Quarter 1: How to Get Started

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Another different New Year has come but have your plans changed? For many people, personal life is, more or less, the same old thing, but for those more open-minded, there are new possibilities galore!

You must have noticed a rapid change of trends, particularly in the sphere of remote work. With many economies now striving to attract new business people to quickly cover up the pandemic losses, opportunities are as abundant as it gets!

Remote work, freelancing, digital nomadism… these are only some of the new opportunities, but you can also choose a fine mixture of them all and rely on hybrid work if that suits you better.

No matter your plans, you should shape clear ideas as now is, so to speak, the perfect moment to embrace the change and start living life the way you want to.

Without any doubt, the greatest benefit of the rise of the gig economy is the fact that the once helpless workforce now can choose among an offer so huge that there is a prospect for everyone.

So, what are your plans for Q1?

Here are some ideas, from big leaps to small, forgotten necessities.

Put Your Health First

First things first. Health undoubtedly must come first. If you’re feeling unwell, a stellar salary won’t help you much in the long run, so think about the modern challenges of our hectic times.

Stress and anxiety have become common among people of all ages and so have unhealthy habits. If you’re relying on fast food and unhealthy snacks, start with changing your habits. Put a bowl with fresh fruit on your desk and swap your snack with a banana. Soon enough, you’ll be able to see the difference, both in your body and in your psyche.

Next on, make sure to allocate proper time to your physical and mental health. Take any injury recovery seriously.

If you’re a freelancer or a digital nomad, consider a health savings account for medical emergencies, just in case.

Lastly, sit less, walk more, stretch your muscles regularly, and don’t skip regular breaks! It’s really not that difficult — you only need to get started, and the rest will follow soon.

Make a Point to Be More Sustainable

Whether you’re trying to recycle more or are taking a hard look at your everyday choices, the beginning of the year is an excellent time to look at how your choices are affecting the environment. You’ve probably heard the saying that every little bit helps, and it most certainly does. However, also make some big decisions, when faced with the opportunity. For example, are you thinking about buying a new car? With the federal incentives for EVs, there’s never been a better time to “drive green!”

Decide Exactly How You Will Work: Remote? Hybrid? Freelancer? Digital Nomad?

Everyone seems to be having a difficult time getting started at the first of the year, whether that be needing motivation or knowing how to get organized. It is only understandable, given that the slew of opportunities can make one’s head spin. The key is in focusing on your goals, as it has always been.

First of all, if you’re looking for something new, you should learn how to get a remote job and then consider streamlined tax filing if you’re planning to go one step beyond and become a digital nomad.

Keep in mind, however, that though digital nomadism may be alluring, it is not suitable for people without some savings and a steady client base. Which is to say, start building your portfolio and searching for reliable, recurring clients.

Freelancing (or remote work, for that matter) is not for everyone. Different people have different affinities, which is only to be expected, but the good news is that there are really different multiple work models suitable for literally everyone.

Consider hybrid work models. They basically fall into six vague categories, as follows:

·        Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space

·        Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers

·        Partially remote work, large office space –  the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office

·        Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them

·        Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities and countries

·        Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)

Among all these possibilities, surely you’ll find at least one suitable to your taste?

Experimenting is also fine. Try a bit of this and that, pick the best mixture, then build from there.

Learn More Than You Did the Previous Year

For people working in remote teams, it goes without saying that cross-cultural training is a must. With more and more people turning to remote work, it is only to be expected that, sooner or later, you’ll be working with people from different corners of the world, all of which have their own cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Learn to work smoothly with all of them!

In fact, establishing a learning and development routine is crucial. With the whole world being competitors, it is only natural to keep learning and better opportunities will keep appearing. Start with free online courses, as they cost no money and can be accessed at your convenience. So, it would be a pity not to grab the opportunity.

Focus on More Convenient Financial Management

Managing finances is always a rather burning question for reasons we believe don’t need to be elaborated further. Consider mobile accounts, especially if you’re a freelancer or a digital nomad.

Now, this topic can be rather bothersome as there are many opportunities available, but make sure to compare offers and stay on top of developments as your future finances will depend on it. Don’t fall for unreasonable fees – there are so many alternatives out there. Take your time comparing offers and pick the best one(s).

Get More Organized Than EVER Before

Last but not least, stay organized. Admittedly, it’s easier said than done for many, but here’s a hint: employ operational excellence. These ideas can apply to any career, whether you are starting an online course or moving up the ladder of a corporation. It’s about a lot more than productivity.

Operational excellence is “a philosophy of the workplace where problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership results in the continuous improvement in an organization. The process involves focusing on the customers’ needs, keeping the employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace,” according to Business Dictionary.

Finally, stick to your resolutions. Eat good food, take regular breaks, pick your gigs, and enjoy life. No amount of money will help you if you’re unhappy, so keep looking for the best work model! Opportunities are just around the corner! Grab them!

Top Tips to Round Out the End of the Year

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It’s that time of the year again — the time to consider New Year resolutions. More or less, everyone has the same aims: lead a better lifestyle, and get your job and finances in order. These seem to be constant, and yet the pandemic is still ongoing, and we’re still waiting for the day after.

Well, one good thing is that we have gotten used to remote work and online communication, so at least the initial complaints have been dealt with. Still, there are many people who can’t wait to get back to the pre-pandemic social gatherings, even if they are business meetings.

Finally, the looming ecological disaster seems to have finally taken root in people’s minds’ eye so, perhaps, some green resolutions should be considered as well.

Here are some New Year resolution proposals that can lead to positive outcomes for 2022.

Take Care of Your Health

First and foremost, health is paramount.

What does that have to do with year-end resolutions?

Well, consider this: if you’re sitting too much, you should consider changing your ways. The sedentary lifestyle is the new global health issue and has replaced its predecessor — smoking.

With remote work in full swing, this problem has become even bigger, and it should be promptly addressed because, let’s face it — your job isn’t going anywhere.

Back pain is the first thing that comes to mind, but did you know that sitting for too long can cause issues with injury recovery and can cause night cramps?

Leaving the rest to your imagination, we’re about to propose a solution, which, in order to be efficient, needs to be permanent.

It’s no rocket science, really. You need to change your habits, which are the chief culprit of all kinds of other disasters as well.

Remember to start small: changing all of your bad habits overnight is likely to shock your system rather than help it, so start with small breaks in between tasks. Next on, put a bowl of fresh fruit on your desk and remember it the next time you need a snack.

Over time, you’ll get used to eating fresh fruit instead of chips and, believe us, once you do, you’ll find it incredulous that you were used to eating unhealthy food for so long in the past.

Finally, injuries tend to happen more easily when you’re not exercising regularly, which doesn’t mean you need to turn to a strenuous everyday workout. Rather, it means that you should walk more, stretch your muscles during the breaks, and avoid dangerous jobs.

Finally, it’s not enough to just have healthy breaks — you’ll need to reconsider your regular diet as well. Everyone enjoys junk food from time to time, and as long as it’s from time to time, there’s no issue with that. However, if you eat unhealthily every day, it is certain to wear you down sooner or later.

Eat proper meals that include all nutrients, that is to say, beans, nuts, fish, lean meat or plant-based proteins, fresh fruit, vegetables (fresh or cooked) and low-fat dairy products. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional dessert, but don’t get used to eating too many sweets, and especially not every day. Enjoy some fruit instead — it will provide you with the sugar you need.

Make Your Workspace More Pleasing

After this first step, turn to your office space (or your home office, whichever applies). Do you enjoy spending hours on end there? Are your walls freshly painted? Do you have sufficient light? Is it clean?

Start with addressing these small things if the answer to any of these questions is “no,” and then move to fine details.

Bring some plants in: ZZ plants, bamboos, devil’s ivy, snake plants, succulents, cacti, peace lily and jade plants make for perfect office plants as they can handle occasional forgetful workers. Put a nice table lamp on the desk and maybe add a photo of your family or pet.

These small things added up will make your office considerably more pleasant to dwell in, which is certain to make you feel mentally better.

e More Pleasing

Are you familiar with the common benefits of eLearning? Nowadays,  you can earn a certificate or accreditation for a specific skill from the comfort of your own home, or even earn a degree in the same way.

Isn’t it convenient?

The chief advantage of online courses lies in the fact that you can pick your time to study, as opposed to fixed schedules typical for traditional education.

Various courses are available for people trying to get a remote job or become digital nomads, so take your time looking up the offer. Some courses are free, but certification usually costs money. Compare offers and benefits when deciding on the next best course.

Become a Better Communicator

The importance of communication has been discussed widely, pretty much in all contexts, and never so fiercely as during the ongoing pandemic. Suddenly, even the shut-ins have found it difficult to not attend any social gatherings, so there’s a good lesson: become a better communicator.

Team communication skills, in particular, are crucial when working remotely, as it can be difficult to keep everyone on track with constant developments. Make certain to learn the ropes of popular online communication tools, especially if you’re part of an international team.

The notion is important on multiple levels, as misunderstandings common to lack of communication are the number one cause of stress for working people. There can hardly be anything worse, unless you’re planning to gig hop all the time and, even then, you’ll have to deal with the clients.

Bottom line, in addition to getting to know the communication tools, you should also work on your soft skills.

Place an Emphasis on Managing Your Finances

Now, we come to more complex resolutions. Finances seem to be the top issue for most people — and especially during uncertain times like these. The latest pandemic has had many people considering a health savings account for medical emergencies.

Suddenly, health insurance policies are not sufficient to cover unforeseen situations, and mobile accounts are in the spotlight instead. There’s a good reason why they are: they are both secure and convenient, especially for digital nomads.

It may be a good idea to consider this option for the future, as things are changing rapidly.

Find Out More About Clean Teach

Lastly, we come to the most important issue — ecology. Small benefits will any of us reap once there’s no clean air and water, so some contributions are in place.

Again, start small, by changing your bad habits. Turn off the lights when leaving the room and turn off the computer when you’re not using it (sleep mode is fine, too).

Think sustainability: turn to recycled paper and refill used cartridges. Buy eco-friendly office supplies. Replace disposable mugs with glass mugs. Use a linen towel instead of paper towel. It’s not that difficult, right?

Big steps come over time. For example, the next time you consider buying a new car, consider an EV. Maintenance costs for an EV are, after all,  40% lower than maintenance costs for a gas-powered vehicle of a similar size. The same applies to fuel costs — EV saves you between $3,000 and $10,500 in the long run.

There’s more! There are federal incentives for EV chargers that offer a credit between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the battery capacity ($2,500 for a 5 kWh battery and an additional $417 for every kWh in excess of 5). Do some calculations and you’ll see all of these actually contribute to huge savings — on top of making your car more eco-friendly.

Look Forward to a Merry New 2022

The upcoming year is certain to bring some drastic changes to everyone’s life due to the complex geostrategic situation, global warming and the pandemic. The future is changing its pace quickly, and it is making many people anxious.

However, what we can do is stick to our resolutions and adjust the plans as needed. The resolutions discussed here are constant — leading a better lifestyle isn’t going to turn out to be a bad decision no matter what others do, so stick to your plan and enjoy the ride. The future is here!

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