Industry News

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The City of Brisbane Investment Corporation, Brisbane City Council’s future fund, continues its acquisitive streak, emerging as the buyer of the A-grade purpose-built Australian Taxation Office building complex in Gosford in Sydney’s central coast.

CBIC bought the completed property at 99 Georgiana Terrace and 38 Mann Street from Canberra-based developer and owner Doma Group for $43.5 million.

Doma Group was shopping for a buyer prior to the property’s completion last year, as foreshadowed by The Australian Financial Review.

Coinciding with the sale of the 7380sq m office building and two-storey heritage building at 99 Georgiana Terrace and 38 Mann Street, the ATO has also completed its move into the building.

The ATO has been moving into the building progressively since late last year, and completed occupation last week. It will lease the property for 10 years.

The sale of the property, which went through a tender, closed at a 6.9 per cent passing yield.

Colliers International’s Paul Powderly, James Barber and Adam Leacy brokered the deal.

The property drew strong interest given its long government tenure.

With yield compression in commercial property at record lows, local and foreign investors are focusing on quality and tenure of tenant to secure strong long-term cash flows.

The CBIC, which at times drew criticism for its property investment activity, previously invested in commercial property until 2014 until it branched out into ­residential and retail development. It was set up in 2008 by Campbell Newman when he was ­Brisbane Lord Mayor.

Like all investors, the CBIC has traded other buildings as part of a capital recycling strategy such as the sale of the Bowen Hills commercial complex at 41 O’Connell Terrace for $52 million in 2016.

 

Source: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/the-city-of-brisbane-investment-corporation-buys-gosford-ato-for-435-million-20180430-h0zfze

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MICHAEL Cassel, it seems, is a man with more titles than Roger Federer.

He was tasked with leading the revitalisation of Newcastle and co-ordinating Newcastle’s light rail delivery. And now Mr Cassel will add another job title to his impressive curriculum vitae: chief executive officer of Central Coast Regional Development Corporation.

Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts announced the appointment on Monday as the government released plans to revitalise and enhance the Gosford city centre.

Mr Cassel said he looked forward to working with Central Coast Council, Coordinator General Lee Shearer and other stakeholders to “help bring the bold vision for the region and its capital to life”.

Mr Cassel, the Revitalising Newcastle program director and chief executive of the Hunter Development Corporation, has overseen the Newcastle light rail construction.

Mr Roberts said Mr Cassel had been “instrumental in leading change and transforming Newcastle”.

Source: https://www.lakesmail.com.au/story/5332428/cassel-to-head-up-gosford-renewal/

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The first-ever Central Coast Festival of Women, held across several venues to celebrate International Women’s Day, was declared a success.

The festival recognised and celebrated the achievements and contributions of women on the Central Coast and raised awareness of gender issues still present in the community. The theme for the inaugural festival was ‘Press for Progress’. The Gosford RSL hosted the launch of the festival on Friday, March 2. The evening showcased the strong support for woman’s equality on the Central Coast, with many infl uential female leaders coming together to speak at the event. Among those present was Mayor, Jane Smith, Member for Dobell, Ms Emma McBride, Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks, Member for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch and Ms Anne Charlton, Labor’s candidate for Robertson. “There is more that unites us than divides us,” Ms Wicks said. “That is how we are going to press for progress, by focusing on the things that unite us,” she said. Mayor, Jane Smith, spoke about new initiatives being taken up by Central Coast Council to press for progress, including working toward becoming a white ribbon accredited workplace.

“That means a commitment from our leaders to update policies and procedures that will ensure a culture of respect and gender equality at all levels of our organisation,” Mayor Smith said. Ms McBride gave her speaking time to a 15-year-old student, Arabella, who overcame an issue of gender disparity at her school with the help of her local MP. Arabella was moved to tears as she described the feeling of empowerment and gratitude toward Ms McBride. “I was really taken back,” Arabella said. “There’s someone who actually cares. “It was incredible to realise that I had a voice and I could speak up,” she said. Ms Tesch reminded the audience that there is still work to be done, particularly in the area of Indigenous affairs. “I encourage everyone to walk alongside all of our Aboriginal sisters, because in that space, as women, we have a long way to go.”

Other events held as part of the festival included the International Women’s Day Lunch, hosted by the View Club Bateau Bay, at the Entrance Leagues Club, on March 6. The International Women’s Day Forum, hosted by Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre, took place on March 7, followed by several International Women’s Day Breakfasts. The festival fi nished on Sunday, March 11, with the annual International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Reef Restaurant, The Haven, featuring guest speaker, Ms Joanne McCarthy, a Central Coast resident and Newcastle Herald journalist, whose investigation of child abuse in the Catholic church resulted in her winning the 2013 Gold Walkley Award for excellence in journalism. “I certainly hope this will become an annual tradition that we celebrate with great pride,” Ms Wicks said in concluding her remarks at the festival launch.

Source: Media release, Feb 12 Sally Jope, Central Coast International Women’s Day Organising Committee Event transcripts, Mar 2 Central Coast Festival of Women launch Olivana Smith-Lathouris, Journalist

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/04/festival-women-declared-success/

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The Central Coast could be heading for an education crisis as the region’s schools are pushed to beyond capacity by rampant residential development.

Literally thousands of major new residential units are either under construction or approved across the region. Hundreds more are proposed and pending decisions either from Central Coast Council or the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

In Gosford alone, the number of new units — and potential extra students – could be substantial. The Waterside development will contain 500 units when completed. John Singleton’s Bonython Tower will add 56 units. The recently proposed five tower residential complex at North Gosford will contain 400 more if approved. Other unit blocks are underway around Gosford Railway Station and in Hill Street.

All these fall within the catchment of Henry Kendall High School and Gosford Public School and are just one example of the coming major demographic shifts likely to impact on local schools.Central Coast P and C president Sharryn Brownlee warned that existing Central Coast schools would struggle to cope with a major influx of students unless there was a massive investment in permanent new classrooms, buildings and teaching resources, and even in new schools.

Mrs Brownlee said there was a real danger of schools becoming clogged with demountable buildings and outdoor spaces disappearing under “pop up” school buildings as the education department tried to deal with the problem.

She said school bus transport currently could not cope with transporting overflow numbers to nearby schools, adding to major traffic congestion problems.

“Henry Kendall High School as it is now could not accommodate extra children around Gosford without significant investment in new classrooms, buildings and teaching resources — you cannot have a demountable city just plonked down on the site,” Mrs Brownlee said.

“It can’t happen, its not educationally sound. It would destroy the learning environment — that’s the truth of it,” she said.

“Even relocating extra students to other high schools or bussing them temporarily is fraught with problems — Narara Valley High School is a long way from where the developments are and Lisarow High needs a huge upgrade just to cope with the existing students.”

Mrs Browlee said Gosford Public School was already at capacity and limited by the site.

“There was no forward planning around the relocation of that school — no extra land provision or thinking ahead,” Mrs Brownlee said.

LACK OF PLANNING
Mrs Brownlee said planning for development in greenfields sites in the north of the Central Coast had been better with a new primary school planned for that area, and a community consultation process in place.

“The question is — will that one school be enough and what are the department’s plans around high schools for that area?”

“We are concerned there have been no new school builds up here for years and capital investment is really behind where the population is,” she said.

“Wamberal is 20 years overdue for an upgrade, Point Clare is ten years overdue. Gosford Public School was rebuilt but with no future provision.

“The Department of Education demographers fought kicking and screaming to not build Kariong Mountains High School — which now has nearly 800 students enrolled.

“It’s a substantial, functional, quality high school — can you imagine if those 800 students were also added to Henry Kendall and those kids were commuting down there by bus?”

Mrs Brownlee said there should be an education impact statement with every new residential development.

“There is nothing more important than the mandatory 13 years of schooling but the impact of new developments on education is not properly considered in the DA process,” Mrs Browlee said.

“We don’t know what the education plans for the Central Coast are because there is a complete lack of transparency and no cohesive plan.”

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/development-boom-could-lead-to-schools-crisis-says-central-coast-pc-council/news-story/c71403fee2c8d82360dfb7b645649b03

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Unemployment or changing jobs or being stuck in a career rut is stressful no matter how you look at it, but when you multiply it by two, it can really take a toll on you and your relationship.

When my husband and I lost our jobs within six weeks of each other, we were in shock—and found ourselves spending a lot of time together, for better or for worse. During that harrowing period, we attempted to reinvent ourselves as professionals without losing who we were as a couple.

Now that we’re both collecting paychecks again, it’s easy to see many of the mistakes we made as we navigated the rocky road back to full-time employment together. The following is my hard-won wisdom on how to handle joint career stress without losing your peace of mind or your relationship in the process.

Respect Each Other’s Methods

Remember the old “opposites attract?” Well, my husband and I approached our job searches from completely different angles. I regarded it as a numbers games, sending my resume far and wide, while my husband was more strategic, cultivating connections and networking with everyone he’d ever met.

When I tried to convince him to give my way a go when some of his leads didn’t pan out, he insisted his strategy would eventually bear fruit. Likewise, when he suggested I get back in touch with people I hadn’t spoken with in years, I hesitated. Though we were skeptical of each other’s methods, neither of us was right nor wrong.

Respect your partner’s approach to their career, and if you can borrow what’s working for them and incorporate it into your own game plan, all the better. Because, ultimately, both tactics led us to new positions.

Work as a Team

During a rough career patch, you can definitely feel isolated and alone. If there’s an upside to facing it as a couple, it’s that you’ve got a partner who is attempting to overcome the same hurdle, which means your relationship has probably never been filled with more empathy. Use that compassion to cheer each other on and be encouraging on those dark days when your inboxes seem to overflow with rejection emails.

In addition to providing emotional support, you can benefit from having a ready and willing interview partner. Trust me, it’s a lot better to make mistakes in a mock interview with your significant other than with your would-be boss.

Be Gentle With Each Other

When you’re feeling raw and vulnerable during this time, something as small as a sideways glance can feel like a devastating slight.

Though it might be tempting to offer advice, sometimes your partner may just want to vent and know that their feelings are heard and valid. It’s important to keep communication open and figure out what makes each of you feel supported.

When my husband was passed over for a position we were almost certain he’d get, I found myself saying things like, “I don’t understand. How could you not have gotten it?” This ultimately wasn’t helpful for either of us. People process these life events in different ways, so treat each other with care.

Put Away Your Pride and Get Help if You Need It

There’s no denying that a career bump can cause your confidence to plummet while your stress level skyrockets. These factors can wreak havoc on even the most rock-solid relationship. Just remember, you’re not alone.

From career counseling to marriage counseling, if this period is taking a toll on your mental health or your relationship, seek help. Having a professional third party provide strategies for navigating this difficult period can assist you in getting back on track.

Though it may not feel like it while you’re in the thick of it, you will come out on the other side, and when you do, your relationship may be stronger for having weathered this challenging period nobly together.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-deal-relationship-rough-career-change?ref=recently-published-0

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A GROUP of young secondary school students on the Central Coast are finding out that small actions can make a big difference to the community.

MacKillop Catholic College in Warnervale launched a new community service program called JUMP (Josephites Undertaking Mission Projects) with its Year 7 students last year and it is already seeing a change in attitudes.

While some previous programs at the school had been seen as a chore, students are going above and beyond to get involved in this program, clocking up many more hours of volunteering than the required 15 hours annually.

Samuel Wolscher, 14, and now in Year 8, has already clocked up 40 hours since last term.

One of his key activities has been helping cook meals for the homeless at Coast Shelter in Gosford.

“Also, last year I did a food drive and packed baked goods and sent them to the shelter,” he said.

“You get to see what other people’s lives are like and it really puts things in perspective.

“You see how many people actually need help, and you feel really good that you’re making a difference.”

Another student, Charlotte Hannan, 13, has been painting office walls and murals at the Oasis Youth Centre in Wyong, and preparing for an upcoming ANZAC Day service on the Coast.

“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “It gives you so many opportunities to reach out and help in the community.

“There are so many things out there you can step out and help with.”

School outreach co-ordinator Michelle Baxter said the program showed students that no matter their background, or whether they were sporty or academic, they could get involved.

“I think for them to hear the stories of other people is important,” she said.

“Another great thing with this program is that our students all get to be a part of it.

“This program is for everybody — everyone can contribute, everyone can make a difference.”

Mrs Baxter said the program would be rolled out as each new cohort of Year 7 students started at the school.

MacKillop Catholic College has been taking part in Catholic Schools Week.

The school is holding a Kinder and Year 7 enrolment information night for existing and prospective parents on Wednesday, March 21 at 6.30pm.

Upcoming Catholic school open days

Primary Schools

St Patrick’s, East Gosford, Monday, April 9, 6.30pm

St Brendan’s, Lake Munmorah, Tuesday, March 27, 9am – 10.15am & 6pm – 7pm

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Terrigal, Tuesday, March 27, 6.30pm

Our Lady of the Rosary, The Entrance, Tuesday, March 13, 9.30am – 11am & 7pm – 8.30pm

St Mary’s, Toukley, Monday, March 26, 7pm

St John Fisher, Tumbi Umbi, Tuesday, May 1, 10am – 11am & 7.30pm
St John the Baptist, Woy Woy, Tuesday, April 3, Enrolment information, 7pm, Wednesday, April 4, Under 6 Morning, 9.30am

Our Lady of the Rosary, Wyoming, Friday, March 9, 4.30pm – 7pm, Tuesday, March 20, Kindy Parent Information Evening, 7pm – 8pm, Wednesday, March 21, Under 6 Fun Morning, 9.15am – 10.45am

St Cecilia’s, Wyong, Tuesday, April 10, 7pm, Wednesday, April 11, Open Day/Fun Morning, 9.15am

Secondary Schools

St Brigid’s Catholic College, Tuesday, March 13, 1pm – 5.30pm

St Peter’s Catholic College, Monday, March 12, 4pm
Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/year-7-students-make-a-change-in-the-community/news-story/88016b23226a38b2a9d98839c24b8d1b

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20 years ago, you probably would’ve laughed if someone said your life would one day be irrevocably changed by a company called Google. What’s a google?

But, as you know, Google’s become the largest entity in one of the biggest tech companies in the world. And it’s giving you a glimpse inside its robust research on what makes a great manager.

It’s no secret that being a good manager can make all the difference in how happy your team is and how well it performs. Google not only proved this to skeptics years ago, but also identified eight (later updated to 10) behaviours of its best managers. So why not learn from one of the most successful data-driven companies out there?

1. “Is a Good Coach”

Employees need and appreciate a manager who takes time to coach and challenge them, and not just when they’re behind.

As Muse contributor Avery Augustine put it, “When it comes to clients, the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.” The same is true, she said, of employees you manage.

But “I realized that every employee needs to be managed—star performer or not,” she wrote. “And simply leaving some employees to do their jobs without any type of feedback or guidance was detrimental to their career development.”

2. “Empowers Team and Does Not Micromanage”

Micromanaging’s a common mistake managers make without even realizing it, one that discourages and frustrates employees.

But Google’s research found that its best managers don’t, instead offering the right balance of freedom and advice, showing they trust their direct reports, and advocating for the team, according to a sample breakdown from an internal presentation included in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article.

3. “Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success and Well-Being”
In the first iteration of the list, this was described as “expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.”

Several years later, the company’s updated this entry to reflect research on psychological safety that allows for risk-taking—which Google identified as an important characteristic of effective teams—and unbiasing, or the process of becoming aware of and combatting unconscious biases.

It’s not enough just to have a diverse team, good leaders and managers strive to create an inclusive environment every day.

4. “Is Productive and Results-Oriented”

Employees don’t want to work for a lazy boss. They’d rather be part of a team that’s productive and successful, and that’s hard to do if the leader doesn’t set the tone.

Former Muse editor Adrian Granzella Larssen explained that becoming a boss means you have to be on model behavior.

“As a manager, you’ll be looked to as a role model,” she wrote. “You can’t expect people to give their best at work if they don’t see you doing it, so be sure you’re always on your A game.” That means putting in the effort and getting results.

5. “Is a Good Communicator—Listens and Shares Information”

Communicating effectively is one of the basics of being a good manager (or a good employee for that matter). But it’s also important to remember that great managers prioritize listening.

“Focused, curious listening conveys an emotional and personal investment in those who work for us,” according to Muse contributor Kristi Hedges. “When you listen to people, they feel personally valued. It signals commitment.”

6. “Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance”

Google recently added the “discusses performance” component to this behaviour. The company pointed to research from Gallup that found only half of employees know what expectations they should be fulfilling at work.

“To free employees to take initiative and inspire high performance,” Gallup concluded, “managers need to set clear expectations, hold employees accountable for meeting them and respond quickly when employees need support.”

In other words, managers should not only help their team develop skills and advance their careers, but also be clear about expectations and give honest feedback about performance.

7. “Has a Clear Vision/Strategy for the Team”

Stephanie Davis, who won one of Google’s Great Manager Awards, told HBR that feedback reports helped her realize how important it was to communicate team vision in addition to company vision.

“They wanted me to interpret the higher-level vision for them,” she said. “So I started listening to the company’s earnings call with a different ear. I didn’t just come back to my team with what was said; I also shared what it meant for them.”

A clear and shared vision can also help members of your team work well together.

 

8. “Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team”

When Google first released its list of behaviors, the findings were somewhat anti-climactic. “My first reaction was, that’s it?” Laszlo Bock, then the Vice President of People Operations, told The New York Times in 2011.

The entries on the list may’ve been obvious, but their relative importance wasn’t, as Bock’s team found out when it ranked the behaviours.

“In the Google context, we’d always believed that to be a manager, particularly on the engineering side, you need to be as deep or deeper a technical expert than the people who work for you,” he said. “It turns out that that’s absolutely the least important thing. It’s important, but pales in comparison.”

So all hope isn’t lost if you find yourself managing people who know more than you.

9. “Collaborates Across Google”

Google recently extended its list by two when its employee survey found that effective cross-organization collaboration and stronger decision-making were important to Googlers.

Whether you’re at a large corporation, an early-stage startup, or a nonprofit, managing your team and leading it to success can depend at least in part on how well you can work with other teams.

Muse contributor Rebecca Andruszka gave some tips for improving communication with other departments for “the collective betterment of the company” (and, as she wrote, to avoid feeling like you work in Congress).

10. “Is a Strong Decision Maker”

Google’s last addition is a reminder that while it’s important for a manager to listen and share information, employees also appreciate one who can make decisions.

Muse Founder and President Alex Cavoulacos urged managers to go one step further and tell their teams not only what decision they’ve made, but also why they’ve made it. The small extra effort helps the team understand context and priorities, improve their own future decision-making, and stay engaged as well as informed.

One of the reasons this research was so effective was that it used internal data to prove what makes managers great at Google (and the company’s re:Work website provides some first steps for others who want to try to replicate its approach).

But that doesn’t mean the list isn’t helpful for people who don’t work there. After all, Google did go from being a made-up word to a household name in just a few years. People and companies now look to it as an example, not only in innovation, but also in its approach to management.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-behaviors-make-great-google-manager?ref=recently-published-2

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The NRMA has applied to upgrade a number of its cabins at its Ocean Beach holiday park. The cabin upgrades will involve three new elevated cabins each with two bedrooms.

They will be located on six dwelling sites (numbers 34 to 39) that will be amalgamated to form three new sites, according to the application lodged with Central Coast Council. The NRMA has asked that each cabin is permitted to have two ensuites, a living room, kitchen and deck. “In total, the proposal intends to add 10 toilets, 10 shows and 10 sinks for the use of temporary guests at the holiday park,” said a report submitted with the application.

“As the land slopes slightly in this location, there may be the need for a 600mm high retaining wall parallel to the road. “The installation of the retaining wall is exempt development and does not form part of this application,” the report said. The applicant has argued that the proposed development would be minor and does not require any removal of trees or earthworks, it claimed there would be no impact on the natural or built environment. “The development will have a positive social and economic impact as it will improve the park’s facilities for guests and potentially attract more tourists to the area. “In addition, the works will provide short-term employment.”

SOURCE: Gosford DA Tracker, 20 Feb 2018 DA53741/2018, Central Coast Council

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/02/nrma-applies-upgrade-cabins-ocean-beach/

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A Government-sponsored community housing project has been officially opened in Woy Woy on February 22 by Member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch.

Talia on Chambers was developed by in a joint venture between local community housing provider Pacific Link Housing, and Evolve Housing, which will see the development of more than 80 new dwellings across three sites on the Central Coast and Western Sydney. Talia on Chambers is the first completed project by Evolve Pacific Developments which contains 31 studio apartments, including two accessible and eight adaptable apartments for people with disability.

The building also contains accommodation for an onsite caretaker. Speaking at the opening, Pacific Link Chairman, Mr David Bacon, said the development model for the provision of new social and affordable housing was an excellent way forward in addressing the chronic shortage of housing for people in need.

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/02/community-housing-project-officially-opened/

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So, you’ve got a gap in your resume? Maybe you decided to travel, or go back to school, or maybe you looked after a sick relative, or you took time out to be a parent yourself. Whatever the reason, you’re probably feeling like your job hunt is going to be that much harder. Surely any recruiter looking at your resume is going to run a mile away.

Not necessarily.

Most employers nowadays recognize that it’s rare for anyone to stay with just one or two companies for their whole career. Plus, job security isn’t what it used to be (unfortunately).

As a recruiter, I’ve interviewed my fair share of candidates, and if there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s this. Think about how to present your gap. With a little foresight, you can turn a potentially tricky interview situation into a masterclass in personal branding.

1. So, You Lost Your Job
Some people find it embarrassing to talk about being laid off, but it’s unlikely to elicit anything but sympathy from your interviewer. It’s fairly commonplace these days. Just remember not to badmouth your past company or boss. Instead, focus your response on all the positive things you achieved while you were there.

Don’t Say
“That #!&$! company had it in for me from day one. I probably would’ve left anyway.”

Do Say
“Unfortunately, the company had to implement some budget cuts and, due to their ‘last-in, first-out’ policy, I was made redundant. However, I’m proud of what I achieved during my time there, something which can be reinforced by my previous manager, who’s one of my referees.”

2. So, You Quit Your Job and Traveled the World
The key with this one is to focus on how traveling contributed to your personal development, rather than how much fun you had schlepping around the world with nothing but a backpack and a smile. If you took on any paid or volunteer work during this time, concentrate your response on the additional personal and professional skills it’s given you.

Don’t Say
“Well let’s face it, partying in Thailand is a lot more fun than going to work. I’m pretty sure I had an awesome time, but I can’t actually remember most of it.”

Do Say
“I spent a number of years working at a company in a very demanding job, in which–as you’ll see from my references–I was very successful. But I’d reached a stage in my career where I wanted to focus on my personal growth. The time I spent traveling taught me a lot about how to get along with people of all ages and cultures. Now I feel more than ready to jump back into my career with renewed energy and focus and I feel this role is the ideal way to do that.”

3. So, You Went Back to School
This is perhaps the easiest one to explain. Particularly if what you did is relevant to your chosen career. Even if not, it’s easy to put positive spin on something that requires a certain level of intelligence and hard work.

Don’t say
“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, so I stayed in school rather than getting a job. I am still uncertain if this career path is right for me.”

Do Say
“I wanted to expand my career options by completing some training/getting a qualification in x. Now that I’ve achieved my educational goals, I’m looking forward to using my qualifications to benefit the company I work for. This role is the perfect way for me to do that because…”

4. So, You Took Time Off for Health Reasons
Brevity’s key here. The interviewer won’t expect (or want) you to go into painstaking detail about an attack of depression or a serious back operation. Prepare a straightforward explanation that you’re comfortable sharing. Mention how proud you are that you were able to overcome your health problems and then move the conversation swiftly into the present day by discussing the relevant skills you have to offer this company.

Don’t Say
“Whoa, yeah, things were pretty bad there for a while..”

Do Say
“I went through a tough time emotionally/physically due to… and I took some time out to concentrate on getting better, so I could get back to work as quickly as possible. I’m pleased that I overcame that challenge because it’s made me a stronger person but now I’m fully recovered and ready to focus on the next stage of my career.”

5. So, You Had to Take Care of Your Family
Remember, caring for the sick or elderly and raising a family are tough jobs that require a huge range of skills, which you now have in abundance. No interviewer should make you feel like your decision to prioritize family over career reflects badly on you.

If you had time to keep your skills and industry knowledge up to date, make sure you mention this. End the discussion by telling the interviewer that you’re excited to recommit yourself to your career. And remember, any company worth your time and effort should recognize what an all-round superhero you clearly are.

Don’t Say
“I live the closest to my mom so I drew the short straw in having to take care of her. I just couldn’t handle looking after her and holding down a job!”

Do Say
“After a lot of thought, I decided that my top priority was my child/elderly parent/sick spouse. However, I made sure to keep my professional skills up to date during that time. Now I’m in a position to refocus on my career and I’m looking forward to utilizing all the additional soft skills I’ve learnt.”

Lastly, remember that lying on your resume or in interview is a really bad idea. When you’re asked about a gap in your employment, take a deep breath and acknowledge the interviewer’s concern. Stay composed and don’t get defensive: it will reassure the interviewer that you’re confident and comfortable with your reasons so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be too.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/explain-resume-gap-interview-right-way?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-1

CC Festival

The Lakes Festival is celebrating its fourth year in November, and Central Coast Council is looking for new and exciting event ideas to join the 2018 Festival Program.

The Lakes Festival is a 10-day event which celebrates the beautiful waterways across the Central Coast. In 2017, the Festival attracted over 60,000 patrons over the 10 days, with over 600,000 people reached via a strong marketing campaign including print, outdoors, social media and radio. “Do you have an innovative idea?” a Council spokesperson said. “Think outside the box and get involved. “Examples of ideas we are looking for include art based events, major events, sculpture events/ projects, digital media and installation events/ projects, or any other innovative event you can think of. “Events are assessed by the committee on their potential to involve the local community and visitors to the region,” a Council spokesperson said. Events must incorporate the lake, either via location or theme, and should be located around one of the below event hubs: McKenzie’s Reserve, Budgewoi, Canton Beach Foreshore, Long Jetty Foreshore, Picnic Point, The Entrance, Gosford Waterfront, Ettalong Beach and any other waterways on the Central Coast (pending approval).

“This year you will be able to apply for funding via Central Coast Council’s grants program to assist with getting your idea/event off the ground,” a Council spokesperson said. “The two types of grants you can apply for are a Community Partnership Grant or a Place Activation Grant. “The Community Partnership Grant aims to support existing local community events and projects, and you can apply for funding for between $5,000 and $20,000 (combined cash and in-kind). “It is specifically designed for activities and events that have grown and are of interest to a particular community or provide benefit to the Central Coast Community.

“Eligible applicants for this grant include a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation, a group auspiced by a not-for-profit organisation, and a business.” A Place Activation Grant is provided to support individuals, artists, community organisations, members and businesses to deliver activities in the areas of Place Making, Creative Industry and Social Enterprise. “You are able to apply for funding up to $5,000 under this grant, with the grant focusing on a new activity that enhances our local community, creates public artwork, or helps develop a social enterprise that is unique and creative”, the Council spokesperson said This is open to community groups, a business, artists or individuals. Applications close on Wednesday, Feb 28. Source: Media release, Feb 14 Central Coast Council Media.

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/02/new-ideas-sought-lakes-festival/

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You know the feeling. You’ve been selling for a few years, you’re regularly hitting your numbers, and you think you’re ready for a promotion. But sales is a labour-intensive job. The day-to-day stress can be deflating, and most of the time, it takes everything you’ve got just to meet your goal.

So, how do you get to the next level without taking your foot off the revenue pedal? Not by working an extra three hours every day—that’s only going to burn you out. Instead, do a few little things every day to flex your leadership muscles and still meet goals.

Here are five smalls tasks to incorporate into your daily workflow to build towards a promotion. And remember, it’s not about getting the position, it’s about becoming the person who deserves the position.

1. Help Your Colleagues
You might not have the title of sales leader, but by helping your co-workers you can start being a leader on your floor today. After all, a title won’t make people follow you, their trust and belief in you will—and you don’t need a title to build that.

New reps always need help when they start. Ask if you can help them ramp up and find success. It might be as simple as telling them how to access certain software or letting a new rep listen to a few of your calls. Or, offer to do a few ride-alongs.

When you have small talk with co-workers, ask them how they’re doing and really listen to their response. Then, ask to help.

A few months ago, I noticed a recently promoted colleague struggling to perform. We decided to review a few call recordings and see if we could identify gaps. Turns out, an hour of my time was enough to kick his performance into high gear.

2. Stop Eating Alone
If you’re like me, you’re glued to your computer and phone most of the day, spilling lunch on your keyboard and slurping down quick mugs of coffee on your way back from the kitchen.

Instead of staring at your screen for 10 straight hours, use lunch or coffee breaks to network. If you sell for a company with multiple sales teams, meet with reps and leadership in other teams to learn what their segments are experiencing.

Learn how they made it to where they are today. What was their first job? Did they attend any special trainings or classes? What was their big break, and what did they do once they got there? Pick someone who’s career you’d like to emulate and ask them what steps you should take to achieve the same type of growth.

3. Understand the Skills You Need
And find out how to get them. Be honest with yourself—you’ll need to know how to do more than hit an individual quota when it comes to managing a team.

If you’re a great salesperson but don’t know how to interview people, ask your boss, “If I hit 115% of goal, can I sit in on your next interview call?”

Have hiring down but need to be better at running efficient meetings? Ask for the opportunity to run your team’s weekly call review if you exceed next month’s goal. Need to work on one-on-one coaching? Ask if you can mentor someone on the sales team.

It might be hard in the beginning, but telling your boss you’d rather receive these opportunities than a bonus will show how serious you are about making it to the next level.

4. Solve a Problem
To find growth opportunities, look for company or team gaps and fill them. Is there a communication gap between sales and marketing? Find out how to fix it. Does your company have a major initiative coming up? Get ahead by solving potential pain points.

I knew someone who kept getting crushed by competitors when he was a sales rep. He was selling software that was difficult to install, and his competitors beat him every time because they had partnerships with software implementation specialists.

Instead of taking this problem to his boss and complaining, he made his own deal with an implementation company and started winning business—a lot of business.

His company took notice of the increased volume and asked for his secret. When he told them what he’d been doing, they decided to scale his partnership framework and put him in charge.

5. Always Be Learning
Leadership requires a broad skill set, and reading gives you the alternative strategies you need to excel in your daily work. If you’re not reading sales books and blogs, you should be.

Think you don’t have time? Load up on sales and leadership podcasts or audiobooks on your commute or while you’re cooking dinner.

And, if your company offers class reimbursement, take advantage and enroll in local or online seminars.

Lastly, regularly attend meetups or other networking events in your city. You can learn as much from other people facing similar challenges as you can from the pages of a book.

It’s one thing to want a promotion and another thing to work for one. Start by incorporating these five strategies into your workflow, and see your manager and co-workers take notice.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-get-a-promotion-in-sales?ref=recently-published-0

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New smart planning should mean less cars

There has been some discussion lately about the future of the Peninsula with mayor Cr Jane Smith and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president Mr Matthew Wales talking about the need for a renewed urban design.

This may be so, but what is the chamber’s real vision? The Peninsula needs an urban design that benefits the whole community and would include low-rise, mixed-use buildings with active street frontages, more trees and open spaces that will create a better urban amenity than currently exists. It doesn’t need more traffic lights and more layers of car parking. One of the main points of a coherent urban design is the transport system. The Member for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch, is on the right track in relation to transport (Peninsula News, January 29), although what is required is future thought on transport and living spaces around the Peninsula that reflects projected climate change, sea level rise and technology.

The Peninsula needs a complete solution involving vertically integrated public transport for residents, commuters, school children and the elderly, not one-off projects. One possibility is the implementation of a light rail. Research by a Canberra university has shown utilisation of rapid transit can be successful in urban and regional areas of lower density and can be city-shaping, transforming communities when combined with long-term strategic urban planning.

A trackless light rail such as the ART in China could deliver considerable financial, social and environmental benefits to the area. This includes a flow-on effect to diversifying the economy, improving livability for the community and sustaining the environment by reducing traffic congestion and transport disadvantage, and increasing value capture and health via more walkable suburbs that are connected across the Peninsula.

Smart cities provide active transport, reliable sustainable public transport and urban design that responds to population growth but enhances the livability of locations. The money suggested to be spent on any major car parking project should be utilised in establishing a transport-orientated design project that services the whole of the Peninsula, looking at reducing traffic volumes rather than old engineering paradigms of more cars, more spaces to park them in and more traffic lights.

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/02/new-smart-planning-mean-less-cars/

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I feel like I need more than just a traditional resume or cover letter in order to stand out to the tech companies I want to work for. What else can I do to separate myself from the competition that’s applying to these innovative companies?

Dear Desperate to Stand Out,

You really hit the nail on the head. Competition’s tough across the board and tech is leading the way.

Your first step to getting noticed is to get in the right mindset. What does that mean? Don’t think like a recruiter, but more like a marketer. Your product is your experience. Here’s how a marketer would sell it.

1. Focus on Presentation
Maybe you’re not a graphic designer, but that shouldn’t be stand in the way of creating an eye-catching resume. There are plenty of tools that make design easy for everyone—many even offer templates designed by experts.

And don’t just stop there. Think of all the other points of contact a recruiter could have with you—including your LinkedIn profile, other social media handles, a blog, an online portfolio, and so on. Make sure they are all polished and contribute to a cohesive personal brand.

2. Spread the Word
A solid resume or cover letter doesn’t accomplish anything if the right people don’t see it. One surefire way to stand out is to proactively put it in front of the right people and to make it easy for them to notice it.

For example, there’s a story of a candidate who used Snapchat geo filters to advertise his portfolio in front of creative directors at the agencies he wanted to work for. You may not want to go that far, but that core idea has some merit. Think of how you can make yourself discoverable.

Don’t be intimidated. This can be something as straightforward as finding an acquaintance who works at the company and asking for a referral, or even dropping a friendly note to the hiring manager on Twitter or LinkedIn.

3. Make it Personal
Anything that starts with the dreaded, “To Whom it May Concern” will find it’s way to the trash can in a hurry. But, it’s hard to ignore a message when it’s highly targeted and personalized.

Start by showing that you took the time to get to know both the hiring manager and the company. Stand out from the competition by finding unique themes, attributes, projects, values, or needs you have in common and then incorporating those into your application materials.

Proving that you’ve done your homework on the role and the company empowers you to present yourself as a seamless fit, while also demonstrating your high level of interest in that opportunity.

Getting the job you want with the company you want to work for can be challenging. But, the right mindset and approach will help you reach your goals faster.

This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/stand-out-against-tough-job-search-competition

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CENTRAL Coast doctor Michael Kale challenges anyone to frown while holding fairy floss and wearing a colourful, loud shirt.

“It’s just impossible,” he said.

Mr Kale and fellow Central Coast Local Health District doctor Benji Pfister were promoting the healthcare community through Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday last week.

Now in its second year, the event aims to raise awareness around the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare workers.

Mr Kale said the event started as a staff health promotion at Wyong Hospital, and had exceeded their expectations. The initiative has now become a registered national charity.

“It was never meant to be this huge movement, but we are so excited about it,” he said.

“We have expanded it to Wyong and Gosford, and now plan to package the event nationally.”

Mr Kale said the original idea for the event was influenced by his uncle Bruce Kale who lost his life to mental illness.

“My uncle ran an amusement ride business, so that’s where the idea of fairy floss came in,” he said.

“The fairy floss brings back nostalgic memories of childhood and innocence. Fairy Floss Friday encourages all members that make up the healthcare community to stand in solidarity against issues facing those who spend their lives saving the lives of others.”

Dr Pfister said there were other campaigns focused on the mental health and wellbeing of doctors and nurses, but few extended to all levels in the healthcare community.

Central Coast Local Health District chief executive Dr Andrew Montague said Mr Kale and Pfister had done an amazing job.

“One in five people in the community will experience issues with mental health, but this is higher for health care professionals,” he said.

“Rates of suicide are also higher with health care professionals, particularly doctors.”
Mr Montague praised the initiative for including all healthcare staff, from nurses to cleaners and administration workers.

“Mental health doesn’t discriminate, and it’s so important to highlight that it’s an issue which can face us all,” he said.

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/loud-shirt-fairy-floss-friday-celebrated-at-coast-hospitals/news-story/a5ae96567de1bb5a5ef220bc51e57a2f

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Let’s be clear: It’s innovate or die out there.

Ideas are the currency that buys you a starring role in today’s workplace. But too many people prioritize ownership over adoption, and watch their ideas waste away as a result. Truth is, you’ll be more effective if you work collaboratively with a team to turn ideas into action.

Here’s why you should ditch the old ideation silo and give your best thoughts to the group.

Team Buy-In Makes Things Happen
Ideas are often the prelude to change, and change generally rubs people the wrong way. So, how to get around the very human—but avoidable—friction that comes from shaking things up? Go out of your way to gain your team’s buy-in on the things that may affect them.

Especially if you’re a manager, inclusive decision-making may not only get you a better outcome by melding more minds during the ideation and decision-making processes, it ensures that the team understands the motives and considerations behind new ways of working. Ultimately that means less pushback, a deeper awareness about what led to decisions in the first place, and a more evenly distributed stake in the outcome.

Whether or not you’re a manager, this is a good way to conquer any resistance to change.

Tap Into a More Diverse Range of Opinions
A team brainstorm may be no better than a private one if everyone in the group thinks the same way. You need to mix it up.

Study after study has shown that diverse groups—gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, age, etc.—produce better ideas and make better decisions. Cloverpop, a company that tracks companies’ decisions to help them manage the decision-making process, found in a two-year study that gender-mixed teams comprising a wide range of ages and geographic representations made better decisions than homogeneous teams 87 percent of the time.

Makes sense. People with different backgrounds have different outlooks, motivations and experiences that shape their contributions at work. Hearing their voices and ideas produces a more well-rounded exchange of thoughts vetted by a wider variety of perspectives.

You may have to do some work to get a good mix of people in the room, but it’s worth it. While you’re at it, don’t discount less obvious diversity factors, like years of experience and time at your company.

See How Ideas Hold Up Against Messy Human Stuff
We’re all human, and regardless of race or gender or any of the other factors above, we’re simply wired differently.

For example, think about Myers-Briggs psychological types. People have different ways of perceiving and interpreting information, different thought patterns and emotional reflexes. The idealists on your team will have different ideas than the cynics. The process-oriented people will see things differently from the gut-driven types.

Working through ideas with a mix of personalities will help you find middle ground and flesh out a plan of action that works for everyone.

Test Your Assumptions
Idea sharing can be a valuable vetting exercise if everyone’s encouraged to speak candidly. Ask people to poke holes in your logic, to prove why your proposal won’t work, and to name every single thing that could possibly go wrong. The harder to tear down, the better the idea. Use the feedback to reformulate your idea until you’ve patched the flaws.

If you’re a team lead, this is even more critical. Sometimes you have to design new ways of working but you’re not the best person to do so because you’re not the closest to the facts on the ground—the people who work for you are. They can probably see the peril that lurks in a new idea right off the bat, and they’ll respect you more for recognizing that and hearing what they have to say.

Turn Ideas Into Action
In some ways, the idea is the easy part. The real challenge is executing.

If you think of ideas not as inventions that come out of thin air but as innovative solutions to complex problems, you and your team will have a better foundation for brainstorming.

And in the end, you’ll have a much easier time activating ideas if they’re vetted by a diverse group willing to provide constructive criticism, even if it means swallowing some pride and surrendering credit for the outcome.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-your-next-big-idea-should-come-from-a-team?ref=recently-published-2

CC plan

Big gains in housing and job opportunities have been highlighted in the first Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 Monitoring Report.

Released in mid-December by NSW minister for planning and housing, Anthony Roberts, the report documents the first year of the government’s 20-year blueprint for the Central Coast.

“In its first year the regional plan has enabled the approval of about 1,600 homes and the construction of more than 1,000 for the people of the Central Coast,” says Roberts.

“We’ve also identified more than 1,800-hectares of industrial land that could lead to $66-million in investment to generate new local jobs.”

First-year achievements include:

  • Issuing Gateway Determinations (decisions on planning proposals) with potential for 420 jobs and 800 dwellings
  • The Government Architect tasked to oversee the revitalisation of the Gosford CBD
  • The Gosford Hospital Health and Wellbeing Centre and the University of the Newcastle Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute received $350-million in funding

Source: http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/news/nsw-government-releases-central-coast-regional-pla

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Being stuck in a rut sucks. If there’s one thing I could wish for you, it’s that you never have to deal with a situation that holds you back from being happy, successful, or fulfilled.

That, unfortunately, is an unrealistic wish (even more unrealistic than wishing I could turn everything I touch into chocolate). Because like failure, ruts are inevitable. And the good news about that not-so-fun fact is that they ultimately help make us stronger, smarter, and more successful individuals.

Just look at a few people in your life who you admire—how many of them went through a struggle that forced them to reevaluate their goals or path?

Since I’m someone who doesn’t love surprises (except the birthday kind), I’m going to tell you right now exactly which ruts you’ll find yourself in throughout your career.

1. Being Bored
No matter how much you love your job, how many hours you work, or how large the pile of to-dos is on your desk, there will come a time when you will find yourself suddenly underwhelmed, unmotivated, or unstimulated at your job for days on end.

It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe your boss has stopped challenging you. Or, maybe you’re making the mistake of not seeking out challenges, or looking for exciting projects. Or, maybe you’ve found yourself in a new role that isn’t as exciting as you thought it would be.

Whatever the reason, boredom is usually pretty fixable. You can ask your boss for better projects, or see if you can chip in on what other teams are working on, or find ways to keep learning, like taking online classes or attending conferences related to your industry. If that still leaves you no better than you were before, it may be time to move on and find a role that’s more engaging.

2. Feeling Unhappy
Unhappiness is a more serious sign to keep an eye on.

Why is it so much more common than we realize? Because for one, we’re fickle beings—we’re always changing our minds and shifting our priorities. Which means the things we want in our careers now may change one, two, five years from now. That’s OK!

The other reason is because sometimes we’re really bad at recognizing when we’re miserable. We’ll place the blame on other things (woke up on the wrong side of the bed, had a bad commute, a crazy boss) rather than accept that something bigger is affecting us.Figure out what is making you unhappy and use that information to decide what your next steps will be.

Maybe it means transferring roles internally, changing companies, or switching industries entirely. Or maybe it’s even more simple than that. Maybe it’s talking to your boss about an overwhelming workload. Or asking your co-worker to stop talking to you when you’re working at your desk.

Whatever the cause, take the time to identify it and start making moves to solve it.

3. Doubting Your Career Path
Unless you’re very lucky, you won’t find yourself satisfied in the same role in the same industry throughout your entire career.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unsure about what you want to do next—even if you’ve spent 10 years in your role and are now doubting everything. The good news is that it’s never too late to make a change, whatever that means for you. The even better news is that you don’t have to have it all figured out when you’re 30, 40, 50.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” Don’t be finished.

4. Feeling Like Nothing’s Going Right
Ever have those months when nothing’s going right? You keep messing up basic tasks, your manager keeps sending your work back with heavy revisions, your co-workers keep shutting down your ideas?

It could be your fault—if you’re job searching, for example, and getting nowhere, it might be worth reconsidering you’re approach.

But it could also be due to external forces, like a company restructuring or a bad boss. If so, it’s worth figuring out whether these can be fixed, and if not, what steps you can take to better set yourself up for success.

5. Having to Deal With a (Big) Change
Your company just went through a huge merger, half your department got laid off, you got laid off, they brought in a new boss, or oyou’ve moved to an entirely new city for a job.

One day, something major will happen that will shake up how you do things and think about your career. While it’s practically impossible to prepare for something like this, remember that it’s common. And, that it’s salvageable. And, that the feelings of loss and doubt and frustration and sadness won’t last forever. And, that you’ll come out stronger and more equipped to handle anything that comes your way. If you don’t believe me, read this.

The last thing I want to emphasize is that it’s easy to feel alone when you’re in these ruts, or that no one understands what you’re going through. But I can confidently tell you that everyone experiences these. Why else would I write this article?

So, don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in one—if you don’t, you’ll regret not making a change sooner. And if you still feel like the only one, chat with people just like you (and get some reassuring advice) on our Stuck in a Rut discussions platform.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/career-ruts-everyone-will-get-into-some-point?ref=recently-published-1

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In their pursuit to keep the Central Coast feeling well, moving well and performing well, leading provider of Allied Health & Sports Medicine services, Coast Sport, has recently partnered with Wyong Lakes Australian Rules Football Club

The Magpies, or ‘Pies’ as they are affectionately known, are most excited to have a premium health care partner on board and look forward to a long- term partnership with the Tuggerah based Allied Health provider.

Located in the Mariners Centre of Excellence Building in Tuggerah, Coast Sport is the leader in provision of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Exercise Physiology, Sports Nutrition, Clinical Pilates and Massage Therapy services to Central Coast communities. The team at Coast Sport work closely with many elite sporting teams and organisations including the Australian Dolphins Swim team, Central Coast Academy of Sport, Central Coast Mariners FC & Academy, Central Coast Heart Netball, Central Coast Crusaders, NSW Basketball and more.

The team at Coast Sport will be providing physiotherapy coverage at all home and away matches for the senior women’s and Black Diamond Cup Teams as well as providing pre-season screenings to senior players. Coast Sport recognises the importance of education for players, coaches and their families when it comes to things like injury prevention and management as well as nutrition and optimal training and recovery for performance. “We will be providing a number of educational sessions to ensure players are performing at their best and are fully supported to minimise injury occurrence” states Coast Sport Director, Brett Doring.

As part of their partnership commitment, Coast Sport will also be providing access for players to their state-of-the-art and highly equipped gym along with the latest technology and techniques that they utilise on all their elite athletes. Coast Sport Physiotherapist and Director, Mathew Cranney highlights the importance of “nurturing local talent and providing them with the best opportunity to shine in the future’, at Coast Sport we genuinely care about our athletes and work closely with them on their sporting journey, helping them to achieve their goals and dreams”.

Established in 1975, Wyong Lakes Australian Rules Football Club pride themselves on providing a fun family atmosphere for players of all ages. The club is currently working hard towards developing and growing its junior base, which now also includes two female squads. Senior numbers have also stabilised, and the club is looking to further grow numbers. Fostering a culture of inclusiveness and respect for each other, the ‘pies’ warmly welcomes new players. For more information about this great local sporting team visit the Wyong Lakes Australian Football Club website.

 

Source: https://www.centralcoastaustralia.com.au/news/coast-sport-selected-to-service-wyong-lakes-australian-rules-football-club/?current-news

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Worried what your boss thinks of you—if they like you, trust you, and think your contributions match up to their expectations?

If so, you’re not alone. Considering you’ll end up spending 10 years of your life at work, getting along with your boss is not only critical to succeeding in your career, but matters for your overall happiness and engagement at the office.

With that in mind, here are three easy ways to develop an effective, productive, and mutually rewarding relationship with your manager (even if they’re a tough cookie to crack):

1. Stop Using Email to Have Important Conversations
Is email your go-to forum for everything? In certain cases, it could be hurting your relationship. Even if it’s your manager’s favorite medium, it’s time to break the pattern of always relying on this.

Opt for in-person meetings if the conversation’s beyond a task or agenda-setting item—for example, if you’re asking for something or apologizing for a mistake. Not only is it just polite, it’ll most likely lead to a more productive discussion and help ensure you and your boss are truly on the same page.

“All of us are the worst possible version of ourselves in digital media,” adds Celeste Headlee, journalist and author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. “We might think we are persuasive in email, but scientifically, we are so much more persuasive in person.”

2. See Your Relationship With Your Boss as a Two-Way Street
Too often, we see ourselves as the executors and our managers as the creators of work, forgetting that our manager is also responsible for their own assignments.

So, if you want to immediately improve your relationship, ask them this simple question: “What can I do for you?” By opening up this conversation, you open the door for them to delegate projects they may not have otherwise considered. And, taking on stretch assignments can improve your visibility and lead to career advancement.

3. Be a Good Recipient of Feedback (and Ask Pointed Questions)
Get in the mindset that you want actual, honest feedback—and be physically ready for it.
Even if the feedback seems insensitive, kindly explain how the approach hurt your feelings, but then ask questions to get at the root of the problem, making it clear you really do want to improve. If you’re a good feedback recipient, your boss will be more likely to share valuable advice with you, which will ultimately help you grow.

And, if you’re finding that you only getting positive feedback, ask your manager to be more specific, or try mentioning something you wish you’d handled differently.

“If you open a dialogue with self-reflection, you give your boss—who might be uncomfortable giving you criticism—the opportunity to go on the learning journey with you,” advises Denise Cox, VP of Technical Services at Cisco Systems.

Finally, don’t wait for periodic reviews to get constructive feedback. If you can, ask your manager to schedule time to meet one-on-one weekly or monthly.

Research by Gallup shows that 50% of employees leave their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career,” which means building the right kind of relationship with your boss can make a real difference to your job satisfaction and career progression. Plus, it’ll make your friends and family find you much more enjoyable to be around outside of work.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/tips-creating-productive-relationship-boss?ref=recently-published-0

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Client engagement and call centre staff will be the two main groups of ATO employees to occupy the new Gosford waterfront tax office, according to Deputy Commissioner, Ms Sue Sinclair.

Ms Sinclair was in town for the Hello Gosford event.

“Basically it is called Hello Gosford, and we have run similar ones to these around various Australian states, and they have proved very popular,” she said.
“We invite the community, including tax agents, businesses and individuals to give them information about the taxation office, our services and an idea of how we can help them.
“It includes information for new small businesses, we offer a lot of support on digital services that we can showcase to make their lives easier,” she said.
Ms Sinclair said it was 2014 when the Federal Government announced it would build a new federal office in Gosford, with the ATO as lead agency.
She said the site was chosen due to proximity of transport and the opportunity to forge strong connections with the University of Newcastle.
“It fits the bill for us,” Ms Sinclair said of the new location.

She said 80 employees would be working out of the office before Christmas.
“In January, there will be a surge of people joining us,” she said of the New Year intake of 260 employees.
Another 115 will be due to start in May, after which another 150 jobs will be advertised.
“The majority of the people who started with us are actually the experienced people from the ATO, many of whom live locally, but some have been drawn from Parramatta and other localities in Sydney,” she said.

The ATO’s Gosford workforce would be a mixture of full time, part time, casual and non-ongoing employees.
“Even though next year we will be getting up to 600 people, there will be a continual churn, and opportunities for the local community with casual and part-time positions coming up all the time.
“It is a very modern office and we have a big reliance on being very well connected with technology.
“We’ve got a very sophisticated tele-presence site which enables us to do direct communication with all of our offices nationally via tele presence.
“We also have flexible working arrangements, so the office is geared up to enable different styles of work.
“We have areas suitable for working on projects, areas for collaboration and then some more traditional spaces.
“We will have a call centre operating here in Gosford.”

Ms Sinclair said she did not know the exact number of operators but they would be one of the biggest groups of employees based in Gosford, followed by the client engagement group.

Those two categories of employee would account for 45 per cent of the overall ATO workforce based in Gosford.
The ATO is sharing the building with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Group.

“We are taking the whole space except for the NDIS Group, which has a lower part of the building and a separate entrance to us,” Ms Sinclair said.
“We are negotiating with another state agency, but I am not sure where that will land.”
She said the intake of new employees to the building was being staggered because they were mostly brand new employees who needed induction and training.
Ms Sinclair said she was unable to state exactly what percentage of employees would be local, but said they would definitely be the majority.

“The sort of work they are doing is customer service, dispute resolution, so we have a presence of legal teams, advice work and corporate advice, basically a replica of a traditional ATO office.
“Call centre and client engagement are the group that look after engagement with clients from an advice and help and assist point of view, and they are a big part of our organisation.
“They look after things like superannuation, small business and individuals.”

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2017/12/call-centre-staff-will-be-the-largest-group-of-ato-employees/

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The prospect of returning to work after years away from my career was daunting. I faced a host of challenges: a lack of recent and relevant experience, outdated corporate skills, and uncertainty about my Baby Boomer place in a Millennial-focused world.

I still thought, however, based upon my early career success and an advanced degree in my field, that I’d get a great offer in no time. It didn’t happen. My strategy—jumping into a role that was the wrong fit (and later leaving), followed by picking up consulting gigs here and there and then trying to explain it all in a resume with gaps and changes—was failing. I needed a strategic shift.

So I changed everything, from how I was approaching the job search process to my end goal. As a result, I applied for and landed a returnship, with Goldman Sachs. (If you’ve never heard of it, a returnship is an internship for people returning to the workforce.) It enabled me to add current and substantive experience to my resume, and reset my career path so I could once again move forward.

Here are the six most important lessons I learned in my quest to get back on track.

1. Update Your Online Presence
Being a somewhat tech-savvy boomer, I had a LinkedIn profile.

But too many people have ones that are lackluster or outdated. If that’s you, place this at the top of your to-do list. Both recruiters and hiring managers use the site to find and screen candidates.

I left off dates for my degrees to minimize age bias, and truncated my experience to the past 10 to 15 years (I recommend you do the same!).

2. Network—Always
You may think that networking is just for young professionals who need to meet new people. That’s simply not true. It’s beneficial regardless of your age.

For example, I had a friend put in a good word for me, and I know that helped me to be considered for the role at Goldman.

Here are four things you should start doing (if you’re not already):

Periodically touch base with professional contacts. Be memorable by sending a personal note and an interesting article once a month.
Let the other person know that you respect their time by being specific when you have an “ask.” Say (or write): “I’d really appreciate your perspective—can we speak/meet for 15 minutes?” And then stick with that time commitment.
Extend your network. Ask your contacts to connect you with their contacts.
Follow-up with a thank you note, every time. Take it to the next level by offering to be of help if they ever need your perspective or expertise.

3. Make it Easy for People to Help You
If you’re asking someone to refer you, give them everything they need, so they can simply send along your details.

So, if you’re applying to a role at their company, this includes the job name, job number, your resume, and bullets outlining what skills and experience you’d bring that match the requirements for the role.

People are busy, and so if you give them a complete email they can simply forward, it’s a lot more likely it’ll get passed on.

4. Refine Your Elevator Pitch
When you’ve had a lot of experience, it’s important (though often hard) to be clear about your objectives.

What are your areas of expertise?

What type of role are you looking for?

It’ll be tempting to rattle off everything you’ve done in the past, or say, “I can really do anything.” But a long speech can be overwhelming for listeners—and can make you look overqualified—and unfocused. So, cut it down and zero in on one thing you want the other person to come away with. My rule of thumb is that it should be no longer than 30 seconds.

5. Practice Self-Care
Unreturned emails, closed doors, and rejection all sting. But, it happens to pretty much everyone, especially when you’re outside the “sweet spot” of hiring prospects.

There’ll be surprises for better and worse: People that you’d have bet would be right there to help aren’t; and people you barely knew will do all they can.

So, it’s all the more important to be kind to yourself: go the gym, meet friends, and see a movie! That stuff may seem frivolous when you’re job searching, but it’ll help you feel happier—and keep you from letting your identity be wrapped up in your professional life.

6. Pay it Forward
Once you’ve landed in your new role, do what you can to help a colleague or friend of a friend. It could be at work, like offering to mentor junior employees.

Or, it could be that someone contacts you seeking your advice. Remember how you felt when you were job searching and do your best to find the time!

And of course, when you’re hiring in the future, give those who’ve had winding career paths a second look.

After my 10-week returnship program ended, I was asked to stay on for another year—and I did, happily. When my role recently came to an end, leaving Goldman Sachs was bittersweet.

But one thing that made me feel better is that I knew I was ready to find my next, more permanent position. On this search, I have not only a solid and recent accomplishment to leverage, but all of the lessons I’ve learned the last time around, as well as some new and treasured Millennial friends.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-6-best-job-search-lessons-i-learned-after-10-years-away-best-of?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-1

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Lasercraft Australia is celebrating 30 years of operating a manufacturing business in West Gosford that employs disabled workers.

Lasercraft makes and sells corporate recognition awards, plaques and business gifts to major companies and government departments.
It also makes survey pegs for construction firms and surveyors.
It is a not-for-profit company and registered as a charity.
Revenue from its sales goes toward employment of supported workers with disabilities.

It currently employs 23 supported workers and provides training and workplace skills.
General Manager, Mr Peter Britton, said: “I love working with the supported workers.
“It is a delight to see them flower by gaining skills, having a normal work routine, increased socialisation and feeling accepted.

“Our aim is to create more places for supported workers, but this is only possible if we increase sales revenue.”
The supported workers are paid wages, and all have NDIS plans.

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2017/12/30-years-of-operating-a-manufacturing-business-that-employs-disabled-workers/

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Whether you consider this fact disheartening or motivating, you can’t deny its truth: You probably spend more time with your co-workers than you do with anyone else.

When you’re in the office at least 40 hours per week, the people you work with become a big part of your life. So it pays to have solid relationships with them.

Not only does that give you a strategic advantage in the workplace (hey, it never hurts to be well-liked!), it also makes work that much more enjoyable.

If you don’t consider yourself particularly close with your colleagues, don’t worry—cultivating a more caring and supportive atmosphere at work doesn’t need to be a complicated undertaking.

Here are four super simple things you can do to show your co-workers that you care and, as a result, make your office a place that you look forward to spending time in.

1. Offer Help

Think of the last time you were struggling at work. Maybe you were swamped and overwhelmed, or perhaps you were stuck on a challenging project.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had stopped by your desk and provided some advice? Or even offered to take something off your plate? Wouldn’t that alone have made you feel so much more valued and supported?

Absolutely. So, why not do that same thing for a colleague? When you see someone who’s stressed or confused, just ask: Is there anything I can do to help?

Even if your co-worker doesn’t actually take you up on your offer, just the fact that you recognized the challenge and wanted to do something about it goes a long way in fostering a more empathetic culture.

2. Get Personal

No, you don’t need to get too personal—after all, you’re still in the office.

But, even though you’re in a work setting, aim to forge a relationship with the whole person—not just a job title.

This means that the more you can get to know about your colleagues’ interests and passions outside the office, the easier it will be to connect with them on a more human level.

Whether it’s asking about his marathon training or admiring her desktop background featuring a photo from her recent vacation, don’t neglect to strike up the occasional small talk. Doing so will demonstrate your investment in them, while also giving you common ground that you can use to connect even further.

3. Provide Recognition

Everybody loves to get a pat on the back for a job well done—that’s universal. But gratitude and adequate recognition can easily fall by the wayside when we’re wrapped up in the chaos of our everyday lives.

Step up and be that colleague who always applauds the hard work of your team members. Maybe that involves sending a quick Slack message to let her know how much you enjoyed her presentation. Or, perhaps it means highlighting your co-worker’s contributions when your boss commends you for your own hard work on a recent project.

These sorts of comments might seem small, but they can make a huge impact when it comes to helping others in your office feel valued.

4. Do Something Nice

Little acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed—particularly in the office. So, when’s the last time you did something nice just because you felt like it?

Go ahead and pick up some bagels on your way into work one morning (when in doubt, free food is always effective). When you’re heading out for lunch, ask that colleague who looks insanely busy if you can get anything for him.

Your co-workers are sure to appreciate those little niceties and treats that you sneak in every now and then. Plus, as an added bonus, doing these sorts of things makes you feel good too!

These four strategies are great for showing your co-workers that you actually care about them. And they’re incredibly simple and take almost zero effort on your part.

So, if you’re eager to forge better, more supportive relationships with your colleagues (and if you aren’t, you definitely should be!), put these four tips to work. You’re sure to become one of the most-liked people in your office—while simultaneously cultivating a more positive atmosphere for your entire team.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-easy-things-you-can-do-to-show-your-coworkers-you-care?ref=recently-published-1

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THE rail maintenance facility in Kangy Angy is forging ahead in a matter of weeks, despite ongoing protests from residents and Central Coast Council.

Central Coast Parliamentary Secretary Scot MacDonald announced today that work will begin in early 2018 on the controversial New Intercity Fleet Program Maintenance Facility to prepare for the arrival of the $2.3 billion New Intercity Fleet.

“We have awarded a key contract for the detailed design and construction of a new maintenance facility to service the trains at Kangy Angy,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Infrastructure and property group John Holland will now begin pre-construction activities with major construction expected to start early in 2018.”

Last week, Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith led the charge to call on Transport for NSW to move the facility from Kangy Angy to Warnervale. However, Deputy Mayor Chris Holstein said from all indications the facility was “in concrete”.

Mr MacDonald said the project is expected to generate 300 jobs on the Central Coast, including local apprenticeships during construction and 200 jobs ongoing once in operation.

Kangy Angy residents have been fighting the facility for more than two years, concerned about flooding, impact on wildlife and proximity to local properties.

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/construction-to-start-on-kangy-angy-rail-facility-in-early-2018/news-story/3a228e35e3064e2ff950b92ec44070cc

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Construction has begun on the site of the new Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital

Delegates from hospital operator Healthe Care Australia joined local MPs and business leaders yesterday to turn the first sod on the $23 million project.

The new hospital, located on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Craigie Avenue in Kanwal, directly opposite Wyong Public Hospital, will create up to 50 jobs and include 3 operating theatres, 14 recovery bays, 6 recovery chairs, 20 inpatient overnight beds and consulting spaces.

The first stage of the project will see up to 60 construction workers on-site each day.

Once completed, the facility will cater for Day Surgery and short stay patients for multiple specialties including orthopaedics, gastroenterology, ENT, plastics, urology, general surgery, and vascular among others.

The hospital will be supported with shared services from Gosford Private Hospital, as well as specialist consulting suites on its ground floor.

Matt Kelly, Central Coast Healthe Care Regional Manager Matt Kelly said he was excited the project was underway.

“It’s an extremely positive development for the region, and along with the many new developments at both Gosford Private and Brisbane Waters Private recently, will help to increase our capacity and the range of services we can offer right here on the Central Coast,” he said

The Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel unanimously approved the hospital back in September.

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/tuggerah-lakes-private-hospital-construction-work-starts/news-story/a87834a1ac77860a2a3e2180675830cf

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Meetings are expensive. Not because you’re charging people to attend (obviously), but because they use people’s time; time that could be spent doing lots of other revenue-generating things. In fact, one study found that a recurring meeting of mid-level managers was costing one company $15 million a year!).

$15 million a year!

Not to mention, you also need to take into account the prep time as well as the context-switching time. Professor Gloria Mark at University of California, Irvine found that it takes an average of 25 minutes for a worker to return to their original task after an interruption.

Knowing these stats means that when I’m debating whether I need to call a meeting, I ask myself what it’s worth (literally). Is this the best use of everyone’s time, mine included? And not so infrequently, the answer is “nope.”

So, what to do then? Easy! Send a simple but critical email to keep everyone informed and on track.

What to Include

There are three key things you need to cover:

Logistics: why the meeting was cancelled and, if it’s a recurring meeting, what to expect for next time
Action: any critical action items completed or pending
Information: any updates or general FYIs for the group

Note: Don’t fall into the trap of putting the action items and logistics last. Having the most critical information higher up ensures that it’s seen when your colleagues skim their email. Oh, and a bonus tip for you: Put people’s names in bold if they need to do anything to make triple sure they notice.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/turn-meeting-into-an-email-template

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A company that started life in a Central Coast garage is on the brink of a major global expansion after signing an agreement to supply alpaca quilts to Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.

Central Coast family-owned Bambi Enterprises manufactures a range of luxury natural fibre quilts at it’s West Gosford factory and is a leading supplier of bedding to major Australian retailers including Harvey Norman, Snooze and 40 Winks.

Last week Bambi hosted a delegation from JD.com at its factory — another step in the relationship with the Fortune Global 500 listed internet retailer which is expected to buy at least $1.5 million worth of locally made quilts annually.

Bambi Managing Director and founder Peter Witney said supplying a retailer like JD.com heralded a major expansion for Bambi including a bigger factory, more employees and possibly 24-hour operation.

Mr Witney said the first order of 1500 quilts had already been filled and the company was now looking at future expansion into Asia.

“We’re very excited about it and hopefully this will just be the start,” Mr Witney said.

Bambi Enterprises was founded by Mr Witney and his wife Jan 35 years ago and started off making wool baby-seat covers in their garage at Tascott.

Their product range expanded over the years and a factory was eventually built in Dell Road at West Gosford. The factory has already doubled in size and is set to expand again.

Bambi uses a range of natural materials in it’s quilts including wool, alpaca, Tencel (plant fibre), and Ingeo (corn fibre).

It’s a true family affair with son Greg as General Manager, daughter Emma handling customer relations, and another son Tim previously involved in sales.

There are 30 people currently employed by the company.

JD.com is a Chinese online retailer based in Beijing. It is one of the two largest such companies in China and as of September 2017, it had 258.3 million monthly active users.

JD.com is also a leader in high tech and artificial intelligence delivery systems using drones, autonomous vehicles and robots. It has recently started testing robotic delivery services and building drone delivery airports, and has unveiled its first autonomous delivery truck.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/bambi-enterprises-signs-agreement-to-supply-alpaca-quilts-to-jdcom/news-story/fd6bc256d7f35de4bb496c01edffc472

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Help shape the future of the Central Coast by participating in this Community Workshop where you’ll be able to input your ideas for a better Central Coast. You’ll be working with members of the Central Coast Council Community Strategic Plan Community Reference Group who have been appointed to bridge the gap between the Council and the community.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:00 pm

Umina Surf Life Saving Club
509 Ocean Beach Road,
Umina Beach

 

Source: https://cc365.com.au/details/2017-11-21/507-central-coast-community-strategic-plan-community-workshop

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Fact: Working with other people is hard. Even when you like them.

And over the years, I’ve tried different strategies to improve relationships (or, at the very least, prevent myself from freaking out in people’s faces).

But then, last year, I started going to therapy to deal with a situation outside the office. And I was surprised to realise that a lot of the advice I was getting could be applied to the workplace, too.

In fact, by using these therapist-approved strategies, I’m able to deal with difficult work situations much better now. So, before you let co-workers drive you up another wall, here are three new things to try.

1. Validate the Person’s Feelings Before You Do Anything Else

You know that passive aggressive co-worker who drives you nuts? Dealing with their behaviour can be super annoying!

Now, most of us don’t need therapy to recognise that we don’t have any control over others’ moods or behavior. But, instead of getting irritated about it, my therapist taught me a trick that makes that reality way easier to accept. All I have to do is imagine why someone might be acting the way they are, identify how I would feel if I were in their position, and then validate that feeling.

For example, if a client asks me to turn a project in sooner than we’d initially agreed and then gets annoyed when I say no, I’ll first try to identify why they might be making this request. Maybe their boss is putting pressure on them. If that were me, I’d be feeling really stressed out. And, I’d be disappointed if my request for an accelerated deadline were turned down. So, I’ll tell my client, “I imagine that this is probably disappointing for you.”

I know it sounds a little hokey, but this works wonders. By trying to empathise (even if I think the person’s wrong) and then validating what they’re feeling, I’m able to shift my attitude from frustration to empathy.

And, the client feels heard, too. Nine times out of 10, they’ll calmly reply, “Yes, I do feel disappointed.” It’s like identifying the feeling takes the hot air out of the situation. I’m then able to reiterate that I can’t accommodate an earlier deadline without things escalating.
2. Say What You’re Actually Thinking—and Say it Clearly

When I used to find myself in an awkward situation, I’d usually scramble to make things less awkward as quickly as possible. This usually meant bending over backward to make the other person happy, with no regard for my needs or feelings.

Now, I use a simple formula that I learned in therapy to clearly and concisely make my point:

the change I’d like + why the current option isn’t working + why my preference is better

For example, I had a client who said she hated my proposal. I’m perfectly fine with constructive feedback, but telling me you hate something doesn’t help me at all. So I said, “I’d like us to communicate with each other more respectfully because telling me you hate something doesn’t feel constructive. I’d prefer if you provided me with specific feedback about what isn’t working for you because that’ll help me to to deliver the work product you’re looking for.”

She immediately apologised and we were able to get on the same page from there.

As I’ve become more comfortable telling people what does or doesn’t work for me, being more assertive has gotten less scary. Even better, it’s made my working relationships stronger and more honest.
3. Set Boundaries

I’m a recovering people pleaser with a serious compulsion to say “No problem!” without even thinking. This usually leads to me feeling stressed and resentful, which isn’t good for me (or fair to my co-workers).

Getting comfortable with setting boundaries has made a huge difference. When a client asks me to sit in on a last-minute meeting or my boss wants me to work late, I now pause and consider whether or not it’s something I am willing and able to take on. If it’s not, I simply say, “I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me.” If it makes, sense, I’ll offer up a reason or an alternative solution. But sometimes, no just means no.

I’ve learned that setting boundaries can also be a proactive exercise. I’ll often tell new clients up front that I don’t check emails over the weekend or that I need a full 24 hours to respond to new requests. Managing expectations and setting boundaries from the start helps me to avoid annoying or uncomfortable situations in the future.

In no way am I suggesting that you should start saying no to every request from your boss, or setting ridiculous boundaries with your co-workers. These relationships are two-way streets, and you’ll sometimes need to bend to accommodate others.

I also understand that not everyone can turn down their manager when she asks them to work late or to avoid email all weekend—everyone’s boundaries will be different. But, learning about these strategies has made it way easier for me to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations, so I’m pretty sure that they’ll work for you, too.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-strategies-thatll-make-working-with-people-easier-because-its-hard?ref=carousel-slide-2