Monthly Archives: April 2009

What Are Your Burning Workplace Questions?

questionsHave you ever had a question you’re dying to ask about your job but you aren’t sure who – or how – to ask?

We’re starting a new feature here at the Express Job Blog where you can post questions for our experts to answer.

Your questions can be anonymous, or you can provide your name. To ask a question, just leave it in a comment on this post, or add them to our new “Your Questions” page, and our team will select a few questions each month – and interview experts to get the answers you’re looking for.

We’ll share answers to your questions as we receive them.

So, start asking away! Oh, and here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. We’re looking forward to hearing from you

Your Questions

Do you have a question about the world of work, the job search process, interviewing, career development – or something else work-related?


Post your questions here, and each month, we’ll select a few questions, interview our team of experts, and post our answers to the blog! Questions can be anonymous, or you can provide your name. Please keep our comments policy in mind when posting your questions.


Go ahead – ask away!

Comments Policy

We welcome your comments, thoughts, suggestions, and questions, so please, comment away! The Express Employment Professionals Job Blog, Movin’ On Up, is a moderated site, which means that we approve all comments before they are posted. We want to make sure the conversation here is – like our name says – professional. So, please keep comments on topic and of interest to our readership.


Though we have a moderated site, it’s our goal to present a comprehensive and objective range of issues and opinions – including your comments. It’s okay to disagree with what we post, but in doing so, please be aware of the guidelines we will use when choosing whether or not to post all comments:


Express Employment Professionals reserves the right to not post any comments or questions that are deemed to be obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, illegal, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, invasive of someone else’s privacy, or objectionable in any way. Profanity, racial and ethnic slurs, and general rude behavior like disparaging personal remarks won’t be tolerated nor published.


Comments must be related to the subject matter of the post. We will not post your personal or business phone number, address, résumé, or job application, among other private details, in the comments section of this blog. If you would like to submit an application for a job, please use our online job application.


In addition, Movin’ On Up is not the proper forum to address customer service issues. If you have a question about your local Express office, job application, or job order, please contact your local office directly. For all other customer service concerns, please review our contact page.


Express Employment Professionals reserves the right to amend this policy at any time. It is the sole discretion of Express Employment Professionals what content we choose to post or remove at any time.

Paint Your Destiny: How Colors Can Inspire Your Work

Imagine living in a world that is black and white – without blue skies, green grass, or an assortment of colorful flowers to inspire you and fill you with wonder. Living without color can make the world a pretty dull place, so why would you work in an environment that isn’t alive with color?

Research shows that colors can have an impact on our emotions and productivity in the workplace. Which colors should you surround yourself with while at work to motivate, inspire, and increase your productivity? Below are descriptions of how a few popular workplace colors can impact your work life.

Blue – This is a universal and natural color – from the blue skies to the blue oceans. Blue gives off a cool, calming effect and can make time appear to pass quickly. The color blue also portrays confidence and importance. Adding blue to your workspace will give the air of assurance and significance while helping you relax. But, be careful not to have too much blue. An overwhelming blue environment tends to emote sadness and depression. Try putting up blue picture frames or wall hangings to add just the right amount.

Red – This vibrant color is considered very passionate and radiates a sense of power, hence the red power tie or red carpet for events typically reserved for very important people. Adding a splash of red at your desk will grab others’ attention and keep you from fading into the background. It can also promote happiness. A little red goes a long way, so be sure to use just a little to be more effective. Try adding a splash of red with some carnations or other flowers.

Green – Green is the largest color spectrum visible to the human eye. It indicates growth and prosperity. Put shades of green around your desk to exude feelings of endurance, sturdiness, and reliability. These traits are valuable to the work environment and can give you, and your boss, a sense of loyalty and dependability. Bring in some plants from home to help tie in some green with your everyday work life.

Surrounding yourself with certain colors can help increase your productivity and enhance your mood. So, if these colors don’t inspire you, think of a place you feel most productive and take note of those colors. Then, incorporate them into your workspace to maximize your productivity and happiness.

What colors inspire you? Do you work in a space that drains your inspiration? Leave your comments in the section below.

Looking for a Job? Three Women-friendly Industries

The American workforce has made great strides toward equality and balance in the workplace in the last century. Women now comprise 46% of today’s labor force. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, recently signed by President Obama, could create an estimated 3,675,000 jobs. While many of the jobs created are in the construction sector, a traditionally male industry, the plan also includes industries that ensure job creation that reflects the demographics of today’s workers. Check out these three industries that will create jobs for women.

Leisure and Hospitality. Women should consider looking for jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry. An estimated 262,000 jobs created by the stimulus package are expected to go to women in this industry, which includes art, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services. So, hotels, travel agencies, museums, spas, and vacation destinations will be great, exciting, and even exotic places for women to begin their job search.

Financial Activities.  The stimulus package is expected to create 127,000 jobs for women in the financial activities industry. The financial activities sector includes jobs in insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and finance. For women who are good at numbers and enjoy working with people, becoming a realtor or accountant, or working for an insurance company could be the perfect career move.

Retail Trade. Investment in the retail trade industry is expected to create an estimated 304,000 jobs for women. Women who like change and meeting new people everyday should take a look at this multifaceted industry. Retail trade impacts our lives on a daily basis. Examining hobbies and passions, like electronics, furniture, or gardening is a great way to identify a career path. It might also be the perfect time to get creative and consider opening a specialty store. With retail trade, the possibilities are endless and the experiences are different every day.

Looking for a new job can be a scary and intimidating thing, but this opportunity could lead to a positive change. Every life is a story, and one of these industries just might hold the perfect beginning to a new chapter with an exciting career.

Earning a Promotion: 3 Things You Can Learn from Your Boss

Your boss was given the responsibility and the corner office for a reason, so if you’re looking for a promotion, look no further than them for guidance. Observing your boss and following their lead will give you a leg up when you’re ready to seek a promotion. Here are three things you can focus on and learn from, so start paying attention.

Management Style – Every leader has a different way of leading their team, including your boss. So, watch how your boss interacts with your co-workers, delegates projects, and recognizes accomplishments. Also, notice how your co-workers react to their behavior to learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ll realize that different personality types require different types of leadership styles. For example, your boss will most likely allow high performers to self manage more than new employees. Demonstrate this knowledge when you interview for a promotion by talking about specific management scenarios that you would use in each situation.

Professionalism – Observe your boss interacting with their peers, supervisor, and other company executives. Pay attention to how they handle situations – both good and bad. A world-class leader respects their co-workers and superiors and earns their respect in return. Also, take note of when your boss is praised for their work and what they did to earn that praise. By emulating their behaviors, treating others with respect, and acting and reacting professionally, you can build your leadership ability and presence within the company.

Wardrobe Choices – You might not consider how you dress to be important to your career, but it does matter when you want to get ahead at work. You don’t have to wear $1,000 suits to receive a promotion, but you do need to dress professionally. Observe what your boss wears to the office every day. Are you wearing something comparable? If not, you’re not helping your professional image. So, follow your boss’s lead and wear similar clothing styles. That doesn’t mean you have to copy their wardrobe shirt for shirt or shoe for shoe, but if your boss is wearing a suit every day and you’re wearing khakis and a polo shirt, it’s time to step it up a notch.

Earning a promotion takes more than just being well-versed in your subject area, industry, and company. Companies want to develop well-rounded individuals into leaders who can represent their company professionally. That’s why people who know how to manage others, act professionally, and dress the part have a great shot at moving up the career ladder. And, who better to learn from than the individuals your company already trusts and respects as leaders?

What have you learned from a manager that helped you develop your career? As a manager, what advice would you give others to help them move up the corporate ladder? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

Generations and the Job Search: Who’s Having a Harder Time?

When it comes to the job market, there’s been a lot of talk about how grim things are for two different spectrums of the labor pool. Recent reports show that both new grads and mature workers are likely to have a hard time finding work right now.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 1 million people 55 and older are unemployed and looking for work. Many mature workers are delaying retirement due to the recession. The AARP Public Policy Institute reports that the ones who are looking for jobs will typically search about a third longer than those younger than 55.

But this year, things also look tough for the college crowd. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ reported that employers expect to hire 22% fewer new graduates than in 2008, and internship hiring is also down by about 21%. Experts say that in an expanding labor pool, new graduates typically have less experience than others in their industry who are now also looking for work, lengthening the job search process.

When it comes to generations in the workplace, the Baby Boomer generation and the Millennial generation have different values and views, but in the job search, experts say both generations must adapt to a quick learning curve and apply every job search tactic available to bolster their chances of landing a gig. So, we want to know what you think.

Have more thoughts or insights into these two generations on the job hunt? Do you fall into one of these two groups and have a story to share with us or a question to ask? Share your feedback in the comments section.