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Not Enough Time?

By Mabel Tan

Do you feel like there is literally never enough hours in a day to accomplish the tasks you set out to do?

You are not alone. As a part-time degree student holding a 9 to 5 job, I have to admit that my daily life can get pressurising, even stressful, especially when the deadlines simultaneously mount up at work and school.

Because I don’t get the luxury of having less to do - only less time to do - I have adopted the following time-wealth optimisation techniques to tame this ever-present frenemy of ours.

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Guide for fresh graduates: Understanding employment laws

You're fresh out of school and the world is your oyster. While you get all excited about stepping into the corporate world, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. It’s clichéd but true – so what you should probably gear yourself with, besides a great résumé, is knowledge about your rights and responsibilities as an employee in Singapore. Here are the common questions you may find yourself asking, and the answers to them:

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6 work wardrobe guidelines for hot, humid weather

Dressing for work in light of Singapore's hot and humid climate can be tough. Thirty-two degree weather and a suit jacket don’t exactly mix, but neither do guys in shorts and corporate boardrooms. Not to mention the fact that, at any given point, it’s at least six degrees cooler in the average office building than it is outside.

But it is possible to create a work wardrobe that’s comfortable yet professional, and cool yet collected. Here’s how.

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Creative Ways to Turn Your Passion Into a Job

By Kaitlin Madden

Combining your life’s work with your life’s passion can be a challenging pursuit.

You may love something that you’re not very good at. Or, perhaps you’re lucky enough to be talented in the thing you are most passionate about, but you’re not sure how to translate it into a sustainable career. Or, maybe you spent years going to school for one thing, only to find out you’d really prefer to do something else.

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What is Blue Ocean Strategy?

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Adapted from “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray, published by Harper Business.

The rapid pace of innovation and change in recent years has led scholars and executives to search for an approach to strategy that is more dynamic than Harvard Professor Michael Porter’s classic “five forces.” One of the most successful efforts to do so is the book “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

While avoiding use of Mr. Porter’s name, Mr. Kim and Ms. Mauborgne nevertheless attack him head on, arguing that the “five forces” analysis is a formula for remaining in “red oceans,” where the sharks compete mercilessly for the action. The key to exceptional business success, they say, is to redefine the terms of competition and move into the “blue ocean,” where you have the water to yourself. The goal of these strategies is not to beat the competition, but to make the competition irrelevant.

Among the examples they cite is Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian company that redefined the dynamics of a declining circus industry in the 1980s. Under conventional strategy analysis, the circus industry was a loser. Star performers had “supplier power” over the company. Alternative forms of entertainment, from sporting events to home entertainment systems, were relatively inexpensive and on the rise. Moreover, animal rights groups were putting increased pressure on circuses for their treatment of animals.

Cirque du Soleil eliminated the animals and reduced the importance of individual stars. It created a new form of entertainment that combined dance, music and athletic skill to appeal to an upscale adult audience that had abandoned the traditional circus.

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Traversing The Social Media Minefield

An online presence that portrays the right image, as far as the naked eye can see, can help in the application for scholarships or jobs in ways that you least expect.

by Wendy Ng

The youth of today are experts in the field of social media. While academic knowledge might befuddle us at times, most of us can weave intricate webs of wonders with a computer and the various tools of web 2.0.

Social media plays a crucial role in keeping us up-to-date with the people around us. It is also a medium which we use to portray ourselves to the world.

From Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, to the various forms of blogs, we have a smorgasbord of outlets to express ourselves. We update our Facebook statuses religiously and tweet our latest thoughts almost instantaneously.

Blogs provide daily insights to our schedule and lifestyle, and in more gossip-worthy instances, our deepest, darkest secrets.

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Being an Effective Communicator

Much has been written on the importance of effective communication for success in our jobs and our personal relationships. Communication touches every aspect of what we do in a given day. We communicate verbally, in written format and non-verbally in our body language throughout the day. If we do so much of it, how is it that we make so many mistakes at it?

The problem starts with our approach. We are so focused on delivering a message that we do not always think of the personality, gender or culture of the receiver of the message when we compose our thoughts and transmit. We approach others and choose words based on our personal life experience and communication style and expect the receiver to understand exactly what we’re ‘trying’ to say leaving us extremely frustrated when ‘they don’t get it’. Secondly, we filter and ‘listen’ to their response based on our personal interpretation of what they say, often not actually hearing the message being passed as we’re too tuned in to the internal dialogue in our own heads – “I don’t agree with him there, I know he’s wrong”.

We’re left wondering why a person is being so difficult and perceive that they are deliberately not listening to us. We think we’re making perfect sense and are clear in our words and delivery. Belief and perception become reality and we now have a full blown conflict between both parties based on our inability to communicate. Sound familiar?

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Are you Mono or Polychrone?

Are you known to be late for meetings or appointments? Do you feel stressed because you can’t seem to find time to have dinner with family members, go for your spa session or finish your work on time?

Are you always rushing your children from one place to another, taking them to ballet, French lessons, violin practice and other dreadful “enrichment” activities, and feeling more exhausted than they?

If you answer YES, heaven has mercy on your soul for you’re being condemned to a lifetime of penal servitude, no different from a convict doing hard labour.

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Balancing Work and Play

Singaporean women in the accounting and finance sector want better work-life balance, says a survey conducted last May on more than 700 female professionals in the public and private sectors in Singapore.

Almost 60 percent cited work-life balance as their top priority, over other concerns such as opportunities for advancement, job security and skills upgrading. And more than 50 percent of those polled said they would leave their current job for one that offered a better work-life balance, even if it means less money.

It’s probably not just women, but men too, who need to find the right balance between work and their personal life.

Are you married to your work?
It can be tempting to rack up the hours at work — especially if you're trying to earn a promotion or extra money to send your child to university or for a dream vacation to the Caribbean. For others, it is simply necessary because of the heavy workload.

But if you're spending most of your time at work, what suffers is likely to be your home life and personal relationships. If you are perpetually working overtime and on weekends, you may miss out on important events such as your child's first bike ride, your father's 60th birthday or a reunion with your old friends. Missing out on important milestones may harm relationships with your loved ones.

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Managing Your Finances, The DBS Way

Plenty can be done through the Internet. With that in mind, DBS has an online feature that is able to perform a range of tasks safely, effectively and efficiently.

By Md Sufyan Saad

Youths today are more technologically savvy than their predecessors of yesteryear. This generation relies heavily on technology to perform a variety of tasks which, in turn, frees up their personal time to pursue other things.

But even with the advancement of technology, many still prefer the conventional method of carrying cash with them, rather than going “cashless”. However, the circulation of money in its physical form is not entirely efficient and possibly risky. Thus, DBS Bank has moved towards providing services in cashless transactions to advance its customers’ modes of banking.

Going cashless
Simply put, cashless transactions utilise technology to perform monetary tasks without physically circulating cold hard cash.

Using a debit card is a prime example of a cashless transaction. Essentially, it is both a NETS (Network for Electronic Transfers) card as well as a credit card, except unlike the latter, it works by debiting money from your personal bank account.

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