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Finding yourself trapped in a toxic work environment can be a stressful experience. You cannot even fake a smile as you need to struggle and survive when working under negative atmosphere at work. As stifling as it might be, leaving the job is not an option as well, given that you might be working with certain contract system that makes you unable to leave any time or you find it difficult to land a new job in today’s tough economic conditions. At the end of the day, you have no choice but to brace yourself and stay in the company until you can find better solution .

Maintaining professionalism in the toxic workplace is a challenge. Cheri Torres, a business leadership coach and an author, says that employees cannot work at their best in a distasteful workplace, while their mental health and wellbeing is at risk as well. So how to minimise such risk and stay productive in a toxic work environment?

Here are some tips to help you cope with a stressful life at the workplace:

01 Set boundaries

Limit yourself when interacting with the toxic people or environment around you. You might not realise it but if you still find yourself hanging around in an environment with negative vibes, eventually you will turn to be one of them as the environment you are living in can shape your personality and behaviour.

Of course, you don’t want to change who you truly are, let alone becoming one of those toxic employees. In this case, you should surround yourself with positive energy and if possible, stay far away from or limit your interaction with negative environment as well as the people who create it.

02 Don’t expect people to be nice

You cannot control what people say or do to you. You can, however, control how you react to such action. You should find a way out of that situation by accepting people’s behaviour around you. The sooner you accept that, then the better you can adapt and know where you should stand within the setting. This realisation will help empower you to improve your wellbeing at work. The point is, if you cannot control people, then learn how to control yourself because anger cannot solve anything, it will only give you regret.

03 Self-talk to yourself

Have you ever tried to talk to yourself?

Well, many people already did this and the impact is amazing. Self-talk can be either good or bad for your mental health because the source of this talk is yourself. Doing a self-talk can increase your mental well-being as you can try to spend few hours motivating yourself and let the positive attitudes come in your way. You can also take a walk around the office space and observe the good things by yourself; this will regain the positive energy in your mind. Besides, this simple practice can affect your daily life and can be your mood booster at work.

04 Reach out for help

Another thing you can do when stuck in a toxic work environment is to reach out for help. You might feel embarrassed to admit that but by asking for other’s opinion, you can find another way out from someone else’s perspective. It is good to talk to trusted colleague or friends even though they aren’t working in the same company as you. You can either get solutions for your problem or at least get someone to listen to your problems.

05 Take it as a lesson  

See your current condition as a part of learning experience. If you cannot deal with the toxic environment anymore, you can take it as a good learning experience. People say “the struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow”, meaning that personal strength can be built from difficult situations. Pay close attention to the situation, for instance you can learn from the bad management that you never want to do twice or your leader’s behaviour that you don’t want to imitate when you become a leader someday. Take as much necessary as the lesson you can and utilise it to achieve your own self-growth.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

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Have you been working for years in more than one company? If yes, you might be a well-experienced job seeker every company is dreaming of! When you are looking for a new job, you will be inputting those terrific track records on your resume.

However, some companies might think conversely; are you a chronic job hopper?

It is vital to re-evaluate your resume in the presentation of your job history. With a tactical description, employers will not see you as a job hopper maniac. Instead, they will consider you as a highly capable talent who seek for a great company to continue to grow with.

Here are some points you need to revise on your resume:

Give a brief note next to the date of employment about why you left your previous employment. Causes that are beyond your control are commonly understood, and this will also stop them from assuming that you are job hopping.

Focus on contributions and accomplishments. Another way to throw away the job-hopping impression is by listing your contributions and accomplishments during your working tenures. The strategy can divert the employers’ focus not merely to criticise the amounts of companies you have been working for. Instead, they will highlight the outstanding performance and achievement you have done in your previous job positions.

Temporary assignments. Today’s talents’ needs are high, but some companies might hire them for temporary assignments. When you were hired previously for temporary or contract positions, be sure to explain it in your resume. Also, lead the focus on contributions, accomplishments and experiences gained from the short tenures that contributed to your capabilities.

Continue the great resume with an outstanding interview performance. Having a great resume with impressive job history is nothing without an excellent interview performance. Instead, be active in delivering your arguments on your job changing behaviour! The lack of opportunity in career development, unfit job position and a passion to explore more suitable career options are some reasonable arguments that deny the job-hopping stamp.

Whatever your reasons for quitting the jobs, keep in mind to never badmouth or undervalue your previous employers. Such negative attitude will lead to a bad impression and this is certainly tarnishing for your career chances in the future.

Next read: Negotiating Your Salary the Wrong Ways

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Are you one of career fair lovers? Whoever you are (a fresh graduate, an employee looking to change your career) you must know that it’s not easy to gain an interview as soon during career fairs as there is so much competition!

The crowded, carnival-type career fair is, indeed, appealing! There are a lot of job openings waiting for the right candidate to fill them, and a wider chance to get the job that you want is right in front of your eyes.

However, many job seekers return with no job opportunities offered. Before you are trapped as one of them, avoid these 5 key flaws at a job fair.

Lack of research

Many job seekers, including you, might be too confident in attending a job fair. You still need to do ample research days before the event starts.

List what companies in the fair that interest you and visit each of the company’s websites to understand their vision, missions, and job positions required.

With adequate research, you will be more prepared only to focus on companies that fit your skill sets. Clarity will save more time, and your performance can be significantly enhanced as you will be more confident at the interview!

Lack of professionalism attitude

Some of you tend to attend career fairs with your friends and like grabbing all the free stuff. Instead of having a job offer, you go home with bags of free items and stacks of brochures.

Keep in mind that the companies are looking for a professional candidate to join their team. Show your dedication and professionalism to the hiring teams.

Failure to ‘stand out’

It is not enough to be smart and well-prepared. You must be different, ‘stand out’ from the crowd. Hundreds of people dressed similarly during such events and if you can’t be an impressive talent that companies will remember, you will just be the quickly forgotten ones where your job opportunities will be lowered.

State some inspirational speech to promote yourself and be different. Adequate practices at home will significantly help!

Not following up with emails or calls

Don’t always expect the company to follow-up with you after the fair is over. Instead, be proactive! Ask for name cards and send them emails or messages to inquire for further information and potential opportunities.

Limiting yourself

For example, if you have just graduated from an accounting degree, you might only focus on financial and banking companies to apply. However, keep in mind that every employer needs accounting staff. Therefore, be thorough in finding your ideal job and sieve out invisible opportunities in the career fair while you mingle with the companies.

A career fair is not the only chance to find your ideal job. However, it is a great occasion to save your time and effort in hunting your ideal job. Avoid the flaws above and be a success in your next career fair!

Next read: 15 Minutes Before Interview: Absolutely Important For Job Seekers!

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When you hear ‘remote working’, what comes to mind? Flexibility, increased work happiness level, a work-life balance and your favorite haunts to work at are things that might interest most people to be remote workers, including you.

Many companies are now more open to telecommuting work, and people are more keen to work right from their homes (you’re not alone!).

The idea gives more benefits for both parties. Companies can hire talents across the globe and these talents can do professional work without dampening the joy of having a work-life balance.

However, before applying for a position that gives you the flexibility of remote working, consider these questions first:

Does working from home ‘alone’ make you happy?

One issue about remote working is that, most of the time, you are alone. You can still chat with your team through messaging platforms or Skype but replies might not be immediate, especially when you are running against time, this could be a problem for you.

Thus, be ready to accept the ‘loneliness’ else it will be difficult for you to work remotely.

Where is the best location for remote working?

If you enjoy comfortable silence, library and your private bedroom can be great options. Conversely, if you enjoy working where the city buzz is, then the city’s parks and cafes might be more preferable.

Be sure that your working location is both affordable and easy to access, as you will spend most of your time there. Observe and experiment will be the ways, as you look for the ideal workplace.

Have you prepared adequate tools to support your job?

As a remote worker, you will need tools to support your job such as a laptop and reliable internet connection.Take inventory of the equipment needed so that you can work at your best.

How can you manage your time?

Good time management is a key factor that drives your success at work, regardless where you work. Remote working frees you up from any strict supervisory and managerial watch. Therefore, you have to best manage your time to accomplish your daily tasks, even setting strict deadlines to keep your work process running smoothly.

Do a daily reflection of your routine and make changes where necessary to better manage.

Better preparation leads to better results. With adequate preparations and tactics, you will be more ready to take on remote working.

Next read: Negotiating Your Salary The Wrong Ways

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An interview is like a trade. You show off your skills, experiences and proficiencies, ‘sell’ it to a company, and they ‘buy’ them. When you are being offered the position, your salary negotiation skill will come into place!

Other than the need to know your worth and the median salary range in the market right now, you need to be equipped with negotiation skills! Using the wrong strategies might just lead you to the path of failure. No one wants to be underpaid and learning some great negotiation skills will do you some good!

Can’t wait to negotiate? Slow down! Be a smart candidate and here are the top 5 mistakes when negotiating a salary that you have to avoid:

Lack of research

Some candidates state their expected salary without much researching. They tend to decide the salary expectation merely based on what they need or by guessing.

Do research the valid market rate for the job position! Considering the working experience, qualifications, responsibilities and the geographic area of the industry are essential, as these points will determine the standard wage you deserve. Online salary reference is a useful resource, but keep in mind that the listed job titles might have a different scope of responsibilities.

It is also advisable to check within your network of people in the same job position. If it’s needed, do cross check with some recruiters from a professional organisation to find out how you should measure your expected salary.

Not asking for more

For some people, it might be awkward to negotiate a sensitive topic like salary. However, not negotiating at all might be worse off. Are you afraid if the employers will pull the offer? As long as you know where your capabilities are and the ability to fulfil well or even more than what the company expected. Do not ‘downgrade’ yourself so that you can get the job! Other than just considering the salary you are asking for, employers are also looking for the right talent fit!

Failing to consider non-salary items

Monetary might not give you the job satisfaction you need. Value your future employers, as they might be giving you a standard base salary but they could be offering other great benefits. A yearly bonus, regular business trips (across the cities or countries!), allowances, rewards to achievements and great retirement plan are some non-salary items worth considering! Thus, look at the overall package they are offering you.

Allow your future employers to know your last drawn salary

Some employers will ask you about the salary you are drawing in your previous job. Let them know and justify why you are currently asking for more.

Don’t take it personally

Salary negotiation is a good idea, but you might feel undervalued should the process goes the opposite direction. Do keep in mind that, business is still a business, and the employers will hire the best talents they can afford. When negotiation goes tough, and you are not able to accept the undervaluing offer, just let it go. Some companies also have their standard rules to the tier of salary package offered.

Salary negotiation is both challenging and tricky. Avoiding these 5 mistakes might help you out in future! Check out www.jobiness.com and find out what are you worth now!

Next read: Are You Well-Prepared for Your Internship? Beware of These Top 8 Common Mistakes!