Tag Archives: jobgenius

Top Struggles Working Moms Face

Balancing kids and co-workers on a crazy schedule

Beautiful Adult Business and DaughterRegardless of whether you’re in the office or at home, being a mom is tough. Stay-at-home moms have to deal with subordinates that are more likely to fling food on the ground than turn in a project on time. And at least in the office, Shelly from IT won’t throw a temper tantrum or draw on the walls. Hopefully. She’s not two, right?

Working moms, on the other hand, face an entirely different, yet no less difficult set of problems. Does that new job come with a nice daycare nearby? What do you do when the daycare calls saying little Timmy bit his best friend when you have a conference call in five minutes? Do you present at the national conference or go to Lisa’s school play? It’s her debut as Tree Number Two, after all.

The life of a working mom is a constant balancing act full of challenges. We want to (once again) recognize those challenges in celebration of Mother’s Day.

1. Flexibility Issues

A working mom has two full-time jobs constantly competing for her attention. She has to balance parent meetings, child performances, school awards, and other activities with office deadlines, conferences, and company trips. And often Dad’s doing another balancing act with his own complicated schedule.

How does a working mom manage the her work and life? Unfortunately, most of it comes down to situations she can’t control—the company culture and her boss’ managerial style. All she can do is communicate, let her boss know the situation, and convey how important the event is to her kids. But even with constant communication, odds are she will not be able to make every single event.

So what can a mom do to avoid becoming overwhelmed? She can get the school calendar for the year and combine it with her work schedule. That way, parent-teacher conferences and school plays won’t appear without warning. She could even ask if certain parent-teacher meetings could take place over the phone. Communication with any other caregivers is important—coordinating schedules is a colossal effort, but worth it if one of them can make it to the event in the end.

2. Guilt

Any given workday is full of decisions that have to be made between children and career. Choosing one over the other can make working moms feel guilty. Congrats for clinching that promotion, but now you have to explain to your son why you have to go on a business trip rather than attend his little league game. Not to mention how difficult it is to arrange childcare for business travel.

Missing a week of work for a sick kid is another source of guilt. A working mom knows that she has to be home to take care of her child, but somebody else at the office has to pick up the slack while she’s gone.

3. Social Pressure

In the mid-1900s, raising a family and taking care of the home were typically seen as a mother’s career path. A married woman was expected to stay at home. Although times have changed, working moms still receive occasional flak for not continuing this tradition.  Other moms at the elementary school might gossip about her store-bought cake, or criticize her for not showing up to the monthly PTA meeting.

Judgement can also come from co-workers, particularly those who don’t have any children of their own. Some (although by no means all) just don’t understand what it takes to nurture both a kid and a career. When they see moms taking “too much” time off to care for their kids, it looks like an abuse of vacation time. When in reality it’s anything but a “vacation.” It’s either paid leave, sick leave, or it’s unpaid—it’s not a favor or perk.

4. Job Search Gets Complicated

Being a mom makes the job search even more complex. Finding the time to look for a job is a chore in and of itself. Interviews are even worse. If it’s an in-person interview or a longer phone interview childcare has to be arranged. That could mean paying for a chance at a job.

When it actually comes down to accepting a position, a mom has to think about not only location and salary, but also hours, benefits, whether or not there is a good daycare nearby, any childcare incentives, the company culture, maternity leave, and any policies concerning flexibility. If there’s a job available at her dream company but the pay doesn’t outweigh the costs of childcare, she may have to find something else.

5. Networking is Difficult

During the day, she’s working at the office. After work, she cares for the kids. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a personal life, much less any sort of networking. Building connections is nearly impossible when you don’t have the time to commit to them. A mom can’t really make the weekly happy hour because it means sacrificing time from her family. If her boss stops by to socialize right before 5 o’clock, a working mom can’t sit to chat. If a mom is late to pick up the kids, the daycare charges overtime.

Why Do They Love It?

It depends on the mom.  Some have been working their whole adult lives—why should they stop now? Working gives them a sense of fulfillment. Many of them invested money in a college, post-secondary, or other education, and they want to keep using it.

Others would like to stay at home, but there just isn’t enough room in the budget. So they work, sometimes at multiple jobs, to put food on the table. They may not be with their kids in every moment, but their kids are why they work.

Still others just can’t see themselves as a stay-at-home mom. They love their kids, and will work to provide for them, but they desire to achieve goals and learn at the same time. They want to work their way up the corporate ladder so that they can provide a variety of opportunities for their children.

But every mom is different, with her own reasons for working. It would take thousands of blogs to cover every working mom’s unique situation. So hopefully this salute is enough. Thanks working moms, for doing all that you do!

Are you a working mom? Why do you love it? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll: How Do You Cope With Workplace Stress?

Stressing about stress? How do you handle it?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollFor most people, work is going to be stressful from time to time. Looming deadlines, angry clients, uncooperative co-workers — the list goes on and on. And stress has a huge list of associated health problems. Mayo Clinic notes stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, irritability, and a host of other issues.

Prolonged stress can affect your work ethic and even your home life, which makes it all the more important for each of us to find a way to overcome it. Some people exercise, others throw themselves into side projects or fun hobbies, and others meditate or listen to calming music.

How do you deal with stress? Let us know by voting in our poll!

 

Top 3 Things to Consider When Choosing an Insurance Plan

Choosing your insurance provider while unemployed can turn into a full-time job.

Hand Writing Insurance Crossword ConceptChoosing an insurance plan isn’t easy. Especially if you’re unemployed. The options can seem endless, particularly when you don’t know where to start. Start off with figuring out how the Health Insurance Marketplace works. But what else do you need to know before you choose an insurance plan?  Here are our top three questions to ask that will make your search easier.

1. Will it satisfy the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act?

The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) states that if you don’t have ‘qualifying’ insurance for nine months out of the year prior to enrolling in insurance, but are classified as being able to afford it, you have to pay a penalty because you were uninsured after the ACA’s rollout. This fee will be applicable for any month you, your spouse, or any dependents did not have ‘qualifying’ health coverage. As noted on the HealthCare.gov website, the amount of the fee will be either 2.5% of your household income (capped at the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan purchased on the ACA marketplace), or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18 (capped at $2,085). You will pay whichever amount is higher.

So what types of health coverage don’t qualify for the individual mandate? They include: having coverage for only vision care and/or dental, workers’ compensation, coverage for only a specific disease or condition, and plans that only offer discounts on medical services.

Compare your options at the ACA marketplace for your state by inputting your zip code at HealthCare.gov. If your state doesn’t have a state marketplace, you will be redirected to the Federal marketplace.

 2. Can I afford a higher deductible?

Next, you should ask yourself what type of deductible you can afford. If you choose a higher deductible, you will have to pay more before insurance kicks in, but your monthly insurance premium cost should be lower. Choosing a low deductible means your premium will generally be higher. It’s the same as car insurance — if you can afford a higher deductible, you could save money. If you choose to enroll in a health maintenance organization (HMO), you usually won’t have to pay any deductibles or copays so long as you stay in network. However, these benefits come with reduced freedom in choosing your doctor.

 3. Will I be moving soon?

Before you choose a plan, make sure that you aren’t going to move any time soon. If you enroll in a health insurance plan from the ACA marketplace and then move to a new state, you’ll need to switch to a plan offered by the new state. Moving to higher income areas may also result in having to re-enroll. Moving is categorized as a qualifying life event, meaning that you can sign up for new insurance right away. That means getting to do all of the paperwork over again.

Have any more insurance questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Movin’ On Up Turns 10: Top 10 Posts of All Time

10 years of advice, surveys, and blog posts. Here are our top 10

MOU10YRMovin’ On Up recently observed its its decennial celebration, and we wouldn’t have made it to this point without all of you. Your comments and survey responses helped take this blog from its humble beginnings to where we are now. To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, here are our top 10 posts of all time!

1. 30 Power Words to Power Up Your Resume And Boost Your Job Search

Without powerful words, a resume is just a piece of paper. In this blog post, we highlight words that can supercharge a resume. Want to show off your work ethic? Tell prospective employers about instances of consistent behavior and reliable, results-driven service. Trying to shine as a positive thinker? Let everyone know about how you collaborated with team members in order to achieve an innovative outcome.

2. 5 Surprising Things Not to Say in an Interview

Interviews are tough. Applicants never really know what to expect from their interviewers, so prep time usually consists of trying to come up with answers to every possible question. But it’s equally important to zero in on what not to ask. This post centers on what interview topics applicants should avoid.

3.  Lucky Words for Your Resume

Now that your resume is powered up with quality words that emphasize professional strengths, you’re ready to sprinkle in a few action words that show off previous responsibilities. How about when you coached new hires or negotiated lower rates? Did you schedule executive phone calls or operate complicated machinery? Let interviewers know!

4.  7 Must-Dos Before a Job Interview

Interview prep can be daunting. There are numerous subjects to cover, and only a few days to get ready. Should you focus more on the company’s history or your own history? What kind of questions should be asked? Luckily we’re here to help with our top seven tips for preparing for your next interview.

5.  Complain About a Co-worker Without Being a Tattletale

We all know that co-worker. Maybe it’s Sheryl the lunch thief or lazy Damien in the corner cubicle. Perhaps their workspace resembles a garbage dump or they never show up to their shift on time. It might be tempting to report these co-workers to a manager, but nobody wants to cause a scene. So here are a few ways to solve co-worker drama on the sly.

6.  Dial Me This: Questions to Ask in a Phone Interview

In-person interviews are hard enough, but at least applicants can gauge how they’re doing by looking at their interviewer’s face. Phone interviews don’t provide that luxury. This post should help you figure out which questions to ask.

7.  Creating an Organic Resume

A resume filled to the brim with information isn’t necessarily a good resume. Every word on the page matters. Otherwise it’s just unnecessary fluff. Hiring managers spend about six seconds looking at a resume, and it’s your job as an applicant to make each of those seconds count.

 8.  Stand Your Ground Against Workplace Bullying

When we were children they stole our candy, in high school they spread rude rumors about us, and now they’re doing their best to make work life difficult. Regardless of where you work or what you do, bullies will probably be part of the equation.

9.  5 Resume Resolutions to Keep in 2014

Think back to your New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully you succeeded with any resume improvements you pledged to make. A well-done resume is your first chance to shine in front of a potential employer. So make sure to keep everything up-to-date and organized.

10.  3 Things That Could Hold Your Career Back

Unhappy with your job? Not sure why you never seem to get that second interview? Career roadblocks could be the cause. Perhaps your skills could use a polish, or maybe it’s time to stop dreaming and start planning.

Express Employment Professionals

Regardless of whether you’re a new reader of our blog or an old friend, we’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. If you have any questions about the job search, feel free to contact your local Express office or create an Express account to apply for jobs online.

Do you have a favorite Movin’ On Up blog post? Let us know in the comments below.

 

3 Reasons Why You May Never Retire

In today’s changing work culture, retirement is no longer a certainty.

Elderly couple together at the kitchenTraditionally, retirement was something that was more or less expected. You put in the extra hours while you were young so that you would have the freedom to do whatever you wanted in your later years. However, various cultural and economic factors have led to a change in this traditional retirement model.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as noted by Bloomberg, approximately 20% of Americans over the age of 65 are still working.  Twelve percent don’t ever plan on retiring. Given the immense size of the baby boomer generation, this means that the U.S. work force is older than ever before.

Why might you end up working past the traditional retirement age?

1. You Have No Savings

Bloomberg mentions that baby boomers more frequently don’t have any retirement savings to speak of. They were hit by both the tech bust of the late ‘90s and the financial crisis of the mid 2000s, losing what little savings they had just to pay the bills.

Our white paper covers the Baby Boomer retirement situation more in depth.

Millennials are already encountering similar difficulties. As noted by CNBC, a recent survey from finance website NerdWallet found that millennials generally need to save 22% of their pay to have a successful retirement. Other experts say it should be something more like 15 %.

One thing they all agree on is that the earlier you start preparing for retirement, the better. However, millennials are generally unable to save such a high percentage of their income. This is due to a combination of a fairly high cost of living combined with the need to pay off expensive student loans as quickly as possible.

2. You Love Your Job

Many people simply enjoy working.  It gives them a sense of purpose— that they’re truly accomplishing something. They love their work family and environment, and managers go the extra mile to make the office feel like home. The money and benefits don’t hurt either. Work is what you know, work is what you like, and work is what you’re good at. So why not stay in the workforce just a bit longer?

3.  You Have Heavy Debt

Many people choose to stay in the workforce so that they can continue to pay off their debt. They can’t budget enough savings. Given the increased costs of education and housing, as well as the aforementioned tech bust and the financial crisis, it can be hard to allocate funds to a retirement account. Instead of paying off loans and saving at the same time, many workers choose to pay off their loans first. This results in a fairly significant loss of savings.

Retirement isn’t for everyone.

And that’s okay! Some people can’t afford to retire in the first place. Others find retirement dull. And still others want to keep working because they love it.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a career change later in life, we’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. If you have any questions about the job search, feel free to contact your local Express office or create an express account to apply for jobs online.

Do you plan on working past traditional retirement age? Let us know your reasons why in the comments below!

Express Associate Spotlight: Associate of the Year

DSC_6125 (2)In 2016, Express Employment Professionals put 510,000 people to work, ultimately putting food on the table for thousands of families. But one man’s efforts to care for his family were so inspirational that he was recently recognized as the Express Associate of the Year at the company’s annual International Leadership Conference in San Francisco.

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Thrilling Finish Predicted in Job Search Tournament Bracket

StreetballThe competition to land a new job or score a promotion is fierce. As a job seeker, you have to bring your A-game or you’ll find yourself on the bench. Before the NCAA college basketball tournament tips off later this month, we assembled an all-star line-up of job skills and qualities sought by employers and pitted them head to head in a quest to see which could outlast the competition and emerge as champion.

The Tournament Begins

In our hypothetical scenario, the field began with nearly 30 highly sought attributes chosen from a strong field of abilities and characteristics coveted by employers. We seeded the top 16 according to rankings accumulated from leading hiring managers. It’s important to note that there were many strong contenders who narrowly missed the field of 16, many of which on any given day are strong enough to help score a job. Among them were ambition, independent thinking, strong time management skills, good listener, goal focused, and a proactive mindset.

The Super 16 Battle it Out

As the competition heated up and the field narrowed to the Super 16, our job search tournament began to take shape with desirable skills occupying one side of the bracket and highly sought personal traits dominating the opposite side. A couple of surprise underdogs made the field due to emerging trends in the hiring mindset. Empathy made a strong showing in the bracket, underscoring a desire by many companies to employ a mindful, conscientious workforce. Flexibility also made a solid run for the title, demonstrating a need for employees who can adapt and evolve in a changing work environment. In what many observers viewed as a stunning upset, Writing Skills narrowly edged Computer Skills to advance in the tournament. Pundits suggest that in today’s job market, computer skills are readily expected from an applicant, thus giving the edge to Writing Skills.

The Road to the Favored Four

The field continued to thin as the tournament intensified. Powerful front runners emerged as many contests went down to the final buzzer. In a key match-up, Flexibility continued its strong push to go deep in the field by constantly adapting to changing conditions. However, the “can-do” spirit of Positive Attitude prevailed, refusing to be denied their rightful spot in the Awesome 8. Two favorites of hiring managers, Organization and Dependability both punched their tickets to the next round. However, when the dust settled, only the Favored Four remained to contend for the title of Most Desirable Trait. Set to contend on the “skills” side of the bracket, number one seed Team Player goes up against Problem Solving. The winner will square off against the winner on “attributes” side of the bracket, which pits number one seed Leadership Potential against Work Ethic. The outcome is far from set in stone, as any one of the four could be enough to tip the scale and score the job. Astute observers point out that the likely winner will be the one who can maximize its strengths, as well as adopt the qualities of the other contenders to present a multi-faceted approach.

What do you think? Check out our bracket (click to enlarge) and let us know how you’d fill out the remainder of our Favored Four. Are there early round match-ups you think should have turned out differently? What other skills or traits that should have appeared in the bracket? Tell us in the comments section!

Job Search Bracket