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5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life

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5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life

Technological advancement has made life easier for us. Imagine living in the 1950s. While some may call it the golden era, the truth is that it was extremely difficult to live back then. Electricity was scarce, and there were no amenities such as mobile phones or the internet.

Today, most of these facilities are considered a necessity. Even though many experts argue that the use of technology has created an imbalance between school and life, the truth is that if used properly, technology can help you bridge the gap.

A lot has changed in the last few decades, but education is the most important thing if you wish to be successful. A lot of people today are balancing education with work. Some have weekend classes while some juggle work with online courses. But how do you manage life with education? The truth is that technology can help. How? Here are some tips:

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1. Let Technology Help You Manage Your Commitments

Over 4 million people aged 35 or older are enrolled in colleges. More and more Americans are waking up to the need for more education. They have realized that it is never too late to get a more training. However, most of these are married and have other commitments. This often prevents them from giving their 100% which disrupts their ability to focus on learning. Fortunately, technology can help.

You need to make a list of things that matter to you. These include family, education, work and of course your hobbies. Tools such as Google Calendar can greatly help you prepare a schedule and manage your time. Another great app is Instant. It keeps track of where you spend most of your time, including your sleep patterns so you can manage things better.

If you want a more detailed look at your schedule, you can use something like OfficeTime. It presents data in the form of graphs for a visual view of what you do. Once you have this data, you can see where most of your time goes and how you can change it, based on your priorities. For example, if you are spending 10 hours working and need more time for your education, you can set goals that include completing your work within 8 hours and using the time saved for your education.

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2. Use Technology for Better Communication

Communication is very important in every aspect of life, and thanks to technology it is easier than ever before to communicate. Save time by turning notifications on for your emails, but only for the urgent ones that you really need. This will allow you to respond to important emails instantly. Similarly, prevent useless apps from communicating. Most apps send push notifications regarding updates and special offers, and most of them are usually useless to you.

According to reports, most people spend around 90 minutes on a phone every day. And sadly, a lot of it goes into doing things that are of no use, including useless communication. So make sure to use technology to communicate effectively and efficiently and block out distractions.

Structure your responses properly so that there is no time wasted in replying and clearing things. If something cannot be made clear via text, use voice notes or simply call using one of many tools such as WhatsApp or Skype.

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3. Enjoy the Perks of Being a Student

Remind yourself about the perks of studying. Having advanced skills will help you carve out your niche and have a better life. Also, while you are studying, you may be eligible for student discounts and other offers that are only for students.

Technology has made it easier to see the benefit of everything. You can predict your worth with a certain degree or where you will be career-wise ten years down the line. Such information will help you stay motivated.

4. Find New Ways to Get An Education

Technology has made it easy to study. You do not necessarily have to attend classes physically thanks to eLearning and other training programs. Virtual learning is one of the fastest growing concepts due to its benefits. It allows incredible flexibility so that anyone and everyone can pursue further education.

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It is a 100 billion dollar industry today and is expected to grow even more in the future. While many question the quality of education, reports indicate that eLearning is as good as traditional learning, if not better.

5. Technology Will Allow You To be On Time

You can use technology to stay organized and on schedule. Use alarms to make sure you wake up on time and get timely reminders. Most mobile devices have this function built-in so there will be no need to install new apps. However, for better functionality, you may try some third party apps as well, such as Wunderlist. It lets you schedule due dates/times and tasks. It can send reminders, including push notifications and also emails. You can also check off items once you complete one task to make sure you keep a tab on all your tasks.

Make sure to make proper use of technology to ensure that you live a balanced life. Apps can help you organize and do things in a better manner.

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More by this author

Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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