Engineering and IT Jobs

Monday, July 29, 2013


The interior design plan you presented was disapproved, and you have to come up with a new one in two days. The materials you ordered for your event management project are running late, and your client is breathing down your neck. The finance analyst tells you the budget you proposed is not feasible. The software you’ve been working on for a whole week suddenly develops a bug.

Stress. It can weigh heavily on you, and make you want to give up. Don’t let stress get the better of you. Try these proven stress busters.

Emphasize the positive. Focus on the good things that happened during the day, no matter how small, and use the emotion that came with these to get you through. This will lift your mood and make it easier for you to tackle the problems you’re facing.

Phone a friend or loved one. Studies reveal that talking to a good friend or loved one boosts the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that relaxes the mind and body. Spend a few minutes talking about anything you like, not necessarily your stressful situation. When you’re done, you’ll find that your mind is clearer.

Have a good laugh. It’s been said a million times, laughter is the best medicine. One of the many ailments it cures is stress. Share a joke with officemates, look up a funny page on the internet, or read the comics section in the newspaper. Sometimes, even just recalling a good joke you heard long ago will do the trick. Laughing eases bodily tension, so you’ll feel more relaxed when you go back to work.

List down your tasks. If the sheer volume of work is the source of your stress, make a list of the things you have to do. Decide in what order you intend to work on these, and if possible, how you plan to go about each one. Organizing your tasks in a neat to-do list makes it easier for you to focus on each one. Keep the list where you’ll easily see it. With each completed task, cross out the corresponding item in the list. This action alone gives you a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn leaves you feeling more stress-free.

Listen to your favourite relaxing music. While at your desk, plug in your headphones and enjoy the melodies of your favourite composers. Be sure to listen to soothing music. It tends to relax the muscles and cut off the production of the stress hormone cortisol. De-clutter your desk. The mere sight of a desk that’s cluttered with documents can be enough to cause stress. Clear your desk and you clear your mind.

Organise your documents so that those that are relevant to a particular task are bunched together. Place these in a drawer or shelf for quick retrieval when you’ll need them. Throw out anything that you won’t need.

Take a walk. Getting away from your desk can do wonders in clearing your mind. Go out and take a relaxing stroll around the block. Don’t think about the problem that’s causing you stress. Look at the people around you, the foliage, the cafes, anything that will get your mind off the stressful situation. Spend about 15 to 20 minutes just walking around. You’ll find that when you get back to your desk, both your mind and your body are more relaxed.

You may have noticed that these stress busters involve stopping work temporarily. That’s exactly the point. The secret to beating stress is not in confronting it, but in freeing yourself from it. When you’ve experienced that liberation of mind and body, you’ll feel that nothing can stop you from achieving what you have to.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Let’s say your job search lands you in a company where you find yourself getting along with one or two particular officemates more than any of the others. You may enjoy the finance analyst’s company, or you may share common interests with the admin assistant. You find yourself spending lunch breaks, coffee breaks and off hours together. Your relationship goes beyond professional. 

Now, you may wonder, is there anything wrong with being friends with officemates? For the most part, no, there’s nothing wrong, but you have to understand that there are limits to what you can share, and there are pros and cons to office friendships.

First, set the limits. When talking about personal matters with your officemate friends, these are the things you should keep to yourself:
• Your salary, and other matters having to do with money
• Your health concerns
• Problems that have to do with your family
• Details of your job performance reports or reviews

Remember that you’re officemates first, friends second. You have to know where to draw the line when talking about your personal life (and certain aspects of your professional life).

Once you’ve defined these limits, you can enjoy the benefits of your office friendships:

Work becomes more pleasant. You actually look forward to going to the office, because you know you’ll be with people who appreciate you.

Communication is better. Friends have a way of understanding each other more than ordinary officemates. This makes miscommunications and misunderstandings less likely to happen.

You have an outlet to vent your emotions. A friend is one who listens. When you have someone you can turn to when you feel angry, frustrated, depressed, annoyed, or any such emotion that needs venting, it becomes much easier for you to get over the negative feelings and get back on track.

You’re able to express yourself more freely. During work-related discussions, being with friends gives you a feeling of freedom to express your opinion without fear of disapproval or ridicule. You become more relaxed, and consequently more open.

On the other hand, there are certain things you have to aware of to make sure that your office friendships don’t get in the way of your work.

Your professionalism may be affected. Too much small talk or joking around will take away from your focus on your job. Place a limit on extracurricular activities and don’t lose sight of your responsibilities.

Others may resent you. When you stand up for each other more than for other officemates, your actions can be interpreted as political maneuverings. Treat all your coworkers equally, friend or not.

You might get too close. As you get closer to your officemate friends, you might get to the point of being too open for your own sake. Keep in mind the list of things you shouldn’t reveal about yourself.

As you can see, these issues are things that are well within your control. From this, we can safely conclude that the benefits of office friendships far outweigh the drawbacks. It’s just a matter of knowing how to manage your office friendships and bearing in mind that no matter what, professionalism should always come first.

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