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Martin Grossner

Martin Grossner

Africa’s tweeters and Instagrammers have been busy this year, demanding political change and criticizing underperforming leaders. Government crackdowns highlight the threat social media poses to those in power, especially around election time: Yoweri Museveni’s regime blocked social media in Uganda during the February election, while Congolese authorities shut down platforms in December when President Joseph Kabila’s mandate ended.

But African social media users have also taken to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms for more light-hearted purposes—mocking the over-the-top show of deference made by one Cameroonian minister to his president, for instance.

Newsweek reviews five of the most popular hashtags and trends to sweep the continent in 2016.

#Nov8AfricanEdition

November 8 heralded an event that most commentators and pollsters failed to predict: the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. But while America’s liberal establishment mourned the result, Africans took to social media to lighten the mood, parodying typical Western responses to African elections—from proposing military intervention to claiming that war-torn African countries were evacuating their citizens from “the troubled North American country.”

#ThisFlag

Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire posted a video message on YouTube in April, draped in his country’s flag. He told Newsweek he had made the video in desperate frustration at the state of the country’s economy, after struggling to pay his children’s school fees.

The video went viral and sparked the #ThisFlag social media movement—calling for an overhaul of the Zimbabwean government and the resignation of 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980.

Ivory Coast Facebook

Search engine results about the new version of Facebook in the popular West African language Peul in September. Africans have used social media to engage with politics in 2016.ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/GETTY

#ThisFlag has had mixed results. Thousands of Zimbabweans heeded a call made by Mawarire and his supporters in July for a nationwide strike which left streets and businesses across the country empty. But Mawarire was forced to flee the country, while Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party confirmed over the weekend that the 92-year-old would be its sole candidate for the next presidential election in 2018.

The movement has become a rallying cry, however, for disgruntled Zimbabweans to demand change—even if they have to wait to do it via the ballot box.

#BidoungChallenge

In Cameroon, Paul Biya is a man that commands respect, even reverence: the 83-year-old has been president of the West African country for more than three decades. But when photos emerged in December of the country’s Sports Minister, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt, greeting Biya, many Cameroonians decided he had gone too far. Bidoung’s deep bow and the significant distance he maintained from the president were the butt of many jokes...

#AfricaDecides

Not a specific hashtag, but rather the template for many Africans when election time comes round: #UgandaDecides trended in February (despite a government-imposed partial social media shutdown), while #GhanaDecides was popular in December. Such hashtags bear witness to just how politically engaged African social media users are. An April report by U.K.-based communications firm Portland, which analyzed 1.6 billion geolocated tweets, found that one in 10 of the most popular African hashtags related to political matters, compared to just 2 percent of hashtags in the United States and United Kingdom.

In some cases, the #AfricaDecides template was tweaked, notably in Gambia, where President Yahya Jammeh performed a dramatic U-turn by rejecting his election defeat, despite initially accepting the result. Gambians shared the hashtag #GambiaDecided en masse to remind Jammeh that the country had spoken and, after 22 years in power, it was time for him to move on.

#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira

2016 has been a tough year for Nigeria’s economy. Hit by the global fall in commodity prices and an insurgency in the Niger Delta which slashed the country’s precious oil production by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day, Africa’s most populous country slipped into recession in August. The value of the Nigerian currency, the naira, has also been a bit of a rollercoaster: the naira’s value was pegged at 197 to one U.S. dollar for 16 months before the country’s central bank allowed the currency to float freely in June, sending its value soaring. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced a 2.36 trillion naira ($7.75 billion) budget aimed at tackling the recession.

In May, Nigeria recorded its first trade deficit (when imports outweigh exports) in seven years, recording a negative balance of 184.1 billion naira ($925 million). Many Nigerians rallied on social media—some motivated by Nigerian businessman and politician Ben Murray-Bruce—in a bid to make Nigerian, or Naija, products more attractive to consumers.

Author:  CONOR GAFFEY

Source:  http://europe.newsweek.com/five-social-media-crazes-swept-africa-2016-534342?rm=eu

Searchmetrics has released their annual study of Google’s top search ranking factors. The “comparative benchmark” for SEOs illustrates how ranking factors are becoming more personalized, content relevance is paramount, technical factors are still as important as ever, and backlinks are seeing a downward trend in importance.

I will recap some of the top sections of the report in this post, but the exceptionally detailed 63-page report deserves to be read in full if you have the time to do so.

Content Factors

Searchmetrics has introduced a new ranking factor to this year’s report called content relevance, which measures how relevant a piece of content is to a search query. It is measured on a scale from 0–100, and data suggests a higher relevance score can equate to higher rankings.

Word count is still an important ranking factor, with content in the top positions exceeding 1000 words on average. The level of detail matters as much as the length of the content. Pages that show up in higher positions are detailed enough to rank comparably well for multiple similar keywords.

With that being said, the deliberate use of keywords is said to be of secondary importance, with only 53% of the top 20 queries having keywords in the title tag.

“This clearly demonstrates that Google evaluates content according to its relevance – and not by the inclusion of individual keywords.”

User Signals

User signals such as Click-Through Rate, Time on Site, and Bounce Rate are considered to be among the top ranking factors. These factors are so important because they’re all signals to Google as to how satisfied a user is with the content they just landed on.

  • The pages occupying positions 1–3 have an average CTR of 36%.
  • The average Bounce Rate for URLs on the first page of search results is 46%.
  • The Time on Site for the top 10 URLs is 3 minutes and 10 seconds

Technical Factors

The number of pages in the top 20 positions with an H1 or H2 is up compared to last year. The use of H2 tags has seen a particularly notable rise in the top landing pages this year. Since not all URLs make use of H2s, Searchmetrics recommends using them for a competitive advantage.

Here are some other highlights regarding technical ranking factors:

  • Over 45% of pages in the top 20 results were encrypted using HTTPS, up from 12% last year.
  • 86% of pages in the top 10 now use the .com TLD.
  • Pages ranking well on mobile are a third smaller than pages in the same positions on desktop.
  • Pages in the top 10 positions have a loading time of 7–8 seconds, on average.
  • Top ranking pages typically have longer URLs, around 53 characters on average.
  • All 100 of the top 100 domains have are mobile-friendly.

User Experience Factors

Internal links are said to be one of the most important user experience ranking factors, though they are being largely underutilized. Searchmetrics says the use of internal links has fallen dramatically this year compared to last year. Internal links help direct both users and search engines to other relevant pages throughout a website, which is why they’re so important. External links, number of images, and video integration are all factors that add to the user experience which are also important ranking factors.

Social Signals

According to Searchmetrics, there is an extremely high correlation between social signals and ranking position. Facebook is still the network with the highest weighted social signals. Signals from Google+ are apparently most prevalent in when it comes to the first and second positions, but fall off significantly after that. The same can be said for signals from Twitter and Pinterest as well.

”The top-ranked website in Google’s rankings displays vastly more social signals than all other pages, even more so than in 2015”

Backlink Signals

The days of backlinks being the main driving force behind search engine rankings are on their way out, Searchmetrics says. Backlinks are now just a contributing signal, taking a back seat to signals such as content relevance and user intention. In fact, for certain niche topics its possible to obtain a high ranking without even having a lot of high quality backlinks.

Conclusion

After having one of the industry’s most respected reports since 2012, Searchmetrics says the annual ranking reports study is no longer applicable as it once was. This marks the last the last time Searchmetrics will publish a study on general ranking factors. Expect to see more detailed industry studies from them beginning spring 2017.

Source: This article was published on searchenginejournal.com by Matt Southern

A team of astronomers from several corners of the globe just discovered a massive collection of galaxies that they didn’t even know was there. That wouldn’t normally be anything out of the ordinary — after all, scientists find new things in space all the time — but what makes this discovery particularly special is that the the giant cluster is actually pretty close to us, relatively speaking.

It’s called the Vela supercluster, and it might be the largest structure in the known universe, measuring a massive 370 million light years across, and up until now it was hidden from the view of scientists. Our view was obscured by the huge clouds of dust and gas that exist in our home galaxy of the Milky Way, and its existence game as a surprise to even the most seasoned star gazers.

“This is one of the biggest concentrations of galaxies in the Universe – possibly the biggest in the neighbourhood of our Galaxy, but that will need to be confirmed by further study,” said Matthew Colless, Professor at ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said of the discovery.

“I could not believe such a major structure would pop up so prominently,” Professor Renée Kraan-Korteweg, who has spent over a decade studying this particular region of space, noted.

But aside from just being there, the existence of the Vela supercluster could help to explain the behavior of our own Milky Way. Our galaxy’s has always moved slightly different than scientists would predict based on the arrangement of known nearby galaxies and clusters. Now, adding Vela into the mix might be the missing piece researchers didn’t even know they were looking for.

Author : Mike Wehner

Source : https://www.yahoo.com/tech/scientists-just-discovered-huge-cluster-galaxies-hidden-earth-001749943.html

In a rapidly changing world economy, it’s a question that’s consistently at the top of everyone’s mind: what job skills do I need, and which will get me a job? Hunting for a job requires not only a specific set of strategies and techniques, but also a strong sense of confidence in your abilities. But it’s those abilities – which abilities, specifically – that hang up a lot of jobseekers.

We’ve dug into this very topic before, and provided some insight into which job skills will get you hired this year. As the economy is constantly shifting and evolving, and churning undercurrents of consumer behavior call for different types of workers creating and supplying different products and services, it can be really difficult to know what employers want. We’re here to be a compass of sorts, and outline a handful of skills that employers are really scouring the labor market for in 2017, which should give you a leg-up in your job search.

While there will always be a need (until the robot take-over, that is) for menial, low-wage work, if you’re truly looking to give your career a shot in the arm, you’re going to need to put in some time on the side. Investing in yourself by learning new skills can lead you to new, unanticipated opportunities, and ultimately put a lot more money in your pocket. If you want to get serious about improving your earnings potential, this is the place to start.

So, what are employers looking for, and what skills do you need to make yourself an attractive candidate? Read on to find out.

1. Social skills

Source: Thinkstock

As we covered a little while back, social skills are becoming increasingly important in more and more organizations. At one time, this set of skills was overlooked – even seen as a hindrance to productivity. But as time marches on, managers and team leaders are recognizing the importance of social skills, and how they can shape a workplace. The main reason? Human interaction is hard to automate, and almost impossible for a computer to mimic. As automation kicks in, and social connections become more scarce, they’ll naturally increase in value.

2. Industry-related programs

Source: Thinkstock

If you know what specific job or industry you’re gunning for, then you’re going to want to have a tool chest full of skills tailored for it. And in a world in which knowledge and software skills are as important as ever, figuring out which programs and skills you’ll need is paramount to getting hired. We put together a recent list of which programs are on employers’ wish lists for this year, so take a look and see which are relevant to your career track. Knowing these programs intimately will give you a big leg-up during the hiring process.

3. Development

Google software developers

These days, the word “developer” means so much more than someone who builds condos. And developers of all stripes are in high demand. In our case, we’re referring specifically to software and web developers, both of which possess skill sets that are highly sought-after by many big, flourishing companies. If this is a career track you’re interested in pursuing, go back to the previous item on our list, and figure out which software programs you need to be well-versed in to start getting successful interviews behind you.

4. Design

Software designer

In the same way that developers are a hot commodity, so are designers. Designers possibly come in more stripes than developers, as there are graphic designers, software designers, game designers – hell, even fashion companies and automotive manufacturers need designers. Needless to say, the world needs designers. If you want to get specific, the world needs web designers, and algorithm designers. These are skills that will not only land you a job, but likely a pretty high salary.

5. Information security

Information security sign

We don’t often go a week or so without hearing about some giant data breach, which typically puts the personal information for millions of people at risk. It’s happened to big corporations like Target, and it’s even happened to government agencies. Because data is so valuable – and because so many people are out there trying to steal it – information security is something that every organization is quickly trying to beef up. That means there’s a need for information security professionals, leaving an opportunity to learn the skills and get hired.

Author:  Sam Becker

Source:  http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/5-new-jobs-skills-employers-are-looking-for-in-2017.html/6

SAN FRANCISCO — Parts of Mars were capable of supporting life as we know it for lengthy stretches in the ancient past — perhaps hundreds of millions of years at a time, new observations by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity suggest.

Since it landed inside the Red Planet's Gale Crater in August 2012, Curiosityhas studied a number of different rocks over an elevational range of about 650 feet (200 meters), which represents a time span of tens of millions to hundreds of millions of years.

The rovers' analyses indicate that the environment within Gale Crater changed considerably during this period, but never in a way that would preclude life from forming or surviving, mission scientists said today (Dec. 13) during a news conference here at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). [The Life on Mars Search: Photo Time Line]

The highest concentration of boron measured on Mars, as of late 2016, is in this mineral vein, called "Catabola," which NASA's Curiosity rover examined with its ChemCam instrument Aug, 25, 2016.

The highest concentration of boron measured on Mars, as of late 2016, is in this mineral vein, called "Catabola," which NASA's Curiosity rover examined with its ChemCam instrument Aug, 25, 2016.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes

"For that entire history [of Mars], it seems to have been favorable" for life, said Curiosity science team member (and former project scientist) John Grotzinger, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Curiosity's observations — made by drilling into rocks, then studying the resulting samples — had already allowed scientists to determine that Gale Crater harbored a potentially habitable lake-and-stream system billions of years ago. (Like the rest of Mars, the area is dry today, at least on the surface.)

The new results paint a more detailed picture of that environment and how it changed over time. The results incorporate additional analyses that Curiosity has performed as it climbs the foothills of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) into the sky from Gale Crater's center.

The initial observations, made by Curiosity at lower elevations, suggest that the lake was first composed of fresh, neutral-pH water. That water got a bit more acidic over time, and then a bit saltier. The lake system probably dried up at times and then filled back in again, as the groundwater level rose, Grotzinger said.

But, despite all these changes, the area remained hospitable to microbial life, he added. (Simple organisms could have persisted in groundwater even during the lake system's "dry" stages.)

"This is all very good for habitability over long periods of time," Grotzinger said.

Furthermore, Curiosity's analyses show a complexity of minerals at the rover's various drill sites, from clays and magnetite lower down to hematite higher up. The six-wheeled robot also detected boron in Gale Crater, marking the first time this element has been discovered on Mars.

Again, this is all good news for ancient Mars' habitability, mission team members said.

This pair of drawings depicts the same location at Mars' Gale Crater at two points in time: now and billions of years ago. Water moving beneath the ground, as well as water above the surface in ancient rivers and lakes, provided favorable conditions for microbial life, if Mars has ever hosted life.
 
 
This pair of drawings depicts the same location at Mars' Gale Crater at two points in time: now and billions of years ago. Water moving beneath the ground, as well as water above the surface in ancient rivers and lakes, provided favorable conditions for microbial life, if Mars has ever hosted life.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes

"Variations in these minerals and elements indicate a dynamic system," Grotzinger said in a statement. "They interact with groundwater as well as surface water. The water influences the chemistry of the clays, but the composition of the water also changes. We are seeing chemical complexity indicating a long, interactive history with the water. The more complicated the chemistry is, the better it is for habitability. The boron, hematite and clay minerals underline the mobility of elements and electrons, and that is good for life."

Some samples also showed abundances of silica, which here on Earth is great at preserving ancient microbes, Grotzinger said. This find, of course, does not suggest that organisms have ever survived on Mars, but it could aid the planning of future life-hunting missions such as NASA's 2020 Mars rover, Grotzinger said.

"I think this is a tremendously exciting discovery," he said.

Curiosity will continue climbing up Mount Sharp's lower reaches, further fleshing out scientists' understanding of the ancient Martian environment and how it changed over time. The rover is in good health, though a problem with Curiosity's drill that cropped up earlier this month persists, mission team members said today.

Author : Mike Wall

Source : http://www.space.com/35018-mars-support-life-millions-years-curiosity-rover.html

Saturday, 17 December 2016 11:18

What Is the Average IQ?

Intelligence tests are one of the most popular types of psychological tests in use today. Ever since the first IQ tests emerged, attempts to classify IQ have followed. While different test publishers utilize different scoring systems, for many modern IQ tests the average (or mean) score is set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15 so that scores conform to a normal distribution curve.

  • 68 percent of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean (that is, between 85 and 115) 
  • 95 percent of scores fall within two standard deviations (between 70 and 130)

Why is the average score set to 100?

Psychometricians utilize a process known as standardization to make it possible to compare and interpret the meaning of IQ scores. This process is accomplished by administering the test to a representative sample and using these scores to establish standards, usually referred to as norms, by which all individual scores can be compared. Since the average score is 100, experts can quickly assess individual test scores against the average to determine where these scores fall on the normal distribution.

Classification systems can vary from one publisher to the next although many do tend to follow a fairly similar rating system For example, on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford-Binet test, scores that fall between 90 and 109 are considered "Average."  On these same tests, scores that fall between 110 and 119 are considered "High Average." Scores between 80 and 89 are classified as "Low Average."

What Exactly Are IQ Tests Measuring?

Intelligence tests are designed to measure crystallized and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence involves your knowledge and skills you have acquired throughout your life while fluid intelligence is your ability to reason, problem-solve and make sense of abstract information.

Fluid intelligence is considered independent of learning and tends to decline in later adulthood. Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, is directly related to learning and experience and tends to increase as people grow older.

IQ tests are administered by licensed psychologists. There are different kinds of intelligence tests, but many involve a series of subtests that are designed to measure mathematical abilities, language skills, memory, reasoning skills and information-processing speed. Scores on these subtests are then combined to form an overall IQ score.

It is important to note that while people often talk about average, low and genius IQs, there is no single IQ test. Many different tests are in use today including the Stanford-Binet, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Each individual test in different in terms of exactly what is being measured, how it is scored, and how these scores are interpreted.

So What Does It Mean to Have an Average IQ?

Your IQ score might be a good general indicator of your reasoning and problem-solving abilities, but many psychologists suggest that these tests don't tell the whole story.

A few things they don't measure are practical skills and talents. You might have an average IQ score, but you might also be a great musician, a creative artist, an incredible singer or a mechanical whiz. Psychologist Howard Gardner developed a theory of multiple intelligences designed to address this perceived shortcoming in popular conceptions of IQ.

Researchers have also found that IQ scores can change over time. One study looked at the IQ's of teenage subjects during early adolescence and then again four years later. The results revealed that scores varied as much as 20 points over that four-year period.

IQ tests also fail to address things like how curious you are about the world around you and how good you are at understanding and managing emotions. Some experts, including writer Daniel Goleman, suggest that emotional intelligence (often referred to as EQ) might even be more important than IQ. And researchers have found that while having a high IQ can indeed give people and edge in many areas of life, it is certainly no guarantee of life success.

So don't stress out if you're not a genius since the vast majority of people aren't geniuses either. Just as having a high IQ doesn't ensure success, having an average or low IQ doesn't ensure failure or mediocrity. Other factors such as hard work, resilience, perseverance and overall attitude are important pieces of the puzzle.

Author : Kendra Cherry

Source : https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-average-iq-2795284

Originally launched in May, Google's iOS keyboard features will now be available to Android users.

According to multiple reports, Gboard — Google’s keyboard designed specifically for iOS devices — is now available on Android devices.

report from The Verge says that a Google Keyboard update is bringing Gboard features to Android, including the integrated search function, the emoji search tool and new shortcuts.

“It’s currently available only as an APK from Google without detailed release notes, although it should make its way over to the Play Store soon,” writes The Verge reporter, Adi Robertson.

Gboard originally launched in May of this year, followed by a major update in August that added internationalization features, smart GIF suggestions and custom keyboards.

Auhtor : 

Source : http://searchengineland.com/google-launches-gboard-keyboard-features-android-devices-265318

More people are going freelance than ever before. With the rise of the internet and increasing acceptance of portfolio careers and flexible working hours, self-employment is becoming a common option. This is especially true for those working in creative professions. If you can make the freelancing lifestyle work for you, geographical flexibility and a great income can be yours.

When did you last give your mindset a health check?

However, there’s much more to freelancing success than simply taking the leap to self-employment, filling out your tax return on time, and applying for gigs on freelancing job boards. What will determine your success in the long run is your mindset.

It doesn’t matter how skilled or lucky you are: if you don’t believe in yourself, then you are vulnerable to early burnout. The following is a list of the most common self-limiting beliefs that you must overcome in the early days of your self-made career if you are to make it as a successful freelancer.

1. “Success is all-or-nothing.”

If you tend to have a perfectionist streak or see success and failure in binary terms, you need to adjust your attitude quickly. Otherwise, you will become demoralized. It takes time to grow a reputation as a professional freelancer.

Some weeks and months you will feel as though everyone wants to hire you and everything is going fantastically well, then at other times you will encounter setbacks in the form of difficult clients, underemployment, problems with your website — the list of potential pitfalls is endless! Know from the beginning that you can expect an interesting and varied journey. Keep a list of your triumphs for encouragement. Remind yourself that the path to success is rarely smooth.

2. “Rejection is too painful. I can’t bear it.”

The harsh reality is that most freelancers get rejected on a regular basis, whether it be in relation to an article pitch or a carefully-made application for an advertised gig. Even clients who have previously hired you on multiple occasions may decide they no longer have any use for you.

The best approach is to see each rejection as a chance to become more resilient. As the months go by, you will feel the sting less acutely and come to accept that all self-employed people need to deal with the fact that rejection is inevitable.

3. “I feel overwhelmed, which means I just can’t do this.”

Feeling overwhelmed isn’t a sign that you should give up on your dream of working for yourself, just that you need to refine your time and project-management skills. At first, you may indeed struggle with the responsibilities that come with having to motivate yourself, organize multiple projects, and manage on a fluctuating income.

However, once you learn how to make the most of your time, you will become more comfortable and confident in your abilities. Read a couple of books on time management, implement the basic principles, and be patient with yourself. Working freelance is a skill in and of itself. Like all skills, it can only be learned through trial and error.

4. “No-one will ever want to pay me enough to live on!”

There really are customers out there who can and will pay you a fair sum of money for decent work. That’s the good news. However, it might take a little patience to find them. With practice, you will soon be able to spot a promising client from one who is only looking to get work done at the cheapest possible price. If you are serious about becoming a high-paid freelancer, do not compete on price. Compete on quality. Build a solid portfolio, do great work, and ask your clients for references.

If you feel as though you aren’t making sufficient progress in your career as a freelancer, use this list as a sanity check. Are you falling into negative thought patterns and sabotaging yourself? Take a deep breath and remember that you don’t have to believe everything you think! Have faith in your abilities, and take your career one gig at a time. You can do it.

Author:  Jay Hill

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org

My 20’s – evokes memories of fun, excitement, many firsts such as the first real job, getting engaged, first home and many others. A time full of hope and ambition and at times directionless decision making! The time when I followed the herd and made career decisions based on what other’s were doing and what was ‘expected’ of me rather than what truly made sense to me!

In hindsight, I’ve learnt the hard way and wish I had known the following in my 20’s!

1. Stability And Guaranteed Income May Matter, It Pales In Comparison To Finding Professional Fulfillment

At the time and place I grew in, it was a given that we youngsters would choose either an engineering or a medical profession. The focus was more on long term stability and guaranteed income as provided by these professions. Therefore by default, the majority of us chose our educational degrees to align to those careers.

What I’ve now learnt is, as much as stability and guaranteed income may matter, it pales in comparison to finding professional fulfillment. More than 70% of the workforce today is burnt out and unhappy with their jobs. As a career coach, I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of unhappy people. In most cases, it turns out that their unhappiness is due to misaligned priorities. We spend a significant amount of our waking time at work. Therefore, the focus should be on feeling happy and fulfilled at work and not on chasing fancy titles and the money. Luckily enough, when our priorities are right, those fancy titles and monetary benefits do fall in place too!!

2. When We Are Interested In Something, We Do A Much Better Job At It Than When We Are Not


In our 20’s some of us sideline our interests. We believe that our interests in art or music or anything else is just an interest and should be pursued as a hobby. And we need to get a real job to sustain ourselves.

What I’ve learnt is that our interests are our portal to finding fulfilling work. When we are interested in something, we do a much better job at it than when we are not. We put our best foot forward. We feel good about doing something that interests us. The key is not to be married to the idea of sustaining ourselves through our exact interest. So for example: if you are keenly interested in music and are a decent singer as well, becoming a sought-after singer is not your ONLY choice! Instead you have various other career choices in the music industry! Most people often forget this and completely give up on their area of interest and then find themselves in unfulfilling jobs.

3. I Thought My Career Would Progress Naturally

When I picked an engineering degree to pursue and landed my first job as an IT professional, the assumed path was to progress through the traditional ladder – analyst, manager, Sr.manager, director, VP and so on. I never spoke to anyone at those levels or for that matter even to anyone at the entry level position I had landed in! I had no plan or goal as such and assumed my career would progress naturally.

What I’ve learnt is – it is important to plan our careers. Having something to strive towards, helps us seek guidance and direction and create a path for us to tread on. Of course, our plans may never materialize at times or we may change our direction as we gain more clarity. That is perfectly fine and expected. When you reach that juncture in your journey, change your destination and create a new plan to get your there!

4. Never Settle In Bad Workplaces And Bad Bosses. Take A Leap Of Faith And Move Out Of There.

In my 20’s I accepted situations without questioning it. If I was subject to unfair treatment at work, I felt bad about it but never questioned it. When my boss remarked that I was taking a half-day when I left work at 5.30 PM having arrived at 8 AM, I accepted it. When an earlier job required me to travel extensively to unsafe locations, I accepted it. I convinced myself those are my best options and that there is nothing better out there for me. I ignored those warning signs at first, that told me to RUN from those places and bosses. But once I did it, I realized the umpteen options that were out there!

What I’ve learnt now is to never settle in bad workplaces and bad bosses. Take a leap of faith and move out of there. To put it simply, it is just not worth your time! and progression does not necessarily happen in these situations.

5. Complacency Is Our Worst Enemy

In my 20’s, I did not meet many game-changers or people who had broken societal norms and created their own paths. In my myopic view of the world, I happily accepted that you get a job in a standard industry and stayed there forever. I assumed that complacency is the way to go as was evident all around me.

What I’ve learnt is to be a rule-breaker! Always challenge yourself and seek out game-changers, if you believe you are not one. Learn from them and see how they challenge the status quo in their careers. Complacency is our worst enemy.

Author: Gia Ganesh

Source: http://www.lifehack.org/386908/

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 22:47

The Top Trending Destinations For 2017

It is never too early to plan for your next travel destination for 2017. So, get your travel shoes ready and get inspired with the top trending destinations for next year.

According to the experts in Booking.com, people have been searching and booking for the places below for 2017 travels. With this data analysis, you do not have to knock your head off for travel ideas since everything is rounded up for you and served on a silver platter.

Kyoto, Japan is increasingly becoming popular in the recent years. The city has emanated the perfect blend of modernization and ancient history. It is the center of technology while housing serene Buddhist shrines, panoramic gardens, and cozy tea houses. The city offers a vast array of Michelin-starred restaurants and shopping options to suit your different tastes.

Reykjavik, Iceland offers an exceptional experience for travelers. Reykjavik is an eccentric place that gives tourists a novel experience. You can bar and cafes that are quaintly welcoming with its warm facade and quirky collector's items. You can even visit the 'Icelandic Phallological Museum' or the penis museum. Or if you are a 'Star Wars' fan, the Café Babalu has toilets themed to this famous movie franchise. Visit the Reykjavík Cathedral if you want to appreciate vibrant arts and architecture. And remember, Reykjavik is also famous for its 'Northern Lights'.

Savannah, United States is a perfect place to visit if you want to experience Southern charm and hospitality. Do not forget this is the place where the famous gumbo and boiled crawfish originated. Savannah's heritage and cuisine is an age old testament to historical influences. You can drown yourself in its culinary wonders and paradisiacal sceneries of grand architecture and weeping willows.

Mumbai, India is a whole new wonder on its own. This is a city that is so rich in culture that you can drown yourself in it for months end. With its vibrant energy and organized chaos, it is definitely 'one for the books'. Mumbai also features a conspicuous sense of history and spirituality that you cannot help but feel attracted to. The art galleries, museums, temples and even world-class restaurants all help give Mumbai its reputation as one of the top travel destinations of 2017.

Cairns, Australia is one destination that you should definitely go to next year. This city provides the perfect gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. And, people should know by now that this phenomenal wonder is disappearing. So, do not wait for any further and head over to Cairns and splurge in its sheer wonder while you still can. This is also the perfect spot if you want to explore an underwater world full of rare species and plethora of colors.

Author:  Naj Gulanes

Source:  http://www.travelerstoday.com

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