Read the latest articles from the brilliant women of the Ms Career Girl team. This is a career blog for ambitions young professional women. Find women's career building tips, motivational advice, and more.
Cars can be costly investments, but with a little foresight and tips you can seriously save on exactly how much you invest. For starters, most people don’t know the various dashboard light meanings—and they don’t need to. Consider it a sign that something’s not right, and just like your own well-being, it’s important to get things checked as quickly as possible. Ignoring problems is a surefire way to progress to a costly car repair.
Here are ten ways to save big on car repair:
Get regular maintenance checks.
You wouldn’t skip seeing the doctor for years, so why treat your car in a similar manner? Get a maintenance checkup at least once per year.
Rotate your tires.
This should be included in maintenance checks, but if not make sure it gets done. Tires are expensive, and the best way to preserve them is via rotation.
Put the right gas in your car.
There really is a difference between premium and regular, though not all cars require premium. However, if yours does, consider it an investment that will save you big bucks in the future.
Keep your vehicle clean and dry.
A car wash doesn’t only make your car look better, but it can also preserve the paint. Dust and grime can wear away at paint jobs, and if you notice bird droppings clean them up immediately. It’s a material that’s especially acidic.
Think twice before taking your own car on a road trip.
The more you use your car, the more wear and tear it will sustain. If you’d like to keep your car working better longer, consider renting a car for longer road trips.
Avoid the sun.
Whenever possible, park your car in the shade or a garage. Sun exposure can do serious damage to cars, especially during the hot summer months. Avoiding it is the best way to preserve your paint job.
Practice good driving skills.
Sudden braking and speeding up puts unnecessary wear on your vehicle. Try to maintain a fluid speed and give your vehicle plenty of time to brake. If you think of your vehicle like you do your body, you’ll get the right idea.
Use seat covers.
Whether you have cloth or leather seats, they put up with a lot of abuse. Seat covers are an inexpensive way to preserve them.
Add a steering wheel cover to your vehicle.
Your hands carry grime, sunscreen, sweat, and more on them. Steering wheels are surprisingly expensive to replace, so protect them.
Plan ahead if you have a luxury car.
A luxury car isn’t just expensive to buy but is also expensive to maintain. Make sure you have the financial well-being to afford the upkeep.
Your car is your independence and sometimes your home away from home on long commutes. Safeguard it and do what you can to preserve its value.
Not only are women achieving success in male-dominated industries, more and more women are also becoming leaders. Being a leader comes with its own set of challenges, even in non-male-dominated fields. But when you’re a leader in a group where women have been marginalized for years, it can be even harder to gain a foothold. Here are a few tips for being a great leader in a male-dominated business.
This of course goes without saying, but it can often be harder to achieve than some of the other tips. After having been trained for most of your life to be meek and blend into the background, trying to make yourself stand out can be very difficult. Just remember that it was your strength and abilities that got you where you are, and you don’t have to apologize to anyone for it.
This is one place where women do tend to have an edge over men. The same qualities that can get you labelled “too chatty” are the ones that can help you forge strong relationships with your staff. By paying attention to issues like employee wellness and work-life balance, you’ll let your team know that you’re there for them.
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and your knowledge, and definitely don’t hesitate to defend your people. Standing behind your team, even when things aren’t going well, will go a long way towards earning the respect of both your team mates and your colleagues.
Somewhere along the way you’re going to run into some guy who doesn’t think that you belong there. And they feel they have the right to insult or harass you about it. The biggest thing to remember when you encounter someone like this is to stay calm. The minute you react with any sort of anger at these types of injustice, you’ll be flagged as “too emotional” even if a man would have reacted the same way. It’s not fair, but it’s a reality you’ll need to learn to live with.
Own Your Space
Stand up straight, don’t move aside if you’re walking down the hall and a man approaches from the opposite direction. You have just as much right to be there as he does, even though women have typically yielded to men. By acting deferential to men in the workplace, you’ll encourage the idea that you are beneath them.
One of the biggest challenges that women face in working environments is trying to find the right balance in their voice. Women tend to apologize for speaking. Or they will down-play their ideas with qualifying buffer statements like “I might be wrong, but I think…” When you do this, you’re considered long-winded, but if you’re concise and too the point, you’re considered pushy and rude. Learn to be clear and concise, and don’t worry about coming off as rude.
Find a trusted senior colleague and ask them to mentor you. A good mentor will be someone who has been successful, wants to see you succeed, and will be honest with you about your performance, both good and bad. The goal is to help you develop the areas that you need to work on, while honing the skills that you excel at. Their experience and advice can go a long way toward helping you become the leader you are trying to be.
It’s taken time for us to get to the point where women are taking leadership positions. But it’s going to take even longer to get to the point where a woman is given the same treatment and respect as a man. These tips will help you grow into your leadership role in a male-dominated business.
This guest post was authored by Rachel Jackson
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Populationof an online resource with information about demographic statistics of world population.
Everyone knows TED® (Technology, Entertainment and Design). The organization devoted to spreading ideas exploded into society, starting in 1984 with a single conference and moving into those YouTube videos we all watch for inspiration. Local organizations can license the TED name and host TEDx conferences.
TED talks inspire, educate, and amuse us. There’s also a growing list of books to help you speak like a TED speaker. This is the story of one such conference, held in the town where I live, and how one speaker’s experience went horribly wrong.
Peter is well known as a speaker and trainer in the Basel area; he has a wicked sense of humour and gives practical advice. TEDx Basel invited him to speak, based on his stellar reputation. He spoke the ridiculousness of corporate jargon. Peter’s talk was widely noted as the best talk of the session. But he used the word bullshit once, and the trouble began. Peter had to fight for control of his own talk, and to this day you cannot find it on the TED You Tube channel.
Peter’s book tells the story of one of Basel’s ugliest social media battles. In a small city, home to the headquarters of several multinationals, that’s saying a lot. He’s refreshingly honest about his own actions, reactions, and occasional over-reactions. Like the novel Peyton Place or the song Harper Valley PTA, it takes you behind the scenes, where the dirt and skeletons are hidden.
All That and More
But then Peter does more.
After sharing his experiences and the lessons he learned, Peter shares simple, straightforward advice for public speaking. From being yourself, to learning about your audience before you write the talk, to how to rehears, he shares the tricks that make him such a well-loved speaker, and now a sought-after independent coach. This half of the book is almost as entertaining as the first half, and useful in your day-to-day life.
A juicy story. Life lessons about brand ownership gone overboard, the perils of sub- licensing and managing your words under stress. And useful public speaking tips from a respected trainer. All in one short and funny book. What more can you ask for?
TED is a registered trademark of Ted Conferences LLC
As anyone who has tried it knows, freelancing isn’t easy. Finding clients and building up a portfolio all take time and effort, whatever industry you work in and whatever skills and services you provide. Sometimes you have to accept that the rewards aren’t great enough to make ends meet as a free agent, and you might decide the time has come to make the move into steady, full-time employment.
If you’re going back to full-time work or looking for a full-time position for the first time, how do you go about crafting the perfect freelancer CV? Who can you call on for references and how do you make up for the lack of office-based experience? Here are our top tips for crafting the perfect CV when transitioning from freelancing to a full-time job.
Show, Don’t Tell
You might not have worked in an office, but you’re probably highly experienced and good at what you do. The quickest way to win an employer round is to show them your experience rather than simply telling them about it in a personal statement. Put together a portfolio which showcases your best work, whether that’s the graphic design work you did for a client or the articles and blogs you’ve written. Sometimes less is more, so only pick the very best pieces of work – show them the things you’re most proud of, because attention spans are short and they probably have plenty of applications to wade through.
Be Selective in Naming Your Clients
You don’t necessarily have to list all the clients you have ever worked for, and in many ways it’s a good idea to be selective. Name your biggest clients and those who have your work displayed online, so you can direct potential employers to examples of your work in action.
Ask for References from Your Clients
Your clients have been your employers until now, so ask your contacts to write you a glowing reference. With a few ringing endorsements to add to your CV, it will be hard for potential employers to ignore you, so approach clients you know have been more than happy with your work and see if they’d be willing to lend you their support.
Tailor Your CV
All job hunters, freelance or not, should tailor their CVs to the role they’re applying for. If you’ve been working freelance then it’s worth having more than one CV rather than trying to cram everything into a single document. You’ve probably worked for clients across a range of industries and used different skillsets depending on the project in hand, and some of that experience will be more suited to one application than another. Have more than one CV prepared and make sure you send off the most relevant one for each and every application.
Don’t be too Self-Deprecating
Some employers might look down their nose at freelancers, but let’s face it, they’re probably not the sort of people you want to work for anyway. Being self-employed is a tough gig, so never underplay just how hard you’ve had to work to get this far. Don’t be too modest about your achievements or worry that people might take an ‘I told you so’ attitude when you decide you need a more permanent position. You need to sell yourself, so a bit of boasting about your successes won’t go amiss.
Keep it Short and Sweet
The average recruiter spends just six seconds looking over a resumé, so make sure you grab their attention in those precious few moments. Write a brilliant personal statement detailing your biggest achievements and the skills you’re most proud of. Your CV needs to be short but impactful if you’re going to stand a chance of getting through to the interview stages.
Remember, if you’ve worked as a freelancer then you’ve probably already experienced some of the most stressful and challenging working conditions, so this should be a walk in the park! Follow these top tips and you should breeze your way into a full-time job, whether it’s your first office role or a return to the 9-5.
Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.
As a young professional trying to climb the ranks in your industry, you have to present a successful image and pay attention to the finer details. Like it or not, what you wear says a lot about you. You need a wardrobe that’s professional, flattering, and appropriate. Building such a wardrobe on a budget is challenging, yet possible.
Try These 7 Tips
You aren’t going to wake up one morning and magically have a collection of designer clothing hanging in your closet. Developing a professional wardrobe on a budget requires a strategy. The following suggestions will come in handy:
Develop a Budget
You should never walk into a store or browse your favorite online retailer without first having an idea of how much money you have to spend. A concrete budget that puts a hard cap on your clothing expenditures will help you make smart choices.
Financial planner Pete Dunn suggests using 5 percent of your monthly take-home pay as a guideline. While you’re certainly welcome to spend less, this is the absolute maximum you should ever spend. If you take home $3,000 per month, this means $150 is your limit.
Grow Your Wardrobe Over Time
When you create a monthly budget, you’ll realize that you can’t build an entire wardrobe in a month. It takes time and you have to be patient.
One of the benefits of having a budget is that it forces you to wait on purchases that you would have otherwise made immediately. The process of waiting gives you a chance to carefully consider whether you actually want it (or if it was just an impulse desire).
Invest in Versatile Pieces
When you’re on a budget, you don’t have the money to buy one-off pieces. You need the items in your wardrobe to be versatile, so that you can wear them multiple times and mix and match with other items in your collection.
Know Where to Shop
If you’re working with a budget that only allows you to spend a couple hundred dollars per month on clothing, you aren’t going to be able to shop at designer stores. You must learn to stretch your dollars further, which means being strategic with where you buy clothing and accessories.
Thrift stores might scare you away, but there are a number of upscale secondhand retailers that specialize in selling gently worn clothing. You’ll find them both in your neighborhood and online. Swap.com is a good example of what you can find online.
Use the Three F’s
When buying clothing for your professional wardrobe, you should follow the three F’s:
You don’t have to get every item professionally tailored, but you should ensure that anything you buy properly fits your body type.
Be wary of choosing high-maintenance fabrics that require lots of dry cleaning and other time-consuming care. Instead, opt for low-maintenance materials – such as wrinkle-free pieces.
How does the item make you feel? There’s a direct correlation between how you feel in something and your self-confidence and performance in the workplace. Think about this as you shop.
In the business world, you’re often limited in what you can wear. Dress codes – even the unspoken ones – tend to favor safe, conservative business suits and blouses. But this doesn’t mean your outfits have to be boring. You can always give your wardrobe an edge through bold, colorful accessories.
Statement jewelry – such as a chunky necklace or bright cuff bracelet – are always fun. However, don’t underestimate the impact a unique handbag can have. The key is to constantly mix things up so that your look isn’t predictable.
Putting it All Together
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars a year on clothing to climb the ranks in your career, but it does help to gradually build a professional wardrobe that ensures people see you in the right light. When you’re on a budget, practical tips like the ones highlighted in this article will help get you on track.
You finally have your diploma in hand! It’s potentially the key to a great job and financial independence…and with it comes a heaping pile of debt. Those monthly payments aren’t always easy to maintain.
If you’re a savvy financial organizer, you won’t spend the extra income you bring in each month, but rather, put it toward debt payments or savings accounts. Both options will lead to a better financial future, but should you put all your extras into saving or paying off debt?
Most people will choose to do both at once, some of their extra income going to debt and some going to savings. However, it probably won’t be a 50:50 split. Here’s some advice to help you prioritize one of these two essential categories post-graduation.
Take the Advice of Financial Advisors
Most advisors will tell you that a combination of both paying off debt and saving for an emergency are essential priorities, but you should apply more payments to one category depending on your situation.
“Consumers should calculate the opportunity cost of paying down their debt vs. saving,” advises Nate Matherson of LendEDU. “Most high-interest savings accounts and CDs (certificates of deposit) pay less than 2 percent interest on an annual basis. In most cases, the consumer will save more money over the long term by repaying the debt. If the consumer has multiple types of debt, they should prioritize their payoffs by targeting the debt with the highest interest rate first. In general, consumers should pay off high-interest credit card debt before low-interest debt like student loans or a mortgage.”
Dave Ramsey also advises a combination of paying off debt and saving using his well-known “Baby Steps.”
“What we teach is that Baby Step 1 is to save up $1,000,” Ramsey said on his radio show, The Dave Ramsey Show. “Baby Step 2 is to pay off all debts except for your home. The third Baby Step is to fully fund an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Baby Step 4 is starting to save for other things, so you’ve done this out of order in that sense.”
Snowballing vs Avalanche
Ramsey also recommends snowballing your debt, so you throw all extra payments into the account with the lowest balance and the lowest interest rate until you’ve paid off everything.
Others take a different approach to paying off debt with what’s called the debt avalanche method. NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston says, “You’ll get out of debt more quickly by going after toxic debt first,” she says, recommending the debt avalanche plan. “On the other hand, if you truly don’t think you’ll succeed without making small victories, a debt snowball is way better than doing nothing at all.”
Consider both options when addressing your debt. Choose the option that makes most financial sense to you and will be easiest to maintain.
Evaluate Your Current Situation
The advice given to someone else may not work for you. The type of debt, your regular income, monthly expenses, and even your location can affect the smartest way to use your money.
First, understand the difference between good and bad debt. Good debt helps you build a strong credit score when you can keep up with the payments. It might include student loans, a mortgage, or a modest car payment.
Bad debt will tarnish your credit score and make it difficult to stay on top of your finances. You might have a high credit card balance, high-interest personal loans, student loans with little reward, or other debt that’s difficult to manage.
If you have bad debt, paying it off as quickly as possible is probably your best option so you can get back to repairing your credit and maintaining a strong financial position. If you only possess good debt, however, it might not be so bad to simply pay the minimum on your monthly payment and use your extra income for a high-interest savings account.
Have An Emergency Fund
The vast majority of financial advisors tell you to build at least a small emergency savings account. It might be just enough to cover one month’s expenses. It will offer a small layer of protection if you lose your job or can no longer make ends meet.
“If you don’t have any savings, focusing solely on paying debt can backfire when unexpected needs or costs come up. You might need to borrow again, and debt can become a revolving door,” warns Melissa Joy, CFP and director of wealth and Management for the Center for Financial Planning in Michigan.
Think About More Than Just the Now
Right now, you might lean more towards paying off debt than savings (or vice versa), but in the future, one option might be better than the other. Will you have a significant life event that will make high-interest loan payments difficult? Do you expect to be unemployed for a period and your emergency fund is essential for survival?
Everyone’s situation is different, and what worked for a friend may not be ideal for your situation. Carefully evaluate the way your financial choices will influence your future, and use your money to build greater financial freedom.
Greed. Double-dealing. Cheating. It seems there isn’t a day that passes without news of unethical, or outright illegal, behavior on the part of “successful” companies or individuals. Common decency doesn’t seem to be so common nowadays. One might even ask, are there any dividends of decency?
I don’t adhere to the biblical notion that money is the root of all evil. But it’s undeniable that once money or wealth bcomes the primary motivation, it’s easier to justify away ethics and standards. So how do you strive for financial freedom and hang on to respectable values?
While that’s a very personal question to answer, you’ll find some insights, and maybe answers, in three newly-published books. They’ll show you how decency not only pays dividends, but is the best policy in creating positive results.
If you’ve always held a belief that making a profit does not require you to sacrifice your principles, this book is for you. Author Donald Lee Sheppard reassures us that “business ethics” isn’t an oxymoron. In fact, those wise words you heard from your Grandma were spot-on. Remember?
Do what is right.
Treat others as you would like to be treated
Honesty is the best policy
If that stirs up something inside you, that you know we need now more than ever, this book is a must read. Values-based business is not only alive and well, it’s the only way to assure longevity. And your reputation.
Have you noticed that we live in a world that suggests to us that more is better, and equates wealth with possession? Have you wondered what that has to do with living a meaningful life? In the quest for “more,” when is enough, enough?
Brian Portnoy sums up what he calls “the four enduring sources of a joyful life.”
Connection – the need to belong.
Control – the need to direct one’s own destiny.
Competence – the need to be good at something worthwhile.
Context – the need for a purpose outside oneself.
He goes on to show that true wealth and purpose can be woven together to create “funded contentment.” If you want to put a new perspective on how and why you’re doing what you do, add this one to your reading list.
Whether or not you embrace the “Law of Attraction,” (ala The Secret), one thing is sure. Cause and effect are immutable laws of the universe. If you live and practice joyful, ethical living, you’re going to attract more of the same. Conversely, if you create chaos in business and life, there will be more of the same coming your way. And if you want to see where you’re going, look back at where you’ve been.
Author Christy Whitman lays out a roadmap that anyone can use to steer them towards a better future. Call it Karma, the Law of Attraction, or simply reaping what you sow, it’s as real now as it ever was. While life will always present surprises, more of them will be pleasant and welcome when you’re living beyond and outside of yourself. There’s no magic in the book – just truth. And who can’t use a dose of that? (ed. note: scheduled for release in September 2018, available for pre-order)
Decency DOES Pay Dividends
We are constantly living at moments of choice. Each choice brings with it a result. Doing life with a mindset reflected in these author’s words, making choices that make a positive difference in your life and the lives of others, will pay dividends far beyond what your bank balance will ever indicate. The dividends of decency.
There’s no doubt that technology is constantly becoming more advanced and more efficient — and most of the time this is welcomed. However, it does pose a risk for people in certain jobs. If a “robot” can complete the same function, it may mean fewer opportunities for someone to earn a living in that career.
The fields most at risk are a mixed bag, according to a new study from enterprise software provider, AgileCraft. Some results are what you’d expect while others are much more surprising. The analysis cross-referenced the findings from a University of Oxford report on automation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to determine which education levels, job fields, and specific occupations are least safe from these technological advancements. It also estimated 39,691,150 total job losses to come in the next 2 decades, which adds up to $41,273,288,245,500 in lost salaries. So, does your career fall in the “risky” category?
Risk of Different Education Levels
Generally speaking, professions requiring a higher level of education are less susceptible to job automation than those that don’t. However, your job is not necessarily safer if you have more degrees. Those with a Bachelor’s degree are actually the safest when comparing different levels of education, with only a 16% risk of obsolescence. In order behind this group are those with an Doctoral/professional degree (32%), Associate’s degree (42%), Postsecondary certificate award (43%), high school diploma (69%), and no education (82%).
This means that professions that require a Associate’s degree are 2.7 times more likely to become obsolete than those that require a Bachelor’s. This jumps up to 5.1 times when comparing jobs that don’t require any education to those that need a Bachelor’s. Still, the fact that an undergraduate degree presents less risk to career-seekers than doctoral/professional degrees is surprising — and means that extra schooling and cost might not be worth it.
Risk of Different Job Fields
As it turns out, your industry as a whole can also be impacted by automation. This report analyzed the data based on job fields to find each one’s associated risk levels. The fields that are most likely to become obsolete are food preparation and serving (86% risk), office and administrative support (81%), sales (78%), building cleaning/maintenance (77%), and transportation/material moving (74%). These are all very common positions which puts a lot of people’s jobs in jeopardy.
On the flip side, the safest job field are legal (3% risk), management (7%), community and social service (13%), education/library (15%), and computer/mathematical occupations (22%). This makes sense when thinking about it logically — these are fields where there are a lot of grey areas that a computer wouldn’t necessarily be able to figure out using an algorithm. And the computer/mathematical field is full of those generally responsible for the innovation that leads to job automation.
Risk of Different Occupations
The report also dug into the risk of automation associated with specific job roles. It found that cashiers (97% risk), office clerks (96%), secretaries/administrative assistants (96%), food prep/servers (92%), and retail salespeople (92%). These probably wouldn’t come as a shock to most people, since these five jobs don’t require a high level of education or specialized skills. There are over 22 million people employed across these five positions, though, so the question then is where they would work instead.
The jobs safest from becoming obsolete including elementary school teachers (0.44% risk), registered nurses (0.9%), supervisors of administrative support workers (1.4%), general/operation managers (16%), and business operations specialists (23%). This means that secretaries/administrative assistants are 67 times more likely to have their job automated than their supervisor.
If Your Job is At Risk, Become Indispensable!
Technology is a great thing but it does pose a risk to some people’s careers. While you can’t prevent the future from coming, you can put yourself in a position where you’re more safe from a “robot” taking your job. First and foremost, you can focus on moving up the ladder to get yourself into a management role. Take lessons from successful women who’ve done it and get motivated — it’s within your power to become indispensable.
This guest post was authored by Maddi Salmon.
Maddi works in marketing full-time but enjoys writing about careers, personal finance, and food in her free time. She started her career as an accountant in Los Angeles but soon realized she couldn’t spend all day staring at a spreadsheet. Now she only spends part of her day doing that. She’s based out of Raleigh, but was born in Southern California and raised in Vermont.
Finding your purpose and then creating a regret-free life can feel daunting to many, especially when you feel the pressure of ‘running out of time.’ At the core, we all want to know three things: That we have a purpose for being here; That our life has meaning; and that we matter enough to leave an impactful legacy.
Discovering our purpose in life is directly tied to creating a life full of joy and incredible experiences and connections, rather than regrets, worries and fears. The problem is, it’s not so easy to know what our purpose is, and even when we do, it can be very hard to actually LIVE it.
So, here are 10 simple, yet profound, ways to discover your life purpose and begin creating your regret-free life:
Flip through magazines.
Look for images and words that speak to you even if you don’t know why. It can help you identify your passions and what’s important to you. Maybe even discuss these images with people that are close to you, so that you can talk it to and gain more clarity about why they resonate for you. Doing this can also help you feel like you’re beginning the process of uncovering your purpose and this action takes us out of fear and into focused inspiration.
Identify leaders you admire.
Whether they are famous or the world’s best kept secret, write out what qualities in particular that you admire and would like to cultivate in your own life.
If these are people close to you, ask them questions like, “what gets you out of bed in the morning?”; “What inspires you?”; and “Who do you admire and why?”
If they are well-known, read their biographies. You can get so many clues as to how they live their lives. Success always leaves clues about how to live ‘on purpose’.
Notice the people in your life.
Look for people who you feel are living ‘on purpose’. See if they’re willing to meet with you to share insights, like: When did you discover your purpose?; How did you discover your purpose?; What are your top 3 tips to living a life of purpose?; What’s your greatest regret? The key here, is to gain clarity and also see how diverse and expansive living a life of purpose (and without regrets) can be!
Set a morning routine.
It’s amazing how quickly ‘purpose’ can reveal itself to you when you are mindful about being focused in the ‘small stuff.’ When we are purposeful about morning habits, for example, it ripples into other areas of our life. Set up a morning routine for your first hour of waking and start doing this every day. I recommend taking a few minutes to journal about what you are grateful for each day.
Be purposeful about the thoughts you hold in the morning, the way that you move and nourish your body, how you speak to yourself and how you engage with others.
It is said that how we do the little ‘stuff’ is how we do the big stuff, so if you want to thrive in your purpose-filled life, you’ll feel better about starting somewhere.
Clear out your unhealthy habits.
Put a priority on health. We need to feel healthy to live a regret-free life on purpose. How much technology are you engaged in daily? How much water are you drinking? Are you spending your time wisely? All of the choices that we make directly impact our sense of purpose and our vitality. Choose wisely. We all know what our bad habits are, work on cutting them out and be gentle on the yourself (a.k.a watch your negative self-talk and be your own cheerleader). Health clears the mental clutter and makes you think clearly, making it easier to discover your life path and feel excited about life. When we’re excited about life, we lead with and that is when those really cool opportunities and synchronistic moments appear.
Read books on soul purpose, goal achievement, and mindfulness.
When I received those really strong urges to get clear on my purpose, I felt restless and had an unrelenting pull to gain clarity. I devoured as many books on the topic as I could. The key is to move the tips and tricks you learn into action. My top 3 favorite books for people just beginning their soul purpose discovery journey are: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Stand Up For Your Life by Cheryl Richardson.
It’s easy to get swept away in the feeling that everything needs to come together yesterday, but, like all best laid plans, if you bite off more than you can reasonably chew, you will feel overwhelmed and get stuck in analysis paralysis. Once you have an idea of something you want to achieve, try it on for size – see if you really do like it before you dive headfirst. Remember: you always have permission to pivot, change your mind, and/or take it at a pace that works for you!
Get out of your bubble and meet people.
It is definitely not part of our purpose to exist in isolation. We are here to connect and learn from each other. People have ideas and resources that can help you, and you have the same for others (even if you don’t know it yet).
To that end, make it your mission to network with people who are doing what you want to do. Not only will you learn from them, you may get an opportunity to jump into the work and see if it feels like something you want to sink more time and energy into.
Look for clues.
Each of us has at least one ‘problem’ that we feel a deep urge to fix, whether it be helping children, empowering women, rescuing animals, cleaning up the planet, and so on. There are clues in here about how you can make a difference in the world and it will help you to get more specific and how you wish to create meaning in your life.
Additionally, you may not even realize it, but people come to you and ask the same thing of you at the core. Maybe they ask you to ‘teach’ them about things, ‘guide’ them, give advice, etc. Noticing this will help you get even more clear about the way in which you are here to serve and contribute to others.
It’s important to make your purpose a priority. I like to have what I call ‘Sacred Sundays’ to go inward and touch base with how I’m living my life and where I want to focus my attention. Give yourself space to put your purpose on the agenda of life. Even one hour a week can help you to feel like you’re moving in the ‘right’ direction.
There are so many free resources averrable on the internet dedicated to helping you live an incredible, purpose-filled life. Be sure to Google how to achieve your goal and schedule these steps into your calendar for specific dates and times.
Remember, if you’ve been called to gain clarity on your purpose, there’s a reason for that. Take the plunge and have fun doing this. You’ve got this!
This guest post was authored by Jennifer Longmore
Corporate & Professional Life Coach, Jennifer Longmore, B.A.S.W., M.Ed, a former Forensic Social Worker, studied human behavior for many years before getting more in touch with spiritual side of human motivation and consciousness. In addition to having a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s in Education, Jennifer is also a Reiki Master, a Past Life Regressionist, and an Integrated Energy Therapist.
Longmore is the author of many books on finding your soul purpose including “365 Wisdom Bombs”; “88 Universal Laws”; and others.
More women are needed in technology because we bring a unique perspective and experience to product development. As traditional as it may seem, women lead the household and buy groceries for the family. We account for nearly two-thirds of all grocery shoppers, according to The Time Use Institute. Our time in this role helps us brings new knowledge and a new perspective to technology and products that we use everyday.
A Mother’s Perspective in Tech
My advice to women is be proactive when looking for opportunities to help move the organization forward and grow. When you observe opportunities to contribute to the greater good of the people you serve and the organization, take it.
I read an article a while back that reported how the average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day, while for men the average is a mere 7,000. That’s fewer than half the number of words. Generally speaking, this commonly gets attributed to women being more evocative in their communication style. We have different priorities, as well as different processing and behavior patterns. For example, a couple of key differences I have noticed during my time in a typically male-dominated workplace/team are as follows:
Why Women in Technology Makes Sense
When working with female colleagues and counterparts, our conversations and rhetoric for working through a given process will tend to build off various discussion points. By contrast, when in similar situations in a male-dominated workspace, the focus tends to be more heavily skewed on statistics.
Furthermore, I have a sense that women tend to be more open to offering help. We see this as a sign of care for the individual and the success of the broader task. Meanwhile, I’ve known a number of male colleagues who have struggled to ask for help as they have (incorrectly, in my opinion) believed such a request to indicate an inability to achieve.
Generally speaking, I think that women tend to be more detail oriented, while men are more goal oriented.
I try to keep all this in mind on a daily basis…although, of course, on some days I do better than others.
Most importantly, in my opinion: find a champion, male or female, who is willing to help you break through any glass ceiling. The right leaders advocating for you can help you be successful even in a difficult situation.
Women in Technology – My Own Experience
I’m using my experience as a mother to develop a mobile app that will revolutionize the way all consumers shop for their groceries. It’s a Personalized Wellness engine that I’ve been working on with an intense focus for the past 18 months. We are aiming to make it available to ScriptSave WellRx members (at no cost) in stages over the course of this year.
The average grocery store might carry in the region of 50,000 items, making it difficult for consumers to know which products are healthier. We’re not talking about the obvious things here, like fresh fruit and veg – most people have a handle on those. However, when it comes to the thousands of packaged goods (generally scattered all over the center section of the store), often times it can be far too overwhelming for people to find the right and best products based on their health.
For those consumers with health conditions like diabetes or heart disease, compiling the ‘right’ grocery list can make a huge difference to quality of life. However, knowing where to start or figuring it out in a hurry can be a huge barrier.
Mother of Invention – Literally!
Our technology will provide personalized grocery guidance based on a person’s health. It’s like having a nutritionist with you every time you go to the grocery store.
As with most mobile apps and tech platforms, the build-process for Personalized Wellness will be iterative. I’ve got our development team at ScriptSave focused on our first step at the moment – something we’re calling (at least for now), “My Healthy Foods.” We anticipate pushing this feature live in late June or early July, setting in place the first piece of the much bigger puzzle.
We operate in the healthcare space (specifically, retail pharmacy and prescription medications) and, as such, the focus for “My Healthy Foods” is more than just pushing out healthy eating tips. It starts by identifying the individual’s health condition or disease state, and then helps align grocery purchases with those conditions and/or dietary preferences. Members who opt in and create a user profile will receive grocery guidance based on the preferences they select, including a “General Health & Wellbeing” preference for members who are simply looking to shop more healthily. Moreover, where available, ScriptSave’s Personalized Wellness plug-in can deliver savings information and coupons for healthy retail grocery purchases – all at no cost.
How it works –
For example, if your child is pre-diabetic and you’re buying high sugar, low nutrition cereals (the kind that most kids love, but which may not be best suited to their condition), our personalized wellness engine might steer you towards an alternative cereal that’s better suited. If there are coupons available, the app will make them available for clipping so you can save and shop the healthier choice at the same time.
While there are many apps designed to help steer people towards more general eating habits, the Personalized Wellness functionality that we’re releasing to ScriptSave WellRx users will be somewhat of a first – providing feedback that is personalized based on specific health concerns. As a patient visiting a doctor, we get prescribed specific medications that relate to the health condition in question. Now, with ScriptSave WellRx, the same patient is able to match their food selections to their health condition as well. It’s a concept that has been attracting a lot of favorable attention from grocers and pharmacists alike. Needless to say, I’m proud to be leading the charge on this initiative, bringing female perspectives and real experiences into the technology and health realms.
This guest post was authored by Jane Schmitt
Jane is a technical product manager at ScriptSave WellRX, collaborating with cross-functional project teams to address issues and create logical and innovative solutions. She has previously worked as a project coordinator at Anchor Wave Internet Solutions and Easter Seals Blake Foundation.