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Most people live their life as reaction to events that happen around them, and very few create events and define how they will live their Lives...

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I talk in my development workshops about the necessity of physical activity to boost your mental and physical health, the first objection that people come up with is “TIME”. The majority of my participants will come up with one of the following arguments:

With a full time job and kids at home, it is merely impossible to exercise” or “I wish I could but as you know with all the pressure that I have I can’t” or “ I want to start exercise but I need to sort out some stuff before that”. 

Even though I know that for some people it might be harder than others, all of the above are excuses that can be handled with proper time management and organization.

So instead of fighting it, I have decided to find 3 simple ways to help people increase their physical fitness while at the office.


1- Replace your office chair by a swiss ball (gym/yoga ball):

According to Spineuniverse “sitting on a stability ball can improve stability and balance because doing so is said to constantly engage the core abdominal muscles. Stronger ab muscles protect the lower back and promote better posture, and can be the result of using the stability ball.”

How to do it: To get used to it, the first time you sit on the ball don’t sit for more than 20 minutes as your bottom and back will tend to hurt especially if are not used to it or if you have weak core muscles. Every day increase the time  you sit on the ball till you spend at least half of your office sitting time on it. I know some people who have permanently replaced their office chairs with swiss balls.

2- Get yourself a pedometer:

Pedometers are inexpensive simple devices that will count your daily steps. Now there is even a free app “Stepometer” on iTunes and Google Play. With a Pedometer you will tend to increase your daily motion during office hours. One of my clients created a competition to see who of their employees totals more steps. 

How to do it: Climb stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a little bit further (not on a rainy day), walk to the photocopier and/or make your own tea/coffee so you tend to move more during the day. Depending on your dress code, try to have comfortable shoes (even formal shoes can have a soft sole and thick inner paddings). 


3- Stretch often:

Stretching is an excellent way to prevent injury and maintain your muscles in excellent condition. In addition stretching helps you have better circulation and blood flow to your muscles, improve posture, prevents pain and injury, relaxes you and improves your range of motion

How to do it: Employ the 20-20 rules, advises Alan Hedge, Ph.D., a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. Every 20 minutes, stand for 20 seconds and stretch or shake things out. “Just 20 seconds away from your computer screen reduces fatigue and increases blood circulation,” says Hedge. Now you’ll have the power to sit up straight. And every 2 hours try the stretching exercises that are given on airplanes; remember you sit on your office chair far more than you sit on an airplane seat.


Those three simple changes in your lifestyle can create wonders in your health and fitness and it doesn’t take a lot of effort, so make it a habit.


Camil el Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
05:58 - AM
Monday, October 11, 2010

How many times have you sent your resume and never got an answer back from the recruiter? What is your ratio of being called for a job interview in relation to the number of resumes sent?

We have recently advertised for a position using a classified newspaper and you cannot imagine the responses we got. Although we were specific about the position (level, responsibilities) we got bombarded by all kinds of resumes. Some senior positions applied for an admin role, and although we have specified the location, we got people requesting jobs in different geographical locations.

Only few resumes stood out, so we thought of sharing those 5 best practices that you should do when sending your CV:

Include a clear subject and cover letter
A company needs to have an introduction about you. A cover letter will entice them to look further and read your resume. If you are applying for any position, you need to show that you are professional and address it in a manner that will tell the reader who you are. However make sure that your cover letter is brief, straight to the point and contains simple language.
With hundreds of emails that employers receive, emails with just an attachment, no subject and no email body will definitely be eliminated.

Make sure to sell your objectives
Organizations do not distribute jobs on ad hoc basis, they want to give responsibilities.. Be creative in writing your objectives; show them that you know what you want. When you include your clear objectives, recruiters will be motivated to seek how they can use those objectives in their organizations.

Do your research before sending your resume
Whenever you are applying for any position, “google” the company or lookup its website, you need to know what you are applying for and tailor make your cover letter accordingly. This will show the recruiter that you are both serious and have knowledge in their industry. When we post a job ad, we receive the lousiest emails within the first hour of posting; the reason is that candidates do not take the time to tailor their resumes according to the company and the advertised job.
Remember that one targeted email has more power than 10 non-targeted ones.

Align your objectives with the company’s objectives
When you research the company, you will know how they make money, or how they realize their vision. In your correspondence, show them how you can help them reach their corporate objectives. When you broadcast that value with your own objectives, you will sure hit a sweet spot. Write the benefits from the recruiter’s side and you will definitely be called for an interview.

Call for action
If you know that you can do a great job in the interview, do not rely on the recruiter to take action. Request an interview, and tell the employer when you will follow up to arrange it. Then, do so. It is imperative that you follow up. You will greatly increase your chances of getting interviews if you call the employer after writing instead of sitting back and waiting for a call. Make sure that you don't overdue it though; one assertive call requesting an interview meeting is just enough. 

Camil El Khoury 
Posted By Ideas Group at
12:44 - PM
Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Dubai, UAE  – New research from Regus reveals that UAE professionals may quit their jobs after the summer vacation due to lack of promotion and bosses that do not know, or do not communicate the company’s goals.

For 47% of respondents, finding that the next rung in the career ladder is a no-show was the top ‘get me out of here’ factor. 51% and 31% of respondents respectively would not stick around with a company lacking communication with management or strategic company vision.

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus comments: “As workers pack up their swim-suits and towels after the holidays, they are more likely to dwell on the pros and cons of the job that is waiting for them at home. With reports indicating that one of the effects of the recovery is that many more employees have started quitting their jobs and looking around for new ones, businesses that are not providing all the trimmings may be heading for a brain-drain of their best talent.

“Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the past recession with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay the mortgage. Bonuses and job perks were cut back to weather the storm, but as the economy picks up employees will be flocking to businesses that promise them better conditions and not necessarily the biggest wage.”

Other high-stress factors are a long commute to the office (25%) and a boss that takes credit for their work with 24% of respondents quoting this as a reason for making an ‘all change’ decision. In the UAE, where 12 to 14 hour days are quite common, almost a quarter of respondents would also leave if because of overwork (24%). Further dissatisfactions that could easily morph into ‘last drop’ factors were lack of administrative support (22%) and rude colleagues (18%).

The survey also asked workers what companies could do to avoid a brain-drain of their best talents. Aside from a pay rise, in the UAE, 40% of workers declared that private medical insurance was top of their wish-list and 35% called for the ability to flex their working hours.

Top 5 reasons for UAE professionals to quit their job this year:

  •   Lack of communication and involvement by top management   51%   
  •   Lack of promotion despite good work results   47%   
  •   Lack of company ‘vision’   31%   
  •   Too lengthy commute to work   25%   
  •   Your boss taking the credit for your own work   24%  


Posted By Ideas Group at
08:18 - AM
Career | ideas groupideas group is a global learning and human capital development firm specialized in leadership, team development and learning business process outsourcing BPO. We help our clients become high performance organizations and foster a sustainable growth.