Category Archives: Refresh during holidays

Take the 12 Days of Wellness Challenge

We are in the holiday season, where we tend to fall out of our regular routines and give in to holiday temptations. You may already have sweets and treats in your office. You may be rushing on your free time and after work to buy gifts or bake holiday treats. You have to schedule “me” time into your day.

Take the 12 days of wellness challenge to keep your mind focused and your body in good health during the holidays. To participate, complete one wellness activity each work day from the wellness activity list below.

There are four (4) different categories of wellness: fitness, nutrition , well-being, and community. Your goal is to complete three activities from each of the four (4) wellness categories. That is just one activity each day for 12 (work) days.

Fitness:

  • Walk a flight of stairs twice in one day
  • Take a fitness class at a local gym or wellness center
  • Stretch your shoulders, chest, and back at your desk twice during the workday
  • Stand up from your desk and  move once every hour
  • Walk 20 minutes during your lunch or break
  • Do 12 “chair squats”: stand up from your chair without using your arms for assistance, sit down without using your arms for assistance, repeat
  • Do at least 30 minutes of continuous cardio axercise
  • Ask a friend or co-worker to join you in one of the these fitness challenges

Nutrition:

  • Eat two (2) servings of fruit during your workday
  • Eat a balanced lunch containing a protein, whole grain, and a fruit or vegetable
  • Eat a helathy snack in the mid-moring and afternoon
  • Drink an additional glass of water during your workday
  • Bring a healthy holiday treat to share with your co-workers
  • Eat two (2) servings of vegetables during your workday
  • Do not eat any sweets or desserts for 24 hours

Community:

  • Do something nice for a co-worker or friend
  • Decorate your office or work space with holiday cheer
  • Donate a gift to a community toy drive
  • Donate food to your local food bank
  • Thank a co-worker and let him/her know how he/she has helped you or your department this past year
  • Clean or organize a shared work space or staff break area

Well-Being:

  • Practice deep breathing for one minute twice during your workday — breathe in through your nose, hold your breathe for a count of five (5), and then breath out of your mouth
  • Rest your eyes from the computer screen by looking in the distance or closing them for 30 seconds every hour
  • Share a positive news story when discussing current events with your co-workers
  • Stop and enjoy the beautiful view out of the window on your office
  • Eat lunch away from your desk or worksite
  • Wake up 15 minutes early and take time to relax before starting your workday

Be healthy and happy this holiday season. Now, get to it . . .

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Protect Yourself from Phishing During the Holidays

At the holidays, inboxes everywhere are flooded with shipping updates, order confirmations, and eCards from family and friends. Attackers take advantage of the deluge of emails by sending creative phishing emails designed to catch you off guard. From fake charity websites to malicious eCards, cyber attacks spike during the holiday season.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

Shipping Updates: Fake shipping notifications increase each year around the holidays. With so many online orders being shipped, people may be more susceptible to clicking a link about a status update or a failed delivery. Even if the message looks valid, go to the store/company website directly and enter the tracking number yourself. Call the shipping company for assistance using the contact information on their website.

Fake Order Confirmations: Attackers also take advantage of the increase in year-end online shopping on the most popular shopping days of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During this hectic time, you may be more likely to click an order confirmation link from your favorite store/company without questioning it. Keep track of your orders so you know what emails to expect and which to avoid.

Holiday eCards: Another popular lure that attackers use is sending fake eCards with malicious files attached. Although a cute eCard may look innocent, never click on a link from an unknown sender.

Charity Phishing Scams: Phishers often impersonate charities and send emails asking for year-end donations. Before entering your personal information and making a donation, ensure that the site is legitimate and that you recognize the domain. Also, ensure that the URL, shows as “https://”, indicating that the connection is secure.

Unsolicited Offers and Deals: Around the holidays, your inboxes are probably overflowing with messages about irresistible deals and promotions. Attackers often people target people with end-of-the-year giveaways and contests. Don’t click on any offers from an unknown sender. Instead, verify that the offer is legitimate by going to the retailer’s website and shopping there directly. Remember — if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Quick Tips — Keep these tips in mind to help you identify phishing emails in your inboxes:

  • Think Twice. Read emails thoroughly and be wary of offers that seem to good to be true.
  • Bookmark Shopping Sites. Avoid using search engines to find deals. Using trusted shopping sites can help reduce the chance of landing on a malicious website.
  • Look At the Domain Name. Some attackers will modify domains to catch you off guard. For example, if the correct domain is www.example.com, the phishers may register as “examp1e.com” or “example.co”.
  • Always Verify. Verify that the email is from the real sender before engaging. If you have any questions, call, or email the sender to confirm that the email is legitimate.

DID YOU KNOW?  You can safely check where a link goes without clicking on it:

  • Desktop — OSx and Windows — Hover your cursor over the link to view the URL.
  • Mobile devices — Android, iOS, Windows — Touch and hold the link until a pop-up menu appears.

Now, get to it . . .

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Are You Moving Towards a More Organized Life?

I don’t know about you but I feel busier than ever.  My family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers also seem to be in a great rush.

With all the pressure to GET THINGS DONE, I am often distracted, preoccupied, and worried. I start projects but do not finish them. I spend way too much time worrying rather than organizing and planning for the future. And my payoff for all of this stress is poor time management and a shortage of “me” time.

The following are some simple things that you can do to reverse the causes of disorganization and achieve a more organized life:

Worry less, set goals. A goal is more than a statement of something you would like to achieve. A goal is a plan that provides the framework of what and how you will achieve your vision. Behavioral goals are how-tos that help you reach your outcome goals. Outcome goals are aimed specifically at achieving a result.

Having a clear picture of your desired future will provide direction and pave a clear path to success.

  1. Establish a clear vision
  2. Create short-term (three-month) and long-term (yearly) goals
  3. Identify obstacles and strategies
  4. Define your motivation
  5. Set smaller, weekly goals

SMART goals:  Specific and small, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-oriented

Examples:  Your outcome goal is to be in better health. Your behavorial goals are to exercise more, eat better, and avoid stress so that you achieve your goal of better health. Your outcome goal is to save more money. Your behavioral goals are to reduce expenses and spend less money.

Organize and plan ahead. You may find more “you” time if you are more organized and plan ahead. Use whatever you can to keep your organized. Think about the next day and what you need to do today in order to make tomorrow easier and more successful.

 

  • Use technology. Schedule important dates and times on your calendar, set email reminders, utilize planning websites. Use financial programs for organizing your bills and monitoring spending.
  • Purchase an organizer. Note pads, boxes, folders, shelves, calendars, planners, etc. will help you get and stay organized.
  • Make lists and stick to them.
  • Carry your “to-do” list with you.

Manage your time effectively. We misuse time when:

  • Our goals and objectives are unclear,
  • We are uncertain about our priorities,
  • We are tired or have low energy,
  • Misuse down time,
  • Have a perectionist mentality, or
  • Cannot say “no.”

To better manage your time:

  • Establish priorities. List your priorities in order of importance.
  • Use the 80-20 rule: spend the most time on what’s most important
  • Avoid perfectionism. Do the best you can, given the circumstances. Set goals that are realistic and achievable.
  • Put off procrastination.
  • Work on challenging tasks first. Tackle your hardest or most time consuming objective/task first. Do not leave it for the end of the day or the end of the week.
  • Do not spread yourself too thin. Learn to say “no” to your unrealistic expectations and to the unnecessary requests or obligations of others. Learn to set healthy boundaries.
  • Build flexibility into your schedule.
  • Be prepared for delays and use delays to your advantage. Bring work or reading material to appointments so that you will have something to do if people you are meeting with are delayed.
  • Get up earlier. An extra hour every day for a year is the equivalent of nine (9) weeks.
  • Delegate. Be willing to give up some control to others.

Make time for you. Find ways to recapture energy, practice stress-relieving activities, exercise, socialize, and enjoy your life.

  • Balance activities that require energy with time to renew energy.
  • Build rituals into your day that renew your energy
    • At home — list to soothing music, read, or soak in the tub
    • Work — take mini breaks every 60 to 90 minutes
    • Leisure — exercise, garden, dance, take walks
  • Do not over-book yourself.
  • Schedule time for leisure activities such as exercise, a night out with friends, or vacations/weekend getaways
  • Prepare ahead of time for leisure
    • pack a gym bag and keep it in your car
    • email friends/make reservations
    • schedule time off from work

What to do today to get moving toward your more organized life:

  • Achieve at least one major objective each day
  • Set time limits for each task
  • Eliminate one time-wasting or unimportant activity this week
  • Build “you” time into each day
  • Apply one time-saving tip you today

Now, get to it . . .

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Retirement Savings 2017

Looking forward to 2017 you should review your retirement plans to determine what changes, if any, you want to make. Individual retirement plans (IRAs and 401(k)s) are two of the most common defined contribution plans and offer tax-advantaged retirement savings.

The annual limit for contributions for traditional and Roth IRAs for 2017 is $6,000. People age 50 or older in 2017 can contribute an additional $1,000 for a total potential contribution of $7,000.

The annual imit for contributions for 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans is $18,000. Workers age 50 or older in 2017 are permitted an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 for a total potential contribution of $24,000.

401(k) v. IRA:

  • 401(k)
    • For employees of companies that offer such plans
    • Employer may match the contribitions up to 6% of salary
    • Pay taxes later (upon withdrawal during retirement)
  • Individual Retirement Plan (IRA)
    • Roth IRA
      • Pay taxes now
      • Tax-free withdrawals of contributions only (not earnings or interest on contributions) at any time
    • Traditional IRA
      • Pay taxes later
      • Receive potential tax deductions now

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Wishing You A Wonderful New Year

fotolia_9396754Before the parties begin and the social networks are filled with well wishes and blessings I wanted to take this quiet moment to wish you and yours a healthy, happy and productive New Year. I greatly appreciate that you have taken the time to read my posts. You have been a wonder and an inspiration to me as I move forward in my journey.

Below are quotes the I hope will guide you with hope, inspiration, and energy into the New Year.

  • “A good beginning makes a good end” – English Proverb
  • “Drink from the well of yourself and begin again” — Charles Bukowski, author
  • “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change” — Taylor Swift, singer
  • “The beginning is the most important part of the work” – Plato, philosopher
  • “Something is going to come out of this. Something new. This can end you up in a whole new place—a better place, a much more open place” -Pema Chodron, author
  • “And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” — Rainer Maria Rilke, poet
  • “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — TS Eliot (Little Gidding), author
  • “You raze the old to raise the new” — Justina Chen (North of Beautiful), author
  • “You will never win if you never begin” — RH Schuller, motivational speaker
  • “Whatever you do or dream you can do — begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it”. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer and statesman
  • “Morning will come, it has no choice” — Marty Rubin, aphorist/philosopher
  • “Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie, author

Source: IndianExpress.com

Finally, “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” Ludacris, musician

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. I am not an expert in any of the areas of job search. I am writing to share my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Recommit to Your Job Search During the Holiday Season

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Many people may make the decision to slow down their job search activities during the holiday season. These people may think employers are too busy to think about hiring new employees because they are preoccupied with year-end tasks or are taking time off to spend with family and friends.

This is a mistake. The hiring process may slow down during the holidays but it does not stop. Companies are interviewing and extending offers to the most qualified candidates. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities resulting from the void left by job seekers who have abandoned their job search and headed to the mall?

An argument can be made that you may even benefit from pursuing your job search during the busy holiday season.

  1. There may be less competition for positions because many job seekers are on holiday.
  2. Some employers may be in a rush to onboard new hirers before the end of the year or immediately after the new year.

The holiday season is also a great time to refresh your job search efforts. You should review your marketing materials and business cards, reassess your short and long-term goals (including researching your target companies), update your resume and LinkedIn profile, and practice your interviewing skills and networking speech.

Here are a few thoughts you should keep in mind when practicing your interviewing skills.

  1. Interviewers will rate your educational background and prior work experience. They will want to know if you have (a) the appropriate educational qualifications or training for the position and (b) acquired, in your previous work assignments, the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in the position.
  2. Employers may also test your knowledge of the company. Have you researched the company prior to the interview? Have you looked on the internet, including the company’s website, read their Twitter feed and Facebook account, looked up comments from former employees on glassdoor.com, and read the interviewer’s LinkedIn page?
  3. Interviewers will be interested in how well you will fit with the company culture. They will be interested in your personality, manner, attitude and whether you made a good first impression. Be yourself and let your personality and charisma shine. You want to project a warm, open and accepting attitude that attracts others.
  4. Keep in mind that potential employers may want a candidate who works effectively with other. Are you able to convey to an interviewer that you have outstanding interpersonal relationship abilities and perception? Do you have an exceptional ability to organize your thoughts and make decisions which exhibit sound judgment and common sense? Are you a self-starter who can motivate others but recognize that there are times when team work is best?
  5. Do not forget your S*T*A*R* stories. Depending on the story you choose, you will be able to demonstrate to a prospective employer that you have the technical skills necessary for the position, good team building and interpersonal skills, a high degree of initiative, good management skills, a high level of customer service abilities, your greatest strengths, and the value that you will bring to the company. “S” stands for situation. You must describe the situation with enough detail so that the interviewer understands the specific event that was at issue.
    “T” is the task you needed to accomplish.
    “A” is the action that you took to accomplish the task.
    “R” are the results that you achieved. The results do not have to be yours alone if you worked with a group to resolve the task.

Perhaps most importantly, the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to establish new connections and refresh your existing network. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google to reconnect with distant relatives, former co-workers, neighbors, schoolmates and friends and to expand your network. Expand your network by meeting new people at holiday parties and  your child’s year end school play or holiday concert.

Do not let the gifts of the season pass you by.

Now, get to it . . .