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Your Bosses and Col­leagues

Your Com­mute to Work

Even if your an­swers are mostly “no”, it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. Th­ese sug­ges­tions from Chook Yuh Yng, coun­try manager of www.job­ for Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia op­er­a­tions, could help you en­joy your job bet­ter.

Your Job and Work En­vi­ron­ment

When you feel that you’re get­ting com­pla­cent, chal­lenge your­self, says Yuh Yng. “Go­ing above and be­yond your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties can help you feel in­vested in your job again. For ex­am­ple, if your dead­line for an as­sign­ment is 4pm, aim to clear it by 2pm. And don’t hes­i­tate to bring up ideas or so­lu­tions to your su­pe­rior.” Here’s how you can rene­go­ti­ate your salary. “Re­search what oth­ers in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion are drawing – some web­sites, like www.job­, list the ap­prox­i­mate salaries for each in­dus­try as a bench­mark. When you speak with your su­per­vi­sor, arm your­self with a list of your achieve­ments, and be open about com­ing to a com­pro­mise.” “One of the surest ways to im­prove job sat­is­fac­tion is to foster friend­ships at work – th­ese have the po­ten­tial to be­come a strong sup­port net­work. If your work­place re­la­tion­ships are hos­tile, you may ex­pe­ri­ence burnout sooner than you think,” notes Yuh Yng.

Take steps to get to know your co-work­ers bet­ter, by greet­ing them ev­ery morn­ing, and ask­ing them out for lunch to connect on a per­sonal level. You’ll be sur­prised by how easy it will be to progress to af­ter-work out­ings.

If your col­leagues are the rea­son you’re un­happy at work, look for com­mon ground to bond over. If that fails, talk to your su­pe­rior about chang­ing de­part­ments. Says Yuh Yng: “If you’re spend­ing too much time get­ting to and from work, you’ll have less per­sonal time be­fore and af­ter work, and might even need to wake up ear­lier and leave later than your col­leagues.” All this af­fects your work­place hap­pi­ness.

If you do en­joy the com­mute but dis­like the morn­ing jos­tle, leave home ear­lier to beat the crowd, sug­gests Yuh Yng. “Ar­riv­ing early al­lows you to build a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing punc­tual and com­mit­ted about work, and gives you time to set­tle in be­fore the first task of the day.”

Your Work-life Bal­ance

Here’s how to de­cide if you’re en­joy­ing a good work-life bal­ance: You should be able to carry out the per­sonal plans you’ve made be­fore­hand, and not have to com­pro­mise your per­sonal time. Work­ing over­time, or on week­ends, should also be rare.

“Put your heart and soul into work dur­ing of­fice hours, but re­spect your time away from it. If you feel bur­dened by your work­load, talk to your su­pe­rior about it, and pro­pose sug­ges­tions to help you cope with your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” ad­vises Yuh Yng.

Set aside time at work for daily per­sonal goals – like fin­ish­ing one chap­ter of a book dur­ing lunch or tak­ing a 10-minute break to plan your next hol­i­day – to help you feel like you’re living ev­ery day to the full.

Fair­ness in Your Work­place

You should never feel that you’re be­ing dis­crim­i­nated against at work, says Yuh Yng. “Credit should al­ways be taken and given fairly; your work­place should also be cre­at­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for all em­ploy­ees.”

If you feel you’re not be­ing treated fairly, speak to your su­pe­rior about your con­cerns, or seek ad­vice from the hu­man re­sources depart­ment. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to move on, she adds.

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