A Life Filled With Love: The Options Of Working With Children

Children are a gift. They’re the future generation, and as adults, we have the opportunity to guide them in the right direction. It’s an amazing feeling and one that manifests in most of our lives when we have children.

But, there’s no reason that those of us who don’t have kids around the place can’t enjoy the experience too. It may be that you don’t have a desire to have children, or that it’s not happened just yet. Whatever the reason, it’s possible to make a difference to future generations without a child of your own. There are plenty of career options out there which involve working with youngsters. As well as being some of the most satisfying jobs available, these are an amazing way to make a difference. To prove the point, we’re going to take a look at some of the top contenders.

Social work

If you want to dedicate your life to the cause, it’s worth looking into social work. If you go down this route, you’ll be working closely with troubled children. You’ll work with kids in their family homes, and those who have been removed from their parent’s care. It can be a harrowing job at times, but satisfaction doesn’t get much better than this. This is a fantastic option if you want to work in close collaboration with many kids. Often, you’ll become the only stable in these children’s lives. As such, it’s crucial you know that this is a job you can stick at.

It’s also important to note that you can’t jump straight into social work. You will need to either do on the job training, or look into something like these msw online programs. This amount of responsibility does require high levels of qualification. But, that might not be a bad thing. During your training, you’ll get a good idea of whether the job suits.

Foster care

If you want to care for kids, but don’t want to give up your job to do so, consider foster care. As a carer, you’ll offer your home to children in care while their social workers seek to find them a family. While all care centers have different foster requirements, the majority are keen for volunteers. To ensure you’re a good fit, you will probably need to attend a day course and undergo extensive checks.

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And, it’s important to consider whether you’re mentally prepared for a role like this. These children, some of them troubled, are going to come into your home, heart, and life. You need to ensure that you have what it takes to care for them. While not a full-time job, foster placements can really take it out of you if you aren’t prepared.

That said, this can be an amazing experience. Better than helping children is the opportunity to let them into your home. Yours may well be the first loving home these kids ever experience. Few others jobs offer the chance to make such a huge difference.

Childminding

If you have time to dedicate to the cause, childminding may be worth some consideration. Within this job role, you’ll be taking care of children, either throughout the day or for a few hours at a time. Most parents who use such services do so because of their work commitments, so the times of care will vary.

To become a childminder you’ll need to complete a short course, and get yourself registered. If you want people to put their trust in you, you need to ensure you have a seal of approval! It’s also worth completing a first aid course so that you have the know how if you need it.

Much like with foster care, children will likely come to your home for the duration of your time together. But, you’ll get the relief of knowing that their parents will pick them up at the end of the day. Bear in mind that, while the other jobs mentioned allow you to work with kids of all ages, childminding puts you with children younger than school age. If you think you’d be comfortable with younger kids, give it a go. If not, this may not be the job for you.

Schools

Teaching requires extensive studying, which you may not want to undertake. But, that’s not the only school job available. You could opt for a teaching assistant position. This would involve working in the classroom, but with much less pressure. You’ll be there to help the kids, rather than teach them. And, their teacher will always be there to take over if need be. This can be a nice way to build relationships with the students. The teacher isn’t always the most popular person, but teaching assistants go down much better.

Or, if you’re looking for something with less commitment, you could work in the school kitchen. You don’t need to be a top chef to do this, as the meals are all pre-prepared elsewhere. For the most part, you’ll be a friendly face while the kids get their dinner. Bear in mind, though, that your interaction with the children would be minimal. If you want to build close relationships, this may not be the best option.

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Creche/Preschool

If you want the chance to work with younger kids, it’s worth considering a creche or preschool instead. The work and age group involved won’t be dissimilar to those in childminding, but there’s less pressure here. For one, the care won’t fall on you. In most cases, there will be at least two supervisors a class. Plus, you won’t have to take work home with you.

The best part about this work is that you normally do your training on the job. So, if this sounds like the ideal option for you, you can easily get stuck straight in. Another benefit to this option is that the hours are a stable nine to five, fitting in with those busy parents. So, you can be sure you’ll be earning a set amount each month.

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Your Family & Their Health: Making Those Vital Changes

Everyone has the desire to ensure that they and their family ar as healthy as possible for as long as possible. But knowing how to make this a reality is often something of a challenge. If you have come to realise you could probably be doing more towards this end, then you might want to know what it is that you can do. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the major changes you can make which are going to dramatically change how you approach the issue of health and happiness in your family forever. You might not have considered some of these changes, and they are not all for everyone – but each one of them is a powerful way to make your family much healthier effectively and swiftly.

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Prioritize It

 

Put simply, one of the best ways to ensure that your family remain as healthy as possible is to make it a priority within the family unit. Only then can you really be sure that your family are going to feel as looked after as possible, so it is essential that you get this right. Knowing how to make health a priority in the family is tricky in itself – but most of all it is just a matter of rearranging how you do things in order to place health at the top. If you find that you probably don’t eat as well as you could, then you could set up a plan to improve that fast. Or if nobody in your family really exercises very much, you might want to set that up as a priority by penciling in some workout sessions in your diary. However you do it, it is only by changing your approach to health that you can hope to make it work better for you.

 

Get Some Education

 

You don’t need to work in healthcare to benefit from some medicinal education; those who are concerned about their families might also find that there is much to be gained from taking a masters in nursing education or something similar. When you have at least a basic understanding of medicine and healthcare, you are much more likely to be able to properly look after your family in terms of their health, so this could be an extremely powerful thing to do here. Or it could just be a case of being trained in First Aid; that alone will make you and your family feel much more relaxed around the whole issue of health emergencies, which in turn leads to better practices. Consider getting a little education soon if you are serious about your family keeping strong and healthy.

 

Talk It Through

 

The best way to enact any real changes in a family unit is to talk about it as thoroughly as you possibly can. Getting it out in the open is always a powerful way to do this, and it just might be the best things that you do for your family this year. Start to talk about health and how to improve it, and everyone will get on board and change their ways for the better in no time.

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Aiding an Unproductive Employee

We’ve all been there before. We’ve had a couple of employees or perhaps just a single one that is being problematic. It’s not that they aren’t willing to work, it’s not that they’re breaking the rules either, it’s simply just their productivity. Maybe they’re not working as quickly as they should, perhaps you’re unsure what kind of work to give them or maybe you’re stumped because you’re unsure how often you should be giving them a new task.

 

It’s usually not their fault or yours. Maybe there’s just a little break in your office right now and perhaps there’s no need for so many employees. You’ve considered telling them to take a holiday, but they don’t want to use their dates yet and you’re paying them a salary anyway, so why not make use of them? Unfortunately, this type of problem is fairly common in the world of business because there will always be ups and downs in your sales and there will always be quiet periods where almost no one does any work.

 

In order to straighten out this situation and help the unproductive members of your workforce, here are a couple of useful tips and tricks to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is fire your employees, so use these as an alternative.

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Creating a work schedule

 

One of the most problematic things with unproductive employees is the feeling that they could be doing more. You’re unsure if they’re simply doing their work too quickly or if the work you’re assigning is just far too easy for them. Perhaps it’s the opposite and they’re taking way too long to finish a task that others can do in a matter of minutes. It’s hard to judge this without evidence or statistics, so here’s how to solve the issue.

 

Get an average of how long it takes to finish a task. It could be sorting mail, writing up an article or even responding to a certain amount of customer queries. Once you have this average, use it to judge whether an employee is being too slow or too fast. Then, take a look into their work and ensure they’re not being lazy or rushing it. Ideally, everyone should finish their tasks at the same time, but it’s understandable when a handful of people don’t meet the average and either go above or below it.

 

Another useful thing to have is a work schedule app. This can help your employees stay on track for when they’re doing their tasks, and it will give them a general sense of direction on what to do next without having to ask their colleagues or speak with you.

 

Allow them creative freedom

 

Something that tends to annoy employees is their ability to be autonomous in your business. Limiting employee creativity is a sin and it should never happen unless the job they have is strictly something logical that doesn’t require creativity. There aren’t many roles in the office that promote this, which is why there is almost never an excuse to not be creative.

 

If you know your business inside out, then there are undoubtedly some ways in the back of your mind that an employee can be more productive. Let’s say you have an employee that isn’t really working much because they always finish their work on time. Instead of limiting their talents, why not give them a new role in the office that involves design, such as website design or content creation? By stimulating their creative urges, you effectively give an employee a little more control over how they help your business.

 

Money usually isn’t the reason for people becoming unproductive and lazy at work. You can’t exactly throw money at someone and expect them to work harder or be more productive. Instead, what your staff really want is job security and a sense of belonging. They want to feel like they’re actually contributing to your business, not just following orders and acting as a small cog in a large machine. Offer them some autonomy and give them some creative freedom so that they may affect your business in their own way and feel a sense of accomplishment when your business succeeds in something.

 

Summary

 

In short, make sure that you’re making the most use out of every employee you have. Whether it’s by offering them more creative freedom in their tasks or monitoring what they do and optimising their working hours, it’s important to nurture every member and staff and turn them into staff that are proud to work for you.

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Want to Build and Keep Trust in Your Dealings? Don’t Forget These “Minor” Things!

We’re pretty much aware that, when dealing with people, be it a business deal or casual plans with friends and family, that following through is important. If I sell you a product, I need to give you that product and you need to give me what you said you’d pay for it. If I say I’ll bring the cake to the party, I should bring the cake to the party.

But, something too many of us forget is, communication, particularly when there’s a potential that things may change or go wrong, being ethical, and yes, following through (and be sure you can follow through)!  These may seem minor, especially the communication part, but they can be just as important for building and keeping trust, as delivering the product itself. Below is an example of a business transaction that I was involved in where all of these things came into play.

Communicate when Things Change Unexpectedly and Be Ethical!

Recently, I was selling an air mattress online. A potential buyer, who we’ll call, ‘Jim‘, called me and said he wanted to buy it, but at $5 less than I was listing it for, which I agreed to. We agreed to meet at a certain time and I thought that this was fine.

I was then texted by a 2nd potential buyer we’ll call, ‘Karen‘. I told Karen that there was a potential buyer in front of her but that I’d let her know if the deal fell through, or if it did go through. In other words, I would let her know either way so she would know where she stood. I also gave her a date by which I would know for sure, just a few days away.

Well, I called Jim to confirm just before our meeting time and he said he was out of town on short notice from his work and couldn’t meet until the next Saturday, which was a day past the date I’d given Karen earlier.

So, I asked him if Saturday was definite and he told me he never works Saturdays and would definitely be available. I did let him know that I had a deadline to give an answer to another buyer so that Jim would know I was holding the item for him. He told me he would be buying the mattress for sure on Saturday.

Having sold things in the past, I knew well that something isn’t sold until the buyer actually and physically picks up the item and gives me the money!  As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t believing that Jim would be buying the mattress until I would actually meet with Jim and he would pick up the mattress and pay me the money he agreed to pay.

I then contacted Karen again to let her know that Saturday was the new deadline and that it was certain I’d have an answer for her, and I did apologize and explained the situation concerning the first potential buyer. Karen then offered me $5 more if I went ahead and bypassed Jim and sold it to her, but I told her that I couldn’t do that to Jim as I’d given him my word to wait until Saturday. To Karen’s credit, she said that was fine and she didn’t get mad or surly in any way as many other people would have.

On top of this, a third potential buyer we’ll call ‘Bill‘, texted me and I told him he had two potential buyers in front of him but that I’d let him know by a certain date or earlier for sure on where he stood and would keep him updated.

So, Saturday arrives and I decide to call and confirm again. (Not everyone has the message of this post or will learn from their own experiences, so, unless you know that the person you’re working with is truly reliable and will communicate when needed, confirmation of such things is advisable.)

And lo and behold, when I called him, he tells me he was called to work that Saturday! Now, to Jim’s credit, he did say to go ahead and sell it to someone else, and he did apologize to me.

What I wonder is, would he have told me at all, or would I have ended up at our meeting place, waiting and waiting for someone who never would have shown up?

When sudden changes come up that affect the other party, communicate, communicate, communicate!

Anyway, I contacted Karen and we agreed to a meeting place and she did show up and bought the air mattress, I let Bill know that it had been sold, and all was well.

Photos of my Motorola Moto-e 2nd generation 2015 phone. 4/30/2016

So, in your dealings, do keep everyone who’s supposedly in the loop, in the loop. Update everyone in the loop so you don’t hear later, “I never got the memo!”, or something to that effect. If you have a smart phone and you know that everyone else in the loop has one also, it’s even easier to keep everyone updated at any time!  (Just don’t text while driving. Pull over and park first!)

 

 

 

 

And, if you tell someone you’ll call them, call them! And if you do forget to call them (which we all do from time to time), and they bring it up to you that you didn’t call them when you said you would, please, don’t say to them, “So why didn’t you call me?”, when it was you who said you’d call themIt was your responsibility to call them!

And don’t reserve a time with someone and tell them it’s certain when you know it really isn’t, and if you do reserve a “guaranteed” block of time, for someone, try to keep that commitment! And if you can’t guarantee a time, then let the other party know that it’s not guaranteed, and agree to a limit as to how long or how many changes they’ll be before letting the other party know that it’s ok for them to move on.

And finally, speaking of ‘reservations’, it should be first come first serve, unless, in a business dealing, you’ve put the ‘deal’ up for bids and have let everyone concerned know. Otherwise, if you have a potential buyer and you’ve agreed to sell it to that buyer at a certain price, don’t dump them if the next potential buyer, who’s arrived after the first buyer, offers you a better price. And the same goes for if you are the buyer and have agreed with the seller to buy something at an agreed price. If another seller jumps in, after said agreement was made, and offers a better deal, go with the first, since you’ve already agreed to buy from the first seller. It’s just plain unethical to do otherwise.

So keep talking! And be ethical! It’s worth it in the long run!

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10-Minute Solutions For Stress

We’ve all been there. You feel like you’ve got too much on your plate all the time. Stress is something that affects us all, but it can cause people to react in different ways. Some people thrive on stress, others let it overpower them. There are so many causes of stress, and myriad ways to deal with it. Next time you’re feeling stressed, try these simple 10-minute solutions for size.

 

Talk it out

Have you got thoughts whizzing around in your head? Do you feel like you’re going to burst? Do you need advice or simply want to offload? If so, don’t bottle everything up. Call a friend or pop and see your sister or your mom. Even a 5-minute rant can do you a power of good. It’s beneficial to get things out and to express yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you know, consider seeing a therapist once a week or every few months. It’s good to have an outlet if you are feeling like things are getting on top of you.

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosimoes7/8578279742

 

Tidy up

There’s nothing more annoying than walking into your office in the morning to see a massive pile of papers or arriving home to a living room packed to the rafters. Take a moment to tidy up, clear everything away, and start afresh. Try and get into the habit of filing papers, and keeping pens and other stationery bits in a container, and keep your desk surface as clear as possible. At home, do a quick tidy up before you go to bed and use solutions like a shoe storage rack, boxes and crates, a shelving unit and clothes rails to keep things in order. Nobody wants to spend time tidying when they’re tired, or they’ve got a to-do list as long as their arm, but you’ll feel so much better after a bit of decluttering.

Image via https://www.pexels.com/search/workspace/

 

Stretch

Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for stress. Even if you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, doing some stretches or going for a quick walk around the block will help to boost your mood and clear your mind.

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/stretch-fall-relaxing-landscape-63869/

 

Laugh

If you’re having one of those days, laughter is the best medicine. When you’ve got a break, call that friend who never fails to give you the giggles or watch some funny clips on your phone. Laughing triggers a series of processes within your body, which are proven to lift your spirits.

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/laughing/

 

Breathe

Do you feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken? Are you struggling to hear yourself think? Are people asking you to do things left, right, and center? If you need a break, take 10 minutes, stretch your legs and focus on breathing deeply. Take deep breaths in and then exhale. This will help to lower your heart rate and make you feel less anxious. Some people also find meditation really helpful. If you haven’t been to classes before, you can follow guided meditations using apps or online videos.  

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/peace-serenity-zen-meditation-1972916/

 

If stress is getting to you, try these simple solutions. You may not find every one effective, but there may be some that are just the tonic.

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Being There In Times Of Trouble

Whatever your role in life – brother, sister, father, mother, child, parent, friend or lover, you’ve got one key responsibility. You need to be there for the important people in your life through the highs – and through the lows. When money is tight, when they are sick, poorly or hurting, or when they are going through a rough patch in life – you need to be there for them through thick and thin and be the best friend, parent, or partner possible. The situations that we can all face are varied, so we’ll all get stuck in different mud throughout our lives – we don’t need to be an expert on all these situations, but preparing to be a helping hand in any situation that could occur will ensure you’re on hand to help, and be a good help at that.

 

One thing we must understand about offering help – or being on hand – is that people rarely ask for help. Some cultures don’t accept help at all. It might seem counterproductive, but sometimes you must do the right thing and find a way to help out without waiting for a request to be made to you. What can you do? Grabbing some supplies, walking their dog, feeding their fish – cooking them some nice dinner. There’s a lot of things that you can do for a friend that has a lot of impact, but are low effort. Not many people will come to you begging for help, but they might severely need your assistance. This can be a hard situation to judge, and it is deeply personal, so use your experience and knowledge of the person to know the right time to step in.

 

Sometimes you will need to perform quite serious actions to assist someone. Being there to help might mean speaking to a personal injury lawyer with the person in need, it might be assistance with legal matters like that. It could be health matters – you might need to attend appointments, or even drive the person there and back. It will differ on each situation, of course – but it goes without saying that sometimes, more serious forms of help are needed. This doesn’t mean the simple stuff can be left behind; it just means you’ll be required to do a lot more to be on hand and help. When someone needs help, their confidence might be shot – so you need to ensure you can step up to plate and be on hand to assist with serious matters.

 

Can financial matters be something you can help with? Certainly. However you must use your best judgment – whether the person in need means it or not – they can become dependant on financial aid. Ensure any financial help is limited and only in serious matters, because it could quickly drag you into a bad financial situation.

 

Regardless of the situation, the best thing you can do is simply be there. Be a light of guidance and a helping hand, and you’ll help someone get back on their feet in no time at all.

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Be Sure Your Brain is Running Before You Throw Your Mouth Into Gear!

I once saw a sign at my mother’s workplace that read, “Be sure your brain is running before you throw your mouth into gear.” You can see where I got the title from. Though it was quite an amusing sign, it really rings true.

 

Close up of window deflector. 5/26/2014

Oftentimes we let emotions and pressures make us say things that we later come to regret. In my own life, I’ve come to see that I fare better when I calm myself down before speaking if I am under pressure or strong emotion. It’s certainly improved my own life and my relationships in general.

Most often, when talking about saying things we come to regret, angry conflicts come to mind. However, it’s not only the argument that can trigger regretful words. It can be other pressures, such as trying to make a sale. One may over promise in order to get a sale that appears to be slipping away.

Later on, the customer may find that what he purchased does not live up to the promises made, and may become an ex-customer as a result. Instead, by taking the time to think, then asking the customer what he is looking for instead of making false promises, the sale may be salvaged and you won’t get an unhappy customer. Even if the sale still falls through, the customer won’t leave feeling that he’s been deceived. An honest disagreement is always better than agreement under false pretenses.

It’s not only in business that thinking before speaking is warranted. We all need to think more before speaking if there’s a possibility that the person we’re speaking to may be extra sensitive to the subject we may be bringing up. You don’t go up to a widow at her husband’s funeral and ask about the two dollars her husband owes you, for instance. It doesn’t mean one should always walk on egg shells or hold back from ever saying anything, just do it at the right time and place and in the right manner, if it really needs to be said.

And thinking doesn’t just apply to speaking. By now, many of us have heard about thinking before sending that email or making that tweet. A few years ago, a reporter flying to another country for an assignment made an inappropriate tweet, which got the reporter fired upon landing.

And sometimes, there’s really no need to say anything in some situations. You’d just be adding your two cents where it really isn’t needed, and it can sometimes cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Another quote I once read said, “A closed mouth gathers no feet.”

Happy talking!

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