Tag Archives: co-workers

Be Thankful: How to Appreciate Your Job

be_thankful_for_job_webThe holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s a time of year when many people consider all they are thankful for, like family, shelter, and friends. When you count up your blessings, do you include your job? Even if your current job isn’t perfect, it is something for which you should be thankful. If you’re struggling to appreciate your job, take a look at these tips to help alter your thinking.

Appreciate your perspective.
Remember, you control your perspective. That means your attitude – and yours alone – shapes the way you think about the situation you’re in. It also means you’re the only one who can make yourself enjoy your job. So, take a few moments every morning to remember the things you enjoy about your job and start your day off with the right attitude.

Appreciate your contributions.
You contribute a lot to your employer. If you’re struggling to find meaning in your work or are having trouble enjoying your job, take a moment to consider what you bring to your workplace. Take an inventory of your talents, skills, and personality, and remind yourself that you are a valuable employee. Then, shift your focus and contribute even more. Make an extra effort to voice great ideas, and put in a little extra participation when you can. Chances are your increased efforts and positive attitude will be noticed and maybe even rewarded.

Appreciate what you receive.
Even though it may not always seem like it, your job gives back to you in many ways. Your income isn’t the only thing you get from your work. Take a moment to make a list of the things you receive from your workplace, like health insurance, benefits, time off, or teambuilding opportunities. Does your workplace offer a gym for employees, or bonuses during the holidays? Do you have flexible work hours? Does your employer provide coffee in the mornings? Even that is a benefit you may not have noticed.

Appreciate your alone time.
Taking breaks during the work day can really help you unwind and let go of stress. If your workplace allows, take advantage of your break time every day. Even getting away from your desk for five minutes to step outside, make a phone call, or grab a snack can be enough of a mental break to get your head back in the game. Don’t forget to leave all of your emails and work behind for those few minutes. Your time away from your desk or work station may help you relax and remind you to appreciate a few moments of quiet time during a busy work day.

Appreciate your co-workers.
When you contribute toward a pleasant work environment, you also help your co-workers appreciate their job. Don’t participate in gossip, as it only spreads negativity. Instead, minimize your time with those whose personalities clash with your own and spend time with people you can help and befriend. Have fun at work by inviting your co-workers to lunch or keeping up with their life outside the workplace. When you get along with your co-workers, it not only makes for a more enjoyable work environment but can also help the team’s overall morale.

Appreciate work-life balance.
When your work day ends, make sure you don’t take it home with you. Mentally check out of your job before heading home for the day. A recent study from Good Technology revealed that 80% of people continue working after they leave the office, and checking emails is the biggest culprit. It’s okay to enjoy your work, but you need to find a balance between your job and your personal life to ensure happiness.

Appreciate the experience.
Even if your current job isn’t the one you want for the rest of your life, you can appreciate the experience you’re getting. Your job may not be part of your overall career plan, but it can add valuable skills and experience to your resume that will help you land the job of your dreams later. Not to mention, supervisors, managers, and co-workers are important people to have in your network. You never know who they may know, or where a better job connection may turn up down the road.

According to Business Insider, “the luckiest employees reap rewards from multiple areas: financial, emotional, and professional. They see their daily work as a chance to learn, better themselves, and understand the lessons hurled at them.”

At the end of the day, remember that you’re lucky to have a job. That doesn’t mean you should stay in a job that isn’t right for you. If your work is stressing you out or making you feel unappreciated, it may be time to look for something new. While you consider a career change or take up a new hobby, use these tips to help you appreciate the job you have right now.

Why are you thankful for your job? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

Happiness and a Good Job – You Can Have Both

happiness_at_work_webWhat are the keys to happiness in the workplace? While that answer may be different for each person, there are some factors that lead to a more satisfied workplace. According to a Gallup poll, 24% of the global workforce is actively disengaged with their jobs. Additionally, 63% of the worldwide workforce is “checked out, sleepwalking through their day, or putting time but not energy or passion into their work.” This leaves only 13% of people who are happy at work.

People who are happy and satisfied with their personal lives are also more likely to be happy with their jobs. So, how can you make your job something you enjoy? Check out the information below to help you find happiness in the workplace.

Know the Facts
To understand the current state of happiness in the workplace, take a look at these statistics:

  • Forbes states that the people most satisfied with their jobs include database administrators, quality assurance engineers, executive assistants, and recruiters.
  • According to Happify, things that affect our satisfaction at work vary for men and women. For men, it’s compensation and interest in the work. For women, it’s flexibility, workload, advancement, and the people at work.
  • When it comes to Millennials, those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, 64% say they would choose a job they love that pays $40,000 over a boring job that pays $100,000 a year.
  • 69% of bosses are satisfied with their jobs, while only 48% of workers are. Furthermore, 39% of self-employed workers are satisfied with their jobs, compared with 28% of people who work for others.

Find Your Happiness
Thankfully, there are ways you can find happiness in the workplace. According to author Alexander Kjerulf, the keys to staying happy at work are accomplishing something that’s meaningful to you, knowing your job is important, and being appreciated. You can help others find satisfaction with their work by celebrating their successes, lending a helping hand, and offering recognition for jobs well done.

Think about what you do and try to find the meaning in it. If you work in a retail environment, you may find satisfaction through helping provide people with items they need. Or if you’re an administrative assistant, you may find meaning in the fact that you’re directly influencing the success of others. When you engage in work that feels meaningful to you, you’ll likely experience higher rates of motivation and satisfaction as a result.

The job you currently have may not be the one you want to have forever, and that’s okay. Remember to use the time you have at your job to make important accomplishments and connections with others that can benefit you in your next job.

At work, every day is not going to be easy. When you’re stuck with a challenging situation in the workplace, believe in yourself instead of getting stressed. Think back to a similar task you accomplished and remember that you are capable of accomplishing this one too. Your positivity can impact your work. In fact, according to Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage¸ entry-level accountants who believed they could accomplish what they set out to do ended up with the best job performance ratings.

Making friends at work can also help you stay happy on the job. Studies suggest that if you have three or more good friends at work, you are 96% more likely to be satisfied with your life. To nurture friendly relationships, take some time to greet a co-worker you don’t know very well and practice random acts of kindness in the workplace.

How do you stay happy on the job? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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

Gift-Giving Guide for Your Co-Workers

coworker_gifts_webTis the season! With the holidays upon us, it’s the time of year when office parties and gift giving abound. It can be stressful trying to decide how to approach gift giving with your co-workers, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six simple tips to ensure the celebrations stay merry.

1. If you decide to give gifts, know you’re doing it voluntarily.

Your decision to give gifts to your fellow co-workers is 100% a voluntary decision. Most people do like to celebrate the holidays, but you may come across someone who doesn’t want to participate in gift exchanges. It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe their budget is tight and they can’t afford it. So, don’t get upset if everyone you give a gift to doesn’t give you one back. Instead, embrace the idea of giving without expecting anything in return.

2. If you plan to give one co-worker a gift, you may have to give them all a gift. 

The simple rule to remember here is that no one likes to be left out. If you give a gift to one co-worker and not another, that person may feel excluded. And you don’t want that to happen. Inclusion is the name of the game. Also, if one of your best friends works with you and you’ve bought that person a more elaborate gift than everyone else, wait until after work hours to give the gift so you can keep all workplace gifts fair.

3. Use kind words. 

Sometimes it means more to a person to hear kind words than receive a gift. Consider giving a holiday card to each of your co-workers with a message about why you enjoy working with them or that you hope they have a great holiday season and you wish them a great new year. Remember to keep it professional and sincere.

4. Avoid giving cash and keep gift spending to a minimum. 

Sure, sometimes it’s nice when your family gives you money for the holidays, because it allows you to purchase what you really want. But, when it comes to work, choose to give a gift instead. It’s more thoughtful and shows heart. And speaking of thoughtful, you don’t have to spend a lavish amount on co-worker gifts. In a 2013 holiday survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 78% of respondents said they expected to spend $25 or less on a gift, 36% said $10 or less, and 10% said $5 or less. For example, does everyone on your team like Starbucks? If so, consider a gift card with a nice message for them.

5. Suggest a department-wide secret Santa gift exchange. 

Why not suggest drawing names and buying a gift for that co-worker? If your department leader will allow, everyone could gather together for lunch or snacks at the end of the day and exchange gifts. This will ensure that everyone gets a gift (at least those who want to participate), and you don’t overspend on the celebration.

Many departments also play dirty Santa, a game where participants bring a wrapped gift and then on each person’s turn they can either choose an unopened gift or steal an opened gift from a co-worker. If your gift gets stolen, you can steal from someone else or pick a new, unopened gift. Just remember with any gift exchange, you are still in a professional environment. Avoid gag gifts or anything inappropriate.

6. Approach a gift for the boss with caution. 

The holidays are not an avenue for you to earn brownie points with management. If you’re considering buying a gift for your boss, it’s best to ask your co-workers if they would like to contribute. Make it a gift from your department rather than just you. While you may have a gift idea in mind and want to volunteer to get it, just remember the importance of including all of your co-workers.

The holidays should be a fun time full of cheer. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about your company’s gift-exchange policy, always consult your manager first. Happy gifting!

How do you show appreciation to your co-workers this time of year? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

Ways to Be A Team Player

Be a Team PlayerI’m fortunate enough to witness teamwork at its best during our annual company conferences. Most jobs require teamwork of some form, whether it’s on a routine basis or just for special projects. In any matter, when a project requires more than one person, it can be a task that is more complicated, time-sensitive, or an extreme undertaking – all of which can make things more stressful. Here are some ways to keep your cool and be a true asset when teamwork is required.

Don’t Ask Why
If you’ve been asked to do something as a team member, as long as it’s not breaking any laws or hurting the company, it’s best just to buckle down and get the job done. Maybe you don’t think moving boxes from one side of the room seems efficient, or you don’t understand why you have to clean up the conference room just because of a top client is visiting. But at this stage of the game you are there to help not to give your opinion. If you’re in the discussion phase of a project, it may be appropriate to offer your thoughts. But if you can sense that the mood of the moment is more “Roll up your sleeves and get to work,” then follow that lead and don’t waste time with “why?”

Don’t Be too Proud
Sure, your typical job assignment might be answering the phone, assembling parts, or invoicing clients, but you are part of a business that has a lot more activity. As long as there aren’t any safety concerns or job description violations, don’t be too proud to go beyond your regular duties to help out. Maybe you need to mop the entryway before a client tour, or perhaps you need to break down boxes and take them to the dumpster to give the team more room to work. Whatever it is, if you see something that needs to be done, and you can help, pitch in and help – that’s teamwork.

Don’t Brag
People notice a team working together, I’ve rarely experienced a time when a great team project wasn’t acknowledged at some point. However, when deadlines are looming there may not be time for accolades. You don’t want to be the only person on the team bragging about your effort to go above and beyond. The point of teamwork is everyone working together; it’s not about one individual contributing more or less than the others. If you try to steal the accomplishments of the team to shine more light on yourself, your opportunities to serve on the team may be less frequent.

Teamwork can be fun, and sometimes special team projects offer a break from your normal duties. Some of my best memories and accomplishments have been while serving on a team, so when someone asks for your help, see it as the opportunity it is.

Share your stories with us when you’ve experienced teamwork at best in the comments section below.

Learning from “The Office”

OfficeCharacters_June2011_web Co-workers and employers are two aspects of work that add to company morale, fun, and sometimes challenges. Whether your office is a close-knit group who thrives off of collaboration or one that encourages independent work, there is much to be learned from those you work beside day in and day out.

One of NBC’s most popular shows features a cast of unique and entertaining characters that represent what full-time work can sometimes be like. “The Office” follows Dunder Mifflin Sabre, a paper and office supply distribution office based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. While each episode depicts a mundane storyline, countless viewers have found comfort and humor in the familiarity that is “The Office.”

Although each character on the sitcom has their faults, they each have some qualities we can emulate. Whether you showcase your individuality, love for life, or strength while at work – there’s an office character out there for you to learn from. 

Dwight Schrute
Known for his love of bears, crime fighting, and leadership, Dwight is by far one of the most eccentric of the Dunder Mifflin Sabre crew. Dwight is the top salesman and former acting manager for the office. Despite his achievements, he receives little recognition from his co-workers because of his lack of social skills and common sense. However, Dwight does an excellent job of remaining true to himself. He holds a specific set of personal and professional standards, rarely straying from them. While it’s always a good idea to leave the throwing stars and other weapons at home, there is one lesson we could all stand to learn from Dwight. Know what it is you stand for and don’t back down from it. Dwight’s antics are unpredictable but always very “him.” While his odd interests sometimes isolate him from the office, he doesn’t allow his individuality to hold him back. His stability and openness with who he is forces his co-workers to know the true Dwight – no matter how different he may be.

Michael Scott
Michael served as manager for the Scranton branch for seven years. His zest for life, though admirable, often gets him in hot water with his corporate office and employees. Michael’s tendencies to pull inappropriate pranks, offend his employees, and create awkward situations are only outweighed by his love for life and his employees. Michael takes a vested interest in the well-being of those around him; throwing birthday parties, teambuilding events, and seminars. Michael’s heart is in the right place and his employees know his interest in their lives is sincere. His approach to work reminds viewers that life is meant to be enjoyed, even while at the office.

Pam Beesly Halpert
Pam began her time at Dunder Mifflin Sabre as the receptionist, often indicating her desire to move ahead in the corporate world. She spent the first five years during her stay at Dunder Mifflin Sabre hoping for a promotion, while never voicing her goals to upper management. Eventually, Pam gained her voice as well as a new position as the office administrator. Pam is perhaps one of the most relatable characters as she struggles with developing confidence and authority in the business world. Her transformation into a leader in the office is one we can all look to for guidance and encouragement. Although it took her years to develop courage, Pam eventually took control of her own career by developing her leadership skills, asking for promotions, and taking charge.

“The Office” is one of television’s most successful shows and for good reason. It follows characters we all can relate to while inspiring viewers to have a more meaningful office life and career. Although each character on the show has serious faults, they all also have positive beliefs and behaviors we can glean from. 

Let’s be honest, our co-workers have the ability to make us better or drive us crazy during the work day. Different personalities alongside deadlines, projects, and stress can bring out some challenging scenarios. Remember to look for the positive in each person who you encounter at work. Sure, your cube mate may have an odd fascination with crime fighting but at least he’s true to who he is and gets his work done.

Four Tips to Fitting in at Work

No matter who you are or how likeable you claim to be, everyone at some point in their life has had trouble fitting in. And, it has nothing to do with if you’re shy or outgoing, or whether or not you were prom king or your high school’s chess champion. Fitting in is a struggle we have all encountered and it doesn’t end in high school. It can be just as difficult to fit in at work. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re feeling like an outsider at the water cooler or in the cube, try these tips to click with your co-workers.

Be a Team Player. Nobody likes to work for or with someone who is not a team player. So, make sure you volunteer to help on projects at work or take some tasks off someone’s plate. If one of your co-workers has to stay late to complete an assignment, check to see if there is something you can do to help them get out of the office faster. Your co-workers will appreciate your willingness to help out and may even return the favor one day. Letting your co-workers know you’re on their team will help build camaraderie and trust between you and your teammates.

Go to Lunch. Instead of going home for lunch everyday or eating out alone, ask your co-workers to go to lunch at least once or twice a month. If you eat in the break room, invite others to share a table. Getting together to learn about your fellow colleagues gives you time to find common likes, interests, and hobbies. And it shows you care about them as a person, not just as a co-worker. It can be intimidating, but be the first to take the initiative and ask a co-worker to lunch. You won’t just be building team relationships, you could be building great friendships too!

Don’t Gossip. People don’t want to hang out with someone who is always talking about other people. So, make sure you keep your opinions about others to a minimum and don’t talk about co-workers who may rub you the wrong way. Even when co-workers entice you to join in on salacious gossip about the boss or another employee, don’t take the bait. Employees who don’t gossip about co-workers will be trusted and respected by the whole team!

Be Happy. It takes more muscles to form a frown then it does to smile, so try to come to work every day with a great attitude. People enjoy being around those who have a good outlook on life and who can make them smile, so be the one who makes someone else’s day brighter and be happy while you are at work.

While it may seem that some people just naturally fit in with others in the workplace, the truth is, everyone has had difficulties feeling comfortable with their co-workers at one time or another. So, don’t take it personally if you find yourself struggling to fit in, and follow these tips to make your day a little easier.

From Good Employee to Great Boss – 9 Tips to Get You Promoted

You’ve been called a great employee. You show up to work on time every day, you complete your work by the deadline, and you never, ever complain. Shouldn’t this be enough to get you to the next level?

In the minds of some employees, the answer would be “yes!” But, in the real world, if you’re showing up to work on time, finishing projects efficiently, and you have a pleasant attitude, then you’re just doing your job!

It takes going above and beyond to get to the next level. So, check out these nine steps to get promoted.

Work where there is opportunity to grow. You can’t move up quickly if there is nowhere to go. So, before you accept a job offer, make sure you find out if there are advancement opportunities. If you already have a job, talk to your supervisor about creating a career path that will lead you in the right direction.

Be the best you can be. After you have accepted a position with an employer, don’t immediately bombard your supervisor with questions about being promoted. Serve your time, pay your dues, and be the best employee you can be. Coming in on time and staying until 5 p.m. does not make you an overachiever. So, ask your co-workers if they need help with any of their projects once yours are completed. Offer assistance when your manager’s load gets too heavy. Show that you are a team player, and be flexible with your work schedule.

Speak up. Don’t be afraid to take ownership on projects you’ve completed or to present your ideas and solutions. You don’t want to have a “look at me” attitude, but it’s OK to keep your boss informed of the projects you’re working on and the ideas you have. This shows initiative and demonstrates you have the abilities, skills, and drive you need to get ahead.

Network with co-workers. Networking doesn’t stop simply because you have a job. Make it a point to meet as many people as you can in your company. Don’t limit yourself just to the people in your department. Many companies offer career paths in multiple areas and departments. And, “who you know” can be important at work when it comes to decisions involving promotions.

Schedule meetings with your boss. Once you have put some time in at your job, consider scheduling some one-on-one times with your supervisor. Take this opportunity to proactively discuss how you are doing in your current position and possible career paths for your future. This is your chance to build a relationship with your boss, address your desire for a promotion, and find out what you need to do to make it happen.

Continue learning. Whenever there is an opportunity to learn a new skill, regardless of whether it’s included in your current tasks or assignments, sign up and attend a conference, webinar, or night class that could benefit you and your team. Continue to build to your skills repertoire. This will build your value to you as an employee and show your employer that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to be the best at your job.

Volunteer for new projects. If your boss asks for volunteers to work on a new task, raise your hand. But, make sure you have time to complete the assignment on top of your normal deadlines first. You don’t want to over promise and then under deliver. If you have time to complete the task, offer to work on as many extra projects as you can. This is a great way to broaden your skills.

Search for a mentor. It’s always a wise decision to search out people who you would like to emulate in your career and ask them to be your mentor. But, before you approach the subject of a mentorship, make sure you’ve established a relationship with your prospect. This is beneficial to you and your prospective guru. It gives you both an opportunity to find out if you’re compatible and allows you to determine whether or not you’re asking the right person to advise you.

Find other employment. If you’ve exhausted all the steps above, growing your skills, expressing interest in advancement and becoming an indispensable member of the team but still have not received a promotion, then it might be time for you to look for other employment opportunities. But, before you jump ship, make sure you’re not just being impatient. After all, timing is everything! If you still feel it’s time to move on, make sure you have another job lined up before you go.

Climbing the career ladder can be difficult at times. There are bumps and snags along the way, but if you follow these nine steps and keep a positive attitude in the process, you could just find your way into the corner office sooner than you think.