Stressed at work? Learn how to cope with it and be a happier employee

In the work environment, we mostly all have experienced stress at some point. We all fall under the pressure of one or many of these factors:

  • Low salaries.
  • Unclear performance expectations.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.

Stress at work is inevitable but not impossible to manage. It is all about learning how to cope with your mistakes at work, and taking the necessary measures to limit your stress level.

There are ways to help you feel more relaxed and energized at work:

Identify your stress factors

It is important to put the finger on what triggers your stress. Is your supervisor asking too much of you? Do you feel unappreciated by your colleagues? Most often, we do not take the time to identify the problem and make a mountain out of something that can be quickly fixed. Take the time to keep a journal and note the things that cause you stress throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to find solutions that will directly attack the problem and bring effective solutions.

  • If your workload is bringing you stress, maybe you need an agenda
  • If your low salary is stressing you out, it might be time to discuss with your supervisor and HR and discuss a raise
  • If you feel misunderstood, maybe planing a meeting to make sure expectations are clear will help out.

Take the time to know yourself and your environment so you can take the appropriate steps.

Be strict about boundaries

Is your stress level out of control because you have failed to set the proper boundaries? Today, it is easy to work close to 24 hours because it is so easy to work from home and  from our mobile phones. We keep working beyond regular working hours, reply to emails and messages while we are in bed and should be communicating with our significant other, wrap up some work instead of enjoying our meals…. Take the time to set boundaries between your work life and personal life. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.

Bring some changes to your work environment

The environment you work in plays a very important role in the way you feel at work. Is your desk stressing you out? Are your papers and documents laying around everywhere? It might be a sign that you need a clean up! Decompressing your space will help you clear out the atmosphere so that your ideas can flow more freely.

Identify someone you can talk to

Do not keep all your worries to yourself! Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available: counselling, support programs and more. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified. (see point 1)

Your work life does not have to be draining and unpleasant. Yes there will be challenges along the way but it is important to do your part in order to make sure you keep a healthy work and personal life balance!

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How to keep a positive attitude at work

Keeping a positive attitude at work can be hard. The stress, the pressure and the mood swings can all contribute to a very heavy atmosphere. However, there are ways to maintain a positive attitude in the middle of it all.

Talk yourself into it

Truth is, you won’t feel excited all the time but you sure can talk yourself into it! Exercise your mind so that in the morning, you can remind yourself of all the reasons you are grateful for the job you have. It could be a colleague you like, a boss you admire or the fact that you get to help people through your position. The trick is to find a reason to be grateful no matter what.

Set affirmations for the day

Use sticky notes on your desk with positive quotes. It could be quotes about positivity, verses or anything that will keep you happy and in a great state of mind throughout the day. Reading them during the day has the power to change your mindset

Smile and be nice to people

“A candle looses nothing by lighting another candle”.

 A smile has the power to positively affect all the people around you and automatically set a friendly tone at the office. Smile to everybody even if you do not feel like it. Have a kind word for your superiors and coworkers and watch your whole world change!

Set goals

Setting goals instead of simply going with the flow will give you a sense of purpose that will boost you through the week. Set goals on a calendar and make sure you set up yourself for success. Celebrate your small victories and make yourself proud.

Disconnect

Disconnecting is good sometimes. Set up a playlist so you can separate your mind from the busyness around you. Take your lunch out on stressful days if you have to. There is nothing wrong with being alone from time to time to regain your energy.

Our circumstances at work won’t always be positive but it is our job to make sure our attitudes does not respond to them in a negative way. Do you have any tips to stay positive at work?

Ann-sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Things to do before quitting your job

Changing jobs is an important transition. And just like any transition, it requires a certain preparation. While you might think that you are the only one concerned by this decision, there are other players that you should not leave behind while taking the leap to another chapter of your life.

If you are thinking about quitting your job, there are a few things you need to do:

Look for another job!

Whether your company decides to downsize or you decide to quit your job, it is always a wise decision to actively start searching for your next job as soon ad you know you are about to be unemployed again. Unless it is your intention to take a break for a while, you do not want to wait till you are unemployed to start applying for positions as the job search process can be longer than desired.

Talk to your boss

Talking to your boss about your decision is crucial. While this might be uncomfortable, it will give you both the time to adjust to the next steps. It is important to make sure you are the first person your boss hears it from. You certainly would not want him/her to hear the news by the water cooler.  Take the time to have a one on one conversation with your boss explaining the reasons why you think changing jobs is the best option for you.

Take the time to transfer your knowledge

We all know how it feels to be a newbie at work. Before you leave, take the time to transfer your knowledge to a colleague who will be able to continue what you have started. This will help you gain your superior’s respect and show that you cared enough not to simply leave everything behind. Put some time aside to go through your files with this person, share some useful information with them and make them feel at ease.

Propose your freelance services

Do not simply cut the cord with the office. Your bosses, supervisors and even colleagues might be interested in using your services even though you are no longer a full-time employee. Take the time to identify what you do well and let them know you are ready to offer these services after you leave. This will be a great way for you to strengthen your clientele base and fall back on your feet.

Changing jobs does not have to be a burden if you prepare yourself for it. By following these steps, transitioning should go as smoothly as possible.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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How to negotiate your vacation days like a PRO

As employees, we all wish we could get more vacation days. The problem is that most candidates fail to properly negotiate their vacation days when they are offered a certain position. They immediately see the salary and experience they are about to acquire but fail to realize that vacation days are just as important to negotiate from the get go. Vacation is incredibly important to employees. Because stress at work can contribute to all types of diseases.

So how can to negotiate your vacation days like a pro?

NEGOTIATE AS SOON AS YOUR ARE BEING INTERVIEWED

If you’re just starting a job, try to negotiate during the interview process. As soon as you realize you are about to get the job, ask questions about advantages and vacation days. If the company is really interested in having you, you can use that as a bargaining chip. Do not be afraid to ask. You might be surprised to notice that they even give you more than you were ever expecting. The trick is to not let too much time go by before you start this conversation

PRESENT THE BENEFITS OF VACATION DAYS

Enjoying vacation days is necessary for any employee. It is a great way to disconnect to better reconnect. If you want to maximize the number of days off you get,take the time to tell your boss about how taking some time off will make you a better employee. A study as found that employees who take the necessary amount of time off have less stress and are more productive and also has found out that for each additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took, their performance ratings improved eight percent.

BE REASONABLE

When negotiating vacation, it’s wise to show flexibility. For instance, you can agree to not take all the vacation at once. Make it a win-win situation for each party. Be honest with your boss about the periods when you will be most likely to go on vacation. This will make it easier for your team to plan your absence.

 

Do not forget that a job interview is not a one way street. It is important for you to as questions as well in order to truly decide if this position is the best option for you.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Balancing your career and personal life as a working mother

Being a mom can be challenging. Being a mom WITH A CAREER is even tougher. Between deadlines, appointments and your duties at home, how can you balance it all? Is that even possible? Here are a few tips that will help you pursue your career while still being the best mom you can be.

STOP FEELING GUILTY

First and foremost, you need to get rid of mommy guilt. It is OK for you to be a mom and also have a career. As long as you keep feeling guilty, you will not be able to progress and find the right balance. Instead of feeling guilty about the time you are not spending at home, see it as an investment that will allow you to give your family a better future.

FIND A COMPANY THAT GETS IT

Find a company that understands you and does not have unrealistic expectations. Many companies offers advantages such as day-car and more. Before talking to your employer or HR representative, construct a written plan detailing what you need. Find you a boss that will understand that on certain days you won’t be able to work overtime because your son has a soccer game. It is all about communicating and being understood.

ORGANIZE YOUR DAYS/WEEKS

Failing to plan is planing to fail. Take the time to organize your weeks better and see your life drastically improve! Make sure you have a time for work and a time for family. Do not take work home or sit behind your screen on week-ends. Most families suffer when work takes a place that should be spent eating together or watching a movie. As long as you make sure you separate the two, there should be no problem. Figure out your family’s priorities: games, diners, family meetings… This will help you have a clear mind about what needs to be done.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

If you do not take the time to recharge your batteries, you will constantly find yourself drained and out of control. Take time for yourself in order to disconnect, reconnect and focus better. Make sure you manage your energy well so that you do not feel drained.

Related: Employed and pregnant : Things you need to know.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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5 ways to help your team be more INSPIRED

Inspiring your team is very important. As humans, we often need more than someone telling us what to do. We need this feeling of acceptance, mentoring, correction and encouragement. There are many things that can demotivate your employees and negatively affect their productivity.

This is why, as a boss, you have a double responsibility to not only supervise your staff but also, to INSPIRE them to be the best version of yourself. – How can you aspire to inspire in the workplace?

LES TALK MORE ACTION

One of the best ways to lead is to do it by example. It is great to motivate your employees with your speech but at the end of the day, if your speech is not backed up by action, it is not worth a lot. Your team wants to see you set an example right before their eyes. Not practicing what you preach has a great power to discourage your team and make them settle in a state of stagnation. Being a leader is about leading/showing the way. 

If you are expecting great quality control, SHOW them in the way you supervise your stock. If you want them to respect all customers, start by doing it yourself, if you want them to give you their best performance you cannot expect to leave at 3 PM every day or as soon as the alarm rings. You need to be the difference you want to see in your office.

FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH YOUR CONSUMERS

Your team needs to feel like you are standing for something. It is important to identify your values from the beginning and make sure that what you sell is a clear representation of what you believe in.  Doing so will show your employees that you know what you want and are not constantly changing your company/business message. This will also motivate them to do their best when it comes to quality control, customer service and anything that will make your consumers connect better with your brand!

PRIORITIZING RESPECT OVER RECOGNITION

Stay anchored in your values and what you know to be ethical and right. The best way to get your employees to be inspired by you is to first make sure they respect you. You might reach all your milestones throughout the years and STILL have your employees not respecting you. Take the time to invest into a relationship of mutual respect. This will make you a better boss and a better mentor for your team.

ENCOURAGE PERSONAL GROWTH, NOT JUST ROUTINE

Prioritizing your employees as human beings instead of machines makes a world of difference in your management style. When you focus on their growth, it will be way more easier to inspire them and encourage them to push further. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and see how they can become better performers inside your enterprise.

Related: How to build a strong team of employees

BE YOURSELF

Do not fall so much under the pressure of pleasing your team that you loose the essence of who you are as a person. Most employees chose to work for you because they believe in you and where you are taking the company. So be true to yourself and do not be sorry for it.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Top healthy foods you can add to your diet to increase your energy level at work

Suffering from low energy level at work? Not able to deliver your best performance because of lack of energy and motivation? The problem might not be the job itself. In fact, your lack of energy at work might be directly linked to the type of food you are putting in your body.

You can experience way more energy simply by changing what you choose to have for breakfast, by ditching your coworkers asking you to go to MC Donald’s for lunch and making more healthy choices.

Here are a few foods that will help you boost your energy level at work.

SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes are a great source of carbohydrate. They contain iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin D – all of which help to increase energy levels and stop your from feeling tired. Sweet potatoes come in different types and colors and can be consumed boiled, steamed or baked. Always feeling tired at work? This might be something to consider adding to your healthy diet.

BANANAS

Thanks to their high dose of potassium, bananas are great to boost your energy level. They are almost an ideal food for athletes and those who regularly exercise because of their quick-acting carbohydrate’s effect on our energy levels

LEAFY GREENS

A lack of iron can result in a lack of energy, so it’s important to eat plenty of the foods that provide a healthy dose of this important nutrient to ensure that energy levels stay high. Broccoli, spinach, collard greens and other dark, leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of iron.

Spinach is extremely high in iron, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium plays a vital role in producing energy, and paired with potassium enables effective digestion in the stomach and the regulation of nerve and muscle function. Did you know that a lot of our energy is spent trying to digest our food? So adding foods that will make it easier to digest will help you feel more energized as your intestines do not have to do all of the effort anymore.

ORANGES

High in Vitamin C  and natural sugars that will raise energy levels, a glass of fresh orange juice is a great way to start your day right before heading to work. Oranges are a natural energy boosting fruit and a great way to fight flu and different types of viruses.

STRAWBERRIES

Don’t be fooled by their color. Strawberries are actually richer in Vitamin C than oranges! Very effective to combat fatigue and lack of energy, strawberries are a great add to your smoothies, salads and oatmeal.

 

Do not forget to drink plenty of water and to get enough sleep. Remember that they are a mandatory part of a healthy lifestyle that will leave you feeling great and full of energy.

Also read:

How to feel relaxed and energized at work?

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3000711/Revealed-10-best-foods-boost-energy-levels-without-expanding-waistline.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/4-foods-that-will-give-you-natural-energy.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/042840_energy_boost_healthy_diet_nutritious_foods.html

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Common mistakes job seekers make online

When applying for jobs online, there are many mistakes job seekers can make without even realize it. These mistakes, as small as they might seem can negatively impact their chances of landing their dream job.

Here are common mistakes job seekers make when applying for a job online

They fail to brand themselves

Who are you and what do you stand for? This is something your recruiter wants to see through your application. Many job seekers fail to realize that they need to brand themselves when applying for a position. Your resume should be able to represent your brand. Also, make sure you have other tools that will reveal the parts of your brand you cannot show on your resume: website, blog, social media pages… These are great ways to give your recruiter a glimpse of who you really are.

They do not customize their resumes

Wen you apply for jobs on the internet, you will find many different position that interest you. They might not all require the same years of experience or fields of expertise. This is why it is important for job seekers, when applying online, to customize their resume based on the type pf job they are applying for. Many job seekers are afraid to do so because they are afraid this will make them seem unstable. This could not be further from the truth. You are a human being with different gifts and talents. You simply do not need all of them for certain positions. It is important for you, as a job seeker, to know how to sell yourself in the best possible way. In order to make your resume more attractive you must know which abilities, experiences and degrees will help you put the chances on your side.

They do not make their own research

Job seekers who do not take the time to make their personal research about the company set themselves for failure. When you apply for a job on the internet, you are in the perfect place (the internet) to make all of the necessary research about the company, it’s mission, vision and culture so that you are in a better position to answer your interview questions.

Not providing an email or phone number where they can be contacted easily

When applying online, it is crucial to give the right contact info. Chances are, if your recruiter cannot find you, you might loose your chance to get the position. Make sure you give a phone number where you can easily be contacted or an email address that is directly linked to your mobile phone. Check your messages, mails and voicemail regularly so that you do not miss anything!

Rushing into the process too quickly

Seeing an interesting position online can get exciting. However, it is important to take your time and not rush the process. This is not to tell you that you need to sit there and let the opportunities pass you by but it means that you need to take the time to analyze the job description properly in order to be sure it is what you want to apply for.

Related:

5 questions you should not be afraid to ask your future employer

Start applying for jobs today on Shortstints

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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7 Signs you are being underpaid

Knowing you are underpaid is one of the worst feeling an employee can have. It not only affects their self-esteem but also negatively impacts their productivity.

Before asking for a raise, it is important for employees to make sure they are are really underpaid and have the right to ask for a higher salary. It can be difficult sometimes for employees to really know if they are entitled to approach their boss with such a request. This is partly due to the fact that money can be such a taboo subject.

What are the signs that can help employees recognize that they are being underpaid?

People with the same job title as you are making more money at other companies

If people who have the same job title as you and are working for the same company as you are getting paid more, then it is a sign you need to confront/talk to your boss about it. You do not need to be aggressive but have a constructive discussion about why you are not getting paid as much as they are. If you find that the reasons are not good enough, then it will be a great opportunity to negotiate a better salary.

Your boss always avoids the salary talk

If you find yourself always trying to get your boss’s attention and time, he or she may be reluctant because that may lead to a salary discussion or something complex that they’re unprepared to discuss. If you are going through this, do not get discouraged, keep insisting and make sure they sit down and listen to what you have to say.

Related: Thinking about asking for a raise. Here are things you should NOT do

Your salary remains the same as your responsibilities increase

If you find yourself doing more and more work while your salary still remains the same, it is a clear sign you are being underpaid. When you get hired, you need to understand that you accept a salary that is linked to the job description that is presented to you. When this job description starts changing, you have the right to renegotiate your salary. Some employers will try to discretely pass you more responsibilities that seem similar to what you were previously doing. However, while it is normal for great employees to aspire to do more than what is asked from them, it is also important to make sure you are not being used.

Your salary is remaining the same while your firm’s revenues are significantly growing

This does not mean that as soon as your company’s numbers are looking better you should rush to your boss’s office and ask for more money. However there are times when your company’s success is directly linked to you or your department’s efforts and should be rewarded. This can come in the form of bonuses, spa days or else. The trick is to always show employees they are appreciated and valued.

Your boss tells you that you should be ‘Grateful to at least have a job’

When your boss starts talking like this, it is a red flag. Oftentimes, when your boss does not want to offer a higher salary, he/she will start playing mind games, making YOU think that you are not good enough or that you haven’t performed well enough to deserve it. While it is totally normal to work hard for your raise, it is also important for you to know your worth and know when you deserve to be paid more. No boss or supervisor should be able to make you believe that you are worth less than you really are. If you get the feeling that your boss is trying to play in your mind, talk about it to someone you trust and find the courage to confront the situation.

New hires are offered a higher salary 

It is important for you, as an employee to monitor job listings for your own company. This will help you track when your company is offering higher salary to new employees having the same level of experience as you do. When this happens, you know it’s time to ask for a raise.

The internet says you are being underpaid

Today, almost anything we need to know can be found on the internet! So if you have a gut feeling you are being underpaid, your answers are just a click away. Take the time to make some researches about the average salary rate for employees in your field and in your country. If the internet tells you you are being underpaid, chances are… you are!

If you realize you are being underpaid, this does not mean you need to immediately leave your job. There is always room for open and honest conversations with your boss. You have the power to negotiate your salary and feel satisfied and valued inside your company!

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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5 Quotes that will help you love Mondays more

Even though we all wish we could stay home on Mondays from time to time, I think that most employees dread Monday morning simply because they do not like what they do or do not know how to motivate themselves enough. what if the only thing keeping you form enjoying Mondays was simply a question of perspective?

Here are 5 quotes that will encourage you to enjoy Mondays more and start the week on a happier note.

 

 

 

 

When people go to work, they shouldn’t leave their hearts at home. – Betty Bender

This is a gentle reminder that, whatever we do, we should always put our whole heart into it. Doing what you love is what makes all the difference… most of the time, employees simply hate Mondays because they do not find any passion in waking up and going to work.

 

 

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth. – Pearl S. Buck

This quote speaks for itself. Do what you love and you will feel like a kid again! Always filling your eyes and mind with wonder.

 

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – Aristotle

The more you find pleasure in what you do, the more you will be willing to put in the necessary effort to perfect it. It is not enough to simply try to get by. When your heart is also in it, you will aspire to grow and learn.

 

If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing, success will be yours. – Ray Kroch

 

You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy. – Bob Ross

Related: Reasons why you should love Mondays

Always keep in mind that one of the best ways to be motivated is to find purpose and joy in what you do. I understand that it is not always easy but if you can just surround yourself with positivism, you will learn to see the bright side of things.

Want more inspiration? Sign up today for FREE on Shortstints!

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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