A career is not just for Christmas

If you or a young family member has ever asked for a pet for Christmas, you will be familiar with the phrase: ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’; you may of even said it yourself. This well-known phrase is used as a reminder to children that while the idea of owning a cute puppy may seem like a dream come true, there is a lot of hard work that goes into keeping an animal healthy and happy throughout their lifetime. There are also a lot of benefits to owning a pet!

As with a pet, you need to take a healthy approach to nurturing your career to help you thrive throughout your work life. Balance is critical. Some of us are overfeeders. The overfeeder doesn’t realise that by pouring all their time and energy into their work and career, they are heading for the dreaded job burn out. Equally, too little focus on the right elements, could mean missed career opportunities.

It is important to be present in your career and learn how to protect your well-being in the workplace. To help we have pulled together valuable tips in our latest guide :

‘The lawyer and paralegals guide to a healthy working career’

Your time to shine: it’ all about confidence

Throughout our careers there will be times of praise and progress. In addition, there will be times of disappointment and set-back. It is how those times are handled that determine our success. The secret to success is confidence. When making an impact as a lawyer or paralegal you must demonstrate your ability to deliver what is needed, confidently. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. Feelings of self-doubt and anxiety can be a bigger problem for some people.

Here are 3 ways to build your confidence within the workplace:

  1. Know your Unique Selling Point (USP)- be confident in what sets you apart from the rest.
    Not sure of your USP? Contact our team to chat about presenting your best self at your next interview.
  2. Listen to your praises – problem spotting is installed into lawyers and paralegals, leading to them sometimes being their own worst critic. Self-doubt can only hold you back, listen to your praises and really hear them.
  3. Know yourself – by being self-aware, we become less self-conscious; therefore, breaking the viscous cycle of self-doubt. Knowing your weakness is your strength.

Want to learn more? Take a look at ‘Making a great impact: How to inspire confidence as a freelance legal consultant’ and ‘Conquering Self-Doubt: By bringing your whole self to work’.

The power of “no”: your new best friend

Have you ever been asked to complete a task(s) that overwhelms your current workload? Did you agree – “just this once”? After you initially agreed, were you asked again? How many times have you been asked since? Having said “no” the first time, the whole cycle would have been broken. Sometimes we need to break to cycle while in it.

But how do you clearly communicate your boundaries in a professional environment?

Here are some handy tips:

  • Define your boundaries- understand what you are willing to spend your time on
  • Stop being a people pleaser- resist the temptation to volunteer in meetings (no matter how awkward the silence is)
  • Learn to share- don’t be afraid to share the workload out with colleagues that have lighter workloads than you
  • Say “yes” to “no”- investing in your free time can be incredibly rewarding; saying “no” helps to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Want to learn more? Take a look at ‘Learning to say “No”: a busy lawyers’ guide to setting boundaries at home and at work’.

Protect your mental health: you are your biggest investment

To present your best self at work, you need to be your best self.

Evidence has shown that even in times of ordinary stress and pressure, our cognitive ability to function efficiently is hindered. Throughout our workday we rely on this ability to think clearly and benefit from the best decision-making processes we can access, if it is hindered- so is the performance of our work. This means we must maintain our wellbeing by learning techniques that minimise stress, to become the best version of ourselves; both in and outside of work.

5 quick valuable tips to maintaining wellbeing:

  1. Make time for things that make you happy
  2. Be aware of unhelpful coping mechanisms
  3. Re-frame negatives as positives
  4. Maintain routines
  5. Switch off at the end of a working day.

Want to learn more? Take a look at ‘Protecting your mental health when working from home’.

The staples: a balanced work/life diet

The importance of a good work/life balance cannot be stressed enough. Nor can the importance of a healthy diet to help achieve this balance. Mounting evidence highlights that eating right and keeping physically active plays a crucial role in our motivation levels and helps us to separate from the stressors of the workplace.

Here are our 5 rules for a balanced work/life diet:

  1. Make time to eat- no matter how busy you are, food is energy.
  2. Incorporate fitness into your workday- introducing a walk at lunch or a jog after work can help to break up your working day, while increasing your step count.
  3. Sleep keeps you in tip top shape- struggling to unwind after the workday? Check out our tips for a better sleep for busy lawyers.
  4. Be flexible- fed up with full-time work? Why not look investigate working hours that suit your balanced lifestyle? Contact our team today to discuss how we can support your flexible working journey today.
  5. Enjoy life- be present. Whether it be the little moments, like finding a ten-pound note in your coat pocket, or the big moments, like your child’s first steps.

In conclusion

During our careers, we will often find ourselves in times of high demand in the workplace. This results in working overtime, prioritising work over events, stress at home and commonly, a period of anxiety.

How do you deal with this? Keep in mind the 4 guiding principles from our guide to help you adapt to the situation you face:

  1. Be confident in your skill set and experience- we are often our own worst critics
  2. Set clear boundaries- your time is precious
  3. Protect your mental health- no job is worth compromising your wellbeing
  4. Maintain a healthy work/life balance- remember our handy tips.

By implementing a balanced work/lifestyle you can appreciate both your career and life, without compromise.

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