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Feature: Tips to help young professionals to avoid, cope with burnout

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Entrepreneur and Local App Creator Elijah James. (Social media photo). CEO of Nolan Hue Foundation, Regis Burton. (File photo)

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By Makeida Antonio

[email protected]

Two experienced professionals have taken the time out to offer some timely coping strategies to those new to the world of work in Antigua and Barbuda.

The work environment has certainly changed due to Covid-19, resulting in some people completely working remotely, or in a blended format between home and the office, leaving employees facing increased levels of stress and uncertainty which may lead to a rise in burnout.

Burnout is a psychological term used to describe extreme exhaustion resulting from highly demanding jobs. The effects of burnout include prolonged fatigue, decline in work performance, and withdrawal from social activities.

Observer asked an entrepreneurial advocate as well as the CEO of the Nolan Hue Foundation, a non-profit organization geared towards professional development and how burnout happens here and how it can be addressed.

Local App Creator Elijah James has been a longtime champion for youth advocacy, particularly as it pertains to entrepreneurship.

James believes two major challenges facing new professionals are attempting to enter the job market by any means necessary to support themselves and their loved ones and an increased workload without compensation.

“One of the core problems behind this still remains that our education system still is chucking out the young people thinking they need to work for someone instead of entrepreneurship. Everyone is coming out the system competing many times for the exact same jobs, which leads to the desperation and settling into jobs they aren’t happy with or aren’t suited for and burnout becomes a consequence,” he said in an interview.

The CEO of Nolan Hue Foundation, Regis Burton, suggests workplaces across the country have an open mind towards the emergence of the 4-day work week, where workers provide less than the standard 40 hours a week but maintain the same pay and benefits. This has already been implemented in some European countries and US states such as California.

Additionally, Burton highlighted the importance of using vacation days to destress oneself to optimize peak performance.

He said vacations can paint a clear picture of why an employee may be experiencing burnout and provide an opportunity to implement improvements.

“Employees build up a lot of vacation days and they’re not forced or encouraged to go and take a vacation. But, when you look at the benefits of staying on the job from all different type of angles, burnout, performance, you get to have a clear mind and then you get to come back,” Burton explained.

Both James and Burton recommended that workplaces incorporate wellness activities into their organisations, including stretching, yoga, group walks and hiking as well as mandatory wellness sessions.

Here is a list of other solutions to manage or completely eliminate burnout that James created for young professionals and their managers:

1. Ensuring a clear understanding and expectations of their role in their workplace

2. Choosing a career one is passionate about to avoid eventually becoming bitter and burnt out.

3. Spreading the workload as best possible even if it means bringing in a temporary worker to help move things faster.

4. Sleeping, for employees, can better help them in their daily performance as lack of sleep affects performance.

5. Reviewing operations to ensure employees have the necessary tools or support to be productive and serve customers.

6. Work / Life balance so employees know when to leave work at work and not take it home.

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Antigua & Barbuda

Children and elderly among those to benefit from new volunteer venture

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The organisation has been lending a hand to some of the nation’s vulnerable residents (Photos contributed)

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A string of local causes have benefited from a new volunteer programme operating in Antigua and Barbuda.

SkyTigerCares was formed from outsourcing and offshoring consulting firm SkyTiger, based at Canada Place, St John’s.

A food drive for the Fiennes Institute, supported by SkyTiger staff, secured $1,500 worth of food and personal care items. In addition to the care packages, $5,000 was also donated to the Master of Fiennes, Walton Edwards.

In July, the philanthropic organisation supported the West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation by donating $5,000 to the tall ship race event in the Netherlands.

“In addition to financial assistance, our very own employee and aspiring sailor J-maiah Louisor was able to participate in the event,” a release from SkyTiger said. “In his words, it was a dream come true and he felt privileged and honoured to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The organisation also helped local schoolchildren last summer by issuing 105 gift certificates to staff members with children between the ages of three and 17.

The volunteer programme focuses on four pillars of corporate social responsibility – environmental, ethical, philanthropic, and economic.

“We embrace diversity, inclusion, social awareness, volunteering, education, eco-friendly practices, and acts of service,” the release added.

“At SkyTiger, one of our top priorities is to be a good corporate citizen. We want to create an environment that recognises the importance of giving back.”

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Antigua & Barbuda

Messi scores, Argentina beats Australia 2-1 at World Cup

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Antigua & Barbuda

Haitian police are fed up!!

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A high-ranking police officer says gangs in Haiti are making their lives very difficult and they are challenged in executing their functions.

Over the past few months, Haitian gangsters have seized at least three police vehicles, which includes two armored ones, in a wave of gang violence that has left several law enforcement officers dead.

A police source, told HCNN that an armored vehicle and several police weapons were hijacked and are still in the hands of the criminals who are still using them to fight rival gangs.

“As a police commissioner, I feel embarrassed and guilty, because I am among those who are supposed to make sure that gang violence is quelled and that security is guaranteed,” he said

He says there have been numerous times he considered resigning but has been advised against it.

One gang leader, a former policeman known as Crisla, has claimed responsibility for the seizure of the vehicles.

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police Union, Lionel Lazare, said at least 50 policemen have been shot dead, since the beginning of the year.

Police commissioner, in charge of the police academy, 50-year-old Harington Rigaud, was among the victims who were shot in the head, outside his office, on November 25.

His vehicle was also taken by the criminals.



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