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StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Break Time during a Long Day of Work

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

If you’re struggling through a hectic day at work, it’s likely that you’ll spend a lot of time dreaming about your next break. Taking regular breaks is a fantastic way to stay motivated and energized throughout the day. This is especially true if you’re using your break times effectively. When you’re planning your week ahead, make sure that you think about more than just the tasks that you want to complete. You should also consider how you’re going to get the most out of your free time. If you’re searching for inspiration, you’ll need to read on. Below are five ways to enjoy your break time, during a long day of work.

Socialize with Your Work Colleagues

Even if you already have a strong working relationship with your colleagues, it’s important that you use your break time to socialize with them. This is a great way to get to know everybody on a more relaxed level. Investing time and effort into your work place friendships will ensure that you always have someone to turn to for support and advice. It will also set you apart as someone who can strike the perfect balance between friendliness and professionalism.

Put in Your Headphones

It might not be the most social of options, but putting in your headphones is an easy way to escape the outside world. If you’re dealing with a particularly stressful day at work, you might be desperate for a little time out. Why not listen to a humorous podcast or hum along to an uplifting tune? This is a simple yet effective way to lift your spirits.

Try Meditation

You could also deal with a stressful day by enjoying a spot of meditation. This practice will help you to clear your mind and control your breathing. Even if you’re surrounded by chaos, meditation will help you to stay strong and centered. It will also allow you to put your problems into perspective.

Enjoy Vaping

If you love to vape, your break time could be the perfect opportunity for you to indulge. Just make sure that you find a suitable area that you can escape to. You should also make sure that you’ve invested in the appropriate vaping equipment. Why not visit https://www.auster.com to explore all of the options available?

Download Interesting Apps

You should also consider downloading interesting apps onto your technological devices. This is a fantastic way for you to enjoy your few free minutes. You could download a range of games that don’t take too long to complete. Alternatively, you could download apps that provide you with motivational quotes, random facts, brain teasers, or riddles. The important thing is to find apps that you look forward to engaging with. It will be much easier to get through a boring meeting or a large pile of work if you’re genuinely looking forward to your break time.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

The Best Way to Improve Your Business Assignment

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
Photo courtesy of Green Chameleon via Unsplash

Assignment writing isn’t always the easiest of tasks for everyone. Sometimes writing our assignments can be difficult, or the words just won’t flow correctly but luckily there is plenty of help and advice out there to help get those good grades on your work. We’ve decided to take a look into some of the best ways to improve your assignments, so without further ado, here is our list.

Additional Reading

Improving the quality of your assignment can ultimately come down to extra reading. It’s likely that you’ve been given a reading list, but if you truly want your assignment to stand out, bringing in information from outside of the set reading will not only help you form a more strategic and believable argument, but it will show that you’ve done the extra work. Use the library in every way you can. Take out books, DVDs, journals and more, and use the quiet study area to truly concentrate on what the source is telling you.

Critical Thinking

Thinking critically about your assignment will be what takes you up those extra grades. Proving that you’re not just regurgitating information onto the page and are actually thinking it through will ultimately help you write a better assignment and argument. Understand the information to begin, apply it in some sense, and from there, analyse and conclude. Go that step further with your assignment. Even if you don’t need to include it in the final assignment, that critical thinking will help the knowledge settle in your mind as a whole.

Appropriate Language

As with any assignment, you need to be careful and precise about the language that you use. Avoid using personal pronouns as much as possible, and the right tense for your essay is another vital choice to make. Plain English and appropriate jargon and vocabulary for your assignment can take you from a basic assignment, to a business-specific, intelligent sounding assignment.

Read with Understanding

Reading is one of the best and most prominent ways to get information but to truly get information from reading, you have to read with understanding. By this, we mean reading and understanding what you’re reading. It can be tempting to skim over words and make notes that you don’t truly understand, but making the effort to truly ‘get’ what you’re reading can be the difference between grades, and a good and bad assignment. Make notes while you read, but don’t copy them word for word. Rewrite the information in your own words rather than just highlighting sections of text, and make summaries of each paragraph that you read.

Outline!

Planning and outlining your assignment before you start writing it will help you form a better argument within your assignment. After gathering all of your materials you’ll need to think about how you’re going to complete the task and how it will be written. Outline your work by identifying any key facts or words that need to be in the text, adopt a structure if it’s relevant to the assignment, and in the case that you form an outline, expand on this even more. Write down what you’ll include in each paragraph or what isn’t relevant. Analyse your arguments before you write for a more precise piece of writing before you even begin.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

So You Think Your Boss Is Breaking The Law

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

In the movies, if someone suspects their boss is breaking the law, the conclusion to the story is pretty standard. The employee – sometimes after a crisis of confidence – reports their boss and ultimately triumphs. They stand at the end credits, a paragon of virtue and Doing The Right Thing.

The real world is very different.

If you suspect that your boss is breaking the law, handling the problem is not quite as simple as you might think. Your career is on the line; the personal finances of your family are on the line. Those facts alone are enough to make someone hesitate and wonder what they should do.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think your boss, or the larger company, is doing something illegal, you have a number of options before you.

1 Ignore It

Upside: If you ignore the issue, you’re not going to get into any trouble — or potentially lose your job — due to reporting it. Ignorance is bliss, so you might decide it’s easier to just pretend you’re still ignorant of what’s happening. The choice to ignore the issue is a powerful one, but it might be the one that works best for you and your personal situation.

Downside: You could be affected by what they are doing. Let’s say you are a taxi driver and you learn that risks are being taken with the vehicle fleet maintenance, documents forged, cars that aren’t safe to drive being let out onto the road. Your silence could ultimately result in you having to seek out an attorney that has experience in treating auto and work-related injuries because you become a direct victim of their negligence. This kind of situation can happen in all fields; with white collar crime, you could even be implicated as an accessory, for example. If you think the idea of whistleblowing could damage your career, then you need to think through the potential consequences of suffering for their malpractice.

2 Report Them Anonymously

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Upside: Though we know many famous whistleblowers, there are plenty of anonymous whistleblowers who still managed to make a change to company practices. This helps you to feel safe in the job without fear of reprisals, while still ensuring that changes are made due to your report. You can be completely honest with anonymous complaints because they can’t be traced to you, allowing you to be sure all the right areas are investigated.

Downside: You do have to consider what will happen if your complaint is followed up on by law enforcement or local government. If the entire company is engaged in illegal acts, you could easily find yourself without a job. Before you report, it’s wise to examine your career options and ensure you have a plan B if the company should close. It’s also worth remembering that no anonymity is one hundred percent complete all the time; there’s always a chance – however improbable – that your boss will find out it was you who made the report. You have to be certain of your facts before you make any report to an authority, so don’t make a guess: you have to be sure.

3 Confront Them

Upside: This is the most direct approach and thus can herald the best results. There is always a chance there is an innocent explanation for what you think you have witnessed. This option gives you the chance to find out the full story before rushing to any judgement. There is also the fact that your observations could serve as a wakeup call. Illegal or other nefarious activity is meant to be secret; if you have noticed, it might be a sign to your boss or the company that they are losing control of their secrecy. This, in turn, could make them examine their motives, and potentially change their ways.

Downside: It might end badly; you could be fired, or even pressed into being complicit in the illegal activity on pain of losing your job. This could put you in an extremely difficult situation, meaning you have to choose between what’s “right” and what is best for you and your family. It’s a good idea to make sure you have another option for employment, just in case your intervention is not welcomed.

There’s no doubt that discovering your boss or company is engaged in illegal or negligent business practices is troubling. Ultimately, you have to make a decision that is best for you; hopefully the options above will have given you something to ponder.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

Career Development: Climb That Ladder in 8 Steps

It used to be that there were certain industries you could rely upon to be easy to break into. But, with the need for jobs right now, that just isn’t true any longer. You need to be the best at what you do to get the job you want. Not only that, you need to stay ahead of innovative ways of working. As technology advances, so do the ways that many industries operate. So, how do you stay ahead of the curve and climb the career ladder?

What Are You Bad At?

It may seem like you should figure out the opposite and plug your best skills to your employers or potential employers. However, the skills you lack will soon be noticed in any job you take on. Once you’ve identified the skills you need to work on, you can begin to practice perfecting them. It takes commitment if you want to reach the top of the ladder, so working on your flaws is the best place to start. If you try to hide what you don’t know, it won’t be long before you’re discovered as a fraud.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Keep Learning

Business changes every day, so it’s important to keep up with what’s going on. If you aren’t getting the information you need from your colleagues or boss, go and find it yourself. Sometimes, you have to look outside the workplace to advance yourself. For example, someone wanting to progress in the social work industry could do an LCSW online program in their spare time to advance their knowledge and get better career prospects. When it comes to improving the work you do on a day to day basis, it’s important to get the inside scoop from the client. So, if there’s any kind of barrier between you and your client, try and remove it so you can clarify your client’s needs.

Be Valuable

As your business industry advances, so should you. There may come a time when your boss is looking for something specific. For example, if you work in technology, your boss may want to build a team in order to implement a new facial recognition service. The more you know and the more experience you have, the more useful you’ll be. If your boss recognizes your contribution to the advancement of the company, you could become indispensable to the business. The more time you take to research possible changes in your industry in the future, the more valuable you become.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Make Connections

Making good connections is so important to career advancement. It’s not just about knowing the boss’s son in case a new position opens up a year from now; it’s about personal advancement too. Getting to know the people around you could mean you learn new and better ways of working, making your days at work much easier and more convenient. Talking to people who do the same job is a way of getting new ideas and thinking outside the box. When you start to think differently, suddenly new doors open and you become more creative with your work.

Read A Lot

I know, who has time for reading with a career, right? But, reading can open your eyes in the same way relationships can. Whether you’re reading the autobiography of an industry leader, or a few pages of an article you found online, it all contributes to what you know. However, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to reading only about business. Picking up your favorite author’s new novel at the bookstore will do you just as good. Reading opens the mind and allows new ideas in. It also helps to relax the mind. So, if you’ve been struggling with a problem at work recently, you could have your voila moment in the middle of a crime thriller chapter.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Take a Break

Building up a successful career is hard, and although it’s tempting to go full steam ahead, that’s not going to be good for your health. You can’t take the business world by storm if you’re constantly feeling tired and run down. There has to be a balance between your work life and your personal life. Too many people make the mistake of believing that getting work done way ahead of deadlines will get them noticed. Take the time and spend it with family and friends instead. The better rested you are, the more likely you are to take the world by storm.

Travel

You know what they say – travel broadens the mind. But, it isn’t just a broader mind you can gain from travel. Many students who go on gap years end up staying abroad because the develop careers in different countries. Travelling can do two things when it comes to your career: increase your passion for your chosen career path or change it completely. You’ll sometimes meet the connections you need to branch into something you’ve never thought of before. Similarly, businesses are now trading on the global market, thanks to the use of the internet and it’s many platforms. So, taking that next step on the career ladder could be just about learning more about your customers and the different cultures and backgrounds they come from.

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Be Confident

It’s easier said than done sometimes. But, being confident is one of the major keys to career success. A client isn’t going to want to bank on someone who fumbles through a presentation and isn’t sure on how to answer questions. It’s also important to be confident in who you will be. For example, it’s okay to say you’re unsure of how something works, as long as you can say you’re willing to learn and will become confident in it in the future.

When you’re trying to climb the career ladder, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Being yourself is the only way you’ll find out if you’re truly cut out for the career you’ve chosen and whether you have the passion to continue with it. After all, this ladder isn’t for the faint of heart.

How to Help Employees Communicate by Email More Effectively

Email is are still considered the primary communication tool in the business world. Today’s business landscape may have shifted further towards video conferences and short messaging platforms, but the majority of formal business communications are still conducted via email. There is no sign of emails being replaced by other means of communication either.

Despite the common use of emails, not all professionals know how to use them properly. This is exactly why we still see mistakes such as incorrectly using CC instead of BCC happening in the real world. As an employer, you can play a more active role in helping employees communicate by email more effectively.

Email-Related Training

Despite the importance of emails, most email etiquette and skills are learned through experience and real-world practice. Sure, there are a lot of resources and websites that specifically share email-related knowledge and tips. That said, very little formal training is provided in school or corporate training programs.You can reduce the number of mistakes your employees make when communicating via email by providing them with such training programs. They are easy to find and will even help employees fine-tune their email content for effective business communication.

It is also a good idea to provide employees with training on the tools available to them. In Outlook, for example, you can sort emails automatically, forward emails with certain marks to other recipients, and even automate everyday email tasks (i.e. adding a calendar entry for meetings and invitations).

The Right Tools for the Job

There are also additional tools designed to really boost email productivity and effectiveness. Customer Relationship Management or CRM platforms, for example, are capable of handling, logging, and documenting email communication. These comprehensive databases enable sales officers to keep track of their conversations with clients without ever missing a beat.

The same can be said for research tools. Let’s say you want your sales team to connect with new potential clients. Provide them with a tools such as The Email Finder to be able to research and verify email addresses. Click here to learn more about email verification can really boost your employees’ email productivity.

Monitoring

Monitoring is always a tricky subject to discuss. Is it ethical to monitor business emails sent from @yourcompany.com email addresses? Ethics debates aside, email monitoring is a proven way of boosting the effectiveness of business emails nonetheless.

As previously mentioned, CMS platforms can now keep track of email communications between sales officers and clients. That simple tracking feature is very valuable when it comes to developing strong relationships with clients since it allows your employees to personalize the tone of the conversation based on past emails.

Tracking also gives you, the employer, a clear picture of how emails are helping the business thrive. This, along with the previous tips we covered in this article, will help you assist employees in using their email addresses more effectively.