Wednesday, March 27, 2019

10 things I realized after I quit my job without a plan

This post from Anna Lundbergappeared originally on Quoraas a response to the question, "What are 10 things I should know that will make me quit my job this year?"
Here is a post that I wrote a year after I quit my job; each of the 10 things I highlighted that I had learned since quitting have the power to reassure you about life after quitting.
However, all this being said, this is still your decision and nothing and no one should "make you" quit your job, this year or any other year!
That's an important decision that you need to make based on your personal values and goals, where you are now and where you want to get to.

10 things I’ve learned since quitting my job

In September 2013, I walked out of my office and into the unknown. I had resigned from my job, the first after my studies, with no concrete plans as to what I would be doing next. I emptied my apartment of seven years, put my boxes into storage, and moved into my parents’ guest room as I thought about my next move.
My intention since the start had been to create a more independent and flexible lifestyle. I wanted to continue to work in digital marketing, where I had both the knowledge and the passion from my previous role; to pursue my more creative side by taking my writing more seriously; and, of course, to combine all this with the opportunity to travel and to spend time with friends and family.
So far, so good! This time last year, I officially incorporated my own consulting business and I’ve been busy on great projects ever since, working with big-name clients, making new connections, and sharpening my skill set. I finished my MatadorU travel writing course and I’ve been maintaining a regular post schedule and a growing reader base on my blog, as well as contributing guest posts to other websites. And I’ve continued my travels with weekend breaks in Europe as well as a longer trip to New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
So what have I learned, one year on?

1. Life on the other side is not as scary as you think.

As I looked out at the world from the comfort of a steady job, the fear of leaving that security behind was almost paralyzing. Once I had made the decision to quit and my perspective shifted to one of zero salary, 100% possibilities, that fear all but disappeared.
I felt empowered and excited by my ability to make things happen, and I armed myself with information by reading books about freelancing and consulting, talking to people who had set up their own businesses, going to events where I met like-minded people.
I also realized that the security I had felt in my previous job was an illusion: people get fired, departments are restructured, companies fold. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a job that makes you unhappy.

2. You have to stick to your guns.

I thought I’d made The Big Decision once and for all but I’ve had to keep questioning myself. The call of the corporate world is loud and alluring: Recruiters call with tempting job titles, my parents worry about my pension, clients want full-time support.
Each time, I have to reaffirm my decision to leave that world behind, and each time, I come out that bit stronger and more determined to stick with my new way of life. I’ve always looked to other people for reassurance and confirmation that I’m making the right decision, but I know now that I’m the only one who knows what’s right for me. So once you’ve made that decision, run with it, trust your instincts, and don’t look back.

3. There are more options than you ever thought possible.

In my previous job, I was surrounded by people with the same academic background and with the same ambitions of salary increases and promotions. We were all comfortable within that world and unsure of what lay beyond.
As soon as I had left, though, I encountered people with diverse backgrounds, with much broader ambitions, and with altogether different priorities. Traveling in particular allows you to meet people with all kinds of plans, and lack of plans, and this is both reassuring and inspiring.
Open your eyes, and your heart, to the different ways of life that are out there and you may be surprised at the possibilities that are open to you.
coffee meeting friendsShutterstock

4. You can easily live on less money than you think.

With a monthly salary flowing into my bank account, I was buying clothes I didn’t need, taking taxis, and going out with no thought of the future. Being ‘unemployed,’ I became more prudent: I bought fewer lattes, I walked more, I canceled Spotify Premium — and I didn’t feel at all sorry for myself.
It’s quite painless to cut down on little luxuries, and having some buffer of savings will also give you added security and confidence to pursue your plans. The danger is actually the opposite: Once the money starts flowing in again, it’s easy to upgrade your spending habits to previous levels.
So focus on the true necessities, and then spend the extra on experiences — travel, friends, family — rather than buying material things that will only clutter up your life. And, yes, do think about saving and investing for a rainy day …

5. New opportunities will appear from nowhere.

I left my job without knowing exactly what I was leaving for. I had thoughts of travel, starting a consultancy, taking a year off ‘to write,’ taking another full-time job in an exotic location or in a not-for-profit organization.
Since leaving, I’ve become involved as a mentor in two start-up incubators, run workshops with big companies, worked on exciting projects with big-name brands, and done interviews and guest posts for various blogs and websites. None of these things were even on my radar while I was in my old job.
I’ve also become aware of, and grateful for, an amazing network of people who are eager to make mutually beneficial connections and collaborations. So talk to friends and to strangers, go to networking events, and above all remain open to unanticipated opportunities from unexpected directions.

6. It doesn’t have to be perfect from day one.

I was always looking for the ideal job, in the ideal location, in the ideal industry — but this fantasy doesn’t exist. I moved to Geneva to work at the United Nations but ended up in consumer goods marketing, developing valuable skills and knowledge while making lifelong friends among my colleagues.
I hadn’t planned to move back to London but I’ve had some great opportunities here and for now at least I’m really enjoying it. And many of the seeds that I started sowing a year ago, which at the time didn’t grow into anything concrete, are now bearing fruit.
I don’t expect to be a world thought leader and best-selling author living in my dream home by next week; but with each client, each project, each post, I’m shaping the life that I want. As long as you’re progressing in the right direction, a step or two closer to where you want to be, then consider it a good move.

7. Nothing is forever.

It seemed like a huge decision to leave my job. I’ve realized, though, that the worst thing that can happen, in the event of being unsuccessful in shaping a more independent lifestyle, is that I will have to go back to a full-time job. I know people who have decided to go back to a permanent role after a period of running their own business, happy in the knowledge that it’s the right move for them.
If my company isn’t doing as well a few years down the line, or if I decide I want to do something else, I can always shut it down. If I don’t like the country I’m in, I can always move. Nothing is set in stone, everything can be changed — if not immediately, then over time. So give it a try, and see how it goes.

8. You are not alone.

It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one with doubts, the only one not fulfilled — it’s just not true. In my ‘Fearless Fridays’ interview series on my blog, I’ve been talking to others who have left the corporate world behind to do something less conventional, whether it was to write about healthy eating, to produce TV shows, or to run an arts center for children.
They all faced their own fears and challenges, and some have returned to the corporate world in some form or other, but not one of them regrets their move. Just pull up a chair in a hostel or even in your local pub and you’re bound to meet someone on his or her own journey of self-discovery. It’s up to you to find your own way, but there are millions out there who are with you in spirit.

9. You’ll never have all the answers.

I’ve been on a steep learning curve this year. As a new business owner, I’ve had to learn about limited companies, corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, NI … I’m creating proposals, contracts and invoices, I’m editing the CSS of my website, and I’m devouring articles on both digital marketing and freelance writing.
Possibly the biggest challenge has been finding the best way to balance work and income on the one side with fun and freedom on the other; but I’m learning! Don’t wait for the point when you have the perfect plan and you’ve answered every possible question, as you’re never going to have 100% certainty. There will always be some risk — but that’s OK!

10. Not all who wander are lost.

Life doesn’t have to be about finding a job, meeting The One, getting a mortgage, having children. It can be hard to watch “everyone” around you settling down; but if you don’t want to follow that path now, or maybe ever, then there’s nothing wrong with continuing to explore different paths, meeting new people, living in different cities, traveling the world…
Life doesn’t have an end point — well, death, but I don’t think you should be working towards that as a goal — so why not let it be an endless journey of discovery and continuous learning? I say, bon voyage! And if you happen to see me in that hostel bar, come and join me for a drink and we’ll share our stories over a pisco sour.
Read the original article on Quora. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Copyright 2019. Follow Quora on Twitter.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Guide to Technology Stack (Infographic)

This infographic was first published on The Software Guild. It has been republished here with permission from its creators.
technology stack or tech stack for short refers to a set of technologies, software, and tools that are used in the development and deployment of sites, apps, and other digital products.
For example, a classic technology stack is the LAMP stack. The LAMP stack is traditionally used for creating an environment for running PHP applications. The stack is made up of the following technologies: Linux (the environments OS), Apache (the HTTP server), MySQL (the database), and PHP (the server-side programming language).
The infographic below provides you with an exceptional introduction to technology stacks. It covers:
  • Web development stacks
  • Software stacks
  • A glimpse of the large-scale technology stacks of major tech companies like Airbnb and Stack Overflow
text version of the infographic can be found over at The Software Guild blog, in case you have trouble reading the image-based infographic in this post.
Theres also an interactive version of the infographic, and its a terrific educational resource that you can lean on for your tech presentations, meetings, lectures, workshops, and more.
A preview of the interactive version of the Technology Stack infographic.

Technology Stack Infographic

Technology Stack Infographic

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Evolution of Software Architecture

A Funny Picture I received from my Whatsapp Chat Group. This is so true. Haha.

Monday, March 11, 2019

10 Signs That You Have A Bad Boss And How To Handle It #LikeABoss

So does your supervisor tick all the wrong boxes?
You may be new to a job and trying to figure out the best way to work with your employer.
Or maybe you are a seasoned professional feeling like your new manager isn’t being a good boss. 
But what exactly defines a good (or bad) boss? 
Read this ‘checklist’ to see if your supervisor ticks these boxes so you can then determine if your supervisor is the problem and how you can manage your expectations.
  1. “You Do It”
Of course there will be times when we feel we’re bombarded with work, but one important question to ask is if the work is unfairly assigned.
Are you taking on way more workload than your peers? Is the assigned work out of your job scope? Or is your boss asking you to work on something that he is not willing to take on himself?
It can get especially frustrating when your boss assigns you tasks that he has never had to perform before, so he ends up giving you unrealistic deadlines along with it. 
What to do: If you’re already struggling to complete the work that was assigned to you, be frank and tell him that you already have a lot on your plate and politely request if someone else on the team can take on the work instead. If he gives you unreasonable deadlines, tell him that it’s not feasible and propose a more realistic deadline, while assuring him that you’ll get the work done ASAP. 
  1. Stealing Credit For Your Work
Does your boss take credit for your work without giving you the recognition you deserve? If it’s a yes, then he definitely deserves a red flag.
A good boss is always willing to spread the praise around because it builds morale, confidence, and inspires people to work harder. Meanwhile, a boss who takes all the credit is only looking out for himself. 
If your boss is constantly pinching ideas off you or the team instead of offering them, this shows that he lacks the vision and ability to get the job done himself.
What to do: Fishing for compliments may be hard, but be honest and tell him how hard you (and your team) have worked on the idea and that some form of acknowledgement would be very much appreciated to motivate you to do better. 
Watch this Video: 3 Tips to Switch Careers
  1. Micromanagement 
No one likes the feeling of someone breathing down their necks. 
Micromanaging bosses have poor leadership skills and have zero trust in their employees. They tend to check on their employees’ every move and not give them any freedom to take charge of their own tasks. 
What to do: If your boss is a control freak, you can soothe their nerves by providing detailed notes on every meeting, and giving them frequent updates on a project’s progress. This will give them the illusion that they’re in control and on top of things.  
  1. Always Missing In Action 
Punctuality is a very important trait in the workplace — this does not apply to only the employees, but also the bosses. 
Such bosses tend to abuse their power and think that they do not have to follow company rules. Coming in late, leaving early, taking very long breaks, and making up random schedules is disrespectful to everyone in the office. 
What to do: Casually request for him to share his calendar with the team so you can keep track of his schedule and have an idea of when he will be in the office. If he’s a habitual latecomer, let him know that his frequent lateness is affecting day-to-day operations. 
  1. Plays Favourites 
When favouritism comes into play, it’s easy to feel dwarfed and incompetent. You’ll end up constantly comparing yourself to his ‘pet’ and that is a very unhealthy habit. 
Bosses who play favouritism also fail to reward those who perform well and this type of unfair treatment can get on any employee’s nerves and even cause animosity among colleagues. 
What to do: Try to secure some one-on-one time to bond with your boss. By spending time with him outside the office, it can help cultivate a better working relationship and both of you can have a chance to get to know each other better. 
If the favouritism persists, make known to him that you make an equally deserving candidate and convince him to trust you to get the work done.  
  1. No Respect For Personal Time 
Some bosses are workaholics and have no concept of personal time and days off. They expect you to be at their beck and call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
Unless it’s urgent, your boss should not disturb you after working hours because you deserve the right to rest and recharge during your downtime. 
What to do: Set boundaries early on and let your boss know that you have handled the matter before the weekend and will look into any amendments on Monday morning. If the boss insists that you put in extra hours, make sure that he offers overtime pay or off-in-lieu as a form of compensation. 
  1. Disregard Your Opinions 
Some bosses get frustrated when their employees question their decisions — it’s always their way or the highway. 
When you offer an idea, they immediately shoot it down without making an effort to even consider them and this hurts your feelings and confidence.
What to do: Voice how you feel and convey to him that your opinions and insights are valuable too. If he thinks that your ideas and opinions are not feasible, tell him that you would appreciate constructive feedback instead so you can work better on future ideas.
  1. Abuse And Harassment 
Physical intimidation of any kind is a clear sign of abuse, regardless of whether there is any actual physical contact or not. 
Verbal abuse on the other hand, is not just limited to hurling vulgarities. Yelling at you in front of the whole office, making personal attacks that is unrelated to your work, and throwing out threats also falls under this category. 
For sexual abuse, it’s much more serious and can range from making inappropriate or sexist comments, to criminal offences like molest and rape. 
What to do: If your boss physically and/or verbally abuses you, report it to HR immediately. If you’re faced with a boss who makes inappropriate comments, tell him firmly that you don’t feel comfortable with him passing such remarks. For more serious sexual abuse, you can even escalate the matter to the authorities. 
  1. Denying Your Employee Entitlements
As an employee, you are entitled to a monthly salary, claims, and annual leave. If your boss refuses to pay your salary, or keeps delaying it, it’s definitely a cause for concern. 
If he makes it hard for you to apply for claims and annual leave — especially when you’re entitled for it — it pegs him as an inflexible boss. If you work hard, you definitely deserve the freedom to take some time off work. 
What to do: If you are not paid on time, approach your boss first to understand if there are reasons for the late payment, and whether the regular payment schedule can be resumed. 
If you are still not paid your full salary within 7 days of it being due, your boss is considered to have breached the terms of employment. According to regulations by the Ministry of Manpower, you reserve the right to terminate employment without serving notice. 
  1. Hindering Your Professional Growth 
A good boss will encourage and help you to advance your career, be it through mentoring or continued learning. 
If your role in the company has been stagnant and not progressing for more than 2 years, it’s time to talk to your boss about career progression opportunities. 
If he thinks that you are ‘not ready’, request for further training to improve yourself. But if he ignores your request or tells you that you are wasting the company’s time and resources, that just shows that he does not care about your career growth. 
What to do: If need to, you can seek another mentor in the company outside your department. A mentor can become a valuable resource if you desire to climb the corporate ladder, and serves as a good sounding board.

He Ticks Most Boxes On The ‘Bad Boss’ Checklist, Now What?

The most straightforward solution is to nip the problem in the bud and have a talk with your boss. 
Arrange for a private meeting and try to discuss matters with him. Often, people don’t realise that their behaviour is unpleasant to others and bringing the matter to light can help resolve the negative work environment. 
When talking to him, you need to be specific and let him know what you need from him in terms of feedback, direction and support. Be polite and focus on your needs. 
If talking to your boss still does not help matters, you can report his bad behaviour to the upper management and let them make an executive decision. 
In the meantime, refrain from complaining or gossiping about your boss to your colleagues because this may heighten problems you already face and potentially create tension. 
Should You Find A New Job? 
There’s no reason to condone your boss’ bad behaviour, and if working with him takes a toll on your health and emotional well-being, then it’s better to leave the job. 
Once you make the decision to quit, it’s important to do it as professionally and gracefully as possible. 
While it might be tempting to go out in a blaze of anger, this rarely works out well in the long run. The industry is small, so it’s best to not burn bridges!
However, if you are not willing to leave just yet, you can explore other opportunities within your organisation instead. 
Look into other roles that might interest you, and talk to colleagues and managers in other departments to gain a better insight on who you might be working with next. 
Think about what your skills might be appropriate for, and proceed to make a case for your transition.