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Why Stress Is Killing Women In India And What To Do About It

Hopelessly tired, mental fatigue after a long day of meetings, a 3-minute lunch break, ten cups of coffee, endlessly checking your cell phone to see if your child has called after getting back home from school, thinking about the weekend where you will play host to ten relatives, barely being able to hug your husband when you get back home at 11 pm – does any or all of it sound familiar?

Stress and Women in IndiaChances are, you will relate to at least some of it as an Indian woman. Global research firm, Nielsen, conducted a survey that included 6500 women from developed and developing countries such as Sweden , the US, France, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, India and Russia.

The result – 87% of the respondents from India said they felt stressed most of the time, and 82% said they didn’t have time to relax. Women in Mexico (74%) and Russia (69%) come in 2nd and 3rd respectively in the stress race.

Women have always been known to be multi-tasking goddesses. But the flip side to this is the high levels of stress it is resulting in today. There are definitely more opportunities for women in India today.

But somehow, the expectations of what a woman needs to do at home and her support system haven’t really helped her embrace these opportunities without falling prey to stress.

The changes in social outlook and ideas that talk about equal opportunities for women have not yet been completely able to wash over the age old notions about decision making at home, and who does the chores.

Indian women do have the facilities to appoint a domestic help to clean, or a cook or driver, but in reality this doesn’t help with removing stress from their lives. This is thanks to the fact that expectations from an Indian woman keep rising with all these added benefits.

Workplace benefits like working from home and flexi-hours have been great in helping women look after their kids, and sometimes an ailing parent or spouse. But with these benefits too, come some cons.

A 32 year old IT professional says, “When I work from home, I’m constantly worried about finishing my work fast and then do my grocery shopping, buy medicines for my father-in-law, take my son out to the park, and a million other things.”

Women are expected to adhere to deadlines constantly, at home and at the workplace. The same IT professional says “By the time it’s 11 pm and I’ve finished dinner, I feel so exhausted, all I can do is sleep. But I realize I need to iron my son’s uniform, and I’m nearly in tears.”

One cannot forget the very important phase of childbirth itself that a woman goes through. There are additional parameters like buying a home, a second car, a child’s education costs, and several others that a woman contributes to today.

When not complemented with a sound support system, stress and its side effects become a chronic pain in her life. Conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Premenstrual Syndrome, and even miscarriages are linked to high levels of stress.

The results of the survey, however, have ramifications for not just a woman and her family, but for the growth of India socially and economically. For the burden of stress on Indian women to come down even a little, age old attitudes towards them need to be changed.

Five Tips For Indian Women To Reduce Stress

 

  • Stop Multi-Tasking

There is increasing evidence that multi-tasking is not only a very inefficient way to conduct our lives, but also dangerous in many ways. In July 2006, UCLA published a study showing that “Multi-tasking adversely affects how you learn.” Stanford researchers say even trying to multitask may impair your cognitive control. Numerous studies have shown the sometimes-fatal danger of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

In our lives, we function best when we give complete attention to one task before going on to the next. The book, The 4-Hour Workweek, by best-selling business advice author, Timothy Ferriss, extol the virtues of “single-tasking”. The practice of mindfulness or “single-focus” by followers of Buddhism has shown to benefit the brain in many ways. Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life, said Buddha.

  • Don’t Be Superwoman

Don’t expect yourself to be super woman all the time. This is not only a very egoistic way to be, it also says something about your need to control everything in your life. Smart women learn to delegate various aspects of their lives and even to train their Indian husbands to take over some tasks (yes, it can be done).

  • Ask For Help

Don’t expect to be able to handle all your emotional stresses alone. Build a support structure to help you deal with it. Talk to your spouse or your girlfriends. If your stress levels are getting too high, talk to a counselor to deal with your life issues. Recurrent stresses usually have an underlying cause which needs to be treated at the root level.

  • Learn to Say “No”

A lot of our problems come from taking on too much responsibility, for our husbands, our in-laws and even sometimes extended family. Learn to say No when it is really not your responsibility. You are not responsible for anyone but your kids and, to some extent, your husband.

Stop being a people-pleaser and give up the pressure of wanting everyone to like you. If someone is asking you to do something you know will regret taking on, use the tips here to say No in a way they will be able to accept.

  • Practice The Art of Self-Care

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection, said Buddha. When you do so much for others, surely you can take some time and do something for yourself. Take an exercise, yoga or meditation class. Go for a massage or spa treatment.

Allow someone else to pamper you for some time. Even if it seems selfish, it is not. If your tank is running on empty, you’re not doing anyone a favour. Only when you learn to fill yourself up from within will you have something to offer others.

© Naaree.com

 

Financial Planning: Money Habits Of Highly Successful Women

By Kendall SummerHawk

Mid-way through the year is the perfect time to gain some fresh insight on how to not only make more, but how to keep more of what you make. And if you’re not the “budgeting type” you’ll be glad to know that trying to force yourself to spend less is typically NOT the solution.

Budgets are like diets: they don’t usually work because they feel too restrictive and tend to stir up feelings of guilt and remorse, which leads to at first trying not to spend, only to later indulge in a shopping spree that puts you right back where you started.

What IS critical is to know that highly successful women share certain habits. They’ve figured out how to balance treating themselves with life’s luxury items AND still save, thus creating feelings of security and peace with money, while securing their financial future.

Best of all, it’s never too late to start modeling these habits. Which is why I’m sharing my top 4 tips to help you increase your “money mojo.”

Financial Planning Tips for Women

  • Tips #1: Track Every Penny In And Out

When it comes to money, ignorance is NOT bliss. Consider this: Money loves to be paid attention to and it WILL capture your attention, one way or another. By tracking what you make and what you spend you’re giving money the attention it requires.

I use a simple tracking form where I jot down the total amount of revenue I’ve brought in each day. For expenses, I tuck all receipts into one handy folder and let my bookkeeper enter the expenses in a tracking program such as Quick Books®.

You’ll be shocked at how quickly you start creating greater income — and effortlessly start spending less — following this simple tip.

  • Tips #2: Only Create Debt If It’s An Investment, Not An Expense

Purchasing consumables such as clothes, food, entertainment, gasoline, mani/pedi, etc. on credit is a big mistake because once the money’s been spent you have nothing to show for it. (The exception is if you have the discipline to pay off your credit card balances in full each month.)

The only time it makes sense to use your credit card for a purchase that may not be paid in full at the end of the month is if you’re investing in training and education that will help you grow your business.

Every business needs to be invested in, in order to grow. And leaning on credit cards to either get your business started or fuel your next level of growth can be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make. That’s because investing in yourself is always the best investment you can make. Just be sure you have a clear payoff plan written out so you stay in financial integrity and make your investment pay off.

  • Tip #3: Always Pay Yourself First, Even When It Feels Like You Can’t (Or Shouldn’t)

Women are notorious for undervaluing themselves. But the truth is, if you don’t value yourself, why would you expect any one else to? In the beginning the act of paying yourself first is more important than the actual amount. Later on, you can give yourself a raise.

For now, start writing a check to yourself once or twice per month (even if you need to deposit it right back into the account it came from). And don’t settle for what’s left over at the end of the month.

Instead, decide in advance how much you want your business to pay you as an annual salary, then divide by 12 if you’re going to pay yourself monthly, or divide by 24 if you prefer twice per month (that’s the schedule I use).

At first it may be a stretch to consistently pay yourself that amount but trust me, once you begin to respect that amount as non-negotiable you’ll find yourself doing what it takes to make more money and grow your business.

  • Tip #4: Start Saving Today, No Excuses

Like paying yourself first, the act of saving money is more important than the amount. Over time you can increase the amount you tuck away. What’s key is to have a compelling, emotional “why” as to what the money saved is for. The more emotionally connected you are to your money, the more connected your money will be to YOU (helping it to grow quickly and effortlessly).

It’s Time To Put On Your “Big Girl Panties” And Become A Financially Empowered Woman

Highly successful women understand their relationship with money is one of the most intimate, long lasting and revealing relationships they’ll ever have. Just remember, by valuing your money you’re valuing yourself in a positive, powerful way that is truly priceless!

“Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from ‘dollars-for-hours work’ and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come “Money and Soul” Business.”

Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the Million Dollar Marketing Coach.

Image: twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sonia Gandhi with Hilary Clinton, 2011

Powerful Women Leaders In India: Sonia Gandhi, Politician

Recently voted #7 on the Forbes List of the World’s Most Powerful Women, Sonia Gandhi has emerged as a powerful woman leader and is currently the President of the Indian National Congress and Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

In 2007 she was named the 3rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine and also featured in Times Magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People In The World in 2008.

Sonia Gandhi was elected for the fourth time as the Congress president and with this she holds the record of the longest serving party president. She is also the first person of foreign origin to become President of the Congress Party since India attained independence.

A Dignified Widow In A Foreign Land

Sonia Gandhi stayed away from politics and devoted herself to bringing up her children for seven years after her husband’s assassination in 1991. The party pleaded with her to join on several occasions but she declined.

It was in January 1998 that she joined the party and contested the Lok Sabha elections. She emerged as a saviour who helped the Congress party regain its fading glory when it was facing turbulent times and a crisis of leadership.

As a woman born and brought up in a foreign land, she has gracefully adopted Indian culture and is now an indisputable leader and the face of Indian politics.

Despite becoming the target of constant criticism and attempts to humiliate her as a result of her Italian origins, she remained calm and composed in the face of political opposition and emerged as a winner.

Mrs Gandhi seldom makes appearances in the media and is known for a persona dignified by silence. She has travelled throughout the country, delivered speeches and has won the unwavering support of the masses through her election rallies.

Leading The Congress Party To Power

Sonia Gandhi led the Congress party to power at the centre in 2004 when she launched a nationwide campaign focusing on the Aam Aadmi (Common Man) which brought her party victory against the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in the 2004 general elections.

The elected members of the Indian National Congress and the allied parties pleaded with Mrs Gandhi to accept the post of Prime Minister.

Following days of political drama, she declined the nomination, and decided to continue in her capacity as the party leader, leaving many of the BJP party members who had opposed her with egg on their faces.

With the masterful stroke of opting out of the Prime Ministerial race and handing over the post to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mrs Gandhi put to rest the controversy surrounding her Italian origins.

While she decided not to be in the forefront of the political scenario, choosing instead to continue working in the background, she remains a powerful influence on party decisions till date.

A Force For Women’s Empowerment In India

She played an important role in passing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Right To Information Act as a law, when she was the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee.

This landmark act is aimed at ensuring transparency in the system and entitles every citizen by law to ask questions and expect answers from the government.

Mrs Gandhi has nurtured her late husband, Rajiv Gandhi’s, legacy and vision of women’s empowerment and paved way for the Women’s Reservation Bill demanding greater political representation for women in India.

From her humble origins in Italy, to one of the most powerful politicians in the world’s largest democracy, Sonia Gandhi has overcome the chauvinism and xenophobia of Indian politics and emerged as a charismatic woman leader in India.

Under her influential leadership, the Congress party has been able to reach out to the poorest Indians and change the face of the Indian economy.

Are you glad Sonia Gandhi stayed in politics? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

© Naaree.com

Photo source usembassynewdelhi

Three Authentic Voices: Three Keys to Authentic Success

By Reggie Odom

Authenticity is one of my top values. It has always turned me on, inspired me and makes me feel deeply grateful to whoever takes – what can sometimes be – a risk to be true and authentic.

Authenticity can be a challenge for entrepreneurs. The challenge comes when you don’t trust yourself or don’t believe that you can be who you are, do what you love AND be successful.

Key to Success

The truth is that authenticity – being true to you and to others – is core to stepping into your greatness. Authenticity is key to sustainable and joyful success.

I’ve been inspired by the authenticity of several entrepreneurs recently. I want to tell you about three of them and the key they each brought to the authenticity table.

  • Three Voices, Three Keys

  • The First Voice was that of one of my clients who was running up against a familiar wall – “I just can’t get myself to do what I need to do, my heart’s just not in my goals.”

I asked her what her heart wanted. She said, “The only thing my heart wants to do is write.” And I, of course, said, “Then you have to write. Writing is the first and most important thing for you to do every day.” She knew that was true.

Before our session ended, she had created a writing schedule for herself. Within two weeks, she had completed a book. Less than two weeks after that, she was putting finishing touches on a memoir she had begun sometime ago to ready it for publishing.

First Key: When your heart speaks, listen! Your heart is a fearless and trustworthy guide.

  • The Second Voice was that of a woman who is also a writer and is in an entrepreneur’s group that I lead weekly. This woman has recently written and published a book, with a very particular focus having to do with children with cancer. She is passionate about the message, the children, and her book. Love fills her voice every time she talks about it.

And no surprise, her book has been hugely successful. So successful that other aspiring writers of different genres have asked her to help them do with their book what she has done with hers.

She said “Yes” to those aspiring writers and recently launched a new program to meet their needs. Her program is based on the system she created for herself that got her book published and out in the world successfully. She had clients before her new program ever launched.

Second Key: Follow your passion, make it real and doors will open for you that you never knew existed.

  • The Third Voice is that of another woman in the same entrepreneur’s group. She had seen a significant shift in her business and was easily signing on new clients. I heard the shift in her voice and felt it in her energy. The struggle was gone.

“What is different that you are getting these results?” I asked. She thought about the question for a moment and responded, “I am not chasing the money, and I am getting to my ideal clients.”

Third Key: Your IDEAL clients are the people you were born to serve. Connect with them, focus on them and how you can serve them with your offer and the money will come.

Each of these women experienced their success because they said “yes” to their heart. They were being true to the deepest calling within themselves at the time.

The 3 Keys to Authentic Success were based in each of these women being true, true to herself. That’s powerful!

Authenticity is truth. Truth is authenticity. Being true to you and all others is the rock solid foundation that will support and sustain a powerful, successful business.

Step Into Your Greatness!

Be true!

© 2006-2011 Reggie Odom

Reggie Odom, Transformational Life and Business Coach, mentors entrepreneurs and artists to step into their greatness, where playing small is no longer an option. If you are ready for uncommon success and to have the impact that only you can have, start with The Ten Commandments of Greatness™ now at www.reggieodom.com. Reggie can be contacted at reggie@reggieodom.com

Image: phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Violence Against Women In India : As Rampant As Ever In 2011

Violence against women in India is as rampant as ever now in 2011. A Thomson Reuters poll reveals that India is the 4th most dangerous place in the world for women.

This is abysmal, considering we have a woman President of the nation, women Chief Ministers in four states, a woman who is the chief of the ruling party, and powerful women CEO’s in the country.  It is also seen that 90% of trafficking that happens is within the country, and around 40% of the prostitutes are children.

Violence Against Women In India

What Really Constitutes Violence Against Women?

Any form of physical, sexual or emotional harm that is caused to a woman, whether at home or out in the open, whether a threat or depriving her of her rights, is considered to be violence.  Whether a woman is beaten by her husband, or other members of the family, or she is raped by an unknown individual, it is an act of violence.

Acid attacks, dowry deaths, female foeticide and infanticide, rape, emotional torture, child marriage, and forced marriage are all common acts of violence seen among women in India. A young school girl being touched by a teacher on her breasts, or her rear is also an act of violence.

What Are The Causes Of Violence Against Women in India?

Lack of education and awareness are the most common reasons for violence against women. Children who are subjected to abuse are likely to behave similarly as adults. Socio-economic status, substance and alcohol abuse also leads to violence against women in India. Sometimes children who witness one parent abusing the other tend to abuse later in life.

Trafficking is rampant among women from lower economic backgrounds who are forced into prostitution to make a living. An article in the Indian Express says “Around 100 million people mostly women and girls are involved in trafficking in one way or another, according to former Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta”. The same article states that 44.5% of girls are married off before the age of 18.

Stop Violence Against WomenWhat Are The Effects Of Violence Again Women?

Physical effects – injury, loss of speech, aches and pain, burns , substance abuse, gynaecological issues, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy resulting in abortion, and the list just goes on. Mental and emotional health problems – withdrawal, unsocial behavior, multiple sexual partners, insomnia, depression and several others can also result.

Apart from this, when the knowledge of abuse reaches others in the community, abused women are often shunned and forced to live in isolation. In many cases, women suffer silently for this very reason. They tolerate violence simply because of the fear of the consequences if they reported it and left. They don’t realize the consequences of putting up with it and carry on like that.

How Can We End Violence Against Women?

Education of the girl child is the first step towards a better society with fewer incidents of violence. Campaigns aimed at men and boys to increase awareness and change attitudes about gender inequality are also effective tools.  As individuals and responsible citizens, we need to spread awareness and report any act of violence against women around us.

© Naaree.com

This article may be reprinted with a live link to www.naaree.com

Photo sources unodays & fuccha

Hospitality Jobs: Are You Cut Out For A Career In Hospitality?

According to the latest Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research, released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the demand for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow by 8.2 % between 2010 and 2019. (Source)

Hotel Reception - Hospitality Industry

Although a career in the hospitality industry sounds fun and tempting, especially with a very lucrative pay and benefits in store, this is not a job for the weak-hearted. Getting into this field is not all about perks, benefits and big tips.

Hospitality jobs can be quite an ordeal if you don’t know what you’re getting into. So, before you send in that resume or application to undergo training, consider carefully if this kind of profession is really for you.

Here are some of the skills you require and stressors you’ll encounter when working in the hospitality industry.

  • A Large Dose Of Humility

The work in the hospitality industry is service oriented, and you are the service provider. You need an attitude of humility towards the person you’re serving. If you are the type of person that cannot manage your ego and pride, this is probably not the job for you. However, if you are the kind who loves to serve and accommodate the needs of other people, this aspect will be pretty easy to get a handle on.

  • A Perpetual Smile

Smiling is one way of being hospitable. It is also one good way to make people feel that they are welcome in a new place. Working in this profession means you have to wear a perpetual smile on your face all throughout your working hours.

You can’t grumble or complain about work, especially in front of guests. No matter how bad your day has been, you must be prepared to serve people with a smile. So, if you doubt your ability to keep that smile plastered on your face, even when you’re not in the mood, this kind of job is not for you.

  • Working The Graveyard Shift

Jobs in hospitality usually involve working in hotels, cafes, casinos and restaurants. These establishments are usually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You must be ready to work the graveyard shift, since your manager, not you, will be deciding your schedule.

Your schedules of working duty may vary and you must be prepared to adjust to the schedule that was given to you. This doesn’t mean that you only adjust your activities. You also need to be physically and mentally prepared for a stressful day or night schedule.

  • Say Goodbye To Holidays

Holidays are the busiest time of the year for employees in the hospitality industry as this is when people go on vacation. You must be prepared to give up your own holiday celebrations while you serve other people, so that they can have the vacation of a lifetime.

This downside of the job affects not only you, but also your family, who must be prepared to understand the nature of your job and accommodate holiday celebrations after the date.

  • Your Home Away From Home

Traveling is a big part of the job for most positions in this career path. If you’re working in a cruise or airline setting, be prepared to make your ship or airplane a home away from home. If you’re a tour guide, you may be on tour for a number of days and get to go home for a short break, before you’re off on another tour.

The Perks Of A Career In Hospitality

Now that we’ve covered the downside of working in this industry, we need to consider the perks of hospitality and tourism jobs. According to experts this is a career where you will enjoy growing and developing your talents. If you want a job that has a lot of benefits, a hospitality job may be just the thing for you.

  • Security And Stability

One of the perks of being in this kind of career is the high probability of having a stable job. There is a continuous demand for hospitality jobs and often a high turnover rate of skilled workers makes the ones that stick on even more valuable.

Once you’re in and prove your worth, your employer will do a great deal to keep you on board. Even if you end your contract with your employer, you can get a new job in a different company in no time since it is pretty easy to find job openings in this industry. You can almost be assured of a stable income no matter what happens.

  • Free Lodging And Food

Most jobs in this industry are also inclusive of meals and lodging, although the details of what you get will depend on the position you are in and the company you’re working for. If your job requires traveling, there’s a good chance that free lodging and food are included in your package.

Alternatively, your company may also specify a place where you can stay or may be willing to reimburse your lodging expenses. For food, companies usually have a separate cafeteria for employees or they may be willing to reimburse your food expenses or give you food allowances.

  • Lots Of Tips

Since this is a people and service oriented career, there is a good chance of getting lucrative tips from customers, especially the big tippers or ones who are pleased with your service. If you are working in a big hotel or resort, tips alone can provide a nice boost to your salary that can even exceed your basic pay.

  • Free Travel

If you’re working on cruise ships or in airlines, then traveling will definitely be part of your job. If you’re someone who loves to travel and enjoys the sense of freedom  The best part here is that you get to do it for free. You get to see different places and different parts of the world with minimal expenses on your part.

© Naaree.com

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Do Working Women In India Look For In A Man?

By Sriraj Ray

The secret to a man’s heart has been well documented throughout history and after various theories, arguments and counter arguments, wise ladies of yore came up with the one-liner “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” In contrast, the secret path into a woman’s heart is not that clear, let alone a working woman.

With socio-economic dynamics changing in India, many women today are embracing the opportunity to follow their career dreams and are at par, if not better, in many fields than their male counterparts.

The essential qualities that a woman looks for in a man is usually said to revolve around the three magic words ‘love, care and honesty’, but today’s modern Indian man will have to have a few more skills than that if he wants to charm his lady love.

  • Career Success

To begin with, in almost all cases, working women look for a man who is also a successful professional. This not only serves the purpose of supporting her financially but also adds brownie points at social functions and the like.

What friends and family think about a woman’s choice of mate is of utmost priority to her, and if the love of her life is a bum who likes television and beer, well then, he’s going to have to find a job real soon.

You may wonder why a working woman would look for financial security in her mate, as she’s bringing in the moolah herself. The answer is simple: so that she has the freedom to experiment and work in fields that may not necessarily pay that well, but that give her greater professional satisfaction.

She might have a passion to work for an NGO at a meager pay, or to teach arts and crafts to under-privileged children. The main thing is that, in this age of insecurity, it helps to have a partner who is able to provide should she choose to change her field of work.

  • Emotional Support

A working woman also needs her partner’s support. And here we’re talking of emotional support and care where the man must always be ready to lend his ear and his heart for times when she just wants to talk or vent about the stress and tension at office.

A man who listens is a man worth being with. Although this doesn’t come naturally to a man whose natural desire is to fix whatever problem his woman has, a definite milestone on the road to a woman’s heart is the ability to listen patiently without jumping in with advice or solutions.

  • Shared Domestic Responsibilities

Sharing responsibilities on the domestic front is becoming very important to Indian women, who are some of the most stressed on the planet. Indian women have not fought patriarchal mindsets, and worked hard to get where they are now, without expecting men to pull their weight around the house.

We now expect our men to find a proper balance of helping us wash the dishes, look after the kids, and make dinner (or, if they can afford it, hiring a maid to do so). We don’t want men who return from work only to put up their feet on the couch, TV remote in hand.

Ultimately, it is not that complicated to realize what a working woman looks for in a man. The secret to your woman’s heart is ‘understanding’. Understand her goals, aspirations and feelings and you will be the hero of her world.

© Naaree.com

Top 10 Social Networks For Women To Connect, Communicate And Grow

Women are big users of social networking websites because of their innate tendency to connect with people, share and build relationships. This consequently can lead to effective use of social media networking for professional as well as personal growth for women.

Here are the top 10 social networks (in no particular order) that women are benefiting from today.

The most popular social networking site in use today, and the number of women users is huge. Facebook groups and pages that are women centric and for women are aplenty and this is also a popular marketing tool for women entrepreneurs. Facebook also allows users to share photos, videos and even invite people for events online.

This the largest professional network on the web, with more than a 100 million members. This is a great way to connect with professionals in various industries, whether you are a job seeker, looking to get back in touch with old colleagues, or a head hunter looking for prospective candidates.

Twitter allows you to “tweet” 140 characters at a time, and is all about “Less is More”. One of the most popularly used social networking tools, people use Twitter to promote businesses, listen to what their favorite author or movie star has to say, or to share photos and videos.

Use Connected Women to connect with women entrepreneurs from over 70 countries. This is the open platform to be seen, heard, promoted and empowered. They have different levels of membership and offer a number of global calls and interviews with women entrepreneurs that you can listen to online.

  • Social Moms: The Influential Moms Network

SocialMoms was founded in 2008 by Megan Calhoun, a mom of two in northern California. It is a unique network of more than 30,000 moms who are influential and highly active across all social media channels, mobile social networks, and more. They help members grow their personal brands through networking, media, sponsorship opportunities, and connecting around a range of topics of interest.

Launched in 2006 is a great site with thousands of groups related to health, marriage, careers, cooking, etc. One can create journals to share information with other members, and also participate in polls and surveys.

A niche social media network for women entrepreneurs, which allows them to connect with other creative entrepreneurs internationally. There are how-to videos for viewing, and women entrepreneurs can be part of “cafés” to discuss different topics.

Started in 1995, this is a women’s social network which offers a platform for women to connect, interact an discuss a wide variety of topics like careers, relationships, health and pregnancy and fashion. Apart from this, women can also create profiles and blog, post questions and share pictures and videos.

The women’s special of AOL is especially popular in the UK, and in the USA. There are a wide variety of topics which women can discuss and there are also options to blog and chat.

While these are some of the commonly used social networking websites by women, several niche and special interest sites are also popular. Book lovers use GoodReads for book reviews, and see what their friends read and recommend. Photography enthusiasts swear by Flickr, and music lovers hang out at Reverbnation and MySpace.

 

Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Create A Business Plan For Your Online Business

Are you excited with the prospect of starting an internet business? Before you start seeing truckloads of cash, you need to think straight and write out your business plan. A well-thought out business plan can prevent costly mistakes that you might make in operating an online business.

Business Plan

Before starting an online business, you must devise a business plan. This is very important because planning (or lack of it) is the key to your business’ success or downfall. Whether your business idea is new or just a new take on an existing one, you will need a business plan to proceed with putting things in place.

The first thing to do is to find a fresh new idea or a new spin on an existing idea, that you can use to create an income online. Start the plan with a mission statement or a description of your business. Once you write out a summary, you should already be able to identify your business objectives and aims.

Now it’s now time to start creating the marketing plan for your online business. This is harder than the mission statement, but you will need it to address your business specifics and develop a strategy to promote your products and services.

When you’re developing your business’ marketing strategy, here are some factors to consider:

  • Target Audience

Your target market refers to the customers that will be visiting your web site. Since your business is based online, you will need to generate sufficient traffic to make your website profitable. Your target audience can include mothers, business executives, teens, older adults, or even kids.

  • The Competition

Competition is one thing that you have to pay a good deal of attention to if you want to succeed in your online business. You need to know your differentiators and come up with a product or service that is different from that of your competitor.

If your product or service is similar to others, you need to visit their site and identify your competitor’s weaknesses so you can improve your products or service to improve on theirs. This will help you estimate the costs of creating and marketing your product as well as devise a marketing strategy that is unique to your website.

  • Marketing Plan

You need to spend some time learning various ways to effectively advertise your online business. Explore the value and use of search engine traffic, paid traffic, banner ads, blogs, and articles. You can then decide how to use these marketing tools to advertise your product/service online. Spend a good deal of your time on the marketing plan because it is one of the most important parts of your business plan.

  • Product Pricing Strategy

Have you decided how much you are going to price your product or service? You will have to study your competition in order to fix your price. Your price should be neither too high nor too low. You need to ensure that your customers can afford to pay it, while allowing you to make a decent profit. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and study the pricing strategy of related products and services so you can make an informed decision.

  • Implementation

Are you going to implement all the steps yourself or outsource specific tasks to experts? Which tasks will you outsource and to whom? How much will it cost you to get them done in-house? What is the most efficient way to implement your business plan without running out of cash ?

  • Business Financing

Where is your business capital going to come from? Are you going to finance it from your savings, take a loan or invite partners, venture capitalists or angel investors to help you finance it? How are you going to manage your cash flow and who will help you maintain accounts? These are all factors that must be worked out when writing your business plan.

  • Shipping Method

If your product is a physically-delivered product, you will have to decide on a shipping method and price that is acceptable to your customer. Since your business is online, plan for the possibility of getting customers from different parts of the world.

Post the shipping details on your website clearly. If your products are valuable, include shipping insurance, especially if you need to ship outside your country.

  • Mode Of Payment

Most online businesses accept credit cards and if you choose this option, you will need to decide between merchant accounts or third party processing centers. Some online businesses accept money order or checks. Will your business accept them too?

You need to plan for all these factors when you write your business plan. It is one way to give your nascent operation the best chance of succeeding. A business plan is vital to any business whether online or offline. After creating a well-thought out business plan, you can now launch your new online business with much more confidence.

© Naaree.com

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Careers In Psychology Offer Job Flexibility For Indian Women

The growing awareness of psychology and its importance has brought with itself a horde of possibilities, both for the patients and for therapists. It holds the solution to a thousand mental, social and psychological problems human beings find themselves battling with.

Psychology is an extremely intricate science working on pure logic and reasoning combined with apt sensitivity. This is probably why women find themselves excelling in this field. If you have an academic bent of mind and are genuinely interested in the working of human mind, a career in psychology may be just the thing for you.

A career in this field involves frequent and sometimes prolonged interaction with people. Most women are naturally bestowed with patience and compassion and are therefore apt candidates for a career in psychology.

Psychology Job

  • Requirements For Psychology Jobs:

While natural instincts are very important to be successful in a field as intuitive as this, professional degrees are extremely important too. Psychology can be studied at various levels starting from undergraduate degrees and going on till post-doctoral levels.

For post graduation in psychology it is important to have graduated in it. If you have a keen interest in the subject but are not willing to take it up as a career option, you may sign up for certificate or diploma courses to augment your knowledge.

Depending upon your aptitude and interests, you can choose from the various sub-fields of psychology:

  • Clinical Psychology:

Clinical psychology involves the diagnosis, treatment and further prevention of mental and emotional problems in patients. Clinical psychologists can work independently or work in hospitals, community centers etc.

  • Educational Psychology:

Educational psychology mainly involves working in schools, colleges etc as a counselor. Educational psychologists work together with teachers, parents and students to help students especially teenagers to deal with their growing frustrations, common at their age. They help in building an understanding between teachers and students, and parents and students.

  • Organizational Psychology:

Organizational psychologists work with industries, firms etc to boost up production through analyzing employees psychology, working conditions etc. They focus on the behavior of employees and customers and accordingly advise the companies on the strategies that could maximize productivity.

  • Counseling Psychology:

Counseling psychologists help people deal with their emotional, mental and social insecurities. There are counselors working with teenage issues, relationship issues and marital conflicts – the demand for counselors is quite high in the country.

  • Research Psychology:

Research psychologists research on various aspects of human behavior, for example perception, learning, remembering and their various emotions. They carry out a series of surveys and experiments to reach out to a conclusion.

  • Teaching Psychology:

And last but not the least, psychology students can turn to being teachers in schools and colleges depending on their degrees. Teaching can be an extremely satisfying job given that the person has interest in imparting knowledge.

There are other branches of psychology too like social psychology that is involved with the understanding of human nature owing to the social set up and culture he has grown up with, forensic psychology that is involved with studying the state of mind of a criminal etc.

For Indian women, a career in psychology offers a plethora of growth opportunities and flexibility with regard to employment options.

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Psychology Guides:

  • AlleyDog.com: Learning Psychology Has Never Been So Easy and Painless – Millions of psychology students rely on AlleyDog.com, the leading online psychology resource for students. AlleyDog.com is the top choice for psychology students around the world who want to learn more, get better grades, and dominate psychology.
  • Nail It! Bio Psychology – This ebook contains memory aids to help students memorize the parts of the brain and turns hours of study into minutes. This is one of the toughest and most frustrating challenges for high school and college students. Use the memory aids in this ebook to get your test questions right. Developed by Michael A. Britt, Ph.D., psychology teacher and host of the popular podcast “The Psych Files”.
  • Psychology E-books – As an outpatient psychologist, I run across the same problems everyday. Clients said I should write ebooks about each one, so they can fix the problems themselves without necessarily going to a therapist. The tools and techniques I’ve developed over the last 25 years are creating real breakthroughs in reducing symptoms, in or out of my office.

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