This is a very popular question with interviewers as it helps them gauge how you have handled a stressful situation in the past. Stressful situations occur every day both in work and in life in general and stress affects people in different ways. Some people will take it out on others around them in the office and some people will bring it home with them. So to answer with the line “stress doesn’t affect me” is a lie as we all get stressed at times. So firstly acknowledge that stress in the workplace is a reality. A certain level of stress (good stress) is productive and can help us work better but how do you prevent bad stress? It’s important for your employers to know you won’t blow up at your boss if he pushes forward your deadline or you won’t flip out when a customer is testing your patience. The interviewer wants to hear examples of a situation where you encountered a stressful situation and dealt with it in a reasonable manner. Discuss how you used time management, problem-solving techniques or decision-making skills to reduce stress. They want to hear things like “I just take a deep breath, count to ten and deal with the situation” or “If a project is overwhelming, I break it into smaller steps and focus on each step one at a time”.
Here are 5 ways you can make the most of your summer (even when you have to spend most of the day inside the office!) 1. Bring summer into the office Can’t get outside during the day to enjoy the summer months? Try bringing the season inside. Craving that summer ice-cream, go to the shops and bring one back for everyone. Open your window, turn on a fan, take off your shoes and wiggle your toes! If you can bring a taste of the warm weather inside, it might just keep you from yearning for the outdoors. 2. Make the most of your lunch hour Another way to cope with summer fever is to schedule some time outside during your work day. Make the most of the good weather by making your lunch and having it in a nearby park and perhaps take a stroll afterwards. Or find a cafe with outdoor seating and enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes. Getting that break during the middle of your day will be sure to help you make it through the rest of the afternoon. 3. Look into flex time Some companies allow employees to be a little more flexible with their work schedules during the summer months. See if your company will consider a flexible arrangement. This could mean working longer Monday through Thursday in order to leave early on Friday afternoon, or coming in earlier so you can leave earlier to enjoy the extended daylight. If you can demonstrate that you will still get your work done, your company should be able to see the benefit of this flexibility. 4. Plan a Vacation Even if you’re very busy and can’t really afford to take a holiday, commit to using at least part of your leave time during the summer. If you don’t have enough money to take a week-long vacation, take a three- or four-day weekend getaway. Hotel prices in Ireland are after declining significantly over recent years so no better time to take a road trip and see some of the sights of Ireland. Once you have plans made you’ll be more motivated to work hard knowing you’ve something to look forward to. 5. Make the Most of Your Time Off If you can’t take time off, at least make sure you take advantage of your weekends. Get your projects done during the week so you can have a good rest on Saturday and Sunday. That means leaving your laptop at the office and leaving the e-mail and voice mail until Monday. The most important thing is to treat yourself to a real break in order to recharge your batteries. Seize the opportunity to make the most of the good weather and get outside, go hiking, biking, walking…. whatever tickles your fancy. Making the most of your weekend will make it easier to focus when you return to the office on Monday.
Online privacy is always appearing in the news and with our reliance on technology to do everything this is no wonder. A constant problem in workplaces across the globe is employees blurring the lines between work emails and home emails. In the US, one third of employees who are fired have the reason of excessive or inappropriate email usage as a contributing factor. And if reports are correct that we spend approximately 70% of our time in work or on our phones and laptops, would that not make sense then to use our work emails more? Quick personal emails The problem is that we seem to be using our Gmails and Yahoo’s much less and prefer to ping off a quick email to our friend to say we’re running late for that coffee or the landlord to advise of a leaky tap that needs to be fixed. Surely that’s not “excessive”? But even if you don’t use your emails and send a message via Facebook chat instead, it’s actually just as dangerous because everything you do on your office PC or laptop during work time is not only accessible to IT, but indeed technically on work time and therefore legally owned by your company. And therefore your employer has every right to question every correspondence you send. Or are we just getting very George Orwell all of a sudden? Most companies require employees to sign an IT disclosure form; how many of us read it before we sign is debatable but I’m willing to take a bet that it’s not many. Once you sign that form, you are agreeing to hand over pretty much your entire digital identity while at work to your employer. And by default, your friends and colleagues details and identities. That figure of 70% is actually skewed as well – if your boss doesn’t like you and plans to get rid of you, it would be very easy to use excessive or inappropriate email use as a reason to fire you whereas you may see your correspondence as normal and perfectly within the work remit. Inappropriate doesn’t mean dodgy emails to colleagues about sensitive subjects or gossip about your boss though – this can also mean sending your landlord an email about that tap. Our judgement is blurred Which brings us back to square one – our judgment is being blurred more and more by the age of technology and considering we are online virtually 24/7, it stands to reason we’ll condense our online life to make things easier? You must also remember that anything you do online, whether on the internet or on your own work network, can never be fully deleted. You will never be able to outsmart the IT guy; they don’t care who you are or what you’ve done. They don’t discriminate, but with the invention of big data, it’s very easy for companies to track what you do during your workday. The key point to keep remembering is – if you don’t want your employer to have access to your personal online presence, don’t do it at work. Limit your social life to your home PC or private phone and remember that perhaps it’s time to look at whether you’re really doing your job well if you find yourself spending more time chatting online than doing work. View original article in The Journal.ie
Even with Christmas on the horizon, the short days and cold, damp weather can take a toll on everyone. Below are six tips for staying happy and healthy this winter. 1. Connect with friends Catch up with good friends as much as you can. Being around happy people will lift your mood. Avoid pessimistic friends for some bonding with a happy-go-lucky pal. Why not meet up with friends after work for some mulled wine at the Dublin Christmas markets. 2. Exercise While it’s easier to turn on a television and watch “I’m a Celebrity..” or endless “X Factor” repeats, your body and mind will thank you for regular exercise. Join a gym, go for a walk, sign up for a 5k/10k or exercise indoors. 3. Plan a Break While a few days in the sun can do you the world of good, with money a bit tighter even a change of scene will make you feel better. Think of visiting a friend or family member away from where you live. If you are in a position to travel abroad, try and grab a last minute deal or book something for early next year so you have something to look forward to. 4. Volunteer Look into some volunteering this Christmas. Get in touch with Focus Ireland or the St. Vincent De Paul. You can make a big difference to an elderly neighbour if you take the time to call in and check on them as winter is especially tough for them. 5. Eat Well Keep healthy and warm Eat plenty of healthy soups and vegetables. Soups can be easily be made at home and are really cheap to make. 6. Sleep Well Again, very obvious but many people don’t get as much sleep as they need. Head to bed a little earlier and make sure you are getting the eight hours your body needs so you wake up rested and ready for another day.
Alarm. Up. Dress. Breakfast. Drive. Work. Lunch. Work. Drive. Home. Dinner. Television. Bed. This is essentially the bones of my working day and for many more the schedule for it. Exercise doesn’t appear to have much room in this schedule but is that by choice? Routine? Excuses? Or indeed a choice to routinely make excuses? It’s amusing how we prioritise. After exercise we feel great and promise ourselves will keep it up, but more often than not it becomes a neglected promise. In direct contrast how many of us, have one too many at the weekend and swear the following morning never again and, of course we invariable do. We are so focused on now that it’s easier to make excuses and do the easiest option. Perhaps, its time to exchange, excuses for exercise. Sacrifice some sleep; exercise will make you more energetic, and it will help you sleep better, so you won’t miss the shut-eye. Walk, cycle or play sports with your friends instead of meeting them for coffee or lunch. Spend some of your lunch hour walking. For example when you go for you lunch I don’t go to the closest most convenient premises but to the one ten minutes away, this gives you a good twenty minutes walk, enough time to eat and time to get some fresh air. Being creative makes exercise happen. When exercise is considered a chore, an additional workload to be completed everyday then it is doomed for failure, because unlike work you don’t have a manager to drive you on and ensure you meet your targets. Therefore, a great motivational tool is to exercise as part of a team. Letting myself down is often easier than letting a team down and this can be the crucial push into activity. Even at work there are opportunities to exercise, simple things like using the stairs instead of the elevator, meeting colleagues and clients in person rather than phoning them and even just walking around the office to stretch your legs. These are not strenuous activities and can be easily incorporated into the working day with a little conscious effort. Commuting to work for many is the biggest barrier to exercise but again a little creativity goes a long way. Just park a little further from work or take the longer route from the bus/train station. Not only is it good to stretch your legs after a commute but isn’t it more comfortable than the hectic rush for public transport and of course its free. For perspective, remember that thirty to forty-five minutes represents just two to three per cent of your day. And considering exercise makes you more alert, energetic, and healthy you don’t have to be an Einstein to see that exercise matters – not relatively, but absolutely.