New Job Tips

Four Training Tips You Can Do Right Now to Advance Your Career

training_tips_for_job_webWhether you are currently seeking a job or looking to move up the ladder in your current position, you can be proactive in building a plan for future success.

If you want to advance your career, start taking steps today to boost your skills, prepare for promotions, or impress interviewers. Here are five career training tips you can do right now to help secure that future success.

1. Develop current and new skills. Be honest with yourself about both your strengths and your weaknesses, and learn to develop both. If you struggle with new programs required for your job, study them or enroll in training. If public speaking is part of your career plan, join organizations like Toastmasters to help improve your speaking ability. Many libraries and community colleges also offer workshops in everything from Excel to business writing. Investing in your skill set is never a waste of time and can only improve your chances for success.

2. Build your network. Networking is a skill you can develop right now, with or without a current job. Attend events where your peers go. Ask advice and offer help when you can, but also watch what successful people do well and learn from them. If you have a job already, build your network within the company. Collaborate and work with others to solve problems, showing that you have a team-building mentality. Attend work functions and join professional networking groups to help expand your future job base.

3. Make a plan. If you are seeking employment, take this time to plot a course for your dream career. Knowing where you are going makes it easier to get there. Research what skills you need to improve, what programs or knowledge you need to learn, and what you must have for upward mobility, and then create a step-by-step plan to meet those skills and needs. Many experts suggest creating a one year, three year, and five year plan – much like you would in a business plan. Once you have a clear goal in place, reaching that goal becomes attainable.

4. Act like the leader you are – or want to be. At the end of the day, leaders are the ones who get promoted or hired. Doers are the workhorses, but leaders are highly sought after. So how do you train yourself now to be a leader? First, have a vision for your career and/or the company’s future. Learn to speak up and offer to take charge on projects. Show respect for all employees, and communicate in a professional manner. Again, taking business communications or public speaking classes can help with this.

If you want to advance your career, these simple training tips are steps you can take now, whether you are currently employed or not. Follow these career training tips, commit to your career, and be open to learning new skills. Proper training is never a waste of time.

What training tips helped you in your career or job search? Share your tips with us here.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Make a Cool Impression at Your Summer Job

cool_impression_summer_job_webEvery summer, many students look for temporary work while they take a break from school. Summer jobs are a great way to make money, meet new people, and enhance your resume. They’re also an important stepping stone in your career path, whether the job you choose is part of your overall career goals or not. According to Nicole Williams, a business owner in New York City, “You want to impress your boss. You want to do everything in your power to make this job a great opportunity for you.”

So, how do you impress your boss and make sure your summer job leads to bigger and better opportunities? Check out the tips below to stand out from the competition this summer.

Adjust your routine.
Staying healthy and rested makes you a better employee. Instead of staying up late or spending hours watching television before the lights go out, create a bedtime routine that will allow you to get the sleep you need for better job performance. If you like to unwind before bed, consider reading a book instead of spending time in front of the screen. According to Reuters, using a technological device before bed dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll need more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. Getting better sleep can make you less drowsy, which in turn can up your creativity and efficiency. Plus, walking in the door on time or a few minutes early helps show your boss that you take the job seriously.

Go above and beyond.
While your current role may be perfect for you, if you have plans to move up in the company, you may want to consider taking on additional projects to show your initiative. According to career author Dan Schawbel, “If all you do is what is listed in your job description, it’s impossible to get ahead.” So, keep an open mind when you’re asked to take on additional projects or roles and see if your can-do attitude helps you get noticed.

Learn from your mistakes.
It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Once you accept this fact, you can learn to embrace any mistakes or failures you experience on the job. If you receive a performance review or other feedback that is less than perfect, try to recognize the constructive criticism as a way to improve. Look for the lessons in your mistakes and use them as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. “If you aren’t afraid to learn, then you’re going to be in a position for more success in your second, third, and fourth jobs,” Williams said.

Network, network, network.
We talk a lot about networking on this blog, and for good reason. Networking is an important way to connect with people who can help you land a job, find a new opportunity, or expand your list of references. Even if you only plan to work at your summer job for a few months, you can use the opportunity to meet as many people as possible. You never know what connections they may have or how they can help you with your future career goals.

Pay attention to your wardrobe.
If your summer job requires a professional wardrobe, don’t skimp on quality. Looking professional is important in the workplace and can make a positive impression on your boss, co-workers, and customers. Luckily, there are cost-effective ways to achieve a professional look. Check out clearance sections at department stores, or consider looking at local second-hand stores for professional attire without breaking the bank. If your job requires a uniform, always keep yours clean, ironed if necessary, and professional. Showing up to the job with a uniform that isn’t up to par can make you seem uninterested or unmotivated–two qualities you don’t want a potential reference to mention with your name.

Whether your summer job is part of your career path or just a way to work while taking a break from classes, your workplace performance matters. Make connections, learn new skills, and use learning opportunities as a chance to grow and be better prepared for your next job.

How do you plan to make a great impression at your summer job? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Volunteering Could Help You Find Your Next Job

BrandItBlue_May2014_webWhether you’re a job seeker who just graduated, or someone who’s been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, the experience section of your resume may be what’s holding you back from your next job. But don’t worry. There’s something you can do to not only add to your work history, but to separate you from the crowd of people applying for the same jobs.

A 2013 report by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that “volunteering was associated with 27% higher odds of employment.” This same report also found that volunteering is most likely to help the jobless who do not have a high school diploma and those who live in rural areas. Just how can spending time working for a local nonprofit or charity for free help in your job search? Here are three ways it can help lead to a new job.

  1. Volunteering helps you make connections and build a network.
    If it’s truly all about who you know for your job search, then spending time serving in your community is a great way to meet new people from different industries and companies around your area. And, you won’t have the sometimes awkward pressures that come along with a pre-planned networking event. Enjoy your time sorting donated food or cleaning up a park, or think about striking up a casual conversation to get to know people. You might meet the person who helps you land your next job. Remember this is also a time to demonstrate your work ethic so while you get to know people, don’t forget to focus on the task at hand.
  2. You can learn new skills that can be added to your resume.
    Never been in a leadership or management role? Struggled with finding creative solutions to a problem? The next time you volunteer, there’s a good possibility that you’ll have the opportunity to lead a team in completion of a project, or help find an answer to a problem the nonprofit or charity is facing. And if you’re missing some recent activities in the experience section of your resume, volunteering is a great addition that can make an impact on a hiring manager. Which leads to point number three…
  3. Employers want people who like to serve others.
    Going through the numerous job applications, resumes, and cover letters a hiring manager sees each day, they are looking for a job seeker to stand out. When your resume includes your history of volunteering, and your cover letter describes your passion for serving others, you’re more likely to see an increase in the number of job interviews on your schedule.

If you’re not sure about volunteer opportunities in your community, or what type of work you’d like to be involved in, check out what’s happening on Saturday, June 14 at Express offices across North America. Brand It Blue Day is a day of service to help in the fight against hunger, and you can be a part of it. Summer is an especially difficult time of year as most of the school meal programs for children end, leaving millions of children at risk of going hungry.

To find out how you can be involved with your local Express office, visit ExpressPros.com/BrandItBlue.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Reinvent Your Online Identity

online _identity_May2014Whether you’re looking for a job and want to expand your network or just wanting to freshen up your social media presence, it’s important to frequently revamp your online identity. A revamp doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your social media presence, but it’s a good way to put your best foot forward. Here are some ways you can get started on revamping your online identity today.

First Impression

Some people say first impressions last a lifetime. If that’s the case, your profile needs to be the best representation of yourself it can possibly be. Do you have pictures or posts that aren’t great representations of you? Do yourself a favor and delete things off your page that could potentially hinder or cause a hiring manager to change their mind about you. Also, be mindful that if you’ve applied for jobs, hiring managers are probably already checking out your online identity.

A new survey by CareerBuilder, nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates and according to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, “Employers are using all the tools available to them to assure they make the correct hiring decision,” and that includes social media.

Stay Active

Do you actively search for job opportunities through social media networks? If not, becoming active through social media groups is a great way to start. You can learn about companies and gain knowledge of different industries just by being part of a group on LinkedIn. You never know if a LinkedIn connection you made through a group can be helpful in getting a job in the future. A recent Jobvite survey shows that more people get hired from online referrals and company career pages than from job boards. So it’s important to stay active online, never stop networking, and keep everything professional.

Keep it Current

Is the information on your profile accurate and up-to-date? Sometimes we get busy and forget to update our information – especially after a move or change in job. Be sure to take a good look at your social media profiles and make sure all your information is current. Not only does your information need to be consistently updated, but it’s also important to keep an up-to-date profile picture.

It’s never too late to reinvent your online identity. You can start today by using these quick tips we’ve shared. Have you recently updated your social media profiles and got a job as a result? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Know When To Go – Job Change

Know when to go_May2014Everyone has moments when they wonder if it’s time to make a change and find a new job. But, if you find yourself constantly thinking of leaving your job and wishing you worked somewhere else, you probably need to do a little soul-searching. It may be time to try something new, or you may just have unrealistic expectations of your job.

Making a job change can be a great career move, but it’s not something you should take lightly. In order to know when to go, you need to take an honest look at your situation. Understanding your reasons for leaving will not only help you make a wise decision, but also ensure your future success wherever you work.

How’s Your Attitude?
There is no such thing as a stress-free job. Even the most passionate professionals can find themselves frustrated and stressed out. So don’t make a quick decision to change jobs when you’re emotional. Take the time to uncover if you are just stressed or have burned out. Also, see if making a conscious effort to have a positive attitude for a few weeks changes your perspective.

Are You Running Away From Someone?
Toxic coworkers or managers can ruin any job. However, there will always be difficult people in the workplace you don’t get along with. If you want to change jobs to get away from someone, consider if you’re dealing with a true toxic relationship or if it’s just a matter of personality difference. And, to be fair, you should also reflect on if you’ve played a part in creating the negative relationship and if there is a way you can turn things around.

Have You Maximized Your Current Job?
A lack of career development opportunities is a legitimate reason for leaving a job. However, it’s easy to mistakenly assume you’ve outgrown your current job and employer. Think through all your job responsibilities – have you mastered them all? If so, are there other skills you could learn in your department or in other departments? Sometimes lateral moves at your current workplace can offer the challenge and development you’re looking for, without the uncertainty and hassle associated with a new employer. This is also the time to decide if you want to be a job-hopper or a job-shopper.

Before you make the transition into job-hunting mode, take the time to consider why you want to change jobs. If you decide to leave, then you’ll already know some of the key things you’re looking for in a new job. And, if you decide to stay, you’ll know how to improve and be happy in your current job.

How do you know when to go? What do you look at when you’re considering changing jobs? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

How to Find Your Breakthrough

breakthrough_April2014Have you ever dreamed of having a great job, owning a company, or being a millionaire someday? Although we all want the best that life has to offer, our dreams won’t become a reality without hard work and unwavering determination, it doesn’t happen randomly or by accident. So, here are a few tips to help you along the way to your breakthrough.

We All Have to Start Somewhere

Steve Jobs is a perfect example of how hard work pays off, and his life story reminds us that we all have to start somewhere. After graduating high school, Jobs enrolled in college but dropped out right after his first semester. Throughout his life, Jobs struggled in school. But, he didn’t let that stop him from founding one of the world’s most innovative companies, Apple. Steve Jobs believed that every obstacle you encounter in life will prepare you for the future, and every aspect of the struggles we face will somehow help out down the road. His mindset was one of determination and grit. “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards,” Jobs said. “So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Know What You’re Good At

Before you get your foot in the door at a company and start trekking down your career path, you’ve got to know where you want to go and what you’re good at. So, how do you make your dreams of having a great job become reality? You’ve got to be intentional about your job choices. If you want to do website design, search for entry level jobs in an IT role. Whatever field you’re interested in, look for jobs where you can learn skills in that specific trade. Try to get the most out of each job by looking through a learning opportunity lens. Remember to know where you’re going and have an end goal in mind.

Don’t Give Up

At the end of the day most people are looking for that big break that will make them successful in their career, job search, and life, but most times it’s the first step that leads to the breakthrough. All you’ve got to do is work to reprogram your brain to become more positive, in order to gain a competitive edge at work and in the job search process. Don’t look at a job as a dead end, focus on what you can gain and experience to take away. Even negative or stressful situations can teach you. Take this lesson and apply it to any area of your life where you need a break-through or positive change. Don’t just wait for situations to change, begin today by taking empowered actions to bring the breakthrough you’ve needed.

Hard Work Pays Off

Zig Ziglar once said, “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” This means we have to work to gain experience and the knowledge over the course of a career. And, even when you arrive at that dream job and achieve success, you have to continue to work hard. Honestly, big breaks don’t just happen; people make them happen through, hard work, determination, networking, courage, and passion.

How have you made changes and seen a breakthrough in your job search or at work? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Poll: Do You Have a LinkedIn Account?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollLinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 250 million members. It’s a place to connect with people, build your professional online identity, and stay in touch with colleagues. LinkedIn allows you to discover professional opportunities, business deals, and possible new ventures for your career. A LinkedIn profile is your professional brand and, in a sense, your online resume. With that being said, it’s a great tool for job searching. In fact, an article from Mashable.com shows that LinkedIn is helpful when it comes to landing higher-paying jobs.

We want to know if you’re one of LinkedIn’s 250 million members. Let us know by voting in our poll.