Author Archives: Hannah Jackson

5 Mental Health & Wellbeing Tips for Anyone in HR

If you work in Human Resources, you are most likely an empath, a giver, someone who likes to help others solve their problems, and you invest a lot in the success of others. Perhaps you sometimes (often?!) do this at the cost of your own mental health and overall wellbeing.

“Please put your oxygen mask on before assisting others”

We have all heard hundreds of times, every time we fly, the saying, “Please put your oxygen mask on before assisting others”. Or, perhaps put another way “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. If you want to be good at your job and lean hard into the core skills you bring to it, you need to find a way to ensure that your mental and physical health and wellbeing are protected and strong. You can’t be the amazing HR practitioner that you’re capable of being unless you do.

With that said, here are 5 top tips to help support you on your journey. We think doing these things will help build the oxygen mask you need and help to fill your bucket (or cup) so you are able to pour!

1. Do more of what makes you happy.

It sounds deceptively easy, and we all know it isn’t. You must make time for yourself, and that can often be really hard because people are messy, demanding, and unpredictable, and they are core to your central purpose, so often, your best-laid plans for yourself come second to the demands of your job. I understand. However, to really put this action point into effect, first identify what it is that makes you happy. Maybe it’s time with family, time alone, cooking, walking your dog, practising yoga, having a massage, reading a book, or binge-watching Netflix. Whatever it is, identify it, make time every week for it. Once you’ve done that, then move on to step two.

2. Set clear, healthy boundaries.

If you do one thing for yourself that can make a massive difference for your mental health and wellbeing, it is this. To set clear and healthy boundaries. Yes, setting boundaries is HARD. It takes courage to speak up and advocate for yourself, so be brave.

Even though it’s challenging to do, if you do it, you will be happier, more productive, more innovative, and less stressed. Boundaries are contagious – once you set them, you will notice others doing the same, and you might just be the inspiration for someone else to be courageous and set a boundary that they badly need. There is a super 6-minute TED talk on this subject that I highly recommend by the inspirational Nedra Glover Tawwab.

3. Learn to re-set.

This concept is familiar to anyone with kids and has ever given them a “time out” or “quiet time”. Sometimes, just like kids, we need a squishy ball, to curl up in a blanket, or a 5-minute timer to allow us to check in with ourselves and reset if we need to.

Essentially, re-setting is giving yourself a calm, safe space. This also takes courage, strength, and a healthy dose of self-awareness. If you feel overwhelmed in the middle of a conversation, be assertive about it. Communicating clearly and honestly about it shows respect for yourself and others. It’s okay to shut down a meeting or a conversation and suggest you pick it up again soon when you’ve had more time to process and think. If you see a meeting in your diary in the day (or someone has just dropped a meeting into your diary that you are not ready to take), then gently postpone it. None of us do our best work under pressure, stress or when we are not well prepared.

Additionally, if you’ve been in a high-stress or high-stakes conversation, then it is imperative that you take time to re-set before you have to (inevitably) do it all over again!

4. Delegate more.

This is the # 1 skill that sets high-performing managers and leaders apart from their competition. It is hard to learn to do this well, but it is a skill that you will thank yourself for learning and practising. You cannot do it all.

The side benefit to learning this skill is that it increases trust (your ability to do so and for those on your team), which in turn increases psychological safety for your team. There are so many benefits to delegating – it does for you and your team what eating more veggies does for your health!!

5. Sign yourself up for Nick Wignall’s newsletter.

As simple as this sounds, it has helped me fill my toolbox with lots of insightful and useful information and learning, which in turn helps develop me to support others better. Start with his 59 Ideas for Better Mental Health blog post. It’s fantastic!

If you’d like to connect and meet other HR professionals visit to learn more!

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

How can you better support your staff’s mental health in the workplace? Keep reading for ideas on programs, resources and considerations for supporting your staff with such an important issue.

What is ‘Mental Health’?

Before we get started, let’s clarify what we mean by mental health. Mental health refers to the condition of an individual’s psychological and emotional well-being. Whether we are experiencing work-related anxiety and stress or suffer from specific mental health disorders, mental health and well-being are extremely important.

Mental Health is Not Just a ‘Personal’ Problem

Separating personal life from work life has never been, and will never be, a realistic concept; it’s simply easier said than done. It is difficult for humans to assume a new character based on our environment, despite what Erving Goffman may have to say on the matter.

Our emotions and mental state affect our bodies and minds every second of every day. Not only is it nearly impossible to dictate the condition of your emotional and mental health and well-being, but it is also simply unhealthy to do so. Fortunately, we are moving towards an employment environment where working from home and the pandemic have fostered flexibility and the understanding that work and personal life are intersectional.

This understanding of intersectionality is a newer way of thinking, so the thought of fostering an environment that rejects stigmas surrounding the topic of mental health and incorporates a supportive and educational environment may seem overwhelming. When starting your journey to mental health enlightenment in the workplace, there are a few things to consider that we have listed below to try and make this process seem less daunting.

For Individuals Who May Be Struggling:

Ideally, you need to know how to manage your mental health at work – this means understanding your mental state and being mindful of any diagnoses you may have and how your workload may impact your emotional health. Whether you ask your therapist for help locating resources or do some research based on your specific condition(s), the most important thing is to ensure that you are prepared to take a step back and practice actions that help keep you grounded and de-stress you.

A few suggested practices are:

  • Saying mantras when in high-stress or anxiety situations – A study in 2016 concluded that mantras help to improve attention and reduce depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety.
  • Deep breathing helps when you are feeling anxious or if you may be having a panic attack. Deep breathing is a simple technique that’s excellent for managing emotions. Not only is deep breathing effective, but it’s also discreet and easy to use at any time or place.
  • Regular and consistent self-care assessments. During periods of stress, self-care sometimes takes a back seat to other responsibilities. Combat this by planning regular check-ins to ensure you stay on top of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
    • Read our blog about burnout to see if you may be suffering from this difficult condition in the workplace.
  • Speak up! Talk to your boss about what’s going on. It may help you if you explain the situation. Having the conversation may feel anxiety-producing but try to think of it as reporting a physical health problem. Stick to the facts and how your mental health may impact/is impacting your work and productivity.
  • Have an idea of how to reach out to a colleague when you may need support. Try to have one or two colleagues you can reach out to when you need mental and emotional support.

For Management Providing Support:

According to the Workplace Mental Health Institute, mental disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion due to declines in productivity, quality of work, as well as absence. Mental health is not an individual problem; rather, it is a communal issue.

A few things to consider when supporting mental health in the workplace:

Going beyond “Are you okay?” is one of the most important investments an organisation can make. Mental health impacts everyone and remembering that you employ human beings and not robots is a necessary step in the right direction to protecting your greatest assets – your employees.

How Connect by Nova Can Support Your Efforts

Connect by Nova offers a free Burnout 101 training for employers, please reach out to if you’d like to schedule this for your teams to benefit from – we can also build bespoke trainings to fit the needs of your team, so please reach out if you have a topic that you feel would be especially relevant to supporting your staff further.

Advice from the Experts: What Career Advice Would You Give A Young Job Seeker?

Are you a young adult feeling like you need a bit of career advice/direction to help you get where you want to go in your career long-term? If yes, then look no further – our team has pulled together some of the top career advice from leaders in Cayman to help do just that.

The Connect by Nova team were proud participants at the 2022 CISHRP HR Conference. It was an incredible day with speakers and panelists including Cayman’s top HR experts, including our very own board member, Louise Reed.  The topic throughout the conference was the ‘Great Re-Design’ of the global workforce, with conversations covering topics from employee engagement to reskilling.

During the conference, our team took the chance to tap into the HR leaders of Cayman’s inner thoughts by asking them to answer a fundamental question:

What career advice would you give a young job seeker in Cayman?

Career Advice from the Experts

Here are the top ten responses from experts at the 2022 CISHRP HR Conference:

  1. Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace your weaknesses, your strengths and your uniqueness! Be you! Make your mark! Stand out!
  2. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. People may discourage you, but it would not be a dream if it were easy to reach.
  3. You don’t need to figure everything out up-front. Just learn from each experience and don’t stop trying.
  4. Learn how to take feedback, especially negative/constructive criticism, to grow yourself.
  5. Every disappointment is not a misfortune! Chin up! Shoot for the stars!
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  7. Don’t care what other people think! You do you.
  8. Every rejection is a redirection!
  9. Knowledge is power!
  10. Never ever doubt yourself. You got this!

Soak up more career wisdom with some top tips for job searching.

Our team here at Connect by Nova would like to share a final piece of career advice with you:

Life is too short not to follow your dreams. If you believe you can, then you definitely can!

We hope this post has been helpful.  If you are looking for career advice feel free to email Connect by Nova at

Why Team Training is Important

How do organizations stay relevant in their industry? Through team training.

Closely following our ability to innovate is our ability to learn. When organizations support their people with strategic training and learning opportunities, they become agile, ready to respond to change or pioneer change ourselves.

How To Be Strategic About Team Training

  1. Create a learning culture

Most companies that don’t engage in a lot of training blame high costs for their lack of learning opportunities. It’s no excuse! You can create a learning culture that encourages your staff members to be proactive about their growth.

Of course, there is a time cost for in-house training, but lunch and learn sessions, job shadowing, mentorship, and projects are all effective, low-cost options to up-skilling and teaching your team on a regular basis. Of course, your culture must support this learning focus. Show your staff through your practices that learning is a priority.

  1. Use data to set priorities

Do you know which positions in your organisation are business-critical? Are you able to effectively identify your high performers and high potentials?

When it comes to training, you want to be conscious of return on investment. Your dollar will go furthest with the employees who are already succeeding or those who have the ability and opportunity to succeed with some support. You also want to be sure that you’re thinking about what jobs are critical to revenue generation and eliminating risk. Focusing on the employees in these business-critical roles will help you drive profits or cut costs. A great first step is to complete a SWOT analysis that will help you identify your training needs!

  1. Attach learning to specific objectives

Failure to set post-training objectives is the easiest way to waste your budget. You want to make sure that the learning on which you’ve spent money has an impact to business, otherwise, what’s the point? The courses or learning your employees undertake should have an evaluation component so that you can measure their improved skills and use those to drive business results.

Your employee should have short-term and long-term goals that will demonstrate their improved abilities – go ahead and build this into your performance management process. Your finance team can help you track your training spend and may be able to give you advice on how to put a dollar figure to increased productivity that has resulted from your training.

Our team here at Connect conduct free training constantly for the Cayman community, but if you would like to organize a speciality training for your staff please do reach out to and we would be happy to help you organize something. 

Virtual Networking: Advance Your Career From Home

In a world where in-person networking is no longer the norm, virtual networking takes center stage. But how do you build a virtual network and leverage it effectively?

Networking creates long-term relationships with mutual benefits and is central to a successful career. For many successful professionals, when asked what is at the core of their success, many cite the strong networking connections they have created over time.

You don’t have to wait for a networking event to make meaningful business connections.

Traditional job searching has seen a bit of a change recently due to COVID-19; how you search for jobs, how you interview, and now how you network all look a little different but not necessarily more difficult! With many professionals working from home and a cut back in business travel, many are spending more time on their laptops and networking sites such as LinkedIn, giving you the perfect opportunity to try your hand at virtual networking.

Who Should Be in Your Virtual Network?

The most important question when considering networking is who you network with and their relevance to your career; this ensures you aren’t putting time and effort to nurture something that won’t add value in the future. So how do you figure out who you should build these relationships with?

Identifying the Right People

Think of a person in your network who could help with your job search. Who can make an introduction or connect you with someone at the company you’d like to work at? Who can help you brainstorm or provide you with perspective from their career journey?

Highlighting What You Have to Offer

Forging a strong relationship can’t be a one-way street; it needs to be mutually beneficial. Now that you have identified someone, next write down a list of things you can do for them. Even if it’s a minor gesture, it can still jump-start your networking — as long as the act is genuinely meaningful to them.

The key to building resilient networks is to identify individuals where you can both contribute to their success and also stand to benefit from their knowledge; It’s both a give and take.

Virtual Networking Made Easy

How To Approach a Potential Networking Connection?

You’ve followed the guidance above and have identified the ideal connections to build your professional, virtual network, but what’s next? How do you reach out to them?

Email is one of the most effective ways to connect with people, but if you don’t have access to someone’s email, you can always send an InMail on LinkedIn. To help guide you, here are a few tips for crafting the perfect networking email:

  1. Be human.

Whatever you do, don’t start your message with “To Whom It May Concern” – by choosing this as your opener, you destroy all aspects of personalization before you even start. Virtual networking is meant to create new relationships and connections, so you need to personalize the content to who you are speaking to and keep it friendly.

  1. Flattery goes a long way

It’s a proven sales tool that flattery leads to success in the long term, and while you’re not trying to sell anything here, it’s worth taking a page out of the sales guide book. Don’t make the first email you send be all about you, instead show that you have a genuine interest in the recipient and the expertise they possess. Again, this ties in the personalization concept we mentioned above, which is at the core of a successful networking email.

  1. Keep it short & sweet

Even in a pandemic where you’re confined to the limits of your home and seemingly have ‘more time,’ I can guarantee you, no one has time for reading an email the length of a harry potter novel. Be concise.

When sending a networking email, you must keep it short and sweet. It should get your point across and leave the recipient able to respond within a few minutes without much reading or work on their part.

Networking emails are an excellent strategy for any job search. By following these tips, you’ll spark more relationships and even make connections that could lead to future job opportunities.

Sample Emails for Virtual Networking

Even with all this knowledge, actually writing a powerful and effective networking email can be daunting and feel awkward. To help, here are two sample emails that you could tailor to fit your needs – you would just need to swap out the bracketed areas with what fits your needs.

Reaching Out to a Stranger

Hello [Rosie],

I hope this message finds you well.

My name is [Hannah], and I work as a [Recruitment Resourcer] at [Nova Recruitment]. I became familiar with your work when I [saw your recent article on LinkedIn outlining how the job market has changed during the COVID-19 period] and wanted to reach out to tell you how much I admire your [career development experience and insight into the Cayman employment market].

If you’re open to it, I’d love to [grab a virtual coffee] to speak more about [what you’re seeing as trends in the market currently].

I am looking forward to connecting!



Reaching Out to a Friend of a Friend

Hello  [Bailey],

My name is [Hannah], and I work alongside [Louise Reed] at [Nova Recruitment], who passed along your contact information to me.

[Louise] mentioned that we share a passion [for helping young professionals identify and realize their career potential] and said you’d be a great person to get to know! So, I thought I’d reach out, introduce myself, and let you know that I’d love to find out more about you and your experience with [recruitment in the professional accounting space here in Cayman].

I am looking forward to connecting!

All the best,


How to Effectively Tailor Your Resume

If you’ve been following Nova for any amount of time, you’ve probably read or heard one of our team members telling you to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. But how do you actually do this?

Every job is different and what is valued by one may not be valued by another, and by supplying the same resume for every role you apply for, you are cutting yourself out of showing how you can add specific value to a job and company. If every job is different, then each resume you send out should be different as well.

Especially in the current employment market where there are more job seekers and fewer jobs available, it’s more important than ever to show future employers your value and stand out from the crowd.

Understand the Job You’re Applying For

To effectively tailor your resume, you’re going to need to understand the role and what the hiring manager is looking for, so get out a copy of the job description and get ready to read it a few times.

There are a few questions that you should be thinking when reading the job description: What responsibilities are mentioned first? What specific requirements or qualifications are they looking for? Are any themes repeated throughout? (things like strong communication skills, leadership, attention to detail, etc.)

To make it easy, follow these steps and make sure you’ve answered the above questions during this process.
1. First, just read through the job description without making any notes and take time to ensure that this is a role that is suited to you and that you’re interested in.
2. Next, make a note of anything that seems essential for the role (often, these items are mentioned a few times throughout). Another way to do this is to copy your job description into a cloud generator like this one and let the system do this for you manually.
3. Lastly, go through and make a note of all of the points in the description that you can speak to with your background and experience.

Begin to Tailor Your Resume

Now that you have pulled out the relevant information in the job description, it is time to look at your resume and figure out how to incorporate the skills you’ve pulled out from the job description.

It may seem like a lot of work to tailor your resume for each particular job you’re applying for, but this is proven to be the most effective and efficient way to job search, and will be worth the time and effort. You can use your current resume as a ‘core’ and then just tweak and tailor individual sections that are relevant per job.

Which sections should you look at when you tailor your resume?

Your introduction/summary section: Not everyone includes this section on your resume, but if you have this section, it is prime real estate to make your first impression immediately relevant as to why you’re applying. You want to showcase the most relevant accomplishments and experience here that you identified in the exercise above.

Your work experience: Generally, we would recommend using a reverse-chronological resume format for your resume as this is the most widely accepted and expected resume format in Cayman by employers. That said, if the hiring manager is looking for skills or qualities that you have not been actively using for a few years, it may make sense to break out your experience into sections.

For example, the leading quality of the job is calling for marketing experience, and you have this experience but not in your two most recent roles. Instead of listing your experience chronologically, you could break it into two sections labelled “Marketing Experience” and “Other Work Experience”.

The Bullet Points for Each Job: The work experience section of your resume is one of the first places a hiring manager’s eyes first gravitate to on a resume, so make sure you have the most relevant information listed first.

For example, if the job description emphasized the importance of social media marketing, don’t mention your experience planning company events first. Instead, list your experience managing multiple social media channels and creating a content calendar for the company. Even if this was a small portion of your role, find a way to demonstrate your experience!

Provide compelling evidence

Not all points are created equal. You can have two that are both written about the same core skill/experience, but one will be far superior and more likely to hook the hiring manager.

Option 1 “Frequently required to conduct sales pitches to a varied portfolio of clients.”
Option 2 “Liaised with management and developed a customer-centric sales pitch that was implemented company-wide to improve new lead conversions, ultimately leading to an increase in 32% of new client onboarding.”

Option 2 is the better option here as it highlights your expertise, paints a realistic picture of a scenario that hiring managers can envision in their organization, and shows results. Facts, figures, examples, stories. Show them proof that you can come in and get the job done successfully.

Ideas of facts and figures to include:

  • Percentages (led to an _% increase in XXX)
  • Dollar amounts (managed $___ worth of XXX)
  • Number of people (Managed XXX client accounts, Trained a team of XXX new employees per month, etc)
  • Double Check Your Work

Did You Include Everything Relevant?

Once you feel like you have ticked all the boxes, included all of the keywords, and tailored your resume to the best of your ability, check it all over one more time.

You can use a site like JobScan to do this for you and take the legwork out. Upload a copy of the job description you’re working with alongside a copy of your resume that it is ready and let the system scan to see how well you’ve matched up.

Save Your Updated Resume

This may seem like common sense, but if you put a little organizational magic behind this, it can be advantageous down the line!

Think about it: if you tailor your resume every time you apply to a job, and you are applying for several roles, you’re going to find yourself with multiple versions of your resume quickly, and it can get a little overwhelming.

  1. Have a folder on your computer just for your resumes and then have a sub-folder for the different versions of your resume organized in a way that makes sense so you can find them later if needed. Maybe think about saving them in a folder that is the name of the organization you’re applying to.
  2. When you save your resume, make sure that it is named something appropriate and professional as chances are the hiring manager will see the file name when you attach.



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.

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.

What Working Parents Really Want

September 16th is National Working Parents Day, a day that was established to honour all the hard-working parents that do the impossible; have a day job and raise children at the same time!

As a team of many working parents ourselves (half of the Nova office have toddlers running around at home!) we believe work-life balance to be a vital factor for high-performing employees and maintaining an overall welcoming office culture.

Figuring out how to balance work and family commitments is a challenge. That’s why the hard-working, insightful recruitment consultants/parents at Nova have pulled together some really useful tips and market research on not only how to manage work-life balance as a parent, but how employers can create environments that support this as well!

Tips for Working Parents: Navigating Work-Life Balance

To start let’s look at 5 quick tips to make sure you are acknowledging work-life balance and getting the chance to spend some quality time with your family!

Be Honest with Yourself

  • There will always be more work to do, however, be sure to set times meant for work and work only. Having a schedule will create dedicated time to spend with your children and make sure you are not missing out on the beauties that are raising a family.

Turn Off the Electronics (yes, it can wait)

  • In this day and age, taking work home seem to be inevitable. Most companies provide laptops and work cellphones. Even if you’re not in the office, you feel guilty about not being available all the time. Over one-third of parents in the workforce acknowledge that they struggle to switch off from work mode at home.
  • Set some boundaries when it comes to electronics. Put your work phone away when you get home. Rather than being distracted by texts or incoming emails, this time can be spent focusing on your children.

Identify Your Priorities

  • Simply put, it is difficult to prioritize, manage expectations and deliver excellent results at work when your headspace is somewhere else (i.e. Did I call the doctor? or I forgot to put the lunch in the fridge!) Plan ahead, stay organized and track everything!

Company Flexibility/Programs

  • Do you have the option to remote work? The chance to leave at 4:30 to pick up the kids from school? Some of you are thinking, no I do not have these options. However, my question to you is have you asked your management team? If not, why not? You might be surprised to find your boss sympathetic/supportive – they may even be in a similar situation!
  • Flexi-time and remote working helps a lot, however, the main cultural element needed to work happily full-time and be a parent is having a management team who trusts and believes in you. As a parent, it is important not to take advantage of that trust and make sure that you treat your company with respect for giving this flexibility. Show that you can go the extra mile and produce results even if you’re not seated behind your desk from 8-5


  • Whether that be getting a coffee with a friend, taking the kids to the beach, or going to the gym, remember that R & R is just as important as getting your work done. This will keep you on top of your game and you will be refreshed and more focused for the week.
  • Work-life balance is so important, and yes, as a working parent it can often feel like an impossible goal/unattainable, especially if you’re like me and strive to give everything 100%. However, it can be done!

Why Should Employers Adopt Family-Friendly Work Policies that Promote Work-Life Balance?

How can companies stay competitive in a market that craves work-life balance?

Work-life balance is a topic that is constantly evolving, and in recent years family-friendly work policies have become what is expected of a leading company. However, even with the rise in importance of work-life balance, the benefits survey from the Society for Human Resource Management in 2017 reported no significant increases in the number of companies offering family-friendly benefits.

Here are 3 key perks why as an employer you should adopt family-friendly work policies that will not only motivate current employees but attract top talent with a competitive benefits package!

Increased Productivity

  • Stress and fatigue (a.k.a. employee burnout) are some of the main factors of productivity loss. The Corporate Executive Board, which represents 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, found that employees who believe that they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t after researching 50,000 global workers.

Competitive Benefits Package

  • Childcare benefits are an important driver in recruiting and retaining talented working parents. While 29% of companies allow parents to bring children to work in an emergency situation, costlier benefits such as access to backup childcare services remain rare at just 3% of companies surveyed.
  • Compressed schedules, adjusted work hours, and work-from-home options. Many parents in Cayman, especially with school-aged children are looking for the opportunity to come in after school drop-off or leave a bit early to not miss school pick-up. Let’s be honest, with the current traffic situation, I’m sure all parents would appreciate the opportunity to not sit in traffic for over an hour and would be more than happy to make up the work after their kiddos get to bed.
  • From a recruitment standpoint, candidates have been leaning toward companies who offer flexible work schedules; it’s no surprise that the best companies are offering Flexi-options!

Better Retention Rates for Quality Employees

  • Let’s think about this logically, how can you build a successful company with burned-out and unhappy employees?

If you’re an employer or manager, think about what you can do for the working parents in your team, we guarantee you it will be beneficial in the long run, and a big thank you to all the hard-working parents for everything you do – keep it up!

Until next time,