Graduates: Managing mentally and physically in a busy office environment

Career Advice
13 February 2018 | Career Advice | Guest Author

As a graduate you have worked very hard to secure yourself a job after completing university. Just as you did when preparing for exams, the process to get yourself through various assessments and interviews required patience and hard work. Regardless, just as you did when receiving your degree, it all felt worthwhile in the end. Now as you go into the working world, keen to make an instantaneous impact – don’t fall into the trap of burning yourself out mentally as well as physically.

To avoid just that, have complied a list of four effective ways in which graduates can keep themselves mentally and physically healthy in a busy and competitive office environment.

Move When Possible

Instead of working through lunch to stay on top of your heavy workload or doing so, just to impress senior figures – consider going for a short walk. The change in surroundings and fresh air will do you a world of good. Equally, enable you to get some much-needed movement after being sedentary for most of the morning.

A walk will be especially valuable on stressful days, where you have big meetings or are due to deliver a key report/project, as it will allow you to clear your mind of work and reflect positively on other aspects of life such as your plans after work.

Additionally, if you are constantly feeling constrained from the lack of physical movement in the office, consider taking five minutes at the end of every hour to do some simple stretching exercises.

Embrace Organisation

Organisation in the workplace is really underestimated. During your initial first few weeks, a lot of information about your role and general processes within the company will be thrown around. Instead of assuming your mind will absorb it all, invest in a notepad and pen to keep your understanding on track.

As you settle in, dissect projects/reports/tasks into defined parts/sections and then assign a measurable timescale for each bit, so you have a deadline to aim for. This can be done using online applications or a planner. In doing so, you are making your workload more digestible as well as manageable and indirectly, alleviating stress.

You will undoubtedly have ‘admin’ and other added tasks on a daily basis to complement your normal work flow. With this is mind, it can become easy to ignore and then forget about these so called ‘small tasks’. To combat this, allocate a planner to record any tasks as you become aware of them and then review it just before the end of the day to remind yourself if it has been achieved or not.  

Seek Assistance When Needed

As the saying goes: 'if you don’t ask, you don't get'. In the workplace, often graduates are too afraid to ask for help because they don’t want to seem incompetent. This means they are piling unnecessary pressure upon themselves.

There is no need to stay silent if you don’t understand or need to clarify something. Ask your manager or fellow colleagues – they will appreciate you coming to them for assistance and acknowledge your drive for wanting to get the task in hand done right. If you don’t ask and assume, it is more than likely any possible mistakes and inaccuracies will be found out. This will reflect badly on you and your reputation.

Enlightenment Through Awareness

Given the turbulent times we live in and the unpredictable economy, staying ahead of the game has never been more important. Under this premise, graduates experience a huge deal of anxiety to consistently be mindful of what’s going on in the industry they are working in. To deal with this head on, graduates can utilise social media to connect with a handful of influencers. Identifying relevant influencers and following them on platforms such as Twitter/Facebook – this will allow you to gain real-time expert analysis on the current issues and debates effecting your industry.

Moreover, if you can listen to audio whilst you work, then consider checking out some podcasts dedicated to certain topics and conversations around your industry. They are very insightful and provide perspectives which previously may not have even been considered. Likewise, asking those senior in the company what trade publications they engage with and then subscribing to some, will only widen your commercial awareness and quality of work.  

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