Tuesday, 30 April 2013

On the threshold of May day

Where does May Day come from?

We spend a lot of our life working, this is why we are so grateful for such national holidays as May Day otherwise known as the International Worker's Day. I was wondering what is the actual meaning of it, although I vaguely knew that it is due to the labour movements, I thought it would be interesting to find out more, since the day is coming, bringing summer with it :) I apologise from all of you who already know the stories, but you know repetition never hurts.
So let's see! Did you know that this holiday is officially celebrated in more than 80 countries? Yep, I was surprised too. But more importantly, in almost all the countries, this celebration is the commemoration of labour movements. It is true that we don't appreciate what we have, or we don't realise it. For instance, I always thought about May day as a day in which there is no school or work, and we get a day off to celebrate that summer is near. I never actually realised that it took so many lives to get here, to achieve 'the eight-hour workday'. This probably has something to do with the fact that I didn't pay as much attention on History classes as I should have.

Image taken from May Day 2013 Fun Photos


The past of May Day

In 1886 in Chicago dozens of demonstrators were killed by the police, during the time of a strike which wanted to achieve the 'eight hour workday'. Because of this massacre, in the USA, they don't commemorate Labour Day on May the first, as in other countries, instead they have moved it, and the official holiday for workers is in September. The first of May was still celebrated, but for other reasons... at first it was Americanization day, then renamed Loyalty day and Law day at the same time.


The present of May Day

We have a large history of May day activities in the UK as well. Although, fortunately, they did not result in such casualties as those in the USA. Still there were many protests in cities like London, Glasgow or Edinburgh, resulting in clashes with the police.
Of course there is a bright side of this day as well. The good old fashion traditions, festivities which involve maypole, and the crowning of the May queen. The Edinburgh and Glasgow mayday festivals and many others. If you would like to read more about this topic, here is my source. But what I really wanted to emphasise is that there are so many things we forget... anyway Happy May day to you all!

Image taken from The Telegraph

Thursday, 25 April 2013

To be or not to be… a dental nurse?

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie!” If you heard about people with similar experiences, you may have a way of helping them. I haven't thought about dental nursing until one of my friends asked me to translate a research paper, so she could use it for one of her presentations. Although, I knew almost nothing about it, it caught my attention that dental nursing is becoming more and more popular. So I looked into the matter a little bit more and figured that it would be interesting to write about it. In case you are one of those people, fresh out of school, who wants to become a dental nurse, here are some key factors, that you should take into consideration before actually choosing this career. If you are not, you could still continue reading, since I think these factors can be applied to many other jobs as well. You may stumble upon something good :)

Image taken from CartoonStock

Willingness = training and development

If you really consider dental nursing your dream job, you should try to be the best at it. No academic qualifications are required in order to get hired as a trainee dental nurse. However, if you want to progress you will have to complete a full-time course approved by the General Dental Council. If your future boss sees that you are reliable, trustworthy, and especially willing to learn more, he/she will help you develop your knowledge and skills by attending one of the special training programmes available. Naturally, you could also take matters in your own hands, and find out more about the opportunities that you have, because there are a lot of ways to advance in this career. In case everything goes well, you can even become a dental hygienist or a dental therapist.

You smile = the patient smiles 

You should know that even if you successfully complete a course, this qualification is not enough to become an excellent dental nurse. Your knowledge or experience will not necessarily be sufficient to make other people smile more often. This is essential! You need to put the patients' interests first and be motivated to help them. It is always hard to work with people, regardless of the environment you work in, so be prepared to have some really annoying patients, with a lot of silly questions, to which you should be answering kindly with the biggest smile on your face! This way they will have nothing to complain about and you will not only “be the bigger man”, but also earn some extra points for your boss and your team.

Team player = everybody likes you, stress free job

At any kind of job, you are usually required to work well in a team. Being a dental nurse is no different! If you are a lone wolf, and refuse to be a part of the team, you will not last long as a dental nurse. At a good dental practice, the team is essential. Since you want to become successful in what you do, it is very important to exclude as many stress sources as possible. Therefore, at first you should do what you are told (even if you do not like it) so you blend in, and get along with the others. Of course after a while, if they see that you are a valuable part of the team, you will be “allowed” to have opinions and they will look forward to your suggestions.

Research = do you like the things you would have to do?

The tasks of a dental nurse are not as easy as they might seem at first sight. This is a crucial matter because if you do not like what you have to do, you will be miserable, and so will be the ones who surround you. Hence you have to really consider all aspects of dental nursing before you make a decision. But if you think you are up for it, dental nursing can be the perfect choice for you!
I have found a pretty good site with a lot of job offers. Here you can check it out if you want to. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on dental nursing :) Till next time!

Still wanna be... educators part 2

If you still want to become a teacher... even after seeing my last post than I think you should go for it. What I would really like is to know teachers such as the one from the film called Freedom Writers. The whole idea is to have a purpose and to consider it more than a job. I don't believe that you can totally separate your life from your career, especially if you are a teacher. This is certainly harder than for instance being an accountant (no offence to the world of accountants).

When you are working with children, you need patience... lots of it, and we haven't even talked about such upsides as the constantly changing educational system or the parents who think that education goes on in the school, and the school only, so they don't have to contribute at all. The solution could be to 'trick' the system, just like in the film, and create your own methods of teaching. Try to raise the interest of the kids, even if that means you have to use toy cars to illustrate maths, or you have to read essays about World of Warcraft in order to analyse the writing skills of the children. This is why you should be prepared for anything and everything when you go into a classroom. Good luck for all of you!

“We don't need no educators”

Will I be... a teacher?
Image from Fanpop

Have you ever thought about being a teacher? A lot of my acquaintances have gone down that road. My parents always said, that's what I should do too, but this was not enough to convince me. When I was younger I had no clue what I want to be. My friends on the other hand, were always on the edge. They were sure that they would become doctors, nurses, fire-fighters and teachers of course (it depended on the day of the week). Even though I had no plans (besides changing the world of course, everybody goes through that phase) the one thing that I knew was that I like literature, grammar, and I usually talk a lot, so I decided to study English.
Most of the people think that the only job you can aspire for with such a degree is a teaching position. I won't lie to you, the thought eventually crossed my mind, but I'm not cut out for it. I know most of you think teaching is easy, teachers have a lot of vacation and good pay checks, but you are wrong. I've made an infographic about teaching, since this type of visualised data is so popular today:) I hope it is readable, please don't judge, it's my first one and it's a little old school.

As good as it gets

Hello again!
First of all, I realised that last time I forgot to answer the question regarding the content of this blog. The answer is: I don't know yet. As the famous quote goes “I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.” So basically, we will see where we end up.


Take a stand

As I promised, this time I will give you some tips on how to get a better job. It is obvious that the process is hard, but from my experience, it is worth it. There are very few things that are worse than being obligated to do something that you hate. Once you have realised that you need to take a stand and change something, you have to figure out how. The first step is to find a new job. Easy to say, extremely hard to do. At the beginning of my 'fishing' I decided that I will not settle for what I can find, instead I will try to look for something that is at least remotely related to my English degree.


Change of attitude

Of course, this worked for like two weeks, after which I was starting to panic and my determination was slowly fading away like a distant memory. I was back where I started, in the 'this could be better than nothing' box, going to interviews for lousy jobs, because I needed to pay the bills. The epiphany came when I had not been accepted for the positions, that I could have handled without any difficulties. I couldn't believe that all the years of learning and struggling were for nothing, and I decided again (this time for real) that I will find a suitable job. The fact is, that the only thing that I had to change was my approach. I was looking in the wrong places. So here's the deal… you need to really dedicate yourself to the search and find the best opportunities. How? The 'miracle' of our age… the internet. The sites where you can find job posts are more and more advanced, so you not only have the possibility to choose from a very big list of vacancies, but you can also learn about a lot of things, like how to behave at an interview, or what to write in your resume. I'm not saying that this is all that it takes, you need a bit of luck as well. However, I can assure you, that your attitude is one of the most important factors. 

Image taken from Glass Half Full
I don't even remember how many interviews have I gone to, when I applied for a job that I had known nothing about. I saw that I could fulfil the requirements, although they were kind of vague (good communication skills, being able to work in a team etc., you know the usual stuff), I still went to the interview.

At first I thought nothing special of it, but when I saw that the employees were saying jokes and laughing, I said to myself that this must be it. And it was :) 


Be who you are

So you need to believe that you have a real chance to be hired and act accordingly. Don't panic when they ask questions, just try to give the answers you think are the best. This is what I did, and it worked. I couldn't believe that they hired me, and ever since then, I am trying to do my best. But most importantly, I don't wake up every morning, thinking that I don't want to go to work (only some days:)). I'm not claiming that my job is perfect, I don't believe there is such thing... but you have to strive to find the one that is at least 'as good as it gets'! Of course, this opinion will also change in time for many people, so let's stick to the 'as good as it gets for right now'.

Better than nothing… is it really?

Hi guys! If you are reading this, it means you have somehow found my blog. I'm relatively “new” in the world of blogging, so I'm not sure of the rules, if there are any :) You are probably wondering about the content of it. Well, the reason why I started writing was curiosity. Would it be fun? Would it matter? Would it help? I really hope that my posts will be useful in one way or the other.

How many times have you said: 'oh, it's still better than nothing'? I, for one, have said it too many times already. I'm an average person… no special skills, or hidden talents. I can't fly, or read others' thoughts, I don't own a special iron suit and when I'm angry, I don't look like Shrek on steroids (don't get me wrong, I like the Hulk).
Nonetheless, I am getting tired of making my choices based upon those three words. There are many things that should be at least 'good' in someone's life, or even the best. During the years when I was in college, I worked in a store, which I hated, but it was 'better than nothing', I got a salary that was again 'better than nothing', and the list goes on and on. After a while you start to wonder if you should have chosen the nothing part. People tend to make excuses for themselves, I will find something better as soon as I finish college, I will quit, as soon as I won't need a steady job and so on. Don't go down that road… believe me it is a straight way to feeling as if you were 50, when you're actually 25. 

Image from Wisdom Heart

So the big question is, what to do about it? If you think you deserve something that is way better, if you want to have fun in the weekends instead of working overtime, here's the solution: QUIT! But not before you have thought about things for a while. As I have mentioned before I am not the most powerful person in the planet, but I am stubborn enough to have things my way, if I really make up my mind about something. Therefore one day, after I have finally decided to take matters into my own hands, while I was working a busy shift, I handed in my resignation letter. Soon after, I realised that it would have been ideal to look for another job first, but let's face it, nothing is ideal these days. Exactly 2 months 28 days and a lot of sleepless nights later I have found my next job, which is more than I could have hoped for. If you are interested in how I did it, keep on reading my posts. Till next time!