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I decided to ask someone who is both of these things simultaneously to help us understand the differences. Chef Austin* is cofounder of Bennett’s Butter Co. His day job is at a large tech company that feeds their employees breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch every day across the world. n Backup singer at work, rock star side hustle n u201cI help design and build out their kitchen and cafe spaces, Austin said. u201cI get to look at the latest equipment and trends in food and work with local chefs to design the most state-of-the-art kitchens.u201d n n Follow Ladders on Flipboard ! n Follow Laddersu2019 magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness , Productivity , Job Satisfaction , Neuroscience , and more ! n n And thatu2019s what inspired his side hustle. u201cI decided to get started on developing compound butters when I was in culinary school a few years ago. I’d come home and cook for my family with the butters I was creating, and I’d leave the leftovers with my family to test out. They would tell me how much cooking with the butters instantly improved and elevated the flavor of their meal while cutting prep time.u201d n Austinu2019s first production run was in November 2018, u201cbut as far as recipes and packaging, it’s always a work in process as we work with new vendors and flavors. I am always looking for the next best thing.u201d And heu2019s always doing it while still working at a more traditional job as well. n Rock star takeaway: Pay attention to what people are telling you to improve your product. Even if youu2019re the product! n The benefits of each n Austin said he loves his day job where, for all intents and purposes, heu2019s a corporate backup singer because of u201cits incredible culture, opportunities, ability to constantly learn, network, and grow. Although I am in a supporting role, I still take pride and ownership of my day to day responsibilities and feel like I can be incredibly effective and successful.u201d n And while he wears many hats in his corporate life, Austin said: u201cIt’s nowhere as many as compared to the different roles I need to play at Bennett’s Butter.u201d n Backup singer takeaway: Even when part-time, itu2019s fine to take pride of ownership in your group accomplishments. n Managing your professional personalities n As a food entrepreneur, Austin recognizes just how much of a team effort it is producing, marketing and bringing a new product to market. u201cWhile it is very much a team effort, it’s a much leaner team and operation spearheaded by myself and my co-founder and sister Bess, and we both bring different strengths and talents to the table. n During the day I’m operating from a position of power because of the size of and resources at my company, while my side hustle is very much a startup within an industry that’s incredibly challenging to break into.u201d n Rock star takeaway: Garage band or arena headliners, you still need your backup crew to make you shine. n Being a rock star isnu2019t all itu2019s cracked up to be n For anyone whou2019s dreamed of being in the spotlight, Austin thinks you need to know that u201cIt’s unbelievably humbling. I am constantly putting myself out there, working until the wee hours of the morning and not always seeing instant gratification. n Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and it’s all about problem-solving, being nimble and getting partners and vendors to adjust to the needs of a growing business and not getting discouraged. You have to work through it and persevere.u201d n Rock star takeaway: Being the person who represents a brand also means the added hassles and headaches involved in perfecting your product. n It’s all about teamwork n Whether youu2019re producing hit singles or gourmet butter, you canu2019t do any of it on my own. Austin said u201cMy sister Bess is an integral of the success of Bennett’s Butter. We work as a team, and both have our strong suits, recognize what they are, and divide and conquer accordingly. For example, as a trained chef, I own recipe development and food production. Bess has a sales and marketing background which has been instrumental in handling those aspects of the business.u201d n And more than that, even if thereu2019s a single face to any brand, Austin reminds us that u201cthere’s a lot more to Bennett’s than Bess and me. We’re fortunate to have an amazing network of people we’ve met through both our professional personal lives who have been integral in growing and scaling our business. This ranges from our packaging and paper guru and finance experts to our sales broker, graphics and web designers, photographers, and PR rock star.u201d n Rock star takeaway: Remember the backup singers. Theyu2019re the ones who support your time in the spotlight! n *Since heu2019s still employed at a global tech corporation, for the purposes of this article weu2019ll only use his first name. n n You might also enjoy… n n New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy n Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds n 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklinu2019s daily schedule that will double your productivity n The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs n 10 habits of mentally strong people n n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:” To find out, I decided to ask someone who is both of these things simultaneously to help us understand the differences. n”,”protected”:false},”author”:271,”featured_media”:81269,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“amp_status”:””},”categories”:[94,26703,95,97],”tags”:[17402,20259,1867,326,9493,27107],”yst_prominent_words”:[18393,30787,91820,91825,91822,649,70103,17373,3742,28500,49418,91819,18658,91824,18821,91821,1284,17414,91823,17378],”yoast”:{“focuskw”:”work”,”title”:””,”metadesc”:”While thereu2019s merit in each position depending on your skillset, itu2019s just a matter of finding the one that will work best for you.”,”linkdex”:”75″,”metakeywords”:””,”meta-robots-noindex”:””,”meta-robots-nofollow”:””,”meta-robots-adv”:””,”canonical”:””,”redirect”:””,”opengraph-title”:””,”opengraph-description”:””,”opengraph-image”:”/wp-content/uploads/chef_kitchen_190617.jpg”,”twitter-title”:””,”twitter-description”:””,”twitter-image”:””},”acf”:{“not_original_content”:false,”related_tag”:false},”yoast_meta”:{“title”:”Are you a rock star at work or a backup singer? | Ladders”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81190″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”}],”about”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”}],”author”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/users/271″}],”replies”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=81190″}],”version-history”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81190/revisions”}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media/81269″}],”wp:attachment”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=81190″}],”wp:term”:[{“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=81190″},{“taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=81190″},{“taxonomy”:”yst_prominent_words”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/yst_prominent_words?post=81190″}],”curies”:[{“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/{rel}”,”templated”:true}]}},{“id”:81195,”date”:”2019-06-18T04:40:52″,”date_gmt”:”2019-06-18T08:40:52″,”guid”:{“rendered”:”/?p=81195″},”modified”:”2019-06-17T11:38:40″,”modified_gmt”:”2019-06-17T15:38:40″,”slug”:”save-stretch-protect-a-financial-expert-on-how-to-begin-plotting-your-retirement-strategy”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”/career-advice/save-stretch-protect-a-financial-expert-on-how-to-begin-plotting-your-retirement-strategy/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”Save, stretch, protect: A financial expert on how to begin plotting your retirement strategy”},”content”:{“rendered”:” u201cHope for the best u2026 prepare for the worstu2026u201d n These were words of wisdom I gleaned from my Father, a depression baby who was a tremendous source of both common sense and practical advice for me. Although he was speaking in general terms, this wisdom rings true especially when it comes to retirement planning. Today, there is an astounding number of aging professionals who are putting off retirement because they are either financially insecure or they are afraid that they will be if they stop working. If you are at or near retirement age, the time to plan is now. So many people donu2019t even know where to begin.u00a0Hereu2019s what you need to know to get started: n The best way to begin plotting an exit is to identify the different risks you might face after you retire, (i.e. preparing for the worst.) Though these risks all overlap a bit, there are three basic areas of risks to consider: n 1. Financial risks n Running out of money is probably every senioru2019s greatest fear. Another is not being able to enjoy the golden years in a manner that is affordable and enjoyable. Being proactive and doing some careful budgeting and planning in advance is critical. As the old adage goes, u201can ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.u201d n What can you do now? n In the budgeting process, be aware of what your prospective annual costs are and estimate your life expectancy. Match your planning needs to accommodate your unique retirement goals (hobbies, travel, family, fitness, etc.) Itu2019s also important to start building up a financial u201cwar chestu201d now to meet your budgeted needs. n n Follow Ladders on Flipboard ! n Follow Laddersu2019 magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness , Productivity , Job Satisfaction , Neuroscience , and more ! n n Some ideas to expand your financial u201cwar chestu201d include: n n Delay social security to maximize payout (if possible.) n Delay taking retirement account distribution to 70.5 years. n Consider moves to lower tax states like Florida. n Consult with a tax expert to make sure you are getting maximum benefits. n Plan for a part-time job after retirement to augment retirement fundsu2026almost 22% of Americans 65 and older expected to have a part-time or full-time job by 2026. n Balance your needs with taxes, death, legacy goals. n Manage your debt. n Consider life insurance as an asset class which can diversify your portfolio and provide tax-free growth and protect against market volatility. n n 2. Health risks n When planning for retirement, itu2019s really important to consider the possibility that youu2019ll need long-term care. According to a Nationwide Survey completed in 2018, over 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care at some time in their life. 77% of these respondents would prefer to have their long-term care needs to be met in their own home. The annual costs for long-term care can range from $50,000 to over $100,000 per year! Often times, childrenu2019s inheritance may be utilized for these costs. n What can you do now? n Plan early for this expense. If you donu2019t have the cash saved already (and letu2019s face it, not many people do,) there are many creative ways to generate the capital and stretch your assets. n For example, you should explore the value of your life insurance policy as it may be a source of hidden cash. Thousands of individuals have life insurance policies they are not aware of and billions of dollars in life insurance benefits stemming from long neglected or unknown life-insurance policies are everywhere. Too few understand they may be able to cash out with a “life settlement,” or sale of an existing life insurance policy to a third party. Use this Life Value Calculator to estimate how much your life insurance policy will be worth when you sell it. n According to elder care attorney, Gary L. White , you can also explore strategies that preserve and protect your assets for your loved ones while shifting the costs of long-term care to the state and the federal government through Medicaid planning. There are numerous tools and strategies used depending on your marital status, the size of your estate, the amount of your gross monthly income and timing of your Medicaid application. For example, one tool is to establish a special irrevocable trust to reorganize your assets so that later, those assets will not be counted for Medicaid eligibility purposes. When planning, be aware of Medicaidu2019s five-year look-back period related to the transfer of assets for less than fair market value and consult with an attorney who is experienced in Medicaid planning before implementing any strategies to avoid u201cspending downu201d your assets in order to qualify for long-term care benefits. n 3. u201cMeaning of lifeu201d risks n Itu2019s easy to neglect this risk when planning for retirement. While it may seem less pressing than the other two, it is still an extremely important aspect to consider. How can you remain happy, healthy, and social after retirement? Passion and enthusiasm are the core ingredients for humans to thrive. n What can you do now? n When plotting your career exit, reflect on the things that are most important to you. Make a list of all the things that give meaning and purpose to your life (ex. hobbies, projects, social activities, spending time with friends and family, traveling, etc.) and guide your life by those values or activities. Another idea is to look at your existing life insurance policies to see whether you can trade paying the ongoing premiums for a portion of the death benefit to go to your heirs or favorite causes. Planning for philanthropic endeavors are a great way to bring fulfillment to your life. n Bottom line n In order to save, stretch, and protect your assets, create an income strategy to allow you to maintain your lifestyle and not outlive your money; a tax strategy which integrates with your investment and income strategies and is cognizant of current tax environment; health care strategy that considers your long-term care needs; and a legacy strategy which will provide blessings and not family conflicts n In short: u201cHope for the best u2026 prepare for the worst u2026 u201d n David Kottler is a national speaker, author, and entrepreneur who combines his legal and business experience to help his Americans fulfill their life mission both philanthropically and financially. Also known as “The Insurance Dr.” Kottler draws on his 24 years of financial planning experience to create game-changing results for his clients through his innovative u201cTrue Valueu201du2122 life insurance review process. Kottler is the author of two books. His latest book, The Best Kept Money Secret in Your Insurance Policy, was written to empower his clients and other financial professionals to get the most out of their life insurance policies in their portfolios. n n You might also enjoy… n n New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy n Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds n 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklinu2019s daily schedule that will double your productivity n The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs n 10 habits of mentally strong people n n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:” There is an astounding number of aging professionals who are putting off retirement because they are either financially insecure or they are afraid that they will be if they stop working. n”,”protected”:false},”author”:1541,”featured_media”:81259,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“amp_status”:””},”categories”:[94,26703,95,42410,97,96],”tags”:[19515,18485,73,38927,24662,25838,326,9592],”yst_prominent_words”:[91836,17475,91829,91837,91828,70103,91847,2010,58302,75859,17450,29351,73758,83648,91827,4187,79525,91833,4720,91838],”yoast”:{“focuskw”:”retirement”,”title”:”A financial expert on how to begin plotting your retirement strategy %%sep%% Ladders”,”metadesc”:”There is an astounding number of people who are putting off retirement because they are financially insecure or afraid they will be if they stop working.”,”linkdex”:”75″,”metakeywords”:””,”meta-robots-noindex”:””,”meta-robots-nofollow”:””,”meta-robots-adv”:””,”canonical”:””,”redirect”:””,”opengraph-title”:””,”opengraph-description”:””,”opengraph-image”:”/wp-content/uploads/retirement_190617.jpg”,”twitter-title”:””,”twitter-description”:””,”twitter-image”:””},”acf”:{“not_original_content”:false,”related_tag”:{“term_id”:9592,”name”:”Retirement”,”slug”:”retirement”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:9592,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:82,”filter”:”raw”}},”yoast_meta”:{“title”:”A financial expert on how to begin plotting your retirement strategy | Ladders”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81195″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”}],”about”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”}],”author”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/users/1541″}],”replies”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=81195″}],”version-history”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81195/revisions”}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media/81259″}],”wp:attachment”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=81195″}],”wp:term”:[{“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=81195″},{“taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=81195″},{“taxonomy”:”yst_prominent_words”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/yst_prominent_words?post=81195″}],”curies”:[{“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/{rel}”,”templated”:true}]}},{“id”:81087,”date”:”2019-06-18T04:40:40″,”date_gmt”:”2019-06-18T08:40:40″,”guid”:{“rendered”:”/?p=81087″},”modified”:”2019-06-17T11:23:05″,”modified_gmt”:”2019-06-17T15:23:05″,”slug”:”3-ways-to-prepare-so-you-can-ace-your-next-job-interview”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”/career-advice/3-ways-to-prepare-so-you-can-ace-your-next-job-interview/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”3 ways to prepare so you can ace your next job interview”},”content”:{“rendered”:” So, you are thinking itu2019s time to leave your current job to see if there is something that fits you better. Maybe you want to leave because you have a manager that makes too little time for you, doesnu2019t encourage your learning and development, doesnu2019t provide meaningful feedback or is cheap with praise when you do good work. Maybe you have grown as far as you can grow in the organization because the path for advancement will move you from your high-performance abilities to those that are out of your high-performance areas. Or, maybe youu2019re just ready for a change. n Regardless of the reason, itu2019s important to prepare for your future interview. Remember that an interview is an information-gathering-and-sharing event. You share information about yourself and gather information about the possible employer. When done well, both sides have enough of the right information to determine if the role fits both of you. n n Follow Ladders on Flipboard ! n Follow Laddersu2019 magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness , Productivity , Job Satisfaction , Neuroscience , and more ! n n Consider these three tips to fully prepare yourself to ace your interview. n Invest in greater self-awareness to know your strengths, interests, and values n The interview is your opportunity to share who you are. This requires great self-knowledge, so take the time to really understand and articulate what you do well, your interests and what activates your best performance. You canu2019t wisely assess whether you have what it takes to succeed in the role if you are unaware of your abilities. Consider taking an assessment, doing self-discovery work or working with a coach to get clear about who you are. This will also help you identify the right-fit job opportunities, ensuring your time is well spent at the interview. n Create a list of what you want the organization to know about you n Though all organizations interview, there are few that are effective or good at it. That means itu2019s extremely likely you may leave the interview without having shared the critical and important information they need to know about you to wisely consider you for the role. Gaining greater self-awareness (refer back to step 1) gives you greater clarity about your success attributes, attributes that are critical to share during your interview. n Donu2019t leave the interview until you share these attributes. You may even have to say something like, u201cI wanted to share the three things about me (my three greatest abilities) that will show how I can add value and make a difference in this role. Would now be a good time to share these with you?u201d Be prepared to share your greatest attributes during your interview, even if your interviewer hasnu2019t asked for them. n Create a list of what you want to know about the organization, role or manager n Understand the organization and its focus, vision, and mission. Understand the role, what it does and its importance to the organization, and get an understanding of the management style and culture of the organization. Create a list of anything you need to know to be able to say yes or no to the opportunity. n Since an interview is an information-gathering-and-sharing event, take the time to really know yourself so you can be clear about what information you want your potential future employer to know about you, even if they forget to ask. Also, know what information you need to discover or confirm about them and, based on your self-awareness, know what youu2019re looking for in an organization u2013 and the job u2013 that needs to be met for you to say u201cyesu201d to the job. The goal is to have enough of the right information to assess whether you fit them and they fit you. Do your homework. Preparation is key. n As president and founder of the Forte Factor, and a certified executive coach, Jay Forte speaks to thousands of CEOs and Talent Management / HR professionals each year, introducing them to practical approaches to hiring, engaging, managing, developing and leveraging talent. He helps organizations build high-performing teams through his coaching, educating, and consulting. He is the author of “Fire Up Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone u2013 Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World.” You can learn more about him and his services at www.thefortefactor.com . n n You might also enjoy… n n New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy n Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds n 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklinu2019s daily schedule that will double your productivity n The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs n 10 habits of mentally strong people n n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:” Itu2019s important to prepare for your future interview. Remember that an interview is an information-gathering-and-sharing event. n”,”protected”:false},”author”:1533,”featured_media”:81251,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“amp_status”:””},”categories”:[94,21957,26703,19865,19864,97],”tags”:[1266,18634,17402,147,81598,77122,2588,326],”yst_prominent_words”:[8098,24581,3152,91582,70103,709,91587,1082,91585,420,17373,17570,17728,91584,4449,91586,17653,2790,18379,17443],”yoast”:{“focuskw”:”prepare”,”title”:””,”metadesc”:”Itu2019s important to prepare for your future interview. Remember that an interview is an information-gathering-and-sharing event.”,”linkdex”:”75″,”metakeywords”:””,”meta-robots-noindex”:””,”meta-robots-nofollow”:””,”meta-robots-adv”:””,”canonical”:””,”redirect”:””,”opengraph-title”:””,”opengraph-description”:””,”opengraph-image”:”/wp-content/uploads/interview_190617.jpg”,”twitter-title”:””,”twitter-description”:””,”twitter-image”:””},”acf”:{“not_original_content”:false,”related_tag”:{“term_id”:77122,”name”:”Interview Tips”,”slug”:”interview-tips”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:77123,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:22,”filter”:”raw”}},”yoast_meta”:{“title”:”3 ways to prepare so you can ace your next job interview | Ladders”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81087″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”}],”about”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”}],”author”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/users/1533″}],”replies”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=81087″}],”version-history”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/81087/revisions”}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media/81251″}],”wp:attachment”:[{“href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=81087″}],”wp:term”:[{“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=81087″},{“taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=81087″},{“taxonomy”:”yst_prominent_words”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”/wp-json/wp/v2/yst_prominent_words?post=81087″}],”curies”:[{“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/{rel}”,”templated”:true}]}},{“id”:80916,”date”:”2019-06-18T04:25:03″,”date_gmt”:”2019-06-18T08:25:03″,”guid”:{“rendered”:”/?p=80916″},”modified”:”2019-06-12T15:45:28″,”modified_gmt”:”2019-06-12T19:45:28″,”slug”:”7-elite-universities-offering-free-online-online-classes”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”/career-advice/7-elite-universities-offering-free-online-online-classes/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”7 elite universities offering free online online classes”},”content”:{“rendered”:” Top universities from around the world are offering free online college classes that include recordings of lectures to interactive courses with assignments and final projects. These types of learning opportunities can be a great way for job seekers to boost their skill set, gain valuable knowledge, and enhance their likelihood of career progression. n n Follow Ladders on Flipboard ! n Follow Laddersu2019 magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness , Productivity , Job Satisfaction , Neuroscience , and more ! n n   n With an overall goal of makingu00a0high-quality education accessible to any person, in any location, several elite universities are offering free college classes to interested individuals. In return, the institutions are able to compile research that can be used to improve their courses and develop better technologies for online and classroom-based learning. The offerings are non-credit courses, but some provide a certificate of achievement or completion. n The common term thatu2019s come to define these free classes is MOOC, which stands for Massive Open Online Courses. Many of these universities offer free classes via a MOOC platform, such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy. Take a look at seven big-name universities offering free online college classes. n 7 Universities Offering Free Online College Classes n Carnegie Mellon University n The Pittsburgh-located university was founded in 1848 by Andrew Carnegie as a technical school and merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in 1967 to become its current iteration. n Through its Open Learning Initiative, CMU offers low-cost courses and also has anu00a0u201c Open and Freeu201d sectionu00a0that allows students to access courses material for free. These courses are self-guided, meaning there is no instructor or grades assigned, along with no credit. u201cEvidence-Based Management,u201d u201cIntroduction to Programming in Java,u201d and u201cSpanish Iu201d are just a few of the courses available. n Duke University n Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina. Of its online program, the university said: u201cThrough online learning, Duke seeks to offer flexible global learning opportunities to a wide set of students throughout their lives.u201d n Duke Universityu2019s free courses are on Coursera, a popular online learning platform. Free classes are on an audit basis, allowing you to access content, but you wonu2019t be submitting assignments for a grade or earning a certificate. You can review the syllabus, instructors, and reviews from previous students for each class onu00a0 Coursera . Offerings include, but are not limited to, courses in statistics, medical neuroscience, and machine learning. n Harvard University n Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the U.S. The Ivy League school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. n Online learning websiteu00a0 edX hosts Harvardu2019s free courses. These self-paced courses are free on an audit basis, but a certificate can be awarded for a fee. Each course will provide information on how much time is required, the difficultly level, and information on instructors. n Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) n Known for its academic focus on engineering and computer science, MIT is a Cambridge, Massachusettsu2013based school. In 2001, the institute decided to place nearly all of its course content online. n Known as OpenCourseWare (OCW), the site contains material from 2,400 courses. OCW doesnu2019t require any registration and courses are categorized by topic, department, and MIT course number. Each course contains lecture notes, readings, and assignments. n Stanford University n Stanford University, located near the Bay Area in California, is a top school often known for its proximity to Silicon Valley. Since 2011, Stanford Online has been the universityu2019s online collection of courses. n According to its website, u201cu2026Stanford offers more than 100 unique, free online courses or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in service to the world, for lifelong learning and self-enrichment.u201du00a0 Free college classes u00a0can be found on its website in a wide range of topic areas that span humanities, medicine, engineering, and more. Enrollment can be completed at any time as classes are self-directed and completed on your terms. n University of California, Berkeley n UC Berkeley is a public university that serves as the flagship campus of 10 universities within the University of California system. The school is included onu00a0 U.S. News & World Reportu2019s list of Best Colleges , making it a top college. n In 2012, UC Berkeley created a resource to house all of its online courses and degree programs. In conjunction with edX, courses ranging from statistics and marketing to business writing and literature can be audited for free. n Yale University n An Ivy League school located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University is a prominent school ranked asu00a0 #3 by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Colleges list. n Open Yale Courses (OYC) offers a registration-free way to access Yale courses. No credit or certificates are available. Lectures are presented in video and audio format, and youu2019ll also have access to the syllabus and suggested readings. n Whether youu00a0are seekingu00a0personal enrichment, a way tou00a0 learn new skills for your resume, or a start to au00a0 successful career change, an investment of time and motivation is all you will need for these free online college classes. And no matter where you are in your career or job search, FlexJobs offersu00a0 career coaching and resume reviews u00a0that can help you incorporate your newfound knowledge. n This article first appeared on Flex Jobs . n n You might also enjoy… n n New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy n Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds n 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklinu2019s daily schedule that will double your productivity n The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs n 10 habits of mentally strong people n n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:” Many of these universities offer classes via a MOOC platform Udemy. Take a look at seven big-name universities offering free online college classes. n”,”protected”:false},”author”:1528,”featured_media”:80953,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“amp_status”:””},”categories”:[94,21957,26703,19865,19864,97,96,28464],”tags”:[17380,1266,11657,73,7176,29025,326,9493],”yst_prominent_words”:[91320,6294,91326,91321,91316,91312,91329,91327,91325,91319,91315,91311,91310,91322,91317,11990,91328,91318,91314,91313],”yoast”:{“focuskw”:”universities”,”title”:””,”metadesc”:”Many of these universities offer classes via a MOOC platform Udemy. 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She lives nearby in an assisted living center. Her room is on the third floor, in the memory unit. n Despite being a Parkinsonu2019s patient and unable to walk, my motheru2019s joymind is alert and sound. She chose the room in the memory unit because the ratio of staff to residents is high. As a result, she receives excellent care. n n Follow Ladders on Flipboard ! n Follow Laddersu2019 magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness , Productivity , Job Satisfaction , Neuroscience , and more ! n n As I took the elevator to her floor, my mind was elsewhere. Filled with things I wanted to accomplish. Goals for the day. Mental checklists. n I scanned some notes in my little, leather pocket journal and considered how they would incorporate into an article I was working on. n Then I thought about the new gym I was going to join, and how a new workout schedule would mesh with my creative commitments. n In short, my mind was doing what it always does. Running full steam ahead. Juggling creative ideas and an insatiable appetite to achieve. To find success. n The elevator door opened up. I walked down the short hallway and entered a security code into the wall panel, unlocking the door to the memory unit. n In some ways, I unlocked the door to another world and a new perspective on the nature of joy. n Meaning in an imperfect world n Author Iddo Landau has written a book titledu00a0 Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World .u00a0Landau argues that people misunderstand what a meaningful life truly is. n Some people have a tendency to fall into despair. They observe the vastness of the universe and conclude that their lives are inconsequential. Others compare their lives to famous people and figure they failed to achieve much. n The mistake people make, according to Landau, is that a meaningful life need not be a perfect life. People fail to see the value in ordinary life. n Illustrations by John Weiss. n Our culture of celebrity worship and wealth fixation doesnu2019t help. We dismiss ordinary achievements, like planting a beautiful garden or volunteering in a soup kitchen. Compared to Martin Luther Kingu2019s achievements, or Gandhiu2019s life, such everyday endeavors seem small. n n A recentu00a0 review u00a0of Landauu2019s book in the Wall Street Journal asks the following question: n Does the life of a child with Down syndrome have less value than the life of a healthy child? Is a retail clerk leading a less meaningful life than, say, Elon Musk? A perfectionist would have to say yes and yes. But Mr. Landau wisely points out that itu2019s cruel and misguided to hold ourselves or others to this standard for meaning because it neglects each lifeu2019s inherent worth. n The Wall Street Journalu2019s review ends with Landauu2019s point that we should not beat ourselves up for failing to attain lofty goals. Rather, we should celebrate the u201cvalue of an ordinary life well lived. In the same way you donu2019t have to become a monk or nun to be a good Christian, you donu2019t have to be a Shakespeare or Rockefeller to lead a good life.u201d n The allure of perfectionism n Entering the memory unit, I was immediately face the face with a resident weu2019ll call Helen. Helen doesnu2019t speak a word, but her eyes beam with a kind of inner radiance. I have never seen her without a smile on her face. n Helen ambled forward and gave me her customary hug. Everyone in Helenu2019s orbit receives a hug. Despite the fog of dimentia, she has descended into, she appears to be in a perpetual state of joy. n Iu2019m aware that Helen is not who she used to be. No doubt, her family mourns the loss of who she was. Yet, I canu2019t help but smile at her gentleness and tender happiness. n Helenu2019s presence seems to soothe the confusion and untethered feelings that other residents face. n My mother takes it all in stride. She enjoys the unexpected visits to her room from fellow residents. During one visit, a gentleman in a wheelchair rolled into her room. He smiled and proceeded to tell Mom all about his days of cattle rustling. Then, with a wave, he trundled off down the hallway. n n Folks in the memory unit are well past lifeu2019s earlier struggles. They no longer compete for promotions, money and status. Apart from bits of memory here and there, they live mostly in the moment. n The memory unit is another world. There is music, good food, laughter and games. Sometimes there is fear, but mostly the residents have returned to a childlike state. n Visiting my mother and the residents in the memory unit, I had an epiphany. We donu2019t need fame and fortune to feel joy. We make life harder than it has to be. n Just as Iddo Landauu2019s book,u00a0Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World,u00a0points out,u00a0a valuable life doesnu2019t have to be a perfect life. n Consider Helen, in the memory care unit. We lament the dementia that has blurred her reality, but for all we know, she may be happier than we are. She is no longer troubled by notions of success, or keeping up with the Joneses. n As children, we live more in the moment. We play happily with other kids on the playground. We arenu2019t concerned with looks, position and possessions. We appreciate the simplest of lifeu2019s pleasures, like cupcakes, birthday parties and summer vacations. n n In childhood, the allure of perfectionism is forestalled. Temporarily, anyway. But before long, adolescence comes along, and we cave in to all those pressing concerns about looks, status, popularity, etc. n It only gets worse in adulthood. We pretend not to care, but we do. Itu2019s only when sickness, old age or impending death come knocking, that we figure out whatu2019s really important. Namely, the simple joys of daily living. A nice cup of coffee. A good book. An unexpected visit from a good friend. n The satisfaction of theu00a0mind n A buddy of mine invited me to a menu2019s coffee group. We meet three times a week in the early morning to discuss life, current events and personal observations. n At 52 years old, Iu2019m the baby in the group. Most of the guys are in their seventies. Youu2019d think a bunch of old guys would talk about health issues, but surprisingly, our conversations have been varied and enlightening. n Beyond talk of family and current events, these guys share experiences from their present and past. Iu2019m impressed by how well travelled several of them are, and what they learned from their experiences. n My father always told me to take the time to talk with older folks. u201cAsk them questions,u201d heu2019d say, u201cand learn from their wisdom.u201d n Society today celebrates youth and beauty, but the Roman statesman Cicero had this advice: n u201cGreat deeds are not done by strength or speed or physique: They are the products of thought, and character, and judgment.u201d n In contrast to todayu2019s fixation on beauty, youth, and perfection, Cicero offered the following wisdom: n u201cWhen its campaigns of sex, ambition, rivalry, quarreling, and all other passions are ended, the human spirit returns to live within itselfu200au2014u200aand is well off.u201d n Then Cicero added this last bit: n u201cThe satisfaction of the mind are greater than all the rest.u201d n n You neveru00a0rest n Success.com published a helpful article titledu00a0 9 Reasons Why Perfectionism is a Bad Thing .u00a0Hereu2019s what they came up with: n n You are never done n You are stressed and discontent n You donu2019t take risks n Your creativity is suffocated n You strive to keep everyone happy n Youu2019re highly critical of others n You canu2019t delegate n You personalize everything n You never rest n n n I can definitely relate to number nine, u201cYou never rest.u201d My creative compulsions and desire to achieve, grow and succeed are relentless. Not to mention, exhausting. Every time I push the envelope to be perfect in one area of my life, another area invariably suffers. n The self-help gurus and personal growth experts, however well-intentioned, donu2019t help. They tell me to get up insanely early, read thousands of books a week, take cold showers, declutter, and hack every facet of my life. Then Iu2019ll be perfect and happy. n Yeah, sure. Except, that level of self-absorption would leave precious little time for the important stuff. Like long talks over coffee with my wife. Or killing an entire Saturday reading a Jim Harrison novel, slowly, because I like the way he writes. Or binge watching mindless episodes ofu00a0The Flashu00a0with my son. n Sometimes, the time wasters in life are more important than we realize. My son is more likely to remember our day ofu00a0Flashu00a0episodes over some viral article I wrote. n Maybe the perfection gurus should revisit number one: u201cYou are never done.u201d In other words, it never ends. n Maybe a touch of imperfection, here and there, is how we keep sane? n Writer Jessica Stillman, inu00a0 Inc.com , had this to say about perfectionism: n u201cThe consequences of this incessant sense of failure and worry are grim. Being this sort ofu00a0perfectionistu00a0u2018can contribute to serious health problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, fatigue and even early mortality.u2019 Or in other words, you can stress yourself into an early grave.u201d n Perfectionism isnu2019t all bad if you approach it properly. Setting high personal standards and working toward goals in a pro-active manner is a good thing. n Giving your best effort is fine. The problem is when you take it too far. When you become neurotic and endlessly obsessed. n Writer Jennifer Kromberg, inu00a0 Psychologytoday.com , wrote the following: n u201cu2026being a perfectionist isnu2019t about things being perfect; itu2019s about thinking thingsu00a0needu00a0to be perfect and vigilantly pursuing it. Emotionally, this means that instead of living your life in a place of self-acceptance,u00a0perfectionistsu00a0are on a continual treadmill chasing the elusive feeling of having everything in their lives be u201cright.u201d n Perfectionism has to be managed. If you get carried away with it, youu2019ll probably burn out. So much of life comes down to balance and moderation. n Our souls atu00a0night n A few years ago, I was prowling the fiction aisle of a bookstore when I discovered Kent Harufu2019s splendid, spare novel,u00a0Our Souls at Night. n The novel is about Addie Moore and Louis Waters, a widow and widower. Each knew the otheru2019s spouse, and they lived next door to each other. They come together, platonically at first, to overcome mutual loneliness. To get through the nights. n n The novel examines themes of aging, second chances, and whatu2019s truly important in life. It was made into a decent movie, staring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Hereu2019s the trailer for the film: n Thereu2019s a scene in the book when Addie says the following to Louis: n u201cI do love this physical world. I love this physical life with you. And the air and the country. The backyard, the gravel in the back alley. The grass. The cool nights. Lying in bed talking with you in the dark.u201d n Just two elderly people who discover they are still able to grow and learn. No need for perfectionism. No need for life hacks, recommended reading lists or early morning routines. n The pleasures and rhythms of everyday life are enough. n Every time I visit my mother in the memory unit, and every time Helen gives me a quiet hug, I remember to slow down. n I try to let go of perfectionism. I embrace the joys of daily life. And I repeat this little mantra to myself: n Life as it is, isu00a0enough. n Before youu00a0go n n Iu2019m John P. Weiss, fine artist and writer. Get on my free email listu00a0hereu00a0to receive the latest artwork and writing. n This article first appeared on Medium .u00a0 n   n n You might also enjoy… n n New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy n Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds n 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklinu2019s daily schedule that will double your productivity n The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs n 10 habits of mentally strong people n n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:” I try to let go of perfectionism. I embrace the joys of daily life. And I repeat this little mantra to myself: Life as it is, isu00a0enough. n”,”protected”:false},”author”:769,”featured_media”:80965,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“amp_status”:””},”categories”:[94,21957,26703,97,96,28464],”tags”:[17380,1266,11657,73,7176,29025,326,9493],”yst_prominent_words”:[91278,55808,91276,70103,91273,91286,91277,17450,91272,91271,44132,238,91270,91280,91275,39473,10089,91279,14094,2287],”yoast”:{“focuskw”:”joy”,”title”:””,”metadesc”:”I try to let go of perfectionism. I embrace the joys of daily life. 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interview”},{“link”:”/career-advice/the-argument-for-dogs-at-work”,”title”:”The argument for dogs at work”}] }, isLearningLadders: nullArg(false), learningLaddersArticles: nullArg([]) } function nullArg(arg) { return typeof arg === ‘undefined’ ? null : arg; }

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