Make Mental Strength A Priority

Make Mental Strength A Priority

We all have great days and difficult days. Some people celebrate the great days with sheer and absolute enthusiasm, while others stay more subdued. Then there are the hard days. Some people come through the hard ones with their attitude intact, ready to move on to the next thing while others spend an inordinate amount of time trying to re-center. Some of that is a consequence of natural disposition, but a lot of it is a matter of mental strength.

 

In the article The Best Brain Possible by Debbie Hampton, they say, “To be mentally strong is to become aware of your thoughts and emotions and work with them to consciously choose your actions, which is what mindfulness is all about. It’s about responding rather than reacting. It’s not about saying, ‘I can’t help the way I feel’ or ‘This is just the way I am.’”

 

Create new mental habits

While some people may be born more mentally resilient than others, mental strength, like any other strength can be built on and expanded. By consistently choosing to bounce back and not dwell on the negatives you can create new mental habits. That doesn’t mean every once in a while, it means paying attention to every thought that runs through your head. Then deciding whether or not it is a thought or reaction you would consciously choose if your intention was to be a more centered, in charge type person.

 

Here are ten things you can do to build mental strength:

 

Reflect on your progress

People who are mentally weak, dwell on the negatives and don’t give themselves credit for what they’ve already accomplished. Mentally strong people do the opposite. They keep the positives front and center and choose to consider the negatives as learning experiences.

 

Think productively

Instead of thinking about all the reasons why something isn’t working or you are not getting ahead as fast as you might want to, think about concrete things you can do on a regular basis to keep things moving forward.

 

Pay attention to the underlying thoughts

As we said earlier, everyone has a baseline of satisfaction where they naturally land. However just because you are not generally an overly optimistic person by nature that doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with being dissatisfied. Watch your emotions, notice when you are leaning toward pessimism and make a conscious decision to see and acknowledge the positives in your situation.

 

Learn to enjoy quiet time

Many people will do anything they can to avoid being alone and quiet. In order to become mentally strong, you need to learn to make friends with yourself in quiet times. It is during those times that you can really reflect on what brings you peace and joy.

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What To Expect When You Get Your First Job

What To Expect When You Get Your First Job

Getting your first job is an important career milestone. Sure, you have probably worked internships and part-time jobs before, but nothing will prepare you for your first real job.

 

Because working part-time or doing an internship is one thing, having a certain position is completely different. In most companies, interns and part-time workers simply don’t have the same amount of responsibilities as full time employees. From office politics to how to compose an email, everything you’ve previously known will be challenged.

 

1) Adjustment Period

 

The adjustment period is the time that passes between your first day at work and the moment when you feel that you have mastered your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The adjustment period can take a week, a month, or several months, depending on your responsibilities. A common mistake during this period is to believe that college taught you everything you need to know. College simply gave you the basics, so you will need to learn on the job. It’s important to be open to learning during this period, ask as many questions as you need to – but make sure to really learn and not ask the same questions over and over again.

 

2) Office Politics

 

Do not expect to walk in the door on your first day and meet your next best friend. When you get a job, chances are there will not be any other new people at the office ready to bond with you. In addition, getting too close to some coworkers might get you pulled into office politics, gossip that can have terrible consequences that might get you fired. So, keep to yourself and take your time to get to know everyone, and keep the gossip to yourself. Pay attention to your coworkers. Watch their manner of conduit among themselves and with their superiors It will teach you how to behave in the office and how to dress.

 

 

3) Freedom and independence

 

Your first real job will come with a lot of responsibilities and tasks – and a lot of trust from your employer to do those tasks correctly. You might be monitored during the training period – if you have one – but chances are, you will be left on your own. There will be no professors to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. You can wing it and pretend you know everything and make catastrophic mistakes with this type of freedom. You may abuse your time in the office and not complete your tasks, or you might be terrified that everything you do is wrong. However, keep in mind that you can always learn and avoid mistakes by knowing where to seek the help you need.

 

4) Finding a balance

 

Many people think that it’s necessary to overachieve on your first job. You might work at a small company where everyone’s progress is completely visible. If you’re an overachiever, you may face some consequences. Your boss might begin to abuse your enthusiasm to pile your desk with more tasks, your coworkers might act cold towards you because you’re making them seem slow, or you might burn yourself out until you cannot face going to work another day.

 

It’s important to find a balance – don’t be slow, but do not overdo it either. Build up your career with patience, and master your skills by improving them daily. Burning yourself out will not be good for you, because once you slack, your employer will notice, which might lead to getting fired.

 

5) Moving on

 

Your first job doesn’t mean you need to keep working throughout your professional career. Remove the stars from your eyes and look critically at your workplace. Are the conditions good? Do you get good benefits? Will this position enable you to move forward in your career, or is it a dead end?

 

Just because you’ve finally landed your first job, it doesn’t mean that you cannot move on to bigger and better things if the chance arises. So, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities, just in case, and in the meantime, remember that nothing is permanent, not even your first job.

 

Article provided by Wonderlic Test Prep.

 

When Good Enough Is No Longer Good Enough

When Good Enough Is No Longer Good Enough

No complaints

There are times when you find yourself in a pretty good situation. You’re in a job you don’t hate. The pay is good. The hours are good. You really have nothing to complain about. You have benefits, adequate vacation time.

 

The problem is, you know you’re capable of more. You always expected a more from yourself. For some people it’s a no brainer. Comfort and predictability win. The deal is done. However if you’re no longer comfortable being comfortable then it’s time to get moving.

 

Complacency is the enemy of greatness

Fear is often sited as the reason people don’t pursue their dreams and fear is definitely part of it. It’s easy to identify fear. What if I don’t succeed? What if I’m not good enough? Valid questions.

 

Complacency is a little harder to get our heads around. I’m pretty comfortable right now. I’ll just put off my ambitions till tomorrow. They’re not going anywhere. If you have ambitions comfort and complacency are as much your enemies as fear. They will encourage you to stay where you are for just a little longer.

 

When a little longer turns into forever

The thing is, left unchecked a little longer will get longer and longer and will often stretch into forever. The longer you put off change, the harder it gets to make. If you want to make a change the time to start is today. Not tomorrow or next week.

 

What if?

Identify one concrete thing you can do today to get the ball rolling and do it. Tomorrow do another thing. With daily effort change will build its own momentum. Do that thing even if you are worried about failure because even if you don’t succeed at least you tried. You don’t want to come to the end of your life wondering – what if? Do you best today and when tomorrow comes you will know your life was as good as it could be. By that standard it was great.

Working With Being Shy

Working With Being Shy

Would you describe yourself as shy? Does that make you a little worried about doing well in your new job? Fear not, shy friend, we’ve got some tips to help you navigate your new situation with much more ease.

 

Relax

Stop worrying about being shy. The shyness is less of a problem than worrying about it.

Quiet is who you are, that’s perfectly okay! Accept your inner quite and don’t think you have to be like your louder co-workers.

 

Do what you do best

Even if you are a little shy around groups of people, there’s a good chance you’re really good at one-on-one interactions. And the good news is, most interactions are going to boil down to one-on-one interactions.

 

Unless you’re a university professor or a professional speaker, it’s all one-on-one stuff.

So just concentrate on each person as an individual. Even if you have to talk to a hundred people every day, chances are you’re mostly doing it one at a time. Concentrate on that.

 

Write thank you notes

Many people who feel socially awkward have trouble speaking out loud, but are amazing written communicators. So after interviews, or helpful interactions, get into the habit of writing nice thank you notes

 

Thank you notes can brighten up the day of the recipient, and can also convey how much you appreciate the recipient’s time, even if you can’t quite express it verbally in the moment.

 

Meditate

As a shy person it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the action surrounding you. Meditation is a wonderful way to clear away some of that stress and relax. You don’t need to make a big deal about it. Just find a few minutes to sit at your desk quietly and breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

 

Practice networking

Networking can be particularly difficult if you’re shy, so that’s why it’s something you can practice doing to alleviate the fear. Even if you feel totally ridiculous, stand in front of the mirror and practice using professional lingo and confidently handing out your business card. That way when a beneficial networking opportunity presents itself, you’ll have the confidence to extend your hand and say hello.

How Much Is This Job Worth?

How Much Is This Job Worth?

If you want to be satisfied with your salary, you need to be satisfied when you start the job, not with what you see as potential down the road. A lousy salary isn’t suddenly going to come up to your expectations once your employer gets a load of your spectacular, shining personality. If you want or expect a certain salary, it’s best to have that in place your first day on the job.  You can certainly move up from a starting salary, but you should not be working up TO the starting salary you were hoping for.

 

What is the job worth?

To start with you have to know what the job is worth. If the going rate for the position is $40K then no one is going to offer you $60K no matter how exceptional you are.

 

Your first job is to figure out what that job is worth. If you know people in the industry ask them. Best not to say, “Hey Jan, so how much do you make in that job of yours?” Better to try, “Jan, can you tell me about current market trends for a person in your position?” Use the Internet to research salaries in the industry – sometimes the Internet needs a break from showcasing cute cat pictures. As well as online salary calculators you can check out websites and directories of professional associations.

 

What are your expectations?

You are going to be giving a huge chunk of your time and commitment to this job. What is that worth to you? If that number isn’t in the same vicinity as the amount people are earning for the job you’re applying for then either the job or your expectations are going to have to re-locate.

 

If you were buying a house you’d have a top number you couldn’t go beyond, a bottom most happy number and a number in the middle. For salary expectations it’s like buying a house, but the numbers are upside down. The lowest, bottom number is the one you could get by on, the top number the one where you would dance all the way to work everyday and a middle Goldilocks number.

 

By having clear expectations going into the interview, when the time comes to start negotiations you’ve got a number to start with.

Examine What’s Painful

Examine What’s Painful

I can’t face it

My workload is overwhelming. I can’t face it. When something is difficult or painful do you run toward it with open arms? Most likely you turn away, either physically or psychologically. That’s why we find the phrase “I can’t face it” in just about every language.

 

Imagine the biggest problem you’ve got right now. Now turn away from it. A vague sense of relief. Turning away from the problem can provide some emotional relief in the short term but eventually you have to turn your head back. Do that now. Has the problem moved, crept away on its own maybe? Nope. It’s still there staring you in the face. You might even feel worse than the last time you looked at it because the problem has grown in your head in the interim.

 

Close examination brings perspective

This time, instead of turning away from the problem take a deep breath and have a closer look. Imagine this isn’t actually your problem, but that it belongs to someone else. Sit with it. Take a walk around it. Examine it from all angles. Get right in there and probe its innards. Do you see any small chink in the problem? Any way you could make some inroads? Not looking at a problem makes it grow. Looking closely helps shrink it.

 

Challenge it

Yes the problem presents challenges. Rather than shrink from them, embrace them. On close examination you found chinks where you could make inroads on your problem. Even if those inroads are difficult, figure out a way to take action. Dedicated action leads invariably to more action.

 

Make a step by step plan for how you can overcome this problem and begin. Not only will the problem shrink and hopefully eventually resolve, you may even find your actions lead you to a better place than where you started.