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Loving Your Job

16 Apr

Here’s a question right off the top: Have you ever been in a restaurant and seen a waitress wearing one of those shirts that read, “I love my job.” Inside, you probably laugh a little. She may like her job, or making good tips, but does she truly love her job?

Forbes.com released a list of the top 20 happiest jobs in America. Newsflash: Some people really do love their job. Here are some that caught my eye, and I’ll end with a challenge.

Topping the list was Software Quality Assurance Engineer. This is a well-paying job that is vital to the success of software manufacturers.  Tied for second were Executive Chef and Property Managers. Following these on the list were quite a few more involving software developers and technicians, while some were common jobs such as electrician and accountant.

Some on the list were management positions, which would make you think, “Of course they’re happy, they’re making good money.” But that might not be the whole story.

Consider this: “Many of the happiest jobs have some component with working with people,” Heidi Golledge, CareerBliss’ chief executive said. “Folks who work with others tend to rate their happiness higher on our site.”

While working with people, they likely possess certain gifts, traits and skills that made them a great fit. Essentially, they’re doing something that they were made to do. You can’t replace passion and genuine desire to do a job.

Can you say that about yourself? Maybe not yet, but what about your studies and degree plan? Are you studying something that you know you were meant to do?

If so, great. Continue to follow and pursue it so that you can hopefully make money doing what you enjoy. If not, what will you do about it? Changing careers is one possibility. First, do a self-examination to see if there are other things that could affect your happiness at work.  Then look at your job in a new light, and try to highlight the characteristics that attracted you to work there in the first place.

Not all of us will go around wearing t-shirts bragging on how much we love our job, but that doesn’t mean its not something to strive for.

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Finding Ways to Increase Productivity

27 Mar

Everyone likely experiences the feeling of burnout or overwhelming stress. As students, these feelings are very possible with the challenges presented by classes and a job.

It’s our tendency to use technology to help our situation, but sometimes, it makes the situation worse. Constant e-mail buzzing from our phones, new updates on blackboard and Facebook a click away can all lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.

While your trying to be productive in the midst of all these things, your productivity is often what suffers. Having your hand in multiple projects really leads to you not being fully on board in one.

Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, came up with some pointers that will help you as you try to juggle classes, projects and work.

1. Don’t demand or expect instant responses, and don’t think you have to respond instantly either.

It forces people into a mindset that suffocates their attention to detail and makes it difficult to follow through on promises. It’s okay to turn off your e-mail to get things done.

2. Find ways of self-encouragement.

Whatever it is that helps you feel better about yourself- try it. Might be a snack, nap or relaxing song. Find the things that help you renew your focus and change your attitude to a point where you can feel encouraged going back to work, so you can focus on one thing, and one thing only.

3. Take care of the most important things first.

Without interruption, tackle the biggest task you have set for that day. Work privately and resist distractions. The more you can get out of the way, the less stress you’ll likely feel throughout the day with projects hanging over your head.

Use these tips, and even try to come up with your own. Utilize “Quiet Study Zones” or make your own place that is just devoted to getting things accomplished.  Find the place where you work best to start crossing things off your list.