5 Common Work Issues You’re Stressing Out About for No Reason

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One of my dearest friends recently faced a major work issue. Turns out she’d sent classified, internal information to a client by accident. This could get me fired, she said.

Fortunately, she didn’t lose her job, but the mistake was significant, and it required her to have an uncomfortable if not downright unpleasant conversation with both her boss and the client. It’s obvious that this wasn’t a simple work issue, and needed to be handled with care.

But what about all of the work problems we complicate with our messy minds? We blow things out of proportion, overthinking this or that, fretting about what this person or that thinks, rereading a chat or an email chain and swearing up and down that we’re idiots because of one, tiny, thing that’s basically a non-issue.

To be sure, occasionally a professional flub can lead to termination or even just a stern warning from your manager or human resources department, but the majority of everyday, common issues, interpersonal or otherwise, are ones we’re overthinking.

Here are five common ones that don’t need to be complicated:

1. Forgetting to Attach the Attachment

So you said “attached” and forgot to attach. It’s really not a big deal. Either you’ll catch the small error yourself and will rectify it immediately by following up with an, “Oops, looks like I forgot to attach the deck!” or you’ll be notified with a gentle, “Looks like the attachment never made it,” message and you’ll proceed to attach, and all will be well. Don’t overthink it.

2. Missing a Team Meeting

Although not quite mandatory, the monthly team meeting is one that you’re expected to attend and contribute to. You have a stellar record and are pleased that your boss and co-workers can count on your participation, and then you have a conflict, and you realize at the last minute that you can’t make it. You give your boss a couple hours’ notice and then stress for the rest of the week about what he’s going to say to you the next time you have your one-on-one.

So, you vow to write a long email later that night, explaining that it won’t happen again, that you’ll do a better job with managing your schedule, and you’re really so very sorry. First of all, don’t write or send that message. Secondly, stop turning nothing into something. Get the missed info from one of your colleagues and move on. People miss meetings; nobody cares all that much.

3. Taking a Long Lunch

Your cousin’s in town with a jam-packed schedule, and the only time the two of you can find time to meet is during the week over lunch. While you often head out midday to run an errand or get fresh air, you don’t regularly leave for more than an hour. Sushi with your cousin has you gone for 90 minutes, and by the time you plant yourself back at your desk, you’re sure your boss is breathing fire over you, and you’re freaking out.

Look, unless you work in the kind of environment where your every move is monitored, this is really not a big deal. Really, unless your supervisor is the type to demand to know what you’re up to every minute of every working hour, don’t even mention it. Resume your work and act normal and natural because you are.

4. Giving Constructive Feedback

The new person on your team is great, but she’s a little green and doesn’t seem to fully grasp the way your department likes to approach initial sales calls. You’ve been working with her and noticing that she often fails to follow the simple order that everyone else on the team uses.

So, because it’s part of your job, you offer her some constructive feedback. You point out what she’s doing well, and you also let her know what needs work and why. You offer suggestions for how to improve, then spend the rest of day worried she must think you’re awful and will probably give you the cold shoulder from here on out. No one said giving feedback would be the best part of your day, but it’s an expected and understood part of any job—both giving and receiving. It doesn’t have to consume you if you remember it’s simply part of working with other people.

5. Talking About Your Saturday Night

It’s Monday morning and you’ve got a full to-do list, so when you arrive at your desk, you’re fully focused—until your co-worker asks you how your weekend was, and your boss gets in on the conversation, too. Before you know it, you’ve told them both about the party you went to on Saturday, including details about the woman you met!

Although they both seemed eager to hear the whole story, as soon as you open your email and turn your mind to work mode, you begin to worry that you said too much. Did they really need to know that you were ready to leave the party moments before your buddy Henry introduced you to that woman? That you spent hours talking about TV shows and that you walked her home?

Cut yourself some slack. You’re a multi-dimensional person who has a life outside of the office. As long as you didn’t go on and on about sex, drugs, getting nearly arrested, or throwing up in your kitchen sink, you’re fine! Even if you shared a little more than your boss or co-workers, the only person who’s thinking anything’s off is you. Seriously. Everything’s OK.

Whether you stress about leaving every Wednesday at 5 PM to make it to the kickboxing class you love or you get anxious about strolling in after everyone else on Friday mornings, know that the “work issues” you’re experiencing are all in your head. Unless you’re doing a crappy job and putting in zero effort, the odd email-related error or the office social gathering you bail on aren’t anything to get worked up over. The resulting panic is the only thing likely to complicate things.

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-common-work-issues-youre-stressing-out-about-for-no-reason

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

 

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5 Ways to Feel Happy With the Life You Have Right Now

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We live in world of commodities. Dominant cultural narratives send us messages that we are not enough and that true happiness comes from external objects.

The problem with this message is that, no matter how much wealth we acquire, there is always something better. Even after you buy that new car or those new shoes, soon after your acquisition, the objects lose their appeal. The truth is, happiness doesn’t come from the exterior.

Fulfillment comes from witnessing your own growth. When you’re able to hit the pause button and reflect on the substantial changes in your life, you feel a sense of meaning and purpose. Practicing gratitude for these changes propels you with the motivation to continue striving for success, and makes all of your sacrifices worthwhile.

Here are five ways to acquire success and discover fulfillment:

1. Challenge Yourself to Grow

Happiness is a byproduct of action. Take steps towards fulfillment by engaging in the never-ending process of self-improvement.

Remain open to new thoughts and ideas, stay hungry for knowledge, and practice what you preach. You can always become a better professional and a better person.

2. Contribute to Others

Authentic fulfillment comes from contributing to others. People enjoy engaging in charity work because it both helps others and feels good.

Prosocial actions make us feel more connected and increases our compassion for people’s unique experiences. Facing the existential reality of our own finitude aids our ability to make meaningful connections to others, which opens our hearts and changes our perspective on life.

3. Live in the Present Moment

Let go of your never-ending self-talk. Take a short break without scrolling through the endless entertainment of your iPhone. Pause, and just be present.

When an old computer has too many programs running at the same time, it slows down. The more that you can connect to the stillness of the here-and-now, the lower your anxiety and frustration, and the greater your focus.

When you’re immersed in the present moment, your productivity and happiness will skyrocket.

4. End Your Sense of Entitlement

Most of us feel like we “should have” certain things happen. We “should have” gotten that promotion; we “should have” felt appreciated for our good deed; we “should have” had more time to meet a deadline.

The truth is, we construct the small room to which we’re imprisoned. When we set expectations for what should happen, we contribute to feeling frustrated, anxious, and depressed.

We need to shift our focus to what is and start being grateful for what we have instead of brooding over what we don’t.

5. Connect to Something Larger Than Yourself

Just as giving helps us feel more empathetic with others and appreciative of what we have, sometimes it’s important to feel how small our problems really are.

When you immerse yourself in the mountains or swim in the vastness of the ocean, you realize how meaningless your complaints are in the long run. We often give power to our problems and make them larger than they need to be.

If success and fulfillment is what makes our lives worthwhile, then we need to put problems back in their proper place.

Suffering is part of the human condition. Looking for happiness outside of yourself contributes to unhappiness and leads to regret at the end of life.

Stop expecting and start appreciating. Stop thinking about what “should be” and start being grateful for “what is.” The more you can continue learning and growing, the happier you’ll become.

When you challenge yourself to grow, contribute to others, and live in the present moment, you will improve your productivity and feel a sense of fulfillment.

After ending your sense of entitlement and changing your perspective on your problems, you’ll be equipped to acquire wealth and the one thing money can’t buy—fulfillment.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-ways-to-feel-happy-with-the-life-you-have-right-now

 

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

23 Ways You Can Update Your LinkedIn and Make Yourself More Hireable

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These days, like it or not, LinkedIn is an extremely valuable tool in the professional world, especially when you’re searching for a job. If your profile isn’t current, or if your picture is fuzzy and irrelevant (like a really cool filtered vacation photo of you in sunglasses), you could be ruining your chances of landing a new gig.

And, I know—it’s really overwhelming to make sure your page is in tip-top shape, as there are so many different components to keep track of. Just thinking about updating mine sends me into a (very) slight panic. Where do I even start?

If you want hiring managers to see you in a positive light, or for your name to pop up in other people’s feeds more, these 23 simple tricks from Skillcrush will help you. Good luck!

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https://www.themuse.com/advice/23-ways-you-can-update-your-linkedin-and-make-yourself-more-hireable

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

 

5 Secret Weapons That Can Help You Successfully Change Careers

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Change is scary. Whether you’re changing your diet, your relationship status, or your job, there’s always uncertainty and risk involved in leaving the unknown and trying something new. At the same time, change is a necessary part of growth—and a staple of most modern successful professional paths.

Though switching careers is encouraged now more than ever, you shouldn’t turn in your two-week’s notice and try something new without thought. Since changing careers, as with changing anything, inherently involves risk, it helps to have a few secret weapons up your sleeve to successfully ease you through the transition. We’ve gathered five of the best here, from upping your online presence game to giving yourself some financial leeway.

Utilizing even just one of these secret weapons will get you ahead of the game before you take the leap. But try all five and you may just guarantee a career switch success.

Secret Weapon #1: A Clear Vision

Begin with the end in mind is a common piece of advice—and with good reason! A clear vision of your end goal and how you plan to get there allows you to accurately anticipate what this move is going to take. Plus, seeing the shiny new career at the end of the tunnel will help you survive any bumps in the road along the way.

Start by getting really clear with yourself and asking the big questions:

  • What do you actually want? Be as specific as possible! Try to go beyond “a career in advertising,” for instance, and get clear on the type of environment you’d like to work in, the different projects you’d be excited to take on, and the way you’d like to feel around your manager and colleagues.
  • Why do you want it? Simon Sinek’s advice to “start with why” extends to more than just entrepreneurs. It’s solid advice for anyone who is looking to make a big change. Get clear on why it is you want to switch careers—if you’re just burnt out at your current job, perhaps, maybe it’s not a whole new career that you need, but simply a new role (or some time off!).

And if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do, I just know I don’t want to do this!” you have options, too. Your first step is to get clear (or, at least, clearer) on exactly what it is that you would like to do next. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t need to be! Remember that you don’t have to figure out the rest of your life right now; just plan for the step you want to take next. A few ideas to get you started: consider what you do like about your current work, think about the things you do for fun, and ask yourself what you’d like to learn to do or do more of—now, brainstorm the jobs or industries where those overlap!

Once your end goal is clear, start planning. Make a list of:

  • What you have to offer, including transferable experience and skills
  • What you’re lacking, such as new skills you need to learn, and how you might be able to gain them
  • Who can help you make the switch, including connections who can make introductions, write recommendations, or simply give you insight into a new industry
  • Anything else you need to prepare, such as setting up a new budget to help you plan for a pay cut (more on that in a minute)

By getting clear and making a plan, you’ll be more confident in your decision and in the next steps you need to take to successfully make the switch.

Secret Weapon #2: A Targeted Online Brand

Once you know where you’re headed, you need to make sure other people know that, too—by changing the way you present yourself to the world. Think about it: If you’re in finance and looking to move into writing, but all of your tweets and LinkedIn posts are about financial news, nobody is going to immediately think you’d be the right fit for a writing job.

That’s why your next secret weapon is an online brand that’s targeted to your new industry. There are so many affordable ways to build a presence online—from creating a personal website to writing guest blogs for industry publications, you have a unique opportunity to bill yourself as a thought leader in a new space, with a small investment of your time and money.

Don’t just slap up a new professional bio and call it a day, though. Really consider the field and the connections you’re targeting as you build (or update) your online presence. What do they want and need to know about you to take you seriously as you make this career shift? What topics are they interested in that you can weigh in on? What pictures will best convey your personality and the appropriate level of professionalism?

Start by setting up a personal website that acts as your home base, covering your background, your experience, your interests, your thoughts on the industry (this is where a blog can come in handy!), and links to other places people can find you on the internet, such as LinkedIn and Twitter (then make sure to update those, too, and start sharing content relevant to your target role). Squarespace has quickly become known for its intuitiveness and user experience as a website-building platform, and you can set up your own Cover Page (a one-page site) in just minutes!

It might be helpful to return to your vision and action plan, too. As you update your online persona, integrate some of the answers to your big questions on your website and throughout your content: What do you want? Why do you want it? What are you willing to do to get it?

Each online platform offers you an opportunity to frame yourself in a new light for a new career.

Secret Weapon #3: An Active Network

You’ve got a clear vision for career switch success and an online persona to prove it, so you know what you need and you’re showing off what you’ve got. Now it’s time to ask for help.

Reach out to the people in your network—your peers, your mentors, and any connections in the industry you’d like to transition into—and let them know about your plan to change careers. Don’t discount close friends and family, either! You can and should send an email to your nearest and dearest, updating them on your career shift and asking for their support and connections.

Don’t have contacts in your desired field yet? Go out and meet them! Do some research on the industry you want to move into—do they have clubs or events they frequent? What blogs and magazines do they read? Are there certain people who are clearly thought leaders? Do as they do—and find ways to meet them! Whether it’s buying a ticket for the next industry conference, emailing an influencer in the industry to connect, or setting up an informational interview with someone who does what you want to do, you can start building the new network you want now.

With every request, be very specific about the help that you need—whether it be an introduction, more information, or a heads up on any relevant opportunities. Personalize each email you send, and give each recipient all of the background information they’ll need to support your request. Remember, they’re doing you a favor, so make this process as simple for them as possible.

Finally, take time to research the top recruiters in your desired industry and reach out to them on LinkedIn. Let them know that you’re interested in making a move and you would love to stay in touch if any relevant opportunities become available. Again, show them that you’ve done your homework and be specific about the role you’re looking for—telling them you want any job in engineering or at Facebook just won’t cut it.

Secret Weapon #4: Financial Leeway

It’s always a good idea to have a little financial breathing room, but it’s especially helpful when you’re hoping to traverse a whole new career path. The reality of starting fresh in a brand-new industry is that, well, you may just have to start fresh. It’s very possible that you’ll need to take a lower-level role (and the accompanying pay cut) or be out of work for a period of time. That being the case, it’s helpful to plan ahead financially, too.

Once you know that you plan to make a move, start incorporating one (or more) of the following fallback strategies into your financial planning:

  • Update Your Budget: It’s time to take a look at your budget, and see where you might start cutting back. Look for new ways to trim regular expenses, or consider what you might be willing to forego (at least temporarily) while you start to save up.
  • Send More to Savings: If you’re not already, now’s a great time to start setting aside some of your income for a nest egg. Use the extra savings from your new budget, or have a little more of your paycheck deposited directly into your savings account each month.
  • Start a Side Hustle: Try taking on extra projects, particularly if they’re in your new field of interest—you’ll develop more of the requisite skills while making a little extra cash!

Hopefully, you won’t have to touch any of this extra money, but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to fall back on extra finances, you’ll be so glad that you planned ahead.

Secret Weapon #5: Persistence

The reality of changing careers is that it’s risky—and not always easy. Again, there are a lot of unknown scenarios (all which you’ve planned for, of course): You may have to start at the bottom, you may take a pay cut, you may be told you’re overqualified (or not qualified at all!).

It’s a journey that will likely require a lot of hard work, patience, and humility, but it’s important to remember that the best opportunities come to those with patience and persistence. You have planned and prepared for this next step; after all of that hard work, don’t give up on your new dream just before it comes true.

Keep your spirits high and your eyes focused on your end goal. Remember, you started out with the end in mind, telling yourself why you wanted this new opportunity: Be persistent in your pursuit of it and you’ll undoubtedly get there.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-secret-weapons-that-can-help-you-successfully-change-careers

 

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

3 Tips to Guarantee Your Work-From-Home Days Are Actually Productive

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From small startups to large corporations, the option to occasionally work from home is becoming an increasingly popular benefit. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a good number of you have already made use of this perk. As with anything, though, working remotely is only as productive as you make it.

While you might not be constantly pulled aside for on-the-fly conversations and last-minute requests, you might find it hard to sit down and actually make things happen when you have instant access to your bed, TV, and countless other distractions. But this can be exactly what you need to help you plow through your to-do list, lighten your workload, and recharge your energy—as long as you’re strategic about it.

Want to learn what you can do to turn your non-office days days into major wins? Check out the tips below.

1. Set Up Your Sanctuary, Wherever That Might Be

Most offices are designed with productivity in mind—your living room, not especially. If you want to make big things happen, you need to make sure you’re in a setting that encourages you to do so. A lot of people recommend setting up a formal workspace in an isolated room (or even getting decked out in business-casual attire while you’re at it), but I think it’s all about creating a happy space for yourself.

As long as you choose somewhere that’s relatively quiet and free from interruptions (no roommates, significant others, or pets to get in your way), you should work wherever you feel most comfortable, whether that’s in a home office, your bed, or even outside on your front porch. Before determining your space, however, take a good, objective look at yourself and your work style. If you’re liable to doze off taking up residence with your computer on your bed, it might not be the best place for you to tackle tasks.

Other environmental hacks that might be worth taking into consideration as you create your sanctuary: surrounding yourself in natural light to decrease stress, adding a few small plants to your workplace to promote creativity, listening to music to improve your mood, and, interestingly enough, working in a room with high ceilings to enhance abstract thinking and increase your attention to detail. You may only be able to do one or two of these hacks, but take advantage of what you can while you’re not stuck in the office.

2. Build a WFH-Optimized Agenda

I’m a big believer in agendas regardless of location, but when you’re working from home, they’re particularly important. Without a manager to check in on you or hardworking co-workers to inevitably create an environment of productivity, you alone need to hold yourself accountable—and there’s no better way to do that than by creating (and following) a solid plan.

The first step to devising a tailored agenda is choosing the right tasks. Working from home offers you an amazing opportunity to stay focused for long periods of time without distraction, which is perfect for intensive, independent projects like blog posts, proposals, and presentations, or anything else that involves a lot of careful thought and creativity.

Even if the deadline for a project like that isn’t imminently looming over your head, it’s worth getting a head start—you rarely get this much uninterrupted time to work, so save the routine maintenance for when you’re back in the office. Once you have your to-dos outlined, work them into a realistic schedule.

3. Go Incognito

If frequent deskside asks at the office are simply replaced with an endless parade of emails at home, you probably won’t benefit much from the privacy you get when you’re not present in the office. Setting some boundaries with co-workers about when and how they can reach you while you’re remote can have a big impact in how much of your to-do list you’re able to tackle.

Start your day off with a polite note to anyone you work with regularly saying that you’ll be working heads-down on a few projects from home, but they can feel free to chat you for urgent matters. You might even want to list some “open hours” when you’ll be most available in case your teammates need to reach out with something that’s not urgent, but which still requires your feedback.

Make sure to update your calendar so anyone curious about your availability can be kept in the loop, and turn off your email, log out of messaging apps, and silence your phone so you aren’t bombarded with notifications throughout the day. There’s rarely anything so urgent that you can’t wait to address it until after you’ve reached a good stopping point.

It’s easy to place the blame on the folks who seem to constantly demand your attention for sucking up your time, but for the most part, people will only bug you as much as you let them. However, it bears noting that you should check in with your boss before you go MIA, lest he or she think your request is actually a disguise for a day off!

The frequency with which great workplaces provide flexibility is increasing, but it’s up to you to use that powerful perk for good. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make your work-from-home days just as productive as your time spent at the office (or maybe even more so). And, as an added bonus, you’ll perhaps even bring the self-discipline skills you gain from working independently back with you to the workplace, making your in-office time more productive too.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-to-guarantee-your-workfromhome-days-are-actually-productive

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

 

5 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (and You Don’t Even Know It)

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At least once every year, I develop an unforgiving cough and congestion so bad I have trouble hearing. Each time, as I burrow under my favorite blanket and clutch onto Sudafed and Mucinex for dear life, I wonder: Why again? And why always when I have fun weekend plans? It doesn’t take me long to realize—I’m burnt out. True to form, I’ve agreed to too many responsibilities and side gigs on top of my fulltime job, and my body is nothappy.

I know I’m not alone. As a reporting and evaluation manager for an employee wellness company, one of my responsibilities is to identify and analyze top health risks for the thousands of individuals our programs serve. And usually, stress ends up in the top three (out of 15).

While it’s true that a little can be good for you, the consistent presence of it is not. “Chronic stress, of course, has been shown over and over to be a bad thing for body and brain,” says Alice G. Walton, a Forbes science and health writer. “It actually seems to suppress the generation of new nerve cells and inhibit memory, not to mention increase one’s risk for being overweight; developing heart disease and possibly cancer; developing addictions; and experiencing depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.”

Well, that sounds exciting (read: horrifying). But minimizing levels of it is easier said than done, as it can be difficult to notice when you’re overdoing it—most likely because you’re so busy you can’t keep tabs on how you’re feeling.

But if you identify with any of the following five signs, it may be time to take a step back.

1. You’re Snapping at Everyone (for No Good Reason)

When your co-worker poses a simple question—“Hey, can you proofread this memo for me?”—and you act like she asked you to read the employee handbook to her. You huff and puff and silently wonder why she’s so very stupid. Instead of calmly responding with a “Sure” or “Give me a few seconds to wrap this up,” you answer with venom-laced words: “Um, I’m kinda busy right now, but sure, whatever.”

Later on, you realize you severely overreacted, and the embarrassment sets in. Christine Porath, a professor at Georgetown University’s business school, explains that a lot of people have no idea they’re being rude to others. And it’s probably “because they’re so stressed and overwhelmed that they don’t have the mental bandwidth to consider other people’s hurt feelings.” (But just because you’re not the only drama queen doesn’t give you the excuse to be Cruella.)

2. You’re Thinking About Work All the Time

Your hours may be nine to five, but your mind is occupied with work 24/7. During your commute, while eating dinner, when you’re trying to fall asleep, in your dreams—you know the drill. It’s the sole topic of conversation when talking with friends and family, and the only thing you can think about when you’re pretending to listen to them (smile, nod, smile, nod).

I’m not saying you should limit every thought about it to specific days and times—you’re not a robot (if you are, though, no judgment here). But as Adrian Granzella Larrsen, Editor-in Chief of The Daily Muse says, “bringing too much work home—even if that work is just rolling around in your head—can quickly make you an anxious, sleep-deprived, pretty boring dinner guest.” And no one wants that!

3. You Can’t Focus Enough to Actually Be Productive

It’s time to get down to it, but you just can’t seem to make any progress (or even get started). Countless thoughts are bouncing around inside your head at lightning speed, and you have no idea how to control them. And so begins the vicious cycle—you’re overwhelmed because you’ve got a lot to do, but you’re fretting about it so much that you can’t accomplish anything.

You can blame this frustrating situation on your body’s response to regular anxiety, which is really helpful when you need survival mode to kick in, but not so helpful when it’s impairing your concentration.

4. You Aren’t Sleeping Well (or at All)

You’re exhausted at the end of the day, but when you finally retire for the night, you spend hours staring at the ceiling. At last, you drift off (hopefully), but you toss and turn all night. When you wake up the next morning, you’re just as tired as you were before.

“When we’re stressed,” says Lindsay Holmes, Deputy Healthy Living Editor for The Huffington Post, “our minds race with thoughts instead of shutting down at night, inhibiting important functions involved in memory, muscle repair, and mood (yikes).”

It gets worse, says Holmes. It can also lead to persistent insomnia and a malfunctioning immune system (which explains that nagging cold I get each year). Weird dreams are also a common symptom—such as that time my subconscious explored the ins and outs of PowerPoint, which was super riveting and enlightening.

5. Your Entire Body Feels Sore

When there’s too much tension in your mind, it’ll manifest itself in your body in several ways, as well—pain and stiffness in your back, neck, hips, and shoulders; headaches; a clenched jaw; and more.

“When the brain senses a threat, it activates the sympathetic nervous system and signals the adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones that prime the body for action,” shares Melinda Beck, a health contributor for The Wall Street Journal. “Together, they make the muscles tense up, the digestive tract slow down, blood vessels constrict, and the heart beats faster.”

And when your body has this reaction unnecessarily—like to an overflowing inbox rather than to a saber tooth tiger—your muscles will remain contracted for a prolonged period of time (hence all those knots in your upper back).

Listen—you can’t avoid feeling this way all the time. It’s part of life, and sometimes very important. But when it’s long-term, the effects can be harmful. So, while you can’t eliminate it completely, you can prevent it from spinning out of control and taking over your life. The first step? Being aware of your behavior and how you feel.

And then, figure out the best way to manage your to-do list, remember to take (frequent) breaks, disconnect fully on a regular basis, and when you need to—ask for help. Learning how to successfully manage stress is key to a happy and healthy life. So, go on, conquer it! It’ll pay off big time.

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