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You can learn a lot by observing and asking questions. But to shake things up, you have to get real ticked off about the important things that need fixing. The dangerous alternative is complacency.

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Ready for the Future?

How to Thrive in Perilous Times

The Most and Least Stressful Jobs for 2017

Flexjobs Offer Career Builders Alternatives to Traditional Jobs

Four Tips for Overcoming Stress

Ready for the Future?

As the New Year gets underway, this is an appropriate question we should ask ourselves. Can we expect a strong, vibrant economy with plenty of new jobs, prosperity or the frightening opposite, a weak, unstable economy and widespread unemployment?

The above questions are important for all career-builders, decision makers, managers and rank-and-file workers determined to climb the career ladder. Julie Benezet, author of “The Journey of Not Knowing,” offers the following seven tips that can help us deal with changing expectations, an unpredictable economy and looming unknowns:

1.  Don’t get stuck in the present. Benezet advises creating new opportunities in every aspect of our organizational lives.  Look for new ways to improve your career prospects. If you’re a manager, supervisor or project manager, find out what your stakeholders need, and then come up with effective ways to meet those needs.

2.      Embrace your fear of the unknown. “Strive to be a champion and not be faint of heart,” Benezet said. While the world is full of ambiguities, it is also full of opportunities.  Be willing to solve tough problems and embrace risk because uncertain outcomes come with new ideas, she added.  And be ready for the unexpected, and adapt and leverage every new situation as they often “play out differently from what was anticipated. “Celebrate with others when a new idea leads to something better for the organization,” said Benezet.

3.  The road to better outcomes can be uncomfortable.   “Be open and ready to try new ideas knowing and accepting that you will not be able to know what might happen,” said Benezet.  “Allow yourself to be guided by a strong sense of purpose, a sense of humor and a healthy dose of humility.” Embrace ideals that give you and your people deep personal meaning. Turn these into the energy and power needed to face challenges that make dreams happen.

4.      Accept failure on the way to success. Learn from every difficult lesson along the way. Be ready to test new ideas, technologies, approaches and systems to find out whether they will be successful.  Learn from our failures, especially when they are risky but laden with great potential, said Benezet. “Look at bumps along the road as learning opportunities rather than reasons to slash headcount, slow down or abandon the quest. Use them to revise, improve and drive the organization forward.”

5.       Learn to work with the difficulties coworkers experience and help them overcome the challenges they face. Realizing that everyone is unique, there is no manual that can guide us in all circumstances. “Rise to every challenge and find the courage to connect with others,” Benezet added.   “Humble yourself in a way that allows you to experience and understand them on their terms.”   

6.    Be open to learning.  “And be critical of your self-knowledge, knowing that the right information can be hard to attain,” said Benezet.  Most important, connect with new ideas and the people who can make them happen.  And, “let go of the past so you can identify and act on what is relevant to the future.”

7.      Know when to move forward, even when you realize there is more to know. Make peace with the fact that you can never know everything there is to know. Be open and ready to accept change. “People change, facts change, situations change and opportunities come and go,” Benezet said. “Some decisions must be made so that people and the organization can move forward.”

 

 

Posted on: January 22, 2017 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to Thrive in Perilous Times

Regardless of your politics or where you live or work, or your race or religion, 2017 is likely to be an unusual year for Americans, according to Donna Stoneham, author of recently published “The Thriver’s Edge.”

 “America has never been more divided, and many people are feeling alienated and anxious,” Stoneham said. This is reason enough, she said, to be strong, resilient and to work hard to get past this critical historic turning point.

 “In times of great uncertainty, we must learn to navigate a parallel path that enables us to have wings in the air and feet on the ground,” said Stoneham.  “It means having the spiritual vision that enables us to see the beauty and compassion that’s unfolding around us so we don’t lose hope.”  

To navigate this parallel path, Stoneham said that Americans must develop strength in the following five areas:

  1. Strong body. We all need strong bodies because physical strength helps ground us, the author said. “It helps keep our immunity high in times of stress so we don’t get sick,” said Stoneham.   “A strong body positively impacts our attitude and helps us to feel that we have the power to successfully navigate the world, even in difficult times.”  She advises exercising regularly, practicing good nutrition and making sure we get enough sleep so we can successfully manage stress and fear.  

2.   Strong spirit.  Stoneham said that a strong and resilient spirit gives us a higher perspective that’s not bound by time or circumstances.  “It allows us to experience a connection to something greater than ourselves and to have faith we’re not alone,” she said.  It also helps us see that “even though we may not agree with another person’s perspective, that we are all still part of one human family.”  This enables us to see beauty in the midst of chaos or despair.  And by building a strong spirit, we can “radiate compassion, not just for others, but also for ourselves.” In short, we attain greater understanding, which helps us stay grounded.  

3.  Strong Mind. “The mind is a powerful instrument and we have far more control over what we think than we credit ourselves with having,” said Stoneham.  “It’s important that we constantly choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, how we build meaning into our lives.  “In this ‘post-truth’ age we’re living in, we must be vigilant about what we choose to consume,” she added.  “The old saying, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ couldn’t be truer.”  

4. Strong community. Quoting the iconic spiritual leader Martin Luther King, Stoneham said that “we all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”  
5. Strong Character.     The author said that we must “stand for and what we’re unwilling to sacrifice, regardless of the cost.”  Exhibiting character may emerge by helping a stranger on someone at work who is being ostracized. It may be offering safe-haven to someone you meet because you know that’s the right thing to do. Honoring your character is knowing "where to draw the line about how you will treat others, regardless of what others around you are doing,” Stoneham added.  “Use your moral compass wisely to direct your actions and behaviors.

 

Posted on: January 19, 2017 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Most and Least Stressful Jobs for 2017

As the New Year gets underway, pundits and futurists are working overtime trying to predict what the job and business environment will be like in 2017.  Once again, career-portal CareerCast (CC) identified the top high and low stress jobs for the New Year. First CareerCast‘s 10 most stressful jobs and their median salaries, following by its 10 least stressful jobs and their median salaries.

Most stressful jobs

  1. Enlisted military personnel.  $27,936
  2. Firefighter.   $45,870                    
  3. Airline pilot.  $102,520   
    4. Police officer.  $60,270      
    5. Event coordinator.   $46,840                   
    6.  Newspaper reporter.  $36,360
    7. Corporate executive.   $102,690
    8. Public relations executive.  $104,140                  
    9. Taxi driver.   $23,510
    10.  Broadcaster.  $37,720 

Least stressful jobs

  1. Diagnostic medical sonographer.   $63,630 
    2. Compliance officer.  $65,640
    3. Hair stylist.  $23,710
    4. Audiologist.   $74,890  
    5. University professor (tenured).  $72,470                    
    6. Medical records technician.    $37,110                    
    7. Jeweler.  $37,060                    
    8. Operations research analyst.   $78,630                    
    9. Pharmacy technician.  $30,410  
    10. Medical laboratory technician.  $50,550                    

There are many other high- and low stress jobs that are not included on CareerCast‘s lists. The career portal’s job lists are based upon 11 stress factors in 200 professions.  The stress factors include travel required; growth potential; deadlines; working in the public eye; competition in the field; physical demands; environmental conditions; hazards encountered on a regular basis;  own life at risk; other lives are at risk; and meeting or interacting with the public.

Beyond the obvious affects, human beings’ tolerance for stress varies dramatically. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) said stress affects both the young and the old, rich and poor. It defines it as “a process “in which “environmental demands strain an organism’s adaptive capacity resulting in both psychological demands as well as biological changes.”

The NCBI goes on to explain that stress is a fact of life that we must deal with. It comes in all shapes and sizes; even our thoughts can create stress and make us more susceptible to illness.

CareerCast’s researchers pointed out that job stress can come from a variety of factors. Its origins include: a hazardous work environment where workers must deal with stressors such as difficult-to-meet deadlines; heavy physical demands; and imminent danger. The annual CareerCast.com 2017 Report on the most stressful jobs provides a detailed picture of jobs which face the most stress. Jobs such as firefighter, military and police officer need little explanation. CareerCast said, “These are careers with high risk of physical harm to oneself or another, for whom the professional is directly responsible.”

CC’s writers added. “As a society, we celebrate the bravery necessary to face the stresses of working in the Armed Forces, battling fires, or working in law enforcement. Some people derive great job satisfaction from high-stress professions that involve danger or other demands such as facing the intense scrutiny of the public.”

Still others enjoy the calm, peace, and security that come from working at stable, and predictable, routinized 9-5 jobs.  Ideally, that makes sense. Shouldn’t everyone work at something they love doing and that provides a comfortable living wage regardless of its stress level?

 

Posted on: January 19, 2017 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Flexjobs Offer Career Builders Alternatives to Traditional Jobs

Saying the job market has changed significantly over the past few decades is an understatement. 
Sara Sutton Fell knew what she was doing when she launched Boulder, Colorado-basesd Flexjobs (www.flexjobs.com) in 2007.   Fell saw an emerging market of job hunters searching for flexible work opportunities that meet their lifestyles, such as work-from-home positions and alternatives to traditional jobs in virtually all fields.
Fell has disproven the misconception that only certain fields, such as computer/IT, marketing and writing recruit flexible workers.  This year, Flexjobs’ database exceeds 47,000 companies, which are aggressively trying to fill telecommuting, part-time, and freelance openings, to name a few. 

In 2016, companies like the American Red Cross, Cisco, CVS Health, and USDA are joining the growing ranks of employers that recognize the benefits of flexible work options for their employees and their business models. Flexjobs reports that 80 percent of U.S. companies offer flexible work arrangements, which accounts for the 74 percent increase in companies featured in its database since 2013.

Fell said that the highest number of new employers came from the consulting, computer/IT, education, finance, marketing, medical and health, and nonprofit industries. Additionally,   a wide range of other career categories are also represented, such as arts & entertainment, environmental, government, HR, insurance, fashion, travel, legal, pharmaceutical, retail, research, and sports and fitness.

Equally exciting, the job titles falling under the flexjobs umbrella range from low to senior level positions. For example, job titles include corporate development director, field marketing manager, network security engineer, senior business analyst, technical lead, project director, customer service advisor and mortgage loan officer.

Opportunities created by the flexjobs concept also offer career builders unsure of what they want to ultimately do with their lives the opportunity to shop the market and sample different jobs and industries, and gain real world experience in the bargain.

Flexjobs' founder has also launched two additional partner sites, Remote.co (https://remote.co/) and 1 Million for Work Flexibility (http://www.workflexibility.org/)

 to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Fell is also the creator of the TRad Works Forum (https://trad.works/), which is dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.

Here is a sampling of industries that are hiring flexible workers, according to Flexjobs:

  • Arts & Entertainment: Entertainment Cruises, Museum Hack, A Noise Within
  • Computer/IT: Cisco, Appirio,Toptal
  • Education: The New Teacher Project, Johns Hopkins University,VIPKID
  • Environmental: AirMD, Rainforest Trust, Grid Energy
  • Finance: Citizens Bank, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo
  • Government: USDA, FBI, PAE
  • Human Resources: Computer Futures, ExecuSearch, Konsus
  • Insurance: New York Life, MetLife, Asurion
  • Legal: JuriLytics, DTI Global, RecordTrak
  • Marketing: Tempesta Media, 89 Degrees, Group Twenty Seven
  • Medical and Health: CVS Health, Cardinal Health, Altegra Health
  • Nonprofit: Wikimedia Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Future Founders
  • Research: Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation, Friends Research Institute Inc., 2020
  • Sports & Fitness: Yoga Download, Great Technique Dance Academy, Soccer Sparks
  • Travel: Hello Scout, Vantage Deluxe World Travel, Latin Excursions

For more information, as well as examples of recent job listings from companies that joined Flexjobs in 2016, visit: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/ post/hundreds-of-new- companies-hiring-for-flexible- jobs/.

Posted on: January 17, 2017 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Four Tips for Overcoming Stress

Work-related stress is reaching epidemic rates, according to Ora Nadrich, a certified life coach and author of “Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change The Way You Think Forever.”

Often, we are filled with negative thoughts about our work that can take a toll on our ability to concentrate and perform, Nadrich said.

When negative talk (said to ourselves or by others) begins to percolate and wreak havoc with our emotions, it’s time to separate from them.  A practical way to de-stress ourselves  is to use Nadrich’s “Says Who? Method,” which she defines as “a straightforward, powerful way of questioning and challenging those thoughts, and stopping them right in their tracks.  And by confronting a negative thought with a question, we find out if it’s true — or if we can just let it go.”

Anyone can use this approach to overcome negative thoughts, Nadrich said.  The author said that we can get rid of negative thoughts about our jobs by following these four simple steps:

  1. Acknowledge stress, even if it’s upsetting.  Don’t deny it or try to push it away, said Nadrich.  “Admit you’re feeling stress about your job, and accept that you’re having those negative thoughts,” she said. “Doing so allows you to focus on what is happening in the ‘now,’ which is actual and real, instead of focusing on the emotions surrounding the thoughts.”
  2. Shift into observer mode. Shift gears out of reactive mode into observer mode. In a reactive mode, you have no distance from your own negative thoughts, Nadrich said. “But in observer mode, you turn into a witness that is separated and independent from them. Then you’re in a position to ask yourself questions to help get calm and grounded.”
  3. Ask that negative thought with, “Says who?”  By asking the question, “you are demanding that your thought reveal to you who is responsible for its existence.” Simply, how did it get in your mind? Once you identify this, you can decide what to do about it. “Is it your original thought, or was it someone else’s that you took as your own?” the author questions.  For example, you may discover it’s an old thought that you’ve come to believe. But now it’s time to challenge it and let it go. Nadrich offers this example:  “Say you’re always thinking, ‘I’m terrible at my job.’ Asking, ‘Says Who?’ really means: ‘Why am I saying that I’m terrible at this job?’  Don’t stop there. Go one step further and ask yourself, ‘Is it me? If so, why would I think a thought that makes me feel bad about myself?’’’
  1. Continue the questioning process. The next questions after “Says Who?” further challenge negative thoughts.  By asking, “Have I heard someone say this thought before?” helps you find out if the negative thought is your opinion, or someone else’s, Nadrich explained.  Asking, “Do I like this thought?” gives you license to consider whether it’s a thought worth keeping. And questions such as “Does this thought work for me?” can help you transform the negative thought into something positive. That’s the kind of thought that will help you get your work done, or venture forth to find a job better suited to you, and better for your well-being, Nadrich said. “The Says Who? Method is a powerful tool for stopping the stressful, negative thoughts we can have about the workplace,” Nadrich added. “That’s because we tend to judge ourselves about our performance.”  This method stops that anxious thought in its tracks so that you can stop judging yourself harshly and become more effective, successful, and productive.
Posted on: December 28, 2016 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
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