Tag Archives: smartypants

Education You Might Not Have Considered

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Education You Might Not Have Considered

It’s a competitive world out there and even if you’re more than qualified for the position that you’re interviewing for, you can lose out to someone equally qualified who has that little bit extra. No matter how old you are, it never hurts to learn new skills or earn new qualifications to boost your career. You don’t have to quit your job and go back to school full time to get a Masters. Nowadays, there is more than one way to develop desirable skills to revamp your resume:

Short Courses/Workshops: If you’re not too sure that you’re ready to get back into learning right away, you can test the waters by checking out short courses or one-day workshops. Short courses may cover any area from soft skills such as communication and leadership to industry-specific skills like accounting, web design, or photography – so you’re guaranteed to find something that will be useful for your career. If you’re not sure which courses might be useful for your current job, then you can still learn something by taking a short cooking course or signing up for a series of yoga classes to better understand the teachings.

Online Education: Some of the most prestigious universities in the world now offer college courses through the Internet to anyone who wants to take them. Additionally, you’re more likely to find a specialized qualification such as lean manufacturing courses online than you are through your local college class listings. Not only do online courses save you on the cost of commuting, but they give you far more options.

Volunteer: Taking time out of your busy schedule to help others can boost your career for several reasons. First, volunteering gets you out of your comfort zone and teaches you how to communicate with empathy. Second, it gives you valuable experience in a field that you hope to enter, which will make it easier for you to gain experience or a full-time job in the future. Finally, it shows potential employers that you are willing to go beyond what is required of you and that you are passionate enough to go for what you want in your own time.

Enroll in Your Community College: You need a certain motivation to complete online courses or learn skills in your spare time. If you feel that you could do better in a more structured environment, you can take a course at your local college for a term or even go for a full degree if you are ready to commit to it. Any credits that you earn at the end will have real value when hunting for jobs or eventually pursuing your formal education even further.

Group Language Clubs: Knowing a second language is invaluable in any job, but some people might not do well learning by themselves with an app. You should try finding a club that meets in your area and practice with a real teacher and other hopeful learners. Even a basic understanding of another language is better than nothing!

Ready, get set, and learn yourself to the finish line of a better job or further in your education!

Featured Image By: Soft9000

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Get Smarter – How To Learn More About The World Around You

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Get Smarter – How To Learn More About The World Around You

All of us want to get smarter, no matter who we are and what we do. That eternal drive to get better, to know more, and to be a more well rounded human being is something that pushes us through each day of our lives. We want to do better at work, to get promoted, and to feel satisfied when we get home. We want to be good partners, daughters, parents – but if you want to get smarter for your own benefit in your own time, what exactly should you do? Here are some tips to help:

Keep Reading: One of the best ways to get more informed and to develop more views about the world in which you live is to read more. It’s a good idea to read the newspaper every day – but you need to remember that what you read in the media and what you see on TV is not necessarily the absolute truth. Everything is written through the lens of the writer and through what they want to put across – nothing is completely neutral. In order to be a critical and intelligent reader, you should make sure that you take your information from more than one source. Aside from the media, you should also start reading more books, whether they’re fiction, non fiction, commercial literature, or far more highbrow. They make you a much more emotionally intelligent person as you understand how to empathize with lots of different people.

Get Online: One way to get smarter is to get online. Using social media like Twitter, you can follow a lot of different people and news outlets so that you can read stories and articles from a number of different sources with a lot of different opinions. Whether you’re reading the New York Times or Variety, the point is that you’re reading, learning, and interacting with people. You could also start to do some research into subjects that you’re interested in. Playing art history games will quiz you and keep you sharp, while you could spend days and days learning about things like the fall of the Roman Empire or the colonization of India and understanding how they’re relevant to your life today.

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Enjoy your reading with a cup of tea!

Start Talking: Finally, the best way to open your mind to the world around you is to start talking to people that you encounter throughout the day. There are some perspectives that are definitely not worth listening to – let’s face it, anyone who’s racist, sexist, or homophobic isn’t worth a single second of your precious time unless you’re the one educating them – but it is important to get out of the house, to go to talks, lectures, debates, and start listening to other people. Communication is about more than talking yourself – learning to hear others and to respond to what they’re saying is the keystone of how to understand other people much more effectively. The best way to get smarter and more knowledgeable about the world around you is to listen to other people’s experiences and learn from them. And remember to really try and tune into everything your conversation partner is saying – even if it is boring!

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Three cheers for chit chatting! 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

5 Important Considerations Before You Sign Up For That Online Course

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5 Important Considerations Before You Sign Up For That Online Course

Are you thinking of signing up for an online course? Maybe you have your eye on one already, or you just think that this would be a good option for you instead of going to night school or taking a part time course. Online courses can be a brilliant option for certain people, but they aren’t right for everybody. Here are 5 important considerations you need to make before you sign up:

Will You Get Support?

You don’t want to sign up for an online course only to be left completely in the lurch when it comes to asking questions. You don’t necessarily need direct contact with the person who created the course. A simple forum, speaking with other students could be a great way to clear up any confusion that you have about the work ahead of you. In some cases, you may get direct support with the course creator to ensure that you get the most out of the course. Make sure that you know what the support is like before you sign up.

Do You Get A Real Qualification?

Some online courses can give you great information, but you don’t actually get a real qualification at the end of it. Consider whether you need a real qualification. If it isn’t important, then it won’t matter so much. However, if it is, you need to make sure that the qualification is legitimate and that you can do something with it afterwards. Doing an online hospitality degree is a popular option, as you get a real qualification once the course is over.

Will This Bring Value That You Can’t Find Elsewhere Online?

The internet is vast and full of resources that just about anybody can use to learn to do anything. Some resources are more in depth than others. Once you’ve found a course, you need to consider whether this will bring value that you can’t find elsewhere online. For instance, if you want to learn how to build websites, this isn’t information you necessarily need to pay for. You can learn this using YouYube videos and other resources, and by practicing yourself. It’s not something that you need a qualification for to be good at, although you will need to make sure you’re good at it to make money from it!

How Well Do You Learn In Your Own Time?

Some people just aren’t good at learning in their own time. They like to watch TV, read a book, relax…they just can’t find the time to sit down and do the course they’ve bought. If they have the course forever, it often gets put off until they realize that they bought it years ago. If you’re a person who can motivate yourself, then this could be a great option. If not, you may be better off signing up for a night course!

Is It Good Value For Money?

Courses can vary wildly in price all over the internet. A cheap course doesn’t mean it’s bad and an expensive course doesn’t mean it’s good. You need to be sure you’re getting value for money, whatever your budget is!

Ready, get set, learn…online!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Take A Study Break: This Is How You Do It!

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Take A Study Break: This Is How You Do It!

I’m sure that many of us remember the pressure of studying for exams and I know that many of you will be doing just that right now. No matter if it’s university, college, or high school exams, they all bring with them the same pressure and tension.

It is so important to keep things in perspective at this time and to recognize signs of extreme stress in ourselves and in others. If things are really getting you down, then it is time to reach out and get the professional help that you need. If you just need some well-deserved rest and relaxation, turn-off the laptop, close up the books, and put the lids back on the highlighter pens for an afternoon or an evening. Here are some ideas on how you can relax after a major cram session:

Feed Your Body And Your Spirit:

When we are revising, we are all guilty of grabbing a snack here or there and all of our meals tend to be rushed because we feel under pressure to get back to our books. If we are sensible, those snacks will be something healthy such as fruit or nuts or we may crave the sugar rush of a candy bar (yum!). Taking some time to plan and prepare a lovely meal is good for your body and for your spirit. The process of focusing on a recipe and creating a meal calms our frazzled nerves and stress levels will fall.

Choose a meal that is quite complex and has several courses so that it requires your undivided attention. This is very therapeutic, as it stops your brain from jumping around from one thought to another. Make sure that it is packed with nutrients that your brain needs. Oily fish and dark green vegetables are perfect for a post study meal.

Lose Yourself In A Movie Night:

For the best movie night, you need to set the scene. Make yourself comfortable on the sofa, surrounded by all of the drinks and snacks that you could ever want (the more the merrier, I always say). If you have a cat or dog that you can plonk on your lap, it is even better – but they don’t always cooperate, do they? Now, pull up http://www.netflixupdate.com/4k-movies-on-netflix-list/ and put together a list of movies that will grab your attention and hold it for a few hours. You want all of the thoughts of exams, papers, and studying to be banished from your mind as you get lost in the plot. This will act like a spring-clean for your brain and give it time for all of your studies to settle into your long term memory. By the next day, you will be refreshed and ready for more.

Look After Your Body:

It is so easy to forget about our bodies when our brains are doing all of the work. You have to remember that if your body goes downhill, then your brain will too. Get outside, whatever the weather. Your body needs some sunlight to produce Vitamin D. When you get back in, do some gentle yoga or Pilates and then treat yourself to a long hot bath. Light some candles or incense, play some music, and take a little breather to clear your mind and relax.

Studying can be a total pain, but straight A’s for days will make your efforts totes worth it and your summer break well deserved!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

What To Expect On Your Graduation Day – A Plan Of Action

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What To Expect On Your Graduation Day – A Plan Of Action

Graduation day is a monumental moment day of your life; it’s the first true time you step out of a sheltered existence and become an adult. It’s an incredibly hectic, but exciting time. Friends and family are all gathered around you to tell you that they’re proud and making jokes about your gown. Some of them are no doubt holding back the tears. The administration and staff of the University are also there and energetically shaking hands on a job well done. But, all the buzz can produce stressful moments, so here is a guide to take you step by step, of what you can expect on the big day:

Organizing Your Gang: Graduation days can be like rock concerts. There’s a huge glob of people in the center and almost immediately when you turn up, you’re fighting not to get lost. You can get separated from your group if you haven’t planned in detail beforehand about where you’ll meet and where you guys will stay during the whole ceremony. So communicate effectively with your college friends and family. Make sure that everyone is together and in one place, so that it’s easy to find each other. Use landmarks such as a large tree, a building entrance, or lots of you could wear the same color hat or clothing.

During The Ceremony: When you’re on stage, be respectful that you’re sharing this moment with thousands of other students. You’ve probably seen videos of people acting silly at their graduation on social media. Don’t be that guy or gal; this is a moment of prestige. You worked hard. Remember the long nights of frantic studying, the upset stomach before an exam or deadline, remember how you worked part time to pay for your tuition? Exactly. Use this time to hang your head high and accept your rightful praise, but you’re in a hat and gown – not the court jester’s attire.

Take A Break: The graduation ceremony is going to be long, very long. Be sure that you and your group have something to eat and drink, like some high-carb snacks and natural sugars like fruit or a smoothie. Refrain from eating large amounts until after the ceremony, as you’ll be standing a lot and you don’t want to be the one who throws up from being too nervous or has to go to the bathroom just as your name is being called up. #embarrassing

The after party is where you can eat to your heart’s content. Graduation cakes are a fantastic way to buy a large food item that everyone can share and celebrate your success with. Although the cake will be large, thousands save at Kroger’s bakery, so it won’t put you out of pocket.

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Ayyyyy!

Take Pictures In Advance: Taking the perfect picture can be stressful when there’s so much going on around you. You want to look back at this time and be proud of that moment and subconsciously frowning or not looking into the lens can ruin the special day only all too late. Take pictures before the ceremony starts. Fix your gown and your frown at the same time, while there’s no pressure to imitate a ‘still-life’ painting. Then, you’ll have plenty of time to evaluate the pictures and retake some as necessary.

Graduation day is the best, but it can be incredibly stressful! Make a game plan beforehand, though, and you’ll be good to go!

Featured Image By: AKS

Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

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Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

Regardless of what stage of life you are currently at, learning is something that you should always be doing. A lot of people think of studying as something that is just for kids or young people at college, but the truth is, is that there are a whole range of advantages that will open themselves up if you commit your life to learning. As well as being a more well-rounded person, you will also constantly be developing new skills that you never know when will come in handy.

Whether you have lessons in something, take an online college course with Find Your Context, or study independently, here are just a few of the reasons that you should commit to lifelong learning:

You Will Become Happier: Studying can be very hard and frustrating, but there is nothing like the feeling that you are actually getting smarter. Even better, is when you can start putting these skills into practice and impressing people with what you have learned. There is nothing like reaching a goal that you have set for yourself, so you should make sure that you are constantly striving for bigger and better things. Having something to work towards is a great way to focus your mind and give you the feeling that you are always accomplishing something. Personal development should get you on the fast track to inner peace and happiness.

You Will Become Irreplaceable at Your Job: If you can show that you bring valuable new skills to your company, you are much more likely to impress your bosses. Not only will this keep you in your job role, but you should also start jumping to the front of the queue when it comes to promotion time. If you do decide that it is time to move onto new pastures, the more skills that you have, the more likely it is that you will end up landing yourself the job of your dreams. The rapid rise of technology means that more people are becoming replaceable; continual learning ensures that you won’t be one of them.

You Will Become More Cultured and Knowledgeable: If you stop learning at a certain point, that is exactly where you will become fixed. A person who is well-read and has numerous different skills finds it easy to carry a conversation on a whole range of different topics with ease. The more you learn, the more avenues of your mind you are opening up and the more well-rounded you will become as a person. Rather than making it seem like you are trying too hard to impress people with your knowledge, people will naturally start turning to you as a source of wisdom and excellent conversation.

Books on books on books

You Will Become More Passionate: The pursuit of knowledge is a major passion in itself, but the more you learn about different topics, the more passionate you will become about them. You may even end up discovering things that you love that you would never have thought of before. Try to be broad with your learning so that you don’t become too fixed on a single area and you will truly get the most out of expanding your horizons.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Underrated Careers You Should Consider

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We could probably name a bunch of careers that are overrated. ‘Advertising executive’ sounds flashy, but it’s actually a dying career field, with pay not being all that great. Lawyers get great pay, but when you consider the amount of work they have to put in (it’s basically non-stop, and the vast majority of it is paperwork), it may not be that great a trade-off. But, there are a bunch of important careers in our society that a lot of people don’t appreciate as much as they should. Not only are they essential to our country, but they’re also more complex, interesting, and stable than many seem to think. Here are just a few:

Accountant: A lot of people know that accountants are important, but they don’t see it as a particularly desirable career. After all, aren’t the accountants in films and books always really boring characters? The fact is, is that accounting is a very stable career choice that can land you a very healthy paycheck. It’s not just a career that people fall into because they couldn’t decide what else to do with their lives!

Nurse: When some unfortunate people think about nurses, they usually just think about hospital assistants who weren’t quite good or qualified enough to become “real doctors”. (Some people still seem to think that “doctors” are the males in healthcare and “nurses” are the females. To which I say… well, I don’t know what to say.). But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nurses fill very particular roles that doctors couldn’t necessarily do, and becoming a nurse often requires very heavy-duty training and education. Courses in nursing science from the likes of Maryville University make clear just how complex and socially-needed this pursuit really is. Not to mention how rewarding!

Nurses are essential to healthcare

Vets: Vets, like nurses, are often just dismissed as ‘people in medicine who aren’t quite doctors’. (Although vets can actually refer to themselves as doctors in some parts of the world!) Some also seem to question why someone would choose to work with animals when human healthcare is so understaffed and overworked right now! But veteran veterinarians aren’t just high-earners; they’re also very important for society because they help deal with diseases and other issues in livestock. Without them, we’d have a much harder and more dangerous time getting… well, food. But us vegetarians have nothing to worry about! 😉

Also, you get to hang out with kitties!

Engineer: Like many similar careers in trade and manufacturing, civil engineering seems to have lost its cool factor, with an alarming amount of people assuming that such pursuits are basically pointless. But we don’t live in a post-industrial age; we’re still heavily reliant on careers such as this in order to keep our societies advancing. (Not just standing; advancing.) Someone with a great engineering grade can land a high-paying job pretty quickly, and the benefits for society when more people enter these fields are staggering.

Kitty Joyner, electrical engineer!

Waste collector: Seriously, they’re keeping the streets clean. People don’t just go into this work because they can’t do anything else; many do it because they care about their communities. That, and the pay isn’t half bad!