How to create a healthy work-life balance

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Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Finding the right balance between work, rest, and play can be difficult to master. While success at work is important, so is your mental and physical health. Here are some tips to help you maximize your personal time so you can be your best self in and out of the workplace.

Work smarter, not harder

Your time is a precious resource, and making sure that you are always making the best use of it can be tricky. One of the ways that many people do this is by delegating tasks when appropriate. Knowing when and how to delegate is a very difficult skill, but when done correctly, it not only helps give you some time back, but also shows others that you trust them. Delegating work can help bring a team together, and in the end, create a better overall product.

Some companies have even started delegating tasks to robots. These robots help companies remove repetitive tasks, and make sure that the employees can spend their time on more interesting and important jobs.

If it’s within your means, you can also find a way to delegate housekeeping and home tasks as well, such as using a grocery delivery service (tip well, and in cash!) or hiring an occasional housekeeper so you can maximize your home time.

Find interests outside of the office

We are a society of tired people. To help break that working for the weekend mentality, finding ways to bring downtime and fun into your regular routine can make a big difference. Making sure that you have something to focus on outside of the office can help you mentally de-stress from all the pressures a workday brings.

Personal activities and hobbies can range from anything like learning how to knit, reading a book, or even just binge-watching a new series of your favorite TV show. While the main purpose of these activities is to get your mind off of work, having a hobby can actually help you in the office too.

Taking a little vacation time is also a great way to stop worrying about work. A nice change of scenery can do wonders, and it doesn’t even have to be across the country. Go explore anything within driving distance, make a day out of it. Get out of the office and go find something fun to do.

Pay attention to you

Many people get overwhelmed with stress and forget to take the time to check on themselves. If you’re starting to feel a little too much pressure at work, saying “no” to people isn’t something you should feel badly about

Make sure your self care routine is solid. This isn’t all about bubble baths — make sure you schedule time to shower and wash your hair, go to bed on time, and prepare meals that make you feel good. When we’re overwhelmed, these basics are often easy to overlook. Living off granola bars and dry shampoo is okay in a pinch but you’ll feel better if you can get the basics handled.

Physical exercise is also a great way to reduce stress. This doesn’t mean you have to spend 3 hours in the gym every day, but find a good way to get out and get moving in a joyful way that feels good. There’s always an interesting way to get your body moving, and you’ll find that it helps deal with some of that mental stress.

Use your time effectively

One of the best ways to make sure that you are staying on track is by setting goals. Similar to New Year’s resolutions, goals are very easy to set and then simply forget about. When creating goals, try and create SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

SMART goals can greatly help with your time management skills, and make sure that you always have something to strive for. Break down your long-term goals into 90 day goals with monthly or even weekly tasks to keep moving forward.

Utilizing your workday hours to prioritize and focus your work means you can leave work at work and not be glued to your email or computer after-hours. Bringing your job into your personal time is never good for your mental health.

Take a break from technology (every now and then)

Avoiding technology can feel like an impossible feat, but making sure that you aren’t surrounded by it at all times is important, especially before going to sleep. Technology can affect the way you sleep, so try and have at least 30 minutes of technology-free time before going to bed. It will help you get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

 According to a study by Udemy, 36% of millennial and Gen Z say they spend 2 or more hours per workday looking at their phones for personal activities. While this isn’t always a bad thing, make sure that you are aware of how much time you spend on technology at work, and make sure that you’re getting enough work done at the same time.

Work-life balance is often a mystery to most people, and it’s ok to not have all the answers. Trying a few of these tips might be able to help you or someone else, and as long as you’re always trying to move forward personally or at your job, that’s progress in itself.

Nine Reasons Spring is the Best Time of Year for Job Hunting

Spring Clean Your Job Search

If you started 2020 with “new year, new job” vibes but haven’t had luck yet, stay the course! Now that warmer weather is upon us and you’re airing out your home, you can bring those spring cleaning vibes into your job search as well. 

Many companies are finalizing a fiscal year budget for the upcoming year beginning July 1, so spring is when they’re getting approvals for new hires.

Here are some key reasons why this is the time of year you should really be focusing on your job hunt and tips to make the most of your search.

 

Business Events

 

As the weather gets warmer, spring is a time for families and friends, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s also the time for businesses to get together with all employees, enjoy food and drinks, and share each other’s company.

Even if it’s not hiring time, it’s a great way to start networking. Businesses tend to host a lot more events during this chilled-out season, so attend things like fundraisers, open houses, and whatever opportunities you can to mingle with the right people that can help with job openings. 

 

Spring Parties

 

A spring party at a friend’s house can even be a good chance to network. You never know who might be there, so it’s always important to make a good first impression with everyone you meet. Get to know the other attendees and if someone has a job related to what you’re interested in, ask them if there are any other positions available and mention your search. 

 

Be Casual

 

As per Fran Healey, a career writer at 1Day2Write and Next Coursework, “the important thing here is approaching the event the right way, so you’re not too business formal or desperate. Let the information about your job search come up in organic conversation.”

New Graduates

If you’re going to be graduating from college in May, you can start looking already for entry-level positions to secure an offer for after graduation. It’s worth mentioning in your cover letter that you’re about to graduate and you’ll be ready to start as soon as the semester ends.

 

Limited Competition

 

Most people who are job searching, regardless of whether they’re employed or not, will take a break during this relaxed season. They hear the myth that job hunts aren’t as successful toward the end of a fiscal year.

That means the numbers are in your favor. There are still job openings and employers are hiring, so put your name forward while there are limited candidates. 

 

What About July?

 

It’s certainly possible to get hired in May and June because a lot of managers want to check that off their to-do list before their vacation. If you don’t hear back immediately, it’s nothing to worry about. A lot of employers want to review the resumes and set up holiday season interviews but will ultimately offer the job in July. This trend happens often enough that it’s worth continuing to apply for positions.

 

Seasonal Jobs

 

Companies will also be looking to hire someone for additional help over the sometimes-busy spring season, depending on the industry. That means there are a lot of seasonal job openings. These are a great way to earn a little extra money, but they can also lead to a full-time position, lasting long after the season. Your position is almost like an interview on the job. You can show your worth to employers by making yourself invaluable. 

 

Go Above and Beyond

 

If you land a seasonal springtime job, you want to do your best, and show your employers why they need to get you a permanent position to keep you on after this relaxed season. Dan Doyle, a journalist at Brit Student and Write My X, says to “talk to the boss and get to know your management team well. Let them know in time that you’re interested in staying on with the company. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about your career goals.” 

 

Avoid Delays

 

There’s no reason to take a break over spring, because there’s no time like now. Don’t make waiting for the main working year an excuse; although you should still be able to enjoy warmer weather and planned vacations, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep looking for your dream job at the same time. During any scheduled downtime, take a few moments each day to submit your resume to a position or two. 

Make this job search a routine that you continue through your vacation schedule, and you’ll find that you can still enjoy them to the fullest. You might get a bonus vacation gift of a new position.

 

Bethany Tate, a content marketing professional at Academic Brits and PhD Kingdom, loves to help her readers with their professional and career development. She is dedicated to finding ways for people to apply successfully to their dream positions and make positive impacts at their new companies. She also writes for Origin Writings.

5 Reasons to Update Your Resume for the New Year

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Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

New year, new you? Don’t worry if you don’t have vast life-altering plans for 2020. It’s just another year, after all, and you’re allowed to be the same you.

Amidst resolutions about quitting a bad habit, starting a good habit, or “getting organized” (whatever that means), some of us out there are looking for a new job this year. Maybe it’s for a boost in income, maybe it’s to get out of a job that has a poor life balance and leaves you stressed and exhausted, or maybe you’re not actually looking for a new job at all.

This post will explore 5 reasons you should dust off the ol’ resume for the new year, even if you’re not job searching.

1. To Put Some Pep in Your Professional Step: Just looking over your accomplishments since the last time you updated your resume can put some serious coin in your professional confidence bank. Plus, updating frequently (once or twice a year, at least) means you can spruce up your resume while the details of your latest projects are still fresh in your mind. While you’re updating, you should also jot down some notes and highlights about your projects that don’t make it to the resume — these can be used for cover letter material.

2. To Make A Case: If you redo your resume and find that you’ve significantly stepped up your responsibilities and project management skills, it’s a good time to think about negotiating a pay raise. Taking an objective look at your accomplishments over the past year (or more) can help you outline your conversation with your boss.

3. Because Shit Happens: If you lose your job, it’s far better to have your resume already up to date than to have to think positively about the job you just lost while you try to fix it up.

4. To Stay On Trend: Resume trends change over time, and you may end up taking yours a completely new direction! Research the latest resume tips like scrapping the objective section for a summary or profile, leaving the references off, and highlighting skills in a separate section.

5. To Invite Opportunity: You never know when you might have an opportunity fall into your lap through a new connection in your professional circle or a recruiter on LinkedIn. If your resume is already up to date, you won’t need to scramble to get one put together, which risks leaving out important details.

Careers and cookies

I wrote before about quitting, and how it can be a freeing and incredible experience.  It’s very tempting to leave behind the daily grind and step outside the box, whether that box is a job, a relationship, a location, a booked calendar, or anything else.  It’s freeing to quit and do something that brings us more passion.

The reason this is relevant to me today is because I recently found myself on a call with a freelance client, for whom I write posts for several blogs and content for several websites.  And during this call, we talked about my ability to pick up some more hours of writing.  Because, according to the words that tumbled forth from my mouth, “I’d like to be writing full time.”

OH WOULD I?

Yes.  Yes I would.

We talked about hours and about my timeline (I imagine I would be at my current full-time place of employment for at least another year, but who knows?) and about my goals.

I had a real conversation about a very real career change.

When I have conversations about writing, picking up more hours, getting increased responsibilities, or even brainstorming new things to write about, I feel charged with energy.  I love to write.  I never thought I would be a writer.  But I never thought I would be a purchaser for a chemical manufacturer, an administrative assistant for a real estate company, or a career counselor either, and I have done all of those things.

I try not to get too caught up in goals, but this doesn’t feel like a goal.  This feels like a need.  At the very least, this is a strong desire that I think will bring me joy and passion and satisfaction.

Some of the articles I write for this client are about work-at-home parents, and the more I research and write about the topic, the more interested I am in becoming one of these work-at-home parents. I have recently been thinking very hard about my parenting desires (though, admittedly, children are not on my immediate to-do list) and I have realized that, by the time I have children, I would like to have enough income from my freelance work that I don’t have to return to the workforce outside the home.

I’d also like to point your attention to the two fortunes wrapped into one cookie that I opened recently when I treated myself to Chinese food for dinner:

Seriously.