The workplace can become an exhausting and stressful place with challenging obligations and increasing pressures to meet deadlines. Work stress can become extremely overwhelming and chronic which can be harmful to both physical and emotional health. Excessive stress can also influence your productivity and performance as well as affect your personal and work relationships. Here are some steps you can follow to protect yourself from the harmful effects of stress.
Planning ahead in order to stay organized can greatly decrease stress at work. Being organized will prevent your chances of running behind with work deliverables. Effective planning will prevent paper and digital clutter creation and help you reach a sense of achievement that helps reduce stress levels.
Creating clear boundaries between your home and work life can reduce some of the stress and pressure associated with your workplace. Set routines that help you take care of yourself such as packing healthy lunches, establishing days and times to work out, getting enough sleep and turning off the phone at night. While work is important, you’ll never be able to truly perform at peak levels if you are fatigued mentally and physically.
Conflict among co-workers is inevitable and if not addressed, it can continue to grow into stressfully uncomfortable levels that will affect not only your work but possibly your health as well. Avoid negative co-worker influences whenever possible and if you are faced with some type of conflict or situation that you are not comfortable with, you should address it by reporting it to your manager or Human Resources.
Every job will present its own challenges from time to time. It is important to have a positive attitude as you tackle each one of them. Be open minded and be ready to fail and learn from your mistakes. If you are attacking your work and learning from your experiences, positive or negative, you will only become a more well-rounded professional. This positive mentality will help you avoid negative behavior that can become detrimental to your performance and happiness.
We live in a “work first culture” but it is important that we all take time to recharge from everyday stresses of life and work life. First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Also, take time to exercise; even if it’s a 30-minute walk or run around the neighborhood. Next, try not to overwork during your time off such as nights and weekends; turn off and enjoy time with friends and family without thinking about work. Last, take your paid vacations! It is reported that about 54% of Americans don’t take all their paid vacation due to fears about losing their job or coming back to too much work. However, studies have also shown that 80% of workers are encouraged by their bosses to take their time off so turn off and go do things that you enjoy.
Practice techniques such as mediation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness to relieve all the stress that has built up in your system. You can take a few minutes each day to concentrate on a simple activity such as walking and simply relax. This can be applied to the workplace whenever you feel stressed.
It can be useful to get help from friends and loved ones as it can improve your ability to manage stress. Apart from them, you can also talk to your co-workers for support as they will be able to understand you better. There may be stress management resources available at your firm.
In today's world of increasing competition, there is a lot of debate around what educational institution to attend. But does the school that you get your degree from actually matter that much? While a select few can certainly make the argument that one’s chances for a successful professional life are increased by an Ivy league degree for example, most of us will not go to those types of schools; but that doesn’t mean that we cannot be successful.
More than 45% of the world’s billionaires and about 50% of Forbes’ world’s most powerful people went to schools where their class was on the top 1% of the SAT Scores in the nation. However, a great portion of students at these elite institutions come from already well connected and well-off families. That means an already established network when it comes to landing that coveted internship or landing that higher paying job.
Annually, American parents spend nearly half a billion dollars on admissions consultants alone. The general approach is to increase academic performance and to add significant amounts of extra-curricular activities. While such strategies may improve one’s chances of getting into a more prestigious college, they create a nearly unnecessary burden on a young adult. This pressure often fosters an environment conducive to stress and depression not only for kids, but also their parents.
However, research published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics shows that the relationship between professional/financial success is more directly related to an individual’s aptitude, brightness, and sometimes network. This study illustrates that SAT scores for example, are a more accurate predictor of one’s chances to reach the nation’s 1%. In addition, studies by Lumina Foundation (who commits to increasing the higher education rates amongst Americans) carried out a survey through Gallup and discovered that managers’ hiring decisions were not overly influenced by the respective hire’s degree brand (College or University). Another survey, conducted amongst more than 600 business leaders, found that more important traits include field knowledge and practical experience. Next was a candidate's college major, typically rated as more important than the actual school one attends.
While prestigious institutions typically show a higher rate of extremely successful individuals, these institutions also have a much higher ratio of students from wealthy families whose privileged backgrounds already make them candidates for successful post graduate endeavors. Therefore, parents and students alike should pay a greater focus on finding the best fit for one’s personality and skill level to maximize the student’s happiness. As studies have shown, students from similar backgrounds, talents, and drives have similar chances to professionally succeed regardless of which school they attend.
While writing a resume may seem insignificant, it can be critical to landing you your desired job. Throughout the hiring process, employers use resumes to find out more about applicants and whether they will be a good fit for the job. Your resume should highlight relevant skills, summarize your experience, and be easy to read. Here are a few key tips that will help you while writing your resume.
When you are preparing to write a resume, carefully read the job posting that you are applying for. You should review each job description for any keywords that will indicate what the employer is looking for in a potential candidate. You can then incorporate those keywords in your resume whenever relevant. This will help the reviewer match your experience to the job requirements.
Fitting your entire professional life on one page can seem hard and complicated so it can be useful to break it down into manageable parts. Choose how you will organize your resume and know what to include and exclude. For instance, you’ll want a header with all of your contact information followed by relevant sections to your education, skills, and experience.
While you may have extensive educational qualifications and experience, the information you provide in your resume should be limited only to the most important and relevant achievements. Your resume should be as brief as possible. Research has shown that hiring managers spend only 6 seconds per resume so you need to eliminate any irrelevant information that may distract them from key information. List the information in reverse chronological order and order the section to so that your most relevant sections to the job comes first.
Focus on your major accomplishments and responsibilities. You need to evaluate the position you are targeting. Include your key strengths and match them to the job description to show the employer that you are ideal for the position.
Select your top three most significant achievements in each role you have held rather than listing your job duties in the experience section. You can also create a separate section for your accomplishments to specifically highlight your relevant achievements in your work, education and experience.
Before sending in your resume, you need to proofread once for any grammatical or spelling errors and edit them. You can ask your friends or a third party to review it for you. Make sure you make a check list and include all items in your resume.
Resume is at least one full page
Contact information at the top of the resume includes name, email, and phone
Fonts are professional and easy-to-read in 10-12 point font
All format elements are consistent throughout the document including fonts, bolding, italicizing, and use of capitals
All work experiences include a description of accomplishments, transferable skills, or relevant job duties
Begin each bullet point with an action verb in the appropriate tense; if the experience has concluded, it should be written in the past tense
All work experiences list the organization name, your title, location, and start and end dates
List the formal title of your degree (e.g. Bachelor of Business Administration) and the date you did or will graduate (e.g. May 2000)
Your cover letter is your introduction chance for you to make a strong first impression on your potential employer. Through your cover letter you have the opportunity to briefly describe yourself and outline the key reasons you are qualified for the position. Therefore it is important that your cover letter is unique and stands out to ensure that you land that coveted interview. Here are some tips you can follow to write a winning cover letter:
Your cover letter should cover more than the major details of your resume. It should instead outline experiences and accomplishments that detail each Resume bullet point. It should highlight your specific skills and experience that make you the perfect candidate. You can include specific approaches used to accomplish each task. While doing so, be sure to describe how some of your personality, energy, and/or work ethic were vital for such task accomplishments.
Tailor your letter to fit the specific job at hand. Start by reviewing the job description carefully, determining the key requirements of the job, identifying the required skills, and recognizing your desirable experiences. As you describe past accomplishments, be sure to include examples that showcase the same or similar skills and experiences that the employer is seeking.
Also, open your letter by mentioning the position you are applying for while also showing excitement for the consideration. Including a brief enthusiastic statement about your familiarity with the company, its products/services and position can also create a memorable differentiating factor about your letter.
Similar to how you personalize your resume to the role, you also need to address the person who is actually hiring for the position while you are writing your cover letter. You can search about the company to find the person in charge rather than addressing the letter “To Whom It May Concern”. If it is not already listed, you can contact the employer to find out about the name and title of the hiring manager.
This will also be useful as it will indicate that you have done your research on the organization, its mission and leadership. Your genuine effort will not go unnoticed by the employer.
Another significant part of writing a cover letter is to ensure that it is to the point and simple. Cover letters are typically not much longer than 250 words. You can use bullet points to make it easy to read. It should also be proofread and free from errors. Have others review it and provide feedback. In your concluding paragraph, you can restate that you are right for the job and emphasize the closing by quoting the company’s culture or its mission and your excitement to be a part of it
Address the letter to the person managing the posting (not, “To Whom it May Concern”)
Write in a professional style - free from jargon, clichés, and run-on sentences
Only include priority information; most cover letters are one page or slightly less
Avoid excessive (if any) humor and over-the-top elements
Write a letter that shows your fit by including key words, qualifications, or skills from the job posting, if relevant to your experience
Make your examples and highlights unique from your resume content, not a restatement of your resume
Emphasize what the company does that intrigues you
Conclude by informing the employer of when and how you will follow up with them
Convert your document to a PDF before uploading to prevent an extra blank page
Interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking for anyone! Anything could go wrong, from awkward handshakes to phasing out completely when an out-of-the-blue question is asked to you. That’s why it is so important to be well prepared for an interview. When preparing for an interview, follow these steps:
When you’re preparing for an interview, make sure you practice it by speaking your answers out loud rather than writing them down on a piece of paper. Practicing verbal responses helps you to deliver your answers confidently and without hesitation. It is also recommended to practice in front of a mirror so you can watch yourself while speaking. This will help you improve your expressions and body language which will lead to a more confident delivery.
Part of a great preparation regimen is to practice exactly what to say. While some hiring managers will use a few innovative or out of the box questions, most tend to ask the same predictable ones so practice, practice, practice (here’s a great resource: https://tinyurl.com/m4zp328 ). When you are able to seamlessly answer questions with confidence and without awkward pauses you will create confidence and help establish a healthy positive atmosphere during the interview. Make sure to use examples that are applicable within your own experiences. That will show that you are able to think on your feet and have had exposure to a wide array of situations without giving the typical “canned” generic responses.
It is important to learn as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with! Do your research by reviewing:
Company’s website - try to understand the company’s culture
Public profiles - review online resources such as LinkedIn of hiring managers and other potential team members
User comments - use tools such as Yelp, product review sites, and the Better Business Bureau
Industry overview - understand who some of the key competitors and/or key industry players are
Become a client or speak with a client (if possible) - it is always useful to have firsthand experience. If a direct to consumer product, try it out. If a business product, try to find users of the company you can ask their opinions about it.
Based on your research and product/services knowledge, take the driver’s seat at times by asking questions of the interviewers. This type of approach can show that you have done your research and possibly that you are knowledgeable about the field. Focus on questions that showcase that knowledge and where you can apply personal experience to create a two-way dialog. This approach helps you establish trust and it creates a conversational setting which can be more effective in establishing a positive rapport.
Make a list of what you need to accomplish the day of the interview. Some of the critical items should include:
Directions - pull them up and make sure to adjust travel time to the time of day, to account for rush hour. Also plan on arriving 30-45 minutes early, even if you have to sit in your car for a few minutes. If an unforeseen event happens (flat tire, accident) call before the scheduled time to let them know your anticipated arrival time and if that time will work.
Check list - Write down all items that you’ll need on the day of the interview. Anything from outfit to a notepad should be listed. Don’t forget to bring copies of your resume and a pen to take notes with.
Good luck on your interview!