Recharge Your Passion And Overcome Job Burnout

Working a full-time job can get real, here’s how to spice things up at work.

Everything has a honeymoon stage, including your job. As a new employee, it starts off blissful. The days, weeks and months go by then your daily job becomes routine, uninspiring and possibly a little boring. You’re now experiencing what we like to call job burnout.

The burnout is the state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion in the workplace that leaves you feeling unmotivated. A 2014 Gallup report determined that 51 percent of employees were “not engaged” at the office. In other words, they don’t feel invested in their work, and they’re not getting anything meaningful out of it. Another 17.5 percent of employees described themselves as “actively disengaged.”

Job burnout can come at any age or stage of your career, but you never want to stay in the funk that comes with exhaustion. Here are some ways to recharge your passion and overcome job burnout.

SPICE UP YOUR DAILY TASKS

Your daily to-do list may need sprucing up. Once you master the core of your job, it is now time to find ways to make your role exciting again. First, tackle your weaknesses and improve your work ethic. If Photoshop isn’t your thing, try spending some time growing your skill set in your weak areas. Also, try finding ways to improve a process at work that will help with efficiency. Finding a new project and turning your weakness into a strength is fool-proof in setting yourself up for a raise, promotion and more responsibility that will re-energize your passion.

BRING YOUR OUTSIDE PASSIONS TO WORK

Many of us will find ourselves in jobs that do not involve our true passions. There’s already a lack of interest in the core of your job’s function, but it doesn’t mean your eight hours at work have to disinterest you. There are many ways to incorporate your passion into your job. For instance, if you are an artist who has a  9-to-5 in sales, you can lend your talents to creating an employee art gallery which can display some of your artwork throughout the office or lobby.

 

If your passion is cooking, try hosting eating contests at work or share some of your treats in the lunchroom and offer employee discounts to your catering service. You can also ask your company to donate some of their time to a cause with volunteer initiatives. These things will marry your passion and your stability, making work a little more enjoyable. Instead of dreading Monday mornings, you’ll have something to look forward to.

JOIN A PROFESSIONAL GROUP IN YOUR INDUSTRY

Finding purpose and recharging your passion may have to take place after office hours. Congregating with other individuals who work in the same industry as you could help motivate you at work. Hearing their insight and perspective about their jobs and the opportunities available in the industry may open your mind to new ways to contribute. You’ll also have the opportunity to let off some steam with like-minded individuals about some of the struggles you face at work without the repercussions that would come from venting to your boss.

USE YOUR VACATION

It’s hard to believe that 55% of Americans don’t use all of their paid time off, but it’s true. When you are starting to feel burnt out from work, a mental health day or two can go a long way. Don’t lose your paid time off that you rightfully earned by overworking yourself. The long days and long hours will just increase your lack of enjoyment. Take care of yourself, disconnect and recharge in order to come back refreshed and ready to work!

The Founder Of Harlem’s Black-Owned Escape Room On Stepping Out On Faith And The Business Of Fun

This escape room owner that locks people in a room for a living, shares why you need to try it out today!

After spending more than two decades in the financial industry, Michele Ware decided to try something new. She opened the Harlem-based escape room venue, Hoodwinked, which draws groups from all over NYC metro in for a little mystery-solving fun. Business was thriving until 2016, when the business had to close its doors due to a devastating fire next door. Now Ware has rebuilt her business and bounced back with a boom and she’s sharing her journey and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Full Name: Michele Ware

Title/Company: Owner, Hoodwinked

Age: 50s

Social Media: @hoodwinkedescape

Hometown/Location: Harlem, New York

Transitioning Into Entrepreneurship: In February of 2015, I made the decision to take that leap of faith and leave my job. I was a controller of a global non-profit organization and I worked in accounting and finance for 25 years. I’ve had other business ideas in the past but this idea was the one that made me want to give up everything and take that leap of faith.

Rebuilding After Devastation: I feel like the recovery started while the fire was going on. Even though the fire wasn’t in our location, we literally started recovering immediately. We went to a Spanish restaurant right across the street and started getting on the phone with our customers. The amazing thing to me that sends me chills is that over the week, we were getting emails from customers. I also had a GoFundMe account because not all of my expenses were covered with my insurance and the people that funded the most were our customers. That made me realize that I’m making a really great impact in the community.

Advice For Black Women Who Aspire To Be Business Owners: Listen to yourself. I feel like a lot of us want to do something different but we’re afraid to take that leap of faith or think that economically it’s not doable. Also, spend some quiet time and listen to your instincts, which will tell you when the time is right to just go for it.

What Exactly Is Hoodwinked Escape? An escape room where you have to use your wit, critical thinking skills and intellect to try and solve mysterious puzzles and clues and work through some gadgets in order to escape out of a locked room in 60 minutes [or less].

Why You Should Try It Out: It’s a place where friends and families can bond. It’s where companies come to team build and bond outside of the office. One of the key takeaways for a lot of companies that come to Hoodwinked is that they come out with a greater sense of respect for each other’s differences.

Standing Out From The Rest: One thing that really sets us apart from others is that we have a genuine care for our customers. We make them feel welcome and at home here. It’s not just a business to get them in and out; we really try to provide them with superior customer service that’s personalized.

The True Lesson From The Escape Room: Whether they escape the room in less than an hour or get what we call ‘Hoodwinked,’ I think everyone that leaves here gets a sense of confidence and empowerment.

Relaxing And Managing Stress: Yoga, Cooking and Traveling

Her superpower: I’m an effective multi-tasker.

Her Theme Song: Strength, Courage & Wisdom by India Arie

Everything You Need To Know About A 401(K)

We’re breaking down some of the most commonly asked questions about the retirement plan.

A “401(k)” is one of those adult words that never really mattered before this period in our lives. I’m sure we’ve heard the term plenty of times but it didn’t really relate to us as we were too busy focusing on being non-adults. Now that we’ve embarked on this adulthood journey, a 401(k) is a term that we should be aware of and understand how it relates to our lives in particular.

By definition, a 401(k) is a “retirement account to which employee and employer contribute, on which taxes are deferred until withdrawal…” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Essentially, a 401(k) plan is designed to help you adequately plan and save for retirement starting now rather than later. Each company is different when it comes to 401(k) plans to it’s important to explore the options your company has to offer.

So how does this work you ask? 

You have the ability to contribute a certain percentage of your salary that will go directly towards your 401(k). For example, if you want to contribute 5% of your $50,000 salary, $2,500 of your salary will go to your 401(k). Some companies will match your contribution up to a certain percent which is almost like free money (and who doesn’t love free money?!)

This means, if your company has agreed to match up to 4% of your salary, you’ll contribute $2,500 (5% of your salary) to the pot and your employer will contribute $2,000 (4% of your salary). You can always change how much you want to contribute to your 401(k) to ensure that you’re living within a budget that works for you.

“But wait, what if I want to contribute more? How much can I contribute?”

According to IRS.gov, the 401(k) contribution limit for 2017 is $18,000. This means, you cannot contribute more than $18,000 of your salary to your 401(k) plan. This probably won’t affect most young adults but it’s good information to be aware of. Note, the contribution limits are analyzed each year and can change for 2018. This is one of those adult things you’ll just have to keep up with.

Now, the question I’m sure you’re asking is “Well, what happens if I leave the company?” For starters, the money you’ve contributed is yours, all yours! So“What happens to the money my company contributed?” That honestly depends on your company. There’s no clear and concise answer here since each company is different in how they handle 401(k) plans. This is a question you’ll have to consult with your HR department about. That’s what they’re there for. Ask as many questions as you’d like.

In essence, a 401(k) plan is designed to help you retire comfortably in the future. While you earn money over the years, this plan is a hassle-free way to help you save money and ensure that you’ll have income once you retire. While retirement may seem like a long way from now, there’s no better time to start preparing than today.

Applications For This Fellowship For Minority Business Owners Are Due Tomorrow

Sundial Brands is partnering with Dartmouth College to provide fellowships for minority entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply is March 15.

Sundial Brands, which is the parent manufacturer of brands like SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, has partnered with Dartmouth College to provide opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.

The skin and hair care brand has collaborated with Dartmouth’s School of Business for a second year to create The Sundial Brands Community Commerce Fellowship for minority women executives, business owners and entrepreneurs.

The Building a High Performance Minority Business program seeks to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to enhance their business strategies and refine operations to prosper. Priority consideration for the fellowship will be given to applicants who are able to demonstrate that their companies actively support social objectives as a core part of their missions and/or business models.

This initiative isn’t the only way that the brand has been fighting for opportunities regarding minority women. Just last year, Founder/CEO Richelieu Dennis challenged segregation in the beauty aisle through a viral campaign that caught the attention of millions.

Dennis, who was the mastermind behind SheaMoisture’s “Break The Walls” campaign, drew attention to the lack of diversity and inclusivity within beauty departments.

Dennis, who started the company more than two decades ago in New York City said that the brand finds it imperative to “ensure that women who had been underserved by the beauty industry had ample access to an assortment of products to meet their lifestyle needs.”

“We want women to have options and not be forced into somebody else’s idea of what their beauty needs ought to be,” he continued.

To learn more information about applying for the fellowship, visit here. The application deadline is March 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The program is slated to run from April 2-7, 2017.

Women Graduating College in 2020 May One Day Be Paid As Much As Men

The future looks bright.

Female students graduating from college in three years may one day be freed from the frustration of earning less than their male coworkers—but only right before they retire.

According to new research from Accenture, the women of the class of 2020 could be the first generation to close the gender pay gap in their professional lifetimes. However, this is only if they live in developed countries and are able to reach parity with men in three key areas.

The first is what the professional services firm calls digital fluency, which the research defines as “the extent to which people embrace and use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective.” It’s not about whether people know how to code, but rather whether they go online to do taxes, pay bills, or take web-based courses, Accenture’s group chief of North America Julie Sweet explained to Fortune in a discussion of last year’s findings of the same annual report.

Right now, men use digital skills more frequently than women do, according to Accenture’s survey, which included 28,000 people in 29 countries. About 76% of men versus 72% of women globally are digitally fluent (80% vs. 75% for millennials). Moreover, men are more proactive than women when it comes to upgrading those skills: 52% of men say they’re continuously learning new digital skills, versus 45% of women.

Relatedly, Accenture finds that tech immersion—or the opportunity to acquire greater technology and stronger digital skills to advance as quickly as men—is another key element of women’s success. Right now, young women lag in adopting new technologies quickly (45% vs. 63%) and in taking coding and computing courses (68% vs. 83%).

While digital fluency and tech immersion can help narrow the gender pay gap for women at the early stages of their careers, the relationship between digital fluency and women’s advancement in the workplace is not as significant, the report finds. That brings us to the final area where women must achieve equality with men: “career strategy.”

Accenture defines this as aiming high, making informed choices about what fields of study to pursue, and managing your career proactively. Right now, female undergraduates are currently less likely than their male counterparts to choose an area of study that they believe offers high earning potential (27% vs. 40%), have a mentor (45% vs. 58% ) or aspire to senior leadership positions (41% vs. 51%).

If women manage to reach parity in those three areas, Accenture says, the pay gap in developed markets could close by 2044, shortening the time to pay parity by 36 years. This means that the women graduating in three years’ time would still be in the workplace when it happens. In developing markets, on the other hand, the changes could cut 102 years off the time to reach pay parity, achieving it by 2066 instead of 2168.

In dollar terms, overcoming these barriers could boost women’s income $3.9 trillion by 2030.

5 Tips For Bouncing Back After Getting Fired From Your Job

It’s all in the comeback.

Getting fired sucks, but it’s a reality that many of us face as we navigate our career paths to success. With an ever-changing economy and job market, staying at a job for longer than a year without experiencing any major financial or staff shifts is a blessing. However, with constant industry changes, or simply an unexpected push from the universe to move in a different direction, being fired is not a tragedy. In fact, it can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.

While going through unemployment is a stressful journey, below are five tips for making sure you come out of your slump on top and ready for new career challenges.

 

TAKE TIME TO DEAL WITH YOUR FEELINGS.

Before jumping back into the swing of scouring job boards and sending out endless resumes, take some time to heal emotionally and mentally from the professional change that just occurred. I know it sounds absurd to relax and clear your head for a few days when you have no clue where your next paycheck is coming from, but allowing yourself time to recover is vital, and it will help you go into your job search with a rejuvenated mind and spirit.

 

DON’T FALL VICTIM TO THE COMPARISON GAME.

Be open to taking a short hiatus from social media so that you aren’t constantly comparing your state to the often falsified filtered life of those who are flexing online about how awesome their job and life seems. Most things aren’t as fun and extravagant as they may look to be on social media, and navigating the ropes of unemployment is a time when you need to be focused solely on your next move and not the moves of your peers.

STRATEGIZE AND PLAN.

Take some time to think about why things didn’t work out at your last job and if there is anything more or less you can do at your next job to avoid getting fired. What do you want your next job to be? Visualize it, including pay, title, company and location. Don’t have second thoughts about whether or not it will come true or if you’re aiming too high. It’s important to speak things into existence and really believe them so that they will come to fruition. From there, make a list of people you know who can possibly help you get closer to you ideal job.

NETWORK LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW.

Reconnect with your network and be open and honest about your situation. Sometimes we’re embarrassed to say that we are looking for employment, but people have no way of knowing that you’re actually looking for new opportunities unless you’re upfront about it. After taking a short social media break, get back online and follow the accounts of the organizations and successful people in your desired field. That way, you’ll be aware of networking events, conferences or speaking engagements to attend for a better shot at another opportunity.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

In today’s digital age, get creative and think outside of the box when networking and trying to land your next opportunity. Don’t be afraid to slide into the LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter DMs of someone who you’ve admired and would love to connect with if you can’t find their email. Send a professional message just as you would any professional email and ask if they’re free to link up for coffee. Also, don’t hesitate to mention any factors you all have in common including sorority, alma mater, etc. Lastly, take advantage of LinkedIn premium free 30-day trial where you are able to see and message the person who posted the job directly.