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Even the Best Job Has Its Bad Days

Last year, Ben Southall beat out 34,000 other applicants in a competition for the “best job in the world.”  The job was a six month assignment to explore and blog about the Great Barrier Reef Island off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia while earning a cool six figure sum.

Since July, Southall has been hard at work living in paradise, strolling the beaches, exploring the wonders of the sea, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, and having breakfast with koalas. But, last week while on the job, he was stung by a Irukandji jellyfish, proving that every job – even the very best job – has its ups and downs.

Found mostly near Austrailia, Irukandji jellyfish are miniscule to the human eye but extremely venomous. Despite their size, they pack a powerful and sometimes even fatal punch. Fortunately, Southhall has fully recovered from his injury and is back on the beach for another day at the office.

Whether you’re being stung by a venomous jellyfish, dealing with an annoying coworker, being buried under a load of paperwork, or having to let someone go, every job has its bad days. These days are not a lot of fun, but they are an opportunity to learn, develop, and grow personally and professionally.

Dealing professionally with an annoying coworker can teach you how to respond tactfully in difficult situations – a must for developing management skills. Tackling the paperwork that is stacking up can help you learn to prioritize, and manage your tasks and time. And, if you’re paying close attention, it can even teach you when to ask for help or direction. A dangerous jellyfish sting taught Southhall to always wear a stinger suit when in the Australia waters.

The bad days can help prepare you for future obstacles and challenges. They can force you to diagnose inefficient areas in your work processes to adjust and avoid future pain. Bad days help you recognize and appreciate the good ones. After all, what would good days be without bad ones to compare them to? So, the next time you’re faced with a bad day or even a number of bad days, take a deep breath, and focus on what you can gain from it.

Giving Thanks this Holiday Season

With the holidays in full swing, it’s time to celebrate and reflect on all we’re thankful for. Although 2009 has been a rollercoaster year, we each have many reasons to be joyful. This holiday season, take time to think about all the things you have in your life, rather than what you don’t. Focus on family, friends, good health, a home, a job, etc. If you look closely, you’ll find you have a lot to be thankful for.

Another thing to be grateful for is the start of a new year. The year 2010 will bring with it a new beginning and a fresh start. Each day is a new opportunity, full of possibilities and hope. So, start dreaming big and reaching for the stars as the new year approaches.

We want to know what you’re grateful for this year. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. From all of us at Express, we wish you a happy thanksgiving. 

Think Positive About Your Current Work Situation

In the aftermath of a company layoff or cutback, your attitude about your current job might not be as positive as it once was. However, if you’re experiencing negative feelings about your work situation, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment – a.k.a. hurting your career or reputation. Negative attitudes reflect in all you do, and others can pick up on your negative feelings as well. For instance, do you dread getting up and going to work each day? When it’s Monday, are you only looking forward to Friday afternoon? If you answered yes to either of these, it’s time to change your way of thinking. Think about the positive aspects of your job – you owe it to yourself. Here are three steps to help re-focus your attitude.

 

1. Be grateful for the job you have. Even though you might be working someplace that you don’t like, keep in mind that at least you have a job. That is something to be grateful for today. You still have a source of income to pay bills and purchase the things you need.

 

2. Develop friendships at work. When you make connections with others in the workplace, the day tends to go by faster and your work performance to increase. Make it a point to say hello to your co-workers and maybe even go out to eat lunch. By doing so, you will not only be allowing some joy to come into your life, but you will also be adding joy to someone else’s life.

 

3. Focus on your strengths. There are things at work you excel at. You’re the expert at those things and they are a reflection of your strengths. Don’t lose sight of these stand-out qualities. Focus on using these skills throughout your workday so you feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s time to go home.

 

It can be easy to let your current work situation get you down, if you let it. Fight the urge to give in to a negative attitude. Try implementing these three tips into your life, and see if your days improve. Also, remember that attitude is contagious – would you want someone to catch yours?

Struggling to Find Inspiration to Make it Through Your Workday? 4 Places to Look

If you find yourself in the same work environment day after day, year after year, you might start to feel drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may even become apathetic, causing your creativity to drop. Then, your work might begin to suffer. Suddenly, just getting through the workday can be challenging. If you’re one of many workers struggling to find motivation to get through your workday, discover your inspiration and revive your passion through one of these four avenues.

Environment

Sometimes, simply changing your environment can give you a new perspective on your job. If you’re able to take your work with you, ask your supervisor if you can work outside for a short time, work in a different area of the building, or possibly even work from home for a day. Work not portable? Use your lunch break to get outside, take a walk, and enjoy the different scenery.

People

Do you know someone who always makes you laugh, makes you feel better about your situation, or shares words of encouragement? Check in with those friends, family members, and co-workers when you need a pick-me-up during the workday. Consider writing down some of their encouraging words on note cards and posting them in your workspace to view throughout the day. Want to hear someone else’s view on the world? Talk to a child you know. They’ll be sure to make you laugh and appreciate the smaller things in life.

Art

Whether your favorite type of art comes in the form of photography, paintings, music, poetry, or novels, surrounding yourself with the art of your choice can provide new inspiration to help you reach your goals at work and at home. Not sure where to look? Hang a print of some art that brings you joy. Inspiration is sure to follow when you are surrounded by things you love.

Dreams

Sometimes, inspiration comes from dreaming of what may come. So, don’t be afraid to dream big and look toward the future to find your inspiration. Whether you’re motivated by striving for the VP’s chair or simply want to earn a raise to buy the car you’ve been eyeing, dreaming can supply the power you need to make it through the workday.

You’ve probably experienced at least a day here or there when you’ve struggled to stay on task at work, making your day seem endless. But, if you concentrate on what brings you motivation, you’ll soon be right back where you need to be – inspired to get the job done and done well.

Bad Boss of the Week: The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly

With a penchant for manipulation, a demand for the impossible and a sub-zero demeanor that would cause anyone to shudder, The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly is the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week.

Well done, Miranda! Your self-serving ambition and lack of respect for your employees and human beings in general make you a nightmare of a boss and our Bad Boss of the Week.

If you’ve had a bad boss like Miranda, who not only expected but demanded the impossible from you, like a flight home in the middle of a hurricane or a pre-release copy of the latest J.K. Rowling novel, follow these tips to help you succeed in you career without having to acquire super-human powers:

1. Manage Expectations
2. Recognize What You Can and Can Not Control
3. Anticipate Needs
4. Offer Alternative Solutions
5. Communicate Your Successes

Employers often set standards high to inspire and motivate employees to be their very best, but if you feel defeated by your boss’s unattainable demands, practice the above tips for achievable solutions that will help you succeed no matter what.
 
Share your bad boss stories at www.worstbosses.com. For more information about 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best and the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week, click here.

Watch more The Devil Wears Prada videos on AOL Video

Bad Bosses: Have You Worked for One?

Most of us have had a bad boss – or two – in our work history. From the irrational to the absolutely, even clinically, insane, bad bosses and their impressions leave catastrophes in their wake. But, if you think that the icy, fear-inducing Miranda Priestly or the awkwardly dense Michael Scott couldn’t hold a candle to a chart-topping bad boss you’ve had, now’s your chance to share your story.


Express Employment Professionals is working with best-selling author Jim Stovall to gather stories for his next book, titled 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best. To share your story, visit www.worstbosses.com. Your identity, the employer’s identity, and the company’s name will be altered to maintain your confidentiality. If your story is selected to be among the 100 Worst Bosses stories featured, you will receive an autographed, pre-release copy of the book.


Need some bad boss inspiration to help jog your buried memories of an awful boss? Visit the Movin’ on Up blog every Friday in June and July for our highlighted Hollywood bad boss of the week. Check out this week’s bad boss highlight: The ever ridiculous Michael Scott character, on NBC’s The Office, unnecessarily worries his employees when he prematurely spills the beans about their branch office closing before corporate makes a final decision.

Struggling with Workplace Change? 3 Methods to Survive the Madness

If you’ve ever experienced change in the workplace, you know that whether the change is for better or for worse, there’s bound to be a rough patch in the middle while everyone adjusts. Tensions increase, stress levels rise, and work piles on. Much is often out of your control, but at least you can focus on three things to smooth the transition.

Attitude – Your actions are directly derived from your attitude, so focus on keeping it positive when changes happen at work. Think of something that makes you smile, whether it’s your family, the pleasant spring weather, or the thought that the changes will soon subside. Your optimism will positively reflect in your decisions and behaviors – and others will notice.

Productivity – Make a task list, set aside a block of time, or ask for help – do whatever it takes to keep your productivity high. If you can, concentrate on completing your own projects before taking on new responsibilities or offering to help others. Then, you won’t be stretching yourself too thin. Taking on an overwhelming workload can be a burden to your entire team – especially if it means you’re only able to do all of your projects halfway.

Relationships – Conflict can arise when you’re in the same environment with the same people for forty hours a week in the midst of the tension change brings. To keep your relationships strong, remember not to take your frustrations out on your co-workers. Realize they’re stressed, too, so be sympathetic to them. Don’t let them run you over with their words or actions, but remember that how people deal with stress differs. Remain professional, and don’t take things too personally.

The next time you experience change in the workplace, keep these three things in mind to cope – and make things feel less stressful.

Have you experienced workplace change? How did it affect you? Let us know in the comments section below.