4 ways to spot that a blogger is burned out (lack of updates, declining quality, etc.) and 4 ways to spot that YOU are burnt out on your blog (can’t find inspiration, etc.)
The right web content can bolster and strengthen your online reputation and connect you with your target market. One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to share this valuable content is through a blog. Blogs enable you to share up-to-date information with your readers and provide a forum for discussion and comments, in turn creating interest in your brand. However, simply having a blog isn’t enough. It’s also about having the right blogger. But blogging can become tedious and monotonous, and when that happens, it shows.
Spotting burn out in other bloggers
If you’re worried that the person blogging for your company (or even for a site you depend on for information) is burned out from the daily tasks of compiling data, writing content, and finding relevant images, here are four red flags to look out for:
1. Declining Quality – You may find that your blogger doesn’t catch as many grammatical or spelling errors as usual. This may mean that your blogger isn’t completing an additional read-through before submission because she just wants to be done with it. When a blogger is burned out, the quality is usually the first thing to go.
2. Lack of Updates – The second red flag to look out for is a lack of consistent updates or a mass quantity of submitted blogs right before a deadline. A blogger who is not burned out usually will remain consistent with postings, whether that is one a day or a few times a week. If your blogger has been silent for a while, you may want to identify and rectify the problem before moving forward.
3. Only Does the Minimum – You’ve probably set a minimum word count for your blogger. A burned-out blogger will only do the minimum, just enough to scrape by and call it done. You may even notice that the blogs seem to stop in mid-thought or doesn’t include a wrap-up paragraph because that would’ve pushed the blog to be more than the minimum word count required.
4. Repetitive Content – After a while, many bloggers resort to writing about the same old topics over and over again or even repackaging content they’ve already written. This could be because they’re comfortable with the topic or it’s easy to whip out 400 words on a topic they’ve already researched. All they have to do is word it a little bit differently.
Fatigue surrounding your own blogging efforts
But it’s not just bloggers that you should keep an eye on for burnout; you’re also susceptible. When considering your own blogging efforts, here are four ways to identify if you’re burned out, too.
1. Can’t Find Inspiration – Finding blog inspiration can be one of the hardest parts of being a regular, consistent blogger. If you struggle to find inspiration for new blog posts, you may be burned out. Even when you’re looking for blog inspiration, every topic or idea may seem too wearisome or difficult to capture with words. When you don’t even try to capture those brief moments of inspiration, you know there’s a problem.
2. Everything Else Becomes More Important – We all have a lot of items on our daily to-do lists. However, when everything else on that list suddenly becomes more important—especially if those include checking personal social networking sites, de-linting the dryer, or organizing your pens or notepads—this may mean that the idea of blogging that day causes stress and anxiety. And that’s when you know you’ve reached burn-out.
3. Anxiety over the Reception – Sometimes being too wrapped up in the reception of a blog post can cause burn-out. Let’s be honest; dealing with both positive and negative comments, constantly worrying about stats and numbers, and trying to get the information across while maintaining political correctness is exhausting. Instead, focus on the heart of the writing, the purpose and point of each particular blog. Leave the comments and the numbers for another day.
4. You No Longer Love What You Do – Now, this is a big red flag to watch out for. If you don’t love what you do or what you blog about, it will be a pain for as long as you do it. The trick is to find subjects and topics that interest you, excite you, and make you think. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Burning out from blogging is common because it is a constant demand. No matter how ahead-of-the-game you get today, you’ll still have to do it all over again tomorrow, and then again the next day. And that can become tedious very quickly. Once you’ve identifying blogger burnout, whether it’s one of your employees or yourself, it’s time to find ways to remedy the situation, including taking a few-days break, assigning new and unique topics, and getting back to why you started blogging in the first place. Then you can beat the burnout and continue with your work.
Removing remote work options creates a new caste system
(BUSINESS) Remote work has created a democratization of sorts in the workforce, and companies desperate to nix the options could take a hit.
Many companies are mandating a return to the office after over a year of allowing employees to work remotely, and, according to a recent study, over half of workers surveyed say they won’t stand for it. As remote work becomes more normalized for all levels of employment, it is crucial that employers retain the option for employees to work in this capacity wherever possible – even if it means employing nontraditional methods.
Harvard Business Review references something called “the democratizing effect of remote work” – the great equalizing that took place during stay-at-home orders nationwide.
In short, this philosophy entails workers having their needs met while continuing to fulfill their contracts of employment. Theoretically, this is a win-win situation.
But employers have their own predilections toward in-house operations, with remote flexibility often being reserved for the highest-ranking officials while “lower” employees are expected to commute. It’s a business model with which we’re exceptionally familiar; why change?
The answer to that question may be employee-driven, as many employees cite a preference for hybrid or remote work environments post-pandemic. “Employees are leaving workplaces that don’t suit their needs anymore,” cites HBR.
Many of those needs are emotional, too. Non-white employees and female employees face a higher level of discrimination in the workplace than their white and/or male counterparts; Black employees, in particular, reported stressful work conditions, with HBR citing that only three percent of Black employees demonstrated an interest in returning to an in-office environment (as opposed to 21 percent of white employees).
Allowing stressed and oppressed employees to work from home can improve their mental health, stress levels, and even their “feelings of belonging at their organization” in the case of Black employees.
Outside of race and gender, the publication also stresses the negative effects that mandating a return after allowing for remote work will have: “Creating a new caste system where elites have anywhere jobs and non-elites are shackled to the office full time is a recipe for high attrition among employees who often have a lot of firm-specific knowledge that is valuable to their employers.”
The less-subtle breakdown is this: If companies that are capable of offering remote work want to retain employees, they need to offer some remote options.
We saw the effects of employees in frontline occupations refusing to show up to work because of poor wages and working conditions earlier this year. It isn’t outside of the realm of feasibility to expect the next major workforce shortage to impact corporations as well.
If the solution is as simple as letting employees work from home a few days per week or permanently (especially if their productivity doesn’t suffer), that’s a pretty small price to pay for continued prosperity.
The case for nixing your company happy hour forever
(BUSINESS) Happy hour is designed to bond teams and offer a perk, but the design is outdated to benefit few workers – let’s just get rid of the practice.
The world of work has forever changed from the pandemic. Melinda Gates hopes that COVID-19 makes society get serious about gender equality. Some people are wondering how many people really want to return to the office at all. There are questions about providing customer service, not to reduce costs to the business, but because shoppers don’t want help in the store.
Let’s tackle another tradition in the office – the happy hour. Wondering if employees really want happy hours? Do they even help?
Why do we even have happy hour?
Happy hour is a tradition that dates back to the early 20th century and the United States Navy. It was originally a weekly entertainment created to alleviate boredom on the U.S.S. Arkansas when sailors were at sea. The practice became popular in the Navy, but over time, the emphasis changed from entertainment to drinking. As drinking became less stigmatized after prohibition, employees began drinking at work and after work. Although happy hours declined in the 1970s and beyond, there was a resurgence in the 2000s.
Why do offices hold happy hour?
Hosting a happy hour is thought to help a team develop positive relationships and encourage employee engagement and productivity. Drink o’clock can be a time of celebration to help employees feel good about the work they’re doing.
Employees can interact with each other outside of the stress of work. It sounds pretty innocent, just getting together at the end of the workday at a local pub or bar, but it comes with a lot of issues.
Is it time to nix the work happy hour?
Happy hour can come with a lot of pressure for employees. Some people believe they have to attend in order to keep moving up in the job, because skipping out can be seen as not being a team player, and many who don’t show up to the “optional” happy hours are also the ones who didn’t get to schmooze with the bosses and thereby are not the ones who get promotions.
This disproportionately hurts women, who typically still have the majority of caregiving tasks in the family and can’t stay out drinking on weeknights.
Transportation issues or flexible schedules don’t lend themselves well to the traditional happy hour after work. And don’t forget the drinking atmosphere doesn’t appeal to everyone. There are many religious, cultural, and personal reasons for people to avoid alcohol, bars, and happy hour functions.
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of liability issues for employers. Can your business risk an accident by an employee who went to happy hour and was a little buzzed when they left?
While we’re rethinking workplace traditions in the post-pandemic era, let’s think about how to get employees engaged. Maybe this outdated practice isn’t the best way to build your team anymore.
You absolutely don’t need to be a 100% match for a job to apply
(CAREER) Most people believe they should only apply for their dream job if they’re a perfect match, but studies say that’s the wrong approach.
You don’t need to be a 100 percent match for a job to apply. You just don’t.
We’ve all seen the crazy job postings:
-Must be fluent in Mandarin
-Must be be full-stack coder
-Must also have real estate license
-Must be a rockstar ninja (uuugh)
After seeing endless open positions with specific requirements, it’s no wonder that so many job seekers become discouraged. How can anyone fit 100 percent of the requirements on the job listing? And actually, most people don’t. According to a recent study, you only need to meet ~70 percent of the job requirements to be a good fit for a job.
So you’re telling me a requirement isn’t actually a requirement?!
The study analyzed job postings and resumes for over 6,000 positions across 118 industries, and they found that applicants are just as likely to get an interview whether you meet 50 percent or 90 percent of the requirements.
Crazy, I know. That law of diminishing returns will eff you up.
But what about women? I wondered the same thing. Surprisingly, the interview data was in favor of women that meet less of the requirements. In fact, the study shows that as a female, the likelihood of getting an interview increases if you simply meet 30 percent of the requirements. Also, female applicants are just as likely to get an interview if they meet 40 percent versus 90 percent of the job requirements.
Before you start complaining that women have it better in the job search process, correlation doesn’t equal causation.
Interestingly enough, 64 percent of the female users rejected at least one job where they matched 50 – 60 percent of the requirements, while only 37 percent of male users did. This leads us to believe there more implicit factors to take into consideration, like imposter syndrome throughout the interview process.
If you’re a recruiter or employer, this may seem like more work. But in an increasingly competitive job market for both employers and applicants, this presents an opportunity to get to know people for who they actually are, not just on paper. And resumes often do a poor job of reflecting that — especially the ever-important soft skills.
As we’ve gone through this study, here are a few practical action items for job seekers:
1. Apply for a lot of jobs to increase your number of interviews.
The study shows that increased interviews are a direct result of increased applications, not just picking and choosing what you think you’re a good fit for. Which brings us to our next point:
2. Go for those “stretch” roles — you never know what may come of it!
Send in a lot of applications, but don’t let that stop you from approaching the process thoughtfully. Recruiters can tell if you’ve skimped on the cover letter or your resume, and a thoughtful approach to the application process will be noticed and appreciated by recruiters, especially for those reach roles.
3. Don’t second-guess yourself.
We’re always our own worst critics, and according to this, we don’t need to be — especially throughout the job application process. Job hunting is stressful enough, so put on your most upbeat playlist (or Beyonce), say your affirmations, and go on with your bad self and start applying!
This story was first published here in December 2018.
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