Poll Results: The Most Popular Part-Time Jobs

Which job should you choose?

Fulltime work isn’t for everyone. Some workers are at a point in their lives where they want to spend more time with their families and less time at the office. Others need to be able to balance taking care of children or sick relatives with earning a paycheck.

For those looking for something different than the traditional 8-to-5, part-time work can be a great option.

Last month we conducted a poll asking voters what type of part-time work they would consider.

The Results

Professional/office position came in first with over 27% of the votes, followed by data entry with 21%, and customer service/call center in third with 17% of the votes.

Other results included:

  • Food service: 8.5%
  • Warehousing/assembly line: 7.4%
  • Retail industry: 6%
  • Other: 3.5%
    • Choices included house cleaning, working from home, and quality engineer
  • Taxi/ridesharing driver: 1%
  • I will not consider part-time work: 1%

What does this mean?

For much of our audience, part-time work is a great choice for later in life. Industrial positions are harder to do, so desk jobs become attractive. Taking a few hours to work behind a cubicle or in a call center is worth it to be able to spend time with your family.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S and Canada with over 800 locations. If you have any questions about part-time work in your area or job search in general, feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Are you a part-timer? What kind of work do you do? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Job Spotlight: Sales Representative

Can we sell you on this job path?

Despite already having experience with several jobs, many working adults are unable to answer that age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Our Job Spotlight monthly blog series is designed to help you know your answer. In this series, we review all the basics of specific job types, from salary and duties to why people do the jobs they do.

Sales Representative

For this month’s Job Spotlight, we’re cold calling to sell you on a sales rep position! Most every business has a sales department; how else would they find clients? The main responsibility for a sales rep is to present, promote, and sell products/services using solid arguments to existing and prospective clients.

Required Education

At least a high-school diploma is required, but this varies depending on the sales position (selling scientific products, for instance, could require a bachelor’s degree).

Salary

Although it varies depending on a variety of factors (e.g. experience, industry, geographic area, commission, etc.), sales representatives can make $40,000 or more a year.

What Sales Representatives Do

Sales representatives handle a variety of responsibilities, which may include:

  • Achieve agreed upon sales targets and outcomes within a time frame
  • Perform cost-benefit and needs analysis of existing/potential customers
  • Establish, develop and maintain positive business and customer relationships
  • Reach out to customer leads through cold calling in person or on the phone
  • Expedite the resolution of customer problems and complaints to maximize satisfaction
  • Coordinate sales effort with team members and other departments
  • Analyze the territory/market’s potential, track sales, and create status reports
  • Supply management with reports on customer needs, problems, interests, competitive activities, and potential for new products and services

What Companies Look for in Sales Representatives

Every sales rep is different, but many need the following skills and attributes:

  • Ability to thrive in a deadline-oriented environment
  • Friendly personality/ability to resolve conflict
  • Keen knowledge of current best practices and promotional trends
  • Ability to continuously improve through feedback

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S and Canada. If you have any questions about sales representative jobs in your area or job search in general, feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Are you a sales rep? What else should people know about your position? Let us know in the comments below!

 

How to Vet Child Care Centers

When you have a family, finding a job isn’t as easy as choosing whatever employer offers you the most cash. You have to take into account barriers to employment such as transportation and the always-important proximity to child care.

Once you’ve made a list of all the nearby child care providers (preferably half a year before you need child care, since the best ones reach capacity quickly), what’s next? How can you be sure your child is well taken care of? Check off these qualities.

They Have an Up-To-Date License and Minimal Infractions

Have you ever seen a TV commercial with a talking animal telling you to check out a used car’s history report before buying? Child care center licenses are kind of like that.

An up-to-date license doesn’t mean a facility is perfect, but it does tell you that certain baseline requirements have been met. If your state requires licenses for child care facilities, that means they are at least meeting base levels of safety and quality concerns. Although you still need to do your own research, a facility that doesn’t have any type of license is one to stay away from.

Check online for a child care database. Depending on where you live, this resource might show not only whether a particular location is licensed, but also how many infractions they have had. While you might be able to overlook a paperwork infraction, anything involving chemicals or not having a thermometer in the freezer should raise red flags.

There’s Plenty to Do

When you first visit the child care facility, look at what the kids are doing. Are they all sitting around watching TV? That’s not a great sign.

As BabyCenter.com notes, “The best daycares have structured schedules that include plenty of time for physical activity, quiet time, group programs, individual activities, meals, snacks, and free time.”

You want your kid to have a well-balanced experience. That means healthy meals, exercise, time for imaginative play, etc. If you’re not sure about their curriculum, ask!

They’re Qualified and Agree with Your Parenting Philosophy

Great child care centers cost more than other child care options (such as babysitters and friends or family) because they typically have well-trained employees. As BabyCenter.com notes, “Daycare center employees should be educated, with at least two years of college, a background in early childhood development (though many states don’t require this), and CPR and other emergency training.”

But education isn’t everything. Watch how the daycare providers interact with the children when  you visit. Are they kind and peppy or tired and slow? Do they know the children by name at first glance? You want a staff that has high energy levels to keep up with your little one.

You also must make sure the staff agrees with your parenting style. What kind of feeding schedule do they adhere to? How are naps handled? Is their discipline style something you can work with? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good child care provider isn’t going to think of you as an overconcerned parent—they know how important these questions are.

They Work With Your Schedule

One of the hidden costs of child care is late pickup fees. When does the child care facility close? Will you be able to get there in time after work? Some facilities charge higher fees after a certain time, given that the staff must stay late in order to watch over kids. Choose a facility that lines up with your own schedule, or work out a plan with family members to pick up your child.

Once you find a child care provider that you’re comfortable with, working away from you children becomes much easier. You know that they’re in good hands, and you have peace of mind to feel fulfilled at work.

Have any more questions about vetting child care providers? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

Discussing Skills and Experience in an Interview

Interviews usually start out the same way. You’ll shake hands with your interviewer, sit down, and wait for the first question. They might want a quick introduction, or could just go right into asking about your resume. If you don’t have a resume, they might want you to speak about your applicable experience and skills.

This is where many job seekers stumble. Some have plenty of skills and experience, but aren’t exactly clear on how to articulate it. Others don’t have much experience, and don’t know what to say.

Here’s our list of do’s and don’ts to get everything out there.

Do: Kick Things Off with an Elevator Pitch

Before digging into your skills and work experience, share a bit about who you are as a person. Giving the interviewer a feel for your unique personality, strengths, and what you’re looking for in a job is a great way to stand out from the competition.

All this information is called your elevator pitch, a quick speech outlining who you are, what you want, and what you can do for the company. This is where you can highlight what you want in a position (e.g. family-oriented culture, opportunities for advancement), as well as specific experiences you’re proud of (e.g. increasing ROI, achieving deadlines during a serious time crunch).

Do: Make a List of Your Skills

You have useful skills; the hard part is figuring out how to talk about them. For instance, maybe you were a cashier at a fast food restaurant or sold shoes at the mall. That means you have customer service experience! The same goes for being a recruiter for a school or college club.

Before your interview, write down a list of everything you did at your past jobs. Or, if you haven’t worked before, jot down club or volunteer experience. Then, translate those job responsibilities into skills and pair them with specific experiences. Instead of going on an unfocused ramble about your last job, note that you managed a team, completed projects well-before deadline, or exceeded expected quality levels.

That’s the kind of information interviewers want to hear. Making a list ensures you recognize your skills and can speak directly about them, instead of babbling about jobs in general without a central focus.

Do: Connect Your Skills to the Job You’re Applying For

Every job is different, which means you need to prepare differently for every interview. Take time to read the “required skills” section of the job listing and match those qualities to the ones on your list. Sprinkle a few of those keywords into your interview and expand on them with specific experiences and you’ll stand out as an applicant.

Don’t: Speak Poorly of a Previous Employer

This is something we mention frequently. It seems obvious, right? Nobody is going to want to hire you if you walk into an interview complaining about a previous boss.

But things are a bit more complicated than that. In most interviews, you’ll be asked about why you left your previous job, or what issues you ran into at a previous position. Applicants make mistakes when they’re tempted to say it was because of being fired, hating their boss, or bad leadership.

While you shouldn’t lie in response to these questions, finding a positive spin to show off your skills and experiences is a safe way to answer. Saying anything negative can cause the interviewer to think you might speak negatively of your new employer in the future.

Perhaps there wasn’t a chance to advance into higher positions (this shows your zest for success), or you realized you wanted to use your skills and experience in a whole new way. And if you can’t come up with anything positive? Just say that there was a culture mismatch.

Do: Stop Stressing

The interview process is stressful. You need a job now to pay your bills. But you’ve done everything you can. You’ve made a list and checked it twice, conducted your research, and really gotten to know who you are as an employee. All that’s left now is to ace the interview. So, breathe. Take a few minutes to meditate, let out a primal scream, or do whatever it is you need to do to settle your nerves. Go in there, be yourself, and dazzle them with your experience.

Have any more questions about discussing skills or experience in an interview? Let us know in the comments section below!

Does Your CEO Connect with Frontline Workers?

Most companies dedicate substantial time and energy to researching, planning, and implementing communication strategies that build stronger relationships with their customers, but the most successful also dedicate an equally significant amount of energy to communicating with their employees.

Legendary former General Electric CEO Jack Welch once said, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

Why Employee Communication Matters

Employee communication is vitally important to building a successful company. In addition to building an informed workforce that clearly understands the why and how of the work they do each day, effective and genuine communication between a company’s senior leadership and its frontline workers can make or break employee engagement. For instance, if your CEO sees you in the hall every day and never remembers your name, you’re probably not going to feel valued as an employee. But if he or she both knows your name and asks for your opinion on big company changes? You’ll know you’re valued, and have a tangible company goal to work toward.

According to a Gallup study, only 22% of employees “strongly agree that their company’s leaders have a clear direction for their organization. And only 13% strongly agree that their organization’s leadership communicates effectively.” Similarly, a study by IBM and Globoforce found that “44% of employees do not feel their senior leaders provide clear direction about where the organization is headed.”

In many cases, a company’s senior leadership may very well have a detailed plan for the organization’s future, however, if it’s not being effectively communicated down the line to workers like you, it’s more difficult for employees to rally around a common goal. Opening the lines of communication with frontline workers makes it easier for everyone to work together toward a common goal.

Where Companies Fall Short in Their Communication Strategies

A poll from the Harvard Business Review highlighted some of the top communication issues that prevent effective leadership, including “not recognizing employee achievements” (63%), “not giving clear directions” (57%), “not having time to meet with employees” (52%), “not knowing employees’ names” (36%), and “not asking about employees’ lives outside of work” (23%).

The Solution

Whether it’s implementing a formal internal communication tool or organizing a weekly “coffee with the CEO” roundtable in the breakroom, it’s in a company’s best interest to make a deliberate and genuine effort to bridge the gap between the “C-suite” and frontline workers.

In fact, according to a study from Towers Watson on how businesses capitalize on effective communication, “Companies that are highly effective communicators had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years compared with firms that are the least effective communicators.”

Bottom line, employees care more when leadership takes the time to get to know them. They want to know where the company is headed. The less mystery, the better.

Does your CEO care about frontline workers? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll Question: Help Us Rename the Blog!

Would a blog by any other name read as sweet?

Thank you for keepin’ up with Movin’ On Up! For the past 11 years, you’ve been here for interview tips, job search advice, career coaching, and more.

Movin’ On Up is in for some big changes. Why? Because we’ve moved beyond career advice. Our blog isn’t just about climbing the corporate ladder. Not everyone wants to be a CEO or CFO.  And that’s okay! Some just want a great job with killer benefits. And to get there, workers need to understand how to ace that interview, write that winning resume, and stand out at work.

By the end of the year, we hope to refresh the blog with a new look and name.

That’s where you come in. Check out the poll below and choose your favorite name for the blog. Not seeing anything that stands out? Feel free to choose ‘Other’ and type a suggestion or two of your own!

The Highest Paying Trade School Jobs

Have you considered trade schools?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—the traditional four-year college experience isn’t for everyone. If you love to work with your hands, why not consider trade school instead?

Also known as technical, career, or vocational school, a trade school is defined by PrepScholar as “a post-secondary institution that’s designed to give students the technical skills to prepare them for a specific occupation.” They frequently offer two-year programs and cost much less than the traditional four-year college experience.

Trade schools are open to all students with high-school diplomas or GEDs, regardless of age. This makes them a perfect option for both fresh high-school grads or those looking to make a career change later in life.

But what about career options? Is it possible to make a good amount of money with a trade school degree? Yes it is. And here are some options to prove it, courtesy of Trade-Schools.net and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dental Hygienist

  • Median pay—$72,910
  • Top pay—$100,170 or more
  • Job growth—20%

Dental hygienists clean teeth. They keep an eye out for tooth or gum problems and support the dentist in several ways, including taking notes and data input. They’re also available to answer general dental health questions.

Electrician

  • Median pay—$52,720
  • Top pay—$90,420 or more
  • Job growth—9%

Electricians are unsurprisingly the experts of all things electrical. This means installing, maintaining, and fixing electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures in buildings. They can work in homes, businesses, warehouses, and anywhere else with electrical wiring. Some jobs can be outdoor, while others are indoor.

Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Median pay—$45,890
  • Top pay—$80,200 or more
  • Job growth—12%

Heavy equipment operators, also known as construction equipment operators, drive or operate heavy machinery. If you’ve ever wanted to embrace your childhood dreams of driving heavy construction vehicles, you might consider this position.

Equipment used includes excavators, wrecking balls, and all sorts of other hulking vehicles. They use this equipment to build everything from roads and bridges to buildings and more.

Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse

  • Median pay—$44,090
  • Top pay—$60,420 or more
  • Job growth—12%

If you care for others and want to help them stay healthy, consider a job in nursing. A licensed practical or vocational nurse does not need a degree.

These nurses provide basic care while working under registered nurses and doctors. Job environments can vary, from nursing homes and hospitals to physician’s offices and even private homes.

Looking for further information on other job types? Check out our Job Spotlight blog series.

Do you have one of these jobs? Are you interested in one? Let us know in the comments below!