Today’s work environments are often fast-paced, complex and crowded. They can be daunting for any worker, but if for a recent graduate, a stay-at-home-parent returning to work, a former inmate who was recently released from custody, or even someone who has just been unemployed for a while, getting into the groove of the workday can take some practice. It’s as if a worker gets out of shape, just like the body does if it isn’t exercised. A job workout can help.
Basic things like going to bed on time, getting up on time and getting to work at a time that seems unfeasible to someone outside the workforce, can cause stress to those starting new jobs. Eventually, with practice, this won’t seem so overwhelming. Introverts may find themselves overloaded with the sudden influx of noise and human interaction. And if there is a commute involved, that can be just as exhausting as the work itself.
A job gymnasium is the idea that workers not used to the demands of the workday need three basic “exercises” to improve attitude, stamina and relevance.
In the workplace, attitude is everything. You can be the most qualified, the most skilled, the most talented, but without a good attitude, those things often aren’t enough. Those with social anxieties or natural pessimism may have to work harder to put on a game face and work with others. The phrase “fake it until you make it” applies here. Sometimes pretending you’re in a better mood than you are will do the job of actually putting you in a better mood.
A willingness to work hard, to listen and learn, is vital to a successful working environment. Even more important, is a positive and personable attitude during the interview process. Employers won’t hire someone they don’t like.
Stamina is probably the most difficult of the three exercises to master. Even with proper exercise, diet and rest, some workers have a hard time being energetic throughout the day. Lack of sleep, stress, physical or mental ailments, or an overwhelming workload can sap a worker’s energy. This is when it’s most important to make sure that there is proper self-care at work and after work.
Studies indicate that regular exercise holds immediate benefits for affect and cognition in all adults. Mental firepower is directly linked physical regimens. Improved cognition and mood, better memory and higher productivity have all been linked to an exercise routing. Workers report that on days they exercise, their attitude, productivity and time management improves.
Most careers these days require workers to stay abreast of trends. If it’s a highly technical field, this requires significantly more effort than other jobs might require. But even a scholar of 16th-century Elizabethan poetry needs to know the current research trends. If a worker is out of the field for more than six months, it will be harder to even gain an interview, unless the worker can show that he or she has been actively updating skills.
If the company or organization is involved in a specific issue or problem, prospective employees need to know what those are, and be well-versed in them. Showing up to an interview without knowing what the company even does is a sure way to never get a call back.