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Wellness key to surviving stressful times: expert

Erin Moraghan describes herself as a born mover.

 

As the founder of Revkor Fitness + Lifestyle Training in Cambridge, she has made it her vocation to help others become ‘movers’ after leaving a healthcare philanthropy career in Toronto in 2013 to make this happen.

 

Her passion to assist others centres on promoting workplace wellness which came about after a decade of working in healthcare.

 

“We can’t get through stressful times without wellness at the forefront,” says the wellness expert.

 

The current COVID-19 crisis is clearly one of the most stressful situations facing all us, not just economically but emotionally and physically. In fact, experts are predicting a ‘tsunami’ of mental-health issues to develop in wake of this pandemic.

 

At our next YIP virtual workshop ‘Better Work Life Balance for Young Professionals’ on May 21, Erin will offer advice and tips aimed at empowering participants with the tools they need to reduce stress and improve productivity.

 

But more importantly, she hopes to inspire them in work and life.

 

“The entrepreneur culture often celebrates the non-stop grind,” says Erin. “But the reality is, rest and a calm, controlled mind are in the key to managing challenges and staying on course.”

 

She has already helped thousands across Canada by initiating programming focused on preventing and minimizing chronic pain and depression by embracing the power of mindful movement.

Erin can highlight some simple habits that can help accomplish amazing results, such as nutrition shifts to alter productivity, an eight-minute morning mindset practice that can ‘train’ your brain to be goal-centred, and a few suggestions for more quality sleep.

 

“This is the information you need to get and stay on track, striving strong during this unforgettable time in history,” she says.

 

Our virtual YIP (Young Innovative Professionals) session ‘Better Work Life Balance for Young Professionals’ takes place Thursday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

 

For information, please visit:  https://bit.ly/2WCBOXU

 

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers these tips to creating better work-life balance:

 

At Work

  • Schedule brief breaks for yourself throughout the day. Your productivity and effectiveness will increase if you take even a ten-minute break every two hours and overall, you will get more accomplished.
  • At the end of each day, set your priorities for the following day. Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available.
  • Only respond to email once or twice a day. Then, shut off your email program to avoid being distracted as messages come in.
  •  Make a distinction between work and the rest of your life. Protect your private time by turning off electronic communications. Don’t be available 24/7.

 

At Home

  • Create a buffer between work and home. After work, take a brief walk, do a crossword puzzle, or listen to some music before beginning the evening’s routine.
  • Decide what chores can be shared or let go. Determine which household chores are critical and which can be done by someone else. Let the rest go.
  • Exercise. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time, you’ll feel more energized and refreshed.
  • Create and implement a household budget. Start by setting aside some money from each pay cheque for the future.
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Deliberate communication a lost art

Does making a presentation in front of people send chills down your spine?

 

You’re not alone. Research shows that at least 75% of people struggle with some degree of anxiety or nervousness when it comes to talking in front of people.

 

Kevin Swayze, former journalist and communications consultant, hopes to help quash these fears by providing tips about good communication at our virtual YIP Growth Learning Series on April 28 entitled ‘Public Speaking 911’.

 

“I think that most people stand up in front of a crowd and think everybody there is against them, when in most circumstances they’re there with you and want you to succeed,” says Kevin.

 

He says the key to good communication centres on connecting with people, whether it’s one-on-one or in a large group, which is something he will stress during his learning session.

 

“I’m going to show how to polish your elevator pitch when you’ve got only a minute to talk to somebody; to connect with somebody and make yourself memorable.”

 

Kevin says stories are the best way to accomplish this and during his 30-year newspaper career tried to do just that.

 

“The best stories are always told through a person. I’ve always tried to do that with my writing,” he says. “People don’t want to be lectured at, they want to connect, and the best stories connect with people. The best communication is conversation.”

 

Kevin, a client communications teacher at Conestoga College, says he finds inspiration from the international students he instructs. Not only does he admire their bravery for travelling to another country to study, but the fact they will question his use of any corporate jargon or slang.

 

“I get the look from them,” he jokes, adding good communication doesn’t involve slang or jargon. “It’s pervasive everywhere and it kills communication because you’re either in or you’re out; jargon is exclusive, and it pushes people away.”

 

Kevin says the use of ‘buzz’ words doesn’t further proper communication and hopes to convey that to participants.

 

As well, he will also touch on some basic tips surrounding presentation, such as holding on to a piece of paper while standing up to speak.

 

“I like to give them something to hold in their hands so they’re comfortable,” says Kevin, who has been involved with Cambridge Toastmasters for the past four years.

 

He says the club, which consists of several groups under the Toastmasters banner, has helped him considerably.

 

“I’ve seen the change myself. I would not be able to teach as effectively,” says Kevin, explaining club members evaluate every aspect of any presentation by their fellow members. “It’s hard to find anyone who will give an honest and reasonable evaluation of something.”

 

He hopes YIP participants will leave the session understanding the importance of being an active listener when it comes good communication, noting the temptation of cellphones is difficult to ignore.

“Even if you leave your phone upside down on the desk it still draws your attention,” says Kevin.

He expects participants will already arrive with a set of their own communication tools.

 

“They will know how to communicate in bits and pieces. My goal is to reflect on what they do and think about what’s working well and where they can build,” says Kevin. “And encourage them to practice what really works well.”

 

He says most people don’t think about communication deliberately anymore.

 

“There’s no app that replaces face-to-face communication,” says Kevin.

 

The YIP (Young Innovative Professionals) Public Speaking 911 session, sponsored by Deluxe Payroll, will take place virtually Tuesday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

For information, visit: https://bit.ly/3cF92MN

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Success Later In Life

Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook when he was only 19-years-old and a student at Harvard. He is now estimated to be worth 61.7 billion USD. 

 

David Carp founded Tumblr when he was 21-years-old. He is now estimated to be worth $200 million. 

 

Cameron Johnson used his creative talent to create greeting cards, earning him thousands of dollars which leveraged him to start his own business, SurfingPrizes.com before reaching his 20s. He is now estimated to be worth $3.2 million. 

 

With examples such as these, it’s no wonder the bar to succeed young has been raised. When it comes to success, most people believe that the sooner it happens, the better. This can lead to an enormous amount of stress. By the time most kids enter high school, the pressure to succeed has overtaken the fun of being young, and as the years pass, the idea that success might be farther than previously thought becomes kind of depressing. 

 

Although success at a young age is exciting, it’s not nearly as valuable as it is later in life. Imagine perfecting your craft and working year after year and finally, success comes. How amazing would that feel?

 

These five entrepreneurs are a great example of that. Take a look at these five entrepreneurs who succeeded later in life and are doing better than ever. 

 

1. Bryan Cranston

 

When hearing the name Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad might be the next thing that follows. However, it wasn’t until Cranston was 44-years-old that he received his breakout role, starring in the comedy sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. Today, he is estimated to be worth $30 million.

 

2. J.K Rowling

 

One of the most infamous stories of later in life success comes from author J.K. Rowling. She was only in her mid to late thirties when she managed to sell the first book of the Harry Potter series. Today, she is estimated to be worth $1 billion. 

 

3. Vera Wang

 

Before becoming a world-renowned bridal gown designer, Wang was a competitive figure skater turned journalist. She spent many years as a senior fashion editor before deciding to design wedding gowns at the age of 40. Today, she is estimated to be worth $420 million. 

 

4. Ana Wintour

 

Ana Wintour, synonymous with the word Vogue, began her career in her late 20s after landing a senior fashion editor role at an erotic women’s magazine called Viva. After moving between a variety of magazines, Wintour finally landed her role at Vogue at the age of 39. Today, she is estimated to be worth $35 million. 

 

5. Alan Rickman

 

Rickman, most notably recognized for his role as Snape in the Harry Potter series, didn’t begin acting until the age of 42. His first role was Hans Gruber in the movie Die Hard, a role which propelled him into the world of acting. Before his death, Rickman’s estimated net worth was $16 million. 

 

Age is just a number. These entrepreneurs didn’t let age hold them back. Why should you?

 

 

 

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Strong Mentorships

If you were to ask yourself who were your best mentors in your life, I’m sure several people would come to mind from your childhood to even a person you currently see on a daily basis. Perhaps they were a great school teacher, a coach, an academic program advisor, or a supervisor from your first summer job. When you think about those mentors, can you truly remember what exactly they said to you that made you feel ...Supported? Inspired? Captivated? Chances are you don’t remember what they said, or what their hairstyle was, what they were wearing or their overall mannerisms. Often what shines though and has us thinking and reflecting about our time with them is how they made us FEEL. They encouraged, inspired, motivated, and enabled us to see a part of the world that we had not yet been exposed.


Now I’m going to ask you to reflect on another mentoring note – who were your WORST mentors in your life? Who were the tedious teachers, the exhausting coaches, the leaders with lack of patience or who showed favoritism to team members and did not foster teamwork? Those are unfortunately the people who had a large effect on your life in terms of your goals and your career choices. They may be a current co-worker or employer who doesn’t like to your ideas, micro manages you, and frustrates you to the point that you can’t focus on your actual work tasks. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to these negative individuals whom you have crossed paths in your life. It is the negative influence leaders who you should remember, and strongly take note of the choices they make since their role in your life demonstrates an exact OPPOSITE model of who you want to be when you are a leader, a mentor and a role model. Harness the energy, emotions and time you have had for these individuals and in turn, know that you will make choices as a leader to promote the passion of life-long learning, engage in new ideas and be patient as everyone cultivates into professionals and agents of change at a different rate.


I share these thoughts on positive and negative influence leaders in our lives because it is a great responsibility to be a mentor to others. It’s also a privilege. I have had the opportunity to not only mentor fellow colleagues but also be linked with a post-graduate school to be a preceptor to a specific student for 4, 6, and 8 week placements at a time. These weeks can feel more exhausting than a normal work week because all of your moves are being watched by a young professional starving to grow and make a contribution to the real world. Being a professional leader is often focused on the student in training yet what happens in a positive mentor/protégé relationship is that the mentor is the one who learns just as much as the student. I love when students/young colleagues ask me questions such as “Can you tell me why you decided to complete that task first?” or “How did you come to make that decision?” because these are the questions that we often forget to ask ourselves on a daily basis in the midst of our busy lifestyles and careers.


So the next time you are asked to take on a student or a new colleague in training, please don’t hesitate to help as you will benefit in your career as well. Mentorship is a beautiful experience full of reflection and engagement of both parties, bringing everyone to a level of asking more questions and deeper understanding of their careers – and quite possible themselves.  Remember, you could be that positive, influential role model that this young professional needs.
 

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Navigating the Multigenerational Workplace

As a young professional there are many challenges that one faces, not least of which is the reality that most of us nowadays work in a multi-generational environment – and it is probably only going to continue to get even more crowded. What I mean by this is right now you probably work in an environment that has at least one: baby-boomer, Gen Xer, Gen Yer and Millenial.


There are two main thinking points I want to start this article with before we continue, please consider:

  • Life expectancy is rising, people are living longer and so need to secure more income now to cover retirement costs later
  • Cost of living and inflation are out sync – meaning each generation has had less disposable income to help their offspring than the generation before (and you’ll have even less to help your children)

Quick explanation on that last point here:


http://www.economonitor.com/dolanecon/2014/07/23/what-does-the-consumer-price-index-measure-inflation-or-cost-of-living-whats-the-difference/

 

“As Bryan explains it, the cost-of-living concept arises from the role of money as a medium of exchange. When we say the cost of living increases, we mean that it gets harder to maintain a given standard of living on a given income. Either we have to be satisfied with fewer goods or services, or save less, or work harder. In the language of economics, a change in the cost of living is a real phenomenon.


On the other hand, we can best understand inflation as a change in the value of our unit of account, the dollar. When there is inflation, the value of the unit is smaller each day than it was the day before, for all transactions.”

 

So in essence, because each generation has been given less help, each generation has had to provide more for themselves, and what this really leads to is more profound sense of urgency when beginning your first career. Millenials, for instance, are seen as much more ‘pushy’ or ‘impatient’ by their older colleagues – which may or may not be true of ones personality on an individual basis – but when the group is looked at as a whole this is a general impression that is formed.


Take a step back and have a talk with your grandfather (or great-grandfather if you are so lucky) and ask them to tell you about their early professional life. I’ll be a good majority didn’t even attend a post-secondary school for one reason or another, meaning less initial debt when entering the work force, where as you are much more likely to hear that your parents did (and in those cases, you can rest assured that you definitely went to College or University – or at least that it was heavily expected of you).


This is really what Navigating the Multigenerational Workplace is all about – realising the differences in situations not just at the current point in time, but the differences from every other generations point in time at the initial stages compared to your current stage. My personal belief is that before you can have effective dialogue with someone, you need to be able to see how you are perceived from their point of view.


That’s probably the longest intro to a blog post I’ve ever written – so I’ll try to be briefer the rest of the way, feel free to stretch your legs and come back and finish the rest of this.


So the purpose of this post was to try to offer suggestions on how to go about handling the different generations so maybe I’ll list a few out and then get into more detail; these suggestions by the way are targeted at the Millenial group:

 

  • Go slower with your communications and be more exact
  • Communicate with people based on how they like to communicate
  • Be prepared to have the same information in different formats for different audience members
  • Remember that while you like to move fast, it took those ahead of you a long time to get where they are
  • Everyone loves sharing their own story


These five points are probably the five strongest points that have helped me in my careers, they may not all apply to you in every situation but here’s a breakdown of what I mean by each:
 

Go slower with your communications and be more exact


The #1 thing our CEO hates is when he has to reply to an email to extract more details on a particular subject. It results in an increased number of communications and a slower overall turn-around time. Remember, everyone above you in the chain of command probably makes more money than you do – so not to be trite, but that means their time is more valuable than yours. Take 5 extra minutes of your time to save them even 1 of theirs, and it’s worth it – even if they don’t notice. Because trust me if you try to save 5 minutes of your time and end up wasting 20 of theirs, they will notice.


Communicate with people based on how they like to communicate


I still remember the first time I had to send my grand-father an email, I work for a family owned business so at one point we had all three generations here at the same time – you can imagine the communication challenges that presented. About 5 minutes after I had hit send, he was standing over my desk, email printed out in hand, with sections highlighted that he wanted to discuss. I quickly learned that email was probably not the best way to communicate with him if I was hoping for a quick turnaround time.


Be prepared to have the same information in different formats


One of the positions you might find yourself in one day, if you aren’t already, is being a mid-level manager and having a few people that you “report” to in a sense. One of the best books I’ve read about how to deal with the expectations of various levels of management and staff is John Maxwell’s The 360 [degree] leader. If you have a chance I recommend picking up a copy and giving it a thorough read through. Some people are purely analytical, some people are purely visual – most are somewhere in the middle. Be prepared to provide arguments, charts and graphs in different formats, sometimes as simple as having several different ways to word the same information is good enough.
 

Remember that while you like to move fast, it took those ahead of you a long time to get where they are


This point speaks more to the fact that often times us youngsters are perceived as impatient (mentioned above). Most companies that are large enough have clear guidelines as to how long you have to be with the company or how long you have had to have been in your current role before you can apply for a different role or a promotion. Focus daily on being the best at what you’ve been assigned to do and when it comes time to fill other roles you’ll be in a much better position to be asked to fill it rather than applying to every opportunity that comes up.
 

Everyone loves sharing their own story


Human beings are natural story tellers. That’s not to say that everyone feels comfortable standing in a room of 500 people and giving a speech or lecture – but find a quiet relaxing environment to engage with those of different generations around you. This can be especially effective if you spin it in a way that makes it look like you’re asking them for advice in a situation you’ve found yourself in and, because you value their expertise, you would like their opinion on how they would deal with the situation or if they ever encountered a similar situation in their early careers. Above all else when considering this as a strategy you need to be sincere in your request to learn from them.

 

So, if I haven’t completely bored you, you may be wondering why I started the article off with two points:

 

  • Life expectancy is rising, people are living longer and so need to secure more income now to cover retirement costs later
  • Cost of living and inflation are out sync – meaning each generation has had less disposable income to help their offspring than the generation before (and you’ll have even less to help your children)
     

First, so long as you maintain a moderate lifestyle, you will probably be around for many years to come and you may in fact need to plan to work well past the age at which your fathers-father worked until to support that (I could go into the whole CPP fiasco.. but that might turn political, a side lesson here is try to avoid politics in work environments).


Second, you’re entering the work force with different stresses than those ahead of you, and alternatively when you become the “old guy” at the office, those entering will have different stresses than you. While it’s probably not likely that coworkers will begin assisting one another financially, be mindful of others situations and how much you would have liked extra help at your current age when you’re older (I sure hope I do) – and remember, advice and guidance is always free no matter what generation you grew up in.


Sources and / or resources:

 

http://www.economonitor.com/dolanecon/2014/07/23/what-does-the-consumer-price-index-measure-inflation-or-cost-of-living-whats-the-difference/

 

http://www.adecco.ca/EN/knowledge-centre/employers/Documents/whitepapers/managing-multigenerational-workforce.pdf


https://www.johnmaxwell.com/store/products/The-360-Degree-Leader.html


 

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