Tag: Success

3 Tips for Dealing With Change

We, humans, are simple creatures.

Despite the fact that your neighbour claims he hates routine and is slowly dying in front of his office desk, he’s more than happy to just get home, turn on TV, grab some chips and ponder about the future while doing nothing for a few hours.

And admit it, so do you.

lazy_man
Human brain is not programmed to make us take risks, change our lifestyles and challenge us constantly. Our brain is designed to STOP us from doing all these things that biologically speaking are or might be a threat to our survival.

Challenging yourself and agreeing to things you are not certain about is extremely scary. But also, a hell of a fun.

…and now imagine the scenario that your neighbour suddenly starts jogging (after being a couch potato for years), stops buying his favourite chips and snacks on raw carrots with hummus instead. His oxytocin levels rise, he feels happier and more powerful and then – BANG – he decides to quit his job and actually do something he’s always been passionate about.

It took him 10 minutes to get dressed for his first jog that got him hooked.

It took him a few weeks of meal prep to get used to the new routine.

And it’ll be months or even years of joyous moments filled with self-satisfaction and pleasure.

Starting something new is difficult; achieving change requires a sense of urgency and active involvement in change efforts. But it’s not impossible if you focus on positives, talk to others and break the big, scary change into small, manageable pieces.

1. Focus on positives

Instead of focusing on the hurdles that you will face, focus on the positives that you will enjoy. Leave the difficulties aside (they will step in no matter what), but rather learn to see the positive aspects of each situation.
E.g. it might be costly and difficult to move from the US to China, but I’m sure it’ll broaden my knowledge, will challenge me and I can’t wait to try the wonders of the local cuisine!

2. Talk to someone who’s done it

At first, you may freak out about your resistance to change. But you’re not unique here – it’s completely normal; we are afraid of the unknown. To eliminate the fear of the unknown and to familiarize yourself with what’s coming next, give it a try and talk to someone who’s been through the same experience – it’ll help you prepare mentally.
E.g. I am intimidated by what it will bring, and I would like to know how my life will change. I know my friend’s cousin went through the same experience – why don’t I talk to him!

3. Break it down to actionable steps

Starting big is way scarier than starting small. Preparing yourself fully for the change is close to impossible, but making yourself aware of the change and starting to prepare is.
E.g. I have to move to China in two months. Why don’t I start a Chinese crash course now, to prepare myself for the upcoming change? I might as well find a few pen pals now to get myself introduced to the culture.

Accept that there will be a new chapter in your life that is meant for you, have an open mind and accept everything as it comes your way.

Because change, after all, is scary.

It’s terrifying.

But it can also be the best thing you’ll ever do.

How to “Better Up” Life in 2 Months?

Two months. Nearly 61 days. Around 1464 hours. Over 87,840 minutes. And 5,270,400 seconds. That’s plenty of time to form new habits that will lead you to better, fuller, more interesting and happier life.

Scientists claim that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. Of course, the time can vary widely depending on the behavior, certain circumstances and the person, however but it takes on average 21 days to get into the routine of doing something new, and 66 days to wire yourself to perform it automatically.  So 2 months (=61 days) is plenty of time to experience something new to program yourself to better, fuller & happier life.

1. Face Your Fears. Then, Conquer Them.

Are you afraid of heights? About time to challenge yourself and try bungee-jumping. Cannot stand public speaking? Join the local Toastmasters club. It takes guts to realize your flaws, and courage to deal with them. Research has found that repeated exposure to one’s fears lowers the psychological fear response until it is more manageable. Even more to that, it boosts self-confidence to the roof.

Fear limits your potential and is a great waste of your energy. Every moment you spend thinking of your I cannot, rather focus on bettering yourself to I can. Don’t dismiss your fears. Face them & conquer them instead!

2.Refine Your Goals

Setting goals and objectives is essential in any project. Even more so, if that project is… your life.

It’s a seemingly small change, however everything starts with baby steps: before you can change your life, you have to know who you are, where do you want to head and what really matters to you.

Refine your objectives and cultivate your goals. Once you have the “big picture” where you’re headed, it’s time to start planning and acting upon. Focus on an end objective (e.g. I want to become an engineer) and spare those 2 months on systematic improvements that will lead you towards your objective. It might seem that you have very little time, however every hour matters. Spend your time wisely.

We, humans, are visual creatures: if you can define your objectives on a vision board, even better! Move the visuals along the path to see and differentiate between the “start”, “in progress” and “done” sections.

3. Learn a New Language

How many times have you told yourself “I’d like to learn xyz language, but…”? I’ve yet to hear a single reason for not learning a language.

Learning a new language opens up a world of new, exciting opportunities – allows you to understand a certain culture(s), helps to find new friends and gives your brain a boost. Actually, numerous studies have demonstrated the cognitive benefits of learning another language, which are plenty – memory improvements, longer attention span and a significantly reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.

2 months of constant (i.e. every 2 or every 3 day) language classes will allow you to at least learn the basics of the chosen language which would be quite pleasing and encouraging to use if you decide to visit the country where that language is used. And hey, resources are plentiful and even free – just turn on YouTube and start learning now!

4. Invest

One of the best and perhaps most important things you can do to ensure your healthy financial state is to start investing now. Don’t wait for the better time, don’t wait for the raise or the next salary: better start small, but start now.

2 months is a significant time to educate yourself to feel more knowledgeable and financially literate. Use that time to learn and experiment with small amounts.

The best time is not going to come because the best time is already now.

5. Believe in Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?

2 months or 8 weeks is enough time to build your self-confidence that will develop long-term mental health benefits.

If you are not self-confident enough, you’ll break like a twig the first time you’re challenged and face an obstacle. If you want to go far, you have to learn to trust yourself, believe in yourself and have the courage. To do so… look at #1 – facing your fears.

You are your own masterpiece. Only you are both the master, and the piece at the same time: it is up to you how you create yourself and which direction you head. Choose the habits wisely!

How To Relax Better After Work

Even though it’s 7pm and you’re at home sipping your favorite tea, your head is full of thoughts on unfinished projects, approaching deadlines and some annoying co-worker you had a chat with earlier today. It seems like today you’ve had a tough day and all you wanted for your personal time is to simply “turn off” your working mind and relax but… no, not happening. And I believe we all are familiar with this situation that we are still mentally working at home even though we wish this wasn’t happening.

Here’s some good news: you are not alone and it’s perfectly normal to be anxious about your job and keep mentally “working” out of your work space. Studies actually show that 7 out of 10 adults experience work-related anxiety that is felt regardless of time and environment.

Here are a few simple ways to let your mind and body enjoy some self-time to prepare for the next day.

1. Take A Walk

One way to include yourself in a relaxing environment is to seek it out in nature by taking a walk. If you happen to live around 2-6 kilometers away from your work then take a walk back home instead of driving or using public transportation. A cool breeze and a long walk with refresh your mind and will “prepare” it for the full relaxation at home. Take that time to digest your thoughts and turn your “work mode” off once you go through your doorstep.

2. Train The Muscle

Continuing your difficult and tiring day training might not sound like the best idea ever but it might actually be! Many people get anxious when they are not doing anything that gives them purpose. Physical exercise releases endorphins (also knowns as “happpiness hormones”) so you will feel happier and even more energetic. Only if you don’t overdo, of course.

3. Read

One good way to relax at home after work is shifting your focus from problem solving to rather something creative, such as reading or painting. By stimulating your imagination you will not have to physically transport anywhere, but you will be able to “live” and lose yourself in the story. Reading relaxes your mind and diverts your thoughts from stressful issues to something beautiful.

4. Seek Company

Company is underrated. Most people after a tiring day assume that they would like to spend some time alone, reflecting on their thoughts and actions. But there is nothing more relaxing than having a long, meaningful conversation with somebody you care about or playing with the kids. Nurture their company, give them a long hug and engage in a meaningful conversation. It will be easier to get rid of stressful thoughts if you concentrate on other people, their lives and stimulate yourself socially.

5. Treat Yourself With Food

If your day was filled with meetings and running around, you have probably not had quality time to just sit, relax and enjoy your meal (have you had any at all?). A hungry mind is an angry mind – so divert your thoughts into something pleasant and useful. You don’t have to be a master chef to create something mouthwatering – try a simple Chopped Salad or One-Bite Snacks. A good meal will replenish your calorie supply and some chopping action will help you “let it go”… :) You know what I mean.

6. Relax With Music

Hearing is one of the senses that have a strong direct effect on our mood. If you want to relax, dissociate yourself from noise and surround yourself with positive, uplifting sounds.

 

5 Ways To Beat Your Monday Blues

Oh No, It’s Monday… If you are one of those who rolls eyes and sighs deeply just by thinking of Mondays, you might have a case of the Monday Blues. Monday morning blues are a real problem, but you can take the sting out of Mondays and (at least) try to make your Mondays better. Here are a few simple things you can do to help start the week off right so Monday’s don’t have to be that one disastrous date you so passionately dislike.

Woman stretching in bed after wake up

1. Enjoy Your Weekend Fully

As cheesy as it may sound, enjoy your weekend fully, once it’s there. Relax to the whole 100% and turn off not only your email but your mind as well. Having an amazing, cheerful and positive weekend will let your mind and body relax, which is exactly something you need. Having an awesome weekend will help you “cope” with your Monday better as you’ll recall great events and emotions, which is something we all want.

2. Wake Up In The Mood

Make sure to start your week with an attitude of gratitude. Appreciate yourself and others, and make sure you focus on the things you enjoy. Waking up feeling happy (or setting the right mood purposefully) is more than 50% of success! If you’re having difficult time, make sure you listen to high-energy music to help you prepare. You can even dance a little and prep some “yay” moves  that will put a smile on your and your partners face before he leaves.

3. Eat Healthy Breakfast

Healthy and balanced meal is the best way to start your day. If you want to start your week off right, it’s important that you combine the healthy side with something that you enjoy eating. Let it be some tasty soy yoghurt with granola and your favorite caramel coffee or a slice of rye bread with some scrambled egg and a cup of tea. Research shows that kick-starting your day with balanced meal will improve your focus throughout the day.

4. Dress For Success

People say that a forced smile is better than no smile at all. If a forced smile is better, so is a forced mood! Even though you might wake up feeling anxious, put some energetic mood on while sipping your favorite coffee and choose something WOW to wear. Show and share your spirit, charisma and vibe – people will notice and will appreciate. Putting a flawless dress and those sexy shoes will straighten your back which will already show good body posture. This can help build your confidence around the office especially as you might get a few compliments from your co-workers and your boss.

5. Have Fun At Work

Let’s face it: most likely you are not the only one who dislikes Mondays. To brighten your day, you can do something fun, for example, bring some food for no reason (or rather, the “Monday reason”). Everybody likes food. Let it be a fruit basket, some doughnuts, cookies or pizza – it’ll create some cool funky mood.- for example, bring a few homemade cinnamon rolls that you made together with your partner during the weekend. If you don’t want to or cannot bring food, at least make sure you compliment somebody for their shoes/bag/smile. Make sure to break up the day with some positivity – if people notice that you’re smiling and are enjoying your Monday, the good vibe will “infect” others as well!

Arbejdsglæde: The Joy Of Working in Denmark

Arbejdsglæde is an interesting Danish word, meaning “the joy of working” or otherwise “happiness at work”. Unlike in many languages, it an often used word referring to the level of happiness a person feels regarding the job. That’s why you should not be surprised if your boss in Denmark asks whether you are happy – just like that out of nowhere – hoping to get an enthusiastic “yes”.

The word “arbejde” refers to “work” and “glæde” to “happiness”. So the word refers to happiness at work and your inner feelings about the job, not thoughts about it. Actually, “arbejdsglæde” is not that often used in other languages unlike it is in Denmark. The word exists basically mainly in Scandinavian countries. In Denmark colleagues may actually wish you job satisfaction if you are going to settle on your task for a while using a similar word combination – e.g. “god arbejdslyst” = “good luck”, whereas “lyst” refers to “pleasure”, so the direct translation would be “have a good working pleasure”.

It might not be a coincidence that “arbejdsglæde” exists only in Scandinavian languages: Scandinavians have trandition on focusing on work-related happiness. That is also the reason why they do not push their children to jump straightly into universities as soon as they are done with the school since it is believed that children have to find what they are passionate about – and it is believed that passion and drive always leads for the best result. That it leads to the better, fuller future where they know what they want to do and have a drive for it. In this case, it leads to happiness at work.

Job Satisfaction = Finding Your Passion

Studies show that there is a direct link between happiness and work; besides, companies with happy employees perform up to twice as much compared to the ones where workers are not satisfied. Happiness at work is not equal to your salary, bonuses, benefits or tasks. Job satisfaction is: job satisfaction deals about you “feeling good” at work due to external causes, such as free fruits at work, tasty coffee or nice office. But happiness at work comes from your own feelings and not comfort you have around you. I remember once having stumbled upon an American peer who described me his part-time job very negatively so that I just asked – “do you even like your job?”. “Of course not, he answered, that’s why I get paid”. However,  job satisfaction is actually a derivative coming from two things – the results - i.e. what makes you proud and relationships - whether you feel good about the people you work with.

job needed

Job satisfaction is not a complicated thing: it’s all about going to work and feeling good about it. It’s about contribution and positive difference that you create in your own and others’ lives. In Denmark, employers employ people who are passionate about the company and some certain tasks. Here, employers want to find perfect employees who would be ambassadors of a company instead of workers. Well, after all, we spend around 37 hours a week working – don’t we intend to change these hours into something pleasant rather than unpleasant? Job satisfaction is actually one of the three main sources of happines and the best cure for stress. Therefore, if your boss in Denmark asks whether you are happy – just like that, out of nowhere – you should think about changing the workplace if you cannot tell him an enthusiastic “yes” to the question he asked.

 

If you are interested in the topic, you might be interested in reading a book on Job Satisfaction: “Happy hour 9 to 5“.

The Voice Of Educated & Jobless: “Give Me The Job!”

It seems that Denmark has trouble holding onto highly educated and ambitious immigrants since, according to the newest research conducted by DEA, an independent non-profit think tank, based in Copenhagen, there is no significant need of highly skilled labor anymore.

The recent study has been carried out among 400 high-skilled foreigners, who have had constant difficulties with job search in Denmark regardless of their education and, to some extent, experience. ”It would be really sad to lose such a large number of highly educated foreigners simply because they are not “incorporated” in the country and cannot find jobs. We know that these highly skilled foreigners create value in companies, as they generate tax and revenue to the public sector. However, the situation is, that job market is pretty tough”, says Martin Junge. It seems that the country is open for foreigners to come… but is not interested in keeping them here?

Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard acknowledges that there are a lot of clever foreigners who are considering leaving the country. “This number is way too high”, says the Minister.

Besides the Bachelor and Master graduates, who are unable to find the jobs, a number of PhDs, unable to find research positions, has increased, too. A number of international researchers coming to Denmark to do research has increased, but even more of them intend to leave the country after they finish their PhDs. According to a Danish National Audit Office, since 2003 universities have doubled the intake of PhD students in science, health and technology areas, however, due to poor university investigation which areas need researchers most, majority of them are forced to leave the country as they have troubles finding jobs after the graduation.

Job crisis?

Young, qualified and jobless seems to have become a “tag” for a number graduates, who are not able to find jobs due to shortage of them. According to the research carried out in Europe, there are more than 5,5 million under 25-s without a work, and such numbers are growing every month. The official EU unemployment rate is now one in eight of the labor force. You might have heard the highly educated and jobless called “lost generation” since our parents, baby boomers, would usually remind us that education is a guarantee for the job… “My mother and father divorced when I was two, and my sister and I were raised by my mother, who had no education and kept blaming herself for that. That’s why she has always told me and my sister to study as hard as we can, and therefore a secure job with a satisfactory salary would be guaranteed”, says Clara, 25, who has spent 5 years in Denmark, out of which, 1, searching for a job. “I feel hopeless. It seems I have done everything I could. I can work anywhere and do anything. If you need a secretary, I will be a secretary. If you need an assistant, I will be an assistant. Just give me the job”, she says.

give me job

“I have always been a good student…”, starts her story Yin, 28, who has studied at Aarhus Business School. “I have always prioritized university and studied very hard but after I finished university I couldn’t find a job. I was told that I have no experience and no language skills and, even though I am educated, but I am not needed here”.

Another student from Aarhus School of Business, Kristina, told that she decided to go home since she thought that going back home would be easier. “My decision to go back to my home country Lithuania was based on a couple of motives. First of all, I came to Denmark considering and option to go back home at some point in my life. Besides, it is not very easy to be a fresh graduate in Denmark (especially if you want to work and not only collect the unemployment benefits) – companies are not interested in offering internships for the graduates and qualifications that I had were quite standard, where a native Danish speaker would always be preferred.”

Bye bye Denmark – welcome homeland, (again)

When foreigners, who came to Denmark hoping to stay in Denmark realize they cannot do so since job market is very touch, they realize that an option of coming home might be not bad at all, after all. “I couldn’t find a job and my mother started asking if I would like to come back to China. I was not very happy about it, but she knows someone who could help me getting the job and I am seriously thinking about it”, Yin revealed. “I am strongly considering coming back home even though I might need to do something else not completely related to what I have studied. I think that in such times with mass unemployment our expectations of job are lesser that they could be, and we are ready to take more or less satisfactory”.

However, in such case nearly no one expects to face a culture shock. It seems that you had a perfect plan – you moved to another country for a certain purpose and you decided to come back home; one thing to remember: more than a half of us feel a reverse culture shock when we return back home.You might think that feel that you are not fitting in to your home country, and it happens mostly having returned home after having lived abroad. “It was difficult to  find a job in Denmark and I got a very good job offer in Romania. After having lived here for almost half a year I still feel a little stuck in between those two countries”, says Ionut, 32, who had worked in Copenhagen for a while and, after he lost his job, decided to come back to his homeland Romania.

Education might be the problem

If you have studied in university, you probably know that lecturers mostly teach theories, but there is no emphasis on practice whatsoever. You can actually finish the whole degree (Bachelor+Master), which will take you approximately 5 years, with zero practice. “We need modern schools with a focus on individual learning and practice. I think that education has to create a framework for the future job, especially in management and sales”, says a candidate for the city council, Theresa Blegvad. “I believe that Denmark needs more modern schools where homework would be based on projects. Pupils and students have to get prepared for the future in that way. They have to get hands on experience, not only practice”.

You might question in this case, what would and ideal college and university look like? No answer for such a complicated question could be provided. One thing that has become clear is, that university does not provide the same amount of value it did 10 or 20 years ago. The amount of graduates is raising with each year, we have more and more educated people, therefore the competition in the job market is incredibly high. Plus, due to the the fact that people now live longer – one can realize that they work longer, too. A solution? Creative teaching and creative job search, I suppose…

@Reuters Staff Joshua Persky, who tied a sandwich board to his body and got a job

@Reuters Staff
Joshua Persky, who tied a sandwich board to his body and got a job

Photo by Bita Honarvar A Georgia woman used Christmas lights to spell out her resume outside

Photo by Bita Honarvar
A Georgia woman used Christmas lights to spell out her resume outside her house

Is it hard to get a job in Denmark as a foreigner?