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Achieving a Better Family and Work Balance Makes for Better Job Performance Are you constantly working after hours and weekends at the office? Are beginning to forget what your family even looks like? Many people find themselves in this predicament. Work seems to get more and more demanding with every passing day, and to stay on top of your game at work, you feel like you need to put in long hours. The flipside to this is that of course when you are at the office, you are away from home – away from family dinners, play time and your kids’ sporting events or school plays. You may feel like your hands are tied – that no matter how much you want to be more involved with your family life, you have to keep working as hard as ever to make sure your family is provided for in the long run. The truth is, however, that you may be doing yourself a disservice on both fronts. Studies have shown time and again that well rested workers with well balanced lives are more productive in the time they do spend working. In the end, the best way to be a stand out worker at the office is to be fully involved and present in your family live. But wait, you say, “I’m working practically around the clock now, and everything still isn’t getting done.” However, maybe the problem isn’t that you aren’t working hard enough. Maybe the problem instead is that you aren’t working smart enough. Think about the way you spend you working day. Are you taking on more responsibility than you need to, instead of delegating tasks to others? Are you spending a lot of time chatting in the break room when you run for a cup of coffee? Are you procrastinating so that big projects require you to work all-nighters instead of spreading out the work? Keep a journal of all of your activities at work for a few days. You might be surprised to see how you are really spending your time and in what areas you could make improvements. Simply staying on task and delegating effectively could get you home in time for dinner. When you have done everything you can to make your work habits as productive as possible, it is time to turn to other ways to balance your work life and your family life. Rule number one is the hardest one for most people to follow you – draw clear lines of distinction between work time and family time. Family time isn’t really family time if you are constantly on your cell phone making and receiving work calls or if you are on your laptop for the entire family vacation. When you’re working – work. When you’re with your family – concentrate on them. The time you spend actually taking a breather from work will recharge your batteries and make you a better worker when work time rolls around again. Next, you have to evaluate your priorities. Maybe working around the clock will help you make partner faster, but at what cost? Decide if seeing your daughter’s soccer game every week is more important to you than moving up the corporate ladder quickly, and make adjustments in your schedule appropriately. There is no right or wrong answer, but deciding where you priorities lie will make scheduling easier for you. With your priorities in mind, see what work options are available to you to help you meet them. If you want more time with the kids, see if your office offers flex time or part time hours to help you meet your family commitments. Last but not least, don’t feel guilty about taking time with your family. Not only is this time important to your family, you can rest assured that the time out from the office stress will make you more productive when you return to work.

Tackling those Second and Third Interviews to Land that Job If you make it to a second or third interview, you are a serious candidate for the job. The key now is to narrow down the candidates. This moment is when you will determine if you get called with a job offer or receive a notice of rejection in the mail. Arm yourself with the proper tools and make an even bigger splash on the second and third interviews than you did at the first one. The first thing to remember when you are going into a second or third interview is what you said in the first interview. The interviewer will have notes from the first interview so you need to be ready to follow up on things you said initially. This is why it is important to be honest and realistic in the first interview. If you work hard to impress the interviewer and end up lying, you may not be able to recall they lies you told in the first interview. Eliminate this from being the case by telling the truth the first time around. Be armed with questions about the position and the company in generally. Search through information online about the company and get a feel for day-to-day operations. Type in the name of the company in Wikipedia and see what comes up. Many corporations are listed in this massive Internet encyclopedia and information about the company can be found there. Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with. If you are interviewing with the same person the second or third time around, ask about their experience with the company. Questions like, “What is a typical day for you on the job?” or “How long have you been employed with the company?” can help to build a relationship with the interviewer. It also signals that you are comfortable with the interviewer. Not to mention, who does not like to talk about themselves? This is a great way to keep the interview moving on a positive note. Have plenty of questions about the position. Show that you have researched the job and are very confident that you are going to get it. The more inquiries you have about the position the more serious and interested you will seem. By the second or third interview, you will probably meet a number of different people. Shake hands firmly and look them in the eye when talking to them. If you are given a tour of the facilities, ask questions. Do not just let your tour guide point out areas without you taking an interest in them. Although it may seem like second and third interviews should be easier, do not let your guard down. Stay on your toes and be even more prepared than you were for the first interview. As the interview process moves on you will probably be meeting with the person that will be your direct boss or the director. Interviews with these figures may be much more difficult than the first interview which was probably with a human resource person. Be aware of this fact and have answers for those tough questions like, “What makes you the right candidate for this job?” Also be prepared for hypothetic situations that may take some spur of the moment problem solving. No matter what number interview you are on, there are some standard rules to follow. Take copies of your resume to your second and third interviews. Even though the interviewer may have a copy of your resume, you want to be armed with extras just in case there are other people in the department that would like copies. If you meet with different managers they may all ask for copies of your resume. Yes, they have copies, but they want to see if you are prepared.

Better Employees Avoid these Top Five Office Blunders Being a good employee can go a long way when it comes to the workplace and job advancement. When you are working in an office there are certain unspoken rules that you will want to follow. One of the biggest mistakes that one can make when they are working in an office is having romantic relationships with co-workers or their boss. This completely colors the work situation and can cause major problems in the workplace. Although office romances are common, they typically bring about some friction between the couple or the couple and others. The remedy for office romance issues is that usually one or both members of the romance leave the job. Being dishonest is an office blunder that can land you in the unemployment office. Stealing from your job, lying about reports being done and trying to cause conflict by lying to one co-worker about another are all very silly mistakes that employees make. It is not acceptable to borrow money from the float, even if you are intending to pay it back. Pretending like you have completed your work when it is only half done is not wise. Gossiping and stirring up rumors is also not a good idea. All of these things can make you the bosses’ number one most wanted to fire employee. Not following the dress code is another easy to remedy problem that many employees make. The reason why this is such a big deal is because it says that you do not care about your position enough to wear the right clothing. It also can land your boss in hot water if the director or head supervisor comes into the department. Not only will you be reprimanded for not having on proper uniform, your boss will be singled out for not making you comply with uniform standards. The too can make you very unpopular with the boss. Saying incredibly inappropriate things is also a blunder that can easily be avoided. Jokes and comments about the way that people look in their clothing can border on the line of harassment. In fact, just about anything can be proven to be harassment by a good lawyer. That is why it is best to keep jokes and opinions about others to you and you only. You could lose your job and find yourself in a lawsuit otherwise. The number one blunder than employees make on the job is having a bad attitude. People that are very negative bring down a crowd, not just themselves. That means that when the time comes to make cuts, the bad attitude person is the likely candidate. Removing a negative person from the workplace can bring up the morale of everyone else. Even very effective employees with bad attitude are often terminated simply because they bring down the mood and productivity of others. Be thankful that you have a job and keep a positive frame of mind. If you are not happy with your job, search for another one. In addition to these five blunders that better employees avoid, there are a few obvious ones. Being tardy is perhaps one of the most prevalent and easy to prevent blunders employees make. Being tardy on a regular basis is not acceptable. There is no reason to continuously be tardy for work. If you are getting stuck in traffic, leave earlier or take a different route. Being a good employee can take you a long way at work and in your personal life. It feels good to know that you are an effective person be it at work or elsewhere. Be kind to co-workers and go through your days with a positive mindset. With these tools in place you will be able to avoid blunders more effectively.

Great Sources for Free Games on the Internet The Internet is a great source for games, especially of course computer games. Computer games are the biggest hit since they are invented and every year thousands of PC games flood the market. Some of the computer games actually are so expensive that many parents cannot afford them for their children and are looking for alternatives that their children can play. There are actually a vast number of games that are available for free through the Internet and in some cases even as a CD. Freeware, shareware, trial products and even full version of prototypes are available on the Internet. Many pages on the Internet actually specialize in offering freeware or shareware programs. Hobbyist programmers usually write shareware and freeware programs and other programmers, who want to give something back to the community. These programs are not always working one hundred percent and most often there is also no real support for all the programs, but they are free. Freeware in general is a free program that has a copyright. The program is made available free for use, but it cannot be changed or used for development by other developers. Shareware programs are often only free for certain periods of time. After that period the user has to pay for using the software. Shareware programs are a marketing method of big computer firms. It is the try before you buy strategy that is used here. Some companies will offer the full version of the program for 30 days for trial, while others offer a version of the program with reduced functions to give the user a taste and to lure the user to buy the product if he wants to use the rest of the functions. Even thougfh both freeware and shareware are often callled free software, free software is something completely different. Free osftware are programs that are available for free, but generally are also avialble for others to study the code, change and modify or even use the code as a base for their development. In any way, these three major types of free game software can be found on the Internet along with such things as online games. Some of the games can be plauyed online. Evne though the userm ight not own the software, the games can be played for free anytime. The only thing that most of those free onlin game pages require is to sign up to their page for free. For younger hcildren, many of the educational sites offer free preschool and early childhood computer games, that teach children, the shapes, colors, vocabulary, counting and much more. With parental sucpervision such activities are safe for children and can enhance the learning process. Other pages offer free games for older chidlren and adults. While many parents do not constantly check on their chidlren while they are on the itnernet, it is important to keep up to date on their youngsters Internet activites. Many pages are completely safe, but sometimes advertisement to found the free software can be dangerous for young, innocent eyes. For adults, there are even more choices in free games. There are whole communities of gamers, that are connected throughout the world for vieosgaming sessions. Anything form cardgames to wargames can be played for free in some of those communities. All one needs might be a free membership sign up to the web page or the community. All of these sources for games can be found easily by typing the words freeware, shareware, online games into any of the major search engines. But as always, do it with cuation, conisdering the many viruses and spyware programs that aare out there in cyberspace.