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The Cost of Convenience

The Cost of Convenience

The crazy prices we’ve had to pay for gasoline in Hawaii have revived a debate I have with my husband every so often:

How much are we willing to pay for convenience, and how much do we value our time?

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My husband is one of those people who will drive all the way down the coast line, about 30 miles from our home, just to save a few nickels at the gas pump. Sometimes he’ll take that same drive to trade in cents-off coupons for stuff that’s on sale, feeling he’s finally getting even with a retailer he feels charges too much.

In comparison, I’m one who will pay what hubby considers an exorbitant price for something because it is more convenient, in a single purchase essentially blowing those savings he managed to get over a month’s diligent shopping time. I’m not willing to give away my time to make that same drive he will.

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We’ve gotten to the point that our debate is more good-natured fun at each other’s stubbornness than anything else. We both stick to our own habits and are not changing them, and we both know it. We value different things, and frankly, the math that may settle the argument-turned-entertainment is never done to prove our case.

However our last episode of soap-boxing about this over dinner stayed with me the next day, echoing in the recesses of my brain during a conversation I had with a manager over how much convenience in her workplace factored into so many of her decisions. She insisted she had much more important things to do, than take the extra steps which would have turned a short-term bandaid fix into a long-term added-value decision. Frankly, those “much more important” things she justified her actions with just didn’t add up to much more comparative value to me.
It struck me that we probably don’t confront our own intellectual honesty with these questions often enough when it comes to our internal operating processes, and unfortunately, when you’re a manager, these processes can affect a lot of people, and the environment in which they work.

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We’re much better at going for value versus convenience in our attitude with serving the customer. We seek to make it easy for the customer, and we seek to make it right, no matter how much we might have to go through to make it happen. Yet there can be quite a double standard internally, going for the easiest, and most convenient way to get stuff done, without taking the necessary time to evaluate just how much value is in any of that stuff in the first place, or how much potential value may have been lost for the lack of effort.

Think about your last week at work, and some of the decisions you might have made because it was just more convenient to take the easy route, or to settle for the short term quick fix. Then, think about those situations which may end up rearing their ugly heads again as a result. If you don’t take the time to do things right in the first place, when will you have time to do them over?

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At work, it gets far easier to see how the cost of convenience can really add up.

Just do me a favor and don’t tell my husband I caved on this.

Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership.For more of her ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Humility in the Workplace.

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Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

10 Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed

10 Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed

Regardless of your background, times today are tough. While uneven economies around the world have made it incredibly difficult for many people to find work, the recent COVID pandemic has made things worse.

Regardless of age and qualification, stretches of unemployment have affected us all in recent years. While we might not be able to control being unemployed, we can control how we react to it.

Despite difficult conditions, there are many ways to grow and stay hopeful. Whether you’re looking for work, or just taking a breather between assignments, these 10 endeavors will keep you busy and productive. Plus, some may even help push your resume to the top of the next pile.

Here’re 10 things you should do when you’re unemployed:

1. Keep a Schedule

It’s fine to take a few days after you’re finished at work to relax, but try not to get too comfortable.

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As welcoming as permanently moving into your sweatpants may seem, keeping a schedule is one way to stay productive and focused. While unemployed, if you continue to start your day early, you are more likely to get more done. Also, keeping up with day to day tasks makes you less likely to grow depressed or inactive.

2. Join a Temp Agency

One of the easiest ways to bridge the gap between jobs is to find temporary work, or work with a temp agency. While many unemployed people job hunt religiously, rememberer to include temp agencies in the search.

While not a permanent solution, you will be in a better position financially while you search for something permanent.

3. Work Online

Another great option if you’re unemployed is online work. Many different sites offer a variety of ways to make money online, but make sure the site you’re working for is reputable.

Micro job sites such as Fiverr and Upwork as well as sites that pay for you to take surveys, are all quick, legitimate options. While these sites sometimes offer lower pay, it’s always better to move forward slowly than not at all.

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Here’s How to Find and Land a Legit Online Work from Home Job.

4. Get Organized

Unemployment is an excellent opportunity to get organized. Embark on some spring cleaning, go through old boxes, and get rid of the things you don’t need. Streamlining your life will help you dive head first into the next chapter, plus it helps you feel like your unemployed time is spent productively.

Try these tips: How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

5. Exercise

Much like organizing your life, another good way to keep yourself enthusiastic and healthy is to exercise. It doesn’t take much to get slightly more active, and exercise can help you stay positive. Even a walk around the block a few times a week can do a lot for keeping you motivated and determined. If you take care of yourself, you can make the most of this extra time.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering is an excellent way to use extra time when you’re unemployed. Additionally, if you volunteer in an area related to your job qualifications, you can often include the experience on your resume.

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Not only that, doing good is a true mood booster and is sure to help you stay optimistic while looking for your next job.

7. Improve Your Skills

Looking for ways to increase your job skills while unemployed is a good way to move forward as well. Look for certifications or training you could take, especially those offered for free.

You can qualify more for even entry level positions with extra training in your line of work, and many cities or states offer job skills training. Refreshing your resume, and interview and job skills may make your job hunt easier.

8. Treat Yourself

Unemployment can be trying and tiring, so don’t forget to treat yourself occasionally. Take a reasonable amount of time off from your weekly job hunt to recharge and rest up. Letting yourself rest will maximize your productivity during the hours you job search.

Even if you don’t have extra money for entertainment, a walk or visit to the park can do wonders to help you go back and attack your job hunt.

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9. See What You Can Sell

Another good way to bridge the gap between jobs is to sell unused possessions. eBay and Amazon are both secure sites, but traditional garage sales are a fine option too. Sell off a few video games, or some electronics, for some quick and easy cash while you figure out a permanent solution.

10. Take a Course

Much like training and certifications, taking a class can be a good way to keep yourself sharp while unemployed. Especially when you’re between jobs, it can be easy to forget this option, as most courses cost money. Don’t forget the mass of free educational tools online: 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

Keeping your brain sharp can help you stay focused and may even help you learn some new, relevant job skills.

The Bottom Line

While unemployment numbers are still high, there are many things you can do to better yourself and move forward. While new skills to aid your job hung might seem out of reach, there are plenty of free ways to get ahead, online and off.

Additionally, don’t forget that taking time for yourself can do wonders for keeping you productive in your job hunt. While it is a challenge, don’t give up–being unemployed can offer you extra time to better yourself, and possibly grow more qualified to find work.

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Featured photo credit: neONBRAND via unsplash.com

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