Work/Life Balance

Poor Leadership Top Workplace Stress

StressPollResults_May2014_webApril was stress awareness month, so we checked in with our readers on the top workplace stress triggers in our monthly poll. Topping the list with 21% of the results was “lack of/poor leadership,” followed by 15% responding that “long hours/increasing workloads” are the biggest trigger of stress. Tied for the third spot with 10% of the votes were “inadequate pay/benefits” and “poor working environment/company culture.”

Here is how the remaining responses ranked:

  • Concerns about job security: 9%
  • Poor work-life balance: 9%
  • Work is uninteresting/not your chosen career: 7%
  • Poor relationships with co-workers: 7%
  • Inadequate job training: 5%
  • Lack of opportunities for advancement: 4%
  • Other: 3%

Top Causes of Stress for Leaders and Managers
Leadership challenges plague both employees and those charged with leading a company. Express Employment Professionals also asked the same questions about workplace stress to the readers of Refresh Leadership, a blog for managers and leaders, and “lack of/poor leadership” topped their list with 17% of the votes. “Long hours/increasing workloads” came in second place with 15% of the votes, ranking the same spot on the list as top causes of stress for the Movin’ On Up readers.

If you’ve thought being the boss would solve all your stress at work, this may crush your hopes of an easier life when you move up the corporate ladder. However, it can be comforting to know that you’re not alone in facing challenges with leadership. A search for leadership books on Amazon returns over 20,000 results, a testament to the true struggle leading a team and working with others can be. As a point of reference, there were only 10,000 weight-loss books on Amazon, even with the constant diet fads.

Leadership is often about communication, and your manager may be better served in helping you if you find an effective and efficient way to share your challenges and successes. It may not solve all your workplace worry, but it could be the start of less stress.

Ways to Cope
Check out these related blog posts with suggestions on managing workplace stress and improving relationships at work:

What have you found to be the most efficient way to manage workplace stress? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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.

A High School Graduates Job Search

What to Do After CollegeFor high school graduates, landing a job may be the last thing on their mind, but with graduation right around the corner, getting a job should be something to think about. Focusing on your career post high school can help lead you to choosing the best next steps.

Gaining Skills for Employment
Job options may be limited during high school, but having an idea of what job you’d like for the future could make a positive difference while preparing for life after high school. When choosing a career path understand the time and investment to become skilled in that occupation and the demand for workers with that talent. Going to college or a Career Technological Education school without previously deciding which major you want can lead to spending extra semesters and, in some cases, even years, to graduate. And, unfortunately, extra time spent in school means more student loan debt that could have been avoided.

Preparing For Your Job Search
Where do you begin job searching? First, if you’ve had some odd jobs or activities you participated in throughout high school, think back to what you enjoyed doing the most. Narrowing down your likes and dislikes is a great way to start in your job search process. If there are certain things you’re better at, or enjoyed more, focus on finding a job in that field or that will allow you to use your skills and abilities to the fullest.

Clean Up Your Social Media
Did you know your social media profile can make or break your job search. CareerBuilder recently performed a study that showed 34 % of hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate. So, be careful and keep that information in mind when posting and sharing things on your profiles

Job Options
Have you ever thought about working for a staffing company like Express Employment Professionals? A staffing company can offer a flexible schedule to accommodate your continued education and access to entry-level positions. Continuing your education while working doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and companies like Express are here to help you gain experience in many different fields.

How do you plan to job search after high school? If you’re out of school, how has your job search been since graduating? We want to hear about it. Let us know in the comment section below.

Portraits of Hope

gI_96155_Portraits Book CoverAs the American economy continues to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, released a book titled “Portraits of Hope,” a compilation of inspirational stories from people who have found success despite the shaky economy.  In this book you’ll hear about how Express Employment Professionals has helped people find work and how having a job has made a positive impact in their lives and the lives of others. These encouraging stories are sure to inspire you, highlighting people who seized opportunities to build a better life. Some people were helped by friends and neighbors, while others were guided by faith and determination. Each person persevered through struggle and was able to pick themselves up, find work, and press on.

Some of the individuals featured in “Portraits of Hope” include:

Janice Andrick – Rossville, KS

Janice, born with cerebral palsy, was brought into a society that offered few opportunities for quadriplegics like her, but found hope in the support and therapy provided by the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children in Topeka, KS. There, she also found her first job. The 1990s brought the Americans with Disabilities Act and new technologies that made it possible for Janice to do a wider range of work. Through Express, she found a position doing clerical work with the State of Kansas Department of Disability Services.

Garrett Fairbanks – Kenosha, WI

A native of Kenosha, WI, Garret Fairbanks lost his job during the Great Recession. He found himself homeless, carrying a bag on his back, and selling aluminum scrap just to put money in his pocket. After finding a church program that offered him a place to sleep, Garrett found Express, and within a week after filling out an application, he was hired as a machinist. Today, he’s proud to be financially stable and living in his own apartment. In 2012, he was recognized by Express as the Wisconsin Employee of the Year.

Inder Narang – Northridge, CA

Born and raised in New Delhi, Inder Narang graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in India, but the only work he could find paid little, and there was no room for advancement. He decided to follow his brother to the United States in hopes of finding a job. But, he soon realized he lacked the necessary experience for the engineering jobs he applied for. He took a job as a department store sales associate. Before moving to L.A., Inder and finding an engineering job through Express — one that he enjoys and allows him to pay the bills.

“Read these stories and you understand why we do what we do,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Finding people a job so often means giving people hope and a chance at a better future. I’ve seen it over and over: a life can be drastically changed by just one job.

“We feel privileged at Express to have played even a small part in the lives of these remarkable individuals, whose determination to succeed allowed them to overcome tremendous challenges and to make it in America. I’m inspired by them, and I’m sure they’ll inspire others.”

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