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How To Get That IT Helpdesk Position You Want

Certification tied with red ribbonWhenever there are software glitches, network issues, and crashing computers, the IT help desk becomes the frantic worker’s best friend. With how reliant businesses are on computers, Information Technology professionals are in high demand.

Here are some ways you can jump-start your career in IT:

Certifications can get you far.

There is an ongoing community discussion on whether or not certifications can replace a college degree. The short answer is that certifications are always good to have (whether you went to college or not) particularly if you want to prove your dedication at becoming more competent. You can start by taking a CompTIA Network+ practice test to evaluate what you know and know what you don’t.

Every ounce of experience counts.

Apprenticeship is an excellent way to kick-start your career in IT. Be patient and put in the years required to train yourself on the job. Helpdesk positions demand keen analysis, troubleshooting and extensive knowledge of hardware, software and networking.

Don’t underestimate your soft skills.

Employers have learned the hard way that tech skills aren’t enough to cut it. Soft skills are just as critical in IT. A helpdesk position involves customer interface, so a can-do attitude, patience with non-tech personnel, and stellar communication skills. Having these skills is what could make you stand out from all the other desk jockeys in the company.

Like the job, not the perks.

IT jobs are constantly evolving because of how rapidly computer technology can progress. If your heart isn’t in the right place, you’re likely to be less curious, less motivated and less interested in the field. You’ll need to have the passion and the drive to be up-to-date on the latest advancements, or you’ll be left in the dust in a couple of years.

Being complacent is a form of arrogance. Though there are many opportunities in information technology, there’s also plenty of competition out there. With enough drive and the right skills, you can stand out from the pack.

September 18, 2017 at 5:46 pmStraight Study

Clever Ways to Maximise Natural Light in your House

Natural lightNatural light is better than the artificial light from lamps and bulbs. Not only does it help improve your mood and health, but it also helps you save on electricity. Natural light bathes your room with a bright hue that light bulbs cannot provide.

It emphasises the house or apartment’s interior and at the same time, make space look bigger. Increasing natural light in your home or workplace will save electricity, reduce eyestrain and increase serotonin levels to make you feel better physically and psychologically.

Unfortunately, many houses are not standing to make the natural light come in. Here are clever ways to maximise natural light in your home.

Install Wide Glass Windows

Natural light enters the windows in the house. If your house lacks big windows, it is better to have them installed. Frameless glass balustrades fitted on a wall will bring in a fair amount of light into the room. Furthermore, Auckland Glass Ltd stresses it will give your home that contemporary look.

You can also install a big glass sliding door to harness maximum light. Moreover, avoid using heavy and dark curtains.

Use Light Paint Colours

Paint the walls and ceilings in a light colour because they reflect natural light the best. However, if you like to have a little colour, you can use blue, green or yellow. Do not paint your walls with dark shades because they absorb light.

Turn Some Walls into Mirrors

The higher the gloss level, the higher light reflects. Mirrors not only make the room look bigger, but it also reflects light, maximising the entry of natural light into a space. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces can double the reach of your natural light.

Allowing more natural light enter the house is a good step toward making it more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Natural light does not only make your home more attractive but also provide several health benefits.

April 25, 2017 at 7:10 pmStraight Study

Looking to the Past: The Role of Title Insurance

Couple Looking at a House They Just BoughtBuying a house is often one of the biggest expenses you make in a lifetime. It takes years — or even decades — worth of working and saving to own your own property. Then, here comes another huge expenditure: title insurance. Is there really a need to get it? The short answer is yes.

Here are two simple yet important reasons you should set aside a budget for one.

Protection from the Past

Title insurance is very important, especially if you are purchasing a home from a previous owner. Unlike other types of insurance that offer protection from things that are yet to happen, a title company in New Jersey will offer you protection from the past.

A title search is one of the processes that comes with title insurance. It includes screening the title and ownership history for any liabilities and issues that might surface and cause problems to the current owner.

More often than not, a title search may lead to common title problems such as unpaid taxes. Keep in mind that any unpaid taxes will pass on to you once you close a deal. Title insurance helps protect you from such scenarios and related losses.

Other common issues include improper vesting of names, mortgages, and deed problems. These issues, though seemingly minor, may cause legal problems in the future.

Protection from Fraud

Over the years, fraud strategies have become more rampant and even more creative. Fraudsters are able to sell properties they do not even own more easily than before. Title insurance provides you with some kind of fraud protection. Furthermore, it keeps your savings secure.

Though most people skip it because of the amount they have to pay out, title insurance can help keep your investments safe from the past as well as from fraud. It is, in fact, worth getting.

March 30, 2017 at 8:56 amStraight Study

Take It Outside: Amazing Art Activities for Advanced Levels

Advanced Level ArtNow that your students have improved and familiarized themselves with the basics of their medium, it’s time to pick their next art adventure. Surprisingly, there are plenty of other subjects that go beyond what you can set up inside the studio for your students to render. All you need to do is lead them outside.

Live Models

Nothing beats the classic approaches using the best natural light has to offer. Engage your students in an exciting new challenge with live figure drawing or painting. Hire a professional model or perhaps someone from a sports team to pose for your class. Make the pose as dynamic as possible and hold the session in a public place like a park or the beach. Don't forget to bring sunscreen.

Capturing Motion

Most people think painting is all about capturing still life. In reality, painting can be taken to a different level of understanding by capturing motion. All Sea Charters suggests whale watching in Western Australia, where the exercise also doubles as a test of patience and photographic memory. You can also watch a dance-off, or sit down at a busy spot at the city square and set up your easel. Train your students to see the focal points of a scene and the defining movements of their subject. Detail won't be your focus this time but motion and flow.

Food Sketching

Food is an amazing subject, especially when it’s presented well. Many today take selfies and artsy food shots but this isn't a new fad. Food has always been a beautiful subject for the masters. Step out of the studio and go inside a restaurant or take an outdoor table at a street side café. Choose your food and drink, and transfer the image of its physical presentation onto paper.

Art exists to exemplify and represent life but artists should take that a step further. With so many things going on in the world around you, you will never run out of subjects and methods to try out. Teach your students to not just create still life but live life fully with their art and you'd have done the world of art a favour.

October 18, 2016 at 6:57 amStraight Study

Life Lessons You can Learn from Studying in the UAE

Studying All students dream to study in the best universities. But they don’t know that being in the best school is not a pleasure but a life full of pressure. The good news is there is a way to study in your ideal university and enjoy your student life. If an opportunity to study in the UAE knocks, you should open the door and grab it. If you do, you will learn the best lessons in life that you can keep forever.

1. Stress is never a reason to give up.

Nobody can escape from school’s stress. But the best thing about studying in universities in the United Arab Emirates is that there are plenty of ways to reduce stress. You get to learn from academic meet-and-greets and join events that can give you memorable life experiences. Aside from this, students can focus on their studies because they can stay in fully-furnished accommodations. And of course, luxurious tourists destinations are everywhere, especially in Dubai. So there’s no reason not to beat stress.

2. You can hone your professional skills while you are young.

While studying in the luxurious world of UAE, you can have the chance to earn for your daily needs. Aside from that, you can even improve your professional skills while you are studying. Anew decree allows students to work and train in private sectors. This means you can practice the theories you learn in school in a real setting. You will learn to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally because working life is full of issues.

3. You will learn to respect the Muslim culture.

It is undeniable that Muslims are the most discriminated people because they are linked to many terror attacks. The problem is that people don’t try to know their culture and others question their values. But it is easy to end this misconception. As you go on with your school life, you can experience the real culture of Muslims and even meet cool Muslim friends. You will learn that Muslims highly value giving and loving others.

Learning the best things in life while you are young just brings color to your student life. Grab this chance because this is an opportunity not everyone can get. If you find it difficult to access information about the schools, there are companies offering a portal that helps you find the best universities in the United Arab Emirates. With their help, you can access right accommodations, student jobs, events, and other student services.

July 28, 2016 at 8:23 amStraight Study

3 Perks of Teaching English Abroad

Male TeacherMany young adults see teaching English abroad as an opportunity to travel. In this job, you could learn a new language, practice independence, and meet some new friends from different cultures. Apart from all these benefits and the money you’ll earn, this job comes with a lot of perks, too.

If you’re considering teaching English abroad, the following reasons might convince you:

Experience Foreign Events for a Year

Since teaching English would require you to stay in a foreign country for a year, you have the chance to experience a whole calendar’s worth of foreign events, festivals, and seasonal food. You also get to experience a different version of a worldwide holiday like Christmas. English teachers from share that this is one of the job’s perks that they really enjoyed.

Gain an Instant Network of Local Acquaintances

With this job, you’d probably be working in a public school or a language center. So you’ll be with colleagues who know how to speak English. They can be your new friends, as well as instant guides that would introduce you to great local restaurants, bars, and other hangouts. And if you go back to the country in the future, you’d always have local contacts.

Get a Resume-Booster

Even if you don’t want to teach long-term, the experience of teaching abroad could boost your resume. In this job, you could gain a certain level of leadership and communication skills. Many employers prefer candidates with these skills.

Teaching English abroad won’t just give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it would also provide you with the skills and knowledge that are useful once you start your professional career. So if you plan to take one year off after college or high school, travel abroad and consider teaching English there.

May 6, 2016 at 3:56 amStraight Study

Yes, Going to College is Still Worth It Despite the Costs

College EducationIt’s no secret how expensive a typical college degree can be. Data from HSBC places Singapore at the top spot among the most expensive countries to study in, followed by Australia and the U.S. at second and third places. The average cost for a typical 2- to 4-year degree can range from S$24,000 to S$55,000, and that’s not even counting the living expenses.

But, if there’s one thing that still rings true about college education, it’s this one statement: you get what you pay for.

College Doesn’t Always Have to be Pricey

Scholarships and other reputable education grants offer the best options to save on college costs. There’s also the prevalence of associate degrees at specific institutions — short-term courses that offer the benefits of a full degree at a slashed price tag. A thorough, intense scholarship hunt has proven more than enough for numerous families –at times enough to not even require touching their savings.

It Makes Economic Sense

Nowadays, massive changes in workforce demands have essentially leveled the playing field between college graduates and those without degrees.  But, this doesn’t mean that anyone at all can choose to forego college when the opportunity presents itself. College graduates have been shown to earn 80 percent more than their peers who didn’t finish college.

Georgetown University conducted a study on this topic and uncovered something interesting. From 2009 to 2012, the researchers looked at earnings through various employment stages, which include freshly minted employees and those who’ve spent decades in their careers. Recent college graduates aged 22 to 26 earned 83 percent more than early workers with a high school diploma.

College Costs Can Be Negotiated

College expenses aren’t as constant as they may seem. In-campus financial aid at schools including James Cook University aren’t one-dimensional, which means that students doesn’t have to take the first offer laid in front of them. There’s always a way to stretch it. Additional school scholarships can still fly under any student’s radar, but are completely visible and easy to catch for those who know where and how to look.

This negotiating power can go beyond the campus walls, since nothing spells a catch for employers better than a college degree at a reputable school—with extensive training in a specific field to boot. So, if you’re a parent, do everything in your power to get your child a college education. You’ll thank yourself later, and your kid will reap the rewards. 

April 13, 2016 at 9:07 amStraight Study

New Homes: Knowing if It’s Worth the Price

Moving in RivertonMoving houses is not an easy pick. Unless you can find a house that easily meets all your requirements, you shouldn’t settle for anything less. Most of the time, you will find your options difficult to choose from because each one has an advantage over the other. What is important is that you have all your options to look into so you can carefully weigh your decision.

In Riverton, new homes come in all styles and sizes so you should be discerning. Here are some ways to make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

Getting Independent Inspection

Visiting new homes for sale is sometimes not enough. You might be fooled by how well they present their model houses or how everything looks great from afar. When you look into the tiniest details, you may find that the house you are looking at is actually a disaster waiting to happen. While you may have a keen eye for detail, you may still need the help of a professional to look deeper into your choice. Not everything that is new would be free from problems.

Seeing the Big Picture

It is easy to forget that you are not only buying a home. You are purchasing your place inside a community. Look into the community’s standards when it comes to living in the area. They might not allow pets for each home and this can definitely put a dent on plans you may have. See how far your house is from your neighbors. Make sure there’s a proper indication of who owns who when it comes to land divisions. It is essential to know what you are getting into as your comfort depends on it.

Buying a new home is a big decision in your life. Your future depends on your choice so you have to make your decision matter.

March 21, 2016 at 5:34 amStraight Study

Safety Begins from Learning: Why Training is Important

According to an article by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 4,600 worker deaths occurred in 2013. This is a considerably lower rate than before OSHA was established. Back then, 14,000 workers have died while on the job.

Nevertheless, this highlights the importance of implementing safety training and making sure each worker undergoes such programs. It doesn’t matter whether you provide OSHA safety training videos or conduct the training yourself; the important thing is that your workers have access to these safety measures.

Safety Begins from LearningWhat Should Your Safety Programs Include?

For a safety training program to be highly effective, it should be industry-specific and not just cover generic topics. For instance, if your organization is a construction firm, it should educate your employees on the following:

  • Safety in residential construction
  • Safety in bridge erection
  • Safety in paving, demolitions, and excavations
  • Safety in other high risk jobs, such as large-scale paint work
  • Proper use of machineries and equipment
  • Prevention and avoidance of accidents such as falls and electrocutions
  • Proper handling of materials containing health hazards such as asbestos, lead, radon, and silica dust
What Should You Feature in Job-Specific Construction Safety Programs?

Construction firms must comply with the general laws and regulations implemented by OSHA. As construction workers are involved in different activities, they should also undergo training for the specific job they are assigned to.

Some examples of job-specific, OSHA construction safety training include:

  • Working in confined spaces or environments
  • Working on demolition sites
  • Prevention of back overs
  • Operation of cranes and derricks

The great thing about safety training is you can use different materials. Rather than just provide plain text or audio files, you can use more visuals to keep your workers informed. This gives way to a faster, more effective learning process.

July 10, 2015 at 5:34 amStraight Study

Medical School: How to Survive and Thrive

Congratulations! You finally made it to medical school. The pre-med years were particularly challenging, we know, but you managed to pull it off! Well done.

Before a whirlwind of emotions and concerns sweep you away, you should probably know this: there are people on the same journey. You are all starting out with a fresh slate. Med-school is not a walk in the park mind you, but fortunately, it’s also not the torturous boot camp most people make it out to be. If you’re not convinced, here are some things that might help you survive what’s coming ahead:

Set Your Goals

medical schoolJust like when you were in college, enrolling in med-school will require you to set some goals. Your goals will be your roadmap for what lies ahead. Other than serving as a guide, what makes goals so important? says that it is important for students to have goals and objectives in order to achieve success, and it is important for them to examine the goals of the institution they are attending. These goals should line up and point all students in the direction of their chosen career. Good curricular goals may also be helpful in informing students on the development of their own goals.

Develop a Study Habit

You have two choices here: study for a number of hours every day or cram like crazy every time a big test is coming up. The choice is up to you, but of course, it’s always better to observe good study habits. Not only will it get you through the stress, it will enable you to cope with the added pressure of preparing for the academic and practical challenges ahead. You’ll also be able to handle stress more effectively and remember the things you are studying.

Take a Break

Those who feel med school is a boot camp are those who do not know when to put down their books and take a break. Like any normal student, med-school students also need time to relax, recuperate, and reconnect on a social level. The point of taking study breaks is to rejuvenate the mind, process what you have learned, and reset to focus the task at hand. Make regular short breaks a part of your routine and stick to it. Doing something that helps you relax like reading interesting articles and exercising are some of things you can do while on break.

Med school, aside from the added pressure, is just as exciting and fun as college. With the right amount of focus, dedication, and hard work, you should be able to complete your med-school years and reap the benefits of working in the healthcare profession.

January 20, 2015 at 5:56 amStraight Study