Tag Archives: work

Make a Cool Impression at Your Summer Job

cool_impression_summer_job_webEvery summer, many students look for temporary work while they take a break from school. Summer jobs are a great way to make money, meet new people, and enhance your resume. They’re also an important stepping stone in your career path, whether the job you choose is part of your overall career goals or not. According to Nicole Williams, a business owner in New York City, “You want to impress your boss. You want to do everything in your power to make this job a great opportunity for you.”

So, how do you impress your boss and make sure your summer job leads to bigger and better opportunities? Check out the tips below to stand out from the competition this summer.

Adjust your routine.
Staying healthy and rested makes you a better employee. Instead of staying up late or spending hours watching television before the lights go out, create a bedtime routine that will allow you to get the sleep you need for better job performance. If you like to unwind before bed, consider reading a book instead of spending time in front of the screen. According to Reuters, using a technological device before bed dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll need more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. Getting better sleep can make you less drowsy, which in turn can up your creativity and efficiency. Plus, walking in the door on time or a few minutes early helps show your boss that you take the job seriously.

Go above and beyond.
While your current role may be perfect for you, if you have plans to move up in the company, you may want to consider taking on additional projects to show your initiative. According to career author Dan Schawbel, “If all you do is what is listed in your job description, it’s impossible to get ahead.” So, keep an open mind when you’re asked to take on additional projects or roles and see if your can-do attitude helps you get noticed.

Learn from your mistakes.
It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Once you accept this fact, you can learn to embrace any mistakes or failures you experience on the job. If you receive a performance review or other feedback that is less than perfect, try to recognize the constructive criticism as a way to improve. Look for the lessons in your mistakes and use them as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. “If you aren’t afraid to learn, then you’re going to be in a position for more success in your second, third, and fourth jobs,” Williams said.

Network, network, network.
We talk a lot about networking on this blog, and for good reason. Networking is an important way to connect with people who can help you land a job, find a new opportunity, or expand your list of references. Even if you only plan to work at your summer job for a few months, you can use the opportunity to meet as many people as possible. You never know what connections they may have or how they can help you with your future career goals.

Pay attention to your wardrobe.
If your summer job requires a professional wardrobe, don’t skimp on quality. Looking professional is important in the workplace and can make a positive impression on your boss, co-workers, and customers. Luckily, there are cost-effective ways to achieve a professional look. Check out clearance sections at department stores, or consider looking at local second-hand stores for professional attire without breaking the bank. If your job requires a uniform, always keep yours clean, ironed if necessary, and professional. Showing up to the job with a uniform that isn’t up to par can make you seem uninterested or unmotivated–two qualities you don’t want a potential reference to mention with your name.

Whether your summer job is part of your career path or just a way to work while taking a break from classes, your workplace performance matters. Make connections, learn new skills, and use learning opportunities as a chance to grow and be better prepared for your next job.

How do you plan to make a great impression at your summer job? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

Be a Leader on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

COM14SM_MLK_504X504_JobseekerOne of the greatest leaders in American history was Martin Luther King, Jr. His leadership, influence, and impact on the civil rights movement was so memorable that he has a day dedicated in his honor – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Observed on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday marking the birthday of the fallen leader and offering a way to honor his contributions to American society. To date, King is the only non-president to receive a national holiday dedicated in his honor.

Martin Luther King, Jr. remains famous for his role in the modern American Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s. He stood for nonviolent resistance and worked to end poverty and international conflict until his assassination in April of 1968.

A powerful leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired people across the world with his relentless spirit and tenacity. But, King’s influence did not end in the 60s. In fact, today’s job seekers can still take advice from the famous activist. As King himself showed, you don’t have to be in a leadership position to make a difference and enact a positive change. With determination, a strong work ethic, and an end goal in mind, you too can have a very powerful dream.

As King said, “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.”

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

Poll: What Is the Key Factor That Contributes to Your Job Satisfaction?

MOV_POLL-ICONThe new year is just around the corner and with it often comes a renewed focus on goals. From losing weight to saving money, many people will create New Year’s resolutions and develop plans to stick with them. As you look toward 2015, you might plan to increase your job search efforts by applying to more jobs, landing more interviews, or even finding that perfect job in the new year.

As your job search efforts increase, it’s important to recognize and understand the key factors that contribute to job satisfaction so you know that the job you’re trying to get is the right one for you.

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

The Results Are In: Do You Plan on Looking for Seasonal Work This Year?

results_holidayhiring_webThe holiday season is the busiest time of year for many businesses, and it’s just around the corner! Since some employers look to staffing companies during this peak shopping season, we asked Movin’ On Up readers if they plan on looking for seasonal work this year.

The results suggest that the majority of those polled do plan on looking for seasonal work, citing two specific reasons for doing so. Out of the 76% of readers who plan to look for holiday work, 39% said “seasonal jobs could lead to permanent work after the holidays,” and 37% believe “seasonal jobs are a great way to bring in additional income during the holidays.”

In contrast, only 21% of readers either don’t plan on looking for seasonal work or aren’t sure if they will yet. Out of those, 9% said “I’d rather find something more permanent,” and 3% said “I don’t have any interest in seasonal jobs.” Jobseekers who haven’t decided if they will look for seasonal work made up 9% of the total results.

There are many benefits to looking for a seasonal job during the holidays, including the possibility of full-time employment, training, and additional income during heavy shopping months. According to our poll, three out of four jobseekers plan to look for work this holiday season. Are you one of those jobseekers? Have you secured a seasonal job in the past? Share your holiday hiring success stories in the comments section below.

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

How You Can Thrive in Today’s Changing Workforce

rise_contract_class_webFor millions of workers, the fixed schedule full-time 40 hour workweek is a thing of the past. Looking for greater flexibility and new opportunities, job seekers are turning away from the traditional employer-employee relationship and eight to five work day.

The number of temporary workers, independent contingent workers, and freelancers is increasing to record highs in the U.S., defying previous economic trends. A study from MBO partners, a support system for independent professionals, found that all U.S. independent workers totaled 17.7 million in 2013, a 10% increase from MBO’s first study in 2011. More than 24 million are forecasted to be independent by 2018.

In Canada, the change has not been as dramatic, but the number of temporary, independent contingent, and “casual” workers is increasing. Their share of the workforce increased by 1.1% from 2008 to 2013.

Why It’s Changing

Coming out of the Great Recession, temporary or independent work gave those who may have lost their jobs an opportunity to get back on their feet or overcome extreme hardships. It’s also given them an opportunity to prove themselves as valuable to an employer.

According to CareerBuilder, “42% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers” this year — an increase from 40% in 2013. And, the staffing industry is expected to grow by 6% in 2014 and 7% in 2015.

“Many businesses use temporary workers as a way to find great talent,” said Michael Kreiling, general manager for the Express Employment Professionals offices in Winona, MN; and Eau Claire, Medford, and Menomonie, Wisconsin. “The more you impress them the more opportunities they will create for you.”

Opportunities in the Changing Workforce

As Kathryn Dill with Forbes writes, “…for many, temporary work isn’t simply a means to an end — it can also be the end goal.” Check out Forbes fastest-growing temp jobs, based on data by CareerBuilder.

According to AOL Jobs, the highest paying temporary jobs range from $26.44 to $46.69 an hour.

In a white paper released by Express Employment Professionals, “America’s Changing Workforce and the Rise of the Contingent Employee,” job seekers pursue temporary work so they can either work when they want, they need a flexible work schedule, or they want to earn additional money for bills, leisure, or retirement. If you are looking for these types of opportunities, then temporary work may be an answer.

Advice from the Experts

Jessico L. Culo, owner of the Edmonton, Alberta Express office, recommends that workers with long-term temporary jobs build relationships with the people you work with and the firm that represents you while on assignment.

Ronnie Morris, who owns an Express office in Jackson, TN, advises, “Little things like being on time, being willing to work over-time, learning multiple jobs, adhering to company policy, and possessing a willingness to train others are important things that can distinguish you on the job and make you a more valuable employee.”

Working to Live

It’s clear that more workers are turning to temporary and independent contingent work. And if you’re looking for permanent work, temporary jobs often lead to full-time permanent employment.  Job seekers who are willing to take on different temporary jobs and make those jobs work for them will come out on top. To thrive, be open to learning new skills and show the company you are a fast learner. Be adventurous and take advantage of the changing workforce. You never know where it will take you.

“More and more, people are interested in working to live rather than living to work,” said Jim Britton, owner of the Express Employment Professionals office in Springfield, IL. “And the flexibility offered by connecting with a well-run staffing company can be very appealing and rewarding.”

If you’re a worker who is part of this changing workforce, please share how you enjoy your temporary job, independent contingent work, or freelance opportunities. Let us know in the comment section below.

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

3 Extreme Job Search Tips

extreme_tips_webIf you’ve been on the job hunt for any time at all, you’re probably very familiar with the common pieces of advice. There are hundreds of tips out there, ranging from how to keep your job search low-tech and what to wear for success to how to find new leads and using apps to organize your hunt. They are all good to apply to your specific job search situation as-needed. But, it’s also important to consider some new ideas on finding and landing the job you want. So, here are three outside-the-box tips you might want to consider.

Be Slow To Apply
It’s always exciting to find a potential job, and your first reaction is usually to apply right then and there. According to Forbes, though, Isa Adney, author and blogger, says, “Applying is the last thing you should do.” Instead, Adney advises that you should first “research that company and the professionals who work there, and reach out to someone at the company before you apply for the job, letting them know you admire what they do and would love their advice.” You should scour your social media accounts to see if you have any connections with employees at the company you could talk with and potentially use as your advocates and references.

Ignore Position Titles
Job titles often differ from company to company. For instance, at one employer a specialist position could be higher than a coordinator position, while at another company it may be the opposite. Don’t base your decision on whether to apply or not on the position title. Thoroughly read the job description and then see what your research of the company, department, and position title turns up. Also, keep in mind that there are probably other jobs out there that you would be good at that have a different position title than what you’ve been searching.

Create a New Position
Sometimes businesses don’t know that they need to hire someone, or aren’t actively seeking a new employee at the moment. So don’t just rely on posted job openings. If you know of certain companies that you’d like to work for, come up with how you could specifically use your skills and experiences to help that business and get in contact with professionals there. As the Forbes article states, “Don’t just sit around waiting for your ‘dream job’ to open.” Teri Hockett, chief executive of a career site for women, also suggests that after learning of challenges the company is facing, either from employees or public information, “you can craft a solution that you can share directly or publicly through a blog, for instance.” This could get you noticed and also get your foot in the door.

It’s easy to get into a regular routine of how you search for jobs, and then find yourself in a job-hunt rut. But seeking out some new advice and thinking of extreme job search tactics will help you get out of that rut, and may even help you finally land the perfect job.

Do you have any unusual tactics when searching for a job? Has one of those unconventional ideas helped you get a great job? Please share your experiences with us below in the comments section below.

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

I RESIGN – The Best Way to Quit Your Job

_iresign_webGiving your resignation to your boss is never an easy thing to do.

You may not get along with your boss or you may dislike your job, but it’s still important to quit your job professionally and with tact. If you’re preparing to resign from a job, plan it out and handle it as carefully as you would any other business decision. Don’t burn your bridges, because you never know when a former employer will come in handy for as an ever-important reference.

If you are absolutely certain that it’s time for you to resign from your job, here are some tips to make quitting a little easier and more professional.

Always give notice.
Chances are, your employee handbook spells out how much notice you should give. If it does, then abide by it or offer at least two weeks of notice. If you absolutely cannot stay a minute longer, here are some acceptable reasons for not giving notice.

Stick to your guns.
Sometimes, your boss might ask you to stay a little longer than two weeks. You have no obligation to stay, but the decision is ultimately up to you. Offer to help your previous employer by training someone during your two weeks or answering questions that may be emailed to you in the coming weeks.

Write a formal resignation letter.
Be professional in the letter, submit it, and tell your immediate supervisors about your decision. Need tips on how to write a resignation letter? Check out these tips.

Keep it short and sweet.
Emphasize the positive things you gained at the company, but be firm about your decision to leave. Offer to help during the transition, and try to keep negativity out of the letter. You may have great reasons for leaving, but there’s no point in hashing it out – you’re leaving anyway, so make sure you leave on good terms.

Ask for a reference.
Always ask for a written letter of recommendation for future employers.

The devil is in the details.
Before leaving, get your employee benefits, unused vacation, sick pay, and retirement funds all in order. Some great tips about employee benefits are available here.

Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.
Sure, this may seem like common sense, but even your email list might fall under this category. Before you leave, return important documents, property like cell phones, keys, and anything else that you didn’t personally buy.

Stay present.
It’s easy to check out that final week of work, but keep doing your best. Being professional up to the very end will pay off.

Leaving a job and turning in a resignation is a stressful transition. Take time to decompress and renew your spirit to make sure you have the right state of mind to hit the ground running at your new job.

Have you ever resigned from your job? How did you handle it? Share with us in the comments section below.

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