There is considerable academic research supporting the connection between high levels of stress and cardiovascular disease (generally also coupled with other poor lifestyle choices such as not exercising enough and over-indulging in sugary and fatty foods – but that aside for the moment)… so when we consider how much of a our life is spent on the job, it’s worthwhile reviewing what some of the more common work-related stresses are, how to tell whether we’re being impacted by these (as often the symptom may not necessarily be a clear indication as to the cause), and most importantly what is the best approach toward handling these.
For the more emotionally intelligent / self-aware of us (the rest of you, please try to tune into the feedback you’re more than likely receiving from your peers) the most common signs that you’re experiencing stress will include:
Un-explainable fatigue or feelings of being run down
Increased irritability (or rather, lower than usual tolerance for other people)
A heightened emotional state of tension or feelings of being strung out
Difficulties sleeping at night (not sure if your coworkers will know about this one)
Problems maintaining your focus at work leading to a drop in day-to-day productivity
Increased susceptibility to illness (whether psychosomatic or genuine – due to a weakened immune system)
Difficulty in making decisions
… so if any of this sounds familiar, then the below info graphic is for you!
With the increased uptake in mobile internet enabled devices such as tablet PCs and on-line services as LinkedIn (aka “Facebook with Ties”), the classical printed résumé is quickly becoming a thing of the past, with many next-generation job hunters opting to leverage the power of social media through completely digital-media based résumés.
Services such as LinkedIn provide a searchable platform for prospective employers and recruiters to find you based on your profile skillsets, however more exciting again is the use of video résumés which adds a whole new dimension to the on-line application process, with many (new age) employers embracing social media tools such as Google’s video streaming technology (Google hang-outs) to facilitate interviews of geographically remote applicants.
But as with any formal process, there’s generally a right way and a wrong way of going about it, so in the interests of getting you started on the right foot, check out the below infographic for some useful pointers in going completely digital in 2012!
There’s been a lot of talk in the news recently about the mass lay-offs across the Queensland government. And while I’m not one to deny that there’s probably a fair share of bloat in the public service, the loss of a job (be it personally or even that of a close friend) can be quite devastating. Unemployment brings with it an uncertainty surrounding your future income, how to handle existing financial obligations such as car payments and mortgages, as well as the personal responsibilities in taking care of a family or loved ones. All these factors can become quite stressful and it’s often in these times that we tend to lose our direction a little bit.
When we feel secure in our lives, our mode of thinking is generally calm and collected. We’re able to take a pragmatic and strategic approach to the decisions we make as there isn’t any real pressure or urgency that influences this process. The problem however isn’t during these times of serenity but rather when that calmness is disrupted and something (such as an unplanned loss of a job) and forces us into our more primal survival mode. By contrast with our strategic mindset, our survival mode is largely emotion based and as a consequence can have a less than ideal impact upon our cognitive decision making processes (emotional intelligence 101). Logic and reason take a secondary position to much stronger emotion based drivers such as panic and fear, which can lead us to making some quite poor decisions – in some extreme cases even crime (case in point).
It’s for this reason I thought I’d put together a bit of a roadmap for those who have been affected by these government lay-offs. The below “Employment Disaster Recovery Strategy” looks at a range of re-employment (or income generating) options which you may not yet have considered – particularly if you’re already in survival mode. It should be noted that the objective of this guide isn’t to sit you down and tell you what to do – unfortunately you’ll still need to put some thought in yourself. However by reviewing all the options that are actually available to you (as presented through this “strategic mind set” created mind-map), you will hopefully be in a much stronger position to collect your thoughts, refocus and make the decisions that will take you into a considerably more positive direction in your life.
Along with this, I’ve also included a number of immediate to-do items in the event that you lose your job (items which could save your house and credit rating), as well as listing a variety of diverse industries and professions – which even if you don’t currently qualify for, may still spark some ideas for interesting opportunities through apprenticeships, reskilling or even on-the-job assistant level positions which you could then build upon.
So I’ll finish this post on the following important notes:
Only Action leads to outcomes – if you don’t do anything to help your situation, your situation will never improve.
And above all, it’s important to look on change as a new opportunity. People fear change, however opportunities are exciting times for personal development and growth.
Those who know me also know I don’t pull my punches when it comes to my thoughts on telecommuting and remote working arrangements… and you wouldn’t believe the self control I have to exercise right at this moment not to launch into another tirade about this… so I’ll keep this post short and sweet with the following research on Telecommuting, presented in a beautiful Infographic format:
Ever wondered what sets you apart from some of the top CEO’s in the world? A US study investigates not only what the average education is of these corporate heavies, but also looks into such characteristics as entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and management and what they view as the top priorities for their companies.
I’ve always been fascinated with sociology and the study of human body language, so when I came across this fantastic infographic by forensicpsychology.net on how to tell if somebody is lying, I had to post this up on my blog.
This guide takes you through the verbal queues, the body language give-aways, the emotional gestures and contradictions, general interactions / reactions, eye movements – even down to the subtle “micro-expressions” that you can learn to look for in order to find out if someone is telling you porky pies!
So it’s been a quite few months now since I’ve moved out into the burbs (and arguably longer since my last blog post). The first observation I’d like to make is that there seem to be no bounds to the capacity for a human being to adapt to their environment. At an extreme, let’s draw attention momentarily to the eskimos, or the Sherpa’s of Nepal, or the boat people to the north of Australia who live entirely out in the ocean… but more modestly again now, myself having moved from the warm bussom of inner city living out to the coldest out-reaches of suburbia. Ok fine, perhaps that’s not quite apples for apples, but I’m trying to make a point here.
Initially, I will admit, there was much wailing and nashing of teeth at this sudden and violent change in lifestyle, but since the initial shock to the system had gradually subsided through the passage of time and continued support of my friends, family and my co-workers, I have slowly adapted to make this new lifestyle work for me. The commute in and out of the city still blows (I mean, seriously, we’re in 2012… why are we still forcing people to endure peak hour traffic when so much technology exists to allow us to quite capably telecommute and collaborate on-line??), but a carefully negotiated flexible working arrangement has allowed me to sooth the burn a little by breaking up the monotony of my 5 day working week into two mini “at-work” weeks, with the option of either working from home or a TOIL day to mix things up a little in between. For those who haven’t tried this themselves, you wouldn’t believe the absolute breath of fresh air and renewed enthusiasm this brings to ones work ethic.
But as with most new things, the novelty eventually wears off and dissatisfaction starts to creep its way back into perspective. And it’s this dissatisfaction which I’d like to discuss in a bit more depth now, as looking back on my own motivators in life (and arguably the motivators of many others), I think dissatisfaction is one of those fundamental emotional states that really drives innovation, pushes the entrepreneurial spirit and ultimately forms the basis for people to seek out a better life for themselves.
So what do I mean with; core dissatisfaction with the current state of play? In short, I’m talking about the refusal to accept the status quo – just because that’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean that’s the way it always has to be done. Have you ever paused to reflect on your life as it currently is and thought, surely there has to be more to this than suffering the same daily grind for 50+ years, in hope of one day retiring young enough to still make it to the toilet on time. If not, well I guess it’s also fair to say that everybody is different and we all have our own thresholds of pain before we decide to do something about it.
So just to be clear, I’m not suggesting we all down tools and reject the notion of work because we feel life is too short and we deserve better than this. Aside from the whole running out of money for food thing, I do actually believe that everybody has (or should have) a duty to contribute back to their community. I only suggesting that instead of mindlessly bending over and accepting the societally imposed conventions, that we seek to challenge these through innovation and new approaches to doing the things we’ve always done.
It’s only through innovation that new and exciting opportunities emerge, offering fresh approaches to often old and out-of-dated ways of doing things. This doesn’t have to be something which you have to come up with from scratch – you can also leverage off the innovations of others. For example, iPhones and iPads were the brain child of innovations legend, Steve Jobs – however through these devices, a world of opportunities was created through mobile applications development and the creation of truly interactive user experiences through these direct touch interface devices.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook gave the internet community an unprecedented capability for online sharing and collaboration through his social media platform. And through his innovation was born a new generation of opportunities in tightly social media engaged and connected websites, communities and mobile phone apps, as well as group-buy sites such as groupon.com – not to mention an entirely new era of demographic and interests based targeting for online advertisers.
Google’s own adoption of social media with Google Plus, coupled with their Android mobile operating systems are already shaping the next frontier of augmented reality, complete with full social-media immersion!
… where would we be now if not for all these creative minds constantly challenging the norms to seek out better ways of doing things?
We’ve all heard the saying, “necessity is the mother of all invention”. By not accepting to continue along with something just because that’s the way it’s always been done… by being dissatisfied with the current state of play… only then can we start to identify the gaps between how things currently are and how things can or should be. With each evolution of technology, a new wave of opportunities presents itself. So for those who’ve already closed the door on this by saying “all the good ideas have already been taken”, stop staring at the half empty glass in front of you and start thinking about how you can build upon what’s now available to you in the space above the water line.
Tough Minded Optimism! This is required to not only see the opportunities which present themselves but also provides for resilience and perseverance when obstacles are encountered along the way. Whereas a glass-half-empty person might look around them and complain that all the good opportunities and ideas have already been taken, a glass-half-full person would see these same emerging technologies and ideas and recognise that these instead open the door to a whole new era of possibilities and opportunities. Note also that I’m not saying blind optimism, but rather a tough minded optimism as both the optimistic outlook coupled with a realistic mindset are required for this – and together they make a powerful combination towards achieving one’s goals.
A Concentration of Efforts Toward the Task! As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades but a master of none”, the same is true for successful people. Rarely will you find somebody who has attained success through fleeting interests and a constantly shifting focus away from a singular ultimate target. To succeed you must commit yourself to your mission and see this through to completion. It would surprise you to learn how many potentially million dollar ideas were given up on in the final stages of their implementation.
The Relentless Pursuit of Success. Big dreams typically require big efforts and as such the goal has to be worth the efforts required to achieve it. The most successful people in the world didn’t dedicate their lives to the pursuit of modest objectives. Worst case scenario, if you aim for the moon then even if you miss you will end up amongst the stars.
A Willingness to Work. Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it. If you have a dream and really want to succeed in achieving it, then you must be willing to put in the time and energy to make it happen. No man has ever attained greatness by laying back in his living room arm chair waiting for it to unfold before them 😛
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period. 2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.” 3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.” 4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson. 5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned. 6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.” 7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself. 8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours. 9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust. 10. You will forget all this.
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