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Via Elite Daily : 5 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Work To De Stress Without Your Co Workers Judging You

If I could do yoga literally wherever I went, I would — and TBH, I kind of do. Even while I’m working, I’m always low-key cranking out some super casual yoga poses throughout the day (and no, I’m not talking about doing a headstand in the middle of the office, though that does sound rather exhilarating). As a yoga teacher, and as someone who just loves the practice in general, I’ve pretty much mastered the art of doing yoga poses at work without looking like a total weirdo, and without getting majorly judged by all of my co-workers. I guess you could say being ~subtly zen~ is my specialty.

Now, you might be thinking: Why does she care what her co-workers think of her? But come on, fam — do you really want to be known as the office hippie who chants “om” in between meetings, or busts out a downward facing dog at the coffee machine? Yeah, neither do I.

The good news is that there are definitely a few easy ways to integrate yoga into your day without drawing the entire office’s attention to yourself. And, honestly, keeping your practice subtle and private during work hours will feel like an awesome little secret you have with yourself — on how you stay so freaking grounded, centered, and free of bodily tension all day long. Pretty soon, your co-workers might just be asking you what your secret is.

If you’re trying to sneak some yoga into your day to de-stress, but you don’t want those judgmental stares from your co-workers, try these five yoga poses that are pretty much as low-key as it gets.

1. Spinal Twist In Your Chair

No yoga mat or stretchy pants are required for this blissful spinal twist, but the movement is still sure to leave your entire back feeling tension-free and totally rejuvenated after sitting for longer than you’d like.

No one will notice you doing this bad boy, because it’ll look like you’re just turning around to look at something, when you’re actually squeezing a kickass, back-relieving yoga pose into your day. As you inhale, sit taller in your chair as you try to grow your spine and lengthen your body. As you exhale, twist a bit deeper into your seat, and relish the wonderful sensation this brings to your lower back.

2. Tree Pose At The Coffee Machine

Honestly guys, coffee breaks throughout the work day give me life, and a lot of times, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane in the midst a hectic schedule. Personally, I love adding an extra dose of energy to my cup of joe by busting out a super casual tree pose while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew.

Though tree pose might seem like a weird move to bust out in the middle of the office, this asana can actually be very low-key if you place your foot on your calf, rather than all the way up on your thigh. The balance required in this posture will give you a boost of focus, and once you’re done with both sides of your body, your beloved java will be ready to energize your brain and body even more.

3. A Hip-Opening Pose You Can Do Right At Your Desk

Pigeon pose is my absolute favorite yoga pose, but real talk, getting down on the floor and doing the standard variation isn’t really an option when you’re doing your 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. thing. But you can easily opt for a seated, figure-four variation of pigeon pose when you need to release some tension at the office.

Keep in mind, the focus on your hip flexors in this pose may pinch and hurt a little bit at first, especially if these muscles are tight due to stress, but as long as you focus on your breathing and don’t make any sudden movements, the stretch should provide you with a nice sense of relief.

4. A Clasped Shoulder Stretch You Can Do Literally Anywhere

Whether you’re racing around the office completing a whole slew of tasks, or you’re slaving away at your computer and buried under a mountain of demanding emails, this yogi-style shoulder stretch will come to your rescue to calm your body and mind.

Clasping your hands behind your back and taking a luxurious shoulder stretch will open up your chest and upper body in amazing ways, allowing stress and tension to melt away with ease. Every time I do this stretch, my shoulders crack, like, seven times, and it’s absolutely glorious.

5. Practice Mindful, Abdominal Breathing Throughout The Day

I love incorporating pranayamas, or yoga breathing techniques, into my work day because they’re incredibly relaxing, and no one besides you even knows you’re doing them in the first place.

Truthfully, though, some breathing exercises require closing off one nostril with your hands, or cupping your palms around your mouth, so those might be a little too extra for the office. Some classic abdominal breathing, however, is a great way to go if you want to relax and de-stress without getting a bunch of side-eye stares from co-workers.

Breathe deeply and fully into your belly, allowing it to puff out with air. Slowly exhale all of your breath, letting go of any stressors that may have come up during your day at work as you do so.

Via Polsinelli : Employer Beware: Considerations When Hiring a Competitor’s Employees

Restrictive covenants, such as non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, typically assist employers to protect their legitimate business interests. When properly drafted and implemented, an employer can use these types of agreements to limit an employee’s ability to unfairly compete after he or she concludes employment.

However, restrictive covenants cannot be used to prohibit regular, ordinary competition. While some employers may be deterred from considering an otherwise qualified applicant who is subject to post-employment restrictive covenants, there are steps employers can take to limit their exposure to claims of unfair competition when interviewing and hiring employees subject to these kinds of restrictions.

  • Ask about restrictions at the earliest reasonable and possible opportunity. Be specific when asking about any agreements in which these provisions might be contained. However, take care to avoid discussing the applicant’s former employer’s confidential information.
  • Obtain a copy of the agreement or agreements if a decision to hire is likely and review and analyze the enforceability of the restrictive covenants at issue, as well as whether the applicant can perform the position without violating the restrictions.
  • Clearly instruct the applicant not to disclose any confidential information, even if volunteered. Depending on the restrictions at issue, the new employer may also need to instruct the applicant not to solicit any of the former employer’s customers, clients, or employees. Consider also including an attestation to that effect in the offer letter or employment agreement.
  • Evaluate the likelihood of litigation. Assess the circumstances of the employee’s departure, the similarities between the former position and the new role, the nature of the industry and proprietary information or trade secrets at issue, the business relationship (if any) between the hiring employer and the former employer, and the former employer’s propensity for litigation, among other things.

Employers that determine that hiring an applicant subject to restrictive covenants justifies the risks of doing so would do well to discuss proactive options with an attorney. In some situations, opening the line of communication with the former employer prior to – for example – receipt of a cease-and-desist letter demanding the termination of new hire’s employment can be very productive.

The existence of restrictive covenants, standing alone, should not in all cases discourage employers from hiring an otherwise qualified candidate. With careful planning, a savvy employer can substantially limit its exposure to interference and misappropriation claims and position itself with a strong defense should the former employer decide to pursue action against it.

Via Human Resources Director : Is this the best strategy to boost workplace productivity?

Maintaining productivity in the modern workplace is a constant challenge. No matter how good our intentions, tools, systems or productivity strategies, most of us still struggle to stay on top of our commitments and priorities, according to Dermot Crowley, speaker, trainer and author of Smart Teams.

“Many organisations throw personal productivity training at the problem, and while this undoubtedly helps, people revert back to old habits easily and quickly,” said Crowley.

He added that to create a truly effective and sustained boost to your team’s productivity, you need to look at productivity from two angles.

“A performance motor racing team can increase the speed of their car in two ways. Build a bigger engine that delivers more thrust and power, or change the body shape to reduce resistance and drag,” said Crowley.

“Personal productivity training is like building a bigger engine. Reducing the productivity friction we all experience in the workplace is like reducing drag.”

Crowley added that we experience friction when we receive too many unnecessary emails, get pulled into too many ineffective meetings, or collaborate with others in an unproductive way.

“Our effectiveness as workers is greatly hindered by productivity friction, yet we have come to accept this as ‘just the way that it is’,” he said.

“But there are plenty of things that we can do that will not only improve our productivity, but also the productivity of those around us.”

Crowley recommends four strategies that you could implement with your team.

Reduce email noise

Many of us receive more than one hundred emails per day, but do not need to receive anywhere near that many to be effective in our roles. Overuse of CC and Reply All is overwhelming many workers. Talk to your team about your expectations about being copied on emails, or involved in email conversations. Email others in a mindful way, and expect the same from them. If you need to, set up rules to automatically delete or file less relevant emails. The key is to take control of your inbox – don’t let it control you.

Make projects visible

Many of us are not dedicated project managers, yet we are expected to manage a range of projects alongside our operational day to day work. Unfortunately these projects are often managed in an excel spreadsheet at best, or in our head at worst. To collaborate productively on this type of work we need to make these projects visible to ourselves as well as the wider team. By doing this we gain control of the work, and can plan the why, who, what and when of the work. There are now many simple web based tool available to make projects more visible like Trello, Asana or MS Planner.

Reduce unnecessary urgency

When is everything needed around here? Yesterday! I hear this all the time in my client companies. Everything feels urgent, but this urgency comes at a price. Pressure, stress, mistakes, rework. Much of this urgency is false, and not urgent at all. It often seems urgent because others have reactive workstyles where everything is left the last minute. Sometimes we do this to ourselves. Focus on prioritising by importance, not urgency for a week. See if this starts to shift what you work on as a team.

Have 100% less meetings

Yes, you read me right! 100% less. This is easy to achieve if you break it down into four easy targets. Schedule 25% fewer meetings in your week. Hold 25% shorter meetings. Invite 25% less participants to meetings. Finally, reduce wasted time in meetings by a further 25% by taking the time to plan the meeting with an agenda. Easy. Well, maybe not easy, but not that hard.

Via Forbes : Five Tips To Ace A Job Interview

Looking for a job can be a daunting task and many times it takes sending more resumes than we care to admit before receiving the elusive phone call to come in for an interview. You may think that getting the interview was the hard part, but as many of us know, a job interview is nerve wrecking, to say the least. Whether applying for a summer job or your dream position, we all get hit with pre-interview nerves. Interviews are inevitable so being able to do it well is an important skill if you wish to have career progression in the future. Luckily, like any skill, it can be honed and shaped with practice and experience, each becoming easier than the last.

So how do you ace that next interview? Here are some tips on how to nail your next interview from the eyes of an interviewer.

Make a good first impression

It is often said that people make their initial judgements about someone in the first five minutes of meeting them. Keeping this in mind is essential for getting off on the right foot with an interviewer. Start before you even enter the building through your chosen wardrobe. Interview attire can speak volumes about your professionalism. This does not mean you have to go out and buy an expensive outfit but more make sure that clothes are ironed, hair is styled, and that all aspects of your appearance is well groomed. Once you arrive at the interview, make sure to know the name of the person you are meeting and whoever you encounter, provide them with a friendly smile. Small effort and genuine gestures can go a long way and sometimes that great first impression is what can set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Do your research

Familiarising yourself with the expectations and job requirements of the role you’re applying for is an expectation for any job interview. This also includes taking it a step further by researching the company itself and, perhaps, the interviewer. Understanding the company’s current and past projects or clients, as well as the industry as a whole, will give insight into the way the company is run and shows preparation and enthusiasm from your side. Taking the time to practice potential interview questions will also calm your nerves and ensure you are prepared. Thankfully there are hundreds of websites offering examples for you to use as a guide. Being prepared and taking the time to research is an overall great way to ensure conversation flow, avoiding any awkward situations and demonstrating initiative.

Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Show the potential employer that you are honestly interested in the role you are applying for and looking to learn more about the company. Find out how many people are in the team, who you would be reporting to, as well as the core expectations of the role. This will provide important information and also allow you to determine if the position and company would be a good fit for you. At the end of the day, employers want to hire people who they believe will suit the job and work environment. By asking questions, you will be able to make an informed decision if offered the job and the interviewer will be impressed by your enthusiasm.

Confidence is key

Interviewers tend to look for employees who are comfortable and confident, so whether you feel it or not, fake it till you make it. A firm initial handshake and maintaining eye contact is a great start to showing confidence. Remember, the interviewer has seen something in your CV and cover letter that they believe would make you a good fit for the role, otherwise they would not have bothered to meet with you. Be confident with your skills and remember, you know your experiences better than anyone. Make sure this shines through and the interviewer will see what a happy, confident employee you would make, demonstrating you as a strong asset and increasing your chances of gaining that position.

Build a rapport

Building a rapport with your interviewer will provide you with an upper hand to the rest of the applicants applying for the same position. People hire people and if you are able to build that connection from the start, you are more likely to be memorable when it comes to shortlisting candidates. You can easily do this during your interview by breaking the ice with a compliment about the workspace or simply asking the interviewer how they are. At the end of the day, just be the warm friendly version of yourself and treat the interview like a conversation to provide an open line of communication between you and the interviewer.

Via Standard Media : Here’s five tips on how to perfectly hack an internship

Those looking to succeed or become better at what they do should readily adopt Pele’s quote. The legendary footballer himself found meaning in this saying.

Raised in abject poverty, Pele always looked for opportunities to practice his skills, including playing on amateur teams. Sometimes, for lack of a proper football, he would be found playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string.

Anything for practice. From these humble beginnings, Pele went on to become the best-paid athlete of his time and the only player to win three FIFA World Cups.

Recruiters match Pele’s desire to succeed to what college students and young graduates should aspire to especially when interning.

According to recruiters that Hashtag spoke to, students should look at internships as the best opportunities to practice knowledge until they gain enough confidence before they accept real jobs.

Recruiters offer more tips on how to hack this period.

Conduct background research

Identify the organisation you want to intern for and research thoroughly on it. Part of the organisation’s background you need to dig into, according to Eagle HR Consultants CEO, Patrick Mutisya, is its history.

“Your association with organisation will always follow you even after you leave and look for positions elsewhere. It is important to ensure that you tick off organisations of ill repute,” says Mutisya.

He points at organisations that are notorious for compromised standards or corruption and warns graduates against striving to work for them.

“If an organisation is infamous for theft and everyone knows about it, the vice may follow you wherever you go such that when something gets lost, you will be the first to be questioned. Take time to learn an organisation’s ethics and ways of conduct,” says the HR Consultant.

Seek to stand out

Maximise on getting noticed by the larger crowd. These days, getting an internship is as much an uphill task as getting a real job. Some of the reasons that students graduate without an industrial attachment mark is actually failure to land one.

According to Francis Muhindi, Manpower Services Managing Director, the gravity that goes into looking for a job should be employed when looking for an internship.

“Something as simple as internship can haunt you all your career journey. A simple statement detailing that so and so is very humble and hardworking and should be accepted on any team can actually get you places even if you are not taken in after your internship,” says Muhindi.

Mr Muhindi is specifically put off by intern seekers who arrive late at the interview imagining an internship is of little importance.

“In fact here, we have a rule to lock out any person who arrives late for an interview. We never even give them a chance to explain themselves,” he says.

Manpower Services is a regional recruitment consultancy that has recruited personnel for top companies and the government.

A personal appearance at your target organisation also gives you an edge over other internship seekers, according to Brighter Monday CEO, Emmanuel Mutuma.

“This way, you have a chance to sell your other attributes. You can show your communication skills by the way you choose to express yourself, bring out your aggressiveness, your good grooming and such attributes the recruiter won’t see if you just send mail,” says Mutuma.

Portray the right attitude

The recruiters maintain the importance of observing discipline once you have landed the internship opportunity.

“Don’t get into office grapevine or talk negatively. Instead, maintain a pleasant personality, be kind to everyone, focus on your duties, be humble, flexible and to portray a willingness to learn,” says Mutuma.

“Your supervisor will need someone they can easily work with. If they want to show you a thing or two after office hours, don’t tell them that your working hours are over. Cheer up to the idea and show you are flexible and willing to be taught at any time,” adds Musyoka.

Learn all-round

“Take chances and make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

Mutuma says it is the best time to learn from as many fields as possible because you are at liberty to gain a variety of skills.

“It is also a time of practice where you can be allowed to make as many mistakes as possible because you are learning. This is the liberty no one will allow you when you are employed,” he says.

He says the career journey of Centum Investments CEO, James Mworia inspires him the most.

“James Mworia once said he had many opportunities to get jobs but instead agreed to be taken in by Centum Investments on a graduate trainee programme. On this platform, Mr Mworia worked in different departments and, I believe, this is what helped him learn the ropes of even leadership,” says Mutuma.

In past reports, the Centum CEO has revealed attending meetings with the then company CEO and taking notes for him, says Mutuma.

Don’t seek monetary gain blindly

The Brighter Monday CEO gives his own account of internship.

“I worked at Kenya Ports Authority for nine months as an intern IT Helpdesk Technician. I kept renewing my internship after every three months with a hope of being hired,” say Mutuma.

He says that during this time, he didn’t receive any form of remuneration from the company, despite his good work and dedication.

His experience, he says has enabled him to advise both employers and those looking for interns in matters relationship.

“I advise interns to overlook all the challenges and focus on the invaluable experience and the opportunities that come with interning. But I try to talk sense into employers looking to hire unpaid interns. I tell them to remember that since they are part of their team, they also represent the employer’s brand. And satisfied teams represent the brand better,” says Mutuma.