The global economy couldn't exist without the trucking industry. Cargo planes and ships play their part, but truckers around the world make sure a product makes its way across the country. Truck drivers, sadly, must deal with a job that doesn't always come with thanks. Because of that, the field is becoming less and less populated. The job does come with its dangers, so it is no surprise truckers face tremendous stress. Here are three main reasons why a trucking career can be stressful.
Long Hours Behind the Wheel
Driving to a destination and arriving on time may require spending 10-hour days on the road. Fatigue sets in after a while. Struggling to deal with a lack of sleep brings on worry and anxiety. Sitting in the driver's seat for many hours doesn't always work wonders for how the body feels. Exercising and burning off calories isn't easy, and a trucker's lifestyle becomes sedentary. That's not healthy. According to Pass My Physical, “warning signs of being too tired to drive are: trouble keeping your eyes open, trouble keeping your head up, daydreaming or wandering thoughts, drifting across lanes, drifting of the road or hitting rumble strips, missing signs or exits, frequently yawning or rubbing your eyes, irritability or restlessness.”
Even a 5-day, 40-hour per week driving schedule can become tiresome. The pay might make the long hours worth it, but those hours can seem like an eternity at times.
Accidents Are Less Forgiving
Trucks are colossal moving machines. They weigh tons. In an accident, even a small one, a rig can do a lot of damage. The chances of a fatality during a collision increase immensely. The government imposes regulations to decrease the chances of a fatigue-related accident. According to Heiting & Irwin, “whether a big rig collides with another big rig, a bus, or a recreational vehicle, the results are almost always catastrophic. Driver fatigue is the leading cause of trucking accidents, which is why so many regulations are in place to prevent it.” Federal laws limit the number of hours a driver can work per day and week. Still, other factors besides fatigue contribute to crashes.
Citations Can Ruin a Career
Depending on the terms of his/her employment, a trucker may need a spotless driving record to stay employed. Since he/she is on the road for hours upon hours a day, the chances of making a mistake increases. Assuming the speed limit is higher than it is or not coming to a complete stop when required might mean a hefty ticket. Getting more than one ticket within a specific time period could even lead to a license suspension. According to GetLoaded, “if a truck driver ever gets a ticket, as quickly as possible afterwards, they need to write down every detail, starting from five minutes before the alleged violation to when the officer drove off.” Even the most careful truck driver, one who never receives a ticket, can stress over the thought of receiving one.
If you are a trucker, do what you can to drive safely, adhere to traffic laws, and keep stress levels down. Many people rely on you to continue doing a great job.
Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
(BPT) - Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Being recognized and landing a promotion can provide a variety of perks such as more money, increased influence and more control over your daily routine.
So how do you land that promotion? It comes down to building key skills such as self-development, listening and communication. Fortunately, online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning can help you develop these skills to get to the next level in your career.
Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
1. Prove that you’re capable of self-development
The difference between being a “high-potential employee” versus a “high-performing employee” means everything to your advancement, and to the company where you work. While a high-performing employee does their job well, their performance review will look similar from year to year, revealing little about their potential for moving up. A high-potential employee, on the other hand, shows a willingness to push themselves to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities and be open to lateral moves — especially if that means mastering new abilities.
How do you become a high-potential employee? Demonstrate your capacity for self-development by actively soliciting feedback from others to learn how you can grow and improve, and proactively take on opportunities to increase your skill set.
2. Be a strong listener
In today’s world, there’s a misconception that dominating the conversation means you’re a leader, but the opposite is actually true. Being a good listener is vital to being a strong leader, and a crucial component to earning that promotion.
By taking the time to understand others’ perspectives, needs and concerns, you’ll be better prepared to communicate your ideas and solutions, and to persuade others to come on board. This is essential to leading, whether it means a small group or an entire corporation.
Active listening is an art — it is underrated and takes significant practice to master. Identify a leader in your organization who is a strong active listener and watch how they lead. You can also master this skill by taking a course on active listening as part of your own career development.
3. Communicate with purpose
Boosting your communication skills is critical to being both a leader and a team player. Demonstrate to your manager and your team that you know how to address the bigger picture, and show how your work ties to the overall company strategy. Express your vision of the larger mission or goals of the organization, as opposed to getting caught up in the details.
How you express yourself also makes a huge difference. Be concise, purposeful and confident in your statements. This will help you build a strong executive presence and build trust among you and your colleagues.
Don’t wait for a promotion to come to you. Now’s the time to be proactive and focus on growing your skill set. Show what you’re learning by actively taking on new challenges and communicating with purpose and confidence. To learn more about mastering the skills you need to advance in your career and get that promotion, visit www.linkedin.com/learning.
Every day, thousands of workers across the country put on a hard hat as part of their work attire. And, while it may not be their favorite thing to wear, it's an important piece of safety equipment that helps protect from head injuries and even save lives.
(BPT) - Every day, thousands of workers across the country put on a hard hat as part of their work attire. And, while it may not be their favorite thing to wear, it's an important piece of safety equipment that helps protect from head injuries and even save lives.
Gary Govanus is proof of this. He didn't put much thought into what he was wearing 45 years ago while working in-flight services at night at Chicago O'Hare, but by the end of that day his life would be forever changed because he reached for a Bullard hard hat at the start of his shift.
On the night of his accident, he and his team were cleaning out an Eastern 747 airplane that had electrical problems and its flaps were stuck in the extended position. This meant manually moving things in and out of the plane using an inconvenient and steep staircase.
"Because of the height of the door and the curvature of the air frame, the ramp that usually nestled up against the side of the plane at door level was now about two feet lower than the door and there was a three-foot gap between the plane and the truck," says Govanus. "It presented an obstacle that required thought and planning to get into and out of the plane."
Freezing cold and past quitting time, Govanus was anxious to get home to see his fiance who had recently arrived in town.
"I was thinking about going home and not getting into the airplane," he recalls. "As I took that final step to get into the aircraft, I missed. I may not remember everything from that night, but the sight of watching the open door go by as I started my plunge is forever ingrained. I knew that I was about to find out if it was my time to die."
But he didn't die. He fell about 30 feet to the cement tarmac. Thanks to the position he landed in, a heavy winter coat that provided cushion and his hard hat, he survived.
"I was wearing a hard hat and that heavy jacket. The hard hat kept me alive. The jacket prevented further injury to my shoulders and arms. I came away with two compressed vertebrae and two broken wrists. I was blessed," Govanus says.
Hard hat history
Hard hats save lives, and what you may not know is that the hard hat turns 100 this year. The hard hat comes from a Kentucky-based, family-owned company called Bullard, which was founded in 1898 in San Francisco and originally supplied carbide lamps and other mining equipment to gold and copper miners. The “Hard Boiled” hat was introduced in 1919, and was the first of many innovative designs over the past century that have led the company to become a leader in head protection and safety equipment.
During the 1930s, while the Golden Gate Bridge was being constructed in San Francisco, bridge engineer Joseph B. Strauss contacted Bullard to request that the company adapt its hats to protect bridge workers. This was also the first area ever designated as a “hard hat area.” The company continued to innovate the hard hat through the decades. In 1938, they designed and manufactured the first aluminum hard hat, which was considered very durable and reasonably lightweight for the time.
The company’s distinctive three-rib, heat-resistant fiberglass hard hat was developed in the 1940s. In the 1950s and 1960s, thermoplastics replaced fiberglass. In 1982, the standard hard hat changed again with the incorporation of a non-slip ratchet suspension with a knob in the back for simple sizing.
The modern hard hat is produced from polyethylene plastic, making it lightweight, durable, easy to mold and non-conductive to electricity. It has a variety of features such as easy-lock snaps, an upgraded suspension system and enhanced air flow, making it more comfortable and convenient than ever before.
Bullard is also a proud supporter of the Turtle Club, which is a group that honors those whose life was saved as a result of wearing a hard hat. Survivors are encouraged to share their story and contact Bullard via the company website.
You have your degree, your travel mug, and a new pen. You wowed the recruiter and your new boss during your many interviews, and the day has finally arrived: your first day of work. But are you prepared? It’s not enough to land the job and have excellent skills; if you want to move ahead, you have to maintain your professional image once you’ve landed the job. Here are five ways you may be damaging your career.
Social Media Snafus
Social media is pervasive; who doesn’t have an online presence somewhere? From Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram, our digital footprint is all over the internet. According to Expert Market, “a surprisingly common way to damage your career is to post inflammatory or insensitive things to your public social media pages.” Think of the way Kevin Hart had to decline an invitation to host the Grammys after a homophobic Tweet from 2006 surfaced. Even if you tend to shy away from posts about politics or religion, posting about your office drama could come back to haunt you.
Excessive or Compulsive Alcohol Consumption
Grabbing a drink at happy hour or during a work conference may be par for the course, but you must be very careful not to let your drinking get in the way of professional behavior. According to The Recovery Village, “alcohol abuse and safe levels of consumption also affect gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate neurotransmitters, which are responsible for relaying messages in the brain.” Even when off the clock, the way you behave in front of your supervisor or coworkers can impact office harmony and your attempts to be promoted.
When you interviewed for your job, you wore your best suit and shoes. Don’t stop dressing professionally just because you’ve landed the job. Of course, what’s acceptable dress depends on the culture in your office, but do not let your attire ruin your image or send the message that you don’t care about the work you’re doing. If you’re not sure what to wear, take a look at the leaders in your office. How are they dressed? If your supervisor or team lead is regularly dressed in slacks and a nice shirt or blouse, then jeans and a polo are not appropriate. Dress for the job you want. Dressing down on any day other than casual Friday is a surefire way to sabotage your career.
You may love the latest gossip on Sandra from HR. After all, it was juicy. Can you believe she said that during the last department meeting? And Bob. Word has it he’s out to sabotage Mike’s attempts to get promoted at the end of the year. Don’t get caught up in the workplace gossip. According to HR Payroll Systems, “it can also impact the overall tone of work culture. If gossip is common within a workplace, it can negatively impact company culture. The mood and tone of gossip can cause an attitude shift that may make a company feel less harmonious. Employees that are the subject of gossip or that haven’t been included in the conversation may also feel isolated or outcast, which can lead to increased turnover.” At best, you’ll be flaming the drama instead of showing off your skills. At worst, you’ll become known as someone who stirs the pot and can’t be trusted.
Inconsiderate Office Behavior
You’ll spend 40 hours a week in the office with your coworkers, and that’s not an insignificant amount of time. Be considerate of the fact that you have to share an office space with other people. That means don’t microwave particularly pungent food in a shared microwave, don’t burn your popcorn, don’t leave your dishes in the office sink or fridge, don’t listen to music without headphones, and don’t let fast food cups take over your desk. According to Payscale, “there are many things that aren’t just annoying like bad smelling food and questionable grooming habits, but cause problems in the workplace. People invading your personal space, or talking too much so that work isn’t being done are both serious concerns that need to be told to management. If you see these things in yourself, you should make a change before you’re warned about it or even let go.” Being inconsiderate in the office makes you seem like you’re not a team player.
A little bit of forethought can go a long way towards making sure your supervisor and coworkers see you as an integral member of the team and as someone with potential to get ahead. Don’t let the little things sabotage your career.
Here are a couple articles we think you’ll find interesting:
Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead. Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Simplify Your Morning Routine to Get More Out of Your Day
(Family Features) Some people wake up each morning refreshed, bright-eyed and ready to take on the day. Others slap the snooze button repeatedly and drag themselves begrudgingly from a cocoon of blankets. Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead.
Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Prepare the night before. Many of your morning tasks will flow more smoothly if you take time to plan the night before. Consider what you’ll wear and ensure your outfit is clean and ready for the next day. If you brought work home, collect everything back into your bag or briefcase so nothing gets left behind in the morning rush.
Stick to a routine. Especially when you’re groggy, it can be easy to miss important steps. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your routine, but make it consistent. If you follow the same general pattern every day, habits will form so you can cross each task off your list in order.
Fuel up naturally. Busy mornings make it tempting to skip a morning meal, but a nutritious breakfast can help you reach optimal physical and mental function. When pouring your morning cup of coffee, consider non-dairy creamers. Simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients like almond milk, coconut cream and real vanilla go into natural bliss Half and Half, providing an innovative, plant-based twist on the classic coffee creamer. Additionally, Oat Milk creamer is another non-dairy option that can replenish your body for the day ahead. Each flavor is crafted to offer simplicity and bliss in your morning routine.
Build in time for exercise. Get moving with some light exercise to get your blood pumping and metabolism revved up. Exercise need not be strenuous or lengthy. Even a half hour of yoga or brisk walking can jumpstart your system. Remember part of exercising is the nourishment that takes place before and after to refuel.
Unplug at breakfast. Once you find the discipline to regularly enjoy your breakfast at home, take the enjoyment one-step further by declaring the breakfast table an unplugged zone. Consider stirring an option like natural bliss Toasted Coconut creamer into your coffee, which offers a flavor that can transport you to an island oasis. Use the time to enjoy a moment for yourself or mentally prepare for the day ahead without the interruption of electronic pings.
Make your commute count. A lengthy commute can make a long day seem even longer, but those moments don’t have to be wasted. Use this time to find your workplace state of mind or review tasks and meetings to prioritize your plan of attack once you reach your desk. You might even use this time to give a presentation one last practice run.
Transform your mornings and find the full creamer portfolio at Coffeemate.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent. To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips.
Transitioning Back to Work After Baby
(Family Features) Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent.
It’s normal for parents to feel anxious about transitioning back to work after having a baby, but they don’t have to do it alone. Most new parents have built-in support systems of friends and family, but if their child will be attending daycare, that structure can provide additional help through the transition.
To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips from infant teachers at KinderCare, which has been caring for children for almost 50 years.
Going back to work after having a baby is a huge step to take, but it’s not impossible. For more tips to make the transition easier, visit KinderCare.com.SOURCE:
During the summer months especially, many employers plan events and switch up work schedules to give their team members a break to enjoy some fun in the sun. Extra days off, summer hours and company picnics are just a few of the ways employers create an enjoyable environment for their employees. One of the latest benefits to come to the corporate world is incorporating a dog-friendly atmosphere. Keeping these five tips in mind when bringing your furry friend to work can help ensure a fun and safe time for all.
5 Tips for Bringing Your Pet to Work this Summer
(Family Features) During the summer months, many employers plan events and switch up work schedules to give their team members a break to enjoy some fun in the sun. Extra days off, summer hours and company picnics are just a few of the ways employers create an enjoyable environment for their employees.
In a competitive talent market, employers are typically looking for new ways to provide the latest and greatest in employee benefits, eager to be the best place to work. One of the latest benefits to come to the corporate world is incorporating a dog-friendly atmosphere. In fact, a survey from Mars Petcare found that 87 percent of employers in the United States believe that being dog-friendly helps them retain and attract more talent.
“Having pets in the workplace can boost morale, increase physical activity and even improve productivity,” said Cheryl DeSantis, vice president of people and organization at Mars Petcare. “Our survey findings also discovered that nearly half of pet parents are concerned their pets are lonely while they are at work, and nearly 40 percent worry their dogs need to be walked and are either hungry or thirsty while they’re home alone. Bringing their pets to work with them can drastically eliminate these concerns.”
Keeping these five tips in mind when bringing your furry friend to work can help ensure a fun and safe time for all:
To learn more about how to safely bring your pup to work this summer, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com, where you can download the Pets Work at Work toolkit and find more information on the survey results.
Photo courtesy of iStockSOURCE:
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs.
(BPT) - If you’ve ever felt tense, anxious or simply unable to relax while performing your job, you’re far from alone.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Stress found 80 percent of U.S. workers across industries have felt stress in the workplace; nearly half say they could use help dealing with it and 42 percent said their co-workers could use some relief.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs. For example, for the past 20 years Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, and in a typical week hundreds of dogs and cats enjoy spending time with their owners at the pet food maker’s St. Louis campus.
"Pets bring a wealth of benefits — both physical and emotional — to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," notes Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina we experience the benefits of pets at work every day, and want others to as well."
As more and more companies adopt a pets-at-work policy, consider these facts based on a recent Purina report about the many advantages of such programs:
* They can benefit health: Pet-employee interaction has been shown to reduce the employees' blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to alleviating anxiety.
* They can improve employee retention: Sixty-three percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say they’re very satisfied with their work environments — nearly twice as many as those in other workplaces. In fact, respondents rank the option of bringing pets at work as the second most-valuable employee perk — more valuable than free coffee and parking. Overall, three in five survey participants wish their workplace would institute a pet-friendly policy.
* They can alleviate loneliness: Eight in 10 employees who can bring pets to work say that activity makes them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable. That's partly because talking about pets can be an ice breaker, making it easier for people to approach co-workers and get to know them better.
* They can promote physical activity: Many employees spend breaks and lunchtime playing with their pets or taking them for walks, boosting their own aerobic activity at the same time.
* They can increase pets’ happiness: Rather than staying home waiting for their owners to arrive, pets get to socialize with new people, play with other pets and enjoy more activity. Nearly nine of 10 people in the survey agree that bringing their pets to work strengthens owner-pet bonding.
In light of the proven benefits, Purina encourages other employers to consider allowing pets in the workplace. A toolkit with tips and information is provided at Purina.com.
“Our goal with our report is to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of taking pets to work and to arm employees and employers with insights that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies,” notes Dr. Venator.
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