CHICAGO, CHICAGO

Chicago is described by many as a world-class city and one that possesses unsurpassed beauty, and why not? The moment you descend onto the soils of this charming place, you are welcomed by breathtaking views, striking vistas and hospitable locals, always ready to assist you. The cosmopolitan character of the city comes through when one takes a close look at its cultural landscape, one that is utterly diverse in nature. Playing home to varied religions, traditions, ethnicities, beliefs and values, Chicago dons the cap of being a cultural melting pot almost nonchalantly. There’s much to be admired, marvel and enjoyed in the city, it all depends what your heart desires for. Great architecture, historical buildings, museums, art galleries, public and private exhibitions, traditional and avant-garde theaters, national parks and gardens, a vast and varied events calendar, recreational activities, guided tours and group excursions, the list is simply endless. Chicago quenches every thirst for inspiration and every hunger for extreme exhilaration, given its high entertainment quotient. Discovering the city’s nooks and crannies by foot or hiring a cab, exploring the surrounding areas through tours or simply enjoying a leisurely trip to the verdant countryside, there’s probably as much to do and see as you can possibly think of. After the sunset, the city dons an absolutely distinct color and hue. Radiating an infectious energy, Chicago is at its best during evening, courtesy its various fancy restaurants, dazzling dance clubs, glitzy pubs and bars, elegant roadside cafes, elaborate lounges and many other party places. You don’t need to worry about food and drink, the eateries out here offer both local and international cuisines. Presenting you with varied choices and options in nearly all aspects of tourism, Chicago is where every kind and type of tourist enjoys. So finding a luxurious accommodation or a lavish indulgence, looking for a cheap hotels and some free fun is as easy as one, two and three.

Outplacement Agencies

Outplacement agencies are well-meaning companies, who hope to get employees through the tough times by offering career transition services. A transition program is sometimes necessary when the unexpected happens, and you find yourself without a job.

utplacement agencies are well-meaning companies, who hope to get employees through the tough times by offering career transition services. A transition program is sometimes necessary when the unexpected happens, and you find yourself without a job. Outplacement agencies can be very helpful in these situations, but at the same time, poor practices and misguided motivations can be counterproductive. What most outplacement agencies won’t tell you could actually make the process of finding a new career smoother and easier to manage.

The best road to recovery is finding another job. While an outplacement agency intends to get you back on your feet after termination, it often ignores the most important part of doing so, and that is finding you another job. Most employees don’t want to attend grief counseling. They don’t want to talk about what went wrong. They don’t want to wallow in misery. What they want is to get back to work as soon as possible.

You are a marketable commodity. By selling the grief, an outplacement agency undermines the skills and talents that you have. They force you to focus on the hurt of losing your job instead of making you see immediately what skills and talents you have to offer the workforce. Essentially, they forget to reinforce the fact that you are marketable, that you were once a valued asset to past employers, and that you can be again if given the opportunity to connect with companies that need someone with your skills, education, and experience.

Finding a new job is easier than you might think. No, losing your job isn’t a walk in the park. Yes, it can hurt to see that you weren’t quite as valued as you thought you were. Yes, the economy has seen better days. Still, these realities do not mean the jobs aren’t out there. Outplacement agencies often trip up by turning you loose at the wrong time without the personal touch and guidance needed to connect with the right companies. When you have the best possible presentation of your skills, and you have access to beneficial job leads, finding a new job is easier in any kind of economic climate.

Avoid the hassle of counterproductive career transition practices. Focus on the future instead of the past, and you will find more opportunity than you could ever imagine.

Resources:
Transition Concierge offers transition program: a win-win for the employer and the employee. Transition programs can help you find the best job

Nightlife in Barcelona

After General Franco’s death in 1975, Spain started to enjoy a new lease of life and the Fiesta (party) became an integral part of the Spanish way of life. The capital, Madrid, started the new wave of serious partying in the early 80´s and then from 1985, the Catalans really exploited the idea of organizing parties in the famous white Island Ibiza.

Other cities, generally in the south like Marbella and Benidorm followed suit, building huge apartment blocks and hotels to cater for the hoards of foreigners looking for 2 weeks of sun, sea, sangria and fiesta.

It seems Barcelona never really wanted to offer the cheap 2 week holiday and instead opted for the more reputable tourist. However this all changed after the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and it is safe to say Barcelona is now one of the most visited European cities visited by tourists looking for some serious fiesta.

Barcelona’s streets system is very similar to New York’s street grid system, that is to say, every thing is constructed around a block system and the borders of each area within Barcelona are very well defined.

The same can be said for its nightlife. Different areas offer different styles of music and concepts. Poble Nou has bars and nightclubs which cater for rockers and heavy metal music is the popular vibe in this area. Having said that Razzmatazz, probably the biggest club in Barcelona and most forward thinking, is situated right in the middle of all the head banging.

The Port Olímpic area has 2 sections, divided by the famous Arts Hotel. To the left of the hotel (facing the sea) is a strip of bars and discos offering free shots hip hop, commercial dance and reggaeton to all the passers by. Its does resemble the more tacky cheap side of night clubbing and the odd bit of trouble is always a possibility.

However, to the right of the hotel one can find a more sophisticated clubbing experience with bars and clubs like Shoko, CDLC and Opium Mar offering designer clubbing at its best.

Las Ramblas is 100% geared up for the tourist with lots of Irish/English pubs dotted around plus a few nightclubs in Plaça Reial, Las Ramblas and Nou de la Rambla.

Apollo, on Nou de la Rambla, is the exception with various clubs nights playing reggae to techno on any given night.

The gay scene is alive and kicking in an area called Eixample (better known as Gayxample), with most of the bars and clubs located on Concejo de Ciento street.

As we move north of Diagonal, the clubbing experience radically changes. The streets north of Diagonal, such as Aribau, Tuset, Maria Cubi and Lincoln, theoretically have clubs for the middle/upper class Catalans. Clubs such as Sutton and Luz de Gas purposefully make entrance difficult and will use any excuse in the book to not let you in if they do not know you or do not like your style of dressing. Finally on Tibidabo Hill there are a few bars which have great views of the city and are generally frequented by couples or lovers.

When I arrived in Barcelona I was shocked to hear nightclubs don’t get going until 3.30 A.M. and close at 6 A.M. In general people eat dinner around 10 P.M. and hit the bars around mid-night. It’s not uncommon to meet up with friends at 1 A.M. to start the night. It does take a while to get use to especially if you are used to going out at 8 P.M. which is the case in many countries.

But it does make sense and is dictated by the weather. It’s simply too hot to eat a big meal at 7 P.M. and too hot to start drinking at 8 P.M. Prices do vary from bar to bar and club to club. In fact due to the tourist boom in Barcelona the prices have risen drastically over the last 10 years. In the more fashionable areas it’s hard to buy a beer under 6 euros or a long drink under 10 euros. In the more down to earth bars a beer can cost as little as 2.50 euros and a long drink 6 euros. It’s definitely worth while finding some cheap bars to start the night off.

Previously I mentioned in some areas the clubs are quite difficult to get into. The security staff in Barcelona in general does not have such a bad reputation. There might happen some isolated incidents but I rarely see trouble and if it does occur it is dealt with swiftly and fairly.

Also the government wisely introduced a new law in 2008 obliging all security staff to register with the town hall. All bouncers also have to take an exam and are not allowed continue working in the security game if they fail the exam.

I have to admit 10 years ago Barcelona’s clubbing scene was more innocent, less synthetic and freer. Numerous bars beside the famous statue of Christopher Columbus have closed down and 2 clubbing institutions La Paloma and Danzatoria have been forced to say last orders due to pressure from local residents.

Having said this new clubs have emerged and coupled with the international festivals such as Sonar and naturally Barcelona still remains one of the greatest European clubbing cities.