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The Blog

Five Key Attributes For Hiring: What Business People Should Consider In Employees

What qualities should you look for in a potential candidate? Should they have amassed geek-level knowledge in their field? What about the qualities of being morally resilient and empathetic? Do you really need people with leadership skills, or candidates that can be proactive and tech-savvy?

The truth is, every business requires a specific set of attributes they are looking for in a candidate. We’ve narrowed it down to the five key attributes that all candidates ideally should exhibit, no matter the business or field they’re in.


This seem like a generalized attribute, but it’s an important one to look for in candidates. People who are aware of their limitations, weaknesses, and strengths are more flexible and eager to improve upon them.

If a candidate cannot stand up and own up to their mistakes, how can you expect them to correct a mistake, and learn to avoid it in the future?

People with increased self-knowledge are often aspiring, honest individuals that don’t seek to cover up their mistakes. Instead, they acknowledge them and make an effort to correct them. This is the kind of individual you want  to be part of your business.

A disposition and ability to learn

Always opt for candidates with a disposition and ability to learn. People who feel they know everything already are less likely to want to sit down and devote time to learning more. Their know-it-all attitude impedes future self-development and they won’t be adding any value should you integrate them in your team.

Those with a learning ability and eagerness for the process, however, are full of potential human resources. They are willing to devour new knowledge and skills because they strive for excellence.

Emotional intelligence and humility

It’s okay to be ambitious and assertive. But if these attributes are an employee’s only qualities, then that’s not enough. In fact, it can be a negative. Businesses need to look for people who can exhibit emotional intelligence in the form of humility, no matter their personal or professional aspirations.

Those people who are always after credit, rewards, and applause will do anything to keep themselves in the spotlight. They will always overshadow the efforts of others because of their unquenchable thirst for recognition.  Pursuing success is commendable. Humility, however, balances things. It reminds people when the time is right to step down, to interfere, or to give others an opportunity to try.

It takes emotional aptitude to know when to take a step back and when to claim glory. It takes courage and self-confidence to admit to your own mistakes. These are the attributes that a progress-focused company should want its employees to exhibit.


Yes, you want the most promising perfectionists to be part of your business, but the problem with people who never fail is that their learning opportunities were very limited in the process.

Failure means people taking risks, people believing in their visions and striving to make them come to life. More importantly, failure equals learning. It’s only through trial and error that we achieve success.

So don’t look for people who never fail. First, anyone who says they’ve never, ever failed are probably not telling the truth. And second, finding out what happened to a person after a failure is a way of learning about their resilience and whether they have that essential won’t-stop-trying attitude that will help your business keep moving forward.

Lastly, people who don’t claim to be all-successful are those who tend to be wiser. Their mistakes were life lessons that guide their future efforts and they demonstrate their tendency to take accountability for their failures and not blame others for them.


If you cannot see passion and enthusiasm in a candidate’s eyes, move onto the next person. Without enthusiasm, there’s no way an employee-to-be will be a good, long-term asset for your company.

People need drive and passion to excel, and if the candidate you’re looking at doesn’t have these, don’t expect them to excel at what they do.

Self-knowledge, an ability to learn, enthusiasm, humility, and the resources to cope with failure are the five key attributes you should be looking for when interviewing for your business. Of course, other qualities and skills will also make it to the list depending on the industry your company belongs to, but these five are the essential attributes you’ll want your future employees to absolutely have.

Time Management Skills – The Pomodoro Way

Are you a master of time management, or do you find your to-do lists overwhelmingly unrealistic?

If you’re honestly trying to be more productive and time-efficient, but you find that distractions are hard to resist to and you cannot seem to focus for more than 15 minutes straight, no matter the task, you’re probably frustrated and overwhelmed.

Does this sound familiar? If so, then you should try the Pomodoro technique. It’s a unique time management technique that boosts your productivity and makes task completion fun and rewarding.

Pomodoro is a straightforward time management technique that’s free and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or investment. In fact, you can start practicing the Pomodoro technique right now.

But first, let’s see what it entails.

Essentially, you need a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes. You’ll use the timer to create a time period – a “Pomodoro” – during which you focus your entire attention to the task designated. It’s that simple!

However, six parameters need to be in place for you to become a true Pomodoro technique master. These six objectives need to be mastered one by one. You shouldn’t jump onto the next without fully mastering the previous, to ensure best results.

  • Pomodoro Task

Decide on the task you’re going to Pomodoro. How many 25-minute chunks do you need? Plan this according to the effort it will take, the complexity of the task, and your own productivity on any given day. These will help you make a good estimation of the time involved.

  • Protect your Pomodoro

Know your enemies. Is it Facebook? Your parents calling for the 7th time this morning? Protect your Pomodoro from these distractions!

  • Pomodorize your activity

How many Pomodoros are needed for a specific task? 2 Pomodoros? Half a Pomodoro? Examine your task and estimate the time it will take to complete it. The more specific you can be, the better.

  • Recapitulate and Review

Ensure you don’t spend your Pomodoro(s) all on doing the task itself. It’s also important to allow time for recapitulation of the task and reviewing what you’ve done to make sure each goal is met and each project completed in its entirety.

  • Create your to-do timetable

Plan a timetable according to your to-do list, or whatever other method you find most useful (for example, an hourly schedule). Just remember that when you’re making a chart or list, you need to make it a Pomodoro-based timetable with the exact Pomodoro number for each task. If you’ve made sure to allot enough Pomodoros to each task, you will be fine.

  • Set a personal goal

What’s your ultimate goal with any given task? Preparing a top-notch report? Finishing your dissertation before June 25th? It doesn’t matter what your objective is as long as it’s a personal one aiming at helping you become a better, more efficient or skillful person.

The Pomodoro technique was developed back in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo as a way to achieve better time management. The defining characteristic of the Pomodoro technique is the many brain breaks you take between tasks.


For each Pomodoro completed, you need to take a 5-minute break. For every 4 Pomodoros (100 mins) you need to take a 15- to 20-minute break.

The idea is that the more brain breaks you take, the more motivated and focused you will be at a given task.

A break triggers your mind to rest and come back more resilient and effective.

The brief focus on a task completely unrelated to a project (you can wash the dishes for your five-minute break, for example) and this change in focus helps you return to a project with a clear mind and a can-do attitude.

How does it improve time management?

The Pomodoro technique keeps you focused and ensures you don’t linger on unrelated distractions. It allows you to work at the most efficient pace possible.

Having a timer next to you provides a subconscious sense of urgency, encouraging you to get focused.

In addition, you become accountable. Since every task is quantified according to how many Pomodoros it takes, you are forced to stick to your schedule, something that also boosts your productivity and efficiency.

By learning to respect work flow you’ll manage to accomplish more in less time without necessarily damaging the outcome. Try it!

Summer Speed Reading: Ease Your Boredom & Become More Knowledgeable

What are you reading this summer? Or don’t you plan to read at all? After all there are many other pleasurable distractions in summer, like beach parties, barbeque parties, vacations, and mouthwatering cocktails.

But even with these pleasurable activities, there are instances when summertime can get a bit dull and repetitive. For example, what do you do while you’re sitting fishing on the dock, or killing time while in the plane boarding lounge? These hours can be filled with a great book. Besides, not every summer day is vacation day, and you need to do your best to ease your boredom and stay knowledgeable so that when autumn arrives you won’t have lost any of your edge.

Here are our top 10 books you can speed read this summer.

Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter about Almost Everything

Levitt and Dubner follow up their success with the book “Freakonomics” to show you how to adopt a new way of thinking — which sometimes mean thinking and acting like a child would!


A book inspired by a true story, “Buck” tells the story of a kid going against all odds in life and succeeding. This coming-of-age memoir by M. K. Asante perfectly illustrates the key role played by education and literature to inspire, heal, and move us closer to personal fulfillment.


A graphic memoir by Liz Prince, this is an excellent demonstration of how many girls and boys struggle with gender ambiguity in their first years of development and later in social settings, caught between the standard “girly” and “boyish” predilections on play, dressing and being.

Liz Prince gives us a glimpse into her psyche and how we live in a paradox of rejecting gender roles and at the same time fully embracing and championing them. Suzy X from Rookie Mag comments, “It’s not very often you read a goofy coming-of-age comic written with an astutely critical lens… and then there’s Liz Prince’s ‘Tomboy.’”

American Afterlife

Before you declare this book too creepy for the beach, hear me out. It’s a testament of how Americans are commemorating their dead, what rituals they follow, and what this eventually means for how people mourn, move on, and become more resilient. By Kate Sweeney.

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.

This book by Wallace J. Nichols explores the ubiquitous but often overlooked role that water plays in our physical wellbeing and sanity. A great tribute to how water influences our mood, mindset, and health. Wallace is a marine biologist infatuated with water’s magnificent power.

The Working Memory Advantage: Train Your Brain to Function Stronger, Smarter, Faster

Tracy and Ross Alloway give us this masterpiece on memory improvement and how we can make the most out of this unique human capacity we all share. A must-read if you never seem to remember to return your mom’s calls.

Eating Wildly

This book by Ava Chin takes you by the hand and shows you what foraging for food in New York looks like. This memoir expresses our universal need to be connected to and in harmony with nature, our most natural habitat.

Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

A heartfelt, inspiring memoir by breast-cancer survivor Gill Deacon. With brutal honesty she shares with readers her struggle and ultimate victory. A bit heavy for summer perhaps, but a great read nonetheless that puts life into perspective.

This One Summer

This book will certainly make your summer unforgettable. If you expect the protagonist’s summer to be just like every other one, you couldn’t be more wrong. A heart-throbbing story of a girl’s coming of age by Mariko Tamaki.

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Chris Peter is a consulting psychiatrist for many organizations and firms, including the national English Football team. With this book on mind programming, he shares the Chimp Paradox model, and explains how he helps individuals take full control of their mind and unlock their true potential.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Better Blogging For Better Business

Are blogging and social media an integral part of your marketing practices? If not, they should be. Blogging is a vital component of your online client relationship building and retention. That’s why you ought to give it the time and effort it deserves to help grow your business and reach new audiences.

For blogging to work for your business, you need to put some effort into it. There are certain practices you shouldn’t ignore if you want your blog to become an overnight sensation.

About Us page

A quick Internet search will help you realize how important the About page of your blog is. It’s the most visited page on blog sites, because visitors want to know who’s behind these words. They want to know what you believe in, what you think about different topics, and what your overall mindset might be.

For some blogs, depending on what the blog is about, there’s often another page that gets at least as many views: one that provides the details related to the business. For instance, a photographer’s site will have the gallery or portfolio pages getting the most views; a technical blog site will often get the most clicks through to its FAQ page.

Put some thought into how you structure and enrich your About page. Set the tone for your blog, tell people who you are, give them a reason to stick around and read more, and then give them the final reassuring pat on the shoulder by providing testimonials and other forms of proof about what you’re claiming to be and excel at.

Even if it’s a business blog it should get personal. The use of narratives is not an approach exclusively used for personal blogs. Share a story and people will pay attention. They will empathize.

Keep it short and sweet

Resist the temptation to cram your sidebar with unnecessary pages.

Focus on a couple of things besides your frequent new blog post. It should be kept clean, minimal and only with what really matters. Don’t repeat things people can find on your official business site.

Don’t create junk keyword posts for the sake of ranking

Your blog should offer real value to your visitors. Give them insights, highlights, and top-of-the-line information that’s also keyword-rich.

There’s no reason to create meaningless posts for the sake of SEO. If you offer good, quality content, your content will eventually become popular and rank well.

People get frustrated when businesses get obsessed with SEO and offer nothing but information-light content stuffed with keywords. Stand out by offering relevant, informative content your visitors will benefit from and will want to share with others. This way your online community will expand, and the ways they engage with your business will improve.


There’s no bigger turn-off than bad grammar. People who don’t pay attention to grammar mistakes are seen as careless, or not well educated. In both of these cases you’re not being a good advertisement for your business or yourself. Grammar matters, and even if you’ve got a more casual approach to your online content, make sure it’s free of mistakes in language or spelling.

A business blog reflects the company it represents, and so the language used does affect public opinion about the company. It would be a shame to lose your hard-earned authority status due to an easily-fixed grammatical mistake or misspelling. Proofread your content diligently and always double-check your posts before publication to avoid embarrassing situations.

7 Things To Remember When Blogging For Business

Online business marketing requires a comprehensive strategy if it is to have any chances of increasing sales and profits. One often overlooked aspect of business marketing is blogging, which if done strategically can boost your online presence, make your brand more relevant, and of course encourage lead generation and sales.

To be successful, business blogging needs to follow the foolproof tactics that big firms are using and which have been proven to work. Business size is truly irrelevant, as the Internet is an equally accessible tool for marketing your business online.

So what’s worth implementing and what’s no longer efficient when it comes to business blogging rules?

Offer relevant, significant insights, ideas and tools.

Don’t advertise your company or small business. No one likes a shameless advertiser. Rather, actively and substantially create content that’s meaningful and significant to your readers. Think about it. If your content is first-class, your followers won’t think twice, they will spread the word, simply because they find value in your blogging.

Become your industry’s ambassador

Rather than focusing on what you do and what you’ve achieved, it’s more worthwhile to share with your followers what your industry does and where it’s heading.

Give them access to facts, strategies, and ideas otherwise inaccessible to them. Becoming a reporter on your own niche or industry offers much more value than simply sharing one single perspective. Focus on the wider picture, give your readers a sneak peek into your industry as a whole – its trends, its new tools, the long-forsaken approaches, the promising new potentials.

By committing to providing persistently valuable content that’s sharable and valuable you ensure your blogging efforts will pay off.

Prove your value as an industry expert

There are many, many bloggers out there. To stand out, you have to establish yourself as an industry expert. This of course cannot be done overnight; it requires commitment, passion, and a plan.

What sets expert bloggers apart from the crowd is that their followers automatically turn to their blog as a resource of valuable, up-to-date content; readers know they blog about significant and tangible issues. An industry expert is a passionate professional who’s always ahead of trends, in line with current approaches, and has sound, fact-based viewpoints on their industry’s future. These are reasons why expert bloggers develop a solid, ever-increasing following.

What’s more, an industry expert shares ideas or insights bound to overhaul their industry or the way people conceptualize it. Can you be such a blogging expert?

Be part of your community of readers

Blogging is not about accentuating hierarchical differences or the consumer-business relationship.

If you advertise your product constantly, you drive your readers away; if you interact with them you increase engagement. Dial down any loud differences, don’t demand, don’t dictate. Instead, share, inquire and respond to your readership. Efficient blogging rests on the idea of you being a true part of the community you’ve created.

Encourage reader engagement

Bloggers tend to lose readers because they assume a falsely superior stance in relation to those readers. Expert bloggers, on the other hand, are the ones who creatively, persistently and strategically engage with their readers. By doing this, they tend to increase their readership and encourage follower loyalty.

Follow back your readers, comment on their reactions, share their ideas, answer their questions and overall engage with them at every level possible through your blog platform and other social media to ensure they will continue reading your blog.

Don’t just assume you know what readers want. Listen to their ever-changing needs, eavesdrop on what they’d like to read about, and provide it to them. And don’t forget to reward followers and readers with special, super-great quality content through email newsletters, exclusive free downloads, or promotions of ebooks and products  that might be of use for them.

Be unique, fresh and unconventional

Don’t just recycle others’ ideas, find new perspectives to look at things from, and stretch out your scope of issues to discover new approaches to existing ideas.

Do your share of curation; show your readers other trusted resources for valuable content similar to yours. Show your skills in critically processing different viewpoints or approaches and your ability to express a uniquely different, but equally valuable, interpretation.

But don’t forget to provide unique, fresh content regularly on your own site. This is what will establish you as an authority and the go-to blog for the latest developments in your industry or niche.

Engage with leading experts in your field

Don’t shut yourself out of the world. Doing interviews, holding mini webinars, or having giveaways for dedicated followers is a great way to strengthen the reader-blogger bond and consolidate long-term loyalty.

Invite guest bloggers to your site. It increases both blogs’ exposure to new audiences and it provides new ideas and strategies, all the while reminding your readers of your active involvement in your industry. Ask top bloggers to be featured in their blogs as a guest blogger or encourage others to do the same at yours.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.

How To Become Proficient At Typing

How many practice hours does it take to become a competent typist? How long will it take to start typing at 120 words per minute if you’re a beginner at the keyboard?

There’s no one answer to these questions. How fast and accurate a typist you’ll become depends on factors such as your determination, your resources, your knowledge of typing rules — and, of course, how much you’re willing to practice.

Here are 3 tips to help you become proficient at typing.

Track your progress frequently

It’s important to monitor your progress at frequent intervals. After a few sessions of typing practice, take an online typing test to check how much you’ve improved. Keep track of your best words-per-minute rate and next time, try to break it.

Tracking your typing efficiency will keep you motivated to practice more consistently and it will help you fine-tune your typing skills in no time.

Keep a public or personal journal

Do you have something to rant about? Keep an online journal or better yet, get your own blog. Update it frequently with whatever you’re passionate about. It can even be work-related, or devoted to the novel you’re working on. What matters is that you use it as a way of improving your typing skills. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll get an online international audience while you’re at it.

Don’t think of typing as a skill

Think of it as the means to an end. If you’ve got this attitude, you’ll approach typing confidently and won’t regard it as yet another task on the to-do list, right up there with cleaning the house. Of course you will need to learn about ergonomics, correct wrist placement, key-finger correspondence, monitor distance and other rules, but what’s almost equally important is to have fun while learning.

The initial training period to learn these rules is actually very short, and it’s possible to learn all the principles of touch typing in only a few hours. The rest is all practice. The more you practice, the more refined your typing efficiency will become.

So how do you not think of typing as a skill to be studied, or worse, a chore? By making it fun. Online chatting, online typing games, PC-based instant messaging, or IMing through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media give you ample space and time to practice. What’s more, you’re killing two birds with one stone by using this approach: you’re improving your typing skills and also communicating and networking with people!

With simple tweaks to your approach to typing you can become proficient in touch typing effortlessly and quickly, and get the skill you need.

Cross-posted on the Typesy blog.

Low Cost Private Schools For The Poor Advocated By Dr. Pauline Dixon

Armed conflict in developing countries, combined with poverty and starvation, leave no room for proper funding of education. Yet education, especially low-cost private education, might be the answer in providing affordable yet quality education in the developing world and end up by helping to eliminate the conflict and poverty often present in many regions.

Dr. Pauline Dixon, Senior Lecturer in International Development and Education at Newcastle University, UK, asserts in her book “International Aid And Private Schools For The Poor” that the solution to providing education to impoverished, conflict-ridden countries is to make the switch from state-run education to privately run, low-cost schools.

UNESCO, the UN’s organization for Education, Science and Culture, suggests that education is the key to providing tangible skills to impoverished youth. Education is what allows people to cope with an often harsh reality, understand the absurdity of conflict, and seek ways to offer themselves and their families better life choices. Education can encompass a variety of skills, from sexual education to learning to be self-sustaining as farmers, and even to entrepreneurship attempts.

Dr. Dixon advocates that lack of education is why children are so readily engaging in armed conflict. As she explains in a recent article at WorldReview.info, armed conflict is a result of the lack of education; people fight one another in the street not in battlefields because they don’t possess the critical skills to understand what’s really to their benefit.

Her painstaking research in the educational system of India suggests that state-run schools are bleeding resources due to improper money management and insufficient, underperforming school systems. Exposing the insufficiency of state-run schools, Dr. Pauline Dixon wishes to warn educators, policymakers and organizations about the current problems, and inform them about the alternative solutions to state schooling that currently exist and are more results-oriented.

Her research is carefully backed by census data, surveys and assessments of low-cost, for-profit schools that prove to be the alternative, best solution for educating the poor. Privately held schools have solid, transparent and efficient management, the three necessary pillars for providing smoothly running and decent education for the poor.

The apparent lack of education and literacy doesn’t stem solely from insufficient education funding. What’s excruciatingly aggravating the situation is that millions of dollars are wasted in poor management and funneled away by corrupt officers who don’t make good use of the financial resources available. The result is that state-run schools use dated, insufficient approaches, letting millions of education funding dollars go to waste, and not giving impoverished communities what they need the most: education that equips them with tools to cope with and overcome their poverty.

Showing how it all starts from education, Dr. Dixon explains the reasons why uneducated parents cannot offer their children a better future. She emphasizes in particular that educating young girls means offering them a better life as mothers and as individuals. An educated woman is more likely to have fewer children, offer those children better nutrition and culture, and encourage them to receive education themselves. Once activated, the cycle of education will have a long-lasting effect in transforming the developing world.

Lack of education makes young impoverished people more prone to propaganda and more easily swayed to engage in conflict and acts of violence. Basic literacy skills such as reading and writing open up a window of opportunity for conflict-shaken communities. Such skills allow young people to make informed decisions, develop critical thinking, and build a worldview and mentality that’s not easily malleable.

Dr. Dixon proposes a private, for-profit educational system in impoverished sub-Saharan countries, India, and other conflict-afflicted countries. Education is what will get children out of poverty. Giving them the skills and tools to provide from themselves seems a much better use of funding rather than just giving them food.

Based on her research, Dr. Dixon asserts that low-cost private schools are on the rise and that initial findings suggest how efficient this approach can be. She mentions, for instance, the growing popularity of this education model in India, where 6 out of 10 students attend low-cost, privately-run schools at the moment.

The key is keeping private school education low-cost. This way parents are more interested in and likely to send their child to a private school, as there’s the general impression that private schools offer more than state-run ones.

While laws and other bureaucratic hindrances still hold this education model back, initiatives from social venture companies seek to remedy this grim image by offering loans and experts to help run these private schools efficiently and sustainably.

While this will be a slow process, there’s hope and tangible proof that a privately-run education system model is what will allow millions of impoverished children access to education and the ability to use it to protect themselves from the dangers of poverty, starvation and disease.

Food  can ease their stomach, but education will show them how to find sustainable solutions for feeding themselves and their families long into the future. Education will make teenagers realize joining a gang won’t provide security for their family but put them all in greater danger. Education is what will let young girls understand how to protect themselves from HIV and avoid sexual activities that would put their and their children’s health at risk.

Why Improving Your Vocabulary Will Make You Happier And More Successful

Regardless of where you want to go in life, good vocabulary is just one of the skills that will help you get there. This is especially true if you’re after a new job or promotion, as research has found a high link between corporate success and vocabulary.

In the 1930s, a scientist named Johnson O’Connor began exploring just how important vocabulary is to success, and it’s a project he worked on for many decades. His studies found a relationship between executive success and an extensive vocabulary.

Later on, studies in the 1980’s and 90’s found that more than 88% of Fortune 1000 executives scored well above average on vocabulary tests, with 71% of managers scoring above average.

Vocabulary doesn’t just help you climb the corporate ladder, though; there’s also a correlation between a student’s vocabulary in 12th grade and the likelihood they will graduate college. There’s even a connection between the student’s vocabulary and their income level in the future. That’s because vocabulary size works to estimate not only your skill in reading, writing and speaking, but also your general knowledge of science and history.

While the link between vocabulary and economic success is a great reason to start improving your own vocabulary and that of your children, vocabulary can also help improve happiness, too. Words are how we communicate with others, as well as ourselves internally. They are the instrument by which we grasp the thoughts of others, and influence the way other people think, and they have a great deal of power. By improving your ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings, you can improve your self-esteem and relationships. You’ll also feel good knowing you’re doing something to better yourself, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

Because vocabulary is so strongly related to economic success, it’s important to begin early to help our children develop this skill. There are many ways to do this, including a curriculum that presents new words in a familiar context to help students identify the correct meaning unconsciously without trying to memorize long lists or forcing schools to spend a lot of time on word study.

You can also work to improve your vocabulary simply by watching television shows like The Daily Show and Frasier, which sprinkle in unfamiliar words in a natural setting. Reading enjoyable, well-edited books also helps students and adults alike absorb new vocabulary.

Developing a large vocabulary is really one of the easiest and best things you can do to improve your success and happiness in life, and that of your children. It can be as easy as reading a new book, changing the sort of programs you watch on TV or using a games-based vocabulary improvement program, so the experience doesn’t have to be unpleasant.

Language is one of our greatest gifts, and any opportunity you have to improve your language skills will put you on the path to a brighter future and fill you with the self-confidence that comes from working to better yourself as a person.

Rising Demand For Volunteer ESL Teachers & Grabbing This Opportunity

Teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) is an incredibly rewarding experience for many people, but it can be intimidating, especially for those who don’t yet have classroom experience. No matter how much knowledge and tools you’ve learned during your training, actual time spent at the head of a classroom offers an eye-opening experience.

The need for volunteer ESL teachers is on the rise, especially in developing countries and communities where non-English speaking immigrants are present. Choosing to devote a few hours each week to teach English to non-English speakers benefits both the learner and you the teacher.

The benefits of a volunteer ESL teaching experience are often things that aren’t obvious at first glance.


Teaching as an ESL educator gives you the opportunity to implement, test and revise your teaching methods and approaches. This allows you to optimize your teaching efficiency and boost the learning of your students.

Teaching English as a volunteer lets you adequately learn what works and what doesn’t, and tests your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, all in a non-threatening context. You have the time to figure out your techniques and strategies and improve on them.

Personal Growth

Volunteer ESL teaching is a magnificent opportunity for anyone, but especially for people who are or who want to be teachers. The great thing is that you don’t have to be in the beginning of your teaching career to do it. Educators of all ages give volunteer teaching a chance as they realize how purposeful and substantial this is in contributing to their own development.

ESL teaching abroad is a popular choice for non ESL teachers too. People from all walks of life and professions take ESL teaching courses and jump at the opportunity to explore new countries through a volunteer ESL teaching program.

The fact that you will be providing knowledge and skills to others without any financial rewards for yourself can be a difficult concept for many. Not a lot of people would consider giving energy and time to such a consuming task. As such, when you do choose to teach English voluntarily you get to reap all the benefits: a sense of fulfillment, feeling humble yet accomplished, becoming kinder and less self-centered.

Especially when teaching students of different cultures, ESL teaching lets you to learn more about peoples’ customs and culture, priorities and way of living, an invaluable experience for you as a teacher and a person. You’ll become culturally empathetic and more tolerant to differences, and you’ll discover new tastes and predilections.

Career Opportunities

If you choose to volunteer through international programs, then you will generally have many travel opportunities, and a chance to teach English on almost every continent.

This experience is something you can use as a selling point later. Having a year-long teaching experience in another country on your resume says a lot about your aspirations, determination, motivation and goals in life. It’s an excellent opportunity to cultivate your teaching skills, acquire unique experiences, and grow wiser and more mature out of such an experience.

Volunteer ESL teaching can open up a career window in ESL teaching either abroad or at home. Doors will open and connections will be made that would allow you to pursue an ESL teaching career or any other English-teaching based career, such as a journalist, a writer, or a public or private school teacher.

When you look at the experiences reported by thousands of volunteer ESL teachers, there’s one recurrent theme: the challenges were many and often overwhelming, but the benefits made it all worthwhile.

Creating A Successful Day With Good Mornings

There’s always one person who comes to the office each morning full of energy, a smile from ear to ear, as if they’ve won the lottery. Every. Single. Day.

But for them, it doesn’t stop there. Their day is full-speed-ahead productive, and they never seem to get tired, distracted, or bored. Are they some sort of androids? Aliens, perhaps?

No, they’re simply human beings who understand and take advantage of the value and potential each morning holds. If you want to turn every morning into a productive day, implement these 5 easy to learn habits and you’ll see an immediate improvement at the end of each week.

Plan Ahead

It’s a no-brainer, but how many of us really take the time to do it? Every morning, take five minutes to plan your tasks and chores. Take another five minutes to remove clutter and tidy up your bedroom, so that when you return home it will be a sanctuary you can decompress in before you sleep. Finally, take five minutes to visualize the day ahead. Think of your challenges and tasks, but don’t forget to visualize yourself tackling these challenges and getting out of them stronger and wiser. Create the attitude you will be implementing later on.

Move around

Do a ten-minute yoga sequence or meditate for five minutes every morning. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and walk your dog. No pet? No worries. Put on those running shoes and go for a brisk 15-minute jog by yourself, or with a friend. There’s nothing better to kick-start a productive day than physical exercise in the morning.

Skip the inbox, focus on the day ahead

Do you read your emails before even getting out of bed in the morning? Our tech-based lives can distract us and create obstacles before we’ve even started the race.

Successful people don’t do email in the morning.

Yes, it’s appealing to read the headlines before hitting the shower, and you need to get up to speed on what happened while you were sleeping. But what’s more important is to allow a few minutes to consciously reflect on what happened the day before, bring that to closure, and prepare for the new day ahead.

Be conscious of your morning bliss

Don’t rush to get out of the door. The majority of people reach their productivity and creativity peak in the first few hours after waking up. Take advantage of that time to brainstorm ideas, find solutions to a nagging problem, or simply enjoy your tea or coffee. Morning time is a ritual that has more benefits than you may realize. Be conscious of its potential and you’ll find yourself recharged and ready for success during the rest of your day.

Develop your own morning ritual

Start your day with a morning ritual you love. For some people, it’s reading another chapter of the latest book by their favorite author. For others, it’s making sure that the pantry is full of the things they need to have a large and nutritious breakfast. A positive start to the day will give you the confidence to approach the rest of the day in a positive light, enabling you to overcome any challenges the day might have in store for you.