Money Matters: Three scary career truths
When I was a child, the popular Halloween costumes were a plastic one-piece jumpsuit type contraption with a mask that covered your entire face, minus some tiny holes for the eyes, mouth and nose. You could see the other kids around you, but you just didn’t really know who was behind the mask.
Starting a new job is a similar situation. You get a view of the company from doing your research, reading reviews and through the interview process, but sometimes it’s hard to really “see” the full view until you start working. And that can be an unsettling time.
Here are three scary career truths and tips to help you see “behind the mask.”
1. Finding a job can be a long and complicated process
Let’s face it: The process of searching for a job is not an enjoyable experience for most. Spending hours polishing your resume, writing the perfect cover letter and preparing for those tricky interview questions isn’t how most people want to spend their spare time. On top of this workload, the job search process can last a long time, with the average length coming out to about five or six months. Who has time to wait that long for a job? Fortunately, there are several things you can do to speed up the job search process.
Make your job search your job
Your job search should be your top priority. Part of the reason finding a job takes some people so long is that they simply aren’t putting enough effort into it. By setting aside a specific amount of time each day to scan career sites, connect with recruiters and submit applications, you will see results much faster than when you only work on furthering your career when you feel like it.
Network, network, network!
With 85% of jobs being filled via networking, expanding your network has never been more important! Some simple ways you can network are by attending job fairs, connecting with professionals on LinkedIn and reaching out to your peers and coworkers for introductions to their professional network.
2. Staying engaged at work is difficult
Nobody wants to be one of those people counting down the minutes to 5 p.m. But when you go to work for eight hours a day, five times a week, it’s hard not to! In fact, only 21% of employees say that they feel engaged when they are at work. While that number doesn’t sound very hopeful, there are some things you can do to make your work life more enjoyable.
Add some personality to your workspace
Liven up your desk by decorating it with things you enjoy. This could be a flower plant, an action figure, or whatever else makes you happy. Though it seems small, having a desk decorated to your preference can make a big difference in how you feel at work each day.
Reward yourself for completing tasks
It’s hard to want to do something when you don’t see immediate benefits. By rewarding yourself for getting things done at work, you’ll be more motivated to finish your tasks. These rewards don’t have to be anything big either: Something as small as a light snack or a quick lap around the office is usually all it takes to give you the motivation you need to get through the workday.
3. Sitting at a desk job is bad for your health
Did you know that almost 86% of working Americans work at jobs that require long periods of sitting? Yet, despite how common desk jobs are, several health issues are associated with this sedentary lifestyle, including increased blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Thankfully, however, there are a few things you can do each day to stay active and help prevent these health risks.
Take regular laps around your office
Get your blood flowing by taking breaks every 30 to 60 minutes to get up and walk around the office. Whether you go to the restroom for a bathroom break, the water table to fill up your water bottle or a coworker’s desk for a quick check-in, these small walks can have powerful effects on your health. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that those who performed an hour of physical activity over the course of the day cut their mortality risk in half, whether this movement was all at once or in spurts. Don’t discount the power of short walks!
Try a standing desk
Standing desks are a great way to get on your feet while working. They can have powerful health benefits, like burning more calories, improving your posture and keeping your circulation going. Ask your boss about replacing your sitting desk with a standing one to help you stay more active.
Finding a job, staying engaged at work and sitting at a desk are three scary parts of being in the workforce. However, these fears are all overcomeable. As you follow the tips in this article, you will be prepared to confidently enter the workforce and be successful at your job.
Peter Ord is the founder of GUIDEcx, a client implementation and onboarding project platform based in Lehi.