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What you eat affects your body in many different ways. Different kinds of foods have the power to make our bodies well (or sometimes unwell!) But did you know that the foods you eat can also affect your mood? Research has unearthed a number of different foods that can help you if you’re feeling depressed; in fact, certain foods can also help you to prevent the onset of depression.

In this article we shall discuss 5 foods that can help improve your mood and get you feeling better.

1. Brazil nuts

Did you know that low levels of the mineral selenium have been linked to increased rates of depression, irritability, anxiety, and tiredness? This where Brazil nuts can help. They are one of the best naturally occurring sources of selenium. Experts recommend having them as a mid-morning snack. As far as the quantity is concerned, three Brazil nuts are all you need to get your recommended daily requirement of selenium.

2. Oats

Oats also contain selenium, and have the added advantage of increasing your mood and energy levels. This is because they have a low glycemic index (GI) – foods with a low GI are metabolised gradually and they slowly release energy into the bloodstream, which keeps overall blood sugar levels stable. This is preferable to high glycemic foods which will provide you with a quick rush of energy but later leave you irritable. Half a cup of porridge made with oats is a great breakfast to start your day. You can add honey and almonds for extra pep!

3. Bananas

Consuming one or two bananas can do wonders for your mood and even health. After all, bananas are packed with an amazing array of nutrients. Among them, tryptophan, carbs and vitamin B6 play a role in improving your mood. The carbs help the brain in absorbing tryptophan which is then converted into serotonin with the help of vitamin B6. Serotonin is a hormone that boosts your mood and also helps you sleep better.

4. Lentils

Lentils are complex carbohydrates which means that, like bananas, they will boost the production of serotonin in the brain. This leads to less anxiety and a calmer state of mind. Lentils are also a good source of folate; folate deficiency has been linked to states of depression and mania. Lentils are rich in iron, which gives your energy levels a boost. All in all, half a cup of lentils in a day will keep you happy. Consider adding them to your soups or stews.

5. Dark Chocolate 

You may have noticed that people tend to reach for a bar of chocolate whenever their mood is low – and there is a reason for it. Eating dark chocolate contributes to your well being in a number of ways  and can give a boost to your mood too. A study conducted in Switzerland discovered that consuming a small portion of dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it, to be exact) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in people who were highly stressed. But, of course, you need to stick to the quantity mentioned to get the benefits. Too much chocolate will lead to weight gain and that is not going to be great for your mood!

This article was contributed by guest author Tanya Sen.



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HR and payroll jobs bring opportunities and challenges. If you’re planning a career in the field, make sure you know what to expect – and what will be expected of you…

Although their work takes place behind the scenes, HR and payroll employees are crucial components of business success. Contrary to common belief, HR and payroll departments don’t just focus on hiring and firing, or calculating wages and salaries – their roles draw on a spectrum of educational disciplines, involve a wide range of challenges, and take place across the industrial spectrum in every corner of the world.

So what do you need to begin a career in HR or payroll – and where can you expect it to lead?

The HR Domain

While the HR department is responsible for recruiting, maintaining, and managing the company’s employees, on another level, they work to realize their employer’s vision for the organisation, and shape its future. Broadly speaking, the duties of HR employees involve:

  • Recruiting employees with skills that will enhance their organisation
  • Participating in salary and contract negotiations
  • Inducting new employees
  • Disseminating company policy and promoting employer philosophy
  • Addressing employee needs and enquiries
  • Organising and delivering employee training
  • Providing professional oversight and advice
  • Participating in and mediating the dispute resolution process between employees and employers

Beginning your career

HR positions normally have no specific academic requirements, but in a crowded job market, university-level qualifications are obviously an advantage. Certain subjects and disciplines are particularly useful for HR roles, including IT and communications, psychology, sociology, math, and anything business-related, such as management or economics.

It’s certainly possible to kick-start your HR career with an industry-recognized accreditation, and a number of industry bodies provide training courses specifically focused on the field. Explore your options at institutions like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which offers training for both prospective HR employees and those already on the career path.

Beyond academic and professional qualifications, certain skills and talents are also relevant for prospective HR professionals. Strong interpersonal skills are advantageous since much of the role involves dealing with inquiries by other employees, while organisational, administrative, and communication skills are also useful in most contexts.

Choosing your path

HR careers could take place in any corner of the working world, and follow a number of paths. While HR careers are generally focused on serving client-employees, there’s plenty of scope for specialization within a certain industry or sector – or as a global HR specialist. HR roles include:

  • Assistant: Administrator positions are normally how most employees get their start on the career ladder. Basic duties involve procedural office administration and addressing client queries. Average Salary: $31,840
  • Administrator: With increased responsibilities, HR administrators play a part in recruitment, interviewing, and training for their employer organisations. Average Salary: $45,667
  • Manager/Supervisor: HR managers bear responsibility for their wider HR team, or or may lead their department. At this career stage, professional accreditation may become a necessity. Average salary: $98,818
  • Director: HR directors are high level personnel with an important role in shaping their employers’ decisions and policy regarding recruitment, training and employee management. Average salary: $137,274

The Payroll Domain

Payroll employees work not only to calculate and pay wages to an employee population but to ensure the pay process takes place accurately, on time, and in compliance with the rules and regulations of their territory. General payroll duties include:

  • Logging employee work hours and overtime
  • Calculating salary
  • Calculating tax and social security contributions and other relevant deductions
  • Reporting to relevant tax authorities
  • Issuing pay and payslips
  • Inducting employees into payroll system
  • Maintaining and updating payroll records
  • Addressing employee payroll queries
  • Augmenting the pay process to maintain compliance

Beginning your career

Payroll jobs are similar to those in HR in that they suit candidates from a range of academic backgrounds, however, thanks to the field’s focus on calculation and data, subjects like math and any other numeracy-based disciplines are especially useful to prospective employees. With that said, while math and accountancy graduates (at both high school and university-level) will likely stand out to payroll recruiters, achievement in IT, communications, management, and any business-centric subjects will also be valuable.

Ideally, payroll employees should be diligent and conscientious, and show strong attention to detail. Given the deadline-based challenges of the role (employees need to be paid on time), creative thinking and problem-solving skills are also vital – along with an ability to communicate clearly with clients and other team members regarding urgent pay queries.

Entry-level payroll positions will tend not to require industry accreditation, but this may become a necessity with progress up the career ladder. A number of internationally-recognized institutions offer payroll accreditation, including the American Payroll Association (APA), which trains employees in the Fundamental Payroll Certification, and the Certified Pay Professional certification.

Choosing your path

Given its importance and complexity, ambitious payroll employees can forge long, rewarding careers – and can expect to find exciting opportunities across professional landscapes. Typical payroll positions include:

  • Administrator: An entry-level position, payroll administrators will have processing and general administrative duties including inducting new starts onto the system. Average Salary: $25,000
  • Assistant: Payroll Assistants assume a higher-level of administrative responsibility and may be responsible for directing colleague activities and addressing queries. Average salary $31,000
  • Technician: Payroll technicians will facilitate the procedural aspects of the pay-cycle – maintaining software platforms and other technical components.
  • Manager/Supervisor: Payroll managers may be in charge of their team or department, and will communicate regularly with senior employees. Average salary $94,500
  • Director: An executive position, payroll directors will be responsible for guiding policy and advising senior employees. Average salary: $111,484

Many businesses choose to outsource their payroll process to third-party service providers. Outsourcing is particularly popular for businesses paying employees on a global scale, since it offers a chance to import compliance expertise for local tax laws. With this in mind, global payroll specialists are often in high demand.

This article was contributed by guest author Sandra Sommerville.



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Going back to school is a tough decision. It’s expensive and takes a lot of time. It’s also intimidating – but it’s so rewarding. You’ve always wanted that education, that degree hung on your wall. The satisfaction that you did it.

Maybe you’re still choosing between traditional or online schooling. Either route you take, you’re on the right track. In this article, we’ll cover some of the benefits of an online education specifically. This information will help lead you to whatever decision is right for you.

It’s Convenient

One of the main benefits that brings people to online education is the sheer convenience of it. When pursuing further education, some of the main struggles students deal with are:

  • Working your class schedule around work schedules, or vice versa
  • Finding a program that’s available in your location
  • Travelling to and from classes
  • Finding the time to attend class around family responsibilities and personal obligations

Online education eliminates all of these common issues. Sure, schooling of any kind will take a lot of your time. But instead of finding the time to travel to the physical location of your class, spending a few hours in class, and then traveling back to your home or work, you’re simply scheduling a few uninterrupted hours from your couch or kitchen table — whenever it works best for you. But the advantages of online learning go far beyond convenience.

It Provides the Freedom to Gain Work Experience

With online schooling, you can keep working in your profession and won’t have to deal with the stress of clashing schedules. When I was going to school and working, I was always forced to request a different shift than I had been given in order to accommodate classes. Or I was missing out on the classes I really wanted to take because they were only available during regular working hours.

Since online education provides the freedom to be able to work while you pursue your degree, you’re eliminating one common issue students struggle with: lacking work experience after graduation when they’re trying to enter the workforce. Some people say experience can be more beneficial to getting a job offer than education. I think we need a balance of both to be successful. It’s unfortunate that traditional schooling doesn’t provide this flexibility quite like online options do. But that’s just one of the many benefits of online education.

It’s Affordable

Tuition fees for online education can be considerably cheaper than attending a traditional brick and mortar establishment. You will also save money on a few things that might seem miniscule but will add up considerably over the course of a few years in college. Here are a few of the ways you’ll save:

  • Transportation: No more driving back and forth or paying for parking
  • Housing: You don’t have to live on campus to attend online schooling, and you’ll have the ability to live in areas with cheaper rent, or continue living at home
  • Food: No more spending on snacks in between classes or an expensive meal on campus
  • Books: Online courses can sometimes offer digital books cheaper than the same book in print

It’s Just as Good as a Traditional Education

Don’t let the stigmatization of online education deter you from pursuing your dreams. An education is an education, and while there are many benefits to attending classes in a traditional setting, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. As online education becomes more common, the stigma slowly dies, and the learning systems will keep getting better as our technology and tools become more advanced.

Even now, we have the amazing ability to offer simulation learning for jobs like nursing. When entering a field that can be as unpredictable as nursing, students need a way to develop crucial skills before they’re faced with an emergency. This branch of online education can look like a video game, computer program, or computerized mannequin.

If you want to go back to school and earn your degree, but you can’t leave the workforce or you have a family and other obligations to uphold, an online education might be the best idea for you.

This article was contributed by guest author Devin Morrissey.

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College is demanding; there are essay and assignment deadlines to juggle, exams to study for, summer internships to find, and a graduate job to pursue. The transition from college student to young professional can be equally tough.

So, what are the top five skills you need to be working on to get you through college life and out the other side to employment with ease?

Clue: If you are only concentrating on your college work, you may not be working on all the right skills you need for a great job after graduation.

1. Communication

The ability to communicate with others is vital. It’s not just about being able to voice your own opinions and arguments; equally important is the ability to read and understand others.

There’s a theory that over 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, which means people largely get their message across through body language and tone of voice, rather than the actual words they choose to use.

People spend lots of time chatting with peers. This kind of talk is informal and unstructured. Most feel more comfortable talking with individuals from a similar generation and background.

However, when meeting with college tutors, attending interviews for employment and further down the line in professional work, more formal dialogue is required.

For this reason, it’s vital to work on your interpersonal communication skills – to hone your ability to read others by taking the time to listen, watch and converse with people from all walks of life. This is a particularly important part of interview preparation.

Part-time or voluntary work can offer you opportunities for improving your communication skills.

2. Writing

Perhaps you thought learning to write was for grade-schoolers? Not so at all.

Thanks to the internet, there’s never been a greater demand for the written word. Every day, people write through direct messaging, email and social media; they read blogs and online news.

Although much of what is read and written may have gone online, this doesn’t mean quality has been compromised. Students still need to turn in first-rate essays and reports, and people are all keen that whatever they write on social media gives a good impression.

Outside in the post-college world of work, email is a dominant form of communication, detailed business proposals and scientific reports are still being written, and companies need to be able to market their products and services through quality web content, blog posts and succinct social media. In fact, according to the most recent NACE survey, 4 out of 5 employers see good written communication as a vital skill.

Without a doubt, you need to be able to write well. You may not want to be a journalist or novelist, but whatever your goals, you absolutely do need to be able to get your point across through the written word.

It can be simple to improve written English skills. The most straightforward way to learn to write in a more advanced way is to read. By reading the kind of styles you wish to emulate, you can observe the structures, the style, the formality and the vocabulary used.

3. Critical Thinking

People today live in an age wherein they are continually bombarded with information via the internet and their smartphones; never before have they had to contend with such a volume of media passing by their eyes.

However, their ability to evaluate this vast quantity of information and form their own arguments is often lacking.

Unfortunately, the way in which people were taught in high school meant that they were expected to regurgitate a required response to pass tests. This often means that people find it difficult to analyze the swathes the information they receive at college level, where greater understanding and depth of knowledge is required.

It is vital for students to think critically enough to identify and evaluate different arguments and see that there may be bias, misinformation or alternative ways of looking at the subject in anything they read or view. This will enable them to construct their own arguments and responses in written or oral discussions.

In the graduate world, employers are increasingly looking for candidates who can think critically, evaluate problems and provide alternative solutions, rather than passing the buck.

4. Initiative

Initiative is a skill in demand from graduate employers.

This is because, in the world of work, students who willingly show initiative demonstrate that they take responsibility for something. They know that if the project they are working on does not produce good results, they are responsible for that. They will therefore work hard to ensure the best outcomes.

For this reason, demonstrating initiative shows the beginnings of leadership skills, too. Initiative is about taking decisions and ownership of a situation. This person will not need to be micromanaged and can help engage others.

To practice this skill in student life, look for opportunities where you can get a handle on something that interests you and show you can make the most of situations. It could be starting a micro-business, writing a blog, or taking an active interest in student politics.

5. Teamwork

Finally, over 82 percent of employers questioned in the NACE survey say they actively search for team players when sifting through résumés, and this figure has been rising in recent years.

Once in employment, very few people work autonomously. Their role and input are nearly always part of a bigger picture, where colleagues are of equal value and importance to the finished results.

However, as a college student where you are largely working alone on essays, projects and assignments, it can be hard to gather much experience of teamwork during your college years.

Potential employers need to see evidence of teamwork, so for a fully-rounded résumé, you need to have something concrete that demonstrates you’ve worked successfully alongside others.

Your contributions to sports teams, music and drama ensembles, political or charity campaign groups can all show that you’re a team player, so make the most of opportunities to take part in life outside of the classroom.

This article was contributed by guest author Maloy Burman.

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Transitioning from military service is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming process, especially when it comes to applying to a college or university. Unlike most 18-year-olds, veterans entering college after military service have traveled the world, endured hardship, worked in high-stakes situations, and formed an idea of what they want to study, do or be. Armed with these experiences, they are well-prepared for the rigors of higher education and have access to a variety of resources and benefits along the way. Find out how you can apply to college as a veteran with these tips from Veteran Car Donations:

Know Your Benefits

Veterans who have completed at least three years of active federal service since Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for 100 percent of the 36 months of allowed benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Under this law, tuition benefits are equivalent to 100 percent of the most expensive public state school’s in-state undergraduate tuition. Additional tuition benefits may be available under the Yellow Ribbon Program, which allows schools to waive part of any remaining tuition cost, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) to match that tuition waiver.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also includes a housing allowance equal to the local ZIP code’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate for an E-5 with dependents. There is also a $1,000-per-year stipend for books and materials, and up to $100-per-month allowance for tutoring (with a maximum of $1,200). These benefits are good for 15 years after the service member is honorably discharged or retired from the armed forces.

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is also still an option — and, in various cases, makes more sense for some veterans. While the Post-9/11 GI Bill has more monthly income associated with it, it can only be used at degree-granting institutions of higher learning. Those attending trade schools, participating in apprenticeships or flight training, or who wish to take preparatory courses for national exams are only eligible for benefits through the MGIB. The MGIB also provides up to 36 months of benefits with a monthly payout rate. These benefits are good for 10 years after a service member is discharged or retired.

Curious which benefit is right for you? The VA has a handy GI Bill calculator that can help guide that decision. Just remember to keep a copy of your DD 214 and Certificate of Eligibility handy once you have chosen the benefit that is right for you. Your target college or university will also have a veteran’s office that will help you navigate any benefits paperwork.

Square Away Your Educational Priorities

With only 36 months of GI Bill benefits, it may seem impossible to obtain a degree from a four-year university. With distinct educational priorities and a strategic plan, it is possible to graduate before running out of funds. During out-processing, veterans receive a Joint Services Transcript that lists all of their completed training that is eligible for college credit. Choose a college that accepts this credit, even if it does not directly apply to your chosen degree.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests also offer an opportunity to receive general education credit in one of 33 subjects. Some universities even give veterans the option of petitioning for credit through work-related portfolios that demonstrate knowledge they would have gained in the classroom. Be sure to talk to any veterans’ advisors at potential universities about the options they offer.

Finding a Campus Community

Once they leave active duty, most veterans find that they are missing the sense of community the military offers. Fortunately, myriad colleges and universities have clubs and activities aimed at easing the transition to civilian life. On-campus VA offices often employ certified counselors, academic advisors, tutors and benefits advisors to make sure veterans are successful. Seek this staff during campus visits. These individuals will offer insights into life as a veteran at that college or university. They also sponsor activities to let student vets get together and form a sense of campus community.

Veterans bring a unique perspective to the university experience. If they seek the experts, ask for credit for time served, and access the benefits they have earned, they can experience success long after they hang up the uniform.

This article was contributed by guest author Jeremy Silverstein.


Have you always dreamt of traveling the world? For many people, international travel remains but a dream.

Between work, kids, and family, finding the time and money to travel overseas can be difficult. Fortunately, that opportunity is right at your fingertips.

Deciding to spend a semester abroad comes with a unique set of challenges. With so many destinations to choose from, it can be hard to decide which city is right for you.

If you’re considering studying abroad, don’t feel overwhelmed by this initial decision. As with any big decision, exhaust your resources so you’re as prepared as possible.

Speak to college advisors for in-depth information. Chat with other students who have traveled overseas in prior semesters. Looking for a place to start? Check out our list of the 7 best study abroad cities for college students:

Gold Coast, Australia

The city of Gold Coast is a popular destination for college students studying abroad. It is teeming with beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, and amazing food. Like most major cities, it’s simple to navigate, find a place to live, and discover incredible places to eat.

In Gold Coast, it’s easy to feel at home even though you’re far away. As a bonus, most Australians speak English, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing the language.

Salamanca, Spain
Rich with history and culture, Salamanca is a small, walkable city that’s easy to get around. Home to the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain’s most beautiful central squares, it is a city full of art.

With countless museums and stunning architecture, Salamanca is best when traveled by foot. When you’re not studying, you’ll be able to walk around, see the sights, and tour the city.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich is one of the most beautiful and safest places to study abroad. The weather is great year-round, making it a great city for walking, wandering, and exploring. This lakefront city offers exciting nightlife and amazing shopping. As a bonus, it has an incredible view of the Alps!

When you’re not studying, plan a trip to the Botanical Gardens or stroll the promenade of the lake. It’s a gorgeous city with beautiful sights, delicious food, and a thriving art culture.

Tokyo, Japan

There’s nothing quite like Tokyo if you love the hustle and bustle of a big city. Easily accessed by public transportation, Tokyo is full of culture and incredible sights.

Home to historic temples and modern museums, it’s a meeting of the old world and the new. Despite its high tech appeal, it has one of the lowest pollution levels of any major city. It’s also considered a very safe destination for students studying abroad.

Submerge yourself in the food, culture, and art scene. You can visit a historic landmark one day and find yourself on the cutting edge of a new trend the next day.

Check out special events like the Kiyose Sunflower Festival. And don’t forget to take in the sights of the beautiful cherry blossom trees when they’re in bloom!

Cape Town, South Africa

With beautiful parks, gardens, and museums, Cape Town is a unique study abroad option. Known for its stunning ocean and cliffside views, it is home to the iconic Muizenberg Beach.

Rich with nightlife, incredible bars, and amazing restaurants, Cape Town has something for everyone. Cab and bus transportation is readily available, but the city can be best explored on foot or by bike.

Munich, Germany

Munich is an ideal location for any nature lover. Full of parks, forests, and lush green spaces, the city boasts rich culture and beautiful views. It’s ideal if you love museums, music, and cultural events. Plus, it’s easy to enjoy free (or inexpensive) concerts and museum tours.

Munich also offers affordable travel to other European cities and countries. While you’re there, find some time to hop a train to Paris, Milan, Austria, or Prague!

Florence, Italy

There may not be a more beautiful city on Earth than Florence. Best toured on foot, this walkable city has it all.

Rolling hills and beautiful landscapes show the majesty of the Italian countryside. Centuries-old architecture, chapels, and artwork fill the city. When you’re hungry, the restaurants offer the world’s best cheeses, artisan breads, pizzas, and pasta dishes.

Florence has a big city feel but doesn’t feel overwhelming the way some cities do. For anyone studying art, history, or architecture, it’s the ideal place to study abroad.

When it’s time to decide where you want to study abroad, take the time to do your research. Speak to college advisors to get a full understanding of the programs available to you. Talk to other students who have been there or are considering going with you.

Read travel guides online to learn about transportation and lodging options. Know what landmarks, beaches, or museums each city has to offer. This will help you narrow down your options.

Studying abroad can be one of the greatest college experiences. Once you’ve made the decision to go, do your homework so you’re prepared ahead of time. Consider the costs involved and make sure that you can afford it. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you do it right!

This article was contributed by the team at University Suites: University Suites  is a great townhouse-style community located about a mile from Eastern Carolina University’s campus. The community consists of 2×3 and 3×3 apartments and contains a full amenity suite including a fitness center, pool, business center, and game room. The community is the best value in the Greenville NC student housing market.


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Finishing college and getting a degree is essential for pursuing your future career but it will not completely prepare you for business life. While it is very important to have a college degree, in order to make it beneficial as well, it is crucial to take key courses and to take advantage of the opportunities around you to prepare yourself for life after school.

The first thing you have to realize is that attending every class won’t magically make you an expert in your line of work. That means that you should go out, get your hands dirty and try to learn as much as you can in practice, i.e. outside the classroom. Take advantage of the opportunities around you and available resources of your college. If you limit yourself, you will limit your career opportunities and slow your professional growth at the beginning of your business life.

Start planning on time

It is very important to start planning your future career on time. As soon as you start college, you should make a plan for your future business life; thinking about jobs related to your career interests and setting a list of goals. That way you will have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to prepare yourself for the job you want. Ask for help from your parents and college professors because it is always good to hear both subjective and objective opinions on your skills and character that may help define your future career if you are not sure about the choice you made or don’t know what to choose. If you start planning on time you will be less stressed about it at the end of school.

Self-development is essential

Work on developing skills you will need while doing everyday tasks for school, for example. Start networking with professors and other members of the faculty. It will help you improve your communication skills and you will meet people and make connections that can lead to career opportunities later on. Enhancing your leadership skill development will help you become more confident work-wise while you are striving to reach your career goals. Improve your skills by taking additional courses to ensure you have good qualifications for your future job.

Take on an internship

Gaining work experience while you are still studying is a great way to prepare yourself for a career in business as well as increase employment opportunities. Use your summer break to take on an internship or a job related to your line of work. That way, when applying for a job requiring work experience, you will have a better chance of employment even though you are a recent graduate. Also, you will gain practical experience, earn course credits, and of course, improve and develop skills.

Prepare yourself for the job

Using internet tools is also a great way to become familiar with business terminology and programs used for various business areas. Find tools or software you will need to use for your future job and learn as much as you can about how to use them and how they function. It will help you add to your skills and be well prepared for the future. You can find all sorts of information online, so make sure you search official sites and find official software to work on while preparing for business life. If a certain company caught your eye and you are striving for a career with it, educate yourself on their line of work and find out exactly what they are looking for. Get in contact with people who work there and ask for volunteering options since business owners appreciate confident, talented individuals who are taking initiative.

Know your skills

Many graduates don’t really know what they’re good at or what their skills are. To solve this problem, do a skills assessment test that can direct you and even create a particular career path according to your personality and your abilities. You can find a lot of these tests online or you can consult with your college professors and ask for suggestions or recommendation for the best ones to take. Don’t push yourself on developing skills that are not compatible with your character; instead concentrate on what you know and what you’re good at.

Following these steps can help you prepare for the after-school life and getting ready for your future job. Keep in mind that it is crucial to start early and work on developing career-related skills. Taking on an internship will give you the necessary experience and advantage when applying for your first job, so be smart, and start planning your future on time!

This article was contributed by guest author Ian Pearson.

combat dry skin

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Dry skin is a huge problem in winter. As the temperature drops, it affects the natural moisture of your skin. It’s important to keep your skin healthy and hydrated – so here are 8 tips to combat winter dry skin.

  1. Stay hydrated

The more you hydrate your body internally, the more your skin will benefit. Drink two to three liters of water on a daily basis to stay hydrated, and drinking lots of fruit juice will help detoxify your body. Working herbal teas and vegetable juices into your diet plan can help you to stay hydrated and combat dry skin.

  1. Moisturize your skin

Moisturizing your skin is probably the most obvious advice when thinking about how to avoid dryness. Apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type twice a day. Also consider using a night cream, as it can help retain the moisture of your skin. You can also choose natural moisturizers if your skin is very dry, such as glycerin and honey for your face once a day. Their natural moisturizing properties will help to maintain the Ph balance of your skin.

  1. Apply a good sunscreen when you step out

It’s a common misconception that you don’t need sunscreen in the winter. Snow glare combined with the winter sun can damage your skin and reduce its moisture. Always apply a sunscreen of more than 30 SPF when you step out. Choosing a sunscreen with moisturizing properties will help your dry skin.

  1. Wear gloves and socks

Hands and legs are more susceptible to winter dryness. You can wear wool socks or gloves to stay protected and retain the natural moisture of your skin. Avoid wearing gloves and socks that are wet, as this can cause irritation. Stick with gloves and socks that are comfortable and warm.

  1. Use hydrating masks

Choose DIY masks that can help naturally moisturize your skin in the winter. You can use natural ingredients such as almond oil, vitamin E oil, honey, glycerin, and yogurt in your masks. All of these ingredients help to lock in your skin’s moisture.

  1. Use a humidifier

Heating systems dry out the air, and that can affect the moisture of your skin. Set up a humidifier in your bedroom to help add moisture to the air, which will in turn keep your skin hydrated.

  1. Use lukewarm water

If you’re a fan of hot water in your baths during the winter, you should stop. Hot water actually makes your skin dry and reduces the natural oils in your skin. Instead, bathe in lukewarm water to help retain the natural moisture of your skin and prevent dryness.

  1. Exfoliate your skin once a week

Exfoliate your skin at least once a week to remove dead skin cells. Use natural exfoliates like oatmeal and sugar, and skin products that prevent dryness and wrinkles. Dermology anti-aging cream can naturally help hydrate your skin.

A good diet plan and exercise can also help your dry skin in the winter. Take care of your skin and feel great!

This article was contributed by guest author Melissa Mellie.


Bring your own device

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Most employers can’t keep up with changing technology as easily as their workforce can, so adopting a “bring your own device” policy is common for businesses these days. It allows employees to do work on their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones instead of company-issued equipment.

The widespread adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) to work has changed the nature of how connected we are — or are expected to be — in an office setting.

As our availability shifts, so do expectations that we should be more connected to work 24-7. Employees don’t even seem to mind this as they’d rather use their own devices for business purposes than unfamiliar work-issued equipment. Why? Here are five reasons.

Work & Play

The line between work life and personal life can be pretty blurry sometimes. Whether we like it or not, our smartphones connect us to both personal and professional endeavors. Many of us embrace the blurriness because it’s all part of “life,” and we tend to spend most of our waking hours on work related stuff anyway, whether at home or in an office. But it can be intrusive if you let it, which is why striking a balance may be necessary. Versatile business devices, for example, separate business apps from personal apps so you can use your device for both work and play. It beats having two separate phones.

“Considering 20 percent of the 1,500 job seekers surveyed by FlexJobs last year would take a cut in pay for more flexible work options, the BYOD trend is necessary to creating more work-life balance,” states an article on Entrepreneur’s site. “Not to mention, working from devices that employees are already familiar and comfortable with can help them complete tasks quickly and efficiently.”

Efficiency Queens & Kings

Instead of learning how to use computers or technology you’re not familiar with, it’s easier to stick with what you know as it saves time. When companies allow you to use your own mobile device, they are basically letting you choose the tool you see most useful to get the job done. Just imagine if a painter couldn’t pick his own brushes or if a mechanic couldn’t use her own tools. Similar philosophy, right?

Keep the Talent

Millennials and creative types especially like flexibility in the workplace because they often work outside of the 9-to-5 office paradigm. BYOD is a good recruitment and retention tool as many tech-savvy workers see their personal devices as an employee benefit. They can work either in the office or at home on the weekends and evenings with more fluidity than switching between devices. BYOD is particularly important for tech-heavy jobs like graphic design, UX design and programming because different operating systems support different products.

Expanded job titles

Speaking of creative types, our super mobile society has widened the job possibilities endlessly. In the marketing field in particular, technology is transforming the old marketing landscape with new career opportunities in a huge range of content channels. If you’re in marketing, you could actually help companies look at gaps in the their marketing plans and offer skills that will help a potential new employer step up their game and separate themselves from the competition.

Morale Booster

Even though the employee is usually the one who ends up paying to use their own equipment, which doesn’t seem that enticing on the surface, there’s still a sense of freedom or independence associated with being able to use your own device. Sometimes it’s the simple things that encourage employees to stay with a company, especially if the employer actually pays for the device of your choice.

This article was contributed by guest author Devin Morrissey.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

One of the main concerns you have as a student is your GPA. After all, based on this number you could be accepted to higher-learning institutions, and it is the number that will decide the next step in your career. So don’t treat this lightly!

We all know there are times when it’s difficult to be a good student. Maybe you feel you have no energy left or you simply can’t focus on the task at hand. This is normal when you’re stressed and very busy, but if the situation persists for more than a few days, you should analyze your sleeping habits.

According to recent studies, the process of learning and even memory are in direct correlation with the quality and quantity of sleep. So, if you’ve been putting off sleep for more time to study, it’s best to reconsider your strategy.

How does Sleep Help?

Researchers found that sleep helps with focus and information retention. Did you ever notice that when you lose several hours of sleep it gets more difficult to focus? This is because the brain is in a sleep-deprived state and some neurons may misfire, leading to confusion, difficulty in problem-solving, and lack of focus. When this happens, it’s only logical that you won’t be able to learn.

Even more, studies have found that people who sleep after learning something new will perform a lot better once they wake up. According to science, sleep is essential for information retention – basically, when you sleep, the information is consolidated in your brain and it becomes a lot easier to access it.

How to Improve your Study through Sleep

No, I am not going to recommend that you sleep through all four years of college! Sleep is a fantastic weapon in any student’s quiver, but you must use it properly. Too much sleep can lead to a whole bunch of other problems, which is why it’s best to stick with the regular 7 to 8 hours per night schedule.

I also mentioned above that you need both the right quantity of sleep as the right quality. High-quality sleep is extremely helpful with information retention, but it can be difficult to get, especially in a dorm room. For this, I put together several tips and tricks to help you sleep better at college.

Air quality

The quality of the air in your dorm room is very important for both your health in general as well as your mental activity. So, make sure to open the window from time to time and allow the air from outside to come inside.

You can also get some plants or use purifiers, but remember that ventilation is extremely important. For a good night’s sleep, open the windows for 10 minutes just before you got to bed (even in the winter). The lower temperature will create the perfect atmosphere for sleep as soon as you get under the covers.

One important tip: when you really want to study but you feel sleepy, find a place with good ventilation and a low temperature. The cold will keep you awake and the fresh air will boost your learning by about 30%.

Bed quality

Dorm beds usually come with a mattress, but I strongly recommend changing it with one you have personally bought. The dorm-supplied mattress was most likely used by someone else before you, and it’s not designed according to your needs.

Try Mattress teaches us that you should get a mattress that will accommodate your sleeping habits. A memory foam mattress tends to be best for people who sleep on their side, while an innerspring is best for people sleeping on their backs. Overall, a mattress is very important and you shouldn’t be happy with the one you get by default.

This article was contributed by guest author Michael.