Everyone deals with unwanted flirtation here and there. Some guy cat calls you in the street, and you yell something (probably mildly profane) back at him. Obviously not pleasant, but also not the end of the world. But when it happens in a work environment, it’s a totally different story. You’re probably seeing this person every day, and you don’t want to risk creating an even more uncomfortable environment for yourself. There’s no doubt that it’s a delicate situation.
We are living in a technology-obsessed society. Even those who argue they aren’t obsessed, I bet they won’t deny they need their gadgets. These days, phones and tablets are doubling as computers as everyone is on the go, trying to get their fill of information and entertainment. But what some don’t know is how much these devices are turning into vices, as they are beginning to affect various parts of our health. Continue reading “Is Your Computer Making You Sick?”→
Is it possible to stop thinking about work on the weekends? Perhaps not entirely, as you probably know. However, if you’re thinking about work on the weekends, odds are you care about your work, meaning you probably have a pretty decent work ethic. So, take a step back, and realize that the weekend is a time for you to breathe. While you may be nervous to shift some of that work stress off your shoulders next weekend, you can check out some of the tips below for help. Go ahead, it’s ok. Continue reading “How to stop thinking about work on the weekends!”→
The modern cubicle was developed as a way for office workers to attain some privacy and independence while allowing in natural light. As you may have noticed, that is not really the way it’s turned out. Let’s be real, the best cure for the modern cubicle is finishing up your work and getting out of there, but here are some ideas to keep the daily grind from grinding you down.
A potted plant helps brighten up any office space. In addition to bringing something green and pleasant to your desk, the plants help clean the air of toxins and provide an oxygen boost.
The golden pothos and snake plant are both hardy plants, able to thrive in the low-light, low humidity conditions of an office. Also, if you want to make a new office friend, put a cutting in some water and wait for it to begin rooting, then spread the greenery around to your coworkers.
Alternatively, try a marimo moss ball – these are super low maintenance. Just replace the water when you remember.
Fancy water bottle
Staying hydrated helps stave off the afternoon blahs and keep that skin glowing, but those plastic cups by the water cooler fit about a teaspoon of water. A fancy water bottle will both brighten up your desk and remind you to get that H2O.
DRIPP WTR BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle (Image Credit: Amazon)
Fluorescent lighting is the worst. It contributes to eyestrain and headaches, and just looks depressing. Natural sunlight is the best, but if you’re short on windows, try lamps. One or two can add some more natural light to your workspace.
Sick of looking at spreadsheets? Go to the local print shop and get some of those camera photos printed out. (Or, ok sneak the office color printer.) Tack them behind your computer, or hang them on a display like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond. When those zeros and ones start getting to you, glance up and remember blue skies and friends.
Fix up that storage
Tired of looking at stacks of papers? Hide them in a pretty box and give yourself something to look at. The Crafted Life has a great DIY option, or you can cheat it with these flower stickers.
Here are two problems with offices. The air conditioning is weirdly unpredictable and rapidly changing. Secondly, office chairs are pretty damn ugly. I’m sitting in one right now, and it is really ugly. Solution? A big,pretty shawl. Drape it over your chair to dress up your office, and cover up those weird black adjusting bars that never really work. Then, when the air conditioning gets cranked to eleven, drape it over your shoulders for extra warmth.
Have you heard of the pomodoro technique? It’s a system of giving yourself periods of focused work and breaks, to keep you working at your best. There are obviously computer based timers, but these hourglasses are a beautiful way of keeping you functional.
Want to differentiate your reports from your coworkers’? Stay late and do exemplary work! Or, buy purple staples. That’s way easier. Do they come in green? They do come in green.
Ok, so, nail polish is not an office supply. We know. That said, in any office, you are going to spend a lot of time glancing as your hands as you write emails, file files and stalk your exes on Facebook. Some glittery nail polish will give you a bright focal point. Also, taking some time to yourself is the perfect antidote to the office blahs.
I’ve done a number of internships in my day. I’m still doing some at the moment actually. I mean, check out my LinkedIn if you think I’m lying, and while you’re at it, I don’t mind if you leave me an endorsement. So, you can say I’m very familiar with the do’s and don’ts of internship etiquette. Here are some of the best tips for when you finally land an internship:
Dress to impress. You probably already know this off the bat but you’d be surprised how many people still show up unpresentable. I’m not saying come in your best club outfit, but get a scope of the company you’re interning for. Are people wearing jeans and sneakers? Or, are people dressed in slacks and midi skirts? The last thing you want is to stick out like a sore thumb.
Ask questions. You’ll feel stupid for asking a question that seems obvious, but you’ll feel even more stupid if you didn’t do something right the first time because you didn’t ask for clarification. The worst that could happen is that they think you’re incompetent, which is most likely not going to happen. More times than not, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to ask the question.
Take on internships for experience and not for the pay. Honey, if all the internships I took paid me, I’d be stinking rich, but that’s just not the case with most opportunities. A lot of people look past internships if they don’t pay, but that shouldn’t matter when it comes time to make a decision. I was ready for gaining experience, which lead me to more and more opportunities. Come on, I started at So Fetch Daily (formerly The Daily Quirk) as an intern and now look at me. This position alone has been brought up in countless job interviews in the past. I could literally talk for hours about everything I’ve done for this site.
Don’t be scared to take on projects that intimidate you. You might not know how to tackle the new project, it might even feel as if it will make or break your position, but how else will you learn?
Always look busy. Don’t sit there on your phone because it’ll seem like you’re not committed. Even when you literally asked everyone if they need help or for assistance on a project, you better find something to do… even if that means cleaning your desk for no reason.
You’re not above coffee runs. You’re the intern. You do what is asked of you even if it is fetching coffee. Your time will come eventually but for now, you gotta pay your dues.
Don’t go in with the mindset that you’re “just the intern.” There’s often a negative stigma around the title but an intern is just as important as everyone else contributing to the team. After all, they have given you projects that they want you to complete that are important to the company.
Practice your communication skills. Look, being the new kid and the intern is intimidating as hell. Don’t let that get to your head. Work with other people in the building other than those in the department you’re enrolled for. You never know what might happen.
Keep your phone on you at all times. Doesn’t matter if you’re interning as a sock collector (if that’s even a thing), you never know who will call you at the most random time for some help.
There’s a place for quirkiness and a time for seriousness. Don’t mistake your friendly banters with your boss and co-interns as something that you can take advantage of. No matter what, there is still that hierarchy system and you still need to respect everyone. They’re not your best friend. They’re your mentor.
There are many more words of wisdom that could be useful but if I wrote them all this list would be never ending. However, if you want more tips, feel free to reach me via Twitter. Speaking of that, always remember to network, because any connection you make from now on is important. Good luck, interns. You got it.
So you got a new job? Congrats! Working in a new place is exciting, but also a big adjustment. If you’re unsure of how to present yourself, avoid an awkward faux pas and check out this list of 10 Things You Should Never Do at Work so you at least know what not to do. Continue reading “10 Things You Should Never Do at Work”→
The night before my first day as a teacher was one of the most restless nights I’ve ever had. Every question I could have possibly asked myself, I did. Did I prepare enough? Will I at least sound like I know what I’m talking about if I didn’t? Will these kids even care about what I had to say? Will they learn anything? What if I trip in front of them? What if I go blank? Will I still be throwing up tomorrow (side note- I had borderline pneumonia that first week without knowing it and had started throwing up that afternoon as a side effect- best luck ever!) What is the difference between a gerund and a participle? Why did they hire me? What the hell have I gotten myself into? And on, and on, and exhaustingly on. By the time I fell asleep, my alarm was pretty much going off. Thankfully, adrenaline kicked in when I needed it most. Continue reading “Your First Time: Teaching”→
In high school, getting better acquainted with your teachers happened without you really having to try. You saw them every day for an hour, sometimes two. They had you in class for a full year and maybe even in a study hall. In college, your professors are a bit different. If you’re in a seminar, chances are you’re just a number on a list of 200 kids. In your smaller classes, your professor will most likely get to know your name, but it’s up to you to get them to remember you once the semester is over. It can definitely be intimidating to try to establish the type of professional relationship with a professor that may have developed easily with your high school teachers, but know that the vast majority of professors out there are eager to get to know their students. To develop a professional relationship with your professor be an active participant in class, actually go to the office hours they constantly talk about and don’t be nervous to have a one-on-one conversation. Here are five reasons you’ll be glad you did! Continue reading “The Importance of Building a Relationship with Your College Professors”→
If you’re like me, you love your job. What you might not be as fond of is the amount of time it takes you to get there. Whether you take a car, train, bus or ferry to work, for most people, the time they spend commuting is time they will never get back to do other things. Luckily, there are ways to get things done during your commute and make that time count. Continue reading “5 Ways to Make Your Commute Count”→
It’s your first day on the job. You’ve adjusted your chair three times, changed the computer monitor’s brightness, and are starting to feel mighty uncomfortable, because this office is a maze and the bathroom is apparently hidden in another realm. But you’re settling in, slowly but surely. After a few days pass by (and thank the office gods, you’ve finally discovered where they keep the coffee maker), it’s time to make your cubicle space your own. After all, if you’re going to spend eight hours a day in a tiny, beige space, you might as well beautify it, right? Continue reading “How (Not) to Decorate Your Cubicle”→
Stage fright plagues all kinds of performers—actors, singers, public speakers, musicians, politicians, even teachers. It’s natural to be nervous. Stage fright is a side effect of any talent. It’s a fear of failure, because we care; because we know we have potential and we don’t want to let ourselves down. We want to do our talent justice, but it’s one thing to do something privately and it’s another to put yourself out there in public, at the mercy of your audience. Continue reading “Overcoming Stage Fright”→
Sometimes you get lucky and find a really good job – work that doesn’t feel like work, good pay, enjoyable coworkers, and a super nice boss. Other times….you don’t. Not every place of employment has a happy head honcho. But what can you do? I mean, besides quit. Continue reading “How to Deal With A Boss That’s Not So Nice”→
Resumes are kind of ridiculous when you think about it. We list our accomplishments and skills on a neat little paper and turn it over to potential employers, internally screaming ‘Please like me! I’m good at stuff! See?’ Continue reading “How (Not) To Write A Resume”→
I have this terrible habit. I think it started around the time I discovered the Travel Channel and Disney World (specifically Epcot: my 4 year old version of studying abroad), and then eventually worsened in my more “enlightened” years followed by Kerouac and Bukowski obsessions. The habit is one you might very well be suffering from too. The constant, and at times debilitating, theory that life could be better somewhere else, anywhere else for that matter. I have this philosophy that if I stay still too long, I’ll never move again. Stuck. A bleak life with little movement and growth, and it absolutely petrifies me. Continue reading “The Grass Is Not Always Greener”→