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Three tips for setting boundaries at a new job



Three tips for setting boundaries at a new job

Eight years ago, I left full-time journalism for one simple reason: I was burned-out. Bad. After covering back-to-back police shootings of Black people, I was starting to feel desensitized to the news: another name, another city, another shooting. I never took time to fully process the trauma that was happening, and instead found myself using work/busyness as a coping mechanism. I was stressed. I was anxious. I was unhappy, so I switched careers.

According to a recent survey from tech firm Cengage Group, 89% of workers have left jobs because of burnout, which was classified as an “occupational phenomenon” by the World Health Organization in 2019 and is defined as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

I vowed that if I ever returned to a newsroom, I would do things differently—not only for my well-being, but for personal job satisfaction. So in addition to therapy and morning workouts to relieve stress, I knew I needed to implement better boundaries in the workplace as well.

“Boundaries are practices that make you feel safe and comfortable in your relationships. They can be verbal statements or they can be behaviors that you’re requesting and/or demonstrating in your relationships,” explains Nedra Glover Tawwab, licensed therapist and author of Set Boundaries, Find Peace. “In the workplace, boundaries are really important because that is where we spend a significant portion of time…and hopefully these environments can be comfortable, satisfying, and bring us some level of fulfillment, pleasure, or ability to take care of ourselves without burning out.”

While it’s never too late to implement boundaries at work, doing so at the onset of a new role is an excellent opportunity to give yourself a fresh start and do things a bit differently than you’ve done before.

“When you start a brand-new job, that is your opportunity to teach your supervisors and your coworkers how you need to be treated and how you can do your best work if you’re treated this way,” says Camesha Jones, founder and executive director of Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. “Sometimes when you start a new position, there’s this anxiety of wanting to do well and be liked, but that can cause a vulnerability where people will go above and beyond their limits because of that.”

To combat that anxiety, Jones encourages people to remember to take comfort in knowing they deserve to be in the space and what they bring to the table is sufficient.

“It’s also important for you to set realistic expectations that you can sustain over time. How you perform in the beginning can set the stage for an employer of what to expect from you in the future,” she continues. “You can have what I would call a ‘well worth ethic’ where you can provide quality work and perform well within the bounds of those realistic expectations you set; in addition to working in ways that promote a healthy, thriving lifestyle that is not consumed by work, but rather complements it.”

The following expert-backed strategies can help you set healthy boundaries at work.

Identify (and communicate) your availability

As a recovering workaholic, I’ve been known to do “just one more thing” for hours on end. Now, as a new mom, I’ve implemented day-care pickup as my hard stop for the day. One of the first things I did was update my working hours on my Outlook calendar and Slack to easily let colleagues know when I’m available for meetings. But you don’t need to be a parent to set boundaries around your time.

“In one instance, I remember working full-time while going to grad school and having an internship so it was very important I left at five o’clock because class was at 5:30, so I had a built-in boundary,” shares Glover Tawwab. “Whatever it is you need to trick yourself into thinking, make it a priority to leave that space by a certain time. The boundary is really based on what you’re able to do and what you need in this moment.”

Use technology to your advantage

Back in 2020, I deleted my work email from my phone before a much-needed staycation and never looked back. Occasionally I’ll need to check for messages after hours, especially when coordinating interviews for stories across time zones, but in those instances I’ll access my inbox from a web browser, send the message, and immediately close out of it.

“I used to be a compulsive email checker with Gmail, so I just took it off my phone,” says Jones. “Things like that can help you disconnect from work, as well as taking actual breaks and not filling them up by doing more work.”

While I have the Slack app installed on my phone because it makes it easier to check and send messages on the go, I’ve set a notification schedule so I don’t get messages outside working hours. I’m also a big fan of using the status update on Slack to let colleagues know when I’m taking lunch or deep in the zone writing, so they can anticipate a delayed response and I don’t feel pressure to be on all the time.

Honor your true capacity

There was a time when I said yes to everything and everyone (and truthfully, I’m still working on that in my personal life, but that’s another story for a different day). I’d often wonder why I was feeling so overwhelmed and realized I only had myself and my people-pleasing tendencies to blame.

“Sometimes with burnout we think, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re making me do all of this stuff,’” says Glover Tawwab. “But sometimes it’s us making us do all of this stuff.”

Guilty as charged.

My desire to be well-liked, especially when starting a new job, leads me to take on too much too fast. These days I’m learning to slow my roll, take an honest look at my to-do list and (gasp) ask for help when it comes to prioritizing projects knowing that doing so won’t make me look bad or incompetent, but rather the opposite—I’m taking the initiative and being proactive around finding solutions to potential issues.

“Boundaries help us to know what our true capacity is,” says Glover Tawwab. “They really help us stay well within what’s comfortable for us instead of pushing ourselves to the total limit. When we think about work and burnout, a lot of it happens because we’ve pushed ourselves all the way to the limit.”

In order to find your limit, Jones suggests paying close attention to what your mind and body are telling you.

“When it comes to burnout it is prolonged stress over a period of time, but there are mental and physical indicators that you’ve pushed yourself to the limit,” she says. “For example, if I start to feel a tightness in my trap muscles, I know I’m working a little bit too hard. Or if I’m not eating throughout the day because I’m working consistently, that’s an indicator that I’m not taking care of my basic wellness.”

As our lives change, so do our workplace needs. What may have served you at one stage in your career may not serve you well as you take on more responsibilities outside of work, such as caregiving.

“You may need to have a conversation with your supervisor or colleagues and say, ‘There was a time when I was able to do X, Y, and Z, but now things have changed, and I’ve realized I can’t really be my best while working in that way. What does it look like for us to adjust this?’” Jones says. “It’s okay to acknowledge that sometimes the things we were able to do no longer serve us, or that we just can’t work in that way anymore.” 

We’re roughly a month in to my new experiment with workplace boundaries, but so far I’ve noticed I’m not as fatigued at the end of the day, I have more energy to pour into my family and my personal projects, and I return to my laptop in the mornings with a renewed sense of ambition and determination. Perhaps this will help me set better boundaries in my personal life…only time will tell.


Coinbase’s near-term outlook is ‘still grim’, JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm’s ability to face crypto winter



Coinbase's near-term outlook is 'still grim', JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm's ability to face crypto winter

Coinbase is well positioned to successfully navigate this crypto winter and take market share, Bank of America said in a research report Tuesday. It maintained its buy recommendation following the exchange’s second-quarter results.

The results warrant “a muted stock reaction,” the report said. Net revenue of $803 million was below the bank’s and consensus estimates, while its adjusted $151 million loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was better than the street expected. Importantly, the company remains “cautiously optimistic” it can reach its goal of no more than $500 million of adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year, the report added.

Coinbase shares fell almost 8% in premarket trading to $80.74.

Bank of America notes that Coinbase had no counterparty exposure to the crypto insolvencies witnessed in the second quarter. The company also has a “history of no credit losses from financing activities, holds customer assets 1:1, and any lending activity of customer crypto is at the discretion of the customer, with 100%+ collateral required.” These rigorous risk-management practices will be a “positive long-term differentiator” for the stock, the bank said.

JPMorgan said Coinbase had endured another challenging quarter, while noting some positives.

Trading volume and revenue were down materially. Subscription revenue was also lower, but would have been much worse were it not for higher interest rates, it said in a research report Wednesday.

The company is taking steps on expense management, and in addition to the June headcount reductions, is scaling back marketing and pausing some product investments, the note said.

The bank says the company’s near-term outlook is “still grim,” noting that the exchange expects a continued decline in 3Q 2022 monthly transacting users (MTUs) and trading volumes, but says Coinbase could take more “cost actions” if crypto prices fall further.

JPMorgan is less optimistic than Bank of America about the company in the near term, saying pressure on revenue from falling crypto markets will have a negative impact on the stock price. Still, it sees positives including higher interest rates, from which the firm will generate revenue. It also sees opportunities for the exchange to grow its user base, leveraging almost $6 billion of cash. The surge in crypto prices in July, and the forthcoming Ethereum Merge are also seen as positive catalysts, it added.

The bank maintained its neutral rating on the stock and raised its price target to $64 from $61.

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Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he’s forced to buy Twitter



Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he's forced to buy Twitter

Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion of his shares in Tesla Inc., the billionaire’s biggest sale on record, saying he needed cash in case he is forced to go ahead with his aborted deal to buy Twitter Inc.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted late Tuesday after the sales were disclosed in a series of regulatory filings. 

Asked by followers if he was done selling and would buy Tesla stock again if the $44 billion deal doesn’t close, Musk responded: “Yes.”

Tesla’s chief executive officer offloaded about 7.92 million shares on Aug. 5, according to the new filings. The sale comes just four months after the world’s richest person said he had no further plans to sell Tesla shares after disposing of $8.5 billion of stock in the wake of his initial offer to buy Twitter.  

Musk last month said he was terminating the agreement to buy the social network where he has more than 102 million followers and take it private, claiming the company has made “misleading representations” over the number of spam bots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk to consummate the deal, and a trial in the Delaware Chancery Court has been set for October. 

In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his Tesla stake and increased the size of the equity component of the deal to $33.5 billion. He had previously announced that he secured $7.1 billion of equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital, and Binance. 

“I’ll put the odds at 75% that he’s buying Twitter. I’m shocked,” said Gene Munster, a former technology analyst who’s now a managing partner at venture-capital firm Loup Ventures. “This is going to be a headwind for Tesla in the near term. In the long term, all that matters is deliveries and gross margin.”

At the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter provided its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “the deal should proceed on original terms.” 

Musk, 51, has now sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla over the past 10 months. The disposals started in November after Musk, a prolific Twitter user, polled users of the platform on whether he should trim his stake. The purpose of the latest sales wasn’t immediately clear.  

Tesla shares have risen about 35% from recent lows reached in May, though are still down about 20% this year. 

With a $250.2 billion fortune, Musk is the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen around $20 billion this year as Tesla shares declined.    

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The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are ‘squeezed the most’ by higher rents, BofA says



The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are 'squeezed the most' by higher rents, BofA says

Most of Gen Z is too young to remember the 2010 New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan.

But over a decade later, they would probably agree with his signature issue (and catchphrase): the rent is too damn high.

This July, median rent payments were 7.4% higher than during the same period last year, according to a Bank of America report released Tuesday. 

The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment has been hitting new highs nearly every month this summer. It was $1,450 for July, according to rental platform Zumper. In the country’s largest city, New York, average rent exceeded a shocking $5,000 a month for the first time ever in June. 

But inflation in the rental market hasn’t hit each generation equally, and no one is getting squeezed harder by the higher monthly payments as Gen Z. Those born after 1996 have seen their median rent payment go up 16% since last July, compared to just a 3% increase for Baby Boomers, BofA internal data shows. 
“Younger consumers are getting squeezed the most by higher rent inflation,” BofA wrote.

The great rent comeback

Early in the pandemic, landlords slashed rents and gave significant COVID discounts to entice tenants to stay instead of leaving urban areas. Once those deals started expiring in 2021, many landlords suddenly raised payments once again, sometimes asking for over double their pandemic value. 

Young people across the board have been hit hard, and rent burdens compared to age can be seen even within a single generation. Younger millennials had their median rent payment grow 11% from last year, while the median payment for older millennials rose 7%. Gen X experienced a 5% median rent increase, according to BofA. 

It’s not a surprise, then, that Gen Z feels so strapped for cash. The majority of young people, 61%, said they want to receive their wages daily instead of twice a week, a practice typically reserved for workers living paycheck to paycheck, according to a report from the Center for Generational Kinetics, which specializes in research across the generations. Rising rent inflation has even priced nearly a third of Gen Zers out of the apartment search altogether. Around 29% of them have resorted to living at home as a “long-term housing solution,” according to a June survey from personal finance company Credit Karma.

It’s no wonder—the rent really is too high.

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