Getting that work-life balance is one of those phrases that seems to be very popular at the moment. We are constantly urged to look at our lives and see what changes we can make to work smarter, not harder and to be more productive while still having time away from the office. Sometimes, it is easier said than done! But there are some good tips out there to help achieve some of these aims that everyone can use.
Bringing in the balance
To achieve your own version of a happier work-life balance, you will often have to learn about saying no. Sounds simple, such a little word! But there are deep meanings in our psyche that mean in a work environment, we often don’t say the word. We say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’ or we create excuses in its place.
Sometimes it is about confidence and being able to say no in a polite, authoritative way. We don’t need to be snappy or sharp nor do we need to give a ten-minute lecture on why we won’t do what we are being asked. We simply need the confidence to say ‘sorry, no that doesn’t work for me’.
Delegating and being a better leader
For others, the problem is more about letting go a little and allowing others to do their share while becoming a better leader. There is always the urge to do everything yourself to make sure it is done properly but this kills morale in your team. You need to have confidence in the people who work with or for you and allow them to do their job. This in turn allows you to ease off, go home and relax.
The little things
Sometimes the problem comes from the little things and top of the list is checking your work email outside work. A few years back there was a story that the French government was going to ban workers from checking emails after 6pm. While it didn’t prove to be true, it highlighted a growing problem – we can’t leave work at work. The always-on approach means we are constantly connected to our job even when we are at home. So set a time limit and once you leave the office, don’t check that work account.
Getting a happier work life balance is really about setting yourself goals about what you want to achieve and how you are going to do this. Plan for the future and give yourself something to aim for – it might be the next family holiday, a move of house in a few years or even planning for your retirement. Use this planning to focus your out-of-work time and move your attention away from your job.
We Asked Successful Business Women for their Top Tips
Lillie Cawthorn, author of the international bestselling book, The Money Factory says “Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. When negative people bring you down, repeat your affirmations, double time! Stay strong, never give up, no one else is doing what you do!”
Tierra Wilson - who is Tierra? Can we add something like business woman or whatever her role is to this? - adds “The best piece of advice I can give to any business woman who is looking to achieve work-life balance is to ask yourself honestly, what does work-life balance mean to you?
It worked for me and allowed me to put together an actual strategy that has worked. After working too hard for over a year, my yearly checkup with my doctor gave me a grave warning that I needed to change my lifestyle immediately. Not only had I gained too much weight, but I also had vitamin deficiencies, a lowered immune system, borderline pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic sinusitis, allergies, and more.
I was jeopardising my health for success. The same success that I would never get to enjoy if I didn’t start finding balance. I dug deep and asked myself some hard questions including:
What Does Work-Life Balance Look Like For You?
What In Your Life Can You Outsource?
What Would a Perfectly Balanced Week Look Like?
Do You Give Yourself Permission to Fail?
The biggest takeaway: Life is not perfect, and it doesn’t fit into little squares. For work-life balance to work, you have to give yourself permission to fail every day. Work-life balance isn’t about having a perfect life; it’s about trying to find balance every day, in the midst of chaos.”
Dr Karen Phillip says “The first thing women need to determine is what they want. Women deserve to have a career although they struggle with the guilt of working as a mother of young children. Social pressures place this upon them.
Balance within the home and relationship is essential and women need to learn how to achieve this support. Training, if you like, is required for husband and children, to enable them to step up and alleviate the pressure on the women. Women are sometimes their own worst enemy trying too be everything to everyone before becoming overwhelmed, angry and distressed. Women need to usually learn to delegate, hand over, and educate their family to step up to alleviate their pressure and reinforce the ability of their husband and kids.”
Finding Your Work Life Balance
There are some great resources out there to help you loosen the reins a little and allow your people to blossom. I recently spoke to a fellow boss who had worked with Stuart from Double C Coaching who helped her be a better leader. Don’t be afraid to get a fresh opinion on your leadership style and don’t try to be the martyr who does everything themselves.
Figuring out when to move on from a job may be one of the hardest decisions you will make in life. Too often people ignore the signs that they may need a new job because they are afraid of change. In some situations you may know in your heart that you are not happy at your job but you’re not sure when it might be the right time to change jobs.
Don’t get in the cycle of living your life on autopilot; your life is much more valuable than that. At Double C Coaching we understand what it’s like feeling dissatisfied in a job and not being sure what steps to take. If you find yourself stuck in a rut and not satisfied at work, here are a few signs that you may need a new job:
You dread going to work – If you find yourself afraid of stepping into the office for fear of what might happen, chances are it may be time to change jobs. Now bear in mind that every job comes with its fair amount of stress, that’s not completely unavoidable. However if the thought of going to work fills you with fear and you constantly obsess about what can go wrong, you may not be in the best situation.
This stress can manifest itself emotionally and physically and can start to affect other areas of your life. Take an honest look at your work situation and make the decisions to move on before it gets too late.
You career goals no longer align with the company – Remember that whichever position you are in, you are providing a service in exchange for monetary compensation. If you find that the skills or services you are providing no longer have a meaningful purpose to you, then it may be time to leave your job.
Companies are dynamic and constantly changing, that means that as you stay with the company you are exposed to other areas where you can use different skills, which can be beneficial to your career growth. However if you find yourself getting stuck in positions that do not make use of your best skills or do not expose you to areas that you are passionate about then it may be time to move on from the job.
Before moving on it is always best to discuss these concerns with your superior or look for other roles in the company that might be better suited to you, however if all else fails you should quit your job.
You are not valued in your workplace – If you’ve ever broken up with someone chances are you know what it’s like to feel unappreciated; the same can be said of a company. If for whatever reason you feel as though the company is undervaluing you, you may want to ask yourself if you should quit your job.
There are several warning signs that the company could be undervaluing you: like passing you up for a promotion, or a boss who is constantly disrespectful, or forcing you to work more hours but with no additional pay.
As with any situation like this it can be hard to cut the cord. Sometimes it’s easier to take the abuse than demand what you truly deserve. Keep in mind that you do want to make an attempt at rectifying the situation before you part ties with the company.
Whatever the case don’t allow any company to feel comfortable treating you in a lesser way than you deserve, that is a clear sign that it is time to change jobs.
Unstable work environment – With the economy as it is today many companies have faced downsizing and increased layoffs which can make the work environment very unpredictable.
Many times upper level management won’t divulge the true state of the company for fear of causing employees to worry. However if you notice that employees have been heading out consistently or there is an inconsistent leadership pattern at the company it may be time to move on.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get your feet back in the job market. If the situation gets so bad that you feel unable to do your work efficiently then that should be a major sign that it’s time to leave your job.
You’re not challenged – If you feel like you are no longer challenged by your work, or the job is not what you expected it to be, then consider whether you might need to leave.
If you have been actively looking for more project in your company but find that there are limited opportunities for advancement or growth this could be a sign that your skills may not be best utilised at your current company.
While I do think it’s important to first discuss the concern with your manager don’t feel pressured to stay in a position where you are no longer growing or learning.
In an ideal world it would be simple to just leave your job and find another one; however that’s hardly the case in this economic climate. Before leaving any job you must spend the time to reflect on what exactly you need from your job and take steps to make changes in your current situation.
Ideally every 6 months you should reassess whether the career path you are on is in line with your goals. Your first instinct should not be to leave once you realise a disconnect. First try to take steps to remediate the situation at your current job. If you then realise that it’s just not a good fit for you then be willing to be honest with yourself and make a change. It can be hard to make the decision to quit your job and survive in the tough market.
Double C Coaching can help you clarify your career goals and provide you with the resources to navigate the ever-changing job market. We can help you figure out when it is the right time to leave your job and help you create a transition plan to get you on a path to success. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss your career needs.
Don’t make these interview mistakes!
Congratulations! You’ve finally received that call or email about the job you’ve been waiting on for a while. Your slot has been secured for an interview. Thrilling right? Now all you need to do is ace that interview and change your unemployment status to employed.
Yes! It is absolutely doable! The secret to this you wonder? You need to differentiate yourself from other interviewees. And how will you do that? Simple! All you need to know are the most common interview mistakes people make in interviews and avoid them. Knowing exactly what not to do in an interview is vital.
Common Interview Mistakes
It is very easy for an interviewer to know whether you are prepared for the interview or not. Being unprepared is one of the many interview mistakes you could make. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common interview mistakes most interviewees make.
Lack of preparation has a way of locking you out of the job offer. Some companies may call you for an interview at the last minute, inconvenient perhaps, but it’s still no excuse to go to your interview unprepared.
Being irritated or angry
Getting irritated and angry is a prime example of what not to do in an interview. If you lose your temper or become irritated easily, there’s a good chance that your interviewer could immediately disqualify you.
Even if you have years of experience and excellent qualifications, if you cannot control your temper, how do you expect to work with others? How will you handle pressure? What about the clients?
Talking too much
Wondering what not to do in an interview? Avoid overwhelming the interviewer with unnecessary details about yourself. Listen carefully to the questions asked and give precise answers. Simplify your answers and only expound when asked to. To avoid this most common interview mistake, remember you’re not talking to your peers but to your possible future employer. Save the chit chat for your friends, it’s in the best interest of all parties.
Poor body language
Your body is able to convey what your mind is thinking. See why you need coaching? You need to know what your interviewer is deducing from your body language. From doubting yourself leading to answering questions with a minimal to no confidence level, to holding zero eye contact, giving a weak hand shake and not smiling.
Poor body language is an interview mistake you can overcome. Coaching will definitely hasten your learning process on what you shouldn’t do in an interview when it comes to body language. Where is the best place for coaching? Stuart from Double C coaching is simply your to go to place.
Asking the wrong questions
Questions are good, but what not to do in an interview? Ask the wrong questions! This is a major setback for you and a complete turn off for the interviewer. How will you know what the right questions are? Stuart from Double C coaching is your solution. As a business woman, you cannot afford to ask the wrong kind of questions.
Advice from Successful Career Women
We asked successful career women for their advice, here’s what they had to say:
The interviewer is looking for you to demonstrate how you can add value to the company… Have you thought about that? And whilst you’re doing so think about why you are better than all the other candidates.
Don’t Overdress or underdress
While your in-person interview is your first opportunity to put your best foot forward, wearing a three piece suit to a labor-intensive job will make you look more unprepared. The same goes for wearing jeans and a button-up shirt for an office job. Your attire should be one step above the standard the company has established.
Don’t complain about your last job, boss, coworkers
Yes, the interviewer is going to ask you why you left your last job. Your answer is going to tell a lot about you as an employee and coworker. If you spend the next five minutes telling them about how much your boss annoyed you or how politics prevented you from succeeding, you’re going to leave a very negative impression. ‘Why you left your last job’ is a very common question, and it may be true that your last job was a nightmare, but you can’t say that. The world is a very small place, especially today with the all-reaching social media, and for all you know your last boss could be best friends with your interviewer. Plan ahead how you are going to answer this question.
Leslie Ramey - Vet & Pet Jobs
Phone and Video Interviews
Today, many interviews occur over the phone or video chat. These interviews involve a whole separate set of rules for etiquette and professionalism. As an interview facilitator for StaffGeek’s clients, I often hear candidates struggle with making a virtual connection.
On the phone, it should be your goal to let the other person speak as much as possible. You want to hear as much about the position as possible while refraining from overwhelming your interviewer.
Never say something to fill the silence. If you have finished a thought, let a few seconds of silence alert the other party rather than rambling on.
When the interviewer pauses, resist the inclination to cut in with “yes”, “yup”, “mmhmm”, “ok”, etc. You may not realize, but the comment takes a moment to cross the connection and often interrupts the beginning of their next point.
Finally, whether on the phone or video chat, conduct the interview in an appropriate setting. Make sure you have a good connection and avoid background noise. Try standing and walking around to sound energised and never lay down as it can be heard in the flattened tone of your voice.
Katie Hansen with StaffGeek
You deserve to get your dream job. Yes you do! To kickstart your career, coaching is vital. You need coaching on all interview mistakes and tactics to impress your interviewer. Having the required knowledge or years of experience is not enough in an interview.
Worry not! Stuart from Double C coaching can easily coach you! Remember, when it comes to interviews, you only have one shot to prove yourself – so make it count!
To be successful, your career must be on track and on point. How? Stuart from Double C coaching will help to get you there.