Books on self-development keep you spirited and energetic for achieving life goals

 

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Life is a journey of personal development and the goals that we set help us to evolve, improve and shape our lives in the way we want.  You face uncertainties during the journey and might feel alone. To work your way through you require some guidance and assistance. Do not despair because personal development books are there to provide you with the necessary stimulus and knowledge that helps to overcome the hurdles and obstacles that you face. Reading nourishes your brain, lifts your spirits and trains you in skills that help to move ahead with ease to enjoy life by fulfilling the goals that you have set for becoming a complete person.

Books are all around you. Whether you need help in overcoming difficulties that you face in the life’s journey, seek guidance in self-improvement and success, want to search for inspiration or it is just for recreation and healing, there is a book available on the topic. The more you read more clarity you gain about life and its goals and more confident you become about refining yourself and moving towards the goals. Best of all, you can read anywhere at all, from your morning commute to an evening relaxing on a hammock under the stars.

Keep learning

We learn as long we live, and books are invaluable resources for learning.  Books are not for information only but educate you on any subject or topic that you need help to progress in life. Books are your best companion in the life’s journey because it covers almost every aspect of life that you have to face while progressing.  Books help to remove all doubts and concerns about the situations you face and shows the way forward that gives you confidence and the satisfaction of accomplishment. The habit of reading initiates an ongoing process of learning that is very important for progress.

Lift your spirits

Reading good books help to lift your spirits, as you feel enthused to pursue your dreams. Selecting the right books is important because not all books motivate you, but many do. If you develop the habit of reading, you will come across books that truly lift your spirits and set your mind on fire. You feel charged up to follow the path towards realizing the goals with much more conviction and self-belief as you refine your life to make it better.

Get motivated

Expand the sources that motivate by reading books on self- development that tell you stories of success. You come to know how people have overcome steep hurdles to reach their life goals. By reading what others have achieved you would realize that things that appear insurmountable in life are conquerable. This provides great motivation.

Sustain mental agility and sharpness

Ageing reduces our mental abilities and agility, as the thinking process tends to get sluggish. Since we have to strive to evolve and improve as long as we live, reading kept the brain fresh and stimulated that helps to stay agile and alert.

Reading with a purpose helps to select the right books that take you to new levels in achieving life goals.

 

 

 

 

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Unlimited Workplace Holidays: A Working Incentive for Your Business?

 

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Employee satisfaction and retention is key for any business. Unhappy employees are unlikely to give their 100%, and a high staff turnover causes disruption and costs a company money as well as lowering overall morale. According to Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. For that reason, many employers put incentives in place to try and boost employee productivity and satisfaction.

Virgin, Netflix and LinkedIn reportedly offer an unlimited holiday policy to their staff. The policy states that staff can take as many days holiday as they want as long as the job/work is done – and this appears to be a common policy implicated across the USA as well. In fact, it is estimated that 9% of companies around the world offer the same, if not similar holiday policies. However, how good is this policy as an effective workplace incentive?

Incentives are put in place by employers to encourage staff productivity and boost satisfaction around the workplace. Unlimited holidays, upon the understanding that they can be taken as long as the work has been done, should hypothetically boost productivity. Employees could use the policy as a means for motivation to get the work finished. However, HR departments question how reliable this policy is, as it becomes clear that holiday allowances aren’t a top driving motivation for recruitment and retention – but according to US figures, 80% still said that the benefit would be considered in the decision-making process.

Badgemaster, retailers of name badges, take a look at which incentives and workplace benefits have been proven successful at boosting employee production, satisfaction and retention.

 

The big motivators

Incentives don’t necessarily have to cost your company an arm and a leg, but by investing money into boosting your employee’s satisfaction, and taking into consideration what they want to see will pay off. At the end of the day, your staff are central to your company’s success. Better health, dental and vision insurance benefits is top of the list for employee motivators (88%), with flexible hours and vacation time, and work from home options not far behind. Companies which offer free eye tests, dental check-ups etc are very appealing to many people. Taking away mundane but necessary costs for your employee is recognised as a good company benefit.

Paid maternity and paternity leave is another benefit that influences a job offer, with 42% of respondents in a Harvard Business Review survey, singling this out as a valued benefit when job seeking. Whilst planning for the future has now also become an increasing consideration for many employees who are now aware of the importance of pension contribution. Workplace pensions are now a compulsory benefit that must be provided by an employer to their employees – and now, employee benefits specialist Thomsons even found that employees rated a decent company pension above private medical insurance, extra holiday or childcare vouchers.

Other additional benefits that are considered as great perks for employees are gestures such as birthday days off, company/team building activities, social office events, bank holidays off, free snacks and coffee, and employee of the month incentives.

 

The money factor

Whilst it is undeniable that salary is a good recruitment motivator, it is not necessarily this incentive that guarantees employee retention. In a survey by Glassdoor in 2015, it also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise. For many employees, new opportunities, challenging work, good management, recognition and rewards make more of an impact on their satisfaction than salary alone does. When it boils down to it, communication is key to ensuring your internal workforce, and management team are satisfied in their roles.

Whilst many employers and employees are still under the impression that holiday allocation and salary are the main motivators to recruit and retain staff, it seems whilst they are good motivators to get new employees through the door, there are other benefits that are more likely to help boost employee retention.

Sources

https://hbr.org/2017/02/the-most-desirable-employee-benefits

https://hiring.monster.co.uk/hr/hr-best-practices/workforce-management/employee-retention-strategies/what-are-the-big-motivation-factors-for-employees.aspx

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/finance/pension-auto-enrolment/10744934/pensions-motivate-staff.html

3 Easy Ways to Help Your Staff Enjoy a Better Day

 

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If you are a manager of people, you may have seen ‘that look’ on your staff members’ faces during the morning or the afternoon: not passionate about arriving and looking for the moment to go home and leave it all behind.

The truth is that you can never know what is happening in the detailed lives of your staff, but you can remember that they are people and you can make their lives easier. You have the unique power to do this and so here are some easy ideas to take the leap of faith:

 

Flexible mornings

Maybe it’s a few too many drinks the night before…or it’s a fight with the other half..or it’s recovering from the flu. If you insist on every member of staff being at their desk at the same moment, it’s likely that there will be reasons why some employees will not be bringing their A-game. Vice versa, other people may wish to start early and spend some extra special hours with their children in the afternoons.

So how do you create the solution? All you need to do is offer flexible working. For example, if your staff currently work 9-5, simply offer them flexibility to start between 7-10 and finish between 3-6. Your workforce will produce the same number of hours, but with more efficiency that may even reduce costs on recruitment. And won’t you feel better when you start seeing happier, more prepared and committed faces in the mornings?

 

Childcare

Many leading companies such as Goldman Sachs and Google offer cutting edge on-site childcare to their staff, retaining top talent rather than losing them to entrepreneurship (mothers with small children create £7 billion to the UK economy per year through small businesses). Parents can go through many stresses with their children, including days when their children are sick and emergency childcare is required. Rather than lose your staff to absenteeism or a new career, maybe it’s time to consider using an employer childcare provider.

 

Courses

If your staff really believe in your management, then it’s likely that they don’t really want to go to interviews with other companies during their lunch breaks. If you’ve solved flexible working and childcare, another strong reason for a lack of full commitment could be that your staff members feel that their careers are stagnating.

It may not be possible to offer promotions, but you could certainly be helping their personal development by partnering with flexible online course or online language providers. Show your staff that you are committed to their development and provide new experiences to their lives, because new routines open up new connections and feelings of happiness. You will be thanked with a smile and maybe even some extra hours of work.

 

Put your staff first and you will see the goodness in people; your staff will appreciate your help and return the loyalty with interest. Have a good day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Showcase Your Expertise – With a Unique and Compelling Presentation

 

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Give an excellent presentation and you’ll win not just respect but also new or additional business. Under-perform, and your reputation and business may experience a wobble.

If you’ve got years of experience, seizing the opportunity to speak to an audience can bring huge benefits both for you personally and for your business.

The question to answer is:  are you recognised as an expert in your field right now? Do you have the reputation that will draw investors and clients to you? Until you can demonstrate your expertise in a compelling manner, you’ll miss out on the best rewards. You won’t command the highest fees, negotiate the best deals, or win business awards!

Fortunately, while gaining a deep understanding of your industry takes years, you can create a fantastic presentation and acquire the skills to present it well in weeks.

 

Get your presentation content ready

After plenty of hard graft, your industry knowledge is both deep, and wide. Start by choosing your topic. With a broad knowledge of your industry, it may be difficult to pick just one. Find something that will truly interest your target audience. For maximum appeal, identify a narrow slice of your area of expertise. By going deep and avoiding generalities, you’ll be forced to be specific and showcase what you know and your audience don’t (until they hear you!)

With your niche in mind it’s time to decide what it is you want to communicate. In The 7 habits of highly effective people Dr Stephen Covey advises, “start with the end in mind”. What do you want your audience to know (or do) when you are finished? Identify three main points.

Sketch these out on a piece of paper, creating a mind map. Now note down three or more interesting or important aspects of each of your three main points. Is there a story you can tell to illustrate your point? People love stories. They bring examples to life.

If you are using figures or statistics to support your business proposition, see if you can bring these numbers to life as well. Think about translating them into analogies your audience can relate to. This will help reduce barriers to understanding, and improve how your material is received.

Depending how much time you have can add additional, appropriate examples, particularly ones that will resonate with say a customer or investor audience.

To give you the best chance of maintaining your audience’s attention for the duration of your presentation, be succinct. Don’t go into more detail than you need to to make a point or illustrate an example. Your audience will thank you!

Write down your presentation. Structure it into the three main points you wish to make. Add a beginning, and a conclusion. One hint: it’s helpful to signal your closing. By saying, “And in conclusion. . .” you give your audience a clue that you are nearly finished, and they’ll reward you with renewed attention.

And if you really want to “wow” your audience, don’t use slides at all. By being the speaker who simply spoke to her audience, without any audio-visual backup, you may paradoxically make the biggest impression.  If you have a product demonstration to give – so much the better.

 

Getting your delivery ready

To really stand out, you’ll need more than just your great presentation: you’ll have to deliver it with energy and style.

The most important part of being comfortable on stage, is to be prepared. You are an expert in your business but you still need to rehearse the delivery of your presentation.

Start by simply saying it out loud. Notice if some sections are too wordy. One of the most common mistakes nervous speakers make is to use overly long sentences. These can create mechanical problems that may make you think you are anxious. Did you know that speaking sentences that are too long can leave you breathless – literally? Shorten them and you’ll eliminate the risk of needless strain, and maintain your professional poise.

Even though you’ll be the only one speaking, aim for a style that is conversational. Imagine you are speaking to friends or colleagues. How would you speak to them? This will help you adopt an informal approach. So keep your sentences reasonably short, and avoid jargon (unless everyone in the audience is an industry insider).

Knowing your audience is helpful. It enables you to use language they will understand, and perhaps even make a joke or two.

If I’m doing an important presentation, I like to record it and listen to it a number of times. I will play it back while I am driving, and speak along to the recording. As I get better at reciting it, I will make a fresh recording. This help me use more accurate inflection, and I will have a better handle on where to put the emphasis in each sentence.

If you are serious about doing a great presentation, consider joining a Toastmasters club. Members give prepared speeches at each meeting, and most clubs have a number of experienced speakers, many of whom run businesses.  From them you’ll get helpful, constructive feedback before you deliver your presentation “for real”.  For example, there are clubs across the UK and Ireland, and most cities and towns have one.

 

When the day arrives

When it comes time to deliver your presentation, remember why you are there in the first place. You want to establish your authority, and enhance your business by sharing your expertise. You’ll want to dress like an expert, too. While many speakers have mastered the “casual look” on stage, there is a certain confidence that comes from knowing you look professional.

I highly recommend videoing your speech for later review (or at least capturing the audio). You’ll be able to objectively assess your presentation on screen in a way you’re simply not able to in the moment. Appreciate what you did well, and note areas you’d like to improve.  Think of this as an important business investment. It is well worth the time it takes.

Building your business means showcasing your expertise and becoming the go-to person. Hone your skills and make your presentations both a useful and engaging event for all your future audiences.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Bruce is from Toastmasters International a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organisation’s membership exceeds 345,000 in more than 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. There are more than 300 clubs in the UK and Ireland with over 7,500 members. To find your local club: www.toastmasters.org  Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

 

 

 

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New Year – New Career? Why so many people seek a change as the New Year approaches

 

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The festive season is nearly upon us and as we enjoy the end of one year and the beginning of another, many people reflect on their lives and careers and ask themselves are they happy?

The New Year is the impetus that many people need to start addressing where they’re at and ask, have they achieved what they thought they would have by this point in their lives. Quite often the answer is no, says CV Guru Adrian Caffery.

Adrian is a qualified career adviser who runs a CV writing business and often gets a rush of enquiries around the Christmas and New Year holidays as people realise another year has gone by and they’re not doing what they want to do with their lives or careers.

“Lives and careers are interchangeable words to careers advisers” says Adrian, “ We are often defined by our careers. At a party or when we meet new people, we’re often asked what do we do and for some people this question can cause them to feel shame or embarrassment, when they have to admit to a career that they’re not proud of. If you feel this way, then it’s time you started to do something about it. It’s never too late. After all most people have several careers throughout their lifetime and it’s not something that is frowned upon these days. 

But changing career is not as simple as that. Adrian always advises people to honestly ask themselves what is it that they want to do, are their aspirations realistic and achievable, and what do they need to do in order to start to make that change.

 Quite often people expect a careers adviser to wave a magic wand and give people golden nuggets of advice that will change their career immediately. The truth is that it is a long, slow process, especially if you want to re-train to become a professional of one kind or another. It will quite often involve going back to college or university and getting a degree or post-graduate degree, or if you want to re-train as a plumber for instance, getting the qualifications and experience required to be able to pursue that career successfully. Most people will probably have to do this studying whilst still working in their existing job or career and juggle the two for a few years until they’re able to make the leap ”, says Adrian.

There is help out there for people who want to change careers including financial assistance such as the new government post-graduate loan scheme, which is run through Student Finance England and operates in a similar way to the undergraduate student loan scheme but at slightly better conditions. Graduates can apply for a loan of just over £10,000 to pay towards a Masters degree and only pay back 6% of anything they earn over £21,000 per year once they’ve finished their studies. This is better than undergraduates who have to pay 9% of anything they earn over £21,000 per year. The interest rates for both are similar.

There are also such schemes as Career Development Loans where people can apply to help fund their studies such as plumbing or hair-dressing training etc.

There is also free careers advise for people of all ages from the National Careers Service.

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