Champions League: Lionel Messi’s late double sinks Arsenal

first_imgBarcelona’s Lionel Messi broke free from Arsenal’s shackles to score two late goals and put the Champions League holders on the brink of the quarterfinals with a clinical 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.The irrepressible Argentine, along with strike partners Luis Suarez and Neymar, had been subdued for most of the last 16, first-leg tie but came alive late on, clinically finishing off a lightning counter-attack and then dispatching a penalty.”They are 95 per cent through to the quarterfinals certainly,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side had defended solidly for 71 minutes until crumbling, told reporters.”It’s a shame we didn’t get any satisfaction because we put everything into it.”Luis Enrique’s Barca side extended their unbeaten run to 33 matches and, barring something extraordinary in the return at the Nou Camp next month, will take their place in the last eight for the ninth season in a row. Also read: Winning La Liga will be difficult, not impossible, says Zidane “I liked everything we did tonight,” the Spaniard told reporters.Messi has proved a thorn in Arsenal’s side on each of the last two occasions the teams have met in the Champions League. In 2010 he scored four times in the last 16 second leg to send Barca through and a year later he struck twice in a 3-1 win in Spain after Arsenal had edged the first leg.Messi, Suarez and Neymar had scored 91 goals in all competitions this season heading into Tuesday’s game but none of the feared trident managed an effort on target in the first half as Arsenal’s fans cranked up the decibel levels. Arsenal were patient and should have gone ahead midway through the first half when Hector Bellerin’s scuffed shot fell for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but he scooped his effort straight into the arms of keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.advertisementThe Catalans began to move through the gears though and either side of halftime wasted two glorious chances. Suarez, who has 41 goals in all competitions this term, headed Dani Alves’s dinked cross wide with the goal gaping before Neymar was denied by goalkeeper Petr Cech after being played in by Andres Iniesta.Starved of the ball for long periods, Arsenal still posed a threat and Ter Stegen did well to keep out Olivier Giroud’s close-range header from a Mesut Ozil cross.Arsenal grew in belief but it cost them dear as they committed players forward and got stung on the break. With 19 minutes left they lost the ball near Barca’s goal and Suarez and Neymar combined in devastating fashion, the Brazilian unselfishly picking out Messi who steadied himself before beating Cech for the first time in his career.Suarez then hit the post when he should have scored before Messi scored again, this time with a calmly struck penalty after substitute Mathieu Flamini had tripped him.last_img read more

4 Ways Your Ego is Getting in the Way of Your Job Search

first_imgToeing the line between confidence and arrogance is an easy line to cross during your job search. Sure, you might have strong technical skills and experience. You probably have a great network and personal brand, too. And chances are, you probably can find a colleague who can write you a glowing letter of recommendation. But can all these things truly set you apart during your job search?If you have many of these traits, you may not realize an underlying problem that could negatively impact your job search: your ego. Although confidence is a good quality to have, it’s important not to be overconfident as a job seeker. Fifty-six percent of job seekers say they’re confident they know what employers are looking for in a candidate. However, only 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits they’re looking for in a candidate. This shows how important it is for job seekers to remain level-headed during their search.Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely good to walk into any interview with an “I’ve got this!” mentality. However, you need to keep yourself in check. Here are four signs to be aware of:1. You aren’t seeking advice from mentors.One of the biggest mistakes you could make during your job search is not having a mentor. Seventy-four percent of hiring managers say job seekers should have a mentor or seek advice from a career counselor during their job search. This advice is crucial for your success because you’ll be able to better match your skills and experience with the qualifications for jobs you’re interested in.2. You rely solely on your experience and skills.Many job seekers depend on their prior experience and technical skills when filling out job applications. While your experience and skills serve as a good starting point, there are some other factors you need to consider.Hiring managers are not only looking for experienced candidates, but also those who’d be the best person for the position. Hiring managers want to hire candidates who have the best personality, attitude, and soft skills needed to fit their culture. If you overlook these attributes when writing your resume and cover letter, you could be missing out on the key qualifications employers seek.3. Your attitude is setting you up for failure.Sometimes, overconfident job seekers can become angry during their job search when they aren’t experiencing the results they anticipated. If you’re landing interviews but not receiving job offers, this could cause you to feel blindsided by your confidence. When this happens, it’s tempting to blame the interviewer for not seeing you as a desirable candidate. Instead of blaming things outside of your control, you need to hold yourself accountable for your attitude and remember there will be more opportunities better suited for your expertise.4. You aren’t willing to learn or adapt.One of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome in your search is the ability to expand your knowledge and use it to adapt to new situations. If you’re feeling like you have all the skills you need to be successful, you need to change your mindset now. Throughout your entire career, you’re going to build upon your current skills and experience. This is the only way you’re going to have a competitive advantage during your search and impress hiring managers with your hunger for knowledge.Need a solution? Check yourself for overconfidence.The only way you’re going to find out if your ego’s interfering with your search is if you take a step back. Look at your strategy for applying for jobs to find out what’s working and what’s not. Once you figure out what’s holding you back in your search, see if it’s related to your overconfidence. It’s easy to think any employer would be lucky to have us, but you have to be realistic and keep the employer’s needs in mind first.Are you guilty of letting your ego interfere with your job search? How do you think overconfidence can set job seekers back?last_img read more

The Gender Gap: Why Women Negotiate Differently than Men

first_imgRecent news stories have focused on the persistent differential between the salaries paid to men and women for similar work.  Such stories are often accompanied by calls for legislation to remedy the disparities.  While we do not dispute the presence of sexism in corporate and institutional settings, it is important to point out that many women—with some training and encouragement—could do better in negotiating employment agreements.  The wage gap is not just about the careers that women are choosing. It’s about how they are negotiating and that they may be penalized if they do.Right now, graduating college seniors across the country are facing what is likely to be the first important negotiation of their lives – the terms and conditions of their first job. Many will approach this conversation woefully underprepared. The vast majority, either because they are uncomfortable with the notion of negotiating, or unsure of how to proceed, will simply accept the first offer on the table.And especially so for women.Even when men and women had the same majors, there were often gaps in pay, according to a 2012 report, “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” from the American Association of University Women. For example, in the engineering, technology, computer science and social sciences fields, researchers found that women made between 77 percent and 88 percent of what their male colleagues were paid.A colleague recently told us a story that might help illustrate why this happens.  She was an accomplished professional with an MBA from a leading business school.  She was asked by the CEO of a company to make a proposal for a consulting assignment and only had a few hours to respond. So she polled friends on Google Chat to get their advice.  The range of suggested hourly rates was from $150 to $300.  The women were all at the lower end of the range, and the men were at the upper end.Her curiosity was piqued, and so she asked them the basis for their suggestions.  The women were guided by what they thought was “fair.” In contrast, the young men replied, “What’s the most I can ask for and not be perceived as a jerk?”But there is another aspect of the negotiation disparity that women should consider.In a study by Professor Linda Babcock at Carnegie Mellon, men and women asked for raises using identical scripts. People liked the men’s style, but the women were branded as aggressive—unless they gave a smile while they asked, or appeared warm and friendly.What do we do about the facts noted by Professor Babcock? Victoria Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, notes that if women appear more relational in the discussion, they do better in terms of the results achieved. “They have to signal more relationally than their male counterparts to be heard the same.”Sheila English, an accomplished businesswoman and public administrator, urges women—for the sake of their own comfort in the negotiation—to rely on the same kind of interpersonal skills with which they are most comfortable in the rest of their lives. Rather than trying to enter the negotiation in a “male style”—all business, assertive, and direct from the get-go—spend time working on building a relationship with the hiring representative. In other words, play to your natural inclinations.We have recently been conducting salary negotiation workshops for college students and have proposed that they use Budson’s and English’s advice.  Here’s one recent report from Allison, a graduate student in the health professions from Tufts University School of Medicine:I was worried about negotiating because I’m young and don’t have much experience. I learned that, as a woman, I must go about the negotiation differently. Long story short, I was able to get my employer up $14k!!! Sadly, our world can still be quite sexist. After accepting this sad truth, we can still deal with the hand that we, as women, are dealt. There’s no substitute for being prepared in a job negotiation and for having done your research to know what the market values are for your prospective job.  But for women, there is another step in the negotiation process: Knowing how you may be perceived and taking steps to create a better set-up for the discussion.Farzana Mohamed and Paul Levy are the authors of a new book, How to Negotiate Your First Job.last_img read more

This CEO Pays His Employees $2,000 To Go On Vacation

first_imgIf you work at SteelHouse, a California-based marketing and advertising agency, the company will pay you $2,000 a year to go anywhere in the world. That’s right. Jet to Beijing or Boston, it’s up to you. One trip or two (or three)!CEO Mark Douglas was tired of watching his employees’ vacation days go down the drain because of the guilt and fear associated with taking time off. He compares today’s overworked generation to lions born into captivity. Once you open the cage, they won’t start running free but they will only back up further into confinement. Take Kickstarter, for example, which had to retract its unlimited vacation policy because its workers felt less entitled to their vacations and began to burn out.“It’s one thing to say ‘You have three weeks vacation,’ like most companies do,” Douglas told Business Insider. “It’s another thing to say ‘You have cash, and if you don’t go on vacation and spend this money, the money literally goes to waste.’ It’s another level of saying this is real.”[Related: See Open Jobs At SteelHouse & Apply Now!]Championed by large tech companies and small startups alike, unlimited time off is arguably one of the most prized perks offered. On-demand vacation sounds like the ultimate contribution to a work-life balance and the most generous gift an employer can bestow upon its overworked employees.But studies show that Americans do not fully utilize their vacation days, with an all-time low use in the past several decades. A Glassdoor survey found that the average American employee only takes half of their days off, and 61% work during vacation days. What could possibly be keeping us all from a warm nap on a beach here and there? Fear.The survey finds that 28% of workers fear getting behind while on vacation with another 17% fear losing their job upon return. Another third fear that using vacation time means losing their spot in the lineup for a promotion.[Related: Top 20 Employee Benefits & Perks]But if job security is holding people back from a well-deserved break, this CEO is teaching his employees to celebrate vacation time.And it’s safe to say that Douglas’ monetary incentive is working. The CEO’s approval rating has jumped to 99%. In the last three years only five of his 250 employees have left the company. The overall morale boost is being reflected in the firm’s all-time high revenue growth: a 170% increase in the past year, which makes StealHouse the fast-growing online advertising agency in the world. Not bad.For Douglas, the new incentive is more than just a win-win for his team and company. It’s a commitment to paying forward the healthy work culture he was lucky enough to experience at the first companies he ever worked for, the type of company culture that influenced his perspective on work-life balance for the rest of his life.Now the CEO of his own firm, he wants his employees – many of whom are under the age of 30 and consider StealHouse their first employer – to understand this type of balanced work culture as the norm. He hopes that one day, they too will establish progressive work-life balance policies at companies of their own. If Douglas isn’t #CEOgoals, I don’t know who is.DISCOVER: 17 Companies with Great Work-Life Balance & Hiring Now!last_img read more

8 Ways Getting a Job Has Changed In The Last Decade

first_img 2.6★ 4.0★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.7★ 23 hours ago 23h On-Call Dental Assistant | North Seattle / Lynnwood / Everett Willamette Dental Group Lynnwood, WA Find Jobs Near You RN, Registered Nurse – NT6 CV Step Down CHRISTUS Health Austin, TX Customer Service Associate / Project Manager Stone Tech Fabrication Trenton, NJ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Diesel Mechanic Tamiami Ford Naples, FL 3.2★ Speech Lanaguage Pathologist TheraCare of New York Norwalk, CT 3.4★ Restaurant Manager Red Lobster San Jose, CAcenter_img 23 hours ago 23h The job market is perpetually evolving, which means if you’ve been happily employed for the past decade, it’s safe to say that things are different now. The way people look for jobs, the interview process and what employers look for are all slightly different now, although your time-tested job hunting and interviewing skills will still serve you well. To help you navigate these changes, Glassdoor is hosting a free livestream on Wednesday, April 25th from 6-7 PM PT. Read on to get a sneak peek at some of the major ways searching for a job has changed in the past ten years, plus how you can work these shifts to your advantage.1. It’s Easier to Find Exactly What You’re Looking forSure, online job postings were around ten years ago, but job sites have evolved in some major ways. In addition to having a greater volume of postings available online, you can now filter your search — not just for basics like job title and location, but also for salary ranges, date of posting and company size — using tools like Glassdoor’s job search feature. These filters allow you to avoid wasting time sifting through job descriptions that aren’t relevant to you, so you can make the most of your job hunting time.How to Find a Job You’ll Want to Stay at for Good2. Transparency Is a Priority2017 was a prime year for whistleblowing at major corporations. While this might not seem relevant to job hunting, the spirit of transparency absolutely crosses over into this arena. According to Glassdoor’s “What’s Ahead for Jobs? Five Disruptions to Watch in 2018” report, it’s likely that more companies will begin to implement transparent hiring practices in order to allow potential hires to feel more clued in during the hiring process. Johnson & Johnson is one of the first companies to make this kind of system a reality, using a new hiring platform that allows candidates to track their application from start to finish, suggests next steps and provides helpful information about the company and role.Of course, this also means that transparency is expected from candidates, who should be prepared to talk about their reasons for seeking a new job and the challenges they’ve encountered in past roles. And while embellishing your resume was never exactly encouraged, it’s an especially poor moment to try that tactic given today’s climate.3. Being Well-Informed Is CrucialAnother major trend noted in the disruptions report is that recruiters are especially looking for candidates who have researched the company and are well-informed about the role and the industry they’re applying to work in. One Glassdoor survey found that employers prioritized informed candidates above all others, and that being a high-quality candidate essentially means being an informed one. How does this translate? Use your application and resume to show how much you know about your industry and the job roles you’re applying for, and you’re more likely to see heightened interest in your applications.4. You Can Job Search (& Apply) Right on Your PhoneYes, it’s really that easy. That means you can work on your job hunt while you’re standing in line at the grocery store or during your train commute. Five minutes here and there really add up, so this can work to your advantage if you’re searching for a job but have limited free time.If you have your profile complete on Glassdoor, for example, you can utilize the Easy Apply feature, which allows you to submit an application without leaving the site or even uploading additional documents — a feature that isn’t available on all job sites. And research suggests that mobile job searching will be even hotter in the years to come. One 2015 Pew Research survey found that 28 percent of Americans have used their mobile phone for job searching.5 Apps That’ll Transform Your Career5. Your Skills Matter More Than Your Current Job TitleWhen updating your resume, it’s important to include not just the names of where you’ve worked and what your job titles have been, but also keywords that highlight your actual skills. Not only does this help recruiters pinpoint what you can actually do, but it also increases the chances of your resume making it to an actual human’s eyes when you apply for a job online. Many large companies utilize resume-scanning software that searches for keywords pertinent to each role, only passing the most relevant resumes along to HR for further review.Plus, if there are skills you use in your job now that you enjoy using, you can use those as keywords for your job searches. This way, you might be able to find jobs with titles you hadn’t imagined for yourself, but in reality are a great fit for what you’re interested in doing next.6. Hiring Is Hot — & Not Just for TechYou might think that the only way to find a new job these days is to become a computer whiz. It’s true that Glassdoor’s 2018 disruptions report found that healthcare and tech jobs are steadily increasing. If you work in either of those industries, you’ll have plenty to choose from in terms of potential roles. These trends probably aren’t too surprising, but what’s especially promising for job hunters in 2018 is that more traditional job roles (think: construction laborers, restaurant waiters and truck drivers) are also in higher demand. While a decade ago it looked like computers, the internet and AI would make traditional job roles redundant, they’re actually on the rise. The takeaway? Don’t let a lack of technical skills discourage you from looking for something new.7. Feedback Has Become a Major FocusYou may have already experienced that annual performance reviews are becoming less popular, with many companies choosing to do away with them entirely. Now, many businesses are opting to encourage feedback on a more frequent basis through regular check-ins and structured learning opportunities. Once you make it to the interview stage, showing you’re comfortable with receiving feedback, learning new skills and making changes to the way you work based on your organization’s current needs can set you apart from the rest of the candidate pool.8. You Might Not Have to Leave Your Current Company to Try Something NewAnother rising trend, according to Glassdoor’s disruption report, is “role experimentation” programs. While only a few companies have formal programs that allow current employees to try out a completely new job role and eventually transition over to that role full-time (provided it’s a good fit), it’s expected that more will become keen on the idea. Research shows that one of the key reasons people leave their jobs is that their role no longer fits their skills or interests, and businesses are wising up to the fact that in order to keep their most talented employees — who naturally want to grow and change in their roles — they’ll have to be a little more flexible. If your company doesn’t have a formal program for career changers, check in with your HR department about what company policy on the matter is. You might be surprised by how open they are to role-switching.Browse Open Jobs N/A 2.8★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME 23 hours ago 23h Business Office Manager EmpRes Healthcare Management Laurel, MT Maintenance Technician Birge & Held Indianapolis, IN 3.4★ NIGHT REGISTERED NURSE-HOUSE SUPERVISOR Strategic Behavioral Health Santa Teresa, NM 3.1★ N/A 23 hours ago 23hlast_img read more

How Can I Tell If a Potential Employer is LGBTQ Friendly?

first_img Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ N/A Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Interior Designer – St. Louis & Dallas Oculus Saint Louis, MO 23 hours ago 23h Administartive Assistant Sentry Mechanical Pittsburgh, PA Find Jobs Near You Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT 3.4★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.5★center_img N/A 3.5★ Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL Pest Control Technician United Pest Solutions Seattle, WA 2.5★ Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME All job seekers should evaluate the environment of a business or organization before deciding whether to accept a position — and for LGBTQ candidates, judging whether an employer is inclusive is paramount. Luckily, according to Glassdoor’s ebook Workplace Guide for LGBTQ Professionals: Embracing Your Authentic Self in Your Career, more companies than ever are embracing LGBTQ inclusion. Here are tips to use throughout the hiring process to determine whether a company is LGBTQ friendly. 1. Use the Interview Process The interview process is a chance to talk to current employees of an organization and inquire about the environment of their workplace. LGBTQ workplace advocacy non-profit Out & Equal recommends asking questions such as: What are your core values?What resources do you provide to employees?How would you describe your company culture?What are your inclusion policies and practices?By digging into company culture, LGBTQ job seekers can determine whether they feel comfortable bringing their full, authentic selves to work. If you want to talk with current employees about the inclusivity of an organization but don’t want to discuss it during an interview, Out & Equal suggests connecting with current employees through networking websites such as LinkedIn.7 Situational Interview Questions to Prepare For2. Do Your ResearchResearching companies online is another valuable way to learn more about an office environment. Glassdoor reviews can inform job seekers about employee experiences, and LGBTQ-inclusive organizations may use their Glassdoor profiles to publish posts or photos that show their diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example, IBM features a rainbow version of their logo on their page, as well as a section on employee diversity.Beck Bailey, deputy director of the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign, advises looking at the Human Right Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which rates the LGBTQ inclusivity of a company’s policies and practices — companies that scored 100 percent in 2018 include Boston Consulting Group, SAP and Delta Airlines.3. Look at PoliciesEmployment rights for LGBTQ employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity vary throughout the United States. Use the Movement Advancement Project to view legal protections in different areas. Job seekers can also check an employer’s non-discrimination clause – an LGBTQ inclusive employer should have sexual orientation and gender identity included in these policies.6 Real-Life Examples of Age Discrimination4. Look Out for Company Culture Red FlagsCertain warning signs can give you that gut feeling that a company isn’t the right fit for you. Look out for the following red flags:Glassdoor reviews by employeesPoor interview experienceLack of diversity in employee ranksManagement’s social media postsLow-ball salary offerLack of inclusive benefits and perksMisaligned mission or valuesOverworked staffNot everyone is able to work at their dream job, but most people can find a position where they are happy and successful. Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal, notes that while career decisions are always up to the individual job seeker, “It’s really ultimately better for you to end up somewhere that you’re happy and accepted.” Want more advice for your job search? Read the full eBook here.Browse Open Jobs RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX 23 hours ago 23h 2.8★ 4.7★ 3.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 5.0★last_img read more

Fabio Aurelio: Firmino doing amazing things for Liverpool

first_imgFormer Liverpool fullback Fabio Aurelio is delighted seeing Roberto Firmino thrive at Anfield.The midfielder played some outstanding football for the Reds last season.Aurelio told liverpoolfc.com: “Firmino showed what he could do last season, in an important role in the team.“He can do amazing things with the ball; some of the dribbles he did last season, nobody would have expected to be done, and some goals.“He is not only a scorer but he also creates chances for his teammates. Coutinho and Firmino know each other well. From what I could watch last season, they understand very well what the coach asks of them.“You see the team and it’s not only two or three players, the whole team has a very good mentality, they were strong physically, they were very strong in moments when they didn’t have key players.“That’s important in competitions like the Premier League, where you have to be very consistent across the whole season. If Liverpool can keep those important players and add a few more, they will have a great chance.”last_img read more

Reproductive Health in Conflict Settings

first_imgPosted on July 28, 2011August 16, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)During conflicts and displacement, the need for reproductive health services does not disappear. A new paper in BMC Health and Conflict reports on baseline findings from surveys of women in conflict settings in Uganda, Sudan, and the DRC.The authors conclude:Family planning services are a critical means of meeting women’s and men’s health needs and human rights in all countries of the world, including those affected by conflict. Data show a demand for spacing and limiting births among women in these sites, just as elsewhere in Africa; however, in these sites, the demand has far outstripped the available services. To fill this gap, family planning programs must be strengthened in sub-Saharan Africa, and refugees and displaced people must be included in national and donors’ health and development plans. Moreover, all parties must maintain a longterm perspective, particularly in conflict-affected states, since history shows that progress in meeting communities’ reproductive health needs has been slow even in countries at peace.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

WASH For Mothers: Importance of Clean Water and Sanitation During Pregnancy

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: References1. Tomasz, N “The Statement of Polish Gynecological Society experts concerning drinking water consumption in women in reproductive age, pregnancy and breastfeeding”, Ginekol Pol, July 2009, 80(7).2. Carles, G “Fievre typhoide et Grossesse”, Journal de gynecologie obstetrique et Biologie de la reproduction, Septiembre 2002, vol 31 Nº 5.3. Steke R W et al., “The burden of Malaria in pregnancy in malaria endemic areas” Am J Tropical Med Hyg 2001.4. Booker, S et al. “Hookworms related Anemia among pregnant women: A systematic review”, PLOS Negl Trop Dis 2 (9)e 201.doi 101371/journal.prntd.0000291, 2008.5. Magnessum, L et al, “Comprehensive versus Selective PHC: Lessons for Global H Policies”, Health Affairs, 2004 vol23 Nb1.6. Bove, F. et al., “Drinking water contaminant and Adverse pregnancy outcome: A review”, Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2002. Environmental Health Perspectives V.110 (suppl 1) Feb 2002.Share this: Posted on August 24, 2011August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following post is part of a series of posts exploring water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and maternal health. It is written by Grace Kodindo, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Chad, currently serving as RAISE Medical and Advocacy Advisor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. To read other posts in the series, click here.Worldwide, 1.1 billion People live without clean water and 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation (2002, WHO/UNICEF 2004). What we need to understand is that water–related diseases do have specific impacts on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. First of all, water has a physiological impact on the development of a normal pregnancy. Maternal hydration allows both mother and fetus to react to changes in order to keep conditions in the body, for example temperature, the same. Drinking water influences the amniotic fluid volume, fetal well being and removes toxic products.1 Lack of access to clean water and living in environment with dirty stagnant water are known to result in largely preventable water–related diseases that can lead to severe impact adverse pregnancy outcomes. Those diseases are malaria, typhoid, chronic hookworm infestations like ankylostomiasis, dysentery, cholera, giardiasis, amoebiasis, etc.Studies in countries with endemic typhoid have shown that typhoid fever can lead to spontaneous abortion, fetal death and maternal complications with death where there is no appropriate antibiotic treatment.2About 20–30% of pregnant women in Sub-Sahara Africa are infected with hookworms by walking or bathing in contaminated water and thus are at risk of preventable hookworm-related anemia. Anemia increases their risk of dying during pregnancy and delivering low birth weight babies who in turn are also at risk of dying.4Access to clean water is also an essential part of infection prevention in maternal care services. Proper hand washing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spreading of infection in health care settings. HIV, tetanus bacterium and many others infectious agents can be introduced to the uterus by contaminated instruments or hands during deliveries performed under unhygienic conditions procedure. To encourage hand washing, program managers should make sure that soap and a continuous supply of clean water is available. Since clean water and basic sanitation are so closely related to healthy pregnancy outcome, how can they be integrated? They were integrated in the beginning because in the declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, clean water, basic sanitation and maternal and child services have been outlined as components of the Comprehensive Primary Health Care strategy of “Health For All” (WHO,1978). WASH and maternal health interventions should be integrated through the comprehensive primary health care approach so that governments and their partners could implement them together as long term strategy for maternal and child health. Countries like China, Indonesia Bangladesh, Cuba, Kerala state in India, have implemented successfully the comprehensive primary health care with well reported impact on improved maternal and child health.5Clearly pumped ground water will provide safer water compared to unprotected surface water, like non covered wells or contaminated rivers where people bath and draw drinking water. Pumped water may be more affordable in poor household who cannot afford piped water. At the moment, any evidence to suggest that pumped water lead to better maternal and children outcomes has maybe not been well documented. Pumped water is clean water and it has been proved to prevent water born diseases but I must say that there are needs for more data on the relation of pumped water and adverse maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. Much more studies have been done on chlorination disinfection by-products such as Trihalomethanes (THMs) and chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE). Studies on THMs and adverse effects provide moderate evidence for association with small for gestation age (SGA), neural tube defects and spontaneous abortion but other solvents were not studied, so the evidence for association was weak.6 The authors recommended larger scale, national longitudinal study enrolling children prenatally during the first trimester and following them until the adolescence.Advocating for clean water should be a top priority. For billions of people the MDG7 goal may be far from reach. It is of course a matter of human right, human dignity and of equity. Affordable and accessible clean water lead to better health and better life for mothers. Healthy mothers, liberated from the burden of walking long distance to fetch water can be more productive and more able to pay for the installation and maintenance of clean water supply. They can be powerful tools in advocacy efforts for more clean water and sanitation supply for all.last_img read more

Special Issue of Impact Magazine Shares 10 Game-changing Moments for Women and Girls

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 29, 2013March 8, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)What have been the 10 biggest game-changing moments for women and girls over the last 10 years?  A special issue of Impact Magazine, produced in partnership with PSI, Women Deliver, and the Skoll Foundation, pulls answers to this question from hundreds of readers.What do you think?Click here to see what readers had to say.This special issue coincides with the Women Deliver 2013 conference–and includes an interview with Melinda Gates about “the women who inspire her, where change begins, and how donors can best help girls and women”; a piece by Sarah Brown, Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, discussing the role of grassroots groups in preventing maternal death; a round-up by a team of PSI technical experts, in consultation with health workers around the globe, of five simple ideas to deliver better health for girls and women, quickly and affordably; and more. “In the previous issue of Impact, we examined the new era of philanthropy and giving to global health,” says Marshall Stowell, editor-in-chief of Impact Magazine. “In this issue, produced in partnership with Women Deliver and the Skoll Foundation, we focus on one of the most effective ways to lift families, communities and countries: investment in the health and rights of girls and women.”Click here to browse the PDF of the special edition of Impact Magazine. Follow Marshall Stowell, editor-in-chief of Impact Magazine, on Twitter: @MarshallPSI Stay up-to-date with the conference happenings on Twitter at hashtag #WD2013. For more about Women Deliver 2013 on the MHTF Blog, click here.Share this:last_img read more

Maternal Mortality Reduction Goals in Nigeria: The Local Face of a New Global Paradigm

first_imgPosted on March 31, 2014November 7, 2016By: Dr. Luther-King Fasehun, Technical and Policy Lead, The Wellbeing Foundation AfricaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to host a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!It is no longer news that Nigeria is a peculiar country, a nation with huge human and natural resources, and whose diversity of peoples and internal geographies is a blessing. Sadly, it is also not news that the country represents at least 10% of the global maternal mortality burden, with a currently estimated maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 487 per 100,000 livebirths (as at 2011). However, the well thought-out targets of the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) Working Group present the country with an unprecedented opportunity to change the tide, improve livelihoods for its women and families, and aim to eliminate preventable maternal mortality within a generation, harnessing the right tools and interventions, at the right scale and quality, as well as building on the success factors in the chase for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the harnessing of a burgeoning private sector and surging political will for improved health outcomes for women, families, and communities.Based on the EPMM Working Group targets, the proposed MMR target for Nigeria is ‘less than 100 per 100,000 livebirths by 2035, with country-specific milestones, with the expectation that Nigeria will cross one milestone within every 5 year interval.’ For Nigeria, I humbly recommend that the country-specific 5 year interval milestones be context-driven on a State by State basis, given that Nigeria has 36 States, with one Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja). While the federal government provides strategic guidance and robust supportive frameworks for implementation of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) interventions for the entire country, the infrastructural and health systems challenges of Nigeria, as well as the resources available to mitigate these challenges, are mainly State-driven. More so, because of the vast population and heterogeneity of Nigeria, as well as the strategic importance of the country to the attainment of global goals, I wish to strongly recommend that the EPMM Working Group sets State-by-State targets, working in partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, and governments of all the 36+1 States.A State-by-State framework must not shy away from the interconnectedness of States, and the virtual nature of geographic borders, especially because of the very mobile nature of Nigerian women and families, as well as unavoidably shared natural resources, for example. To this end, there should be significant cooperation and sharing of insightful knowledge, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, and with the assistance of NGOs, CSOs, bilaterals and multilaterals. In this manner, Nigeria presents a window of opportunity to show the world a model that works to eliminate inequities to the last mile, helping to reach global set goals and targets for maternal mortality ratio (MMR) reduction.The adoption, last year, of the Maternal Death Review (MDR) surveillance mechanism, at the National Council on Health (NCH) meeting, marked a watershed in the history of Nigeria, as it demonstrated a readiness for evidence-based policy frameworks that will mitigate Nigeria’s huge maternal mortality burden. This policy adoption is being followed through with full vigour. Even more recently, the Presidential Summit on Universal Health Coverage promises a new guiding light for the elimination of inequities and barriers to access to healthcare, especially at the primary healthcare level, where the key to unleashing tremendously scaled-up interventions, to save the lives of mothers and children, exists.If you would like to submit a guest post for to our ongoing series exploring potential goals for maternal health in the post-MDG development agenda, please contact Natalie Ramm: nramm@hsph.harvard.edu.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The Need for Malaria Integration in Maternal and Newborn Health

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 11, 2014November 2, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The release of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership’s report, “The Contribution of Malaria Control to Maternal and Newborn Health,” made yesterday, July 10th, 2014, an important day for malaria in pregnancy research and programming. Pregnancy was previously identified as a particularly vulnerable time to contract malaria for both mom and baby, but this is the first time the RBM Partnership has released a thematic report specifically dedicated to how malaria affects pregnant women and their newborns.The report was launched during the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York by UN health and development leaders. The purpose of the report launch was to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing ones to expand malaria services to one of the most vulnerable populations, pregnant women.An existing solution, with poor deliveryIntermittent preventative treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) and insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) have long been the standard for malaria prevention in pregnancy. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated these standards by increasing the number of IPTp doses to four during pregnancy. This treatment, delivered during antenatal care (ANC), has existed for decades, but delivery is still poor. Although 77% of pregnant women receive at least one ANC visit in most countries, rates of IPTp and ITN use by pregnant women fall far below global and national targets.Why is malaria prevention part of maternal health?Malaria is both a direct and indirect cause of maternal mortality. Each year 10,000 pregnant women die of malaria infection. In addition, malaria is a major cause of anemia,  which  puts a woman at greater risk for post-partum hemorrhage, the number one cause of maternal death. WHO’s recommended treatment, four doses of IPTp and use of an ITN, can reduce severe maternal anemia by 38% and perinatal mortality by 27%. The treatment’s effectiveness plays a significant role in leading global progress on decreasing maternal mortality. But malaria prophylaxis saves not only women’s lives, but newborn lives as well.Protecting health before birthIPTp and use of ITNs can reduce a newborn’s risk of dying from malaria by 18% in the first 28 days of life; it also provides a 21% decrease in low birth weight, a risk factor for neonatal death. Every year, 75,000 to 200,000 infants die because of a  malaria infection during pregnancy. Also, an additional 100,000 neonatal deaths, or 11% of global neonatal mortality, are due to low birth weight resulting from Plasmodium falciparum, or malaria, infections in pregnancy.Although scale-up of IPTp and ITNs did not meet the global coverage target of 80%, malaria prevention efforts between 2009 and 2012 saved about 94,000 newborns. If global targets had been met, this number could have tripled, with 300,000 neonatal deaths prevented. In addition to preventing neonatal deaths, IPTp and ITNs can reduce miscarriages and stillbirths by 33%.Next stepsAlthough the WHO has given clear guidelines through Focused Antenatal Care (FANC), there is often fragmentation across ANC delivery platforms. Fragmentation makes it difficult to effectively deliver prophylactic malaria interventions through ANC. Solutions to this problem include integration of both funding and service-delivery for malaria, ANC, and maternal health interventions. In addition, countries must harmonize malaria control and maternal health efforts in national policies, guidelines, and funding. Malaria prevention is not just an addendum to current maternal and newborn health interventions, it ensures maternal and newborn health.  With integration we can save lives.Share this:last_img read more

A More Accurate Method for Estimating Country-Level Health Workforce Needs?

first_imgMedical officers3 Uzbekistan29.3130,49618,15414% Malawi16.874,89015,71521% Myanmar53.7239,04937,32916% Country2012 population (millions)# health professionals needed*# SRMNAH FTEs needed% of needed health workforce that are SRMNAH FTEs Generalists (doctors)4 Community health workers (CHWs) were not included in the analysis due to a lack of international consensus around the definition and qualifications of CHWs.Next, the authors used the International Standard Classification of Occupations and the World Health Organization’s “Optimize MNH” guidelines to determine which interventions each cadre is qualified to perform. An algorithm was used to allocate the FTEs needed for an intervention to each cadre of health workers.⇒ Step 3: Estimate the annual number of FTEs of each cadre category required to deliver the SRMNAH interventions by stage on the SRMNAH continuum of care—pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, labor/birth or postnatal—and by institutional level of care—primary, secondary or tertiary.Country-specific estimatesUsing this model, the researchers calculated the ideal health workforce size and mix for six countries with diverse population-specific needs. Posted on July 26, 2017July 26, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)An effective health workforce requires not only a sufficient number of workers, but also an appropriate mix of health care providers or cadres. Many of the current models estimating health workforce needs do not adequately address demographic and epidemiological diversity among countries—differences that affect the types of providers and skills needed.To develop a model that takes these demographic and epidemiological characteristics into account, a group of researchers recently published a paper describing a new method for calculating sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health (SRMNAH) workforce needs.The model⇒ Step 1: Estimate the total number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) required to provide universal coverage of all the key interventions in a given year.This step requires identifying the number of women, girls and babies requiring each essential SRMNAH service, which takes into account the demographic and epidemiological profile of a certain country’s population. The authors identified essential practices by consulting the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health’s list as well as the practices recommended in the 2014 Lancet Midwifery Series. Step 1 also involves calculating the length of time needed to deliver each intervention and converting the total annual contact time into equivalent amounts of full-time effort.⇒ Step 2: Allocate the annual number of FTEs required to deliver each intervention to a cadre with the relevant competencies.This step requires defining the different types of workers proving SRMNAH service and ranking them by average salary: Obstetricians/gynecologists5 (highest paid) Peru30.8136,92221,39116% Azerbaijan9.341,4255,49613% Midwives and nurse-midwives2 Auxiliary midwives and auxiliary nurse-midwives1 (lowest paid) Zambia15.066,84314,29521% Cadre categoryRank order by salary *Based on the 44.5 skilled health professionals per 10,000 population threshold proposed in the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030Notably, these projections were substantially higher than those proposed in the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery Report. This model yielded an ideal ratio of between 1.7 and 1.9 midwives or nurse-midwives per 175 births. In all six countries included in this analysis, midwives and nurse-midwives can meet the majority of the need for SRMNAH workers. Obstetricians/gynecologists and generalist doctors are needed for more specialized SRMNAH services.This model may be helpful for health workforce planning, particularly in countries with limited resources. In addition to these calculations, however, policymakers must ensure equitable geographic distribution, adequate education and training and strong, supportive health systems to enable health workers to provide high quality care.—Read the full open access paper in Human Resources for Health titled, “The ‘Dream Team’ for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health: An adjusted service target model to estimate the ideal mix of health care professionals to cover population need.”Check out other posts in this blog series.Learn more about the global maternal health workforce.Are you interested in sharing your perspective on issues related to the maternal health workforce? We want to hear from you!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Working off-site, but on the payroll

first_imgAn article in Sunday’s New York Times looks at management strategies for off-site workers. According to the Times, “Telecommuting becomes more common every year: about 13 million corporate employees in the United States will telecommute more than eight hours a week in 2008, compared with 6 million in 2000.” It seems that more and more companies are taking a results-oriented approach. At Best Buy, for example, employees work when and how they want, as long as they get the job done. In other words, corporate America is using a paradoxical strategy to hold onto workers for the long-term: it’s offering an arrangement that looks a little more like freelancing.last_img read more

Tax seminar next week

first_imgDo you prepare your own tax return and want to make sure that you’re doing it properly? Are you confused by schedule C? How do you figure out what to set aside for estimated taxes? Next Tuesday, Freelancers U is offering a seminar on understanding federal taxes. It will cover Form 1040 and Schedule C, and is geared toward non-incorporated freelancers who receive 1099s. Like all our educational events, the cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. (As always, membership is free–so you may as well join!)last_img read more

Working With Jelly

first_imgI spent last Thursday morning at the apartment of Amit Gupta. For over a year, he has been opening up his home every other Thursday to fellow young, independent workers, mostly tech and design types, with marketing and music thrown into the mix. They call it “Jelly.” From his blog: “H__ere’s the deal: Luke and Amit both love working from home, but they find that spending the occasional day working with others really helps get the creative juices flowing. Even though everyone’s working on their own projects, they can bounce ideas and problems off of each other and have fun doing it.” The folks I talked to there said the arrangement had led to lots of nifty collaborations, new companies, and friendships, but the most important part was simply feeling the support and motivation of others to keep working independently and doing what they love. More and more independent workers I know are finding arrangements like these, whether it’s meeting a friend for brunch w/ laptops once a week, or a more formal space like coworking brooklyn or the Writer’s room. This About.com lists writer’s rooms around the country; this coworking wiki has coworking sites nationwide. How do you find the collaboration jelly for your independent peanut butter? It’s better together!last_img read more

Why freelancing skills should be taught early

first_imgThink about how old you were when you were first introduced to the concept of freelancing compared to when you actually became one. Had you learned about it earlier, would it have made a difference in your career trajectory?The reality is that most of us, as youth, were not exposed to professional freelancing unless someone in our family freelanced and even then, it may have been a casual association or a superficial understanding.Today’s K-12 schools still focus on a traditional curriculum with an emphasis on core subjects like English, history, science, and math. The mission for many of our public schools, in particular, revolves around the mantra of college and career readiness. For students who are on the career readiness track, the emphasis is often preparation for working for someone else. And therein lies the problem.This begs the question: How should professional freelancing fall into conversations about viable career options for young people?Honestly, it usually doesn’t, but it must now.Some schools are starting to offer courses in entrepreneurship and some vocational schools train students in trades that can translate into freelancing opportunities. But most students are not exposed to how freelancing works or why they may want to consider it.One of the reasons why professional freelancing is often shrouded in a cloak of mystery is simply because many of us don’t really know enough about it to understand it. In turn, the mystery continues, as young people are not taught about it in traditional classroom spaces. My solution: Let’s take the classroom to them.Think about it. Many young people have experienced some form of freelancing; they just don’t call it that.Let me explain. Babysitting, tutoring, pet sitting, snow shoveling and grass cutting are just a few of the traditional ways that young people get an early taste of freelancing. Today, they can even use online platforms like Etsy, Shopify, and Zibbet to sell their hand made wares and crafts. (If they’re under the age of 18, they will need parental permission or help).This may seem like child’s play, but think about what these types of freelancing gigs teach young people about running a sustainable business. One must have a product or service that others need; one must market and/or advertise to establish a brand; and one must offer phenomenal customer service that is aligned with the brand. Sound familiar?Getting an early taste of freelancing also equips them to understand the importance of having a marketable skill, how to work with diverse clients, how to offer a fee-for-service or product, and how to be competitive in the free market.These are life-long skills lessons that will position young people for creating their own definition of professional success that goes far beyond worker/boss or employer/employee paradigms.This is particularly important because, as many economists have predicted, future job trends are leaning more toward freelancers, independent contractors, and consultants. Simply put, there will be a demand for people who want to, and can, fulfill those positions.If young people don’t even know that these opportunities exist then they can’t prepare accordingly.I don’t know if any of my young, high school mentees will become freelancers, but I truly hope that they, and children like them, are exposed to freelancing as a rewarding and satisfying career pathway.With our current educational trends, schools will probably not turn this corner with us, so that leaves it up to us freelancers to think outside of the box and to think about grassroots endeavors that we can create to expose young people to freelancing as a career of choice.last_img read more

How failure at being a “superwoman” led to freelance success

first_imgWhen people ask how I started freelancing, it always comes out in half-truths. No one likes to share intimate details of ‘perceived failure.’ For me to share my entire journey is to admit that I could not have it all. I had failed at being a “superwoman.” That failure ultimately led to where I was meant to be.Guess what, life happens to us all. We get overwhelmed and make mistakes. Growing from those mistakes is what helps makes us successful entrepreneurs.Six years ago I became a mom and was ill-prepared for having a newborn. People had warned me that it was going to be hard, but I was a wreck! I’m a light sleeper and am a naturally anxious person. The anxiety keeps me ambitious and motivated but can make me an insomniac. When I brought her home, I slept 2-3 hours a day – total – for weeks. Not the recommended “sleep when the baby sleeps.”Four weeks after having my child, my employer asked me to come back to work. I naively thought I was ready and I could handle working full-time, nursing, leaving my newborn, and the rest of life. I like to describe this part of my life as “driving a car out of control.” You try to course correct, but over-correct and slide out of control, plowing into a ditch. Yes, that happened. Seven months later I was fired for mouthing off to a client. I was devastated. I loved the company and people and wasn’t ready to move on.I spent the next few weeks bouncing between anger and depression. My friend and virtual co-worker as I call her (we always Skype) encouraged me to try freelancing. I was frightened and doubted my skills and worth. At that time, she was the only person I knew that freelanced and was making it work with three kids at home.A huge Thank you to Heather Loveridge who is Chief Storyteller/Founder of Magnolia Media Group and mother to five! She is so inspiring to me. I feel if she can accomplish a career and family with FIVE children, then I certainly I can, with two.I told my husband that I didn’t want to go back to work full-time. I carefully explained that I wanted a better home and work/life balance. I wanted to be able to see my kids during the day, take care of our home, and still have a career. He was incredibly supportive. My hubby is old-fashioned in that he didn’t think moms should have to work outside the home. The problem was, we had just bought a new house, and we had a $1,000 per month deficit without my income. He encouraged me to try, knowing that we may lose our house.We had a small emergency fund saved, thanks to Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps to Financial Freedom.” So I went for it. My goal was to make enough money not to lose the house while working no more than 15 hours per week. I opened a business bank account, created a logo and business cards and began looking for work in my skill sets.I began freelance web development by answering Craigslist ads for web jobs. I had no idea how to sell, negotiate, find jobs or close deals. It took a while to perfect that part of my freelance business. It’s like job interviewing. The more you pitch, the better you get. Yes, I took jobs I shouldn’t have, but also landed a client I still have today. That one client gave me enough ongoing work to stretch my freelancing business. I’m grateful for their guidance and support over the years.One year into my business, I no longer had to look for work. All of my work came in through referrals. I felt incredibly blessed to make $13,000 net that year. Ha! I know you are thinking “that is low,” but remember my $1,000 per-month deficit goal, that income covered our expenses and left us $1,000! I also met my goal to work only 10 hours per week, and take care of the kids and house.As the years went on, I learned things that clients expected from a professional freelancer. When I was starting out, there were no forums, groups, or resources for freelancers. I was thankful for friends who would give me advice and allow me to call on them for favors, like accounting questions or business questions. Every year I would double my goal in net income from the year before.Six years later (after having a second child), I persuaded Marcia King into partnering with me. Marcia is a social media expert who decided to leave corporate life behind, after 24 years, for the “freelance life.” Her courage astonishes me. I proposed creating a network of freelancers that would bring structure and resources to the freelance world. Essentially, building the structure I wished I had when starting freelancing – a place that freelancers could learn those problematic lessons that I learned by trial and error. I didn’t want others to feel isolated in their path to work/life flexibility. Marcia had walked a very similar journey in freelancing. She spent thousands of dollars in education and consulting to get our freelance business off the ground, and still learned many lessons by trial and error.Life is very different now. I have a balanced work and home life. That doesn’t mean that every day is half and half. It’s more of 3.5 work days and 3.5 days dedicated to my family. It’s not all ‘rainbows and daisies.’ There are days I struggle to balance getting the kids to and from school and getting to all my meetings. I am blessed to have supportive family members to help. My new business endeavor, Savvy Outsourcing, is growing fast. I have to take measures to keep things balanced, but the beauty lies in being able to make those decisions. To be able to take off on Monday just to take the kids to the beach or have lunch with my mom. That’s the beauty of freelance life.My amazing familyIt’s normal to try to keep all the plates spinning and failing; it’s human. It’s okay to be a mom that needs or wants to work and be able to take the kids to the park on a beautiful afternoon or make a doctor appointment for yourself.It’s your life and your terms!Erin Gordon is Co-Founder of Savvy Outsourcing (Digital Marketing Freelance Firm) and leader of the Jacksonville Freelancers Union SPARK. Erin has over 11 years of Web Design & Development experience, and 8+ years of Internet Marketing experience. She is a natural “techy” with expertise in all digital marketing avenues including SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content Management Systems, Inbound Marketing and more.Find out more about how to freelance by contacting us and following us on social media.last_img read more

How to grow your audience quickly on Pinterest

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.If you’re looking for new strategies to market your business, you should give Pinterest some serious consideration.Pinterest is still often thought of as a recipe or fashion social media platform, but in reality there are many savvy marketers who use Pinterest for a variety of niches.Like all social media platforms, success on Pinterest takes time, effort, and measuring what works and what does not.Here are 15 tips on how to make the best of your Pinterest marketing efforts.Research your target audienceIt’s important to know if your target market is on Pinterest. Women are the dominant users on Pinterest, however the male audience is quickly growing.According to Pinterest, half of new sign-ups are men. Other interesting data from Pinterest: 40% more people are on Pinterest now than in 2017, 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases, and 67% of Pinners say they discovered a new brand or product from Pinterest.Create a complete profileUnder the About You section of your profile, you should be specific about what you do and most importantly, how you help your target audience.Use keywords that describe your niche so that Pinterest knows what your brand is all about. This is important not just for optimizing your Pinterest profile, but also for any visitor who looks at your profile.Use your pictureUpload a clear recent picture of yourself. Pinterest users prefer to see a headshot of a real person rather that a logo or corporate image. If you have a picture of yourself, this comes across as more personable and you’re likely to have more engagement and credibility.Name your boards with keywordsName your board with keywords that are related to your board topic. This is where you can use long tail keywords. For example, if you’re a digital marketing expert, one of your boards could be named YouTube Marketing Tips.Think about what the user’s search intent is, rather than trying to be cute with your board names.The Pinterest search bar works similar to Google, in that it will provide search suggestions as you begin to search. Since this is based on popular keyword terms, you should consider using these search terms to name your boards.Boost your board descriptionWhen you add Pins to your boards, you can add a Pin description. Here, you want to communicate what your pin is all about, and it’s another opportunity to use your keywords. You can use a few different keywords -broad and long tail keywords- this will help your pins to be found easier.Make your description natural and don’t be spammy by stuffing keywords.Pro Tip: You can set your board to “secret” in Pinterest. This is a good idea to keep it a secret until you have at least 30 Pins saved to your boards. When logged into Pinterest, click on boards, go the board you want to hide and simply click on the pencil icon and move the dial to secret.You can learn a lot about how to setup your boards by looking at other successful Pinterest Marketers. See how many boards they have, how many Pins are in each of their boards, the concentration of their Pins to other user’s Pins, the wording of their board descriptions, and see how they’re using keywords within their boards.Design your Pins for successPin Design: It’s vital that your Pins are attractive. Use vibrant colors that capture the viewer’s attention. Vertical Pins that have 2:3 ratios perform best on Pinterest.Curulate did a study of over 500,000 Pins and here are a few notable conclusions:Images with multiple dominant colors are pinned 3 times more than Pins with just one dominant colorImages without human faces are repined 23 % moreRed, orange and brown outperform other colorsPins with 50 % saturation perform the bestVery light or dark Pins don’t perform wellUse text overlayAdding text overlay is a great way to add more detail to your Pins. It helps to describe what your Pin is about, and why someone should click on your Pin. Use bold text with contrasting colors for more appealing and attractive looking Pins. Text overlay should only be used if it makes sense for your brand.Link your PinsYou should add a link to your Pin. This will help drive more traffic to your site.Call to actionAdd a call to action on your Pin so you give someone a reason to click on your Pin and take a desired action. You can use words such as: learn more, find out how, see why, read more, or discover.Curate contentSharing other Pinner’s Pins is a must on Pinterest. Why? This will help establish your account as a valuable resource and someone who shares great curated content.Pinterest uses an algorithm, and if you’re sharing other’s high quality content, this can help your profile to get more traction- impressions and clicks on your own Pins.Tailwind schedulingTailwind is a 3rd party application that will help you be more efficient and consistent on Pinterest by scheduling your Pins in advance.It also has a smart scheduler feature that automatically schedules Pins you add based on your time zone and target audience so your Pins get the best exposure at the right time of day.LoopingLooping is a new feature in Tailwind where you can automate your Pin scheduling to recycle your Pins over a time period of your choice. You can schedule Pins to your boards, and set date intervals over days, weeks, or months.Create infographicsInfographics get a lot of engagement and are highly repinned on Pinterest. If you create nicely designed infographics, you will likely get many repins. This can help your Pinterest engagement and therefore improve your overall rankings and visibility on Pinterest.ConsistencyLike any other form of social media, it’s important that you’re consistent on Pinterest. You should Pin at consistent times throughout the day.Most Pinterest experts say to Pin at least 30 Pins per day with a mixture of your Pins and other Pins.Dig into analyticsDigging into your Pinterest Analytics will provide you awesome data about your Pinning strategy, and whether it’s working or not.Analytics will tell you which Pins are performing, how many Pins are being saved by users, how many clicks you’re getting to your website, age of users, and device used. Further data includes age, gender, location, and the most popular categories people are searching.Pinterest can be a great source of traffic to your website. With the right strategy, you can see some serious marketing benefits.Helping freelancers and solopreneurs. I help freelancers, remote workers and solopreneurs find income opportunities, marketing tips and resources.last_img read more

MintFamily with Beth Kobliner: The MyMoneyAppUp Challenge

first_imgDid you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,Open enrollment season is here!   We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Storylast_img read more