4 Ways To Make the Most Out of a Long Commute

The average time it takes an American employee to commute is 27 minutes in one direction. Spending about an hour traveling to and from work every day is too much for many U.S. workers. For some people it takes even longer, which makes commuting an issue that many feel is wasting their precious time. 

Getting to work, doing their job for at least eight hours, and travelling back home makes plenty of workers feel like they don’t have enough time for themselves. If you’re having this issue, the best course of action is to come up with ways to make the most of long commutes. Find something creative to do, and the commute doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time.

With that idea in mind, we present you with four suggestions that can turn your daily commute into an engaging activity.

Listen to Audiobooks

In today’s hectic world, many people can’t find the time to sit down and read a book. If there’s a novel that you’ve been wanting to read for months, you can download it as an audiobook and listen to it on your way to work. Audiobooks are a practical solution that enables you to catch up on the literature you’re missing out on while making your commute less tedious at the same time.

Share the Ride

If you’re traveling to work by car, you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your friends and see if there’s someone with a similar schedule who’d like to commute with you. You can spend your time chatting, sharing new ideas, or de-stressing by talking about work struggles. Another benefit is that you can save money by splitting the costs for the gas.

Play a Podcast

Because of such busy schedules, plenty of people neglect their hobbies and interests. You can make the most of a commute by listening to podcasts on a variety of topics that interest you but you’ve abandoned because you haven’t had the time. 

Learn a Language

Many people love learning new languages and getting acquainted with foreign cultures. If you don’t have the time to attend a course, you can learn a language by listening to various audio materials while traveling to work. Since listening is one of the best ways to learn languages, you should turn your daily commutes into private lessons.

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5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Job Search During a Vacation

When looking for a new job, plenty of people need to take some time off from the company they’re working for at the moment. They often go on a vacation to recharge and compose their thoughts, and they come back home with a refreshed mindset to start job hunting.

If you’re looking for new job opportunities, you don’t have to wait until you’re back in the office to do so. Even though the usual idea of taking a vacation is enjoying leisurely activities such as sightseeing and going to the beach, this can be the perfect time for you to start looking for a new job.

You’re out of your comfort zone, with fresh ideas spurred by the change of surroundings. Here are five ways that you can use this opportunity to jump-start your job search.

Develop a Plan

When you’re vacationing, you’re taking the time away from any distractions. This is the perfect time to assess your career and come up with an objective picture of how you can advance it. 

When you’re not at the beach or taking a walk, sit down and pick up a notebook. Jot down all your options and identify the pros and cons of each one. Soon enough, you’ll start to see patterns that can help you develop a plan.

Assess Your Network

Looking for a job can be a lot harder if you don’t base it on research, social activity, and networking. Use your time off to evaluate your network and come up with a marketing plan that presents everything that you’ve accomplished in your career thus far. It should also include a list of all the companies that you want to reach out to.

Instead of doing this at work where it’s more difficult to focus, you can turn it into a valuable exercise during your vacation. When you’re back in the office, you should send your marketing plan to all your networks. By doing so, you’ll provide them with a summary of your skills and fields of interest, which can open new doors for you along the way.

Establish and Nurture New Connections

Being out of the office doesn’t stop you from establishing and nurturing fresh connections that can help you land a new job.

Plenty of vacations are focused on spending some quality time with friends and family, or making new friends while traveling together. When you’re looking for a new job, every discussion that you have can be an opportunity to create valuable connections. 

When chatting with friends and family, you can let everyone know that you’re on a job hunt. The chances are that someone will let you know about potential career opportunities at the company they work for. Even though these are some of your closest people, there’s no reason for them not to be potential leads for finding career advancement options.

Find the Right Timing for Your Vacation

While planning your vacation based on your job hunt may not sound like a top priority for taking a break from work, hear us out. If the timing and location are suitable, you can schedule your vacation when the company you’re interested in is holding a major event. This can be your opportunity to present yourself to your potential new employers.

If you can, find someone at the company before the event who can introduce you to an important decision-maker. When you get your chance to meet them, you should have a quick pitch prepared, letting them know about what you can bring to the table.

Be on the lookout during the year for any other events that your target companies hold. You can take a day or two off to attend them.

Enjoy Yourself and Recharge Your Batteries

While most of our suggestions revolve around using your time off to find job opportunities, this in no way means that you shouldn’t do your best to enjoy yourself. Spend as much time as you can doing exciting activities that will help you recharge your batteries and enable you to take on new challenges with vigor and dedication.

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Top 5 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs

The tech landscape is developing along with emerging technologies, such as automation, virtual reality, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence. To support the innovation that is affecting businesses across the world, there is a high demand for job roles in data science, engineering, cybersecurity, and web development. 

A large number of traditional businesses is embracing these technological developments and looking more and more like tech companies. Organizations from different industries, such as retail, media, finance, healthcare, and automotive, are incorporating various technologies to streamline processes and improve their business efforts. Top candidates for such companies have a balance of soft and tech skills.

Based on the assessments made by recruiters and career experts, the most in-demand tech jobs are:

  1. Cybersecurity engineer
  2. Full-stack developer
  3. Data scientist
  4. Scrum master
  5. DevOps engineer

Cybersecurity Engineer

With the rapid growth of cybersecurity threats, it’s hardly a surprise that security is one of the greatest concerns for both businesses and consumers. 

Companies are constantly on the lookout for the best methods and solutions for improving organizational safety. They want to make sure that the products they’re putting out are safe from hackers that would try to exploit them. This has led to an increase in the number of cybersecurity engineer jobs. 

Full-Stack Developer

When it comes to web development, full-stack developers are more in demand than ever. Companies are shifting from building separate back-end and front-end development teams to hiring developers that can work all levels of building websites and applications. 

When it comes to coding languages, companies are mostly looking for Java, Python, and JavaScript developers.

Data Scientist

Data mining and analysis have become crucial activities for companies to identify growth opportunities. Almost every modern business collects data both internally and via third-party sources. This enables organizations to determine different kinds of issues and discover marketing trends that can improve their business efforts. 

As a result, data scientists, analysts, and engineers are some of the most sought out job roles.

Scrum Master

Plenty of companies need an agile framework that enables the development, delivery, and maintenance of complex products. This is why many of them are turning to Scrum as the optimal solution and looking to hire experienced Scrum Masters. 

DevOps Engineer

DevOps practices are based on quick code deployment with as few errors as possible. This is why more and more companies are hiring DevOps engineers to manage coding, scripting, and process development. 

The demand for DevOps engineers is growing rapidly. It has shifted from below 1% in 2012 to over 24% in 2017. It’s considered one of the best jobs in the United States today and in the years to come.

If you’re looking for a job in the tech industry with a high salary and plenty of growth opportunities, you should apply for one of these roles. You can check out other job-related articles, such as:


4 Ways To Beat Spring Fever in the Workplace

With the warm and shiny spring days at the doorstep, working in an office often starts to feel confining. Many people would rather spend their time outside, enjoying the warm weather and taking in all that sunshine. As a result, their productivity at work tends to drop.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with all your tasks and responsibilities when spring fever strikes, here’s some advice on how you can boost your productivity.

Reward Yourself for Being Productive

If you’re feeling tempted by the warm weather outside, you can turn it into a reward for completing a set of tasks. Determine what needs to be done and  allow yourself to have five-minute to fifteen-minute breaks. It’s an effective solution for dealing with your work priorities and enjoying a bit of time off.

You can jot down a list of the things you’d like to do when you go outside. This way, you’ll have something to look forward to once you’ve finished a chunk of your work.

Start the Day Earlier

One of the best ways for dealing with spring fever is to plan ahead and start your day earlier than usual. Try talking to your manager and see if you can move your shift back for an hour. This way, you can have a longer lunch period or end the workday sooner. With the latter option, you can spend more time outdoors after you’re done with your tasks for the day. 

Let the Light In

To battle spring fever properly, you need to accept the change of seasons. Let the warmer days work for you by opening the blinds and letting the sun into your workplace. The idea is to bring your work environment as close to feeling like you are working outside as possible.

Plenty of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, aptly abbreviated as SAD. It’s normal to feel down because of a new season setting in, but introducing more light into your workplace is a proven medicine for boosting your productivity.

Bring a Live Plant to Work

If your job allows it, you can let some of that enticing outside world into your workplace by bringing a live plant and putting it somewhere you can see and smell it. Not only is it a fantastic stimulus for your senses that can help you feel like you’re connected with the outside, but it also purifies the air and helps you breathe.

Before you bring a wonderful English ivy or African violet into the office, check with your colleagues whether they have any allergies. 

Spring fever can be an issue for people of different ages, from kids learning at school to adults working in an office. The good news is that you can battle the urge to drop what you’re doing and go outside by applying these practical solutions.

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Food Theft in the Workplace—A Common Nuisance in America

If you’ve had the experience of opening the workplace refrigerator only to find that the sandwich you’ve brought isn’t there, you should know that you’re far from the only one.

According to a study conducted by OnePoll, food theft in the workplace is a common occurrence. 41% of people in the United States claim that they’ve dealt with co-workers stealing their meals. This happens so often that many said they had to retaliate in some way.

Aside from direct confrontations, 30% of employees said that they aren’t afraid to steal the food back, while 35% decided to leave a handwritten note.

Strangely enough, the workplace fridge isn’t the only spot you should worry about. 25% of employees claim that they’ve had their food taken right out of the microwave.

The big question is—which food should you protect from food snatchers in the workplace the most? The answer is chips, fruit, and candy. 

With food theft being such a common occurrence in the United States, one would wonder how to act regarding this issue. According to the survey, one in three Americans determined that the only solution was to stop bringing their food to work. Six out of ten people resolved the problem differently—by finding various ways to hide their meals from their co-workers.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 foods stolen at work:

  1. Chips—31%
  2. Fruit—28%
  3. Candy—27%
  4. Bread—22%
  5. Ice cream—20%

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39% of Employees Admit to Faking Sick Days To Enjoy Summer

Coming up with excuses to take a day off and enjoy the summer weather is a growing trend in plenty of companies. 

Harris Interactive’s “Summer Absenteeism” survey, as cited by Inc, determined that 39% of employees admitted to having faked sick days in the past. 30% of the respondents said that they planned to do so again in the future. Most of the participants decided to use the time off to go shopping or spend time at the beach.

As a solution to the problem, plenty of employees were in favor of “summer Fridays”, when they would be able to take a half or full day off.

While many companies believe that taking the time off isn’t an issue as long as the client requirements are met, managers generally agree that occurrences such as summer absenteeism are difficult to track.

Aside from making excuses to spend some quality time outside while the days are warm, plenty of employees decide to skip work because of a boss, event, or co-worker that they don’t like. 

While some employees come up with legitimate-sounding reasons, a survey by Business Insider collected some of the funniest excuses people have made to take a day off. Here are a few of the most ridiculous ones:

  • “I was stuck under the bed”
  • “The universe told me to take a day off”
  • “My grandmother poisoned me with ham”
  • “I poked myself in the eye while combing my hair”
  • “The cooker exploded and scared my sister”

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