So winter is well and truly here and any may be feeling the effects of the shorter, colder days and be struggling to shake that sluggish feeling. If at this time of year you find yourself feeling moody, depressed or snapping for very little reason then you may be part of the population who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as “SAD”. Research commissioned by The Weather Channel and YouGov, shows that 29% of adults experience symptoms of SAD at this time of year, ranging from low energy levels, to low self-esteem and anxiety. So with this being a relatively common problem, how can you stop it from affecting you in the workplace? Here are our top tips! Put effort into getting ready for work You may be craving those soft and snuggly clothes but whilst they can have a soothing effect it can also negatively impact your mood to dress down or cut corners in your morning routine. If you are used to gelling your hair or applying some make up then try to keep doing that. Studies have shown a clear connection between dressing up and daily happiness levels. What you wear can affect how you feel so try to avoid letting your morning routine slip for a few extra minutes in bed. Get goal setting During winter it is so easy to slip into that every-day-is-the-same-nothing-changes mind set. Make sure you set goals for yourself over these months. These could be daily goals such as ticking off five things on your to do list, or bigger professional goals such as pursuing a promotion, finishing a big project or taking on a training course to learn something new. Working towards goals can really help as a distraction to take your mind off how you might be feeling. Making social plans So you’ve got the office Christmas party coming up, that’s great but try to plan other evenings or lunches out with your colleagues. It can really help team building to spend time together outside of the office. You spend a lot of time with these people in work so making sure you have good positive relationships can help you feel good when in work as well. On top of this going out can also really lift your spirits! Find rituals that boost positivity Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their productivity to their routines and rituals. This could be anything from not checking your emails for the first hour in work to give yourself a chance to work in peace, to writing a list of the things you must do tomorrow as the end of the day. Writing lists can really make you feel better as you see the tasks being ticked off as you work through them. I can’t be the only one who writes things they’ve just done onto their list so they can tick it off and remind themselves of all the things they have completed that day! It’s all about finding what works for you so create rituals that motivate and give you back the structure you may have lost due to the change in daylight hours. Remember, although you may be feeling stuck, these feeling will pass. If it is really affecting your daily life then have a look at this NHS resource page explaining ways to manage SAD or see your doctor for further advice on how to manage your SAD symptoms.
Over years we have laughed and cried along with the TV series FRIENDS. In every situation you find yourself, whether it’s job searching or at work, you can learn a thing or two from these well-known Friends characters! 1) Ross Geller Don’t bring your problems to work with you. Nothing is more unprofessional than speaking to your co-workers (especially a figure of authority) about the negative aspects of your personal life. Ross has anger issues and projected his anger towards his boss at work. Don’t be like Ross. Don’t cry over a sandwich. 2) Rachel Green Don’t assume that you will love every aspect of the job you are going for. Rachel thought she would never have to make coffee again, and yet she ended up doing the coffee runs for her new office. There is always going to be one or two things you would prefer not to do in your job role. However if you love the majority of your duties then go for it! 3) Chandler Bing Sometimes you are required to work with people who you would prefer not to spend your time with. However, you will need to swallow those feelings and focus on the work you are meant to be completing. What we also learn from Chandler that it is okay to face your fears. Remember when Chandler ran away from his wedding because he thought Monica was pregnant, but then later returned when he found a baby grow in the gift shop and decided “anything that small can’t be scary”. At first Chandler ran from his fears but decided to learn from them and face up to his responsibilities. 4) Monica Geller Never agree to take a job that you dread the thought of. This is wasting both your time and the employer’s time. It will also affect the other staff and their attitude as they may become hateful towards you if you are unmotivated and not doing your bit to contribute to the team. If you are already in a job you dislike then instead of suffering in silence, you need to figure about what is going wrong for you and talk to someone about it and see if anything can change, if it can’t, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. 5) Joey Tribianni The most important thing to remember about a job is to not be embarrassed by it. You are independent and earning your own money, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Joey tried to hide his job at the coffee house from the rest of the group due to the fact that he was embarrassed however when they all realised that he was an employee, they were nothing but supportive. 6) Phoebe Buffay Despite growing up living on the streets with no family or friends to support her, Phoebe managed to land herself a job as a masseuse and ended up being able to share an apartment with Monica. This motivation and willing that Phoebe shows can be transferred into employment and shows that as an employee you are able to do anything you put your mind to as long as you are motivated and willing to do so. Phoebe is the most motivated of the entire group, are you the Phoebe in your work place? Is there another TV show cast that can teach us about job searching? Let us know in the comments below!
Did you know that work related stress is the second most common reported cause of occupational stress? So what do we mean by workplace stress? Stress typically arises when there are more demands on our time than we have resources to deal with. This can happen at work when you feel you have too many tasks and not enough hours to complete them. How can you manage it? The first step to stress management is to identify when it started and what triggered it. Was it a change of manager or taking on a new job role? Maybe it started when you came back from a holiday or after a period of illness. Figuring out the starting point can help you identify how to move forward from it. It is important to talk about when you are feeling stressed. At Swanstaff we have a Mental Wellbeing Policy which encourages employees to speak to their manager about any issues or concerns they have so that they can help. The policy advises managers to try to identify things that may affect their staff’s wellbeing and take steps to eliminate or reduce them. Here are our 5 top tips to managing stress at work: Work out the causes of your stress. You can keep a diary of what triggers your stress to help you best work out how to deal with it. Following on from point one you can learn how to react in a healthy way to stress. Some people find it helpful to write a list and set themselves a schedule for the day to help them see how much they have left to do. Ticking things off a list can be really therapeutic. Establish boundaries. You can say no if things are getting on top of you. If you have been asked to do something and you know you don’t have time for it that day you can say “I’m sorry but I don’t have time today, I can do this on ____day.” The person will either have to find someone else to do it or wait. Learning how to prioritise your tasks is a skill that will really help. Take the time to sit down and relax. Make sure to leave your desk at lunch and go and sit somewhere away from the work. This could be in a staff room, or outside of the office if you don’t have a staff room. Speak out. Opening up to your manager or colleagues is really important. They can offer you support and help you find ways to manage your stress. To find out more about caring for your employees wellbeing you can check out our other article here. Alternatively you can visit the MIND charity website for more advice and support.
As today is International Day of Happiness we thought we would share ten ways you can share happiness and make the people you work with feel good. Give someone a handwritten note or card to thank them or let them know that you appreciate them Make a donation to a charity or cause with your colleagues. Working together to raise money can really help you feel good! It's as the phrase goes, "do good, feel good." Let someone know you’re proud of them. Maybe they recently completed a course, received a promotion or are doing well in their role. Whatever it is, let them know that you recognise they work they have done. Get to know someone new. Pick a colleague you don’t know well and make an effort to speak to them. Tell someone a joke to make them smile. Share your favourite inspiring quote with your team and find out theirs. Leave a note or drawing on someone’s desk to make them smile. Make everyone a tea or coffee (or whatever drink they would prefer!) Talk about the reasons why you love your job, not only will this create conversation but it will make you all feel more positive and grateful. Check in with someone you know is having a hard time. Ask how they are and if you can do anything to help. What other ways can you think of to spread happiness at work? Let us know in the comments below
Slavery is typically thought of as a thing of the past, but unfortunately rather than disappearing, slavery has changed and there is a new modern slavery that the Stronger2gether Campaign is fighting. This type of slavery is defined by the type of conditions someone may be being forced to work under. So how can you spot if someone you know is the victim of modern slavery and what can you do to help them? A victim of modern slavery may: Be forced to work when they don’t want to. This is more than just being asked to cover a weekend shift occasionally. The person may be given no option and forced to work all hours. Have to pay someone money to give them work. They may believe they owe the person employing them or helping them find work some sort of debt. Be forced to live in accommodation against their will. They may be forced to live in cramped conditions shared with others. Unable to have access or control of their identity documents and bank account. They may feel they are unable to ask for them back or gain access to them. Have someone threatening or intimidating their family. They may feel as though they have no choice but to work for these people to keep their family safe. As recruiter you can help reduce the exploitation of workers by criminal gangs and abusive individuals by making sure your company and companies you work with implement the following: Screening and risk mapping to identify high risk industry sectors, activities, country, region and spend suppliers Review of the effectiveness of existing due diligence processes Develop a supplier audit process to assess operational indicators of forced labour Implementing fair hiring initiatives throughout the supply chain Make sure to give workers a voice and react on concerns they may raise To find out more about Modern Slavery and the Stronger2Gether Campaign click here.
It can be difficult make sure an employer notices you in a group interview, so it is important to have a clear idea of how you want things go. You need to stand out, without showing off. Here are our six top tips on how you can do this 1. Research Beforehand You should research the history of a business and more about the industry they work in. It can be useful to know the names of people like the CEO or Directors and particularly about the people who will be interviewing you and their role within the business. This is something most candidates will do so not knowing basic information will reflect badly on you and make you appear unprepared. We have a blog here that explains how to research a company! 2. Arrival Time Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview to demonstrate good timekeeping skills and show that you want to make a good impression. If you turn up late to the interview the employers will wonder if that is what they can expect of you when you work for them. 3. Make Sure You Have a Clear Idea Of The Impression You Want To Make Making a good first impression is vital to help you stand out in front of the other candidates. You need to be confident and show your knowledge without being boastful. Your interview is the time for the business to get their first impressions of what type of candidate you are. It is important to make sure you speak clearly and it may be worth rehearsing some of your answers to popular interview questions to help with the confidence in your answers. 4. Try and Answer First Every Once In A While Answering first every now and again is really important, because it will show that you’re a confident person and you aren’t afraid to lead an interview, but at the same time make sure that you aren’t always interrupting other candidates to show you respect the opinions of other people. This is often something employers will look for as they will need someone to 5. Smile and Show Your Interest During an interview you need to make sure you make eye contact as this will show you are confident person. Remember to smile and nod to show you are engaged and listening to what the interviewer and other candidates have to say. 6. Ask Informative Questions During the interview or at the end of interview the interviewer may ask if you have any questions and if so make sure you have prepared some questions that are suitable and only mention things that haven’t been discussed during the interview. If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our current vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
Most people have heard of a CPC but what is it? A CPC, Certificate of Professional Competence, is the standards set by the European Union to ensure competency and proficiency of all professional drivers. It requires all drivers to complete 35 hours of training every 5 years. When a new driver completes their Cat C or Cat D training this includes a CPC qualification. So who does it apply to? If you drive any of the following you will need a CPC: Articulated lorries driver Tipper truck driver Bin lorry driver Heavy construction equipment driver Bus drivers – Both regional and local Coach drivers – Both regional and continental Did you know, you can be fined up to £1000 for driving professionally without a valid CPC. Where can you take your CPC? There are many training providers that offer CPC Training. You can find out more about Driver CPC courses here. If you're a professional driver looking for a new role, permanent work, temporary work or just extra shifts then Swanstaff Recruitment can help! We have work available across the UK. You can see our current jobs here or find and call your local branch here to find out more about what they can do to help you!
Everyone has those days at work where they feel bored or frustrated. It’s inevitable. But if you find yourself having more bad days than good then it may be time to look for a new job. Not sure if this is you? Have you noticed one or more of these tell-tale signs? The Monday Feeling Lots of people get the Monday blues, especially after they’ve had a fun weekend. However, you shouldn’t be dreading going to work or feeling anxious on Sunday evening. If you’re in the right job, you should be able to enjoy the time that you are not at work, without worrying about when you are next in. No Recognition This is a big one. Recognition can be anything from a thank you for doing something to pay rises or promotions. It can also include being consulted and being given the opportunity to learn new skills to develop in your role. If you feel ignored or underappreciated then it may be time to look for a workplace where you will feel valued. No Challenge If your role doesn’t challenge you then you will very likely become bored. If you find yourself clock watching or finding the role mindless then it may be worth looking at something else. No Future If you’re struggling to see a future at your company, either due to lack of development or nothing for you to move into then you may again find yourself bored. It’s important to have something to work towards and a clear goal in mind to motivate you. Without a plan for meaningful career development you may need to look for a new role. No Change If you’ve spoken to someone about needing things to change or concerns about your role and nothing has improved then it may be better to change your job rather than continue to try to change the way the company is working. If you’ve noticed one or more of these things then it may be worth you thinking about moving on. If you’d like a free confidential chat with one of our recruiters about how Swanstaff can help you find a new role, then you can find your local branch here.
So you have your interview booked in and there’s one thing for sure, you need to prepare! One of the biggest mistakes made by people preparing for an interview is not knowing enough about the role or company. (To find out the other mistakes and worries people face, check out this blog here) So what information do you need to know? Firstly you need to know the company and the key players within the company. This will include the CEO and senior management team. Who will be interviewing you? You should try to find out things you have in common so you can tailor your responses to questions. It can also help you feel more confident in recognising them when you first meet if you see their pictures on the website or social media like LinkedIn. Whilst on the subject of social media, you should check out the company on social media. This can involve more than just looking at the accounts and how they interact with people. You can search the company name to see what the mentions of the company are like. This may help you to find out more about the company culture. Seeing how their employees feel about them is also vital so you can check Glassdoor and Facebook for reviews from employees about what it’s like working there. Finally, and perhaps most importantly make sure you understand the company. What does it do or sell? What do they do that makes them different? What are their core values or their mission? Make sure you know their industry and competitors well enough to discuss them. If you’ve not worked in the industry before they won’t expect you to be an expert but showing a good level of understanding and interest, proves that you care and are motivated enough to want the role. In summary you need to make sure you know: The CEO and key players The history and background of the company The culture, mission and core values of the company What do they do/sell What is their USP (Unique Selling Point) What are their biggest competitors? Can you think of any other things it is important to research or know about a company before an interview? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!