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Upon graduating from college or university, you might think that excellent grades and academic achievements will help make your job search easier. However, not as easy as it sounds, job hunting is always challenging. You have to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, candidates before actually get the job you want.

Looking for a job is not an exact mathematical science that is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2, but there are more factors that come into play. Those factors will determine whether you are the best candidate who can fill the position or not. A survey conducted by Future Workplace shows that there is a gap between job hunter’s perception of recruiting process and the company’s human resources department’s expectations. This means that sometimes, you can only wonder what hiring managers want and go through with the hiring process without knowing exactly what they are looking for from a candidate.

Here are seven important things you should do before starting your search:

Clean your social media presence – Recruiters are increasingly using social media to ‘stalk’ potential candidates’ personality and determine whether they will be culturally fit the existing company culture. That being said, it is better to spring clean your social media profiles from any sensitive or embarrassing posts and unnecessary information. If potential employers find something that they think negative such as posts containing bad words or controversial issues, it might lessen your chances of getting the job offer.

Find referrals – Most HR professionals would agree that employee referrals can be the best method for finding top candidates. It was said that applicants that are hired form referral start their work faster that those who apply via job boards or career sites. So, before landing a job, it will be better if you get in touch with someone who has been working in the company or other professionals in your expertise who can give you recommendation.

Learn technical skills – According to U.S. News, a quarter of employers rank technical skills as the most skills they are looking for in their candidates because nowadays. By learning technical skills, it will greater your chance to land a job in a position you want. Moreover, developing skills you are lack will boost your self-confidence and candidacy.

Find out the most wanted skills and highlight it – If technical skill is crucial, then so are other skills such as communication, adaptability, or result-driven. These are soft-skills that a hiring manager seek in their candidates. Other top skills company usually look for are leadership and teamwork. Therefore, you better highlight one of those skills so your resume can grab employer’s interest.

Highlight your internship, not GPA – If you are a recent graduate, you probably think that good grades are what employers seek most in candidates’ resume. The truth is, employers are more interested in applicants working experience such as internships and social achievements like volunteering. So, do not just highlight in what you have achieved because experience wins most attention.

Prepare yourself for a sudden test – In some interviews, the hiring manager might want to give you a sudden test because they want to see how prepared you are. Therefore, you should always be ready and prepare yourself for it. As best as possible, try to find out what the test will be about.

Learn the company’s background and history – This is the very last and crucial thing you should always keep in mind before pressing the ‘Apply’ button. Lack of information can cost you your job application. Recruiter might think that you are not serious with the application or you just want to test yourself. So better to prepare rather than regret later.

Read also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

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Finishing your study and graduating from university can be both exciting and daunting. Now that you have gained necessary skills and knowledge at school, it is time to implement the theories into practices in the workforce. During your study, you might have good GPA, actively participate in student organisations, and achieve recognition from the university for your contribution. However, the working world is different from school. With the burgeoning talent pools, you might find it more competitive and fiercer to land a job.

What should you do, then?

One of the easiest way to help you get out of the overwhelming job hunting is to keep moving and change your strategy. Searching for jobs via job platform or ads on newspapers is effective, but it might drain up your energy as you need to scroll through so many jobs and companies. Not to mention, not everything you find is the one you are actually looking for. However, a method called “matrix decision” can help you simplify your job search while still receiving the best result.

Using matrix isn’t something new. It is a decision making process people often use when making other decisions, such as deciding where school to go or evaluating which car to buy. It’s not a rocket science but doing what comes natural in a rigorous way can improve your career assessments. Matrix decision is useful when you have several choices of jobs and it can actually give a satisfactory result. There are more advantages you can get by using matrix, such as identifying new job opportunities faster while helping you think clearly and use time efficiently.

Without further ado, here are 3 easy steps you can do to create your own matrix decision.

Mainly, you should set objectives. Objectives will help you determine how successful your matrix will be. For example, you graduated with a BA degree in literature. After knowing your qualification, you should decide which objectives are the most important. There are five factors of objectives you should consider in your future career: field you want to take, role you want in the workplace, impact on your future such as salary or job status, personal growth, and what kind of organisation you want to work in.

Secondly, you decide from the most important to the less ones. At this point, you should be able to rate your decision either as high, low, or medium. To make your choice obvious, you can rate it from 1 to 5. To help you in making better decision, you can ask your friends or family members to share their thoughts and give suggestions to your career matrix because sometimes, close family or friends can see your quality better.

Remember, when rating your objectives, you should also be able to evaluate alternative against objectives. Your objectives are the primary concern in this decision. Therefore, judge how each alternative meets each category and think how it might affect your future. Also, consider what you might do if things do not work out. If possible, jot down the reasons of picking up certain job in each relevant box of matrix.

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Lastly, you can interpret the result. Your matrix structure is a stepping rock to lead you for a brighter career, but it is not the final answer. You must understand and figure out what it tells you. Matrix decision is as good as you want it to be and by using it, you’ll likely to know what job would be better and know what questions to ask in future career.

It is hard to decide what’s best for your future. But by assessing your career objectives and defining which are most important, you can make decisions with confidence as structured plan such as matrix decision can help you ease all your doubt in one place.

 Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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Just like a resume, a cover letter is a weapon to “sell yourself” to the hiring managers. What differs between the two are the format and content. Resume is a brief description of your cover letter. In cover letter, you should write in detail about personal information and professional quality in order to attract recruiters to shortlist your job application.

Tim Windhof, an executive resume writer at Windhof Career Services in Columbus, Ohio, advices that your cover letter should address the following: how you learn about the opportunity, how your qualifications match the job requirements, your possible availability in the area and how you can be contacted. In brief, your cover letter must describe “why it should be you and not others”.

Take a look at the following tips on how to write an appealing cover letter for successful job search:

01 Choose wording that mirror the ad language  

Before writing a cover letter, you should review the job ads carefully and underline the main points. If your cover letter will be read by hiring managers, they are more likely to skim brief at first to see whether you are a good fit or not. You can increase your chance of getting shortlisted when your cover letter matches most requirements listed in the job ads.

Don’t embellish your qualifications if you don’t really meet the requirements. Only write down real information and present yourself in the best manner by describing as many qualities as you can. You never know which qualifications employers value most.

02 Pay attention to readability

This is important as a cover letter written in readable format will likely to win employer’s heart. In a cover letter, you should only use business letter format. This will make the recruiter to only focus on your content rather than on the writing style. Business letter format usually comes along with 1” – 1.5” margins, 12-point font, professional font, uniform alignment (justify).

03 Address it to specific person

Do your homework and find out who will be responsible to receive and check your job application. Calling or sending email to the contact person provided in the job ads can be an effective way to get such information. You can also ask questions or confirm certain information related to the job opportunity to the right source instead of wondering around.

If you are sending the cover letter via post mail, make sure to write both the employer’s and your address. It usually contains first and last name, street address, city, state zip, and postal code, phone and email for applicant.

Example:

Your Name

Address

City, State, ZIP code

Your phone number

Your email address

 

Date

 

Name of Hiring Manager

Name of Company or Organization

Street Address

City, State, Zip Code

On the other hand, if you send the cover letter via email, you can simply start by writing the hiring manager’s name. This is much better than writing with to whom it may concern. Yet, in a situation where you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or head of HRD, you can address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.” It’s a better choice than starting with Dear Sir/Madam.

04 Brief introduction

In this part, you should start with when and where you find the job opening. Make sure to specify job position that you want to apply, especially when the company post multiple job positions. Make it into a paragraph that contains two to four sentences.

05 Compelling content

To grab the hiring manager’s attention, you should start by writing your educational background, followed by your achievements such as related training or internships you have completed and work experiences. However, if you are a fresh graduate with no job or internship experience, you can emphasise other skills such as organisational, leadership, or even time management skill, etc.

You can write it in two to three paragraphs for the content. However, you should not be wordy or  spill too much information. Sometimes, giving too much information can hinder you from getting the job offer.

06 A-Okay closing

Always finish your cover letter by asking for an interview and reiterating how much you want to proceed to the next step of hiring process. Also, do not forget to always provide your phone number so the recruiter can contact you with ease.

07 Signature

Always give signature to either written or email cover letter. Use complimentary closing sentence such as best regards, regards, sincerely, yours respectfully, etc. In a written letter, just simply write your full name. Meanwhile in an email, always type your name followed by contact information.

Example:

Sincerely,

(your signature)

Your full name

Mobile: (66) 987-98787

Email: andie@andiejone.com

08 Proofread, proofread, and proofread

Lastly, you should give the right amount of time to proofread your work – in this case, your cover letter, maybe two or three times proofreading. Find out spelling or grammar errors that might lessen your chance from getting shortlisted. Again and again, cut out the flowery words as too much description or information will make your cover letter look unprofessional. As best as possible, keep your cover letter only in one page.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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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

Thanks God It’s Friday! After buckling down on an important project for the whole week, weekend finally comes and it should be the time to rejuvenate yourself after all the hectic weekdays. However, instead of relaxing, you cannot stop thinking about your unfinished project and getting worried about the upcoming deadline. Without realising it, your mind has always been occupied with work-related matters that makes you unable to enjoy your time-off. Even worse, you might end up using your holiday to get back to your tasks.

While you want to be a professional with astounding loyalty and commitment towards your job, it does not necessarily mean you should sacrifice all your lifetime for work. Taking work stress home will not only ruin your mental health as it overwhelms your mind and makes you restless, but also damage your body as it steals your sleeping hours that will lead to sleep deprivation. What should you do, then?

Every now and then, you should leave work matters at work and maintain good work-life balance. Here’s how you can achieve a peace of mind during your day-off:

Create a to-do list

Most people start to worry about their incomplete tasks right before the end of the day. When the clock shows the time is 5 pm, they have just realised that there are still a lot to do. This is most likely to happen when an employee does not have good time management. To deal with it, you can jot down a brief list of what you have to do for the next morning in your notebook. This way, you will be less bothered about the job matters as you have prepared for tomorrow’s schedule. Close the note and make sure you don’t open it again until the next morning. Besides task-related list, you should also create a list about what you will do exactly after you exit the office door. You can write any meaningful activities such as having exercise, making dinner, doing your hobby or other activity to fill your spare time.

Make another project

To divert your attention and stress about work, you can busy yourself to do other meaningful activities that will make you feel happy and refreshed. For example, you might want to change your room layout, have the wall repainted, take care of your garden, learn a new language, or anything else which needs your focus. However, you should keep in mind that this other project will not add up a new burden for you.

Don’t be alone

When people are alone, it is easier to have their minds wandering around and thinking about a lot of things, including their incomplete assignments. When it happens, you should find other person to talk to. You should go out of your room and have a quality time with your family. Or, you can call your friends and hang out with them. Talking about your job matters for minutes is okay to reduce your burden, but you cannot ruin your quality time with your beloved ones by lamenting the matters all the time.

Stay away from your working devices

There is a common pattern: you receive an email notification, then you open it and accidently you see other emails related to work. After that, you feel disturbed by the fact that you have not finished the report requested by a client two days ago. As a result, you cannot enjoy your holiday and choose to open your laptop and work on that report. To prevent this from happening, it is important to stay away from your working devices such office laptop or mobile phone. When you have an office account on your own mobile phone, you can turn the notification off until the next day you go back to work.

Article first appeared in HR in Asia.

Next read: 5 Questions to Consider Before Making Career Changes

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Congratulations on your new job! After going through numerous tests and interview invitations, finally you land the job of your dream. While getting employed is an exciting news, you should not be carried away with this because your career journey is about to begin. Sooner or later, you might feel like the busiest person in the world as you have to deal with never-ending stack of tasks.

During the first or second week of your job, your boss or coworkers might be okay with the fact that you work rather slowly than others because you have not used to do the tasks. However, as time pass by, your team will begin complaining about your work speed and productivity if you are unable to show any improvement. When this happens, it means that they expect you to be fully-adapted with your work and finish the tasks faster.

Mastering the art of working faster and better might not be an easy task to do, because it also depends on an employee’s skill and experience in the related job. However, you can improve your productivity by having a good time management. Here, we share guides for new employee to manage their time at work:

List the tasks based on priority

First thing to do in the morning before getting into your tasks is to make a list of daily task. This will help
you manage your time and ensure that there is no task forgotten to be done. You should write the list based on the task priority and urgency. For example, you can put the task with the nearest deadline as the first priority.

However, when all your tasks have the same deadline, you can make the list based on the importance. The most important task should be done first then followed by the less one. Then again, if some tasks have the same level of importance, you should choose the easiest one to do first.

Set the target

Setting the target or goal for every task is very important for your daily time management as it will
encourage you to work faster. For example, if you estimate one report can be finished in two hours, then you should check at the first half an hour that at least you have done 25 percent of it. You should estimate how long it takes for a task to finish, including those simple errands that only need ten minutes to be done. The total estimated hours should not be more than your working hours in a day.

Additionally, you should leave some alternative time in your time table. The alternative time can be used when there is urgent task or emergency conditions, such as trouble with your computer or other unpredictable things which hamper your work. You can put one or two hours in the alternative time.

Work smart, not hard

The key to better productivity is to work smarter instead of harder. When you observe the way your senior finishes their tasks, you will learn that succeeding in a project does not only require skills in the related subject, but also certain strategies. For example, you should learn more about how to get your report done faster with the method of typing with ten fingers, memorising the basic Excel formulas, and many more.

Besides those technical skills, you also need to prepare everything that will help you work faster, such as
like putting notes and pen beside the telephone, attaching post-it notes near your computer, and arranging the documents based on certain category.

Anticipate any disruption

Telling your coworkers that you are in a very tight deadline is important so they will not disturb you for
trivial things. It is also important to refrain yourself from watching YouTube videos, chatting, or checking your smartphone too much as this will easily distract you. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot take a break at all. For once in a while, you can refresh your minds by talking a walk around the officer grabbing a cup of coffee from the pantry.

Read also: Most Common Mistakes Fresh Graduates Do when Picking Their First Job

 

Employees typically work from 9 to 5 in a day, which means that they spend almost one-third of their time in the office. Given that lengthy duration, no wonder that being in healthy workspace is just as crucial as having healthy residents. Owing to that reason, encouraging employees to adopt healthy lifestyle is among top concerns for dedicated employers who want to establish healthy workforce.

A survey conducted by Harvard suggested that majority employers (91 percent) believe that adopting healthier lifestyle at work is beneficial to reduce the costs for employee healthcare. Not only does it bring financial advantage, healthy work habits will also shrink sickness-related absences as well as boost greater productivity. If you need some aspirations to begin your healthy campaign, below we share 5 healthy work habits for healthier office life you can start right now:

1. Enough sleep

It is common knowledge that people need at least eight hours of sleep in a day. Unfortunately, not many people actually have the privilege to do that. Owing to one reason and another, people often go to bad late and end up getting less than eight hours of slumber. While in fact, sleep deprivation will cost your concentration, performance, and cognition. Therefore, make sure that you get enough amount of sleep, as this will help you to be more aware and alert in the workplace, and thus increase your productivity.

2. Exercise breaks

Every once and a while, you should take some time to do some stretching at work. Exercise breaks will help your body relax and refresh your mind during tight schedule. Even simple stretching without leaving your desk, or take couple of minutes to walk around the office could help you stay awake at work.

3. Healthy snacking

Often craving for some additional snacks before lunch? Be careful of what you munch! Replace unhealthy snacks full of calories such as potato chips, candy bars, and cookies with better ones such as protein bars, oats, and nuts. You can also store fruits for healthy refreshments. Then for healthier beverages, move from soda or syrup to mineral water, infused water, or iced tea with less sugar.

4. Good teamwork

When co-workers build a solid camaraderie, they can work and collaborate side by side in harmony. Such good teamwork will create healthy relationships among employees, which will help them overcome strain and anxiety in their jobs that might come as the result of conflicts with coworker or unhealthy workplace politics.

5. Work-life balance

If one day you feel like under the weather, do not push yourself to go to work just because of nearing deadline or busy schedule. There is no need to work through the day when you feel that you cannot give your best performance. Being professional and showing dedication to your work can mean anything, but showing up when you are sick does not count. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance by not taking work-related calls or emails after working hours. This practice will help you relax at home, while reducing unnecessary fatigue and stress from being overworked.

Have you ever caught yourself yawning after having that chicken sandwich for lunch? Or do you find it quite a struggle to get through the rest of the day without having a caffeine intake? Well, you are not alone.

Blood sugar levels will rise as your body start processing your lunch. But when those levels eventually fall an hour or two afterwards, your energy levels tend to drop to its minimum point too. When this happens, it comes as no surprise that you often feel tired and sleepy. While it is natural and understandable for human body to call out a rest after awakened for seven hours, being at the workplace requires you to stay awake and efficient after lunch.

What should you do to beat the sleepiness and remain productive while putting in the remaining hours? Read on the following tips on how you can minimise post-lunch dip and preserve your power through the afternoon.

  1. Start your day the right way

The way you start your morning will set the mood for your entire day. It is always a good idea to wake up early in the morning and have light exercise. Not only this will keep you healthy, such habits will help prepare your body and mind. Before going to work, you should have a proper breakfast that will give you the energy to seize the day.

  1. Eat healthy during lunch

While you might need some heavy foods to refill your energy, you should make it as healthy as possible. Avoid unhealthy foods that contain too much oil, sugar, salts, or preservatives such as junk food. Containing lots of calories and less of nutrients, these foods will make you drowsy.

  1. Get some light exercise

Physical activity will help you stay awake because it improves blood flow and thus increases energy. The moment you catch yourself yawning, you should get up and have some light exercise. Be it some stretching on your desk or walking around your office, simple workout will wipe out your stupor and refresh up your spirit.

  1. Listen to your favourite music

Study has proven that listening to music can be a good productivity booster. Put on your headphone and tune in your favourite music to keep you company while completing your tasks.

  1. Start a conversation

When one feels bored of their routine, it tends to be easier for them to get sleepy during work hours. Therefore, instead of talking only to the computer all day, it is crucial for you to get social and start a conversation with your co-workers. Take some time to catch up and engage with your colleagues, and then you can find new nerve to work on your projects.

  1. Take a power nap

While not every company allows their employees to take nap at work, you might be able to sneak a quick 10 or 15 minutes nap during break hours. Taking power nap will help you stay focused even after lunch.

  1. Change your sleep habit

Lack of sleep often becomes the main culprit behind one’s sleepiness at work. Owing to which, you should make sure that you have healthy sleeping habit of at least seven to eight hours a night.

Work-life balance seems to be one of the most popular buzzwords among HR leaders and employees alike. As the demands keep growing, employees are often required to sacrifice their personal lives to meet business goals. This condition leads to imbalance between professional and personal lives. And apparently, Singaporeans face similar issue.

Singapore, being one of the world’s leading economy, is known for its longest working hours in Southeast Asia. The latest report from Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Market Statistical Information in 2016 notes that an average Singaporean works 45.6 hours per week.

This figure is even higher than OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) finding on global working hours. OECD report in 2016 finds that Mexico holds the longest working hours among other surveyed countries, with ‘only’ 42.8 hours per week, followed by Costa Rica and South Korea.

Singapore government through MOM has advocated a policy to limit the long working hours to 44 hours per week. One of the primary reasons is to achieve work-life balance and create better working culture. However, given the latest stats showing exceeding number of working hours than the ministry’s initial recommendation, it seems that work-life balance is a need of the hour among Singaporean workers.

In 2016, Randstad Award survey reveals 47 percent Singaporean workers continue to work more than stipulated working hours. When we breakdown the percentage, the overtime workers consist of 52 percent men and 41 percent women.

However, employers are not the only ones to be blamed for the difficult realisation of work-life balance in Singapore. Employees are actually fully aware of the consequences of this long working hours. The survey notes that despite heavy work schedules, only 7 percent respondents state they would prefer to work less and 47 percent respondents seem to be contented with their current schedule.

So the question remains: What makes Singaporeans willing to work overtime?

Randstad reveals that the prospect of earning more is the key motivator, with 80 percent respondents stating that money is the major factor. The other factors, why Singaporeans choose working more than spending time at home are career progression and promotion (41 percent) as well as personal development (33 percent).

Interestingly, the same survey also highlights that work-life balance is actually gaining more attention among Singaporean workers. While salary and benefits remain the first factor for choosing an employer, work-life balance takes the second place of most important consideration before Singaporean accepts a job offer. In 2012, only 32 percent respondents see the importance of work-life balance. However, the percentage keeps increasing each year, as in 2016 it becomes 52 percent.

These statistics indicate that while the concept of work-life balance is popular among Singaporeans, it is less put to practice by Gen X, Y and Baby boomers who choose to work overtime. However Millennials in particular prioritise work-life balance, with 71 percent respondents showing strong preference to work more flexibly.

This phenomenon makes Singapore case interesting. While they want to keep their professional and personal lives healthy, they are willing to work more for better income and career progression.

To overcome this issue, the Singapore government has fostered the significance of work-life balance through several policies. Besides working hour limitations, MOM has also launched Strategies for work-life harmony which includes flexible work arrangements, leave schemes, and employee support schemes.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?

The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

Next read: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It