10 Ways To Improve Your Outlook On Life

It’s hard to slow down these days.  There’s always something to do, and ten more after that.  If you feel like your day ends before it begins, you’re not alone.  But this isn’t healthy.  Stress increases your chances of heart attacks and creates other health risks.  But what do you do?  The first step is to slow down.  Once you do that, you can improve your outlook on life.  After that, you might find some of the things that are keeping you so busy aren’t as important as you think.

Here are some tips to get started.  These ten ideas can help slow you down.  Once you do that, you may find that you will improve your outlook on life.

Focus On Family

Your immediate and extended family are important. They will be there for you.  And, also, they need you to be there for them.  Have you played with your kids lately?  When was the last time you saw your nieces or nephews?  Even picking up the phone and checking in on a family member you haven’t talked to is important.  Family comes first.  Make an effort to let your loved ones know that they are just that.  Those connections are important and can ground you to a happier place.

Exercise

Take a walk.  Or, if you’re up for it, a jog.  Maybe a bike ride.  Whatever you do isn’t as important as getting out there and doing something.  Your heart needs to work.  The chemical release you’ll get after you finish a workout can help you feel better.  If you haven’t exercised in a while, start small.  But the important word there is to start.  You’ll feel better.

Enjoy Nature

The world around us is a beautiful place.  Many times we miss that.  We get in the car and go where we need to do.  We rush around. When all that is done, we never take a chance to look around and enjoy the world around us. Get out there and do just that!  Find a beach.  Go to a park.  Enjoy a sunrise or sunset.  When we take time to enjoy nature, we realize what a big place the world is.  That perspective is cool.

Turn Off Technology

Phones and tablets and satellite radio keeps us connected.  That’s a good thing, but it’s also overwhelming.  Many people stay so focused on all of the information those things deliver that they miss out on what’s right in front of us!  I’m often guilty of this. If you put down the technology for a while, you’ll pay attention to people and things right in front of you.  You’ll find that the information you think you need can wait.

Save Money

One thing that keeps us going is money.  We try to earn it so that we can spend it.  This cycle keeps us busy, that much is for sure!  But it often takes over our lives.  One thing you can do to counter that is to save money.  When you have savings, you won’t need to worry as much about how you’ll pay for things.  The comfort of knowing that money is where you need it can free your mind and your time for other things.  Start saving money today and it’ll pay off tomorrow.

Read A Book

The world around us can stress us out and overwhelm us.  One way to get away from that is to enjoy the other worlds out there. And there are so many!  Getting lost in a good book can take you away from your worries.  Once you put the book down, you’ll often find that the things you are worried about aren’t as bad as you think.  Opening your imagination will stimulate your brain.

Catch Up With An Old Friend

How many people do you think of that you no longer talk to?  Why? Because we don’t have enough time?  That’s the common excuse.  Well, guess what?  You’ll never get more time than you have today!  So, stop using that excuse and call an old friend.  Catch up.  Reminisce.  Laugh.  It’ll make you feel better.  If you want to improve your outlook on life, this is an easy one!

Try Something New

Taking on a new challenge is a big opportunity for many.  We often get stressed because we’ve built walls around our lives.  These walls keep us doing the same things and getting stuck in the same patterns.  Breaking free of that is important.  There’s no better way to do that than by taking on a new challenge.  Try something you haven’t done before.  Start a blog.  Learn a new language.  Take a class.  You’ll open up parts of your brain that are waiting to be used.  This can give you excitement and stimulation and improve your outlook overall.

Worship

I’m definitely guilty of saying that there isn’t time to go to church.  That’s one thing that’s different from previous generations.  In the old days, going to church was something you did, and if you ran out of time, something else got pushed aside.  Somehow we’ve reversed that.  If you, like me, are guilty of this, put some time to worship on your calendar, and stick to it!  Attend a service.  Being reminded that there are higher powers that have put us here for a reason can help put things in a vastly different perspective.

Cross Something Off A To-Do List

Everybody’s got a list of things they need to get done.  How many of those things have been on your list for a long time?  You may not realize it, but those things weigh your mind down.  They’re always there.  Nagging.  Waiting.  Making you worry and causing you stress.  So, find something that you have wanted to do, and do it!  Find the time.  Get it done.  Cross it off.  Then, enjoy the reduced stress you now have from accomplishing a goal.

These are just some of my ideas on how to reduce stress and improve your outlook on life.  We only get one chance at this.  Many people always look toward tomorrow as a chance to get started.  But, we only get so many tomorrow’s.  They aren’t endless.  Make today and tomorrow and each day after that count.  Every day we put off doing things to improve ourselves is a day we’ll never get back.    Time itself is limitless, but our time is not.  Get started.  Improve your outlook on life and guess what happens next? You’ll lead a better and happier and maybe even longer life!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

15 Things To Do When Leaving Your Job

Did you hear about the crazy lady that stabbed her HR rep with a pen while resigning?  This actually happened last week.  Now, it probably goes without saying for MOST people that you shouldn’t do that.  But what should you do when leaving your job?  Well, here are some tips to get started so that leaving your job is a positive experience for everybody.

Give Notice

I’m a firm believer that you should offer two weeks notice before leaving your job.  Technically you don’t have to, but it shows you’re a team player.  You can technically quit and be done that day, but it’s just bad form.  Make sure you give proper notice.

Train Your Replacement (Or Document)

Someone will likely have to do your job. This might be a permanent replacement or someone that fills in.  Either way, make sure they know what you do.  If you know the person taking over, sit down with them.  If the company plans on hiring someone after you leave, then write out a document and give it to your manager.

Tell People Respectfully

Chances are you’ll want to let your co-workers know what’s going on. Make sure you do so respectfully.  And, if your employer asks that you don’t tell people, be considerate of that request.

Be A Good Employee

Make sure you’re providing value to the company until the end.  If you’re staying for two weeks, work for two weeks.  You’re going to expect that full paycheck, so give your employer their proper return.  Don’t slack off for the last two weeks.  It’s disrespectful toward your employer as well as your fellow co-workers.

Clean Things Up

Depending on how long you’ve been around, you might have a lot to clean up.  Clean your desk.  Make sure your file drawers are cleaned.  Run through your e-mail.  Get things in order.  Just make sure you don’t go too far and discard something that will be needed by your replacement.

Give Honest Feedback

When you provide your intention to leave, you’ll likely be asked why.  Give honest feedback.  But stay respectful.  For example, if you’re leaving for more money, don’t say: “You’re not paying me enough.”  Instead say, “I got an offer with a salary that I just couldn’t pass up.”  Both get the message across, one way more professionally than the other.

Share Contact Information

If you want to stay in touch with co-workers or managers, share contact information.  Run through your LinkedIn contacts and make sure to add people.

Follow Up On HR Issues

Make sure you understand everything that will and won’t happen once you leave.  How are your benefits handled? What happens to your retirement accounts? Are you getting paid for unused time off?  HR will give you higher priority before you leave versus afterward.  Have everything handled accordingly.

Turn Everything Over

Make sure you know what you’re supposed to have turned over and do so.  Laptops, cell phones, badges and other company items are big ones, but return everything that’s expected.

Understand The Money Aspects

Be prepared with how everything will go from a financial perspective.  Will your last paycheck be deposited or sent in the mail?  Are you all caught up on your expense accounts and reimbursements?

Be Gracious

If you’re moving to bigger and better things, don’t be a jerk about it.  It’s not cool.  Plus, you never know for sure how things are going to work out.  You never know when you might need to come back.  Don’t burn any bridges.

Thank People

Chances are there are people at your company that have helped you.  Make sure to personally thank them.  They are a part of the reason you’re now getting a new opportunity.  Let them know you recognize and appreciate them.

Update Your Resume

Make sure your resume has an updated end date.  Validate your responsibilities.  Make room for what you’ll add at your new employer.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Since LinkedIn is the online resume spot these days, keep this updated as well.  Note that you left your job and put details for your new employer in your profile.

Say Goodbye With A Smile

When you’re riding off into the sunset, make sure the last impression people have is a good one.  Leave with a smile on your face and a wave goodbye.  First impressions matter.  But last impressions make a difference, too.

Readers, do you make an effort to leave jobs on a good note?  Have you ever heard of any horror stories of job exits gone wrong?  Please share in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

18 Items To Take To The Beach For A Great Day

Summer is in full swing.  If you haven’t been to the beach, now’s the time!  The water is still cold here in Michigan due to a late start to spring.  Still, that doesn’t stop people from heading out and having fun.  Here are some items to take to the beach for a fantastic day!

Clothing And Gear

  • Swimsuits.   Wear them or take them.  Just make sure you have them.
  • Towels.  These are definitely an essential for drying off or laying on.
  • Sunscreen. The sun is hot.  Make sure you don’t end up with a burn.  Take plenty of sunscreen.  We like both lotion and spray.
  • Bug spray.  Every once in a while, the bugs like to enjoy the beach, too.  Keep this and use only if needed.
  • Sunglasses.  Protect your eyes and avoid squinting with a nice pair of shades.
  • Blanket.  The sand is great but it gets in places you don’t want it to get.  Protect yourself with a beach blanket.
  • Flip Flops.  The sand gets hot.  Make your walk up and down easy on the feet with a pair of flip flops.
  • Shirt / Cover-Up.  You might need something to throw on without changing.
  • Change of Clothes.  The day at the beach must end eventually.  Nobody likes getting into a car sopping wet. Have some clothes available to change into.

Relaxing Time

  • Beach chairs.  We’ve got a couple of beach chairs that are easy to carry and don’t weigh much. These are a must have.
  • Sun umbrella.  You can get an umbrella to clip onto your chair or one to stick in the sand. Make sure it’s within reach, though, in case those winds off the water kick up.
  • Cooler / Drinks.  Bring plenty to drink, including water to stay hydrated in the hot sun.
  • Snacks.  Grab some stuff that’s easy to access and won’t make a mess.  Nothing that melts!
  • Something to read.  Have some fun on the beach but take some time to relax.  Bring a book, magazine, or Kindle.

Water and Fun

  • Toys.  Kids and adults like digging in the sand, right? Some shovels, buckets, and balls to toss are always a great find.
  • Floaties. There are few things more relaxing than floating around in the water.
  • Water Shoes.  If the beach is rocky, a pair of water shoes is a must-have to keep your feet happy.
  •  Money.  To go to the snack stand and purchase ice cream, of course!

If you’re heading to the beach this summer, have fun.  Remember, be safe and bring along the right stuff to make it the best trip ever!  Readers, are you heading to the beach this year?  What’s your favorite beach memory?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

20 Job Interview Red Flags

Are you interviewing for a new job?  If so, congrats on the new opportunity!  However, as everyone knows, not every job is perfect.  But, how do you determine what might actually not be the best job?  Sometimes, an interview can provide some great insight.  Here are some job interview red flags that I’ve experienced and heard over the years.

Job Requirements and Such

  • Nights & Weekends.  If these words come up at all, it’s a safe bet you might be expected to work off shift.
  • On call.  Are you expecting to be on call?  If so, great, but if not, watch out if this comes up at all.  You’ll likely find yourself on call sooner rather than later.
  • Filling In.  If you suddenly start talking about items beyond the job description, and how you’d be filling in, watch out.  This could be a permanent or way too regular thing.
  • Short Staffed.  If the words come up at all, watch out!  When they tell you in a job interview that they’re short staffed, they are probably always short staffed.
  • Mismatch from the job description.  If the job description differs from what they talk about in the interview, watch out.  My friend hired in for a job where the travel time was listed at 25%.  During the interview, they said it could occasionally be 50-75%.  Well, of course it was 50-75% all the time.
  • Learning a job on the fly.  I was hired for a job where I didn’t qualify.  But, they assured me that my background would make me a quick fit after I was mentored for a few months.  Then, after I was hired, the mentoring shrunk to a week.  It was doomed for failure from day one.

Compensation Issues

  • Introductory salary.  If you are promised a big raise after working there for so long, be careful.  Often, something comes up or they’ll find an excuse to get rid of you before awarding the raise.
  • Delayed benefits. If a company doesn’t want to give you benefits from the start, be careful.
  • Deflection to non-monetary benefits.  Some companies love to talk about the great rewards they provide beyond salary.  If they are trying to sell this as a way to offer less, look out.  After all, the free snacks in the lunchroom aren’t going to pay your bills, are they?

Interview Experience

  • Starting late. It’s poor etiquette to show up to a job interview late, right?  It’s also just as poor if you are brought in late.  Respect is a two way street.
  • Not answering questions.  You’re supposed to ask questions about the company and the job.  They should answer them.  If you’re getting the runaround, listen to the warning bells.
  • Interviewing from a list.  I believe that every job interview should be unique.  An interview feels comfortable to me when it flows based on the conversation.  I find it very off-putting when an interviewer is clearly running their way down a list of questions.  It feels as if they have no interest in getting to know you as an individual.
  • Not paying attention.  Have you ever had an interview where the person interviewing you was clearly distracted?  Again, a big red flag should wave here as it demonstrates a clear lack of respect.
  • Interviewing with other candidates.  I don’t want to sit alongside my competition.  Ever.  If this were ever to happen, I would decline the interview.
  • Anything off color.  Breaking the ice during an interview can help calm nerves.  But, anything off color is a no-no.  If any of that comes up, walk, don’t run, away from that job.

Culture

  • Stressed out looking people.  When you’re walking around or waiting to be called in, pay attention.  Are people happy looking or do they appear stressed out?  Do people look conversational or confrontational?  Getting a feel for how existing employees appear is huge.
  • Talking someone down.  Just as you should never bad-mouth your current employer or boss, nor should you hear anybody being talked about during your interview.  It’s unprofessional, and you know they’re probably talking about everyone.  Which would, of course, one day be you if you’re hired.
  • Political.  If politics comes up at all during an interview, be careful.  Unless you’re interviewing for a position in politics, there is no good reason for this to come up.
  • Turnover.  If it comes up that there’s a lot of turnover, this is a clear sign of problems.
  • The ‘forever’ club.  If it comes up that everyone else on the team has worked there for a long time, dig into that.  Many times a new hire, no matter how qualified, will be kept at arm’s length.  A good mix of experience on the team isn’t required, but can help.

These are some job interview red flags.  Some might apply and some might not.  You have to be the judge on whether they do an if they’re important.  What are some red flags you’ve used (or missed) during the job interview process?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.