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6 Pieces of Advice for Dealing with a Difficult Manager

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In your professional life, there’s nothing worse than having a difficult manager. The attitude of who you work for can make or break your enjoyment of your job. All too often, difficult managers lead to great employees leaving companies and finding better opportunities somewhere else. If you have a difficult manager, you can certainly try to find a job elsewhere. However, if you otherwise like what you do and where you work, here are some tips for successfully dealing with a challenging manager.

Learn if there’s a reason

Before writing your supervisor off as a bad boss, consider whether or not there’s a reason for their current attitude. Have they always been difficult? Was there a recent change in their life? There could be a specific reason your boss is being difficult and it could have nothing to do with you. Before reacting to their attitude, make sure you’re correct in identifying their behavior as difficult.

Examine your own behavior

Is there something you could do to improve your interactions with your manager? Are you giving off an attitude that says you’re difficult to work with? Make sure you’re not the person causing a problem and fix anything on your end that you believe you could improve to help the situation.

Keep working hard

Regardless of your relationship with your manager, do not let it affect the quality of your work. Keep working hard and doing great work; it makes it that much harder for your manager to find something tangible to criticize you about. Throw yourself into doing the best work possible while trying to resolve the issue with your manager.

Set your boundaries

When dealing with a difficult manager, you may have to begin setting boundaries. Be clear about your schedule and what you’re doing. Avoid unnecessary meetings if you can. Avoid all conflict. It’s also important to learn to say “no,” especially if you feel that your boss is dumping too much on you and not giving you space to actually do your job.

Consider communication

If your situation seems like it could improve with a conversation, it wouldn’t a bad idea to talk to your manager about how you feel. Avoid placing blame on them and making it seem like they have a problem; talk about feeling overwhelmed and like you need more autonomy at work. Find ways to broach the subject with your manager without putting them on the defensive.

Plan ahead

Finally, if the situation simply does not improve and you don’t see a way out in the near future, begin planning for what you’ll do. You could switch to another position or department within your company or simply go somewhere completely new to work. Even taking small steps, such as preparing your resume, can help relieve your stress at work and make it easier to decide on what to do.

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4 Tips for Finding Balance Between Work and Life

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It can be challenging to successfully balance work and the rest of your life. Some people make it look simple, but most struggle to find this balance. If you do not learn how to balance your job and your life outside of work, it can lead to burnout at work and issues in your personal life. It’s important to do your best to find a work-life balance that helps decrease your stress while allowing you to excel in all areas of your life. Here are some tips for finding a great balance between work and the rest of your life.

Create a strict schedule

The key to a successful work-life balance is setting clear hours for when you’re at work and when you’re at home. While there might be times you have to adjust these hours, such as business travel or time off for a doctor’s appointment, you should stick as close to the schedule as possible. Have set working hours and then avoid doing work once you’re home. Keep your professional and personal lives separate and you’ll find it easier to balance the two. Begin carefully scheduling each day and week so you know what’s ahead of you. Keeping a careful schedule and sticking to it makes you more productive and helps achieve balance.

Learn to prioritize

As you work through your to-do list for each day, evaluate the tasks you have to complete and identify what’s most important. Avoid getting bogged down on projects that can wait and be done at some other time. Prioritizing your most important work to get done first makes it easier to breeze through other tasks and feel relaxed. If you tackle the hardest projects first, you’ll feel less stressed as the day goes on and find it easier to leave the office at the end of your workday. You’ll also avoid feeling stressed out at home because you didn’t finish something important or are worrying when you’ll get it done.

Take time for yourself

A vital aspect of work-life balance is taking time to relax and focus on yourself. That could mean exercising every day, reading for fun, or spending time with family and friends. Regardless of what helps you relax, find ways to integrate it a little into each day. Constantly working wears you down if you avoid taking breaks and simply relaxing.

Communicate with others

In order to achieve real balance, you need to talk to the people around you. There are likely tasks that can be delegated to someone else, whether at work or at home. Share responsibilities with whoever you live with and communicate who should be responsible for what. You can do the same at work; speak up when you need help and trust others to complete some tasks you’re trying to do on your own.

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5 Ways to Foster Your Creativity at Work

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Regardless of the industry you work in or what your position is, creativity is vital to your job. However, when you’re putting in full work days, it can feel like you’re simply doing enough to finish all your tasks in the day and get by. Even if you enjoy being creative, you can’t force it and you won’t feel creative every second of your work day. Instead of giving up on using creativity in your job, find ways to foster it and use it to your advantage. It’s time to snap out of your mundane routine and take back your creativity. It’s important to always work on your creativity and find new ways to do your job that make you and your work more effective.

Start your morning strong

If you’re rushing around in the morning to get to work on time, it can throw your mind off for the entire day. Even setting your alarm back by 15 minutes can make for a better day. Consider using a sleep tracker to find out when the best time to wake up is and set your alarm for that. Then, once you’re up in the morning, spend time doing something interesting, such as reading an intriguing article, writing, or some time exercising.

Keep learning

We should all strive to embrace lifelong learning. You do not have to go to school your entire life to keep learning; you can achieve this goal without ever leaving your home. There are plenty of online resources, such as webinars or classes that you can take to learn something new. You can also take single classes at a local school or attend workshops. Find a way to stay creative and learn something new and you’ll see the benefits at work.

Do something on the side

Whether you get a side hustle or a hobby that allows you to embrace creativity, doing something outside your regular job is beneficial. It can be an alternative way to earn income or it can just be something interesting. You have a chance to take a break from your regular job and learn new skills that could help you there.

Schedule time to brainstorm

If you want to foster your creativity in your current position, find time to brainstorm. It can seem a bit forced to schedule time for creativity, but it simply means you’ll stop what you’re doing and give yourself time to take a break and think instead of rushing through your to-do list. Giving your mind time to wander can have fantastic results for your creativity.

Find inspiration

Whether you find inspiration through other people or something else is up to you. Surrounding yourself with creative people helps foster your creativity and can motivate you to work harder on creative projects. You can also find inspiration through books or images; surround yourself with what helps you be more creative.

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4 Financial Goals for People in Their 30s

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Financially, your thirties are the ideal time to start building wealth. In people’s 20s, they typically spend that decade growing a professional career and identifying financial best practices. Many people in their 20s are occupied with paying off student loans and saving up what money they can to travel or to eventually purchase a home. As you get older, you’ll learn financial best practices and have greater earning potential.

With age comes wisdom. While twenty-year-olds are worried about making ends meet, paying rent, and finding a job they love, thirty-year-olds are generally more established in these areas. Anyone approaching or well into their 30s should be dedicated to becoming financially stable. It’s never too early to set ambitious financial and professional goals, but your 30s are the primetime to do so.

Move up in your career

30-year-olds are well aware of their skillset and have several years worth of job experience under their belt. Now is the time for them to advance their careers by pushing forward in their professional life. Whether this advancement takes the form of a promotion in the office or a complete career shift, this period in one’s life should be dedicated to professional advancement.

Evaluate your budget

With more money comes more goals, as well as more responsibility. While it’s common for one’s budget to change from year to year, as people reach their thirties, they may need to radically reevaluate their spending. During one’s thirties, it’s time to consider altering their budget to accommodate getting married, starting a business, or having children. A new budget helps determine where and how your income will be divided over the next few years.

Rethink your insurance coverage

As you enter your thirties, you’ll realize that you have more assets to protect. If you’re married and have children, it’s even more important that you have adequate insurance to take care of your family. Now is the time for 30-year-olds to rethink their insurance coverage to make sure that they are properly protected. Depending on an individual’s family and home life, they may need to consider auto insurancehome or renter’s insurance, or life insurance.

Increase the emergency fund

Your thirties should bring financial security. Gone are the days of living paycheck to paycheck and skipping meals until payday. You should take advantage of any excess income by growing your emergency fund. An emergency fund with enough money for three to six month’s of expenses is the ideal goal and can help if you lose your job or have surprise medical bills.

Your thirties begin the start of a new financial journey. Follow these four tips to ensure financial stability and start building wealth.

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3 Tips for Paying Off Debt

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For some people, debt is an inescapable part of their everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Tackling sky-high credit card bills and paying-off those never-ending student loans really is possible for the most money-savvy amongst us. It might seem like you’re bogged down with debt and you’ll never make a significant dent in it, but there are certainly ways out if you take it one step at a time. Read on for some of the best tips for paying off debt.

Understand that every dollar matters

Making the most of each dollar is the first step for anyone trying to get out of debt. While it’s tempting to subscribe to the attitude of “treat yourself” when it comes to splurging on luxury items and expensive products, in order to save as much as possible and get rid of debt, it’s essential to cut back in your spending. Start this process by putting together a detailed budget.

According to NerdWallet, it’s a good idea to use the 50/30/20 budget. This method focuses on spending 50% on essentials, 30% on wants, and 20% for paying off debts. For individuals that are truly committed to lowering their amount of debt, it is beneficial to tap into the “wants” percentage for extra funds.

Embrace the side hustle

The concept is simple: make more money, pay off more debt. Embracing the side hustle lifestyle allows you to have multiple streams of income, in addition to your regular paycheck. Though these side hustles will add several hours to your weekly schedule, the extra income can have a major impact on the amount of debt you’re paying off if you’re using that money wisely.

The best side hustles to consider are part-time or one-time opportunities that tap into an your particular skill set or resources. For example, homeowners looking for extra income can turn to Airbnb, just as writers with a knack for creating quality content opt for freelance blog writing.

Take a hard look at your values

Many people want to save more, but can’t get over the hurdle of cutting back on their monthly expenses. For most people, putting limits on spending means downsizing and no longer spending as freely. Individuals that would rather “keep-up appearances” find themselves at odds with the mindset required to follow a strict budget. However, budgeting is an important part of spending less and saving more.

In order to change one’s spending habits, you need to align your money mindset with your values. Someone that truly values being debt free will be able to overcome looking less than luxury as they try to save more.

Getting over debt is possible. Put these three strategies into practice to start getting over debt today.

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4 Great Books on Finances that Every Financial Enthusiast Must Read

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Managing finances is one of the most critical skills that all individuals should aim to possess, especially once they start working and earning a paycheck. Eventually, you’re going to have money that you need to decide how to spend. If you’ve never received any kind of education on how to best manage money and ensure your expenses are covered, it’s important to learn as soon as possible to avoid colossal debt. Here are some of the best books on finances you can read and learn what to do with your hard-earned cash.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Probably one of the best-selling finance books in the industry, Rich Dad Poor Dad, compares two families: one that has less money and family that would be considered middle-class. The book highlights that individuals should not only learn how to plan their finances but should go further and instill financial knowledge in their children. This teaching helps guarantee that children have financial knowledge when they grow up and can avoid mistakes their parents may have made.

Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

This book is a critical finance book that offers insights to individuals who want to learn more about the bond market. A bond is a financial instrument that is used by the government to control inflation and interest rates in the country. Any person who is interested in matters concerning inflation and interest rates on loans should go ahead and buy this book. The book goes further to explain the causes of the market crash several years ago, which was facilitated by the housing market.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt

This book is a finance book that addresses the common aspects that individuals experience on a daily basis concerning money management. The book does not focus on solving a particular market but helps educate an everyday person in making sound financial decisions with the aim of getting the best value while at the same time minimizing expenses. This book goes further to help homeowners and real-estate agents on how they can get the best deal possible when searching for property.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

This book is a personal finance book that offers insight to individuals on how to deal with different financial situations on a daily basis so that they can make accurate decisions. The personal finance book is handy for borrowers and creditors as well. According to this book, managing finances professionally is an essential factor as it helps individuals to retain their wealth and can prevent you from making costly mistakes.

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3 Tips for Keeping Your Smartphone Secure

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Your smartphone may be a small device, but it is a powerful piece of technology that you can use at your disposal to access the Internet, make important phone calls, and a litany of other things to increase your productivity. However, if you are not careful, your information and other pertinent features can be compromised by would-be criminals. Smartphone security is so very important, but not many know how to adequately make sure their phones are secure. Here are the best ways to go about properly securing your phone.

Make your PIN strong

Your smartphone’s PIN number is the first line of defense for security. If you are able to properly make a PIN that no criminal would be able to guess, you can protect your smartphone from infiltration. You have to make sure that your PIN isn’t short or predictable. Avoid making this number a date of graduation or a date of birth. The general rule of thumb is to make a PIN that is at least six digits in length. There are also smartphones that have multi-faceted security checkpoints such as facial ID and touch ID, so take advantage of those as well. The harder it is to unlock your smartphone, the more secure it’s going to be.

Avoid Third Party Stores

While you may have heard the temptation to download apps from third-party stores that are not a part of your smartphone’s main software, this could potentially lead to malware or other viruses being downloaded onto your phone because it is considered foreign material. This issue bodes especially true for iPhones, because the possibility exists to “jailbreak” it, causing it to be exposed to a many more harmful viruses that wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. Stick to your main party’s app store and platform, and do not run the risk of third party apps.

Permissions

By knowing how your phone’s permission system works, you can limit how much data a certain app can collect from your person and who can access it. These limitations can be extremely important, because sometimes the app will request permission to access complementary features on your phone such as the camera and microphone, and that can be used to collect data without your consent, even when you aren’t using the app. Go to your “Settings and permissions” tab to undo anything you do not want to subscribe to.

Follow some of these tips, and increase your smartphone secure today. Avoid having your private information stolen.