Open post Four people dressed in business clothes walking quickly, some are checking mobile devices.Text: Too busy to look for a job? How to fit a jobsearch into your already too full schedule

How To Job Search With a Busy Schedule

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

How To Job Search With a Busy Schedule

Searching for a job can feel like a full-time job. It requires quite a bit of time and energy, which can feel exhausting even when you have ample amounts of time to dedicate to it. When you may be already overwhelmed by the demands of your current job and other life-related tasks, carving out the time to hunt for a new job can feel almost impossible. But it does not have to be that way for you. Keep reading to learn how to effectively work a job search into your busy schedule, so that you can continue to grow and evolve.

 

Prioritize

When you are job hunting, it is important to remember that not everything is urgent, even if it may feel that way. While some tasks are time-sensitive, like meeting application deadlines or scheduling interviews, other tasks can be worked into your schedule however you can fit them in. Prioritizing your tasks and remaining organized will help you free your mind and keep your schedule under control.

 

Be Active

If you are quite serious about finding a new job, you must pursue it actively. Casually browsing jobs or merely entertaining the idea of applying for a new job is rarely fruitful. Passive job searching is not as productive or efficient as an active search. Your determination here will be a great indicator of how strongly you feel about finding a new job.

 

Taking a more active approach to your job search can benefit you in two ways. First, it will help you feel more in control of the process. And second, it will help you figure out how serious you are. If you find that your heart is not in it, maybe take a break from the search and work on determining some personal goals, instead. This will make it easier for you to figure out where your path goes from here, and how to start drawing that map. But by giving your job search structure, you can avoid feeling as if the work you are putting in is aimless or fruitless. Using a planner to make a timeline for yourself or creating to-do lists will help keep you on track and will also help you to observe your progress. 

 

Take Breaks

It is imperative, regardless of what you are doing, to take breaks and time for yourself. Sure, you feel busier than you ever have, but you should never try to power through each day with minimal breaks. This will lead you to burnout and is not sustainable long-term. Although it might not seem like you have any room left in your schedule, finding time to take breaks is essential to your well-being. Build breaks into your schedule and spend them doing things that re-energize you, whether it is exercising, cooking, or talking to a loved one. No matter what you do, make sure that you are taking time for yourself. Doing so will drastically improve not only your job search stamina but your overall mental health. 

 

Take the Pressure Off 

You are only one human being. You only have a certain capacity, and a job search can take a great deal of it. Consider the work you are putting in at your current job; are you going above and beyond? If so, you may have room to dial it back a little. If you are serious about finding a new job, it is time to cut yourself some slack at your current job. 

This is not to say that you should shirk your responsibilities and risk bad references or strained relationships with your colleagues and managers. But it is a suitable time to reconsider your boundaries at work, maybe don’t answer work emails after hours, or avoid taking on that extra project. Maintaining appropriate boundaries at work is important regardless of whether you are looking for a new job or not. Dedicate some of your valuable time to setting boundaries to protect your valuable time.  

 

Use your PTO 

If you are having trouble balancing your job search with your daily life/work schedule, and you have paid time off available, consider using it. Taking advantage of your PTO is a perfect way to gain the time you need to really focus on looking for a job. If you have longer application tasks, like interviews, taking a day off work will help you to clear your mind of work responsibilities, and really put all your energy into your application process. 

 

Do Not Settle

A job search can feel exhausting, especially when you are also managing the demands of your current job and life, so when you receive an offer, it can be very tempting to take it. But it is crucial that the job you take is really the right choice for you and your life; otherwise, all your time and efforts have been for not. The job hunt takes time, and you will feel fatigued at points. Be kind to yourself and use those moments to check in with your commitment to this process – taking breaks when you need them. You are the decider and the only one who truly knows what is good for you. Do your best not to sell yourself short, the future “you” will thank you.

 

A job search feels incredibly daunting, but if you stick with it and are true to who you are, eventually, all your arduous work will pay off. You will find the company or path that is right for you – fostering your superpowers and discovering your people. Hang in there! And if you ever need help – we are standing by.

 

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Open post Zoomed in on the corner of lines drawn on a basketball court. Text: The Absolute Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries

The Absolute Importance of Healthy Boundaries

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

The Absolute Importance of Healthy Boundaries

Maintaining healthy boundaries is essential for your mental health, overall wellbeing, and avoiding burnout. Unclear or unenforced boundaries can often leave you feeling depleted, taken advantage of, or resentful. These feelings can be extremely harmful to your sense of self-worth and your relationships. Learning how to establish boundaries will ultimately protect your wellbeing. It will also help you to be happier and more successful, both at work and in your personal relationships.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are limits or guidelines on how others can behave towards you. They are set to protect your physical or emotional needs and sense of peace. Setting and maintaining boundaries can be challenging for some, but like any skill, it can be improved with some practice. Boundaries are different for everyone and will come in many different forms. Here are some common categories that they fall into:

Emotional

Maintaining emotional boundaries can be challenging but proves very important. Stating and standing up for your emotional needs can feel frightening, especially if it is not something you are used to doing. This just means you need to practice more until you get quite good at it. An example of setting an emotional boundary would be making expectations clear to a confidante. For example, “this is a vulnerable subject for me, and I would really appreciate it if itstayed between us”.

This makes your expectation of privacy very clear to those with whom you are sharing. And it provides the receiver with the opportunity to agree or disagree with the expectation. Additionally, a great way to show respect for the emotional boundaries of others would be to ask your confidante if they have the capacity to support your emotional needs at the moment, and to be understanding if they decline.

Time

You want to be helpful. It is customary and understandable – whether at home or at work. You often fill up your schedule because you may feel there is no good reason to say no. But what you will rarely hear is that you don’t need a good reason to say no; all you need is the desire. In order to be truly helpful to others, you need to be in a good place, which means you need to protect your time. Filling up your schedule to the point where you have no time for yourself or activities that energize you is how you become depleted. If you spread yourself too thin, your personal happiness will suffer.

It’s important to remember that your time is extremely valuable, and finite. You only have so much of it and need to spend it wisely. One example of protecting time boundaries would be to identify the things that make you a happy human. Then create a schedule that makes sure those needs are met. You need eight hours of sleep, to exercise, to eat, to spend quality time with people you love, to write or read or (insert your favorite thing to do here). You have needs, and you are the only one who will defend or enforce them – so build them into your schedule and make them unmovable. Once you have your list of non-negotiables, you’ll be able to determine how much time you have leftover to assist others with their needs.

Physical

Physical boundaries have to do with protecting your personal space, your privacy, or your body. It’s essential that you stand up for your needs with regards to your own personal space, and that you respect the needs of others. Requesting and maintaining your own personal space has never been more acceptable or understandable than it is currently. This could be used to your advantage.

The pandemic has gotten you out of hugging strangers and awkward high-fives, so with the bad comes some good. But you will still need to state any other physical boundaries that make you more comfortable. An example of asserting a physical boundary could be walking away from your workspace to grab some lunch, in order to clear your head or get some fresh air. It may also look like keeping your personal space organized in a way that helps you feel at ease.

What boundaries are not?

Boundaries are not selfish. Protecting your well-being is not selfish. Sometimes setting boundaries might mean declining to give help or your time to others, and this may, at first glance, seem selfish. However, ultimately, it’s exactly the opposite. To understand why, consider the oxygen mask principle. When you’re on a plane, they always advise you to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others, even if you are flying with small children. And why is this? Because if you don’t put on your own mask, you will run out of oxygen. Then you will be no help to anyone. The same idea applies: if you don’t look out for your own needs, your ability to function and realize your own happiness will suffer and you will be of no help to others.

How to start protecting your boundaries:

Start paying attention to your needs.

When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. But a little bit of self-reflection goes a long way. Your emotions are a very powerful indicator of what your needs are. When a situation causes you to feel a strong emotion, take note of it. You could be feeling upset that someone used a rude tone, stressed because you don’t have enough time to complete a project before a deadline, or happy that someone asked you before sharing an emotionally charged story. These emotions are all tools that help you understand what’s needed to support your own wellbeing.

Determine what your boundaries are.

Once you’ve gained a better understanding of what your needs are, you’ll be well-prepared to determine what boundaries you should implement in order to support these needs. You will likely know that a certain boundary is necessary when the idea of having that boundary provides you with relief. For example, if you’ve noticed that being pushed for time is causing you distress, this is a sign that you should implement some time boundaries. Maybe this means being more disciplined about staying on track, letting colleagues know that you won’t respond to work calls or emails after a certain time, or saying no to meetings or projects that are not essential.

Assert your boundaries.

This is arguably the most difficult component of setting boundaries. While it’s sometimes easier in the moment to just “let things go”, it’s much healthier, in the long run, to advocate for your needs. Being firm with your boundaries will ultimately have positive effects on your life and your relationships with others. For the best results, make sure that when you state your boundaries, you do so from a calm and grounded place. Additionally, make sure that you are direct. If you aren’t direct and firm in stating your boundaries, it will be difficult for people to understand what they are and whether you are serious.

Remember that being assertive and instituting boundaries does not mean that you are being rude or mean. As long as you are being respectful of others, you are well within your right to stand up for yourself. Advocating for yourself can be very difficult, especially if you’re not used to it. It may be helpful to start with smaller boundaries until you feel more confident. The more you start asserting your boundaries, the more comfortable it will become for you and those around you, allowing you the peace you deserve in your life.

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Open post Building Relational Capital Through Thank You Letters

Building Relational Capital Through Thank You Letters

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

The holidays are upon us. The end of the year is near, invoking reflection on the year that has passed and hopes for the year to come. We have survived the strangest of times over the last two years. Considering all we have lost, feeling grateful can feel like a struggle. But it is essential to acknowledge any silver linings, as this will help us move forward with hope and gratitude.

Hand-written thank you letters are a great way to let others know that something they have done has positively impacted you. And because it takes more effort than a text or phone call – the is amplifies its meaningfulness. In the not-so-distant past, this was customary and expected. However, with the evolution of communication technologies, we have moved away from this, with older generations still adhering to what was once considered the standard of etiquette.

There is something so special about a personalized, handwritten letter of thanks. Especially in these challenging times, the benefit is two-fold, to both the writer and the receiver. Whether it’s to express gratitude to your employees, show appreciation for a letter of recommendation, or say thanks to a family member or friend, a sincere thank-you note is always appreciated. Writing thoughtful thank-you letters is an important skill that will help you to foster relationships with employees, clients, family, and friends. No matter the purpose of your thank-you letter, there are specific components you should always include. The following instructions will have you well on your way to fostering deeper relationships, professionally and personally.

 Start With a Proper Greeting

The nature of the relationship will dictate how your letter should be started. When writing to someone with whom you have a close relationship, using their first name or a nickname would be entirely appropriate. With a business relation, especially one you do not know personally you would want to be more formal. Beginning with the proper salutation, such as, “Dear Jane” or “Dear Mr. Smith” has you off to a great start.

Tone

The tone of your letter should match the relationship you have with the receiver. Letters to other professionals should remain more formal, and letters to family or friends can convey a lighter and even humorous tone. Be cautious of using humor in letters to other professionals, especially people unknown to you, unless you are sure how it will be received. There is too much room for error here and creating offense is the opposite reaction you are going for. Getting the tone correct for the receiver may take a little effort, and editing. But ultimately it will result in your meaningful message being received as intended.

Be Specific

Make sure that the purpose of your letter is stated early on and that it is clear and concise. It may seem obvious, but make sure you include the words “thank you” and detail what you are thanking them for. This should be accomplished in the first few sentences, to ensure the person knows the purpose of your letter. This does not need to be a long, meandering message of accolades – a short and sweet note can be just as meaningful.

Make It Personal

If you can add a bit of detail, it will take your note to the next level. Give some specifics about what you are thanking them for and what their act or gift meant to you. Go into detail so the person understands what you appreciate and why. For example, if you are saying thank you to an employee, you could give examples of some of their recent exemplary work. After an interview, mention something that stood out as impressive or noteworthy. Maybe it is a connection with your interviewer or something about the company. When thanking family or friends, let them know just how much they mean to you and their effect on your life. Often these things go unsaid because it is assumed that they are known, but reiterating is always helpful for everyone.

The Ending

When coming to the end of your thank you letter, state your thanks again, and make sure to sign off with an appropriate closing. These will differ based on your relationship with the person you are writing to. An email is undoubtedly an acceptable delivery method, but please don’t discount the value a handwritten letter offers the receiver. You may find it easier to acquire a physical address of someone that you are not personally familiar with than to find their email address. And this will be to your benefit, as it will provide much more impact. You are pretty much guaranteed that the person will receive it.

We are all connected so intricately, which has never been more apparent, but strangely, at the same time feel so disconnected. Maintaining and fostering our professional and personal relationships will help us feel more connected to the communities we've been missing. The relational capital lost through the last couple of years will take time and effort to re-build. This is certainly one tiny effort that you can make towards that goal. We may not get back to the normal we once knew, but it does not mean that all is lost. We can have a hand in determining our new normal.

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Open post A collection of matches lined up in rows, with one of them burnt out. Text: How to Avoid Mid-Career Burnout

How to Deal With Mid-Career Burnout

How to Avoid Mid-career Burnout_cover

Career burnout is a genuine phenomenon, with nearly two-thirds of full-time workers having experienced it at one time or another. Rates of burnout are particularly high when people are in the middle of their careers.

Professionals who were once energized by their jobs can start to feel drained and diminished by them. You deserve to have a career that inspires you, challenges you, is meaningful, and aligns with your values, but doesn’t take more from you than it gives back.

So, what measures can you take to avoid mid-career burnout?

Make sure your job serves you well

Choosing a position that will allow you to achieve your desired lifestyle is an incredibly important proactive action that will help you avoid mid-career burnout. Check-in with yourself:

  • What is essential for you in a job or career long-term?
  • What kinds of stressors you can handle and not handle?
  • What volume of work are you willing to take on?

Look for work that excites you and that you find meaningful. Also, consider how much autonomy a position will offer you. When researching, look for employers that are taking actions to increase employee satisfaction.

 

What burnout looks like

It’s normal to feel tired or overwhelmed from time to time, but if these states are dominating your life, it may mean that you’re reaching your limit. Burnout looks slightly different for everyone.

Burnt-out individuals may become apathetic about the outcomes of their work and have trouble focusing. They may feel constantly stressed, fatigued, or uncharacteristically bothered by small annoyances. They might notice that their performance is slipping.

If you notice some of these signs in yourself, it might be time to take action.

 

How to Avoid Mid-career Burnout

What can you do about it?

Be mindful of how you spend your free time

The activities you do outside of work have the power to either exacerbate or appease burnout. Some unhealthy habits may actually be contributing to your burnout more than you realize.

For example, you might think that mindlessly scrolling through social media is helping you decompress, when it’s actually eating up more time than you’re aware of and worsening your anxiety.

Spending time exercising, learning a new hobby, or with friends and family can be very rewarding and beneficial for your mental state.

That being said, it’s your time, and you can spend it, however, the heck you want to! Do what brings you the most delight and fulfillment. Regardless of which activities you prefer it’s critical that you’re active, rather than passive, in deciding what to do with your time.

Set boundaries

While it’s admirable to be responsible and to go above and beyond at your job, it’s important to notice when you may be taking on more than you can handle.  Being available for work 24/7 is very taxing, and if you take on too much it’s only a matter of time before your performance and your mental health start to suffer.

If you were the last person to take the lead on the last three projects, and you’re feeling exhausted, maybe it’s time to let someone else take charge this time. You may wish to have a conversation with your employer or your co-workers to clarify when they can expect you to be online, and when you are on your own time.

Ask for support

Mid-career burnout can be extremely frustrating and upsetting but know that you are not stuck and you don’t have to go through it alone.

Talk to a therapist, or ask for advice from friends who may have had similar experiences. It may also be helpful to express your feelings to your boss and explore ways that you can be challenged or supported in your position.

After all, employee dissatisfaction is not only harmful to the employee, but to the company as well. It is in everyone’s best interest that they hear out your concerns and help you make the changes that you need to.

Add joy to your workday

Whether it’s listening to your favorite playlist while you work, treating yourself to a delicious lunch, or focusing on the parts of your job that you find the most enjoyable, a little joy can go a long way in combatting burnout.

Consider a job change

If you’ve done everything you can and you still feel deeply unsatisfied with your current position, consider your options, and what it might look like to change jobs, or even shift your career direction.

If you decide that changing paths is what’s best, get specific about what you like and dislike about your current job. Use your findings to propel your job search and find a position that better aligns with your goals, strengths, and values.

 

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Open post Image for Upskilling and Reskilling Article, image of library

Upskilling and Reskilling: The Secret to Staying Ahead of the Competition in Hiring and Brand Reputation

Image for Upskilling and Reskilling Article, image of library

More than half – 56 percent – of organizations believe they have a moderate to severe skills gap today, and 60 percent of employees believe that, to some extent, their current skill set will become outdated in the next three to five years. A commitment to Upskilling and Reskilling employees is quickly becoming the best path to overcoming skills gaps.

What is Upskilling and Reskilling?

Upskilling is learning new skills to optimize performance. Organizations upskill their employees to help them gain new skills and experience to stay relevant or move into a higher position. Whereas reskilling helps employees learn new skills to take up a new role within the same organization. Reskilling is more focused on training employees for a new position.

Benefits of Upskilling or Reskilling

Stay Competitive and Improve Employee Retention

Employees want learning and development opportunities to help them stay relevant in their role as well as position them for advancement. Providing a pathway for skills development motivates employees. Making them feel valued and supported, increasing their likelihood to stay with your organization long term. Upskilling and reskilling team members also helps keep companies competitive and shows that they are motivated to invest in the professional development of their employees.

Improve Morale and Productivity

Training and development opportunities help employees move forward on their career path and helps them envision their future with the organization, improving morale. Across teams, efficiency and productivity is improved, paving the way for increased satisfaction and strengthening your company’s competitive edge.

Attracts Great Talent

As word of your commitment to upskilling and reskilling spreads, your reputation in the eyes of your employees and the wider talent market improves. 91% of the millennials indicated that they preferred career development to any other benefit when choosing to join a company. By offering the right mix of upskill and reskill opportunities, employees who are motivated to keep learning and growing are motivated to stay and great talent with a similar mindset is encouraged to join.

Reduces Hiring Costs

Hiring is costly, from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. A measurable advantage of upskilling and reskilling is that it reduces hiring efforts to search for a specialist in a field. It is a much smaller investment compared to the cost of the recruitment process for hiring a new employee.

Upskilling and reskilling can help your company secure the right people with the right skills that you need to compete today while providing flexibility to arm team members with the necessary skills needed in the future. This attention reduces the need to look outside for talent with specific skillsets, saving time and hiring costs and allows for continuity among team members when it comes to proprietary company knowledge that would have otherwise walked right out the door.

How to Upskill and Reskill Employees?

Online Courses/Webinars

Remote learning is the most popular way to upskill and reskill during the current times when most employees are working from home. Online courses can be free or paid, and most of them provide a certificate at the end of the course. Investing in online classes allows you to upskill employees regardless of their location and time zone.

Classroom Training

Organizations can also upskill employees in a traditional classroom setting. They can hire trainers or institutes to share ideas and teach new skills and software to their employees. However, with the project deadlines, work commitments, and remote working, it becomes less feasible to attend scheduled training on the allocated day, time, and location.

Mentors

Mentorship programs within the organization are another great way to upskill employees. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from different areas can pair with employees to share new skills. This helps companies to leverage their existing talent to meet future requirements. Mentorship programs come in various forms and can be customized based on the upskilling or reskilling needs.

Pioneer companies are aware of the changing technological demands of the workplace. Last year, Amazon announced it would be dedicating $700 million to provide 100,000 employees access to upskilling training programs. In comparison, salesforce pledged to train 500,000 Americans with the skills they need to earn Salesforce credentials. Analyzing what skills are missing across the organization and upskilling or reskilling employees based on those skills will help create a growth-focused culture and continuous learning.

 

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