Posts Tagged “people”

1

Young people are being asked to get involved and be a part of developing the first-ever Central Coast Youth Strategy.

As part of developing the Strategy, Central Coast Council wants to hear from young people and local youth services about what they see as important for young people who live, work or study on the Coast.

Throughout October and November, all young people aged 12-24 can complete an online survey which explores their views about life on the Central Coast and what they would like to see for young people, now and in the future.

The online survey will be complemented by face-to-face interviews at popular youth venues, events and schools, including focus groups with youth service providers.

Young people aged 12-24 make up 15.3% of the Coast’s population and Council is committed to shaping the new Youth Strategy so that it the concerns and they face.

To ensure as many young people as possible get involved, everyone who completes the online survey can enter the draw to win an iphone X.
Source: https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/young-people-to-shape-coasts-first-regional-youth-strategy

1

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

1

Can you get me a job at your company, please?

Do you know the CEO—and can I talk to her?

Want to see my resume? It’s awesome, I swear.

These are the things we’d like to say to people when we’re networking, but for obvious reasons can’t.

So, the question always becomes, what can we ask?

I recently read Molly Beck’s book Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence. And in it, she breaks down the art of networking into bite-sized steps—one of which talks about good versus bad favours.

The concept is simple: Some things you choose to ask your network are better than others. And this means the difference between someone wanting to help you out and someone wanting nothing to do with your request.

If you read the quotes above and cringed at the thought of saying them to someone you knew, you already know what a bad favour is.

So, what makes a good favour?

“The key to a great favour is to ask a particular, definable question whose answer cannot be found on Google and can be answered easily in a paragraph or so via email,” says Beck in the book.

Let’s break that down a bit more:

 

It Should Be Specific

Your ask should be tailored to the person and not super open-ended. Beck gives the example “Can I pick your brain?” as both being way too vague and asking too much of someone (and for free, mind you). You’re better off saying something like, “What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into finance like yourself?”

 

It Should Be Non-Googleable

Don’t ask someone a question that you can look up yourself. Beck uses “What open jobs does your company have?” as an example that you could easily search on your own time.

 

It Should Be Short

Many of your requests will be sent over email to someone who’s already pretty busy, Beck points out, so they should be able to answer it without spending hours crafting a response.

 

Now of course, if the person seems excited to chat with you, you can ask to meet in person. But, Beck suggests, “If and when people say yes, keep in mind that you are working around their schedule, not yours, and you should be traveling to go to a place that’s easy for them to get to. Additionally, when you do meet for coffee or even a meal, you should be paying for them.”

Finally, the author says, every favour should come with a gift. Because this person is going out of their way for you, you should do the same—meaning you should include at least two beneficial things in your initial reach-out. Now, before you worry that you have to send a fruit basket and a bottle of wine every time you ask someone to grab coffee, don’t. It can be as simple as a compliment, a book recommendation, or an introduction to someone you think they would benefit from knowing.

(But if they end up helping you out in a big way, you might want to send them one of these thank you items.)

One of the most memorable favours I’ve ever gotten asked was when a reader of my blog emailed me to say that her friend was a big fan of my writing, and would I consider doing a birthday shout-out on the blog to her? It made my day that she and her friend thought so highly of my blog, and it was such a cool way to make someone feel special on their birthday. Of course I said yes. That super-unique favour opened up a great line of communication between all three of us.

Your request may be simpler (or, even more complicated) than this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking. If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll make it that much easier for someone to say yes—and be excited about it, too.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/a-networking-expert-on-how-to-ask-people-for-career-favors-and-get-a-yes?ref=carousel-slide-3

1

You’ve probably heard that the average job posting receives 250 applications, but I’ve seen as many as 3,000 people apply for the same role.

I’m not telling you this to scare you, but rather as encouragement. Because some people do make it through to getting hired—despite that level of competition.

As the Global Head of Recruiting for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve seen what makes the difference in whether people move to the final stages of the application process—or not.

Without a doubt, from interns to C-suite level leaders, the most impressive candidates I’ve seen are the ones who’ve taken the time to define what they want to accomplish in their professional life.

They have a professional purpose.

By that I mean they know why they do what they do, what they want to ultimately achieve, and how they plan to get there. Because they’re so clear on their goals, and so open in sharing them, I can tell almost instantly when I’ve met someone who should be working at our company.

So, if you keep applying and hearing nothing back, the number one piece of advice I can give you is to find your professional purpose and then use that as a foundation point throughout any recruiting process—from your cover letter to final interview.

With that in mind, here are two steps you can take now:

Step 1: Get Clarity

It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day of your job. A constant flow of urgent deadlines can make time slip away and, before you know it, two or three years have flown by.

That’s why it’s important to take time out, hit the pause button, and think about what a successful career really means to you. Determine where you get the most fulfillment in your professional life and start thinking about how that could become your professional purpose. Then get something down on paper and iterate on it.

Here’s an example of how to use your answer(s):

I spoke to a candidate recently who lost one of her parents to Alzheimer’s and had decided to look for ways to contribute to curing this disease. Her plan was to become a recruiter for the next three years so she could identify and attract the best Research & Development talent for a pharmaceuticals company to help them in the search for a cure. Her ultimate goal was to save enough money to apply to medical school, so she could contribute more directly down the line. Needless to say, she really stood out against the other (equally qualified) candidates we were considering for the job.

Your professional purpose doesn’t have to be as profound as that (mine isn’t!), but it should be something bigger than the job’s duties or making money. When you tell a hiring manager something you really connect with, they’ll be more willing to put their neck out, because they know that you have the passion for sticking with it.

Step 2: Share It

Which brings me to this: Once you’ve figured out what’s driving you, don’t be shy about sharing it with others. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but authenticity’s an HR buzzword for a reason. When you share more of yourself, you’ll find that people gravitate toward you and are eager to help.

Next time you’re asked to introduce yourself, weave in your professional purpose. (If you’re not 100% confident in how it sounds, here are two strategies for creating a one-line elevator pitch.)

I’ll bet people will ask you more about it or offer to connect you to someone who can help you on your journey to achieve it. Sharing a genuine reason why you’re pursuing a certain avenue in your career is much more compelling than listing off your past positions’ titles.

It’s the same in interviews. There are so many boilerplate answers to the question: “Why are you interested in this company (or role)?” And, as recruiters, we’ve pretty much heard them all.

You’ll stand out more when you answer the question by explaining why the job’s values fit with your professional purpose—and why it matters so much to you. “I’d like to work here as a designer because I am passionate about more transparent package design which can help mothers choose better products for their children,” is an answer that’s true—and will get further than, “I want to work here because this company is a leader in the field.” (You don’t lose any points with the second option, but every other person may say the exact same thing.)

So long as it’s something you genuinely identify with, your focus and energy will shine through and make you memorable—and more likeable, too.

You might wonder if I have a professional purpose. I do, and I firmly believe it’s part of the reason I’m in my current job. For years, I’ve been frustrated with the bad recruiting experiences that I and several of my friends have had with many organizations. My professional purpose is all about helping to solve this issue on a large scale. And that’s the opportunity Johnson & Johnson provides me–to reimagine recruiting from the ground up for a large Fortune 100 company.

So, if you keep getting passed over on the job search, revisit that classic advice to “just be yourself.” Tune into what you really want to do and how you’d like to get there. Then, weave that into your materials, networking conversations, and interview answers. I promise it’ll help you stand out.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-how-you-stand-out-when-youre-competing-against-3000-people?ref=carousel-slide-1

1

When are you most motivated at work?

Is it coming back from a long vacation? On Mondays after a great Sunday with friends? Or, Fridays when you have a relaxing weekend in store? Is it when you’ve just gotten great feedback from your boss, or had an especially productive meeting?

Chances are it’s a combination of all of the above—and science agrees with you.

More specifically, I’m saying that happier people get more done, and get it done better than most. In fact, a 2015 study at the University of Warwick in the UK found that they’re precisely 12% more productive than the average individual.

In order to test this, participants in the study were either “shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks, and fruit” during the experiment, while “others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements” to see if emotions played a part in productivity.

This finding may not surprise you—but the alternative might. According to Harvard Business Review, unhappy people are not only less productive than the average individual, they’re costly for companies. To quote HBRauthors Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron:

“In studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.”

What does this mean for you? For one thing, it’s crucial to not just like your job, but for it to make you happy. And being happy isn’t about the perks, or benefits, or money, but about finding a career that makes you feel fulfilled every day and like you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself.

I know—cheesy—but it’s true!

On the other hand, it also means companies should be investing more in employee happiness—whether that means encouraging flexible schedules or team bonding activities—if they plan on being profitable and sustainable in the long run.

Either way, it’s clear happiness is a big player in success for both companies and employees—and if we set our sights on it, we might be surprised with the result.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/its-true-happy-people-are-just-more-productive?ref=carousel-slide-3

1

Leonardo da Vinci. Marie Curie. Thomas Edison. Beatrix Potter.

What did all four of these people have in common?

Not only were they all highly motivated and creative individuals, but they also all kept some form of an idea journal.

An idea journal is not a diary where you have to record all of the details of your day. Rather, it’s a place where you jot down daily goals, achievements, observations, ideas for projects, quotes, or other bits of inspiration.

If you’re working on a project, you can fill your journal with updates on your progress, thoughts on how to improve the project, and anything else that motivates you. A writer’s might be filled with ideas for stories or articles or blog posts. An artist’s might contain sketches or inspirations for drawings. Ultimately, the idea journal exists as a private place to plant your thoughts and watch them grow.

Here are four reasons why some of the most successful people keep one (and you should, too):

1. It Helps You Remember and Develop Ideas

Leonardo da Vinci may not have kept an idea journal strictly speaking, but he did fill hundreds of pages with sketches, scientific diagrams, ideas for new inventions, and reflections on art. These pages were bound together as books after his death.

To make his writings even more private, da Vinci often employed a kind of shorthand and didn’t worry about perfect penmanship or proper punctuation.

What he did care about was carefully recording his lab notes and his many ideas for new inventions—everything from a flying machine to a submarine prototype.

Whether you’re researching an article or a novel or planning any kind of project, you need a place where you can organize all of that material. Like da Vinci’s notebooks, an idea journal helps you clarify your thoughts and express them more clearly. The action of writing down an idea forces you to think more deeply about it.

2. It Helps You Evaluate Lessons Learned

Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She also kept detailed lab notebooks that described her discovery of two elements: radium and polonium. These notes gave her a permanent and immediate record of her experiments and accomplishments.

Though you may not be a scientist, an idea journal acts as a lab notebook of sorts. While working on a project, you can use it to record each step of your journey: the difficulties that set you back, the hurdles you overcome, the milestones you make, and your final achievements.

The idea journal helps you avoid repeating mistakes in the future. And, you can flip through it to see all the steps you took toward completing your goals.

3. It Motivates You

Here is a photo of a page from one of Thomas Edison’s notebooks. He writes at the top of the page things doing and to be done. His to-do list runs for several pages and includes an amazing number of ideas, including an electrical piano, “unflammable” insulating material, ink for the blind, and an apparatus to help the deaf.

Edison’s to-do list shows how we can use an idea journal to warm up our creative muscle. Your lists can reveal to you a detailed picture of the things you’re passionate about and can even show you what field of study you should pursue.

Best of all, it motivates you to fight procrastination, list your goals, and start working to accomplish them. It reminds you to not abandon your dreams, but continue to strive to achieve them.

4. It Makes You a Better Observer

Beatrix Potter is most famous for her children’s stories about Peter Rabbit and her beautiful watercolor illustrations. However, she was also keenly interested in the natural sciences, especially botany.

From the age of 15, Beatrix Potter kept a journal in a secret code she had invented. The code was not cracked until 15 years after her death. Potter’s journals are filled with accounts of the long walks she took and her observations of the natural world. It was in this journal that she began to outline her scientific theories. She also recorded her opinions on society, fashion, art, and current events.

Potter practiced her observational skills by writing in her journal. Your notebook will train you to be observant as well. Writing encourages you to be curious, ask questions about the world, think innovatively, and find creative solutions to the problems you encounter.

 

Ready to start your idea journal?

Ultimately, there are no rules set in stone when it comes to making yours. It’s up to you to decide what to fill it with—just remember that its purpose is to inspire you.

An idea journal doesn’t have to be a physical notebook, although writingwith a pen and paper will give you the feeling of creating something and make your ideas that much more real.

Personally, I have several idea journals. For example, I love using Evernote to store the many articles and quotes I collect when I’m researching writing projects. Evernote has a feature that allows you to save anything you see online—including text, links, and images—into your account with a single click.

Additionally, I journal almost every day using an app called Day One that has a simple and elegant interface.

Ultimately, the idea journal is a portable laboratory where we can record our own unique perspective on the world, note the things in our lives that awaken our muse, and experiment with new ideas.

Source: http://inkwellscholars.org/4-reasons-to-keep-an-idea-journal/

1

We all often face the same problem: The workweek drags by at a glacial pace, while the weekend speeds past us before we even realize what’s happening.

Mathematically, of course, it all makes sense. But, what if you could change that? What if you could use your time so efficiently that you had all of your important to-dos wrapped up by Thursday?

Even if you can’t actually pack up, leave the office, and take every Friday off (we wish, right?), wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have that whole “bonus” day to stop putting out fires and instead get a jumpstart on next week—or even use that day to tackle those bigger ambitions that have been permanently parked in your back seat?

I know, it sounds impossible. But, skepticism aside, it’s totally doable if you use your time effectively. In fact, numerous companies have actually begun instituting flexible or four-day workweeks for their employees.

So, how do these people manage to pull this off? It’s not as tough as you think.

1. They Schedule Intentionally

You’re aiming to view Friday as the extra day tacked onto the end of your workweek—a day when all of your weekly tasks are finished and you can finally have a clear head and a somewhat empty plate.

This means you’ll want to avoid scheduling meetings, phone calls, and other important get-togethers on that day (unless it’s just a casual coffee get-together with a networking contact). Instead, you want Friday to provide a large chunk of totally uninterrupted time that you can use however you’d like.

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, swears by this no-meeting structure—although, he implements it on Wednesdays for his team. “With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager,” he says in an article for Inc., “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work.”

This intentional scheduling applies throughout your entire workweek. In order to set yourself up for an empty Friday, you’ll also need to keep a close eye on your schedule during the other days as well.

No, you don’t always have complete control over your calendar. However, it’s important that you frequently check through your schedule to see how your week’s shaping up. If you think you have far too many commitments and not enough time to actually work, you’ll need to see what you can move around or back out of.

2. They Focus on Priorities

You start your week with the best intentions and a laundry list of things you’re going to tackle in the office. But, when Friday rolls around, you’re shocked to realize that you barely accomplished any of them. You were too caught up in the emergencies that cropped up.

As Stephen R. Covey, the incredibly successful businessman and author, said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

People who get everything wrapped up before Friday know the value of effective prioritization, and many of them use the time management matrix developed by Covey in order take a step back and readjust their focus on the things that are critical, rather than time-pressing.

Oftentimes, there’s a big difference between how you’re actually spending your time and how you should be spending your time. And, if you want to have Friday reserved as free space, you’re going to need to constantly evaluate your priorities and ensure that you’re channeling your energy into the right things.

3. They Tune Out Distractions

Of course, you’re going to need to maximize every single minute of the days you actually do have. And, that means minimizing distractions as much as possible.

If you can’t focus at your desk with the office chatter and phone calls happening around you, try to find a quiet spot (or, if you’re desperate, some noise-canceling headphones) so that you can get into a groove and zone in on whatever you’re working on.

Another distraction you’ll want to keep at bay? Emails. So, close out that browser tab and resist the siren song of your inbox. You can even take a cue from Tommy John’s CEO, Tom Patterson, and set an out-of-office message that lets everybody know you’re only reading your emails at a certain time. That way, you won’t feel as tempted to keep checking in on your inbox.

4. They Find Shortcuts

You might hear the word “shortcut” and assume that means shoddy work. But, that’s not what this strategy is about at all.

Successful people are always concerned with producing top-notch results—however, they also find little ways to save time in the process. So, take a page from their book and have a good, hard look at your routine. Are there places where you’re spending a lot of unnecessary time?

Perhaps it’s a document you’re repeatedly drafting. Create a template so you always have the barebones in place. Is it an email you’re always sending? Save a canned response so you don’t have to draft the same message over and over again. Is there a menial task you need to complete daily or weekly? See if there’s a way you can automate it.

These changes seem small. But, if you managed to save yourself 15 minutes each day between Monday and Thursday, that’d be an entire hour by the time Friday rolls around. See? It all adds up.

Cutting a day out of your week might seem like a surefire way to get far less done. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, four-day workweeks have been proven to offer plenty of benefits—including increased productivity, higher levels of engagement, and happier employees.

Studies also show that longer hours don’t always equal more tasks being accomplished. After a certain point, we check out and our productivity either flat lines or takes a total nosedive.

So, even if your office won’t officially implement a compressed week, you can still roll up your sleeves, make the most of Monday through Thursday, and reserve Friday as a more low-key day when you can tackle bigger projects or set yourself up for success next week. After all, there’s no better way to head into the weekend.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-successful-people-finish-all-their-work-by-thursday-stressfree?ref=carousel-slide-5

1

If someone just read you the riot act, or you had your you-know-what handed to you by a boss or a peer, it’s human to feel down and want to process your thoughts.  Just don’t dwell there too long, or you may venture into victim mentality.

Recovering emotionally from challenging work moment doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch. But you have to move on at some point to keep your sanity.

Here are five ways resilient people manage their emotions and bounce back to their true form.

1. They Assess Their Situation

Resilient people use their emotional intelligence to do an honest self-appraisal of the situation(s) that may still be making them feel uneasy. They process their thoughts carefully and drill down until they get to the root of the matter.

Question for you: What is it about your situation that makes you feel the way you do? If something unresolved still lingers, nip that problem in the bud right away. If you don’t, you’ll feel perpetually frustrated and angry.

2. They Stop the Drama Playing in Their Heads

While healthy egos may take a hit in a crisis, resilient minds recover quickly by reframing.

What is that, you ask? Think of it as a technique to “tell yourself a different story” and come up with a different interpretation. This helps snuff out the drama that you may be scripting in your head. So deal with the factual (what’s really true) and the here and now. Leave the ghosts of your past in the past.

3. They Have Remarkably Healthy Boundaries

Perhaps what hit you so hard was due to your lack of setting limits on others. Maybe you were falsely accused of something that could’ve been avoided. The most resilient people recover from bad situations by saying “no” to anyone who interferes with their goals, schedules, and especially their values and beliefs.

So remind yourself you don’t have to be a yes-person for anyone—it takes too much effort and leaves you frustrated. Offer resistance when your beliefs are threatened. Push back firmly but not harshly, and draw clear lines in the sand.

4. They Don’t Let Guilt Control Them

Once they clear their side of the fence with honesty and integrity, resilient people don’t allow themselves to feel guilty about things that have nothing to do with them. They know they’re not responsible for the actions and drama of others, and they never beat themselves up for something someone else did.

5. They Reevaluate Their Professional Relationships

Resilient people are smart enough to reconsider the risks and rewards of their networks, so that it keeps them safe and serves them well. Your best bet to avoid future finger-pointing is to seek out an inner circle of supportive and encouraging colleagues and weed out controlling or needy takers who care only about themselves.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-how-resilient-people-get-through-really-hard-times?ref=carousel-slide-2