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How To Improve Your Mental Health in the Workplace

How To Improve Your Mental Health in the Workplace

The overall concept of workplace wellness is nothing new. These days, countless employers big and small tout their commitment when it comes to supporting their employees' personal needs, usually through comprehensive benefit packages and other health related initiatives. What is discussed less are actual issues that these programs are addressing specifically mental health in the workplace.

Even in the age of transparency, there's an overwhelming sense of hesitance around discussing mental health at work because of the fear that bringing up a mental health issue could have a negative effect on overall job security.

 By the same token, mental health issues like anxiety and major depressive disorder are more commonplace than you think.

 Where to find support? Let's dive deeper into mental health within the context of the workplace.

Know Where You Can Go For Support

Poor mental health can have a negative impact on important factors like job performance, productivity and relationships within your place of employment. In terms of accessing the right resources that address mental illness in the workplace, it is not always so easy to know where to start.

Some people feel comfortable talking to their manager or supervisor rather than going straight to HR. What is important is that you reach out to let someone know how you are feeling.

It's also worth exploring your job's benefit programs and employee assistance plans which seek to address personal issues that can have an impact on overall job performance. While resources will vary from one employer to the next, many are placing an increased focus on mental health particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an increasing reliance on remote teams blurred the lines between work and personal life, more employers started offering mental health resources in the form of apps, videos and webinars.

You can also take a moment to familiarize yourself with your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law prevents employers from discriminating against job seekers with mental illnesses and also includes rules stating companies must provide reasonable accommodations to employees protected under the act. If you suspect that you are being discriminated against at work due to a mental health issue make sure to get in touch with an attorney specializing in employment laws like the ADA.

Create A Supportive Work Environment

When it comes to looking after your own mental health, there are countless strategies to consider including taking breaks, scheduling time off for mental health days and knowing when to ask for help are all small ways of helping ensure that your needs are being made.

Supporting your colleagues is also an integral important part of the equation. Check in with your coworkers to see how they are doing and give them a chance to respond in an authentic way. While it can be difficult to talk about mental health in the workplace, everyone plays a role in creating an environment that's supportive.

Company leadership should let employees know that it is okay to discuss mental health issues at work. An organization that provides resources and benefits that address the well-being of employees is a great sign of a supportive work environment. That includes regular reminders of how to access this support as well as allowing for time off when it is necessary.

How To Become A Software Developer

How To Become A Software Developer

Software applications exist for just about every business function that you can imagine. Software developers and engineers design software to solve specific problems, streamline business processes or improve computer users overall application experience. However, software can only function when it's powered by what is known as a coding language. In fact, code itself is the building block of all computer software and digital applications. This is where skilled engineers come in. If you are an exceptional problem-solver with a good eye for coding languages, you might want to learn how to become a software developer.

Getting a job as a software developer will take some time and effort but it is well worth the effort. You will enter a rewarding career with good pay and a lot of room for advancement. Want to know how you can become a software developer? Keep reading so that you can learn what education and skills you will need  as well as tips to help you get hired.

What Is A Software Engineer?

A coder is a technology professional who works with a variety of computer coding languages. These engineers take computer application designs and translate them into functional codes. The coding languages they usually work with include Python, Java, JavaScript, C Language, C++, HTML, PHP, and SQL. These codes allow programmers to give instructions to computers in languages understood by computer systems.

What Does A Programmer Do?

When software developers create program designs, it takes the right coding to bring software and computer programs to life. That's where skilled programmers come in. They write and test codes that computer applications rely on to function properly. They also test prototype computer applications to ensure that they work without any errors.

Other common computer programming tasks and duties include:

  • Scanning codes for errors and making corrections where needed.
  • Updating and expanding existing computer programs.
  • Simplifying code writing by using code libraries.
  • Creating and testing code in an integrated development environment.
  • Utilizing software as a service (SaaS) in order to write code across operating systems.

Most engineers work for computer system design and related services. Some work directly for software publishers, financial and insurance firms or manufacturing companies while others are self-employed. Engineers often work alone but may collaborate with specialists on large scale projects. Since coding can be done anywhere, many computer programmers work remotely.

Want to find out what skills and qualities employers look for in software engineers? Read the job description sample below.

How to Become a Software Developer

Before you get hired, employers want to see that you have demonstrable programming skills. The path to becoming a software developer requires a college education and knowledge of specific coding languages. Below is an outline of the best ways to gain the skills and credentials that you need.

Education

Programmers typically hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or a related field. There are tons of Engineering degrees available that can help you jumpstart your career. Not all computer programming jobs require a bachelor's degree, however. Some employers hire candidates with an associate degree. Some of the courses you'll likely take include:

  • Mathematics, calculus, statistics or matrix algebra.
  • Software design and infrastructure.
  • Java programming.
  • Coding languages like C++ and Python.

Internships are a great, hands-on way to learn how to become a software engineer. If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, be sure to consult with your college administrators in order to find out if any internship opportunities are available.

Software Engineering Requirements For Certification

Having a certification in software engineering isn't always required, but some employers only hire candidates who are certified in the products they use. Getting a certificate in a specific coding language helps boost your employability.

Tons of colleges offer certificates for computer programmers. You can also get certified in specific coding languages such as Java EE and Web Services or as a C++ Certified Associate Programmer. The Python Institute offers three levels of Python programmer certification: entry-level, associate and professional. As you progress in your career, it also helps to take continuing education courses in computer programming and attend seminars to stay up to date with any changes within the industry.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Computer Programmer?

A bachelor's degree with significant coursework in computer programming typically takes four years to complete. Completing a certificate program can take months, depending on the pace you work at and your ability to pass the required exams. Internship durations can vary but if you are taking one, expect to add on a few more months.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?

The median computer programmer salary is $81,583 per year. Keep in mind that your salary can range from $35,315 to $115,402 depending on factors such as your background, experience and certifications.

How to Find Related Jobs

Now that you know how to become a software developer, what's next? How about preparing your resume appropriately? It is also important to have a cover letter ready when you apply. Also, if you have the skills particular employers are looking for, make them stand out in your resume and cover letter. Be sure to emphasize your:

  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Ability to concentrate.
  • Keen eye for small details.
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills.

Want to know where computer programmers are in high demand? Try looking for jobs in these five states:

Top five states:

  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania

You can also seek relevant positions in these U.S. metro areas:

  • New York City
  • Dallas
  • Washington D.C.
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago

How To Choose A Specific Career Path

How To Choose A Specific Career Path

Knowing how to choose a career path is one lesson that they did not teach us in school. If you have earned your college degree, you might be already entrenched in a career. Then again, you might not be due to the pandemic or other extraneous factors.

If you have graduated and are still wondering how to choose a career path, you are far from alone.

How exactly do you go from being undecided about your career to being on a track toward something real? Keep reading to find out more!

Utilizing Proven Career Assessments

Choosing a career is a different process for everyone. Google “career assessment” and you will most likely see various results. Do these assessment things actually work? Should you invest a ton of money to take recommended online quizzes? Apparently there is a big market for career aptitude tests. 

Seeking Out A Top Notch Career Coach

A career coach's job is to help connect people with careers they will love. They are great at networking and often have access to valuable resources that you would not be able to find on your own.

You are probably thinking that you do not have the money for a career coach. Do not forget that you have a free resource at your disposal: your college’s career center. Counselors in the center are trained and experienced in helping people find the right career fit so that is a great place to start on a budget.

Informational Interviews

Seek out informational interviewing opportunities within your immediate network. Having the opportunity to sit down with someone or meet on Zoom, ask them questions and get real world answers is a solid strategy. If someone donates their time, it means they are interested in seeing you succeed. Learning how to choose a career can sometimes require a network of these particular advocates.

Start with people who already know, including your supervisor, professor or someone you already know working in a field you are interested in. You should not be afraid to reach out to people you do not know too. Be courteous and open to learning.

At the very least, you will likely get some reassurance from this person that your current path is not as purposeless as you may think. While a first job is important, it is not a requirement to move upwards. Ask any baby boomer how they got to the position they are in now and they will likely tell you that it was a long, winding road of varied jobs leading to the right connection. Timing is everything.