Fashion Advice For Women Abounds in Books and Magazines – Available Free at a Public Library

A trip to the public library may not be our first thought when we want fashion advice for women. Here are some good reasons why the library is a fabulous place to research the latest fashion trends.

The more books about fashion you consult, the more likely you are to realize that your unique style starts with you not what designers trumpet.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, and First Lady Nancy Reagan are known as classy dressers and fashion icons. Yet, as we look at their wardrobe choices over the decades, we see that they updated their fashion style – but did not radically change it.

Body type and face shape will not change much with age. Books with fashion advice for women emphasize creating your look, rather than following the crowd.

Style is about more than wearing the latest fashion. Biographies of fashion icons and designers teach us that glamour and beauty really are an inside job.

Reading about fashion icons introduces us to their lifestyle philosophies. These women not only have fashion style, they have class. Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway report that First Lady Jackie Kennedy used her charm persuasively for donations to refurbish the White House with appropriate antiques. She and second husband Aristotle Onassis famously helped her cousins make livable a dangerously run-down Gray Gardens. She dressed down when she became a book editor, consciously choosing not to flaunt her wealth as she assumed a new role in life. Branch and Callaway share these memorable anecdotes in their entertaining book of much more than fashion advice, What Would Jackie Do?.

The best fashion photography is not available on the Internet.

Absorbing the best fashion photography can be inspiring, unleashing your creativity, as well as offer lessons in fashion cycles. Few of us can afford to purchase these expensive tomes. Take one home and bathe in the visual luxury. By the way, you can find a lot of great books with full-colored photos about home decorating and gardening at your library.

Teach yourself to get creative refurbishing your wardrobe.

Do-it-yourself fashion and craft books abound. The latest fashion may literally be at your fingertips – not at the mall. Get ideas for transforming out-of-style garments into fresh new looks. Crochet or knit yourself a winter muffler and cap. Be more ambitious and tackle a sweater that would cost hundreds of dollars in a specialty store. Add ribbon and buttons to an inexpensive blouse to give it a handmade look. Beading and jewelry-making remain an effective way to create unique accessories. You can even transform old shoes with a glue gun and trim.

Find fashion advice books and magazine articles you cannot get any other way.

Your library will, most likely, be able to order a book that’s not in its collection through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). If you cannot find what you want in the catalog, ask a reference librarian for help.

Articles about the latest fashion and expressing ourselves creatively through style turn up in unusual places. Psychology Today had some articles about fashion and personality in 2008. You can find and read these articles for free on two popular databases that index Psychology Today – EBSCO and ProQuest. A database is an index of articles that have appeared in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and large-circulation newsletters. The bible of the fashion industry, W for Women’s Wear Daily, may be available if you want to keep up with insider industry trends.

Save money.

Fashion and style magazines and books cost a small fortune. We can glut ourselves on as many as we want at the library, instead of toting home just one guilty pleasure from the magazine rack or bookstore. And think of the money we save by spending a few hours at the library instead of at the mall to scout out the latest fashions. Here are some specific reading suggestions.

In conclusion, the next time you’ve simply got to learn about the latest fashion advice for women, skip shopping and prowl the library. Magazines are designed to persuade us to buy. Fashion books, including fashion advice, basic wardrobe planning, fashion photo collections, and biographies of designers and fashion icons, teach us that the more fashion changes, the more unique, personal fashion style remains the same.

Face Forward Careers in Fashion

There are many different avenues one can go down when they desire a career in fashion. From Fashion designer to celebrity stylist learn all about the hot careers in fashion.

Fashion Designer

Primarily fashion designers create new clothes and accessories. However, their other job tasks may include analyzing fashion trends, marketing, sales, production of garments and accessories, and promotion of their finished products. Fashion designers can attend a two or four year program for a degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising. Generally, most designers start out as interns and move through the ranks as junior designers to design assistant to assistant designer to associate designer to fashion director.

Fashion Merchandising

Fashion merchandisers create and implement displays for stores and catalogs. They are also responsible for designing the layout of department stores, fashion showrooms and trade shows. They have to have a strong familiarity with the consumer market and an artistic flair. Generally, fashion merchandisers hold a bachelors degree in visual or fashion merchandising. They usually begin their career as an assistant and work their way up to visual merchandising director.

Fashion Stylists

Often we think of a fashion stylist as being the brains behind a celebrities look. While that is partially true, fashion stylists also choose wardrobe for photo shoots, commercials, print ads, television, movies and music videos. Additionally, many work as personal stylist to average people in need of fashion advice. Stylists can find employment with magazines, newspapers, retailers, television and film production companies, catalogs, PR firms, advertising agencies and music companies. To be a fashion stylist one must work their way to the top from the ground up. This often means starting out with an internship. Most stylists also earn a degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising but it is not required to work in the field. Networking is everything to the success of a stylist, so they must constantly be gaining new contacts and maintain their existing contacts.

If you are unsure what career path you want to follow in the fashion industry you can begin your education with a degree in either fashion merchandising or fashion design. Either of these degrees can be parlayed into any of the above mentioned career paths once you make your final decision.

Does Everyone’s Opinion Count? A Ranking of the Fashion Blogs

Over the World Wide Web, there is a continual influx of information over the internet highway, including, most recently, a trend in fashion blogging. Currently, there are hundreds of new fashion blogs being created everyday, and over millions of already created websites. With these massive amounts of people posting their opinions on style, how can you stop wasting your time reading useless fashion blogs? Is there anyway to separate the quality blogs from the irrelevant ones? This review of five top rated fashion blogs gives insight into what standards should be used in deciding which blogs are worth your time.

Fashion blogs are ranked on a 10 point scale in four areas: (1) clarity of thought, (2) timeliness, (3) relevance, and (4) degree of opinion.

Style File blog:

Total Score: 28

Style.com is a primary source and destination for where people receive their fashion news, trends, and photos of seasonal runway shows. In addition, the renown website has a chief blog site, Style File, where writers can post opinions on various aspects of fashion in a more informal setting and approach. Even though there are several writers for Style File, the writing style of this blog site is distinct and individual to Style.com’s website.

1.) Clarity of thought: 6.5. It is decent. You are able to read through it, although some postings may be a bit long-winded. Also, some entries may be difficult to understand if you don’t have a lot of knowledge of people in the fashion industry, such as Sophia Hesketh and Byrdie Bell.

2.) Timeliness: 8.5. This blog seems to lack consistency. It will have 5-6 entries in one day, and then skip three days entirely without any new posts and then continue on with 5-6 entries. This is probably because people are not working on the weekends. On the upside, it does post slightly more than the average blog, but for a blog that is on a website of considerable size and prominence, you would expect that it would.

3.) Relevance: 7. I don’t think this blog really provides any new information that is of importance or is really interesting. It attempts to draw on styles outside of the US, which can be informative, but it doesn’t focus enough fashion in the homeland. Focus of articles tends to stray away from American fashion, and stick more with foreign matters. In the past several days, there have been over five postings purely on Moscow fashion alone. This is completely unnecessary. Information can also be quite dry at times.

4.) Degree of Opinion: 6. While it does provide news, writers do not write to form their own opinions really, but just blog to create a place for viewers to post their own insights and opinions. The writers tend to say something that they feel is true, such as the “Prep School Blazer style is very trendy,” yet it still opens the discussion for debate, by asking viewers whether they agree or what their thoughts are. This makes the writer’s opinions seems inconsistent and weak. The blog would be better if the writers had a stronger point of view in their critique. It is unnecessary to ask the reader whether they agree with them or not, because the reader will post his or her opinions anyway.

Hint Magazine blog:

Hint Magazine is an online fashion magazine, where you can read fashion columns and story features with a wide ranging selection of topics including music, art, dance and, of course, fashion. It has a separate blog to informally discuss various areas of interests that cater to more independent styles and are usually humorous and entertaining to read.

Total Score: 30

1.) Clarity of thought: 8. The blog is clear to read and understand. It is written in a contemporary manner that appeals to a younger audience. There are not copious amounts of text in each entry compared to the Style File blog, and instead they include many photos and videos that go along with the postings. This makes it look less daunting to get through, which is important in today’s fast paced world of Twittering.

2.) Timeliness: 6. In an era where bloggers are uploading new entries a dozen times per day, this blog only has, on average, 1-2 posts per day. In order to maintain a blog with readers constantly tuning in, it is imperative that there are multiple entries in a short span for readers to regularly come back to.

3.) Relevance: 7. Where Style File’s subject content was entirely about the New York fashion world, this blog seems to veer slightly to the left of that direction. The information posted seems to target a more indie audience by showcasing unheard of designers, writers and artists. I found also that it seems to post a lot on Brazilian artists and designers. I am not sure if there is a correlation between the writers and Brazil for them to do so, but either way, it is a little inconsistent with balancing foreign matters. Some posts are completely irrelevant and hold no interest for me, but for those that enjoy reading about marble urinals in art exhibits and gay porn awards, this is your destination. And if you are one of those readers who enjoy this blog, good luck with letting them know your thoughts, since they have disabled the commenting feature on this blog.

4.) Degree of Opinion: 9. Writers on this blog seem to enjoy writing about what they write about. While news information can be lackluster and tedious at times, this blog tries to send out their messages in a humorous and enjoyable way. While not all of the content on this blog is PG, I did enjoy reading it, even if I wasn’t too interested in what they were actually saying.

Fashion Tribes:

Fashion Tribes tends to appeal to the average fashionista who is well versed in various areas of fashion, such as new trends, beauty and accessories. The reader is usually familiar with popular styles and substantial fashion news occurring on in the fashion world. Taking elements from various aspects of fashion, such as advertisements, magazines and events, this website is pretty solid and well rounded.

Total Score: 30

1.) Clarity of thought: 9. The blog is portioned into smaller paragraphs, which makes it really reader friendly. Also, if you find yourself done with the reading, but are still interested in the topic, it allows you to read more after the jump, which gets rid of extra writing clutter, and opens up space for more easy on the eyes photos and videos. A lot of good pictures and examples, which make the posts look lively and not overwhelming to read.

2.) Timeliness: 6. For a website that is well known across the nation as one of the top rated fashion blogs, you would think that there would be much more blog entries, but instead I was disappointed to find that it only updates only 3-4 days per week. Even though there are a good amount of entries per day, the blog does not allow readers to view older posts, since there is no backlog feature. This makes it really disappointing for those that want to continue reading the rest of the blog, but are unable to.

3.) Relevance: 9. I really enjoyed the content on this blog and thought that it had a lot of good, useful information. It draws in various news about upcoming websites in fashion, as well as information about fresh spring beauty regimes and free giveaways, which everyone loves. Considering the wide-range of topics featured on this blog, I think that it is very good for an everyday shopaholic.

4.) Degree of Opinion: 6. There is hardly, if any, critique in any of the entries posted. However, when creating a blog site, you usually write about what you like, so with that in mind, you definitely know what the writers for this blog like to write about, which explains why I gave it a more generous score, since it posts things assuming that you know that these are things that they enjoy or find pleasing, without really having an opinion about them.

Go Fug Yourself:

Combine Hollywood celebrity style with a Perez Hilton sense of humor, and you have the love child of Go Fug Yourself. Known for its uncanny humor, it leaves no celebrity unharmed or unnoticed. This blog is probably one of the most hilarious fashion criticism blogs out there in a sea of fashion blogs on the internet, but then again, I am being completely biased, since these writers’ humor is right up my alley. Warning, this blog is not for everyone.

Total Score: 38

1.) Clarity of thought: 9. This blog uses the adverb, “A picture speaks a thousand words” and makes it its central point. Uploading a photo of a celebrity in a ridiculous outfit pretty much speaks for itself, since that is mainly how it shows the reader the ridiculousness of the celebrity’s outfit choices. Using the photo as the butt of its jokes, the writers then unapologetically bash the outfit.

2.) Timeliness: 10. Finally! A blog with a little consistency! It updates well over the course of the day. You can expect around 5 entries in a day, expect on weekends, which is understandable.

3.) Relevance: 9. Depending on your sense of humor, this site may or may not be right for you. For those who enjoy reading about bashing celebrities based on their clothing choices, then you have pretty much found gold, but for the fainthearted, you may cringe a bit more when you realize how harsh some of the critiques may be. No worries though, this website is all in good fun! Luckily, for this website, I fall in the former category, and enjoyed this blog thoroughly.

4.) Degree of Opinion: 10. Go Fug Yourself has made a career by casting its opinion on what others are wearing, so if it would be difficult for me to give it anything but a full score rating.

Fashionista

Fashionista is the product of two staff writers from Nylon and Elle Magazine, and joining to give you news in the fashion world faster than most other blogs. With a combo of gossip, rumors, sale tip-offs, internship suggestions, free giveaways, editorial photos and every other relevant news in the fashion world, Fashionista is a comprehensive and delightful read. Perhaps I am just being completely subjective, because this is one of the few blogs that I actually read everyday, alongside Perez Hilton, but Fashionista combines all the New York style straight out of the city’s oven.

Total Score: 38.5

1.) Clarity of thought: 10. The blog is written in small paragraphs, making it easier for the reader to get through it, without feeling overwhelmed. If the reader is still interested in a certain blog entry, she can click on a separate link taking them to “read after the jump.” It uses a combination of lively photos, videos and own photo-shopped writing, making the blog more personal and distinct to Fashionista. Also, as a helpful measure, if you don’t understand some fashion terminology, they have a dictionary specifically just for that!

2.) Timeliness: 10. Fashionista updates several times a day, throughout the day, to give you the most recent and important news. This blog is an archetype to how other fashion blogs should operate.

3.) Relevance: 10. The news featured on this blog involves news occurring in the New York fashion scene. While this may not include everyone, it does deal with high fashion in a very real way, something that can be understood no matter where you are. It also includes subjects from other fashion websites to give you the most relevant information, such as its “Mid-Day Snack” section. This blog also includes various areas of fashion, such as models, beauty, and editorial spreads, so the viewer can be well read in all aspects of fashion.

4.) Degree of Opinion: 8.5. While some blog entries are created just to provide readers non-biased information, other entries are made to showcase models or photo shoots that the writers really like. Either way, you will read this blog learning what is important to the creators of Fashionista. In most news, however, the writers write the entries in a critical way, with a strong point of view.

Finding Careers in the Fashion Industry

The vibrant, ever-changing fashion industry is always looking for brilliant minds with an idea of what comes next in design and merchandising. Could you be that visionary voice? What does the future hold for jobs in the fashion industry?

Check out some of the top fashion industry jobs, and learn what you can do to work your way into one of these exciting careers.

Fashion & Retail Management

If you love fashion and you’ve always wanted to own your own business, a degree in retail management could be right up your alley. You already know what shoes to pair with that little black dress for the perfect night out, but you need to learn the details of management as it relates to fashion. Courses in fashion sales, retail history, and more can give you the experience you need to enter the field with confidence.

Management Salary Points. In 2007, retail sales managers and supervisors saw mean annual earnings of $39,210, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Management positions at high-end boutiques and specialty stores might earn more, depending on location and experience.

Fashion Merchandising Careers

If you stand behind your brand, you have to be able to sell it. Fashion merchandising is an umbrella term that covers a range of careers, including: Merchandise managers ” Fashion buyers ” Fashion marketers ” Fashion sales

Even those who specialize in creating window dressings for department stores fall under the category of fashion merchandising.

Fashion merchandise managers see a lot of use in today’s fashion economy. “Today it’s the merchandise manager who carries the weight,” Marvin Traub, a retail consultant, told the New York Times. “He has an eye to the numbers.” While a degree or certificate in fashion merchandising may not be required for all careers, it can help to have the technical knowledge you can pair with you existing passion.

Merchandising Salary Points. Wholesale and retail buyers earned $53,580 in 2007, the BLS reports. That same year, purchasing managers across all industries earned mean annual wages of $90,430. While that figure goes well beyond the fashion industry, it should give you an idea of the kind of salary a skilled manager in the field might expect.

Fashion Designers

When you first think of jobs in the fashion industry, you might picture famous fashion designers like Donatella Versace or Michael Kors. While it’s true that most work can be found in fashion hubs California and New York, designers typically work all over the country, running small businesses and boutiques. Whether you’re dreaming of small-town success or a big-city dream, training in fashion design can get you there.

Fashion Design Salary Points. Fashion designers saw mean annual wages of $71,170 in 2007, according to the BLS. Most designers worked in New York or California, cementing the notion that your best chances for employment are on the opposite coasts.

While competition is keen for many careers and no degree can guarantee a job, graduates of fashion schools are still finding a viable job market. Research fashion schools to get a better idea of your potential future.

Designing Small Outdoor Spaces in Your Hospitality Business

Every outdoor area, no matter how small it is, deserves to be treated with attention. This need amplifies when it comes to restaurants, hotels, cafes and resorts. So hospitality businesses should be extra careful when designing a small outdoor space like a balcony or even a limited terrace.

In order to turn a narrow area into an attractive place to hang out, two steps must be applied: choosing the right outdoor furniture and installing them effectively.

How to choose the furniture?

Selecting small furniture

When you have a narrow area, you can still furnish it with small items that fits. For example, instead of cramming the balcony with a single sofa, use a couple of chairs and a round coffee table so guests can enjoy a relaxing morning. Don’t forget to take measurements, here a few centimeters can make a difference.

Using multi-functional outdoor furniture

A small area limits the use of several furniture to suit all needs. Therefore, an effective solution would be to use multi functional patio furniture for your restaurant, hotel, resort or cafe. A modular outdoor setting allows you to have a minimum of items with the most uses possible. For example, if a daybed and living set don’t fit together next to the pool, replace them with an outdoor furniture piece that gives you both. In that case, Skyline Design’s Bishan can be an appropriate way to combine the two, as it can be used as a daybed or a sofa set.

Going vertical with decorations

One of the latest garden design trends is the adoption of the vertical space in the outdoors. In other terms, exploiting placing decoration accessories or even plants on the walls surrounding the outdoor living area. In addition, due to this new “wave”, brands are now creating items for vertical use. For example, the famous French brand, Maiori, produced chic planters that can be placed on top of each other, in order to save horizontal space.

How to design the small space to make it look wider?

Designating a focal point

Installing outdoor furniture in a small area can be messy. A bit of organization will turn a chaotic setting into a comfortable and relaxing spot. One of the first steps to take is to focus all the outdoor chairs and sofas to one direction. A focal point can either be external like the sea, the garden or a specific landscape, as well as internal like an outdoor lounge or a hanging chair. You can add accessories according to your needs, but make sure that you still have only one focal point.

Paving the path and the living area

Another way to embellish a small outdoor space is to pave the path and the living area. However, this is a delicate task that can either break it or make it. How? Applying geometrical designs in the pavement can make the outdoor area look smaller. And most probably, that’s not what restaurants and resorts are looking to accomplish, on the contrary.

Keeping it simple with only the needed furniture

One of the main issues in small areas is the lack of space for people to move around. This is mostly due to decoration items that can be dropped out. Therefore, removing all unneeded elements, like decorations and plants, will make the small area more spacious, allowing people to be more comfortable.

Designing a small outdoor space is definitely a challenge for any interior designer or hospitality furniture company. However, choosing the right outdoor furniture, and efficiently designing the area will transform your small outdoor space into an endless paradise. So don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Best Accounts Payable Processing Practices

When it comes to working in accounts payable, there are a dozen things that can happen to cause a good day to become a bad one – and these things are often actions that took but a second or two to happen. These mistakes often occur not because of a lack of training or due to faulty practices but often because people are unaware of ways to improve the work situation.

Thankfully, there are many actions that can be taken to ensure that your business is using the best accounts payable processing practices available. By doing this, you can minimize the risk and exposure that result from not having a totally secure system and effective recovery process. While there are many different steps you can take, one of the most important things is that you track a number of elements in the accounts payable processing department.

· Keep up with the number of invoices that come into the accounts payable department in given period of time. The larger your company the more of these there will be. Tracking these will give you a baseline and make it easier to track other items within your department.

· How many invoices are processes as a percentage of the total number of invoices during a specific amount of time. Tracking this helps measure how effectively and efficiently your department is getting the work done. If you feel that the work being done is not enough, then sit back and determine what can be done to make your department more efficient.

· Pay attention to the rate of wrong payments as a percentage of total payments. You need to be aware of any over or under charges. Using a HER program can minimize occurrences such as these.

· Figure out how much it is costing you per invoice processed. Be sure to note things such as software costs, IT support, hardware, and any other types of overhead. There are a number tools that can help you be effective and yet still keep the bottom line in the black.

· Track how many invoices are electronic versus paper. It is cheaper to process an electronic invoice than a paper one. In addition, the electronic invoices require less time to process. Hence, the more electronic processing and information storage is a better way to improve your budget and work efficiency.

Having the best accounts payable processing steps in place, you can be certain that you are doing all you can to protect your business. Talk to a team of business management specialist and learn how you can begin to better protect your company.

A Perfect Sales Training Coach

Even though there isn’t any formal education required to be a bigwig in sales, it is true that most of the people are involved in selling products and services. One can find several people performing sales tasks and each and every one of them are trying to complete with one another. In order to stand a class apart from others, it is important to acquire some excellent selling skills, determination and the perfect mindset. It is very important to move along with the change, as the environment keep on changing. So, it is essential to think out of the box, as it helps to stay ahead of the business rivals. So, it is essential to stay equipped with some of the effective sales tips by availing the services of a sales coach. Only those who are well trained to perform such tasks must perform the task of sales. This task should be performed by the experts in sales training. When you are in search of an expert, you must know that there are several speakers across the globe who claims to be the sales coach. However, make sure that you choose a perfect person offering useful sales tips programs to enjoy the maximum output. You must consider certain aspects while selecting the perfect sales training coach to save your money and time.

About Choosing the Right Sales Training Coach
It is important to consider the right kind of issues prevailing in your business to get the perfect solution immediately. There might be many areas in your business that require improvement. Generally, your sales managers would need you to enhance the performance of their team. So, it needs you to redefine the current sales process and the way through which it is executed. So, make sure that you hire the services of a best sales training coach who can improve the sales strategies as well as the selling skills of your workforce.

Top qualities of a sales training coach
The sales training coach whom you are choosing must have the following qualities to prove that he is a sales pro.
1 Highly experienced: The sales training coach whom you approach must be the one who has immense years of experience to handle the sales process. Observe the training coach’s path of career and check his achievements in the career timeline. Choose the person who has a lot of professional experience is the proof that this sales coach is reliable and credible.
2 Interaction with sales team: The expert sales training coach must know the secret of winning the trust of your sales team. He should have handled several sales teams in his career and must be able to interact with them in a positive fashion. This quality of a coach can help your sales build the trust on the tips for selling he teaches them.
3 Should provide intelligent coaching: The sales coach must hold intellectual sales training sessions that have activities which can kindle the sales skills of your work team. The training sessions or coaching classes that the coach conducts should be related to the specific industry of your business to improve the sales wing of your business. The sales coaching should be aimed at helping your work team members become experts in their related field.

The sales training program that the coach offers should have several components that are essential for the growth of the organization. So, it is important for you to avail the services of a sales coach like. We to give your sales team the much needed push.

A Virtual Assistant

In this year and age, everything is related to the internet. From shopping, banking, bills payment, social interaction, communication and every bit of actions we humans do nowadays was somehow linked to the use of the internet. For several years I had been working a very traditional job in retail. However, personal circumstances made me re-think my current situation. A part of me always feels that traditional jobs here in the Philippines are very time-consuming. With a standard 48-hour work and a 1-day off per week, quality time with family and peers seems unlikely. So if work schedules are eating much of our time, is it after all worth it? This question bugged me for a lot of months. Then one day I came across KOM Academy’s Facebook posting for a free seminar on “How to be a Virtual Assistant.” Curious, I immediately inquired and pre-registered for this event. That’s when I realized that there are a lot of opportunities outside the traditional work environment.

What is a Virtual Assistant by the way? These are smart individuals offering administrative, creative and technical skills to remote clients. So what made me think this virtual job is kick-ass better than my old job? Reason number 1, “I am my boss”! As VA, as they call it, you work as an independent contractor to the client. Which means that you don’t work for a company or an employer, but instead they outsource you to render them the services they require. About this, you are not limited to work for a single client. Hence, the second reason – more clients, more income. By this I mean you can are not limiting yourself to only one source of income. You have the control to expand your financial gains as you deem fit. The third reason, it is home-based. What is not to love working at the comforts of your space? No hassle from commuting, dealing with worsening traffic situation of the city, increased transportation expenses, annoying amnesiac office mates who always borrow your things but never bothers to return them are just a few to mention.

If there is a convenience in the environment, work schedule is something that is flexible as well in this industry. That is the fourth reason why I considered engaging into this business. The chance to be given a schedule that is favorable to your liking is something that is highly unheard of in traditional jobs. Often you must be employed a full-time job to get a decent salary. Whereas in VA, even part-time jobs can still get you good pay. Mainly because you are paid based on the quality of your work output and not just merely on the number of hours you spent. Furthermore, output-based jobs present more opportunity for workers to get promoted as evaluation is real-time.

The fifth reason I seriously consider is that this job is never boring. As mentioned earlier, VAs provide different service from administrative, to creative and even technical for those highly-skilled individuals like the programmers. Thus, this job can present you wide range of tasks that you can explore and hone your skills.

These things cited above are just a few of the factors why I considered becoming a Virtual Assistant. To have the convenience of time and place in your hands is a privilege that an ordinary worker won’t be able to experience in a traditional work setting. As I go along my journey into this business, I am looking forward to discovering more things to love and enjoy.

To be successful in business, sometimes the wisest move to make is to ask for help. Remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Get a co-worker from a distance!

The Dangers Of Overhead Power Lines Best Practices

Every year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines.

If a machine, scaffold tube, ladder, or even a jet of water touches or gets too close to an overhead wire, then electricity will be conducted to earth. This can cause a fire or explosion and electric shock and burn injuries to anyone touching the machine or equipment. An overhead wire does not need to be touched to cause serious injury or death as electricity can jump, or arc, across small gaps.

One of the biggest problems is that people simply do not notice overhead lines when they are tired, rushing or cutting corners. They can be difficult to spot, eg in foggy or dull conditions, when they blend into the surroundings at the edge of woodland, or when they are running parallel to, or under, other lines. Always assume that a power line is live unless and until the owner of the line has confirmed that it is dead. This guidance is for people who may be planning to work near overhead lines

where there is a risk of contact with the wires, and describes the steps you should take to prevent contact with them. It is primarily aimed at employers and employees who are supervising or in control of work near live overhead lines, but it will also be useful for those who are carrying out the work.

Types of overhead power lines

Most overhead lines have wires supported on metal towers/pylons or wooden poles – they are often called ‘transmission lines’ or ‘distribution lines’. Most high-voltage overhead lines, ie greater than 1000 V (1000 V = 1 kV) have wires that are bare and insulate but some have wires with a light plastic covering or coating. All high-voltage lines should be treated as though they are uninsulated. While many low-voltage overhead lines (ie less than 1 kV) have bare insulate wires, some have wires covered with insulating material. However, this insulation can sometimes be in poor condition or, with some older lines, it may not act as effective insulation; in these cases you should treat the line in the same way as an insulate line. If in any doubt, you should take a precautionary approach and consult the owner of the line.

There is a legal minimum height for overhead lines which varies according to the voltage carried. Generally, the higher the voltage, the higher the wires will need to be above ground. Equipment such as transformers and fuses attached to wooden poles and other types of supports will often be below these heights. There are also recommended minimum clearances published by the Energy Networks Association.

What does the law require?

The law requires that work may be carried out in close proximity to live overhead lines only when there is no alternative and only when the risks are acceptable and can be properly controlled. You should use this guidance to prepare a risk assessment that is specific to the site. Businesses and employees who work near to an overhead line must manage the risks. Overhead line owners have a duty to minimize the risks from their lines and, when consulted, advise others on how to control the risks. The line owner will usually be an electricity company, known as a transmission or distribution network operator, but could also be another type of organization, eg Network Rail, or a local owner, eg the operator of a caravan park.

Preventing overhead line contact

Good management, planning and consultation with interested parties before and during any work close to overhead lines will reduce the risk of accidents. This applies whatever type of work is being planned or undertaken, even if the work is temporary or of short duration. You should manage the risks if you intend to work within a distance of 10 m, measured at ground level horizontally from below the nearest wire.

Remove the risk, the most effective way to prevent contact with overhead lines is by not carrying out work where there is a risk of contact with, or close approach to, the wires. Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. If you cannot avoid working near an overhead line and there is a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, you should consult its owner to find out if the line can be permanently diverted away from the work area or replaced with underground cables. This will often be inappropriate for infrequent, short-duration or transitory work. If this cannot be done and there remains a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, find out if the overhead line can be temporarily switched off while the work is being done. The owner of the line will need time to consider and act upon these types of requests and may levy a charge for any work done.

Risk control

If the overhead line cannot be diverted or switched off, and there is no alternative to carrying out the work near it, you will need to think about how the work can be done safely. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all. Your site-specific risk assessment will inform the decision. Things to consider as part of your risk assessment include:

the voltage and height above ground of the wires. Their height should be measured by a suitably trained person using non-contact measuring devices;
the nature of the work and whether it will be carried out close to or underneath the overhead line, including whether access is needed underneath the wires;
the size and reach of any machinery or equipment to be used near the overhead line;
the safe clearance distance needed between the wires and the machinery or equipment and any structures being erected. If in any doubt, the overhead line’s owner will be able to advise you on safe clearance distances;the site conditions, undulating terrain may affect stability of plant etc;
the competence, supervision and training of people working at the site.

If the line can only be switched off for short periods, schedule the passage of tall plant and, as far as is possible, other work around the line for those times. Do not store or stack items so close to overhead lines that the safety clearances can be infringed by people standing on them.

Working near but not underneath overhead lines – the use of barriers. Where there will be no work or passage of machinery or equipment under the line, you can reduce the risk of accidental contact by erecting ground-level barriers to establish a safety zone to keep people and machinery away from the wires. This area should not be used to store materials or machinery. Suitable barriers can be constructed out of large steel drums filled with rubble, concrete blocks, wire fence earthed at both ends, or earth banks marked with posts.

If steel drums are used, highlight them by painting them with, for example, red and white horizontal stripes.
If a wire fence is used, put red and white flags on the fence wire.
Make sure the barriers can be seen at night, perhaps by using white or fluorescent paint or attaching reflective strips.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

The safety zone should extend 6 m horizontally from the nearest wire on either side of the overhead line. You may need to increase this width on the advice of the line owner or to allow for the possibility of a jib or other moving part encroaching into the safety zone. It may be possible to reduce the width of the safety zone but you will need to make sure that there is no possibility of encroachment into the safe clearance distances in your risk assessment.

Where plant such as a crane is operating in the area, additional high-level indication should be erected to warn the operators. A line of colored plastic flags or ‘bunting’ mounted 3-6 m above ground level over the barriers is suitable. Take care when erecting bunting and flags to avoid contact or approach near the wires. Passing underneath overhead lines, if equipment or machinery capable of breaching the safety clearance distance has to pass underneath the overhead line, you will need to create a passageway through the barriers, In this situation:

keep the number of passageways to a minimum;
define the route of the passageway using fences and erect goalposts at each end to act as gateways using a rigid, non-conducting material, eg timber or plastic pipe, for the goalposts, highlighted with, for example, red and white stripes;
if the passageway is too wide to be spanned by a rigid non-conducting goalpost, you may have to use tensioned steel wire, earthed at each end, or plastic ropes with bunting attached. These should be positioned further away from the overhead line to prevent them being stretched and the safety clearances being reduced by plant moving towards the line;
ensure the surface of the passageway is leveled, formed-up and well maintained to prevent undue tilting or bouncing of the equipment;
put warning notices at either side of the passageway, on or near the goalposts and on approaches to the crossing giving the crossbar clearance height and instructing drivers to lower jibs, booms, tipper bodies etc and to keep below this height while crossing;
you may need to illuminate the notices and crossbar at night, or in poor weather conditions, to make sure they are visible;
make sure that the barriers and goalposts are maintained.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

On a construction site, the use of goalpost-controlled crossing points will generally apply to all plant movements under the overhead line. Working underneath overhead lines. Where work has to be carried out close to or underneath overhead lines, eg road works, pipe laying, grass cutting, farming, and erection of structures, and there is no risk of accidental contact or safe clearance distances being breached, no further precautionary measures are required. However, your risk assessment must take into account any situations that could lead to danger from the overhead wires. For example, consider whether someone may need to stand on top of a machine or scaffold platform and lift a long item above their head, or if the combined height of a load on a low lorry breaches the safe clearance distance. If this type of situation could exist, you will need to take precautionary measures.

If you cannot avoid transitory or short-duration, ground-level work where there is a risk of contact from, for example, the upward movement of cranes or tipper trailers or people carrying tools and equipment, you should carefully assess the risks and precautionary measures. Find out if the overhead line can be switched off for the duration of the work. If this cannot be done:

refer to the Energy Networks Association (ENA) publication Look Out Look Up! A Guide to the Safe Use of Mechanical Plant in the Vicinity of Electricity Overhead Lines.2 This advises establishing exclusion zones around the line and any other equipment that may be fitted to the pole or pylon. The minimum extent of these zones varies according to the voltage of the line, as follows:
– low-voltage line – 1 m;
– 11 kV and 33 kV lines – 3 m;
– 132 kV line – 6 m;
– 275 kV and 400 kV lines – 7 m;
under no circumstances must any part of plant or equipment such as ladders, poles and hand tools be able to encroach within these zones. Allow for uncertainty in measuring the distances and for the possibility of unexpected movement of the equipment due, for example, to wind conditions;
carry long objects horizontally and close to the ground and position vehicles so that no part can reach into the exclusion zone, even when fully extended. Machinery such as cranes and excavators should be modified by adding physical restraints to prevent them reaching into the exclusion zone. Note that insulating guards and/or proximity warning devices fitted to the plant without other safety precautions are not adequate protection on their own;
make sure that workers, including any contractors, understand the risks and are provided with instructions about the risk prevention measures;
arrange for the work to be directly supervised by someone who is familiar with the risks and can make sure that the required safety precautions are observed;
if you are in any doubt about the use of exclusion zones or how to interpret the ENA document, you should consult the owner of the overhead line.

Where buildings or structures are to be erected close to or underneath an overhead line, the risk of contact is increased because of the higher likelihood of safety clearances being breached. This applies to the erection of permanent structures and temporary ones such as polytunnels, tents, marquees, flagpoles, rugby posts, telescopic aerials etc. In many respects these temporary structures pose a higher risk because the work frequently involves manipulating long conducting objects by hand.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. The overhead line owner will be able to advise on the separation between the line and structures, for example buildings using published standards such as ENA Technical Specification 43-8 Overhead Line Clearances.1 However, you will need to take precautions during the erection of the structure. Consider erecting a horizontal barrier of timber or other insulating material beneath the overhead line to form a roof over the construction area – in some cases an earthed, steel net could be used. This should be carried out only with the agreement of the overhead line owner, who may need to switch off the line temporarily for the barrier to be erected and dismantled safely.

Ideally, work should not take place close to or under an overhead line during darkness or poor visibility conditions. Dazzle from portable or vehicle lighting can obscure rather than show up power lines. Sometimes, work needs to be carried out near uninsulated low-voltage overhead wires, or near wires covered with a material that does not provide effective insulation, connected to a building. Examples of such work are window cleaning, external painting or short-term construction work. If it is not possible to re-route or have the supply turned off, the line’s owner, eg the distribution network operator, may be able to fit temporary insulating shrouds to the wires, for which a charge may be levied. People, plant and materials still need to be kept away from the lines.

Emergency procedures

If someone or something comes into contact with an overhead line, it is important that everyone involved knows what action to take to reduce the risk of anyone sustaining an electric shock or burn injuries. Key points are:

never touch the overhead line’s wires;
assume that the wires are live, even if they are not arcing or sparking, or if they
otherwise appear to be dead;
remember that, even if lines are dead, they may be switched back on either automatically after a few seconds or remotely after a few minutes or even hours if the line’s owner is not aware that their line has been damaged:
if you can, call the emergency services. Give them your location, tell them what has happened and that electricity wires are involved, and ask them to contact the line’s owner:
if you are in contact with, or close to, a damaged wire, move away as quickly as possible and stay away until the line’s owner advises that the situation has been made safe:
if you are in a vehicle that has touched a wire, either stay in the vehicle or, if you need to get out, jump out of it as far as you can. Do not touch the vehicle while standing on the ground. Do not return to the vehicle until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so;

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines, be aware that if a live wire is touching the ground the area around it may be live. Keep a safe distance away from the wire or anything else it may be touching and keep others away.

Maximize the Potential of Your Business Presentation

Business presentations are a collateral reflection of who you are. A glimpse of your personality could be seen in the ways and the content of your presentation.

The way you carry yourself, the way you speak, deliver your sentences, tackle tricky questions with confidence and successfully convey your message, speak volumes about your personality.

Still, there are much more ways in which you can support your business presentation to reach its maximum potential.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR SUPERPOWER

A positive way to keep your audience attentive to you is to show them that you are worth their time and trust. Rather than speaking about your achievements and future goals, speak about your credibility because if even little points will exist with which the crowd will not feel connected to then the tables will instantly turn.

Talk about your goals within the first few minutes of the presentation

Choose your presentation design which corresponds with your goals, which should be introduced to your audience as early as possible. This will help your audience to correlate what you are expressing with the ‘why’ and ‘what’ you want to achieve.

Never underestimate the impact of a powerful image/quote

A business presentation is usually a collection of fertile ideas, knit together as one to illustrate a larger picture. So, the smart use of different images/quotes to introduce different ideas will supply more power to your presentation. Vocalizing the quotes or speaking few important words out loud will bring your presentation to life, especially if the presentation has numerous bar graphs, bullet points, and pie charts.

GIVE YOUR AUDIENCE THE POWER TO BRAINSTORM OVER YOUR QUESTIONS

One of the unbeatable ways to make your presentation more interactive is to begin it with a question which you, yourself will answer. Like you can start with “I asked myself what all can my team will be able to do and contribution for making this project a success?”. So, based on this question you can build up your presentation. Be alert to all the questions from your audience as they are icebergs of curiosity. The more you will suffice your audience, the stronger their trust will grow in you.

Be ready to tackle tough questions

Always be confident and logical at answering the questions from the audience. There will always be questions whose responses if given without solid facts and coherence, will put your image down in your crowd’s eyes. If you know your topic as well as you’re your audience, then always keep your business binary clean and do not ever shelve any question from the audience.

KEEP YOUR OWN QUESTIONS READY IF NOBODY ASKS YOU ANY

It could be a possibility that your audience is shy or somewhat hesitant to ask you questions about your presentations. Always remember, if you face this kind of a situation, then always compose a question to yourself because ‘zero curiosity’ turns into ‘zero interest’ overnight.

Take your crowd on a final journey

Always take your crowd on a final journey before you wrap up the presentation. Highlight all the important points and tell the crowd how they will be productive if given proper attention by the appropriate crowd.

Keeping the immense support in mind which we get from the PowerPoint presentations, one should also be able to support her/himself equally well during the closing moments of the presentation because humans invented the PowerPoint and not vice versa.