Monthly Archives: March 2022

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Who is Responsible for Your Career Progression: You or Your Employer?

Career progression is something that can often be overlooked, misunderstood and just plain forgotten. Some business owners may feel that staff career progression and personal development is ‘not their responsibility’  and should fall to the individual looking to develop further. Are they wrong? Who is responsible, and what should they be doing?   

What is Career Progression?   

Before we dive right into who the responsibility goes to, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page of what exactly career progression means. Career progression is the process of climbing the corporate ladder during your working life. Many aspects contribute to successful career progression, moving forward, receiving a promotion, and finding new challenges.  

Is Career Progression just finding a better job?    

Let’s be clear; career progression is not simply finding a new, better job but also defining your progression when staying with your current employer, position or role while receiving greater responsibility, satisfaction, and success. It can also be about receiving a pay rise, being given additional responsibilities, moving sideways in a company, or being promoted.  

Who is responsible for Your Career Progression?  

Returning to the initial question of ‘who’s responsibility is your Career Progression?’, it is often unclear who is responsible, the manager or the employee. One of the most common reasons employees leave companies is a lack of career development but is that the company’s fault alone, or does some of this fall on the employee themselves?  

Ultimately, career progression is a discussion between both parties  

It’s no secret that companies that invest in career progression gain the best out of their employees. Managers who engage in high-value career conversations are rewarded with long-term employees who are engaged, productive, and ready to move up the corporate ladder.   

While managers, in some cases, need to step up and be equally responsible, it is also up to you to express your career development goals to your manager. If your company has an open-door policy, then it is there for a reason. Use it, engage with management and start the conversation.  

Managers also need to be aware of how to handle the conversation. If the company offers career progression, senior management must be aware of any training and progression opportunities for their line staff and mentor the individual with their career progression questions.    

Understanding Company Differences  

It’s also essential to think about the differences between companies and what they can offer, as this will vary due to many reasons, but with a key one being the company size and what they can provide as a result.   

Larger firms  

Larger firms with an HR team may plan training and development for different employee levels with opportunities available on a rotational basis, or for more senior staff, initiatives in career coaching, mentor programs or leadership training.   

Smaller firms  

In smaller firms where there is less line of sight to progression paths, often the emphasis is placed back on the employee to ask for training and support towards their development, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. With smaller firms, companies can do things to offer progression, such as simply being open to new ideas: maybe your staff have a brilliant idea for a new business offering that they could take the wheel on.  

What Can Managers do to Support Employees in their Career Progression goals?  

Take a personal interest 

Communicate frequently with your team with regular meetings, but also reach out on a one-to-one basis so you can keep informed of their career goals and expectations. With this level of support, employees will feel valued, leading to higher productivity and loyalty to you and the Company long-term.  

Promote training and development within the company  

It’s all about opportunities, and one of the main reasons an employee may have joined the company is due to the culture promoted at their interview regarding training and development. Continuing education fuels the employee’s career growth. Stay attuned to the broader company’s opportunities and encourage your team to be invested in courses, guest speakers, and networking events within the industry. An example of a cost-effective career or personal development program within the workplace is arranging lunch-and-learn sessions with internal or external guest speakers.  

Encourage mentoring, job shadowing & rotation 

Many companies adopt mentoring for new employees during the onboarding process, but companies would be wise to expand on this for their employee’s personal and professional development. Long-term staff offer professional guidance, while they can also benefit from the newer employee who may have fresh perspectives and insights into new technologies, a win-win situation. Or shake it up a little by offering job rotation, allowing employees to work in different but related departments. Team members will gain new skills and show more appreciation for their colleague’s positions and even a better understanding of the business.  

Establish a career succession plan  

Creating a career succession plan for every key position promotes a powerful message. It can help motivate employees to learn new skills and knowledge required for their career progression towards the top of the ladder.  

Keep in mind that employee career development can deliver ROI for your business, avoiding the possibility of losing disillusioned employees to competitors in the industry. Companies that offer career advancement to their employees cultivate a culture within their workforce, producing well prepared, responsible and productive employees as they move up the corporate ladder.  

What Can You do to Accelerate Your Career Progression?   


A large part of career progression is finding the opportunities you can, being visible and connecting through professional networks. Networking receptions, seminars, conferences, trades shows and networking internally in a larger office are ideal ways to be seen and considered.  

Mentoring and Coaching  

Seek out a mentor you look up to in your career; they can help you navigate the professional world based on their lived experiences in a similar field. With a mentor, expect advice and guidance on aspects of your career, like interview training, industry insights and managerial challenges. On the other hand, coaching can be more formal with a structure where your coach will set the standards, timings, and expectations. Both can be a considerable advantage to career progression and creating an action plan forward.  

Training and Development  

Training and development can cover a whole host of activities towards career progression. Training courses and upskilling in new areas of expertise are valuable ways to improve your development in different areas within your role, industry, or business. Most commonly, training is offered as a course. Still, as mentioned earlier, this could be hands-on training by shadowing a colleague that has experience and knowledge in an area of the business you are interested in progressing to. Study the profiles of successful people in your industry. How did they reach their career goals, which path did they follow, what professional associations are they members of?  

Simply Ask   

In some instances, it is as simple as asking what progression opportunities exist. By asking about your career progression, you show your employer that you are keen to improve, develop and climb the ladder. A company with career progression in its culture will only further encourage your development and progression. Set aside time to plan your career aspirations and how to reach goals and milestones. Ask your manager for one-to-one support to help with your progress.  

Reach for the top of the ladder  

Employees can be more engaged when they know their employer is concerned about their growth and career progression. Career development paths may also directly impact employee satisfaction, morale, motivation, and productivity.    

Company culture is an important aspect to look at before moving to a new company; if career progression is essential, you must investigate the culture before committing. Your employer should be offering advice, support, and encouragement to set you on your way to the top of that ladder.  


Louise Reed is the Co-Founder & Board Member at Connect by Nova, as well as the Managing Partner at CML Offshore Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for a career move, Louise and her team at CML Offshore Recruitment are here to help.

We hope that this post has been a helpful insight into planning for career progression. If you are looking for more tailored advice about progression or new career opportunities, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.




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The Four Day Work Week: Myth or Reality?

Countries, industries, and companies across the globe are trialling and adopting a 4-day workweek. Positive reports are coming out of New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, and Scotland. But what does it mean for the company’s productivity, managers, and employees? And ultimately, should your organisation consider adopting a four day work week?

At Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand, initial reactions to the trial were ‘How am I ever going to do my work in four days rather than five.’

Their trial indicated that not only could employees do their work in four days, but they could do it better!

How did they make it work?

With a powerful reward of an extra day off, managers trusted their employees to buy into the trial genuinely.   They learnt that while they all have sufficient energy to work a five-day week, it may not be optimal to get work done.  Employees talked about the benefit of having an extra day off. It allowed them to recover and rejuvenate and engage in new activities, leaving employees to return to work with higher energy levels.

Could employees do their weekly work in four days?

And if they could, would it reflect poorly on them from before the trial?

On quoting Parkinson’s Law concerning the above statement. Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian, wrote a lighthearted essay based on his experience in the British civil service. Parkinson’s first sentence became his eponymous Law:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

If something must be done in a year, it’ll be done in a year.

If something must be done next week, it’ll be done next week.

If something must be done tomorrow, it’ll be done tomorrow.

As a deadline approaches, we plan on how much time we have, making choices and trade-offs to ensure the task is complete by the deadline. All projects take time. You certainly can’t build a skyscraper in a day. The more complex the project, the more time it typically takes.

Founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, once said,

‘If you split your day into ten-minute increments, and you try to waste as few of those ten-minute increments as possible, you’ll be amazed at what you can get done.”

Before and after the Perpetual Guardian trial, managers assessed their teams’ performances.  The reduction to four days allowed the teams to become more creative on completing their work in the shorter allocated 4 x 8 hour working days. They found solutions to doing the work in 4 days; they engaged in more positive behaviours towards each other.  They became more engaged and focused on customer service.  All these behaviours boosted the organization’s performance.

What a difference a day can make! 

  • Personal Health
  • Family Time
  • Leisure Time
  • Personal Hobbies
  • Personal Admin
  • Community Time

Japan, synonymous with long working hours, high-stress levels, and employees suffering from burnout, should note Microsoft Japan, who tested the four-day workweek over one month.  Over August 2019, they experimented with a new project called ‘Work-Life Choice Challenge’, allowing its entire 2300 person workforce five Fridays off in a row without affecting pay.

The outcome: Employees were not only happier but significantly more productive.

Are there disadvantages?

In reality, there are disadvantages to a 4-day workweek. During Perpetual Guardian’s trial, they identified several weaknesses.

  1. An increased risk of injury or error may occur in some positions, proving that longer hours may not suit specific situations.
  2. It could cause understaffing at peak times, difficulties scheduling meetings, and a more extended schedule could drive lower productivity at the end of the day.
  3. If the employee is customer-facing, there could be potential issues with slower response times for the employer.

Perpetual Guardian simply cut one full day of work, leaving four 8-hour days for the working week without reducing pay or benefits. Other companies kept the same 40-hour week, compressing it into four 10-hour days.  One of these options could be a disadvantage depending on the unique circumstances of your organization, so it’s important to put thought into what will work best for the needs of your staff and organization.

Do the overall benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

A survey conducted throughout the trial asked employees how they felt about their new working hours, and in most cases, the overall benefits trumped the disadvantages.

It was reported that there were lower job stresses and burnout, with work-life balance levels achieving record highs.  Employees reported being more committed to the company, therefore, less likely to look elsewhere for a different job.

Read more on the Perpetual Guardian trial here.

What should organizations consider before implementing such a policy?

The 4-day workweek is still a ‘myth’ in the Cayman Islands and the other jurisdictions that our recruitment advisors represent.  Companies would have to cut through a lot of red tape before implementing this kind of working environment. From an HR consulting perspective, companies would require advice (and even changes in legislation) on how to handle their pay & overtime structure, labour law, contracts and, in some cases, work permit regulations.

Other work-life balance considerations would be:

  1. Some employees may prefer to receive more free time, no matter the pay or they may be prepared to work longer hours for the four days to keep all their benefits.
  2. Employees with young families or who care for family members may prefer to work five days a week but with shorter hours to facilitate their family commitments.

With the above two considerations in mind, organizations may need to consider a hybrid solution based on their employee’s needs and requests.

Will it work for your organization?

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has created new, flexible schedules that are almost certainly here to stay in some form or another, whether a 4-day week or other flexible options.  Changes like these require a visionary owner/manager, an understanding of the needs of their workforce and a strong HR team to make a decision that meets the best interest of the organization and its people.

If you are considering options for your organization and need help assessing what may best fit your organisation’s needs and your people, our HR Consulting team is here to help. From engagement surveys to policy writing and implementation, we can support you to help your business, and your people grow.


Jakub Jahnl is a Client Relationship Officer who specialises in Human Resource Consultancy at CML Offshore Recruitment,  one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for advice on Human Resources, Jakub and his team at CML Offshore Recruitment are here to help.

For more tailored career development advice, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.


Burnout: How do I prevent it?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Unmotivated? Cranky at your coworkers you normally enjoy? You may be experiencing burnout, but have no fear – read on to help you break the cycle of burnout and help you work on preventing it!

The Basics

Burnout is a workplace issue and can show with varying symptoms and severity depending on the individual, but it is most characterized by exhaustion, lack of motivation, difficulty focusing, and an often-altered temperament towards others. There are times where burnout can go so far, it leads to real health implications.

Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships, and job performance. To catch burnout and combat it early, it’s essential to know what to look out for. If you’re haven’t heard of or are unfamiliar with burnout as a whole, I recommend you check out the other articles in our Workplace Burnout series here:
Burnout: What exactly is it?
Burnout: Am I experiencing it?

How to Prevent Burnout

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge what you do with your body can significantly impact your mental state – so, taking better care of your diet, sleep schedule, and exercise routine will play a huge role in preventing burnout later down the line. Sure, this seems simple and self-explanatory and you probably know you should be doing this, but are you actually?

Here are the fast and simple rules to follow:

  1. Create a proper sleep schedule, ideally with 6-8 hours of sleep at the same time each day.
  2. Lighter, healthier foods that won’t make you tired. (I know, the chocolate is calling me too, just don’t overindulge!)
  3. Find time for 30 mins of light exercise every other day, at least – just going for a walk around the block can make a huge difference in your outlook! (I promise, the act of getting dressed to do the walk is the most challenging part, so just push through and thank me later.)

Embrace Your Creative Side

Burnout can bring on many side effects, one of those being the stifling effect on your thinking. Individuals who are burnt out tend to see things in black and white, taking a very rigid approach to work and life. One of the best ways to prevent burnout and reduce stress is just to let your creative side run free once in a while; a simple hour every week to flex your creative muscles with writing, painting, or even coming up with a new dinner recipe can go a long way in keeping you engaged and motivated.

Work With Purpose & Live Your Truth

Follow your passion – Individuals who feel as though their work has a meaningful purpose, rather than just a way to pay rent each month are actually more likely to prevent burnout. Take some time to sit down and take a third-party view of your job and think deeply about what you do and what value it adds to others.

Not every job will have a substantial, meaningful purpose behind it, and that’s okay. Just because burnout is a workplace issue doesn’t mean that the solution has to be found in your work. According to Elizabeth Saunders, a time management coach, the core to burnout prevention is about living a life with purpose and ‘living your truth’, not necessarily just your day job.

The closer you are to living a life with purpose and aligning with your core passions, the less likely you are to burnout. Simply put, find something that energizes and restores you and make time to have that part of your life, whether it be your job or in your free time.

Know What You Can Change

Have you ever heard the saying: ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference’?

Well, according to the ‘Areas of Worklife’ model, workload, control, reward, fairness, community, and values are the main contributors to burnout. Therefore, it’s essential to take a step back and think of these areas in order to see where the source of burnout is/could be coming from and what you can do to change or lessen the impact, either by altering the environment or in extreme cases, removing yourself from the situation entirely.

How to Handle Burnout When You’re Already Experiencing It

Although preventing burnout is the ideal scenario, we all know that isn’t always going to be possible – so, what if you’re reading this and know for a fact, that you’re already experiencing burnout? What then? Well, with these holidays right around the corner set aside some time for yourself and work through our tips below to start 2021 anew.

  1. Relax and unplug – actually set yourself time each day to altogether remove yourself from the stressors surrounding you and let yourself truly relax, whatever that looks like for you. It could be reading a book/magazine, going for a swim, or my favourite – baking a batch of cookies!
  2. Get enough rest/sleep – This seems so self-explanatory, but most adults should be striving for 7-9 hours a night. It will be difficult, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or if you have kids at home and think that there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is, but you need to remember to let your body have time to rest and reset just as much as your mind.
  3. Get organized – Get organized, clear your head, put together a simplified to-do list, prioritize what needs to be done and work out a realistic plan to get this done. By doing this, you’ll spend less time stressing about remembering what needs to be done and actually doing it.



Burnout: Am I Experiencing It?

Think you might be experiencing the effects of burnout? You’re not alone. Understanding what burnout looks like is the first step to preventing it, so let’s get started.

If you had said you were suffering from burnout in the 1970s, you might have raised some eyebrows. Nowadays, burnout is a known issue of the modern workforce, with many organizations grappling with almost 2/3 of their full-time employees experiencing burnout at some stage.

To read more about what exactly burnout is and what the typical causes are, read our blog here.

The Stages of Burnout

Burnout doesn’t just happen overnight; it often happens in stages and creeps up on you, which is why many people don’t necessarily realize they are at risk until it sets in.

Thrive Global describes the stages of burnout in six (very relatable) stages:

  1. Stage One: Excitement – Have a new job? A new task? A new goal? You’re excited and optimistic, which means an increase in energy, productivity, and output.
  2. Stage Two: Let’s Work Harder – You are becoming a little tired. However, you have associated certain behaviours with success, so you keep chugging along working long hours, through the weekends, and telling yourself, “it’s fine.”
  3. Stage Three: Frustration – You are fighting a losing battle, your concentration wavers, your productivity starts to slip, and you are feeling fatigued.
  4. Stage Four: Illness and Denial – Not just your mind, but your body is tired and wants to take a break, but you are still pushing through and pushing yourself past your limits.
  5. Stage Five: Lack of Drive and Apathy – That initial excitement? Gone. You are now withdrawn, may experience severe anxiety, and start to resent your work, your colleagues, and just everything in general.
  6. Stage Six: Burnout Has Me Now – You are completely exhausted in every facet of your life and may even be considering quitting. Everything just feels like it’s too much, and you can’t take it.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Feel like you might be experiencing some of the stages of burnout? Below are some questions the Mayo Clinic recommends asking yourself:

  1. Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  2. Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
  3. Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  4. Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  5. Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  6. Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  7. Have your sleep habits changed?
  8. Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?

If you feel as though the above information strikes a chord with you and it feels eerily relatable, I encourage you to take a step back and analyze the potential sources of your burnout.

Take time to rest and listen to what your body is telling you. Switch off on the weekends and realize that you are only one person, and while you can do anything, you can’t do everything.

A Teen’s Guide for Having a Great Job Interview

Getting a job can be challenging.  The sense of panic and disorganisation hits you when you’re sending that resume and thinking ahead about the interview.

The following tips are helpful for attending a Job Interview as a teen, but these tips can prove themselves useful for individuals of any age.

Research, Research and more Research

Before applying to your perfect job, knowing where you’re applying is essential.

Applying your knowledge of the workplace in your interview will impress your employer because it’ll demonstrate to them that you’re capable of taking responsibility and doing work in your own time (homework, if you will.)

It also gives you an insight into what you’re getting into and will make you less nervous come the day of the interview.

Common Questions are coming your way!

If you ask anyone who’s completed more than one job interview what questions they were asked, they’d most probably tell you one of these:

  • How do you handle yourself under pressure?
  • How did you hear of this position?
  • Where do you see yourself in (X) years?
  • Why are you applying for this job?

And these additional questions are specifically common for teens:

  • How will you be able to manage work and school?
  • What will you do if your mode of transportation to work is unavailable?

These are just a few examples.  There are numerous interview technique resources online to help, including the FREE trainings from Connect by Nova.

Ask your peers or family for other common questions, hints and tips.  Writing bullet points and notes to give you a basis for when you answer interview questions will be helpful.  Responding quickly will present yourself as independent, intelligent and impressive.  All these tips will boost your chances of having a successful interview.

On to our next teen interview tip:

Advice, please – Ask others!

There are many people in your social circle who, chances are, have been in this situation before.

  • Parents, Guardians or extended Family
  • Friends,
  • Neighbours
  • Teachers

Ask them about anything to do with the interview!  You will get many valuable tips from them, which may give you that head start.  Having that relatable connection with someone who’s experienced this before will help you remember it so you can apply it to your interview.

Smart Fit

Wearing appropriate clothing is almost as important as showing up to the interview itself!  How you dress for the interview will give your employer a lasting first impression.  How you dress can be used to your advantage, but it can also be an immense disadvantage if you do it wrong.

Wearing smart business clothes is the way to go.  Smart slacks or dark-coloured jeans, a button-up shirt, or even a suit.  Although, of course, that isn’t mandatory.

Calm down

Manage your stress.  Handling your nerves is a tricky task.  You don’t need to overthink it and turn the interview into a bigger deal than it is.

Although you should prepare, leading up to the interview, do something enjoyable, like reading a book or socialising with friends.   With enough preparation and confidence, you will be able to execute this interview flawlessly.

Yes, you heard me, confidence!  If you demonstrate to whoever is interviewing you that you have a cool head, it will convey to them that you can handle yourself under pressure.  Having a cool head is an attractive trait for managers.

Prepare well and take a deep breath.  You got this.

Following these tips can make or break a great interview.  That is why it’s vital to implement them.  Following these steps makes you an excellent candidate for an employee.


Lucas Gaspar is a student at Cayman Prep, he spent a week interning with Connect by Nova during his mid-term break.  ‘I really enjoyed my experience at Connect by Nova. They taught me many skills in blog-writing and research and I feel like I had a good learning experience. I give them my gratitude for making me a part of the workplace!’ Lucas Gaspar.

Don’t forget to follow Connect by Nova on social media, so you never miss one of their free Career Advice webinars, or you can sign up here.  You can also email them at #AchieveCareerSuccess.

Burnout: What Exactly Is It?

You may have heard the term ‘burnout’ thrown around before, but what exactly is it, and what does it mean for you long-term?

Burnout is an issue of the modern workforce, with many organizations facing an employee burnout crisis in the wake of the global pandemic. While working from home can be a massive benefit for productivity, work-life balance, and overall morale, it can also be a source of burnout with many employees working longer hours, social isolation, strained team communications, and a lack of utilized vacation time.

A recent survey by Gallup showed that nearly two-thirds of full-time employees are dealing with burnout at some point while at work. Many of those employees have also come accustomed to the feeling of burnout and have normalized this. Still, there are long-term effects that can affect both the individual and the organization, so it should not be overlooked.

To find a solution to the problem, first, you need to understand what employee burnout is and what causes it, and then you can start to work backwards to prevent it.

What Exactly is Burnout?

The term burnout was coined in the 1970s by Herbert Freudenberger – an American psychologist who defines it as “a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by one’s professional life.”

Do you know that feeling of unidentifiable, impending stress that makes you feel like you’re stuck in a slump at work and just can’t quite find a way out? Or you can’t feel the fire you once did for the work you’re doing? The fact that it’s now 4 pm, and you’re only just realizing you haven’t had breakfast or lunch because you’ve been ‘too busy’? That is burnout. And yes, the struggle is real.

What Causes Burnout?

Burnout can affect anyone, and there is no one specific cause, but there are a few scenarios that, with the right personality and circumstances, can create the perfect storm for burnout to take hold.

Some of the situational causes may include:

  1. Unreasonable time pressure
  2. Unmanageable workload
  3. Lack of social interaction and support
  4. Disengagement with your career
  5. Lack of work-life balance
  6. Toxic work environment

According to the Schoen Clinic, certain personality types are at increased risk of developing burnout:

  1. Perfectionist attitudes
    1. “I have to do everything right and 150 percent. I can’t afford to make any mistakes. I’m responsible for everything. I have to satisfy everyone. I have to have everything under control.”
  2. Low expectation of competency
    1. “I can’t make it. I don’t stand a chance.”
  3. Very pronounced need for harmony
    1. “Everyone must be satisfied. I mustn’t offend anyone. I can’t say no.”
  4. The belief that you are being controlled from outside
    1. “I am only a tiny cog in a large machine: Others decide about me. I’m just a puppet.”

Why Should You Be Aware of Burnout?

Burnout is not merely just being exhausted; it is so much more and can have lasting effects on an individual and for the organization. It can lead to serious physical, mental, and social consequences for an individual and can also lead to unengaged employees and a high-turnover environment if left unchecked.

Are You Experiencing Burnout?

While reading the above, did it all sound a little too familiar? Did you ever pause to think ‘is that me’ or ‘could I be experiencing this’? Take a look and read my blog where you can analyze your current situation and ask yourself some questions to see if you might be experiencing job burnout.

Four Steps on How to be More Organised in the Workplace

If you ever worry that the tyranny of disorganisation will never let go of your life, look no further.  Though organisation is challenging to begin, we provide you with four steps on how to be more organised in the workplace with beginner tasks that will drastically change how you function within your work life and your personal life.

To attempt to be more organised in your life is not to imply that you are functioning incorrectly.  We are more than capable of leading productive lives despite being disorganised, albeit we do this at the expense of performing proactively and efficiently.  Disorganisation, clutter, and mess affect our psychology and typically means we react to our environment rather than proactively living in it.

An article by Stanford goes into some detail on how disorganisation may affect our psychology, following the findings from Stephanie McMain’s study on the effects visual stimuli have on the brain.  The article condenses the study’s findings in laymen’s terms, stating:

“When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus [limiting] your brain’s ability to process information.  Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organised, and serene environment”.

You can section workplace organisation into four categories:

  • Physical Organisation
  • Mental Organisation
  • Digital Organisation
  • Scheduling

Step One: Physical Organisation

With Physical Organisation, a visually pleasing and clean space helps focus on tasks more efficiently.  The less chaos we surround ourselves with, the less distraction.  Ensuring your files and supplies have dedicated spaces and places is essential.  Using tools to help you with this, such as pencil holders, file separators, mini-storage drawers, etc., will prove extremely useful.  It is also important to remember that physical organisation is not rigid.  It simply allows you to work in a clean space that caters to your specific needs and taste, as well as ensuring your area is as easy to manoeuvre as possible.

Step Two: Mental Organisation

Mental Organisation can be a little more challenging to implement.  This involves ensuring you time tasks not to overwork yourself; ensure you take small breaks in-between busy workdays, maintaining routines, and remaining mindful of work vs personal life balance and mental health.  There are many digital tools/applications to help with your mental organisation.

An essential part of mental organisation is ensuring you care for your mental health.  It is necessary to remain proactive in your mental health, establishing a safe space at work should you ever feel overwhelmed.  Being mindful that you are not burning yourself out will allow you to work most efficiently throughout the year.

Applications like Calm or Headspace are only two in a vast market of self-care apps.  You can read more here about the best apps to keep your daily life running smoothly.

Step Three & Four: Digital Organisation and Scheduling

We can combine Digital Organisation and Scheduling in one paragraph as typically we can use digital organisation to help us schedule.

Digital Organisation in this time can feel like Alison in Wonderland’s rabbit hole.  Digital organisation is beneficial for those who spend most of their workdays on a computer.  Even for those of us who do not, using applications on our smartphones to help keep track of shifts and tasks completed ensures accountability and enables us to remain on top and even at times ahead of schedule.  For those of us using our computers all day – project managing applications such as Smartsheet or Microsoft Tasks by Planner allow us to work effectively.  These applications will enable us to keep track of projects visually appealing and see the progress of specific tasks and the timeline of projects.  You can also simply use them for task management purposes.

A Nifty App Can Help

Digital Organisation is not only using nifty apps; it also includes using your storage efficiently.  Cloud storage options such as One Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive are helpful as it allows you to access files even if you are away from your physical computer.  The ability to search for a file is a little easier.  However, like physical organisation – when it comes to digital organisation, it is essential to have your digital files stored and titled in ways that make them easy to access and search.

When it comes to scheduling, this can be anywhere from scheduling your meetings through various applicable apps – Microsoft teams, Outlook, Google Meet, etc.  However, it is pertinent that you schedule any meeting, event, or task you may have.  Scheduling in your calendar and ensuring you have sections within your day dedicated to specific tasks or meetings allows you to better plan ahead.  It enables you to be aware of what you have going on in your work life – perhaps you realise that you can handle a bit more this week, or maybe it’s that you acknowledge that you are overworking yourself this week and need to shift some things around.  Scheduling allows us to keep on track with our work and will enable us to take a step back and analyse whether we are overworking ourselves.

The Key is Consistency

Organisation can be a difficult task to begin; however, you have already made the first step through reading this article.  The key is consistency and ensuring you do your part in understanding what dynamic works best for you.

Connect by Nova provides many online courses and trainings to enhance your organizational skills and practice various ways to remain organized within the workspace.  Please reach out to a Connect by Nova team member at to learn more.

Top Tips For Your Job Search

Searching for jobs is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to knowing what jobs you should be applying to, what you may need to apply to specific positions, and how best to write your CV based on the role. Below are a few tips on what to look for and how to successfully search and apply for jobs.

Set some goals, make a plan and consider the following:

  • Where are you today, and where would you like to be five years from now?
  • Do you have any hopes, values, or dreams in terms of your career?
  • Make a list of your current strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you name what you would like to improve upon in both areas?
  • Do you have a plan on how you will reach any of these goals or improvements?

Get connected

Subscribe to websites and publications that carry job postings. Just as important, sign up for those that aren’t outwardly about employment, but cover issues and topics that interest you, follow their social media. This way, you learn a lot about potential events and gain insight into the Company and its employees. Connect by Nova provides workshops and a webinar series to help you manoeuvre through business and employment-oriented sites such as LinkedIn.

Get involved

Attend events hosted by your dream employers and start becoming active in your community by volunteering for organisations that fit your career path.  Involvement is also a form of networking – and networking allows you to get your foot in the door.

Research before you apply

If you’re interested in a job, do as much research on the Company and the position as you can. Look around the organisation’s website, including the “About” section. Do a quick internet search on the organization, sector, or role. Doing this research will help you prepare for an interview, understand the Company’s culture better and ensure that this would be somewhere that your career would flourish.

Be professional

Remember that email address you set up as a teenager?  Is it appropriate now when applying for jobs? Be professional in all your communications with the employer.   Pay particular attention to the application requirements. Focus on your soft skills; luckily, Connect by Nova offers a Soft Skills webinar to help you succeed in this area.  Here is a quick list to remind you:

  1. Communication
  2. Creativity
  3. Teamwork
  4. Time Management
  5. Work Ethic
  6. Accuracy

Improve, improve, improve your resume

Remember that your resume is the first interaction with the employer.  Ensure that it is easy to read and understandable. Employers may sometimes look at over 50 resumes for a single post; having a resume that reads well and highlights your skills and experience in the most accurate and marketable way possible is vital. Review the job description and sprinkle keywords from it into your resume.  Connect by Nova provides workshops that show you how to write an effective and organized resume that highlights your best attributes.

Don’t be discouraged – be confident

Don’t let yourself be discouraged. Remember that every job search can be a series of No’s followed by a Yes. Each “No” takes you one step closer to the moment when both you and the employer say Yes. Remain confident and remember not to take a No personally. Know your value to a job and remain confident in your abilities.

Searching for jobs may send you down the rabbit hole. However, staying connected, getting involved, ensuring you do your research and remaining confident will, in the end, turn any negative you stumble upon into a positive outcome.  By joining Connect by Nova’s career-building webinars, workshops, and training sessions, you will be a shoo-in for success.

To find out more about Connect by Nova’s Career Services, visit our website at or email  Keep up to date with our events, career tips, and trainings by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.