Modern life is stressful. The biggest causes of stress have been said to be money, job worries and our health so it is no wonder that the pandemic has increased reported stress levels across the world. In the past year 74% of people have reported feeling so stressed they said they felt unable to cope, but what do we mean when we talk about stress? In this blog post we’ll take a small departure from our usual topics to bring you the top three causes of stress at work, and some easy things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of modern life.The three main causes of stress are work, money, and health. If we consider what we as a species have been through in the last three years it is unsurprising that we are seeing stress levels soar: Job uncertainty, soaring costs of living, and a deadly virus. People have lost their jobs and gone through huge changes in lifestyle. We think this is one of the biggest underlying stressors that people perhaps aren't giving enough credit to. The focus is on 'getting back to normal' and not realising the strain we have all been under.
Cause #2 –Poor OrganisationThis can be poor organisation on the part of the individual, or the perceived poor organisation of the company or management. Insufficient workloads, too heavy a workload, not enough time, and unreasonable demands all stem from poor organisation. This can cause a great deal of stress from feeling a lack of control. Unfortunately, when it comes to poor management there isn't always a great deal you can do. You can, however, take control of your own organisation and manage your day to help reduce unnecessary additional stress at work.
Cause #3 – Perfectionism and PressureFollowing on from our previous point, pressure at work is a major cause of stress at work. But, this can be caused by many things, not just poor organisation. Social media causes a great deal of stress related to perfectionism and the pressure to be better. Constantly comparing yourself to how well others are doing, or your perception of how well they are doing, is demotivating and stressful!
How to Reduce Your Stress at WorkNothing will completely get rid of stress, it is a natural physiological response, and serves productive purposes such as boosting focus and motivation in the right amounts. Too much though, and we can lose the ability to carry out our normal tasks and feel unwell. Here are some of our tried and tested ways to prevent and manage stress:
Good Food is a Good MoodGood food, nutrition and hydration. Caffeine is not a problem for everyone, but you might want to reduce your intake and see if it helps. Sugary breakfasts wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels, which cortisol (the stress hormone) does too.
Get Out in NatureOr at least a walk in your local park. On your lunchbreak, in the morning. If you can hack it, leave your phone at home and listen to nature and resist the temptation to scroll. You can make use of digital wellbeing controls on your phone – turning off app notifications for a specified time. It is hard to separate using social media for work and personal use resulting in spending way too much time online, so a walk without your phone is a great two in one stress buster
Get OrganisedJust keep it simple.
Look After Your HealthWe hope you find these tips useful, remember no job is worth your health. If you are feeling stressed and unable to cope then please reach out to friends, family members or seek advice from a professional. If it is a work-related problem you could consider speaking to your line manager. Something as simple as talking through your worries can really help you feel calmer, and realise you are not alone in feeling stressed.
When it comes to updating or writing your CV, it can feel like a huge challenge. The jobs market is an ever increasingly fast-paced place, and jobs trends can change month on month with the market which means that CVs change too.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska at Pexels.comEmployers are looking for someone special and as more people gain qualifications, more types of jobs open up and digital jobs continue to boom, it is important to keep on top of things! Time for a spring clean of your CV? Here’s 5 things you MUST include in 2022
Talk About WFH Experience
Photo by Ketut Subiyanko at Pexels.com Photo by Vlada Karpovick at Pexels.comWhile the debate still rages over the benefits, or not, of remote working, there is no doubt that flexible working and the virtual office is here to stay. If you have experiences to share about successful and productive then talk about it! Make sure you sell yourself as a self-motivated worker, productive, proactive and working under your own initiative.
Highlight Results over ResponsibilitiesThis is one of the most common things people do in their employment history. It’s not a mistake to talk about responsibilities but if you fail to mention the results and achievements you made then it is a wasted opportunity! Don't feel as though you need to remove the word ’responsibility’ from your CV vocabulary, just make sure to follow it up with what you did with that responsibility. For example: "I was responsible for monitoring digital campaigns through the use of strategic reporting. As part of this process, I was able to identify new opportunities which emerged, increasing our client retention by XXX % in 2020"
Create a Compelling and Relevant IntroductionThis is a tip on every CV advice list but it is always worth repeating. It is too easy to get complacent with your personal profile and CV intro, especially if you are applying for a lot of similar jobs. Do:
- Check your introduction for each CV you send
- Use keywords from the job description
- Confirm you have the essential skills required from the role.
Writing Your CV for ATS
Photo by Negative Space at Pexels.comMany big companies now are using applicant tracker systems to whittle down large numbers of applicants. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you make it through the first scan. As we have mentioned in the section above, identifying and using keywords from the job description throughout your CV (think skills, qualifications, experience) will be a big help in the ATS recognising your document as belonging to a viable candidate. Avoid ‘overdesigning’ your CV with fancy fonts and borders as these can confused the ATS search functions. Check here for acceptable fonts and more tips!
Address any COVID DowntimeThis is inevitable. Most people will have experienced either working from home, a period of furlough or even redundancy during the recent pandemic. This is an ongoing part of life for many and has affected the career prospects of hundreds of thousands of people. You are not alone in this. Think about what you did with your time during lockdown. Don't be afraid to get creative with writing it up! Gaining qualifications, reassessing your priorities and even taking part in sports challenges can teach you beneficial and transferrable skills, so let your prospective employer know about it.
Writing Your CV Doesn’t Have To Take Forever
Photo by Cottonbro at Pexels.comIt always seems like a daunting process, but not updating your CV will just mean your hours spent sending CVs out will be wasted. Keep it simple, keep it relevant and don’t be afraid to state proudly what you can do and why. Digital jobs can take you all round the world and offer some of the best flexible opportunities. The digital world has with room for more growth than many other industries. If you’d like to hear more, and see where your CV can take you, get in touch today! We’d love to hear from you.
All job interviews can help you to grow. Even if you didn’t get the job, you can still turn the experience into a valuable lesson. You just need to listen to the feedback you get from the employer or recruitment agency about your performance and skills. Here are five ways you can learn from every job interview going forward.
1. How To Learn From Job Interview Feedback: Don’t Be Nervous To Ask For FeedbackJob interviews can be a little stressful, but try not to be too nervous to ask for feedback. This is because some job interviewers are very busy, so they may not think to give you any feedback at the end of the interview. Simply ask politely if they would like to give you any feedback about the interview, and if they say yes listen carefully. Don’t be defensive; instead, try to take the feedback on board, even if you don’t totally agree with it!
2. Speak To Your Recruitment AgencyAre you working with a recruitment agency (such as ours) to increase the number of job interviews you are being offered? If so, speak to your agency to find out if they can give you any feedback for future interviews. This could be general interview advice, or they could have specific skills based advice for you. For instance, they may suggest that you rearrange your CV to prioritise certain skills.
3. Understand That Feedback Can Be ConstructiveSome people dislike receiving feedback as they feel like they are being criticised, but in reality feedback is an important tool that can help you to grow. After all, there is a reason the phrase ‘constructive criticism’ exists! If you struggle to receive feedback, remind yourself that there is no reason to take it personally. The other person is taking time out of their day to give you advice and tips, and if you take the advice you are more likely to ace an interview in the future. So try to listen, even if you do feel a little miffed.
4. Give Yourself FeedbackYou don’t have to exclusively rely on recruiters and interviewers to give you feedback; you can also give yourself feedback. Spend some time reflecting after a job interview. Ask yourself which questions you answered well and which questions could have been answered better, and think about what you would do differently next time.
5. Write Down Areas To Work OnFinally it can be useful to write down certain areas that you want to work on. Maybe there is a short course that you could do to improve a certain skill, or maybe you would like to work on your confidence. Spending time addressing your weaker areas is a great way to improve your overall performance, so you are more likely to land your dream job interview in the future. Good luck!
Do you have a job interview on the horizon? If so, you may be feeling a little nervous. After all, job interviews can be stressful, especially if it is for your dream job. Thankfully it is entirely possible to ace your job interview; you just need to be prepared. So if you’re thinking about finding a new job, we are here to help. Here are some common questions interviewers like to ask.
1. Questions Interviewers Like To Ask: “So, tell me a little about yourself.”This is normally the first question most job interviewers ask. Some people struggle to answer the question as it is quite vague and general, but the best thing you can do is talk about why you are a great candidate for the role. Talk about previous experience that is relevant to the job, and discuss any personality traits that also suit the job (for instance, if it is a salesperson role you may want to mention that you are quite confident and chatty). Don’t overshare, and don’t feel like you need to provide too much detail about your personal life; remember you are only here to show the interviewer why they should hire you.
2. “Why do you want this role?”This question is another chance for you to mention your relevant skills, but it is also a good opportunity to talk about the company itself. Maybe their ethics and values align with yours, or maybe you are particularly passionate about working in the area the company is based.
3. “What are your salary expectations?”This question can feel uncomfortable, but it is important to be honest. Don’t under or oversell yourself; do some research about the role before your meeting, and come up with a realistic, fair number.
4. “What are your strengths?”Most employers ask this question to work out if you are actually qualified for the position. This is a chance for you to talk more about your qualifications and previous experience – but make sure to ‘show’ this, rather than just telling it. For instance, don’t just say that you have good leadership skills; instead, give an example of when you displayed leadership skills.
5. “What are your weaknesses?”This question can seem like a bit of a trap, but it is just so the job interviewer can get a proper idea of who you are. Try to frame any of your weaknesses in a positive way; maybe you could mention skills that you are currently trying to improve.
Job interviews can be pretty stressful, especially if it has been a while since you’ve had an interview. You might be worried about saying the wrong thing, or maybe you’re worried you don’t have the necessary qualifications for the role. Either way, you’re not alone; a recent study found that over 90% of people feel nervous before a job interview. Thankfully it is possible to ace the interview and get the job; you just need to have the right mindset. Here are four tips to help you reduce your stress levels before a job interview.
1. How To Reduce Your Stress Levels Before A Job Interview: Have A RehearsalOne of the best ways to reduce stress before an interview is by having a practice interview. This is because research has found that practising success tends to increase feelings of self-confidence. So try practicing answers to common job interview questions (such as “what are your strengths?”) in front of the mirror before your interview. Go over each question a few times until you feel totally happy with your answer. It can also be useful to wear the outfit you are going to wear to the job interview when you are rehearsing. This will make the upcoming event feel less daunting (and it also means you might spot any potential outfit issues, such as ink on the shirt!).
2. Reframe The Event In Your MindTry to reframe how you see the event in your mind. Instead of seeing it as an all-important occasion that could make or break you, see it as an exciting opportunity to advance your career. If you get the job, that’s great – but it isn’t a problem if you don’t. There will be other opportunities in the future, even if you don’t know about them yet.
3. Reduce Stress With Music Or Relaxation AppsOn the day of the interview you can reduce your stress levels by listening to music or using a relaxation app (such as Calm). This will help to soothe your nerves and boost your mood, so you will be in the best possible mindset for the interview.
4. Have A Pep TalkFinally have a pep talk with yourself right before the meeting. Self-affirmation is a great way to boost self-confidence, and it doesn’t take long; just a few minutes of focusing on your skills and strengths should improve your mindset. So take a few minutes for yourself, and spend the time reminding yourself that you are worthy of this job. You are talented, you are skilled, and you are going to do a great job!
Do you have a 5- or 10-year career plan? Are you actively trying to move up the career ladder? If so, we can help. Planning and succeeding with career goals isn’t always easy, but with consistency and determination you can stay on track and reach your goals. Here are 6 tips to help you succeed with your career goals.