Tag Archives: work

Ensuring Your Side Business Thrives While You Work

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, Employment trends, Working life and tagged , , , , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

Around 40% of UK workers have a ‘side hustle’ (including their own business), according to research conducted by the Henley Business School, with uncertainty about work, a desire for a better standard of living, and the desire to face new challenges being three key reasons why. Ensuring your business thrives without your ‘standard job’ suffering – and vice versa – can be a big challenge, but getting the balance right isn’t a matter of intuition or chance. Rather, it involves creating a strict business strategy you follow to the letter, without wavering from what is probably your ultimate goal: being your own boss, 24/7.

What are the Elements of Business Growth?

The key elements of most business growth strategies include leadership (vision, knowledge, risk taking), marketing (connecting with your audience via social media and branding), sales, tech (relying on the right people to solve technical glitches), and support (having a team that attends to clients quickly and efficiently). All these elements are far easier to run smoothly when your business is a full-time occupation. However, when you only have part of the day to dedicate yourself to each department, time management is key.

Ensuring Your Side Business Thrives While You Work

Building Your Plan

For each key element of your strategy, goals and time limits should be set. For instance, if you are selling your services as a writer, legal professional, or accountant, set reasonable goals for areas like marketing and social media. How many followers do you have on Instagram and Twitter, for instance? How many do your competitors have? What number can you set as a goal and how many weeks or months will you give yourself to achieve it?

Branding is another area that should be broken down into components with time limits for each task. Your brand should connect with your target audience via the right logo, website content, and social media channels. Technical knowledge is another problem. Try to think of what might be standing in the way of a smooth customer experience. Is your website mobile compatible? Does your page take too long to load? You can tackle many problems yourself. However, when you are truly stuck, don’t waste valuable time trying to solve a problem that needs technical knowledge. Rely on trusted professionals when you are stuck in a rut.

Take Calculated Risks

Growing as a business involves stepping outside your comfort zone frequently. As stated by Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, fear causes you to overestimate risk. However, the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary life, lies precisely in your willingness to embrace change. Calculated risks are not based simply on ‘gut instinct’. They involve researching into possible losses, having a “Plan B”, and seeking advice from valued mentors. Request feedback from trusted entrepreneurs and be especially open when they point out possible flaws or mistakes. When you take risks, check periodically that they are bearing fruit. If something isn’t working, change your strategy to minimize loss.

Validate Your Idea

There are many ways that business ideas can be validated, one of which involves developing an MVP (minimum viable product) and seeing your target audience’s reaction to it. If it’s an app, for instance, test your MVP on investors, mentors, and your target audience. Ask for feedback so as to tweak any existing glitches. Conduct keyword searches with WordStream or Moz Keyword Explorer, to find out the existing supply for the demand your product is meant to fulfill. Ensure your business offers greater value than your competitors, and make a social media schedule, using various media to share awareness about your product.

Products like Hootsuite (which allows you to programme your social media uploads days in advance) exist to help you save time. However, this and other tools only work if you set a schedule for them that you stick to – even on days on which you feel tired after a full day at work.

By defining key tasks, setting goals and time limits, taking risks, and obtaining feedback, you can grow at a steady pace, staying motivated until the day you can dedicate all of your time to your true passion.

Author: Cassandra McNulty

Work stress? How to Avoid Burnout

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , , , on by Lynn.

The topic of burnout and workplace stress has become a central focus in public debate regarding work-related work stress and burnout - copingillnesses and responsibilities. At first glance, it seems odd to complain about too much work in times when the country’s just coming out of economic crisis, especially since unemployment is still a huge stress factor. It is important to emphasize, however, that regardless of the causes, everyone should be proactive in taking care of their own health.

According to Eurostat, people in the UK work a lot on average but at least a few other EU countries notch up more hours per working day, not to mentio international comparison. However, working time is, of course, not the same as productivity and stated working hours do not necessarily correspond to actually worked hours. More than anything, it appears that it is not only the number of weekly hours that puts a strain on people but also how these working hours are structured.

The Health and Safety Executive’s report on work-related stress establishes that it is certain kind of work that really causes psychological problems, and identifies the following danger factors as being most likely to cause workplace stress:
list_wrongExcess pressure at work: being asked and trying to do too much
list_wrongLack of managerial support
list_wrongWorkplace bullying/violence
list_wrongHealth and social work, education and public administration and defence were particularly affected by high stress levels

Routine can also lead to problems and cause “boreout”. Because work-related illnesses have still not been comprehensively addressed, you should actively consider whether you are affected and should consider taking measures to protect yourself from over- or under-load.

Preventing and coping with work stress and burn/boreout:

list_ok Lead a balanced lifestyle complete with healthy diet, sport and close circle of people whom you trust and with whom you can let back.

list_ok Make sure that at least one third of your workday consists of tasks that really motivate you and which make the more routine work easier to bear.

list_ok Be honest with yourself. Do you suffer from chronic stress that no longer stimulates you positively? Stress becomes dangerous when it lasts a long time and affects you physically, mentally and emotionally.  When you have the feeling that the stressful times are gaining the upper hand and that the power-down time is too short, then you must actively make time for idleness.

list_ok Restless people who demand a lot from themselves are particularly affected. Set realistic goals and ask yourself whether these really make you happy. Do your goals and activities also contain small parcels of human happiness alongside the great successes you chalk up?

list_ok What was the last thing that brought you joy and contentment? It is important to take notice of small warning signals at an early stage, because by the time burnout makes itself unavoidably noticeable it is often almost too late and twice as difficult to get back to a normal level of joy and energy.

list_ok A pleasant working environment is like a net: you have to weave it yourself. If that’s not possible, it might be time to start looking for a new job.

list_ok Meet up with friends at least once a week. Obvious and easy. But do you actually do it?

list_ok Do you do sport regularly?

list_ok Look at old yearbooks and photos of yourself. What kind of dreams and goals did your younger self have?  Some of them were naïve perhaps, others might help you to check whether you have remained true to yourself and to establish how much you’ve already achieved.

list_ok It can be extremely therapeutic to simply travel somewhere over the weekend.

list_ok At any rate, you should take breaks when you work! Not to take any and simply work on is a mistake.

list_ok Give responsibilities away every now and again. There is bound to be something you can pass on to alleviate work stress.

Eight ways to make a commute to work bearable

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , on by plabram.

Image text: "Reclaim your commute"

The average commute in the UK is 41 minutes and 75 minutes for those poor saps with a job in London. Instead of seeing this as wasted time, JobisJob would like to propose that you reclaim your commute time by using the power of imagination to convert those 41 minutes into the highest-quality “me” time of your day. Here’s some ideas for how.

Get your commute time back

Live in the moment:
Switch off your Smartphone and use your commute to work as an exercise in living in the moment. Focus on your senses: what you can see from the window, driving your car well, the sway of the tube. By concentrating hard on where you are now, you improve mental discipline and gain time that would otherwise be lost worrying about the past or future.

Rock out: Close the window (or put on your headphones), select some of your favourite high-energy songs and set the volume to “as loud as is healthy” to clear your head and arrive at home after your commute invigorated. Singing along loudly is a great way to discharge pent-up workday tension (probably best for car owners only).

Bookworm: Don’t sniff at audiobooks: they are often genuinely entertaining, and you may be surprised to find yourself gripped to your Styrofoam seat. Audible offers a wide selection of literature (you can subscribe for better value for money), whereas LibriVox features a free supply of classics in the public domain. Podiobooks also offers free works from up-and-coming authors.

Podcast: Be inspired, change the world, have a laugh. Podcasts are a mine of information and entertainment. Favourites include Eddie Izzard’s “Live from London” podcast (contains strong language). For more serious stuff, you’ll find a handy Excel sheet with download links to all www.ted.com podcasts here.

Learn something: There is a wealth of language-learning materials that are wholly appropriate for long commutes to work, such as this app from Busuu. Don’t be afraid to try something different, too – you could also brush up on your photography skills. Or learn how to win friends and influence people. Discover key moments in history from first-person perspectives. The list is endless.

Phone a friend: If you own a car, buy a hands-free kit and call a dearly beloved friend or family member once a week. They will love you forever for your troubles, and this kind of multi-tasking will allow you to put more time into your close relationships and get your work life in perspective.

Bring treats: Bring a comfortable pillow, a pair of trainers and other items to make your commute time go more quickly, such as a coffee, cup of soup or smoothie. Thermos flask essential here.

Break the cycle: Much of the frustration of a long commute is caused by the rudeness of other people, who push you in the tube or cut you up on the road. Do your bit for your fellow commuters by indulging in one random act of commuting kindness each week. Pay for someone else’s ticket, help them with directions, give up your seat or even (if the above seem too difficult on a Monday morning) simply muster up the energy to smile at someone you don’t know.


Image: “Waiting” by Caleb (CC)

Why toilet breaks may improve productivity (and other unusual measures for success)

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , on by plabram.

productivepersonLooking to improve productivity in the workplace? Instead of setting goals and focusing on output, a more sustainable solution is to look at your inputs. We all learn in different ways, and to increase productivity, you should make sure information is getting to you in the most appropriate way. Once you’ve found a style that’s effective for you, explore similar activities further and watch your productivity levels soar. Do any of the following sound familiar?

Work productivity and learning styles

Always off for a toilet break? Kinesthetic types need movement to think and learn (or at least, that’s what you can tell your boss). If you’re stuck for ideas, go and grab a glass of water or run up and down the stairs. You’ll be amazed how much information you are subconsciously able to process in this time. If your office environment won’t allow this, make sure you stretch regularly. Or buy a stress ball.

Unable to work without music? Audio types are better off keeping the “play” button on in order to perform more fluidly. To avoid wasting time searching for tracks, have a good amount of playlists readily prepared that will put you in the right mood. Or cheat and just copy our playlist.

Computer screen covered in post-its? It could be that you’re a visual type. You need to put as much important information in sight – make good use of your computer background and the space around your desk. Always keep a stack of paper next to you to draw on and jot down ideas – it’s improving productivity levels, not doodling.

Are you a list-lover? You’re possibly a logical type. In order to work well, you will need to create systems that make sense to you. Don’t hold back from asking questions – although others may get frustrated, it’s important for you to see the link between things. And time spent organising your (real-life or electronic) filing system will help you think.

Word nerd? It’s highly probable that you’re a verbal type. You need to talk it out, be that by speaking to a colleague or writing yourself extended notes. Use rhyme, rhythm and acronyms to help you remember key points, and talk through statistics (or write a report).

Do you need peace and quiet to get things done? Chances are you’re a solitary type. You’re great at concentrating, solving problems by yourself and working independently. Ask for a window seat in your office and invest in a good set of headphones to drown out the crowd, and make sure you recognise when you need to ask for help.

Often caught chatting to colleagues by the water cooler? Justify this behaviour  with the explanation that you’re a social type. Your work productivity levels will improve when you discuss projects with and work alongside others. Online professional communities can provide great outlets for your social needs when speaking to your immediate colleagues isn’t an option – just don’t give any trade secrets away!

Songs related to work (playlist)

This entry was posted in Articles, JobisJob news and tagged , , , , on by plabram.

Computer with music and songsWe’re halfway through August now, and you may well be beginning to pack up your pencils and get ready to return to work after a summer holiday. To mark the occasion, we’ve created a Spotify playlist of songs about work to keep you tapping your toes through this time.

It was striking when compiling this list how few songs there actually are about work – something, which is after all, a fairly major part of life – and how negative the few we found were (with the exception, perhaps, of “High-ho” by the Seven Dwarfs, which we decided not to include on the basis that its relentless cheeriness would drive us off our post-holiday rockers).

Why is this? Is it that there’s something about grimness and toil which we can fundamentally relate to, or does it just make a better story? Or is it just that musicians dislike their day jobs? In any case, if you know any more uplifting songs about working life, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can add them to the playlist.

…and if it’s a list of top songs for working to you’re after, you’ll find some inspiration here.

Top 20 songs about work (Spotify playlist track list):

Dolly Parton – 9 To 5
The Beatles– A Hard Day’s Night
Jimmy Reed – Big Boss Man
The Clash – Career Opportunities
The Vogues – Five O’ Clock World
Gossip – Get A Job
Johnny Cash – If I Were A Carpenter
Kenny Chesney – Live A Little
Randy Newman – Lonely At The Top
The Bangles – Manic Monday
Pink Floyd – Money
Dire Straits – Money For Nothing
Fred Astaire – Nice Work If You Can Get It
Donna Summer – She Works Hard For The Money
Commodores – The Assembly Line
Elvis Costello – Welcome To The Working Week
Belle & Sebastian – White Collar Boy
Marianne Faithfull – Working Class Hero
Lee Dorsey – Working In A Coalmine
Bruce Springsteen – Working On The Highway