A Good Online Reputation

A Good Online Reputation

16601642_10209840668347427_1783428789780842898_oYour reputation is everything. Guard it with your life. This is especially true if you are on social media – and most people are (unless they are living under a rock or in a cave with no wifi signal).

During the “olden days” of analog and landlines, there was very little documentation of what we said and what we did. Sure, we posed for photos and had candid shots now and then. But that can quickly be forgotten. Now, thanks to social media (and our lax privacy settings), everything we ever say or do has been documented for everyone to see.

 

Our political rants on Facebook, our misspelled texts, unflattering photos of double chins and drunken nights out have been shared online one way or another. It is very difficult to control what has been shared since everything is now archived and forever saved away in a server somewhere for posterity’s sake.

So without further ado, here are a few tips on how to safeguard your online reputation.

  • Start by searching for yourself on search engines. Don’t just use Google, but that is definitely a great place to start. Use all search engines possible. Google does not have the monopoly over search engines (at least not yet), so try searching for your name under all the different search engines out there. Here’s a list of all the search engines to try: Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, AOL, Ask.com, Excite, Yandex, or Lycos. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but they are good places to check.
  • When searching for your name, use any and all iterations of your name – full name, nickname, screen names, pen names, misspellings of your name, etc. For all you know, you might be sharing a name with a convicted drug dealer. Be thorough. After that, you can then add a few keywords like hometown, schools, jobs, etc.
  • Once you’ve found a few (hopefully just a few) links, posts, or photos that you wish to forget, set them to private. Check your privacy settings and adjust them so that no one can access your embarrassing moments. Or better yet, try to remove them or get them removed from the site on which you found them.
  • It is always a good idea to revisit your privacy settings once in awhile. After all, social media platforms are notorious for changing their privacy policies as often as the weather changes. While YOU may be very careful of what you post and what you share, others may not share the same self-censorship as you. Friends may tag you in a photo from your wild college days dancing awkwardly at a party or even getting tipsy on one too many tequila shots. Though these may seem like light years away now, they can still pop up from time to time to haunt you (hello, Facebook memories!). I’m sure these are things that you would rather not have your employer see.

Remember always to keep private things private. Some things are better left to be written in diaries, kept in your phone gallery, or committed to memory. You don’t always have to share every single thought running through your head. Be careful about what goes out online. Remember to stay humble and hustle hard. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Written by Jaie O.- The Help

The Ingredients of a Perfect List

The Ingredients of a Perfect List

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What makes an organized person? You may argue that a lot of things help a person get organized. But no one can do it without lists. List don’t have to be written to be effective. Some people can make do with mental list. They just commit the list of things they need to get done to memory for ticking off later. Yes. Some are blessed like that. Most of us would probably forget half the things we’ve mentally noted down. Especially when you’re older or if the mental list were made in the middle of the night, before dozing off after a long tiring day. We’re all guilty of doing that. However, the most efficient lists are the lists we write down where they are not in danger of being forgotten or where they can be referred back to from time to time. Written lists are way better. After all, even perfect Santa made lists…and checked them twice.

Here’s a breakdown of the perfect list and it has only 2 ingredients:

Choose a tool. A lot of us do it the old school way of using pen and paper for keeping lists. Grocery lists are often written on paper. So are lists of things to bring for travel or trips. You can also write lists on boards where you can easily see the list as a constant reminder. But if you are one of the more techie ones, which is often the case in today’s generation, you might opt to use any of the list making apps available on Android and iOS. Desktop apps are also available for those who spend more time in front of their computers.

Here are a few suggestions for apps:

  • Google Keep: for Google Apps fans
  • Todoist: for those who are fans of integration and connecting their apps with other tools.
  • Remember the Milk: for sharing and delegating.
  • Wunderlist: for fans of elegant, simple, and beautiful design.
  • Any.do: for those who are minimalists.

Choose a system. Does your list begin with most important things first? That would work well for to-do lists. Do you want to go alphabetical? This works well for titles. Do you want to list items according to location? This works well for after work or weekend errands. In which case, you would do well to list the furthest first and the nearest last so you can work your way through errands on the way home.

Now, put them together and stick to the plan. One of the best feelings in the world is getting to cross off items on a list. Making lists will never be out of date. We all have thousands of things to do and all of them seemingly need our immediate attention. Being able to capture the thoughts buzzing around inside our heads into an organized list is half the battle. This actually lets us know what action items are needed and how we can plan our time around actually completing tasks. Do you have any favorite list making techniques you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments! Remember to stay humble and hustle hard.

 

Written by Jaie O.- The Help

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks

you-are-what-you-eatHow many times have you been too tired or too lazy to prepare your meal that you just toss a boxed meal into the microwave or just made the wrong decision of getting take out fast food? Sure, you know you haven’t made a healthy choice, but they’re convenient and very easy. And you have zero time to make a home cooked meal right now.

People of working age need to be more careful about their food choices. After all, we are exposed to dangers of an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle every day, what with sitting for 8 hrs or more and making unhealthy food choices. I’m sure that most of you, as part of your new year’s resolution, vow to be healthier and make healthy lifestyle changes this year.

For all of you fast food junkies out there, here’s some news for you. Eating fast food more than two times a week is linked to significantly more weight gain over time than occasional visits. It can also cause a host of other health problems like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. A twice a week fast food habit could also triple your health care cost in 10 years. Imagine if you went out for fast food or ate junk every day? How would that impact your health in 10 years? Scary isn’t it?

It is time to make healthier choices. We have to make a conscious decision to eat healthful food and stay away from junk food. After all, most fast food advertisements are not what they’re cut out to be. According to this article by brandongaille.com “84% of the food products that have images which promote healthy eating actually didn’t meet basic nutritional standards. A 2007 study found that 50% of the food products that were advertised with fruit on the packaging contained no fruit ingredients at all.”

It looks like we can’t trust marketing ads that promote “healthy choices.” So what we can do is to prepare healthy meals at home. That way, we can be sure that only fresh and healthy ingredients go into our meals, we can control the salt and sugar added to them, we ensure that no preservatives are added into our food.

Can’t cook? Not to worry, there are a few things that you can prepare that do not need Master Chef levels of cooking skills. A simple veggie stir-fry, most salads, and some pasta and stews require the basic cooking skills. If you can heat water up and stir fry some veggies, you’re ready to go.

Here are a few sample meals that require only a few ingredients and basic cooking skills:

  • Breakfast smoothies – throw in your favorite chopped fruit, some yogurt or milk, and some ice into a blender and viola!
  • Eggs and Toast – fried, scrambled, sunny side up, or poached,  eggs are a perfect source of protein and protein keeps you full for a longer period.
  • Salad – if you have some leftover rotisserie chicken, you should be able to make Chicken Cobb Salad and so much more! (Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Noodles Soup, etc.)
  • Steamed Fish – Steam some fish (Dory fillets are a good idea) and add some light soy sauce and ginger. That is where it gets it flavor.
  • Mac and Cheese – why get it from the box when you can make your own healthier version. Cook some macaroni, add some shredded cheese (low fat if you’re watching you weight, add less if you’re watching your dairy intake), and add some milk.
  • Snacks – Celery and Carrot sticks in low-fat cheese dip, Almonds, and other nuts, Apples dipped in Crunchy Peanut Butter, Hummus, and Pita Chips, Yogurt, Fruit slices.

If you’re short on time or are doubtful of your cooking skills, these are just some of the things you can prepare quickly in a jiffy. Care to share your favorite healthy food recipe? Stay healthy! And remember to stay humble and hustle hard.

 

 

Written by Jaie O. – The Help

Goal Setting

Goal Setting

reach-for-your-goalJanuary is the time for beginnings. This is the time when we vow to transition to healthier lifestyles, start new projects, build better goals, create new memories, and try to start new healthy habits. Back in November of last year, we started a series called “Building Super Habits” As part of that series, we will talk about building the super habit of “Goal Setting.”

To help with all the new things we want to start in our lives, we’re going to talk about goal setting. Goal setting is important because, without it, we would lack focus and direction. Goal setting addresses two points: 1.) setting goals gives us a battle plan on how to proceed and 2.) it lets us see what we’ve already accomplished and what else needs to be done. Proper goals setting is not just writing down a list of things you want. You have to consider each one carefully and how it relates to your well being. How can your goals help you grow as a person? What do you hope to achieve?

Try  these two methods:

Motivational goal setting

Reflect on things that motivate you and how they relate to your goals. When you set goals, they have to be attached to something you consider a high priority in your life. For example, the goal is to save money to buy a house; the motivation being your family. You want your family to move into a house all your own. So reflect on your motivations. These are generally things you prioritize in your life. That will ensure that you are fully motivated to accomplish these goals, and there is an extremely high value in going for and achieving this goal.

S.M.A.R.T. goal setting

We all know what S.M.A.R.T. goals are, but just to recap,  S.M.A.R.T. goals mean:

  • S-specific
  • M-measurable
  • A-attainable
  • R-relevant
  • T-time bound

Let’s work with the previous example, the goal of saving money to buy a new house for the family. In setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, follow these guidelines:

Specific – your goals have to be defined and specific. If you set vague goals, you have no way of knowing what you are working towards. So you have to have something concrete in mind. In this case, it would be helpful if you assign a specific amount to your goal. Calculate the cost of owning a house and put some thought into it. Are you working within a budget? Do you already have some money saved off to start with? If that’s the case, how much more should you save up for?

Measurable – if you don’t set measurable goals, you have no way of knowing whether you have achieved your goals or not. So for this example, set dates and assign target amount to those dates. That way, you’d know if you’re on point or need to scale back a bit to save more.

Achievable – be realistic. You have to set goals that are within your capability to achieve. In this case, ask yourself if you can afford that posh home in the exclusive subdivision in the timeframe you’ve set for yourself or if you can work with a cute house in a relatively new and safe neighborhood. Chances are, you would likely find the cute house more achievable.

Relevant – keep your goals aligned with the trajectory of your life. It will not make sense to buy a family home right away if you are just starting a new job. It would make more sense to rent a place out for yourself at this point in your life. Give yourself time to work on other goals that are relevant to the course your life is on right now and prioritize your goals.

Time bound – you can’t have a never ending goal. First of all that will be majorly demoralizing – not knowing when to stop to celebrate your wins. Secondly, that would no longer be called a goal. You have to stop sometime and so your goal has to be time bound. In this example, you have to carefully calculate how long it will take at your present income to achieve your goal of buying a house. Consider if you can get financial assistance or if you can create their sources of income to make a  shorter time-bound goal.
Use these methods to evaluate your goals and start writing them down. Now build an action plan and stick to it! Good luck with your goals we hope you achieve them. Remember to stay humble and hustle hard!

 

Written by Jaie O.- The Help

Easing Back into Work from the Holidays

Easing Back into Work from the Holidays

back-to-workI’m pretty sure we all have vacation hangovers from the chocolate and pie fueled holidays. And the past few weeks would have started off slowly and uneventfully. Everyone has pretty much been answering emails from that one person who kept sending updates during the holidays. (And if you are that person, you probably started the year getting replies from all the emails you sent out over the holidays.)

We’re already halfway through January, so there is no excuse anymore for anyone to NOT get their heads into work. By now things should have “normalized” around the office, and everyone who has gone on extended break should be back from vacation.

January is challenging in some way because new years signify new beginnings. By this time, we’re probably starting new projects, beginning new tasks, starting in new roles, assuming new responsibilities. All of these things would seem overwhelming especially when you’ve just come from a long break. So, here are a few tips to get your mindset back in the work game.

  • Remember your password/s

If you snickered a little bit, I’m glad. But this is a real thing for most of the workforce. Coming from a break, our minds are also in vacation mode and tend to shut out anything that has something to do with work. So I wouldn’t be surprised if, on your first day back at work, you’ve forgotten what your login password is.

  • Start earlier at work

I know this is hard when the last thing you want is for your vacation to end and work to begin. But people will learn pretty quickly that you are back from break, and those requests won’t wait for you to slowly ease into your first day back. They will quickly pile up. But giving yourself a head start on task while the office is practically empty would give you some time of peace and quiet to get yourself organized before more work piles up on your desk.

  • Do not schedule out of office meetings

I would recommend not scheduling meetings at all, in-office or out-of-office. I understand that in-office meetings cannot be avoided but if you can, do not schedule out-of-office meetings. They will add to the stress of an already overwhelming day filled with unanswered emails and piled paperwork. So make sure to schedule them over the next few days after your first day back at work.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself

Do not work yourself into a stupor on your first day back from vacation. This will burn you out. You can very easily lose your drive if you plan to work a double shift on your first day back from break. Take it easy during the first few days and ease yourself gently into work. You can catch your stride on your third or fourth day back.

  • Have something to look forward to

Schedule a fun activity early in the evening, right after your first day back from work. Spend this time doing something you enjoy: getting a good dinner, going for a quick catch up with a friend over coffee, shopping or retail therapy, scouring the hardware, getting a new hairstyle, or going on a spa date.

The first day back from a long break is the hardest, but you will eventually get back into it. You can always refer to this list whenever you’re back from a long vacation, not just an extended Christmas break. Got any tips for those who have just gotten back from break? Let us know! Remember to stay humble and hustle hard.

 

Written by Jaie O.- The Help