Be Psyched About Your Career, Life & Relationships

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The Benefits of Having a Mentor and Mentee Relationship, and Why Your Employer Should Support It

Alexandra Whitehead (pictured above with her awesome mentor, Carolyn McManus) offers some insight into the importance of Mentor-Mentee relationships. 

Why do I have a mentor?

Over the years I’ve had mentors who are good at asking me the ‘right’ questions, ones which stretch me outside of my comfort zone, challenge my thinking and also my behaviours. It can be a scary process... knowing that you’ve got someone who will keep you accountable! While I’ve had mentors that are psychologists, I’ve also had mentors outside of the psychology industry as well, again to give me a different perspective. These relationships have allowed me to develop lifelong friendships as well as grow both personally and professionally. This thirst for growth is why I have a mentor at all times.

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My Lightbulb Moments

Madisen Ecker (Be Psyched's Practice Manager) shares her career journey into psychology, and the whirlwind that our career paths can take.

I remember being 19, sitting at the dining table with my dad, flicking through University brochures for the millionth time, when he turned to me and asked “what about psychology?”. That, as my employer/mentor Alex would say, was my lightbulb moment. A feeling of satisfaction and relief that I had FINALLY found a profession that would combine my empathetic nature and need to constantly learn, followed by the thought “why hadn’t I thought of that?!”.

We know to look for signs of employee burn-out, but who's looking out for the boss? We're seeing more and more companies taking steps to enhance employee health and well-being, but what about the boss?

Most of the time business owners and managers are so concerned with keeping their teams happy and healthy, that they neglect to see the warning signs in themselves.

Think about your boss (or yourself if that's the case). Most tend to wear up to five or six hats at once, and often we find that one includes the role of "Counsellor". While empathy is of course important in running a strong team, listening to and helping "fix" employees' personal struggles can take a toll financially and emotionally. For example, having one employee confide in you will not take much time or energy, but if this is occurring multiple times per week, or worse, per day, then sooner or later it can have a profound effect on your own productivity, and even your mental health.

 

Making your workplace work for you: The importance of positive company culture

While a good pay packet is an important determinant of job satisfaction, at the end of the day if you hate your job, there is a high chance you won’t stick around long!

Though it is common to have multiple jobs throughout your career, finding a company that not only encourages career progression, but provides you the support to do so, will make you more likely to want to stay (if the pay is fair of course). Conversely, business owners and managers want to create work environments that will foster loyalty within their company, and in turn decrease expensive staff turnover. Adopting, and maintaining a positive company culture will result in these inclusive and supportive workplaces, and therefore higher staff retention, and career satisfaction.

 

Enhancing your performance in life: The importance of communication

As humans we communicate information, intentional or otherwise, almost every second of the day. Why are some people so bad at it?! How do we fine tune ourselves?

Communication is the number one cause of relationship problems, both professional and personal. I’m willing to bet you’ve heard this many times before. Often, it’s not a lack of communication, but rather rushed or incomplete communication that causes unnecessary stress to our already hectic lives. For example, imagine your partner has signed you up to attend an event, only they’ve forgotten to tell you this until the night before. Miscommunications (e.g. through body language and verbally) may seem like little things, but when they’re allowed to repeatedly happen, they maintain unhelpful behaviours.