• Career & Money,  Living

    Investments As A Form Of Savings

    Personal protection or savings investment, which would you choose? Or… do you even need to choose?

    Insurance plans and saving investments – two big words that might sound confusing, vague and intimidating to some. Nonetheless, it is these exact two words that you’d regret not investing in when you’re met with an accident or when the debts pile up – which is exactly why one should consider getting them.

    ‘But times are hard. Prices keep increasing, I’ve got mouths to feed, my boss is stingy – and still you expect me to invest in so many things,’ you say? Our answer is yes, and no.

    What we’re trying to say is that you can get covered, as well and save up for your future – all with just one right move. This is all possible with investment-linked insurance plans.

    What are they?

    Plans like these are essentially well-strategised plans that combine protection with a regular savings programme. The gist of it is that they address major life concerns by providing a balance between security and wealth.

    What are they good for?

    The way we see it, these plans are sort of like investments as a form of savings, and can do you a whole lot of good for your future.

    Whether it’s for your retirement, your family’s future necessities, or simply attaining your personal goals and getting the things you’ve been yearning for – investment-linked insurance plans ensure that you can grow your fortune and allow you to plan for the good things in life, while providing protection coverage for your life.

    As if all that is not enough, most of them even have the flexibility to suit a customer’s lifestyle. While available in all sorts of packages, the most common and beneficial ones offered are as:

    • A plan that creates accumulated funds for your retirement.
    • A plan guarantees protection and cash pay-outs for you and your family.
    • A plan that generates funds for when you need it the most.

    All these are just major win-win situations, if we don’t say so ourselves! As a food for thought, we leave you with this: why choose between having savings or insurance plans when you can have the best of both worlds with just one right choice?

    ***This article is brought to you by Etiqa, the Insurance & Takaful arm of Maybank Group 

    Etiqa offers a variety of investment plans that offer you various opportunities to save, earn and protect. While available in all sorts of packages, two of the most common and beneficial investment-linked insurance plans are:

    Elitelink – a protection that lets you personalise till it best suits to your lifestyle. The plan provides you with flexible protection (including Death and Total & Permanent Disability protection) and the opportunity to invest for potentially higher returns, and the best part is that you get to add optional riders that accommodate to the interests you love!

    Elite Takafulink – a plan that gives you time with your family and the wealth that they deserve with loyalty bonus, no lapse provision period and a protection coverage that covers Death and Total & Permanent Disability.

    For more information, please refer to this website.

    Disclaimer

    The information contained in this article should only be used for general information. Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors.

    While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, Etiqa Insurance & Takaful cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Etiqa Insurance & Takaful will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.

    All copyright and trademarks accessible via the links from venusbuzz.com are owned by the respective website owners, or their licensors.

  • Career & Money,  Living,  Love & Sex

    10 Signs That You’re Suffering From Burnout

    You may think you’re working hard but really, the aftereffects are not pretty.

    Burnout – a word that means you’re out of balance; you suffer from exhaustion and have little interest in many of life’s offerings. If left unchecked, burnout can affect your health, happiness, relationships and job performance.

    See if you can identify the following signs to keep your physical, mental and emotional health from the deep decline:

    Exhaustion

    The first clear sign of burnout is feeling tired all the time. You have little energy for anything. Having said that, the exhaustion you experience may be felt in body, mind and soul. It feels like you’re completely spent, in and out!

    Lack of motivation

    What was once a dream job is now a drab. When you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or it feels harder to get going in the morning or you need to drag yourself to work, you’re in the burnout zone.

    Feeling negative emotions

    Do you feel frustrated, cynical or angry all the time? Everyone feels this way from time to time, but you may notice that it’s a perpetual cloud hanging over you. It may be that you’re feeling disillusioned with everything and what you’re doing doesn’t matter much anymore.

    Cognitive problems

    The stress from burnout may affect your ability to pay attention and concentrate. This is because when you’re under stressed, your attention tends to focus on the negative element that is being perceived as a threat. While this helps us to deal with the problem at hand, it can be difficult for us to pay attention to other things in the long run. You might find that you’re more forgetful and have a harder time remembering things.

    Job performance dropped

    The best way to see if you’re burnt out is to measure the quality of your work. As burnout tends to happen over an extended period of time, compare your performance now to previous years. You can see if it’s just a temporary slump or you’re experiencing chronic burnout.

    Relationship problems

    Stress from your job can play out at home or even the office too. You may find that you’re having more conflicts with those around you. Or you withdraw from family members and colleagues altogether. Talking has become a burden, so you tuned out.

    Self-neglect

    Some people are prone to engage in unhealthy coping strategies when dealing with stress. They may be inclined to drink and smoke excessively, eat too much junk food, not eating enough or not getting sufficient rest.

    Workaholism

    This means you can’t seem to tune out from the stresses of the day even when you’re not working. Your mental energy is being spent mulling over your job and it’s interfering with your personal or social life.

    Increased dissatisfaction

    Generally, you have the tendency to feel less happy and satisfied with your career and personal life. You’re always finding fault with everything and everyone. The dissatisfaction makes it feel like you’re stuck in your current situation without a way out.

    Health problems

    When chronic stress takes over your life, it reveals itself in the form of serious health problems like digestive issues, heart disease, depression and obesity. The aftereffects of burnout create a whole lot of issues in your body.

    Source: Forbes 

  • Career & Money,  Living

    Ladies, Want to Open an Online Store? Let Rakuten Help You

    It seems like more and more women are setting up e-commerce or online stores as a source of income to be able to work from home, but sometimes the thought of taking your business online can be a daunting feat..especially if you know nothing about setting up a website!

    There’s a steep learning curve to opening up your online store – from managing the website, to the social media do’s and don’ts, shipping out orders and the list goes on which can all be a little overwhelming. So what if you could get someone to manage the website bit for you?

    Rakuten Ichiba is a unique business-to-business-to-customer (B-B-C) business model which makes selling online easy and empowers you, the merchants. With a worldwide presence in over 10 countries (with more to come), it’s the perfect platform for you to venture online where you have fullest control over your business, inventory and policies. The best part? It’s in Malaysia now!

    Here’s what some of Rakuten’s female entrepreneurs have to say:

    Cao, Chi-Yi, CEO of Shoes Party

    Cao discovered Rakuten while studying in Japan and is currently using the site to bring her father’s shoe factory (which he founded in 1978) to the online space.

    “Rakuten was my first choice when I thought about expanding my business online. I admire how Rakuten is professional, efficient and customer-oriented. These are the qualities that I consider as the key ingredients to creating a successful business,” explains Cao.

    A big part of Shoes Party’s success comes from the creative marketing campaigns Cao develops with her E-Commerce Consultant (ECC).

    “I work closely with my ECC to develop effective communication tactics, which are crucial for our business. We speak every other day and I can always expect to receive practical advice and industry insight from my ECC,” says Cao.

    “I also love how you can customize your store to match your preferred brand image, as well as easily communicate with customers.”

    Cao holds regular ‘shoe-fitting events’, which help Shoes Party build strong customer relationships and also increase customers’ confidence in ordering shoes online. “Ladies are eager to try on shoes and surprisingly their boyfriends or husbands may come along to enjoy a coffee or a photography exhibition. In the near future, I look forward to organizing more events for existing and potential customers,” say Cao.

     

    Nawaporn Sa-ardpan, Founder of Annabrandname

    Nawaporn Sa-ardpan had always dreamed of running her own business. While searching for a designer handbag she realized prices in the US were much lower than in Thailand.

    Then in 2010 she noticed an advert for Rakuten and was particular drawn to their message offering ‘free set-up’. It gave her the push to try and set something up on her own.

    “I quickly moved the store to the ‘Premium Mall’ where I was assigned an ECC. They gave me great advice and we were able to exchange ideas on how to boost sales and visitors. With the ECC’s support we came up with a contest idea where customers could win prizes at my site. This helped boost my store’s profile and build trust between me and my customers, providing a great start to my e-commerce business. The great thing is, even three years after the store opened, my ECC is still there to give me advice,” she added.

    “I ensure that all of the original tags are intact and each item is packed in luxurious layers of tissue and I include a personalized thank you card with every delivery. I also invest in good photography, each product has images from various angles and zooms in on details, to ensure that consumers have the best possible vision of the product that they are ordering,” says Nawaporn.

     

    Nitjanun Danpichitchoke, Owner of Nongkhun

    Expanding your business to reach new consumers is never easy. When you are located in a relatively small city, which provides you with a limited customer base, it is even more difficult to grow sales to a level needed to justify further investment in products and marketing.

    This is the situation that Nitjanun Danpichitchoke found herself in after opening Nongkhun, her car accessories business, based in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai. Despite locating her stores in popular shopping malls, demand from local customers was limited and sales volume was not consistent.

    With quieter days becoming the norm and rents beginning to rise, Danpichitchoke decided that she had to close down her stores. But this move left her with a large inventory of goods that she hadn’t yet sold.

    “This was when I decided to open an online store on Rakuten and use the marketplace as a short-term solution to sell my remaining inventory. I can’t say that my expectations were high, or long-term, as I was simply focused on clearing my storeroom space,” says Danpichitchoke.

    However when she joined Rakuten, she was offered free training to help her maximise on e-commerce activity and she jumped at the opportunity.

    “After completing the training I was really optimistic about my online store and even opted to join the Premium Mall. An ECC contacted me to guide me through the various marketing techniques that would help my business grow. I quickly saw the benefits and I was able to rapidly expand my customer base by using a combination of targeted email marketing and strategic promotions through the website,” said Danpichitchoke.

    Sales quickly grew and Danpichitchoke began to see a steady stream of new customers coming to her online store from all over the country. Moreover she was delighted to see that her business was no longer restricted to her local area.

    Danpichitchoke concluded, “Working with Rakuten has also allowed me to implement new systems which have helped my business. Their online payment options provide convenience to my customers, whilst the credibility of the marketplace helps stimulate better sales and introduce my business to a new audience.”

    For more information, visit the Rakuten Merchant page.

  • Career & Money,  Living,  VenusMaxisFeed

    5 Ways Of Handling Difficult Bosses

    Difficult, horrible or plain ol’ crazy bosses? Here’s what you can do.

    You’re doing what you love, you get along wonderfully with your colleagues, and your office culture is relaxing and motivating. Yes, everything about your job is perfect, except for one major factor – your boss!

    Difficult bosses are an unfortunate circumstance of your working life that can make things fairly hard for you. In fact, there is scientific research proving that working for horrible bosses is damaging to health! So you know you have it bad when even a mere mention of their name leaves you into a quivering mess of resentment and frustration.

    Before your sanity decides to leave you and you hand in your resignation letter, here are some tips on handling employers that are a bit crazy, emotional, childish, dysfunctional, and every other negative adjective you can think of to describe a person.

    Is The Problem You?

    Is this the first boss that you can’t seem to work with, or have you been through several situations as such? Truth is, while it’s easy to blame the source of your stress on employers, the problem sometimes lies within yourself – so do some soul-searching (within yourself, other coworkers or HR Department) and make sure that the problem is not you before you go on and deem your boss irrational.

    Set Boundaries

    In a world where communication can be easily carried out 24/7, boundaries have become blurred or nonexistent between people – thus explaining why it’s good to set boundaries for yourself as soon as possible when dealing with bad (or any) bosses.

    To avoid feeling the frustration and annoyance of your boss crawling up your neck even when it’s way pass your overtime, or he/she wants you to handle too big a project by yourself – make it clear in the most polite and understanding manner on what you are able and comfortable to do.

    Communication Is Key

    The way you communicate to your boss actually depends on his or her personality and management style. Consider when and how your boss likes to communicate in order to establish better relationship between the two of you – such as straight to the point information for no-nonsense leaders, and a softer tone for those who like to connect with the employees. In addition to that, know that body language also plays a big role.

    Be Professional

    Just because your boss is emotional, doesn’t mean that you should follow suit. Although it might not always be easy, be the bigger person and take the high road – try to remain calm and professional, even in the face of your boss’ fits of rage. If you think that it’s hard to do so, just ask yourself whether joining in on the negativity is worth the risk of losing your job.

    Don’t Take Things To Heart

    If you’ve realised that your boss has an explosive behaviour or is somewhat bipolar, try not to take things he/she says too personally. This is because when you do, it would only further fuel the tension and resentment you feel towards them. As the saying goes, ‘sticks and stone may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.’

    Source: Forbes 

  • Career & Money,  Living

    [Infographic] Who Do You Work With At The Office?

    Look around your office and take a look where your colleagues fit into this. 

    Each of us is as unique as a snow flake. We are different in our special ways and in a confined space like the office, you will meet a multiple of personalities on a daily basis. Some you’ll be good friends with, others not so much.

    More often than not, it is a challenge to get along but for the sake of work, you’d need to find an effective way to bond.

    Take a look at this infographic by National Pen and see if you can recognise any of these personalities.

  • Career & Money,  Living

    10 Creative (Real) Excuses for Submitting Taxes Late

    Would you blame your goldfish or your husband?

    We’re all a little guilty of leaving our tax submissions to the last minute every now and again usually due to hectic schedules or..let’s be honest, just plain laziness.

    However, some British people have come up with creative excuses for why their tax return is late, as reported by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK.

    In no particular order, they are:

    1. “My pet goldfish died.” – Self-employed builder

    2. “I had a run-in with a cow.” – Farmer

    3. “After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.” – A woman in London

    4. “My wife won’t give me my mail.” – Self-employed trader

    5.  A hairdresser claims her husband told her a late deadline, and she believed it.

    6. “I’ve been far too busy with my play!” – A writer who claims to have been busy touring the country with his one-man play

    7. A taxi driver said that his bad back made him unable to walk up the stairs to where his tax return was.

    8. “I’m on my yacht too much.” – A man said that he had been cruising around the world on his yacht so much, that he only picks up his letters when he’s on dry land.

    9. “Our business doesn’t really do anything.” – A financial services firm

    10. “I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns.” – An accountant.

    What does the HMRC have to say about this?

    “There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.”

    Source: Huffington Post

  • Career & Money,  Living

    7 Tips For A More Organised Desk

    Right, it’s the workweek again and what better way to start your official duties than to have a more organised workspace.

    Some people work better with a messy table while for others, a neat desk means better productivity. Well, whichever category you fall into, it works to your advantage when there’s some sort of organisation. Check out these tips to maintain an organised space, whether at the office or even home.

    Pens and pencils – You may think you need 10 different pens in various colours for every other project but most of us, just actually use one type of pen for everything. Get rid of writing instruments that you don’t really need and check to see if these are still in working order. Don’t feel bad about throwing some out, it is just clutter.

    Notepads – It is probably one of the most important things to have on your desk. You should keep a notebook to specifically jot down telephone numbers, messages, names, order confirmations, flight numbers, etc. If you have a planner, that’s even better. It helps you to keep track of the vital infos and you don’t lose as many things with scraps of paper everywhere.

    Drawers – Perhaps, one of the most often forgotten part of your desk. Clear out whatever that you haven’t been using in the last six months and compartmentalise each drawer with empty boxes/trays to have a more orderly space. Check back every three months to see if you have anything else to throw out.

    Electronics – Items like cable modem, telephone wires, charger, etc shouldn’t be on your desk. This just introduces visual clutter. So use pieces of velcros to wrap those wires away or make sure the electronics/cables are tuck out of the way. Remember, the less clutter you have, the more organised you will be. Isn’t this a much nicer place to work?

    Pocket stash – This means that your keys, phone, access tags, etc should have a designated home of its own. The ideal setup should be sitting in the top drawer or right beside your monitor. This makes it easier for retrieval and you have all your essentials in one spot so you don’t have to hunt for them.

    Proximity rule – The key organisation tip is to have the things you use every day closer than something you use only a few times each week. This is common sense but some people do arrange the desk for aesthetics sake rather than usefulness.

    Easy access – We’re talking about productivity here, so easy filing is one of the most important aspect of organisation. Your filing system or cabinet should be within reach without needing you to walk far or even getting up from the chair. The more effort it requires, the more you’ll be tempted to just put those files on your desk en route to becoming a white elephant in the middle of the room.

  • Career & Money,  Living

    What Kind Of Office Sitter Are You?

    Do you know the way you sit in the office can show the kind of person that you are?

    Some of us like to slouch, while others live (or sit) on the edge… believe it or not, we are always channelling our personality to the world or in this case, office. And this is translated from our sitting habits as well. As presented by Chair Office, the regular office workers can be categorised into the following 10 types and with that, these people find likeminded friends in their colleagues.

    So which one are you?

  • Career & Money,  Living

    Top 10 Best Countries For Expats To Live

    If you are looking to live, work and play in a new environment abroad, look no further than our neighbouring Thailand.

    When it comes to living abroad, a HSBC Expat Explorer Survey reveals that Thailand is the best for overall expat experience. The Thai kingdom emerged top in a ranking rated by more than 7,000 expats from nearly 100 countries around the globe.

    The survey takes into consideration the quality of life as a foreigner. Generally, Asia is a favourite choice as the ideal destination to set up, integrate and find new friends. Among the top 10 countries include China, Singapore, India and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Malaysia is placed at the 20th spot, Indonesia at 31st and Vietnam at 32nd.

    The HSBC survey found that it was relatively easier for expats living in Thailand to make friends and they enjoy the best social life compared to foreigners in other countries. Plus, the lower living costs and higher earnings potential made Thailand the most cost-effective place for foreigners. 

    But of course, the number one factor for relocating is down to benefits and household earnings. Asia is home to the highest paid expats in the world with the foreigners earning more than $250,000 located in Indonesia, Japan and China.

    The survey, dubbed the largest of its kind, also polls respondents on their financial well-being and factors important to expat families. If you’re spurred by the desire to make more money, consider moving to Switzerland, China or Qatar where expats noticed “an improvement in their financial status.” If you have kids in tow, European destinations (in particular Germany) are ranked the most attractive for raising a family. This is followed by Singapore, France, New Zealand and South Africa.

    Here are the top 20 best countries for the expats experience:

    1. Thailand
    2. Bahrain
    3. China
    4. Cayman Islands
    5. Australia
    6. Singapore
    7. India
    8. Taiwan
    9. Spain
    10. Brazil
    11. Germany
    12. Russia
    13. Switzerland
    14. South Africa
    15. Argentina
    16. Canada
    17. Mexico
    18. New Zealand
    19. Belgium
    20. Malaysia

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

  • Career & Money,  Living,  Love & Sex

    Don’t Eat Lunch At Your Desk! Here’s Why…

    You might think that you’re saving some time and being productive but eating lunch at your desk is not the way to go.

    The never-ending work pile, the lunch crowd, the noisy cafeteria, the need to find parking, these are all good enough reasons to stop us from going out for lunch each day. Heck, the VenusBuzz.com team has days like these almost every week. We’d much rather stay in the office, eat our way through lunch in comfort and catch up on work at the same time.

    But this is actually not a good habit. Lunch break is there for a reason and here’s why you need to step away from the computer screen to makan:

    You’ll feel more energised

    Lunch break is a way for workers to step away from the energy drain that they experience at the office. After rushing to get work going in the morning, a midday break is crucial to recharge both physically and mentally.

    You’ll be more productive

    Our midday meal helps to energise us simply because we get to focus on something else for that one hour. The filling break helps boost brain cells so you’ll have better concentration and higher motivation levels after. This in turn also will help you to get more work done.

    You’ll be more creative

    People who go out during lunchtime are reportedly more creative and less stressed. They tend to be better at processing facial expression which could potentially increase their creativity and connection to others. So teamwork becomes smoother and discussion is likely to bear fruit.

    You’ll feel less stressed

    Stepping out of the office promotes a better mood in a person. You’re giving yourself an opportunity to de-stress and not to mention, a chance to flex your body from the long hours of sitting down. A lunch break is a good time to move about and just enjoy your meal without worrying about deadlines.

    You’ll snack less

    It is known that we’re prone to indulge in mindless eating while doing something else and this causes us to overeat. The work desk should just remain as a work surface. Snacking mindlessly instead of a proper meal will trigger a negative digestive system and give you bloating, constipation and etc.

    You’ll have less MC days

    Eating away from your cubicle will ensure that you don’t risk your work desk being contaminated with bacteria or viruses from leftovers or food crumbs. The regular office worker’s desk is said to contain 400 times more bacteria than a toilet. Work surfaces are an easy target to spread diseases as many of us will still go to the office despite nursing an infection. So work desk should just remain solely for work!