All You Need To Know About Designing a Family Bathroom

A family bathroom is a must in many homes. But its design really needs to be thought of. It has to be suitable for all different aged people, as well as cater for all of their needs. So you need to make the most of all of the space that you have. You want to be able to store things, as well as having a simple and easy layout, especially suited for smaller members of the family. If it is easy to clean then it is a bonus too, right? So if you’re in the market for a bit of a bathroom redesign, then here are some tips to make sure that you’re designing a family bathroom perfect for all of the family.



Save Space


With a family, there will be lots of different things that you need to have in the bathroom. It can be ideal if you can get it to look uncluttered too. So saving on space, to allow room for things like storage is ideal. So it might be that you choose a bathroom suite that is all encompassing. It could be a bath with a shower built into it, as well as a sink with plenty of storage built in underneath. You could also consider getting a back to wall toilet. It can look pretty stylish, but it also means that you’ve got more storage space, as well as shelving.


All About That Bath


The bath is the main event when it comes to a family bathroom. I don’t know many kids that like to have showers. So for younger children especially, a bath is really important. Even if you’re planning to sell or rent out your home, having a bath installed is a good idea. It can put a lot of people off, mainly families, if there is only a shower or wetroom style bathroom. So think about making the bath the main feature of the room. You could get a shower curtain, or even a folding shower screen to make bathtime and access much easier.

Summer Interior Villa Hotel Bathroom Luxury



Stylish Storage


There can never be too much storage space in a home, especially a family one. That goes for the bathroom too. Think about using more than just the floor for storage, though. A wall hanging unit could be good, and it will make the place seem much less cluttered. It also puts certain things out of reach for little ones. You can even get units that are mirrored, so they double up as a mirror on the wall too.


Even when a bathroom is classed as a family bathroom, it doesn’t mean that it has to look like a child’s playroom. Think about wipe clean surfaces, but also think about coverings with waterproof and stylish looking tiles. The size of the bathroom can be altered according to the types of tiles that you use. Larger tiles can make the space look bigger, whereas smaller mosaic style smaller tiles can reduce the size of the room.

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Don’t Let Summer Make Your House Feel The Heat

In an ideal world, our summers would consist of little beyond long evenings of BBQs and relaxing outside with our friends and family. For the most part, we’re able to do that. However, it being summer doesn’t mean we have a free pass to neglect our other duties. While our homes are under less of a strain than they are during winter, hot and stormy summers can still have a negative impact on certain aspects of our humble abode. With summer coming up quicker than we realise, here’s a useful guide to making sure your chilled vibes aren’t interrupted by a housing disaster.


Electrical Crisis


Your house is so much more than just four walls and a roof. It’s what’s inside the house that matters, and specifically your electrical items, which are probably a pretty big deal when it comes to your home running smoothly! Unfortunately, during the hot summer months we can sometimes ask a little too much of our electrics, putting them under a pressure than that can’t always handle. Your fridge will begin to falter should the temperatures exceed what they can handle, so if the thermometer is inching north make sure you have a cooling system in place. Also, make sure that you’re keeping on top of the maintenance of your air conditioning units – if you look after it it’ll keep you cool all summer.


Storm’s a Comin’


The hot weather is nice, but there are few things better than an epic summer thunderstorm to let you know that you’re really subject to the elements. While it can be nice to watch a storm rolling along from afar, if they’re overhead then you run the risk of having your home damaged. Our roofs are in particularly danger of suffering during a storm, especially as they can act like magnets for the lightning! While you can’t prepare for a storm, you can repair the damage by getting in touch with a company like Texas Star Roofing. Also, don’t forget to make sure you’re somewhere safe inside your home when the storm hits!


Pipe Concerns


Most people think that their pipes are only at risk during winter. While winter poses a bigger threat, your pipes aren’t completely safe during summer, especially the parts of the system that are on the outside. This is because things like heat and UV light can cause pipes to become weaker – and thus more prone to breaking. Also, the same thunderstorm that affects your room can also affect your pipes. Get a pipe expert in before summer if you’re concerned about how your pipes will cope during the summer months.


Gone Fishin’

The biggest summer threat to our home is actually…ourselves; or more specifically, when we’re not there! If you’re going away during the summer for an extended vacation, make sure you have the security systems in place so that any would be burglars don’t target your home. Take the proper precautions and your home will be in the same state when you return as when you left.

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What It Means To Be Truly Unique In Business

All businesses, but especially small businesses, must strive to be unique. It’s what keeps you competitive in an industry with little breathing room. It’s what gets you remember and establishes a bond with your customer base that goes beyond offering a good deal. It’s also what makes you a good company to work for, attracting and retaining the most talented of teams. So, what makes a business unique?

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The USP is a must

Let’s start with what we know to be a fundamental truth of business. You have to have something unique to offer within the services itself. Whether it’s some niche that sets you apart from your competitors or it’s an innovative new take on how you deliver the same services or products, a unique selling proposition is essential. More than essential, it is the meat of the brand. But you’re going to need more than meat if you want a real impact. You’re going to need heart.

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Finding your heart

The heart of the brand is all about expressing that unique selling proposition in a way that not only resonates with consumers but also the members of your own team. People need to be on-side if they’re going to be the team that represents the business. For instance, put more thought into your office interior design, creating an environment that not only fits the workflow but captures the appeal of the brand and reinforces it within the team. If consummate professionalism is part of the business, then the office needs to look like a sleek, smart, professional workplace. If creativity is favoured above all else, then it can’t look too dry, too serious or too limiting. Make sure that what is unique about the business is reflected through it at all levels.

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Motives other than profit

Nowadays, people care about more than what a business says and even what it delivers. They care about what it stands for. There’s a reason that many businesses are going green and it’s not just because they have a sense of their morality and values. It’s because they know that putting those true values on display through the way the business operates helps them stand out and build a connection to consumers based more than on their trade. It creates a shared identity that fosters loyalty and connection.

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Growing a culture

The most unique businesses aren’t those that are built by some visionary. It’s not just your unique take on business, your unique sense of style, and your unique values that can inform the profile of the company. It’s the culture of all the people around you. It’s your ability to source expertise and opinions from within the team. It’s also the very people that make up the team itself. A workplace culture makes you stand out not just amongst businesses but amongst employers. There aren’t a lot of workplaces that do that in most industries.

If you think being unique is all about the brand or all about the product you offer, you are in for a shock. That strain of ‘something different’ needs to be a part of the company DNA, going from the basics of the office setup right up to how you come up with your strategies.

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Yes, I Bought a Chromebook!

Well, I finally bought a Chromebook, believe it or not!

It’s an Acer R-11.

What made me do it? Well, I’d been interested in a Chromebook for a while now, but I hadn’t needed one and also, I was following my own rule of not jumping on a new technology immediately, to avoid the initial bugs, high prices, and lack of additional features inherent in new technologies when they first come out.

But, my netbook, which I use as my backup and travel computer, was getting much slower and I needed a replacement.

So, I did some research as to what was out there, and decided the Chromebook fit the bill. And, finding that there are different ones available, the Acer R-11 looked best to me.

The Pros:

I’ve had the Chromebook for a few months now and it does perform most of the functions that my Windows 10 Laptop does, with some notable exceptions. First, the pros:

  1. It uses a solid state drive. Solid state drives (SSD’s) have no moving parts and don’t require the cooling fans that regular  hard drives do. So, the computer tends not to have any heat issues, and the operating system (OS) works faster. It will also outlast conventional drives.
  2. Chrome OS works faster than windows and updates itself automatically, without slowing things down as Windows does with it’s “bit by bit” constant updates.
  3. The Chrome OS has built-in anti-virus capability, so I don’t need to install any antivirus programs.
  4. Boots very fast and performs smoothly and quickly. I simply open the lid and it comes on. I then enter my password and it’s ready to go. No loading of this and that as on a Windows PC or laptop. If I’m working on my Windows laptop, and shut down, only to find I’ve forgotten something, I simply go to my Chromebook and can quickly get back to what I wanted to and complete it, sometimes in less time than my Windows laptop can simply boot up. (And it boots up fast as it, too, is fairly new!)
  5. The Chromebook is lighter than my netbook and just as easy to carry.
  6. Chrome OS has been integrated with the Android OS, so I can install apps that I also can install on my Smart Phone!
  7. Any website that can be accessed with a Windows computer can be accessed with a Chromebook. As a matter of fact, you can perform most of the same functions on the internet, such as cutting and pasting, as you can with a Windows computer.
  8. Long battery life. I’ve used skype with the Chromebook for two hour sessions and used less than half the battery. On my Windows laptop, most of the battery would be used in that time frame.

The Cons: 

When I first researched Chromebooks just after they came out, I heard and saw cons such as small storage and complicated printing, and limited abilities, I actually thought of them as being “expensive and bulky flash drives”.

But, in taking a second look earlier this year, I’ve seen that they’ve come a long way, and can be far more useful than I thought at one time.

While the OS is different from Windows, and the keyboard and built-in touchpad have a few qualities one must get used to, the Chromebook is not a totally alien machine. For instance, apps can be placed on a task bar, referred to as the “shelf” in Chromebook lingo, and you can attach a mouse or other peripherals via usb as you would on a Windows computer.

Even what I consider the two major cons, printing set-up and lack of storage, I find that they are no longer the show stoppers I thought they once were.

Main cons:

  1. Complicated print set-up.
  2. Inadequate internal storage space.
  3. Inability to work with many Windows programs and software.
  4. Chromebooks are more internet intensive and will run fewer offline programs.
  5. You do need a Google account, but this is free and easy to open. Once open, you can sync the account across devices so you will have the same Chrome homepage, complete with your bookmarks, settings, etc, no matter which device you use to access Chrome or your account.

There are workarounds to the cons, which make the Chromebook quite usable, however.

You still cannot simply plug in a usb cable from your printer and print from a Chromebook. However, if your printer has WiFi or wireless printing or Google print ability, then you can set up your Chromebook for printing. It is a little complicated, and probably requires that you adjust some settings on your printer as well as on your Chromebook, basically making your printer a “network” printer, even though it may be the only one. You may also need your router’s password. And, when printing, you may need to select your printer with the word, “network” in parentheses after it.

Internal storage space on my Chromebook is 32 gigabytes, which is currently at the high end. However, this can be remedied by using an sd card or flash drive for extra storage.  Also, using such google apps as Google Docs, which store your documents in the cloud, you can also save space.





As for Windows software and apps, Windows software won’t install on a Chromebook, but, the Chromebook does have a word processing program which will open Windows word documents, even if they are on a flash drive or sd card. Also, apps such as Google Docs, can help in this regard, especially since documents created and run on this app can be converted to windows compatible docs and docs can also be made available offline, which also addresses the problem of the Chromebook needing the internet for productivity when internet access is just not available in any form.

The Chromebook also has an app that will open your pictures and videos from a windows computer stored on a flash drive or sd card.

As for music, I have found that music files from Windows Media Player won’t be opened by the Chromebook, but it’s possible that using an app, such as Google Play Music, personal music playlists might be accessible. I haven’t tried this yet so I don’t really know. Of course, music acquired through Google Play will play on the Chromebook.

In fact, with the integration of Android apps, you can add android games and other functions to the Chromebook. Some apps you will find are specifically made for phones and may not perform as they would on a smart phone. But many apps will do just fine on the Chromebook.


So, how do I like my Chromebook so far?


I think it’s great! Sure, there are a few things I still can’t do that I can on my Windows computer, but I can still browse and use apps like YouTube, access accounts like my Craigslist account, and perform other productivity tasks. And by adding apps, I can even play games!

There’s still more to explore on my Chromebook, but so far it has really exceeded my expectations. So, if you’re thinking a Chromebook is just an expensive flash drive, or is too complicated, I once thought so, too, and learned that it’s not. It’s much, much more and nothing to fear, especially if you have used the Chrome browser on your Windows computer. Happy computing!

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Thrive As A Small Fish In A Big Pond

Running a small business, you might think that you’re not going to have to deal with the same major issues that large companies face. But actually, you will. You’ll still be facing high levels of competition, you could still be hit with lawsuits, and you might still encounter disasters that leave you dead on the market. You’re not immune to trouble like this because your business is small and feisty. If anything issues such as these could be worse because you might not be able to handle the financial costs. That’s why you need to take the time to prepare, following in the footsteps of larger companies.


So, what steps do big businesses take to protect themselves?


Seeking Legal Advice

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Most business owners hire at least one legal advisor for their company, and you should do the same. Now, we know what you’re thinking. There’s no way you can fit a legal support service into your business budget. That’s understandable because legal services are expensive. But you’ll find it a lot easier to deal with financially if you outsource. Through outsourcing, you can get the service you need without the typical heavy costs.


Don’t forget a legal advisor will only be useful when things go wrong. Thus, it makes very little sense to pay for a full service.


Getting A Helping Hand

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Big and small businesses all rely on technology, and your company will be no different. Large businesses spend a lot of money from their budget making sure that their tech is updated and working effectively. By doing this, they can avoid potential crashes that could lead to a long period of disaster recovery. With outsourced IT support, you can do exactly the same. Outsourced IT pros won’t just protect your computer network. They’ll set it up the right way, so you never run into issues.


One of the main dangers for businesses is a hack. Don’t think that small businesses escape the danger of hacking. A hacker might assume that a small company has less cyber security and therefore is an easier target. You can’t afford to prove them right.


Only The Best

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Finally, whether it’s marketing, accounting or management, you should be looking for the best company on the market to provide the service you need. You might think you’re saving money by choosing a cheaper service but in the long run, it’s going to cost you a lot more. Particularly, if their quality of service costs you more customers than it gains.


An example of this would be marketing. There are specialist marketers available that big businesses always use because they deliver a quality service like no other. Obviously, if the price is too high, you might not be able to afford the exact same type of promotional campaign. The important thing is that you don’t start trying to save money for the sake of it. It will come back to bite you when you realise that the marketing is too boring and mundane to attract any new customers.


Take this advice, and you will survive as a little fish in a big pond, even if there sharks in the water.

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Uh Oh, You’re In Tech Trouble

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Most people would agree that tech has benefited our lives in some ways. Whether it’s how easy we can communicate with people far away to how efficiently we can work tech is certainly making a difference. In the past, if someone moved halfway around the world, you would rarely ever speak to them. Now with video calling, social networks and instant messaging, it can feel like they never left. With faster processing speeds and highly advanced computer systems, large files can also be sent online in minutes.


However, for every issue that tech solves it seems to create another one. This is particularly true in the business world. Here are a few of the problems you can encounter with tech in your company and advice on how to handle them effectively.


It’s Crashed, Jim!

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This is the last thing that business owners want to have to deal with, but it’s actually more common than people think. Tech can be temperamental, and computer systems can collectively crash for a number of reasons. If you’re using a lot of heavy hardware, it might be that the systems simply overheated. Don’t forget that the more servers are used, the hotter they get. Large servers need fully operational cooling systems to keep them running effectively.


You might also find that the issue is related to a glitch in the software. If that’s the case, it’s probably been there since the computer network was set up. This is one of the reasons companies should use a professional computer support service to monitor and install their IT. That way any kinks can quickly be ironed out in the first few days of the business.


Horrible Hackers

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Hackers decide to break through computer security systems for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s about the challenge of seeing whether they can achieve it and these hackers are mostly harmless. Others will be looking to steal sensitive data files, and there are plenty more who just like causing havoc for business owners. A hack is never good news, and if one does occur, it might be due to an incredibly simple reason. You didn’t have any IT security.


Even something as simple and small as an antivirus software could do its part to keep your company safe from a hack. That’s often how hackers get in. They send a virus that weakens your system security and then access the files themselves to find valuable information.


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There a couple of reasons why your tech might be operating at slow speeds. It could be a sign of a virus, and if that’s the case, you should get your systems checked out immediately. It might be because you haven’t cleaned and sorted your systems in a while leaving it messy and inefficient. Or, it could be simply that your tech is out of date. Business owners resist upgrading their tech due to the cost involved. But you should consider putting the effort in here.


Even just updating your tech once every two years might ensure that you don’t have too many problems with slow hardware.


Take this advice on board, and you can stay out of tech trouble that tends to do serious damage to businesses, big and small.

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A Resume That’s All Killer No Filler

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Applying for jobs is a real test of your temperament. All those different job sites, and filters, and all that scrolling and reading and scrutinizing and hoping. It is can be a long and arduous process, especially for a Millennial that doesn’t just want to land in any job, but rather the job. But the hunt is only part of it; snaring a potential employer is where the real battle starts, which is where your resume comes in.


Your resume is your chance to intrigue an employer just enough to land yourself an interview, and we use the word intrigue very consciously. Your resume is going to be one of many, all printed black on white, all on A4 paper, all arriving around the same time. That is why you need to make it stand out from the crowd, and here is how:


Tailor Your Resume To The Job

When a hiring manager advertises a role they are doing so with an idea of what sort of candidate they want; skills, qualifications, personality, and experience. They want to know that the candidates they attract will be the right candidates for the job, which is why your resume should mirror what is said in the description. You need to tick boxes; out of the sea of mundane, you need to be that one that meets the requirements. If you are applying for a manager’s role at a manufacturing plant and have had injection molding training, then make a point of this early on. If, however, your recent experience has nothing of value, then get creative and tweak the angle of which you write; find that bridge.


Don’t Focus On Responsibilities

The thing with focussing on your responsibilities is that you end up telling your potential employer that you did what you were supposed to do, which isn’t actually going to impress them. Let’s say you worked for Deliveroo and you stated that you delivered food. Brilliant. But that was your role. What you need to show are your achievements, what made you the best at your job. So find some achievements that can take you from being a delivery rider to a superstar, find some ways that will clearly show how you excelled, that’s how to do it.


Cold Hard Facts, Nothing Else

If you’re wishy-washy with your resume and relying on fancy words to dress up your past experiences, your accomplishments and your qualifications then you’ll be placed into the ‘no’ pile then you can say, ‘I just need one chance’. So hit them with cold hard facts, figures if you can. If you were a cold caller then tell them how many calls you made a day and what your success rate was. If you were a salesperson then hit them with figures about your monthly sales. What size was the budget you managed, how much money did you save the company through your methods, why were you picked to meet with clients face to face? All of these things will make a potential employer intrigued by you. Not only that, it will also give your hiring manager a much clearer idea of what your skills and efforts.

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Getting Your Car Ready For A New Arrival

Sometimes a good car can feel like a member of the family, and getting rid of it doesn’t seem like an option. But if you’ve got a new arrival on the way, it might be time to ditch your two-seater for something a bit more practical. There’s no way that you’re going to be doing the school run without a decent sized vehicle. You also need a safer car, as you don’t want to put your new child in danger. You won’t be turning heads as you drive through the streets anymore, but it’s time to leave that part of your life behind. There are a lot of different cars on the market, and it can be difficult to know which ones are best. If you’re taking your first step into the world of family cars, here are some tips on helping you choose the best one for you.

A Holiday Extras family in their car.
Credit: Professional Images

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This should be your first thought. Making sure that your new baby is safe, is vital. At the very least, your chosen car should have airbags and latch systems for car seats. You should also look into the safety ratings for various cars, as this will tell you how likely you are to be injured in the event of a crash. The alarm system on the car also makes a big difference. Once the baby arrives, you’ll need that car every single day, so if it gets stolen, you’ll be a bit stuck.




You’ll need to make sure that you’ve got enough space in the car for everything. Your new baby will come with a lot of luggage, so think about whether you can fit a stroller, a changing table, a car seat and whatever else you’ll need to take with you. In the future, you might decide to have some more kids. If you get a big enough car now, you won’t have to worry about upgrading again in the future.


Running Costs


Raising a family is expensive, so you need to watch your finances carefully. Getting a car that is expensive to run is only going to add to that strain. Check the cost of insuring the car before you decide to buy it. It is also a good idea to take defensive driving traffic school online as it will massively reduce the costs of your insurance, and make you a safer driver.

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Check the fuel consumption as well, with gas prices so high, an uneconomical car can really pile costs on top of your budget. If the car ever breaks down, you’ll be paying out to fix it. The parts for some cars are much cheaper and more readily available. Don’t end up getting a car that will cost you a stupid amount to get fixed. If you can afford it, look into buying a hybrid, they will be much more expensive initially, but you’ll earn that money back over the years due to the much lower running costs.  
If you follow these simple steps, you can get yourself a great car that will keep you going for years to come. Click here for a few ideas on the best family cars on the market.

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Day One And Your Company Could Already Be In Trouble

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As early as day one on the market, you’ll face a number of issues running your company. These could be related to financial trouble such as heavy costs or legal issues like a lawsuit from an employee. While problems like this will certain lead to headaches, it’s important to realise that they don’t have to bring your company model crashing down. You just need to know how to handle them effectively and perhaps take a few preemptive strikes.


We can look at some of the ways to do this, and a great place to start is by thinking about insurance.


Ensuring Your Business Is Protected

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Think of business insurance as armour for your company. If an incident does occur, it can feel like you have been stabbed. But with the right armour, you can protect your business from the heaviest of blows. For instance, you might find that your company has suffered from a data hack. If that’s the case a lot of sensitive customer data might have been stolen. In a situation like this, it’s important to ensure that any lost data is recovered. But at the same time, you want to make sure that any lost profits due to this are also recovered.


That’s what data theft insurance will cover. You can make sure that even if the worst happens, your business bounces back with a strong financial position.


Another possibility where insurance is useful is in the event of an accident at work. With workers compensation insurance, business owners can dodge expensive lawsuits. You can get workers compensation insurance and benefits quotes for your employees from local, insurance companies like CompleteMarkets – they match your particular business to an insurance agent that has experience with helping manage risk with companies that match your business needs.


Cutting Costs Early On



On average it costs around thirty thousand dollars to set up a new business and that is quite frankly an insane amount of money. As such, you should be looking to cut down costs immediately. When you do this, you’ll be able to keep your business competitive. If demand levels take a tumble or you face unforeseen bills, you’ll be prepared to handle them.




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You won’t be left in the position where heavy expenses are dragging your business under. One of the ways to cut costs from day one is through outsourcing. By outsourcing, you get the support you need without the bills typically associated with hiring a full team of staff.


Hire Support


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Lastly, one of the reasons businesses end up in trouble is because their owners aren’t prepared for the challenges of the situation. You don’t want your company to be in this position, and there’s an easy way to avoid it. You should hire a consultant for any area of the business where you don’t have knowledge or experience. Do this, and you’ll always have an expert on staff to point you in the right direction and help you avoid any issues.



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Stuck In A Rut? Broaden Your Career Horizons!

Not everyone is blessed with a career they love and enjoy every single day. In fact, for the vast majority of people, working is a means to an end – primarily earning money. Naturally, a lifestyle like this can often lead to thoughts of being stuck in a rut and trapped doing something you would rather not. But does it have to be like this?


The truth is that taking control of your career again can have a dramatic impact on your success. And the beauty of broadening your career horizons is that it doesn’t matter how old you are – there is always time to make a change. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to get out of that rut and start treating work as an enjoyable thing to do, rather than a necessity.



Reframe your prospects


First of all, stop thinking that you are stuck in a rut, and better things will start to happen. At the moment, you are probably writing you own narrative and considering too few alternatives to your current situation. Reframe your objectives as broad as possible, and you might start to see a lot more potential to move on and try new things. And open your mind to the possibility of a different future, too – it’s the first step in the process, and a simple – yet vitally important – one.


Get talking


One great way of overcoming your limited objectives is to get out there and start networking with other people in your industry. It will open your eyes to what is possible, even with a limited skill set. And if you do have gaps in your knowledge, talking to others either online or in person at networking events – will point you in the right direction.


Get coaching


If you can make a change in your own life, why not consider teaching others to do the same? According to the course on ICF coaching at Animas, there is a lot of opportunities out there in the world of coaching. If you are good with people, have some marketing skills, and believe in the power of transformation, you should always start by transforming yourself. But your processes for getting to a new place can also be beneficial to others, and nothing is stopping you from teaching others how to do it.


Go freelance


Tired of working for a boss that doesn’t appreciate what you do, or pay you enough money?> If so, why not consider becoming your own boss and developing a freelance career. If you have skills to offer small businesses or local organisations, you can put them to good use. Again, you will need some basic marketing skills and be confident enough to pitch for a new client. But, anyone with a particular skill set will always be needed by others, and as you develop your business, you can often raise your prices, charge more, and become an industry authority.


OK, so there you have it – I hope that you can see that just because you are stuck in a rut now, it doesn’t have to last forever.

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