Do it for the camera by Jen and Elishia By Elishia Allen & Jennifer Fitzgerald

Junior Financial Accountant  / Accounting Administrator
April 2018

Do it for the camera. Keeping positive in work & life.

JenWhat Elishia said… being Positive Polly

It’s coming close to the end of December 2017. It’s dark, cold and wet all the time, the excitement for the Christmas party that was keeping you going seems an eternity ago and the end of our financial year is fast approaching. Anyone who works in Finance will know what a busy and stressful time this can be, preparing for the tight deadlines to make sure all invoices are accounted for correctly and everything is reconciled to perfection (well almost... as much as it messes with our intense need for balance... the odd few pounds difference are accepted) ready for the big bad auditors to come and start their long painful slog through your ledgers (o.k. slight exaggeration... our auditors are actually pretty good). The point is, it’s about this time that it’s pretty easy to lose the will to live and fall into a deep dark mood. So Jen and I decided this was the perfect time to set our ‘Positive Polly’ New Year’s resolution.

JenWhat Jen said… being Positive Polly

I’m all for a new year resolution, there’s something about a fresh year that is so motivating, almost like you’re in competition with last year's you. With this in mind; Elishia and I decided we needed to make a conscious effort to be positive in 2018.

We were finding ourselves moaning about trivial things daily, getting stuck in a rut and generally letting small triggers ruin our moods.

One of the things that always cheers us up is our shared love of terrible reality television. Feeling particularly inspired after watching someone on screen have a meltdown at realising the general public think she is a mean girl, we started asking ourselves whether we would be proud of how we came across on screen… often we decided not. So we decided 2018 is the year for us to ‘Do it for the camera’.

EWhat Elishia said…focussing on your health


Sooo many studies stress the benefit to employers of ensuring the health and wellbeing of their staff and it goes without that saying that a healthy workforce is a positive one.

Luckily, Ikano Bank supports this idea and regularly provides the tools to ensure that we do take the time to focus on ourselves and our wellbeing.

We’re offered places in the Sunrise City 5k that sees hundreds of people from different cities run through their city centre at daybreak and the Ikano Bank Robin Hood Marathon that co-workers can take part in free of cost. Running has especially become a focus for me in 2018 after the sense of achievement I felt at finishing the half marathon in 2017 (even though I did walk a lot of it). The plan is to run a lot more of it in 2018 and shave at least half an hour off my time. I have the flexibility to start work a little earlier and get out for a short run on my lunch break to practice. A great way to clear your head if you’ve had a rubbish morning, an added bonus is the great feeling you get when people compliment you on your fitness progress.

JenWhat Jen said… smile & be grateful

'Happy people' are more satisfied with their jobs and report having greater self-determination in their daily duties. It’s also been proven that simply just smiling releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into your brain, which make you happier. Smiling being something that we’re actively encouraged to do by our Country Manager, Dan Joy. Not that we need much encouragement in this area, our laughs can often be heard echoing around the office (literally...ask anyone who works on Ikano’s 4th floor).Jen

It’s easy to be wrapped up in our day to day jobs, spent staring at screens and often forgetting to look up and take notice of those around us. A simple smile can spread positivity to those around you, much like yawns - smiles are contagious! I personally like to surround myself with positive people - my friends and family are all genuinely the epitome of positivity. I believe in the saying ‘misery loves company’. One negative comment or thought can escalate into a bad mood that hangs over everyone around you like a black cloud, which isn’t good for self-esteem and mindfulness.

I’ve recently discovered a podcast (so late to the party I know), Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ and I recommend it to anyone who will listen (seriously think she owes me some commission). She invites guests to tell their stories and everyone that she speaks to have such a positive outlook on life despite going through hard times. It really is inspirational and listening to the podcast has prompted me to start writing ‘gratitude lists’. At the end of every day, write out everything that you are grateful for as a reminder that regardless of all the things you may have got bogged down with during the day, there is also a lot to be thankful for.

ElishiaWhat Elishia said…balancing work & home

Finding ways that suit you to stay positive at work is all well and good but life outside of the office is equally (if not more) important. Someone once likened our private lives outside of work as a cloak that we wear all the time but when you get to work, you should hang that cloak up at the door on the way in. In reality that’s not easily done; pressures and stresses outside of work make their way into the office. I find for me that having something in my personal life to look forward to gives me a positive boost. But you have to find a good balance. If you are anything like Jen, you can get so carried away booking brunches in your diary that before you know it, you haven’t had a weekend to yourself in months and find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Or on the reverse you could be like me who thinks I’m looking forward to a weekend indoors watching back to back movies until you find yourself bored and frustrated with the lack of fresh air.

Do it for the camera!

And most of all (because you couldn’t have predicted the cheesy conclusion here) the people you work with are the key to your positivity. So many people at Ikano Bank make themselves available to offer a listening ear or extra shoulder to share the weight of any problem. As the old adage goes, misery loves company, so the vibe of those around you is as important as your own. By no means are we Guru’s in this area (not for the lack of trying) but we work on our positive mental attitudes on a daily basis and for those of you who are the same, we wanted you to know you are not alone and remember when your smile slips and you are starting to feel bogged down, DO IT FOR THE CAMERA!


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