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How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

From word clouds to network data visualizations, infographics have become a primary format for content in a relatively short period of time. Although the ‘infographic’ is nothing new, its proliferation and evolution has been nothing short of exponential in the past few years.

Whether you love them or hate them, the rising popularity of infographics can’t be denied.

If you want to get a message across, whether it is for your business, blog, or book club, using an infographic can be the best way to do it. If you’re incapable of drawing a recognizable human stick figure, let alone an entire data visualization, you may be agonizing over the disturbing fact that infographics are all the rage.

It just so happens that there are many people out there who want to deliver a message using an infographic who do not have any artistic skills. It’s lucky for us that tools and resources have popped up all over the place to help even the most hopeless of us (like me) create beautiful infographics.

I’m going to show you how to do it in thirty minutes or less.

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Rules of Engagement

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, there are some basic rules you need to follow when creating infographics. At least you need to follow them when creating infographics people will want to actually read.

Just because you’ve put together a picture with words and numbers doesn’t make it an infographic, certainly not an effective infographic. Before starting, make sure you have the following rules in mind:

  • Make a point: Don’t just slap useless numbers on a chart. Your infographic needs to have a clear and strong beginning, middle, and an end. It must read like a story, not like an excerpt from a trivia book.
  • Don’t waffle: If you find a juicy piece of data that fascinates you but isn’t relevant to your message, please refrain from including it in your infographic. Go marvel over it in private and don’t take your readers off on a tangent. Stick to the point and make it simple.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself: For the love of all that is good in the world, do not go to randomguysblog[dot]wordpress[dot]com and assume that all information there is fact. Get your information from credible sources and cite them at the bottom of your infographic.
  • Brand it: Make sure it’s clear that you or your organization created the infographic.
  • Make it sharable: Whether you include tweetables, a Pin It button, Facebook share, or whatever your social network of choice is, make sure that people can spread the word about your new stunning infographic. Don’t forget to also include embed code so people can put your infographic on their own website.

Creating Your Infographic

Since this is an article about infographic creation, it seemed appropriate that I should include an infographic. I’m going to create this infographic using the steps outlined below

Step 1: Research

It’s called an infographic for a reason. You have to include some useful information. Without it, your infographic becomes art. Worse, it becomes very bad art. So, do your homework and do it well. You may be able to skip this part if you’re a true expert in your topic, but even then, it’s good to do your homework. It’s important to do this part first, since the data you decide on displaying will determine what kind of infographic you need to create.

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Step 2: Choose a Template

    I use Piktochart to create all of my infographics.

    Out of all the tools I’ve used, Piktochart is by far the best when it comes to a combination of flexibility, options, and overall ease of use. The trick is to pick a template that will do a good job of representing your data without you having to modify or customize it too much. This is where your research from step one comes in. Use it to decide what kind of layout will best suit your data.

    Piktochart offers a wealth of templates, so you won’t have a problem. You can sign up for a free account or paid account. If you plan on creating infographics more than a few times and you want to do it without spending hundreds of dollars on a graphic designer or losing your mind, I suggest investing in the paid account.

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    Here’s a snapshot (on the right) of just a few templates I can choose from in my Piktochart account.

    Step 3: Insert Data & Customize (30 minutes)

    Take all the data you gathered from step one and put it into the template. Although we’ve basically eliminated the need to consider the design of your infographic, it’s still important that you can present the data in an organized and sensible way. Use arrows to help information flow and make it scannable as you would a blog post.

    Step 4: Reveal Your Infographic to the World

    Here’s the infographic I made in 32 minutes as a demonstration for this article. After doing the research, it was just a matter of organizing my data and inserting it. I had to do only a little customization since I picked a template that suited my data well.

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    If you are willing to spend a bit more time, you could make your infographic longer and more in-depth!

     

      Add this infographic to your site: 

      <img src=’https://cdn.lifehack.org/wp-content/files/2012/11/LifeHackInfographic.png’ alt=”How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less”>

      <a href=’http://www.lifehack.org’ title=”Create An Infographic”>Lifehack.org</a>

      Featured photo credit:  Downwards shot of woman employee via Shutterstock

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      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

      How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

      How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

      Turning 50 is a milestone in anyone’s life, after all you are half way to 100! But seriously, turning 50 is often a time in life when people can sit back and take a look at where they’ve been and contemplate what the future holds.

      Can you change careers at 50? It’s not uncommon for people in their 50’s to consider a career change, after all if you’ve spent 20 to 30 years in a career, chances are that some of the bloom is off the rose.

      Often, when we are starting out in our 20’s, we choose a career path based on factors that are no longer relevant to us in our 50’s. Things like our parents’ expectations, a fast paced exciting lifestyle or the lure of making a lot of money can all be motivating factors in our 20’s.

      But in our 50’s, those have given way to other priorities. Things like the desire to spend more time with family and friends, a slower paced less stressful lifestyle, the need to care for a sick spouse or elderly parents can all contribute to wanting a career change in your 50’s.

      Just like any big life changing event, changing careers is scary. The good news is that just like most things we are scared of, the fear is mostly in our own head.

      Understanding how to go about a career change at 50 and what you can expect should help reduce the anxiety and fear of the unknown.

      What are Your Goals for a Career Change?

      As in any endeavor, having properly defined goals will help you to determine the best path to take.

      What are you looking for in a new career? Choosing a slower less stressful position that gives you more time with family and friends may sound ideal, but you’ll often find that you’re giving up some income and job satisfaction in the process.

      Conversely, if your goal is to quit a job that is sucking the life from your soul to pursue a lifelong passion. You might be trading quality time with family and friends for job satisfaction.

      Neither decision is wrong or bad, you just need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of any decision you make.

      Types of Career Changes at 50+

      There are four main types of career changes that people make in their 50’s. Each type has it’s unique set of challenges and will very in the degree of preparation required to make the change.

      Industry Career Change

      In this career change, a person remains in the same field but switches industries.

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      With an industry change, a person takes their set of skills and applies them to an industry that they have no previous experience in.

      An example would be a salesperson in the oil and gas industry becoming a salesperson for a media (advertising) company. They are taking their skill set (selling) and applying it to a different industry (media).

      This type of career change is best accomplished by doing a lot of homework on the industry you want to get into as well as networking within the industry.

      Functional Career Change

      A functional career change would be a change of careers within the same industry.

      For example, an accountant at a pharmaceutical company who changes careers to become a human resources manager. It may or may not be with the same company, but they remain within the pharmaceutical industry. In this case, they are leaving one set of skills behind (accounting) to develop a new set (human resource) within the same industry.

      In a functional career change, new or additional training as well as certifications may be required in order to make the switch. If you are considering a functional career change, you can start by getting any training or certifications needed either online, through trade associations or at your local community college.

      Double Career Change

      This is the most challenging career change of all. A person doing a double career change is switching both a career and an industry.

      An example of a double change would be an airline pilot quitting to pursue their dream of producing rock music. In that case, they are leaving both the aviation industry and a specific skill set (piloting) for a completely unrelated industry and career.

      When considering a double career change, start preparing by getting any needed training or certifications first. Then you can get your foot in the door by taking an apprenticeship or part time job.

      With a double change, it’s not uncommon to have to start out at the bottom as you are asking an employer to take a chance on someone without any experience or work history in the industry.

      Entrepreneurial Career Change

      Probably one of the most common career changes made by people in their 50’s is the entrepreneurial career change.

      After 20 to 30 years of working for “Corporate America”, a lot of people become disillusioned with the monotony, politics and inefficiency of the corporate world. Many of us dream of having our own business and being our own boss.

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      By this time in our life, we have saved some money and the financial pressures we had with young children have passed; so it’s a perfect time to spread our entrepreneurial wings.

      Entrepreneurial career changes can be within the same industry and using your existing knowledge and contacts to start a similar business competing within the same industry. Or it can be completely unrelated to your former industry and based on personal interests, passions or hobbies.

      A good example would be someone who played golf as a hobby starting an affiliate marketing website selling golf clubs. If you are considering an entrepreneurial career change, there are a lot of very good free resources available on the internet. Just be sure to do your homework.

      Practical Tips on Making a Career Change at 50+

      So you’ve decided to take the plunge and make a career switch in your 50’s. No matter what your reasons or what type of a career change you are embarking on, here are some helpful hints to make the transition easier:

      1. Deal with the Fear

      As stated earlier, any big life change comes with both fear and anxiety. Things never seem to go as smoothly as planned, you will always have bumps and roadblocks along the way. By recognizing this and even planning for it, you are less likely to let these issues derail your progress.

      If you find yourself becoming discouraged by all of the stumbling blocks, there are always resources to help. Contacting a career coach is a good place to start, they can help you with an overall strategy for your career change as well as the interview and hiring process, resume writing / updating and more. Just Google “Career Coach” for your options.

      I also recommend using the services of a professional counselor or therapist to help deal with the stress and anxiety of this major life event.

      It’s always good to have an unbiased third party to help you work through the problems that inevitably arise.

      2. Know Your “Why”

      It’s important that you have a clear understanding of the “why” you are making this career change. Is it to have more free time, reduce stress, follow a passion or be your own boss?

      Having a clear understanding of you personal “why” will influence every decision in this process. Knowing your “why” and keeping it in mind also serves as a motivator to help you reach your goals.

      3. Be Realistic

      Take an inventory of both your strengths and weaknesses. Are your organizational skills less than stellar? Then, becoming a wedding planner is probably not a good idea.

      This is an area where having honest outside input can be really helpful. Most of us are not very good at accurately assessing our abilities. It’s a universal human trait to exaggerate our abilities while diminishing our weaknesses.

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      Requesting honest feedback from friends and co-workers is a good place to start, but this is another area where a career coach can come in handy.

      4. Consider an Ad-Vocation

      Sometimes, making a career change all at once is just too big of a change. Issues like a severely reduced income, geography and lack of benefits can all be impediments to your career change. In those cases, you may want to start your new career as an ad-vocation.

      An ad-vocation is a second or ad-on vocation in addition to your primary vocation. Things like a part-time job, consulting or even a side business can all be ad-vocations.

      The benefit of having an ad-vocation is being able to build experience a reputation and contacts in the new field while maintaining all the benefits of your current job.

      5. Update Your Skills

      Whether it means acquiring new certifications or going back to school to get your cosmetology licence, having the right training is the foundation for a successful career change.

      The great thing about changing careers now is that almost any training or certifications needed can be free or at very little cost online. Check with trade associations, industry websites and discussion groups for any requirements you may need.

      Learn How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive.

      6. Start Re-Branding Yourself Now

      Use the internet and social media to change the way you present yourself online.

      Changing your LinkedIn profile is a good way to show prospective employers that you are serious about a career change.

      Joining Facebook groups, trade associations and discussion boards as well as attending conventions is a great way to start building a network while you learn.

      Here’re some Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success.

      7. Overhaul Your Resume

      Most of us have heard the advice to update our resume every six months, and most of us promptly ignore that advice and only update our resume when we need it.

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      When making a career change, updating is not enough; this calls for a complete overhaul of your resume. Chances are that your current resume was designed around your old career which may or may not apply to your new goals.

      Crafting a new resume emphasizing your strengths for the new position your looking for is key. There are many places that will help you craft a resume online and it is a service included with most career coaching services.

      8. Know Your Timeline

      There are a lot of factors when it comes to how long it will take to make the career change.

      Industry and Functional career changes tend to be the easiest to do and therefore can be accomplished in the shortest period of time. While the Double Career Change and the Entrepreneurial Career Change both require more effort and thus time.

      There are also personal factors involved in the time it will take to switch careers.

      Generally speaking the more you are willing to be flexible with both compensation and geography, the shorter time it will take to make the switch.

      Final Thoughts

      Changing careers at anytime can be stressful, but for those of us who are 50 or above, it can seem to be an overwhelming task fraught with pitfalls and self doubt.

      Prospective employers know the benefits that come with more mature employees. Things like a wealth of experience, a proven work history and deeper understanding of corporate culture are all things that older workers bring to the table.

      And while the younger generation may possess better computer or technical skills than us, if you’re willing to learn, there are a ton of free or nearly free resources available to you.

      Deciding on a career change at 50 is a great way to experience life on your own terms.

      More Tips for Career Change

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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