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  1. Changes to increase happiness at work

    January 16, 2015 by Jenna

    We’re now settling back into our work routines for the New Year and as 2015 is a time to set out new goals and resolutions, why not aim to make changes that benefit your happiness and well-being at work?

    There are some simple steps that you can apply regardless of your role or background, and an article by Catherine Conlan will be my inspiration for this week’s blog. Here are six steps that you can apply below:

    Develop a Structured Routine

    Setting a structured routine gives a better indication of what to expect from your day and prepares you for what lies ahead. Sometimes this will require you to plan the night before, compile a list of priorities etc.

    Setting up a list of tasks and duties for the day can also save on procrastination as you have made yourself aware of what important deadlines need to be achieved. Be specific with what details you set out in your routine and what you want to achieve so that you can maintain it for a long term basis.

    Other routines may also include healthy eating plans and exercise routines which in turn can help improve daily performance.

    Become a Mentor

    If you have experience in your field and are looking for opportunities to share your knowledge and direction with other junior employees or candidates, there is a lot of fulfillment in helping others. You are not only leading someone in the direction of their future career, but you will be challenged by them to provide insight, reflect on what you have learned so far and review your career development up until this point. This can be a rewarding experience.

    Change Your Mindset

    Approaching your job as a daily investment towards your personal development will motivate you to pursue further responsibilities within the role and seek training and development in your career.

    If your daily mindset is going to work because you have to or because of financial gain, you may be limiting your motivation level and ability to perform at your best.

    Seek Out Opportunities To Give Back

    If your employer has a community service program that you can get involved in, why not take the opportunity to do something good for someone else and get away from your workplace for a few hours a week.

    Volunteering your time can allow you to develop different skill sets, and may inspire you to take on different volunteering opportunities in the future.

    Switch Things Up

    As your goals and targets will change throughout the year, make sure in turn that you are creating and adapting your routine to suit these goals. If the routine is not working to meet your personal development goals, you need to take measures to assess what isn’t working and make changes sooner rather than later.

    We also as individuals need to change processes regularly to keep us engaged and motivated, otherwise the routines can become stagnant. It is important to keep reviewing your routine over time and managing it accordingly.

    Keep Learning 

    If management would like to you take a course to further develop a particular skill or to be trained on new database/software, it is important to take up the opportunity.

    If you also feel that taking on some new training will benefit the organisations’ success, present it to the manager and don’t feel that you need to wait for training to be offered to you first. Pitch why you think the training would be beneficial and review with management to see if now is the right time to pursue it, or if there is an opportunity to pursue options in the future.

    What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? What measures will you take to develop your career and reach daily satisfaction?


  2. When was the last time you did a ‘spring clean’ of your career?

    June 4, 2013 by Jenna

    Whether you are happy in your current role or currently looking for something new, it is always important to keep your job search and career development skills up-to-date.

    Not only that but cleaning out some of the distractions and bad habits that may be weighing you down instead of helping you move forward can only be a good thing, right?

    Refresh

    Have you reviewed your resume lately?

    We tend to only look at our resume when we need to look for work. But whether you are looking for work or not, your resume is your most important personal brand document. And we all know how time consuming writing a resume from scratch is.

    So pull out your resume for a spring clean:

    Update Information – Are your most recent achievements added? Is your employment history up-to-date? Have you identified who you references will be?
    Formatting – Is your resume easy to read? Is it set out in a way where the employer or recruiter can identify your key skills without having to do an investigative search? Does it look clean and neat? Is the language formal and professional? Would it grab your attention if you were an employer?

    Another thing to keep in mind, in the age of technology – is your online presence. What does Google say about you? What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? Is it time for an update to list your most recent skills and experience? What other social media sites do you currently have a presence – do they represent the image you would like to portray?

    Update

    Do you know what level of skills you have? Do you know what skills you need to take the next step in your career?

    If you are not sure what level your computer skills are at, there are plenty of opportunities to assess your skills through online skills testing. For jobseekers you can keep a copy of the results to share with future employers.

    There is no time like the present to invest or consider additional training to update your skills. Perhaps your current employer offers training programs that you can sign-up for? If not, consider what training you need and ask at your next performance discussion with your manager.

    Set Goals

    What are your personal goals? Do they tie in with your career goals? What matters most for you?

    I’m most successful when I have a healthy body and mind. But I tend to find that my body and mind are more often in conflict rather than cooperating together!

    To get myself back on track, I set physical goals to reach the state of health and fitness I want. For me, being more active allows me to be more positive in my approach to life. Not to mention, knowing that I’m capable of achieving these physical goals helps build my confidence to push myself forward to achieve my career goals as well.

    Now I’m not saying go out and spend a lot of money to join a gym, sometimes simple things like going for a daily walk, having a yoga stretch in a park or going to a class with a friend, can really boost your overall well-being. And let’s be honest, when you are not healthy you tend to feel sluggish and demotivated. I know how difficult it is when I get caught in this rut, but once I push myself outside of my comfort zone, I definitely feel more motivated to achieve even more.

    Remove Obstacles

    Are there factors in your life that are making you stressed or holding you back from making the best decisions regarding your career?

    Too often we get busy just being busy. But are there tasks that are taking too much time that are stopping you from investing in what is important? Are there things that you could delegate, share or remove entirely to allow you the time you need to invest in what you really want to achieve?  The body cannot function without the mind, and if you are losing too much sleep because you have too much on your mind or have too many commitments on your plate this will not benefit you in the long run. In fact, if you are tired and unfocused it could potentially harm your decisions. So get rid of those negative factors that are holding you back, and if you can’t get rid of some factors try and find a way to find balance. Most likely you will know someone who has been in a similar situation and their advice could really help guide you.

    It can also be very easy to be comfortable in your current routine ‘bubble’. But every now and then we need to challenge ourselves outside of that bubble to examine if what we are currently doing is the best for us and our future career. What do you need to spring clean in your career?


  3. Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Is Often How We Grow

    January 22, 2013 by Jenna

    I am very excited to be writing our first blog post for 2013. Regardless of whether you traveled or enjoyed the comforts of home over the holidays, I hope you have all had the opportunity to take a break and get rested and refreshed for what the upcoming year has to bring.

    Many of us begin a new year by reflecting on the previous year and establishing our goals for the year to come. Are you setting your wheels in motion? Have you set a time frame to achieve these goals? Not to say that there is anything wrong if you haven’t, but if you are putting off making any progress because you are worried about change or ‘rocking the boat’ then you may have difficulty achieving those plans you set yourself as the clock ticked over to bring in the new year.

    I see all around me many of my friends will be embracing change in 2013. I have friends that will be travelling the world, getting married, and having children this year. I also have friends who are taking on new promotions at work and others who are taking the plunge and taking on a completely new career.

    I tend to find that whenever change takes place in our lives it often isn’t something that we can completely plan for. We can have a general idea of the direction that we may be going in but you can never have a foolproof plan regardless of how organised you are. One way or another you are going to have to step outside of your comfort zone to stretch and mold yourself into you want to be.  It’s part of our life experience.

    For me, the New Year was spent climbing to Gokyo Ri (5357m), Cho La Pass (5300m), Everest Base Camp (5360m) and Kala Plattar (5545m) in Nepal. I had spent over a year saving for it, buying the right clothing and gear, and training like crazy for it, but having never experienced altitude before I still didn’t know what I would be feeling or what I would experience in a society/culture that was so different from my own.

    The memories from this trip are something I will take with me for the rest of my life. The guides were very experienced, the food was good and plentiful and the weather was sunny and clear the whole time. With that said, the altitude did make me feel like I had emphazima, especially over 5000m, sleeping was difficult, and some of our walks were 7-8 hours on end. It was hard, probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, and that negative voice inside my head would sometimes tell me to go back and give up. But turning around was never an option unless I wanted to fly out by helicopter! If I had actually listened to that voice and gave up on any of those difficult climbs, I would have absolutely regretted it.

    Now this was my personal goal, I am not saying climb a mountain to get outside of your comfort zone, but you will have goals that will challenge you or situations that you will have to face that might make you feel uncomfortable. But you may be surprised with what you are capable of once you tackle those situations head on. When I am often in these moments where life takes a turn, I often reflect on those difficult moments and think to myself, ‘ I’ve made it through those situations in the past this will be a walk in the park!’

    How do you feel when you have achieved your goals? I have to tell you, when I completed my Nepal trip I felt overwhelmed, satisfied, relieved and tired. But overall at ease. No one else had those exact same feelings at the time but me, and that is the same for you and what lies ahead in your journey.

    So if you haven’t put a plan into motion, before your year begins to fill with your to-do lists, tasks and deadlines, start defining your path for your road ahead this year, get the ball rolling and enjoy the ride. Life is too short to be held back wondering ‘What if?’


  4. Happy New Year – Celebrating the successes of 2012 and look forward to what is to come in 2013!

    December 18, 2012 by Jenna

    Well another year has flown by and already it is the festive season once again. And as we move closer to the countdown to bring in another year, we can’t help but reflect on the past year and look forward to what is to come in the future.

    My year has been one of many changes, both professionally and personally.

    I started a career in a new industry, and I have since grown to become so fondly attached to the great group of colleagues in our office. I have learned a lot in this role and about the industry, not to mention the trends of social media. Our team has really evolved over that period of time and I am excited to see how our company will grow and progress in the future.

    I have personally achieved a number of physical goals this year. I traveled to New Zealand and completed a 100km walk for charity in just under 28 hours. And tomorrow I am heading off to take on a new walking challenge in Nepal. What seemed like a pipe dream only a year ago, the reality is now here, and with months of training, hiring gear and learning as much as I can about the destination, it is now time to take on the next challenge that will lead into an exhilarating start to 2013.

    So what has stood out for you this year?

    Did you achieve all that you had wanted to accomplish? Did you set realistic goals for the year?

    Well for those of you that didn’t get close enough to achieving your goals this year, the good news is a new year is fast approaching, so why not make the most of it!

    This month, we asked what you want most from 2013 and this is what you said:

    • 50% are looking for career advancement within your organisation
    • 30% are looking for a more successful work / life balance
    • 20% are looking for career advancement with another organisation

    So how are you going to make your goals a reality in 2013?

    For me, it is most important to set the goal and then work out the steps I need to reach that goal. But more importantly I needed to choose the right attitude to keep motivated. ‘Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.’

    If I did not choose to take the steps to follow a new career path, I would most likely be in the same place today as I was last year, without the knowledge and experience I have gained. Sometimes getting outside of that comfort zone is the best way to test how courageous and determined you really are.

    I can’t say I can look back on some of the challenges that I have conquered with any regrets. Can you? What are you looking forward to in 2013?




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