Ask Amy Cao, Community Curator & Web Series Creator at FiftyThree / Cooking Channel, for more advice about managing stress at work!
Ask Amy Cao, Community Curator & Web Series Creator at FiftyThree / Cooking Channel, for more advice about managing stress at work!
If you work from home, then you know that even if you love your apartment or house, you have to get out of it sometimes. That is the main problem with working from home. When you don’t have an office to go to, you can soon find yourself an introvert by default. Think of all the people you engage with when you go to work. Some of them you don’t want to engage with, but you are still out in the world interacting through both body language and verbal communication.
When you work from home, you could avoid the whole world if you really wanted to. However, you will quickly find that not speaking to people face to face all day can drive you a little crazy. If I stay inside all day, I find myself trying to have legitimate conversations with my dog (“Why did you choose to pee right there? Did that feel like a good choice?”) or Gchatting my friends too much with inane questions. All in all, it isn’t healthy. Generally, humans need to be around other humans during the day.
That is why many people who don’t have an office go to coffee shops. With more and more people working freelance and telecommuting, the office coffee shop, or coffice as it has been deemed, is becoming more popular. According to the Urban Dictionary, a coffice is a combination of a coffee shop and an office or a “coffee shop one makes into an office where non-coffee shop work is performed.” A coffee shop is great because it gives you a place to go, it puts you around other people (even if you don’t talk to any of them), and, most importantly, it has caffeine (and croissants.) Jen Doll of The Wire described the appeal of the coffice perfectly:
Humans are humans, that is to say, social creatures, and simply because not all humans clock into midtown skyscrapers or super-cool Soho loft spaces to be surrounded by their co-worker buddies daily doesn’t mean they don’t feel things deeply. Should anyone begrudge freelancers love, simply because they lack a community of co-workers? Of course not. Thus, coffee shops are doing a great service to us all (along with providing us with caffeine, thank you, God) and all of us, employed traditionally or not, should thank our baristas and probably write a nice letter to our local cafe.
Of course, a coffee shop is not exactly like an office as you don’t have co-workers and most offices don’t have a pastry counter and play Christmas songs all day so there are a few things you need to factor in when you set up your coffice:
Do you really want to be at a Starbucks during the morning rush hour? Go a little later in the morning when things have calmed down and so you can get a seat.
You are probably going to stay a while so you want to find a space where you can spread out a bit and definitely try to get one near an outlet. If you end up sitting right next to someone, be aware of your space and consider going somewhere else.
If you are at a coffee shop for six hours and have only bought one small cup of coffee, you should really get something else as well.
This may not the time to watch YouTube, listen to Spotify, download something or other, and do all your normal work.
If you’ve decided this is the coffee shop for you, then be sure to treat the staff well. Strike up a conversation with the barista or cashier (only if they aren’t super busy) and definitely tip them!
Soon you will be like the cast of Friends at Central Perk, but unlike them, you will actually be working!
Looking for a new job opportunity? Check out Levo’s job board!
Persuading others to adopt your message involves using a few fundamental and adaptable techniques. Throughout history, great speeches have been used to create moments that usher in important changes in ideas and thinking.
Want to know how the art of persuasion works? The following three significant public speeches illustrate fundamental components. Each oratorical masterpiece offers practical ideas you can use in your next career-defining presentation or pitch.
If you want your speech to persuade your listeners, make sure the content is relevant. Offer a message that speaks directly to your audience.
When John F. Kennedy made his inaugural address in 1961, he spoke against the background of the Cold War. His speech painted a clear picture of the freedoms he was guaranteeing against the threat from behind the Iron Curtain.
To persuade your audience, illustrate your point with three practical steps. Having identified the fears of most Americans, Kennedy made three promises: to protect friendly nations against the Soviet threat, to support the work of the United Nations and to seek new ways of ending the arms race with the Soviet Union.
The speech pulled no punches; it was honest but encouraging. Much of the American public bought into Kennedy’s dream.
A business speech should also be of the moment. Discuss with colleagues what issues the audience is facing and follow up with three simple steps to counter those challenges. For each step, look for opportunities to stress your point to ensure your message is understood and retained.
There’s no room for complicated ideas and arguments when seeking to win over people’s hearts and minds. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) Many great speakers practice simplicity.
One of the best examples, which is also one of the most well-known, is Winston Churchill’s speech in June 1940. Churchill needed to rally Britain after early setbacks against Hitler’s Germany had left his nation under threat of invasion.
The beauty of Churchill’s speech lies in the concluding paragraphs. Having detailed the dire circumstances arising from the military disaster at Dunkirk and Hitler’s plan to invade, he cast aside all of the questions and doubts with one very simple message:
We shall go on to the end… We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
This speech brought hope to a worried nation.
When you’re presenting complex ideas, be clear and concise. Pick a single message and reinforce that message in the summary of your ideas. Review Churchill’s words and look at how repeatedly he used the “we shall fight” refrain. To persuade your audience, create your own simple summary that leaves your key message firmly fixed in people’s minds.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963, it was relevant, and his message simple. His “I have a dream” refrain also stayed in people’s minds. But the speech he gave was so powerful for another reason: unity.
Detailing the shame African-Americans were forced to live with, King’s speech could easily have been seen as divisive. He avoided this by making sure his assertions for the future of race relations included references to the white community as well.
Who can forget the non-threatening image of “Right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers”?
King’s uncompromising message was presented to the entire population, and in doing so, the message became inclusive and empowering rather than exclusive and threatening.
When you attempt to persuade people, your message should be inclusive. Your audience will all have vested interests, different agendas and individual concerns. Consider the needs of all the stakeholders present and talk to their interests, agendas and concerns. Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach; instead, try to engage every member of your audience.
Crafting a memorable speech that communicates your message effectively means using these simple techniques. Adapt the content of your message and use some of the techniques from John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr. You’ll be on your way to ensuring your message is taken away by your audience.
Josh Hansen writes for Workfish on a wide range of topics relating to the working world. His main area of interest lies on the digital side of things, but occasionally he strays into other topics — hopefully with some success.!
Are there other speeches that taught you about how to be persuasive? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below!
¡Hola! ¿Me contratará?
Many people aspire to learn a second language in their lifetime, but is adding this skill to your resume really necessary for your career?
For many professionals, the answer is sí. While becoming proficient or fluent in a second language is rarely easy, it could be a distinguishing ticket that helps you board the train to career success. (Click here to Tweet this idea.)
Even the federal government has issues finding multilingual talent, as they demonstrated during the Senate’s panel on the foreign language deficit in 2012.
Even if your professional ambitions aren’t set on the US government, picking up a second language can make you a more attractive job candidate overall. Plenty of industries have positions for multilingual workers. But the choice isn’t for everyone.
Consider these few points before grabbing a foreign language dictionary and enrolling in class at your local language school.
It takes a lot of time and immersion in a language to begin to pick it up — up to 1,765 hours to learn fluent English for a clerical office job, according to some reports.
You don’t want to embarrass yourself by using a false cognate in front of a hiring manager, so be realistic about the time and effort it will take to become sufficient or fluent in your chosen language.
If double majoring in a language doesn’t fit into your course schedule, don’t fret — a minor can be a great way to keep your skills sharp while still offering the option to study abroad.
You could make big bucks with second language skills. Students studying Japanese at Johns Hopkins University were offered jobs starting at $100,000 a year in international affairs, banking and finance.
In companies where knowledge of a second language is critical for success, some have a policy that dictates paying bilingual workers more. Still, advanced knowledge is key; many of these companies require candidates to interview in the second language.
Achieving that fluency level can be a pricey investment. At the international language school Berlitz, a 10-week course for two can run $1,500. At the Boston Language Institute, you can expect to pay around $400 for a small group class and $1,000 for intensive classes.
But the price tag can be worth it if you’re entering an industry with high demand.
Will the hours spent conjugating verbs and translating sentences really be suitable for your career? Positions in marketing, communications, sales, translation or international relations can obviously benefit from multilingual knowledge. But research your industry’s requirements and salaries to see if there’s real value to this knowledge.
Hit up recruiters on LinkedIn or visit job fairs to quiz them on the importance of a second language for their open positions. Even if it isn’t a hard-and-fast requirement, learning a second language can never hurt, as you expand your cultural horizons, learn a new perspective or enhance your skills.
Experts say the US will be the only wealthy country that will see its population grow in the next three decades, which will lead to a shortage of talent in highly populated countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden.
At least 83 countries and territories have fertility rates lower than those necessary to replace the existing population. That means multilingual speakers will be in high demand if you’re willing to relocate internationally for work. It’s not impossible — nearly five million non-military Americans already live abroad.
In the US, the need for Spanish speakers is growing rapidly. WPP is an advertising agency that has an arm dedicated to serving Hispanic markets with their campaigns. In 2012, media giant NBC launched NBC Latino, aimed at Hispanic news and readers, and Fox started MundoFox, a Spanish broadcast television network.
For bilingual communications, marketing or sales professionals, opportunity is ripe for expanded career opportunities right here at home.
Second language learners are in high demand in many industries, both at home and abroad. But remember, learning a second language takes a large amount of time and dedication. Before you jump in, determine if the choice is really right for your career.
Yael Karov is the founder and CEO of Ginger Software, a grammar and spell checker platform that proofreads text based on the context of a sentence and adapts to correct the user’s mistakes.
Your life is a reflection of the thought-seeds you plant and give energy to. In other words, your life is a reflection of the unconscious assumptions you make about life and your relationship to it.
If you grew up in an environment where there wasn’t much money, you might assume that achieving a high paying salary is difficult and takes time, and that’s just the way it is. And because you made this assumption unconsciously, you probably wouldn’t even realize that you’re holding on to it in the first place.
If you could find a mechanism that could record the thought-seeds you’re planting on the inside and play them back to you on the outside, it might sound something like this:
Well, a mechanism does exist that records and reflects your subconscious thought-seeds. That mechanism is called your life!
So here you are, unknowingly asking yourself these negative questions, which lead to disempowering assumptions, which lead to you not believing you can reach your goals. What do you think the answers would be to the negative questions in the example I just gave you?
The answers would be things showing up in your life that reflect the disempowering questions you’ve been unconsciously asking. For example, if you’ve been unknowingly asking, “Why am I so unhappy?” the answers will show up as you being unhappy, no matter how many good things happen to you.
If you’ve been unconsciously asking, “Why don’t I have enough money?” the answers will show up as your lack of money, no matter how hard or how long you work.
And if you’ve been unwittingly asking, “Why can’t I lose weight?“ the answer will show up as your not being able to lose weight, no matter how many diet and exercise programs you try.
I call these dassumptions—a portmanteau of disempowering and assumptions. When you carry around these dassumptions, your life becomes a reflection of them. That’s why all of the goal-setting in the world won’t work when this is the case—because you simply don’t believe that you can reach your goals in the first place.
Stop assuming you “can’t.” Start assuming you can.
Want to find out other tips on how to jump-start your life?
Watch Office Hours with Charlie Graham to find out more!
The holiday season is upon us, which means the classic romcom The Holiday will be playing on TBS on a continuous loop. It played twice already yesterday so I am estimating it has the potential to play about 100 times over the next 30 days.
The Holiday, though it has a stunning cast including Academy Award winner Kate Hudson and was directed by Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, Father of the Bride), never got great reviews. Mostly because it follows the cliché of so many romcoms (Cameron Diaz’s character not being able to cry until she met the right man), but there is actually a very important lesson from this film that can apply to so many aspects of our lives. And no, it is not how to fit seven gorgeous coats into one suitcase as Diaz’s character Amanda did. The greatest line in the film, delivered perfectly by Eli Wallach, is “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.” Watch the scene below:
I think sometimes it is easier for us to hold back and take the sidekick role. Frankly, the sidekick role is a whole lot less work (sometimes they are only in like half the movie) and less bad stuff tends to happen to them. We don’t ever seem to worry about whether the sidekick gets the job or the guy. Plus, let’s face it. They get some of the best lines in the movie. A prime example: Joan Cusack as Working Girl Melanie Griffith’s bestie. “Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Never will.” True words of wisdom.
We don’t care as much about the sidekick. We are there for the leading lady. We want to see what happens to her. But it is tough to be in that role. It is more attention on you and more responsibility. You have to be the one in control. You are deciding your story. And sometimes that means doing the harder thing. But unlike in films, when we make some sort of major life transition we don’t get a kicky musical montage to accompany us.
However, you have to be the star of your own film and step into the spotlight. Don’t take the sidekick role. You deserve better. Just as Kate Winslet’s Iris did, find your gumption and go forward!
Ready to take your leading role? Check out Levo’s job board!
Photo courtesy of: Atlantic-Pacific
School yourself and check out these classic reads for entrepreneurs.
Interested in biz dev? Building your own network? Not crazy about meetups, but know you should be doing this whole networking thing? Interested in connecting with people on a less transactional, more human level? Read this book.
A practical guide and general overview of how it’s done. It’s not a hardcore playbook (every startup is different, remember?)—but it is referred to so often that if you are even remotely interested in what it’s like to work at or found a startup, you would be doing yourself a major disservice by not reading it.
Are you a product person? Trying to be? Not sure what that even means? Read this book; then make your boss read it. It’s a hugely valuable resource about product strategy, thinking, and processes in small and large organizations. Marty Cagan breaks it down and gives some clarity to that amorphous field most everyone wants to get into.
A manifesto to create a product worth marketing. The idea is fairly simple, yet revolutionary: create something so amazing it is impossible not to want it! A quick, no frills read for marketers and product people alike, with plenty of case studies for Godin to drive his point home.
Don’t try and read this all at once, but do try and read it! This is more of a landmark guide than a page-turner—it’s chock full of resources for pretty much everyone on your startup team, especially founders. You are just as likely to find it on a syllabus for entrepreneurship classes as you are to find it on sleepless founders’ bedside stands. Try not to get intimidated by the hardcover-textbook. It won’t be sexy, but it will be worth it.
Need more suggestions?
Here are five more books you should read in your 20′s.
When looking for your first job, it’s important to take into consideration the environment in which you thrive as an employee. Are you a creature of habit who craves structure? Do you prefer a relaxed, highly collaborative work environment?
The environment of established companies will vary from place to place. At an established company, systems and standard work already exist and your role in the company is usually clearly defined. If you have concrete career goals in a specific industry or at a specific company, the corporate life might be for you. Large, established companies are amazing assets for those with specific career goals because there is a clear hierarchy and distinct career paths. Generally, these companies also offer better packages in terms of salary and insurance. Here’s where you will find your job security.
Tip: If you live by the mantra “work to live” and crave work-life balance, a fairly established company will probably suit you better than a startup, where hours can be more sporadic and emails from your boss on a Saturday night are normal.
It is not for the feint of heart. At a startup, you are likely to be given an incredible amount of responsibility and your skills will grow quickly. Networking events will become a second home and your network of entrepreneurs in the city will grow immensely. In a fast-growing startup, hours might vary greatly from day to day. Evening events are frequent, so don’t be surprised if your fellow employees don’t run out the door as soon as 5pm rolls around.
What’s a co-working space? This is a large office where startups can rent desk space. This allows for a community of startups who can learn from each other and gain access to resources and mentorship more easily. Co-working spaces will frequently set up socials and events so companies can meet each other and share ideas.
Tip: If you’re brand new to a city, working at a startup is definitely a good resource for meeting people and getting your foot in the door. Frequent networking events and evening office gatherings will spice up your evenings.
Startups and large companies vary greatly, but both are valuable career moves. Before you start applying for jobs, take a look at your own values and decide which career environment is best for you.
Did you just move back in with your parents? It’s time to start the clock.
A survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that parents think 20-somethings can live at home up to five years. After that, it’s back to the real world and the vast unknown — or, you know, the pull-out couch in a buddy’s apartment.
A combination of student debt, the tough job market and a desire to save money have Millennials returning home at a record pace. A study from Pew Research reveals the number of people between the ages of 18 and 31 living with mom and dad rose 36 percent in 2012.
As we cohabitate, let it be known far and wide — these are the official ground rules for moving back with our parents:
1. We are a family and also roommates. The arrangement may be tricky at times, but we’re all grownups and will make it work.
2. I, your child, will never, ever complain about a (free) home-cooked meal — no matter how it tastes.
3. I don’t need to tell you where I’m going on a Saturday night, and you certainly shouldn’t stay up until I get back. I will, however, keep my phone on if you need me.
4. We can exist in the same space without constantly making small talk. And it’s OK to come and go without necessarily saying “Hi” and “Bye.”
5. You must always knock before coming into my room. Even if the lights are off and there’s no sound. Even if you’re 100 percent positive I’m not home.
6. While I only need five hours of sleep and a Red Bull to function, I realize you need a solid eight to nine hours, so I’ll keep it down at night.
7. I promise to save money because I know my time in our house is temporary.
8. If the grass is getting long, I’ll mow it. If the floors are dirty, I’ll sweep them. If the sink is full, I’ll load the dishwasher. Thanks for letting me live rent-free.
9. The words “curfew” and “you are grounded” no longer exist. I don’t enjoy hearing the phrase “pick your clothes up off the floor,” but I can’t stop you from saying it.
10. You can go out of town for the weekend and trust that, while I will throw a party, my friends have matured and won’t break expensive things like they did in high school.
11. If you need me to chip in for bills or groceries, just say the word.
12. Whether it’s for one week, six months or five whole years, I will never forget to thank you for letting me come back home when I need it most.
This post originally appeared on News to Live By.
Danny Rubin is a PR professional in Virginia Beach. He also writes News To Live By, a blog that shows us the career advice that’s hidden in the day’s top stories. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.
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