Monthly Archives: May 2017

Introducing a New Podcast Series—On the Job

Featuring stories about the pursuit of work

ACO17_OnTheJob_GraphicBHere at Movin’ On Up, we’re proud to announce a new podcast series brought to you by Express Employment Professionals—On the Job: From Hired to Retired and Everything in Between.

Jobs connect us to our communities and give us the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Your work may be your passion, or it could just be the way you make ends meet. Each week until the end of June, On the Job will share stories about the pursuit of work by taking a look at the employment situations people from all walks of life face each day.

Episode 1: Dream Job – Journalist to Children’s Librarian

The Watergate scandal of the 1970s got Karen MacPherson interested in journalism. The events on 9/11 made her rethink her priorities. Now she’s doing the work she loves, as a children’s librarian in a small Maryland town. Join us to learn about Karen’s uniquely interesting employment journey.

Start Listening Today!

Download On the Job: From Hired to Retired and Everything in Between on iTunes or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Check back next week for Episode 2—Not Your Grandpa’s Shop Class: Technical High School Prepares Students for the Trades.


Is Lack of Sleep Killing Your Career

Awake At WorkAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, many workers don’t get proper sleep and feel tired throughout the day. Chronic drowsiness and sleep deprivation cause many people issues at work, and many say they feel their work is “sub-par” because of it.

A 2008 Sleep in America poll discovered that 29 percent of employees polled admitted to falling asleep or becoming “very sleepy” at work during the previous month. An additional 12 percent said sleepiness caused them to be late to work within the last month.

Swing shift workers, those who juggle multiple jobs and people with irregular work hours seem to be the hardest hit by sleep issues. Chronic sleep deprivation is also tied to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

Chronic Issue
Sleep is often the first thing people give up when faced with heavy workloads, parenting responsibilities, irregular work schedules and time-consuming challenges. The same NSF poll of sleep habits and the workplace found that while workers said they needed an average of seven hours and 18 minutes of sleep per night to be at their best the next workday, they reported an average of six hours and 40 minutes.

Even modest amounts of sleep loss accumulate over time, so a few nights of poor sleep can have a major impact on daily functioning, according to the NSF.

Loss of sleep isn’t just an inconvenience either. In high-risk fields such as medicine, the NSF discovered that when on-call residents work overnight, they have “twice as many attention failures, commit 36 percent more serious medical errors and report 300 percent more medical errors that lead to death than those who work a 16-hour shift.”

Tell-tale Signs That Lack of Sleep Is Affecting Your Career
Sleep deprivation can lead to “tremendous emotional problems,” according to Dr. Steven Feinsilver, the director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Signs that employees are suffering from sleep problems include increased hunger, weight gain, memory problems, difficulty in making decisions, reduced motor skills, emotional fluctuations, poor vision and frequent illness.

These symptoms can lead to consequences that have a major impact on your career.

Quick Tips to Get More Sleep

Employees who have these symptoms or think that lack of sleep is hurting their performance can take steps to reverse the trend.

  • Get evaluated by a physician to identify or rule out a treatable medical condition.
  • Take advantage of sleep diaries and other resources from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
  • Ask a physician to refer you to a sleep specialist or center.
  • Evaluate your career and priorities. Ask to reduce irregular hours or consider a job that does not require shift work.
  • Have an honest conversation with a supervisor about how lack of sleep is affecting your performance and try to find a mutually-beneficial solution.
  • Stick to a sleep schedule in which you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on days off.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom.
  • Limit stress by engaging in relaxing activities before bed, like meditation, reading or taking hot baths.

Although everyone has the occasional sleepless night, chronic sleep problems should be taken seriously before they negatively impact both you and your career.

Top Struggles Working Moms Face

Balancing kids and co-workers on a crazy schedule

Beautiful Adult Business and DaughterRegardless of whether you’re in the office or at home, being a mom is tough. Stay-at-home moms have to deal with subordinates that are more likely to fling food on the ground than turn in a project on time. And at least in the office, Shelly from IT won’t throw a temper tantrum or draw on the walls. Hopefully. She’s not two, right?

Working moms, on the other hand, face an entirely different, yet no less difficult set of problems. Does that new job come with a nice daycare nearby? What do you do when the daycare calls saying little Timmy bit his best friend when you have a conference call in five minutes? Do you present at the national conference or go to Lisa’s school play? It’s her debut as Tree Number Two, after all.

The life of a working mom is a constant balancing act full of challenges. We want to (once again) recognize those challenges in celebration of Mother’s Day.

1. Flexibility Issues

A working mom has two full-time jobs constantly competing for her attention. She has to balance parent meetings, child performances, school awards, and other activities with office deadlines, conferences, and company trips. And often Dad’s doing another balancing act with his own complicated schedule.

How does a working mom manage the her work and life? Unfortunately, most of it comes down to situations she can’t control—the company culture and her boss’ managerial style. All she can do is communicate, let her boss know the situation, and convey how important the event is to her kids. But even with constant communication, odds are she will not be able to make every single event.

So what can a mom do to avoid becoming overwhelmed? She can get the school calendar for the year and combine it with her work schedule. That way, parent-teacher conferences and school plays won’t appear without warning. She could even ask if certain parent-teacher meetings could take place over the phone. Communication with any other caregivers is important—coordinating schedules is a colossal effort, but worth it if one of them can make it to the event in the end.

2. Guilt

Any given workday is full of decisions that have to be made between children and career. Choosing one over the other can make working moms feel guilty. Congrats for clinching that promotion, but now you have to explain to your son why you have to go on a business trip rather than attend his little league game. Not to mention how difficult it is to arrange childcare for business travel.

Missing a week of work for a sick kid is another source of guilt. A working mom knows that she has to be home to take care of her child, but somebody else at the office has to pick up the slack while she’s gone.

3. Social Pressure

In the mid-1900s, raising a family and taking care of the home were typically seen as a mother’s career path. A married woman was expected to stay at home. Although times have changed, working moms still receive occasional flak for not continuing this tradition.  Other moms at the elementary school might gossip about her store-bought cake, or criticize her for not showing up to the monthly PTA meeting.

Judgement can also come from co-workers, particularly those who don’t have any children of their own. Some (although by no means all) just don’t understand what it takes to nurture both a kid and a career. When they see moms taking “too much” time off to care for their kids, it looks like an abuse of vacation time. When in reality it’s anything but a “vacation.” It’s either paid leave, sick leave, or it’s unpaid—it’s not a favor or perk.

4. Job Search Gets Complicated

Being a mom makes the job search even more complex. Finding the time to look for a job is a chore in and of itself. Interviews are even worse. If it’s an in-person interview or a longer phone interview childcare has to be arranged. That could mean paying for a chance at a job.

When it actually comes down to accepting a position, a mom has to think about not only location and salary, but also hours, benefits, whether or not there is a good daycare nearby, any childcare incentives, the company culture, maternity leave, and any policies concerning flexibility. If there’s a job available at her dream company but the pay doesn’t outweigh the costs of childcare, she may have to find something else.

5. Networking is Difficult

During the day, she’s working at the office. After work, she cares for the kids. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a personal life, much less any sort of networking. Building connections is nearly impossible when you don’t have the time to commit to them. A mom can’t really make the weekly happy hour because it means sacrificing time from her family. If her boss stops by to socialize right before 5 o’clock, a working mom can’t sit to chat. If a mom is late to pick up the kids, the daycare charges overtime.

Why Do They Love It?

It depends on the mom.  Some have been working their whole adult lives—why should they stop now? Working gives them a sense of fulfillment. Many of them invested money in a college, post-secondary, or other education, and they want to keep using it.

Others would like to stay at home, but there just isn’t enough room in the budget. So they work, sometimes at multiple jobs, to put food on the table. They may not be with their kids in every moment, but their kids are why they work.

Still others just can’t see themselves as a stay-at-home mom. They love their kids, and will work to provide for them, but they desire to achieve goals and learn at the same time. They want to work their way up the corporate ladder so that they can provide a variety of opportunities for their children.

But every mom is different, with her own reasons for working. It would take thousands of blogs to cover every working mom’s unique situation. So hopefully this salute is enough. Thanks working moms, for doing all that you do!

Are you a working mom? Why do you love it? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll Results: What Training Style Do You Prefer?

Toward the end of March we asked our Movin’ On Up readers what their preferred training style was: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, or ‘Other.’ We wanted to find out how our readers learn. We’ll start off with the results, and then review interview tips for each type of learning style.


So, what did our readers have to say? Forty-eight percent of you identified as visual learners. Another 39% connected as kinesthetic and tactile learners. Eight percent chose ‘Other’ (mostly deciding you were some combination of all three learning methods), and only 5% identified as auditory learners. Here’s what all of that means:

Visual Learners

These learners associate memories and topics with things they can see—pictures, images, and their own spatial understanding. To prepare for an interview, take in as much information as possible. Read every website, memorize relevant terminology, and take a look at a few graphs and diagrams.

“I get my interview tips from online blogs and webinars. Flashcards are my favorite way to memorize facts about a company,” says a visual learner.

Auditory Learners

These audiophiles associate memories and topics with what they hear—sounds and music. Find videos and podcasts, both from the companies you’re interviewing with and from individuals and businesses prominent in the field. Consider recording questions to quiz yourself with and listen to them before bed.

An auditory learner might say “Podcasts are my go-to for interview tips. If I do read a blog or something, I usually put on some of my favorite music.”

Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners

They prefer to use their body and sense of touch to remember and process things. Think of this as the “hands-on” learning method. You might not be interested in all of the research visual learners do, so get used to prepping in a different way. Try to find friends to hold mock interviews, and really experience the interview in your mind.

“I try to get as hands-on as possible when it comes to learning about interviews. Seminars are great, especially if I actually get a chance to act out interviews or do a little role-play,” notes a kinesthetic learner.


Those that chose ‘Other’ opted for a combination of all three learning methods.  A mix of interview prep techniques will be best for these types of learners. That custom mix will get you interviewing like a pro in no time!

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Anything else you want to tell us about your preferred training style? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Tips on Working with a Staffing Company

How to shine with your recruiter

it's great being a millennialMany job seekers see the recruiting process as a bit of a mystery. How are you supposed to talk to your recruiter? Is the relationship that of an interviewer and interviewee? Professional with a healthy dose of awkwardness? Or is the recruiter more like a work pal? Someone there to sympathize and listen while helping you on your career path. The answer is somewhere in between. Here are four tips to make the most of working with your recruiter.

1. Be patient.

It’s understandable that you might be frustrated at the time you contact a recruiter. The job search is hard, and you’re reaching out for help. That’s not easy to do. But remember, the recruiter is there to help you. That’s what they do—place qualified applicants with suitable businesses. However, if you complain or yell at your recruiter, it will be hard for them to recommend you to a business.

Think about this — when you’re job searching on your own, how many companies do you actually hear back from? Certainly not 100% of them, right? Recruiters go through the same process.

They have connections, but it takes time to make a match. If you do have any concerns about the process, feel free to contact your recruiter and politely make those concerns known. You’re both on the same side, after all.

2. They’re not life coaches, but they do want to help.

Again, recruiters exist to help connect you with a job. They are on your side, and truly wish to see you succeed. However, they’re not life coaches. The relationship is a professional one. They can give life advice, but only as it relates to your career. The relationship between the two of you is a partnership—something mutually beneficial.

3. Keep searching on your own.

Although the recruiter is working to help you, they are constantly placing other applicants as well. They work on finding you a job, but depending on the industry, it might not be right away. Think of the recruiter as your ally and partner—with you both working at 100%, you can create something truly great. And if the job search gets monotonous? Find a way to boost your productivity.

4. Always be professional.

If your questions are about the recruiting process or how you can better yourself for consideration, it will reflect well upon you as a candidate. And again, recruiters want to help and see you succeed. Constantly being professional (from your interview attire to your attitude) makes it that much easier for them to place you.

Looking for Work?

We’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016, and never charge a fee to applicants for Express services and support. If you have any questions about the job search, contact your local Express office or create an Express account to apply for jobs online.


Have any more questions about the recruiting process? Let us know in the comments below!




Kick-start Your Career After College

You’ve finally graduated; now what?

college_major_webAfter graduation, it’s a whole new ballgame. You’ve landed your first job, and it’s time to put everything you learned in college to the test. Now instead of your grade, your career is on the line. And let’s face it — launching into a career can be daunting.

But try not to forget that you’re still learning and figuring out this thing called life. Here are some tips for all you fresh grads on how to take what you learned in college and apply it to your career.

1. Set career goals

Your career dreams probably won’t happen right away. Your first job out of college doesn’t have to be your dream job — take a few years to gain experience, meet those milestones, and learn what it takes to achieve your dream career.

You don’t have to play the interview game and ask yourself where you see yourself in five years, but you should be aware of the goal you’re working toward. What career are you working toward now that college is over, and is what you’re doing now progressing toward that goal? Review courses you took towards your major and apply what you learned toward your new career.

2. Keep learning

In order to learn more about your career path, take as many opportunities to expand your knowledge as you can. Just because you aren’t being graded doesn’t mean you can stop learning. Jump on new projects, volunteer for events, and really get a feel for your company. Constantly brush up on the best ways to present yourself, and make sure you’re always prepared for the next job opportunity.

3. Avoid locking yourself into ‘traditional’ career options

You may have learned things studying for your major that are applicable to an entirely different subject matter. So don’t worry if your job after graduation isn’t in your major’s career field immediately.

You can learn a ton from your first job, and then apply that to a job you really want later.

4. Don’t compare your career path progress to to that of your friends

Everyone is different, and everyone’s path is different. Your professional network, experience, and even hopes and dreams are different from those of your friends. Especially your work friends. As a result, they’re probably going to have a different career than you. And that’s okay. Congratulate them on their success and be supportive! That’s what friends are for.

5. Get out of a job you hate

If you truly hate your job, odds are you’re not learning from it. And if you can’t learn to at least tolerate what you’re doing, you’re better off in a different position. When you hated a new class, you dropped it immediately right? Time spent hating your boss or coworkers would be better spent learning new skills. So get out there and find a job you love.

If you’re still looking for that first (or second) job, you might want to consider checking out a staffing agency. Recruiters can connect you with job opportunities tailored to your skillset. Here at Express Employment Professional, we have more than 34 years of experience placing job seekers in a variety of short- and long-term positions. Feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Are you a new grad getting started with your career? Let us know about it in the comments below!