Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

With many of us adjusting to working remotely, setting up home offices, using the dining room table or some other makeshift desk, plus the stress of isolation, and fear of COVID-19, we are feeling pressure from many directions.   This crazy time can take a toll on your body. To prevent aches and pains, try your best to practice proper ergonomics while working from home.

Proper Ergonomics

Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work

Check Your Monitor

When you sit at your desk, make sure the center of your computer screen is slightly above eye level.  If you are constantly looking up or down, it can create neck and back problems.

Be Aware of Your Arms

Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor with your wrists supported and minimally bent.  Putting extra stress on your wrists will increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Customize Your Chair

Desk and computer heightUse a desk chair with adjustable lumbar back support and customize it to your body.  You can also purchase separate back supports if you feel you need them.  I found this diagram of how high your desk and monitor should be on Pinterest.

Bend Your Knees

Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.  If you are vertically challenged, you may need a small footrest so your feet are not dangling.

Keep Your Feet on the Floor

Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.  Do not cross your legs or your ankles.

Use a Headset

Instead of holding the phone with your shoulder, use a headset.

Get Up and Stretch

Take time to stretch your body and change your position during the day. It also gives your eyes a break from the computer screen.  It is recommended you move at least once every hour.  Stand up, stretch, take a walk, just move.

We rely heavily on our body and mind to help us reach our maximum potential in all aspects of life.  Take the time to take care of your body.  Proper ergonomics can help with remote work so your body can carry you wherever you’d like to take your career, whether that be back to your office when this is all over, or being a permanent remote worker.

 

By |2020-04-14T22:42:42-05:00April 14th, 2020|Career Success, Remote Work|Comments Off on Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

Do You Need a Career Coach?

If you’re unhappy with your job and looking to make a change, a career coach may be just what you need. Even if you think everything is “fine,” you may feel deep down that you’re not doing what makes you happy.

Career Coach

A career coach can help you with a simple task like updating your resume to make it shine. Or something more complex like helping you figure out what you really want to do with your life. They can guide you through the confusion of changing jobs or careers, going back to school, and even just moving to a different company.

Working with a career coach is a great way to get an unbiased opinion on changes you can make in your career path.

Signs You Need a Career Coach

If you’re not sure if working with a coach is the right choice for you, here are a few signs to help you figure it out.

  1. You’re Unhappy in Your Current Job

This is one of the most obvious signs that you’re ready for a change. If you’re feeling unhappy but don’t know what you want to do instead, a career coach can help you guide you to the answer you’re looking for.

  1. Having the “It’s a Paycheck” Mentality

This goes hand-in-hand with #1. You’re unhappy with your job, but hey, at least it’s a paycheck. Having a job that you love can also give you a paycheck that makes you happy. It IS possible to have both and a career coach can help you figure out how to make that happen.

  1. You Like Your Job But Need to Make More Money

Knowing how to ask for the raise you deserve can be difficult. There are a few tricks you can use like doing your research and knowing what other people in your field make. A career coach can help you negotiate the best way to approach your company, what to say, and when to make the move when asking for a raise. They can also help you figure out if you can make the money you want to make working for another company.

  1. You’re Stuck

If you’ve been stuck in the same position, making the same salary, without any raises or promotions for too long, it’s time to consider a change. Working with a career coach can help you figure out how to put your skills and experience to use in a job that will pay you more and has more opportunities for growth.

  1. You Have Too Many or Too Few Interests

When you know you want to make a change but you’re not sure what you want to do, a career coach can help you sort through your ideas and make sense of them. They can also help you dig deep to find your true passions and put them to use in your career.

  1. You’ve Been Unemployed Too Long

Even if your resume looks great and you have tons of experience, being unemployed for too long can work against you when you’re trying to reenter to the work world. Potential employers can see this as a negative. A career coach can help you improve your resume, practice your interview skills, and help you figure out how to answer the tough questions like “why have you been unemployed so long.”

There are many great benefits to working with a career coach. Whether you’re trying to change careers, find your passion, get back into the corporate world, or make more money, a career coach can help you achieve your goals.

Are You Ready to Work With a Career Coach?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to begin coaching that will differentiate you from other job seekers and help you develop a  job search strategy as you begin your job search.

Other Posts of Interest

Sending Cold Email Introductions

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is a Thank You Note Important?

 

By |2019-12-18T13:53:45-06:00January 7th, 2020|Career Success|Comments Off on Do You Need a Career Coach?

Are Your Technology Skills Evolving?

It is important to keep your skill base up to speed and current in order to stay competitive and relevant, especially if you are in the job market or thinking about looking for another opportunity.

Technology skills

Do You Have Current Technology Skills?

Traditional marketing efforts are falling fast in the wake of social media. This change yields direct contact with individuals in companies like CEOs and HR Recruiters who are active on social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Having direct access to hiring managers and company decision-makers is ideal when you are actively looking for a job. So what do you do if you aren’t very active on social media due to the learning curve? Does that mean you are out of luck?

With technology taking a leading role in business, you need to understand and know how it works to keep yourself in the game and marketable.  What do you do if you don’t feel comfortable with your tech skills?

Ways to Improve Your Tech Skills

There are numerous ways you can improve your tech skills:

Take a Course

It could be an online course or one at a local campus focusing on the skill area you need to enhance.  Online courses are very popular and can be completed at any time when it is convenient for you.

Watch YouTube Videos

There are videos on how to do just about everything.  Just do a search on YouTube and you will find numerous videos to assist you as you tackle new technology.

Google The Task

Google the task you are trying to learn and you may very well find some blog posts with the information you need or free ebook with step by step instructions.

Find a Tech-Savvy Mentor

Find a tech-savvy mentor to teach you the ropes!

Have you ever heard of reverse mentoring? A  Wall Street Journal article discusses companies who are pairing young employees with older, less tech-savvy colleagues to improve their technology skills.  Are you brave enough to seek help from a younger coworker?

The truth is, knowledge is key so it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and learn how you can leverage your technology skills to be more marketable and competitive in the job market. Ready to get started? Pick any of the above options and begin.

Other Post of Interest

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is Working Remotely For You?

Sending Cold Email Introductions

By |2019-10-30T22:22:21-05:00October 31st, 2019|Career Success|Comments Off on Are Your Technology Skills Evolving?

How to Work for a Younger Boss

If you work for a younger boss, it can be a challenge.  A September 2016 study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that most workers at firms with managers younger than themselves reported more negative emotions, such as anger and fear than those with older managers.  The anger more than likely stems from not feeling valued and respected.  There could also be some resentment, especially if you applied for the job and didn’t get it.

Work for a younger boss

My friend Robin had this to say about working for a younger boss, “I had no problem with the age, him being younger.  But I did have a problem with his attitude about the way his predecessor handled things.  He didn’t value the work the team had done under our previous boss and that left me feeling disrespected and that the work I had been doing was not of importance.  But I found ways to cope and make it work.”

When your boss is younger than you, age may add an additional challenge. Think of age as immaterial, appreciating the fact that the position was most likely earned by impressive skills and talents.

So how do you deal with a younger boss?

Tips to Work For a Younger Boss

Here are six tips to help you work for a younger boss:

Communication

Communication is key. Try to open up the doors of communication with your boss by addressing the issue face-to-face and letting your manager know how you feel. Your tense work relationship might be as simple as a communication mismatch.

Ask how your younger boss wants to communicate. Do they prefer email, text, or instant message? Do they like to have scheduled meetings? It may mean less face time and more technology than you are used to.

My experience is that younger managers tend to prefer texts to emails, phone calls or real-time verbal conversations while older workers are often just the opposite.

Attitude

Pause and do some soul searching. Learn how to manage your attitude. Is your unhappiness about you or the boss? Could this be an ego issue for you? Were you passed over for the position and have negative feelings about it?

One of the biggest pet peeves younger bosses have is when employees say, “we’ve always done it like this,” or “we don’t need to learn a new way”. Even though learning a new process may be a pain, do your best to have a good attitude when it comes to accomplishing tasks in a new way.

Have Empathy Towards Your Younger Boss

Your boss may feel threatened and a little insecure about managing you. Have respect for your boss. Yes, he or she needs to respect you, but it’s a two-way street.  Your boss got the job for a reason, and while he may be the best person for the job, he may feel a little intimidated.

Play to Your Strengths

You have your current job for a reason. It may not be that you are the best with new technology, rather your experience and mentorship capabilities that really shine through. Make your strengths known to your boss so they can utilize you in the best way.

Keep Your Skills Current

As you know, technology is always changing and will continue to change in the workplace as well. When a new technology becomes available, embrace it and learn it as quickly as possible.

Keep networking

This is not the time to be complacent about building your network with people of all ages. After all, your boss may really be a jerk and you may need to find a new job sometime soon.

Employers still hire the old-fashioned way, bringing on people they know — or those who come recommended to them. So keep adding contacts and connections on LinkedIn. Attend industry association gatherings and get involved in committees or boards. Go to alumni get-togethers. Make it a point to have coffee or lunch with someone who could help your career. Volunteer at a nonprofit or at an outing with your employer’s volunteer efforts. You never know whom you might meet.

The key to making any boss and employee relationship work is mutual respect.

You can work for a younger boss and still be successful.  Using the above tips will give you a good start.

Do You Need Career Help?

If it doesn’t work out and you need to begin a search for a new job, contact Rachel at YourCareerFind.com and let her help you create a resume that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Other Helpful Posts

Is Working Remotely For You?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

Rate Your Workplace Happiness

By |2019-10-14T23:19:21-05:00October 15th, 2019|Career Success|Comments Off on How to Work for a Younger Boss

Are You Overlooking a Toxic Work Culture

A toxic work culture is sometimes right under your nose and you don’t even know it. If you are the manager or a boss, think about the work environment your employees deal with on a daily basis.  Think everything is fine?  Ask your employees and you might be surprised.

Toxic culture

Toxic work environments are not just caused by a dictator boss.  It can come from employees in a position of power intimidating other employees, employees bullying one another, watercooler gossip, groups isolating individuals, etc.

If the behavior creates a culture where employees are scared, intimidated, or constantly unhappy, it will erode your organization.  You will see diminished productivity, creativity stifled, and employees will just generally sad.    You might see increased absenteeism, tardiness, and eventually increased turnover.  The best employees are often the first to jump ship.

Something You Can’t Ignore

Signs of a toxic workplace

All this can be happening when you as a boss do not even realize there is a problem. (Until you ask!)

Often when there is toxicity in the work environment, your most passionate people become quiet. Employees begin to feel marginalized and unappreciated. According to Forbes, 53 percent of Americans are currently unhappy at work.  That is a lot of unhappy workers!

A toxic work culture is costly.  It can eventually cost you in lost revenues, settlements, and damages.  Don’t let it get to that point.

Now, more than ever, managers need to talk to employees and address issues of workplace toxicity.

As a manager, it is important that you find out what is really going on.  Don’t just assume things are fine because no one is saying anything.

While you may not be aware of what is happening, other employees may just assume you are looking the other way and allowing those who are creating the issues to continue or that you even support them.

How do you fix a toxic work culture?

If you hold a leadership position, whether you’re the CEO, middle manager, or team lead, never underestimate the power of your influence. Even if you are not the one creating the toxicity, there are things you can do to improve the culture in your workplace.

It all starts by practicing the following behaviors:

1. Identify Problem and Acknowledge It

  • Talk to employees one on one and get to know how they are feeling about work, coworkers, the work environment, etc.  Let them know they can be honest and there will be no retaliation or sharing their info with other employees.  Talk to employees from all levels of the organization.  Five minutes here and there can make a big difference.  Ask pointed questions about their feelings and let them know if something is amiss, they can reach out to you.
  • Do some research.  How many sick days are being used by employees?  Are people taking their vacation time?  Is the workload too heavy? Are employees taking care of their health and taking advantage of healthcare benefits. Is bullying a problem?
    • In a recent article, 10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need to Know, from Forbes, they indicated American workers forfeited nearly 50 percent of their paid vacation time in 2017.  The fear of falling behind is the number one reason people aren’t using their vacation time.
    • Inc. reports toxic workplaces are the 5th leading cause of death.  Are your employees working themselves to death?   Be aware of the hours your employees are working and ask yourself:  Am I contributing to an excessive workload?  Can it be sustained?  Are there changes I can make to fix the workload of any one individual?
    • According to The Balance Careers. bullying often manifests as an abuse of power whose targets suffer serious and long-lasting emotional and physical health-harming effects. Not unlike batterers who emotionally abuse their victims, bullies engage in learned abusive workplace behavior because they often get away with it.  Bullies are cognitively aware of their actions, changing their behavior when in the presence of superiors, often appearing charming and professional.

2. Develop a Plan to Fix the Problem

  • Stop micromanaging.
  • Encourage balance.  All work and no play makes for a dull person.  Productivity increases when you have balance in your life.
  • Provide clear communication and expectations.
  • Provide policies and follow them.  Be consistent and fair.
  • Allow for some fun and flexibility.   A small dose of fun can have a dynamic impact on the tone and climate of organizational culture.
  • Reduce Stress.  Time away from work is a major factor in stress reduction.  Time away from the job almost always increases productivity when they return.

3.  Take Action and Follow through With What You Say You are Going To Do

  • Let employees know they can count on you.  Don’t just give it lip service.  Actually do what you promise.
  • Show appreciation for what they do.  People nowadays are worn down and underappreciated. These two factors are a breeding ground for toxic behavior–because when people don’t feel valued, they lose their desire to try.  Look for the good in others and mention it!
  • Be an example and show others the values and priorities you feel are important and expect them to follow.
  • Apologize when you are wrong.Toxic Culture
  • Be Present.  Get out of your office and let employees know you are around.   That you care about what they are doing.
  • Use your vacation time and encourage employees to do the same.
  • Take care of your health and encourage employees to do the same.  Mention your Dr. visit or eating healthy, exercising and going to the dentist.  You are setting an example.
  • Be transparent and let employees know what is happening in your business.  You would be surprised how many employees do not know what the company goals are.
  • Show respect, integrity, authenticity, appreciation, empathy, and trust.  Expect the same of all employees.

There is Hope for Improvement

The causes of toxicity and hostility in the workplace are many and created by all levels of employees.  But there are many ways to improve a toxic culture.

Talk to your employees today and learn how they feel.  If there is something or someone creating a toxic work culture, take action immediately and fix the problem.

Your business depends on it!

Other Posts of Interest

Is a Toxic Job Adding Too Much Stress?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

 

By |2019-09-09T13:31:40-05:00September 10th, 2019|Career Success, How to Be Happy at Work|Comments Off on Are You Overlooking a Toxic Work Culture

Is Working Remotely For You?

Many people dream of working from home in their comfy clothes.  According to a report by Global WorkPlace Analytics, 4.3 million employees are working from home at least half the time.  Research indicates the remote work will equal, if not surpass, fixed office locations by the year 2025.  Is working remotely a good fit for you?

Working Remotely

If you’re considering working remotely with your current job or you’re looking for another job so that you have the ability to work remotely, there are some things to consider. There are plenty of pros and cons to working remotely and only you can know if it’s the right fit for you.

Things to Consider Before Working Remotely

Here are some things to consider before you decide to work remotely . . .

The Pros:

Location Independent

You can work wherever and whenever you’d like, for the most part. Your company may still require you to work set hours or you may need to reach a certain level of productivity every day or every week, but your schedule can be more flexible.

If it’s a nice day, you can choose to work outside. Or maybe your kitchen table is preferred over your home office. You can be more productive in the morning so you can finish your work by early afternoon. The choice is yours.

Save Money

You’ll save money. Without the need to commute every day, you’ll save money on gas, tolls, and parking. You’ll also be less likely to go out for lunch. And, you won’t need to buy as many “work” clothes and pay for dry cleaning.

Focus

You can stay more focused without coworkers popping into your office all day long to distract you with questions or new projects. You’ll need to have some willpower to avoid the pile of laundry or the TV until your work is done, but there won’t be as many distractions as you would normally have at the office.

Less Drama

You can avoid office gossip and drama. You know all of those conversations that take place in the employee break room about who’s dating who, who got promoted, and who’s in trouble with the boss? Yeah, those. No more! You’ll no longer get caught in the middle of the drama.

The Cons:

Isolation

You may feel left out. If you’re an extrovert who thrives on having people around you, you may start to feel lonely and left out. You won’t be in the office for impromptu meetings and you won’t hear all the latest news about what’s going on in the company.

Lack of Motivation

Unless you’re a self-starter, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. You may be tempted to check your Facebook feed, start the dishwasher, or make a quick run to the grocery store which will take valuable time from working and leaving you being less productive.

Making Remote Work A Success

If you decide that working remotely is for you, you can learn to manage your productivity by time blocking your schedule and turning off apps and websites that distract you. You can schedule short breaks throughout the day that allow you to take care of those chores. And, you can video conference into office meetings so that you can still be part of what’s going on.

There are ways to make it work for you, but it can still get lonely. Only you can decide if it’s the right choice. You may want to present the idea to your boss and ask to try it out for a few weeks or month before making it permanent to determine if it works for you.

Other Posts of Interest

Hurricane Season is Upon Us….Be Prepared

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews

 

 

 

By |2019-07-31T10:59:13-05:00July 31st, 2019|Career Success, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Is Working Remotely For You?
Load More Posts