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Things To Check Before You Travel For Business

THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS 

There is hardly enough time for a career woman to pack her stuff in the wake of a business trip. Most often than not, we realize at our destination that we have forgotten a lot of important things that should have topped our packing list.

As a career woman, I sometimes forget my laptop charger while on a business trip. I had to buy a new one which is more expensive than the one I would have purchased from my home country.

Leaving out necessary items for the trip  can sometimes  be blamed on our busy schedule of trying to balance between being a successful proffessional, a wife, and, or a mother.

This article is therefore intended to help us, women figure out a checklist as we look foward to having a successful trip. The secret to ensuring stress free travel and not miss out on anything, is early planning.

GENERAL TIPS

Early Preparation

There are trips that we are notified on short notice while others take two weeks, one month, or six months to prepare for.

If you have a higher likelihood of going for short notice trips, depending on the nature of your business/job, then you will have to be very swift. Unfortunately, however no matter how hard we try, we still miss out a few things here and there.

But this can be avoided, more so if you are a regular traveler.There are things like toiletries that you do not have to unpack everytime you come back from a trip. Knowing that a prepared toiletry bag has been packed lessens the thinking what to carry for the next trip.

If anything, we should just check what needs replenishing and make sure we replace these before our next travel date.

 

But those who have adequate time to prepare should have no excuse whatsoever when it comes to early planning.

Early planning is important because it saves you both time and money.

You are wondering how, right? See this. A report from a corporate-travel firm- Carson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) found out that women save their firms approximately $17 a trip, around 2% of the ticket price because they prefer to do their business flights earlier than men.

Planning ahead is key when you want to avoid checking in of bags that come with additional fees and sometimes could be hefty.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

What documents does one needs to check before travelling?

Trave documents comprise several important things that you can not do without in most circumstances, and are very relevant in ensuring a safe, peaceful trip.

These include:

  • Plane, train tickets or passes
  • Passports (with up to date Visa if needed)
  • Up to date health insurance card
  • Extra photos if you have to get visas along the way
  • International vaccination certificates
  • Guide books and relevant maps
  • A list of local contacts in the places travelling to
  • Copies of all important papers

 

Money

Ensure enough cash is handy to avoid being stuck. If travelling overseas, know the local currency’s exchange rate. The money we usually carry will help us in sorting out taxi bills and for any other relevant transactions.

We can also play safe by carrying your credit cards and ATM cards. But be proactive, check for bank charges when used overseas and notify your bank in advance regarding your travel time and destinations.

 

 

Clothes

I usually carry clothing items with basic colors like black, blue or brown for skirts and pants to reduce the weight that I will need to carry. The dark colors come in handy since they do not easily show dirt or inner wears. It doesn’t harm to put it on one more time if we run out of clean clothes. Tops should be able to match the selected bottoms. Always pick out materials that are light and do not take up a lot of space.

Don’t forget to add a jacket or blazer that has a solid color scheme and matches the selected bottoms. Do not forget to pack a pajama suit if you know you cannot sleep without one.

All work and no play is no fun, pack workout clothes that are not heavy but can dry quickly since you may be forced to wash on the sink and dry them through hanging after exercising.

Throw in one or two evening dresses depending on the time table. Don’t over pack shoes. One or two pairs are just enough, so long as they match with the outfits that have been preselected.

Stationeries

Having a pencil pouch where you can stack in pens, small notebook, glue sticks, diary, Business cards, personal address book, maps, guidebooks, phrase books, and telephone access numbers among other items is always handy. I lived in Japan twice and this is something I learned there.

You are wondering if a pencil pouch/case can be used by a business woman?  Of course yes. The pencil case is very versatile and functional. Most importantly, it brings order to your collection of writing instruments and other knick knacks.

 

 

 

 

Personal items

Don’t forget to pack personal items like toilet paper, anti-bacterial wipes, nail cutters, a small tube of moisturizing cream or lotion, small bottle of anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer, Cotton ear bud, toothbrush and paste, shampoo, deodorant, a small unbreakable mirror, sewing kit, safety pins, wash cloth and menstrual pads or tampons. Yep, these things we could NOT live without.

Electronics

Carry chargers for all electronics. Be it for cameras, phones,or lap tops. It does not matter whether you will travel away for a few hours or couple of days.

If you will be using a camera, remember to carry lenses, batteries, extrtra memory cards, and flash as needed.

For the lap tops, remember to pack a flash disk, hard drive, power cord and network cable.

Medication

If you are the type that gets affected by environmental change or jet lag when you travel, remember to carry a few painkillers of your choice, infection treatment, antihistamine incase you suffer from allergies, malaria tablets, mosquito net or insect repellent, a sun screen, lip balm,   contraceptives and any necessary medication (with prescription if required to have one).

Lastly, a tip I learned from a close friend who is a frequent traveller, make it a habit to have different suit cases for different travel trips. For short trips that take a few days, a small bag or an overnight bag is usually enough. But in case you are travelling abroad and intend to stay for long, say more than two weeks , get a spacious suit case or luggage. I prefer the box type luggages that are not heavy but are sturdy.

With all the above suggestions based from my experiences, you are set for your journey and assured of comfort that will make you feel at ease while travelling and relaxed as you embark on your business trip. Bon voyage!

 

 

 

 

Leveraging Overseas Experience

Third Culture Kids or better known as TCKs brave growing up in different countries and they do experience cultural identity crisis. Well, the other side of that story or perhaps the result of the experience is a priceless gift they appreciate, the strong spirit to rise above all odds and think independently.

What happens usually is that when one is raised in countries other than his/her birth place, she/he is set to come across different sets of cultural norms, value systems, and behavioral personas that all together makes him/her adaptable to different cultures and more flexible to changes that come

Over the years, research has revealed more distinctive traits of TCKs. These includes: Emotional stability, better understanding of the environment, cultural sensitivity, resilience, communication and personal skills. We would agree that these traits make the exceptional student and or employee

Again, more study results indicate TCKs are well-read, well-travelled, and have the professional skills needed in most work places; that close to 80 percent of TCKs are professionals, executives or managers and that their career choices often reflect the need for advance education, creativity, insatiable desire for autonomy, flexibility, voluntary work and great interest working with others.

Bethany Clarke, an expat who manages an international film program in LA expected to impress the panel with her 3.9 GPA in Arts Education, Honors Society membership, multiple internships with reputable organizations and four year work experience in college but no, these never caught their attention. Instead they scanned through her resume and focused on her experience overseas.

“Wow, you happen to have lived in so many countries. What does this background make you?” she was asked. As you’d expect she prepared for the interview. However, she never anticipated this line of questioning. She succeeded of course but all through the interview she felt the panel was more interested in her expat life, the effects of it on her, and the languages she had learned.

In her article advising TCKs to leverage on their overseas experience, she emphasizes the need to include and highlight the following key aspects of expats life and character traits in their resume.

Cross-Cultural Background

A unique background always attracts attention she says: “It makes you stand out among others.” To leverage on your multi-cultural upbringing, highlight it on your resume then be prepared to explain how the different cultures have influenced your behavior and attitude towards both work and people, why it matters to the organization, and how it is likely to help achieve their set goals.

Values and Social Orientation

TCKs have experienced a rare gift, the world. Due to their interaction with different cultures and people, they have a broader worldview compared to their mono-cultural colleagues and are more comfortable engaging with diverse groups of people. To leverage on this, Clarke notes you could underscore the ease the many breakups you have had have helped you connect with other people.

Multilingual Ability and Skills

Other than the ability to speak more than one language which makes it easier to satisfy a larger client base, multilingual skills also makes it easier to understand certain aspects of one’s culture, which are best understood in native language. To make the most out of your ability to deliver on this aspect, again Clarke advices that you appeal to the organization’s international status or goal.

Adaptability and Flexibility

The ability and willingness to adapt to changes and new environments is a great attribute in any organization. As a TCK, the likelihood that you have at one point in your development been in a new, sometimes hostile environment and situations where you had to quickly adjust to the system including a different set of ideas and certain elements of tradition as well as learn a new language and translate the same either to work or in college is a skill that should not miss in your resume.

Finally, in a world where technology is rapidly blurring the boundaries, studies and careers even more becoming global, opportunities are increasingly becoming available and all you need is the right knowledge and skills to match the expectations. If you find yourself slightly ill-equipped to benefit in the new revolution, all you need is at least 40 minutes of your time on call with me.

Also, if you’re an expat or an expert with significant knowledge and you don’t mind sharing the same, perhaps you could partner with me in my laser -focused VIP Coaching session (2 hours) or you can apply to be included in my 90-day Mentorship Program, which starts soon, every 1st of each month and only three spots are available
each term.

 

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Do More in Less Time: the 90-day Concept that will Change Your Life and Career

Change your Life and Career

Not so long ago, we told you there comes a time when you are down and out, in a slump, and with nowhere or anyone to turn to. In the article; want to take over activities at the White house? We also told you about the principle the dream is free but the hustle is sold separately.

Today however, I bring you The 90 Day Concept that will not only allow you to do more in less time but also transform your life and career. Most popular with this principle is Eric Worre. You may already know him. Mr. Worre is a professional network marketer, a motivational speaker and a business advisor.

A lot has been said about this guy but based on his story, his life and fortune changed in September 1992 when he first adopted the 90 day concept and later soar further midyear 2005 when he put the concept to test a second time. From struggling & “making ends meet”, Eric now claims a huge portion of financial freedom.

Interestingly enough are his arguments on the 90 day concept. Eric says that success loves speed and a no-nonsense period of intense work. He says the concept can surely change your life from one seen as inferior to an average level, extraordinary, and a legendary status. According to the marketing expert, the slow and steady mentality doesn’t win the race that is life. Worre says that “once in a while you need a boost in energy, which you should maintain for some time before moving to the next level.”

So much about that, the 90 day concept is about planning an aspect (or several aspects) about your life and career on a three month basis. It’s about setting a particular goal (in my case, I always set 3 goals –life, family, and career) and remember not only planning but also working to achieve it within the annual quarterly time frame. When it comes to this concept, you don’t have to ‘crawl’ forever in life or even at work. It includes the following steps and the explanation for each pertains to work and business building but could be applied elsewhere:

STEP 1

Set your goal.  This could be about your expected promotion to the next rank at the work place or the amount of increase in earnings you expect from work or your business venture. Use the SMART goal-setting guide: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.

STEP 2

Mind your pre-launch. This is the time before you start your 90 day period of intense work and sacrifice. At this point, you’ll not only plan and prepare but also gather whatever else you might require during the 90 days such as resolve any issues with family, friends, colleagues etc that you may need to address before you begin; take an inventory of your available resources; things you may need in the process (even skills set you need to learn).

List down ALL the tasks you can think of to move towards goal completion.  I usually set a timer for 20 minutes and start writing down the required steps in making the goal happen. I move away from my list once the timer goes off. Yes, I take a brief mental break and I do it again until I have listed down all the necessary action steps to reach my goal.

Once I have the big picture with all the details,  I go to my calendar and start scheduling the action steps.  Tip: Anything not scheduled will NEVER happen.  So, go ahead and schedule an appointment with yourself to decompress regularly –a spa visit is always a nice reward for your hardwork!

STEP 3

Launch your “90 day Plan”: this is the time you start your ‘all out massive action plan ‘. At this point, you are IN for your goal and you expect NO less than stellar achievement at the end of the 90 day period. While at it, you are likely to increase your working hours, interact less with your family or friends, spend more time away from your favorite programs on television, and also you are likely to radically reduce weight (which may be a good thing) BUT please make it a priority to be healthy.  Of course, the intensity of your implementation phase is dependent on the magnitude of the goal.  Make sure to align your priorities and schedule accordingly.

 

The 90 day concept is somewhat interpreted differently at the work place compared to business building. It scores a significant meaning to you as an individual and to your employer. The 90 day concept often implies your first 90 days at a particular job that you are likely newly recruited or promoted in. But even with this, Worre’s 90 day work plan still applies (only the specifics vary).  Most often, when we finally get selected for the job, we get all giddy and dreamy!  We tend to lose our focus because we finally got the job that we have been waiting for –all we can think about now is starting work and follow the stream where it will take us.

 

HOWEVER,  it is more beneficial if we keep our sight in the prize via WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) and HCIGV (How Can I Give Value).   According to Forbes Magazine, you have the first three months to learn the ropes around a new job. And while at it, they suggest you take the following 11 tips:

 

  1. Understand how your manager and the organization in general measure success;
  2. Take your colleagues out for lunch or coffee to understand more about your job;
  3. Identify people in the organization that you can trust to help you learn and grow;
  4. Take your time to understand the organization and products or services offered;
  5. Strike a conversation with people with whom you don’t often interact to gather more info;
  6. Seek to understand the big picture even if your particular job is that of entry level;
  7. Set up a pattern of being trustworthy mainly through your commitments and action;
  8. Make it a habit to keep track of your time and write status reports you can refer to;
  9. Meet your manager regularly, set the agenda and discuss your progress and improvement;
  10. Also, you may find it effective to under promise but over deliver on your assignments;
  11. And you’ll also remember to be friendly to other employees but with professional limits;

 

On the other hand, if you happen to be the employer who has hired a new employee then your application of the 90 day concept will slightly differ. ONE important task to remember is to engage the new employee by regularly communicating with them, once in a while take them out for lunch or coffee (get to know them as a person with aspirations), maintain an open door policy at the office, include both short and long term goals for the new hire (setting the expectations both ways), carry out a regular employee review to assess their progress at the end of the period or advice on points of improvement.  Lastly, once in a while sponsor a “get together” for your staff.  This is the human relations step during the first 90 days ALL employers need to prioritize — COMMUNICATION & SOCIALIZATION: these two factors are crucial in strengthening the company culture.

 

So, why 90 days? A book to read regarding this topic is The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael D. Watkins.  He views that your first 90 days on the job is in fact a transition.  A role shift takes place during this change.  Watkins emphasized that a quarter is a recognized time frame in the business world, “companies often track how much progress they make each quarter –and you should too.”  Anything we don’t keep track does not expand.

 

I am BIG believer of the 90 day concept, I have applied this in my transitions to new jobs (scored myself several free trips and career ladder opportunities) and most importantly, I built my first brick and mortar business, Early Learners International School (and other businesses after that) by executing a “90-day No Fail Plan.” Remember, anything you don’t measure or watch out–it will never grow or get accomplished! Grab a copy of my 90 Day Concept template to get you started in mapping out your goals.

To work with me in solidifying the 90 Day Concept and accomplishing more in less time; I only open 3 one-on-one spots at a time, reserve yours in my 90-Day Mentorship TODAY and accelerate your life!

 

 

 

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Ten Portable Careers for Women with Mobile Lifestyle

Women with Mobile Lifestyle

For some people work just has to be away from home. Even the so called side hustle would have to be elsewhere, away from the family. For others a home office is more than welcome for work.

For us women, there’s more than a single reason you would want to work at home. If it’s not for your partner then it has to do with staying close to the kids or maybe caring for an elderly parent.

Being a military spouse, life is highly mobile and for that reason, given the options, I’d prefer portable careers for women with mobile lifestyle or let’s just call them “work at home careers”.

Now, working at home takes hard work, self-discipline, and respect for time. Perhaps you would also want to let in your other family members so they understand, but first, you’d have to identify the right opportunities for you that fits your personality 7 skills, which are legitimate and can monetize your skills, knowledge and abilities.

Take a look, here are ten portable careers for women with a mobile lifestyle :

Career 1

Freelance Writing: Digital Content Blogging & Travel Planning

 I have a personal bias for this one; perhaps because blogging and traveling are my creative outlets. All it takes is time to have enough experience but you don’t necessarily need a lot of training or a degree for that matter. You can choose from a variety of markets; eBooks, newspapers, magazines, website copies, sales letters and white papers; the market for new articles is so vast you can dive in and profit. Perhaps it’s also important to know what you’d need to start: samples of your work in a particular niche, tools including computer, fast internet access, and the job boards such as Upwork and Fiverr.

As a military spouse, we have a mobile lifestyle –we could be stateside or somewhere overseas.  We love to travel and explore every chance we can get.  In fact, spouse groups dedicated to traveling on social media platforms are thriving!  You may opt to share your experience in traveling and offer your service of building itineraries for a modest fee.  Another option is to sign up in a franchise system like Cruise Planners and become an independent cruise/travel planner.

Career 2

Freelance Consultation

Consultants such as myself offer services or technical advice for a fee. You might for instance; help a new business get media attention by writing related press releases and distributing them to the proper channels. Essentially, if you have proven skills in an area or are recognized in given specialty then you can market yourself as a consultant therefore offer your services from home. But it’s not an easy to start, just like a business start up which is the case for this category, it will need time and processes to get to a point to have a booked calendar.

Other than education and experience, you will need to show your clients that you are qualified enough to advise them and be able to deliver the results they need. Also, you’ll have to keep up with professional development courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and networking events to be updated, meet prospective clients, and even getting introduced to possible mentors.

Career 3

Online Courses And Tutorials

Other than offering your wisdom via consults, you can also offer your knowledge and expertise online. The truth is people are always willing to learn new and different things in life, we have reached an era where formal education is not the only source of valuable information. If you are a fitness expert for instance you can start training sessions around the vicinity of your home where you’ll exhibit your coaching skills for onsite clients and document the same for your online learners who are geographically far from you.

Pay attention– even your hobbies have helped you develop skills that you can monetize from. A few examples: meditation, dancing, cooking, gardening, yoga, foreign languages, playing a musical instrument, dog training, artistry, soap making, jewelry making, child care a.k.a. babysitting, event planning, etc the list is endless!

For online courses and tutorials, you’d want to get the following right: 1) your expertise and unique idea, 2) well thought-out and consistent schedule, 3) considerable price, packages, and marketing plan.  Where to teach you said? You can start with your local community center to test the water and build a following  and when you are ready, explore the online world via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that offer professional and personal development classes.

Career 4

 Customer Care Service Or Call Center Jobs

If you have a great telephone voice, ability to organize information quickly, and a quiet room in your home then you are sitting on a possible income generating opportunity. You can make      money working for a firm as a call agent. Several firms have this opportunity and together with their average pay, which is mostly $9 per hour, they also offer other benefits. You’ll be equipped        with computers and relevant software.

For a call center agent working at home, you’ll need the following; the right firm – not a scam, diligence, the right equipment – if not provided, patience with clients, great poise, and ambition. A reliable job board for this is Rat Race Rebellion. The founders of Rat Race Rebellion, Christine Durst and Michael Haaren (I personally have had the opportunity to interview Michael for a graduate research project many moons ago) wrote the two books: The 2-Second Commute and Work At Home Now.

Career 5

Arts and Crafts

If you have a knack for creating beautiful handmade things then you can sure make some money wherever you are. There’s a growing trend and online market for vintage and domestic products. The good news is that the internet is full of market outlets for your kind of crafts and art. Etsy for instance, is one of the well-known sites that give artists the opportunity to sell their merchandise.

Selling items on some of these sites is however not easy, you may sign up at Etsy or build your own e-commerce site using Shopify. There’s a lot of competition for sure. In order to succeed, you’ll need to research on what the others are offering and what sets your creations apart from the rest before you decide on your own. So, creating your niche market is highly advised from the start.

To build your loyal tribe, you may start by joining local craft fairs and fundraisers.  At the preschool we founded, Early Learners International School we held fundraisers such as our Spring Bazaar and Carnival where we supported small business owners and featured their products and/or services.

Career 6

Network Marketing

More people have been getting in on this lately. In fact, it’s been experiencing a steady rise in the past two years. There’s a lot of information on this online but for starters it’s NOT a must you walk door to door with goods.  Social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have helped direct selling distributors immensely. If you have the right marketing and sales skills, this area may be of advantage to you!

You will be marketing products and services for companies using a web of agencies or contact persons from whose online and physical sales you’ll be able to earn a given percentage or commission. Your platform may range from onsite home parties, virtual parties, challenges and so on and forth.  One more thing to note about this is that there’s no easy way around it. You’ll have to put in the hours. In fact, about 70 percent of network marketers spend less than 15 hours per week on their business. You can do slightly more for a start depending on your work and other commitments.

Common pitfall I have observed, the direct selling business also goes by trends, a lot of distributors or consultants do not even reach their first year in business.  Why? They lose the motivation.  A lot of initiative and creativity are needed to survive in this type of business.  Too often, most people sign up because they got sold to the “financial freedom dream”, while it is possible to achieve, they often forget that there is a process from point A to point B. More on that later.

Career 7

Medical Transcriptions

Doctors often make audio notes on patients and are rarely willing to pay full time transcriptionists –so this is an opportunity. This work requires great computer skills and ease with medical jargon. To be able to work from home doing medical transcriptions or other related career you’ll have to be a good typist. Getting your first assignment might not be easy but once you do, you’ll       have to be diligent, punctual, and deliver quality customer service. Short courses abound if this area is of interest to you.

Career 8

Survey Participant

Survey participants earn an average of $100 per hour by giving video feedback on new products, technologies, new websites, and marketing campaigns among others. For this work you’ll need a webcam. In order to participate, register with a credible site, and once you are in, log on to your account dashboard then look up for current assignments that match your skills after which you’ll     complete a test survey to determine whether you qualify to be fully incorporated into the survey.

Career 9

Social Media Manager or Online Business Manager

This one is the other mega portable careers for women with mobile lifestyle today. Everyone from multinational companies, government corporations, non-governmental organizations, and leaders (politicians) are using social media today to market their products and services and also boost their brands and online presence by having an efficient business manager. The good news you don’t have to be physically present assuming these roles.

Career 10

Virtual Assistants

Several other women are earning six figure digits per year working as Virtual Assistants. The big earners are said to be running multi-VA syndicates. But everyone begins from somewhere so you     can look up The Bookstrap VA, or The Blogger’s VA.

Like freelance blogging and consultations you need the right tools including laptop, smartphone, and access to fast internet access as well as right social connections and reliably new information for most of these income generating activities. Other prime portable careers for women with mobile lifestyle include: selling stuff on Ebay, CraigList, and Amazon among others, clicking on ads and being secret shoppers.

One last note, if you decide to dive in to one of the careers above —you are also starting your own business.  Too often, I see others fail when they enter these career areas. WHY? Because eventually it becomes an expensive HOBBY and not an income generating business, IF you are in this position, let’s chat and let me help you map out a business game plan for you.

 

 

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Tuition-Free Online Professional Development Courses for Busy-Career Woman

Busy-Career Woman

Are you a working mom and you want to return to college? Or perhaps been wanting a job promotion with a pay raise? Or you just want to learn new skills to rejoin the workforce? Well, this might seem impossible because of the many demands both at work and at home. The truth is– often it seems far fetched to many. But it is completely possible. Since the 1980’s, women’s admission into higher education institutions in the US has grown to about 12 million.

According to reports by USNews.com, working women have continued to dominate online study programs in the US since 1987, with a majority of them being mothers aged 25 and above. Also, in today’s economy and job market, going back to college is a necessary step to achieve a higher pay scale and career advancement.

To help you stay competitive in your career, there are several online professional development courses for you. Other than helping you stay “job ready” or “marketable”, some of these courses will help you expand your career knowledge and keep you updated on workforce trends. The best part is that most of these on line resources available now are ZERO tuition or with minimal fees (please avoid the expensive diploma mill schools out there!).

Regardless of your field of expertise, taking additional professional development courses will also help improve your skills and productivity. To boost your growth professionally, you can take one or two of these accelerated online courses in the following fields at your own convenience

1.Medical Coding

This can be a very good point to start at. Medical coding requires strong communication skills, which is crucially essential part of being a good wife and mother. In addition to that, this field also involves record keeping, which requires a good sense of organization – common in moms.

There are various medical coding programs online. However, I’d prefer one by Clay Martin and his team of code coaches. He is a certified professional coder with more than a decade years of experience teaching coding in various colleges. Click: https://www.udemy.com/medical-coding-icd-10-cm-training/ or https://www.udemy.com/high-demand-health-careers/ for additional info.

2.Project Management

Develop your project management skills and get paid more! If you like managing project execution, and ensuring adherence to budget, schedule and scope –this may be a career for you. According to O-Net On line, an Information Technology Project Manager’s median hourly rate in 2014 is $40.10 or $83,410 annually.  Check out the Project Management Certificate from San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies (CES).

3.Real Estate

If you thought real estate is only reserved to a select few,  then think again. There’s been resurgence in real estate industry and this is one of the courses that makes perfect sense for busy moms today. It’s about self-management. You can manage your clients at your own convenience

There are various aspects about this course including; basics, investments, flipping, photography, and marketing among others. You may look around for one that fits you well. However, Symon He’s Real Estate Investing: Complete Investment Analysis is doing pretty well on Udemy. Find more about him and the course at link: https://www.udemy.com/real-estate-investment-analysis/.

4.Pharmacy Technician

And if you are thinking about changing a career towards the healthcare industry then pharmacy is one of those up for your consideration. Based on an earlier report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), new opportunities as pharmacy technicians are increasingly more than typical of all other careers now

If interested, become a pharmacy technician with an online professional course in the same from Udemy by Steven Pettit. Click: https://www.udemy.com/pharmtech/.

5.Administrative Assistant

In our article, portable careers for women with mobile lifestyle, we realized women are earning six figure digits annually working as Virtual Assistants (VAs). A professional course in administrative assistant will not only help you get the required skills to work as a VA, it will also allow you be the good mom you want to be while working. Online courses in it are most flexible.

Again, various institutions have varied names for this. However, many of them teach it either as Virtual Assistant or Administrative Assistant. It’s best you get the certification from a reputable institution like Expert Rating via: https://www.expertrating.com/certifications/Administrative-Assistant-Certification/Administrative-Assistant-Certification.asp.

In addition to these, other online professional development courses up for consideration include: web development using html or CSS, JavaScript for beginners, intermediate and advanced, iOS 9 Swift and developer from beginner to paid professional, Android 6, Angular JS, SQL Database, CompTIA Networks+ Certification, KiCad, MPLS Fundamentals, and AWS Certified Solutions.

Other popular online professional development courses for the busy– career moms today include: Computer skills: Photoshop, InDesign, Spreadsheets, and PowerPoint, Business Communication, Financial Analysis and Accounting, Relevant Career Laws and Ethics, Entrepreneurship, SWOT Analysis, Business Planning, Operations, and Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence as well as Customer Service, Human Resource, Leadership and Management, and Marketing.

Even though virtual and traditional institutions have made learning more flexible by introducing online professional courses such as the ones above, still, studying has been a challenge to many busy women who imagine its improbable or too hard given their tight working schedules but on the flip side, some have continued to defy such beliefs and they’ve lived to confess the rewards.

So, are you a working spouse? Do you wish to learn a new skill? How about get a better paying job? Well, education is said to never end, and it’s not for kids only. Go online and you’ll find a professional course that will give just that. What’s more? Some of the courses will not only work with your work schedule but are also offered for free. If you are not convinced yet, read about Jessica Brayden, director of Respond, and Michele Wienraub, nurse at Cherry Creek School District.

To fellow military spouses, there’re security and online military basics among other professional courses out there. With such, you’ll not only study at the comfort of your own home, you will be able to better understand your spouse, the work he/she does, what you can do during emergencies as well as how to be of help to your partner and others at your duty station in case the unexpected happens.

And lastly on this, when looking for a professional course; emphasize on quality for your money, flexibility, and convenience. Find out more about the other cited professional online courses via these sites:

  1. Free Courses via Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)

U-demy

edX

Coursera

Open Culture

Academic Earth

University of the People

2.Certificate Programs from reputable universities

San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies

UCLA Extension

University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education

UC Berkeley Continuing and Professional Education

University of Maryland Extension

Academic Extension at the University of Oregon

The University of Texas at Austin

University of Wisconsin-Extension

Columbia University School of Continuing Education

Brown University

eCornell :an online subsidiary of Cornell University

Duke University Continuing Studies

Open Yale Courses

NYU School of Professional Studies

Emory University – Continuing Education

Princeton University –Continuing Education

Stanford University –Continuing Studies

If you feel overwhelmed sorting out all these resources and wondering what will be the best fit according to your professional and personal needs, let’s chat and I will help you figure it out.

 

 

 

5 Reasons ‘ME Time’ Is So Important For Momma

Me Time

Hello there! Let us start from where we left it the previous week.

Women today are pulled in a million different directions; between taking care of the kids, trying to stay connected with our husbands or partners and, in many cases, caring for an elderly parent. There is tremendous amount of stress and pressure on us women; being parents, being wives, at some point being daughters and other times being professionals. That’s just the way it is, isn’t it?

It’s been said that women today have it all – careers, families, kids, community involvement, and relationships. But on the flip side, with all that most of us don’t get the time to make the shopping list; let alone have some time to recharge, replenish, set our own goals and focus on our progress.

No Time or Energy for Ourselves

In most cases we are left with no time or energy for ourselves. And that could be the major cause of unhappiness in most marriages today. For most of us, getting married was in truth supposed to be a happy ever after. And while some of us, like I am, are indeed happy, our shock of the reality being a woman caught us unaware. A friend of mine actually confesses she never thought much past making babies only to realize later that the babies would soon also grow to become toddlers to adults.

Now listen, while being with family and loved ones or socializing with your friends is essential, it’s also important to make some time off to reflect upon life, inner feelings, responsibilities and challenges or simply do something for yourself without necessarily going to the gym or sleeping.

The following are the five reasons ‘ME TIME’ IS SO IMPORTANT FOR MOMMA.

  1. Recharging Resources

Usually, moments by yourself takes you away from the usual. It gives you the time to recover the physical and mental resources spent running errands. According to David Sbarra, the relationship scientist, spending time alone will provide you an excellent opportunity to reset your abilities for self-control and to recharge for the demands of routine responsibilities. Besides that, setting time for yourself will lower your chances of depression, physical injuries, and generally improve not just your wellbeing but happiness as well.         

    2. Limiting Anxiety

The relationship experts also advice that, like we most often do, avoiding being alone in order to keep off certain thoughts is actually prolonging the problem and of course the existence of those bothersome feelings. They says that the more you run away from anxiety, the more it becomes not easy to experience the full range of your emotions, the more you harbor them, and the more you will experience anxiety. The experts added that having some me time will help you and learn to live with your or simply let anxiety pass.

3. Seeing the Glass as Half Full

Again, when we’re overwhelmed, stressed or sad, we tend to focus on the negative side of things, Sbarra says. In fact, even the day-to-day hustle and bustle has a tendency to get us down. But by taking the time to actively process your emotions, you can head off emotional overload before it starts. He advises that every once in a while, whether you feel the blues coming on or not, find a quiet spot to sit at a coffee shop or local park, and write down but don’t try to make sense of what you’re thinking.

4. A Better Night’s Sleep

You must have experienced this because I am GUILTY as charged. Each night when we’re sleeping, our minds process the day’s events, consolidate our memories and digest emotions. According to Shelby Freedman Harris, the behaviorist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, not only is it hard to fall asleep when your mind is running rampant, it may be difficult to sleep a whole night even though physically you may be seen doing just that.    

To improve your sleep and the healing process that goes with it, Harris suggests taking an hour before bed to engage in a “gentle” and “single-focus” activity, like painting your nails or reading a book, which will eliminate multi-tasking or otherwise stress inducing conversations even as to prepare your mind for deep rest.

5. Improve Focus

Focus simply means concentrating on the task at hand. It means that instead of thinking about next day’s to-do list, you only focus on what is happening right in front of you, for instance, waves from the sea crashing on to the shore, which is partly what having some ‘me time’ will allow and teach you. However, this is not easy because to concentrate on a single task is not one of our natural inclinations as women. But this is important especially when driving with the kids screaming.

Other common reasons “Me Time” is so important for Momma include: It teaches you to enjoy your own company, it makes you a better decision maker, It can give you a sense of accomplishment, It can help you achieve your goals, It broadens your intellectual perspectives, as stated earlier it helps in self-regulation as well as managing unnecessary poor eating habits and weight gain.

I can only add that being a mother to my daughter Elise is the greatest blessing of my life. I love the opportunity to teach and learn from this young beauty. My advice to you is that while you are enjoying the consecrations of motherhood, don’t lose sight of yourself. With Elise, its always fun and she also thinks besides our little run around the house, me time is so important for Momma – Dad strongly approves this as well.

 

 

 

 

Crafting Your Life’s Vision on a Board

life’s vision on a board

The one attribute all successful and great people inspire–be they writers, artists, athletes, parents, or teachers – is the passion and enthusiasm for life. We all need a compelling vision for our lives – one so powerful that we are driven to do whatever it takes to achieve despite the circumstances.

Usually, when we pursue something greater than the present, we find prodigious fulfillment and joy. The ultimate pleasure comes in knowing that we are walking the right track towards the one special and unique vision we have set for our lives.

“When You Have Your Vision in Mind, You’ll Notice It Anywhere,” Devin

How then do you create this ultimate vision? Listen, go to an environment that inspires you and with limited interference, for instance; a park, the beach, museum, or your study and while there, craft your life’s vision on a board. Devin Alexander was introduced to this concept 15 years ago.

According to huffingtonpost.com, Devin was told that we, women often don’t notice a car on the road but that if we bought a certain model, suddenly we begin to see it everywhere. So she was told that ‘when it’s on your mind you notice it but when it’s not you simply don’t notice the car.

“With Your Vision on A Board, You Can Easily Track Your Goals,” Fisher

Now, creating a vision board has the effect of spotting your car. When you have what you want on the board, you can see it when it crosses your path. According to a former Mrs. Corporate America, Sonja Fisher, creating a vision board is one sure way of tracking your goals through achievements. She postulates that with it you can see every day the pictures you are striving for.

In case you are wondering what a vision board is; simply, this is a tool used to help clarify, focus and remind one about a given set goal, which in this case is your vision. It is any sort of board on which you can draft or design a pictorial reminder of what you want to achieve in life. It could be placed at home, on your door, or at the office. You can also have a digital version of the same on your PC or smartphone.  I keep mine on my IPhone to keep me on track.

What You Need To Craft a Good Vision Board

In order to craft the vision board, you will need a pair of scissors, pins, office glue, fun markers, stickers, magazines, picture cuttings, photos of people and images places, quotes, postcards, and or yes, time. When it comes to putting the stuff together, before you start pinning, lay out all the things you need first. Lastly about spacing, you may choose to clutter or give each item its space.

But Do Not Expect a Good Vision Just Like That! It Requires Time

Perhaps you share in the same beliefs Sonja does but have not been a great fun of vision boards like the New York Bestselling cookbook author, Alexander. I do vision boards myself. Since the year 2013 I have planned my calendar years using them. They have helped me achieve my goals within a shorter timeframe.

And focus on what I want to accomplish. They can help you too. But first, you need to learn how to make one. Do not expect a well-defined vision just like that. A good vision requires time and a good reflection on self. You will apply logic in planning for the practical application of the goals.

Four Subtle but Effective Steps to Crafting Your Life’s Vision on a Board

Often, a good vision will blossom from your own dreams, hopes and aspirations in life. Also, it should resonate well with your ideals and values. And just like stated earlier, a good vision will generate the kind of energy and enthusiasm that will strengthen your commitment to explore all the possibilities about life. The following are four steps to crafting your life’s vision on a board.

  1. Answer the Following Questions

       

  • What really do you want in life?
  • What really matters to you?
  • What would you want more in life?
  • What career fascinates you?
  • What are your passions and dream?
  • What brings you more happiness?
  • What are your Values?
  • What are your talents?
  • What challenges might you want to overcome?
  • What legacy would you want to leave behind?

 

  1. Give Your Vision an Emotional Appeal

The reality is that your vision will provide a consistent focus, continually reminding you what it is you are committed to creating in your life, career or business. To achieve one like that, find a quiet place, if you can, turn on the stereo, have a track with a desirable theme play on your ears, and light the candle as you find answers to the above questions, look for matching pictures and quotes.

  1. Add Some Details

The vision should provide some details about the stages, timing and your expected results such that you know where you are, where you want to go and what you need to do to get to that point.

  1. Seek No Perfection

There is no ultimate perfect way to crafting your life’s vision on a board. There is no definitive right or wrong either. This is something that excites you so your way counts. Choose a song for your theme; make drawings that excite you, cut out pictures that inform your vision. You can be as creative as you want so long as you think the final product fits your vision and you like it.

Finally, to know and not to do is not yet to know. With that let me wish you success and a habit of crafting your life’s vision on boards because with it, you will never lose track of your dream.

If you feel that your group of friends, colleague or organization could benefit in creating a dynamic workshop as a team building and goal setting exercise, I offer “Craft Your Life Plan ™” live class! This powerful workshop will provide a tangible path towards your ideal vision of your life.  As the saying goes, “Plan to fail, fail to plan.”  Start practicing the art of manifestation by creating visual affirmations of your dreams, passions, and values.

To achieving your life goals with clarity & speed,

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How to Juggle Between Work and Family Without Losing Your Marbles

Juggle Between Work and Family

The struggle between work and family is not new. It is one of the most common causes of stress in working adults. More often than not, they are unable to find the golden balance between both. Given different circumstances, there’s always a time when either family or work takes priority.

But really stress is an understatement when we women are the subjects, or much better let’s just say victims. The tussle is often associated with dysfunctional outcomes including poor physical and mental health, ineptitude at work, and strained family relationships among the many others.

Is There Really A Balance In Career And Family Life?

Ask yourself this. Is there really a balance in career and family life? Well, not really. Sometimes in a day you will be a mom 100 per cent, wife 70 per cent, and say a career woman 20 percent or 10%. We can’t have it all. Much less with the kind of “burden” our societs expects of us to bear.

Women today are pulled in a million different directions; between taking care of the kids, trying to stay connected with our husbands or partners and, in many cases, caring for an elderly parent. With all that, most of us don’t get the time to make the grocery list, let alone think about balance.

I always say this; despite our level of advancement, it’s never easy being a mom, trying to juggle between a full-time job on one hand and a beautiful loving family on another. In fact, it’s almost impossible. Take these for instance; when a family member is sick, you may need to skip the office. On the other hand when a deadline has to be met, you may need to miss dinner and work.

How to Juggle between Work and Family and Still Manage Both       

The most important question to ask yourself is how to juggle between work and family and still manage both. Now listen, when Zoraida Sambolin was handed her role as the weekend morning anchor at NBC5 News Today five years ago, it was the most difficult task she ever had.

“There was a lot to learn. It was a very complex environment to work in. I never had the training for smaller markets,” she reportedly said. Today however, according to Oprah.com, she says she has the hang for television news reporting and anchoring.

“If you have the desire to do something and you have the passion for it then you are going to do it, to the best of your ability, and I think more often than not you are going to succeed,” she says.

“The Balance People Talk About Is Really Individual,” Zoraida

Despite the ever challenging tasks she has, the numerous travels she makes in the course of duty, the rough terrains she rides in, Zoraida still manages to raise her four children alongside an eight year old foster youngster. “The balance people talk about is really dependent on individual,” she says.

But she isn’t the only one. Many other women have succeeded too. We all have our own little success stories as well. I had my own share of the struggle before I constructed Early Learners International School in Okinawa, Japan. And I can tell you for sure the following will help you juggle between both.

a) Involve the People You Love In Your Plan

Most important to factor in.  Often I thought I did not need my husband and children to solve my work versus family concerns but I was wrong. So I decided to try and the more I did, the more I realized there is no way to get things right if you only rely on what you know, or at least think you know. And this was a magical revelation for me. I think if you can make your entire family know about your obligations both at home and at work then they can be more understanding on your part.

b) Make the Mornings Easier For the Children

When still at home, try not to get yourself worked out in the morning by making relevant preparations on the morning of!  Instead, prepare everything you and your family may need the night before. Pack the kid’s lunches, lay out their clothes, and have them shower. You can also decide what to make for breakfast, repack the diaper bag, purses, backpacks, and or the work bags to be placed by the door, alongside the keys so you can grab them on the way out.

c) Discuss the Struggle Your With Your Employer

Research on whether other employees have flex time or even remote work schedules. Have a written plan with your proposals. Do not share too much in it but try to be as much open and honest as possible. Also, prepare alternative solutions to your perceived inconveniences. If possible, get clear info as to how much time you can take off and the effect of that on your time card.  The important area to present is your productivity and your work output.

d) Limit Distractions and Time Wastage At Work

Of course you want to have a good rapport with other members at your workplace–we are social beings afterall; but numerous e-mails and phone text/ instant messaging chats as well as casual internet surfing, gossiping, and long lunch time conversations are distractions that will not only affect your productivity but will also reduce the time you can spend with your family. Back at home, set time limits for reading mails, making phone calls, and watching television.

Truth be told –I do not watch television!

Other ways to juggle between work and family and still manage both include but are not limited to accepting that the imbalance is sometimes unavoidable, having some ‘you-time” to reschedule your activities, finding quality childcare, staying connected with family during the day, creating special family activities whenever time allows, establishing the boundaries between family and work as well as creating more time for your partner. For my husband and I, we call it “Dada and Momma time.”

Last but not least, forget what society dictates or what others may think; just do what is right based on your own principles, values and beliefs.

One more before I see you on my next article…

If you feel that I could assist you in finding your sweet spot in balancing career or business AND family life, I am more than welcome to have a 40-minute chat with you. CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE.

Please note that this is a complimentary 40-minute discovery call, anywhere in the world.  During our chat, we will explore the options that will best suit your needs.  I will LISTEN to your ideas, dreams, and trouble spots why you could not attain the lifestyle you have been long wishing for.

To make this call even sweeter,  I will make sure to provide you feedback to identify your quick & easy action steps and get you moving on the right track! Hold on, one more thing — IF after our chat, I felt that your needs are not within my “zone of genius”,  I will be happy to refer someone who could assist you more effectively.

If perhaps, you know someone who could benefit from my offer for a short conversation.  DO share this article and let them decide to take action.

To finding your true balance,

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Want To Take Over Activities At The White House? Dream!

dream

Want To Take Over Activities At The White House? Dream!

I have received quite a few messages & questions after posting my letter to my daughter, Elise regarding “Redefining Success.”  One of the questions I would wish to answer is, “What is your favorite quote?”  I have a several but there’s one that rings true whenever I hear myself say, “Wouldn’t be nice to…” or hear others say, “I would want to… BUT…”

There comes a time you are down and out, in a slump, with nowhere to turn and no hope in sight. Such is the time you want to throw in the towel and quit. But listen, you are not alone. Someone has been right where you are, all of them, right from Melinda Gates, Martha Stewart, and Oprah.

Oprah Winfrey Had Her Share of Adversities, Worse Perhaps

Speaking about the television proprietor and icon, her story must be known to you. Winfrey has been labeled the most influential woman world over, ranked the richest African American, and currently one of the two “black” billionaires in North America. But you know all that don’t you?

Well, even though your situation might be special, it is certainly not worse. Oprah’s was perhaps. Think about it. She was sexually abused at age nine, became pregnant at 14, her son died in infancy, in her teens, she wore dresses made of potato sacks for which she was constantly scorned on the way to school.

Want To Take Over Activities At The White House? Dream!

So much has been told about the phenomenal Oprah. But one thing is for sure. Despite her start, she had a talent to showcase the world and a dream to live. And this is perhaps what Eleanor Roosevelt meant when she said what has now become a cliché; “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

So what? Don’t you have something special to show the world as well? I believe you do. A talent in art perhaps; craft, music, dance, or sports. Could it be that like Victoria Woodhull did you also wish to take over activities at the White House? Or is it that you want a leap forward in your work or business.

But The Dream Is Free, Hustle Is Sold Separately Though

HUSTLE QUOTE PIC

My favorite quote, “The Dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately” hangs by our kitchen.

Well, the road to success is not a smooth one. Along the way there is blood, sweat and tears. It is rough, bumpy, and full of adversities. For women like us, it feels much difficult, especially since despite our level of advancement, the society still has certain expectations of us, which in my opinion are not very friendly for our progress. But, like Waldo Emerson said: “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing,” if we hustle enough, we can overcome.

Consider this. Back in the year 2012, as a new mother and a military spouse living in Okinawa, Japan, I wanted to find a way to be successful without giving up my family. But I felt that I was not being true to myself, partly because societal standards in my opinion have put on us certain “burdens” as women.

My Own Dream to Start and Run a Preschool

I had a successful career. I gave up what society expected of me. And I took my daughter Elise to daycare. So I could continue pursuing my career. But something did not feel right. I had an aching in my heart for leaving my daughter. It weighed down on me. I kept thinking about it.

So I looked around Okinawa’s early childhood development programs and I realized something I could offer. Something I would not only be successful at but one that would align my values with a successful career.

Armed with many years of experience working in preschool and a master’s degree in Education, I created the right curriculum and set forth in building a preschool. But that would not be easy.

Share of Setbacks on the Path to Success

I was told countless times I could not run a business in the country because one; I did not speak Japanese, second; I have a mobile life, and third; despite my experience, I certainly did not know how to start a business in a foreign country.

So what did I do? I blocked my ears to those telling me I couldn’t. I listened to my inner voice, I held my faith close to my heart, and followed my new dream. And what’s more? I sought to find a solution for every reason they gave for my supposed failure.

On April 8, 2013, some three months after I quit my “safe civil service job” we opened the Early Learners International School in Okinawa with three students and three members of staff. But on June 14, 2014, we had our first preschool graduation with 85 students and 12 members of staff. We maintained our enrollment statistics the next school year but June 2015 Graduation —I was not physically there.

My family and I received orders to relocate to Manama, Bahrain for two years 2015-2017.  Did we think twice about letting my husband go on his own? What will happen to ELIS in Okinawa, Japan? Should my daughter and I stay in Okinawa?  There was only one answer.  We follow where the military asks us to go.  Without any reservations, we will not break up our family of three no matter what.

Finally Hope in Sight, More to Come to You Too

Looking back in September 2, 2014, when we started our second school year with two additional classrooms to cater for the extra classes and today we have certainly grown bigger. The following year, Early Learners International School welcomed School Year 2015-2016 while my family and I relocated to Manama, Bahrain in June.  I have been running our brick and mortar preschool business 100% remotely.  This is without a doubt despite of the NO’s I was given before and even in the present time. So what I’m I saying? That success is the attainment of our purpose but also our dreams, which might weaken if we don’t hustle. The dream is free, hustle is sold separately.

Not a single soul with make it happen for you and I.  The only person who can move the needle is YOU.  I made my decision to always prioritize my family, to build a brick and mortar business that will secure my family and I during our retirement years, to create a life without regret, and more importantly to be fully present in the lives of my husband and daughter while I carve my niche in the world expressing my passions.

We have big, hairy, audacious goals and these could be achieved by taking action, “The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately.”  There will be major hesitations, stumbling blocks, and even heartaches that could not be avoided.  It will be my strongest suggestion to borrow a leaf from William Ward’s four steps to achievement, which include: To plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, and to pursue persistently.   

What is your favorite quote?  Do share below.

FIRST & LAST Family Newsletter I Wrote

Family Newsletter

I found this 2009 Family Newsletter I wrote and inserted with our Christmas cards for family and friends.

Three things why I now believe that I should have done more of this annual project:

  1. Easy communication to update family and friends, particularly the ones not on any form of social media.
  2. Serves as a yearly journal.
  3. A good test whether goals were achieved for the year

Do you write a family newsletter?  If yes, how often.  If not, why not? Do comment below and share your perspective.