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15 Websites You Should Know To Make Your Life Easier

15 Websites You Should Know To Make Your Life Easier

One thing that people don’t seem to talk about enough when it comes to the Internet is its daily utility. The whole thing with social media and whatever world-changing stuff it does is great, but the Internet as a tool for making one’s life easier doesn’t get as much mention as it truly deserves. Therefore, there should be some more focus put on that aspect of the Internet, which is definitely something that users do seem to take for granted.

Just think of it as your online tool kit of sorts. We all have tasks we have to complete that involve the Internet in some fashion, and there are various websites that cater to these needs. If you don’t have one yet or you already have some that you use, perhaps these fifteen websites can help make your life easier.

1. Calorie King

If you’re very concerned about how the food you’re eating is affecting your weight loss efforts, then you can visit this website and get the lowdown on how many calories that cookie or chocolate bar is. You can also plan your meals in advance by picking the most nutritious and low-calorie foods in order to help you lose weight as well.

Calorie King also has other tools for helping you control your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as a blog that can regularly provide you with more helpful tips and information on your way to a healthier life.

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2. Mint

Perhaps the most popular online personal finance management service that’s also free-to-use; Mint is a powerful tool for managing your expenses, creating budgets, and monitor your savings. You can sync your bank accounts to it and have a one place for planning your financial present and future. Having something like this is invaluable for those who really value their money, and it can help even the most confused of people become financially literate.

3. Website Setup

Designing websites usually consist of being knowledgeable about the fundamentals of visual design and being well-versed in HTML, CSS, and even Javascript. However, not everyone who needs to design a website are proficient in those things, and even fewer have the budget for hiring a professional web designer to do it for them.

Website Setup features a free and comprehensive guide to creating a website, from setting up a content management system like WordPress or Drupal, installing plugins, customizing themes, and so on. With Website Setup, you can become a web designer in your own right easily.

4. Codecademy

In this day and age, being fluent in a programming language is such a boost in one’s effectiveness in this world. For those who are looking to learn how to code, Codecademy is the number one online destination for instruction. You’ll get a rundown of the very basics of programming and learn just about any major programming language you wish. Whether it’s Javascript, Python, Ruby, C++, or so on, you can learn the ropes here.

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5. Let Me Google That For You

This one is a rather amusing website, but it’s there for good reason. All of us have friends who like to ask the most seemingly basic questions, taking up your time and patience even when there’s the whole Internet right in front of them to give them the answers they seek. You can use this website to do two things—remind them that they can just search it in Google and to get out of your hair.

6. Polish My Writing

Writing can be a fulfilling vocation, whether you do it professionally or just like to write blogs and journals about your life and experiences. However, not everyone has the confidence to write due to worries about grammar and spelling, as well as not being well-versed enough in vocabulary and the art of putting one’s thoughts into words

This website can help you learn more about these things and become the writer you thought you’d never be. It has tools for checking grammar and spelling, as well as other resources for improving your writing.

7. Mathway

Most people have a lot of trouble with math, and it’s something that can’t be avoided in life even if we think that it barely gets used. Whether it’s doing one’s taxes or even just determining whether there’s enough money for groceries, math is something you wouldn’t want to be weak at. Whether you’re a student who needs help with an exam the next day or just someone who’s sick and tired of being weak at math, Mathway can help you become a lot less confused with numbers.

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9. Wilderness Survival Skills

If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast who is into camping, mountaineering, and so on, then you’d be aware that they call for a certain set of skills that need to be honed. To help you better prepare for these endeavors, you may need the right information on things like how to build a fire or what to do when you encounter a certain something in the wilderness. This website is perfect for those who need to learn more about what to pack, how to navigate, how to survive the outdoors, and so on.

10. Strip Creator

If you happen to be a more creatively driven person who likes to experiment with different things, or someone who’s gotten into making comics, then Strip Creator can make things easier and more interesting for you. If you want to make comic strips that show off your ability to create characters and convey your sense of humor, then this website should help you achieve that with relative ease.

11. DIY Courses

Want your child to have more focus on the creative side of things? DIY Courses has online courses for kids that are taught by the world’s most creative experts. With it, you can help unlock your child’s creative potential without having to go somewhere to attend. These courses can be taken wherever you want, as long as there’s Internet access. It costs $15 per month, but it is worth it.

12. The New York Times Cooking

Perhaps you’re looking for new recipes to try. There are plenty of culinary websites out there, but this one is a bit different. The New York Times happens to have a cooking section wherein they have some of the very best recipes you’ll ever find on the Internet, curated by some of the most well-known names in the culinary world, including the likes of Nigella Lawson and so on.

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13. Have I Been Pwned?

Online security is always a concern, even if you’re just an average joe or jane who doesn’t care much for his/her email or social media account. But do know that it does matter since it’s your personal stuff being compromised when you get hacked, and some pretty dire consequences can come out of it. If you suspect that something you own just got hacked, you may go to this website and verify that, then know more about what you can do to address that problem and perhaps prevent it in the future.

14. The Lonely Planet Shop

Lonely Planet has been long known for being the biggest travel guide book publisher in the world, and they’ve been doing it online as well for a long time now. Their shop is full of stuff that you may want to take with you on your adventures, and the main site itself should be helpful for gathering information about your destination. Whether it’s learning about the best places to go or how to travel on a budget, that website is great for that.

15. Norton SafeWeb

Norton has been a well-known name in computer security for ages now, and it has its own online security arm that helps with preventing malicious attacks through the Internet. If you’re worried if there’s a virus, malware, trojan horse, or whatever in a suspicious-looking link, then go to this website, enter that URL, and check to see if it’s safe. You can also download an extension to your browser that can do that for you automatically.

16. Nolo

It’s law for all, as it says on the title banner. This website provides legal advice for the every-man who may be worried about getting on the short end of the legal straw. Through Nolo, you can find answers to your legal questions, research various legal topics, read blogs to learn a bit more about the legal world, FAQs for the most nagging of questions, and so on. You can do all of this even before hiring a lawyer, which is great if you want to have every bit of an edge you can get.

These are just some of the many websites that can make tasks more efficient and your life a whole lot easier. It’s a great time to be alive due to the Internet being there for everyone, and you may have your own set of websites that you make use of on a daily basis. If any of these fifteen gets added to your list, then that’s definitely a good thing.

Featured photo credit: Liquene via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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