Are You Financially Fit?

  For any middle class family in India, money means the simple cycle of earning, paying bills, make a living and spending. But this cycle is given many twist and turns. People are earning, but not always by the right means. People are spending too, but not always on the right things. And in between of it all we blame “money” to be the culprit of every sin. Well, let’s ask ourselves then.  Do we use money or does money drive us? Every household also runs on a budget. Sometimes we step over it, sometimes we are miles away from it. A budget however is the only parameter that gives us   a real picture of our finance. Is finance the amount of money saved in bank? The answer is partly yes and partly no. The reason why it is no, is because while the amount saved makes us feel secured about the future, it also makes us feel insecure because it’s there and still not being used. This is almost like a catch 22 situation. This indecisiveness often leads to worries and stress too. Interestingly just like there is a concept of IQ, where a human’s awareness about various aspects is measured. There is an EQ (Emotional Quotient), where a human’s emotional quotient is measured. How aware is he/she about his/her own emotions. On the same lines, FQ (Financial quotient) too should be a barometer. Financial quotient could be the awareness of how well does one manage his/her own finance. […]

Sabbatical – A Leap Of Faith

Image credit: Freepik “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life.” Strictly not sabbatical, the above words mark the wilderness years of Steve Jobs, period during which he was on a hiatus from Apple. Capitalising on the opportunity, he built his ventures – NeXT and also went onto transform Pixar as a giant in the entertainment Industry. Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, and rebuilt it to be a mammoth that its today. In my opinion, it’s productive to take a leap of faith and go on sabbatical for betterment. When set with adverse situations in life, whether it is health, family or any other reason that necessitates a break, there is no need to buckle down and give up your hard built career. All that’s needed is a whiff of fresh air, stay away from the hustle-bustle and start over. Aside from compelling factors, some utilise sabbatical for rejuvenation – to start afresh with enlightened ideas, improved knowledge and invigorated spirit. Fortunately, we live in an age where it’s possible to take a break and disassociate from work for a few months or even years. Sabbatical serves as a refresher for the mind that’s cluttered with frenetic activity. Few do’s for a sabbatical: Secure your position in the company intact if you plan on returning. Have a healthy discussion with your Manager and […]

Women – Get Back To Work

Image credit: Pixabay That’s it!!!! I want to work again. I want to be back in the industry. I want my career back… One commitment and hundreds of questions arise with in. Will I be able to do it? Can I manage work and home? Who will take care of my kids? Are my kids safe? Am I doing Right/ Wrong?  Will others be able to take care? How should I get back to work? Whom should I approach…? And if you manage to cross all these questions and reach the interviewer then they will have another set of questions ready for us. Ufff……They are much more skeptical than we are at this point. I wish we could prove it to the world-” we have raised ourselves above questions and self doubts. Hence we are here competing with the laterals….” Of course there should be change of attitude from the industry. It’s happening, but slowly. Let’s decipher what we can do from our side to prove the preconceived notion – “wrong”. Let’s accept this: Once you come out of your comfort zone one thing you must accept is – “Rejection”. Whether you get success or not, everyone gets rejection for sure. Now let us tell Aloud!!! Women getting back to work are much more efficient than often perceived!!! Now isn’t that true… Keen to Work: Women who want to get back are keener about compensating their lost years. They are ready to learn, ready to work, ready to set aside […]

Personal Finance Planning

Image Credit: Pixabay American author Hervey Allen once said “The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The youth – are slaves to dreams, the old – servants of regrets. Only the middle aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wit” Well, we need all the wits we can to get through the phase. Unlike the 20’s, a responsibility doesn’t seem real until we hit the 30’s.  Marriage, kid /s, Home loan, Car loan and many other things suddenly feel like a big mountain that we have to cross and cannot have an escape route. Break up of goals: Short-Mid-Long – Financial planning is always goal oriented. This might sound a bit obvious that one must have short (less than five years), middle (7-10 years) and long term goals (20 years plus). But, it’s the most important step. For instance, as a short-term goal, you may need to plan for the kid’s primary school fees, which could be even as high as Rs 80,000 a year, Or more. Mid-terms goals could be a car (may be a second one), a family vacation abroad, kids’ higher education; long-term goals could mean buying a bigger house, and retirement needs. As a rule, 10 % of the post-tax income of those starting their career at around age 25 can be the starting point. Over time, as the income increases, up to 15 % can give you a good head start and a buffer. As you […]

Fun Alternatives For Ladies After A Career Break

Career Break - image of a woman sipping coffee and working on her laptop

Image Credit: Pexels Did you plod your way through a hectic course, take the trouble to secure a good job and toil hard to earn a fat salary only to end up getting married, having children and staying at home totally unemployed? You now have your kids and home as your priority and perhaps you do not want to get back to your career by taking up a full fledged nine to five job like before. But the thought of doing nothing apart from your homely duties is quite discouraging. You have this urge to do something- anything that will showcase your talent, efforts and earn a good amount of money as well. Your formal education might or might not help you here, but this is the time your buried hobbies and passions should surface. Use your skills to earn money- at your own convenience. Here are some ways- If you often receive compliments for your dishes, use your cooking skills to open a blog or a YouTube channel and share your yummy recipes with the world and earn through advertisements. If you are not too tech-savvy or if you have no technical support, you can provide lunch boxes for the office going folk yearning for homemade food. To take matters further, you can even plan on opening your own little eatery if you have the resources.   Are you the kind of person who enthusiastically stays in shape? If yes, you can either be a yoga instructor, a Zumba […]

Bridging the skill gap using online resources

Bridging the skill gap using online resources - image of a smiling girl with a laptop - with caption Useful links for elearning

Image Credit: Pixabay, Freepik Perhaps you have very little time. Or maybe you don’t want to spend too much of your money on the new skill; or on a new course; or a new book. Maybe you just need to find a quick way to get little things done. The following online resource links will doubtlessly help you save time, money and efforts to get them accomplished! Learn programming and other topics related to computer science, totally free of cost. These courses on Python, Java, Linux, C++ etc. are divided according to the difficulty level- beginner, intermediate and advanced. Identify your level, choose a course, enroll and get going: https://medium.freecodecamp.org/440-free-online-programming-computer-science-courses-you-can-start-in-february-e075f920cb5b 2. Here is a website dedicated to Java newbies where you can learn Java and JavaScript through hundreds of training videos and learning material: https://javabrains.io/ 3. If you are a web developer and wish to enhance your skills, then the courses on this website are perfect for you! Ranging from lessons from scratch to the most advanced ones, these online courses are everything you look for as a web developer: https://codeburst.io/the-2018-web-developer-roadmap-826b1b806e8d 4. Here’s where you will find a list of about 600 courses launched by 200 universities. The subjects of the courses include computer science, programming, data science, mathematics, business, medicine, humanities, social science and art: https://qz.com/1120344/200-universities-just-launched-600-free-online-courses-heres-the-full-list/ 5. A list of websites offering online education support where you will find a number of academic lessons and courses: khanacademy.org academicearths.org coursera.com edx.org open2study.com academicjournals.org codeacademy.org youtube.com/education http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ http://ocw.tufts.edu/ http://www.oeconsortium.org/ https://online.nd.edu/what-we-do/ 6. […]

Stress? Let’s Deal With It

Do your best! And ignore the rest to deal with Stress! Image of a lady squeezing a smiley stress ball

“Its not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.”  – Lou Holtz Each and every one of us is very well-acquainted with the phenomenon called ‘Stress’ which either is a perpetual companion or pokes its nose periodically, making sure you go mentally haywire. You could find ways to deal with stress anywhere, right from the internet to the sound advice of a friend. They are all the same- exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep, reduce caffeine intake, giving up alcohol, quitting smoking, healthy diet and the list goes on. Do they work? Of course, they do! But, how about we do something different this time, like trying to change our mindsets a bit so that we bid farewell to this nasty part of our life trying to bite our minds off? The first step to a chilled out and stress-free life is to stop caring what other people think about you. No, this does not mean that you turn up really late to an important meeting and be all relaxed about it when you are reprimanded. It simply means “do your best and ignore the rest”. If you know that you have worked to the best of your capability, the job is well done. People – at the workplace or at home – will almost always find something to criticize, in spite of you putting your heart and soul into the job getting done. If they scoff, let them. If they demean, let them. All you have […]

Maximise Your Productivity To Unleash Your Potential

Image of an hourglass,Caption; Maximise your productivity to unleash your potential.

Image Credit: Freeimages “Ten years from now, do you really think all the time you spent gossiping at the water cooler or sitting in some smoke -filled lunch room or watching television will count for anything ?’’ – Robin Sharma, The Monk who sold his Ferrari. As I read through the words, it set in motion a string of thoughts of the time I spent in Coffee breaks or small talks at the Pantry. Some of us take pride in the fact that we work 12 hours a day, but if it was to be measured against Productivity, will it sum up? Towards the start of my career, I had the flaw of procrastination, especially if the task did not interest me. As a result, I spent much time dreading about it than the time it would have taken to complete. Over a period of time, self-discipline taught me the virtues of Productivity. I started my morning with a to-do list, ranked in order of priority, which set the tone for a fruitful day. I learnt to mix and match, ie doing a task that I like and going onto the other which is less interesting. Also, I learnt to say “No “for multiple Coffee breaks politely, citing deadlines. Since the major part of my day was filled with meetings, I took efforts to comb through the minutest of details that might crop up, thereby avoiding the risk of meetings running behind schedule. In my experience, I have found that […]

Communication made easy… follow these simple tips

Communication made easy... image of two people sitting and having an argument.

Image Courtesy: Life11 The word ‘Communication’ comes from the latin word “commūnicāre, meaning “to share”. And we have enough digital platforms to share our thoughts, opinions and messages. We do not have to express because the virtual world does it for us. Every emoticon is unique and global too. No language barrier there and no translations required. However how effective is virtual communication. Do we understand? Do we get misunderstood? Does the message reach across? Digital platforms and social media are a huge advantage but let’s accept the fact, that with virtual communication people become less expressive. Because there is lesser human connectivity and so it seems more ‘virtual’ than real. As humans we have been blessed with 5 senses…almost 6. We can most certainly use these 5 senses to communicate. And communicate for real. Here are some tips that could be helpful in making real communication.   Intention: If intentions could be heard, words would not be needed. Often people think that people can read their minds. Ohh if that was true. But one has to speak their mind. By the time the thought changes to words and is spoken, the message loses its essence. So intention to speak is important. If one has thought that a communication has to be made, one will find words to speak. Words just need to be expressed not buried.   SMS- mode: what this means is to keep the conversation short and simple. Whether it’s a presentation, board room meeting, lecture or […]

The Joy Of New Beginnings With A Right Job

The Joy of new beginnings - Image of a girl in scenic green background looking at a sign board reading - The best time for new beginnings is now

Image Courtesy: Pixabay   “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”– Lewis Carroll   More often than not, many of us are set with the question “Am I doing the right Job“? “Am I fit for this role“?  “Should I pursue my hobby as a profession in parallel with my work”? After spending a number of years in the same field, it’s common for monotony to set in.  In the starting phase of career, some do compromise their ambition for a higher paying job that’s outside their interests. Owing to factors like personal constraints, work-life balance or monetary benefits, some might look to work for flexible working hours or projects with different challenges. Thankfully, in this day of rapid advancement in technology, the world has open doors for opportunities that were hitherto only dreams. Alternate career can rejuvenate us from the boredom of routine, whether pursued mainstream or in parallel with existing work. It certainly takes courage to change the course and venture into the unknown after spending years in our comfort zone. While it’s always an option to reskill with new talents and embark on a journey in a different field, I believe that pursuing a career in one’s own areas of interest yields better results. If given a second chance in career, it’s fun to do something that sparks your curiosity. Choosing an alternate career, despite its hitches, […]