The New Year may be just what you need to get the job search on its way!
Some things to keep in mind while you are pursuing your next career move.
Branding and Marketing-Streamlining your skills on all platforms
Branding and Marketing- for you! Branding is defining who you are and how you would like to be perceived. Marketing is how you get in front of your audience. Streamline your brand. We all have more than one useful skill. So get the bigger picture across to your audience of how you can utilize your skills that will help your new employer grow.
Branding- Define you- In terms of your career- This is the how an interviewer or recruiter will “see” you. Be specific with your consistent skills- and how they have influenced the success in your last jobs. Make sure that there is consistency across all social and professional platforms that are geared towards your career. It will not behoove you to go on a long diatribe about your skills. In a few sentences or a paragraph…”Tell me about your professional career driven-self.” Your brand should describe what you do professionally, and convey how you set yourself apart from everyone else. What makes you unique?
When you are writing your resume, instead of listing skills- write in brief a situation in which you shined in the face of challenges- using your skills.
Marketing yourself is the next step!
We are so fortunate to have so many social platforms to Market ourselves!
Now that we have a great resume that is representative of who we are, get it out there! There are some avenues: Professional sites, applying to jobs- on -line and in person, and social networking.
In brief, when you are applying to open positions, make sure to get contact information for the person in human resources reading your resume. That may take some investigative work, but it’s worth it. It is also great to reference information about the company that you are applying to in your cover letter.
Keeping professional connections is important. Even if you are changing fields, potential employers want to talk to the people you have worked with. Providing the right references is important. The higher up on the ladder, the better. If a CEO is giving you a good reference, that is a great step!!!
Once you start putting yourself out there as a prospective employee, utilize all the available avenues to be seen. Respond to feedback- positive and negative. Job searching is an arduous task, that takes endurance, commitment and confidence. Don’t get discouraged! The right job is out there for you!
In the start of the new year, many of us make plans to change our lives- weather it be how and what we eat, exercising more, being less tolerant of those that treat us poorly, etc.…
I thought I would start the year off by drawing attention to- who we are and who we want to be, not what we do. It is all synonymous, really. If we are who we want to be and are living as our authentic selves, we will, by the very nature of that, be doing what we need to do.
So how do we do that? It starts with embodying integrity and self-honor. When we have the basics- we radiate positive energy, self-worth and confidence.
You don’t have to be the best looking, richest, most talented or the most charming… to be the person that is sought after by those around you.
How do we do this? We nurture ourselves in the way we navigate around others.
The list of traits that draw me towards someone, may not be the same for everyone…but I don’t think I am that far off the mark.
People that aren’t constantly searching for validation, because they’re confident enough to find it in themselves. They exude a natural self-worth and confidence that is intriguing, and makes others feel “safe” around them, because there is consistency.
Folks that possess an authentic interest in those around them. There is nothing more boring to me than being with someone that thinks it’s all about them. If you think you may be one of those people and it is hard for you to relate to those around you, try putting the smart phone down and focusing on the people you’re with.
Being authentic is making the day to day decisions that create the person you want to be. We ALL have days when we lose points with the people around us. That’s called being human. How we take accountability for it, and strive to do better the next day… is called integrity. One does not happen with-out the other.
People gravitate toward authentic individuals because they are positive and passionate with a zest for life. Life is viewed as an adventure, approached with enthusiasm and commitment. Life challenges, no matter how big, are temporary. When things go wrong, even terribly wrong, they remind themselves that a bad day is just one day, and does not dictate the outcome of the next.
Being polite and treating everyone with respect is how to be- because how you treat others is a mirror on how you treat yourself.
Smile. “Smile and others smile with you” … having a background in Psychology, I have studied a bit about mimicry and emotional contagion. Public Service Announcement, this is one of those traits that is on the top. So Do It.- It just makes you and those around you feel a sense of welcome and invitation… Emotions are contagious. Smiling and feeling good is infectious.
Be THIS person- the one with a true authentic sense of self with integrity and the ability to put others before yourself. Be polite and treat everyone with respect. All while smiling. This approach to your life and those around you, will help you find the path that you are meant to be on, for the New Year and the years to follow.
There may be some misconceptions about what an interviewer is looking for- when they meet you. You have already been selected out of 10’s or 100’s for the interview based on your job history, education or merit. Now the fun part starts … they get to learn who YOU are… And YOU get to tell them.
There are some characteristics that score very high for me- both in a professional and personal aspect. With the ever-changing work environment: round tables, open offices etc. I want someone that will excel working on a team. Yes, of course there are jobs that are very individualized, but even those employees report to management and cooperate with work peers.
So, what are some things that I like in a person?
Out of the box thinkers that can align their thoughts with a team. Industries change; And the individuals with-in an organization must be innovative and flexible to change too. When I’m hiring someone, or recommending a person for hire, I’m looking for someone who has taken a chance at some point, a person who has advocated for themselves in some way.
I want to hire someone who has made conscious decisions about the direction they have taken- Good or Bad. As a wise woman once said- it is just as important to know what you DON’T like to do, as much as it is to know what you DO like to do. Someone that has found their voice… or has the motivation and courage to take the first step in finding it.
What does this person look like on the inside?
A person with their own ideas…and isn’t afraid to share those ideas with the people around them.
A person who loves learning, and is more apt to say “I don’t know”, than, “I already know.”
A person who is goal oriented, and has a proven record of attaining set goals.
A person who has a sense of humor, because I don’t want to work with anyone that doesn’t have one.
These are the immediate things that I am drawn to. Not only do I think possessing these makes for an excellent employee, but I think that they are pretty great to have at the dinner table too!
With holiday gift-giving around the corner, what are employees and employers expected to do? Giving at the office can be like walking into the “Lions Den.”
Frequently asked questions: Do you give a gift to your Boss? Do you have to buy gifts for all your co-workers? How about the group gift, is that the cheap way out?
Let me give you my well researched answers:
Question: Do I have to give a gift to my boss?
You absolutely do not have to give a gift to your boss – unless you are my staff. All kidding aside… Bosses are not expecting to receive during the holiday. It seems very clear to me, that gift giving comes from the top. There is a relationship dynamic that is understood between boss and employee. There are numerous circumstances where giving to the boss could be misconstrued as bribery for positional opportunities, days off or looking the other way for one thing or another. You are safe if you chose not to be Santa for your boss.
Question: What if everyone else is pitching in for the boss, do I have to?
This is a personal decision. If you want to contribute – then do so. A group effort does not slate one individual over another in favoritism. You should not feel pressured. Here are some suggestions on the easy way out:
“I’m sorry, unfortunately, I just can’t participate this year.” Or “I’m sorry, my budget just won’t allow it this year.” And then there is the “NO WAY! FOR THE BOSS!!” the last one may be what you REALLY want to say, but that’s better kept on the inside.
Question: What about giving gifts to your co-workers?
It’s important to know if there is an office tradition and if yes, then find out exactly what it is. I always suggest a Secret Santa with a price limit. The price limit is discussed and determined by all that are participating. Communicate what is being purchased. One person may think snowblower – while the other is thinking box of chocolates. And, decide before hand what is to happen with left over funds.
Holidays can be financially exhausting to some and it is VERY possible that someone is struggling financially and you would never know. The season of giving can be about being thoughtful. Baked goods and homemade foods can go a LONG way in an office… show some of your hidden talents!
BE SAFE & HAVE A VERY MERRY HOLIDAY!
Employees, including supervisors and managers, in the workplace that are trained and teach others, workplace safety are invaluable in today’s “high risk” industry’s. Due to the change in workforce demographics- the educated staffers are looking at retirement which is forcing the changing of the guards. Generationally, experience is walking out the doors of workplaces across the nation. To add to the dilemma, it’s getting tougher to hire and retain trained workers. Nevertheless, no excuse justifies putting any worker at risk of injury in the workplace. “Safety First”
Companies face their own challenges to keep up production, while maintaining a safe work environment. It is easy to cut corners when you’re under the gun… feeling pressure to meet the numbers, get the load done… Safety must be prioritized first over production. If your work force is injured, well…then you aren’t getting anything done. Not to mention, you run the risk of drastically increasing your insurance cost or losing your insurance coverage if you have too many injuries.
Although management is responsible for training employees to perform their job exercising the utmost safety, but it ultimately is up to the employee to take responsibility for their personal safety, putting “safety first.”
Management is responsible for job training and delivering the message, that safety is to be as important as is production. Workers should know that no job is so important that it should be done at the risk of injury. There is no excuse for taking short cuts or rushing a project or task that can lead to an unsafe, hazardous situation. Everyone within the organization must take responsibility for embracing safety first for every work activity.
Management should demonstrate their “safety first” commitment by clearly communicating established policies for workplace safety to all workers.
Management should provide competent safety support to supervisors and line leaders.
Managers should delegate the authority necessary for employees to carry out assigned safety responsibilities effectively.
Provide proper safety training for employees
Have clear and set process for injury reporting to better evaluate any safety compliance gaps.
Mediocre involvement in a safety program is inexcusable for any company. No company can be truly successful, if we do not take care and educate our employees.
I will go out on a limb, and say that all employers want to have their staff elated to go to work and efficiently take on tasks that will deliver the whole company to an ever-new level of success, all doing so with little management.
Not everyone in a management role has had extensive training or experience in managing and empowering others. I have found that there are a few things that make my team happy.
Open Communication and Transparency
Companies are often built on top-down communication. I suggest having a forum where all your employees are heard with equal value. This is easier in a small to mid-sized company. Direct access to management. As a leader, you may have clear direction and more experience, but that doesn’t invalidate feedback and ideas from everyone else in the office. It is important to understand that everyone’s input has value, even if you decide to go in a different direction. Make sure you acknowledge EVERYONE for sharing and reward valuable input that helps the company.
Many times, management is looking to have their staff grow through experience on the job. That doesn’t naturally happen as quickly as we would like. Individual growth in many industries requires training. With so many training seminars offered on -line, it affords personal growth with a little more convenience. If an employee can find a training tool to better themselves (with-in budget)- that in turn benefits the company… reimburse & reward!
Encourage Safe -Failure
Employees by their very nature, are risk-adverse. That’s why they are employees and not entrepreneurs. If the work environment is a place where the boss is always correcting them, before they have a chance to complete whatever it is that they were doing, they will constantly look for approval, or, they simply will avoid doing anything without the worry of not being capable. Give employees the opportunity to try new things or old things differently! Figure out a way to do this in a way that doesn’t put the company in danger, but could innovatively reach whatever goal you have set forth!
Share your Knowledge
Unfortunately, employees don’t always get the benefit of all the information that the managers have, yet they are expected to act and make good decisions as if they understood every nuance of the business. Great leaders figure out how to share pertinent information concisely. An employee who clearly understands values, purpose and direction of the company, I believe can make consistent decisions and take appropriate action. It is on you, as the leader, to clearly communicate your vision.
Define Job Expectations
People who don’t know what they are supposed to do, can’t do it very well. I have found when people have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, they either do- or do not. Definition creates a natural parameter of what they are supposed to do. This allows the Team Leader to have players that can do their own jobs, while the team collectively moves forward.
People need to know when they are meeting expectations and, more importantly, when they are not. Expectations allow for recourse, if someone is not doing what they were hired to do, then they should be held professionally accountable. If the company standard is to not take immediate action or delay in recourse, employees may not put in any effort let alone, extra effort.
Create Confidence through Independence
Management that is constantly looking over the shoulder of employees, is little more than a babysitter. Give your employees reasons and opportunity to do more. They may stumble, but they’ll learn from their efforts. The team only moves as fast as its slowest member. Calculated risk, if there are areas where independence can be granted- then do it!
Appreciation is one of the most important things for both the employer and the employee… for both sides. Yes, we all get paid to do our job, but it has been my experience that although monetary bonuses are great, there needs to be more. Employees need to feel that their daily efforts and contributions are noticed and appreciated. I say “thank you” to the team almost daily and we collectively celebrate achievements. Not every company can be Google, but we can notice everyone’s individual efforts. No matter how big or small a company is, it takes a team of employees working together.
We offer candidates employment from administrative assistants to CEO’s, light industrial to distribution! We can give you the opportunity to gain access to companies in one of three ways: as a temporary, temporary-to-hire basis or Direct hire. Some assignments can last anywhere from one day to six months or longer!
According to the American Staffing Association’s website, more than 90% of companies in the US use staffing firms, and 40% of employees looking for their first job or who are reentering the job market have done so by working with a staffing company.
Jobs that we offer are “REAL” jobs that range from small business to fortune 500 companies. How we get involved… companies have fiscal budgets to hire a set number of full-time employees on an annual basis. Generally, included in that budget is an allocated amount of money that can be used to hire temporary staff throughout the year to offset the burden of an influx in business. When the time comes for the company to open up the temporary position to a core staff position, you are qualified and already trained.
We can expose you to a variety of types of jobs in different industries. The jobs that we offer are in a diverse skill set, from entry level to executive. Across a wide salary range. It’s the easiest way to find out what you like about different companies in a very short period of time. After three or four long-term assignments, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re looking for in terms of company culture, the type of boss that you work best with, and the type of work you enjoy doing.
If you find yourself unemployed or unclear about your career path, come and speak with us. We may have the perfect opportunity for you!
Using key words that are common to the industry that you are interested in, will be caught by search engines and recruiters; Increasing the likelihood that your resume makes it through the first round of screening.
A good thing to do is search for positions that you are interested in and use the same words they use to describe the position- in your resume. Some software systems automatically notify recruiters when a resume comes in with all the right keywords. Keywords, also make it easier for recruiters to find appropriate candidates via resume search engines.
Keywords include job titles common to the industry or positions that you’re seeking, skill sets, certifications, licenses, location, degrees and high-profile companies. A Fortune 500 company or a distinguished university can light up an application. All the resumes I find through resume databases, are found by a key word search.
Keywords can be effective anywhere in a resume. Search engines don’t distinguish the location of the key words, just that they are in there.
This is not a guarantee that you will get the job. This will help you in getting your resume headed in the right direction. Follow up, don’t be passive. The person or small group of people get inundated with resumes on line. Call, make an appointment. Don’t wait to be contacted. Just keep in mind that when we post one job, we get hundreds of resumes showing up in our in box- but the people that call us directly, usually get the appointment.
Choosing a career path can be a daunting task for anyone. How are you to know that the career path you chose, is the right one? Many will tell you to “follow your passion” or “do what you love,” but that is not an easy thing to do. Unless you are blessed being able to join the professional aspect of your favorite sport…or at least get a paycheck from a knowledge base you have, in what you are passionate in… you join the rest of the herd.
Choosing a career that makes you happy is a good start, but how can we know what that will be? There are more than a couple questions you can ask yourself that may guide you in the right direction:
What are you good at?
Make a list of your top10 Hard and Soft skills
Read them, adjust them if you have to… and research what Industries can utilize them
An interview question that I always ask: What does your perfect job look like to you? When does the work day start? How many hours are you working in a week? How many people are working with you, at your perfect job? Are you dressed casually, business casual or conservative? How far are you willing to travel?
This helps me determine; What shift: 1st, 2nd or 3rd (you’d be surprised-we are not all day walkers), what size company, and believe it or not, dress can indicate if someone is in a creative group or a more stereotypical corporate environment.
Today, more so than ever, it seems that small business’ are the most appealing. General flexibility in employee schedules, great environments to learn new skills, a close knit group of people invested in the business and each other. Large companies offer, generally a higher salary or compensation packages, travel, joining the corporate “club.” Those are highly competitive and may be everything you are looking for! But until you start somewhere, you’re not going to know what is going to be just right for you.
I suggest that you relieve some of the pressure of finding the perfect career… just find a direction.
Do you want to be outside? In an office? Large? Small? You are the only one that knows financially what you can afford to work for, so determine what you can afford for compensation and start there. The next step is to see what jobs are available in your area. It may be discouraging that your perfect job isn’t going to jump out at you on Career Builder or Indeed, but keep your chin up and keep going. It takes time, sometimes years, to figure out what you perfect career is.
One solution could be utilizing a Staffing agency to help you. We have knowledge in a plethora of industries, some that you may not even know exist! We can offer you options that perhaps you hadn’t considered, because you didn’t know about them. I look at everyone that comes before my team and I, as an opportunity to help, in one facet or another.
It is important that you establish a work history with a bit of longevity, 2 plus years- per job. So try and chose your job based on the people that you will be working with… try and meet the team, before accepting the position. Make sure you can do the commute in seasonal months that may present inclement weather, and that you can afford the compensation to accept the job… Then go for it. It’s another step on your journey. You can always change the path you are on.
I recently read an article that addresses the emotionality, of the fear of failure. The fear of making a mistake that will forever mark you, letting others down, embarrassing yourself, being judged, or not performing to your potential…further proving that all your hard work has been for not. Our only innate fears, those that we are born with, some behavioral scientists say – are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises… making the fear of failure “learned.”
Here are some true successes based on what one may see as failure… Thomas Edison, attempted to invent the light bulb over 10, 000 times and failed on every single try, accept the last one. He responded to a question as to why he continued his work, with ” I didn’t fail at all; I successfully found thousands of ways how not to make a light bulb” It really is about learning from what is not working and continuing to strive for what will and does work.
Michael Jordan was quoted as saying “I missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I lost 300 games, and 26 times I was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, but that is WHY I succeeded.”
Identifying your fears and admitting that you are afraid will help you overcome them. Fear comes first, then courage.
Finding a road to success can be an easy and measurable process. The steps will be different for everyone, but the process is the same. Set well-defined, measurable & achievable short term goals. Focusing on the result that you are seeking to achieve, rather than the possibilities of the things that can go wrong.
Live in the present. Focus on making positive choices TODAY … If you know something doesn’t work and you feel like you are in a familiar situation, make the choice you have not made in the past. You may find you have a different, more positive result.
Remind yourself that you CAN achieve success. Not everyone is slated to be the president, but we can reach our true potential. With patience, self-confidence, hard work and perseverance- You can be successful!