Are you active on social media platforms? How do you manage your social media accounts? How often do you monitor your postings and home page? When was the last time you updated your information? Chances are, most fresh graduates today have at least one social media account online.

Be careful on the path to harnessing social media reach and networking with new people. Use of social media has its share of downsides as well. Social media today, is no longer merely used to connect with the world at large. If you are not vigilant enough in filtering through your social media posts, it could perhaps cost you a missed job opportunity.

Candidate’s social media ‘cleanness’ increasingly becomes one of the major consideration for employers as well. Jobvite survey notes that 92 percent employers use social media as a part of their hiring strategy.

Based on the latest Careerbuilder survey in 2016, 60 percent employers use social networking sites to research whether the candidates are professionally fit for the job role or not. Meanwhile, previous Careerbuilder survey in 2013 found 43 percent hiring managers stated that they do not hire a candidate due to the information they found on the candidate’s social media account.

As pointed out by the survey, there are several social media channels that might cost your candidacy, such as provocative or inappropriate photos (50 percent), drinking or using drugs (48 percent), and bad-mouthed previous employer (33 percent).

On the other hand, social media might improve your candidacy as well, as long as you convey a professional image (57 percent), showcase good personality (50 percent), and demonstrate a wide range of interests (50 percent). If you are a fresh graduate seeking to improve employment opportunity during the job search, you should pay attention to these social media dos and don’ts:

Dos

Google your name. Type your name on the search engine and see what it gives you. If the results give you negative pieces of content that originate from social media accounts, you should trace down the roots and fix them right away. This way, you can keep your personal brand clean and appealing.

Be consistent. Consistency is crucial for your personal brand. Your online information on social media should be in line with the ones you write in your resume. So, you have to double check if you have provided consistent name, education, work experience, and other personal information.

Clean up your profile. Make sure that your profile picture represents your professional side, especially on LinkedIn. If you intend to create a good impression for future employers, you should change your physically-flaunting pictures with more proper and casual ones. Not only your current posts, should you also take down all tactless posts from the past.

Pay attention to details. Your friends or followers might not make a big deal when you mistakenly spell ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. However, your future employer will. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to details and avoid ambiguity in your posts.

Be social. It is social media, after all. You should make your online presence counted by joining and actively participating in groups related to your fields of expertise. Interact with people from the same network, you will gain deeper insights about the professional world and perhaps even find a new job opportunity.

DON’T

Be offensive. Refrain your emotions from publishing offensive comments or status updates on your social media accounts. When you want to get ahead in your career, it is important to keep your professionalism by circumventing such profanity.

Complain about previous employers. Not only unethical, complaining and bad-mouthing your previous employers will only leave negative impression about you.

Spread negative issues. Hoax and provocative news are easily spread over the internet. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by sharing such news on your social media accounts. Before posting and sharing sensitive issues, do research to find out the truth first.

Post inappropriate photos and videos. Think twice before you post anything online. Because once posted, you never know the effects they could bring in the future. Hence, never post questionable photos and inappropriate videos that can ruin your credibility.

Tell lies. This might be obvious, but many fresh grads fall for this mistake nonetheless. While it is important to keep your profile attractive with relevant qualification mentions, do not over exaggerate your achievements as you will only end up telling lies.

When it comes to social media, there are always two sides to the same coin. While social media can help boost your employment opportunity, if you let your guard down, then social media could impact your personal branding to affect any incoming job offers in the near and long term as well.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

Work-life balance seems to be one of the most popular buzzwords among HR leaders and employees alike. As the demands keep growing, employees are often required to sacrifice their personal lives to meet business goals. This condition leads to imbalance between professional and personal lives. And apparently, Singaporeans face similar issue.

Singapore, being one of the world’s leading economy, is known for its longest working hours in Southeast Asia. The latest report from Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Market Statistical Information in 2016 notes that an average Singaporean works 45.6 hours per week.

This figure is even higher than OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) finding on global working hours. OECD report in 2016 finds that Mexico holds the longest working hours among other surveyed countries, with ‘only’ 42.8 hours per week, followed by Costa Rica and South Korea.

Singapore government through MOM has advocated a policy to limit the long working hours to 44 hours per week. One of the primary reasons is to achieve work-life balance and create better working culture. However, given the latest stats showing exceeding number of working hours than the ministry’s initial recommendation, it seems that work-life balance is a need of the hour among Singaporean workers.

In 2016, Randstad Award survey reveals 47 percent Singaporean workers continue to work more than stipulated working hours. When we breakdown the percentage, the overtime workers consist of 52 percent men and 41 percent women.

However, employers are not the only ones to be blamed for the difficult realisation of work-life balance in Singapore. Employees are actually fully aware of the consequences of this long working hours. The survey notes that despite heavy work schedules, only 7 percent respondents state they would prefer to work less and 47 percent respondents seem to be contented with their current schedule.

So the question remains: What makes Singaporeans willing to work overtime?

Randstad reveals that the prospect of earning more is the key motivator, with 80 percent respondents stating that money is the major factor. The other factors, why Singaporeans choose working more than spending time at home are career progression and promotion (41 percent) as well as personal development (33 percent).

Interestingly, the same survey also highlights that work-life balance is actually gaining more attention among Singaporean workers. While salary and benefits remain the first factor for choosing an employer, work-life balance takes the second place of most important consideration before Singaporean accepts a job offer. In 2012, only 32 percent respondents see the importance of work-life balance. However, the percentage keeps increasing each year, as in 2016 it becomes 52 percent.

These statistics indicate that while the concept of work-life balance is popular among Singaporeans, it is less put to practice by Gen X, Y and Baby boomers who choose to work overtime. However Millennials in particular prioritise work-life balance, with 71 percent respondents showing strong preference to work more flexibly.

This phenomenon makes Singapore case interesting. While they want to keep their professional and personal lives healthy, they are willing to work more for better income and career progression.

To overcome this issue, the Singapore government has fostered the significance of work-life balance through several policies. Besides working hour limitations, MOM has also launched Strategies for work-life harmony which includes flexible work arrangements, leave schemes, and employee support schemes.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?

‘If you find your favourite hobby, turn it into a job and then you will never work again.’ Hayley Jones

What makes you accept your current job? Is it owing to your background education, good pay check, the company’s future prospect, the prestige, or your passion and hobby? Having passion towards what you do for a living is the key to happiness and fun working experience. Some people tend to see their work-life and hobbies as two different things. But what if you could actually transform your hobbies, bring in an element of more enthusiasm to create a winning-career for life? Sounds exciting? So is it achievable too.

The best job is done when you are having fun working on the project and it brings in an element of added joy while endowing you with a purpose for life. When people enjoy what they do for a living, they tend to give better performance and make the best of it.

Feeling committed to their job, they gain higher accomplishment compared to those who are not motivated towards their work. No wonder that in today’s rapidly-competitive world, more people are deciding to pursue a career by working for jobs they love, and in turn create a money-making machine.

Do you aspire  to join the bandwagon of these successful entrepreneurs who have transformed their hobbies into billion-dollar ventures today? Then, here are some tips that could guide you on your journey to turn your passion into a living:

  1.       Think out of the box

If you want to transform your hobbies to a winning career for life, you cannot be just mediocre hobbyist. You should dig deeper to develop upon your hobbies and make sure to master necessary knowledge related to it.

When you possess all of them, you should elevate your way of thinking to keep innovating and create something different. For example, if cooking is your hobby and you want to monetise upon the art and skill, you cannot just rely on available cake and cookie recipes already tried by consumers in the market today. You need to be innovative and creative to think out of the box to offer something new. To draw people’s interest to your brand, you have to come up with your own original recipe.

  1.       Get ready, stay focused

While you might be proud of your photography style as a part-time hobby. But if you have decided to turn the love for photography into a full-time business, then you need to distinguish your photography style by exploring insights into the industry and offer something new. You should be ready to give it your all and start right from the bottom. Success takes time and is a long process. It does not matter if you were a respected manager in your previous company. If you have decided to build on your own business, you should come to terms with the fact that every beginning starts with a scratch.

  1.       Be open-minded

None might criticise your hobby since most know it’s not a career for life. However when you convert your hobbies into real-business, then you have to allow opening up your mental horizons to garner new insights, thoughts, ideas, and even criticisms from others.

Before pushing your products into the market, it is important to ask for continuous feedback and suggestion from your family, friends, or relatives so you can improve better.

  1.       Don’t give up too soon

The process of transforming your hobby into a profit-making enterprise is not easy. Therefore, hardwork and persistence are the keywords you should stick by, if you want your business to succeed in the longer run.

You might need to sacrifice your sleeping hours or miss out on the latest TV show, when you are working on your projects. But, as long as you keep the enthusiasm high, your hard work will pay off towards the end of the day.

  1.       Keep it simple

Yes, you need to keep innovating your products or services. Yet, you should bear in mind that simplicity is the best policy. Do not make things complicated, or else you will not be able to communicate your brand to the potential customers.

Start your business with something simple that people can associate with in their daily life, to attract your targeted clients. Make sure to always stick to your main goals and success is only a byproduct of persistent hard work.

Be it gardening, cooking, sewing, writing stories, painting, or singing, there is always a way to transform hobbies into meaningful careers. All you have to do is step up and rise to the challenges on your entrepreneurship journey and get ready for the thrill it brings.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?

Do you spend your Sundays dreading Monday and the need to go to work? Are you feeling tired and drained of energies, when you wake up in the morning? Do you find yourself easily getting irritated and annoyed at work? If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any or all of the above questions, then it could be much likely that you have been overworking lately.

At some point, we all need a break from work. However, when schedules are tight and a deadline follows the another, then it seems like we have no time to even take a day off. Whereas, to avoid burnout from overworking, you need to take some time to let go of all the worries about your work.

Here are seven tell-tale signs that indicate you need to get some time out of your office and unwind:

  1.    You keep snoozing your alarm in the morning

When you hear your alarm ring on a Monday morning to wake you up from the weekend slumber, what do you do? If nothing is wrong with your work routine and your body gets enough rest to recoup, then you will turn the alarm off and get out of bed right away.

However, when the alarm reminds you of the endless tasks at work, then you end up snoozing and crawling back to bed. This though less believed, is definitely a sign that indicates you need to refresh your soul.

  1.    You feel exhausted all the time

Mental health will greatly affect your physical condition, too. Have you ever felt sick and tired throughout the day, while you actually do not move much? This could be a way of your body, indicating signs that you have been over-stressed. High working pressures often lead to lower immunity, which makes you prone to sickness easily.

  1.    You lack motivation

Loss of motivation could be the beginning of your career nightmare. When you do not feel really motivated to go to work, maybe you should better spend time relaxing at home.

Rather than forcing yourself to go to the office and being not productive, it would be better to take a day off and regain your energy levels.

  1.    You cannot stay focused

There are times when you cannot focus 100 percent on your work and keep getting distracted by petty issues of little to no significance. Beware, this might not be the usual lazy afternoon syndrome. Instead, you might be bored of the repetitive activities. If this happens continuously, not only this will hinder your progress from getting jobs done, but it would also impact your quality of work.

  1.    Your sleep pattern is a mess

Is your insomnia getting severe? Or do those eye bags and dark circles under your eyes make you look sick? Be careful, sleep deprivation could lead to worse health conditions such as fatigue, obesity, high blood pressure, and even heart attack. Not only this, sleep disorders will lead to poor quality of life as well as decreased performance and alertness.

  1.    You do not have a social life

When was the last time you did hang out with friends? If you cannot remember one lately in the last couple of months, then it is time to pause your work routine and catch up with friends and family.

  1.    You keep thinking about your work at home

If you think that keeping a tab on business-related emails at home is indicative of your dedication towards work, then you are probably wrong. If you cannot get your tasks out of your mind, even when you are watching TV with your children, it means that your job has tumbled-down your social life.

Have you ticked on many of the points listed above? If you agree on one or more of these points, then you need to save yourself from the disasters of overworking and grant yourself few days to vacay with family or catch up with friends. This will help reduce stress levels, renew your energies, to make you feel relaxed, much calmer, more focused and productive, when you return back to work after a much-needed and well-deserving break.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

Whether you are a fresh graduate or a professional seeking for better opportunity, job hunting can prove to be a daunting experience. However, technological advancements have made the process easier through time. But with greater access to the internet, there comes up a new dilemma on: how do you find the right apps to secure your dream job, right at your fingertips on mobile devices?

Technology and Internet has been much of game-changer in how people conduct the job hunting process. The ages when you had to rake through newspapers searching for job ads is over. Today, it is no longer necessary to seek job openings and apply from your laptop or PC with vast array of mobile apps available to make the job hunting process much simpler, easy and on the go.

Rapid growth of job sites extending their service reach to mobile platforms has enabled job seekers to always stay connected with the job market, on the move. Using mobile apps, jobseekers enjoy the comfort of getting notified about the latest job openings in real-time on their Smartphone.

Within myriads of job search apps available across the Internet, it is important to find the right app that is worth your time. Thus, you have to look for apps that have the best niche jobs that match your qualifications. If you cannot decide on the apps that should be installed in your Smartphone, then we compile the top 10 user-friendly job search apps for you here:

  1.    LinkedIn Job Search

When it comes to social media for professional networking, LinkedIn naturally comes into mind. Just like the desktop version, LinkedIn app enables you to search for job openings related to your field of expertise and interest.

To narrow down your choices, you can filter jobs based on criteria such as date posted and salary. You can login with your ID (or sign up for a new one) and directly apply for the job that captivates your interest in a single click.  Additionally, the app also offers you job recommendations based on your search history and keywords.

  1.    Indeed

Being one of the most popular job sites in the world, Indeed brings you the largest aggregator app that lets you find jobs from thousands sources. In the app, you can not only type the company’s name and job position, you can also filter the job results based on several criterias such as location, salary, or industry.

Using Indeed app, you can get notifications sent directly to email when new openings are posted within a particular category. Additionally, you can apply in-app or save jobs for later review.

  1.    Jobstreet

Affiliated with big names in the business industry, Jobstreet app is a must-have when you are job hunting. With a user-friendly interface, you can view jobs that meet your expected salary requirements and location. This app lets users to set up notification and personalise job alerts to be delivered to your phone daily. Update your resume on the go, so you can apply instantly for your desired job.

  1.    JobsDB

JobsDB app developer have done their work of creating an interface for seamless mobile job seeking experience. The app enables you to access the shortlisted jobs according to your recent criteria. You can also store several resumes in your account, and select the appropriate resume to apply for the suitable jobs.

  1.    Glassdoor

Being one the most popular job sites in the U.S, Glassdoor app is now available to the world. Besides searching jobs that meet candidate specific requirements, Glassdoor provides you in-depth salary information, company reviews, and also predicted interview questions shared by insiders of the industry.

Never miss any great opportunity by staying connected on the go, saving interesting jobs and applying for them later from your PC.

  1.    Careerbuilder

Now available in 24 countries, Careerbuilder is one of the largest job sites you can find on the Internet. With this app, you can sort out your job search based on location, industry, and company names without any difficulty.

Even better, you do not have to sign up for a new account. All you have to do is upload your CV or resume and directly start your search on the go. Careerbuilder will learn your search history and give you job recommendations.

  1.    Simplyhired

Just like Indeed, Simplyhired is aggregator app that gathers information from various sources such as news sites, company websites, and job boards. This app not just estimates your salary based on industry standards, it also allow you to connect directly with your LinkedIn account and displays job listings for each job search.

  1.    Monster

Just like other job search apps, Monster app enables you to look for job ads and filter them based on your preferences. To use the app, you should login to your account, upload your resume and cover letter, and then you are ready to submit them for your dream jobs. You can discover connections who do have relevant jobs for you.

  1.    Freelancer

As the name suggests, Freelancer should be on your app list, if you are looking for freelance or part time jobs. Using the app, you can discover new projects that match your skills, bid your proposal on the go, and communicate with clients wherever they are.

  1.   Upwork

Never miss a job opportunity by using Upwork app. Available in IoS and Android, you can get customised alerts of job invitation on mobile, can accept the offers directly, and also respond to clients right from the convenience of an app.

Finding the right job app will be a great milestone for your job search process. Not only will this save on time to avoid the hassle of searching your dream job roles, mobile apps do ensure that you get the best job search experience desired.

Next read: Why and How to Stay Up-to-Date with the Job Market?

‘I want to be happy with my job.’ Do you agree with this statement? Nowadays, work is no longer seen as a mere obligation and responsibility to meet the demands and needs of life. Besides seeking financial security, more people are now aspired to engage in a job role that will is fulfilling, enriching and meaningful.

While economic reasons for survival in life is undoubtedly the biggest motivation for people to go to work everyday, now people wish to get more than paychecks at the end of each month.

A survey conducted by PwC about Millennials at work finds that salary or benefits is not the main factor that influences talents to accept a job offer. Instead, 65 percent respondents state that an opportunity for personal development is the most attractive element that draws candidates to accept a job offer.

Interestingly, the survey discovers that 16 percent millennials see the potential to make a difference in their work life becoming a crucial factor to take up a job role. The findings further reflect a significant shift in employees’ perceptions about happiness at work. Now we know that everyone wants to be happy with their job roles, but is the happiness at work a mere pleasure or means to fulfillment?

Which one of these scenarios makes you happier? Getting a pay raise or earning the trust of an employer to be the next team leader on your dream project? Well the truth is, these two things will undoubtedly give you a thrill. So the next question is, which happiness could last longer? Chances are, the second scenario will make you happier for a longer period of time.

Getting pay raise is indeed a pleasant news. However, when the payday comes, you have to use it for various purposes, and towards the end of it all, it seems to remain a mere number. Whereas, when you become a project leader, you can develop great ideas to boost productivity of your team, while honing your personal skills. There will be a sense of satisfaction when the project turns out to be a success and this will directly reflect on the organisation’s profits.

From the examples above, we can learn that pleasure is a sheer happiness that tends to not last long. Here, pleasure is closely aligned with ‘receiving’. When you hear about a pay raise, you might be happy to imagine the stuffs you could purchase later. However when the money is all used, the happiness will soon disappear along with the disappearance of great cash from your wallet.

Also, sometimes you do feel that the pay raise is not enough to buy everything you need in your shopping list. Towards the end, this kind of happiness is only an instant pleasure that will be eroded with time easily.

On the other hand, fulfillment is a sense of happiness and contentment which lingers longer in your soul. Fulfillment is closely associated with ‘giving’. When you get an opportunity to become the team leader on a particular project, which means you make real contribution to the organisation growth, it will spur your spirit to perform the best.

Getting the chance to make a difference will make you sense fulfilment mentally as well as feel valued as a human being, not just as a mere employee. Eventually, this kind of happiness will make you feel more satisfied with your work, so you tend to be more loyal and engaged with the organisation.

In conclusion, pleasure can be said as how you ‘spend on’ something, while fulfillment is how you ‘invest into’ something. If pleasure places emphasis on current happiness, then fulfillment enables you to think ahead about the future happiness.

Although there is nothing wrong to take pleasure in something and choosing to be happy, however you should make work more meaningful to keep your inner-self feeling satisfied and valuable.

Next read: Advantages of Lifelong Learning for Career Growth

Human beings are meant to grow. Not only physically, but mentally as well. Just like your body needs food to grow, your brain needs new knowledge to develop as well. To support personal growth, each person should realise the importance of lifelong learning.

Are you a fresh graduate struggling to find a job but have not managed to land one? Or, are you a veteran employee stuck in a dead-end position? Whatever be the case, it is time to start embracing learning once again. However, going to school is only among the various options where you can learn new skills and abilities.

Lifelong learning is not limited to formal education. You do not have to go back to school and invest more money to learn new things. If your employer cannot provide funds for personal learning and skills development, you can always log into the Internet and find thousands of online and offline courses to keep improving your qualities.

While some of them cost you zero bucks such as Coursera and EdX, you can invest some money to obtain verified certificates at the end of the training programs. If you need to be convinced before starting off your journey of lifelong learning, here are five advantages:

Improves Self-Confidence

Whether you are a fresh grad or a veteran employee, self-confidence is a must-have valuable quality that every employer desires to find in their next potential hire. The problem however is, self-confidence is not something that can be obtained easily. You cannot be confident unless you trust your own capabilities first.

In order to be successful in getting a particular job done on time, you should believe in your competence. This sense of self-belief will only come to you, when you have sufficient experience, knowledge, and skills for the job.

When you pursue lifelong learning, you are focused for growth through continuous upgradation of your knowledge and skills. Thus, attending weekend batches or signing up for an online course will eventually boost your self-confidence.

Keep Current and Up to Date

Lifelong learning encourages you to keep thinking and provides new information. If you have graduated a long time ago, you might be surprised with the latest developments, advancements in technology that  has changed the world of work. In order to stay abreast of these new developments, and make informed decisions for a growing career – continuous learning holds the key.

Committed to lifelong learning will help reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as learning will keep the brain cells active, increase vitality and promote new cell development as well.

Fight boredom

Being stagnated at the same position in your career brings monotony to growth. Don’t let your soul stuck into dull routines. Refresh your mind and challenge yourself by learning something new. It does not have to be something related to your current job. Instead, you can learn anything that draws your interest, as long as it is positive and meaningful.

Learn practical skills

Formal education helps you to join the workforce and get started. However, besides theoretical knowledge acquired at school, you need to also improve upon your practical skills. While you might have good grade and GPA in academics, but today employers value soft-skills as much as hard-skills needed for the job.

Identify your weaknesses and, quantify on your strengths. For example, if you think you are not digitally literate, you can join a computer class to develop the digital skills. There are also countless websites available online that offer free courses with flexible time arrangements to suit your busy life schedules.

Achieve self-fulfillment

Define yourself with something other than your job. Lifelong learning will enable you to achieve self-fulfillment. Whether it is photography, hand-lettering, or cooking, bring your hobbies to a different level. Not only will this expand your viewpoints, but you can also perhaps to seek a new career from it.

It is never too old to learn. Lifelong learning will help you stay competitive in the job market. So don’t be afraid of starting from the scratch and learning new things. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Next read: Why and How to Stay Up-to-Date with the Job Market?

Perhaps you have been in the same job for a long time and are satisfied with it. However, staying up-to-date with the current job market is essential, even when you are happy with your current job. Either you are coming out as a fresh-graduate or as an experienced professional, it is imperative to always stay up-to-date with the latest job market developments.

One of the most important reason on why you should stay up-to-date with the job market is to prepared for the worst case scenario. For example, no matter how much you excel in your job role and love your current position, unfortunately company’s financial situation could face an unexpected downturn that can force you to leave.

If such a case happens all out of a sudden, you will be left unsettled as you have no idea what lies ahead on your career path. Sometimes, reality bites. That is why you should always be prepared for uncertain times, this could mean stepping out of your comfort zone. Do not limit your efforts towards learning new knowledge and upgrading information, just because you have settled in a particular job.

Another good reason to always stay updated with the job market is due to job transition. Younger talents with unique competencies out of grad schools are joining the workforce, to raise the competition bar even higher. So, if you continue to stay stagnated in your job role without feeling the willingness to move forward, then you will be left behind those new talents. Hence, you should keep growing your competencies and upgrading skills to meet future business requirements and change in job role demands.

Here are three powerful tips to stay up-to-date with the current job market:

Subscribe for a website related to your expertise

In any profession, staying abreast of the latest information and broadcasts is a must. Nowadays, there are myriad websites on the internet dedicated for various fields and expertise. From food, fashion, photography, technology, to human resources, all you can find easily at the tip of your finger.

One of the easy yet effective way to stay updated with the industry is by subscribing to newsletters and mailing lists from websites related to your expertise. Register your email for the website’s regular bulletin and you can get access to a great amount of statistics and data in the industry. These will be beneficial to enrich your knowledge to remain competitive in the business.

Learn new skills

Personal growth and development is not only crucial for staying updated with the job market, but also vital to stay competitive amidst newer and younger professionals. In this globalised era, there is nothing like a ‘secured job.’ If you do not update your skillsets to meet the latest trend, chances are, your manager will update their human capital requirements by replacing you with younger talents instead. Hence, upgrading your proficiency is highly imperative.

There are various methods you can learn new skills without interrupting your productive working hours. For instance, you can join a training course conducted during weekends, or register for a webinar on the topics you are interested in. While you might need to invest some money into it, this will impact your productivity and efficiency at work.

Join networking groups

Networking is the key to success in any industry. For a start, you should find and join local networking groups related to your expertise. By attending these groups, you will stay up-to-date with prospective opportunities within the industry.

Being involved in a networking group also gives you greater insight, on what is going on in the business and how you should respond to the situation. Make good friends with people who work for the same industry in different job roles. This will help you when a problem arises, as they will provide advice and lend helping hand to resolve the issue.

Next read: How to Keep Personal and Professional Life Separate?

First discovered in Africa in the 1950s, Zika virus has spread rapidly to the whole world. Based on the latest report by WHO (World Health Organisation), there are 69 countries or territories reporting Zika virus transmission since January 2015.

While in South-east Asia, Singapore is one of the most infected countries according to the MoH (Ministry of Health) reporting hundreds of citizens being infected by Zika virus in August 2016. Seeing this increasingly alarming pandemic, employers are urged to initiate programs to prevent Zika virus from spreading wider at the workplace.

Generally speaking, Zika virus is mosquito-borne disease transmitted by the bites of an Aedes mosquito, just like Chikungunya and dengue. Based on MoH report, there are some visible symptoms to tell if someone is infected with this virus.

The symptoms include fever, skin rashes, joint and muscle pains, headache, and red eyes. If you notice your employees or co-workers experiencing these indications within 4 to 7 days, you should be more cautious because there is a high possibility that they had been infected by Zika virus.

Given the massive spread of the Aedes mosquito, it is not surprising that outdoor workers such as healthcare and laboratory workers, as well as business travellers are at most risk of being exposed to Zika virus. Additionally, Zika is also dangerous for pregnant women because it might affect foetus development in the womb and cause microcephaly when they are born.

In order to stay safe from virus attacks, here are some ways on how you can protect the workplace from Zika virus:

Use mosquito repellent. Even if you work indoors, you still need to apply mosquito repellent for better protection. Use branded repellents that have been legally tested and those which contain active ingredients such as oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or para-menthane-diol. Follow the usage instructions as enlisted on the package. Bear in mind to apply only as necessary and avoid using it excessively, since it could be risky instead.

Wear long and covered clothing. If you work outdoor, wear long clothing that covers your arms, neck, and legs such that your body will not be bitten easily by mosquitoes. Avoid dark-coloured clothes like black and brown because it will attract mosquitoes. Instead, wear bright-coloured clothing such as white or yellow as mosquitoes hate them.

Unless you are required to work in outdoor areas, it will be better if you keep yourself hidden in a shaded area with wire-mesh screens and air conditioner to keep out mosquitoes.

Clear out standing water. Even a small pool of standing water could be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes use a puddle of water to lay their eggs, which then develop into larvae and eventually become adult mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed very quickly and they infect the surrounding area quickly as well.

That is why Zika virus can spread in the entire environment rapidly, especially after someone is infected. Therefore, you need to prevent the virus from spreading out, by clearing any standing water as well as areas that allow mosquitoes to swarm, such as pile of hangers and abandoned trash such as cups and soda cans.

Mosquito fogging. If necessary, you can call the health department to conduct fogging in the workplace. The health workers would know mosquito breeding grounds and spray across the areas for mosquitoes to suffocate. Although you may need to invest some money into this clearing exercise, it would only ensure better safety net for your employees.

Read also: How to Keep Personal and Professional Life Separate?

The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

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