with the harpoon.

“Well, tonight the big one got away but the hunter’s are happy with their catch. For me, I’m just glad that the ordeal of croc hunting is finally over. I’m just counting all my limbs and they are all here.

“The beast is there. He’s huge and thrashing about and we are six inches from the water and we’re less than a metre away from him. These guys are made of stern stuff but I just want to go home quickly.”

That evening Donal was invited to join the tribe for a crocodile feast:

“When I first came to live with the Insect tribe, I imagined a fierce warrior race.
They are certainly fearless hunters but they are also a generous and resilient people living entirely from their natural surroundings. What impressed me most was their real sense of community.”

When one man’s house was burned down, the entire village turned out to the very next day to rebuild the house from top to bottom.

Donal commented: “That’s the measure of this place.”

But things are changing. The tribe wear shorts and t-shirts and have developed a taste for alcohol. A college student recently brought home the recipe for an alcoholic drink called ‘Steam’. The tribesman followed the recipe and created ‘Steam’.

The tribesmen were intensely interested in Donal’s world in Britain and their shared head of state the queen. Later, a visit was arranged to Britain for some of the Swagap people.

While the hunters celebrated, the head of the spirit house now invited Donal inside and explained that he had learned to respect Donal enough to allow him in.

Days later, western music was playing at Donal’s leaving party Donald drank some ‘Steam’:

“That is absolutely awful!”

Survival and success tips can be learned from both Donal and the Insect tribe:

Prayer, at the very least, makes you feel better about what you are doing! Your belief and expectation could make a miracle more likely.

Banish any evil or negative thoughts that might sabotage your results and start believing in the laws which could bring you good results. Expect success.

Don’t forget to give thanks for everything you receive. Gratitude attracts more to be grateful for.

Appreciate and make the most of the power of team work and the community

We all need to practise more and do better at our canoeing, archery, spearing or whatever. Darcey Bussell, Britain’s most famous living ballerina, has just retired. She started training late at the age of thirteen and was laughed at by the other students. She soon silenced the laughter by spending extra time practising until lights out.

Stay curious and apply what you learn. Your ‘Steam’ may be awful at first but it can improve.

Don’t judge by appearances and past history. The former cannibals turned out to be a brave, kind and intelligent people.

Keep your traditions alive or replace them with ones which are less lethal. The national sport of Papua New Guinea is considered to be rugby league. It has been seen as a replacement for tribal warfare!

Accounting Career Tips

In the past several years, the accounting industry has transformed itself from one perceived as stodgy and static to a diverse, vibrant field that includes everyone from tax advisors to FBI agents, from CPAs to environmental activists. The business world’s growing focus on strong, reliable, honest accounting practices has also led to an incredible spike in available accounting jobs, a renewed respect for the field, and steady salary growth. Here are some tips on how to stand out in the competitive field of accounting.

  1. Be a Spreadsheet / Data Ninja – You’d be surprised, most accountants only have mid-level knowledge of Excel. As an accountant, you’ll have a serious advantage over your competition by knowing arcane spreadsheet formulas. Master Excel VLookup and Pivot Tables until you can be proud to call yourself a Spreadsheet Ninja.
  2. Make Time Management a Priority – Read up on the latest time management and productivity blogs and books. Put into practice tips such as going in to work early and defining your priorities for the day. It makes a difference and your boss will notice. By being laser focused at work, you’ll get more done and feel more accomplishment.
  3. Put Yourself Out There – Find a mentor or identify a role model. Join local accountant organizations. Attend networking events. Develop friendships with people at work. Continuously seek to understand what’s happening in the world, the economy and your organization.
  4. Earn a Reputation for Being a Team Player – Learn about the business from the ground up. Make a point to talk to people face to face . Ask for ways to improve communication and process. Be proactive and anticipate needs of your manager.
  5. Continue Your Education – Branch out. Accountants with a graduate certificate in consulting or accounting information systems rise to the top. There is high demand for accountants who have broader knowledge that encompasses areas such as sales, insurance, legal, and risk management.

10 Career Tips for the Recently Promoted

You’ve just been promoted. Now what? Your boss has congratulated you and directed you to your new chair. Everyone has made a fuss over your new job. Your career is on the rise. All the work you’ve put into your career plan, all your study and hard work has paid off, now what’s the next step?

Here are 10 ideas to get you off to a running start in your new job:

  1. Make sure you spend time by “showing up.” You can’t learn everything from written reports and emails. Be accessible, and the best way to make that happen is to frequently be out and about talking to your employees, getting their ideas and really communicating.
  2. Make it a point to become a better listener. The best ideas come from the employees as they know more about what is going on in their “100 square feet” of working world than you will ever know.
  3. Be positive and proactive in performing the administrative aspects of your new job. How well you handle these details will figure prominently in any assessment of your future career potential.
  4. Plan on helping all your people develop to their greatest potential. This is a critical area on how your superiors will judge you and your overall job performance.
  5. Do the best job you can in gathering information. The make the decision. Remember it’s rare when you have all the information necessary in making a decision. Your judgments have been good in the past or you wouldn’t have been promoted. So make the decisions required, be flexible and don’t be hesitant in making the required decisions.
  6. Be open to new ideas. Get in the habit of giving both sides a fair hearing.
  7. You now represent the company, its policies and procedures. Don’t apologize for company’s actions as it will only dilute your authority. If the company’s action is a problem do your best to have it changed. Be careful on picking your battles, some things are not worth wrecking your career over.
  8. Set high standards in everything you and your people do. Don’t accept mediocrity. Most employees will work toward a high standard; expect the best from all your people.
  9. Put in an extra effort to master the new job. Focus your attention on the new jobs priorities and work hard to get them completed.
  10. Take the time to review your career plan. What needs to be updated and changed? What worked in the past and needs to be continued? Don’t let the demands of the new job let your career plan gather dust. Now is the time to analyze what worked in the past and build for your future.

Changing Your Career Tips and Advice

Changing careers is a part of life. As young adults we consider what we want to be when we grow up. We might even go through college with that same goal in mind, but sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to our dreams or we find that we are better suited for something else. Invariably through life we have many jobs as we learn and train to become the person we want to be. A change in career can liven up our lives again or bring us to something we like better. There are a few things you might want to consider before changing your career.

Do you find your job dissatisfying? There are aspects of each career you will have that you don’t like. It could be the manager you must deal with, the co- worker, the changing rules, or certain tasks you are asked to perform. There are literally hundreds of reasons you might find your career is in a rut. What you need to ask yourself is if the entire career is the problem or just certain aspects? Consider for a moment that your current career is very rewarding. You are a child psychologist, but there is paperwork that you must do after seeing your patients. This is just part of the job. It may seem like you are in a rut as nothing changes, but really you’ve just lost focus. A lot of individuals who want to change careers tend to find they love their job after visiting a workshop. Sometimes it just takes a different perspective.

If this is not the case then you need to find what you want to change to. You will probably want to take an aptitude test to find out what you like most. Do you like working with numbers, ideas, around people? What are your interests or hobbies? Can these interests become the career change you want?

The next part of the agenda is actually making a move. Fear often holds individuals back when it comes to changing careers. They are too afraid that they will not excel at the new position or that it will not be enough income, etc. There are hundreds of reasons for the fear.

Once you can find the confidence to change careers little will stop you. You will need to look at various areas for the new job. Is where you live going to provide you with the right career change? Do you have to move? Can you afford to move?

Whenever you change careers you need to have the required experience. This can be obtained through volunteering, going back to school, etc. By following some of the questions above you can determine if you are really ready for a career change or just a change of pace.

The fact is it is never too late to change your career. Even if you have a family and a steady life, if you are unhappy with your career you can still change it to find happiness again.

Career Tips for Breaking Into Wall Street

For candidates seeking careers in finance, breaking into Wall Street can seem as likely as winning the lottery. Success requires time, determination, and a willingness to push your game to the next level. The following three strategies offer the potential to accelerate your career transition, bolster your résume, and provide an edge over the competition in a competitive job environment.

Professional Certifications & Associations – Find the Inside Track to Careers in Finance

Professionals seeking careers in finance might consider the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations. Other niche credentials include the Certified Hedge Fund Professional (CHP) or Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). These programs come with access to such associations as the CFA Institute, the CFP Board, The Hedge Fund Group, and the CAIA Association, along with networking opportunities through events, LinkedIn groups, and education programs. They can also provide a higher level of credibility in the industry, and in business as a determined, dedicated professional. The CFA is a great choice for many professionals, but particularly helpful for new graduates seeking to gain an early-career edge over the competition.

MBA Programs – Open Doors to Careers in Finance

Many careers in finance require or strongly prefer an MBA, which can open doors on Wall Street. Bulge bracket firms scout for top candidates from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business, Columbia Business School (places almost half of its graduates in financial services), University of Michigan (Ross), and other top MBA programs. This is an excellent option for someone looking to make a career change from a corporate environment into Wall Street.

Seminars, Classes, and Workshops – First Steps to Careers in Finance

Not ready to launch into a professional designation or MBA? Seminars, classes, and workshops can arm you with new skills, new résumé content, and new industry contacts that might later get your foot in the door. Consider taking classes in accounting, corporate finance, financial statements, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management, economics, capital markets, derivatives, foreign exchange, equities, fixed Income, and other finance related topics. These can show initiative, and may go toward an eventual MBA.

None of these strategies are quick fixes, but they will move you closer to landing a position and launching a career on Wall Street. The key to making these strategies work is commitment, of which you will need plenty to be successful on Wall Street.

 

Useful Feng Shui Career Tips

If you manage an office, you can use these tips to increase the overall productivity of your staff. There are a number of factors that can hinder the career growth of a person, as well as hinder the development of the entire company. The ancient Chinese notion feng shui is here to help eliminate the potential hindering factors, and increase the beneficial aspects.

Furniture positioning: The main feng shui career tip is the proper positioning of the desks. Some types of positioning are very disadvantageous, while others on the contrary, are extremely beneficial. A bad desk positioning includes: when a person’s back is to a window or door, a desk crammed into a corner, a desk facing another desk, or a desk next to the entrance door.

Sitting with the back to a door or window can make one feel “unsafe”, and is best avoided. If there’s no way to move the furniture, consider placing a mirror on the table. Sitting crammed in a corner will not allow the positive energy to circulate around the person’s desk. Facing another person may hinder concentration and cause the energy of both people to dissipate. Sitting next to the entrance door can be very agitating due to the constant annoyance of a passerby.

The best way is to sit with your back to the wall, facing the entrance door, but being a sufficient distance from it. This way, you feel protected by the wall, you see those in the doorway, and you are removed from having to answer questions by a passerby.

Clutter: The feng shui career advice states that clutter and dirt are to be avoided. The clutter and dirt prevent the free circulation of positive energy, and cause the negative energy to concentrate and stagnate instead. If at all possible, try to clean the office. Pay attention to the cabinets and shelves, and keep them free of unneeded documentation. If there are any unused objects or equipment in the office, they are best moved to storage rooms. Try to wash the curtains, keep all surfaces dusted, and the floors clean.

Lighting: Most modern buildings have fluorescent lighting. This type of lighting is bad for the overall health (it can cause problems with the eyes and blood pressure; it can cause dermatitis; it can bring out certain nervous conditions like bipolar disorder or panic attacks). Additionally, it can hinder the perception and concentration of the worker. Many people complain about the flickering and humming of such lamps, as well as they may complain about headaches. All in all, this type of lighting can prevent them from being efficient at work. If possible, replace these lamps with regular “Edison lamps.” Consider adding calming decorative floor or wall lamps in pleasant colors. Another good feng shui career tip – whenever possible, keep the window curtains open.

Materials: Some of the best materials to use in the office are wood, glass, and metal. It’s advised to use wood the most, followed by metal and glass. Synthetics (plastic, etc.) can also be used, but in moderation. It’s best to use natural materials (cotton, etc.) for the furniture upholstery also.

 

 

 

 

Top 7 Career Tips for the Unemployed Looking for Work

With the economy suffering greatly, there are tricks to getting hired online because it can be a tough market out there. Right now, career tips outlined in the following article should help on ways to become employed.

The first tip would be to join a professional group or organisation. Around 70%-80% of jobs are given due to networking or referral programs. This makes it hard for those who are not included in these networking circles. So become involved, and join a group with similar interests and struggles. This can provide the path to getting hired. It is always helpful to be surrounded by people with the same ideas and backgrounds.

Volunteering is another way to join the social circle. This creates a surrounding with important people that may remember you when the time is right. Providing free time is very outstanding, and it can send red flags up to the right people.

A job club may help as well. By starting or joining a job club, insight on jobs available online may occur. Again, everyone involved is there for similar reasons. This creates insider knowledge on what is out there, and the group can discuss strategies and ideas on attaining jobs.

While online, remain positive. This is a huge benefit, and some companies do a check about online activity. Positive comments and feedback is suggested to represent a person well.

Another way to decide on a career path is to host informational interviews with professionals in the interested field. The future employee can know and understand the guidelines of the desired position.

A good rule of thumb would be to make looking for a job a full time job. It is not very successful to just apply to a couple of places. Put a CV on as many websites as possible. The more out there, the better chances that it has to get noticed.

A final idea is about the interview. This is the last chance available to be chosen for the position. Leave fairly early in order to plan for any last minutes problems that may arise. When arriving, fill out all necessary paperwork carefully. It will not matter how long it takes if it is correct. Also, make one final trip to the bathroom for any last minute grooming techniques.