Finding Purpose and Engagement at Work

Most of us will spend about a third of our lives at work. (That’s literally thousands of Monday mornings.) So being engaged and passionate about what we do can really impact our quality of life. 

Your ideal job should give you a feeling of purpose and allow you to engage in interesting work with people you like (or can at least tolerate) and bosses that respect you and treat you well. If one or more of those factors aren’t hitting the mark, you could be at risk for disengagement.

Preparing for the Future of Work

Over the last few decades, the way people work has been evolving and changing, fueled by technological advancements in automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and innovations around the way we receive goods and services — all of which has only been accelerated by the pandemic.  

These new innovations have forced companies to rethink the way they operate and how they structure their work, creating new opportunities for some, and unfortunately, eliminating jobs for others. 

While change can be messy (and often frustrating when you’re in the thick of it), it can also lead to exciting new opportunities and personal growth. It’s up to today’s business leaders to focus on getting people the education and training they need for this new future of work, and it’s up to all of us to keep learning and developing new skills so we can meet the moment.

5 Professional Development Books to Read This Summer

Summer is in full swing, and whether you’re planning to do some traveling or just spend time relaxing at home, there’s nothing like a good book to keep you company. If it’s a book that might also provide some professional guidance or personal inspiration, even better. 

We recently shared 5 Great Business Podcasts for Your Summer Vacation, so now, let’s get into a little something for the readers out there. (Most of these books come in an audio version, so you could still pop on those headphones if that’s more your speed.) So whether you’re laying by the pool, sitting out on your deck with the squirrels, or pretending to pay attention at your kid’s next soccer game, here are five (not-boring) professional development books to check out.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health at Work

While workplace stress is nothing new, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated it for all types of workers. From the added stress of working from home (and now for some, anxiety around returning to the office again) to the millions of essential workers who had to put their own health at risk during the pandemic — everyone has been impacted in some way and to varying degrees. If there is one silver lining though, it’s that these challenges have brought mental health to the forefront of the national conversation and shone a light on existing problems.

A recent Household Pulse Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 37% of people surveyed reported feeling anxious or depressed. (That number was just 11% in 2019.) On top of that, in their 2021 report: Mind the Workplace, Mental Health America (MHA) found that nearly 9 out of 10 employees report workplace stress that impacts their mental health.

Making a Safe Return to the Office Post-Pandemic

For millions of professionals around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we experience work. Many non-essential employees began working remotely for the first time ever, and on top of that, working parents had to (somehow) get things done with kids at home doing virtual learning.

Now, with vaccines available to every American 12 years old and up, many businesses are starting to reopen their offices and invite employees back to their desks. Some are giving employees a choice between coming in or remaining remote, some are creating hybrid schedules allowing employees to come in just a few days a week, and some are asking their teams to return to the office for a full 40-hour workweek. There are even some companies that have chosen to close their offices for good, and will be keeping their workforces entirely virtual. 

No matter the scenario, there are still many things for both employers and employees to consider.