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On the Job Podcast S3:E5 – A Brush with Fame

Check out the latest episode of Express Employment Professionals’ On the Job podcast!

A Brush with Fame
Avery Thompson is a funny, heartfelt, and eccentric filmmaker and radio producer who has done almost every job under the sun. Like many 20-year-olds, he had big plans of what he was going to do with his life—he was determined to be the next Orson Welles. Unable to find someone to fund his creative endeavors and a portfolio of nothing more than a few zany student films, Avery took a summer job with a landscaping company in the Hamptons, determined he would meet the right people to eventually help him land his dream job in film. Surely Jerry Seinfeld would need a new walkway! Or Robert DeNiro would need his roses cut! As the weeks went on, toiling away under the hot sun, Avery received the worst project he could think of—painting a fence in between overgrown holly bushes. But then, a hilarious and chance run-in with Steven Spielberg helped set Avery on the path to what he was destined to do.

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On the Job Podcast S3:E4 – Five Loaves & Two Fishes: Filling the Hunger Gap

Check out the latest episode of Express Employment Professionals’ On the Job podcast!

Five Loaves & Two Fishes: Filling the Hunger Gap

Linda McKinney is an Italian woman in McDowell, WV, who runs the Five Loaves & Two Fishes Food Bank with her husband. In a down-and-out coal town, she is single-handedly responsible for feeding 150 families each week. An interesting and eccentric character, Linda McKinney is a wonderful example of the goodness of humanity against all odds. Linda does her job with humility and without a need for thanks—because she does it for the people she knows and cares about. Where you come from and what’s happening around you drives you to do the job you need to do.

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Self-Imposed Barriers Job Seekers Need to Overcome

Many jobseekers spend hours a day filling out job applications online. In today’s world, would-be-employees need to treat the job search itself like a part-time job to get the position of their dreams.

 

Moving on isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In a study by Workopolis, 75% of applicants for a given role aren’t actually qualified to do it. “98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the ‘Top 2%’ of candidates make it to the interview,” says Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts.

However, being able to do a job isn’t just about the listed requirements.

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Job Spotlight: Graphic Designer

Draw on your design experience for this competitive field.

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 answer that question. In this series, we review all the basics of specific jobs, from salary and duties to why people do the jobs they do.

Graphic Designer

In this month’s Job Spotlight, we’re illustrating the importance of loving your job with a look at graphic design. Competition for graphic design positions is high, as employment is projected to grow 4% from 2016 to 2026, a lower rate than most occupations. Responsibilities include using graphic design skills to work on websites, books, magazines, product packaging, websites, exhibitions, corporate branding, and more.

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Diffusing Tension in the Workplace

Resolve conflict and bring peace to the work world

The workplace is complicated. It doesn’t matter if you work on an assembly line, type away at a cubicle, make cold calls in a call center, or take customer orders at a dinner table; you always deal with other people.

We’re all human and we have bad days. And sometimes you might do something inadvertently to make someone’s day worse. It could be a miscommunication via email, perhaps you chew loudly, or maybe there’s a scheduling conflict you just can’t agree on. These little things add up and suddenly there’s tension between the two of you.

Getting rid of that tension is one of the most important workplace soft skills. An employee who can effectively resolve conflict is priceless. So, how is this accomplished?

There are five main styles for managing conflict, according to Thomas, Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann originators of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. The key is to figure out the right mix of styles for any given situation, and recognize your coworker’s preferred conflict management style.

Here are those given conflict management styles, as outlined by SourcesOfInsight.com.

  1. Accommodating

Think of this as killing your enemy with kindness.

Basically, if accommodating is your style of choice, your tendency is to give into the other person’s desires without making sure you get what you want. Maybe you think your boss’ idea is less than great, but don’t tell them because that would make waves.

Although it might sound cowardly on paper, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the accommodating style. All styles are valid. For example, it’s usually better to defer to those with more experience when you’re new to the job.

  1. Avoiding 

With this style, you avoid conflict at all costs. You never win arguments and prefer to stay out of the combat zone entirely. You don’t want to say no so you end up saying nothing. Think of this as the “let well enough alone” mentality.

Avoidance is a great for when emotions are running high and you need time to think, when you know you can’t win, or just don’t feel like the situation is worth the effort. Why engage when there will be minimal gains?

  1. Collaborating

Think of this as the “win-win” scenario. You want to work with your coworker in order to achieve common ground and for everyone to get what they want.

This is a great conflict resolution style when everyone is already on the same page. You trust each other, value teamwork,  say what you mean, and don’t have to worry about hurt feelings. It’s not a great choice when emotions are running high or people’s viewpoints are diametrically opposed.

  1. Competing

This is the “might makes right” mentality. You want to get what you want no matter what, and the opposing side’s wishes aren’t important.

Again, this sounds like the angry boss who intimidates his direct reports into getting something done. In that case, it’s not the best decision. But if you’re an accountant on a deadline and someone on another team is trying to tell you how to do your job, competing is a perfect response. You know your job better than someone in a different department, and don’t have time to worry about hurt feelings.

  1. Compromising

Think of this as standard negotiating procedure. The “give and take” approach. You and your coworker both work toward a solution by giving things up until common ground is reached.

The main problem with this one is that it takes time and isn’t affective when someone is unwilling to give anything up. That means it’s best used when you need a temporary solution or when both sides have important goals. However, beware: compromising can frequently be the result when collaborating is the better choice because it’s easier to get done. But if everyone can get what they want with a bit of hard work, why not go that route?

If you’re partial to any of these conflict resolution tactics, ask yourself if you’re trying the same solution in every situation and not getting the results you need. If you are, you might want to explore other methods to get rid of the problem.

Have you ever had to solve a workplace dispute? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.