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3 Signs You Are Burned Out at Work

April 16, 2019

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Feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired? There’s a difference between being really busy and being burnt out. But what are those differences? There are a few tell-tale signs that you may be suffering from burnout.

  1. Your self-care has taken a back seat. Not drinking enough water? Skipping the last few weeks of gym time? Not sleeping well? These unhealthy habits may lead to other issues like muscle strain, headaches, or back pain. You may feel exhausted physically but also emotionally.
  2. You’re completely unmotivated. If you can’t get excited about the things at work that used to excite you, it could be a sign of burnout. You may feel unsatisfied or depleted instead of the thrill that usually follows a big accomplishment.
  3. You’re not performing up to your usual standard. If you’re missing deadlines, skipping meetings, or prone to errors as of late, it could be because you’re lack of motivation is negatively impacting your quality of work.

The signs of burnout will be different from everyone. The important thing is that you recognize your burnout and give yourself a much-needed break. Your productivity and your attitude will suffer if you don’t. Take a much needed vacation–even a day off mid-week can help–or set up a meeting with your boss to discuss your workload. Also, don’t be afraid to delegate or ask for help.

 

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Are You a Workplace Bully?

April 11, 2019

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Bullying isn’t just for the halls of your former high school. Adults suffer from it too, and even in the workplace. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace and that abusive conduct affects 60.4 million of them.

Workplace bullying is defined as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees.” The abusive conduct could include: “threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse.” This conduct creates a power imbalance which can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical well-being as well as their work productivity and career success.

Who’s doing this bullying? Sixty percent are bosses while more than 30 percent are coworkers. The rest are people who may have a more entry-level position but bully those who work in positions above them on the corporate ladder. So, sadly, bullying can happen at any stage of your career.

Here is some behaviors that could be considered bullying at work:

  • yelling
  • aggressive body language
  • rudeness
  • talking about someone negatively behind their back
  • sarcasm
  • constant criticism
  • intimidating behaviors
  • teasing or name calling
  • threatening
  • publicly reprimanding someone when it’s not needed
  • leaving someone off a meeting invite or email on purpose

Read more about workplace bullying in Psychology Today.

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The Have-to-dos, the Should dos, and the Want-to-dos

April 9, 2019

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed it all comes down to one thing: what are you prioritizing? Your to-do list is probably never-ending. So how do you cut through it and tackle it in a way that makes the most sense? Start by assessing what you have to do, what you should do, and want you want to do.

  1. The Have To Dos: These are the things that you know must get done–no ifs, ands, or buts. The important things that have a pending deadline, the items that will really make an important difference in your week (like grocery shopping–hey, you need to eat!), things that other people are depending on you for, and the goals that are most important to you. That could be working out or spending more time with your family.
  2. The Want to Dos: These are the things you do when you go into auto pilot. The habits you have that have become part of your routine. But really assess what you are doing with your time. You may find yourself saying often, “I don’t have enough time.” And yet you never miss an episode of The Bachelor. It’s something you want to do but is it something you should do? Watching television (or scrolling through your phone on social media) is the perfect example of something you can cut back on in your life to make room for more long-term goals. Screen time is a precious block of time that could be spent cooking a healthy meal, spending quality time with your family, working out, or whatever other goal you’re trying to attain.  
  3. The Should Dos: Exercise. Healthy eating. Family and friend time. Waking up earlier. Those are just a few examples of some of the things you know you should do but maybe choose to push to the side anyway. Identify the most important “should dos” and make them a “have-to-do.” Then you’ll spend less brain power trying to prioritize your life. Just make it a non-negotiable and schedule it into your day.

How else do you deal with overwhelm? Comment below!

Image via john.schultz/flickr. 

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Putting Your Life on “Auto Pilot”

April 4, 2019

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Decisions, decisions, decisions! Do you ever dream about not making a single decision for an entire day? Even an hour would be nice! One way to tame the overwhelm is to put a few parts of your day on auto pilot, cruise control, or whatever you want to call it. By automating your day or making certain things become a habit, you’ll use less mental energy and may even become more productive.

To do this, you’ll need to set a few rules. But first, pinpoint the few things that really interrupt your workflow and really stress you out. Then assess your true feelings on the subject. For example, I want to work out every day but I feel like I have too much work to do so I usually skip the workout. And then  feel guilty. Your true thoughts on working out may be, I need to work out at least three days a week to be happy and healthy. Now set a rule: On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, no matter what, I will workout for 30 minutes over my lunch break.

Here are some other daily decisions that you can turn on auto-pilot:

  • when should you check email and when emails justify a response from you?
  • when should you stop working and head home?
  • what should you have for lunch?
  • when you should turn down a project or say no?
  • which meetings should you attend?

The next time this decision-making process cuts into your workday, you’ll be able to turn to your new rule and take a step forward instead of stalling. Before long, it will become habit and–there you go–autopilot. One less decision to make in your day. How else do you go on “autopilot?” Comment below!

Image via Mark Doliner/Flickr.  

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Do You Have a “Sponsor” at Work?

April 2, 2019

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We’ve touted the benefits of mentors over and over again. They provide excellent advice and guidance as you navigate your career path and find your way. So what’s a sponsor? In a recent Forbes article titled, Get a Sponsor, Not a Mentor: 3 Ways to Skyrocket Your Career, writer Avery Blank breaks down what this means and why you need it.

A sponsor is an advocate. Someone who will spread the word about what a great employee you are. About how reliable you are and what great work you do. It’s the kind of person who will recommend you, write a LinkedIn endorsement for you, and sing your praises in front of other people. Sounds pretty nice, right?

But how do you get such a glowing review from your peers? Well, do great work! Be a reliable person. Go above and beyond. Be consistent. Be optimistic. Meet deadlines. Also, don’t be quiet–sing your own praises and the praises of others. Your peers need to know about your achievements. They’ll be more likely to pat you on the back if you’ve done the same for them.

Read the full article over on Forbes.

Image via Marcin Wichary/Flickr. 

 

 

 

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What’s an Executive Coach?

March 28, 2019

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You’ve likely heard of a career coach: someone who can assist you in the job search, building your resume, changing your career, finding your path, and identifying your strengths. Career coaches may be for those who are looking to find their way toward a dream job or onto a balanced path that makes them happy at home and at work. So what is an executive coach for?

For those who have already hit their stride and have found success in their position, an executive coach may seem redundant. What else can they possibly help you with? Well, a lot! Like a career coach does for job seekers, an executive coach can help you identify your strengths and how that makes you unique in the workplace–and how to best utilize those strengths to keep rising to the top.

Beyond having a better vision of yourself, an executive coach can also help you see others around you more clearly. They can guide how you in how to better manage, listen, inspire, and work well with others–both those who you manage, those who you report to, and those you work alongside. It’s no secret that building these relationships can make a huge positive difference in your career success.

Any kind of coaching is a great investment in your career. It’s worth considering for those who really want to take their success to the next level. Read more about executive coaches at Forbes.

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Make-it-Happen Mondays

March 26, 2019

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What’s your Monday style? If you’re like many people who get the Sunday Scaries and dread getting back to the grind, you may start your workweek off slow. Perhaps you ease into your morning, examine your to-do list with a hot cup of coffee, and begrudgingly plan how you’re going to tackle the next few days. But what if you hit the ground running every Monday over and over and over again?

It may be a tough pill to swallow, but super-productive Mondays can make a huge difference in your work week. You won’t have to spend the end of the week playing catch up. You’ll get a step ahead on your deadlines, perhaps even meeting them early. You may even boost your mood and confidence in a way that flows into Tuesday and beyond.

You’ll also get into the good habit of dedicating the last hour on Friday (or Sunday night) to scheduling your following week in the most productive way. If you’re looking for more motivation as to why this needs to happen, think of it this way: if your Monday is already mapped out, you won’t even have to think that hard. You’ll just see a to-do list in front of you and start tackling it, no planning, debating, or prioritizing required. In a way, it takes less brain power!

How do you start your workweek?

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Don’t Forget to Prepare This Before Your Next Interview

March 7, 2019

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Your interview prep probably looks like this: research the organization then drill a bunch of common interview questions. Right? But here’s one thing that you absolutely have to prepare. It must be rock solid. What is it? Your story.

Your career chronology is important. Form a narrative around it. How did you get here? What inspired you? Why did you make that jump? How did you climb the ranks? What are those holes? How did you make change? What was your biggest achievement? Where would you like to go next? Paint a picture with examples, details, numbers, references, and more.

Regardless of what your story is, make it consistent and clear and purposeful. This is your chance to show how you’ve progressed throughout your career, what your interests are fueling your career, and what your goals are. This kind of direction and purpose will further define you as a quality candidate for hire.

Image via Matthias_M./Flickr.

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The Best Interview Practice: A Mock Interview

March 5, 2019

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College campuses around the country hold mock interviews for soon-to-be-graduates. Students sign up for a slot of time with a representative from a local employer or a university employee. They ask typical interview questions and provide feedback on answers, resumes, and cover letters.

If you’re currently enrolled as a student, this advice is easy: don’t miss the next mock interview session! But if you’re long past your college days, don’t fret. It’s easy to stage a mock interview. Recruit a friend, partner, colleague, or mentor who’s advice and career path you admire. If they’re familiar with your field and the position you’re going for–great. But if not, that’s ok. Many of the interview questions you need to practice are universal.

The most crucial part of interview prep is speaking your answers out loud, and thinking fast and clearly on your feet. Your mind has to be able to hop from one subject to another while crafting answers that shine the best light on you. This is why a mock interview is by far the best way to land your next opportunity.

Set up a 30-minute block of time–20 minutes for questions and 10 minutes for feedback. Afterward, practice the questions which you stumbled upon the first time. Then schedule a follow-up a few days later. Repeat the mock interview and see if you’ve improved.

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Common Interview Questions: How Much Research Should I Do?

February 28, 2019

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Question: I landed an interview at a company that I’m excited about. The interview process is moving really fast so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to do a deep dive into the company or the position. How much am I really expected to know about the company during my interview? How much time do I really need to spend researching?

Answer: This probably isn’t the answer you want to hear, but the more research you do the better! Think of all the things that could go wrong if you don’t do your research: You could show up to a laid back start up in a suit and tie. You could mention a product or service that recently got a lot of flack in the news. In the worst case you could offend someone terribly.

There are many reasons why researching a company’s history, mission, products, and recent headlines are helpful. You have a much better chance of landing the position if you fit in with the company’s culture and the company’s needs, and you have an understanding of the industry. The only way you’ll really understand these things is if you do your research. If you can chat with other employees before hand, even better. See if you’re connected with anyone on LinkedIn or if someone in your network can put you in touch with a friend of a friend.

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