Workday #Inspo

Yes, they have been over-used. And yes, they are a little cliché. But sometimes, when it’s shaping out to be the day from hell, it is sometimes helpful to gain inspiration from others.

Next time, when you are struggling, have a look at these beliefs and phrases and find your own motivation… These quotes are the perfect ‘pick me up’ if you are experiencing harsh critics, or a tough manager who likes to try and tear you down.

“Too many people overvalue what they are not, and undervalue what they are.”

– Malcolm Forbes


“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.”

-David Brinkley


“What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”

-Yogi Bhajan


“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

-Carl Gustav Jung


Try having a list of phrases and quotes that inspire you at your work station, ready to be read and injected when you need that burst of energy and motivation to strive further. 

Four types of employees you don’t want to be!

Without trying to be stereotypical, every workplace has at least one trying employee - and we all hope we aren’t one of them!

They are the type of employee and colleague that draws whispers and sighs when they walk into work. The type of employee that you avoid at all costs, even in the staff room. The type of employee you do not want to have work closely with.

So, with all that said, we want to make sure we are not THAT employee. Here is a description of the types of dreaded employees at a workplace, as a guide, to make sure we do not become one of them.

1. But that’s-not-my-job employee!

Everyone has encountered that one employee, the one who only wants to complete, perform and assist on tasks and jobs outlined in their contract. Oh, yes. There are some unions and work right communities that try to provide detailed accounts of what is expected of employees, however there are those employees who take these words… LITERALLY. The area on the contract or job description that can say “other duties if required” or “general office help/maintenance” actually means you can or do need to assist your working team, in some situations. Obviously, taking on other peoples’ work loads is not what we are asking, however to be a good team player and employee there are times when you just have to shut up, and help your colleagues.

2. The special employee!

No phones at work? They are on their phone from 9.00am till 5.00pm. Starting work at 9.00am? They stroll in at 9.15am, every day, some times 9.30am? Unapologetic, for sure. But, what’s worse than these employees? Their boss. Their boss allows and encourages their bad behaviour, and their lack of effort and work, because chances are their boss believes they are special too. Make sure you always follow the rules as others do, we are all equal at work.

3. No-boundaries employees!

Everyone has work-friends, sometimes you click with certain people and it develops into a personal friendship outside of the office. However, while at work there are certain people who think that over sharing with their colleagues at work is fine (I mean you spend five days a week together). Remembering to keep things professional at work is a must! Not everyone in the office needs to know the gory details of your date.

4. The drama king and queen employee!

The person who makes everything a HUGE deal at work. The employee who takes everything PERSONAL. The employee who is always reading WAY TOO much into everything. Yeah, there is always one drama king or queen at every office. And no one is that thrilled about them being there! Always remember to tone down the dramatics at work and the angry/emotional reactions to things. It’s not always the greatest way to earn points at work or how to be the most efficient, levelheaded worker. 

How to Deliver Constructive Criticism

Regardless of your position, or the industry in which you work, you will most likely need to deliver criticism to a co-worker at some stage in your career. Nobody enjoys this responsibility, but there are several steps that you can take to make sure everyone achieves the best possible outcome while maintaining a positive workplace dynamic.

Step One: Identify the Problem

There can be many factors at play when you first realise that someone might be doing something wrong. Allow yourself time to make sure that you have your facts straight, and that personal feelings aren't coming into play before proceeding. When appropriate it might help to speak with someone else in a management position who can be objective and give you advice about how to approach the issue.

Step Two: Choose Your Timing

Timing can play a large role in ensuring your criticism is well received, and able to be acted upon. If you need to speak with someone about a single incident, make sure you allow time for the person to compose themselves, then try to have the discussion as soon as possible. If your issue is an ongoing one, schedule a meeting ahead of time so that it doesn't feel like an ambush.

Step Three: Focus on the Issue

Make sure that the heavier part of the discussion is centered around the incident or behaviour in question. The key to delivering constructive criticism is that the person does not feel attacked, and instead comes out of the experience knowing what areas they need to work on, rather than feeling like a failure.

Step Four: Encourage Discussion

If the interaction is one-sided then the other person may shut down, or become defensive. Offering them the chance to give their side of the story can give you insight into why the problem has occurred, and might even change the way you approach the issue from now on. Provide reassurance that the rest of their performance is not in question, talk about what they do well, and maintain a tone that is professional and conversational.

Step Five: Offer Solutions

If you are coming to someone with a problem, then you need to be prepared to let them know how you think they can make things better. If they have ideas, you can discuss them together, but it is important to give guidance and to make your expectations clear. Express your confidence in the solutions offered, and in the person's abilities to turn things around.

Step Six: Provide Support

Set a time frame in which you want the issue to be rectified, and follow up when appropriate to show that you care about their progress. When someone's performance is questioned it can have an impact on their confidence levels, so a little bit of support and positive feedback in the weeks after a difficult discussion can go a long way. Tell them you are impressed with the efforts they have made to make changes, or offer further advice if they need it. The follow up can be just as important as the actual criticism so take advantage of this opportunity to make sure everyone involved feels positive about the process.


About Us

The Institute of Careers is a leading career development and advisory support service, equipping Australian job-seekers and employees with the know-how to supercharge their careers. We offer a wide range of resources, including cheat sheets, FAQs and customisable templates, covering all aspects of professional development – from writing a cracking cover letter, searching for a job and selling yourself in an interview, to landing a promotion and becoming a great manager.