All Posts By

Maura Lieberman

Health

How to Be a Boss at Your Career

1. Pick a Career You Care About, Not a Major

And not in the sense that, “Oh, pick a major that you like and the job will come.” Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. I was an English major and I chose the major because I knew I wanted to be a journalist or book publisher. I was 100% sure I wanted to be able to write, edit, proofread, etc. I held internships in college but nothing of extreme substantial lasting value. Choose a major of a career path that you love, not necessarily a major I love. (For example: Had I had the experience, I probably would have been a Business major, but during college, I thought, ‘I never want to do business.'”) The more you know!

2. When You Like Something, Give it Your 100%

Ok, so no one necessarily “loves” a job, but you sure can like a job a lot. Having a job where you feel part of the team and you feel like what you do actually matters/benefits the company, you’ll really start to love the job. A job shouldn’t be just an everyday, 9-5, 5 days a week hassle where you have to literally drag yourself out of bed in the morning. (I’ve been there.) A job is something that you, no matter how much you don’t necessarily love your tasks, can really really thrive at doing.

3. Read, read, read

I started working in content marketing/outreach for an SEO agency, and this is something I didn’t have much, if any, experience in previously. Instead of hoping for the best, I read blogs, articles, books, etc. to learn the industry and also find ways to excel within the industry. (My boyfriend makes fun of me because my Kindle is all SEO/Marketing books.)

Your career isn’t school — no one’s going to give you a bad grade if you don’t hand something in or do a poor job at it. BUT, your career is not only your source of income but should also be your livelihood. If you don’t want to excel at your job, why should your boss want to keep you onboard? And if you’re working just to pay your bills, think again.

4. It’s Not All Money

Money is nice, yes it definitely is. But money isn’t the only reason why you’re working a job. Yes, we all have student loans, rent/utilities to pay for, gas, car insurance, car payments, not to mention, you know, food and Netflix subscriptions. Plus, you want to have a savings account in case of emergency. That’s why, when it comes to working one of your first jobs, it is crucial to save. I’ve been pretty much dedicating most of my paychecks to paying off my student loans/trying to finish paying off my credit card plus my everyday expenses. I don’t splurge on anything anymore, and I don’t really have a desire to anymore. You definitely learn the value of a dollar when you’re only making so many hourly.

6. Work Hard But Don’t Over-Extend Yourself

You have new responsibilities at work, that’s awesome! But if the responsibilities become overwhelming, do not be afraid to say something. If you aren’t going to be able to produce the results you want to produce given your excess amount of work, no one is going to be satisfied in the end. Speak up, and don’t be timid.

7. Study The Industry

I took an intro to marketing class in college, but boy, did that fail to show me what digital marketing is like. In school, you’re given the textbook definitions, maybe some real-life examples, and endless amounts of powerpoints and online tests. (Ok, I took an online class is why…)

Chances are, your industry is constantly changing. If you don’t keep up with it, no one’s going to tell you. Your new teacher? Yourself. And your laptop, industry experts, etc. If you’re not keeping up with the latest trends, chances are, you’re not going to succeed at your work!

8. Your Boss Knows More Than You, So Don’t Complain

Stop being sassy about getting feedback on your work; to be honest, it’s for the best, even if you don’t want to admit it. As a writer/editor, sometimes I find it hard to take critiques, but I realize that it’s only helping me grow and better myself as a writer.

Failure is IMPORTANT to success. That’s right — failure helps you succeed. Your boss once failed, and your boss probably still fails. Don’t assume you’re being judged and manipulated left and right when you’re starting off at a job or even are a few years deep. Every day is a learning experience and take it as a gift!

9. Make the Best Decision For Yourself

If you seek opportunity elsewhere and you think it’ll be a better opportunity, you should take the leap.

cup of coffee
Health

But seriously….Is Coffee Actually Good For You?

Ah, coffee. My pride and joy — the reason I get out of bed. But, what if it’s actually causing you to stay out of bed, even when you need to wake up in, say, a mere five hours? We’ve heard back-and-forth banter about whether or not it’s a myth that coffee is good for you and offers a whole array of health benefits. The other day I heard a couple conversing, and one asked, “Is coffee good for you? It can’t be, right?” Wrong!

The health impacts of coffee have long been a controversial topic, as there are two sides to every story. Pro-coffee connoisseurs promote coffee’s antioxidants, while those on the other side name the downsides, such as insomnia, increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Fear not: drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought. Well, it all comes down to what’s in your coffee, how much you drink, and when you drink it. Let’s break it down.

Three to Five Cups A Day: A-Okay!

Grab that java! A study of 25,000 participants in South Korea found that moderate daily consumption of coffee, or three to five cups, is correlated with a decreased risk for coronary artery calcium. The middle of the ground, four cups of coffee, was also found to reduce one’s risk of melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer. A high amount of coffee consumption, or four to six cups a day, reduced coffee-sippers risks of getting multiple sclerosis (MS).

Before you start downing your fifth cup today, be sure to drop the cream and sugar. Drinking coffee with a loaded amount of cream and sugar and calling it “healthy” is the equivalent to deep frying potatoes and calling it healthy. (French fries for health!) If you can’t stand drinking completely black coffee, opt for a little bit of cream and a little bit of sugar. Just keep it to a minimum and be sure to choose all-natural sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners.

Coffee is Proven to Reduce Depression

Many studies conducted have linked coffee consumption to lower rates of depression in both men and women.  In several studies, the data suggested a relationship between coffee consumption and depression: in other words, heavy coffee drinkers seemed to have the lowest risk (up to 20 percent) of depression.

Lessening Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine shows those who consumed six or more cups of coffee a day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. A review of research conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed.

Your Liver on Coffee…

Aside from actually lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has also been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis of the liver. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed an inverse relationship between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of cirrhosis, or a 20 percent reduction for each cup consumed (when consumed up to four cups).

Grab Decaf after 2 P.M.

We all know coffee is a stimulant just like soda, energy drinks, and some teas — that’s why we enjoy drinking it so much to stay alert. But be sure to keep an eye on the clock when you’re going for that afternoon coffee as you should stop drinking coffee about ten hours before you go to bed to reduce any sleeping issues. (No one likes waking up in the morning exhausted; it affects performance, happiness, and alertness.)

So, Is Coffee Good For You?

If you keep it to a minimum, drink your coffee in its (mostly) pure form, and watch the clock, you can see the many health benefits of consuming coffee. Just remember, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, try and reduce your caffeine consumption even more.

What’s your go-to caffeine kick? Or, do you prefer the au-natural boosts of sleeping a good 8 hours a night?

how to work from home
Productivity

How to Work From Home – And Actually Work

I’m straying away from my usually lifestyle pieces to turn to a topic I’ve been quite familiar with for the last six months or so: working from home. It’s both the best thing in the world, and many times, the worst. I like waking up at 8:30 in the morning and working from my bed, but that only lasts so long until I start chugging endless cups of coffee and bouncing off the walls, probably blasting the latest Drake album or something. I don’t do that in an office. The best way to learn how to work from home comes with pretending you’re going into a office, forget that you’re in your own living quarters, and create an office space, even if you don’t have an additional room.

It should be easy to work from home, right? Hmm…maybe for you, but I’m a coffee addict and me + coffee + my apartment = a recipe for disaster and a lack of accomplishments.

Follow these tips to maintain your sanity while typing away from the luxury of your bed:

1. Turn Off Your Phone and Put it Away

fomo

This one is my number one favorite. Ever since I decided to take the “smart phone leap” my junior year in college, I’ve been a fiend since. It’s not on purpose, it just is. (I’m trying to get better.) To be honest, knowing you may have a message or two awaiting for you during your lunch break is more fun than always responding to your messages right as they come in. In fact, research from The Harvard Business Review suggests that sound alerts from your phone, whether it be a simple ding or vibration, can make you less productive and more prone to mistakes.

Do you ever get annoyed when someone doesn’t respond right away? Don’t focus on the negative and start getting what really needs to be done accomplished.

2. Stay Away From Your Social Media Accounts

Seriously, whether or not your friends are “re-gramming” last week’s impromptu vacation or just about TBT it doesn’t matter. You can care about that once 5 o’clock comes around…if at all 😉 Around 60 to 80 percent of Americans admit they don’t go online for anything necessary, but rather to kill time or be entertained.

Social media is great if it helps benefit you for work, but your personal accounts won’t benefit you any. It doesn’t matter during your work hours what your friends ate for dinner last night, or that your neighbor bought a new watch. Chances are, you won’t feel any better checking social media anyway.

Reddit, Imgur, even Twitter are everyday websites I go to for work, but I make sure to never log into my own account. It’s a dead-end!

3. Stop With the FOMO

partying

Ok, you’re not in an office with a puppy or a Keurig machine, or you’re not getting  free bagels on Friday. It’s okay! You didn’t have to commute, you’re working from the comfort of your home, and you can buy your own bagels for only a few dollars a bag. Or, better yet, grab some fruit and veggies or whip yourself up an omelette! You can’t do that in an office.

When all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with checking out some TED talks on productivity!

4. Coffee Shops are Work Spaces Too

Sometimes when I’m feeling down or unproductive, I hit up one of my neighborhood coffee spaces, which I know is good for working. (Atmosphere = everything!) When you’re around other productive people, you can be more productive too, even if you go in for just a few hours. Get a headstart on your work, and you’ll be done in no time.

5. Silence is Golden

movie

Do you ever feel a constant need to put in ear buds when you’re at work because of all the outside sound? Yeah, well, who’s talking when you’re at home? (Unless your dog is yapping or you’ve got a roommate!)

Appreciate the silence, but if it’s getting to you, then take a trip outside, call a friend, turn on some productivity-enhancing music, whatever it may be that helps you concentrate. In fact, Business Insider recommends nature sounds with no lyrics to help you stay on task and even enhance your cognitive functioning.

6. Set Goals For Yourself

I love setting goals for myself, especially when I work from home. I used to struggle  to write a 400-word article in several days in college, and now I aim to write 500-600 words in an hour. Not rushing or being sloppy with my writing, just making sure I block out any distractions and just writing. There’s always time for editing, but it’s much easier to edit when you already have something to work with.

7. Give Yourself Breaks

How to be productive when you work from home

No one ever suggested working 8-hour days without getting up for food, exercise, sanity breaks, etc. You’re at home after all, so take some time to turn on the TV for a little while, binge on some daytime television (oh what fun!) and go back to work. You’ll probably enjoy working more than watching those terrible re-runs on TV.

If you work best in sprints of 3-4 hours, then set an alarm for a specific time to remind yourself to get up and take a break. If it’s warm outside, I try and run during my lunch breaks or even take a walk. Figure out what works best for you!

8. Think Longterm Benefits

Last I checked, you can’t get a promotion, a raise, or a congratulatory thank you from your boss or peers when you’re perusing endless cat videos on YouTube. Think about what you wish to accomplish from your job, your work, your career, even a month down the road. Do you have big dreams and goals for yourself? I sure hope so!

9. Have a Schedule and Stick To It

home office

When I’m working from home, I like to plan my day right when I wake up in the morning and make sure I don’t spend too much time on one  task. If I know I have a blog post to write that day, I’ll try and dedicate an hour to research so I don’t start going off-track. If I have a huge post to promote by the end of the week, I’ll spend a few hours during the day making sure I’m all set to promote right as the piece goes live.

10. Reaching Success

Remember, productivity is good! Accomplishing your tasks feels amazing, especially when you go above and beyond to complete your goals. Reserve the “fun” stuff for your lunch break and please please please don’t check your Facebook unless you’re posting your latest article for work! Only you can figure out how to work from home to achieve the most success.

Uncategorized

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in Check

new year's resolution

New year, new year’s resolutions? Eh, I talk, but it never goes further than, “I’m going to try and go to the gym more,” or, “I’m going to learn how to play this instrument,” etc. Sadly. My thing is: What do I really want to do this year that I didn’t (or couldn’t) do last year?

Research from 2015 actually suggests that approximately 50% of Americans make resolutions, while only 8% keep them. It’s a new year, so why do our new year’s resolutions go out the window?

Maybe we’re dreaming too big, or setting the bar too high. Maybe we just can’t shake our current situation and lose all hope by mid-January. (Let’s hope not!)

Have no fear! Keep your goals in check, and you’ll be reaching them in no time:

1. When It Comes to New Year’s Resolutions, Think Big Picture

New Year, New Goal

If your goal is to “be healthier,” how healthy do you want to be? Are you looking to be healthier to lose weight, or are you looking to be healthier for overall better health? If you have an exact goal in mind and think in terms of the big picture, you’ll be sure to know what you’re striving towards.

2. Don’t Punish Yourself

New Year's Resolution: Don't Punish Yourself

Slipping up happens, and nobody’s perfect (especially on weekends or when you’re under the weather.) If your goal in mind is to hit the gym three times a week, and one week you only go twice, don’t give it an “all-or-nothing” attitude and give up from there. It’s okay to not hit your goal every single week. What counts is that you’re putting an efforts towards your goal, instead of writing it down and forgetting to make it a reality.

3. Take Note of Your Progress

New Years Resolutions Track Progress

How are you going to figure out your progress if you haven’t been writing it down? If you’re trying to learn an instrument, write down which chords and notes you learned and when. If you’re trying to become a better dancer, write down your progress in a daily journal or on your computer. If you physically see the results and progress, you’ll be sure to keep up the hard work.

4. Get Friends and Family Involved

New year's resolutions: involve friends

Hey, isn’t everything more fun when you’re doing it with your friends? If you make it a joint effort, such as, “Save ‘this amount of money’ by the end of each month,” it can become a fun involvement to help both you and your friends/family become more financially savvy. (Of course the amounts you save don’t have to be the same!) Even if your actual goal is to spend more time with friends and family, then there’s no other way to do it than to involve your friends and family, themselves!

5. Reward Yourself

give yourself a reward for sticking to your new year's resolutions

Everyone likes rewards, especially when you’re able to personally give YOURSELF a reward! When you reach a benchmark, reward yourself, whether through treating yourself to dinner, a night out, or even just a day to relax and unwind. We all have goals, but even Olympic athletes need days off.

What are your new year’s resolutions? Let me know if a comment below!

Beauty

Shampoo Almost As Good As Sushi ;)

Dry Hair? Here's The Best Shampoo to Bring an End to Those Split Ends

Want to bring an end to your split ends? Well, you can’t quite do that without a haircut, but what you can do is find a remedy to improve your hair’s condition without cutting off your ends sooner than you’d like. To find the best shampoo for dry hair doesn’t need to be challenging — in fact, it can be easier than you think..

When it comes to finding the right shampoo and conditioner for my hair, I’m constantly on a quest. One day my hair is dry and curly, the other it’s smooth and straight. Unfortunately, with the weather changing, my hair has been getting more and more dry.

I’ve done it all: Tried various kinds of shampoos for various hair textures, changed my diet, stopped coloring my hair, and stopped applying heat to it altogether. The more I tried, the worse it seemed to get.

If you’re like me and have dry hair but can’t seem to figure out the cause, that’s because there’s no single cause. Dry hair can result be caused by:

  • Chlorine from the pool
  • Spending most of your time outdoors and in the sun (especially if you live in a hotter climate)
  • Blow-drying your hair daily.
  • Chemically treating your hair

So, everything good in life? That’s what I thought when I finally found a shampoo and conditioner that actually treated my hair well.

The shampoo and conditioner that I’m lusting over right now is Bumble and Bumble’s Seaweed Shampoo and Conditioner. Yup, you heard right! It’s made from marine seaweed, kelp, and spirulina. (Green smoothie anyone?)

If you’re wondering if it smells like your sushi dinner, it doesn’t! It practically doesn’t have a scent at all, which I love because there aren’t any additives in it to make my hair smell like a cocktail.

I’ve experimented with hair products that were supposedly for dry hair and ended up drying my hair out even more and making it brittle and lifeless. (It’s not like you can try a small shampoo of shampoo and decide whether or not you like it, like you can with makeup.)

There never seemed to be a suitable way out of this problem until I tried using hair products with more natural ingredients and less unpronounceable ingredients. If I already make these choices with my food, why wouldn’t I with my shampoo?

I’m always on a mission to find the most mild daily shampoo I can find because I want to make sure I’m adding enough moisture to my locks. This shampoo-condition combo is so gentle on my hair, and, plus I barely have to use any product. After a few washings, my hair was so much smoother, softer, and healthier-looking. These products are gentle enough to be used on a variety of hair types and textures, so they’re great for daily use.

Though I don’t like to spend money on shampoo when half the time, I don’t get the results I want, I’ve had my two eight-ounce bottles since last Christmas, and they’re still going strong (but heading close to completion). I wonder what I’ll be requesting this year for Christmas…

What’s your favorite go-to shampoo for your hair texture?