Professionalism on the Job Can Pay Off Big

Professionalism on the job is often thought of as something mostly practiced in a corporate environment. However, that view shortchanges the men and women who go above and beyond every day in their workplace to treat both fellow employees and the public with respect.

Being pleasant, helpful, and polite may sound old-fashioned in a business world that can be cutthroat at times. However, these basic attributes have been around for ages for a very good reason: a stable and respectful workplace is a productive and effective one.

Mutual Respect

Your parents probably told you as a child to “treat others the way you want them to treat you.” That still applies in adulthood. Even if you are having a particularly bad day, it is important not to take out your frustrations on co-workers. If you feel that a fellow employee is responsible for the way you are feeling, then take it up with your supervisor; don’t berate or belittle that person in front of anyone else. Be helpful, efficient, and conscientious to the best of your abilities at all times.

Bullying Doesn’t Work

Some companies believe that a high-pressure environment is the best way to motivate employees, but in the long wrong, studies show that this is not true. Whatever results this approach achieves tend to be short-lived and can come at the expense of employee retention. Who wants to work in an environment that is combative on a daily basis?

Basic Courtesy is Easy but Can Pay Off Big

Knowing that both your supervisor and co-workers are on your side and respect you can be a great motivator. Many workplaces push for a team atmosphere using various team-building techniques. However, in many cases, such alliances can evolve naturally via mutual trust and confidence. Clients and other visitors to the business will pick up on this vibe and the message that this is a stable and harmonious workplace.

Expand Your Networking Ability

How did you get your last job? If you got it by answering a want ad, consider yourself lucky. This old school method of job search is popular in classic movies, but has little application to life in this day and age. Any want ad almost certainly has a multitude of people vying for that position, so you had better really stand out from the pack.

Sometimes people luck out because they heard there was an opening at a company, and just happened to catch the boss when they were in. They made a good impression and walked away with a job offer. However, it’s not wise to rely on luck, and networking is a proven way to learn about the hidden job market and potential positions you would otherwise not know about.

Networking opens doors, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Shy people are often intimidated by this method. Here are some suggestions that can make networking a bit easier

Start with Small Steps

Try speaking to some people at an event and see how comfortable you feel. It is not even necessary to talk about job search; just make general conversation.

Becoming  more experienced and confident at this sort of thing can lead naturally to you feeling better about networking.

Pick Comfortable Spots

Are there any places in your life where you feel naturally at ease, and comfortable striking up a conversation? These are excellent spots to try out your networking. You can always start with people you already know and then branch out.

Try Less Comfortable Spots

Once you feel more confident, try speaking to strangers in less familiar places. This can be at a networking event or even just a place that is new to you. Start with one or two people each time, analyze how you did, and then gradually increase.

Like most everything in life, networking gets easier the more often you do it. Even if you are not currently looking for work, try expanding your horizons now so that you will be comfortable networking when it’s time for a career change.

Shed Your Shyness Once and For All

Do you consider yourself to be a shy person? Do you find it difficult to meet new people or function well in groups? Some people are naturally outgoing types, while others are a bit more reticent, more likely to keep to themselves, or have a small circle of friends. Both types are very common and completely normal, but there is a certain stigma associated with being shy. Some feel that shyness is a negative trait that can hinder one’s success in both regular and working life, though there is really little proof that this is true.

However, if you consider yourself to be shy and would like to change that, here are some initial steps to take. It won’t happen overnight, but you will gradually find it easier and easier to break out of your shell and become the person you desire.

Stretch Your Boundaries

Are there certain social situations that make you especially uncomfortable? One of the best ways to change that is through exposure. Pick an occasion that is of little importance and one that you can freely leave whenever you like. See how well you do interacting with the people there. Where you able to start and/or contribute to conversations? Did you leave after a few minutes or did you stay a good while? Do this more and more often. Chances are, you will find yourself staying longer and longer.

Expect a Few Failures

As a shy individual, you might be surprised to hear that outgoing people don’t always do well in social situations either. With that in mind, expect that you will have some awkward, and possibly even unpleasant moments, while you are stretching those boundaries. Take them in stride and remember that it really does happen to everybody.

Forgive Yourself

Shy people tend to be more sensitive and that means they are also harder on themselves after making a mistake. Don’t be—this is a learning process and a significant one because you are changing the way you naturally are. The bad experiences may seem upsetting, but you will learn from those, too, so that makes them valuable.

Ways to Stay Awake Behind the Wheel

Driving typically requires a good amount of attention and effort. In fact, if that is not the case, you are probably not doing it properly. Depending on the road conditions and the length of the trip, it can also be pretty exhausting. You have no doubt heard about being people falling asleep behind the wheel and becoming involved in horrific accidents.

Whether you are a professional truck driver or simply someone commuting to and from work, it is imperative that you never nod off while driving. Ideally, you should always try to leave enough time that you don’t have to make a long drive, but if that is not possible, here are some suggestions that can help assure you don’t lose consciousness while on the road:

Be Well Rested

If you know you have a long drive coming up, make sure that you have a good sleep beforehand. Even a nap for an hour or two is better than nothing. Alter your schedule to make some sack time possible.

Take Breaks

Unless you are in the middle of nowhere and don’t feel safe getting out of your car, stop periodically and walk around. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but try to take a break for at least a few minutes. Better to be a bit late than to never arrive.

Roll Down Your Windows

Let some cool air hit you in the face.

Audio Distractions

Listening to loud music helps a lot of people stay alert. Others use podcasts or audiobooks because the content forces them to concentrate.

Have a Drink

No, not alcohol. Many people reach for caffeine to avoid sleep and that can work. However, it also can dehydrate you. Your body will work better if you drink a lot of water during the trip. That might mean pulling over more, but that trip to the restroom will also help keep you going.

Eat a Proper Meal Beforehand

One of the reasons people conk out is because they run out of energy. That can be the result of not eating properly. Sugary and fatty foods may provide a boost, but not a lasting one and you inevitably come crashing down. Eat a proper balanced meal before you leave. However, don’t eat so much that it makes you feel sleepy.

Quality Equipment is Not a Frill, It’s a Necessity

No matter what your trade, the equipment you use in the process of doing business is of great importance. This is especially true for all medical professionals, including dentists. While teeth are durable, they are not indestructible. Clients come in with cavities and various forms of wear expecting you to help them fix the issue(s). Low quality equipment can not only fail to perform that basic mission, it can even cause damage to their teeth and gums if not designed to meet modern standards of design and sturdiness.

Dental equipment is definitely not an area where one should compromise on quality. Sure, you can choose a cheaper type of carpet or maybe wait a year before you repaint the office. However, you simply cannot cheap out on things that are vital to the central mission of your practice.

It can be very tempting to choose second, or even third, best quality in the wake of the low-priced equipment flooding in from China these past few years. Short term savings can seem very attractive, especially if you are just starting to establish your practice in a new area. However, the money you save upfront from such purchases will be nowhere near the amount that you will lose in business when you fail to perform basic duties for your clients. With the internet and social media, bad reviews and bad word of mouth can kill a business in a record time.

Also, from a professional standpoint, you owe it to your clients to do the best job possible for them. That means not only having the right training, but also the right tools for the job. Dental instruments from Sable provide the sort of quality and dependable longevity that will more than justify the investment and ensure that you have satisfied clients for years to come.

Ways You Can Prevent Compassion Fatigue

The majority of us are patient, giving, and compassionate people who are eager to help when need be. However, quite unintentionally, that generosity can sometimes take a terrible toll upon us. While compassion fatigue is a threat faced by those in industries that care for people or animals, it can also be a real danger for anyone who acts as a caregiver.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid compassion fatigue:


As a caregiver, it is all too easy to stop doing things for yourself because you think that you just don’t have time. However, you have to make that time to preserve your own physical and mental health, thus allowing you to continue providing proper care.

Emotional Boundaries

It can be difficult to be compassionate and caring without getting emotionally involved in someone else’s problems. However, that boundary is very much necessary to preserve your own well-being.

Positive Coping Strategies

When you are down or distressed, it can be very easy to turn to drugs or alcohol to remedy the situation. However, this band-aid approach is not a solution and the issue will continue to fester and grow. Learn healthy ways to alleviate your stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, a hot bath, etc. Seeing a therapist can also help you to learn more about coping strategies and what you should and should not do.

Maintain Outside Friendships and Interests

It is very important to have healthy distractions in your life. These should be things that do not involve any aspects of caregiving and should not even remind you of it. Develop and cultivate hobbies that you do on a regular basis. Also, seek out friendships that will provide diversion and fun that can help take your mind off of the tougher aspects of life right now.

How Often Do You Have a Meaningful Conversation?

Technological advances can bring about some strange occurrences, including some that would seem to have no basis in logic. In the case of computers and smartphones, it has never been easier (or cheaper) to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, but the amount of meaningful conversation people engage in seems to have dropped in recent years.

Something to definitely decline has been our attention span. There is so much fighting for our attention, from the internet to email to our phones, people seem to live in bubbles. Yes, we talk to co-workers, servers in restaurants, people helping us in stores, and members of our immediate family, but when was the last time you had a prolonged, intimate conversation with someone where secrets were shared and truths realized?

One of the goals of technology is to make life easier and yet, with all of these innovations, we seem to have less spare time than ever because there are so many things demanding our attention. Many of us spend entire workdays staring at screens and then spend most of our spare time doing the same thing. Conversation has been reduced to a bizarre form of shorthand in many instances, like instant messaging with its abbreviated spellings and emojis. It is not only that we don’t seem to have time anymore for a meaningful conversation, it’s almost like many of us no longer even remember how to do it.

So, how do we change this? First of all, set limits on your device use. Make plans to do things with other people who are observing the same “no phone use” rule and keep them. Think about all of the good things that come from such interactions and build upon them, increasing your social network. Then turn other people on to the same lifestyle change.

Is Your Child or Teen Obese?

There is growing concern around the world about obesity. Being overweight is bad for your body in a number of ways, including negatively impacting your blood pressure and heart function, as well as leading to diseases like diabetes.

While weight problems are occurring across all age groups, there is particular concern regarding children. Diabetes used to be a disease that affected people in middle age, but now some children are getting Type II diabetes. It is a true shame that anyone should have to deal with the scourge of diabetes, but to have it at such a young age is truly tragic.

CTV News reported today that the childhood obesity rate is ten times what it was in 1975. If that were not disturbing enough, should the trend continue upwards at this rate, it will not be that many years before there are more obese children than those at their proper weight.

There are a number of factors that can lead to childhood obesity. In decades past, the finger was usually pointed at television for making children sedentary. Now, of course, there are a multitude more entertainment options, including computers, videogames, and smart phones. The result is more and more children spending less time playing sports and exercising in favour of sitting in front of a screen and not working off those extra calories.

Experts have wrestled with what the right answer is. If it is such a challenge to get children more interested in physical activity, then it would seem that the only answer is to strictly police their diet. That means a proper and nutritious menu of food, with little or no junk and excess sugar. As anyone who is trying to lose weight will tell you, it takes tremendous willpower, so it is tough to imagine that most children will be able to adhere to such a plan, sadly.

The Changing Retail Landscape

By Mike Kalasnik from Fort Mill, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Even if you have not been paying close attention to the news, we are sure that you have noticed the retail landscape is changing. Gone are the days when people did the majority of their shopping at brick-and-mortar outlets, while saving online shopping for either emergencies or special occasions. If anything, things are the opposite of what they used to be. When Amazon first appeared, it was primarily a book retailer. Now they sell everything you can think of and some people take advantage of that fact several times a week. The convenience is difficult to argue and the price is often lower than what you commonly see in a regular store, due to their business model.

This has resulted in a distinct change of habits when it comes to shopping for many people. Some people only go to brick-and-mortar stores now in order to try products out. Once they are satisfied that the item is what they want, they then buy it online at a lower price. As you can imagine, that has drastically cut into the bottom line of many retailers that rely on the majority of their sales from physical locations.

The number of retailer bankruptcy in 2017 has been staggering, including such major chains as Sears and Toys “R” Us. As difficult as it is to imagine that retail landscape without such prominent players, this is increasingly becoming the norm as more and more people do their shopping from home. It is likely to increase in the future as so many young people are increasingly used to online shopping, so they will be very difficult to lure into a physical store going forward.

“Adapt or die”seems like a blunt way to put it, but it really is the case. Expect more retail giants to fold their tent and leave town before the decade is out.

Tips That Can Help You Live With Anxiety

Do you find yourself feeling anxious? Frankly, we would be very surprised to hear someone claim that they never experience anxiety. It is a very normal part of living, but also something that most people get over pretty quickly or only experience on occasion. Anxiety becomes a genuine problem when you experience it on a regular basis and it has a negative impact on your quality of life and/or ability to work.

Here are some tips that can help you to successfully live with anxiety:

Seek professional help

If you feel that anxiety is creating substantial problems for you, it never hurts to get a professional opinion. Anxiety is a very common problem, so you should not feel bad about seeing a therapist for it. One advantage that comes with this being such an everyday issue is that the therapist will have many ideas on how to tackle the problem. The two of you will work together and come up with the treatment plan that will make anxiety less of a problem for you.

Employ distractions

If you feel anxiety coming on, try doing something that will occupy your mind so that anxiety will be shuffled off into the background of your mind. Music, movies, reading, socializing…these are just a few things you can employ.


Study after study reveals that the average North American does not get enough exercise. As it turns out, exercise can benefit not only your body, but also your mind. Exercising produces “feel-good” endorphins, which are brain chemicals that improve mood. These can help you to relax, and, in doing so, reduce anxiety.

Take deep breaths

It sounds simplistic, but taking deep breaths can really help to slow down your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. This is also something that you can do quite easily and anywhere.