Laken Lane Articles

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These posts were written at the request of Laken Lane in 2018.

3 Steps to Building a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you’re in a rut in your current position, starting over in a new industry or just starting out with your first “real” job after college, it’s important to be reminded of some of the key ways to get ahead. Some of the best advice is, indeed, the most simple; it might seem like common knowledge, but it’s time to make a serious evaluation of your professional life.

1. Set goals.

One of the most critical components of the road to success is to recognize what you’re working towards. Working a nine-to-five job because it’s the normal thing to do is admirable, but what are you ultimately aiming to achieve by doing so? Is your goal to set a specific amount of money aside, to learn new skills, or to serve your community? Work can be a fulfilling part of life, but it helps to think about the ways in which you could be making your career work for you.

2. Create a routine.

Relating to the previous point, routine is the ideal way to ensure that you are constantly working towards the goal you’ve set. Are you saving X amount of your salary each month? Have you asked to take on new or different tasks in your current position? Although you aimed to do so, have you actually created the opportunities for yourself to do a good service for at least five people each week?

3. Network.

Though networking remains a daunting concept for many, it is now easier than ever to make new connections! Networking doesn’t always have to happen in a professional setting, so it could be beneficial to carry business cards in your wallet – just in case you come across someone at a friend’s dinner party that might be interested in your services. Additionally, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram are making even the professional world a much smaller place – your next opportunity could be one request away.

How to “Spring-Clean” Your Finances

As unpleasant as it can be to have to think about budgeting, if we spring-clean our living spaces, why shouldn’t we spring-clean our wallets, as well? Being conscious of how you spend your money and making plans for how you would like to spend it are important parts of living a stress-free life. If you’re hitting the reset button and attempting to become more organized in general, the process should start with your finances. In order to make your money work for you, it’s best to:

1. Decide on a savings goal.

Firstly you should ask yourself questions such as: What would I like to use your money for? Would I like to have a few thousand dollars set aside in a rainy day fund or am I interested in saving up for the handbag of my dreams?

If you know what you’re saving money for (either on a long- or short-term basis), it can help deter you from dipping into it. If you need another layer of security (impulse buyers – this is for you!), setting aside those savings in a checking account at a bank separate from that of your daily-use debit card can provide you with additional protection from yourself.

2. Start a monthly budgeting system.

Most of us have heard this cliche piece of advice so many times that it could make our heads spin. As annoying of a concept as it is, budgeting can work wonders when it comes to having control over your accounts. By dividing your budget into necessities (rent, car payments, loans), extras (eating out, shopping, beauty services), and savings goals (vacation, emergency savings, funds for a dream car, etc.), it can make handling your money a lot less stressful.

3. Clean out your wallet.

For many of us, there are endless amounts of receipts, old gift cards and outdated coupons stuffed into our wallets. Although some of us hesitate to throw these things away, we’ve all used the excuse “But I might need it someday!” one too many times. If the gift cards have to stay, one great way to always have them with you is to punch holes into the corners of the certificates, and then to string them onto a keychain. If you can’t get rid of all the clutter, you might as well organize it – that way you can find things when you need them.  

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