Tag Archives: workplace

Four Tips to Fitting in at Work

No matter who you are or how likeable you claim to be, everyone at some point in their life has had trouble fitting in. And, it has nothing to do with if you’re shy or outgoing, or whether or not you were prom king or your high school’s chess champion. Fitting in is a struggle we have all encountered and it doesn’t end in high school. It can be just as difficult to fit in at work. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re feeling like an outsider at the water cooler or in the cube, try these tips to click with your co-workers.

Be a Team Player. Nobody likes to work for or with someone who is not a team player. So, make sure you volunteer to help on projects at work or take some tasks off someone’s plate. If one of your co-workers has to stay late to complete an assignment, check to see if there is something you can do to help them get out of the office faster. Your co-workers will appreciate your willingness to help out and may even return the favor one day. Letting your co-workers know you’re on their team will help build camaraderie and trust between you and your teammates.

Go to Lunch. Instead of going home for lunch everyday or eating out alone, ask your co-workers to go to lunch at least once or twice a month. If you eat in the break room, invite others to share a table. Getting together to learn about your fellow colleagues gives you time to find common likes, interests, and hobbies. And it shows you care about them as a person, not just as a co-worker. It can be intimidating, but be the first to take the initiative and ask a co-worker to lunch. You won’t just be building team relationships, you could be building great friendships too!

Don’t Gossip. People don’t want to hang out with someone who is always talking about other people. So, make sure you keep your opinions about others to a minimum and don’t talk about co-workers who may rub you the wrong way. Even when co-workers entice you to join in on salacious gossip about the boss or another employee, don’t take the bait. Employees who don’t gossip about co-workers will be trusted and respected by the whole team!

Be Happy. It takes more muscles to form a frown then it does to smile, so try to come to work every day with a great attitude. People enjoy being around those who have a good outlook on life and who can make them smile, so be the one who makes someone else’s day brighter and be happy while you are at work.

While it may seem that some people just naturally fit in with others in the workplace, the truth is, everyone has had difficulties feeling comfortable with their co-workers at one time or another. So, don’t take it personally if you find yourself struggling to fit in, and follow these tips to make your day a little easier.

Feeling Stressed? The Easy Way to Simplify

Americans are stressed out! And the nation’s economy is not helping. According to an annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), 80% of Americans polled between April and September of 2009 are stressed about their personal finances and the economy. Top contributors to stress in past surveys include work- and child-related issues. But, no matter what the causes are, stress – in large doses – can be harmful to your mental and physical well being.   

To help you simplify your life and relieve some of the overwhelming obstacles that cause you unnecessary stress, I have one simple word of advice…DELETE!

Now, you may be wondering what that means and thinking that you can’t get rid of the things that may cause you the most stress at times, like your bills, your job, or even your children. But, you can delete things from your life that add fuel to the fires of stress so you can focus more on the issues that require more of your attention. So, delete unnecessary e-mails. Delete old, unused contacts from your phone. Recycle expired products in your garage, bathroom, pantry, and refrigerator. From simplifying an overflowing e-mail inbox at work to cleaning a clutter-filled room at home, getting rid of what you don’t need will help simplify and de-stress a hectic, full life.  

Before you start tossing out the old and unnecessary, ask yourself these questions. When was the last time I needed this? How old is this? How will my life change for the better if I keep this? If your answers sound like this, “I don’t know; more than a year; and I’m not sure;” then chances are, it’s OK to delete these items from your life. Get rid of the things that cause you to worry, stress, or feel overwhelmed. Things can become an unnecessary burden that we must deal with every day.

Life is stressful. And, for many people, that’s just the way it is. Stress has become a way of life for many. But, it doesn’t have to be your way of life. By deleting what you can and should from your life, you may just start to live and love a life that you control, not one that controls you.

Jump into Spring with These Top Tips

Spring is in the air, and everyone is feeling the anticipation of sunny days and warmer weather. But, if you’re feeling the effects of losing an hour of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time and waking up before the sun rises, check out these top tips to help put the spring back in to your step.

Start Your Workday Right – It’s important to begin each day with a positive attitude. This will affect how others perceive you, your productivity, and your overall well-being. So, check out these seven tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Go on an Inexpensive Vacation – With the weather showing signs of spring, thoughts of a get-a-way are not too far off. But, with financial stresses and a heavy workload, a lengthy vacation may not be possible. But before you toss out the idea of a well deserved break, try these inexpensive ways to rejuvenate yourself just in time for spring.

Find Inspiration in Your Day – Let’s face it. The past year has been tough, but the recovery has started. If you’re trying to find some inspiration in your day, check out these four places to look.

Change Your Mood with Color – There’s a reason spring weather puts a little skip in your step. The green grass and blue skies are just two examples of what the changing landscape can do for your attitude. But, you don’t have to be outdoors to increase your positive behavior. Paint your destiny with these vibrant colors inside the workplace.

Re-energize at Work – Working out after the holidays isn’t the only time you should focus on your health. Spring weather is the perfect time to get out and get some exercise. Don’t have time to workout? No problem. These helpful tips can get you back into shape while you’re at work.

With a change in the temperature just around the corner, it’s time to shake off those winter blues and jump into spring with enthusiasm, a new attitude, and a fresh start.

Are Success and Happiness Linked?

A friend once told me that life is what you make it. I laughed when she first said that, because sometimes, bad things just happen, and you can’t control it – perfect examples are the results of the recent economy. Many people lost their jobs, and if you are one of the lucky ones who weathered the storm of massive layoffs and are still employed, then you’re probably still dealing with issues like more stress, longer hours, and less pay. The affects of either of these situations can impact your happiness, both in your professional and personal life. 

But, did my friend have a point? Does your attitude and what you make out of a situation really impact the outcome? How does improving your happiness improve your situation?

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a longtime happiness researcher and professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, half of our happiness is determined by genetics, 10% comes from life circumstances, and about 40% of happiness is under our conscious control. Although you can’t control your genetic makeup regarding happiness, you can consciously control most of the factors beyond genetics and circumstances. That means, how you handle your attitude can directly impact how you look at situations and the outcomes of those circumstances.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So, if you can make up your mind you’re going to be happy no matter what happens in your life, then the sky is the limit.

Experts maintain that happiness is a direct correlation to success, both in your personal and professional life. The happier you are, the more successful you can be! So try to enjoy the simple things in your life that make you feel happy. Volunteer at a local charity, listen to your favorite song in the morning before you start your day, or spend time with friends and family as often as you can. Whatever it is that brings a smile to your face, try to do that more often to see how happiness can transform your life and career.

Life really IS what you make it. So, after careful consideration, I came to realize that my friend has a point. Don’t look at the glass as half empty, look at it as half full. Don’t look at others’ lives to measure your success. Look at your own life, and count the blessings bestowed upon you. Don’t dwell on the negative, focus on the positives, and you will be well on your way to a better life.

What makes you happy? Leave us your comments in the comments section below.

Who’s Your Boss? – Understanding Leadership Styles

In every work environment, you encounter different leadership styles among managers. Some might have exceptional leaders, but others might experience a manager with not-so-great leadership. Leadership styles vary broadly from one manager to the next and from situation to situation. So, how do you know what type of leadership style your manager has? Here is a list of the most common leadership styles and a description of what they are to help you identify the type of manager you work for.

1. Authoritarian.

The authoritarian leader exudes extreme power over their employees. This leader calls all the shots and does not leave much decision making up to the team. They have a vision they want to achieve and know exactly how they’re going to get there … no matter what. With this type of leader they won’t ask employees to do something – they will tell you to do something. If so, to keep the peace, do what is asked without griping or complaining.

Leaders who fall under this category are also classified as transactional leaders. Basically, these are no-nonsense leaders who lay down the law to their employees from day one. Team members have no say and the manager doesn’t really focus on helping the team grow and develop – they just want the work done right.

2. Bureaucratic. This individual is a rule follower and makes sure that the team sticks to the rules. They don’t allow for team brainstorming or coming up with creative new ways to accomplish work. To stay on this leader’s good side, make sure you are following the rules. Over time, this leader may become comfortable with new ideas that you propose – just remember to relate them back to the company and show how they follow the rules and meet company standards.

3. Democratic. A democratic leader is the exact opposite of an authoritarian. They involve the team in decision-making processes, and take all suggestions into account when making the final decision. Also, a democratic leader is considered to be a transformational leader because they focus on the future and on positive growth at work. They want to help others become better leaders as well.

With democratic leaders, feel free to voice opinions or suggestions that you might have. Tell them why you believe in an idea or support or dislike something in the workplace. They will respect your interest in the business.

4. Laissez-Fair. A leader with this style tends to be hands off and allows the team to make all the decisions. In French, laissez-fair means “leave it be” or “let it be.” Basically, this leader leaves everything alone and puts the team in charge. However, this can create a stressful, chaotic environment that lacks direction and goes nowhere.

Unfortunately with this type of leader, they are not very interested in an organization, and there is little that an employee can do to improve the situation. An organization needs leadership to survive. If your organization is dealing with a laissez-fair leader, it might be in the best interest to elect someone into the leadership role who will be involved in the organization.

As you can see, the top leadership styles vary widely and range from the good to the bad. Apply this information to find out what type of leader you work for and to make the best of your workday.

Using Twitter to Help Your Job Search

In this day and time, there are many online social networking sites you can use to aid in your job search. And no matter which social media site you prefer, when used to it’s full potential, finding a job can be just a few connections, tweets, or friend requests away.

One particular social networking site that has gained popularity not only among individuals over the past year, but with employers as well, is Twitter. With job boards becoming overcrowded with job ads, employers have flocked to Twitter to list job openings. It’s not only more economical for businesses, but it also allows prospective employers to target social-media savvy job seekers.

If you’re looking for a competitive edge in the job market, try these tips in utilizing Twitter to help in your job search.

Create a professional profile. To get started, first create a professional profile on your Twitter account that lists your experience and expertise. Experts suggest putting a job pitch in your Twitter bio to help attract prospective employers. You can also link to a professional blog or profile on another networking site for more exposure, such as your personal LinkedIn account.

Post tweets. Before you connect with anyone, make sure you have something intriguing to say. Don’t tweet about what you ate for breakfast – instead, tweet about the industry you’re trying to land a job in, an idea that invites interest, or share a link to an intriguing article of substance. Once you have some substantial tweets on your account, you’re ready to connect with business leaders and other Twitter followers in your industry. 

Connect with recruiters and businesses. Once your Twitter account is created and you have tweets posted, start connecting with prospective employers and recruiters. This will help give you a heads up on potential job openings as well as an inside look into company chatter. And, don’t stop with hiring managers and recruiters. Connect with employees of companies you’re interested in. Also, connect with professionals from your industry and metro area so you are expanding your offline network to your online presence. This will give you even more networking opportunities and a leg up if a job does arise because you will know more people on the inside.

Educate yourself on Twitter applications. Twitter is not a difficult tool to learn, but there are several applications you can use to assist you in your job search. Check out these 15 Twitter applications that will help you get the most value out of your Twitter account and increase your chances of job search success.

The growing popularity of Twitter and the benefits offered are luring more than just social-media minded individuals. This site is attracting job seekers, employers looking for prospective employees, recruiters, and industry leaders. This social media site allows job seekers to meet in an informal setting and interact one-on-one with recruiters and hiring managers without an awkward feeling of trying to connect with professionals, like on other social media networking sites. So, try these tips when setting up your Twitter account to help in your job search.

For more job search, career, and workplace advice, follow Express on Twitter today.

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.