Author Archives: Dawn

Simple Ideas for Designing your Small Office Space

Trying to design your small office space for a new home business or study area can be daunting. With some clever use of space – you can make any small office space look like a dream to work in.

We often think that the smaller the space the less imaginative you can be with said space. This is where friends, family or a trusted friend known for their good deco skills may come in handy. By using their knowledge and perspective they just might be the key to helping you plan your own small office deco.

Fortunately for you, we have put a guide together to make designing your small office space a walk in the park. Here is our guide to a variety of ideas for designing your small office space

Build up, not wide

It’s extremely temping to make use of all the space available, however this can only make your office space appear even smaller than it already is. Why not try building or stacking a series of shelves to store your files, or stack small side drawers for your stationary and other miscellaneous pieces?

Contrasting functions

Noticed a split wall with a reasonably sized space on the other side? Why not double up this space with a small office and use the colors that already exist in the main room? Not only will this make decorating a breeze, but the efficient use of space means you won’t have to worry about freeing up extra room elsewhere.

Furniture Revival

If you find yourself not using a neglected corner or dining table, these pieces of furniture just might be the right places to lay down your laptop and fit in a comfortable chair. This goes for neglected rooms or a meter or two of space that you can squeeze a comfortable working station in to.

A Quiet Corner

designing a small home office spaceIf you’ve got a corner free in the house then there’s no better idea than pushing a small desk and chair into this area. A small shelf or chest of drawers will also fill the space nicely for your newly formed corner office. Bonus points if this corner is paired with a window for a great office view, making it the perfect retreat to get some work done.

Bio:  Modern Garden Rooms are a premier garden room design company offering bespoke, ergonomic solutions at excellent value. We aid from everything in the initial stages of planning all the way through to installation of your garden room. From start to finish, you’ll experience a streamlined process that is uniquely transparent and highly collaborative.


How to get a job with a disability (Infographic)

For people living with disabilities, there are many day-to-day situations which pose a real challenge, such as getting around and trying to negotiate multi-storey buildings. Logistical difficulties such as these also make it harder for disabled people to find work, as employers could be hesitant to hire someone who would struggle with the physical demands of the job. That said, employers who discriminate against candidates on the grounds of disability could be subjected to court action if a case is taken against them.

This infographic from Burning Nights has some sound advice for people with disabilities who are actively seeking employment. There may need to be an acceptance that some jobs are out of the question due to the physical exertion they would involve or the need to travel regularly. Ideally, they would find a job which enables them to work from home and involves relatively little stress. It also helps to work for a company which has a proven track record in being highly accessible for people with disabilities.

If a disabled candidate secures an interview, it’s generally a good idea to at least inform the employer of their disability so that convenient arrangements can be made. For example, the interview could have been initially scheduled for a room several storeys above ground level, but if the employer knew of the candidate’s physical limitations, they could switch it to a ground floor location or even organise a VoIP interview.

Find out how jobseekers with disabilities can improve their chances of securing employment by reading the infographic below.

Getting a job with a disability (infographic)

This Study Will Improve Your Knowledge of Technology

By Kurtis Brase

Technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years and it can be nearly impossible to keep up. However, as technology continues to improve, so do sources teaching us about it as well. After all, where better to learn about our ever-changing world than in an app about technology skills?

If you are interested in learning more and improving your skills, we are going to take a look at some valuable tools that are at your disposal that will make your life easier and allow you to learn more about technology.

Website Creation

If you are the curator of a blog or even a business owner, it is important that you have a website where your readers, subscribers, and clients can quickly and easily find you. However, website creation can be difficult if you are new to it.

Tools such as Sublime Text allow you to learn how to edit code for a website, allowing you to modify your website even if you don’t have the professional knowledge.

Google also offers a service called DevTools with tutorials, lessons, and different tools that will help you learn your way around and manage your website.

Writing and Essay Creation

Writing and essay creation can be especially important to students. There are a couple different types of tools that can help with this, though.

First, there are tools that can check your grammar and spelling or even plagiarism. One of the most straightforward and popular options is Grammarly. This tool will highlight your mistakes and will explain why they need editing.

There are also online essay writing services available.  These services offers you plagiarism-free essays requiring little to no effort on your part.

Online Marketing

In line with what we have been discussing, marketing has majorly moved online as well. This usually includes running online ads and advertising via social media. A skill such as online advertising can be fantastic and a real plus for anyone; from content curators to business owners.

There are a few different types of marketing tools available to you. Email marketing tools such ActiveCampaign allow you to create newsletters, track customers/readers, all in an easy-to-understand format.

If you want an easy way to keep track of the traffic on your website, Google comes to the rescue again with Google Analytics which, once again, offers an easy design even if you are still learning how to use it.

What Can the Above Services Do For You?

By using the above services, you can learn more about and utilize technology that will make your daily life much easier. Whether you are a student with constant essays to write or a business owner trying to gain better office skills for you and your employees, there are plenty of resources out there for you.


Technology is absolutely crucial anymore. It has become something that you need to understand at least slightly.

The different services and apps that we have gone over today are extremely helpful. These are also designed in a way that is easy to use and understand.

How to add Audio to your Presentations

You can add audio to your presentations such as music, narration or sound bites.  Only audio files with a file type supported by PowerPoint can be added to a presentation.  Audio files are inserted using the Insert Tab on the Ribbon in much the same way you would insert other items. Like video, once audio files are inserted, you can trim them, fade them and style them the same as you would style any other objects.

Audio files can be embedded or linked and it’s important to understand the difference as how you insert the audio will impact your PowerPoint file size.  For instance, embedded files are absorbed by the presentation, increasing the size of the presentation file whereas linked files remain separate so they do not affect the size of the presentation.

You can also record your own audio as long as your computer is equipped with a sound card, microphone and speakers.

Supported audio file formats

PowerPoint supports the following file formats and extensions.

  • AIFF Audio file (.aiff)
  • AU Audio file (.au)
  • MIDI file (.mid or .midi)
  • MP3 Audio file (.mp3)
  • Advanced Audio Coding – MPEG-4 Audio file* (.m4a, .mp4)
  • Windows Audio file (.wav)
  • Windows Media Audio file (.wma)

Requirements: PowerPoint 2013 or 2016. To follow this tutorial, open up the waterfalls-start PowerPoint presentation, download the Audio Clip from xxxx and follow the directions below:

Insert An Audio file from your computer

Insert audio and embed it into the presentation.

  1. Click the Slide you want to add audio to
  2. Click the Insert tab > Media Group > Audio > Audio on my PC
    Insert Audio in PowerPoint 2016
  3. In the Insert Audio Dialog Box, navigate to the folder where the audio clip resides, click on the file to select it and then click the Insert button.   The audio icon and controls will appear on the slide

Preview the Audio

  1. If necessary, click on the audio icon to select it and then click the Play/Pause button located beneath the audio icon.  You can stop the recording by clicking the same button.
    Play audio in PowerPoint 2016

Setting Audio Options

There are many options that you can set that will determine how your audio will be played in your presentation.  If you click the Play in the Background button on the Audio tools Playback tab, your sound will be treated as a background track and all the buttons to Start Automatically, Play Across Slides, Loop until Stopped and Hide during Show will all be activated.  Alternatively, you can set only the options you desire  as shown below.

  1. Select the audio clip icon Audio clip icon .
  2. Click the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group
  3. In the Start list, click Automatically.  This will start the audio clip automatically when you run the slide show.  Alternately, if you want to manually start the audio clip when you click it on the slide, choose When Clicked.
    Setting audio options in PowerPoint 2016
  4. Still in the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group, select Play Across Slides and Loop until Stopped. This will play the audio clip as you click through the slides  and play the audio clip play continuously until you stop it.
    Apply audio options in PowerPoint 2016
  5. Preview the presentation by clicking the Slide Show tab > Start Slide Show group > From Current Slide.  Your audio should be playing.  Adjust your audio options as desired.

Managing Audio in your presentations

There may be occasions where you may choose to link to audio clips instead of embed them. While this can decrease the file size of your presentation, it may cause problems if the linked file gets moved to another folder or deleted from your computer.  Also, if you give your presentation from another computer, are sharing your presentation with others or collaborating with others who do not have the audio located on their computer, you may wish to break the link and just embed the file instead.

  1. To link audio instead of embed it, just select “Link to File” instead of insert when adding audio to your presentation.
    link to an audio file in PowerPoint 2016
  2. To check whether a presentation has any embedded files, click the File tab and under Info, view Optimize Media Compatibility and you will see how many media files are embedded.  In our example, we have one Media file embedded.
  3. To remove a link, under the same info screen in the Related Documents section, click Edit Links to Files.
  4. In the Links dialog box, click on Break Link and then click Close.

Remove an audio link in PowerPoint 2016

4 Steps to Improve your Interview Skills

Interview SkillsThe purpose of the job interview is to give the interviewer the opportunity to evaluate your application to determine if you can do the job, whether you will fit in and if you are the best candidate for the position? The interview also gives you, as the candidate, the chance to better understand the job and the organization and determine whether the job will offer you the opportunities you may want for advancement or experience? Keep in mind that even though you may possess excellent office technology skills, the prospective employer will also be evaluating your personality, attitudes, professional appearance and ability to communicate. Your ability to convince a prospective employer that you can make a real contribution to their department or company will depend on how well you prepare for the interview. In addition to reviewing the soft skills required by most employers today, follow the guidelines below to help you prepare for your interview:

Step 1:  Prepare for the Interview?

Research the Company

It’s important to thoroughly research the company and get to know their products and services before the interview.  This will show an employer that you took the time to learn about their company and will help you in your quest towards making a good first impression.  A good place to start would be to visit the company website.  Many companies will provide information about their mission, culture, number of employees, locations, leadership and other statistics such as the example here at Facebook or here at Google.  Requesting a copy of the annual report is another good way to learn about a company.  Some items to look out for include:

  • What are their products and services
  • How profitable is the company?
  • How many employees are there?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Any recent expansions or mergers?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their hiring practices?

Prepare Questions to Ask

Once your research is complete, think of a list of questions you want to ask your perspective employer that may help you determine if the job is for you.  Avoid asking questions about salary, wages, holidays with pay, paid sick days, personal days or time off until you get a job offer. Some questions that you may consider are listed below:

  1. Could you tell me about a typical work day and the tasks I will be doing?
  2. Which duties or responsibilities are most important for this job?
  3. What are the major challenges I will face in this job?
  4. How will I be trained or introduced to this job?
  5. Can you describe the ideal person for this job
  6. Who will I report to in this job?
  7. How many people in your department will I be supporting?
  8. Please explain the opportunities for advancement and professional growth in this department/company?
  9. How soon do you plan to fill this job?
  10. How many people work in the department/company?
  11. What are the department/company goals for the year?

Update your Information

Update your resume with your most recent employment, education and relevant experience. Once updated, prepare copies of your resume, a typed list of your 3 references and their contact information, copies of your certificates, diplomas, letters of recommendation and your portfolio or samples of your work (if applicable.)

Step 2:  Practice Basic Interview Questions

While you’ll never be able to anticipate every single question you may be asked at your interview, you can at least be prepared to answer some of the most commonly known frequently asked interview questions. There are many websites that list these questions and ideas of how to answer them. A good place to start would be which lists some of the most popular questions and their thoughts on how to answer them.  Some job sites, like, also provide guidelines on how to answer common interview questions.  The following list also gives some commonly asked interview questions.

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Can you tell me about your experience?
  • What do you know about this company and why would you like to work here?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • What would you like to be doing in 3-5 years from now?
  • Why did you choose a career as an Administrative Assistant/Office Professional?
  • What salary are you looking for?
  • What was your greatest accomplishment in your last job?
  • How do you react to working under pressure?
  • Do you enjoy working independently or as part of a team?
  • Do you require close supervision when you work?

Beware of Illegal Questions

In the United States there is a federal law that forbids employers from discriminating against any person on the basis of marital status, sex, age, race, national origin or religion. Therefore, interviewers who want information on these topics need to phase these questions very carefully. For instance, an interviewer cannot ask what your native tongue is but he/she can ask you what languages you speak and write fluently. It is also illegal for an interviewer to ask your age, if you are married, plan to have any children or what church you belong to. For a complete description of illegal questions and how to handle them, visit Martin Yates blog on Illegal Questions at

Step 3:  The Day of the Interview

Timing is Key

  • Know the date, time and address of your interview.
  • Know the best way to get to the interview and how long it will take to get there. Prepare a map through mapquest or Google maps and do a trial run if time allows.
  • Know the name of the company/business, the job title of the position you are applying for and the name of the person who will interview you.  Write down this information.
  • Read the job description carefully to understand the job duties, salary and qualifications required, etc…)
  • Plan to arrive at the interview 10-15 minutes early.
  • Be prepared to fill out an application by taking with you a separate sheet of past employment, dates employed, supervisor names and phone numbers
  • Review the information on your resume and practice your answers to the basic interview questions.
  • Participate in a Mock Interview and get video-taped if time allows
  • Arrange for child care (if necessary)

Dress for Success

While dressing for success may not always get you the job, it will give you a competitive edge and create a positive first impression.  The following tips will help you make a good, first impression:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview
  • Shower and shampoo your hair
  • Have a well-groomed hairstyle
  • Wear clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • Avoid trendy fashions. Dress in the clothes that you would wear on the job
  • Wear clean, freshly pressed clothes
  • Have cleaned and trimmed fingernails
  • Shave
  • Use minimal cologne or perfume
  • Have no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercing’s for women
  • Brush your teeth, floss and use a mouth wash. It’s important to have fresh breath
  • Have no gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • Use minimal jewelry
  • No body odor
  • Review these Dress for Success tips