Tag Archives: entry level

Kick-start Your Career After College

You’ve finally graduated; now what?

college_major_webAfter graduation, it’s a whole new ballgame. You’ve landed your first job, and it’s time to put everything you learned in college to the test. Now instead of your grade, your career is on the line. And let’s face it — launching into a career can be daunting.

But try not to forget that you’re still learning and figuring out this thing called life. Here are some tips for all you fresh grads on how to take what you learned in college and apply it to your career.

1. Set career goals

Your career dreams probably won’t happen right away. Your first job out of college doesn’t have to be your dream job — take a few years to gain experience, meet those milestones, and learn what it takes to achieve your dream career.

You don’t have to play the interview game and ask yourself where you see yourself in five years, but you should be aware of the goal you’re working toward. What career are you working toward now that college is over, and is what you’re doing now progressing toward that goal? Review courses you took towards your major and apply what you learned toward your new career.

2. Keep learning

In order to learn more about your career path, take as many opportunities to expand your knowledge as you can. Just because you aren’t being graded doesn’t mean you can stop learning. Jump on new projects, volunteer for events, and really get a feel for your company. Constantly brush up on the best ways to present yourself, and make sure you’re always prepared for the next job opportunity.

3. Avoid locking yourself into ‘traditional’ career options

You may have learned things studying for your major that are applicable to an entirely different subject matter. So don’t worry if your job after graduation isn’t in your major’s career field immediately.

You can learn a ton from your first job, and then apply that to a job you really want later.

4. Don’t compare your career path progress to to that of your friends

Everyone is different, and everyone’s path is different. Your professional network, experience, and even hopes and dreams are different from those of your friends. Especially your work friends. As a result, they’re probably going to have a different career than you. And that’s okay. Congratulate them on their success and be supportive! That’s what friends are for.

5. Get out of a job you hate

If you truly hate your job, odds are you’re not learning from it. And if you can’t learn to at least tolerate what you’re doing, you’re better off in a different position. When you hated a new class, you dropped it immediately right? Time spent hating your boss or coworkers would be better spent learning new skills. So get out there and find a job you love.

If you’re still looking for that first (or second) job, you might want to consider checking out a staffing agency. Recruiters can connect you with job opportunities tailored to your skillset. Here at Express Employment Professional, we have more than 34 years of experience placing job seekers in a variety of short- and long-term positions. Feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Are you a new grad getting started with your career? Let us know about it in the comments 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.

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.

Cashing Your Paycheck Could Be Costing You

Cashing Paycheck_April2014Everyone loves pay day. It’s a great feeling to see your hours of hard work result in a paycheck. But, there’s a chance you’re not pocketing as much of your earned money as you could be. It all boils down to your bank account, or, to be more specific, your lack of a bank account.

The Cost of Cash
US News reported, “According to the FDIC, 28.3% of U.S. households either don’t have bank accounts or rely on alternative channels for financial services, such as check-cashing.” Whether by choice or not, many people and households depend on major retailers, check-cashing stores, or the check-issuing banks to cash their paychecks to access their money. And, as US News pointed out, this service comes at a price, ranging from a flat-fee to a percentage of the check amount.

Specifically, that price, according to NBC News, which highlighted a new study from Tufts University, is about $200 billion a year. To narrow it down, that means “someone without a bank account pays an average of $3.66 more a month than someone with a bank account,” and is “four times more likely to pay fees to access their own money.”

Go Electronic
The best way to avoid losing your hard-earned money is to use any electronic funds transfer (EFT) options your workplace offers. Most employers, offer some form of EFT, whether direct deposit or paycard, because it saves them the time and cost associated with paper checks. And, EFT can save you money too. NBC News reported that “getting paid electronically is often significantly cheaper than receiving a paper check” when there are fees for cashing a check without an account.

With so many people living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save money for emergencies or retirement, it’s more important than ever to manage where your money is going. Find out if your banking method is costing you money, and if EFT could put a few dollars back in your pocket. You shouldn’t have to pay to get access to your money.

What have you found to be most effective for accessing your paycheck? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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

written by: Ashlie Turley

Who’s Hiring this Summer

Summer_Hiring_April2014Summertime is just around the corner, and every year many people take on summer jobs to earn some extra cash. Working a summer job can expand more than just your pocket book – it can also benefit your future! Summer jobs allow people the opportunity to explore a career path, gain experience, and find full-time work.  So, if you’re looking for work this summer, check out this good news!

Positive Outlook
According to the annual summer jobs survey by Snagajob, this summer’s hiring trend looks the brightest it’s been in a while. The number of hiring managers planning to hire more seasonal staff in 2014 is up 10% from the summer of 2013, and wages are at their highest level in six years. Additionally, the number of hiring managers who don’t plan to hire help this summer is down 14% compared to last year at this time.

Even more positive news: Snagajob also shares that hiring managers expect 10% fewer workers to return this summer compared to the summer of 2013, creating more job openings and making 2014 one of the best years for job seekers to get their foot in the door. As in years past, a 54 percent majority believe the biggest competition for summer jobs will be among high school and college students.

Seasonal Jobs
Many cities have local recreational parks and departments that are responsible for local pools, golf courses, and other activities. To find more information on jobs in your community, check out your local parks and recreation website. Another great summer job would be working at a camp, but if you’re not much of an outdoor person, look into working at your local YMCA. Since many children are out of school in the summer, child care is another job option.
So, if you’re out of school, between employment, or just looking to make some extra cash, make sure to check out these summer job opportunities in your community.

Outdoor:

  • Lifeguards
  • Park concession, such as selling snacks or accessories
  • Golf course attendants and golf cart drivers
  • Sports umpires and referees
  • Park maintenance and security
  • Lawn maintenance

Indoor:

  • Daytime camp counselor
  • Tutor
  • Childcare giver
  • Class instructor, such as arts and crafts or sports
  • Summer school assistant

Getting a summer job can be a great way to build your resume, earn income, and even make friends while having fun in the sun. The possibilities of summertime employment are growing, so find the job that’s right for you.

Express Can Help
Whether you’re starting a new career, re-entering the workforce, or supplementing your income, Express has the resources to match you with a job that fits your desires and abilities. To search for an Express office near you, visit ExpressPros.com.

What are your plans for summertime employment? Share with us in the comment section below!

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