I honestly wish everyone could have a job they love that doesn’t lead them to the dreaded job burnout. Even in a position you once loved, burnout is a possibility.

It’s not uncommon to hear people talking about being overwhelmed or needing things to slow down a little. However, too much work isn’t the only cause.

I’ve heard plenty of people talk about going through this experience and it’s terrible. The stress can hurt you both physically and emotionally and lead to troubles at work and in your personal life. This is why it’s important to learn how to avoid it.

Know the Signs

First and foremost, is it job burnout or just a bad week? While some experts believe having depression or anxiety may make you more likely to experience burnout, it can happen to anyone. The easiest way to avoid it is by knowing the symptoms and taking action quickly. Some of the top symptoms include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suddenly critical and/or cynical at work
  • Absolutely dread or hate even going to work
  • Issues with sudden headaches, stomach issues and even muscle aches
  • Low energy levels
  • No patience with customers and co-workers
  • Making yourself feel better by turning to vices, such as alcohol and drugs

Before you rush to the assumption that it’s definitely your job that’s the problem, I want you to make sure there aren’t any other reasons for you to feel this way. For instance, a death of a close family member, a major breakup, issues adjusting to a new city or a serious medical diagnosis can all cause similar symptoms. However, if it does all tie back to your job, it’s time to take action.

Identify the Issue

Even if you’re not experiencing any serious symptoms, your current workplace conditions may have you on the brink. Start by identifying why you’re feeling less than enthused about your job. According to Forbes, there are typically six main causes of a professional job burnout:

  • No control over your situation
  • Not feeling rewarded (praise, money, pride in your work)
  • Feeling alone (no real teamwork or socialization)
  • Feeling as if things aren’t fair
  • Not meshing with a workplace’s or co-worker’s values
  • Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed

Inc. also suggests the following as additional causes:

  • Too much repetition
  • High stress environment
  • Little to no chance of promotion
  • Bland or even toxic environment

Avoiding Job Burnout

Once you have an idea of what’s causing you to dread even the thought of your current job, it’s time to avoid job burnout. In many cases, simply bringing up the issue with your supervisor or even HR personnel is enough to change your situation. This is especially true in cases of fairness, being overloaded and not having control.

If you just don’t like working in the exact same office or cubicle every single day, change it up. Decorate a little or even request to move to a different office or area. Sometimes a change in scenery really helps.

Handling Burnout Symptoms Early

Another way to avoid job burnout is to start addressing the symptoms as soon as you notice them. I can honestly say I would’ve likely dealt with burnout myself if I didn’t focus on taking care of myself. Putting yourself first helps you to push through your situation easier and skip burnout altogether. Some great ideas to try include:

  • Use your vacation days. Don’t let work run your entire life.
  • Set aside free time each day just for yourself. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, having something to look forward to and de-stress helps.
  • Practice meditation and exercise.  Endorphins help everything!
  • Talk to a friend, relative or professional if symptoms seem to be getting worse.
  • Focus on getting better sleep.
  • Start a hobby to help you stop thinking about work.

If you are experiencing burn out or think you are on the brink, contact your HR department and let them know.  We value our team at A+ Staffing and always want the opportunity to provide a great work/life integration for our teams.   

I believe healthy work relationships lead to more positive, happier work environments so I want everyone to get along, however, personalities can clash, conflicts can ensue, and people can end up being miserable in their work environment.

At A+ Staffing, we have two completely different work situations going on.  We’ve got internal employees who have daily interaction within the A+ offices. Then we’ve got temporaries, such as Catering Staff, Bartenders, Brand Ambassadors, Field Marketing Managers, Registration Staff, Trade Show Staff, Event Staff, Greeters, Street Teams, etc. who work with a variety of people outside an office. In either case, learning how to deal with different personalities and building healthier relationships is crucial for everyone.

Benefits of Building Work Relationships

Work Relationships

You might have the mentality of just get in, do the job and go home. It’s not necessarily a bad thought process, but you could be missing out. Job satisfaction is directly correlated to having a healthier lifestyle.

Building better work relationships allows you to have someone to talk to, work together with and share skill sets. Instead of feeling like The Hunger Games, work feels more like a professional environment where people respect each other. Plus, it can even reduce stress when you get to work with people you like and that don’t add drama to your life.

Handling Conflicts with Co-Workers

You’re not going to be best friends with everyone. It’s just not possible. However, you have to learn to deal with conflicts. It could be something as simple as not agreeing on politics or something more major such as getting blamed for them not doing their job. There are actually a variety of different types of negative co-workers you may have to deal with.

First, always avoid discussing controversial topics. Just agree to disagree and let the conversation go. For personalities you just can’t mesh with, keep discussions to strictly work-related topics and avoid gossip.

For severe issues, you may need to schedule a meeting with your manager and the co-worker in question. This can be a good first step before heading to HR. Whether you meet with your manager or HR, having a third party to help sort things out makes a difference.

Sometimes, it’s best to just confront the co-worker. Be nice, but don’t back down. Try to find common ground and a way to work together without any issues. It’s a good idea to have a third-party as a witness just in case things get out of hand.

Dealing with Management Issues

What if it’s management and not just a co-worker? In this case, talk with your manager about your concerns. For instance, if your manager’s approach is to make you a to-do list and disappear, only to get angry if you ask a question, explain why that doesn’t work for you and if there’s a better way to resolve unclear instructions.

Don’t be afraid to go to HR if the situation escalates.

Maintaining Boundaries

Sometimes, the best way to deal with conflicting personalities and issues with co-workers is to maintain boundaries. Limit how often you interact. You may change your path through the workplace to avoid getting into arguments. Most importantly, give and ask for respect. It’s always better to get along professionally than try to force a friendship.

Building Better Work Relationships

Building better work relationships has been proven to lower turnover rates. It also makes you, as an employee, happier. So, try to build and improve work relationships.

  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Don’t just talk, but listen as well
  • Control your emotions
  • Try to create mutually beneficial situations, such as sharing ideas or working together on something difficult
  • Build trust
  • Work to understand different personalities
  • Respect different opinions

I know it won’t always be easy, but it’s worth the time and effort. There’s a reason why so many people call their co-workers their work family.

Say the word “millennial” and you’ll probably hear a collective groan from older generations. This generation gets a bad rap for being lazy, entitled and impatient.

I have been in the staffing business for 24 years and I have witnessed every possible human trait in the workplace.  I can tell you from experience that lazy, entitled and impatient exist in every generation.  If people aren’t hungry for work or have no ambition, they will possess these qualities, no matter the age.

Many millennials are misunderstood by their older co-workers. That’s why I believe millennials must work extra hard to overcome millennial status and be seen as equals.

Know The Stereotypes

Whether you like it or not, millennials have quite a few negative stereotypes attached to them. For some millennials, all of them are true. However, that doesn’t app

Millenial-Blog
 

ly to the majority. The first step towards being seen as a talented employee versus just a product of your generation means not being a prime example of negative stereotypes. IBM conducted an international survey to help dispel some of the following myths:

  • Won’t stay in one place long
  • Want to be rewarded, even if they don’t do the work
  • Can’t make decisions on their own
  • Doesn’t have the same strong work ethic
  • They can’t function unless they’re online

As you might notice, the overall theme is a worker who isn’t dedicated to their job and won’t work as hard as previous generations. Actually, none of that is true. It’s just a myth. Most of it is simply due to generational differences and not laziness.

Understand Management

One thing you have to remember is you’re likely going to be managed by someone who isn’t a millennial. This means they won’t always understand the way your mind works or how you prefer to do things. This is why so many managers and even recruiters find it hard to engage and manage millennials. This leads to high turnover rates, making it even harder for you to overcome millennial status.

It’s easy to get frustrated and demand things be a certain way or just quit. Instead, start a conversation. Nothing gets accomplished if neither side is willing to compromise. Remember, older generations are used to doing things a certain way. Asking them to change isn’t going to go over well.

Instead, offer a compromise and be prepared to show them the benefits of your methods. Managers want to increase productivity and efficiency. If you’re willing to compromise a little, they will too. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Act Professional

This is by far the most important thing to remember if you want to overcome millennial status. Wharton Magazine talks about a mantra all millennials should keep in mind when starting a new job or wanting to move up – prepare, deliver and be humble.

If you walk into a job and seem clueless about how business works, it’s not going to make a great first impression. If your social media profiles look more like a teenager making bad choices, it’s going to be hard to gain respect. Prepare yourself to look and act more professional. Do this and your age (or generation) won’t matter.

Deliver the quality of work you’d be proud of. Even if it’s just a temporary job as you work towards your dream career, give it your all. Be punctual. Be respectful. Have a plan in place for exceeding expectations. When you’re at your best, no one cares about your age.

Finally, be humble. Entitlement is one of the worst millennial stereotypes, so disprove it. The moment someone knows you’re a millennial, they have this stereotype in the back of their mind. I know it might be easier to just be offended and wait for them to get to know the real you, but in this case, I want you to make the first move.

Start by being respectful. Ask questions. Be eager to learn from your colleagues. In a team setting, listen and then offer useful suggestions to build upon the knowledge of your older co-workers. Not only do you grow, but you gain respect and dispel the entitlement myth completely.

Pay Your Dues

I remember being young and wanting to move up as fast as possible along my career path. However, everyone, no matter what experience or education they might have, has to pay their dues to move up. Earn respect and be seen as a valued co-worker and employee.  Work hard, be a team player and show you have what it takes to get the job done.

Millennial status is an obstacle you’ll have to overcome in the business world but show that you’re not a stereotype and you will succeed.

This blog was inspired by Rachel Kingsley, the most non-stereotypical Millennial in our organization.

I’ve always believed there was a difference between a job and a career. Jobs are those things you do to earn money to help you get started along your career path, such as working for A+ Staffing.

You may have a very specific career in mind and are working toward that goal right now or you may have no idea where you are headed.  How do you figure out the career path you were destined for?

  1. What Are Your Passions?

This one is a bit tricky. You can’t just pick a passion and suddenly you’re on the right career path. If it was that easy, everybody would already be doing it. After all, you might be passionate about collecting ceramic cats, but that’s probably not going to lead anywhere career wise.

To find joy and purpose in your career, you should consider your passions. For me, I enjoy helping others, so this business works perfectly for me. Narrow down passions that could be careers. Remember to include your hobbies as well.

  1. What Are Your Natural Talents?

Now, we start narrowing things down even further. What are you talented at? You might be passionate about listening to music, but if you can’t sing a single note on key, it’s probably not the right career path for you.

For some, this is easy to do. You’ve already discovered what you’re good at. It’s probably a hobby or something you minored in at college. You just haven’t considered it as a career option before. For others, they’re still not sure. They have hidden talents that they’ve yet to explore. Finding those hidden talents often involves looking at what you’ve always been interested in but were afraid to try.

I also want to point out that sometimes your career chooses you. While you’re working various jobs, you uncover your natural talents. That then leads to careers you never even thought about before. For instance, I worked a variety of jobs that turned into very different careers. Thanks to the knowledge and experience I gained along the way, I was able to start this business. So, don’t worry. Sometimes the career you’re looking for just falls into place organically.

  1. How Do You Know You’ll Like It?

At this point, you might have a few career ideas in mind that sound incredible, but what’s involved in those careers? Internships are one of the best ways to explore career options without making long-term commitments. You get real experience and see if it’s something you want to pursue. Of course, this isn’t always an option, especially if there are financial restraints.

Alternately, talk to others in the field. Check out LinkedIn and strike up conversations with experts in the fields you’re most interested in.

  1. What Does Your Personality Tell You?

I must admit that some of those personality tests are scary accurate. No, you don’t have to take the results as law, but they can help guide you to choosing a career path you’ll love and enjoy. There are a wide variety of personality and career tests, but try these to see how the results align with your natural talents (you might even uncover hidden talents) and passions:

  1. Are You Willing to Put In The Work?

I know this is a hard question to answer but be honest with yourself. Are you willing to put in the work to go from a job to a new career path? Depending on what you choose, it may mean taking classes, starting all over as an entry-level employee and even moving to a new city.

But, ask yourself this. Do you want to go through life wishing for something better or do you want to make something better happen now? It all starts by finding the career path you were destined for. Everyone has one. Take the time to sit down and figure out what’s right for you. Even if it takes years of work to succeed, you’ll be proud of yourself when you’re done.

My philosophy has always been “work hard, play hard” and don’t do one without the other. The key is to get the work done first. Play is much more fun when you have nothing hanging over your head and carefree fun is exhilarating! You don’t have to be a thrill seeker and you don’t have to have a ton of money to lead an exhilarating lifestyle. Here are a few basic factors that can launch and maintain your exhilaration levels.

Always say yes. I get invited to do a lot of fun things because my friends know I will always say yes. If you say no, they will take you out of consideration. Remember to reciprocate. Get four tickets to a concert and invite three of your music loving friends.

Live somewhere that inspires you. If you like a fast pace, live in Chicago, New York or San Francisco. These cities have a heartbeat and they are filled with ambitious, sophisticated and vibrant people. If you prefer nature, live in or near the country. Daily hikes, dodging snakes and getting your hands dirty can be exhilarating. Live near the ocean if water and sand are your inspiration. Whatever you do, don’t settle for a place that holds no excitement.

Laughing is exhilarating, and it cures what ails you. Find funny friends and hang onto them for dear life! Go to comedy and improv shows. Follow Bill Murray on twitter. Watch funny TV. However you get your kicks, it is important to laugh every day.

Use both sides of your brain. My left brain is for work but my right brain is what exhilarates me. Learn to play an instrument. Take an art class. Go to concerts and live theater. Surround yourself with objects that visually make you happy. Be in a movie, even just as an extra. Seeing yourself on screen is exhilarating!

Exercise and sports can be exciting. Train for and run a half marathon. The accomplishment of crossing the finish line is so rewarding. Golf, water sports, snow sports, beach volleyball, ping pong, even a walk through the forest can be exhilarating.

Travel! Explore new cultures and cities, experience new foods and smells. Plan trips that involve activities you’ve never done before, like sailing, rafting, scuba diving, hang gliding, driving a racecar, the list is endless. One of my favorite things to do is go to New Orleans and be in a Mardi Gras parade. I highly recommend it!

Set Goals, save money and plan. Knowing you have something fun to do in the near future is exhilarating.

Here is my favorite story about an exhilarating experience. It incorporates my theory of always saying yes. I was fortunate enough to be in the Bahamas for a friend’s 40th Birthday celebration (because I said yes to the invite). We were at a bar and a large man approached us and bet $10 that he could flip us over and we would land on our feet. We all said yes! One by one, he would tell us to remain stiff as a board. Then he would grab us around the waste and flip us backwards and we would land perfectly upright on our feet. The feeling of being flipped around was absolutely exhilarating! Even better was sharing an exciting experience with a bunch of good friends. I’m so glad I said yes!

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