Work-life balance is every working man’s or woman’s dream. Unfortunately, time is an elusive resource that is non-replenishable. The fact of life is that it is never easy to find time for anything. Most times, if you want time, you must make it happen somehow. According to Matthew Kelly, an author, “Work-life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.” The process of creating it requires finesse, smarts, assiduousness, planning, nerve, etc.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey, Author.
Certain misconceptions regarding work-life balance can make it a scam. Why? Because trying to have a work-life balance could be a stressful journey—we don’t have to lie to ourselves. Unfortunately, many people have been attempting to achieve work-life balance by believing some lies that lead them down the path of failure, frustration, or depression.
7 Hard Truths on Work-Life Balance
The essence of this piece is to debunk some of these misconceptions about work-life balance. The exacting truth might be hard to chew or may taste bitter, but you mustn’t mount so much pressure on yourself living a lie. Ignorance, they say, is bliss. However, in this situation, it is imperative not to be ignorant of the misconceptions to have a clear vision of what you want in creating harmony in your work-life scenario. So, what are some of the truths on work-life balance? Let’s dig in:
#1. Balance Does Not Exist
Many podcasts and business counselors make you believe it’s possible to have a work-life balance when in reality, there’s nothing like balance in work and life. No matter how hard you try to strike a balance, your work and personal life will keep competing against each other, and one will win against the other now and then. Most times, when we spend time with the people we love, we are still on our mobile devices responding to emails, taking phone calls from a client, or doing one or two transactions that we can’t afford to lose.
“There’s no such thing as a work-life balance. There are work-life choices. You make them, and they have consequences.” — Jack Welch.
Instead of using the word balance, it’s safer to use a “happy work and personal life” to define the scenario of how we manage our work life with our home life, which means that you can thrive both at work and your personal life by making the most out of them. If your personal life is happy, so is your work life. Likewise, if your job is thriving, so is your personal life as well. The same goes for the opposite end of the spectrum, which means if your home life is a wreck, it will affect your work life and vice versa.
#2. Scheduling Tasks Make Life More Hectic
Being spontaneous with activities is less stressful than putting yourself under pressure to stick with a schedule. Yes, a schedule helps us be more organized and achieve all the tasks on our to-do list, but leaving some blank spaces on the list can help us catch up with our personal lives. So, take it easy on the scheduling because it could make life more hectic if not efficiently managed, and you will end up beating yourself up when you can’t achieve every task on your list.
#3. You Can’t Evenly Divide Your Time
The more you try to divide your time evenly, the more you lie to yourself because there’s no such thing as the division of time. You can’t do 50% on work and 50% on personal life; it doesn’t happen that way. Sometimes you can work, and it will spill into the hours you’ve kept aside for your personal life. Be honest with yourself; when you have a project, and all hands have to be on deck with specific strict deadlines for delivery, you won’t think of a 50:50-time division. Spend quality time on current priorities and fill up gaps in your personal life when you meet your work priorities. You can go on a trip for some days to celebrate your big win and spend time with the people you love.
#4. Choose Quality Time Over Quantity
It’s not about how many hours you use to work or spend time with your loved ones, but the quality of time spent doing so. Spending several hours of your time at work can make you less happy when you don’t spend the time on the right priorities. No one should pressure you into believing that the longer time you spend working draws you closer to success. Assuming such a lie can only put your health at risk, break you down, and affect your personal life. Stability comes when you choose quality time over quantity. Stability is a goal.
#5. You Can’t Have It All
“You Can’t Have It All” is one bitter truth that is so hard to chew. Everyone wants it all. Everyone wants a six-figure business or job that keeps bringing in the cash, a very stable home where we spend quality time with our family, a fantastic fitness plan that makes you work out regularly, a great social life with friends, and more. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can’t have it all. One aspect of your life will lack so much of the attention it needs. It’s a hard pill to swallow because you’re making a sacrifice somewhere. Something has to give. Something always is lacking in the pursuit of a perfect balance.
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness.” — Napoleon Hill.
To achieve your goals, you may have to sacrifice some of the time you spend in the gym so that you can supervise a job. Or, you may have to skip lunch dates with friends because of a pitch you’re working on for an investor. You may likely miss dinner with family a couple of times because you’re working late on a project. So, let’s be honest about it all, we give up one thing for another to reach a particular established goal or objective. It’s impossible to have it all. We may not have it all together in every aspect of our lives, but together we have it all. So, don’t lose your family.
#6. Time Management Is Outdated
Most time management templates or tips don’t work. Some are unrealistic. Sometimes you need to shut down and unwind. Other times, you need to spend your energy on the right things without any form of distraction. So, do what is most necessary at the time and don’t pressurize yourself over some techniques that put you off the grid.
#7. New Inventions Can’t Take Off the Workload
There are mobile apps designed to help you work. These new technologies only assist you in dialing that contact, online scheduling tasks, responding to emails, and more. But these tech products can’t take the entire work off you because you still need to perform the human aspect of your work. Even if you’re hiring hands added to the tech support you have, there’s still so much you need to do, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or holding a high position in a top organization.
The Internet will tell you that work-life balance truly exists, but that’s a scam. The hard truth is that balance doesn’t exist, but a happy work and home life can be possible. However, scheduling tasks, sometimes, may make life more hectic, and you can’t evenly divide your time. So, choose quality time over quantity for the amount of time you spend at work or in your personal life. The essence of it all is to ensure that you maintain good mental health and a positive mindset at the end of the day.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” — Arianna Huffington.
You can’t always have it all, and time management is outdated, making what you believe about work-life balance false. In addition, new inventions can’t take the workload off you, but they can only assist when necessary. Thus, despite the robust innovations of our times, you still must play your part in getting things done. No matter what you do, always remember that you may never have it all together as you want. However, always remember that family is essential; so, don’t lose that bond.
4 Moms’ Advice on Managing Motherhood & Career
Motherhood is a beautiful journey, and you can still live a life of purpose building your career for a brighter future. Four career moms share their advice on balancing motherhood and career. Would you please read all about it here?
Balancing motherhood and career isn’t a walk in the park. There are days you feel like you are being stretched in several directions as you try to achieve everything on your work “to-do” list and managing activities in your home. You want to have a great career as a woman, but sometimes there’s the mummy guilt. You want to be a great mother, and sometimes you may go hard on yourself for slacking on your goals. Most career moms have experienced this, and it is normal.
“I think moms put a lot of pressure on themselves trying to balance it all. It’s never going to be perfectly balanced—the sooner you know this, the sooner you can relieve some of the pressure you put on yourself.” — Denise Richards.
Motherhood is a fulfilling journey, but it can be overwhelming making the home and career happy, especially when you have a baby or babies that take up much of your time and attention. Sometimes we lose ourselves doing that, and we desperately look for answers. We look for solutions on how to balance both because our happiness matters too. The perfect work-life balance might seem unattainable, but you can still blossom in your career and your role as a mother. How is this possible? Let’s look at the thoughts of four career moms. Let’s go:
4 Moms’ Advice on Managing Motherhood & Career
It’s possible to have a flourishing career and family as you keep evolving in your life’s journey. No one says that our career should be the end of our family life or vice versa. It is possible to have the two and strike some balance in managing the pressures of the two. To achieve the two requires strategy and unflinching effort. In this article, four moms share how they successfully manage motherhood and career so you can get inspired.
#1. I Have 3 Simple Catalysts to Living an Unshakable Life—Mofoluwaso Ilevbare
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare is a Global HR Leader and Executive Coach. She’s also the Co-Founder of Trailblazer Femme that empowers ambitious women globally to live boldly in their unique voice, strength, and brilliance.
“My goal is to trigger a hunger for finding purpose, possibilities today rather than waiting till you grow older or retire.” — Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, The Guardian.
Here is her advice to career moms:
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare (MI): Firstly, I don’t separate motherhood from building a career. These are all dimensions of the same life. So here are three simple catalysts to living an unshakeable life:
#1.1. Build a life, then Career:
MI: I designed a life vision board that defines my personal and professional being. Define the kind of life you want to live, who you want to become, who you want to live life with, and then make career, relationship, and other life choices that move you in the direction of that vision you see for your life.
#1.2. Define Your Boundaries:
MI: Life management is more about energy management. Am I 100% present when at work and 100% present when at home? What are my values? What will I not compromise? Setting work and family boundaries have helped me to juggle the many dimensions of my life.
#1.3. Stop Trying to Be a Superwoman 24/7:
MI: One of the many mistakes career moms make is trying to do and be everything to everyone. We all have an area to occupy in the world and a mission to accomplish. Own your space and get help with rest. Save your energy trying to be a super mom and instead find ways to create more time for pampering yourself or spending quality time with your kids. Sharing the load with my husband, family members, friends, and many artisans makes life beautiful.
#2. Balancing Can Be Done—Tolulope Olorundero
Tolulope Olorundero is a global public relations consultant and board advisor. She is the Principal Consultant at Mosron Communications—a boutique public relations consulting firm working with B2B organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. She is also the Founder of Nigerian Women in Public Relations (PR), an independent social impact organization for practicing and aspiring PR women of Nigerian descent.
Here is her advice for career moms:
Tolulope Olorundero (TO): Six years ago, when I started my journey to motherhood, I could not have imagined the many sacrifices I would need to make—both for my career and my children. I recall, not so fondly, the anxiety and worry I had to deal with the days I had to be in the office and getting back late to pick up my son from the crèche.
“A solid support system is the only way to cope as a working mom.” — Tolulope Olorundero.
TO: After my second baby, though, I resigned. And I started my own company, a public relations consulting firm, from the dining table in my living room. Then I hired a live-out nanny. She would come in daily, clean the house, pick the boys from school—which was just a 5-minute walk from the house then. A solid support system is the only way to cope as a working mom.
TO: As the boys grow older, I continued building my business from home—managing staff and clients worldwide. They know when mummy is in her office—then she is busy. Once I close from work, though, I am all theirs. Work is not allowed to intrude during mummy-time. It is a balancing act, but you can do it.
#3. Envision the Kind of Life You Want, & Get Help When Necessary—Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe
Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe is a physician in public health practice in Atlanta, GA. She’s passionate about what she does and serves as a Lifestyle and Career Consultant for Immigrant women in professional careers. She helps them flourish via the platform Thrive in the US. She’s also the Co-founder of Trailblazer Femme (An Executive Hub for Career Women).
Here is her advice to career moms:
Bunmi Akinkugbe (BA): The term ‘successfully combining motherhood and career’ will be different for each person as everyone has their definition of success, and we’re all different. We also go through different phases of life. As the saying goes, “Life is in phases….”
“Life is in phases….” — Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe.
BA: Here are my six tips to successfully combine career and motherhood:
#3.1. Prioritization is Key:
BA: Prioritize by giving attention to the needful at every point in time. When you are at work, focus on work. When you’re home, focus on the home. Try to limit distractions. Give undivided attention to the task at hand, even if it’s just for little chunks of time.
BA: The second tip is to practice “Essentialism” (NB. Book by Greg McKeown). The term means making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy to operate at your highest point of contribution. In other words, say ‘no’ to energy-draining activities and time wasters, so you can focus and say yes to what is more important to you.
#3.3. Incorporate Simple Daily Habits:
BA: Incorporate simple daily habits that help to run your life smoother and make things easy for you. In the words of Mike Murdock, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” Embrace simple daily habits. These help you to set your rhythm.
#3.4. Establish a Plan:
BA: Establish a plan or structure to streamline your work and family dynamics. Planning can involve having routines and schedules. So that—for the most part, and at every point in time—everyone knows what they need to be doing—at the same time staying flexible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
#3.5. Solicit for Help When You Need It:
BA: Solicit for help from every avenue available. Have your partner or family members assist you with some things. Delegate to assistants. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family. Soliciting for help applies especially to young moms—get a trusted nanny or sitter, cleaner, or support group that can help you.
#3.6. Rest! Rest! Rest!
BA: Finally, Rest! Rest! Rest! Rest is essential to avoid burnout. You can have a “leave” schedule that works. Take your leave or vacation and use the time off to rest and rejuvenate. In the words of Gautam Singhania, “The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation.” A restful leave/vacation helps you focus and bring back your vision to life and your job. Do what gives you joy and emotional balance in life.
BA: As a career mom, envision the kind of life you want to live and then make sure everything aligns with that. When you are starting a job, it could be challenging, especially for immigrant women in a different environment. You sometimes take up any job. But when you identify your strengths and skillset, you should narrow it down to the kind of career you want to go into and the kind of life you want to live. Look at your work-life integration and apply some form of balance so that no part of your life suffers. Take it easy on yourself, one day at a time, and things will get better and improved.
#4. Getting Help is The Balance You Need—Caroline Wabara
Caroline Wabara is a marketing consultant at Wab Digital. She offers training and services to companies looking to sell online through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Ads, and Email automation strategies.
Here is her advice to career moms:
Caroline Wabara (CW): Balancing motherhood and career isn’t an easy feat. I have always sought help from wherever I can get it. My parents take care of my son while I’m away at work. So, my parents are my rock. You do not have to allow your dreams to fade because you are a mother. Getting all the help you need is the balance between being a mom and a career woman. Doing it all by yourself would exhaust your capacity to focus on taking one step at a time in your career.
“Successful mothers are not the ones that never struggled. They are the ones that never give up despite the struggles.” — Sharon Jaynes.
Being a successful career mom is possible. We, at Oaekpost, are appreciative of the advice given in this article by our four amazing career moms. Remember to apply the three simple catalysts to living an unshakable life. Remember that balancing or attaining equilibrium is possible as it concerns your career and motherhood. Envision the kind of life you want to live and get help when necessary. Getting help is the balance you need when you’re a career mom.
5 Lies Every Career Mom Tells Herself
Every mother’s story is unique in raising children, keeping a family, and managing a career—finding a fulcrum of equilibrium where all aspects of life harmonizes could be challenging. Here are some lies that career moms tell themselves. Would you please read all about it?
Every mother’s story is different, and every experience is unique. But there are specific lies we tell ourselves as mothers that don’t add buoyant feathers to our caps. These lies steal every chance we get to live our best life throughout our motherhood journey. As mothers, we must be honest with ourselves and do our very best to eschew living these lies at all costs; hence, we are presenting this piece.
“I am a woman of many talents, and they’re all just pieces of the puzzle that make me and make my career.” — Michelle Phillips.
The concept of discovery is what adds life to the years that we have here on earth. The article you are reading lends a hand to teaching us to be truthful to ourselves as mothers who also have careers. Hence, if you’re a mom, especially a new mom, then you should read this piece to ensure you’re not telling yourself these lies because life is too short to be an unfulfilled mom. Join me on this adventure. Let’s go:
#1. I Can Do It All Because My Mom Did
Many months ago, I got pregnant, and I feared the new stage in my life that I was entering motherhood. I was running a business, and as a very focused and hardworking person, I didn’t want to slow down the growth of my business. I decided that I will handle the pressure of being a mom and an entrepreneur no matter what. So, I kept that choo-choo train of hard and smart work chugging forward at full speed.
“As women, we have superpowers. We are sisters. We are healers. We are mothers. We are goddess warriors.” — Merle Dandridge.
So, I gave birth to an adorable baby. The joy that comes from carrying your first baby is nothing but exhilarating. However, few weeks down the lane, I could see how much my life had changed for me, and all things were not panning out as I had initially planned. Then there’s the talk from family and friends on not hiring help to assist with the baby because our moms were strong enough to handle being full-time moms and career people. We often overexert ourselves in our bid to be supermoms!
Many mothers believe that they can handle all the stress of parenting. The challenges were coming like darts from every corner, and it can be pretty insane. As much as I had help every once in a while from family members, I still experienced postpartum depression. I broke down mentally, emotionally, and physically because I still had to tie up loose ends from taking care of the home, baby, and work.
“When you become a mom, the last thing you want to do is feel judged because everyone is trying to do the best they can.” — Jessica Alba.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home full-time mom, a work-from-home mom, or a work-away-from-home mom, you can’t do it all. Except you are from the planet Krypton like Kara Zor-El, also known by her adoptive name Kara Danvers, or Super Girl, then I trust that you can do it all. However, if that is not your situation, you may need to rethink putting yourself up to the gauntlet of trying to do too much by yourself.
If you need to hire help to take care of your home or assist with work, then do so. The more you keep lying to yourself that you can do it all, the more unhappy you become. Don’t let the older adults make you feel weak because they did it all during their time as mothers. Getting help doesn’t make you a bad or weak mom. Don’t ever compare yourself or your parenting to that of your mom. You’re a unique individual and a different kind of awesome mom.
#2. I Have to Be Perfect
No mom is perfect. As a matter of fact, no human being is perfect. The quest for perfection is almost like seeking the elusive fountain of youth. However, we can borrow a leaf from the statement of Vince Lombardi, the former American football coach and executive in the National Football League, who said that “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” In the light of this statement, we can say that ‘No mom is perfect, but if moms chase perfection, moms can catch excellence.’
“There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.” — Jill Churchill.
We may never attain perfection, even as moms. The goal is to see progress over perfection. We all had to learn on the job. We tell ourselves this lie that we must strive for perfection. However, it makes us hard on ourselves in a genuine sense. Cut yourself some slack, and don’t beat yourself up when handling this thing called motherhood. The most you can do is give it your best shot at every moment but don’t strive for perfection (to avoid unnecessary heartbreak). Seek progress instead. Also, avoid comparing yourself to other moms who may appear to look and act perfectly; the truth is, every mom is confronting their biggest fears.
#3. I No Longer Have a Life
As much as motherhood is a tough job, not having a life is a lie we tell ourselves. Yes, I understand that chores are lingering around. The kids are making you scream and taking all your time. There’s a spouse to give attention to, there are deadlines to meet at your job or business, and the list keeps getting longer. The truth is, we can be intentional with how we live our everyday life by understanding that we also matter, and we need to take care of ourselves.
“You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.” — Kumail Nanjiani.
So how can you be intentional? Prioritize taking care of your own needs too. Ensure you de-stress often. Rest as much as you can without thinking of pending chores. Create a routine for your kids that gives you enough time to have a life that makes you feel good. Getting help every so often allows you to take yourself out on a date, get a massage, do some movies, hang out with friends, and a lot more. Believing motherhood makes you not have a life is a way of promoting an unforeseen sadness you may likely experience from time to time. So, beware.
#4. I Can No Longer Achieve My Life Goals
Many mothers believe that motherhood steals other opportunities related to their dreams regarding achieving their life’s goals and ambitions. So, they console themselves by making their children achieve their dreams to the best of their capability. Seeing this makes some ladies scared of being mothers. Why? Because they believe motherhood has a way of putting one’s life on hold or snatching their youthful dreams away. Sadly, this is a lie we’ve told ourselves.
“Successful moms are not the ones that never struggled. They are the ones that never give up despite the struggle.” — Sharon Jaynes.
If you’re passionate about achieving those set goals you made before you became a mother, no matter how tough it is, you’ll always find a way. It may be a slower process now because of the responsibilities of motherhood and running your family as a whole. However, you can gradually make progress if you latch unto focus, patience, persistence, and doggedness to achieve the impossible. Take notice of the moms around you—some are doing what they love. Why can’t you? All it takes is a decision to make it work.
#5. Marriage Becomes Boring with Kids in the Picture
A marriage that becomes boring when kids come into the picture gives many moms concerns, but this does not have to be true. It would be best if you never based the success of your marriage on having kids in the picture or not. The success of every union depends on the two parties involved, which means you and your spouse must be intentional in working on the relationship and building a happy home.
“As soon as things become predictable, they become boring.” — Hunter Parrish.
There are times in your marriage you will feel a drain of emotions in the relationship. Every union passes through that eye of the needle, and it can be very challenging. No matter the challenges you may face that may seem to sap the excitement out of your marriage, don’t ever blame your kids when your union is hanging on a thread. A marital union can be a lot of work, but it’s in the power of your hands to salvage the relationship and make it work, all things being equal. You and your spouse need to keep spicing it up and make it worth it with the kids.
Every mother’s story is unique in raising children, keeping a family, and managing a career—finding a fulcrum of equilibrium where all aspects of life harmonizes could be challenging. However, many mothers in occupations tell themselves certain lies, overtly or covertly, that need addressing. First, “I can do it all because my mom did.” Don’t overexert yourself in your bid to become a supermom in your quest to attain and surpass the feats of motherhood shown to you by your mom—you will eventually burn yourself out. Second, don’t lie to yourself by saying, “I have to be perfect.” The quest for perfection will rob you of the joys of the process. Seek progressive excellence in your approach.
“If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.” — Jane Fonda.
Third, “I no longer have a life!” Don’t lie to yourself with this statement. Yes, motherhood can be challenging in itself, and even much more when combining it with your career. You must be intentional in prioritizing your time to take care of your own needs. Fourth, “I can no longer achieve my life goals.” Achieving your life goals is still possible. However, it may become a slower process. Finally, fifth, you tell yourself that “marriage becomes boring with kids in the picture.” Sorry to burst your bubble of self-pity. Your union and life are what you make it. To keep your marriage fun and exciting, don’t blame your kids. Put in the work to make your union work.
As no whorls of fingerprints are the same, our experiences as mothers in various families and careers are different. Are there some of the statements above that resonate with you in your experience? Would you mind sharing them in the comment box below? We would truly value your opinion.
10 Signs that Signify It’s Time to Change Your Career
Are you in a dead-end career? Do you feel you are sacrificing your happiness in your current job? Are you scared of your job? Are you delighted with your career? Is it time that you change your career? Read all about it.
Change is a life constant. We experience a change in various aspects of our lives. The concept of change is evident in our personal lives, in our families, communities, school, work, etc. When it comes to our work lifestyles, while changing a career can be overwhelming and sometimes scary, there are many times it is the best decision to make, especially when negative signs are arising.
“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffett.
While job-hopping is unpleasant, there are times when a worker must consider making a switch to a different profession or position within or without an organization. If you have thought that you are in the wrong career, you might recognize some of these signs below that show the warning signs that you are right and be on your way to finding the right job for you.
#1. Scared of the Job
When it is Sunday, your heart skips a beat; you’re unhappy because Monday is around the corner. You might experience anxiety issues such as headaches, exhaustion, tensed muscles, mood swings, and insomnia because of this very fact. These are telltale signs that that job has become toxic. The truth is that you might need to stop that job and look for what suits you best.
#2. Working for the Money
You might be doing the job, but the truth remains that you’re only there because of the money it affords you and nothing more. The job doesn’t make you happy, you don’t like it, and it bores you. You never have any enthusiasm to carry out the job, but you make up your disdain for it by getting things for yourself since you have the money. These you take as consolation prizes for putting up with such a job.
#3. No Job Satisfaction
When done with work, you don’t feel satisfied with how much work you’ve put in. There is no optimum satiation for the amount of work that you are putting into the role. You might sometimes think the job you are doing doesn’t challenge you enough. When you first started in this position, you had so many expectations. However, now you feel like you are not utilizing or maximizing your fullest potentials. You are almost always at the point of fatigue. If you feel like this, you might want to rethink your career path.
#4. You Picture Yourself Elsewhere
Despite sitting in your office or in front of your computer and perusing documents, you fantasize about working from the comfort of your home from time to time. You picture yourself working for another organization. You feel unfulfilled or unhappy with the present work you are doing. If this sign is your experience, you must take time and find that career that interests you.
#5. You’re Passive and Record No Growth
When you started this career, you had dreams, but suddenly all those seem to have vanished. You realize you’re passive and unmotivated and not growing. It is almost like you are stuck in a game called circle—going around without actually going anywhere. Are you in a dead-end job? It’s time to get off that treadmill of non-progression and move into a more beneficial career. This feeling is one of the reasons that might make you rethink your career decision.
#6. The Decision to Start a Family
When you were single, it was easier for you to handle so many tasks simultaneously. But being married with kids, you do not have the luxury of time to do so much. Many women run into this dilemma when the decision to get married and start having kids surfaces. It’s often a complex process raising children and still be very productive at work. Many countries don’t go the extra mile to give women and men the luxury of advantageous options for starting a family, working, and creating a harmonious balance. Something has got to give usually in these situations.
“Parents are entitled to a total of 12 months’ leave in connection with the birth and after the birth. These 12 months include the mother’s right to leave for up to 12 weeks during the pregnancy and six weeks of leave reserved for the mother after the birth.” — Nordic Co-operation.
So, what is the best country in the world to be a mother? So far, Norway ranks as the best country to be a working mother. For mothers, the country boasts of excellent health care and educational systems. The maternity leave they offer is next to none globally. In addition to maternity and paternity leaves, they also offer childcare provisions. Other countries that rank high in this regard are Denmark, The Netherlands, and Sweden. It’s so sad that the United States is nowhere in this ranking.
Starting a family should never be a bane that affects your work life or job security. The Fairygodboss establishes that only two companies in the United States come close to some of the offers that the country of Norway offers. For instance, just Netflix and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation offers fifty-two (52) weeks of paid maternity leave. That is noble of these two companies. However, these are individual companies doing this motivating act, not the United States’ nation in its entirety. So, if this is your current dilemma, then you are right to look for the right job—or should I say the right company or even the correct country—case in point, Norway.
#7. You Can’t Cope with Your Coworkers
Certain kinds of people make the workplace awkward and uncomfortable. Some of these coworkers could be bullies, manipulative persons, or gossips. In the article “10 Signs You’re in a Toxic Work Environment—and How to Escape,” Career Contessa highlights some signs that typify a toxic ambiance in the workplace. One of the points mentioned is “Cliques, Exclusion + Gossipy Behavior, and Unmotivated coworkers,” among others, leading to the workplace being toxic. Many factors constitute a hostile work environment. Negative behavior and awkwardness of your coworkers can make the workplace toxic. You may need to find a setting to work in that is more positive and brings out the best in you.
#8. Overworked and Underpaid
Many people find themselves in career situations where the amount of work they are doing is not proportional to their pay. For instance, a full-time salaried job in the United States is a forty-hour workweek proposition. However, you see some individuals in organizations putting in sixty (60) to eighty (80) hours regularly working in their career. They are not getting paid overtime because of their exempt status as salaried workers. That is a situation that has a big question mark?
Yes, there is nothing wrong with being part of the team and putting in extra hours to get a project done. However, when such practice becomes the norm, it could quickly burn the individual out. It’s not just the workplace burnt out from work that is an issue; it is also dangerous to the individual’s health. I have heard of stories of individuals who have developed high blood pressure issues due to excessive time at work. I have heard stories of people slumping at work due to the fatigue of working so many hours with little rest. It happens, and it can be a compelling reason to consider changing a career.
Some companies may be experiencing understaffing issues; hence, your overwork situation. You are working more to cover the slack, but your rate of pay remains the same. Even if it does change, it comes in in trickles. So many people are severely overworked but highly underpaid. Many of these individuals stay mum and keep working. Why? They are afraid of retaliation from the organization, which could cost them their job. In this case, you find yourself too dedicated to work with no time left for you to attend to yourself and de-stress. It just might be time to consider other opportunities.
#9. You feel Ignored
Some workers in organizations feel ignored. Now, not all suggestions you come up with will always be plausible. However, you notice that you’re the one person whose ideas never receive any serious consideration. Your superiors make it a practice to ignore your point of view in critical situations. You never receive any consultation with things that pertain to your career. You are a do-boy or a do-girl. Decisions are made for you and about you with no prior ask or tell about how it affects you. The notion of a promising career must be a tête-à-tête, a conversation to come to some concord—your opinion matters. If your superiors and peers constantly push your opinions or voice to the side, then it may be time for you to change your career.
#10. No Relationship with Family/Friends
Because you have acquired a certain attitude to work and probably lack time to live a balanced life. You have a strained relationship with your friends and even your family. I have seen one or two individuals who lost their marriages due to their dedication to work. These individuals invested so much time and energy in their careers that their marriages took a nose-dive, crashing to unsalvageable bits. Your family and friends barely see you, and when they do, you are busy with work. When you start noticing that the job is beginning to take a toll on the people in your life, this is time to reflect and probably find what’s right for you.
“Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck.
Like I said when I started this article, I am no advocate of job-hopping. Be a soldier for your organization. Be a legend for your company. However, be true to yourself and love yourself enough not to punish yourself under certain unbefitting circumstances. Your atmosphere determines your altitude. Your internal wellbeing and happiness will determine your success and productivity in your career. However, when you start noticing the signs stipulated in this article, you need to ask yourself honest questions to decide whether to stay in your current career or make a change for the better.
Are you scared of your job? Are you just working for the money with no other reason for being dedicated to the job? Are you not satisfied with your job? Do you picture yourself elsewhere? Are you passive and have no record of growth? Did you decide to start a family, and it’s not syncing well with your career? Are you in a situation when you can’t cope with your coworkers due to their toxicity? Are you overworked and underpaid? Do you feel ignored? Is your relationship with your family and friends suffering due to your current career? Then it would be best if you made a change in your job for something better.
10 Things to Do to Re-Invent Your Career
Career reinvention begins when you acknowledge the need to change and let go of what is currently not working in your life and embracing another option that will work better.
Career reinvention begins when you acknowledge the need to change and let go of what is currently not working in your life and embracing another option that will work better. Most people who anticipate starting off their careers after college always find themselves in a position where they are not sure of which job opportunity they should pursue. A lot of people in their unsureness or not knowing their purpose, vacillate between various opinions. A lot of people finally settle down for any job role that comes their way in the face of mounting financial obligations (e.g., living expenses, student loans, mortgages, etc.). These individuals are not in their ideal state, the would preferably be doing something else. In many occasions, the discovery of their purpose takes a back burner in the quest to survive. In all this, there is still a constant yearning towards the need to change or re-invent their careers.
What is apparent is that most of us start our career not entirely sure if that is the job we want to take on. Some people are lucky to make the decision earlier on in their career to quit and reinvent their image and portfolio with a new personality that can help them fulfill their purpose. Discovering your life-goal is easier said than done. How can you find what you can’t see or touch or even define? The elusiveness of the phrase, discovering your purpose, makes it a herculean task for most people to pursue. For others, it may be crystal clear concerning what their life mission is. Despite how hard or easy it may be to decipher; the paramount thing is trying to discover what will turn out to become the core of your career reinvention. The meaning and interpretation of purpose differ from one individual to the other. There are various stories about those who have reinvented their careers. Take, for instance, the story of the life of a Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.
Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah formerly served as the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Commerce from 2015 to 2019 in the West African Country of Nigeria. He is a trained Medical Doctor, earning his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1985. At some point in his medical career, he vied off and went back to school to major in Business Administration at Harvard University, earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and graduating with distinction as a Baker Scholar and Loeb Fellow. Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a qualified Chartered Accountant in Nigeria. Today, he was not only the functioning ministerial nominee for the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Commerce in Nigeria, but also founded the African Capital Alliance. He has about five funds under its belt with an investment portfolio of over $700 million. He has financed several landmark investments in Africa such as MTN Nigeria.
Everyone must have thought he was quite mad at the time when he abandoned medicine for business and accounting. However, from what we can see of his life today, he was not psychotic after all, he just found his purpose and decided to do something about it. Your purpose has the potential to transform your life. Your life-design is full of potential energy. When you harness its inherent powers, it can translate you towards the kinetic energies of your genuine worth and ambition. Your purpose is capacity-laden to turn your ordinary life into an extraordinary one. Finding your purpose can refine and polish your destiny. You can reinvent your career today. You can map a new course for your career today. This journey commences at the point of self-belief. As Dr. Enelamah went from being a Medical Doctor to an Accountant, others have also left thriving careers to re-invent a new personality that might leave the world bewildered but to them became the best choice they had ever made.
10 Steps to Reinvent Your Career
First, re-evaluate your current career and why you chose it. Do you still currently want the same things you wanted at the inception of that career? Do you still have the same goals and priorities in life as you did when you chose this career? What has changed from then and now? What is your current circumstance regarding your location compared to when you made your initial decision? If you answered in the affirmative, then maybe all you need is a firm resolve to pursue and achieve those goals. If you responded in non-affirmative terms, then it’s essential to start by using the next step.
Second, make out time to relax. Maybe you need a break from work. A two-week vacation somewhere remote might help you distress, detach and disconnect from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This physical and psychological escape can create opportunities for thinking up fresh ideas for your life and new ways of achieving your career goals. Disconnecting can help you recharge your subconscious batteries should you decide to continue in the same career. Detaching at times can give you some renewed sense of sanity. Also, taking some time to relax can also allow you to re-evaluate your life options and come up with new ones.
Third, reconnect with yourself. Take some time and rediscover who you are, what you love and the sort of baloney you can or cannot take. We spend a lot of time of our working lives taking care of the problems of others. We invest a tremendous portion of our time and mental acumen in taking care of the issues of our customers. In the process of doing this, many times we forget about ourselves, that we are humans that have wants and needs too. Finding time to reconnect with ourselves is a time to love ourselves. It is a time for psychological self-healing. A time to self-course-correct. A time for self-rejuvenation.
Fourth, x-ray your life to see your current state. Sometimes it may just benefit you to conduct a SWOT Analysis on yourself. What are your Strengths? It could be your talents, skills, or education. What are your weaknesses? It could be things you are poor at doing. What are your Opportunities? It could be areas in your life that you can develop on. What are your Threats? It could be bad habits or anything in your life that will cause you to implode if not changed. Carry out a thorough self-check to find out what you want from life and how you want to go about making sure you achieve it.
Fifth, developing a new skill-set. If you are thinking of moving up in your current career path or even switching careers, the chances are that you might need to acquire new certification or new competencies. For instance, if you find yourself in a location that is daubed a tech-market, taking a jab on a new career path may require you to get a new degree or certifications in technology-related areas in other to be able to compete favorably in a new career field. Hence, consider developing a new skill-set that will help you reinvent your future career pursuit. That could be the change that will catapult you to where you want to be.
Sixth, networking can lead to reinvention. To move up to your new desired job or move into a new career path, you might need the connections of the right people with the information and opportunities you seek. Attend conferences, seminars but don’t forget to talk those you already have in your network about your newly re-invented state as you add new ones. The art of networking has been made easy. Today, the career networking platform, LinkedIn is an excellent avenue to connect with people in a future career field that you hope to be part of. Join LinkedIn and network.
Seventh, research new opportunities. Try to find new opportunities in your field by asking questions. Ask experts in that area about the future of the field of your interest. Look on the Internet and professional platforms (e.g., Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, etc.) for job advertisement that might interest you. So, research online about the current trends in the industries that you anticipate venturing into. By researching you will begin to discover new trends in the area(s) of interest. It might seem an impossible task, but this is a method that might yield unexpectedly pleasant results.
Eight, take a bold step. Do something differently at your current job. Ask for that promotion you have always wanted or that raise if you feel it might motivate you. These can all be inspiring ways to rekindle your passion for your current job. Take a bold step in exploring new careers or field of interest. Make a brave attempt at acquiring that new skill (e.g., certifications) you have always wanted to get. Take a bold step in getting more education that will give you a boost in making the career change that you crave. Make a bold move and become an entrepreneur you have always dreamt of becoming. You will never know your capacity to achieve until you try.
Ninth, relocate to a new office or even workplaces. Just working in a new environment can give you a fresh outlook, offer new perspectives, provide new challenges or give you a more conducive environment for growth. So, you never know, working from home or taking a new commute route might get you back on track. From a company perspective, sometimes changing the organization that you currently work for could spur your career upwards. Being part of a new team could inspire you to explore new and compelling opportunities and possibilities.
Tenth, rebrand your biography. Rebranding your biography and identity can be beneficial especially if you are seeking new employment. Be creative on how you rebrand yourself. Some people, who are able, have been known to create a personal website and then adding its link to their LinkedIn profile and other relevant job-seeking platforms. Some have been known to rebrand themselves using videos too. A new profile might give you the chance to re-evaluate what exactly your mission and vision are. It gives you the possibility to address anything, not in sync. It gives you the opportunity of refocusing your attention on areas of your background that matters to your reinvention. Looking at the profiles of others before making yours could also clue you in on how best to present yourself online or not to potential employers.
The primary goal of reinventing yourself and your future career begins with you. By following the ten principles in this article, you could start pushing the needle of your expected change. Once again, the first, re-evaluate your current career and why you chose it. Second, make out time to relax. Third, reconnect with yourself. Fourth, x-ray your life to see your current state. Fifth, developing a new skill-set. Sixth, networking can lead to reinvention. Seventh, research new opportunities. Eight, take a bold step. Ninth, relocate to a new office or even workplaces. Tenth, rebrand your biography. May the possibilities of these ten steps give you access to the future that you desire.
- The Guardian. (Photographer). (2018, February 1). Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah [digital image]. Retrieved from https://guardian.ng/appointments/minister-commissions-initiative-to-boost-employment-generation/
10 Questions People Should Ask Before Choosing a Career
The career you decide to pick will impact other areas of your life (e.g., family, relationship, faith, social status, etc.). Choosing which occupation to focus on is a decision that must be made very carefully as it would directly impact your long-term professional career objectives and outcomes.
When choosing a career path, it is essential to bear in mind that it is a lifelong commitment. The career you decide to pick will impact other areas of your life (e.g., family, relationship, faith, social status, etc.). Choosing which occupation to focus on is a decision that must be made very carefully as it would directly impact your long-term professional career objectives and outcomes. If you are thinking about which professional path to embark on, it is imperative to seriously weigh the reasons why you are leaning towards a specific field. For instance, why would you choose to major in Robotics Engineering as a career path over Communication or Law? Why would one pick a career in Criminology and Law Enforcement over a career in the Medical Sciences? You must understand the root of your motivation and inclination towards a specific field.
So, what if you already have a job you have worked at for over five years? A lot of people find themselves in this scenario. They become career-locked in a vocation that is not ideal for them. Standing from where you are, it would look impossible to entertain the thought of switching professions. People in such circumstances wrestle with the challenges that they may face in trying to change to an entirely new field. Do they have the academic qualifications? If not, what kind of duration are they looking at to be able to acquire the skills that they need for the change? Some folks may think that it is too late and making a mid-career switch may be seemingly impossible. Embracing this mindset cannot help you in any way. People switch career paths every day. The catch is not to shift too often in order not to lose precious years you could have used to become an expert in one thing. However, it is possible to make a mid-career change should you find yourself in that boat. It may be time for you to press the start button and begin exploring the possibilities of a new career shift.
We live in a fast-evolving macrocosm that is changing at astronomical breakneck speeds. We live in times where there is an evolution in technologies, methodologies, and processes. These new changes are redefining the way we live and work. Many systems that defined the way we worked several decades ago are quickly becoming moribund. Because of this, we need to also evolve in the way we think. Our thoughts should not be the only thing emerging, the way we approach work should also be experiencing the evolution. We now live in a technology-infused generation. In other to be in flux with the change, we may need to change careers from the get-go or midway. The reason hinges on the fact that we need to stay relevant amid the changes that we are seeing and experiencing. Just know that all that is important from here on is that nothing is stopping you from changing careers midway. However, bear this in mind that to fully benefit from any chosen field, you must put in the time required to gain the experience that is needed to achieve expert status in the profession.
10 Questions People Should Ask Before Choosing A Career
Making a career choice as we have seen above can be difficult at times, especially when we know that the outcome of our decisions will have a lasting impact on our lives. Because of this fact, we must not make this choice nonchalantly. We must ask ourselves a series of questions that will help form the foundation of our decision. Whether you are a high-schooler trying to decide on a career before going into college, or you are already working in a profession but entertaining the thoughts of making a career switch—we must ask ourselves some pertinent questions and answer them candidly. These questions will help us make an informed choice in other to eschew any form of regret later down the roads of our career lives. The answers to these questions will be the ammunition that you need to wage your future career war. Hence, be sure to be well equipped in other not to suffer a career defeat. So, as you stand there undecided, pondering which path to take, think on the questions that we will tackle below.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
First, what are your interests? What are you so enthusiastic about that you could find yourself doing for several hours without getting tired of it? It could be your hobby, your talent, or something that you just do for fun. What would you like to do for extended periods of time without getting bored? When you have decided on the activities that can give you long-term fulfillment, that is the time to begin to narrow it down. After you have narrowed down your list of interests, develop a scale of preference starting with the one that peaks your interest most on top. From that point begin working your way down the list. For instance, work on the top five career interests that you have and use this in establishing your scale of preference list. Formulating this list will give you an idea of the path(s) you are most likely to follow when you make your final career choice.
Second, what are your skills? What are you good at or find easy to do? If you are naturally good at a particular thing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it can translate to a fulfilling career path for all. However, it gives you some sense of direction about what you could possibly do. If you choose to harness this potential, it is possible that you could make a career out of something that you find easy to do. For some though, it can be easy to excel at it as a career; however, for others, it may be an uphill climb to translate such skill into a vocation. However, this should never stop you from trying to make a career out of it. Skills can be gained through self or corporate training. Today, we have corporations like Udemy, an online-based platform for training people in various skills. Also, if you have picked up any craft from learning and practice, think of where it can be of use. Polish and grow your skill-set until you become a sought-after expert at it.
Third, what careers have room for professional mobility? Take some time to find out professions that are organic rather than being overly rigid. Professional plasticity means being able to move up in your career and being able to transfer skills that you have acquired in the process in one field of work to another if need be. The worst career experience you will ever have is to choose a career that you feel pigeonholed in. To be pigeonholed, from a verb perspective of its meaning is, “to assign to a specific position or to definite places in some orderly system.” From a career standpoint, people who are pigeonholed in a career are clasped into a position or a set of duties based on past accomplishments. You become a “career-lake,” with nothing flowing in or out of it. There are careers out there that don’t give you room for professional plasticity. Take time and research and find out what these occupations are. Make an educated decision from the facts of your research and be sure that you do not put yourself in a pigeonhole situation. Choose a career that makes room for professional mobility and plasticity, all things being equal.
Fourth, what exactly are your goals in life? Your goals give you direction. Your goals are the harbingers of your life vision. Your goals give you the building blocks that allow you to construct the career plan for your future. Do you have a career goal? Have you used that goal to craft the career plan for your future? Remember, if you have a goal without a tangible plan, it then becomes just a wish. The two go together, you can’t have one without the other. Remember what Carl Jung said, “When goal goes, meaning goes; when meaning goes, purpose goes; when purpose goes, life goes dead on your hands.” Define your career goals. Use your goals to formulate a plan of action. Remember, plan thoughtfully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right. An unknown author once said that “People are like buttons, unattached, useless. Attached, indispensable. People, unattached to a goal, useless. Attached, men with missions.” Your chosen career should help you achieve most of your professional goals while giving you room to grow and also think up new goals to achieve. You should be able to see the clear path that your career can give you to achieve your goals and more.
Fifth, what did you study academically and what are you naturally good at doing? Josef Stalin once said that “Education is a weapon whose effect depends upon who retains it in his or her palms and at whom it is pointed.” (Paraphrased). I am an avid advocate for academic acquisition. Once again, what did you study academically and what are you naturally good at doing? What do you hope to study in college? What other academic qualification do you desire to acquire and add to the one(s) that you already have? Typically, it is difficult to attempt a career you did not get an educational qualification in, even if you think you have a natural flair for it, you must think twice before you proceed. Apart from acquiring an actual degree, you can also teach yourself a set of academic skills that will help you choose or advance a career. For instance, Elon Musk has a bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania; however, he literally taught himself rocket science by reading textbooks and talking to enterprise heavyweights. Today, he has advanced his career by establishing SpaceX, a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Talk about being ingenious and industrious. So, it is not impossible, it’s all a function of grit and purpose. Try your best to acquire the right qualification needed for this skill.
Sixth, how much money can you make at starting level? What kind of salary requirements and expectations do you expect at the inception of a career? Everyone’s life situation is different. You need to know what you can live with at the start of a profession. Having this knowledge will allow you choose the career that you would like to venture into. For instance, every job has its established salary bracket. The salary bracket of a Medical Doctor may not be the same as that of an Engineer, or an Agriculturist. Having a ballpark figure of the salary requirements, you believe that you can live with can help you in zeroing into a career that you eventually want to go into. This amount should not be the sole reason for your choice, but you need to make an estimation of your projected expenses and compare the value with your researched estimates of a starting level salary. So, if you have not already cudgeled your brain or done your research, take some time and do some digging and exploration to find out what your salary expectations are. Based on your interests from your scale of preference that you developed earlier, find out whether any of your professional choices are able to fulfill your financial expectations and future obligations. You should be able to afford your living costs from your career choice.
Seventh, how saturated is the field? The oversaturation of a career field will create a scenario where we have an excess supply of graduates in that area in comparison to the market demand for those professions. You need to ensure that you do this research timely. Do this research before you enter college if you are still in high school. Do the same research before you make a career switch should you already be in a profession but considering a change. Are there already too many university graduates or skilled personnel gunning for employment in this field? If yes, you may want to consider alternative pathways to still achieving your personal goals through a similar but less saturated career path to reduce the risks of disappointments. An oversaturated career field can lead to a lot of college graduates being jobless after spending all that time and resources acquiring that degree. Better be sure that you are making the right investment of time, effort, and resources when making career a choice. Save yourself the agony of having a degree but standing in the unemployment line because of an oversaturated career marketplace.
Eight, how relevant will your options be in the field? When choosing a career path, think of flexible fields and organizations that are open to innovations. Organizations today are fast evolving due to advancement in technology, globalization, and fast-changing consumer needs. Organizations that turn their backs on the shift, quickly go out of business. They failed to think long-term. Innovation is the golden keys to long-term thinking. For instance, Blockbuster is now defunct. They missed the mark and did not see consumer needs for entertainment shifting towards movie kiosks (e.g., Redbox) and at home movie streaming via video-on-demand (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, HBO Live, etc.). Sears is pretty much extinct now. They stood flat-footed as companies like Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon grabbed all their market share by being more innovative than them. Toys “R” Us finally went to the cemetery of organizations this year. They could not compete with the likes of Wal-Mart and Amazon who play the fields by being obsessed with the needs of their customer base. Career fields that are slow to embrace innovation also quickly lose their relevancy. Think about career fields that can adapt to suit changes in customer’s needs. Think of a profession that offers services that will stay in demand for years to come into the future. Don’t hop into the latest find, just because it’s the current fad. Think long-term. Think innovation.
Ninth, do you know anyone in this field? The people we know can make all the difference. No person should be an island. It is often beneficial to network with people in our current or future career fields. A George Ross once said that “To become a success, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be pleased with your character to be able to do business with you and to establish a relationship with mutual trust.” (Paraphrased). So before venturing into the uncharted waters of a new profession, do yourself a favor and commence networking and making connections with people in your field of interest. Today, the art of networking has been made as easy as A, B, C. Today, being a part of the career network platform “LinkedIn” is pretty much synonymous to the word “networking.” Are you part of LinkedIn yet? Consider joining and begin networking in your current or future field of interest. Connections are a useful thing, not only for employment opportunities but also for mentorship. Mike Murdock on mentorship once said that “Someone has heard what you have not heard. Someone has seen what you have not seen. Someone knows what you do not know. Your success in life depends on your willingness to be mentored by them.” (Paraphrased). When you find people in your vocation of interest, you could ask them if they would oblige to be your mentor. Learn all you can from them, so that you can possibly earn in the career of your dreams. It is always beneficial to gain some pre-knowledge in a professional area you would like to venture into. It is always important to find someone ahead of you in a field of your interest. A person with a similar vision like you, to guide and help you from their wealth of tacit knowledge and experience. On a side note, apart from learning from a mentor, this is also one of the reasons why some people get into internship programs with organizations that they hope to work for as an avenue to learn the ropes of a possible future vocation before they venture into it. Leverage your networks. Leverage your internship possibilities. Get some pre-knowledge before venturing into a field.
The tenth and final question is, ‘Would you enjoy this?’ Never settle for a career where you will work and live your life in perpetual misery. In an ideal state, work should be fun. An organization that has happy associates or employees will always translate their happiness to serving customers with a high level of enthusiasm. When customers are content with their experience, they will always return to that point of satisfaction. Richard Branson of Virgin Group believes that his associates or employees should always be happy. To do so, Mr. Branson first believes that you should give your employees the freedom to be creative and innovative. Second, he maintains that organizations should have the foresight of knowing what keeps their employees happy. Third, Mr. Branson believes that organizations should never panic when you have jet-setters as employees who may one day launch out and become entrepreneurs of their own. In his opinion, he believes that this is not a setback. It is only an opportunity to bring new people into the fold and continue the track record of making them happy. Only happy and satisfied employees seek to remain with organizations. Disgruntled and unhappy employees always look for ways to exit an organization. Therefore, I implore you to research the day-to-day activities of a field that one envisages to embrace. Research the daily activities of the future organizations that they choose to forge a career path with. Ask people who already work in the field. Weigh all the pros and cons carefully. Decide if you will be happy waking up every day for the rest of your professional life doing that job. Whatever your choice, make sure you have fun doing it.
These may be a lot of questions to ponder on and digest. However, the fact remains that in answering these questions, you are building a solid foundation for your future career. You are making sure that you are removing any hurdle that may impede or stop your career growth and aspirations. A stitch in time they say saves nine. It is better for you to ponder on these questions now and make an informed decision today that will benefit your future career tomorrow. Once again, what are your interests? Identify your interests. What are your skills? Acquire a valuable and profitable skill-set. What vocations have room for professional mobility? Don’t join a rigid organization. What exactly are your goals in life? Discover your life and career goals today. What did you study academically and what are you naturally good at doing? Education is essential—get a degree if you can. Use your talent and make it a profitable venture. How much money can you make at the starting level of your future career? Decide what your financial needs will be at the inception of your future career. How saturated is the field? Do yourself a favor and eschew an oversaturated career field. How relevant will your options be in the vocation? Choose organizations and professions that are open to innovation. Do you know anyone in this field? Embrace the law of connectivity through networking. Find a mentor. Get an internship. Would you enjoy this? As you tow a career path, make sure you have fun doing so. I will spare you the labor of going through each of these questions again, we have already done so above in the article. These ten questions are remarkably crucial to making the right career choice for your future. Ponder on them. Answer them honestly. Read them repeatedly if you must. Digest the questions and master your answers if you must. Then forge ahead and build the golden career of your dreams. Carpe diem!
10 Ways to Motivate the Unmotivated Employee
The worst thing that can happen to an organization is to have unmotivated employees. It can impact an organization’s customer base, service, and profitability. That is why companies infuse a lot of resources to ensure that they keep their associate-base engaged and motivated. Find out more on this note via this piece.
The worst thing that can happen to an organization is to have unmotivated employees. It can impact an organization’s customer base, service, and profitability. That is why companies infuse a lot of resources to ensure that they keep their associate-base engaged and motivated. Unfortunately, it is easy for employees to get dissatisfied and demotivated at work. Even the motivated can lose their enthusiasm over time. Ensuring an organization has a motivated workforce represents one of the critical roles of the Human Resources (HR) department in any organization. That is why the compensation and benefits unit must work tirelessly to ensure that employees’ reward is commensurate with performance. The HR team can create a positive impact by fostering an atmosphere of engagement in the organization, appreciating and praising its employee base, inspiring the leadership, transparency and honest information sharing, responsive to associate needs, recognition and incentivizing associates, etc.
Various factors can cause an employee’s enthusiasm for work to wane. These factors could be boredom, micromanagement, lack of confidence in management decisions, feeling under-appreciated, lack of career progression, poor psychological safety, overwork, lack of work, impartial decisions of leadership, etc. These factors can make an employee distant and unproductive. This attitude could also affect their performance assessment, overall team performance, and the general atmosphere of the organization. Beyond these factors, an organization’s relationship with its customers could also take a severe hit. Indolent and unhappy employees usually do their job of attending to customers with a low sense of urgency. These employees have bad attitudes and deliver poor customer service. When customers have an unsatisfactory experience, they will most likely not return to that organization for further business transactions. Many times, they end up taking their business elsewhere. Every organization wants its customers to have a good experience and return for more business. When customers take their business elsewhere, it erodes the confidence that they have in your organization. Therefore, unmotivated employees must be addressed and not taken for granted before its adverse effect spills over into other crucial arms of the organization that could impact return on investment (ROI).
As an employer who wants maximum productivity, you must prioritize the needs of your employees and cater to them. Happy and motivated employees will go the extra mile when working, and you will see this in the effort they put into the work they are doing. The goal of every employer is to ensure that its employee base is effective and efficient while reducing variations during work. These employees usually have buy-in into the goal and vision statement of their organization. Companies that exhibit foresight pay attention to their employee always. Because of this caring attention, these organizations can recognize the telltale signs of a demotivated employee or group of employees. Seeing this demotivation and unhappiness red flags can help the organizational leaders create the right strategy to address the situation. This becomes very crucial, especially if the organization has more than one unmotivated employee. The company then moves to adopt an approach as a measure to help re-energize and boost their passion and enthusiasm towards achieving the all-encompassing goals of the organization.
10 Ways to Motivate the Unmotivated Employee
In the next paragraphs that follow, we will be reviewing ten possible tips that organizations can use to reinvigorate the unmotivated employee. Of course, these tips are not exhaustive; there may be other tips not included here. However, for now, let it suffice the reader to review the ones below.
First, give them an enabling environment and provide them with enough tools for the trade. Just a change of scenery to a more uplifting or calming vibe could do the trick for some people. Find out if your workers are satisfied with the décor and their current office spaces. Sometimes you may have to repaint the workplace with soothing or vibrant colors, get brand new furniture, or decorate the office with some new gadgets (e.g., a new coffee machine, new water dispenser, new relaxation gadgets, etc.). If the workplace does not have a break room or kitchenette, that may be a worthy investment that could lift the employees’ spirits. If the facility does not have some snack vending machines in its cafeteria, that could also be a worthy investment. Re-design your organization’s workplace. Make it fun. The leadership can always poll and find out from the associates what they would need to make their work a little less stressful and more enjoyable. Sometimes, it could even be that the employees don’t have enough tools for the trade. It can get very frustrating when employees don’t have all the adequate tools to perform their jobs. To stay motivated, they need to have all the tools of the profession in other for them to stay effective and efficient. Ask for their input concerning the change they would like to see in their workplace ambiance and the tools they may lack. Reinvent the workspace with them. Provide the tools they need to work. Make it a fun experience.
Second, two words—positive reinforcement. Don’t forget to remind your workers that they are doing a good job. Praise them for their achievements. Many organizations lack this quality. Many leadership in many organizations are always quick to highlight everything that the associates are doing wrong. It is one reprimand after the other. Don’t get me wrong; every organization needs to pursue excellence. No organization wants to be mediocre. Every organization wants to excel in service to their customers. Every organization wants to be profitable and will move to eschew all variances that impede their progress towards their goals and objectives. However, there is a time for cautioning associates, and there should also be a time for praising associates for a job well done. Appreciate your employees when they do a good job. Voltaire once said that “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” As much as we appreciate our employees, we must not be patronizing. However, a good ovation is what they need. Always say thank you for a job well done. Be appreciative.
Third, is promotions. Apart from the verbal acknowledgment of your employees’ work outcomes, find ways to reward them for a well-done job. One way of rewarding hard-working employees is through promotions. Let them feel like their work is taking them somewhere in the company. The worst thing you can ever do to an employee doing well is to pigeonhole them in a position and barring them from promoting to the next level. Unfortunately, some organizations do this. If they see that the employee is performing exceptionally well in a position, they hesitate in promoting them. Sometimes, because they may not be able to fill that employee’s role with someone as good as them. Hence, the employee suffers due to the selfish motives of leadership. A lot of times, this discourages the employee, up to the point that they become demotivated. In many instances, this can hurt their productivity and could eventually end up leaving the organization entirely. If they are doing a good job and you evaluate them and believe that they are ready to transition to the next level, do well to promote them to a role that suits their potentials. Advancing your hard and smart working employees will let them know that there is always room for growth for them within the system.
Fourth, incentivize them with other rewards. You can find other reward systems should you run out of positions for promotion. Find ways to show your employees that you recognize their hard and smart work in the organization. For instance, you can develop reward programs. You can establish an employee of the month reward program, an employee of the year reward program, top performer awards, safety awards, etc. These are great motivation awards that can spur and motivate employees to want to do more. You can incentivize associates by organizing monthly employee barbecue events for hitting monthly milestones and set goals in various areas of your organizational network. You can incentivize associates by giving them organizational freebies (e.g., tee shirts, water bottles, backpacks, gift cards, etc.) for performing extraordinarily well or being exceptionally safe while working. You can institute a quarterly or yearly bonus for employees that is based on performance. These rewards and more are great motivators for workers in a competitive environment. It keeps employees on their feet, always wanting to excel in becoming recipients of such rewards and awards. Find creative ways to compensate your employees for their exceptional work.
Fifth, remuneration. This is a tough one. A lot of organizations wrestle with the issue of pay and compensation. For hourly workers, many companies compete with their competitors when it comes to the starting hourly wage for their employees. When associates are well paid to deliver a service, they will more likely show more commitment to the organization. A company with its base hourly wage significantly higher than the federal base pay rate will have employees who show more dedication and buy-in than associates in another company that pays its employees the minimum base-pay hourly wage. The same goes for salaried workers and those in the management cadre. Higher wage remuneration can serve to motivate the unmotivated employee at any level – salaried or non-salaried positions. However, it is essential to know if this is what is holding your employees back. Do your research and find out what similar professions at other firms are earning. You can also run an anonymous survey at your firm to see what your employees think of their current salaries. Adjust if need be.
Sixth, hire new talent. Bring in new blood into the mix to spice up the efforts of the team. Sometimes employees can get stuck in a rut because the same people surround them always. Bringing new talent into your organization means an opportunity to get a brand-new perspective into the realm of your business operation. It is an opportunity to improve the expertise and skill base of your organization. Newcomers can induce competition and a flow of fresh ideas in the firm. Fresh pair(s) of eyes could see the variation causing the lack of motivation and enthusiasm in the organization. This gives the leadership team a chance to strategize and fix the problems before it gets out of hand. New talent can help motivate other unmotivated employees. New hires, on many occasions, come in hungry to innovate and bring about change. They can spread their passion and, in turn, stimulate the indifferent employee, bringing about the needed organizational change. Weigh your options, understand the times, and know when to bring new talent into the fold.
Seventh, bring in new projects. Working on the same projects, duties, tasks, assignments year-in-year-out can become monotonous. The same cyclical routine can de-motivate employees in an organization. There are times that organizational leadership needs to break the monotonous pattern by infusing new projects into the institutional mix. A new challenge can cause employees to harness their skills in different ways and directions. Bringing in new projects can challenge the minds of unmotivated associates and spur them to think outside the box. Embracing a new project that your organization can work on opens innovation channels for your company. This will help infuse a new level of engagement and excitement in the organization. It can be invigorating for employees to have something new to focus their energies on rather than dwell on the job’s monotony. Weigh the situation in your organization. As a strategic methodology, is it time to throw a new project into the pipeline to motivate the demotivated employees? You decide. If yes, act on it creatively with some sense of urgency.
Eight, be fair. One factor that can cause demotivation for some workers can be noticing biased behavior towards other workers. Working in organizations that do not embrace fairness can be very frustrating. In such organizations, the rule does not apply to everyone, and as a result, can demotivate employees. Organizations and their leadership need to create a just atmosphere that is free of impartiality. A Stanislaw Jerzy Lec once said that “Impartiality is not neutrality. It is partiality for justice.” Being impartial forms the foundation of justice. It creates a climate of fairness, an ambiance that is free from bias or tainted justice. Have you ever asked yourself why Femida, Lady Justice, wears a blindfold? The blindfold she wears represents impartiality, the model that the application of the law should be without regard to wealth, power, or any other status. Be like Femida in your organization. Be fair and remain impartial in how you treat all your employees irrespective of gender, color, or creed. Impartiality will destroy the motivational foundation of employees. Be impartial and see your employees flourish. Be fair. Never discriminate.
Ninth, let them take a break. The famous saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack and Jill a dull/gray boy and girl.” During the workday, ensure that you are giving your employees a break. Work breaks give employees some time to break away from the hustle-and-bustle of the day. Some organizations are so strict in their break time allotment, while some others may be a little bit too generous with the amount of time they give for breaks. Employees in the former type of organization barely have enough time to get an ample breather in the time allotted for work breaks. This can really demotivate employees, to say the very least; they begin to grumble and complain and eventually become disgruntled. In the latter organization, giving too much time can also be detrimental as it can cause employees to start slacking off. There should be a harmonious balance. Organizations should ensure that they have not been too stingy with handing out vacation times. Everyone needs a break to get refreshed and ready to work again. You can be different by creating a unique vacation plan for your employees.
Tenth, communicate with your employees regularly. Organizational leaders should find a way to establish a friendly rapport with their employees. Building this communication bond will make it easy for them to discuss what they feel about the workplace. There should be an open gateway policy that allows employees to gain easy access to their leadership to share ideas, discuss concerns, or make requests, or discuss matters arising in the organization. Having a closed-door policy can lead to the dissolution of the trust that employees have in their leadership. Organizations with inaccessible leadership can quickly become a cesspool of bitter, acrimonious emotions that can quickly translate to an atmosphere of under-motivated employees. An open-door policy shows employees that their leadership cares about them enough to listen to their concerns. This can be beneficial. For instance, you might be able to find out what they need and act quickly to address any ensuing variations before they go out of hand. This gives the employees a certain level of confidence. Let them feel the system would always look after them.
Therefore, strive to create a positive work environment where everyone wants to be. This positive energy can bring better results over time. Employees will flourish in an atmosphere where they feel they have some sense of emotional security. No worker wants to work in a work environment that is unfriendly. No one wants to be part of a work culture that does not care about their physical, health, and emotional wellbeing. Everyone yearns for more work inclusivity; no one wants to be under the “other” shroud. Everyone wants a sense of genuine belonging. Contrary work environments quickly become a bog of bitterness. Employees in this work environment eventually lose their drive to want to work hard or be part of the organizational vision. Productivity and profitability in such work ambiances will ultimately suffer. Hence, organizational leadership should do everything in their power to maintain a harmonious all-inclusive environment. Strive to keep your employees motivated and happy. Happy employees make for higher productivity and profit.
In this post, we have looked at ten things organizations can do to motivate disengaged employees. First, give them an enabling environment and provide them with enough tools for the trade. A new and energetic ambiance can stimulate workplace motivation. Make sure that associates have enough tools of the trade for them to do their jobs with. It can get frustrating when employees don’t have enough tools to make them successful. Second, deploy positive reinforcement. Appreciate your employees when they are doing well. Offer words of encouragement often. They should not always hear reprimands; praise them for a job well done. Encourage and inspire them often. Third, promote your employees who are doing well. This gives them hope that they have a future with the organization. Do not pigeonhole them in a role selfishly. Allow them to blossom. Fourth, incentivize them with other rewards. Be creative, find unique motivators to use, and inspire your employees. The fifth point is remuneration. Sometimes, it may be all about the Benjamins talking. When people apply for jobs, the paramount incentive that motivates them to want to work for organizations is usually the financial incentives and benefits attached to the position. Pay your employees well—it will go a long way to propel them towards a higher level of commitment.
Sixth, hire new talent. Sometimes, you might need some new blood to motivate the unmotivated older employees in the organization. The right new hires can be equivalent to fresh energy, new creativity, or innovation. Seventh, initiate new projects. Break the monotony of old routines and designs by infusing a new one. It can stimulate excitement within the organization. Eight, be fair or impartial. Ensure that you are impartial in the way you treat all the employees of your organization. Always remember the blindfold of Femida, the Lady Justice. Treat everyone equally. Do your best to eschew any form of favoritism that could remove the blindfold of fairness and equitable justice. Ninth, give your employees a break. Be sure to provide them a moderate in-shift break. Give them time to unwind by giving them some vacation time too. Tenth, communicate with your employees regularly. Don’t be the boss that makes himself or herself inaccessible to their employees. Remember the open-door policy. By implementing these ten points, you stand the chance of reviving the motivational levels of employees in your organization.
Finally, for more productive and sustained success in your organization, it is crucial to offer inspiration to all your employees by sharing the long and short-term vision you have for growth. Get them to have buy-in into the organization’s vision. Make them a part of this vision. Ensure that they understand where the company was in previous times, where the company is currently at present, and where the company plans to be in the future. Let them know their part in making this vision possible. Let them know the long-term impact of their daily work contributions. This show of care might make a whole world of difference to them when an employee feels needed, appreciated, and a part of a much bigger dream. Motivate your employees often, and they will stay motivated. Remember, a happy, smart, and hardworking associate will translate to better productivity and profitability.