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Posts Tagged ‘work’

You and Your Workplace

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog, Television Appearances

“On Demand” Work

ganzondemandThis is the way the workplace is moving. It has huge advantages to both workers and employers. Employers don’t have to maintain a workforce when times are slow, but they will want to hire only quality workers, as Tyler Waye says; employers only want employees who can be engaged and contribute to the culture of their workforce. They will also need to be realistic about paying well if they want to keep good producers available for their work. Wendy Giuffre says, the contract workforce is needed and very important, but they are typically also the first to go when times get tough. For these instances, contractors need to be prepared for the ebbs and flows, workload, and money. Workers can think of themselves as consultants who come in and focus on a project and then have time off. They can have more flexibility as well as autonomy/control over their time. They just have to manage their cash-flow variable and deal with the emotions around uncertainty of workflow (i.e. anxiety, fear, etc.) and ebbs and flows. I also think that technology makes it that much easier (for certain tasks) to work from different locations instead of having to physically be in the same spot for work every day. So success on both sides depends on seeing this trend in a positive light and figuring out what the ondemandemployeesopportunity is versus holding on to old patterns of workplace/worker—there is no winner or loser. This topic is a societal conversation because employer and employee need to consider what they owe each other.


Anyone in the professional world should be on LinkedIn—it is one of the first places employers will look to learn about you in order to decide whether or not they want to hire a person with your personality, says Giuffre. As with everything that you put online, understand that everyone has access to it. My philosophy is that I don’t put anything out there that I don’t feel comfortable owning or can’t back up. Everything online contributes to the representation of your story and context of who you are. In Waye’s words, you want to “post the truth…with a storyline”, so think about how you want to be represented. People also respond very well to authenticity (virtually and in the real world), so be your true self and don’t try to be something you’re not, or present yourself as perfect. We tend to see through that sort of thing and it can hurt your chances of connecting with the right employer. Skills can be taught and learned, but the same cannot necessarily be said about personality. In general, it’s good to remember that employers are also looking at all your other social media (or anything else that’s public) to get a sense of whom you are and if you’ll be a good fit. smyourcareer

Bad Boss

Bad bosses are the number one predictor of workplace injury. Your interaction with your superiors affects both your health and your performance. This can also bleed over into your other relationships as well. One study found that over 25% of people surveyed had experienced workplace bullying or a difficult relationship with their superior, and another 21% knew someone who had gone through this (US numbers). Of those who had experienced bullying, 80% of victims surveyed said they had debilitating anxiety, 49% had clinical depression, 30% had PTSD, and 29% had contemplated suicide. Clearly this is a huge issue. It also costs the employer in productivity, turnover, and low morale. If a boss crosses the line or abuse you in any way, go to HR—period. But if it is not to that extent, the way to deal with this is to first try to discuss concerns with your boss—have HR as plan B. You definitely don’t deserve to be bullied. Alberta Labour Standards is a good resource where workers can learn about their rights. You can always keep getting out as an idea, as well. The big thing is to stay calm and address things early—before you get so stressed that you react badly and make the situation worse. You can start looking for new jobs in or out of the organization, but you do not want the finger to be pointed back at you. Things like water cooler-talk and nasty emails will point the finger back at you, says Waye.

Here are some more things you should definitely not do:confrontboss

  • Don’t go head-to-head with your boss in defiance of your boss’ directives and goals.
  • Don’t go over the boss’ head to their supervisor or HR before talking to them directly.
  • Don’t speak negatively about your boss to colleagues.
  • Don’t post criticisms in emails or on social media.
  • Don’t keep complaining about the same problems to your boss.
  • Don’t give the boss vague feedback that emphasizes your dissatisfaction with their leadership skills.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that your job is to do what you were hired to do and to make the lives of your superiors easier (thus easier on you too)—for this, you get paid. If this arrangement is not satisfactory for you, then definitely look around. Stand up for your rights to be treated with respect, but also realize that your current job may not be the right situation for you. Remember that your biggest asset is you and your well-being—not the job.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance

The Jerk at Work

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Parental Leave Stigma, Networking & the Jerk at Work

Parental Leave Stigma, Networking & the Jerk at Work

Are you a jerk but don’t know it?

This is alway one of my personal nightmares. It’s interesting to see that my concern has some foundation. Self-awareness is such an important thing. The famous Philosopher Aristotle once said that, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. This level of Self Awareness can be kind of hard sometimes though. That’s why I hired a Psychologist (shameless plug) to help me see how I’m coming across more accurately. I also have a mastermind group and have recruited several friends to give me on-going feedback. I also know that the faster I’m moving (both outside and inside) the less awareness I have. So I practice slowing down through meditation, spiritual reflection, and keeping a journal of my thoughts and feelings. These tools help me to build my self-awareness muscle so I can be appropriately assertive with out being aggressive or coming off like a doormat.  In the end, being open to the feedback from people you trust will serve you invaluably.

What if you’re not the jerk? It is possible that you work in an environment where someone else deliberately goes out of their way to be difficult.  I have two thoughts about this:

  1. Be sure they actually do know they are being a jerk. It may seem intentional but it is still possible they are simply not aware of how they are presenting themselves.
  2. If it is a deliberate act, hopefully you have a strong management team that are willing to nip the problem in the bud.  Keeping an individual like this around for too long will cause a toxic work environment.  Nobody wins in a stressful workplace.
Communication is always the key. Be willing to receive the feedback you need to be more assertive and confident without being a jerk.  You also have to be willing to offer feedback to others when they step over the jerk line.  Most of the time we just aren’t aware of how we have presented ourselves or how others around us perceive our words and actions.  Be open to giving and receiving to help make your workplace a better place to work.


Taking Easy Street

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

You won’t ofteneasyrd hear this as advice but, sometimes it’s best to take the easy way out.  Especially when you are commuting on days like today.  I had no idea when I planned this as today’s blog post we would be experiencing a heavy rainfall for the third day in a row.  A tough commute can definitely add to your “stress load”. This can be even worse when the weather and roads are bad (as they are now). Bad drivers and the worry about being late can start  and end your workday with bad emotions and energy. Here are a few things I suggest to help:
1. Realize that if you have a long commute it eats up time that has to come from somewhere – so don’t try to get as much done in your day as when your commute is shorter. This just adds to your stress and disappointment.
2. Build in positive experiences in your life to help you better manage the added stress.
3. Listen to music of audio books you like so you can make your drive time productive and enjoyable. You may even start to look forward to the commute.
4. Use the drive to gear up for work and gear down after. Use this as a buffer for the rest of your life. Take a minute before leaving your car at work and at home to just sit and breath. Feel the seat underneath you and take a moment for yourself.
5. Leave 5 mins early, or 15 in poor weather conditions, so you don’t feel rushed or try to arrange your drive for off-peak hours. This can really reduce your stress.
Remember, planning ahead and being prepared is easy to do.  It certainly beats the stressful frustration filled experience of an poorly planned commute.  Avoid these stressful situations and take the easy road instead.
You can find more Destressing techniques on my new website HowToDestress.Info. Sign up for your free video and periodic Destressing updates.  Welcome to the Tweed Free Revolution!
Health, Happiness, Love and Success

Get Turned Off

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog


The May 12, 2014 Vocal Point Panel featuring Alison McMahon, Tyler Waye and Dr. Ganz Ferrance. Click to watch the segment.

France has instituted a new work law that requires people to leave their work at work. Once an employee leaves the office they are officially off the clock. I love this law!! It should be instituted in all countries.  By expecting employees to “turn off” at 6:00 pm, long-run productivity should go up; turn-over and sick time should go down; and morale should go up. The cost to insurance and health funded health care should also decrease. This is also a great way for employers to nurture a Corporate Culture that encourages healthy boundaries.  I address the importance of boundary setting in the Me Factor. It’s very important to consider what you are letting into your life and to define your boundaries. There are only so many hours in the day and the goal should not be to see how much more you can cram into them. Another benefit of having a Culture of Balance is that employees will experience less burnout and require less time off for stress related illnesses.  Having more people at work functioning at peak performance levels means more productivity and a more efficient workplace. This benefits both the employer and the employees. The truth is that in The law of diminishing returns says the longer you stick to a task with no break the less efficient you become over time. By making breaks culturally acceptable you will get better productivity because workers will now feel safe taking them. It is also good for the economy because you can’t squeeze more work out of fewer people so you now have to employ more people who all work at a healthy pace. This law isn’t in effect here in Canada but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a moment to evaluate your workload and your boundaries. Start being realistic about the amount of work that can be done in the hours of a day and try to put the work emails and phone calls at the bottom of your priority list after you leave the office. If you would like more information about setting boundaries and beating stress in your life, the Me Factor CD featured on my new website will give you a great start. To receive my free Stress Busting strategies and videos, just sign up on my Detress website and you will get your first video right away. Welcome to the Tweed Free Revolution!