Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Leadership for Women - Confidence vs. Courage

 UNF Leadership for Women - Click to learn more.
By Anita Abjornson

In a recent keynote address given at the NYU's School of Business commencement, General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, made a call to action for the graduates to have courage and venture into the unknown. He shared, "You are entering into a volatile global economy, the most uncertain I have ever seen. This is a world that needs better leaders, with new skill sets. The playbook from the past won't cut it today. My advice for you as you enter this world is to be flexible, be bold and don't fear criticism."
As women move into leadership positions in this volatile global economy, there is greater visibility, responsibility and a need for flexibility, boldness and a thick skin. We must prepare ourselves for greatness. That preparation starts with self-awareness and an understanding of how our unique behaviors, personal branding and even our work-life balance can tip the scales.

In the book "Standing at the Crossroads - Next Steps for High Achieving Women," the authors discuss the extensive research completed during The Women's Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). They spotlight five key themes (needs) that are essential to guiding women's development:
  1. The need to act authentically
  2. The need to make connections
  3. The need to control one's destiny
  4. The need to achieve wholeness
  5. The need to gain self-clarity
As part of UNF's Leadership for Women program, we will use these five themes as a basis for exploring how we can enhance our self-awareness with DiSC, which will improve the flexibility as recommended by Mr. Immelt. We will learn to leverage our personal and professional brand to present our best, bold self and how to create balance in our lives by considering the themes discussed above. By using what makes us unique as women and developing our skills for current and future leadership roles, we will be taking necessary steps to set ourselves up for continued growth and success. 

If you're ready to take your leadership skills to the next level, attend University of North Florida's Leadership for Women program on June 22, from 8 a.m. to noon. Click here to learn more.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Five Signs You Are Burned Out and What To Do About It

Whether you work in an office, are a freelancer or are a stay-at-home parent, the signs of burnout are often the same. Regardless of our career choices, we ignore the symptoms of burnout because change is scary. This is understandable, as no one wants to leave their comfort zone. Fear of changing what we've been successful at can lead to being stuck in a state of denial.  However, not acknowledging burnout will only prevent you from taking action and being happier in the long run.

Some signs you may be burned out are:
  • It takes you more energy to perform tasks that you once did with ease
  • You feel exhausted before you even start to work
  • You find yourself thinking negative thoughts
  • You are impatient with management, colleagues or family (or all three). You used to get along with these people, but now everything they say seems to grate on your nerves
  • You feel like a weight is lifted when you are away from work 

If you feel this way, you should check with your doctor to make sure there isn't a physical cause for your exhaustion and lack of energy. If you have a clean bill of health, then you need to admit you are likely burned out.  Sure, you can run away on vacation for a few days but that won’t fix your problem. The thing about burnout is that it won't get better on its own. Take steps now to re-ignite your career.
What You Can Do About Burnout
Working through burnout is a process. First, talk to someone about it: a friend, colleague, family member, therapist or career counselor. Get the support you need to help you move forward. Talking to other people who have been in your shoes can help.
You may end up changing jobs or pursuing another line of work, but the cure for burnout doesn’t need to be drastic. Try one of these options to break the burnout cycle:
  • Study mindfulness. You don't need to meditate (although you could), but being more mindful of your daily actions can make them more interesting and help you control your negative thoughts and feelings
  • Take a college class. Freshen or advance your skills to make yourself available for new projects and promotions
  • Offer to do a task at work you have never done before, or create a social opportunity that everyone can join in outside of work
  • Sign up to volunteer for a local organization
  • Find or create a support group for workplace burnout
  • Take a class in something completely unrelated to your work. Try something creative or challenging, in a subject that appeals to you
  • Join an organization and attend conferences. Meet up with like-minded people and break up your daily routine
  • If you work from home, join a work co-op or other group to change up your schedule, and your work environment

It's About Accepting Change
The hardest thing about admitting and working through burnout is fear that things will change. Don’t fear change, embrace it! By making a change now, you will find a new appreciation for your job, career and maybe even your coworkers!