Making the Most of Sudden Unemployment

unemploymentSomeone close to me was recently fired from her job. In today’s volatile global economy it can happen to anyone. I know people being laid off, fired, or counseled out of their positions. It’s a horrible reality and definitely grounds me when I become frustrated with the daily grind of my job. While I’ve never had to deal with sudden unemployment, I came up with some ideas to help my friend overcome this tough period. In case anyone else is facing this situation, here are the tips:

1. Volunteer: With this new found free time, get out of the house and do something that gives back to others or the community. It’s good karma, gives you something to put on your resume, and can be a great place to network and meet people who may have job leads.

studying_at_library2. Hit the books: Most of us don’t have the time while working to go back to school and learn something either for our own personal benefit or something that can help us in our career. So take advantage of this time—whether it’s gardening 101 or computer skills, there are either affordable or free options available to you. Local community centers and libraries are one place to look for these classes/courses, the Internet is another. Online, your choices are endless and usually free. There’s www.coursera.orgwww.udacity.com, and www.edX.org, as well as www.class-central.com and www.coursebuffet.com, which both compile and review the majority of free online courses available. There is also www.lynda.com, a site that can help you learn anything from how to blog to how to update your resume. Unlike the other sites, this one is not free, (although on www.youtube.com there are plenty of free clips from this company) but it is well worth the fee.

3. Be appreciative and have a positive attitude. There’s something called the law of attraction which basically says that your attitude and mindset are what attract positivity or negativity. So take some time to be grateful for what you do have in your life and try to have the best attitude going forward so that you can attract greatness and abundance.

4. Do odd jobs and freelance work. You can earn a few bucks and develop your talent through website forums seeking people to take care of quick jobs, such as www.craigslist.orgwww.elance.comwww.behance.netwww.fiverr.com, and www.99designs.com.

unemployment exercise5. Exercise. I know so many people who turn to comfort food during tough times (I’m one of them). Getting active, however, can improve your mood significantly, while helping you keep in shape. For those who have been too busy with work to reach their athletic aspirations, now could be a perfect time to get active. While you may not have a job at the moment, you do have the chance (and free time) to have robust health, which is just as important.

6. Relax and enjoy. As worker bees we often lack the time to enjoy the things we love to do. Whether it’s writing to loved ones, catching up on your favorite TV program, visiting friends, traveling, reading, or volunteering, take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy your free time.

With that said, I wish everyone success in their careers and for those job hunting, I hope you land your dream job soon!

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Getting that Navigation Menu Right, Among Other Things…

I don’t think there is any one factor that is quintessential to web design or one aspect that has much more importance than another. In fact, I think each individual aspect, combined together to make a whole webpage, demonstrates just how important each one is. If you don’t have the colors right or the proportions correct or the appropriate content, then the whole website will be tarnished and that of the user’s experience, even if everything else is perfect.

Some people may believe menus are one of the most important factors in web design, and I agree to some extent. It’s like a highway without any signs or a mall without any floor plan or information booth. Without a navigation menu people will undoubtedly get lost. However, I feel that even if there is a menu in place, it doesn’t make it a successful web design. Take for example, University of Florida’s e-learning in Sakai website.

This e-learning website features a left hand vertical navigation menu, which is great, but does that automatically make it a strong website? Franklly, UF’s Sakai website is disorganized and confusing despite its efforts to incorporate a navigation menu. Its menu tabs “Worksite Setup”, “Membership”, and “Site Info” mean nothing to me nor do they relate to my classes. This demonstrates that navigation menus are a great idea in theory but need to be carried out 100 percent to be effective. And by that I mean, clearly labeled tabs, tabs that indicate that there are sub-tabs within, and a hierarchy of some sort.

For my personal website I have included a small navigation menu that acts as a header. It includes the standard tabs such as “About me”, “Resume”, “Portfolio”, “Blog”, and “Contact me” just to make sure that visitors to my page can easily access what they came to find. But as I’ve stated above—the navigation menu I’m hoping to build can only be 100 percent successful if the rest of the web design is planned and carried out thoughtfully with the users’ experience kept in mind at all times.