Make Eating Healthy Easy with These 5 Tips

Whether you’re working from home, on the road, or in the office, eating healthy during the work week can be tough. It often seems easier, and cheaper, to grab a bag of chips or order fast food. But with a few small adjustments to your routine eating healthy during the work week will be easier than you think. Here are five simple tips to get you on the right track toward making healthy choices:

Prep your meals at home the night before. Prepping meals allows you to plan and control what you pack. Stock your fridge with individual-serving size yogurts, chopped veggies, or fruit for some simple side dishes. Make extra salad at dinner and throw it in a container with some protein like grilled chicken or tuna. It may take a few extra minutes to prep and pack your food the night before, but it’s worth it.

Keep healthy snacks in the office. Stock your drawers and office fridge with healthy snacks like veggies and hummus, fresh fruit, protein shakes, nuts, or trail mix. If you have easy access to the healthy stuff, you won’t be as inclined to dig into the candy jar sitting on the front office desk.

Pay a little extra for convenience. Our first tip, prepping your meals for the week, can be time consuming. If you don’t have the time to follow that tip, try picking up some prepared salads, wraps, fruits and vegetables, etc. at your favorite grocery store. It costs a little bit more, but it’s your next best option to have the healthy stuff on hand.

Choose healthier options at restaurants. Depending on your job, there may be times when you must eat out. The key to eating healthier when eating out is to stay away from fried foods and steer yourself towards fresh produce and lean protein. Most fast food restaurants these days have at least a few healthy options, such as a salad with grilled chicken. Just be wary of the extra items like nacho strips or loads of dressing that negate the healthy aspect of the salad.

Drink water. Always have a water bottle at your fingertips. Staying hydrated during the day is important for your overall health and keeps hunger cravings at bay.

Ultimately, the secret to eating healthy during the work week is to tweak your thought process by establishing healthy habits, and once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to a healthy life! By making wise choices about what you eat, and planning ahead, you’ll fuel your tank to power through your work day.

Five Reasons Why You Should Write a Cover Letter

Many people view writing a cover letter as a chore. You draft your resume, translating your skills into marketable bullet points, and feel accomplished. Then, you realize the job opportunity you are scoping out requires a cover letter. What? More writing?

Yes. It’s worth it. There are several reasons why you should include a cover letter with your resume when you apply for any job. Below we’ve outlined five of them.

  1. It provides an opportunity to present your position-related skillsets. In your cover letter, you can highlight your previous accomplishments and how they align with aspects of the position you’re applying for. Make sure you reference the position description to show your unique qualifications and keep your cover letter from feeling generic.
  1. It includes information that might be out of place on a resume. Resumes usually follow a standard format and often there are points you may wish to make about yourself that won’t fit neatly into the template. As career expert Heather Huhman notes, “Cover letters allow you – in narrative form – to tell the employer exactly why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.”
  1. Its demonstrates an additional level of effort that you didn’t necessarily have to make. Although it may seem insignificant, the fact that you took the time to write a unique cover letter shows you care about getting a job just a bit more than someone who doesn’t write one. It shows you’re willing to take that extra step to succeed.
  1. It adds a personal touch. Your cover letter helps set your resume apart from others by giving an employer a better sense of who you are and what your personality is. It can give some life to your resume.
  1. It demonstrates your writing ability. Almost all employers want employees to be able to write. A cover letter is written in a personal, narrative form instead of a series of short phrases and bullets like a resume, so it provides an added dimension to your writing ability.

Ultimately, a well-written cover letter will strengthen your resume and increase your chances of getting an interview and eventually a job. It’s worth the time and effort it takes.

Fuel Happiness with Random Acts of Kindness

We all want to be happy. According to the wise ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

Sometimes the smallest things can brighten your day: the sales clerk that gives you a warm smile and asks how your day is going; the kind driver who lets you into a long line of cars; or the fresh bouquet of flowers you find on your front doorstep, just because.

Being the recipient of kindness is wonderful, but what’s even more satisfying is being responsible for it. Aristotle had a word for this too. When he described the four levels of happiness that humans seek to achieve, the first two, Laetus and Felix, are self-centered; the third level, Beatitudo, is the happiness one feels from doing good for others and making the world a better place.

We recently experienced this third level of happiness at Three Wire when we celebrated our own “Random Acts of Kindness Week” in each of our offices. Each day, for five days, we challenged employees to carry out five “nice” things that would benefit someone else.

If you want to try it, and spread happiness, look at our list of “random act” recommendations below. For about fifteen minutes out of your day, you can make an incredible impact on someone else in this world and hope that they too decide to pay it forward.

Day One: Leave a nice note for a friend, loved one, co-worker, or even a stranger.

Day Two: Write a letter of encouragement to a stranger who needs it.

Day Three: Register to become a bone marrow donor at https://www.giftoflife.org/page/content/steps-to-donation. If you are already registered, or can’t/don’t want to become a donor, donate to this or another cause that you feel connected to.

Day Four: Go to Free Rice and spend 10 minutes answering questions. This is a United Nations Food Program that will donate rice to hungry people for every question you get right.

Day Five: Purchase a five dollar gift card to a store or restaurant and give it to someone who could use a bit of a perk.

Keeping Yourself Relevant in the Workplace

Whether you just started a new position or you’ve been in the same position for 10 years, it’s important to remain relevant in your field for your own confidence as well as potential job progression. Here are a few ways to keep yourself relevant in the workplace:

  • Develop your skills: Stay updated on publications, technologies, and processes related to your profession.
  • Invest in yourself: If you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, then who will? Look for seminars, trainings, and books that will develop you as a professional but not break the bank.
  • Join a professional association: Professional associations allow you to network, provide you with training opportunities, send out newsletters with valuable information, and hold conferences.
  • Volunteer: Consider volunteering a few hours a week at an association that you feel an affinity toward. Volunteering can push you out of your comfort zone and help you to grow.
  • Network: Networking is not the same as job searching. Talking to other professionals in your field helps you to grow and remain relevant among your colleagues.
  • Hone your leadership skills: Never shy away from an opportunity to lead something. This not only helps you to develop and refine skills but also creates visibility in the workplace.
  • Challenge yourself: Seek out opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone and help you to grow- even if you can’t see how it relates to your career at the time. Any confidence you gain in your personal life will translate to your professional life.

Tips to Survive Holiday Parties

Holiday parties mean that it’s time to make small talk and catch up with people that you don’t see very often. If you are like most people, these conversations can sometimes be awkward or uncomfortable. Having a few topics that you enjoy talking about in your holiday party communication toolbox can be really helpful. Here are a few tips to remember as you step outside your comfort zone.

When adding topics to the list, it is always best to avoid topics that can get heated and lead to debate such as politics, religion, gossip, or anything depressing in nature.

Show genuine interest.

Show the other person that you are paying attention by nodding your head, responding appropriately, and asking related questions. It is important not to let them see that you are scanning the room for people you know, watching the food line, or planning your escape to move to the next mingling group.

Be aware of your body language.

To show someone that you are right there with them in the conversation you should face them, make eye contact, and/or lean forward a bit. Pay attention to your facial expressions and the position of your body. Having a blank expression and having your hips and toes pointed away from the person send the message that you are not interested and plan on moving away at the soonest opportunity.

Do your homework.

Plan on talking about a great movie you saw, a good book, plans for the holidays or your favorite vacation spots. These are topics that will make talking with people that you do not usually talk to on a daily basis much easier.

Listen.

Many of us are way too busy talking about ourselves or thinking about what we will say next. How many times have you been in a conversation and realized you just asked a question that someone else asked only a few minutes earlier? A good rule is to listen 60 percent of the time and ask questions the other 40 percent of the time.

Ask Questions.

Asking questions shows the other person that you are interested. Although many people can go on and on with good stories or witty statements to amuse an audience, this does not help the discovery phase of conversation. Bonds are formed during this stage of conversation. If you know that the person has children, ask “how old are your children?”, “Do they play any sports?”, ”What do they want for Christmas this year?”

Team up with your guest.

If you take a date or friend with you, stay with them. While you should not stick to your guest like glue, you do not want to let them wonder around aimlessly not knowing anyone and feeling very uncomfortable. If your guest is a sports fan and you are not, they can help break the ice with a fellow sports fan. Remember to always introduce your guest and include them into the conversation.

Practice the art of excusing yourself.

Some people get caught up on a certain topic and are blissfully unaware of others’ discomfort. If you have been trapped in a conversation for too long you can gracefully exit by making a brief summarizing statement followed by your exit statement, for example, “sounds like you really struggled through that stomach illness, glad you are feeling better. If you’ll excuse me I think I need to freshen up my drink”.

Do talk about the holidays.

This can lead to many different discussions from holiday travel, gift buying, decorating, holiday activities, and holiday traditions. It is an appropriate conversation for the season.

Don’t talk about work.

Although work is the one thing you have in common at events such as office holiday parties, it is not the time to schedule a meeting or finalize project plans. It is okay to briefly mention work news and developments, but not okay to complain unpleasant things about work.

Say Thank you.

Before leaving the party be sure to thank your host. Remember to thank you guest for attending. It is a lot of planning and work to throw a holiday party, let everyone know that you appreciate their efforts.

Being able to communicate at holiday parties will give you the people skills that you need to successfully survive the event. The communication skills developed at these events are skills that you can use all year long in your career, social circles, and family events.