New Job Tips

New Year’s Job Resolutions and Sticking to Them

Start off strong and don’t let your foot off the gas.

It’s 2019 folks. The new year is a time to celebrate everything that happened in the previous year and to then turn to a whole new year of goals.

That’s when we start making New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I’ll live a healthier lifestyle. This year, I’ll be a better person. This year, I’ll read more books.

Making resolutions is easy to do, but it’s much harder to keep them. Especially when it applies to your job search.

We’re here to help. Here are tips on setting job resolutions you can keep.

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How to Survive Your First Day on the Job

Your first day at a new job can be one of the most stressful. Sure, a new job is exciting, but it can also be incredibly nerve-wracking when you don’t know anyone and aren’t sure what the office culture is like, or what your job will entail. All of that combined with a shiny new workload.

So what can you do?

Ask Questions

Most problems that pop up early in a job are due to lack of communication. Maybe you assumed something worked the way it did at your last job, or your boss forgot to add you to an email list and you missed an important deadline.

Avoid these problems by asking questions. Don’t pester your co-workers needlessly, but do politely ask for help when needed. If they seem busy, send them an email asking if you can schedule a time to ask questions. The company is new to you—nobody expects you to know where everything is and how the company systems work on day one.

Prepare

It’s much easier to handle the stress of a new job when you’re ready for it. So start preparing the night before. Pack a lunch and pick out an outfit (make sure you know the dress code) before you hit the hay. If your job requires equipment or safety gear, prepare that ahead of time as well. That way you won’t be in a rush looking for a favorite pair of socks minutes before the workday begins. Think about packing a healthy snack too—you don’t want a growling stomach to annoy your coworkers.

Go to bed early. A healthy eight hours of sleep ensures that you’ll be bright and eager to work on day one. A good night’s sleep also makes it easier to get to work a few minutes before you’re scheduled to arrive. That can give you a bit of time to mentally prepare for the coming day.

Plan

You should already have a good idea of what the company is like after your initial research and interviews, but take a few hours before that first day to research even further. Make sure to at least know the basics of the products or services the company is selling. Bonus points if you can obtain an organizational chart for the department so that you know who the players are. If the chart has pictures, get started on memorizing those faces.

Make Friends

Imagine you’re back in first grade. What did Mom say when she handed you your lunchbox outside the classroom? “Make friends!” Or maybe “play nice!” That advice applies to your working life too.

After you’ve been given the tour and filled out any needed forms, seek out your coworkers. Introduce yourself, and get to know them. A new job can be much more manageable when there are work friends to support you when the workload gets tough.

Feeling proactive? You can also try to coordinate a pre-first day lunch or coffee meeting with the boss and the team. That can make breaking the ice on your first day much easier.

Ever had an anxious first day? How did you overcome your jitters? 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!

 

 

 

Strengths of Administrative Professionals

Administrative Professionals Day honors the skills needed to truly excel in the position.

Administrative-Professionals-Day_v21Businesses couldn’t exist without administrative professionals. These are the men and women who run the ship. They do so much more than schedule meetings and answer phone calls. They are often the first person to greet clients or prospects and given that they spend so much time interacting with the public, they need to know everything about the company, from history and departments to statistics, personnel, and more. That’s true dedication.

So what makes for a truly skilled administrative professional?

1.       Communication Skills

Above all else, an administrative professional needs to be able to communicate. As the first point of contact for the office or department, they act as the gatekeeper. A talented administrative professional has an open personality reflective of the company’s own culture and values. He or she communicates with a wide variety of individuals of varying backgrounds, from unsatisfied customers to CEOs. An administrative professional also knows how to communicate across numerous channels, from telephone to in-person to email.

2.       Patience

Administrative professionals must communicate with the executive suite daily to achieve the goals of their department. This can be quite difficult, given the busy schedules of executives, so patience is a must. Administrative professionals must be kings and queens of managing personalities and working through (and sometimes around) problems.

3.       Organizational Expertise

They are able to manage not only their own schedules, but also those of pretty much everyone else. As gatekeepers, they keep track of everyone who enters or leaves the department or office. They meticulously sort through and organize electronic documents and emails. Disorganization is not acceptable on any level. Multitasking skills are a necessity — no two days are ever the same. All of this work requires an incredibly organized mind, given that an administrative professional may be called upon to locate a person or document at a moment’s notice.

4.       Professionalism

Administrative professionals are expected to dress in line with the company’s public image. But professionalism is about more than just dress. It’s also about conduct. They are frequently the first point of contact for vendors and customers. As such, any time spent staring at a phone or surfing the web reflects poorly on the business as a whole.

5.       Technology Know-how

In today’s world, technology skills are essential for strong administrative professionals. At the very least, they should be proficient in the main Microsoft Office Suite programs (Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint). The more they know about other programs, such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), the better.

Looking for Your Next Administrative Opportunity?

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. If you have any questions about the job search, contact your local Express office or create an Express account to apply for jobs online.

 

Looking to become an administrative professional? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

How Not to Decorate Your Desk

Cabin of officeIf you have an office job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. And with so much time spent in one place, it’s natural to want your space to reflect your style and make you feel comfortable. After all, your cubicle, office, or workspace is basically your home-away-from-home.

But when it comes to decorating a space you don’t technically own, there are some do’s and don’ts. In fact, if you’re decorating is too heavy on the “don’ts,” it may be costing you your reputation.

According to Barbara Pachter, author of New Rules at Work, “It’s hard to function in a messy office, and people assume your office chaos will spill over to their project and their files will be lost in your mess.”

To avoid this workspace blunder, take a look at these design tips and tricks.

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Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Holiday Job

Holiday_Spending_Poll

Holiday hiring is here, and many people have been or will be working a seasonal job this year. While some of those workers will use these jobs as a way to bring extra income, many hope that this will be their jumping off point into full-time work.

If you’re one of those workers wanting your holiday job to become permanent, there are a few things you should know to set yourself up for success. (more…)

Quick Tips for Getting Through the First 90 Days at Work

facts_about_company_webYou rocked your interview and landed the job! Now what? The first 90 days of work are important for any new employee. It’s during this time that you are able to shape important first impressions, build relationships, and establish a rhythm for your new role.

Here are some quick tips to help you navigate those first 90 days successfully:

  1.  Get to work on time.
  2.  Do your homework. Take the time to learn all you can about the company, its product and services. Skim through the bios of the company’s executive staff.
  3.  Set up one-on-one meetings with key people who you will interact with. Remember names. Find out which departments you will need to work with.
  4.  Say yes. Be willing to take on opportunities that present themselves, as long as you feel comfortable doing so. This is a great way to show initiative and get involved.
  5.  Build relationships. Ask your co-workers to grab a cup of coffee with you, and get to know them better. Doing this helps builds connections. Be sure to ask questions about their job duties to gain a better perspective on how the department works. This will help you know how to approach them about future projects or tasks.
  6.  Deliver on deadlines. If you promise to complete a task by a specific time and date, then be sure to keep your promise. No one likes a bunch of excuses.
  7.  Work hard. Stay focused on the task at hand and avoid distractions.
  8.  Learn the office politics but resist involvement. Stay away from the internal politics and turf battles. Learn the inner workings of the organization without having to choose sides. Getting involved is a no-win situation.
  9.  Understand your role. Get a clear understanding of your job responsibilities from your leader. Taking advice from co-workers can be helpful, but confirm your specific job duties with leader .
  10.  Have confidence. The skills that you have acquired in your professional life landed you the job; now learn your strengths and weaknesses as it relates to your new job.

If you recently started a new job, let us know in the comments section below how you got through your first 90 days.