Archive | June, 2014

Four Ways Millennials Can Be Happier Right This Minute

23 Jun

happy-happiness-millennials

So tell me, are you happy?

Like, honestly… happy?

Do you even know what happiness is, really?

Or are you like most of us… stressed out all the time?

Do you spend hours in your room crying because life isn’t working out the way you thought it would?

Because if the answer is yes, I’m going to tell you right now…you gotta stop doing that.

Our twenties are a mess.

A legit freaking mess.

We’re constantly stressed out and confused and don’t really know what to do with our lives.

Then, the real-world welcomes us with an even bigger slap in the face.

We’re suddenly wearing five different hats…

We’re suddenly juggling 700,000 responsibilities at once…

Of course, it’s stressful.

And it sucks.

Big time.

Mostly because we’ve been taught our whole lives that things are supposed to get better as time goes by.

Not worse.

The older we get… the happier we become. So we’ve been told.

Because, you know… when we get older, we graduate college and we get awesome jobs and we get married and we have the cutest kids and everything is wonderful.

That’s the story we’ve told since before we can remember.

But the truth is this…

We don’t just somehow get happier.

We don’t just wake up one day and feel happier.

It doesn’t happen like that.

Happiness isn’t a given.

It takes work.

It takes time.

And most importantly, it takes some serious self-reflection.

So in the meantime, while you’re figuring out what makes you happy and what doesn’t, here are a few things we can all do to make our lives a little bit better…

To make things a little more bearable…

Because we really can be happier.

Right. This. Very. Minute.

And I refuse to accept anything other than that.

1. Stop living in the future  

Today isn’t tomorrow. Today isn’t five years from now. Today is today, so enjoy it. Sure, we should all have dreams, but we need to make an effort to stop living our lives completely in the future. We spend so much time thinking about and planning for the future that we often miss out on so much of the present. Focus on what’s in front of you. It’ll be gone before you know it.

2. Stop buying so much stuff

Money lets you buy things. And sure, things are great. But you know what’s even better? People. Relationships. Experiences. Stop spending so much money on things that’ll end up in the trash next year. You know you don’t need half the things you have in your closet. Instead, save money. Give yourself that peace of mind. Instead, use that money to visit your family. Use that money to travel. But infinite amounts of clothes and shoes and electronics? Such a waste.

3. Stop seeking everyone’s approval

You can’t get everyone to like you. There. End of story. Now stop trying to please everyone. Do things for yourself. I promise you, it’s probably the best thing you can do right now if you ever want to live a happy life.

4. Stop second guessing yourself all the time

Ugh. Should I? Shouldn’t I? But… what if…all these questions ultimately lead to inaction. Listen to your gut. Learn to trust your intuition. If you want to do something, do it. Because if you second guess every move you want to make, you’ll never go anywhere, and how absolutely lame would that be?

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3 Ways to Make Peace with a Job You’re Planning on Leaving

3 Jun

leave-your-job

Ready to leave your current job for your next big adventure?? Most of us have been there. But before you get up from your desk, march into your boss’ office, and throw your two weeks notice on her desk, it’s good to stop and reflect a little.

Today, Alison shares with us 3 ways to make peace with a job you’re pretty much done with…but they’re smart and strategic, and will likely set you up for even greater success in the future. Enjoy and let us know what you think!

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For many people there’s an uncomfortable space between realizing a job isn’t a great fit and landing that next big thing.  If this happens to you really have two main options.  You can spend your remaining weeks or months at your current job unhappily biding your time, or you can choose to make peace with this ‘in between’ time and use it to your advantage.

Here are three ideas that will help you cope with being in a job that you’re planning on leaving.

1) Connect to Your Why

The bigger picture reasons for sticking around at a job may slip your mind in the middle of a tedious meeting or a hectic commute, but there are plenty of tangible and intangible benefits to employment.  These include a paycheck, health and retirement benefits, references, continuity on your resume, connections to coworkers, and a place to go each day.  Which of these matters most to you?  

Dig deeper here for the most impact.  For example, what do your earnings help you pay for?  How many relationships are present in your life because of your work?  How much more selective can you be with your next employment choice because you aren’t feeling desperate?  By connecting to your why, you’ll have a touchstone you can lean on during those moments when you’re at the end of your patience.

2) Hone in On Your Fundamentals

People sometimes pick up unhelpful habits in an attempt to compensate for a less than ideal 9 to 5 experience.  Maybe you’re staying up late watching tv or grabbing one too many snacks to make it through your day.  See if you can make some small improvements to your schedule in your current situation to set yourself up for future success.

After all, your daily routines and habits will follow you into any job.  Consider what needs to be in place for you to have a great work week.  This could be as simple as developing the habit of laying out your clothes for the next day at night or making sure to get up and walk around at lunchtime.  Put a little extra effort into improving your fundamental habits now in preparation for your next career opportunity.

3) Keep Making Small Exit Strategy Efforts

Hopefully the first two ideas will help to improve your mindset and your day to day experience, but they aren’t likely to change the fact that you’re ready to move on.  Honor this desire by taking small, persistent actions to help you find your next opportunity.  

Since job searching can involve a lot of ups and downs, waiting, and uncertainty, you’ll want to keep your focus on the steps of the job search process that are within your control.  For example, you can affect the time you put towards networking, even if you don’t have command of when that networking will pay off.  By taking a proactive stance on developing your exit strategy you’ll be able to remind yourself of the fact that your current job won’t last forever.

The in-between period of being at a job you know you’ll be leaving can be a tricky space to maneuver.  Remind yourself of why you’re sticking around, improve your day to day experience, and keep working on your job search efforts.  Overall, hang in there, and be sure to continue to show up at your current job as best you can so that you’ll be able to leave on a good note. 

Alison Elissa Cardy is a professional career coach who specializes in helping men and women around the world figure out their career direction.  For more tips on improving your workweek join Alison’s upcoming Energize Your Workweek Challenge.  This challenge is a free weeklong event featuring 8 experts’ best ideas on how to have a better Monday through Friday. Sign up today!

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