2018 Scholarship Winner

Vanessa Ramsaroop is our 2018 Scholarship winner.

One Word: Passion

We asked Vanessa a couple of questions so our readers could get to know her.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a 24 year old with a heart of an adventurer.  I love and am open and receptive to new adventures and experiences to learn, innovate and grow.  Currently I’m a Customer Representative at a local brewery and I love my Job!  I get to meet people, hear stories and use them as inspiration and learn new perspectives, understand the psychology of people and just have fun.  Plus since I work in service, it helps my intuition as an aspirational author.

What do you plan to do with the $500 prize?

I plan to go on a trip with my best friend for inspiration and some much needed me time…plus donate $50 to church as God is my life.

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Thanks to all of our entrants and congratulations to Venessa!

5 Things to Know if You Want to Become a Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent
How to Become a Real Estate Agent

A career in real estate can be challenging yet rewarding. Some real estate agents earn a six-figure income per year; others, only a few thousand. It’s important to note that while this career can be exciting, it is not for everyone. To help you decide whether this field suits you, we will discuss five things you should know if you want to become a real estate agent.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

1. Have a cash reserve.

Real estate agents can’t expect successful deals with prospective buyers all the time. Expect slow periods where clients are few or you will not be able to close any sale at all. For this reason, you should set up a cash reserve to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses. It is important to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have anything to spend for your basic needs.

2. Put in time and effort.

Some people think that being a real estate professional is an easy job, but in reality, it’s not. Only a fraction can be called successful. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of new real estate agents will make it in this field. In addition, only a small proportion will get the “lion’s share” of the business.

Those who are not as lucky go back to their previous jobs. So what do you need to become a successful real estate agent? You need perseverance, hard work, dedication, and of course, a little bit of luck. Treat it as a business and put in extra hours if necessary.

3. Take real estate courses, get a license, and find an employing broker

Aspiring agents should take real estate courses so they can know more about the real estate industry. These courses can come in the form of traditional or online classes. Cost vary from $200 to $900, including the learning materials.

After completing the courses, you need to take the state licensure exam and pass it. Requirements may vary from state to state. Inquire with your state’s Department of Real Estate or local Board of Realtors to know the requirements for obtaining a license.

After you pass the licensure exam, you need to find a broker. Real estate agents usually work as independent contractors under a broker’s supervision. Do your own due diligence and look for a broker who will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help you succeed in this field.

4. Undergo continuing education.

To be up to date with the latest development and trends in the industry, real estate agents have to undergo continuing education (professional development). These courses are meant to enhance your knowledge and skills, but more importantly, you need it to keep your license active.

5. Develop a business plan

It is important that you view real estate as a business, not just a job. And one thing successful business people do is to have a business plan.

• Set up goals that are both achievable and measurable.
• Select a segment to specialize in: horizontal (house and lots) or vertical (condominiums). You can also decide to concentrate on a particular geographic area.
• Choose a target market (affordable, middle income, high end) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
• Set a budget and determine how to achieve it.
• Make plans to promote yourself as a real estate agent. You need to build your network. Join groups, clubs, or organizations in your local community. Who knows, the person you’ll bump into may just be your next client.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above will help aspiring real estate agents get off to a strong start. If you don’t close your first sale right away, don’t be discouraged. The more interactions you have with leads and clients, the more experienced you’ll become. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and real estate is no exception. If you put in time, effort, and the right approach, chances are, you’ll soon have a place in this industry.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker
How to Become a Stockbroker

If you know what the featured image in this article symbolizes, chances are, you are familiar with the stock market. It is a dynamic marketplace where people buy and sell stocks in the hope of making money. Trades are especially heavy during a bull market, where optimism prevails and prices of stocks keep going up. A bear market on the other hand, is the exact opposite: the sentiment is pessimistic and prices of stocks keep going down. In this article, we will discuss how to become a stockbroker.

What Is a Stockbroker?

Stockbrokers are licensed professionals who buy and sell stocks for retail (individuals), or institutional (business entities) clients. They have a deep understanding of investments and capital markets. First, stockbrokers communicate with their clients to determine what their financial goals are. Then, they give recommendations what stocks are good to buy that will likely provide a gain in the future. Lastly, they buy or sell stocks on the client’s behalf and handle the transaction.

To help clients make money in the stock market, a stockbroker must be able to analyze the financial reports of companies listed in the stock exchange and provide timely advice. Failure to do so can mean potential losses on the part of the client. Aside from the financial performance of companies, the stock market is affected by such factors as the country’s overall economy, monetary policy, as well as geo-political risks.

The better advice a stockbroker can provide, the more money a client can make. Satisfied clients will mean more trades, and this will subsequently lead to more commissions. Simply put, the more clients and trades, the better. Being a stockbroker can be a fun job, but it can also be stressful, as the job involves other people’s money.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker

1. Take mandatory exams – There are 2 basic tests you must pass before you can become a stockbroker:

• The Series 7 – The Series 7 or General Securities Registered Representative Examination is given by FINRA or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It usually lasts 6 hours and is probably the most difficult test an aspiring stockbroker will take. If you pass this test, then you will become a “registered representative” or stockbroker. You will have the authority to sell all types of securities and investments, except real estate, commodities futures, and life insurance. At present, the Series 7 test costs $290.

• The Series 63 – This test is about conducting business and the different laws that govern transactions. It is much easier than the Series 7 and only takes about 75 minutes to finish. Currently, the Series 63 test costs $96.

2. Complete the paperwork – After you pass the required exams, you need to complete your registration with FINRA/NFA. You must also register with the Securities Commission of each state that you wish to work in. Here is a rundown of things you must accomplish:

• Pass a background check
• Get a fingerprint card
• Complete paperwork at the state and federal levels

3. Meet quotas – Now that you are a licensed stockbroker, you have to meet the expectations of the firm you are working for. Depending on the company, your employers will probably give you six months to one year to prove to them that you have what it takes to become successful stockbroker, i.e., to get and maintain a large enough number of clients.

4. Take continuing education courses – To keep your license, you need to take continuing education classes and attend seminars. Usually, the brokerage firm you’ll be working for will facilitate this for you.

What Course Should You Take Up in College If You Want to Become a Stockbroker?

Although there’s no specific course that students should take to be a stockbroker, some are more advantageous than others. For example, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration is one of the most popular courses for stockbroker hopefuls. This is because this course covers topics that are relevant to companies in particular, and the stock market in general.

Among the things you will learn are how companies raise capital, why they issue shares of stock, and how they pay dividends to shareholders. You will also learn other aspects involved in running a business. Other college courses you can take if you want to become a stockbroker include Accounting, Finance, or Economics.

How Much Is the Salary of a Stockbroker?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for stockbrokers in the US is $63,780 per year (based on 2017 data). But the actual income of a stockbroker is influenced by many factors such as years of experience, what firm they’re working for, and the commission they get from trades.

Conclusion

If you want to be a famous stockbroker on Wall Street, start reading books, find a good mentor, and follow the latest developments on the stock market. After reading this article and knowing how to become a stockbroker, now is a good time as any to take your interest in stocks to a higher level and make a career out of it.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Salary for Workers

Which countries have the highest salaries in the world? You may be asking this question if you’re planning to work abroad to have a better life for yourself and your family. Keep in mind that countries have their own cultures, languages, industries, policies, and working conditions. Depending on your skills, work experience, and personal preference, you can choose among the list if you want to get a high salary. Average annual incomes are expressed in US dollars.

Countries with the Highest Salaries in the World

10. Iceland

Iceland only has a population of 348,580, making it the least populated country in Europe. The United Nations’ Human Development Index ranks Iceland as the 9th most developed country in the world. This country runs almost entirely on renewable energy, specifically geothermal and hydropower.

Average annual income: $46,074
Top industries: tourism, fish processing, geothermal power, hydropower, aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production

9. Belgium

Belgium has very high standards of living, healthcare, and education. Additionally, it ranks as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Dutch and French are the major languages; a minority speak German. Belgium is famous for its waffle, chocolate, beer, and french fries with mayonnaise (french fries are claimed to have originated here).

Average annual income: $47,702
Top industries: processed food and beverages, engineering and metal products, transportation equipment, motor vehicle assembly, chemicals, scientific instruments, textiles, glass, petroleum, base metals

8. Canada

Canada is highly urbanized, with 82% of the population concentrated in large and medium-sized cities. Internationally, it ranks high when it comes to quality of life, education, economic freedom, government transparency, and civil liberties. Its land border with the United States is the longest in the world, stretching 8,891 kilometers.

Average annual income: $47,843
Top industries: petroleum and natural gas, transportation equipment, chemicals, food products, fish products, wood and paper products, processed and unprocessed minerals

7. Denmark

Denmark is located in Northern Europe. The weather is characterized by mild winters and cool summers. This country has the highest minimum wage in the world, due to the fact that there is no minimum wage legislation and the strong influence of the trade unions.

Average annual income: $50,024
Top industries: steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, food processing, transportation equipment, textiles, electronics, construction, furniture, shipbuilding, windmills, pharmaceuticals

6. Australia

Australia, a.k.a. “the Land Down Under,” is a country known for its kangaroos and koalas. The world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, lies a short distance off Australia’s northeast coast. English is the de facto national language, characterized by a distinctive accent.

Average annual income: $50,167
Top industries: tourism, financial services, mining, industrial equipment, transportation equipment, chemicals, steel, food processing

5. Netherlands

Netherlands, also known as Holland, ranked as the sixth happiest country in the world in 2017, based on the United Nations World Happiness Report. This country has good public education, infrastructure, and universal healthcare.

Average annual income: $50,670
Top industries: agro-industries, electrical machinery and equipment, metal and engineering products, chemicals, construction, petroleum, microelectronics, fishing

4. Norway

Norway has the fourth highest per capita income in the world according to the IMF and World Bank. This country also occupies the top spot on the World Happiness Report and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Average annual income: $50,908
Top industries: petroleum and gas, shipping, aquaculture, fishing, food processing, paper products, shipbuilding, chemicals, metals, timber, mining, textiles

3. Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for its watches, chocolates, and of course, the Alps. Aside from precision instruments, other exports include chemicals, machines, and electronics. This country is also home to large multinational corporations such as Nestle, Novartis, Credit Suisse, UBS AG, Glencore, Tetra Pak, and The Swatch Group.

Average annual income: $58,389
Top industries: machinery, watches, pharmaceuticals, textiles, precision instruments, chemicals, tourism, banking, insurance

2. United States

The United States accounts for approximately 25% of the global GDP. It is the third largest and third most populous country in the world. In the international scene, the US is a leading political, cultural, and scientific powerhouse. With its very diverse population, the US is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and values.

Average annual income: $58,714
Top industries: consumer goods, electronics, petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, telecommunications, food processing, aerospace, lumber, mining, chemicals

1. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a small country situated in western Europe. But don’t let its small size deceive you; this is a country with an advanced economy and has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita. Luxembourg shares land borders with three countries, namely France, Germany, and Belgium. The official languages are Luxembourgish, French, and German. Foreigners account for nearly one-half of the 576,249 population.

Average annual income: $60,369
Top industries: banking and financial services, real estate services, construction, steel, metals, glass, aluminum, information technology, telecommunications, engineering, cargo transportation, chemicals, biotechnology, tourism

Work from Home Jobs – How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Technology has been changing the world in the past decades. Even in employment, working from home has been the trend in the last few years. For example, virtual assistant companies like Virtual Helper 247 offer a wide variety of services at reasonable rates. The biggest advantage of work from home jobs is the fact that people no longer need to drive to work or even dress up. They can work even in their pajamas at any time of the day.

In-demand Work from Home Jobs

Among the jobs that are available online is a virtual assistant. When we say virtual assistant, it can be anything – graphic designer, writer, web developer, secretary, etc. Depending on the job, the pay can be rewarding. But one thing is for sure; you can do more things at home since you have the liberty to do so than doing an 8 to 5 day job.

The following are the most popular work from home jobs:

• Customer service representative
• Writer
• Web developer
• Graphic designer
• Secretary
• Data encoder
• Transcriptionist
• Video editor
• SEO professional
• Online English teacher

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

While many think that working as an online assistant is an easy feat; well, it isn’t. You must meet all the requirements of the prospective employer. For instance, you need to have a stable and strong internet at home, able to follow instructions, and most importantly, have the necessary knowledge and skills. If you are contemplating of working from home, here are some tips on how to become a virtual assistant.

• Be skilled – It is true that skills can be learned, but you need to have it first before applying for work from home jobs. You can at least have one to start and the rest, you can learn them as you go along being a virtual assistant. Make sure that you do not lie that you are skilled with this and that because employers are also choosy in picking applicants. They would give tests or trial periods; so if you do not fit, you will end up getting fired anyway.

• Be flexible – You need to be flexible to succeed in this type of career. Since the clients you will be working for need you to do things for them, you must be open to learning new things. For example, you have no knowledge in Photoshop, yet you are asked to do it. You might as well study and learn it. Working hours are also flexible. Some clients may require you to work extra hours or be online most of the time to ensure that you do not miss important emails and messages.

• Be patient – there is no easy to say it, but becoming a virtual assistant is not for everyone. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you cannot learn any skill; hence, you need to be patient. If you get a virtual assistance job, do not expect to have a very high salary. Learn to be patient by starting from the bottom and work your way up. If you are patient and very good with your job, you will surely have a higher salary soon.

Conclusion

Working from home is the preferred option for many parents, so they could be with their kids and attend to their needs. Many skilled professionals and freelancers also opt to become virtual assistants, to have control over their time and earn a decent living at the same time. If you want to work from home and become a virtual assistant, you have to be dedicated and focused in order for you to succeed. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade your knowledge and skills, and start looking for an online job now.

Careers in Information Technology

Information Technology or simply known as IT has become the latest trend especially when it comes to employment. Schools have been offering different IT-related courses, which have been clamored especially by the millennials. Information technology is so broad that it has highly specialized fields. That’s why careers in information technology require a high level of training.

What Makes an IT Career Great?

The best thing about careers in IT is the pay. Given that the technology is evolving and advancing each day, jobs in the IT industry is getting vast; hence, there are more options and opportunities for job seekers to get into. If you want a career in IT, take note of the following jobs:

1. IT Consultant

When you say consultant, it may be perceived as unclear or just too broad. Perhaps, it is. However, a consultant is someone that knows how to evaluate the systems that nobody else can. He is also someone that can help figure out solutions for system problems that may arise. According to CNN, this career is ranked number 13 in the world and pays about $96,440 per year. It really pays a lot, and start-up companies are eager to get these consultants to help them out.

2. Computer Forensic Investigator

This must be exciting just like CSI without having to encounter blood and corpse. The computer forensic investigators are also known as computer crime investigators. The evidence they find is often used in court trials. On average, this job pays $69,000 a year.

3. Cloud Architect

The cloud architect is someone who takes care of the cloud computing of a company, which means he should have a thorough knowledge of the components and subcomponents for cloud computing. He also manages and organizes all the cloud activities. According to reports, the annual income for a cloud architect is $112,000.

4. Mobile Application Developer

Smartphones/tablets have taken the world by storm. It has similar functions as that of personal computers and has replaced traditional point and click cameras. Given all these functions, the development of mobile applications has been so high and fast. This is why mobile application developers are so in-demand today. According to reports, a mobile application developer earns about $90,000 per year.

5. Web Developer

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is a must for most businesses. Due to increasing demand, web developers are hired to put up web pages, web content and web applications. It is also very important for the web developer to have a great understanding of how an operating system works. Web developers earn about $90,000 per year.

Conclusion

If you want information technology jobs, you might as well get a course that is related to this field. But if you want to have a career shift, you can take courses as well to be highly proficient in information technology. This way, you have something to offer to your future employers. If you are focused, organized, and possess good problem solving and analytical skills, then a career in information technology may be just the right one for you.

How To Launch Your Ecommerce Career For 2018

source: pexels

2018 is as good a time as any to break into the world of ecommerce. More and more people are doing it these days, and if you have the dedication and marketing knowhow to stay ahead of your competitors, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

That’s not to say there’s no risk to starting an ecommerce career. No business venture is a guaranteed success. Nevertheless, you can go a long way toward protecting your investments by planning ahead, doing your research, and choosing an ecommerce niche that you will enjoy working within.

To help you get off on the right foot, here are some quick tips on planning out your ecommerce venture, and finding success in this growing industry in 2018.

Set Your Budget

Before even looking at what you plan to do with your ecommerce business, you should set your budget. Do this using only verified sources, as you don’t want to fall short because you were relying on funds that were never delivered. Remember to plan both for scalability and for emergencies. Any business can be caught short by unexpected events, so it is vital to have backup funds to cover this eventuality.

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on your website, it’s time to select your niche, and go searching for the perfect acquisition.

Choose Your Niche

Finding a niche is extremely important as it enables you to target your marketing far more effectively, and even influences your ability to rank successfully in search engines. Your niche needs to be something that you have an interest in, and for which there is demand – but little supply.

This means you can cater to the needs of that specific demographic, while not having to worry about direct competition. Alternatively, if there is competition for your niche, you can explore what they are doing well, and learn from them to boost the success of your own marketing campaign.

Finding the right niche can take time, and it is worth using tools such as Google Keyword Finder to help you figure out which keywords you can viably rank for. From there, you will be able to build your website according to the keywords and niche you have chosen. While this does narrow your audience to some degree, it also means that your message is more relevant to those remaining, making them far more likely to visit your site, and even make a purchase.

Source Your Products

Depending on whether you are creating your own products, dropshipping for another company, or simply sourcing items wholesale, you will need to figure out where your stock is coming from.

Services like Oberlo Supply are great for sourcing stock, particularly if you plan to act as a dropshipper. However, you might decide to work with local craftspeople, or even sell non-physical goods, such as ebooks or consultation services.

Whatever you settle on, make sure it is relevant to your niche, that you can source it regularly and reliably, and that there is some degree of demand for it. It is also important to think about where you will store your stock, and how much it will cost to process orders and make deliveries.

Be aware that some types of stock can become outdated or redundant, so this is another factor to keep in mind when purchasing stock in large quantities. You don’t want to lose money on your investment just because a new version was released or the trend has passed.

Spread the Word Before Launch

It’s all very well marketing your website, but it can take time to gain visibility and build your audience. One way to counteract this problem is to begin building interest long before your launch. This means day one will be a bigger, much more profitable event, and will provide you with a great opportunity to really impress your early customers from the word go.

Talk about your business often, especially to friends and family who can help make the early days a success by showing an interest, sharing content, and posting comments. Publicize your launch on social media and in your local area, and consider hosting a launch event.

Plan out some launch day offers and be sure to spread the word, so interested individuals have a reason to visit your site and find out what it’s all about.

The more you can boost visibility before launch, the better position you will be in thereafter. It may seem like a lot of extra work to begin with, but it can save you significant time and effort in the future.

Purchase An Existing Website

One more thing to consider is that you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to launch your ecommerce career. Instead, you could buy an established ecommerce website and build upon it to make it your own.

Some good places to start are Flippa, which is a more general website marketplace, and Exchange, which lists premade Shopify stores available for purchase. There are a few other similar sites you can explore, or you can even make a private purchase.

Of course, buying a website is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it is vital to carry out extensive research before deciding whether to buy a store. You will need to check out the history of the site, look at its traffic and audience, and verify whether it has a stable revenue stream.

However, if you can find a viable website within the right niche, this is a great way to break into the ecommerce market without having to expend time and effort on designing a site, and building its initial audience.

Related reading: 7 Tips on How to Achieve a Work Life Balance.

 

 

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other writers improve their skills.

5 Helpful Tips to Make a Good First Impression at a Job Interview

You have already passed the exam, been shortlisted and contacted by the human resources department. The only stumbling block that stands in the way of you being hired – the job interview. This is a make or break kind of thing for most job applicants.

Needless to say, it is very important to make a good first impression. However, a minor hiccup before or during the interview can result in a major disappointment and cost you your dream job. To avoid this scenario, I will share five helpful tips to make a good first impression at a job interview.

1. Don’t be late.

Punctuality is a quality that prospective employers will be looking out for, especially during a job interview. If you arrive late, it sends the signal that you’re unreliable and not paying attention to details.

To prevent this from ever happening, familiarize yourself with the venue and determine how much time you’ll need to get there. Also, go to bed early the night before the interview. It will ensure that both body and mind are well-rested so you can wake up on time.

2. Dress appropriately.

When deciding on what clothes to wear, take into consideration the position you’re applying for. The way you dress represents how you carry and present yourself. Showing up properly dressed is an indication of your professionalism and shows that you are taking the application process seriously. Don’t overdress; don’t underdress either.

If you’re eyeing an office-based job, wear business attire. Dress as if you are making a presentation or meeting with an important client. For other jobs, the attire should be appropriate for the position you’re applying for. Whatever clothes you plan to wear, make sure that it looks neat and presentable. The clothes shouldn’t be too tight or too revealing. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or strong perfume.

3. Be honest.

There’s a saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” Although some may argue that concealing “some information” is necessary when applying for a job, it’s advisable to be truthful in all your declarations. Lying about your educational background or academic achievements is a big no-no.

Even if you are hired on the back of these misrepresentations, there is a strong possibility that you will be kicked out when management finds about it later. For all you know, the HR staff might call your references or look at your social media profiles. Tell your interviewer that what you lack in knowledge or skills, you can make up by being diligent, resourceful, and willing to learn.

4. Be kind and respectful to everyone.

It’s important to show kindness to everyone you’ll meet. Be kind to receptionists, security officers, executive assistants, and other employees in the company. After all, they may be the same people you‘ll encounter every day in case you get hired.

As a “guest”, you are expected to show your best behavior. Don’t act as if you own the place. For instance, don’t chat loudly with your seatmate while others are being interviewed. Wait patiently for your turn; don’t act like you’re bored. Remember, you may already be evaluated even if you’re still waiting in the lounge. During the interview proper, remember to be respectful to the person you’re talking to. If the one in front of you is the HR manager, address that person as sir or madam.

5. Show interest and enthusiasm.

To create a good impression, show that you’re interested and enthusiastic about the job. Be positive about the whole thing and enjoy the experience. Smile, be alert in processing questions the interviewer is asking, and be definitive in giving your answers. Prepare by researching about the company and practicing how to respond to common interview questions.

Convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Highlight your accomplishments while working in your previous job. If you are a fresh graduate, emphasize your achievements as a student, both in academics and extracurricular activities.

Conclusion

With so many to choose from, employers can be choosy when they hire. These tips on how to make a good first impression at a job interview cannot guarantee that you will get the job, but they can definitely get you a little closer. First impressions can shape perceptions of professional competence. Those who perform well during this stage will gain the upper hand over the competition.

With preparation and the right attitude, you’ll be able to do things right and come out with flying colors. Making a good impression can, and will, help you secure more job offers in the future. And that might just be your key to your dream career. This is probably your best opportunity to land a job, so give it all you’ve got. Good luck!

7 Tips on How to Achieve a Work Life Balance

If you have a full-time job, having a heavy workload and tight deadline is normal. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it. This scenario can lead to stress and burnout, especially if you have to deal with it on a regular basis. Moreover, you may soon realize that you have no time left for anything else. Knowing how to balance work and personal life is not an easy thing to do.

If you allow work to overwhelm you, you’ll find yourself tired and unhappy sooner or later. On the other hand, if you spend too much time on leisure and fun activities, you might end up getting a backlog of work waiting for you. How can you achieve a work life balance that will allow you to get work done without feeling drained? Conversely, how can you get the most out of your leisure time without being unproductive?

1. Take Care of Your Health

Working too hard can cause fatigue in mild cases and illnesses in more severe cases. More than anything, you should look after your health. When a person is not in good shape physically, emotionally, and mentally, both work life and personal life will be affected. Healthy eating, sleeping a minimum of seven hours every night, and exercising 3 to 5 times per week are taking steps in the right direction.

These will help boost the immune system, raise energy levels, relieve stress, increase stamina, improve mental alertness, and boost productivity. Avoid tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol, and prohibited drugs. These substances are harmful to the body and can cause serious health problems, especially if you’ve been taking them for a long time.

2. Know Your Priorities

Spend time reflecting on the things that are most important to you. Make a list of top priorities at work and home. Evaluate it and ask yourself these questions: What do I need to start doing, do more of, do less of, or do differently? Knowing your priorities will enable you to give the proper amount of time and effort to accomplish tasks that you need to do.

3. Work Smarter

Working smart means using your time more efficiently. Having the right combination of practices and time management can reduce stress and increase productivity. This includes the use of technology to become more organized and avoiding distractions. By identifying the areas that can be improved, you can boost your productivity and do more with less.

4. Monitor How You Use Your Time

Analyzing how you use your time is an essential step in achieving a work life balance. Calculate the amount of time required to do each task. Track your time by keeping a record of everything you do every week, including personal and work-related activities. It can serve as an eye-opener for you, helping you understand how you’re using (and where you’re wasting) your time.

5. Take a Break

When you’re low on energy because of the overwhelming number of tasks to be done, it’s time to take a break. Working non-stop can cause fatigue, numbness of the arms and legs, and strain to the muscles and nerves. Taking 5 to 10 minutes off will allow you to recharge your body and mind. Relax, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.

6. Leave Work at Work

Learn to separate your life at work and at home. When you get home, try not to think about the tasks and paperwork you left at the office. Anxiety or worrying too much is not good for your body and mind. You must realize that you have a life outside of work, and you are entitled to live (and enjoy) that part too.

7. Relaxation and Recreation

It is normal to dedicate much of your time for work, but don’t forget to give some for yourself. Setting aside a day of rest every week is important. Having a renewed sense of spirituality is also beneficial. It can be a source of strength, guidance, and inspiration.

Also, it’s okay to indulge in small pleasures from time to time. Spend your weekend going to the mall, eating out, or watching a movie. After months of hard work, it may also be the right time to take a much-needed vacation with family and friends. Relaxation and recreation will do wonders for your well-being, career, and personal relationships.

Conclusion

Achieving a work life balance means managing your professional and personal life in ways that keep your body and mind healthy and yourself happy and content. Give due attention to all of the things that can provide you fulfillment, including work and career, health, family and relationships, spirituality, hobbies, passions, relaxation, and recreation.

Top 20 High Paying Jobs in the United States

It has been said that you should do what you love and whatever you’re passionate about. Many people will agree that this should be the basis when choosing a career, but salary is an important consideration too. Stress level, growth, and work-life balance are also significant factors. If a good salary is important to you, read on to know the top high paying jobs in the US for 2017 based on the LinkedIn Salary report.

Jobs that pay well and offer strong career path are tied to in-demand skills, higher education, and jobs that cannot be replaced by automation. Are you interested in health and medicine? Well, good for you, since positions in the healthcare sector dominate the list. These are not just general medical jobs. These are jobs with highly specialized skills and proficiency.

Technology and legal industries are making their way to the top as well. Business professions are also catching up. These include jobs that are extremely technical and require a high level of expertise.

Top 20 High Paying Jobs in the US

20. PODIATRIST

Median Base Salary: $150,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 14%

19. GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR

Median Base Salary: $155,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 9%

18. SOFTWARE ENGINEERING MANAGER

Median Base Salary: $155,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 17%

17. NURSE ANESTHETIST

Median Base Salary: $156,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 19%

16. PATENT ATTORNEY

Median Base Salary: $160,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 6%

15. PRODUCT MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR

Median Base Salary: $160,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 9%

14. TAX DIRECTOR

Median Base Salary: $161,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 11%

13. DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING

Median Base Salary: $164,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 2%

12. DENTIST

Median Base Salary: $165,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 18%

11. SOFTWARE ENGINEER STAFF

Median Base Salary: $168,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 17%

10. SENIOR CORPORATE COUNSEL

Median Base Salary: $175,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 6%

9. PSYCHIATRIST

Median Base Salary: $218,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 15%

8. HOSPITALIST

Median Base Salary: $220,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 15%

7. PHYSICIAN

Median Base Salary: $220,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 9%

6. PATHOLOGIST

Median Base Salary: $225,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 21%

5. MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Median Base Salary: $230,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 17%

4. SURGEON

Median Base Salary: $338,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 14%

3. ANESTHESIOLOGIST

Median Base Salary: $350,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 21%

2. RADIOLOGIST

Median Base Salary: $355,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 9%

1. CARDIOLOGIST

Median Base Salary: $356,000
Projected Growth (2012-2024): 14%