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11 Things People With Long Working Hours Understand So Well

11 Things People With Long Working Hours Understand So Well

The 40-hour workweek has been the American standard since the early 20th century, when Henry Ford discovered the sweet spot for productivity and scheduling. Yet, in recent years, more and more workers are committing to workweeks of 60 hours and above, pushing their minds and bodies to the limits — and incurring dreadful results, like the following 11 difficulties long-hours workers experience on a daily basis.

1. They Are Seriously Scared Of Office Chair Butt

When one spends untold hours parked at one’s desk, one has little opportunity to walk to the water cooler, let alone get the recommended daily dose of exercise! Unfortunately, that over-abundance of sitting can create office chair butt: a flat, saggy posterior that comes from the atrophying of the gluteal muscles. There are a handful of helpful tips to prevent bad cases of chair butt, but long-hours workers still have much to fear for their rear.

2. They Don’t Have Enough Makeup To Cover Their Eye Circles

Long days at work usually mean excruciatingly short nights of sleep, resulting in the dark circles of fatigue under one’s eyes. Despite the plethora of products on the market to cure and cover those under-eye circles, a long-hours worker’s bags are simply too deep to fill. Thus, they not only feel tired all the time — they look it, too.

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3. They Look Forward To Their Long Hours Paying Off

There are plenty of people who seem to be made to work long hours — particularly those who aim to move up the corporate ladder. These people will put in the time to go back to school, take on complicated projects, or whatever else it will take to move ahead in a great management career. While life may not be a party right now, working a ridiculous number of hours is simply a stepping stone to the fulfillment they look forward to from their jobs.

4. They Feel Most At Home In The Break Room

The more time one spends at work, the less time there is to be at home. Eventually, the workplace just begins to feel like home — especially the break room, where one can eat, lounge, and sleep without ramifications.

5. They Live Off Vending Machine Goodies And Fast Food

Sure, one could pack an inexpensive, healthy lunch and dinner every day — but that would mean taking time for oneself instead of rushing to and from the office every waking minute. In contrast, food from the vending machine is convenient, which means one can grab a candy bar and immediately get back to work.

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6. They Are Incessantly Teased By Co-Workers

Just because one member of the team is an overachieving long-hours worker doesn’t mean everyone in the office stays well past 5 p.m. every evening. Most employees give the bare minimum to their jobs, and like grade-school bullies, they will mercilessly make fun of those who put effort into their work. Unfortunately, co-workers’ laziness and tormenting only forces long-hours workers to work longer and harder.

7. They Have No Time For Romance

Conventionally, romance is about slow charm. Passion grows at its own pace, and it usually takes time for two people to develop feelings of love and commitment. Thus, most long-hours workers can’t tolerate traditional forms of dating and courtship. If one must find a mate, the Web is the best place to look, but more often, it is easier to simply go without.

8. They Never See Their Friends — And Always Feel Guilty About It

Of course, one wants to go see one’s friend on open mic night, and of course, one looks forward to trying that new Lithuanian food place with everyone — if only one could get a few hours away from the work desk. A long-hours worker’s friends are always annoyed by the work responsibilities that keep their friend away, and long-hours workers feel the same, but worse.

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9. They Usually Miss Important Family Functions

Most successful people have their families to thank for providing support and stability — especially in the beginning, when long hours kept them away for most of the year. Graduations, anniversaries, and even birthdays are often lower priorities than the project that is due in mere hours. Fortunately, most family members will stick by their hardworking loved ones, no matter how many big events they miss.

10. They Hear Over and Over How Work Will Kill Them

Working long hours is a recipe for a death cocktail. Stress, lack of sleep, eye strain, and sitting for such an extended period of time has been shown to lead to all sorts of physical and mental disorders, from early heart attacks and strokes to dementia. One may be working hard now to enjoy a life of leisure that will never come.

11. They Are Constantly Terrified By News Stories

Every week or so, the media machine produces a new story on someone who has dropped dead from working long hours. The phenomenon is so common in Japan that it has its own name: “karoshi”, or death from overwork. However these poor souls die, we definitely don’t want our beloved long-hours workers to experience the same fate — but how in the world are we supposed to get them to stop working?

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Featured photo credit: reynermedia via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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