Self Care

One Simple Answer to Cure Networking Fatigue

As a jobseeker, networking is the number one way to land a job and for those who are gainfully employed, it is a great way to cultivate your network. How do you do it without burning out?

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The answer?

BOUNDARIES

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. James Townsend describe boundaries like property lines. Know where your backyard begins and ends. You are in control of what and who you let in your fenced backyard.

So when it comes to networking share your time and talent generously, but:

Know your limits. Whether we like it or not, we are finite beings with a finite amount of time each day. Know the limits of your calendar and energy.

Know your capacity. Everyone has a different capacity. Whether it is related to introversion or extraversion, your season of life or stress, know what lights you up and what drains you.

Know your priorities. Your schedule may allow a phone call or coffee date but ensure it matches up with your current personal and professional priorities. Just because your calendar allows doesn't mean a yes is necessary. If you can't touch-base or share insights over coffee, be clear in your no. If possible, refer the requestor to others who may be helpful or beneficial resources.

How do boundaries play a role in your networking?

I'm in the Spotlight: Working Mama's of Indianapolis

Where do you find support Indianapolis working moms?

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I recently discovered Working Mama's of Indianapolis blog and Facebook group. It is a great, virtual way to support one another when holding a career and family in tandem and in the tension!

I'm super excited to be featured in their Working Mama Spotlight this month. Check out the blog, Facebook group and my cute kids (I may be biased;) in the spotlight.

Time Management: As Easy as Yes and No

Time Management is as easy as two words: yes and no.

When an opportunity comes your way you have two choices:

👍🏼YES: Which is saying no to something or someone else.

🛑 NO: Saying yes to something or someone else.

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It is so simple yet so hard to do well. Be conscious of the small words you dish out because the impact is great.

Casualties of poor time management:

➞ Your physical and mental health

➞ The people you love

➞ Your work and/or your team

The Untold of Chaos and Career

How has chaos played a role in your career?

Often chaos underlies our career moves, job jumps, and growth steps. Yet, we don't talk about it. We want the clean action steps and plans, but in reality, even in those plans, it is messy!

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I was talking with a friend who is due to have her baby any time and who is also moving into a new house. Transitions usually come with other transitions. In pregnancy and career.

A few years ago, I found myself in the same situation. After the birth of my third child, we lost our daycare provider and my husband needed to make a career leap. All the cards were thrown into the air. <<CHAOS>>

It took reflecting on our priorities and values, research, investigation, networking, calculating and sorting through various options to decide what was best for our family in both our home and careers.

Chaos doesn't always induce career moves but can be used as a sorting tool, too. Author, Katherine Brooks, uses chaos theory to help liberal arts graduates make sense of their professional and academic experiences. She asserts that chaos can help uncover your priorities and purpose in what may seem on the surface to be wanderings.

Coherence over Balance: Work + Life

Do your career and life have coherence? Let's drop work/life balance from our vocabulary.

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co・her・ence [noun]: the quality of forming a unified whole.

According to the Barna Group, 50% of women are somewhat satisfied with their lives with 59% of all women (62% of moms) are dissatisfied with work/life balance. Women's priorities in the study didn't match their time commitments on their calendars. While some of this can't change, we can view our lives as a whole rather than segments to keep in balance.

Projects and tasks change in different sectors of our lives, but let's not lose the unifying threads that make you, YOU: friendship, hobbies, family, faith, etc. Instead of getting bogged down by logistics and perfection of balance, let's authentically show up without guilt or shame.

How does this play out practically?

✔︎ Use vacation time to do something you love.

✔︎ Share a meal with your neighbors. Pizza on the front lawn or backyard is easy!

✔︎ Take on the project that lights your heart on fire!

✔︎ Try something new at work or personally!

✔︎ Take your kids to soccer practice guilt-free (even if you have to leave work early!)

Show up only as you can! A unified, whole person. Coherence over a balancing act.

The Match of Self-Talk: How Inner Dialogue Matters for Endurance

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Self-talk is a thing. For better or worse. Your inner dialogue matters.

I was reminded of this when I was on the tennis court for the first time after 13+ year hiatus of match play. Prior to this break, tennis WAS LIFE. In the past on the court, I beat myself up with words when I missed a point or was down.

Coming back last week, I was determined not to fall into those negative mental traps, but just like years before, with the swing of my racquet, I was bullied by my thoughts. I was both physically and mentally out of shape!

But something happened. I needed the focus to move forward. Out of breath and tired, I had to reframe my self-talk for SURVIVAL - I had to talk myself into playing the very next point!

Job seeker, where do you need to talk yourself into taking the next step? Language matters so much that researchers in a 2014 study found talking to yourself in third-person is more effective than referring to yourself as 'me' or "I".

When you need endurance, train yourself with positive thoughts.

Instead of: I can't do this another day.

Say: You can take the very next step, Meg. One foot in front of the other.

Just a Monday morning PSA: Be kind to yourself.

Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? How has it helped or hurt you in your career success?

Find Strength in your Job Search

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Take a note from The Terminator. If you are feeling discouraged or facing obstacles you are developing mental muscles.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger

How can you develop strength in your job search?

💪🏻 Lean on your people. You will face rejection and discouragement. Seek out personal cheerleaders that will speak the truth about who you are and give you a boost of encouragement.

💪🏻 Try something new. If you are facing walls in your job search - switch it up! Go for a quick win by talking to someone new, researching a new target company or complete a #linkedin learning course to enhance your #skills.

💪🏻 Flex your physical muscles. Take time to take care of yourself. Complete the workout or go for a walk. Do a physical activity that you enjoy!

Work is Stressful: Five ways to combat the Daily Grind

No matter your gender, seniority or generation, stress at work leaves no one untouched. According to LinkedIn, the number one stressor is workload (as it relates to work-life balance) followed by future job security and career direction/purpose.

This report found executive Gen-Xer's are the most stressed followed by Baby Boomers and then Millennials.

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How can you combat work stress to ENJOY your life and work?

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✔︎ Learn to say no. Know and understand your own priorities in both your work and personal life. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else.

✔︎ Upskill. Own your own professional development as an eager student to add to your skill set.

✔︎ Own your life (and work) as a journey. There is always time to pivot or recalibrate your career trajectory.

✔︎ Laugh! Find humor in small things.

✔︎ Do something you love. Whether during work or personal time, make time to do what you enjoy. Running? Re-decorating? Reading? Just do it!

What are your keys to less stress?

Personal Policies for your Job Search

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Why is it so hard to say 'no' as an adult?

The word easily tumbles out of my kids' mouths like granola bar crumbs from their wrapper.

Is it because we are afraid to disappoint (who are my people pleasers?), don’t want to appear lazy or is it just a lack of boundaries?

My friend taught me this idea of having personal policies. For example, when I take my kids to the local zoo, I have a personal policy that I don’t visit the snakes. So when it is just me and the kids (sans husband), we avoid the ‘desert’ section of the zoo. Silly, I know, but a personal policy nonetheless.

What could personal policies look like in your job search?

✳️ Consider only positions that require 25% travel or less.

✳️ A two-hour time limit per day on job search activities.

✳️ One self-care activity in your daily regimen.

✳️ Target companies with a high value for innovation.

What are your personal policies? How do they extend to the workplace or your job search?

Burn Out: Know the Signs

Two-thirds of U.S. employees are feeling burned out at work.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, employees attribute their burn out to an unreasonably, heavy workload, among other reasons. In fact, 63% of burned-out employees were more likely to take a sick day. Has it ever occurred to you that your body may be sending you messages of your burn-out before you even recognize it!

If you are getting sick more often, suffer from chronic headaches or developing a pattern of insomnia, according to Monica Torres from the Huffington Post, these all may be red flags alerting you that your job may be toxic to your body.

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Avoid the danger zone of burnout! A few cautionary tips:

- Listen to your body. Notice when symptoms are happening. Are you getting stomachaches on a Sunday evening in anticipation of work the next day? Is your typical tendency to worry crossing an unhealthy threshold? Take note. Get help when you need it. Exercise! Put taking care of yourself as a top priority.

- Take breaks. According to the IBJ, 212 MILLION vacation days were unused in 2017. So plan now for a vacation (or staycation)! If that isn’t feasible, sprinkle in a few mental health days to relax or do activities that bring you joy.

- Reframe your thinking. Take control of what you can. Manage unhealthy rumination through prayer or meditation. Focus on the blessings in your life through journaling.

With all this being said, sometimes the job just isn’t a good fit for your natural giftings and temperament. So, if possible begin a job search. Ensure that you do the work of knowing what settings and positions your skills and abilities may thrive!

Need help finding your direction? Download our free DIY tips to hone your job target for a more effective search and a healthier you!