Grow Your Business. Grow Your Career.

Career Change Mistakes

Deciding to change careers can be both exciting and scary, however there are a few mistakes people make when considering a career change that doesn’t serve them in the long run. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid…

Leaving Due to Your Manager
If the sole reason for wanting a new role is because you are unhappy with your current manager or the work environment, it’s important to dig a bit deeper. There are no guarantees you’ll love a new boss or work environment (and even if you do at first, roles change and a new boss you’re less fond of may take charge later on). If this is the situation you find yourself in, we recommend writing a pros and cons list of your current job. Write down all of the things you do (the pros) and do not (the cons) like about your job and if the cons list is still much longer than the pros, then it may indeed be time to find a new role. However, if disliking your manager is the main negative, then perhaps it’s not time to leave your role; instead, you may need to brainstorm how to make your work environment more enjoyable and only consider leaving for a new role if it truly is something you can no longer tolerate.

Leaving Only for Better Pay
One of the top reasons people look for new roles is for a salary bump. While a higher paying job is alluring, don’t let it be the only deciding factor for wanting a new job. Sometimes people make changes for a short-term gain and don’t think about the long-term consequences. It’s easy to picture a new job through rose colored glasses and not be realistic about the challenges you would face in this new position. Higher salaries often come with higher stress levels, longer hours, and even less vacation time, and for some, the pay off might not be worth it. Think about what is truly important for your happiness and if the potential salary increase is really worth leaving your current situation.

Finally… Don’t Leave without a Plan
If you have evaluated the situation rationally, and decided that a new role is for you, it’s important to have an action plan to help get you there. Don’t put in your notice without a plan (and job) in place. Instead, while still at your current role, start looking on the weekends at job openings, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, and connect with a recruiter to discuss viable options. Create a plan with actionable steps to help you land a new role and have everything in place before giving your current employer your two-week notice.

Career Change Mistakes

Dealing with COVID-19 Burnout

It’s been almost a year since the world has been in and out of lockdowns due to COVID-19 and everyone has experienced stress, to one degree or another, due to the pandemic. For many, work has changed; either with a layoff related to the pandemic and having to find a new job, or a change of their physical space and are now working remotely from home. The distraction of family members while working remotely, as well as the constant need to feel logged-on, has only exacerbated employee’s stress levels. Needless to say, it’s been a long year, and we still don’t know how much longer life (with some lockdown restrictions) will continue like this. All of this has led many feeling burnt out, or “over it”. If you’re wondering what exactly work burnout is, and what you can do about it, then read below for our take and suggestions…

What is burnout?

Harvard Business Review recently published an article in which they define burnout as “a syndrome of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy”. They go on to say, “If someone is experiencing high rates of all three of these at work, that indicates they are burned out, while low rates of all three indicate they are engaged.” If this past year has left you feeling more overwhelmed and unable to handle the demands of work, it may very well be burnout.  When stresses get built up and exasperated, burnout can occur and even if we can still function, we may not be functioning as optimally as we used to.

Ways to personally prevent and deal with burnout

Staying on top of your emotional and physical self-care can help you from reaching the point of feeling burnt out. If you are working around the clock and neglecting yourself and your physical and emotional needs, burning the candle at both ends so to speak, it won’t be long until you experience burnout. Here are some tips to prevent you from reaching that points

If you’re working from home, it’s important to set clear and defined hours to your day and truly shut off at night. Have a ritual in place that marks the separation between your professional life and personal life. Maybe that’s a walk, a meditation, a bath, etc. Find what works for you.

Be open with your manager if you feel your workload is unrealistic and unattainable and discuss a strategy so you can complete your best work without having to put in a lot of overtime.

Be sure not to neglect your physical needs and make sure to set aside time to exercise, eat right, and have practices in place for stress relief.

Ways managers can prevent their teams from feeling burnout

If you’re a manager wondering what you can do to help your team during this time, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The simple act of acknowledging your employee’s work and appreciating their efforts can go a long way. At a time when many are still concerned with their job security, be open with your team about the future of the business and their roles. In the above-mentioned Harvard Business Review article they discuss the importance of honesty in the workplace between leaders and employees. Having open communication “in addition to reducing ambiguity and confusion, this conveys respect and support: ‘We care about you, and we need everybody’s help to get through this successfully.’ That sense of fairness, values, and social inclusion will go a long way toward preventing cynicism and inefficacy.”

Dealing with COVID-19 Burnout

Networking During a Pandemic

Networking looks a lot different now than it did over a year ago and some of the tactics you previously used no longer are relevant. And yet, one of the most critical tools to help people further along their career is networking. So how can you effectively and safely do that in today’s environment? Below we’ll give you some suggestions…

Moving from In-person to Digital
While face-to-face networking is currently on hold, many are switching to phone calls or videocalls. If you have an option, we recommend choosing the latter where you can see who you are talking to. This will make it feel more personal and easier to establish a connection. On the same note, if you will be having a zoom or skype meeting, always get your environment ready and test the connection beforehand. Our tips on remote interviewing can be a helpful resource to get you ready.

Rethink Your Icebreaker
At a time when many are struggling, it would be a good idea to rethink your usual greeting or icebreaker. Instead of something casual like, “How are you? Hope things are well!”, get more personal. It doesn’t have to be complicated but when in doubt practice human kindness and be authentic in your greeting. Perhaps you can ask how they are holding up, and then share a bit of how you’re fairing and changes you’ve been through this last year. If it’s a stranger, obviously don’t overshare, but during this challenging time it is important to be compassionate and sincere.

Embrace Social Media
With our lives being more digitally focused than ever before, it’s important to embrace the advantages of social media and use it to help further your career and build your network. If you previously only used LinkedIn occasionally, begin posting fresh content across all your social media platforms. Post links to interesting and helpful articles or funny (work related and appropriate) content. Posting more frequently will keep you top-of-mind with your network and ideally help expand your reach.

Networking During a Pandemic

Sensory Focused Tips for Remote Workers

It may sound strange, but engaging your senses can make you a more involved and proficient worker. For the many people currently working remotely, it can be harder to stay focused and connected, especially when your days involve a lot of Zoom meetings with your coworkers vs. in-person. One remedy for this? To engage your senses while you work. Your main senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell have a profound impact on how you feel and perceive the world. Below we’ll cover how to engage these main senses while you work to make you feel more connected, productive, and happier.

It’s ideal if you are able to work in a room with plenty of windows and natural light. Studies have found that people that work in a room with natural light have improved mood and are overall more productive. Speaking of sight, when on video calls, be mindful of your background and make sure to have a clean or blank space behind you so your co-workers are not unnecessarily distracted. Not only should you try and make your physical workspace more enjoyable and organized, but think about how others will perceive the space behind you while you’re on camera.

Whether you’re on the phone or a video conference, high quality audio is essential. While the occasional background noise is to be expected while working remotely, constant disruptive noises are distracting and make it almost impossible for others to concentrate. On calls when you’re not speaking keep yourself muted; also consider investing in noise canceling headphones if numerous calls are a daily aspect of your day.

During virtual meetings or calls, it can be helpful to have a fidget toy nearby to keep your hands busy. You’ll be less tempted to check emails or multitask so you’re able to fully focus on the conversation.

Before sitting down to work for the day, grab a large water bottle or glass carafe so water is right there at hand (not to mention having it so close will be a visual reminder to help you drink more). Also, while it can be easy to get too busy and distracted during the day, it’s important not to neglect your physical needs. Have easy to grab snacks at home and eat balanced meals throughout the day (even schedule it into your calendar if you need to).

Our sense of smell is tied to the emotional and memory center of the brain and can be considered one of the most important senses. Certain scents like rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint can help increase your productivity and attention span. Play around with what scents you like best. You can either use candles, aromatherapy diffusers, or other scent delivery systems. Here’s an article that goes into different scents and the impact they can have on your work.

Sensory Focused Tips for Remote Workers