This month, we are focusing on the workplace, including ways to reduce stress and some simple networking tips. Plus, you have the opportunity to help current College Possible students by sharing internship opportunities at your organization!
Five Ways to Manage Stress at Work
- Use your employer’s Employee Assistant Program (EAP), usually through your health or life insurance. The EAP can cover a variety of topics. If something or someone at work is stressing you out, search the EAP site to see what resources are available. It might be an article or it might be talking to someone. Your employer pays for it, so you should use it when you need to.
- Leave work. That may mean taking a walk during lunch or taking paid time off (PTO). This can help you blow off steam and think more clearly without a stressed mind. Sometimes, the best way to deal with work is to take a break, whether it be 15 minutes or a full day. Sometimes you just need to recharge and that’s OK.
- Talk about what’s stressing you. It can be your supervisor or a colleague, but it’s helpful to talk to someone about it. Can they offer you ideas or help? Insight it always helpful in stressful situations. Know that you are not alone in your company and you have people there to support you.
- Eliminate interruptions. If you are working hard on something and want focus, block the time off on your calendar so that people know you are not able to talk. Even if you are not working on something major, but just need a break from people, block off alone time on your calendar.
- Identify what is stressing you out. Most importantly, is it other people or is it you? If it’s something you are imposing on yourself (organization, caring too much about what people think, trying to be perfect, etc.) then you need to self-reflect and figure out how to prioritize your time and energy. If it is other people, then decide the best way to deal with that person or situation.
Five Networking Tips That You Won’t Hate
- Ask for referrals through people you already know. Whether it’s a friend, co-worker or Facebook post, tell people that you are looking to connect with someone in your profession. Ask if they know anyone and if they will connect you. It’s a more intimate way to network. Once you get the connection, meet for coffee and see if it’s a relationship that can grow. It’s important to let people know that you are looking to meet new people in your profession. People won’t help you when they don’t know you’re looking for help.
- Think long term. It is unrealistic to think that you can meet someone in February and then they will get you a job in March. You need to build that relationship so that when something opens up in the future, you are the first name they think of. It might take many emails and some coffee dates, but when you invest the time in a person, it can pay off.
- Let the other person talk about themselves. Like in all relationships, there is a balance between speaking and listening. Networking is building a relationship. The other person needs to know that you care about what they have to say as well and that you’re not looking to just get a job from them.
- Follow up with people. Create a reason to keep the relationship going. If that means sending them a news article about something you two talked about or sharing an update on a project that you told them about, you want to try and reconnect a few times after your initial meeting.
- Don’t ask for a job. When you are networking, you are not “looking for a job.” You are looking to connect with someone for professional growth. You can ask for advice on your job search, about what they recommend and about their professional journey.
Internship Opportunities for College Possible Students
College Possible Minnesota is currently working on connecting college students with fulfilling, paid internship opportunities. If your organization is seeking summer interns, please let us know by reaching out to Workforce Engagement VISTA Christine Wattermann.