How not to be bored at work
Psychologists agree that ‘meaningful work’ is a fundamental pillar of wellbeing for most people. But according to careers coach Katharine Brooks, writing in Psychology Today, many people feel ‘stuck, bored and unfulfilled’. Brooks insists that ‘only in the rarest of situations must [people] remain stuck…even small changes can ease the pain.’ The crucial factor is that people start to take themselves seriously, ‘because only when you acknowledge that you are worth it and that you are the one who has to create the life you want will you make the hard and potentially difficult choices needed.’ Encouragingly, more resources are now available to help in every way. Here are three organisations that can offer support: ■ Toucan is an online service (www.toucan.co) that describes itself as ‘a space where entrepreneurs and creatives can immediately and safely pitch their new ideas – which can relate to any industry – to the world’. The pitches are voted on by visitors to the site. Toucan then takes high-scoring pitches to potential mentors to help turn them into reality. Founded and run by entrepreneur Rasha Khawaja, Toucan boasts an impressive list of mentors including Bruce Oldfield OBE, interior designer Nina Campbell and Jon Connell, founding editor of The Week.
■ Learning computer skills is a vital first step. Award-winning computer scientist Dr Sue Black of University College London recently launched #techmums (www.techmums.co), a course that offers short, hands-on workshops designed to be run at local schools, covering all the basics, including social media savviness and app and web design. The course has been piloted in East London and is scheduled to be nationwide later in the year.
■ The charity Smart Works (www.smartworks.org.uk) helps women on low incomes with interview clothes, styling advice and interview training. Samantha Cameron says, ‘Success suddenly seems achievable when clients are feeling good in their new outfit, and interview training has given them the confidence to know they can succeed.’ This year Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful Campaign is donating funds from sales of Pretty Powerful Everything Mascara, £19, to Smart Works.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: BOYCRAFT by Sara Duchars and Sarah Marks (Frances Lincoln, £12.99) Boys love making things – and that includes knitting and sewing (especially with a machine), as well as cutting out, sticking, hammering and sawing, according to the authors of the 50 step-by-step projects in this new book. Our six-year-old tester was ‘inspired and found several things he wanted to make, including jumper monkeys!’ according to his delighted mother.
SPEEDY SCAR RECOVERY
A reader asks for a skin-friendly product to speed the healing of a pink scar, following a scab, on her 12-year-old daughter’s face. The answer, says pharmacist Shabir Daya, is Sheald Recovery Balm, a powerful repairing formula developed by US company iS Clinical. Testaments include this from a middle-aged couple who were horrifically attacked last Christmas. ‘We left hospital with scars over our faces and hands. A variety of creams didn’t improve them but after using Sheald four times, my red raw hands became a gentle pink and improved every day, and the large swellings on my husband’s face went right down.’ Sheald Recovery Balm/£43 for 60 ml, Victoria Health, www.victoriahealth.com.
WHAT A CARRY-ON!
For most new parents, the idea of taking a baby on a plane is exhausting. One mother told me: ‘Stowing a buggy in the hold, leaving you carrying a small baby and all the hand baggage, seems so much hassle it’s easier to stay at home.’ She trialled the Babyzen YOYO , the first folding buggy that complies with cabin baggage regulations. She reports: ‘It was impressively compact but did take me a while to master the mechanisms. At under 6kg, it’s not robust enough for rough terrain, and there is little storage, but it’s a valuable solution to the babes-on-planes dilemma.’ YOYO with newborn nest and 6+ seat base/£445 at www.babyzen.com.