Tag Archives: fun

Don’t Let Spring Break Ruin Your Reputation

Spring_Break_Reputation_March2014Spring break is finally here, and students everywhere are in the home stretch of this semester! The time has come for many students to take a much needed week away from school. It’s a time for fun, relaxation, and a chance to recoup from late night study sessions and homework. As you begin planning for your spring break, keep in mind that it’s easy for your reputation to be tainted in a short amount of time if you’re not careful. Here is some trustworthy advice to remember before you start your spring break shenanigans.

Protect Your Online Reputation
How can you protect your online reputation? By keeping your social media profiles private and being aware of what others post to them can help guard your reputation. When you and your friends get together there will probably be some pictures taken, and with the accessibility of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you could find pictures posted you wish had never been taken. Your friends could also include you in posts or status updates, so it’s important to have strict privacy settings on your social media networks before Spring Break begins. According to a study by CareerBuilder, two in five employers use social media to screen candidates. So you never know when a prospective employer is searching for you. If they happen to find an inappropriate picture or see something that they don’t like it can impact your job search.

Spring Break Precautions
Most students don’t plan on getting into trouble on Spring Break. Of course you want to have a good time, but if you’re not careful you could find yourself tangled with the law, or worse. While a “YOLO” attitude may serve you well in the moment, take a pause to consider future implications of snap decisions.

Take Advantage of Spring Break
Spring Break is a great time to jumpstart your career. You may not be able to get a job or intern at a company in a short week’s time, but there is another alternative – job shadowing. Shadowing someone for a few days will provide you with great insight into the everyday aspects of a job. Ask your friends and family if you could tag along and learn what a day in their life at work is like. Instead of going on a trip or just staying at home, get out and learn more about the career you want to have.

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself, so get a jumpstart on your future this Spring Break! How are you planning to get started on your job search, or are you already in the process? Let us know in the comments section below.

Happiness: Shawn Achor’s Secret to Better Work

Last year, the American Psychological Association named millenials the most stressed generation. In a study commissioned by the association, nearly 40% of Gen Y said their stress levels had increased over the previous year. Nearly 44% reported feeling irritable or angry because of that stress and 19% had been told they suffered with depression.

So what’s causing all that stress? 76% of millenials said their work was a significant stressor. Which all begs the questions, are we really going about the pursuit of happiness the right way?

Harvard graduate and CEO of Good Think, Inc., Shawn Achor, has been studying positive psychology and the effects of happiness. His consulting firm, Good Think Inc., researches positive outliers – people who are well above average – to understand where human potential, success, and happiness intersect.

Your Pursuit of Happiness
Over the past few years Achor’s research has shown most companies and schools follow the philosophy that “if I work harder, I’ll be successful and if I’m more successful then I’ll be happier.” Shawn argues that it’s the other way around. If you’re happy, you’ll be more successful because the way you view the world actually shapes your reality.

During a TED Talks presentation, Shawn explained that 90% of your long-term happiness is not predicted by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world. He challenges people to raise their level of positivity, and in turn your brain will experience a “happiness advantage”. ‘Your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed” Shawn said. He goes on to explain that not only does your intelligence, creativity, and energy levels rise, but every positive business outcome improves from experiencing better productivity to better sales and job security.

Train Your Brain for Happiness
Shawn’s research shows that there are ways to train your brain to become more positive to improve your potential and become more successful. And the great news is that it only takes two minutes over 21 days in a row to rewire a brain to become more positive and optimistic.

Here are five things Shawn says you can do to train your brain for happiness:

1.      Write down three things you’re grateful for

Why? Your brain will learn to scan the world for the positives and not the negatives.

2.      Journal about a positive experience

Why? It lets your brain relive it.

3.      Exercise

Why ? It teaches your brain that your behavior matters.

4.      Meditate

Why? Helps your brain to focus.

5.      Perform random acts of kindness

Why? Helps create “ripples of positivity.”

For more information and steps to leveraging happiness in your career, life, and job search, check out Achor’s TED Talk presentation or his recently released book, The Happiness Advantage.
Not only does happiness and positive thinking have the ability to impact your emotions, stress level, and immunity, it can also make a difference in your overall well-being. Let us know how thinking positively benefits you, share with us in the comments section below.

How to Avoid Communication Shutdown

Communication_Shutdown_webFor the past week, our government has been “shutdown.” Both the Democratic and Republican parties are blaming each other for different reasons. Although there is no simple conclusion, we can learn from this. We have all seen where poor communication can lead, so here are three tips for better workplace communication.

Active Listening
One of the most important components of communication is listening. After all, it’s impossible to give an intelligent response if you didn’t understand what the person was saying in the first place. Pay attention to the person’s body language as well as their words, and resist the urge to interrupt or plan what you are going to say next while they are speaking. Once your co-worker has finished his or her statement, you will be able to formulate an appropriate response and will have a better understanding of the idea he or she is attempting to communicate.

Ask, Don’t Assume
All too often, people stereotype each other and assume the worst intentions rather than asking how they can meet in the middle. Each party thinks it’s the other person’s problem when the responsibility is really mutual. If you need help or have a question just ask, don’t assume anything.

Always Follow Up
Never assume that an electronic message has been received. Digital information can be lost in transmission or accidentally deleted by the person receiving it. Make a habit of regularly following up on important communications. Whether you’ve just had a meeting or an interview, remember to always follow up to keep communication flowing with your coworkers.

If you have would like to share some helpful tips on workplace communication, please do so in the comment section below.

How You Can Stay Motivated at Work During the Summer

MotivationSummer_July2013_webThe summer months can be some of the hardest to stay focused and motivated at work. When status updates from friends are filled with images of lounging poolside, hitting the golf course, or enjoying a vacation, it can be really hard to head into work. However, July brings more than barbecues and time at the beach.

Know Where You Are Going
It can be hard to stay focused when you don’t have a clear end in sight. Having a clearly define goal and timeline can motivate you to take action now. The mid-year point can also be a great time to evaluate your progress on your annual goals. This review is a necessary step in making sure you can achieve your goals. If you find yourself waiting until your annual performance review to check in on your progress it can be too late to bring about the necessary changes required to achieve your goals.

Equip Yourself for Getting There
Once you know where you stand regarding your goals, it’s time to get motivated. Make sure you use your time wisely at work. Find a project management system that works for you and review your task list. Perhaps you work best with series of tasks on sticky notes and tossing them in the trash as you get them done. Or maybe you prefer a spreadsheet filled with tasks and deadlines. Having a clear direction and project list can make it easier to focus and make getting the job done that much more efficient.

Take Time To Relax
With team members and managers taking vacations or spending time out of the office it can be tempting to slack off at work, but resist the urge of tarnishing your dependable reputation just for a little summer fun. Instead, make sure you schedule some time for a vacation and recharge yourself. Knowing your time for fun lies ahead can make putting in a full day’s work easier. Not only will you have something to look forward to, but by staying mindful of your goals and tasks, you’ll be able to plan your work around taking some time away.

How do you stay motivated at work? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

What Are the Best and Worst Jobs of 2013? New Survey Shows Surprising Results

Best and Worst Jobs 2013I remember sitting in journalism school listening to countless professors, guest speakers, and journalists telling me that I’d better love the news, because I’ll be miserable working there. While my concentration wasn’t in news or media, I never understood why working for a newspaper would be that bad. I interned at a magazine and it was rather rewarding.

A new survey by career development website CareerCast has proved me wrong by labeling “newspaper reporter” as the absolute worst job of 2013. If newspaper reporting is the worst kind of job, what’s the best kind of job this year? According to the survey, an actuary, – a professional who assesses financial systems to calculate the impact of risk and uncertainty, is the best job around.

Apparently, writers are out and mathematicians are in for the job market of 2013. Do you agree that the need for workers with math and statistics is on the rise while writers are a dime a dozen? Read the rest of the survey here and let us know in the comments below.

Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

Fall in Love With Your Job All Over Again

fall in love with jobWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, millions of people will be coming together to be with their loved ones to celebrate the bond they have with each other. While wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, and significant others are getting ready for the romantic holiday, there’s a very special someone you might not be considering – your job.

It happens to the best of us. The passion is gone for your job and the flame has died out at the workplace. It can be easy to neglect the dwindling desire you once had for your job, but not being passionate about your job can lead to a stilted career path later on. Here are ways you can fall in love with your job all over again.

Reach Out
If nobody knows there is a problem, no one can help fix it. Consider reaching out to your manager or mentor to discuss your lack of passion and find out what it is that’s keeping your interest down.  It could be a simple fix of changing your workflow or new project, or it could be as big as moving on to the next challenge. Your leaders have the experience to give you a frame of reference and point you in the right direction.

Another way to recharge your batteries is to develop relationships with co-workers and peers. Practice your networking skills and schedule lunch breaks with others to learn about different areas in your organization, uncover interesting opportunities, or discuss trends in your industry. Building relationships can break up the boring routine and let you see diverse points of view.

Live Life
It may sound counter-productive, but are you doing what you’ve always wanted to do with your spare time? Passion is often contagious, and if you can find fun, fulfilling hobbies and activities outside of the workplace, that enthusiasm can flow through to your work. Work often doesn’t allow you to practice your passions through the job, so it’s important to get back to the root of what you love.

Challenge Your Innovation
Nothing can smother a fire of passion more than a routine. Workers can get stuck in a pattern that becomes second nature. This repetition can have no room for excitement or imagination. That’s why it’s important to put forth some effort to keep a fire burning. Someone once told me, “Remember K.I.S.S.: Keep Innovating Something Significant.” Challenge yourself to improve every day. Dream big, set a goal for yourself, and work to make a change. This mentality can greatly increase and fuel the fire than can burn inside you.

There’s not a rut from which you can’t crawl out. Whether with the help of others or through changing your mentality, falling in love with your job is possible. Your career is going to be with you for most of your life. You might as well love it.

What are some ways you’ve fallen in love with your job? Let us know in the comments section below. You can also use our ecards site to send free valentine greetings!

Associate Spotlight: Lonnie Cain

Associate SportlightExpress Employment Professionals is often placed in the business of building hope. When news and world events seem to spread sad and gloomy stories, it’s refreshing to read something positive. There are a lot of inspiring stories going on within Express, and we’d like to share.

We are always looking to showcase exceptional associates on Movin’ On Up. It’s important to give credit where credit is due, and Express loves to share the stories of our associates as an inspiration to you while you strive to achieve professional success.

What makes this associate so special isn’t what he did for himself or how he overcame obstacles. Rather, it’s what he brings with him and shares with co-workers that makes him unique. Our spotlighted associate, Lonnie Cain, has an amazing ability to spread cheer and happiness to not only his Express office, but also to the companies to which he is assigned.

Lonnie Cain

After years of working as a route manager, Lonnie Cain retired from Aramark. Even though he was retired, Lonnie still wanted a flexible job that allowed him time to travel. One day, he noticed a classified ad for a medical supply driver posted by the Express office in Springfield, IL. After applying and interviewing, he was quickly hired for the job and became an example of the Express values to everyone at work.

Lonnie has proven to be dependable and skilled in his job as a driver for several doctors in the Springfield community. Since 2006, Lonnie has worked more than 7,500 hours and has only called in unavailable once. His sheer commitment and contagious smile have made Lonnie an outstanding worker and a valuable associate to Express.

“He represents Express with a professional and cheerful attitude,” said Julie Hamilton, Staffing Consultant for the Springfield Express office. “He’s the most requested driver by the physicians.”

As a medical driver, Lonnie transports medical files to different hospitals. He relates well with the doctors and medical staff at the hospitals. The Springfield office continuously receives high praise for Lonnie. The secretary of a client, Dr. Raghu Kolluri, called Express just to say, “Lonnie is a great driver, very personable and reliable.”

If you’re looking for the same success that Lonnie is experiencing, find the the Express office closest to you for more information and help with your job search. Express is always looking for associates who would be a great candidate for our associate spotlight. If you have an Express associate you’d like to feature on Movin’ On Up, let us know in the comments below.