Let’s first dispel any preconceptions you may have had before clicking on this post. This post will not be outlining the benefits of keeping a diary of sorts to document your thoughts and feelings. Of course, if you already do that, then more power to you, but in this blog we will be focusing on why using a journal is the most effective medium in keeping track of any upcoming events and increasing productivity.
But I Have Notes on My Phone…
Smartphones manufacturers are continuously updating and innovating their products with the intention of streamlining our day to day lives. However, they can also provide distractions and reduce productivity. It can be all too tempting to tap on the YouTube App next to your Notes or Calendar. Having an actual notebook to write in reduces the temptation to get side-tracked and allows you to be present and focused as you document information. Smartphones also allow mistakes to be erased or things to be rewritten, which of course has its benefits, however, writing with pen and paper encourages a certain commitment to the process and taking time to document information in this manner allows information to be subconsciously registered.
So what are some benefits of journaling?
Traditionally, people would associate a journal as a daily record of news and events amongst other things of a personal nature. In essence, it’s a diary. However, rather than use journaling as a way to document the past, instead, use it to plan for the future. For instance, when applying for jobs, you may need to remember important dates such as interview's, online calls or tasks to complete. And whilst in employment, use it to remember deadlines, meetings, commitments and work based social events. Business and work-related alerts can become lost in the void of the other notifications on your devices, so having all important information contained in an accessible, easy to use portable format is guaranteed to avoid such occurrences.
There can be slow times during a period of work and the temptation to scroll through social media or watch videos online can be all but too enticing. This is where a Productivity Journal can help. By tracking habits or division of time spent on tasks throughout the day, your working hours will ultimately be more focused with less wasted time.
Time Management and Reaching Goals
Journaling provides a way of breaking down a seemingly herculean task into obtainable goal by distributing time across a number of dates. Having all your important tasks and commitments scribbled down will allow you to quickly identify spaces in your schedule and allow you to dedicate time accordingly. Without question, planning your time effectively will increase productivity and decrease stress.
Of course, it is worth mentioning that though you may journal as a means of planning ahead, it can be nice to look back through the previous weeks and months you have documented and reflect on previous projects. It can help instil a sense of pride to look back at your past accomplishments and completed tasks, which will motivate you to continue to work hard and not feel daunted when presented with a lengthy task. Viewing previously completed tasks retrospectively can provide good hindsight in preparation for similar projects in the future.
A simple but important point of note, Journaling in this method can also be quite meditative, and is a sure way to keep the stress levels down. As previously mentioned, removing the ability to delete mistakes requires you to focus more on what you’re writing. This means you are present in the moment and focused on one specific task. The world of work can present many matters that require your attention and in a busy week of work full of deadlines, meetings and commitments, it can be nice to take 5 minutes away and just focus your efforts on one task.
Doodles and Drawings
In a similar fashion to the traditional diary, your journal isn’t just for handwriting, its your own personal document that you can shape and customise however you like. Studies have shown that drawing or doodling in your journal enhances your memory and can also provide further stress relief. A lot of people have strong visual remembrance and are more likely to recall information from an image than a written document. Aside from these benefits, personalising your journal is ultimately enjoyable and will encourage you to use it more often!
Its difficult to list exactly how journaling can affect your professional life, as everybody uses a journal for different things. Some to plan ahead of time, some to document, and some as a way to take a few minutes out of there busy schedule to just focus on one task. Chances are as you read this blog post (thank you for reading to the end by the way) you already had some idea of what you would use a journal for, or maybe you’ve observed a close friend or colleague viciously scribble away in a notebook whenever they have a few seconds away from a call. We’ve mentioned a few practical uses of journaling, however, the best way to get started is just to get stuck in and see what works for you. Buy yourself a notebook and pen and get writing, it’ll help, trust me!
Posted by Joe Lord on 16 August 2022
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Following on from 10 of our staff raising €42,775 on the Paris2Nice cycle, over 40 of us descended on Saplings Special School, Kilkenny to take part in our first-ever Difference Day, to put the money raised into action. Our goal was to help transform the outdoor areas of the school to enhance the environment for the children and teachers of the school. A total of 5 projects were carried out on the day including building 2 outdoor classroom spaces, new seating and planters, painting the playground area and constructing a fence to make the front area of the school safe for the kids.There was lots of hard work but the fantastic principal Sandra, her staff and the wonderful pupils of Saplings kept spirits high throughout the day. It was extremely rewarding when the team were able to reveal the completed projects to some of the teachers, parents and pupils at the end of the day. Their reaction made all the manual labour worth it!A huge thank you to Difference Daysand Outdoor and Spaceswho helped us bring this project to life! It was an absolute privilege to be able to undertake it.
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The jobhunting period can at times feel quite negative, and many people will be put off contract work as they know they have a date where they will be out of employment after the role expires. Also, jumping between different industries in quick succession can prove a challenge for the Wallflowers in this blogs audience. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contract as well as some added benefits you may not have considered.Make ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility will only ever benefit your applicationFind your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.More FreedomAs you are not bound by the standard contracts of the business, you have more negotiating room when discussing hours, pay and location. You may have been brought into the contract role to assist with a sudden influx of work, therefore If you can assure your employer you will complete the work, you can choose working hours that fit for you, which can provide more time out of work for looking at more roles, building your professional profile and networking.In ConclusionThere are many business professionals who have built there who career around contract work and it’s not too hard to see why. Contract work offers more flexibility, better pay, more variation, and greater chance of networking and building a profile within the industry. Understanding the process and careful planning can ensure you are never out of work for lengthy periods of time, and with the flexibility contract work offers, you can use any free time to plan ahead once your contract expires. If you are keen to build your professional CV, build strong industry connections, gain experience and entertain a higher pay, contract work is definitely worth your time
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
There seems to be an underserved stigma attached to contract work. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contractMake ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility. Find your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.Foot in the doorIt is not unreasonable to think that a company will offer you a permanent position once you’re contracted obligations are over. The contract job may have been to fill a job left open by maternity leave, or a sudden influx of work has left a team treading water, and once your work is complete you may leave the company with a strong reference and 6 months of experience and knowledge. However, if you are able to not only perform above and beyond in your role whilst also suggesting and introducing new methods of practice and ideas of work that increases business, your employer may want to keep you around for longer. By proving yourself as an asset that possess’ knowledge and positive actions that the company do not practice, you will make yourself indispensable.In ConclusionThe opportunity for contract work should not pass by unnoticed. The lack of watertight job security may be off-putting, however contract work is certainly not without its benefits. Higher pay, building connections and a set time to see if you align yourself with the culture of the industry, contract work is a great way to build upon your professional career, and ultimately make you a more credible and accomplished candidate when you approach vacancies down the path of your professional life.
What Is LinkedIn?
What Is LinkedIn?
It’s difficult to comprehend what our lives in 2022 would be like without the various platforms and interconnectable mediums we use every day. The Nokia 3210 has been replaced by the iPhone. TV Cable has made way to streaming platforms, and much of our music is consumed via Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. However, the most poignant example of the increasingly connected age we live in, is that of Social Media. In the race to dominate the social platform, businesses are constantly updated their sites and apps with new ways to digest content, integrating features such as videos, shops, posts, blogs and stories. Though the intention of drawing in a diverse clientele is understandable, it results in a saturation of the market, thus making it difficult to ascertain the USP of a certain platform. Snapchat’s quick photo/story update features can now be found on Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger command our 4G instant messaging services, and Facebook, well, Facebook does everything. However, there is one of few platforms that’s focus has managed to remain consistent since its creation, and that platform is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest online professional network. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. In essence, LinkedIn is the main social media hub for employers and businesses. For some, checking LinkedIn every day is like checking the newspaper, except unlike other social media platforms LinkedIn is optimised, professional, well presented, practical, focused and ultimately good. Now I have not been monetarily compensated by LinkedIn to write anything on the behalf, however I do believe that the importance of LinkedIn cannot be stressd enough, especially if you are looking to progress into the upper echalons of the corperate world. To those who have yet to utilise this platform, or simply want an overview of what it is and how it works, read on Who Should Use LinkedIn? Given that the main focus of the site is to connect businesses, establish relationships and help companies advertise jobs, your average LinkedIn user will fall into the category of ‘business professional.’ It is a platform for people looking to advance their career’s, including people from various professional backgrounds, small business owners, students, and job seekers. LinkedIn members can use the platform to tap into a network of professionals, companies, and groups within and beyond their industry. Though LinkedIn’s homepage features a feed where users can post updates and developments in their personal lives as well as photos and videos, the content still centres around the professional working life, so you may have to look elsewhere to get your cute animal fix. Why You Should Join LinkedIn LinkedIn is the key that will open the door to the interconnected landscape of business. Your profile will display your various accolades, previous work experiences, qualifications and personal bio, along with any personal hobbies and interested you wish to share. Now you might be thinking this sounds a lot like the criteria one would find on a CV, and that is not an unfair comparison to make. Many jobseekers use LinkedIn as their primary tool of self-marketing to send to companies who have advertised jobs, and employers can use it to search for candidates and present them with opportunities to work. Thus, a fleshed out, optimised and slick LinkedIn profile can prove to be an invaluable tool as you progress through your professional life. Where Do I Start Like many social medias, the best way to learn more about the features of the site is to simply jump in with a freshly created profile and click your way around the sites menu’s. However, we have a few suggestions to get you started: 1. Create a Profile Though this may seem obvious, LinkedIn does allow you to explore most of what the site has to offer without the need of creating a profile. However, having your own profile with allow the algorithm to tailor your experience on the site to your own personal preferences. Jobs advertised will become more closely linked to your current profession, and industry related content will appear more frequently on your feed. Naturally of course If you already have a reason in mind for signing up to LinkedIn, then one assumes your profile is ready to go Do take time when creating your profile. As previously mentioned, LinkedIn can function as an online CV, so take this into account when uploading a profile photo and writing your bio. Include all relevant experiences and skills you have within your profession in indoor to add further employability to your page 2. Build your connections The network you create will play a crucial part in unlocking the power of LinkedIn as it will help you understand what is happening in your industry and professional circle. You can begin by adding your family, friends, past or current classmates, and co-workers to your network. You can also follow people, companies, or topics by navigating directly to the Follow fresh perspectives page, which displays recommended sources to follow. 3. Browse the Catalogue of Jobs The job search is one of the standout features of LinkedIn. You can use the job search to research companies in preparation for an interview, reach out to hiring communities or simply see what current roles are being advertised for. LinkedIn is one of the top platforms when it comes to advertising vacancies, so there’s a high chance a specific role or a role in a less well known or advertised industry will appear in your searches. You can also save jobs searches or notify your connections and recruiters that you’re open to job opportunities. 4. Engage in Conversation Though LinkedIn as a platform caters more to a tool for business than traditional social media, you can still connect and talk to people as you would on any other platform. Feel free to engage in updates and posts from the companies or individuals you follow. This can even work as a catalyst to establish further connections with new likeminded individuals. 5. Post Content And finally, post stuff! Don’t be afraid of uploading content onto your page. Keep your connections updated with any recent developments in your professional career, reach out to industry experts for advice, stimulate debate and even alert people to vacancies in your place of work. In Conclusion LinkedIn is an invaluable tool used by many as a catalyst to progress further in their working life. The benefits of LinkedIn should never be understated, and once you’ve begun to explore the site and engage with content, you’ll wonder how you ever navigated the job market without it