Saturday, November 17, 2012

Growing a Friend to Be a Friend and Donor to the Ministry

It can be quite complex to balance a friend relationship simultaneously with a donor relationship. Sometimes a donor relationship becomes so friendly that making the bigger asks become difficult and awkward. Other times a relationship starts with a friendship but you also have a keen awareness that this friend is a potential major donor to the ministry. Like good friendships, donor relationships are built with trust, respect, truthfulness, courtesy, honesty, sympathy, joy, love, and a shared understanding of Jesus as the hope of the World. There is no greater shared interest than that of a Shared Lord and Savior.
The challenge is to make this good friend, apart from your personal friendship, a friend of the ministry. Grow this friendship with the ministry in the same ways you grow personal relationships: with a shared passion in Christ as the foundation, building trust, respect, and confidence will flourish.
Below are some ways to cultivate a friend of the ministry relationship that springs from an existing friendship or relationship. This is addressed in three phases: before any gift, growing smaller gifts to larger giving, and maintaining a friend of the ministry.
Before any Gift - Introducing your friend to the ministry is the first step to assess the potential for this relationship to grow and flourish. Assuming there is a high level of compatibility, the friend of the ministry will need to be educated about the ministry. Start by inviting them to visit the ministry and to attend special events, meetings or conferences relevant to the ministry. Show them promotional materials; mail your newsletter in a personalized envelope and with a personalized note; provide them with a copy of privileged communications about future plans, campaign development, strategic planning and ask them to provide input and suggestions.
Once they have been engaged, ask key leaders in the ministry (Board Chair, Founder, President) to host this friend of the ministry in their home. Offer complimentary tickets to kick-off or other special events for the friend of the ministry.
Growing Smaller Gifts to Larger Giving- First, it is important to continue doing the things that made the relationship flourish from the start. Build on this by making this friend of the ministry a special friend that is a confidant and mentor to the ministry. Inform them of future initiatives and seek their guidance and support early in the process. Be sure they are among the first to see information about the Pre-Campaign Study. Continue to grow their involvement seeking guidance in their specific areas of expertise and ask them to support the ministry as committee members for important projects. Get feedback on plans while still in a conceptual phase and share draft strategic plans and ask for their perspective. If this friend of the ministry is in a different geographical location, talk to them about being a project lead for a specific state or region.
Share exclusive premiums such that connect with the ministry with the friend of the ministry. Connect them with other major donors to the ministry and ask them to introduce the ministry to friends. It may even make sense to ask them to host a business leaders' symposium specific to their industry, region, or sphere of influence.
Publicly recognize the friend of the ministry in newsletters, websites, and social media venues. Of course, first ensure that the donor is comfortable with being known as some donors prefer to be less public. As appropriate, seek to have the donor recognized by others in the press or industry publications and then send the press clippings when the donor is recognized in the news.
Continually engage the friend of the ministry in the mission and vision of the ministry by helping them see the impact of the ministry. Share photos of those served by the ministry and ask those that benefit from your ministry to write personal testimonials. Invite the friend of the ministry to become a prayer partner and ask them to pray for specific needs, projects, individuals, or initiatives. This should not be a general "please pray for the ministry" but a specific such as "please pray for our manager in Jacksonville who is struggling with an illness."
Likewise, allow the ministry to be a friend to the individual. Sympathize with the friend of the ministry and pray for them and their personal needs. Ask them if there is anything you could pray about for them and offer to pray with them. Send get well or sympathy cards as well as celebratory cards for birthdays, anniversary, and accomplishments. Visit with the friend of the ministry on a regular basis and make sure the visits are in good times and bad. Be sure the ministry really gets to know the friend of the ministry. Know their family members, know their personal hobbies and interests, know what is important to them and where their heart is.
Maintaining a Friend of the Ministry - Again, continue the friend of the ministry suggestions above but also consider additional activities.
Thank the friend of the ministry and ask others important to the ministry to thank them such as a ministry founder, president, or other respected donors. Make your appreciation known both publicly and privately and seek to have others outside the ministry recognize the friend of the ministry for their generosity and commitment.
Provide them with special premium gifts to acknowledge their donation and provide a certificate of appreciation or engraved plaque. When considering these activities, be sure to take note if the friend has other plaques, certificates of appreciation, or newspaper clippings displayed in their home or office. If it appears unlikely that the friend would display the personal sign of appreciation, instead consider including their name on a giving tree or donor plaque in your lobby.
Become involved in the friend's circle of influence and meet others connected to the friend who may also have an interest in the ministry. Request that they host a table at an annual banquet or special event or ask them to host a reception in their home and invite others that the ministry may otherwise never have contact with. In this way you are asking them to help you raise money. As the relationship grows, the ministry may want to request that they join your board of trustees or a special advisory board.
Continue to request gifts from the friend on a regular basis but be sure these are always personal requests and not requests from a newsletter or mailing. The friend should be removed from your general appeals and should now be communicated with as the friend and confidant they have become. Have a separate newsletter that goes to an exclusive list of friends that does not contain a request but does keep them up to date on ministry activities.
Growing genuine friends of the ministry is an investment in the ministry that will pay huge dividends well into the future. The more involved the ministry becomes in the lives of these close friends and they, likewise, become involved as a friend of the ministry, the more profitable this relationship will become for both parties. The purpose and heart of this development process is so important to the success of growing friends as a development strategy. With a shared passion in Christ as the foundation of the friendship; building trust, respect, and confidence through mutuality and friendship, the friendship with the ministry as well as your personal friendship, will flourish.
Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and a Certified Grants Specialist (CGS). He is an experienced grantwriter, fundraiser, and nonprofit executive, who operates Here-4-You Christian Grant Consulting and Church Grant Writing providing consultation for grant writing to Christian ministries and Churches worldwide. Jeffrey received his BS and his M.Ed. from George Mason University and his PhD in Religion from Christian Bible College in NC.
Jeffrey supervises a team of writers, researchers, editors, and administrative staff in providing consultation for grant proposal writing, nonprofit development, and fundraising in almost every state and a dozen foreign countries and has worked on proposals to Federal, State, and Local government as well as to Foundations, Civic groups, and many others. He has written 100's proposals, secured millions of dollars in funding, and maintains a funding rate of nearly 80%.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Determine Your Bathroom Remodeling Cost

The bathroom is one of the first places homeowners want to remodel, but determining your bathroom remodel cost can be easier said than done. Up until relatively recently, the bathroom was a place people were more likely to sneak off to or get in and out as quickly as possible, but today's modern bathrooms are places of luxury and relaxation, even in modest or small bathrooms. This has led to the bathroom being the top choice for modification and upgrades, but there are other reasons homeowners are turning to bathroom remodeling, including the high potential return on investment, the low comparative cost for the remodel and the level of enjoyment and appreciation a good bathroom design will offer. Talk with a bathroom remodeling and design professional early on in your planning stage and take advantage of in-person advice to create your perfect bathroom remodel.
The right bathroom remodel cost and benefit for you
A quick search on the internet will show you that estimated bathroom remodel costs can vary widely, usually from a low of $4,000 to a high of $15,000, which is a huge variance. There are so many factors that contribute to the cost of any remodel that it's impossible to get an accurate estimate, or even a close ballpark at times, without a detailed list of desired materials and a personal consultation. For example, a small guest bathroom could cost just a few thousand dollars to replace the floor, vanity, countertop and lighting with most of the work done yourself, or you could end up spending several thousand dollars on granite, custom designs and expanding the size of the bathroom into an adjoining closet. While labor plays a huge part in determining your bathroom remodeling cost, so do the materials you want, making a bit of compromise likely if not absolutely necessary. It's also important to take into consideration the time involved with your ideal bathroom remodel, which will help determine your cost versus benefit ratio.
Budget bathroom remodeling
Because bathrooms are the smallest room in the house the cost of a remodel will be much less than one for a kitchen or master bedroom, but because the bathroom is the second most frequented room in the house the need for a good layout and design is crucial. These two factors contribute to the reason bathroom remodels recover nearly all of the cost when the home is sold. Doing much of the work yourself is a great way to get even more value out of your bathroom remodel and keep costs down, and most homeowners can do the demolition themselves and buy their own materials from discount shops to better control their bathroom remodeling costs. Understand, however, that this method requires a good amount of foresight, planning and education, and if your time is very valuable (like if you have young children or only one day a week free) it might be worth the time and frustration to hire a general contractor and have it done quickly and correctly.
Design your perfect bathroom on any budget
Think about what is most important to you in a bathroom remodel: imagine your most perfect design as if the cost was unimportant, and go from there. If you've always dreamed of having a jet bathtub it's OK to splurge a little and save on the less demanding areas. By knowing what you want ahead of time, and having a list of must-haves and a list of areas you can compromise on, you'll be able to better budget your bathroom remodel and save yourself from potential heartbreak after realizing you can't afford a material you've fallen in love with. Talking with a professional at this point can be highly beneficial because you'll learn where you should be spending a little extra and where you should be saving. Don't skimp on the necessities of your bathroom or you'll end up not enjoying the finished product and not getting a decent return on your investment. For example, get a great low-flow toilet that won't give you any hassle or frustration down the road, and the extra money you spend will be recovered in your water bill.
It's good to know that many modifications that seem like luxurious upgrades can actually help you save money in the long run, such as installing radiant floor heating and environmentally friendly faucets and fixtures. Even if green bathroom remodeling isn't high on your list of priorities, it's something that should be considered, especially if you might sell your home in the future, as buyers are increasingly looking for eco friendly products and conveniences. The good news here is that although some green bathroom materials are slightly more expensive than their traditional counterparts, the majority cost about the same and most will contribute to overall household savings.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Unprepared Means Stress for Others

Have you ever been summoned by the family to assist financially with a loved one's closing life expenses? If you haven't, you have truly been blessed. If you would permit me, I would like to share three accounts of some loved ones with diabetes, one prepared the other two ill-prepared for their closing acts.
The very first one I would like to share was an in-law that I loved like blood. I suppose she was diagnosed with diabetes in her thirties and continued on a declining path because she refused to change some very key things in her life. She experienced, along with diabetes, high cholesterol, retinopathy, neuropathy, dialysis, gangrene, amputation, and finally congestive heart failure. There were suggestions of lifestyle change, especially dietary, but the changes were not embraced. She made her decision to enjoy the rest of life the way she had always known. So when she went into the hospital for the final time, we all wondered was she ready. Not only ready to meet God in peace, but financially prepared. We gathered all the paper work we could find and discovered that she had properly put all things in order. I cannot tell you the peace of mind that surrounded the family. She purchased her burial plot 30 years before her death. We found that she had final expense insurance and all things went off without a hitch. We were not soliciting funds to bury someone dear to us. I praise God for her foresight, knowing that we all will go that way one day.
Then there was an aunt on my husband's side of the family that was also diagnosed with diabetes 20 years earlier than when she thought she would be diagnosed. (she figured she would someday get this news because diabetes is so prevalent in this family). She did not follow the doctor's counsel to watch those foods that would cause her blood sugar level to spike out of control. Not unlike my last account, she would also sneak and eat certain things behind closed doors. Well one day she had a heart attack and it was bad. The doctor says it came as a result of being on a certain type of insulin that caused high cholesterol, not watching what she ate, being bombarded with stress (which by the way can make your blood sugar levels spike), and not taking her meds consistently. Finally, artery blockage was the culprit and she passed-- only 62 years of age! She had nothing! No plans, no money, no clue, the family was caught off guard. I got on the phone and started calling, along with other family members, to raise burial funds. We collected and borrowed until there was a sufficient amount for a proper burial. The family was tired, embarrassed, and emotionally drained. We were sad and angry that she left all of that for us to do. This is not something you would wish on even your enemy- if you have a heart.
Lastly there was another aunt, on my side this time that was diagnosed with the same dreadful disease. She was a sweet person, but very quiet. Contrary to the others, she appeared to follow exactly what her physician advised. She was careful as to what she ate and tried to educate others in the family about the disease. However, one Christmas enduring a lot of stress in her marriage, she decided to go all out for dessert. I can tell you exactly what she ate. A piece of New York style cheesecake, a small piece of apple pie and 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream detailed her last meal. Sadly she fell into a diabetic coma and stayed there for 4 months. She had actually planned for final expenses, but the length of the hospital stay, caused the disheartened spouse, to cease payment on the policy and she ended up not being prepared after all. Once again we scrambled, and called, and begged for monies to bury this person overcome by this debilitating disease. What a travesty!
Why did I take the time to share these accounts, well simply to make you aware of what family members are forced to deal with when you don't take care of your own health or final expenses. It doesn't have to be this way. The Holy Bible says God has time appointed for each of us, but it also says in the book of Ecclesiastes that we can die before our time. If the latter occurs, wouldn't you want to be ready? You can be! Simply click on the link below and complete the quote form, so that you can receive everything there is to know about Final Expense insurance. It is nice to know that loved ones have your back, but it is even more assuring to know that you have theirs, and that it has already been handled. Unnecessary stress should be avoided at all cost.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Retrospect and How to Handle the Change Ahead

2011 is come and gone; but not with the memories of events that shaped it. 2011 for me was a year of tremendous growth; unfortunately, it was also a year of critical challenges. I don't know how 2011 went for you but one lesson I picked up in 2011 was this:
"Challenges will never ever go away, and there's never going to be a smooth ride; be it in life of business."
This is a harsh reality but it's either you take it or leave it. Before I proceed further, I want you to understand that I am writing this article from the Nigerian perspective and with the Nigerian business terrain in mind but one thing I want you to know is this: the principles of business is universally applicable. The only difference in business across the globe is the time zone, business environments, political situations, culture and the rest of it. So be rest assured that this article will be of value to you.
In 2011, I started the year with high hopes and enthusiasm; and fortunately, the year ended on a good note but not without its challenges. For six, out of the 12 months of the year 2011, I was practically running on adrenaline. I got robbed at gun point, lost some valuables, ran my business on a high debt to equity ratio, had a strain on my intimate relationships and had my bank breathing fire down my heels. But in all, I survived and ended 2011 on a good note. I hope yours ended well too.
I spent the last days of 2011 discussing with my business team about our plans for 2011. I also mused over my long term personal goals and took time to set goals for 2012. By the last day of 2011, my team was ready for 2012 with a strategic growth plan. But we woke up on 2012 to receive the shocking news that the fuel subsidy has been removed abruptly; thereby sending the price of PMS from N65 to N140. This literally means that the price of goods and services alike are going to skyrocket in correlation with the new pump price of fuel. And sincerely speaking, it's going to affect everyone; both businesses and employees alike. So how do we respond to this change? I will go into that later.
Is this the only change in government policy we will see in 2011? My answer is no. There are going to be reforms initiated by the government that will sweep across Nigeria like a storm. And after the storm dies down, only two classes will be left standing; the rich and the poor. The middle class will be wiped out entirely.
As I write this now, there's a proposed policy that will see a restructuring and a creation of opportunities. With the proposed ban on the importation of rice and the incentives provided for the importation of power generation equipment and cassava processing machines. With the government tilting more support towards the agricultural industry and the current security challenges in the country, a lot of problems will be created; which will in turn create opportunities for smart entrepreneurs.
Analysts across the globe have predicted a tough 2012 and I don't doubt them. After all, they are financial analysts and better understand the statistics of a country's financials. But in the midst of the multiple problems; I see a great gap. I see a deep need waiting to be filled; all I see is a 2012 full of opportunities. Now I am not a soothsayer, religious fanatic or an extreme optimist. I am simply an entrepreneur trying hard to see things from the entrepreneurial perspective. Remember that entrepreneurs are opportunists. Now I am not saying I or my business is immune to the harsh business terrain of Nigeria and the ever changing government policies; what I want you to understand is that I am trying to squeeze out opportunities from the numerous problems that abound in Nigeria. You too can do the same. Do you want to know how? Read on.
How to Handle the Coming Change in 2012 and Subsequent years
1. Restructure your mindset
There are two sides to everything in life. It's either you are one side, or you are on the other side. It's either you are rich or you are poor. It's either you are part of the problem, or you are part of the solution. Most people only see one side to issues and that's why they remain stagnant.
To handle the coming change effectively, you must see the two sides of the coin. You must develop your mindset to work with the perception that there's an opportunity in every problem. You must disassociate yourself from those who only criticize the government and join the group of people who are willing to help the government solve its many problems. And most of all, you must make a stern resolve to be a solutions provider rather than being a complainant.
There's going to be a lot of opportunities in the following sectors: agriculture, education, food distribution, security, alternative power supply, etc. In the face the removal of subsidy, do you see a Nigeria where 5% - 10% of the population will be making short distance journeys with bicycles? Well, that's left for you to envision. This leads me to the next point.........................................
2. Start your own business
When I say "start your own business"; the message I am trying to shout out to you is this: "take control of your life." Observe the effects of most government policies and you will find out that the most affected people are the middle and low level employees; which make up the bulk of the population. I am not saying entrepreneurs are immune; it just that entrepreneurs (I mean smart entrepreneurs) know how to wriggle themselves around obstacles posed by the government. With the escalating inflation and ever increasing cost of living, employees get hit the most because their salary stays fixed, they are overworked with less pay and they risk being downsized without warning. All entrepreneurs do in the same situation faced by employees is to simply cut costs or raise prices after taking the necessary statistics into consideration. Considering all this, why would you want to remain an employee forever? Why not become an entrepreneur and take control of your life? The choice is yours.
3. Always have a plan B
The third strategy to effectively handle change is to always have a plan B. Things never go smoothly; things won't always go in your favor. So what do you do? You put a contingency plan in place; and how do you set the foundation for your plan B? You can begin by asking yourself questions that have the prefix: "What If."
What if the government bans............................?
What if the banks withdraw their support?
What if customers reject our innovation or idea?
What if we don't break even in the stipulated timeframe?
What if the labour congress goes on strike? How would it affect me and how can I reduce the corresponding effect?
The questions above are what set the need and formulation of a plan B in motion. With your plan B in place, situations may take you unaware but you will never lose your footing.
4. Respond quickly to change
One of the many challenges of building a business is responding quickly to change; which may come in the form of upcoming trend, change in government policy, customer feedback, internal crisis and the rest. Unfortunately, this does not only apply to businesses; it also applies to life. To survive and live the lifestyle of your choice, you must be able to respond quickly to change.
Now how do respond to quickly to change when all you see are problems? How do you respond quickly to change when all you do is compound the problems of the government by criticizing and organizing strikes/protests? How do you respond quickly to change when you are stuck in your job with a fixed salary? How do you respond to change when you don't have a plan B? If you critically analyze these questions, you will observe that responding quickly to change is nearly impossible without implementing the step one to three I shared with you above. Just as I said earlier, there are two sides to everything. It's either you adapt to change or you are crushed by it. The choice is yours.
In conclusion, I want to state clearly that 2012 will be gloomy, tough and a lot of people are going to break. It's a hard fact that can't be disputed. On the other hand, I also want to state clearly that 2012 is a year of opportunities; many are going to get richer this year and end the 2012 on a happy note. This is also a hard fact that cannot be disputed. Now the million dollar question is this: on which side of the table do you want to be? The choice still remains yours.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Expect From The Medical Assistant Salary

The role of the medical assistant is to assist doctors and nurses either in doctor's clinics or in hospitals. As for the medical support salary, according to the American Medical Association official website, this could range from $22,000 to as much as $30,000 per year.
The salary would really depend on the training, work experience, and employer. Generally speaking, the medical support salary of someone who has a certificate would be lower than that compared to someone who has an associate degree. There should also be employee benefits like health and dental insurances that may be offered with the salary.
However, there are medical aides who have had several decades of experience and who have received additional training. These assistants can demand a higher salary especially if they have received high recommendations. There are advanced medical aid training like administration of injections, CPR, the use of a cardiac monitor, or even medical transcription. These advanced training increase the chances of the individual to find better paying jobs.
However, the salary is the least to be considered if the trained individual does not like the career they are in. This is a career in service and it can be very demanding, especially if the clinic or hospital work can extend after the work hours. Those who want to enter this career for the sole reason of getting rich will not achieve their goals, instead they could be easily frustrated. Others even claim it can be a dead-end job if the individual does not make the effort of getting additional training.
The good news about being a medical helper is that this is a very flexible career. Additional training can actually open doors to other jobs and careers. The familiarity with the medical field and terminology can lead to bigger careers. There are some MAs who have gone on to insurance work where they encode the medical billings, check on the medical health claims and many more.
The medical assistant salary can only be limited by the individual who puts a limit on their abilities. This is not a career where one is required to be a genius. What is important to have is to gain the education or training from recognized schools be they online or traditional. After getting the certification or degree, go out and experience the work. Get more training if need be so the desired salary goal is achieved.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Re-Inventing Health Class

For most high school students health class is just another filler in their schedule where they can get an easy grade for showing up. This is because many teachers stick with a very "by the book" approach to this class. Simply, a little creativity and imagination could make health a student's favorite class of the day. There is an immense amount of topics that can be covered in health, ranging from eating disorders and drugs to current events and world news. There are many basic activities that can be used to enhance a health class if given the chance. Any activity that helps the students have a hand in their own learning will instantly be more interesting. Health should not simply be a class filled with PowerPoints and lectures. Since the entire class applies to real life experiences students may have, then the activities should do just the same. Lessons should be based around the students themselves and their thoughts and feelings rather than just a fountain of facts.
Classroom based discussions are popular among English and History classes, but how about incorporating them into a health class. A discussion on a current event could have the students enticed for hours. One way to do this is through a Socratic Seminar. This is basically a class discussion lead by the students themselves. With an interesting topic, students will talk about and feed off each other's ideas. As long as everyone agrees to respect each other's opinions and disagree courteously the Socratic Seminar will be a success. Teachers may even be surprised by the participation of some students who may usually be quiet or shy. Teachers, do not worry, you will not lose control of your class. If the discussion goes in an unintended direction the teacher can simply ask questions to the group that direct the discussion any way they choose. Students will really enjoy this because it is a way for them all to be involved with no pressure to give the right answer. Since health class lends itself to so many interesting and controversial topics, the Socratic Seminar can never fail.
There are numerous activities that can be developed around health content, because, again, health content is so extensive and easily relatable. Skits or puppet shows depending on the content are a great way to get students thinking and enjoying themselves at the same time. No one ever said that learning couldn't be fun. Students can be given a specific topic and after doing research or using facts given to them, they can put together a skit or puppet show encompassing the information. This is a creative way to get information across to students and it lets them have a hand in their education. By creating the skits and by watching the ones other students present they are learning the information. Students are more likely to remember the information presented also. If there is a funny or creative skit students will remember more of the information presented then they would from taking notes during a lecture.
For most people when they remember things they learned in school it is not information from notes. No one says "oh yes, I know that the cranium is another word for the head from Dr. Smith's lecture from Anatomy class my junior year in high school." Instead people remember information based on something they did when they learned it, for example someone many people remember all the states in the U.S. from the states song they learn in music class. Any of these creative teaching techniques can be applied to multiple subjects, but health class clearly lends itself very well to these techniques. Students can directly relate to the topics being covered and for many of them the topics directly affect them so they have opinions and ideas to share. By embracing these techniques teachers can re-invent the notions behind high school health and transform it into a subject that students enjoy and find great benefit in.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Computer and Information Technology Jobs

Computer career opportunities are growing faster than average in the overall economy. People who have the necessary information technology skills and knowledge are in demand and have a tremendous number of choices. The scope of the careers in computer information systems field is extensive. Employment opportunities can be grouped in the following general categories:
1. Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other areas.
Individuals who work in research and development require educational levels that are higher than others (normally advanced degrees). These jobs are fewer in number than other areas and reside on the cutting edge of the technology.
2. Computer programmers write code to create software programs. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.
Programmers create and maintain the instructions that cause computers to do worthwhile work.
3. Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some are called technical support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
The support specialists are the people who users call when they get into trouble or experience difficulty in working with information systems on the job site.
4. Computer systems analysts study an organization's current computer systems and procedures and then makes recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
Analysts and designers determine system requirements and design specifications for systems that meeting the needs of the system. Analysts and designers are familiar with how the availability of information drives organizational decision-making.
5. Database administrators use software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.
Database specialists analyze, design and implement databases that track organizational records. Information retrieved from databases, typically, are presented to users in a report format.
6. Information security analysts ensure a firm's information stays safe from cyber attacks and provide for information assurance. The information security specialist implements organizational wide security policy and best practices. Security analysts work closely with network administrators to provide for the confidentiality, integrity and availability of networks.
7. Web developers create websites to help firms have a public face and develop internal web sites that are known as intranets. Many web developers are responsible for maintaining online websites that sell to customers.
8. Computer network architects and administrators create the network infrastructure that all workers within organizations use. Network architects and administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of an organization's computer networks. They organize, install, and support an organization's computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.
9. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
The best news about careers in computer and information systems technology is the depth and breadth of the opportunities. A highly motivated individual can "write his or her ticket" in the field.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Learn From the Romantic Period - Part 3: Be Outrageous

"Great things are only possible with outrageous requests." ~ Thea Alexander
Get ready to be outrageous! In part three of this article, three characteristics from the Romantic Period are revealed as well as how you can apply each characteristic to achieve positive change and fulfillment in your life.
Here is a quick recap of Parts 1 and 2:
The Romantic Period was an artistic and philosophical movement (around the late 1700s to mid-1900s) when artists moved away from the strict laws of balance and restraint of previous periods.
Part 1 explored Self-Expression
Part 2 examined Emotion versus Intellect
Part 3: Be Outrageous
Here we explore a third characteristic: a love of the fantastic and exotic. Romantic artists might display this by using fantasy, dreams, exotic lands and cultures, or exotic, idealized historical periods.
You can apply the "fantastic and exotic" to your life by being outrageous in your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
Dream Big
Some of the greatest achievements in history started with what many considered outrageous dreams and ideas: the Wright brothers and their first powered and piloted plane, Walt Disney and his Mickey Mouse concept, Ted Turner and his 24-hour news station, CNN.
Dare to be an outrageous dreamer. Think BIG. When you do, you open up yourself to unimaginable possibilities.
Think Different
Romantics with a love of the fantastic and exotic probed more deeply into their creative imagination. Get outrageous by probing into your creative imagination! Challenge routine thought patterns by seeing things differently and asking creative questions.
Einstein,who was famous for questioning the ways things worked, said "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand." See how far your creative imagination will take you.
Change Your Attitude
Another way to be outrageous is in your attitude. When you are faced with a challenging situation, practice having a different attitude; this shifts your energy, allows you to see things in a new way, and leads to positive outcomes.
People who lost their jobs as a result of the economy, saw it as an opportunity to start a new business, develop a new skill, or get an education.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Master These 5 Tips to Get Ahead in the Job Market

During a work coaching session with a client in his late 40s, I was surprised and saddened when he suddenly opened up about his unexpected job loss. He used to be a senior operations manager, but he's now a middle aged man juggling the difficulties of finding a job and supporting his family.
Like my client, things haven't worked out easily for many middle aged men in the UK. Some of them are still jobless, even after two years of trying to seek employment. Those who were lucky enough, were able to find jobs but at half of their previous salary.
My work coaching session with him made me increasingly aware of the current reality for most middle aged workers. Men in their 30s to 50s count on these critical years to make a substantial amount of money to pay off their debts and to save up for retirement. However most of them find this difficult to do because of the competition, their age and the limited opportunities available.
Follow these work coaching tips to get ahead in the job market and to prevent unnecessary discrimination regarding your age:
  1. Let go of your sense of entitlement. You were once a seasoned professional in your field but that doesn't give you the license to brag or to expect preferential treatment from recruiters, hiring managers or even your competition. Nothing is permanent in the world; even your achievements are forgotten. Don't live in the past. Be humble and accept that you need to learn new skills or be trained by somebody younger. Dropping your sense of entitlement will really help you, especially if you have to seek employment in another field.

  2. Don't procrastinate with your job hunt. Even if your unemployment benefits will last for two years, you shouldn't wait long before starting your job hunt. Why? Because if you were let go, there's a huge possibility that other people are getting laid off too! The more you wait, the bigger your competition gets. Aside from that, the process of looking for a job, completing the requirements and training may take longer than you expected. If you don't want to run out of funds before your next paycheck comes in, I suggest you get moving- NOW!

  3. Tap into your other skills and interests. You don't need to stay in the same industry to find a good job. If you have other skills or passions that could help you make a profit, make use of them. Even education or training you received but never used can help you find a job. Using your other skills, such as writing, teaching, cooking or handiwork can help you make a living. If you do these things well, you can even start a sustainable business.

  4. Make your resume look young. What do I mean with this? Simple, age proof your resume by including only work experience related to the position you're applying for. That way, any unnecessary years are removed and you're not categorized as "too old" by any potential employer.

  5. Talk young. This is one of my favorite work coaching tips for people who fear discrimination regarding their age. Don't let the way you talk reveal your age. Quit the "back in the days" talk. Listen to how men in their 20s or early 30s talk and try to adopt their words but try not to go overboard with the colloquialisms. You should also stay up to date with the latest in the media by watching the news, reading the paper and surfing the internet. If you don't know what Facebook or Twitter is, then you certainly have a lot to catch up on.
Starting over is difficult, especially for middle aged men. For my final work coaching advice, I suggest that you keep your mind open to the options available. Accept the fact that you may not get the same job title or compensation. However that doesn't mean you can't go back to that position in the future. For now, work hard and find a job that can help you pay the bills and support your family. When you're stable enough, you can find another job that suits you better.
Trained at The Coaching Academy, the world's largest life-coaching school, Paul delivers his coaching expertise through face-to-face individual or group sessions, or remotely by telephone and online conferencing. Paul's clients come from diverse backgrounds, including from the worlds of art, business, and academia on both sides of the Atlantic.
Paul's unique and upbeat approach to coaching enables each individual to verbalise ideas, goals, and dreams; to explore options; to develop effective directions and plans; and to move forward at a comfortable-yet-productive pace--and all without ever feeling judged or criticised. The result is that Paul's clients are empowered to focus on possibilities and to achieve maximum fulfilment and success in all aspects of their lives.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Online Copywriting

If you want to improve your situation and your lifestyle, then the most important thing you can do is to try and improve yourself. Successful people in life knows that we make our own luck, and that 90% of what happens to us is dictated by the way we act and present ourselves to the world. On top of this - even that 10% that perhaps is outside of our control, can be made much better or much worse by the way that we look at life and the way we choose to react.
This is why it is so important to invest time and energy into improving ourselves and what we have to offer the world. Self development courses and education are worth their weight in gold purely because they create new opportunities and because they give you new skills and abilities.
One example of a great new skillset you can learn that will be highly useful whether you want to run your own business, or just improve your employability for others, is copywriting.
Copyrighting basically is the act of writing 'copy' - this being the sort of content that isn't editorial or journalistic. While a journalist will write content that includes opinions, jokes and ideas; a copywriter will write larger quantities of text that is more practical in nature - such as typing up transcripts, such as writing press releases, such as writing the blurbs on the back of boxes and books, and such as writing the instruction manuals. The great news for those people who have qualifications and certification in copywriting is that it is something that is in very high demand. Writing essentially is communication, and through your copywriting you make it possible for companies to communicate with large numbers of clients and customers and to create all of their filler and content as necessary.
What makes copywriting even more useful is the fact that the internet is today so ubiquitous. The internet here is a huge part of countless business plans as companies use it in order to promote their services and products in an affordable and effective way, and as webmasters make money simply from their advertising and their affiliate links. There is a lot of money here to be made, and if you want a slice of that pie then you will need to be able to write. As is often said online 'content is king'.
If you get yourself a qualification in copywriting then, what you will find is that first and foremost you make yourself more appealing to a range of prospective employers. Of course you will open up career opportunities as a copywriter, but furthermore you will also create a lot of opportunities for yourself in a range of other careers and professions because copywriting is a skill that is useful in practically all of them. It's another string to your bow that is useful, and it will make you a better communicator as well as allowing you to fill in for your colleagues in various capacities.
Furthermore, with copywriting though you will also be able to make it on your own should you wish or need to. You can do this simply by providing writing services to webmasters and online businesses for instance, and you can do so by using copywriting in your own business to help promote your products and communicate with clients and customers.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reasons to Have Your Malfunctioning LCD Or Plasma TV Repaired

It's Sunday. All of the members of your family stay at home. You plan to have a movie marathon the whole day. While you were in the middle of the first movie you were watching, your television suddenly turned off. You tried to turn it back on but it won't. You've got no choice left but to either bring it to a repair service center or leave it there - whichever you decide to do, it still means the plan you arranged with your family is already spoiled.
There are so many benefits we can get from owning a television at home. It can be a great source of entertainment for your family. You can also get to be updated on the news about what's currently happening to the world. Some parents also find it educational since there are programs that contain shows appropriate for their children.
A television is an expensive investment. Regardless of whether you have a Toshiba, LG, Samsung or Sony television, chances are that you are still going to repair or replace your set sooner or later. But what if your TV suddenly broke down and stopped working? Will you bring it to a local TV Repair Shop and get it fixed? Or will you go buy for a new one and replace it? What if that certain TV of yours is a high-tech LCD or plasma TV? However, whenever such things happen, it always brings perplexity that most of us must overcome. That is, the dilemma to choose whether having the TV repaired or to junk it and buy a new set. The answer to this question is not as easy as it depends on the situation and on a number of considerations.
Buying a new set of TV certainly does have its advantages still. Almost every month, the TV technology is evolving thus; the newer ones will have to be more advanced than the TV you just bought a couple of months before. But purchasing a new Plasma or LCD TV is likely to be more expensive than having your broken one at home repaired. Depending on what's wrong with it, it may be more practical to have it checked first by a professional to diagnose what's wrong. You can either bring it to the manufacturer's service center (which may entail some costs, if it's no longer covered by warranty), or you could troubleshoot it yourself!
Getting a new TV isn't always the best solution when you encounter problems with your current one. By getting your model fixed as and when you need it, you can save a lot of money. If your TV set doesn't break down over the 5 year extended warranty period, think of the money you'd save!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Supplement Insurance

There are those who believe everyone should take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement and perhaps some fish oils or omega-3 fatty acids too. Others believe you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet. And still others believe no supplements of any kind are warranted for any reason.
What is to be believed? Who has the answers when you are standing in front of the supplements shelf at your local grocer?
When I first began looking into natural medicines in nursing school, I received a lot of mixed messages from my classmates. Although I believed in "medicine" at the time, I realized that something was missing from healing and sought answers outside of the medical field. The medical field has many wonders, and many people have received relief with using medical drugs and procedures. But I had learned, both professionally and personally, that medicine had its limits. Looking outside of the medical profession surely would give me insights that I sought.
And I found them in nature's medicines, vitamins, minerals and homeopathy.
But I also found a whole new world of dangers that could easily befall the unsuspecting consumer. The idea that "Natural is Safe" no matter what and how much was not true.
Supplement Insurance
The first Naturopathic Doctor I saw was one who believed everyone needed "supplement insurance," taking a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement daily no matter what ails you (or doesn't ail you). At first I had listened to her describe the nutrient-deficient foods on the market, even in fresh fruits and vegetables. She had said that without a supplement daily, no one could ever be healthy based on the poor quality of foods of the day. As time went on, I heard many more people with the same beliefs.
Then I went back to school myself-this time to become a Naturopathic Doctor. And I learned the dangers of just arbitrarily taking a supplement without needing it, and even more so if the person took medical drugs. Also, some supplements should not be taken with certain medical conditions, even if the person doesn't take medical drugs for that condition.
In 2010, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have estimated that 67% of Americans take at least one medical drug daily (with most taking 7 or more). It was also estimated that 72% of Americans take natural health supplements. Based on those figures, someone was taking both medical drugs and natural supplements at the same time.
Drug-Supplement Interactions
How many medical drugs have interactions with natural health supplements: 100%! Every medical drug on the market!
Granted, not every drug interacts with every vitamin or mineral, but every drug on the market interacts with at least 1 vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement-and some of those interactions can seriously harm the consumer.
An example is vitamin E. Vitamin E has been in the news a lot because of its heart-health benefits. But anyone taking aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin®) or another anticoagulant drug (i.e. blood thinner) should not take vitamin E as it greatly increases the risk of bleeding. Also with these drugs, a person should not take garlic or vitamin C. Yet, of those who have heart concerns that causes them to take the anticoagulant drugs, most reach for garlic and vitamin E because they believe these supplements are good for their heart and that they are natural so they are safe.
When working on the Cardiac Floor of a local hospital, a man was admitted because he was bleeding. He had been on an anticoagulant drug AND was taking garlic and vitamin E. He had to be admitted because he couldn't stop the bleeding from a minor cut on his chin from shaving. The anticoagulant effects of the vitamin E and the garlic intensified the anticoagulant effect of the warfarin (Coumadin®) leading to blood that would not clot.
Granted not all the reactions can be life-threatening if you combine natural supplements with medical drugs. But sometimes the reaction could be that the drug does not work as effectively, or that it does not get flushed from the body as fast as expected, leading to elevated drug levels, or it increases the risk of photosensitivity or skin rashes.
Supplement-Supplement Interactions
Yes, sometimes supplements interact with each other. For the most part, the reactions are not as dangerous as mixing drugs and supplements, but over time, the side effects can be of concern. Herbal supplements can deplete vitamins or minerals as well, such as Horsetail depleting vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) or Kava depleting Niacin.
Also, combining supplements that have the same healing properties can cause an additive effect, such as the above-mentioned Vitamin E and Garlic. Combining the two in high amounts can increase the risk of bleeding substantially.
Food-Drug Interactions
Most people do not think of food as having healing properties aside from being able to settle the symptom of hunger. But all foods have nutrients and such that can impact a person's health beyond just providing energy. For example, eating a diet rich in iron can help a person with anemia, and to alleviate the symptoms of anemia (fatigue, headache, pallor, shortness of breath).
Several spices used in daily cooking have medicinal value as well. As such, they can interact with medical drugs. Raw, fresh garlic, as mentioned earlier as interacting with anticoagulant drugs, has the same anticoagulant properties as the encapsulated form in the health food stores. Eating garlic while taking aspirin or another anticoagulant drug can increase the risk of bleeding.
Also, some drugs are better absorbed on an empty stomach than with food, whereas others require food to be absorbed best. Always check with your prescribing physician or pharmacist to learn which of your drugs need to be taken with food, or without food.
And then there's grapefruit juice. Very healthy for a person to drink, and loaded with Vitamin C, but if you are taking a medical drug, do not take the drugs with grapefruit juice as this juice interferes with the absorption of almost all medical drugs.
Food-Supplement Interactions
Some nutrients are better absorbed on an empty stomach whereas others definitely need food. If all your nutrients are taken once daily with breakfast, only some will be utilized and absorbed.
Also, vitamins are better absorbed in the morning, while minerals are best absorbed in the evening.
Nutrient Depletion by Drugs
Most drugs consumed by people decrease levels of some nutrients in the body, such as the vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) depletion by antidepressant drugs. Unfortunately for those taking antidepressant drugs, they usually are not told to supplement with Thiamin to prevent deficiency. Many of the side effects of these drugs can be alleviated with a simple supplement of Thiamin or by eating a Thiamin-rich diet.
Taking supplements just to take something to ensure health does not ensure health. Mega-dosing can lead to health compromises, taking the wrong combination of supplements can be dangerous, and taking a supplement just for insurance can cause health problems to occur. I see hundreds of people each year whose health deteriorated after taking too many supplements; they all had thought they needed to take the supplements to stay healthy and never had thought to look at the supplements as the cause of their current health problems.
And remember: just because they are considered natural does not make them automatically safe. Work with someone knowledgeable in both natural medicines and medical drugs if you want to safely mix the two for your optimal health-to do otherwise would be unwise.
Be Safe in Health
Sign up for Homeopathic Center of America's Be Safe in Health Series. Receive three (3) comprehensive vitamin, mineral, herb and/or drug reports monthly detailing their interactions, safety, and depletion information. These reports are a must for anyone working with others in health, and for the family who wants to optimize their health using natural means.
Best wishes,
Dr. Ronda
Disclaimer: The information provided by Dr. Ronda Behnke Theys is for educational purposes only. It is important that you not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Buy Incontinence Underwear

It can be overwhelming and even frightening when someone is first diagnosed with incontinence. Many people assume that the only individuals with incontinence are sick, elderly, and bedridden. However, there are many people who are trying to manage their incontinence while leading their normal lives. The bottom line is that with the help of these underwear an individual can continue working, socializing, and participating in their daily activities.
The key to effectively managing incontinence is to understand what should be considered when you are buying incontinence undergarment. Having the right undergarment will allow anyone with incontinence to continue on with their normal activities while wearing normal clothes with discretion and comfort. Today, manufacturers of adult incontinence products have a wide range of products that anyone can choose from. Here is what you need to know about how to buy incontinence undergarments-
  • Receive a diagnosis - It is crucial to understand that anyone who is experiencing incontinence symptoms should immediately seek out an evaluation by their health care professional. Incontinence is always a medical problem and many times it is brought on by an underlying medical condition. Symptoms of incontinence should never be ignored. Do not let the fear and embarrassment you may feel keep you from seeing your doctor. Keep in mind that there are many different treatments and the more you know about your incontinence the better the decision you can make when buying incontinence underwear. Once you know what type of incontinence that you have and how severe it is you can choose what type of incontinence underwear will work best for you.

  • Do your research - Today; there is no need to go to the local drug or grocery store to find incontinence undergarment. There are many online sites that will allow you to browse, educate yourself, and even sample various types of incontinence undergarment before making a final purchase decision. Best of all, most of these online sites provide detailed resources and helpful staff that can guide you in making your selection. Then when you do find the right incontinence underwear for you it can be shipped directly to your home in discreet packaging.

  • Consider your lifestyle - For some people with incontinence they want incontinence underwear that looks and feels like normal underwear. They want to be able to wear it to the gym and other places without feeling self-conscious. The good news is that this is totally possible. You can choose from a wide range of incontinence undergarment styles that allow you do this and continue on with your normal activities. For others with incontinence they have other medical conditions or mobility issues that will affect how they manage their incontinence. There are styles of incontinence underwear that accommodate these needs as well. If you need incontinence underwear that has tear-away sides or provides a heavier level or protection you can find this type, as well.

  • Understand your needs - Incontinence varies dramatically from person to person. Each individual will need to find out what type of incontinence underwear works best for them. Many people find that they want to boost the effectiveness of their incontinence underwear by wearing an incontinence pad inside. There are certain types of incontinence underwear that come with a pouch that allows the wearer to put in an incontinence pad and then change it when it becomes wet or soiled without having to take off their incontinence underwear. In addition, there are also many styles of reusable incontinence underwear that allow the wearer to wash them and then reuse them. Finally, each person should consider their gender. Today, there are incontinence products for men and incontinence products for women that meet the unique need of each gender.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Letter of Intent in College Sports Recruiting

Recently there have been a lot of news stories about athletes who are involved in college sports recruiting. They are being 'picked up' or signing letters of intent to college teams. Controversy seems to surround some of these events. And, although this is a time of great excitement for most, some athletes are greatly disappointed if things don't work out as they dream they will.
So, the first thing that occurred to me is that I need to know what the word "intent" means and how it applies to college sports recruiting. I looked up the word and found that "intent" is from the Latin word "intentus" meaning an aim, or purpose. "Intent" is a past participle of "intendere"; to intend. This means to me that the word implies there will be an act that will take place soon. Also, noted is "the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object." A synonym for intent would be aim, plan or plot.
With an understanding of the word, I began to examine what a letter of intent might be used for. In the case of students and colleges, I surmised that a college would want a student to be committed, or locked in to attending. This way the college athletic director could begin to build a team for the next year; actually the next four years and plan a strategy for his teams' success. Likewise, the student could be confident that the college would hold a spot for them. The student would be able to plan the next four years of their education and participation and even look further into the future to professional play. Any reasonable person, no matter which side of the table they are on, would be satisfied that a specific act would be taking place in the very near future. In this case, a college sports recruiting opportunity.
When I read about the young high school basketball player that had been accepted by a Utah university and rejected a few months later, I was disturbed. I thought of my son and his time in high school and how much he loved basketball. I remembered the rare occasion that a fellow team member was being courted by a college. This was a dream come true and a chance of a lifetime. With 700 students in his senior class, one percent was awarded athletic scholarships. What a disaster for the entire family to sign the letter of intent only to have the deal fall through.
Do high school athletes now have to enlist agents or lawyers before signing? Do coaches and parents need to make students aware of the possible withdraw of what they believe to be a promise for their future, and make contingent plans? Will we begin to see lawsuits filed for breach of the college sports recruiting letters of intent? And, how will they be decided?
It seems all the hope and excitement that surrounds the college sports recruiting season will fade into a legal quagmire in the future. The dreams of young athletes lost in the mumbo jumbo of contracts and lawsuits. And, once again the only group that will benefit will be the lawyers. Really, how sad!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Decide What Kind of Visa You Need for China

When you want to stay in China for any period of time you will first need to take care of a few formalities. One of those formalities is applying for a visa for China.
What is a visa for China?
The CVASC describes it as the following:
"Chinese visa is a permit issued by authorities of China in accordance with the laws and regulations of China to a foreign citizen for entry into, exit from or transit through the territory of China."
So to summarize, it is basically permit which is issued by appointed authorities, with which you can legally travel into, exit out of or transit through China. It is required for you to have a Chinese visa if you want to go to China. If you don't have a the document in your passport you will be stopped by customs and will not be allowed to pass through.
So how can I get it?
First you will need to decide what kind of visa you will be needing, as there are several different types of visa's you can apply for. So decide for what purpose you will be going to China and in the list below, find out what type of visa applies to you.
-Tourist and family visit visa is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visit or other personal affairs.
-Business Visa is issued to a foreign citizen who is invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, exchanges in the fields of science, technology, education, culture and sports, or attending various kinds of trade fairs or exhibitions, or short-term study, intern practice for a period of less than 6 months.
-Student Visa is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for the purpose of study or advanced study for a period of six or more months.
-Work Visa is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China to work and his or her accompanying family members, or to give commercial performances in China.
-Transit Visa is issued to a foreign citizen who is to transit through China on his or her way to a third country (or region).
-Crew Visa is issued to crew member performing his/her duties on board an international train, or on an international airline, to a sailor on board an international ocean-liner or freighter, and also to their accompanying family members.
-Journalist Visa is issued to foreign journalists. J-visa has two categories: J-1 and J-2. J-1 is issued to resident foreign journalists in China and their accompanying spouses and under-age children, J-2 to foreign journalists who visit China for temporary news coverage.
-Permanent Residence Visa is issued to a foreign citizen who has been approved by China's public security authority to reside in China permanently.
If you are in doubt on what kind of visa you need, you can contact your local china visa authority for help.
A short example: Let's say you are a student and want to study in Beijing, China for 20 weeks (5 months). Do you apply for a Student visa? No, since you will only be staying there for 5 months you will apply for a Business visa. In order to be eligible for a student visa you need to stay for a period fo 6 months or more.
Each type of visa has it's own forms you need to fill in, please check out the specifics for each one to find out what you need to do to get yours.
Please note that you do not always need a the visa-permit to enter China or transit through China, there are a few exceptions. You do not need to apply for a Chinese visa if:
-You are a citizen of Singapore, Brunei or Japan holding an ordinary passport and are coming to China for family visit, business or transit. Maximum days allowed in China: 15 (If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for a visa)
-You have a confirmed onward ticket and seat on an international flight and will stay no longer than 24 hours in China. In this situation you will not have to apply for a Transit visa.
For more exceptions please go to the CVASC website
You will need to apply for a visa at a local Chinese authority. I greatly recommend you do it at the CVASC. This agency is available in multiple locations over different continents. You can check out which locations they have on their website.
There is a possibility that a location near you is not listed. Then you should find out on the internet where the closest appointed Chinese authority is located.
Once you have decided for what visa you should apply, you should then fill in the forms and apply at the Chinese authority.