Develop Your Soft Skills to be Better at Work!

It is already quite known that Singaporeans are among the hardest working in the world. That should have a lot to do with our attitude towards our job and work environment. Attitude, if you think about it, is actually a soft skill. But what exactly are these soft skills we’re talking about? Continue reading to find out what soft skills really are and how they can help you become better at work.

Hard Skills and Soft Skills
To easily understand what exactly soft skills are, you ought to know how they compared to hard skills. Hard skills are basically the technical skills that you need to have to perform well in a job. That can be knowing how to make documents, computer programming, knowledge on vocational activities and etc. In essence, they are job-specific skills.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are non-technical or transferable skills. While hard skills are taught and learned quite easily, soft skills rely more on being able to “read” or empathize with people hence they can be harder to pick up. Some examples would be confidence, teamwork, communication, and the like.

Enhance Your Soft Skills
Communication
Probably one of the more important skills to develop is your ability to communicate. This is simply because we are always communicating with people at work. You need to be clear when making reports, communicating your ideas and opinions, or even just in casual conversation. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and cultivate a good working environment overall. Practicing your eye contact and use of gestures and body language can be a good way to get better at communicating.

Teamwork
Another important skill employers commonly look for is a person’s ability to work in a team. Teamwork is important because it determines how well you can work in a team and it leads you to have common goals with your peers. Plus, you’ll finish a lot more work if you are able to deliberate tasks fairly. One way you can improve in working with a team is to accept others’ opinions. You’ll be able to find and utilize each persons’ strengths while also covering for their weaknesses.

Leadership
Leadership can be quite a hard skill to develop since it is mainly a combination of many soft skills already. First of all, you’ll have to be a good role model for others. You’ll also have to know how to communicate your influence while still be approachable and helpful to others. You’ll also need to have the ability to make decisions without bias and even anticipate the benefits and consequences of these decisions. Although not everyone chooses to take the role of the leader, it would be good to at least enhance your leadership skills from time to time.

02 Jul 2019

How to Prevent Pimples and Acne Breakouts

Today, you’ll notice a lot of teens and even adults who face acne problems. You may have had pimples and breakouts once in your life or you may still be experiencing it now. Though having pimples can be problematic, there are always ways to control or even get rid of them completely. Here are some things you can try.

1. Wash your face
One of the best ways to prevent pimples is to keep your face clean. To do that, you’ll obviously have to wash your face regularly. Wash your face after doing activities that cause you to sweat a lot or after you go to places that are dusty. It should also be a good idea to wash your face as you get home or before you go to bed. This is because when you sleep, you’re already shedding dead skin cells and if you don’t wash up the dirt that sticks to your face might eventually cause breakouts.

2. Moisturize
Having dry skin is one of the reasons we get pimples and breakouts. To keep your skin from becoming too dry, try applying moisturizer. For those with oily skin, choose moisturizers that are noncomedogenic. That means it is formulated to not close pores and trap oil and dirt inside your skin. Moisturize after washing your face but try to do it moderately.

3. Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is also one of the best ways to prevent pimples. Skin cells, just like the other cells of the body are made of water. And because the skin is basically the largest organ of the body, you need to constantly supply it with a good amount of water. If you don’t, it will cause dry skin and make it more prone to inflammations which cause breakouts.

4. Use sunscreen or try to avoid exposure to the sun
The hot and humid climate in Singapore can also be a factor when it comes to acne. That is why you should try to limit your exposure to sunlight and heat as they can make your face more oily and may even damage the skin directly. If you do have to go outside, remind yourself to apply sunscreen.

5. Take it easy with the exfoliant
Exfoliating cream is a skin care product that is basically formulated to remove any dead cells on your skin. Though it is made to help you clean your skin and prevent pimples, applying too much or too often can do you more harm than good. This is because when you exfoliate too much, you might remove the skin’s natural oils. That will signal the skin to produce more oil which might clog and eventually cause pimples.

02 Jul 2019

4 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid (at All Costs!)

Have you ever posted a tweet, a comment or a Facebook status that you wish you can take back? Perhaps, all of us have. However, to ensure you won’t fall into the same trap over and over again, here are four of the most common social media mistakes to avoid to save yourself from public embarrassment.

1. Leaving the Privacy Setting of Your Posts Public
Control your content by limiting the audience settings. Adjust your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook audience depending on the nature of the photos you share. Your friends would want to see photos from last weekend’s get-together, but check whether the privacy is in the appropriate setting, especially if you want to limit the people who can see them. You don’t want a prospect client or employer to see things that may turn them off. If you have some unruly candids with the gang, limit visibility to people who are in the photos. Better yet, avoid posting inappropriate things at all.

2. You’re Too Camera Shy
Your Skype, LinkedIn and other profiles will be easier to locate by prospect clients and employers if they contain a clear headshot of you against a neutral backdrop. For professional profiles, never make the mistake of posting a group shot or a default clipart photo as a display image. Prepare for a professional shot by dressing and looking professional. A well-taken photo will invite attention from employers and may possibly just land you a contract.

3. Conversely, You’re Over Confident
Instagram and Facebook are your go-to places for selfies. However, stepping up your online game means delivering more well-thought updates and photos. Whether you believe it or not, your social media friends will also ‘like’ your posts about the volunteer acts in a charity, the fascinating article you shared or the research project you just completed. There’s nothing wrong with selfies as long as you don’t post one every single day.

4. You’re Sharing Too Much Stuff
You may have the freedom of speech, but your professional network, including your extended network of employers and colleagues, may not agree with every opinion you share in your social media. Once you have posted that politically-incorrect statement, you can never retract it, even after you have deleted the post from your profile. It is now in cyberspace—anything posted can be screencapped, retweeded and shared. To save yourself from the forever embarrassment, keep your posts and comments clean and away from political and religious matters.

In the world where social media becomes an everyday norm, it’s important to be extra mindful of the impressions we make on people through online communication platforms. With so much information can be easily shared and found online, personal views and opinions can conveniently be used to assess your competence and even suitability for an employment opportunity.

13 Jun 2019

7 Ways to Stop Being So Negative

We get easily bombarded with negativity every single day. We see it on TV, in the news, in the social media and even when going to the park. But do you know you can combat negativity by focusing more on the positive sides of things? Lessen your pessimism and try these tips. We all know stress and negativity won’t lead to becoming the best version of yourself.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparison simply breeds jealousy, and even anger. Walk your own path and do not mind those people who seemingly got ahead of you. They’ve worked hard for it, so do your best to achieve yours. Enjoy your own path and the happiness that comes along with it.

2. Learn to Forgive
Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting for the other person to feel the pain. There’s nothing good that comes from holding grudges. Learn to forgive those who have done you wrong. That doesn’t mean to welcome them back into your life, but just forgive.

3. Avoid Excessive Self-Pity
So, your eight-year relationship has ended. While it’s okay to stay in bed and cry or three days, there comes a time when you need to pick yourself up. Grieve all you can, but know when to stop sulking. It’s not easy, but once you get the hand of it, you will surely feel better.

4. Have Fun and Don’t be Guilty About It
Whether your choice of fun is sleeping, indulging on a sweet treat or going on a vacation, just do it whenever you need one. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first. Reward yourself with that well-deserved break, and never feel guilty about it.

5. Be Grateful Even for the Smallest Things
Every day, count the little good things that happen to you. Acknowledge these positive things and be thankful for having them. Make this a part of your night rituals, and you’ll find yourself happier and feeling better in general.

6. Try New Things
Trying new things help build self-confidence. By saying yes to new experiences, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to learn and grow. Conquering new experiences, whether big or small, provides fulfilment and make life more exciting.

7. Be Nice to People
Be kind. It’s easy and makes you feel good afterwards. Find a way to give back to all the blessings you receive every day. Do something nice each day. Good karma will pay you back a hundred folds for it.

However, remember that being too positive isn’t good either. Like most things in life, it is about balance. When you find yourself too pessimistic, maybe you want to take a closer look at how you are dealing with the world.

13 Jun 2019

How to Improve Your Wardrobe Without Spending Much

There’s nothing more time consuming and frustrating than standing in front of your jam-packed closet and feeling like you have nothing to wear. Actually, you have plenty of clothes you can wear, but the point is that the clothes you own simply no longer add up to complete a stylish look. This can be extremely exasperating, especially if you just can’t afford to replace everything with new ones.

But don’t give up just yet. There are several ways you can do to improve your wardrobe without spending too much. Read on to find out how you can upgrade your closet on a cheap.

1. Come up with a capsule collection
A capsule collection consists of timeless clothing pieces. These clothes can be effortlessly mixed and matched with anything in your closet. Raid your closet and find your no-fail outfits you feel good and comfortable wearing. A good capsule collection should include a plain white tee, a simple button-down shirt, denim jeans, a tailored blazer, a little black dress and a comfy pair of office trousers.

2. Consider accessories
A capsule wardrobe—no matter how simple the pieces are—can be vamp up by adding a few elements. A plain white tee and jeans can look sophisticated when paired with kitten heels and a statement necklace or a cute scarf. Accessories can make a look, so don’t be afraid to get yourself a few brightly colored pieces to add to your outfits.

3. Shop at bazaars, night markets and thrift shops
These places have the best deals to begin with. But as you filter through endless racks of clothes, you will need some creative imagination, a great deal of patience and better haggling skills. However, remember to prioritize first the pieces you’re looking for—a floral dress and a pair of tattered jeans, for example. Once you found them, you can start wandering around to look for more pieces. That way, you have more energy to look for your priority purchases and won’t be killing your time and budget buying clothes you don’t need in the first place.

4. Split costs with your sister
Having a sister can do wonders for your wardrobe. While you and your sister are almost in the same age and have the same style, there could be some pieces you would both want to share and own. Shop for quality pieces—for example, a mid-priced purse or a pair of heels—and agree on splitting the bill.

5. Include shopping in your monthly budget
Again, no need to spare a big chunk of your paycheck on shopping. Budget just enough to shop at thrift stores and night markets. Jot down all your expenses first, and then allot a feasible amount for thrift shopping.
Take advantage of these tips, and you will be calling yourself a smart fashionista in no time.

22 May 2019

Ideas to Jazz Up Your Date Night

Tired and bored of only going out for dinner or watching movies with your date? Here are more fun ways you can add to your date night and spice up your time together with your partner.

1. Henderson Waves
Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge can be a great place to catch the sunset or go for a romantic walk. The atmosphere can be especially at great night when the scenic and intimate lights and views of Singapore come to play.

2. Escape Rooms
To begin with, escape rooms can give a unique experience. Compared to, let’s say, watching a horror movie, being in an escape room can let you live the experience firsthand and get your adrenaline pumping. Plus, you won’t have to worry about “dead air” between conversations because you’ll be focusing on helping each other out.

3. Galleries and Museum Dates
Another ideal place to go for a stroll, arms linked, would be in galleries or museums. The National Museum of Singapore, because of its incredible exhibits and astonishing digital exhibitions, makes it a naturally romantic setting.

4. Pet Cafés
Whether you or your loved one like dogs or cats, there are a lot of pet cafés all around Singapore. Going to a pet café can be good for a first date because you are in an atmosphere that is fun and relaxing. Dropping by pet cafés can also help you relieve stress with your partner, as petting dogs or cats naturally gives a boost in endorphins.

5. Nature and Hiking Trails
There are so many nature trails to check out in Singapore. Whether you are a hiking-junkie couple or simply want to take a walk around a lush, green environment, there are many places you can go for an experience with nature. You can take the trails of the largest nature park in Singapore, Chestnut Nature Park. Or have a trek on TreeTop Walk and wonder at the great views from above the trees.

6. Saint Games
If you and your partner have a knack for gaming, go and play at Saint Games. The video game café offers sports games, music and rhythm games, 2-player Co-op games, fighting games and a lot more that you and your date can enjoy.

7. Bowling
Orchid Bowl is the place to be if you and your partner enjoy bowling while there’s heart-thumping music and neon strobe lights on the background. With its cosmic bowling sessions, you and your date can unwind and have a fun time simply with the game and the music.

8. Ice Skating
Playing around in the ice rink can lead to a fun and romantic date, especially if your date is new to it. If you’re looking for ways to get your partner to hold your hand or live that “girl slips and guy catches her” moment from the movies, ice skating is the answer.

22 May 2019

How to Remove Mildew from Leather Goods in 3 Steps

Over time, leather products such as shoes, clothes, and even handbags can have mildew and mold especially when kept in areas that are both hot and humid. Before it permanently damages the leather, it’s important to deal with the mold and mildew as quickly as possible.

Here’s how you can get rid of mold and mildew from your leather goods:

1. Take them outside
All you need to start a mildew colony is a single spore, so when you find it on any item kept in a humid area, it can multiply as quickly as possible.

The first step to dealing with mildewed items is to take them outside and use a soft-bristled brush to brush the spores away. You should also make sure to discard their paper or cardboard storage boxes since the mold or mildew can spread through them.

2. Add soap
Mix equal parts of mild detergent, leather saddle soap, and warm water in a bucket and wipe the leather surface down by dipping a clean cloth or sponge in this solution. Avoid placing them near direct heat or out in the sun.
After this, you should start killing the spores by mixing an equal ratio of cool water and rubbing alcohol. For shoes, use a cotton swab to deal with hard-to-reach crevices. Finally, be sure to wipe them down and allow to air dry.

Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. If you’re not sure if the mixture works, be sure to test it out on a small area of the material before proceeding to clean it.

3. Recondition the leather
Both leather and faux leather are products with oils that need to be maintained properly in order to prevent cracks from forming.

Wait for the leather item to dry completely before adding a leather conditioner. You can usually find leather conditioners in most cleaning sections, and when you do, be sure to follow the product’s instructions.

Tips on Proper Leather Care
Controlling temperature, air flow, and even humidity is crucial to caring for leather products in order to make them last for a long time.

Aside from doing the mentioned steps to keep mold and mildew free from your leather goods, there are other tips you can take to ensure proper care for them, such as the following:

• Store leather goods in cool, dry areas that are dust-free to minimize the growth of mold and mildew spores
• Never store soiled items – clean them first and let them dry out completely before storing them
• Reduce moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier and waterproof any damp areas and foundations; you can also add silica gel packets as an alternative

26 Apr 2019