How Interning Abroad Will Make You a Better Employee

Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you discover yourself. There is just something about discovering new things that wakes up a part of you, you didn’t even know existed. Being away from what you know also has the power to make you a better employee. Here are the reasons why.

1. It develops your sense of curiosity

While working in another country, your mind opens up to so many things. You become hungry for learning more and discovering. This attribute alone is enough to make you a better employee. When you are curious, you want to know your environment and the people around you.

2. Helps you develop your language proficiency

Often times, people tend to overlook the importance of communication. Interning abroad forces one to learn a completely new language or learn a new set of vocabulary from a language they are not too familiar with. This is a great plus for your resume!

3. Global networking

Networking opens many doors no matter where you are but global networking might give you access to even more opportunities. Having exchanges with people who have a different sense of business than you do, will expose you to many great partnerships that will greatly benefit you in the long run. In the age of globalization, it is crucial that our contacts go beyond our national borders.

4. Alter perspectives

Seeing and doing things the same way can hinder your growth. In order to truly evolve, you need to constantly adapt to the changing market needs. Interning abroad will help you do so by allowing you to have different perspectives. Studying other markets has the power to make you add the perfect twist to your already existing product/service.

5. Different experiences

The experience you get from interning abroad cannot even compare to the one you get here, in the United States. Living in a foreign city has a way of enhancing your creativity and develop better ideas. Internship abroad will also give you a greater sense of purpose. You will discover new passions and have a clearer idea of what you really want to do. The thing about routine is that it limits our vision and sense of curiosity and discovery.

Related: 

5 Ways traveling will make you a better entrepreneur

6. Traveling

Traveling, in general, is a life changing experience. It opens your eyes to many opportunities and helps you discover yourself. Remember that, when you become a better version of yourself, you can also reach your highest potential at work and in your entrepreneurial life.

Cease opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things.

Search opportunities abroad today with Short Stints!

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Easy Ways to Get Along With Your Coworkers

In the workplace, conflict can sometimes be inevitable. However, conflict is not to be encourage if you want to keep a healthy work environment. It creates tension, decreases productivity, brings distraction, and overall has a negative impact on the office. As an employee, not getting along with your colleague will dramatically affects your performance. This is why it is best to do everything in your power to get along with all of them as much as you can. Here are some tips that will help you create a work atmosphere that both you and your colleagues will benefit from.

1. Respect Them

Respect your coworkers implies respecting their personalities, personal space, and avoiding doing things that they might find offensive. You can show them your respect by valuing their abilities, giving them the credit they deserve for their work, and by being careful with what you say to them. Remember that the tongue is a small fire that can burn a whole forest. Avoid saying things that could attack their race, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance, any disabilities, etc..

2. Avoid Gossiping

In the office, gossiping is often inevitable. Do your best to avoid partaking in any conversation that will lead you to talk behind your coworker’s back. The key is to ignore everything that isn’t helpful.

3. Have Lunch With Them

Coworkers usually find it offensive when another colleague never takes the time to have lunch with them. Even though you might be busy and have a heavy workload, always do your best to find some time to have lunch with them. Lunch breaks are a great bonding opportunity.

4. Never Forget your “Hello”s and “Goodbye”s

Just something simple as saying “good morning” when you step into the office and “goodbye” when you leave can make your relationship with your coworkers much easier.

Being in harmony with your team is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy work environment. Make sure you do your part. Learn more tips today on Short Stints!

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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The Thin Lines Between a Professional Relationship and Sexual Harassment

 

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never an easy thing to deal with.  Being harassed in the office is a basic workplace rights’ issue and it occurs way more often than we are aware of. Just like any problem, in order to fix it, it is important to know how to identify it. Here are 6 signs that will help you detect sexual harassment in the workplace.

1. Comments About Your Physical Appearance

If your boss or colleague keeps making comments about your physical features, that make you uncomfortable, it is a sign of sexual harassment. The thing about harassment is that we spend too much time wondering if we are overthinking it instead of acting upon it. If a comment makes you feel weird, for example, “I love your shape in that skirt” or ” you must be a pretty good kisser”, it is important to talk to your HR department about it before things get out of control.

2. Often Asking You to Stay Very Late to Work on Something

Do not get me wrong, having your boss or colleague asking you to stay late to finish your work does not necessarily means that you are a victim of sexual harassment. It is totally normal to have to stay late to meet deadlines. However, if you are often asked to do so even when it is not necessary, if they make sure there is no one around and try to keep you as late as possible, then there is probably something fishy. If this happens, avoid accepting to stay late, talk to your HR department, and seek help and guidance.

3. Sending You Sexually Graphic Pictures

Sending pictures of personal body parts or pornographic contents is a big red flag. Show it to someone in your HR department as soon as you receive it. The sooner you react, the better it will be.

4. Touching You Every Chance They Get

Ever noticed how a slight arm touching can feel incredibly uncomfortable? Sexual harassment often starts with small signs: that coworker is always making sure his/her hand touches yours, that supervisor who needs to put his arm around you to show you something on the computer, or even the one making “games”, like playing with your hair. There are many signs to pay attention to. Do not stay silent!

5. Discrimination/Verbal Attacks

While this might seem very controversial, many sexual harassment start with a certain hostility. Beware if that person keeps making inappropriate jokes either about your ethnicity, religion, etc.. Sometimes, this is exactly how it starts.

6. They Always Give You a Stare Down

Many victims of sexual harassment have recorded having been started at in awkward ways. If you don’t like the way someone in the office is constantly staring at you, do not hesitate to let them know. If the problem persists, take it to the professionals.

If you feel like you are a victim of sexual harassment, confront it directly. Never hesitate to boldly tell the person harassing you they are crossing a line and have you feeling uncomfortable. Make sure you document the harassment so that you have specific proof of what you are accusing them of. Take notes and even use a camera if you have to. Do not take too long before approaching your HR department about the issue. The longer you wait the harder it will be to put light on the situation. Most importantly, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell your story. While being sexually harassed is not a pleasant situation, it is important that you speak out in order to fix the situation as quickly as possible.

 

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Debating if You Should Resign or Not

 

 

 

 

 

Quitting your job is rarely an easy decision. There are so many questions and doubts that come along with the simple idea of leaving your position. Sometimes, leaving your job will be the best decision but there are a few questions you need to ask yourself in order to make sure that it is the right choice and the right timing.

1. “Why do I Want to Leave My Job?”

Taking the time to analyze your “why” will give you a clearer perspective. While you might feel tired of your current job, asking yourself why you want to leave it will make you answer deeper questions. You might realize that you are simply making a decision based on your personal frustration. Realizing this will encourage you to slow down and reevaluate. Keep in mind that asking yourself “why” could, in fact, reveal that this is the best decision for you but it is important to take the time to really think things through.

2. “What Am I Looking For?”

The desire to change your job sometimes comes a deep longing for something more. It is important to take the time to identify what you are looking for; it could be a sense of purpose, a desire to help people more, the need to put your gifts and talents to use, and so on. Taking the time to simply discuss this with your manager can turn out to be more fruitful than you think. Do not be afraid to share your concerns and needs. If they truly want to keep you around they will do whatver is in their power to listen to your concerns and provide the necessary changes.

3. “Have I Learned Everything I Needed to Learn?”

Each experience teaches you things that will be useful for your carreer in the long run. Do not despise the days of small beginnings by rushing to next big thing. Ask yourself if you have taken the time to process the experiences that your current job offered you. Ask yourself if you have mastered whatever you needed to master. Truth is, your future employer will expect you to master the skills listed on your resume. Make sure you are telling the truth

4. ” Do I Have Enough Guidance?”

Having a mentor helping you with these difficult decisions can make a world of difference, especially if they are more experienced. They will help you ask yourself the right questions and counsel you in the right direction. It is dangerous not to have any sense of direction so make sure you have guidance.

5. “Have I Made Enough Research?”

Failing to plan can make your transition process even harder. Make sure you have searched for other positions after answering all of the questions above, you will be more prepared to search wisely for your next job. This will help you feel more secure.

The key to success is preparation. If you feel unfilled and unsatisfied about your current job, quitting might not be a bad thing. Just make sure you are equipped and prepared to move onto a different job.

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Fun Bonding Activities for Your Employees

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not only important to get employees to do the work. It is also important that you, as an employer/manager, make sure to create an environment that will help make your employees feel more integrated like they are part of the company.

The benefits of doing so will result in:

Here are some fun activities that will help you break the ice between you and your employees, create some novelty and a great environment.

1. Card Games

Card games are a great way to bring people together. They are a great distraction from the routine and will help your employees create stronger bonds. It will force them to have a team spirit, which can even have a positive impact on the way they work together. It could be a good idea to set up a play room for these types of activities.

2. Sport Tournaments

If you can’t install a basketball hoop in the parking lot, make sure you organize sports tournaments about twice a year. It could be outside of the office as long as it gives your employees the freedom to be themselves and partake in a fun activity with their colleagues.

A few ideas: Bootcamp, soccer, flag football, races, ect..

3. Plan Meetings Outside of the Office

It might not be easy especially if you’ve been doing it a certain way for a long time, but meetings inside of the office really have the power to drain and demotivate your employees. Something as simple as changing up the atmosphere can make a huge difference. Some places you could consider to have your meetings could be a restaurant or even an outdoor space at the company. Provide some healthy refreshments to keep their energy level up, put on some low background music, and make it fun!

4. Have Themed Parties

Instead of the old boring regular holiday parties, twist it up with a theme. For Christmas for example, you could ask your employees to show in Christmas hats, deer horns, or even the Grinch (we all have that one employee). This will make it more fun for some employees to show up and make the atmosphere a little lighter.

5. Create a Fun Wall

You can create a wall where employees have the freedom to post pictures and write notes and little messages. As simple as this might seem, it has a great power to bring some positivity in your work place.

6. Have Pizza Day

It doesn’t need to be pizza but choose a day every month where you order some kind of comfort food for your staff. It can even be some coffee and donuts in the morning. Make sure no one forgets about this special event by sending out reminders via email.

7. Have a Happy Hour

You could organize a Happy Hour in the playroom every first or last Thursday of the month. Instead of rushing out of the office on that day, employees will know they will know that they have a fun activity waiting for them right here in the office.

8. Decorate Properly

Sometimes, all it takes is a fun atmosphere to make your employees feel more alive. Consider adding some colors, quotes on the wall, encourage your employees to familiarize their cubicles by putting pictures or their kid’s drawings, have some candles or balloons, or whatever your creativity inspires you to do.

When it comes to the work environment, think outside of the box. Your employees will thank you later.

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Things a Boss Should Never Say to his Employees

As a business owner or manager, conflict and stress are inevitable. There will be times where all you want to do is scream and fire your employees. No matter how tempting this may be at times, it is crucial to buckle down all inappropriate things that feel the urge to come right out. No matter how heated things may get, there are things that you should never be said to your employees.

1. “I Made You”

Saying this is like telling your employee that their talent and unique abilities are worth nothing apart from you. It shows that you do not value them. It shows that you think that everything revolves around you and that you are more of a dictator than a team builder.

2. “I Don’t Care How You Feel”

You need to remember that before being resources, your employees are humans. This means that they have feelings and emotions that will play an important role in their overall productivity. Telling your employees that their feelings do not matter is like depriving them of their humanity. When employees can’t express their feelings, they will grow frustrated which will result in a significant decrease in their performance.

3. ” You are Doing it All Wrong”

Employees need encouragement and motivation from their bosses in order to keep going. When you do not value your employee’s work, they will not be motivated to keep doing better. Humans have a natural need for validation and respect. This by no mean means that you should ignore their imperfection and mistakes. However, it means that you need to take the time to point out their strength while still finding ways to correct their weaknesses.

Related:

4 ways to show your employees you appreciate them

4. ” I Make the Decisions”

In order for your employees to evolve, they must feel like they are playing a role inside the company. In order for that to happen, it is important for them to be able to share their opinions, suggestions, and concerns. This way, they will feel like they actually have a part to play in the general development of the company. As the boss, you have the authority to execute. However, remember that each one of your employees has different ideas and perspectives that can help you make the best decisions.

5. ” You Look Hot/Sexy”

There are very few things that are worst than sexual harassment in the workplace. As a boss, you should refrain yourself from making comments about your employee’s physical appearance. Remain professional at all times in order to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations.

6. “I Don’t Have Time For…”

Bosses tend to flee their responsibilities in uncomfortable conversations by saying that they are too busy. When you keep avoiding difficult situations, you will keep hiding them under the rug which may result in an explosive situation in the future. Give your employees some of your time to listen to what they have to say, understand them, and put yourself in their shoes. A little time for your team every day will go a long way.

7. “%#@!*”

Cursing, not only is disrespectful to your employees but will make you seem unprofessional. No matter how angry, stressed, or disappointed you are, it is crucial to avoid letting your mouth get out of control.

8. ” I Can Easily Replace You”

The last thing an employee needs is to feel like their position at the company is not secure. Telling your employees that they are easily replaceable will affect their self-esteem and cause them to back into their shell. It also shows them how little you value them and will only encourage them to look for a job elsewhere.

A good communication with your employees is an essential characteristic needed to be a good team leader. A good boss motivates, inspires, and progressively leads its company to success. Without effective communication, misunderstandings, frustrations, and disasters will be inevitable. Listen to your employees and develop a good communication in the office and this will lead your company to success.

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Overcoming Shyness at Work

Being shy can be a handicap in the working environment. It can keep you from sharing some interesting ideas, keep you from bonding with your colleagues, and leave you feeling like you don’t truly belong in the company. Here are simple ways that can help you overcome shyness at work.

Find People You Can Connect With

Identify the people with whom you share similar interest because it is the best way to start creating bonds and feel more at ease. Observe the people around you and get to know who they are as a person. Something as simple as discovering that you both have the same favorite restaurant can be a good start to a great conversation.

Make the Most out of Your First Days

Your first days/weeks, set the tone for the months/years to come. Do not be so focused on starting the work that you forget to socialize with the staff. Be nice, smile, and start conversations.

Related:

5 ways employers can make their new hire feel integrated

Partake in Out of Office Activities

Do your best to get to know your colleagues outside of the office. It could be a simple Happy Hour or a lunch out. Meeting with your colleagues outside of the office will help you be more comfortable and get to know them on another level.

Don’t Sensor Your Ideas

Do not give your power away by keeping your voice inside. Instead, speak up, find people to share your ideas with and recognize your value. You too have a role to play in the proper functioning of the company. Make sure you do your part. When you feel like you are a valuable player, you will overcome your shyness and be more open to sharing your talents with your team.

Ask Questions

When you take the time to ask questions, you will have the chance to learn more about your environment and your colleagues. This will make it much easier to make connections.

Be Yourself

If you have been selected amongst other candidates, it is because there was something unique about you that caught your recruiter’s attention. Do not be afraid to be yourself and let your personality shine.

Most importantly, keep in mind that overcoming shyness is a gradual process.  Do not put too much pressure on yourself but take it step-by-step. Set some small goals and challenge yourself to do a little better every day.

Sign up for free on Short Stints today and never miss out on useful tips!

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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How to Stay Motivated While Working From Home

`Working from home presents many advantages: independence, more time for your hobbies, less stress, and more. However, working from the comfort of your home can also be challenging. You can’t hide from the procrastination ghost, this is why it is important to find ways to stay motivated even while you work from your bed.

Don’t be a Couch Potatoe

While sitting on your couch might sound comfortable, it can negatively impact your negativity. Make sure you set up a working space in your home where you will be able to work without falling asleep or getting distracted. It could be a desk in corner of your room, somewhere you feel comfortable and let your creativity take over.

Take a Shower

It may be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day while working from home. After all, who needs to shower when you can have business meetings with no pants on, right? However, the simple act of taking a shower can make you feel more refreshed and ready to tackle your responsibilities.

Have a Stay at Home Working Schedule

When it comes to working from home, avoid going with the flow. Planning your days ahead is a major key to your success. Prepare a calendar, set goals, and have an action plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Avoid Distractions

Put your phone on silence and stay away from things that will distract you from your work. Avoid working in front of the TV or having many tabs open while you’re working. The goal is to truly act as if you are completing a normal shift. This way, you won’t struggle to meet your deadlines, your work will be more organized, and you will truly benefits of the advantages that the freelance life offers.

Do What You Love

When you do what you love, it will be easier for you to focus. It is important to find what you are passionate about and not only focus on the advantages of staying home. Truth is, even working from home can get boring if you don’t enjoy what you do.

Related:

How to make sure you pick the career you love?

Search freelance positions today on Short Stints

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints 

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How to Create a Post-Pregnancy friendly Environment in Your Office

 

According to studies, many women do not get back to work after having their child. Many factors can be taken into consideration when trying to understand the reason for behind this fact: mommy’s guilt, exhaustion, and more. This leads to believe that creating a kid-friendly environment at work would encourage young mothers to get back on track with their personal life without feeling guilty of abandoning their newborn. Here are a few ways managers encourage moms to come back to the office.

Be Understanding

If there is one thing mothers need, it is to be understood. Make sure your HR department is ready to listen to their concerns, answer questions about maternity leave, and make them feel at ease. When mothers feel understood, it will create a healthy communication environment and increase their chances of coming back after their maternity leave.

Be Ready to Welcome Kids in the Office

This might not be an easy change but it is important to create an environment where kids can be welcomed if there is a need to. This could imply asking mothers to pay a small fee and have a staff responsible for taking care of children. Having their kids close to them will make mothers feel more at ease and help them do their work without worrying too much.  In addition, it will show them that you value them enough to offer benefits that match their needs.

Organize a Baby Shower & Welcome Back Party

Throwing a baby shower or welcome back party is one of the best ways to show moms are valued in the company. It is important to make them feel like their pregnancy does not allignated them from the working environment. Instead, celebrate this important event of their lives and make them feel like they are part of the family.

Respect Time Outside of Work

If your employee just came back from maternity leave, it is not the time to give them excessive work loads that will keep them from spending time with their family. Being as understanding as possible and help them manage their time in a way to avoid overtime and stress.

Related:

Employed and pregnant : Things you need to know

Taking the time create a friendly environment for new mothers will decrease your chances of losing valuable employees, will show that you value women in the workplace, and help you attract top female candidates.

 

Ann-Sopie Ovile, writer, Short Stints

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How to Balance Family Life and Work

 

 

 

 

Finding time for your family can get challenging when work comes in the way. You might find it more and more difficult to keep up with your home duties when your workload is increasing. However, even in this case, finding your balance is crucial. You won’t be able to be as productive as you know your family’s needs are unmet. According to Black Enterprise, nearly 58% of managers in the U.S. work more than 40 hours every week. This number is scary considering the fact that being overwhelmed with work can have many negative side effects: fatigue, illness, and destruction of families. This is why it is important to find ways to create a schedule that will allow you to get the job done while still being there for your important family moments.

Delegate

Delegating has many benefits  When you try handling everything on your own, you will most likely end up anxious, overwhelmed, and burned out. Inside the company, there will always be more things to do, things to change, clients to acquire, and so on. Truth is, the list will only get longer. The smartest attitude to have in the situation is to identify where each of your employees fits best in order for your team to work smarter instead of harder. When you delegate, you will be able to let go, trust your team more, and as a result, have more time for your loved ones.

Set Boundaries

It is important to set clear boundaries between your work life and your personal life. Things won’t magically happen, so you need to plan ahead. Set up the time when you want to start working and the time when you will stop. For example, you can decide to start work every day at 9 am and stop working every day at 6 pm. By doing so, you intentionally dedicate your mornings to your family (for breakfast together, prayer, or else) and save your evenings to talk about your day, have dinner together, and do things that will make you guys closer. Remember, it is important to be strict about the boundaries you set. It can be so easy to check up your emails as soon as you wake up or take your work to bed with you. Make sure you create a habit of separating your work time from your family time.

List your Priorities

Often times, the main cause of frustration is the failure to prioritize. When you do not prioritize, every task will collide and leave you frustrated and overwhelmed. When you take the time to list your responsibilities and place them by order of priority, you will have a clearer vision of what you should attack each day. This will leave you feeling more satisfied and at peace and as a result, you will have the peace and time you need to enjoy time with your family. When your brain is automatically thinking about things to do and deadlines that need to be met, you will always be thinking about work, and you will be unable to focus on your family. Many business men and women are physically at home but their minds and heart are unable to connect with their loved ones because they are always worried about work. If you truly want to create a healthy balance in your life, you need to be organized and set your priorities straight.

Build a Strong Team of Employees

When your staff is not competent, you will always be worrying about whether the work is done right or not. This will turn you into a micro-manager and as a result, cause you to spend too much time worrying about how your employees are executing the work. One of the keys to freedom in finding the right balance is to make sure you can trust your team to get the job done. When you are able to let go and let your staff do their job, you will have more time to focus on other things.

Related: 

5 tips to make sure you hire the right person

When you delegate, hire the right team and set clear boundaries will increase your chances of creating the perfect balance of your work life and family life.

Sign up for free on Shortstints today to learn more tips!

 

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