Tag Archives: success

Take Inventory of Your Accomplishments

Good job written on a sticky noteThe holiday season is well underway. Decorations and lights are going up, Christmas tunes replace normal ringtones, and holiday e cards fill inboxes everywhere. Along with those greetings, you’re likely to get a few of the annual Christmas letters from family and friends detailing what an amazing year they had. Their vacation in Tuscany was fantastic. Mom got promoted to vice president at the firm. Dad won his age group in the Iron Man Triathlon. Junior graduated magna cum laude. It’s enough to make anyone feel just a little inadequate. So fight back against the humble-braggers. Now is the perfect time to take inventory of your accomplishments.

Why Take Inventory?
There are many reasons to take inventory of your accomplishments. It’s always a good idea to keep your resume up to date. Whether you’re a job seeker or have your sights set on a promotion in your current position, it’s wise to be ready when opportunity knocks. Aside from a professional standpoint, a personal assessment can help determine whether you’re on track to reach your goals for personal growth. Whether personal or professional, taking inventory of your accomplishments can be a huge confidence boost.

What Goes on Your List?
You may think that an accomplishment has to be an enormous, groundbreaking feat. But perhaps you should broaden your definition of an accomplishment. Obviously a promotion at work is a big deal. Of course that kind of achievement goes to the top of your list. But don’t limit yourself. You also want to list skills you acquired that will help advance your career. Did you learn a new software program, complete any workshops or training courses? Perhaps you were recognized for an achievement or received a glowing performance review. Or maybe you’ve been assigned new responsibilities under your current job description.

On the personal side, think of things that promote your personal growth. Remember to be generous, think big picture. Anything that helped your personal development or well-being is fair game. Any goals you reached or that are ongoing are worthy of note. Did you volunteer or give back to your community in any way? Are you on a regimen of healthy eating or exercise? Did you improve your organizational skills, begin a savings or retirement investment plan? Perhaps you set aside distractions and devoted more time to reading. Did you acquire a new skill or hobby like gardening or home improvement? Include any new undertaking that required effort and commitment and that you look upon with a bit of pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Now What?
If you’re taking a professional inventory, it’s likely time to update your resume. Find some great tips to dust off your resume here. Next, decide what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Then plan your next move. There are some great ideas to advance your career here.

On the personal side, consider whether any of the skills and activities you enjoy away from work could make you a more valuable employee. Next, take a moment to bask in the glow of your achievements. Any accomplishment, large or small is worth a little self-congratulation. If you feel you’re still a little short in the achievement department, don’t beat yourself up. Why not begin now? It’s never too late to set a goal. If you need a quick confidence boost, set your sights on an objective that’s easily attainable. The important thing is to make a plan and then take steps to make it a reality. And who knows? Before you know it, you may be sending out your own annual Christmas letter.

What were your accomplishments this year? Do you have any tips on setting goals and finding ways to reach them? Let us know in the comments section.

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

Take It From Abe: Advice From President Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He served from March 1861 until he was assassinated in April 1865, leaving behind a legacy that has stood the test of time.

Today, is President Lincoln’s birthday, and to help celebrate his memory, we’ve compiled some of his best advice. Take a look at the quotes below to discover what you can learn about your job search and career path from one of the United States’ most famous leaders.

Whatever you are

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
When it comes to being successful, it doesn’t matter what field you want to work in, what school you want to attend, or what companies you want to be a part of. What matters is how you improve and motivate yourself to become better at everything you do. Take it from Abe and strive to be the best in your career or personal life.

Whatever you are (1)

“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”
Making mistakes is part of life. We all mess up from time to time. But, how you handle those mistakes and recover from them can impact your life both personally and professionally. Instead of dwelling on the past, try to move forward. If you lack a certain skill that caused you to make a mistake, improve that skill. If you accidentally hurt a relationship, mend it. If you don’t do well at an interview, learn from your mistakes so you can do better at your next one. As Lincoln advises, always move forward.

Whatever you are (2)

 “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Procrastination affects a lot of people. Sometimes, it’s just easier to put things off than accomplish them right away. If you’re avoiding working on a certain project, updating your resume, cleaning up your social media accounts, refreshing your references, or brushing up on your interview skills, take some time to face your obstacles today instead of putting them off for another day. The more you accomplish now, the less stress you’ll have tomorrow.

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

Father’s Day: Dad’s Impact on Work Ethic

The role of a parent is different for every mother and father. Some moms work, others stay home with their children, and some do both. Likewise, some fathers work while others take the opportunity to stay home and raise the kids. To celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, we want to share some interesting facts about the role dads play in their children’s future careers.

Breaking Gender Barriers
While parenthood is different for everyone, a new study by a group of psychologists at the University of British Columbia is helping illuminate how parents’ routines may impact their children. The study suggests that fathers who take part in activities that have traditionally been deemed female chores, like cooking, cleaning, or childcare, are more likely to have school-aged daughters who aspire to more gender-neutral careers, such as being a doctor or lawyer, instead of stereotypical female careers.

According to the study, when children–especially girls–see this division of household labor, their view of gender equality can be shaped from a young age.

Establishing Work Ethic
Likewise, how parents view their work life directly influences how their children will feel about work in the future. University of Michigan researchers found that children who perceive their father as someone with a strong career orientation are more likely to be career-oriented themselves. Furthermore, children may carry their parents’ views about work into their own jobs or careers.

The study also found that children who were close to their fathers were more likely to model their father’s career behavior.

Teaching Important Skills
Another study found that human capital passed from father to son, like advice, intelligence, and work ethic, could be more important to the child’s success than the money a father brings home. In fact, the study, published by the Journal of Political Economy, suggests that these intangible human elements account for nearly two-thirds of the overall relationship between a father’s income and his child’s future salary.

A Deeper Look
Express Employment Professionals recently polled fathers in the workplace to find out if they work out of necessity or choice. The poll revealed that 80% of working fathers would continue working even if they didn’t have to, while 20% reported that they would stay at home if their situation allowed. These results are not very different from those of working mothers. The poll found that 28% of mothers would stay home if they could, while 72% revealed they would continue working.

At Express, we honor and celebrate all of our associates who are working fathers and wish all of them a happy Father’s Day!

Are you a working dad? How do you find balance between your work and home life? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

5 Laws Successful Leaders Live By

5_leadership_laws_webWhether you consider yourself a leader or not, there are always leadership opportunities to be found in the day-to-day responsibilities of your career. From taking a lead role in a team project to simply taking it on yourself to ensure a task is done right, you are most likely leading more than you realize. An article from Forbes explains it like this: “Leadership is not indicative of position or title but rather personal choice ….Anybody and everybody is a leader…”

There’s no exact formula on how to be a great leader. However, for the sake of personal and professional growth, you must begin taking steps now to ensure you’re becoming the best leader you can be. And one way is to adopt these five laws successful leaders live by.

Live and Let Live
Sometimes you have to make decisions that other people won’t like. At the same time, there will also be people above, beside, and below you who make decisions you don’t agree with. A wise leader knows this and is able to distinguish between the times that disagreement is okay and the times that agreement is necessary.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
What you say is important, but what you do is even more important. How you act and the things you do are the true measure of what you value. And if co-workers, employees, managers, or customers hear you say one thing but then see you do another, you’ll quickly lose their trust and credibility as a leader.

A House Divided Cannot Stand
Nothing hurts a project, relationship, or business worse than strife between the people involved. There will always be disagreements, but everything will fall apart if there isn’t a unifying goal and a willingness to work together. A leader is always aware of this and constantly works to ensure there is cooperation and harmony.

A Job Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right
There may be times when you’re faced with the choice of quality or speed. Ninety-nine times out of 100 you should opt for quality. The quality of your work, or your company’s, is what sets you apart, and nothing hurts a reputation more than a low-caliber final product.

Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
Appearance and first impressions are important, but a good leader also knows that looks can be deceiving. The most eye-catching candidate may not be the most qualified, and the less exciting option may be the most logical choice. So decisions must be based on more than just a hasty judgment.

Whether it’s by adopting these five laws, learning from the example of some of the greats, or implementing some of the most common habits of successful leaders, you have to learn to lead. Not only is it important for future career growth, it’s also important for your own personal fulfillment.

Are there other leadership laws or principles you follow? Share your own leadership tips in the comment section below.

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

Presidents Day: Leadership Advice From the Leaders Themselves

Monday, Feb. 16, is Presidents’ Day in the United States. Established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in February and honors all of the country’s presidents.

As we honor presidents past and present, it’s also a great time to look at the influence these men have had on leadership. Because they’ve all held the top leadership role in the country, they certainly know a thing or two about how to be successful and lead others.

Take a look at the infographic below for some memorable quotes from our nation’s leaders and make a note of how they view success.

PresDayGraphic

 

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

8 Keys for Success in 2015: Tips for Living a Peak Performer’s Life

walterbond_webAre you looking for success in 2015? What does success mean for you? Maybe it’s finding a new job, getting a promotion, or switching careers. Whatever your goal is this year, it’s important that you have the motivation and tools to achieve it. According to former professional basketball player and motivational speaker Walter Bond, there are eight keys to success that can help you be your best in 2015.

“What I want to do right now is be your friend and I want to give you some great information to make sure your new year is awesome,” Walter says. “I want you to take everything about your life to the next level.”

As part of his year-long series of motivational messages, Walter Bond discusses the importance of positive self-talk, prioritizing your goals, owning your mistakes, continuing to learn, and more. Check out the full message below.

Which of Walter’s eight keys to success resonates most for you? What are you doing to help you reach your goals this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

About Walter Bond
A former professional basketball player, Walter Bond’s NBA career included 153 games with the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons. Now, Walter takes what he learned from his life on the court and translates it into motivational and educational messages for thriving businesses and careers. With entertaining and dynamic messages, Walter has spoken to companies and associations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.

For more information about Walter Bond, visit WalterBond.com.

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

Are You a Job Search Zombie? Bring Your Job Search Back to Life

jobsearch_zombie_webThe fifth season debut of The Walking Dead has everyone talking, showing that the popularity of all things zombie is not going away anytime soon. And with Halloween right around the corner, the undead will be a popular choice for anyone dressing up for a costume party or a night of trick or treating.

Here are three job search lessons you can learn from the undead, and three reasons you want your efforts to find work to be full of life and anything other than zombie-like.

What Zombies Can Teach You

1. Move in packs
While zombies can be managed fairly easily one on one, when they arrive in large groups, they can use their numbers to have a greater impact. And when you utilize your network of friends and family, you’ll start to see a big difference in the life of your job search.

2. Never be satisfied
The undead just can’t seem to get enough, and neither should you. If you recently found a great job you’d like to apply for, t’s now time to put in the hard work of researching the company and developing your resume and cover letter to fit the specifics of the job description.

Maybe you just wrapped up a solid job interview and are ready to get back home and sit lifelessly on the couch. Resist the urge to zone out, and start writing your thank you note to those who you interviewed you. It will likely put you one step ahead of your competition.

3. No pain, no gain
How many times have we seen survivors of the zombie apocalypse make the mistake of attacking a zombie somewhere other than their brain? It’s well-known rule that a body-blow does nothing but slow down “walkers.”

Treat your job search the same way. Getting a “no” is bound to happen, and you’ll likely get several of them before you finally get a job offer. Don’t let the disappointment of not getting a job kill your job search. Susan P. Joyce of the Work Coach Café blog believes that a job rejection can be a move in the right direction. “Try to think of every rejection as bringing you one step closer to that better job that is waiting for you, just around the corner.”

Lessons for Keeping Your Search Alive

1. Zombies don’t require vital systems to survive
The undead are exactly that: dead. Other than the desire to feed on those lucky enough to be alive, they don’t have brain activity or a beating heart. Your search will take every part of you to be successful. When you put your knowledge, talent, and connections to work, you’ll have a great chance at finding your next job.

2. They have limited mobility
In most zombie apocalypse stories, the undead move very slowly and with a limp. If your most recent job search efforts sound anything like that, it’s time to change up what you’re doing.

Check out one of these five great job preparation interview apps available on most smart phones, or begin volunteering with a local charity and you’ll start to see your job search move much faster.

3. The undead don’t think critically
How many zombies have you seen walking around checking their Facebook or LinkedIn to see what‘s going on with their friends? Zero would be our guess. Put your healthy and functioning brain to work and think about the ways you can use technology to your advantage during your job search.

Avoid being a mindless, wandering job search zombie and use some job search tools you may not have thought about yet.

What else can the characteristics of zombies teach us about a job search? Let us know in the comments section below.

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