Tag Archives: new year

New Year’s Job Resolutions and Sticking to Them

Start off strong and don’t let your foot off the gas.

It’s 2019 folks. The new year is a time to celebrate everything that happened in the previous year and to then turn to a whole new year of goals.

That’s when we start making New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I’ll live a healthier lifestyle. This year, I’ll be a better person. This year, I’ll read more books.

Making resolutions is easy to do, but it’s much harder to keep them. Especially when it applies to your job search.

We’re here to help. Here are tips on setting job resolutions you can keep.

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The Home Stretch: Six Quick Tips to Finish Strong in 2017

With three-quarters of the year behind us, we’ve officially entered the final stretch of 2017. With 2018 just around the corner, many are feeling the pressure to finish strong. So, whether you’re a jobseeker or a busy employee, it’s important to take an assessment of where you are and what you need to do to meet—and exceed—your end-of-the-year goals.

Whether you’re right on track or falling short of your performance expectations, these six quick tips may help ensure you head into the new year with some positive momentum.

Fine Tune Your Action Plan
Although it’s likely too late to overhaul your annual plan altogether, there are small adjustments that can be made to give an extra boost toward meeting your end of the year goals. Taking a moment to review and revise your strategies before making a final push toward 2018 will help focus your efforts on the activities that will get you there.

Clear the Path
Sometimes the best thing you can do to shed all the clutter that has accumulated throughout the year is to clear a path toward the finish line. From extra projects and conflicts with colleagues or family members to actual files and paper piling up on every available surface around the workplace or home, ridding yourself of distractions lets you think more clearly about reaching and exceeding your goals.

Up the Ante
If you’re lagging behind—or just barely meeting performance goals—sometimes upping the ante is necessary to get a final burst of productivity to finish the year. Whether it’s changing your goal structure or setting “reward milestones” (where you treat yourself to something after a certain goal is achieved), giving yourself an exciting new reward to aim for may be exactly what’s needed.

Take a Breather
If you’ve had a long and challenging year up to this point, it’s likely becoming more difficult to summon the energy needed to stay on track. Before you start the countdown to the final days of 2017, take an opportunity to catch your breath. Whether it’s taking a full vacation or just a long weekend, a little time to recharge the batteries is essential to staying focused and energized for closing out the fourth quarter.

Throw a Hail Mary
If you’ve had a difficult year and it’s clear you are going to fall short of your goals, at this point in the game what do you have to lose by tossing a Hail Mary? Think way outside the box and take a risk on a creative strategy or job application that, if successful, could completely change the momentum and put yourself back on track to squeak out a win.

No matter what your end of the year situation may be, the most important thing is to stay focused. And, even if you fall short of meeting your goals, don’t dwell on it. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn what didn’t work so you will be better prepared to position yourself for success in the new year.

2017 Hiring Trends Show Signs of Optimism—and Challenges—Ahead of the New Year

Express Employment Professionals recently conducted a Job Insights Survey to track quarterly hiring trends for businesses across a wide range of industries to see what the hiring landscape looks like as we head into 2018. Good news: the results were optimistic! Here are a few major takeaways:

Businesses are optimistic about the economy
The majority of respondents reported that they expect to see an upward trend in hiring, or at least maintain current hiring levels. Only 11% of businesses expect their employment activity to decrease in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Up slightly since the beginning of 2017, 45% of respondents say they expect business to trend up, followed by 44% who believe their hiring activity will stay in line with current levels. In fact, these statistics have remained relatively consistent throughout 2017, which bodes well for the economy heading into the new year.

The heaviest hiring activity this year has been in the “general labor” segment, followed by skilled labor (industrial), and administrative/office clerical. And 92% of respondents do not plan to eliminate positions in the fourth quarter—which is up from 86% in fourth quarter 2016.

Despite optimism about the economy, qualified candidate pools continue to dry
Across most industries, there are jobs to be found. However, candidates with the skills to fill in-demand positions are becoming fewer and far between. Attracting and retaining top performers continues to be one of the highest priorities for businesses. As a result, employers have begun to rethink their hiring mindset, focusing on transferable soft skills and increased training.

According to Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, “Good economic news doesn’t come without its challenges. Finding new workers is today’s challenge—and one that employers and policymakers will need to tackle as long as the economy continues to grow.”

The Job Insights Survey revealed that more than 70% of businesses say it is “somewhat” or “very” difficult to recruit for and fill positions, with the top three reasons jobs go unfilled including lack of applicants with experience, lack of applicants in general, and lack of applicants with hard skills.

Wage growth will remain stable, but largely unchanged
Wage growth is often a barometer for the health of the overall economy. If wages are increasing, then employment activity is likely on the uptick as businesses compete for top talent to fill open positions, as well as retain their current workforce. For the fourth quarter of 2017, survey results indicate wage growth will remain mostly stable, with some growth expected.

When asked how wages would fluctuate over the next three months, the majority of respondents said wages would remain the same in the near future. A little more than one-third expect to see an increase, while only 1% of businesses surveyed believe wages in their companies will decrease.

“Although, there’s certainly good news for some workers, most will likely see unchanged wages in the fourth quarter of 2017,” said Funk. “However, as the labor market continues to tighten, we would expect to see higher rates of wage increases in the coming quarters.”

 

 

How To Use Your Influence to Achieve Success

ThinkstockPhotos-539453722As the new year begins, many people will reassess their goals for success. To do that, most will lean toward using their influence to achieve success and realize their dreams and goals.

One powerful way to build success in life, both professionally and personally, is through influence. Influence is power, and gaining more influence in the workplace is critical in moving your career forward.

But how can you achieve quantifiable influence? Several strategies can be used to harness this skill and use influence to create success.

Create Trust

Trust creates and carries influence, and gaining the trust of co-workers is one of the fastest ways to use that impact to help cultivate success. Regardless of your position in the company or the position of your co-workers, being open and honest, no matter what the situation, builds a sense of trust.

Leaders who share their concerns, don’t keep secrets, give credit where credit is due, and admit mistakes build influence by being regarded as trustworthy workers.

Learn to Be Assertive

Being assertive enough to speak up during meetings or sharing ideas is another way to build influence and achieve success. However, being assertive and being aggressive are two different things.

To be assertive, present your thoughts and ideas with conviction and confidence. When you go too far with confidence, however, it can be taken as arrogance. When speaking with an unfamiliar group or on areas outside your expertise, be careful to temper your assertiveness with some humility.

Don’t be afraid to apply assertiveness to all areas of life, not just work. As long as conviction and knowledge are present, being assertive can create a reputation of authority, which builds your influence with peers, employees, and customers.

Consistency is Key

Those with influence generally also have the reputation of being consistent as well. Consistency translates to being reliable, and inconsistency is a sure way to ruin a reputation. This means you are known for executing tasks effectively and on time, every day, developing a reputation of reliability.

Consistency is invaluable when it comes to building influence. People flock to those who are known for a good work ethic, while unpredictability can scare and worry those in decision-making positions.

Stay Flexible

Although being assertive is vital to using influence to achieve success, have an open mind to other people’s ideas and be willing to change your opinion when presented with new or different evidence.

Being too stringent or stubborn can create a reputation of being immovable or hard to work with. Others want their opinions and ideas heard as well, and those who are not flexible or open to others’ thoughts lose their overall influence and the respect of co-workers.

Show flexibility while still holding on to core beliefs through calm negotiation or compromise. Work with others to find a mutually acceptable solution. This increases influence because if others perceive someone as being open and flexible to new ideas, they, too, become more open and flexible.

Get a Little Personal

For those in a leadership role, being perceived as easy to get along with and personable goes a long way. Those who isolate themselves or who do not share personal ideas can be perceived as stand-offish or as unapproachable.

Influence, at its heart, is based on others’ reactions and opinions. Influence based on fear or loathing creates a toxic atmosphere, but influence based on likeability and trust is conducive to a successful and collaborative environment.

Personal exchanges with employees and coworkers will help them relate better and feel more comfortable when discussing a new idea. This does not mean building lifelong friendships or betraying secrets, but if other people see an influencer as an approachable person on the team with a real personality, they are likely to be more receptive to constructive criticism.

To be successful this year—whether it’s raising capital, convincing others to support a cause or having more responsibility—influence will be at the center to achieving success. Influence based on trust, consistency, assertiveness, flexibility, and personality will positively steer relationships, careers or resources in the right direction.

Gain influence, and people will follow.

Poll Results: What are Your Job Market Predictions?

ThinkstockPhotos-511917898A new year brings a lot of excitement with it—including setting New Year’s resolutions or goals to make the most of the year ahead.

In December, we asked our Movin’ On Up readers what they predict the job market will look like in 2017, and the responses were very encouraging! A total of 28% of respondents said the job market was looking up for the new year, and they are definitely getting a job offer or promotion this year. Twenty-five percent aren’t as enthusiastic about the job market, but feel that it’s good enough to test the waters and see what’s out there for them.

Other results include:

  • Buckle down everybody! Things are going to get worse before they get better — 23%
  • I’m staying where I am. I don’t expect things to get better — 10%

In addition, 14% of readers selected “other” and cited the following reasons:

  • Not this year. Next year will be better.
  • No job for me yet.
  • Expect another great depression or recession.
  • Mixed emotions.
  • Continued upward movement in the short term, then down.

Start Networking

For those who are ready to get a job offer or promotion in 2017, the first of the year is a great time to start networking with your end goal in mind. Since a lot of people are just returning from holiday vacation, take the time to pick up the phone or send a handwritten letter to your professional contacts and ask them to lunch. Then, you can catch up and let them know you are interested in making a career change in the near future.

Also, consider joining local professional organizations this year. This could be a great opportunity to expand your professional circle and make some new friends along the way.

What are your job market predictions in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!

Celebrate Your Career Wins This Year

power_team_references_webCelebration can be a valuable communication and motivational tool in your career, so don’t hesitate to celebrate your career wins this year.

Commemorating those victories is about sharing milestones, setting sales records, acquiring new skills and achieving goals. Celebrating your career wins this year not only creates feelings of well-being and self-respect, but also encourages your company to continue to give you opportunities to succeed.

At the end of 2016, it’s time to look back on your achievements and take pride. Try these five tips to rejoice in your career wins:

1. Celebrate the Small Wins
Management and career experts agree that breaking down major goals into smaller, achievable milestones not only reduces fear, but increases the chances of successful outcomes. Small wins provide a boost in happiness in employees. A University of Warwick study confirms that happy people are roughly 12% more productive, while another study shows that employees are more creative when they are happy. So go ahead and celebrate even the smallest victory.

2. Share Your Plans and Milestones
Let your co-workers and supervisors know about the wins you had this year and thank those who played a part in achieving those milestones. It’s also a good time to reveal your plans, letting everyone know what you are working toward in the upcoming year. As an added bonus, this will let everyone celebrate milestones along the way.

3. Creates Bonds With Co-Workers
You don’t have to throw a party for each victory you’ve achieved this year, but having a get together of some sort has the added benefit of strengthening your business network and boosting relationships. As your accomplishments are listed, allow others to take part in the event by sharing their milestones as well. If you worked with a team, an end-of-the-year roundup of achievements leaves everyone with a renewed sense of accomplishment and motivation to create more successes in 2017.

4. Keep a Notebook of Career Wins
Success breeds success, so celebrating allows you to build on your momentum. In addition, publicly recognizing your wins creates the perception that you are a high-value employee who creates results for the company. Celebrations not only reinforce the positive opinion others have of you, but also create the impression that you are a desirable employee to know and trust. 

5. Allow Yourself to Be Proud
Do not be embarrassed to be proud of yourself. Even if you only celebrate your wins this year by yourself, just knowing what you have accomplished and being proud of your achievements increases self-esteem and motivation. You’ve worked hard this year. You overcame challenges. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

Celebrating the good work you’ve done is psychologically important to your career health. You can take a moment, a day, or even a week to feel good about what you’ve done and reflect on how you can do an even better job next year.

How will you celebrate your wins this year? What were your biggest victories? We’d love for you to share your stories with us in the comments section below!

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

New Year, New Career

NYNJ_1200x900_Facebook_Boost4For many people, a new year means new beginnings, new goals, and new opportunities.

We all start off with the best intentions and lofty resolutions, but the University of Scranton reports that only half of goals are kept past the six-month mark. For the job seeker, this fizzle adds to an already stressful situation of trying to find that perfect job or improving a current job position.

Do you have a plan for 2016? Do your goals include finding another job or improving your career skills? We have a list of ways to make sure you have a great year with tips on how to start 2016 off on the right foot.

New Year, New Job
If you are looking for a new job, treat your job search like one. Seeking that perfect position is a full-time job in itself, so create an action plan and follow it. Don’t spend an hour a day working on your job search – spend several. Look at the search as a full-time position. Businesses wouldn’t succeed if they operated only a couple of hours a day, and neither can you.

You should also focus on being more involved. The more people you know, the better your chances of hearing about a new position or being recommended for a job. Try to attend professional networking events, chamber of commerce gatherings, or other social outings. Don’t be shy about telling people you are on the job hunt, and remember, the majority of positions out there are never advertised, so keep your ears open when attending events.

Take this down time to spruce up your resume, research new trends, proofread applications, and freshen up your personal references. Also, keep a copy of your resume with you in case you run into a potential employer.

New Year, New Career Goals
Do a self-assessment and be honest. Look at both your soft and hard skills to see if you lack training or education for your desired career path. Ask supervisors or colleagues what you can do to improve, and make a plan to put those improvements in place. Besides becoming more efficient, you’ll have the added bonus of showing initiative and ambition.

Consider improving your professional presence in 2016. This year, work on your personal image and brand. Have the ability to communicate confidently, dress appropriately, and act executively. An old saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” is a famous saying for a reason.

New Year, New Degree
Is this the year you should go back to school? Many universities, community colleges, and technical schools offer short courses ranging from public speaking to new technology. Even a creative writing class can help improve communication skills, so make a goal to invest in your career by boosting your skills. Online courses also help those juggling work, family, and education, so be sure to explore your back-to-school options.

If you’re a full-time student, treat it like a full-time job. Like job seeking, getting an education or training should be considered your top priority. Make a goal this year to study just a few minutes longer, take another course, or improve your grades.

Consider internships. While some internships are unpaid, the payoff can be additional training, connections in the industry, a nice addition to your resume, and a possible job offer. Talk to your school’s career center about available internships and be aggressive about pursuing those.

Do you have your career goals for 2016 planned out? If so, share your top three goals with us in the comments section below!

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