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13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

The third decade of our lives come with numerous benefits and various advantages. We develop a sense of maturity and a level of financial security yet retain the quirks and energy which we had in the 20s, 30s can be even referred as the most prolific time of our lives. It is no wonder that when you are a parent in your 40s, you can’t help but think of things which you wish you could have done in your 30s. To make your thoughts a bit complete, here 13 things parents in their 40s wish they did in their 30s.

Spend More Time With Their Partner

Life can get busy and it gets busier when you become a parent. In your 40s, you spend most of your undivided attention on your children to the extent that sometimes you forget that your spouse is also your life partner. Spending some quality time in your 30s with your beloved would have helped in developing a deeper and better understanding of your partner.

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    Take Up a Hobby

    You always wished to play the guitar or simply learn to bake cookies or just write down random thoughts and poems as a hobby. But it is unquestionably unimaginable now since you spend more time in deciding your child’s hobby or extracurricular activity. Learning new skills or taking up a hobby can be the best memory you can have of your 30s.

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    Have a Child Savings Fund

    This does not necessarily mean investing in a formal financial scheme. It means having a dedicated savings account or recurring deposits to pile-up funds that will stay untouched for any other expense except those incurred on children. While it might be never too late to plan and start saving, parents who started saving in their 30s get an advantage by their 40s thanks to the power of money compounding.

    Exercise or Working Out

    The forties is a very unique phase. It is the decade that will complete your transformation to officially reaching middle age. During this phase, body metabolism reaches a lazy pace and it is when that you wish you had exercised well in your 30s. Even a steady walk would have been better than the dash you make every morning to the school’s bus-stop with your child’s bag dangling from one arm!

    Read your favorite books or poem

    In your 40s, most of the reading you will do will be at your work and at home with your child’s school syllabus. Time does fly during this phase and you always feel that you could have dedicated more time to read good books. Thankfully, this is something you can still do now, be it romantic quotes or poems you could share with your spouse or finding a great article to read online, together.

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      Consolidate your social circle

      If there is something which takes the toll the most during your parental phase it is your friends circle. You realize that you are in touch with far lesser friends than you were when you were in your 20s and could have had larger social circle if you maintained contact in your 30s.

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        Travel new places

        Travelling is a great way of learning about new places and seeing different parts of the globe. In your 40s, your children would take up most of your time and even money. On the other hand, in your 30s, you could have considered even going for a second honeymoon with there being several exotic locations all over the place.

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        Enjoy the small things in life

        Taking a bicycle trip on a cool cloudy day. Have an ice cream cone with three scoops of ice cream. These are the small joys of life which you enjoyed individually but find little time now since you are drowned most of the time in family obligations and responsibilities.

        Opt for a career/job you love

        When you become a parent, you become less experimental. You tend to stick to the same job, even if you don’t like it, for the sake of maintaining stability for your family. It is then that you feel that you could have had a better sense of satisfaction if had you chosen a job or a sector which you would have loved in the long run.

        Do social service or charity

        There would have been no better phase than your 30s to spend time on social service and charity. You had the time, resources and the energy to indulge in helping other people. It would have also brought a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in your life.

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        Done research on schools and schooling

        Things can get overwhelming once you have children and when they reach an age that makes them due to be sent to the school. Research done beforehand can be of great help and what better time it could have been that your 30s.

        Be less afraid of parenting

        During your 30s, one will have numerous questions in mind about the various virtues of parenting but most are outright scared to ask them. You don’t want to go around asking people, even your loved ones, about the best parenting tips because you find it silly. Eventually one has a realization that if one would been more inquisitive back then then they would have spent less time on trial and error.

          Reading for kids

          This is something most parents in their 40s would eventually regret. It is always great to know a story or two, to share with your children before you tuck them into the bed!

          By the way, it’s never too late to start if you already haven’t. As they say, 40s are the new 30s!

          Featured photo credit: love-couple pic via thebridalbox.com

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          Last Updated on April 11, 2019

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

          I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

          I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

          Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          How Communication Skills Help Your Success

          Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

          Create a Positive Experience

          Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

          When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

          What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

          Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

          As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

          Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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          Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

          Help Leadership Skills

          It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

          Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

          As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

          Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

          If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

          Build Better Teams

          Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

          In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

          If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

          When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

          Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

          Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

          1. Listen

          Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

          Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

          People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

          Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

          Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

          2. Know Your Audience

          Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

          Here is a good way to think about it:

          Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

          You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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          3. Minimize

          I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

          He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

          Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

          State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

          The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

          4. Over Communicate

          So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

          What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

          Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

          Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

          Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

          There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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          5. Body Language

          The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

          When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

          In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

          When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

          Conclusion

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

          Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

          There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          Now go communicate your way to success.

          More Resources About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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