Your job skills list is one of the biggest selling points on your resume. Strengthening your skill set makes you more attractive to employers and helps you negotiate a higher salary and/or position title. Job skills don’t necessarily need to be industry specific either. Here are a few skills that will strengthen your job skills list:

Additional Languages

Being able to speak any additional languages, even if only at a basic conversational level, can be useful in many roles. It’s a good way to take on new responsibilities, as you can find that people often turn to you as a representative of the company when communicating with people from other countries.

If you don’t already speak an additional language, taking steps to learn one is a good idea. Consider which languages might be more useful in your field of work. You can also look into taking business language courses, which will teach you not only the vocabulary but the etiquette you need to do business in another language.

Skills Adjacent to Your Role

Lots of people can improve their position at work by learning new skills that are useful for their role, but not necessarily essential. Think of the things that you often need to ask someone else to do, but which could mean that you’re less productive while waiting for someone to fulfill your request. For example, perhaps you’re writing a blog post, but you need someone else to create a graphic for you. If you can do this yourself, you could complete the whole project on your own and get exactly the results that you want.

Technology Skills

There are so many things relating to computing and technology that can be useful skills for you at work. Having to get someone more technically savvy to do things for you can be one of the most frustrating things at work. If your computer decides not to cooperate, waiting for someone from IT to come and sort it out can feel like a huge waste of time.

Even just being able to do basic IT troubleshooting can give you an advantage in the workplace. Knowing about a range of technologies and systems can help you too. If you know all about cloud computing or you can do some basic programming, it can help you to get recognized.

Social Media Skills

Most people in the workforce these days can use social media in some capacity, from keeping in touch with family through Facebook to using Snapchat with friends. But being able to use it in your personal life isn’t the same as using it for business. It takes skills and knowledge to use social media in a professional capacity, whether you’re maintaining an employee account or looking after the brand’s social presence.

If you can demonstrate that you have skills in social media for business, it could help you to stand out to employers and superiors. It’s especially useful if you work in any kinds of marketing capacity, but your skills could be beneficial even if you don’t work in a marketing role.

Health and Safety Skills

Health and safety in the workplace have become increasingly important over the years. While some people might find it annoying, it has done a lot to improve working conditions, especially in some industries. Being able to help with maintaining health, wellbeing, and safety in the workplace could give you an edge at work and perhaps open up new opportunities for you. Learning first aid skills is a popular choice, and they can be useful in a variety of working environment.

The National CPR Foundation can teach you one of the essential first aid skills that you should have, and that you should keep updated too. As well as physical first aid, you might consider learning some skills relating to first aid for mental health.

Driving Qualifications

Being able to drive will usually give you more employment options. It gives you better access to a wider range of roles in different locations, although some people who live in cities might not need to drive. Going beyond a basic driver’s license can also be useful for your career.

If you can handle a range of vehicles or you’re able to drive passenger vehicles like minibusses, it could give you opportunities to get involved with new things. Whether that means taking on a new role and responsibilities or just helping out when someone is in need of a driver, it could mean you have something to offer.

Compliance Skills

Rules and regulations that apply to different industries can change all the time. When a major change occurs, it can become difficult for many businesses to catch up. Having training in these areas can give you an edge while you’re looking for work or perhaps asking for more responsibility in your current role. For example, the introduction of the EU’s GDPR legislation for data control has meant a big change for many businesses.

The new rules can seem complicated, but having training in what they mean could really help you to stand out. Laws and regulations can change all the time, so keeping your knowledge up to date is a good idea.

Communication and Relationship Skills

There are many skills in communication and business relationships that can be really helpful for your career. Some of them might be useful in specific areas of work, such as human resources, but other skills can be useful for anyone. General communication skills can be learned in various ways, or you might want to focus on something specific. For example, learning about conflict resolution or effective leadership can be useful for managers in particular. You might also want to consider things like sensitivity and diversity training too.

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Speaking and Presenting Skills

Another way that you might improve your communication skills is by working on your presenting and public speaking capabilities. Practice makes perfect where these are concerned, but you can also learn some excellent techniques to improve your talks and presentations. If you have a qualification or certificate, you have something that enables you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the area.

Giving a presentation is about more than the presentation itself, too. Preparing for it and putting it together is also important, and having the skills to do this can allow you to be involved in a presentation, even if you’re not the one giving it.

Social Responsibility Skills

Many businesses are trying to be more ethical and socially responsible. As well as deciding that it’s the right thing to do, they also recognize that it’s something that consumers are increasingly demanding. Having a clear understanding of how a business can be more ethical in various ways can make you an asset in your place of work. You can learn about things like making your workplace more energy-efficient, how to source ethical products and how to be more sustainable. With these skills and knowledge, you can take the initiative to take action and help to make your place of work more socially responsible. Taking on a project at work can give you the chance to stand out to your employer or manager as someone willing to go the extra mile.

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Work isn’t always fun. However, there’s a big difference between a job that you don’t really like and one that actively makes your life worse. One of the most significant ways that a job can have a serious negative impact on your life is if your employer is taking advantage of you.

Whether it’s through a lack of equal pay, forcing you to work too many hours, or simply treating you as though you’re lesser than other people, a bad boss can ruin even the best job. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do if you feel that your employer is taking advantage of you.

Discreetly Talk to Your Co-Workers

The first thing you should do is to talk to the people around you about what’s happening. If you’re being treated poorly then there’s a pretty good chance that they are as well. One person confronting a bad employer can often go ignored but if you and all of your co-workers confront them together as a united front, then that’s going to be a whole lot harder for them to brush off.

Speak to HR

Most businesses have safeguards set up in order to help employees and prevent them from being treated poorly by their employer or other coworkers. If you really feel as though you’re not being treated fairly then talking to someone in HR is essential. They can not only offer you advice on guidance on how to deal with a certain situation, but they can also be there to support you and make you feel less alone. After all, if your boss is treated you poorly then it’s easy to feel isolated and powerless. Having someone from within the company at your back can make a huge difference.

Your Last Resort: Lawyer Up

Then again, if you’re feeling as though no one within the company is actually going to help you, there’s nothing wrong with looking for help outside of work. Hiring an employment lawyer to support you if you really feel that you have a case against your employer is going to make the whole process a lot easier. Not only can they let you know if you really do have a case but they’re going to be there to fight that case for you every step of the way.

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Of course, if you find yourself struggling with the way that you’re being treated by your employer and you haven’t been able to do anything about it, remember that there’s nothing wrong with needing to walk away. There’s no reason why you should have to fight against this kind of treatment forever. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing that you can do and no job is worth your life being made miserable.

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What to do if your boss is taking advantage of you - #badbosses #career #careeradvice

Christmas Decorations for Work

If you’re starting to think about your Christmas decorations for work, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed the massive Christmas decoration displays hiding in the aisle right next to the Halloween costumes in your favorite big-box store. Christmas seems to come earlier every year—especially in retail.

Successful office holiday decorations should be simple. You want to boost morale and look cheerful without looking like a total dork. Keep your decorations classy and understated, and leave the 6-foot dancing Santa Claus for your front porch.

Garland Makes a Classy Christmas Decoration for Work

You can deck the halls with boughs of holly at the office with a traditional greenery garland. Stay away from live greenery as it can be an allergy trigger for your office mates. Otherwise, you can find a wealth of garland ideas of Pinterest.

You can hang garland from the edges of your desk or around the ceiling in your office. It also makes an attractive bookshelf decoration. 

If traditional greenery isn’t your thing, you can find all sorts of garland ideas, from candy canes to flamingoes. If you are trying to decorate your entire office for less than $5, you can find shiny garland at the Dollar Tree. 

Whatever you do with your garland, make sure your swags are even. Uneven swags annoy everyone, but might drive your OCD office mate to drown her sorrows in egg nog before she can cash her holiday bonus.

Make Room for a Small Christmas Tree

The tree is always the biggest feature of the home at Christmas and it should be no different with the office. You will want to put the tree somewhere everyone can see and enjoy it and it will be the perfect place for everyone to place their secret Santa gifts for opening on the last day of work before Christmas. The only thing to ensure is that you follow tips to maintain workplace safety and make sure that the cables for lights are tucked away and that the presents aren’t visible from the outside to any robbers who might take a chance.

Light Up Your Office

Lights are the pinnacle of festive spirit and to bring some cheer into the office at the end of the year you can have some fun hanging lights around the office and on desks. Although it will be daytime when you are in the office, lights can make the whole place feel magical and fun. You can even have those small Christmas tree USB sticks on the desk!

Hang a Wreath on Your Door

You can find inexpensive wreaths at places like Hobby Lobby or even Amazon. Wreaths are a nice, subtle touch that says, “Happy Holidays!” without recalling visions of the Macy’s parade. If you are a DIY kind of decorator, wreaths are easy to make with supplies from your favorite dollar store.

Go Tinsel Crazy

Tinsel might not be everyone’s favorite decoration at home, but at work it can bring some festive cheer and make everyone feel festive. Think of bringing some Christmas tinsel into the office at the end of the year and you can stick a small strip to your phones, have it hung from the ceiling and on the tree.

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5 Cheap and Easy Christmas Decorations for Work

Everyone faces failure. How you overcome failure is the difference between finding success or settling for mediocrity. Here’s our advice: Don’t settle. 

Rarely do those pursuing their dream careers and passions strike it big without facing some serious setbacks along the way. It’s those who are proactive in never accepting failure as the final outcome that ultimately find success within their ventures. Instead of letting the fear of failure stop you from going outside your comfort zone or letting a misstep stifle your plans, use failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t settle for mediocrity!

Inspiration for Overcoming Failure

Invaluable created this inspiring infographic on 12 famous individuals who experienced substantial failures and obstacles within their careers before finding success. Learn from the resilience of Elizabeth Arden, Oprah, Chris Gardner, and more influential entrepreneurs. Gain motivation from their stories, and use it to overcome any failures and fears that are currently holding you back!

Overcoming Failure Infographic featuring successful famous people

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Overcoming Failure Infographic - Successful famous people got over it, and you can too!!

If there’s one thing you change about your working life, it should be to realize you’re not involuntarily working. You have chosen to make a decision and work for someone. Maybe the job was perfect for your career path, maybe it was the financial incentive offered, or maybe it was simply that you needed a change in your life. The world owes you nothing, and you owe the world nothing either. This is actually a great awakening tactic you can use to stop being timid toward your boss. You’re both in the same boat, it’s just one of you that is steering it. It takes both of you to work together in order to make that boat go forward, onward onto new horizons. Just as you’re expected to pull your weight, be proficient, reliable, hard-working, honest and a whole raft of other things, you should want that from your boss too. Do not settle for someone that doesn’t live up to their end of the bargain. Here’s how you can demand more consistency from your higher-ups.

Pattern of Pay

The work you do for the company, should entail you the right to be paid for your services. However, when you sign a contract to work for the employer, this can be seen as a guarantor for being paid in a certain fashion according to those set by the owner. This could be weekly, every fortnight, or monthly. Specific situations such as sick pay and commission work is something a little bit more complex and usually needs to be worked out with your employer beforehand so things don’t get lost or mixed up. You should demand to be paid reliably on the same time every time you are owed payment.

To keep track of whether or not your employer is making consistent payments, you can create pay stubs that mark down the details of your pay. Your employer can also use this service to provide you with the evidence each time. It’s not uncommon for some companies to pay you a day or two, even more, late each time payment is owed. If this kind of practice is allowed to go on, you will find yourself waiting for your money more and more and thus chasing people up.

Fairness goes a long way

You’d be surprised at the shocking level of inconsistency that goes on in the workplace when it comes to being treated fairly in the professional sense. If someone is sick or doing something else, the work they are not doing will be offloaded onto someone else. If you’re the person that always has to pick up the slack, you should demand more consistency. Why is it always you? Talk with your immediate superior about this issue, and they might spread the work around more evenly. If you aren’t taken seriously or ignored, then you can always make a complaint with the HR department. It’s best to provide evidence so start taking notes of any unfair treatment you’re receiving.

If you showed up late for work more than a few times, you’d be hauled into the office to explain yourself. So why do employees allow companies to get away with being inconsistent when they would not be spared? Start demanding it.

When senior employees lose their jobs, the struggle they face to find a new position is very real. There is, unfortunately, a form of age discrimination that can affect their chances to land an exciting role. It is difficult for people over 45 and 50 to convince an employer that they are the right person for the role. Indeed, the older you are, the more difficult it will be for a recruiter to ignore your age. But what does it actually mean to be ‘too old’ for a role? The truth is that employers can’t discriminate against you on the basis of your age. However, more often than not, the discrimination occurs naturally and without the knowledge of a recruiter. Consequently, it is essential to learn effective methods to boost your CV and place it on top of the pile.

1. Start Blogging

Blogging is not new. Blogs have been around since the mid-1990s. However, in recent years, professionals have started measuring the importance of blogging to promote their careers. Indeed, writing a blog can make you more visible in your expert niche. You need to define your area of expertise clearly as this will help to catch your audience. Don’t aim to attract everyone. As a senior, writing regularly about your professional skills and keeping an active social media presence with your readers will make more appealing to an employer. To use a cliché, blogging makes you appear younger and more dynamic, which helps to tackle some of the worries of recruiters.

2. Boost your IT knowledge

It’s never too late to go back to school. However, you need to choose wisely, as you are not in a position to start a new career at an entry level. But, your professional skills might be transferable to a new sector. You could boost your IT management knowledge with the Deakin University to become relevant for project management and IT team leadership positions. Indeed, this kind of IT roles requires someone who has an understanding of modern tech and a long experience of management within a company.

3. Develop games

It would be preposterous to assume that game developers can only be under 30. In reality, the best game developers have over 20 years of experience, meaning that they are the gray-haired IT professionals in the team. Consequently, programmers, designers and system administrators who feel left out in their company because of their ages could move their skills to the gaming sector. Additionally, storytellers are also precious in the world of games! You don’t need to be an IT wiz to make it work.

4. Sell your experience

Freelancing is a term that is often associated with young professionals. But the freelancing industry doesn’t care about your age. In fact, someone who has a lot of experience is preferred to a young graduate. Your business knowledge can become a useful selling tool on the market. And you can be sure that freelancing will make your resume appear more youthful!

Being relevant in the employment market is challenging when you get older. However, you can demonstrate your youthful thinking and your professional dynamism through your online presence, IT projects and freelancing side hustle.

4 Ways Senior Employees Can Stay Relevant in the Job Market #keeplearning #career #seniorcitizens

While cushy desk jobs may seem safer than construction work, they still pose risks to your health. Sitting all day is bad for the body on many levels. Lauren Hart of Dragonfly Athletics has graciously created a workout to help our readers stay in motion and out of pain, all without leaving our desks!

Your Desk Job May be Affecting Your Health

The American workforce has changed rapidly over the past 50 years. Manual labor jobs have decreased, while desk jobs—especially those requiring long hours of computer use—have steadily increased. A great number of Americans spend their days seated at a desk for hours at a time, with their only form of exercise coming from their fingers dancing on a keyboard. They mindlessly munch on whatever snacks are within reach, and keep the joints locked in flexed positions that give the appearance of Smeagol with that fish at the forbidden pool.

So what’s the problem?

  • Over 67% of Americans are either overweight or obese.
  • In 2016, an estimated 29 million Americans had diabetes, and 95% of those were Type II diabetics.
  • More than half of American adults have high cholesterol or are taking medications for it.
  • More than 3 million new arthritis cases are diagnosed each year.

All of these diseases and health factors are caused in part by improper nutrition, but they are massively affected by lack of physical activity. These issues cost employers millions of dollars in both healthcare and lost work hours each year.

If you are locked at your desk all day long with minimal movement, you are putting yourself at risk for a number of diseases and are slowly becoming a liability for your employer. The best way to lower your disease risk is to get moving!

Start Small with Your Exercise Routine

I’m not at all saying you have to jump right into the most intense exercise program you can find. Instead, start small. Every tiny bit of activity you accrue counts.

Set a timer that goes off every 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, stand up for one minute. Move around, wiggle out your legs—whatever. Once this practice becomes a habit, increase to two minutes, then three. Try to work up to ten minutes of standing for every twenty minutes of sitting. Your body and your boss will thank you for it.

At-Your-Desk Stretches

Check out my easy-to-follow video demonstration of five stretches you can do from your desk to alleviate pain and stiffness:

1. Wrist Stretch

Pull your fingers and palm closer to the top of your forearm, and then pull toward the bottom of your forearm (flex and extend the wrist). Hold for 20 seconds each.

2. Scalene Stretch

Tilt your head toward one shoulder, shrug the opposite shoulder up toward your ear, then slowly lower that shoulder down, keeping your head tilted. Perform 5 times on each side.

3. Chest Stretch

Anchor your hand palm facing down on your desk, and rotate your chest away from your arm. Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Psoas Stretch

Stand with your feet staggered, one leg in front, the other a few feet behind. Place the hand that is on the same side as your front leg into the soft spot between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your pelvis (the side of your waist). Reach with the opposite arm overhead and lean in the direction of the front leg side. Hold for 1 minute and repeat on the other side.

5. QL Stretch

Anchor your hands on your desk with your feet staggered so they are parallel to your desk. The foot to the rear should be the same as the side farthest away from your desk. Press your hips away from your desk and turn your torso toward the ground. Hold for 45 seconds each side.

Lauren is available to answer your questions through her contact form. She also offers online an in-person personal training sessions.

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5 Easy Exercises You Can Do from Your Desk - #career #exercise #deskexercise #stretch #dragonflyathletics

You’re the kind of person who always likes to be busy. You’re highly productive. You are always on your feet doing this, that and the other. You never get behind with your work – you have the most amazing work drive. So being out of action due to an injury can feel like torture, especially when you love what you do and are stuck at home resting.

While some people heal more quickly by resting constantly, for other people resting all the time can actually impede healing. The fact is that a big part of healing after an injury is linked to your mentality. Now, if resting makes you feel more stressed out, then you won’t heal as quickly, it’s as simple as that.

The good news is that just because you’ve suffered an injury that keeps you from working like you normally would, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t work at all. It’s all about creativity in these kinds of situations – the more creative you can be, the better. Bearing that in mind, below are some tips and suggestions for ways in which you can work around an injury and stay productive while healing.

Speak to your boss about working remotely

The first step is to talk to your boss about the possibility of working remotely while you heal. Whether this is a possibility will, of course, depend on the industry that you are in. However, it shouldn’t be a problem in most cases as thanks to new technology and online developments, working remotely has become easier than ever. While you heal, it’s best not to work full-time, instead, you might want to consider working part-time so that you still have some time to rest and recuperate.

Find another way to work

If you are not able to work remotely while you are healing, then you might want to try and get creative in regards to how you remain busy. Perhaps now could be the ideal time to start a new hobby, such as blogging, for instance. A hobby can feel like work, which can make it a great way to remove productive while you are healing. Some hobbies even have the potential of becoming future careers, so it can be a great step to start a new hobby to keep busy.

Plan your future

If you know that you will no longer be able to work in the role that you previously worked in, then it’s important that you spend some time thinking about, and planning, your future. If you feel that you are owed any compensation for your injury, then you should consider making a claim and working with specialists like Diamond Injury Law who can help you to get your life back on track more quickly and plan for your future at the same time. If you won’t be able to work in the same role as before, then you might like to spend some time planning for your future by planning to launch a small, home-based business, perhaps?

Be Productive while Healing from an Injury #hurtatwork #productivity #heal #career