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Why Taking that Vacation Can Lead to a Better Workplace Do you love your vacations? Are they relaxing, fun and entertaining? There are many reasons why a vacation can enrich your life and fulfill you with joy and happiness. But many of these reasons actually can also be directly translated into reasons for why taking that vacation can lead to a better workplace for you, your boss and other employees. Vacations are as essential to a hard working employee as a parachute to a person jumping from an airplane with the goal to land safely. Many employers would love to minimize the time you are gone from your workplace because they think the more time you spend there, the more work you will accomplish. This argument is right up to a certain amount of hours and days a months or a year, but whenever your body starts to get tired and exhausted, the amount of work that you produce decreases. The quality of your work starts to decline as well. Time off work, time together with your family, time to relax, time to regenerate and time to just plain have fun are very important in an employees life. Taking a vacation has many benefits to the employee, but also to the company you work for. The more relaxed and happy your worker starts a workday or the workweek; the better will most likely be his or her performances at work. Research has shown that relaxation and regeneration are essential to human bodies. Did you know that in some companies in Europe and Asia, the emphasis on relaxation goes so far that meditation, morning sport and a short power nap belong to their required parts of a work day? The United States is actually one of the only industrialized countries that does not mandate a minimum of vacation days that the worker has to take off. In fact, in many countries in Europe, a minimum of 20 and more days is the norm. Since the late 1970s, the average middle income family works in total hours three and more months a year more then they did back then and according to a research done by Boston College, approximately 25% of Americans do not take a vacation at all. After all these facts are slowly emerging from mounts of collected date, some of the bigger American companies have actually begun to realize that off-time and vacation are essential to prevent mishaps and screwed up designs and products. If you are not taking your vacation or your employers does not allow for any vacation, a series of health hazards such as stress and high stress, sleeplessness, burnout, heart attacks and even more serious health conditions can occur. Another big factor in working too much, working overtime or never having vacation can be problems and loss of family and friends. Problems with families and friends will directly impact performance at work and even though the employee might not talk about it at work or might b e holding back his or her feelings, the mood and general behavior of the employee will have an impact ion his work and other employees. Every employee should value the vacation time given to him or her and employers should grant the time asked for to their employees. Vacation is essential to the performance at work and the quality in products the company can deliver. Following the examples that are set by many European countries, the US should give their employees the time they need and also make sure that their employees do take the time off to be a better employee overall. Vacation is fun, relaxing and regenerating.

Prayers, Ploys and Passions: The Poetry that Gets Published (published poetry) Some people may tell you that poetry doesn?t get published. Published poetry is only that written by people who have already died. That is not true however. Poetry is not as frequently found as other kinds of writing, but it is a genre that is still alive and well in today?s publishing world. If you are a poetry writer, you are also probably a poetry reader. You of all people know that poetry publishers are still out there. There are specific types of poetry that tend to get published though. There are special interest outlets for other types, but in general, what gets published gets repeatedly published as time goes on. There are three main categories that currently published poetry falls into. Those categories encompass the most important interests of people today. Prayers and Matters of Faith The first category of published poetry involves faith. There are people that subscribe to all different kinds of faith and it is that belief that is at the core of many people?s lives. Atheists are a minority in the world. Since faith is such an important part of so many people?s understandings of the world, it is no surprise that it draws poetic words from those who believe. It started long ago. The Bible, for example, is full of poetry. Those people who first knew God were inclined to speak of him through the illustrative voice of poetry. Today people are the same way. Such is their deep experience with God that they must express their emotions with an emotional type of writing. Since so many people have personal experiences with God, those who do not write are interested in reading the writings of others. For that reason, matters of faith, and especially expressive prayers placed in poetry get published. Ploys and Plans for the Nation National interest is also of major interest to most people. As a group of people head through their lives, united with others of the same nationality, they must want to know where the group as a whole is headed. Much of the published poetry in this category contains hopes and dreams for a country?s future and expected path through history. More of the poetry in this category though is in protest of how a nation has forged its path as it has grown. Frustration with events beyond one?s control elicits words that can only have their full meaning in poetry. Since those of a nation are united with each other, poetic commentaries about that nation are of interest to everyone. They help each person express their feelings and frustrations and hopes for their home country. Passion and the Human Condition of Love People are obviously not only connected to each other as citizens of the same country. People need each other in a much more personal sense than that. A third major category of published poetry is that which contains expressions of love between people. Love poems are a genre that dates back, again, to biblical times. Romantic love has always been a popular theme within poetry because of the passion that can be displayed with poetic devices. Other kinds of love are also well expressed in verse. The love of a mother for her child or that of a friend for another friend is a common topic in poetry. Humans thrive on love. That is why poetry about love gets published. Published poetry does fall into three major categories. It appears in books and anthologies, but also in magazines and even greeting cards. As long as a poem is effective in describing a common human reaction to life, it will probably be passed along from person to person. Poetry is a beloved form of writing that connects people to one another. As long as humanity feels, poetry will continue to be published.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

Important Steps to Follow in Creating a Professional Digital Identity for your Job Search Having a professional digital identify is essential in finding new business or employment. Everyone can benefit from having a polished professional digital identity. It is key to advancing in any career. Of course, how you present yourself digitally depending on what type of career advancement you are going for. If you are starting a new business you will need to have a stellar website. A professional should consulted so that you have the best website possible. If you are interested in securing a new job, you can probably build your own website or just post your resume and portfolio. Trying to land an interview is much easier than striking out on your own so it takes a little less effort. However, no matter what your career aspirations are a professional digital identity is important. If your professional digital identity is lacking in credibility spend some time and effort improving it. A healthy professional digital identity will help you get the job you desire. Instead of spending money on business cards, invest in presenting yourself well on the web. People can always get in touch with you on the web. Business cards get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day paper accumulation that most people acquire. Locate all of the social networking sites you can. You can never be too well represented on the web. Of course, people like to shake hands and meet you in person. When circumstances permit, set up lunches or coffee dates to discuss projects or networking opportunities. For entrepreneurs, it is wise to stay well acquainted. The type of business you are in will influence what you have in your portfolio. If you are striving to build an online presence for your own personal business, have plenty of samples on your site. If you business is not one where you have samples to show, have coupons or special offers posted. Create a strong professional digital identity and you will attract more sales. Whether you are networking or building up business for yourself, you need to have a professional digital identity that people can respect. Provide a number of ways for people to get in touch with you and keep your information updated. Do pro bono if necessary. Do some things for free to gain exposure. First impressions have a big influence on what people think about you. In the past people were limited to physical or phone impressions. These days the way that employees first get to know most candidates is through their digital identity. A bad web site or a sloppy portfolio online can ruin your chances of getting a job. Make sure that your professional digital identity is well developed. One of the major mistakes people make when it comes to digital identity is registering for networking and social sites and posting less than favorable pictures and comments. Some employers check MySpace and Facebook to try to get a clear picture of the candidate they are interviewing or deciding whether or not to work with. If your Myspace page is full of pictures of you in your scantly clad bathing suit their decision to hire you or not becomes very easy. Do not use your real name to register for these types of sites. Or if you do, use the site in a professional manner. Set up your Myspace page in an attractive and professional way. Friends will be able to reach you but employers will also view you in a professional manner. A great way to present yourself well digitally is to have your own website. Upload your resume and include information about your work history. Employers will be able to review your work history more extensively making them more inclined to contact you.