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    10 Tips to Help You Nail Your Virtual Interview

    This year has shown that working virtually is here to stay, and a huge part of that is that firms are migrating their recruiting efforts entirely online. You’re increasingly likely to find yourself in a digital-first application process, possibly all the way through onboarding and your first day. With many of us recovering from furloughs and layoffs, you may be diligently on the hunt for your next career chapter. That chapter starts with making an excellent digital first impression in your application materials, and then nailing a virtual interview.

    1. Test your technology
    There is nothing worse than logging on five minutes before a meeting and realizing you need to download some niche software. Don’t assume the interview is using something you have already or are familiar with.
    Depending on the extent and seniority of the interview, you may even consider asking your interviewer’s Executive Assistant if you can do a five-minute test run with them the day before. Also be sure to ask if the line will be in use prior to your meeting. As in person, you want to arrive around five minutes early, but don’t want to be showing up at the tail end of some other candidate’s closing remarks!

    2. Know your angles
    If Tyra taught us anything it’s to face the light and know your angles. If at all possible, set up with natural light facing you. You also want to be showing on camera clearly, and as straightforward as possible. This isn’t a selfie angle—don’t position the camera too high up. A box or stack of books will get you to the right height.

    3. Do a recorded run-through
    Platforms like Zoom allow you to record a meeting—even a meeting of one. It’s free to set up an account that uses shorter meetings. Set one up with your personal email—you don’t want your video interview test run to show up on your current company roster. Practice answering some general questions and allow yourself to get more comfortable with video responses.

    4. Make “eye contact”
    Ironically, eye contact on video is staring right in the eye of the camera. It can be really hard for that to feel natural at first. You tend to want to look at the human in front of you on screen. A good mix of back and forth focusing on the screen and camera is important. However, when you’re answering questions, try to stay focused on that little fish eye, even if it feels awkward. (Hint: Your video test run will be able to reveal how much is too much focus in any one direction.)

    5. Check your microphone quality
    Most computers today have great enough microphone quality that you can go with whatever is built in. However, if you’re using headphones, you’ll want to check how that changes your connection. And, if part of your role is going to include heavy voice communication work, you might want to go the extra mile to sound like your best self. External microphones are becoming more affordable and could be a useful addition.

    6. Pass on virtual backgrounds
    Even if you’ve got a roster of some relatively professional faux backgrounds, now is not the time. You are trying to highlight yourself and come across as authentically you. Fake backgrounds don’t convey that authenticity.
    Set yourself up a relatively distraction-free background in your home, with as few trinkets behind you as possible. While it may be tempting to convey your personality through what’s behind you, restrain yourself. Remember, if this were happening in person, you’d likely be in their spaces. You want the interviewer to be able to picture you in their world as easily as possible, and a relatively blank canvas helps them do that.

    7. Get current on the company
    Researching a company should always be part of your interview prep, and now it’s more important than ever. How did they respond during the early parts of the pandemic? How are they changing their business model or offerings? You’ll want to do thorough research across their own press, social channels, and other third-party reporting sites to come ready with the best questions and answers.

    8. Take notes offline
    There are few things more distracting than someone typing away during a video meeting. You may feel like you’re being ultra efficient, note taking digitally while you’re in conversation with your interviewer. It’s not a good look.
    An old fashioned pen and paper is much more professional in this setting. And since they can’t see your desk, feel free to also narrate when you need a moment to jot something down. “I’m just making a few notes here, one moment,” helps any awkward silences.

    9. Don’t talk over anyone
    In an in-person exchange, it’s a little easier to make small verbal cues to show that you’re in step with someone while they’re talking. Virtually, that’s much harder. On the best of bandwidths, the line tends to break up a bit when people talk over each other even in small moments. Instead, consider exaggerating your non-verbals—nodding, smiling, and making strong eye contact where appropriate.

    10. Be yourself
    Most importantly, be yourself. Any interview in person would start with a few moments of small talk, or a more casual introduction. Don’t feel like you need to arrive perfectly ready to launch into your pitch. A few minutes of human authenticity goes a long way in our socially-distanced world right now.

    What tips do you have for a successful virtual interview? More

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    Daytime Routine: How I Stay Productive, Happy, and Healthy During the Day

    I’ll be the first to admit that working-from-home is not my strong suit. I live in a 300 sq. ft. box, get distracted easily, and have way too much to say during the day to be alone (and it is way too easy for my coworkers to ignore my hilarious messages all day long). It has also been hard for me to stay healthy (my fridge is just so close) and active while I’m home all day. But we’re on month #5 with months to go, and I’ve somehow figured out how to manage doing something I hated.We often discuss nighttime and morning routines here, but now that I do basically the same thing every single day, it was high time I started a routine for during the day too. I wanted something that I could loosely follow every day to create some healthy, productive habits while also not absolutely hating my life all day long. Am I the most productive person ever? Absolutely not. There are days when I look at the clock at 2:30pm and realize I’ve ticked off nothing from my to-do list. But I’ve noticed these simple steps have helped me stay on track throughout the day with work and make my evenings a lot better too! Here are a few things I’ve implemented into my day that have made going through the motions of stay-at-home life a little easier. 

    Do chores
    As you can tell, I basically do anything I can to add little breaks in my day. Sitting at my desk and cranking out a ton of work for eight hours a day just isn’t feasible for me; I have to keep myself excited by working toward breaks and timing myself. One way I build that into my day is by doing chores. I’ll tell myself I’ll write for 45 minutes uninterrupted, and then I’ll wash the dishes. I am not normally one who looks forward to chores in any capacity, but knowing that I’ll be able to get up and listen to music and do something else for a little bit of time keeps me moving, regardless of the task I’m convincing myself is fun to do. 

    currently reading The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai!

    Take a full lunch break
    When I was working in an office, I almost never took my entire lunch break. I would work through lunch to keep my productivity up. But even on my busiest days now, I make a point to give myself that full hour-long break every single day. It’s not much, but it’s the oomph I need to keep going throughout the day. Some days I’ll go outside and read, and others I’ll go for a walk. Sometimes, I honestly just watch TV. But I make sure to close my computer and do something else.

    Make lunch
    Now that I’m at home, it’s rare that I fully meal prep a lunch to go straight into the microwave. I might cook all of my ground turkey or chicken breast on Sunday, but that’s about it. While prepping your entire meal might help a lot of people, I find that taking the time to prepare lunch is a good break in my day. Some of my favorite lunches to make include salad with some kind of protein (I always buy the salad mixes at the grocery store and add extra veggies and protein), sandwiches, bowls, and more. 

    These leggings are from Girlfriend Collective—they’re made from recycled water bottles, go up to a 5X, and have a secret pocket for my keys. I own in two colors, and I’m obsessed!

    Workout/Go for the walk
    I won’t lie and say I get a workout in every single day (LOL, most days is even a stretch), but simply walking anywhere is something I try to accomplish every day (at least when my day isn’t an intentional Saturday binge-watching Selling Sunset, of course). I’ll try to take my lunch break or a short coffee break to go for a walk around my neighborhood. Or if I know I need to go to the grocery store or pick something up for dinner, I’ll walk a little farther just to get some more steps in.
    When I first switched to full-time WFH, I was getting maybe 2,000 steps a day, and if you’re someone who tracks their steps, you’ll know that is basically nothing. I had a hard time feeling like I could be productive all day long and move my body. Adding a couple of different walks throughout the day made it a lot easier, and I’ve even noticed that I sleep better and feel less drained at the end of the workday. 
    If I’m working out, it’s almost always on my lunch break and includes either an Obé Fitness workout or something from YouTube! I’m obsessed with MadFit’s dance workouts (this One Direction one gave me life), and POPSUGAR Fitness is also great for HIIT and barre workouts. I am still getting back in the habit of working out (I am a big “paying for a gym and having to walk somewhere motivates me to workout” person; I have little to no motivation to workout at home), but it helps to have a few workouts on hand that I know I enjoy.

    Prioritize to-do lists
    I make a to-do list every morning (sometimes the night before!), but I get to a point in my day where I have to prioritize what gets done and when. I’ll message my supervisors or anyone who’s waiting on something from me to ask if they need anything ASAP or let them know that I might get to something later in the day. While this maybe helps them, it’s more about keeping myself productive throughout the day and holding myself accountable. At home, it’s easy to say I’ll work on a project at 3pm, and then find myself invested in pop culture drama once 3pm rolls around with no end in sight. By telling someone I’ll have something to them at a certain time, I know I have to get it done. 
    Once I’ve done this, I’ll go through my to-do list and schedule when I’ll do them and what needs to get done versus what I’ll work on next. My to-do lists tend to get pretty lofty, which is likely a nightmare for anyone with perfectionist tendencies, but it actually keeps me motivated so I can have more time at the end of my day to get more done. But I make sure to mark which need to get done first by using the ABC system. A tasks need to get done immediately, B tasks should get done today but can be pushed, and C tasks are extras in case I have time. I used this before working-from-home, but it’s especially helpful now that my to-do list now contains random life tasks that I can now do during the day (is this my silver lining to WFH? perhaps). More

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    The Morning Routine I Follow For the Busiest Work-From-Home Days

    Before the chaos of 2020 ensued, I would have laughed at the idea of a “morning routine.” Y’all, I was spending an hour putting my makeup on and doing my hair every day; I didn’t have time to do yoga and make some elaborate smoothie bowl and make my bed and journal and meditate in silence for 20 minutes and write affirmations. I could barely get out of the door in time for the Starbucks *I* ordered. But then, life imploded and I needed something to quite literally fill my time so I wouldn’t wake up with existential dread every single day! I know what you’re thinking: this girl needs a therapist, and yes, I just made an appointment on ZocDoc. 
    Because every day is different (despite the Groundhog Day memes floating around), I can’t have one blanket routine that works for everything. My days are different and revolve around various meetings, deadlines, and ~personal engagements~ (I am not as important as I’m making myself out to be right now). So throughout the last few months, I’ve been slowly perfecting a few different morning routines to get myself in the groove, and the most important one as of late has been my Productive Busy Day Get Sh*t Done routine (trademark coming soon). For the days I have a to-do list that’s an entire page long and it seems like there’s no end in sight, I prepare myself with this morning routine. It gets me up and at ‘em and ready to pull through a day of endless list-making with ease! 

    Wake up early
    OK, I’ll admit that this isn’t hard for me. My internal clock wakes me at about 6-6:15am—I have no idea why. But on the days I’m tempted to sleep in a little longer, I make sure I get up at least by 6:45. Knowing I have about two hours to do what I want before I really have to work makes me much more excited for the day than when I grab my computer from my desk at exactly 8:29am.

    Schedule my day
    One aspect of this morning routine is that I write my to-do list before bed. I am a #bulletjournaler, so I track my habits and mood in a notebook at night which is also when I write my to-do list. We use Asana to track tasks for the day, so I look at all my tasks and brain dump what I want to get done the next day, both for work and my personal life (things like “call the Internet company because they raised your rate $20 a month!” and “walk to the library” make the list). 
    Then, in the morning, I actually put all of that into a schedule. Some days, I do it right on my iCal. Other days, I’ll write it in my notebook. And sometimes, I’ll be honest, it simply lives in my head. But knowing that I want to write this article at 10am, schedule Facebook at noon, attend a meeting at 1pm, and take my lunch at 2 keeps me on a schedule. It also forces me to work even when I want to procrastinate. Because I know I need to take my lunch at 2, I have to get all those other things done before that time.

    Scroll on my phone
    I know you just audibly gasped. Does this girl have any concept of wellness? You know, not really. When I know my day will be full, I allow myself that scrolling time in the morning. If I get out my Twitter fingers first thing in the morning, I’m less tempted to pick up my phone at all the other lulls in my day. I’ve done my liking, sharing, retweeting, Story-ing, and following for the day, so I can wait until later to get ahead. Also, I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but social media motivates me sometimes. I see a cute picture that inspires me to read a new book, or I see a hilarious tweet that I absolutely want to reference in a story (here is my favorite from this morning).
    This is also the time I catch up on news and current events. I get NYT news alerts and always read those, but I also love getting my news from Instagram and Twitter. I follow a lot of news outlets and creators who share a lot of what’s going on in the world (the good and the bad), and I enjoy that kind of news coming from #OwnVoices (a term coined in book publishing that describes books authored by someone who identifies with the marginalized community expressed in the work) sometimes even more than 2,000-word long-form articles about a community (shoutout to the journalism degree I’ll be paying off for the next 15 years!). 
    If this will affect your mental health (which it absolutely does to me sometimes), then it’s probably not the best for you. Know yourself. 

    Eat a big breakfast
    On a day that I know I have a gazillion things to do, I make a big breakfast. I know what you’re thinking. “She makes a big breakfast because it gives her energy and electrolytes and brain power!!!” Not one bit. I wish that was why. In actuality, I make a big breakfast because it’ll keep me full until lunchtime so I’m not spending my entire morning thinking about when I can take a break and eat something. Instead, I eat at breakfast, and then I’m full, alert, and ready to work until I take my scheduled lunch break. 
    This breakfast looks different sometimes, but right now, I am absolutely addicted to these breakfast wrap/burrito/too-big-so-I-make-it-a-taco situation. Just a wrap, scrambled eggs, cheese, two strips of bacon (I buy the pre-made that you just heat up in the oven or skillet because LOL, I don’t actually know how to cook bacon at 23 years old), and veggies or salsa! I also go the easy route with savory oatmeal, eggs and hash browns, or basically any variation I can cook an egg in! 

    Listen to music
    Again, I’m showing that I’m weird, but on days that I’m busy, I rarely listen to music and prefer to either work in silence or ASMR videos (LOL, guys, give it a try—watching this woman gently sanitize her groceries will soothe your germ-anxiety). It just is calming and soothing for me, and when I listen to music, I want to sing or dance and feel like I can’t focus my thoughts. So, before I start my day is when I like to shuffle a Spotify playlist and get all of that out. Music is another thing that really motivates me, so I rarely listen to soothing, soft music and almost always listen to “Frat Rules” by A$AP Mob at least once a day! 

    Get ready
    If my hair and makeup aren’t at least somewhat done or I’m wearing gross clothes, I will mess around and stare at myself in disgust all. day. long. I’ll usually put my hair in some kind of bun or braids so it’s out of my face and I can’t fidget with it all day (because I’m basically a child!). Then, I’ll just apply the basic makeup (tinted moisturizer, mascara, brows, bronzer, and highlighter). I look good enough for any meetings that come up (they almost never do, but a girl can hope) or walks around the neighborhood, but most importantly, I feel better and won’t worry about my appearance all day. 
    As far as clothes, it’s pretty strategic. I’ll usually grab a dress (the one above is sold out, but all of our editors have been loving this one all summer!) because it’s one piece and no pants. I wish I could say it’s because I want to look nice, but that’s mostly it. I just hate pants. Otherwise, it’s leggings or shorts and a blouse or tank! Pretty basic, but most of all comfortable for me. 

    How do YOU get ready for a busy day?! Tell us your tips in the comments! More

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    4 Essential Tips for Starting a New Job During COVID-19

    Starting a new job can be an exciting time, as you prepare to walk into the office on your first day to meet your new team, set up your office, and hit the ground running. But starting a new job remotely sometimes can lack that same luster, especially when working from home is the “new normal” across the company. As many companies are now adjusting to new or modified schedules that allow their employees to work from home, and as the future of offices shift, as a new employee, it can be intimidating to begin a job with a new company without the formalities of orientation and meeting your new colleagues in person. Adapting to a new job remotely poses its own set of challenges: How do you get acquainted with colleagues who are not on your immediate team? How will your new coworkers know about your hire? How will you establish rapport with your team?  
    Being patient and flexible seems to be the name of the game when adjusting to a new job from home. Make your adjustment to your new company a smooth one, even from your own home, with a few tips on starting a new job remotely.

    1. Make your manager the middle man 
    There’s no bigger advocate to have when starting a new job with a new company than your manager, especially when meeting colleagues in person on your first day is no longer an option. Your manager will be your guide and biggest cheerleader, announcing your arrival as a new hire while everyone is working from home and pre-occupied with adjusting to a new type of work-life balance. 
    See if your manager would consider sending out an announcement of your hire, and open your calendar up for e-introductions from your new coworkers. An announcement is a great way for others in your company to get to know you and your role and how you might be working with them. Your manager can also include you in on various video conferences and meetings to introduce you to a variety of coworkers to get acquainted with. Ask about meetings that could help you not only introduce yourself and your role, but also help you become familiar with the moving parts of the business and current projects to get you up to speed. 
    Build a rapport with your manager by suggesting one-on-one meetings frequently during the start of your role to gain more understanding of your team, their preferred communication style, and short-term and long-term goals you should adhere to. When working from home, it is easy to be out of sight, out of mind when it comes to connecting with your manager, so proactively scheduling regular check-ins helps keep the communication flowing, making work more effective and your transition even smoother. 
    Your manager is in charge of making sure you get your foot in the door with all of the right people while working from home; make sure to use their influence to ensure a graceful start to your new job. 

    2. Use human resources as a resource after onboarding
    When starting a new job, onboarding can be one of the most helpful ways to introduce yourself to your new company. Whether you are in the office or working from home, the onboarding process is a great tool to learn more about the structure of the company, your new role and responsibilities, and what to expect when you do eventually come back into the office.
    Navigating a new company after onboarding without the proper connections or guidance in person can seem daunting. Your human resources team is the perfect team to help guide you through a new company, even past the initial onboarding, having access to everything you need to make your transition to a new company and role from home a smooth one. Keep in touch with your human resources team after onboarding to get key information that will help you past your first days with the company, including company directories, work-from-home polices and procedures, and employee resource groups to get involved with to acclimate yourself to your new company. Your human resources professional should be on top of the latest company news and any changes, especially during major shifts in the company with work-from-home schedules. They can be your introduction to the full company and help you explore your new job without having to leave home. 

    Source: cottonbro | Pexels

    3. Discover your team’s communication style 
    One of the major setbacks of working from home is establishing and maintaining effective communication with colleagues, your manager, and other coworkers, especially as a new employee who is just learning the ropes. For some of your colleagues, this might be their first time working from home for an extended period of time, adjusting to new forms of communication online and by phone vs. the standard in-person boardroom meeting many workers have been accustomed to. 
    Discover your immediate team’s preferred communication style, whether it be by phone, email, instant messaging, or via video conference. Some colleagues may rather not be inundated with emails and respond better using other forms of communication, which will help you be more effective at reaching them when starting your new role.
    How your team communicates, along with when your team best connects and is productive, is also crucial to starting off on the right foot from day one. Does your team have frequent check-ins, or should you put time on each calendar to have one-on-ones? Is your manager available during normal business hours or likes to catch up before or after the workday? These are all important preferences to note when working with your new team, especially when face-to-face time is limited or nonexistent and many are juggling family and work during the workday. 

    4. Connect with new team members offline 
    If you’re starting a new job remotely, it can be difficult connecting with your new team outside of work-related tasks and duties. Whether you’re working from home or going into the office occasionally, make time to get to know your colleagues, and give them the opportunity to get to know you. 
    Video conferencing is a great way to connect with your new team face-to-face if you haven’t already done so in person. Put some time on your team’s calendar to meet virtually either during or after work to get to know them informally. If video conferencing isn’t an option, a good old-fashioned phone call works just as well. Get to know them by connecting on a more personal level: How did they get started at the company and what has their experience been? What would they like to know about you? Who else should you try to meet within the company?
    Giving your new team the opportunity to get to know you outside of your new role within the company helps bridge the gap between being the new employee no one has met yet to someone they know and can trust professionally. It also helps build relationships with other team members who can help advocate for you as a new hire. Look at connecting with your new team as networking in a different way, connecting with your colleagues on a different level to establish trust and build morale professionally. 

    Starting a new job working from home doesn’t have to be intimidating or daunting; make your presence known across your company so that you can hit the ground running and make the biggest impact. 

    What’s your advice on starting a new job from home?  More

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    5 Things to Remember If You’re Working Remotely Right Now

    Months ago, millions of us packed up whatever gear we could grab from the office, went home, and, overnight, began life as remote workers. From taking regular breaks to sticking to a schedule to establishing a dedicated workspace, there are plenty of strategies for making working from home work. But there’s a huge difference between choosing to go remote and being forced to do so during an emergency. As remote work becomes more of a long-term or even permanent situation for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, what can we do to prevent burnout? We got experts to give us their best tips, advice, and things to keep in mind.
    1. Take the plunge and invest in a more comfortable set-up
    If you’ve spent the last few months hunched over the kitchen table or curled up on the couch, avoiding investing in home office gear in hopes you’d get back to the real office soon, it might be time to reconsider. Even after just a short time, your body may be feeling the effects (stiff neck, back, and shoulders, anyone?). “The ergonomics of home offices are absolutely horrible,” according to Laurel Farrer, founder of the Remote Work Association. “There are hundreds of rules that go into keeping us healthy and safe at [on-site] work, from which watt of the lightbulb is used, to the length of carpet and how high desks are. When we go home, we don’t know what those are or that we should be implementing them,” potentially putting our health at risk. 
    Farrer, who also runs Distribute Consulting from her home in Connecticut, said it can be liberating to realize that we don’t need a lot of office odds and ends we thought we did, from stodgy office furniture to giant file cabinets. But making sure your pared-down remote set-up supports your well-being is still critical (see how yours measures up with this checklist from the National Institutes of Health). And you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot to feel better. “Small, simple, and cheap changes,” she said, like putting your laptop on top of a box (to raise it closer to eye level) or simply standing up more, can make a real difference. If you are ready to invest, though, Farrer suggested a riser or standing desk of some sort for your laptop, plus a real keyboard and mouse. Some fun extras? Arranging a good video call backdrop, and buying a good microphone and ring light, “things we’ve never thought about before” that can make video meetings look way more professional.

    2. Continue to reinforce boundaries, but remember to (virtually) socialize 
    “You wouldn’t barge into someone’s office and expect them to drop everything they are doing for you,” a teammate once told Julie Chabin, who heads product design at Product Hunt and YourStack remotely from Paris. It’s the same with remote work. In the virtual workplace, with requests cascading in through email, instant messages, and calls, “it’s OK to say ‘thank you, I’ll take a look at this after I’m done with my current task,’ when you get a notification,” advised Chabin, who has worked remotely for five years. 
    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t connect with colleagues. It just has to be more intentional, said Daisy Chang, professor of organizational psychology at Michigan State University. Though she misses walking down the hall to chat with colleagues and checking in with her graduate students in person, her department, like all newly remote teams, have to carve out time to “talk to each other, exchange ideas, maintain social connection” and get support virtually. From scheduling chats to more formal ways of getting on the same page, like syncing digital calendars to focus on a project at the same time, Chang said it’s important, especially for people who particularly crave in-person connection, “to find ways to inject that back into their work life.”

    3. Over-communicate and be proactive 
    A lot can get lost virtually, especially when the shift happens abruptly, so it’s important to be super clear when discussing a project, idea, or request with coworkers. “In remote work, over-communication is just communication,” said Farrer. Even if it feels like you’re talking a ton and over-explaining, keep at it. “That’s how you stay connected.”
    Chang, who recently conducted a study on the hasty transition from in-person to working at home and some of the unique challenges that workers face in the COVID-19 context, agreed it’s harder to communicate effectively. But the self-described optimist said she actually sees this as an opportunity to be clearer. Being apart could force us to be more thoughtful and challenge us to consider a problem more deeply before crafting an email or speaking up on a call, rather than throwing out a half-baked idea in passing.
    Something both Chang and Farrer agree on is the need to be proactive, especially if a new colleague joins virtually or you’re the newbie yourself. Managers and companies should ideally be providing training and channels to get to know people, but some are still playing catch-up with the remote situation, too. In the meantime, “we really have to rely on ourselves,” said Farrer, whether that’s mustering the courage to hit “send” on an email to a potential mentor or simply scheduling a virtual coffee chat with someone you don’t know well. 

    4. Mix things up 
    Hated your hours or dress code? More productive in the early mornings? One benefit to remote work is that, on your own turf, there are opportunities to make your job work better for you. “We all sort of fall into a routine, something that’s comfortable, but it doesn’t hurt to learn new habits or change it up,” said Chang, who also suggested sharing what worked or didn’t with coworkers, from blocking out mornings for focused work to changing up your online hours. 
    After all, Farrer said, “you don’t have your employer sitting next to you telling you what to do,” so it’s important to work on being more self-reliant when it comes to getting things done and how you do them. Employees (even those with amazing supervisors) have to “take initiative to be their own boss for a little while,” making calls about what works for them.  

    5. Embrace kindness and vulnerability 
    It’s time for us to get real at work—at least a little bit. While keeping things professional is paramount, it’s important to recognize that everyone has their own struggles and personal demands, especially now. “The reality of working from home is it’s not all sunshine and rainbows all the time,” Farrer said, even in normal times. Being yourself and being open “is how you create a sense of culture in a remote team.” (In fact, Chang said, a number of studies show that being allowed to be your authentic self at work may lead to higher performance and engagement while feeling inauthentic at work can lead to burnout). 
    In other words, your coworkers are your coworkers, but we’re all human. “It’s essential to care about people, genuinely. Ask them how they are doing, let them be people, not just colleagues or clients,” Chabin said. “As we’ve seen with this global pandemic, we all have families, pets, children… it’s okay to have candid conversations.” And if you’re a freelancer or solo business owner, it may be helpful to find people in your field to reach out to for that same sort of support. 
    If you’re not ready to open up or your company’s culture doesn’t allow for it, acts of kindness can go a long way virtually. Whether that’s shouting out someone’s success with a client, or recognizing a birthday or work milestone, Chabin suggested, these simple acts still go a long way toward building trust. Extend those kindnesses to yourself—this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone (even remote work experts, Farrer said, were struggling at the beginning of the pandemic). If self-care has slipped as the months have gone on, recommit to claiming those extra hours you spent commuting as personal time, Chabin emphasized, whether that’s reading a book, working out, going for a walk, chatting with family or trying out a 15-step skincare routine. 

    If you’re struggling with remote life or feeling burnout creep in, above all, it’s important to remember: “This is not working remotely,” Farrer said, “this is trying to maintain economic and business continuity during a global crisis.” More

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    How to Make Your Current Job Your Dream Job

    Here’s a question for you: do you have your dream job? If your response to that question is a resounding, “Uhh…no,” rest assured that you aren’t alone. A survey from MidAmerica Nazarene University found that only 25 percent of Americans say they’re currently in their dream job. Of course, some dream careers are completely unattainable. […] More

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    4 Ways to Pivot Your Career Forecast for 2020

    This year has taught us that time is a social construct. Setting our 2020 career goals felt simultaneously like five minutes ago and five years ago. The world has changed considerably since January and almost all sectors and industries have been affected. That might mean that our career expectations this year have to shift. We […] More