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Recent Posts

How to know you'll enjoy a job - 6 focuses to consider

Woo! Look at all the options on this job board! But there is a lot there, so how do you confirm a new job will be one that you will actually enjoy? Let's go through the six focuses to consider!

  1. It all starts with the job description.
    Read your job description carefully. It often tells you what type of company you'll find yourself doing. If it describes the new company or department as lively, energetic, with a big focus on teamwork, but you're shy, prefer working alone if possible, and want quiet, it may not be a good fit. If it appears too calm and you like intermingling with co-workers, it may not be the job for you.
  2. Take a look at where the job is located and consider your commute.
    Know the company's name, so you know exactly where the job is: is the position at headquarters or in a satellite/branch location.
    If your commute is 30-40 minutes or more, consider all issues before choosing this position, especially if the commute will be an hour or more. 
    Reconsider if you think a higher salary will compensate for that long commute.
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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance

Bouncing Back!

Thousands of people became sedentary during 2020. With people engaged in 48% less physical activity, it can be worrisome that we are all on a slippery slope! Of course, if you are in a career where you are already moving around often, you are in the clear! Manual labor jobs, like skilled-trade positions, can use some of these to help manage stress though. But if you've been stuck working from home, exercise is key.

Inactivity = negative

The well-substantiated hazards of inactivity can lead to numerous serious physical health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and falls. Increased ‘screen time’ even if it’s work related causes eyestrain, dry eyes, blurred vision, headache and neck, back and arm pain and strains.

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Topics: Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, Office Tips, Work From Home

Dealing with the monotony of working from home

What many have gone through, now that they are working from home, has required some adjustment. While many appreciate the advantages of working from home, they also need to cope with the disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is that working from home provides minimal separation between one's work and personal life. Additionally, this can lead to your work feeling increasingly monotonous. If this is the case for you, there are steps you can take to try and break up that monotony.

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Topics: Re-Entering the Workforce, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, Office Tips, Work From Home

Laughter in the Workplace

“The future, the present, and the past walked into a bar. Things got a little tense.” 

We may not always be able to see a smile, but we can still hear laughterDid you know that there is a National Let’s Laugh Day on March 19 each year? After all, as William James said: 

“We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.” 

Laughter, also known as “the best medicine,” helps boost the immune system and brings relaxationThat is in addition to being very contagious! According to the Mayo Clinic, there are both short- and long-term benefits from laughter: 

In short term, laughter releases tension in the body and stimulates organs. In long term, it improves the immune system and stabilizes mood.  

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard says that according to research from Wharton, MIT, and London Business School, every chuckle or guffaw brings with it a host of business benefits. Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”  

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Topics: Managing Stress, Office Tips

Stress in this Time of Uncertainty

There are many recent events that have upset our world, along with the social distancing recommendations and many who have lost their jobs because of businesses closing. Others are working from home and families are trying to establish routines for children and distance learning. There is a lot of uncertainty, in our own lives and in society. And then there is the isolation. Humans are social; we like being with others and having freedom of movement. We are averse to change, finding comfort in our routines and our normal lives. As a result, this isolation and changes are overwhelming and stressful.

Everyone responds to stress differently, but older people and those with underlying conditions which make them more susceptible, are likely to respond more strongly to the situation. Children also have stronger adverse reactions to stress, as they do not always understand the implications of what is going on and may start to exhibit behavioral changes.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Changing Jobs, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, High-Stress

Top 8 Characteristics of Good Leadership

Last week we asked if you should want to be a leader.

This week, we’ll look at how to be a good leader, regardless of your actual leadership role or title. 

Anyone can be a leader. The best, work at developing their skills and adopt the characteristics of other quality leaders. The easiest way to do this is to observe several leaders you admireObservation may include following them on social media, reading their books, and attending or downloading any speeches they have given. Watch what they do and how they do it, then incorporate the traits you admire into your own leadership style. 

Next, realize that leadership isn’t just a “top of the ranks” role. The greatest leaders can – and will – work alongside those they are tasked with leading. Leadership is about setting an example. No task is beneath you. You shouldn’t ask others to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. 

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job, Work-Life Balance

Should you want to be a leader?

The answer to that question is yes, but… and there’s always a “but.”

You may be thinking:

  • I’ve never been a leader so how do I know if I’ll like it or be good at it?
  • Does it mean more responsibility and am I ready for that?
  • Does it mean more money and is the money appropriate for the level of responsibility?
  • Does it mean I’ll have people who report to me and will I have to evaluate and discipline them, if necessary?
  • Does being a leader always mean I’m in charge – or could I lead in other ways?

Some people never actually consider these questions, so they are unprepared when thrusted into a leadership position.

That leadership position could be as a mentor, team leader, project leader, supervisor, manager, and the list goes on. There are many ways, and some of them don’t require the designation as a “leader.”

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job, Work-Life Balance

What to do if you are unhappy in your job?

This is the second of a two-part series on job happiness.  In last week's post, we took a look at the some of the warning signs that indicate you may be unhappy in your current position. This week, we will take a look at what to do if you find you are unhappy with your job.

One of the first warning signs we discussed is apathy. So, what should you do when you no longer care about the daily tasks or projects you are assigned, especially if it is a job you used to love? If you are in the apathy stage, now is the time to take a look at where you are and what you want out of a career or a position. You are older now than you were when you started this job and your interests and needs change over time. Take some time to think about what you are passionate about today, and what motivates you. From this vantage point, you will have a better understanding of what type of job or tasks will move you from apathy to enthusiasm. Then, you will want to see if you can adjust your responsibilities to focus on the things that do motivate you.

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Topics: Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job

Warning signs you are unhappy with your job

This is the first of a two-part series on job happiness. This week, we will look at some of the warning signs that indicate you may be unhappy with your current position. Next week, we will look at what to do about it if you find you are unhappy with your job. Sometimes, you know right away when you are ready for a change. But for others, their satisfaction with their position has slowly declined and they do not immediately realize how unhappy their position is making them. This post is meant to allow employees to recognize they may be unhappy, and maybe even help change their role on the job so that they can become a happier employee! Sometimes, people do not realize just how unhappy they are until someone points it out to them. In case you are one of those individuals, or you are just curious about how to tell when it is time for a change, or you are a supervisor who should be aware of your employees’ issues, here are some warning signs you can watch for.

Apathy

Apathy, not caring, lacking passion, unmotivated these are all ways to express a loss of interest in the daily job tasks. It could be that you see upcoming assignments as too simple, or you just do not care anymore about the tasks you have been assigned. Perhaps you look at your daily job to-do list and think it is like trudging along a rut you just cannot get out of. Or perhaps, you are present but not participating. You are doing just the minimum amount of work necessary, but no longer pitching in with conversations, other tasks, or helping co-workers. If you are numb to projects or tasks that used to excite you, you are probably in the apathy category.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job

Making productive to-do lists

Everyone makes lists – though not everyone does so in the same way. Whether you are the one who makes a list in their head of things to get at the grocery store, or the one who has to-do lists for every aspect of your life, these tips will help you be more productive and efficient in accomplishing the tasks on your list.

Use the right app or medium.

There are a many list apps you can get for your smart phone, and there is also a simple pen and paper.  The first thing you should do is decide which method of keeping track of your list(s) works best for you. Many apps allow you to add due dates, collaborate or share lists, and sort tasks. PC Magazine has list of the best to-do apps, or you can ask friends and relatives for suggestions. If you are a pen and paper type of person, the key to finding the best medium is to make sure it is a list you can easily see and refer to, and something you will not ignore. There are numerous options that include lined pages, calendars, and tabs for sorting lists. The best way to find the right one for you is to make a list (see what we did there?) of the key things you want and then do a google search for those items. Or just use a plain notebook and design your own.  The two most important things to remember are that it must work for you and be one you will actually use.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress