Category Archives: stress

My Invitation to St James’s Palace

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Hi Everyone

As you probably know http://www.beatredundancyblues.com is your one stop resource for redundancy. As well as the practical aspects of redundancy it also covers health and wellbeing including stress, anxiety and depression.

You may like to know that I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon. We promote health messages, learn from health specialists and encourage the 5 ways to wellbeing:

  1. Connect
  2. Be Active
  3. Take Notice
  4. Learn
  5. Give

On Wednesday 10th of March, I went to a CSV Health Buddy celebration of music and activities from local refugees who are being looked after by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support.

I could not help but take notice of the variety of talent amongst the refugees. There were lots of activities including singing, sports, character making out of carrots and foods from their country. I learnt more about them and the foods they eat. People from different backgrounds connected and it was lovely of them to give up their afternoon to entertain and teach us.

At this event I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a bouquet of flowers and a Certificate of Achievement for helping a distressed and vulnerable person as part of my role as a CSV (Community Service Volunteer) Health Buddy.

I was even more thrilled to be told that I had been chosen to represent the CSV organisation at their 50th anniversary celebration, to be held at St James’s Palace in London on Monday 15th of July 2013. In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel incredibly honoured to be chosen for.

Redundancy can make you feel deflated and powerless. Take back the control in your life by discovering what you were born to do and make it happen for yourself.

I am living my dreams and I want you to be too.

Stay positive

Sandra Bellamy

D is for Dream Job (A-Z of Redundancy)

Hi Everyone

Redundancy is the perfect opportunity to take time out to discover what it is that you really want to do with your life and your career.

It is perfectly normal for you to feel a mixture of emotions during the early stages of redundancy. These can include, but are not limited to, panic, anxiety, worry, stress, depression and feelings of being overwhelmed, bewildered and fearful of what the future may hold.

However, it is also the chance of a lifetime to take stock of your situation and discover what makes you truly happy, in both your career and your personal life and then setting some goals to determine how you are going to achieve that happiness.

In order to establish makes you happy in these areas, start by:

  1. Making a list of the things that you like to do both in and out of work.
  2. Making a list of what you don’t like to do in and out of work.

Now, of the things you most like, number them in order of priority, what makes you the most happiest should be at the top of your list (number 1) and your least happiest down the bottom of the list. In order to determine which make you the happiest, look at yourself in the mirror and say the words of the things that you think make you the happiest – Notice your tone of voice and what your facial expressions are doing, do they show you are elated? Excited? Can’t stop smiling? By observing yourself in this way, you should be able to verify if what you think makes you happy, actually does make you happy. I know for example, that when I talk about writing, my whole face lights up, my tone of voice changes, my body language is different because I love it so much and feel comfortable being a writer. I know therefore, that I couldn’t live without writing in my life and that’s what my dream job is and that is what I need to do in order to make me happy.

Once you have concluded your priorities for being happy, you next need to decide on what steps to take in order to achieve your dream job. So for example, if you want to be a photographer, your list of steps may read something like this:

  1. Google photography – Check out what area of photography I would like to specialise in, portrait, landscape, still life, animals.
  2. Buy a photography book and magazine to read up about it.
  3. Enrol on a photography course.
  4. Buy a camera recommended by the course.
  5. Practice, practice, practice – Try photographing a range of things.
  6. Join some online photography groups.
  7. Go online and find places to sell my photos.
  8. Establish what products and services I could sell on my own website and for what prices.
  9. Build my own photography website with an integrated shopping cart.
  10. Advertise my products and services in the local media.
  11. Learn to use social media to promote my business.
  12. Sell my products and services.

= You are in your dream job.

So you can see, your dream job is only a plan away but if you don’t act on the plan, then it will always be just a paper exercise. You need to make your dream job happen because no one else can do it for you. Let me know when you have achieved it and you are welcome to do a guest blog post on this site, describing your business and your experience, thereby gaining free publicity. I am confident that together, we can beat redundancy blues.

Stay positive

Sandra Bellamy

 

C is for Confidence A-Z of Redundancy

Hi Everyone

It’s important whilst redundant, that when applying for jobs and going for interviews, you come across as a confident person.

Confident in:

  • Yourself
  • Your character
  • Your previous job roles
  • Your skills
  • Your experience
  • Your abilities

In interviews, you need to ensure you are displaying open and positive body language:

  • No crossed arms
  • No fists made
  • No stern looks
  • No leering

You should:

  • Smile – Creates warmth and approachability
  • Have arms by your side or on your lap with palms facing upwards – Shows openness and friendliness
  • Try to relax as much as possible – Will put the interviewer at ease

When you try to relax, pay close attention to your facial muscles, are they stiff and tight or at ease? What are your shoulders doing, are they hunched over or upright? You need to be constantly thinking about being calm and a good way to feel calm is to picture a time when you felt relaxed, maybe talking to a friend, then think of how your body felt at that moment and try to replicate it. This is hard but with practice can feel more natural and help you to get the job. If you are calm, this should make your interviewer feel calm and therefore you will appeal to them.

Remember when you speak, you are talking to a potential boss, so don’t feel so relaxed that you start talking to your  prospective employer like he is your mate in the pub as this would not be well accepted and you are not likely to get the job.

In interviews:

  • Maintain eye-contact but without staring – This can take several practices before getting it right

You have to be confident that your character (personality) will fit the job. For example, if you are a quiet person and don’t like being in crowds, then working in a pub would most likely not suit your personality. If you are a bubbly and chatty person and that’s what the job requires, you need to be confident enough to show this at your interview.

You need to be confident when talking about your previous job roles. Talk up your achievements and don’t mention negatives. If the interviewer asks you questions like – “What was your biggest obstacle in your last role and how did you overcome it?” Then you need to be honest from the employer’s perspective but change the negatives into a positive. For example, if you had a customer who was unhappy with the shoes they had bought but it was more about the comfort of the shoes rather than a manufacturing fault and company policy was not to refund just on a comfort issue as you can’t resell the shoes and the company loses money. You could say that in order to maintain good relations, you decided to exchange the shoes as a gesture of good will. You need to always add a positive outcome – The customer was happy and became a weekly regular.

Whenever you talk about your skills, experience and abilities. You need to talk about them in a positive manner with the interviewer and give examples of when you have used them in your past job roles to good effect and created a positive impact on the businesses you were working for. Then go on to say how you could use those in your new role for which you are being interviewed.

Always remember, if you are confident that you can do the job, then the prospective employer will be confident that you are suitable to work for them.

Stay positive

Sandra

Congratulations – Celebrations – Writing Well

Hi Everyone

quirkybooks’ latest competition to win a signed copy of Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon, was a close contest, with many people trying several ways to win.

I am pleased to announce that Casey Jo Roach is the winner of the signed copy of Write-A-Thon. Congratulations Casey.

Thanks to everyone who entered and made the competition a great success.

For this competition I asked the question: “If you could buy any self-help book, what topic would you choose and why?”

Amongst the answers were books about:

  • How to write well
  • Writing resources
  • Writing an interesting Novel
  • How to write a novel quickly
  • Getting published
  • Overcoming Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • De-stressing
  • Anxiety

I thought it was remarkably interesting that two main categories shone through: Writing and Health and Well-being. I often write about writing on my http://www.quirkybooks.wordpress.com blog and will be covering more of health and wellbeing on my new beatredundancyblues.com website. Including Depression, Anxiety and stress. So watch this future space!

If you could buy any self-help book, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.

Write soon.

Sandra

A is for Antidote to Beat Redundancy Blues (A-Z of Redundancy)

Hi Everyone

Redundancy can be an extremely stressful, distressing and depressing time.

When I was made redundant for the first time in 2002, it felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath my feet, bewildered, disappointed and shocked, I didn’t know how I was going to cope. I hadn’t been made redundant before and I didn’t know anyone else who had.

The second time was a different story, in 2009, much like today, it was during one of the worst economic climates and there were many others I knew and subsequently spoke to, that had been put in the same position. To speak to and be around people who understood how I was feeling, who had the same worries, the same fears and the same anxieties, really helped me to not feel so alone. I also found the following, was a good antidote, to help beat redundancy blues.

  1. In a state of panic, don’t just plunge back into the next available job, take some time out, to calm down and to reflect on was has happened to you.
  2. Go with what you are feeling. Don’t suppress the emotions but rather let yourself feel them and deal with them in a constructive way.
  3. Speak to family and friends to get their support.
  4. Do not carry on and pretend that nothing has happened. The sooner you face up to the situation, the sooner you can deal with it and move on.
  5. You need to recognise that you are grieving for your loss. Sure it is not a person that you are losing but a job is a huge part of your life and to have it taken away from you, unless you dislike the job, is often incredibly devastating.
  6. If you are feeling depressed and finding it hard to cope, then consider counselling. It can help you work through your grief and get you back into work quicker. Unless you are good at hiding your depression, a person who is blatantly depressed, will not score brownie points in an interview and you will be doing yourself a disfavour by trying to do something you are not ready for. We all need to take our own time to heal.
  7. Do things which make you feel good about yourself, if you can afford to, take a short break, socialize, be around people who make you feel good and help to get you out of your own head that is probably spinning with all sorts of thoughts, causing you confusion and to feel out of control. The sooner you start to feel in control, the sooner you will feel better.
  8. When you are feeling calmer and more in control, you need to think about what job you would like to do next. In order to do this in a beneficial way, you need to think about what you liked and disliked about your last job and your previous roles. Answer the following questions:
  • Do you prefer to work on your own or as part of a team?
  • Are you a problem solver or do you prefer someone else to do this for you?
  • Do you find it easy to communicate with staff? With Colleagues? With Customers?
  • Do you prefer to lead or to follow?
  • Do you prefer to be guided or to use your own initiative?
  • Do you enjoy talking or being quiet?
  • What environment do you feel most comfortable in?
  • Do you like working in a structured way or prefer a more relaxed approach?
  • Are you a person who likes to do things and be active or do you prefer to be an observer?
  • Do you enjoy working with figures?
  • Do you like socializing with people from work or do you want to do your job and just go home?
  • Are you flexible over hours that you can work?
  • How much money do you need to live on?

Also consider:

  • What is your dream job?
  • Could you turn any hobbies into a career?
  • What job could you realistically do?
  • Do you lack certain skills needed for a new job? If so, what can you do about it?

9. When you start asking yourself these questions, you start looking to the future, now don’t look back. Keep looking forward and focus on that.

10. As always. Stay positive and keep smiling.

Sandra Bellamy

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