New Job Tips

Safety: The Power of Positive Thinking

safety_positive_thinkingApril is Stress Awareness Month, and we want to share some ways to ease your load if you’re stressed, and shine light on the importance of positive thinking. Research shows that nearly half of adults suffer from adverse health effects due to stress, including physical, mental, and emotional problems. If you struggle with stress, here are some things to think about and put into practice this month.

Take Control of Your Thoughts
We all experience stress to some extent, whether it’s worrying about finances, job issues, the future, you name it, we all can worry about something or other. For many people, stress is a cycle that can cause severe depression or worse – but there is help. You can gain control of stress by taking your thoughts captive. If you allow yourself to think one negative thought, you could easily find yourself in a bad mood for days. On the other hand, if you focus on positive things and stay confident, you’ll quickly find yourself in a great mood. Thoughts are a very important part in staying away from stress, so keep a positive attitude, smile, stay in control of your thoughts, turn on some upbeat music, and get back to work!

Keep Calm and Carry On
Stressing won’t add another day to your life. In fact, it could even decrease your lifespan. Stressing can cause sleeping disorders, loss of energy, and weight issues, among a long list of other things. Mitchell Moffitt, co-creator of the popular YouTube series ASAPScience put it this way, “There are a lot of harmful effects that come with stress, and without proper care and release, it can definitely lead to deteriorating mental and physical conditions.”

This April, practice stress management by reducing negative thinking to gain control of your thoughts and focus on positive things. By mastering this area of your life, all the other details will fall into place easier.

The following are a few ways to help manage stress:

  • Develop a strong social support system in the workplace. A co-worker, supervisor, or other ally who is available to talk through problems can help put things in perspective and minimize stress.
  • Take a break to avoid “burnout.” Even something as brief as walking around the building or up and down a hall can help clear your head and distance you from stressors, enabling you to return to the job with a fresh outlook.
  • Set realistic expectations for the amount of work you can complete in the time you have available. Do not attempt to take on more than you can reasonably handle.
  • Recognize you are not perfect and every minor detail in your work will not be perfect either.
  • Try to remain organized and keep your work area free of clutter.
  • Avoid negativity and negative people, and try to maintain a positive attitude about your work and your co-workers.

What do you do to ease stress? Let us know in the comments section below. And let us know what triggers your stress by voting in our monthly poll.

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

How to Survive a Bad Review or Termination

Survive_Termination_April2014Everyone hopes to get a glowing report at their annual performance review, but sometimes, you’re met with more negative feedback than positive. Receiving a bad review doesn’t have to mean it’s time to change jobs or signal the end of your career, though. With the right response, you can survive and even thrive. Just make sure you follow these four tips.

Stay Calm
No one likes being told they’ve made a mistake or done something wrong, and it’s normal to feel upset. However, now is not the time to lose control of your emotions. As The Wall Street Journal explains, “while it’s natural to feel defensive or angry during a bad review, career coaches advise against acting on these emotions to avoid making matters worse.” Remind yourself that the performance review isn’t personal and try to think logically about the situation.

Be an Active Listener
As you push through the emotions, really listen to what your supervisor is saying and take detailed notes. Ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand during the performance review. If your manager is being more general, ask for specific examples of mistakes, why your actions were incorrect, and what you should have done differently. And, as Marie McIntyre, a career coach and author, told CNBC, “Even if you don’t completely agree, you need to show that you understand.”

Make a Plan
Once the bad review is over and you’ve had time to digest everything, you need to come up with a game plan to address the problems your supervisor pointed out. Think about what behaviors or actions you need to change, how you can address issues before they become problems again, and if you should involve your co-workers in your plan. Also, make sure you take into account what your manager said you should have done. Then hold a follow-up performance review meeting to present the plan to your supervisor and get their approval.

Stick with It
The last part of your response is the most critical, because if you don’t follow through with the needed changes, you will only make things worse. Review your plan often, hold yourself accountable, and request regular feedback from your manager.  As you see things improve, take notes for future meetings and performance reviews. The Wall Street Journal recommends “keeping a detailed journal of your accomplishments. Memos that commend you on your work accomplishments also should be filed.”

Nobody is perfect, so don’t let a bad review get you down. Your response to the review is actually far more telling and important than what you did wrong in the first place. Employers value employees who can accept critiquing, be proactive, and implement changes on their own. So, the next time your performance review doesn’t go how you hoped, seize the opportunity to do more than just survive and show what a great employee you truly are.

Have you had a bad review before? How did you survive? Share your experience and insight in the comment section below.

 

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

What You Wish You’d Known Before Your Interview

interview_April0214Very rarely does something go unnoticed in an interview, that’s why it’s important to be focused, prepared, and confident. Interviewers pay very close attention to your body language, eye contact, and confidence. So, take advantage of your interview time to let your potential employer know why you’re the right person for the job. According to ClassesandCareers.com, one of the top 10 most common mistakes made during an interview is failure to ask for the job. Don’t let that be you, verbalize that you want the job and that you have what it takes.

To help you make the most of your next job interview, check out the info-graphic below provided by ClassesandCareers.com.

How have you made positive changes in the way you carry yourself in an interview? We want to hear about your experiences. Share with us in the comments section below.

by James.Rognon.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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

Interview: What is Your Greatest Weakness?

Interview_Weakness_April2014This is one of the most frequently asked and most dreaded questions in an interview. Although it’s nerve-racking, your answer can make or break your interview. When a hiring manager asks about your greatest weakness, it’s a time for them to learn about your character and a great opportunity for you to use the question to your advantage.

Jacquelyn Smith, a writer for Forbes shares, “It’s not a trick question and there’s no ‘right’ answer—but interviewers are looking for something specific in your response to this challenging question.” Here are some tips in conveying your greatest weakness while keeping your composure in a job interview.

Identify Your Weakness
First things first, what is your weakness? Be honest with yourself and identify what you’re not the best at ahead of time. If you’re not great with finances or if you’re not super organized, don’t be afraid to say it, but whatever you do, avoid mentioning a weakness that can crush your chances of landing the job. If you’re not exactly sure what the job entails, review the job description to see what the employer is looking for.

Be sure to formulate an answer that’s not generic. Hiring managers know that people aren’t perfect and they make mistakes. People have weaknesses; hiring managers just want to know how those weaknesses have been handled.

Turn a Negative into a Positive
While you’re sharing about your weakness in an interview, you can easily turn the attention to a great strength you have. A Forbes article shares, “Be prepared to give an example of a previous failure or weakness that you’ve successfully turned into a strength. Do not discuss areas of opportunity that you are still working on and have not yet fixed.” After talking about the way you’ve conquered a weakness in life, keep the focus of the conversation positive, so you can leave a lasting impression.

Strictly Business
Talking about your weaknesses and strengths allows you to open up and share about yourself, but be careful to not over share. Throughout your interview process, remember to keep your responses work-related. Do your best to stay centered on the topic and avoid personal drama. “Sure, everyone has got some, but companies want to ensure this won’t affect your job if you get hired. Besides, it’s considered completely inappropriate to bring personal drama into the business world,” says Smith.

What are some ways you’ve shared your greatest weakness in an interview? Share with us in the comments section below.

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

3 Myths About Staffing Companies

3myths_April2014Are you looking for a job? Have you tried applying for work through a staffing company? According to the American Staffing Association, more than 90% of companies in the U.S. use staffing firms, and 40% of the people looking for their first job or re-entering the workforce have done so by working with a staffing company.

Some staffing companies specialize in one industry, like accounting and medical. While Express Employment Professionals offers a broad range of opportunities in administrative, commercial, and professional jobs.

Beyond a job opportunity, staffing companies offer great ways to gain skills and valuable experience. But there’s more to it than gaining skills; you could also find a job that leads to a lifelong career. Why don’t more people consider taking advantage of this great employment opportunity?  There are some misconceptions when it comes to staffing companies and temporary work. We want to expose those myths and shed light on the truth to help you find success in your career.

Myth: Staffing companies charge you to apply for a job

One of the misconceptions people have about staffing companies is that they charge people to apply for a job.
Truth: Most staffing companies do not charge you a fee to apply. That means you don’t pay anything out of your pocket. It’s completely free! And you don’t owe them anything after you get hired either.

Myth: Staffing companies only have temporary jobs

Another misconception about getting a job through a staffing company is that you’ll be stuck in a position without advancement opportunities.

Truth: There are numerous jobs available through staffing agencies. And those jobs can potentially lead to full-time employment. Think of it this way; the skills you learn during your time as a temporary worker can help shape you to become a great candidate when the time comes for that position to be opened up as a full-time job. According to the ASA, 80% of staffing clients say staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become full-time employees. Regardless of where you are in your job search or career, remember your actions will determine if that opportunity will get you to the next level – so stay positive!

Myth: Being a temporary employee for any amount of time looks bad on a resume

Don’t be fooled by this myth. If you’re unemployed, working in a temporary position allows you to build and strengthen your resume while looking for something more long-term.

Truth: Showing how you’ve gained and developed skills can only strengthen and build your resume. Keep in mind that many employers see staffing jobs as regular work experience.

There are several benefits to working with a staffing agency that will look good on a resume as long as you can show how your experience can help potential employers.

Temporary jobs allow you many benefits and opportunities in various stages of your life from a flexible schedule to learning opportunities. Make sure you investigate different temp agencies and the benefits they offer, as some may not offer as much as others. Click here to view the benefits of Express Employment Professionals.

What benefits has temporary employment offered you, or why do you choose to work on temporary assignments? Share with us in the comments section below.

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

Creating an Organic Resume

organic_Resume_April2014In regards to food, when something is labeled organic, it simply means there are no added ingredients, artificial chemicals, or hormones. Just like organic products don’t have any additives, neither should your resume. With the average resume review time at a mere 6 seconds, it’s important to make sure your resume has exactly what the hiring manager is looking for and nothing more. Here are some recipes to help make your resume more organic.

Cut the Additives
If you’re working on rewriting your resume or if you’re starting from scratch, keep in mind that less is more when it comes to your resume – it needs to be to the point, honest, and informative. An article in the Daily Muse shares that “size matters,” and hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to spend reviewing resumes. In this article, writer, Elizabeth Lowman states, “The average resume is chock-full of sorely outdated, essentially meaningless phrases that take up valuable space on the page. Eliminate them, and you’ll come off as a better, more substantial candidate.” Include relevant job experience and don’t forget to get rid of unnecessary information like the job experiences you had during high school.

Let a Few Pure Ingredients Shine Through
As stated in a Forbes article, “Every word—yes, every word—on that page should be working hard to highlight your talents and skills. If it’s not, it shouldn’t be on there.” When preparing your resume, use simple yet meaningful power words to help convey your experience and skills. Including numbers in your resume is also important and allows you to present your abilities in a way that demonstrates the value you would add to a team and can help you stand out as the best candidate for the job.

Presentation Matters
Since most resumes are only viewed for a few seconds, choosing the right format could help get your resume more attention.

To highlight extensive work history and to show off your attributes that make you a great candidate for the job, use the Chronological format. If you have a limited work history, you could use a functional format to showcase your abilities while de-emphasizing your chronological work history. Functional format is used most often by those changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history. A Combination resume draws more attention to your abilities instead of poor work history, and the Targeted format specifically highlights your experiences and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

After you choose your resume format, remember to tailor your resume to be applicable for each job you apply for. Knowing this, do your best to keep your resume to one page. If your resume takes up more than a page, be sure to include your name and contact information on both pages and try early on in the resume to make sure the recruiter or hiring manager will want to read more!

In today’s job market, it’s important to have the best possible resume. So, look over your resume carefully and make the changes you need for the best presentation possible.

By applying simple organic concepts to your resume, you can make a difference in your job search.

What resume refining tips can you share? We want to hear about your experience in the comments section below!

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

Prepare Before You Perspire: Seasonal Landscaping Safety

landscaping_March2014Now that spring has arrived, landscaping jobs are likely to increase in demand. With that in mind, now is the time to review landscaping safety before the season kicks into high gear.

Check the Location
The first thing to do when reaching a worksite is to look over the area for hazards. Rocks, cables, broken tree limbs, uneven ground, exposed roots, and anything of concern should be noted and shared with everyone at the site before work begins. If a hazard can be removed, that should be the first job of the day.

The next consideration should be equipment. Is the right equipment available for the job?  Are the tools in good condition, and are safety guards required by the manufacturer in place? Also, any chutes to help direct debris should be in place. These chutes help prevent injuries and property damage from flying objects.

Stay Hydrated
After checking the environment and equipment, it’s time to focus a little more closely on yourself. Staying hydrated is important when working outdoors, so you should drink water before you reach the site. Even at moderate temperatures, we need more water to get through a day of hard work. Once you feel thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated.  Begin the habit of drinking plenty of water early in the season and throughout the day.

Protect Yourself
Personal protective equipment is an important step for any manual labor jobs. Safety glasses will protect against both small and large debris, while ear protection can keep your hearing intact while running noisy landscaping equipment. Proper footwear will help prevent cuts and scratches, give good support, and protect you if you do come in contact with a moving part of a machine. And, don’t forget gloves, which will help protect against cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Remember; check the environment, equipment, and yourself before starting work at each landscaping site and you will have a safer, more productive and enjoyable day.

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