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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 13, 2020

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical Signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental Signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Desire for an Increase of Salary

The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

Overnight Decision

Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

Rejected for a Promotion

I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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Bored at Work

Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

How to Make a Career Change Successfully

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a Career Plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh Your Options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

    A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

    4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

    A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

    • What is required to be successful in the role?
    • What certification or educational development is needed?
    • What are the challenges of the role?
    • Is there potential for career advancement?

    A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

    Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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    5. Research Salary

    Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

    It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

    6. Be Realistic

    If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

    For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

    Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

    7. Volunteer First

    A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

    Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

    Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

    8. Prepare Your Career Tools

    I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

    • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
    • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
    • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
    • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

    Bottom Line

    It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

    Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

    More About Career Change

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

    [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
    [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
    [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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