Monthly Archives: March 2013

When Elevated, Fall in Line with Safety

Fall SafetyWhile millions of people go to work inside buildings that can be hundreds of feet tall, there are countless others who work on top or along the outer walls of those buildings. They are the window washers, the construction workers, and the roofers, who make working in these buildings possible.

More than 14% of all fatal work injuries in 2011 were caused by falls, slips, or trips from elevated areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths in the United States. If you work on roofs, ladders, scaffolding, or any other place that is off the ground, here are ways you can keep yourself safe.

The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on Securely!
Most falling injuries reported are in the construction industry. That’s why it’s important to always wear a properly fitted harness. Keep it connected and inspect harnesses before working on the roof of any building.

Guardrails or toe boards should be present when working around holes or skylines. Even if you aren’t on a roof, rails are important to keeping workers from falling into machinery or hazardous substances even if they are only a few feet above the ground.
If none of these safety measures are available, do not get on the roof until they are provided.

Ladder Disaster
There’s a lot that goes into ladder safety like choosing the correct placement, securing, and facing the ladder. But you can greatly reduce your chances of falling off a ladder by planning ahead. Work with your supervisor to determine which type of equipment should be provided, the best places to put the ladder, and how to share that information with the rest of your co-workers. Avoiding injury can be contagious if others see you following the rules.

Don’t Scoff the Scaffold
Just like equipment used on roofs, scaffolds should always be inspected to make sure they are level, stable, and fully planked. The guardrails should be completed along the entire edge of the scaffolds and should always have an easily accessed area to properly climb one. If there is no defined entrance, workers may begin to climb the cross braces, which are meant to evenly support the beams, not directly support bodyweight.

Scaffolds should always be the correct height needed for you to do your job. If something isn’t high enough, contact your manager or project lead. You shouldn’t have to risk more injury by standing on the guardrails or placing a ladder on top of the scaffolds to reach a high point.
Working high above the ground is a necessity. Some of the hardest working people put themselves at risk every day to make sure the job gets done. If you follow these safety guidelines, you’ll be able to complete jobs successfully throughout your career

Determining Your Own Success

determine own successMany people make their way through life going through the motions day in and day out. But, others seem to embrace the potential of each day and appear happier, more financially sound, and even more successful, whether they run their own restaurant or deliver the Sunday paper.

Success is simply gratification – knowing you accomplished something to be proud of. That’s why goals are a critical component of every success story. When you have goals in place, you’re more likely to push yourself harder, achieve more, and reach your definition of success. For one person, success may be graduating high school, for another it’s winning the Pulitzer Prize. No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or where you’re headed, you can be successful, too! Start by asking yourself these three questions to develop your goals and define success for yourself.

What would make me feel successful?
To start setting your goals, you need to take a look at the big picture and figure out what you want to achieve in life. What career achievements would make you proud of yourself? Is it owning your own business, earning lots of money, or holding a steady job that will allow you to retire when you want? For this first question, go ahead and dream big. Jot down everything you think would give you gratification, and then ask yourself the next question.

How much do I want this?
Look at your list, and determine if the goals you wrote down are desirable and if you’re willing to put forth the time and energy to work toward them. If you don’t believe in your goals 100%, you’ll be less likely to focus your efforts on them, and possibly fall short of accomplishing your goals. But if you’re willing to work hard and strive for what you want, you’re likely to reach your goals and find your definition of success. Put the goals that you believe in the most at the top of your list and concentrate on those.

How am I going to reach my goals?
Now that you’re focused on achieving your goals, it’s time to plan your next steps. Take each goal individually and determine how you’re going to reach each one. Include short-term and long-term steps you need to take to get closer to your goal. Keep your list of goals and your plan available so you can look back at it any time you need direction or motivation. This will help you remain focused on your ultimate goals and help you decide what you need to do today to be successful.

You have the power to be successful, so start by taking the opportunity to sit down and answer these three questions. After determining what gives you gratification, writing down your goals, and figuring out how you’re going to reach them, you’ll be well on your way to a happy, fulfilled, and successful future.

Advance Your Career Like a Ninja!

ninja_march2013_webLong ago, in ancient feudal Japan, there was an elite group of mercenaries who specialized in unorthodox combat known as the ninja. These covert agents were used as a strong contrast to the traditional samurai warrior, who observed strict rules about honor and combat.

Unlike a samurai, a ninja would be involved in espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and other underhanded activities. They were the ancient James Bonds of Asia, and were highly regarded and feared because of their effectiveness. To this day, western culture has built the image of the ninja as having supernatural powers like running on water or stopping swords with their bare hands.

The modern workplace can seem like the samurai – there are strict rules, codes of conduct, and cultures to adhere to. With so many expectations and understood behaviors, you may feel like your career is in a rut. You could be looking for the next step, but unsure how to cut through the clutter. Maybe you should consider these traits of a ninja to find unorthodox methods to advance your career.

Know Their Weaknesses
The chief role of a ninja was espionage. They gathered information on enemy terrain, building specifications, and obtaining information. It was very important for a ninja to know everything about their enemy and the area they had to infiltrate. The more they knew, the easier it was to find weaknesses and get the job done.

As an employee ninja, you should learn as much about your industry, and competition as possible, not to exploit or blackmail, but to be aware of their shortcomings so you can find ways of using your talents for innovation in advance of others.

Know Your Own Weaknesses
Nobody tried to fight samurai unless he was a trained warrior. Most martial arts weapons were actually farming equipment repurposed to fight the dangerous soldiers. That’s why the ninja specialized in stealth and disguise, because they knew full frontal combat wouldn’t be as effective.  Ninja weren’t warriors, they were covert.

In business, you need to be aware of how others perceive you and how your personality interacts with them. Narrowing down the commonalities you have when in conflict with others will help you identify your weaknesses so you can be aware of them when doing business with new people or when working with co-workers and managers.

Find the Value in Being Alone
While the ninja did have teamwork techniques, most of their missions were solo. They worked best when disguised as monks or merchants so they could spy in enemy buildings without arousing suspicion. One person could infiltrate and maneuver through a crowded place much easier than a team of people. The fewer people, the fewer chances of getting caught.

It’s difficult to be a solo worker in such a team-minded, extroverted culture in the U.S., but some people have no desire to manage large groups or be a part of a team. That’s why it’s important to demonstrate how you can be a superstar employee on your own right. Work with your managers to look for promotion opportunities on the basis of your solo work and your great results.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
The weapons and tools used by the ninja weren’t large or cumbersome, they were small and easy to conceal. The whole point was to look innocent until there was an opportunity to strike. That’s why monks were a favorite choice among the ninja because the robes could hide a plethora of weapons and tools. The key was having them ready, but not using them until the opportunity was presented.

When interviewing, you may feel the urge to present as much information as possible about your various skills and talents that could benefit the employer. Consider holding a few abilities that aren’t completely relevant to the job description until you’ve been hired. It’s the classic case of “under promising and over delivering.” When you demonstrate that you are more valuable than previously believed, that will place you in a much better position when promotions are being considered.

Hook ‘em
To get close to the target, sometimes a ninja would have to find ways of interacting with them and earn their trust. They would have to formulate “hooks” to get the attention of their enemy. It allowed them to establish a relationship quickly and lead to another meeting where the ninja could finish their mission.

The important factors to making a good hook are to find a reason to meet once, connect, and continue to meet. If you want to meet someone in your industry to look for better opportunities, find a reason for them to want to take the time to meet you. Approach the relationship with what you can do for them before asking for favors.

Now, young grasshopper, is the chance for you to use the ancient skills passed down from generation to generation. You too can become an office ninja master by using these tips to further your career. What ways have you gone beyond conventional methods to succeed at work? Let us know in the comments section below.

So, What’s Up With This Video Resume Thing?

Video Resume Yes or No?EVERYTHING is going online. You can shop, file taxes, earn degrees, and in some cases, do your job online. The job search is no different. In addition to online job boards and career sites, social media is adding a new dimension to how job seekers look for work and how employers find qualified candidates.

One of the biggest up-and-coming trends in the job market is the video resume. Competition is still stiff, and more job seekers are looking for ways to make themselves stand out among the sea of applicants. What better way to get a leg up on the large pile of paper resumes and the full inbox of emails with cover letters than by taking advantage of our video-heavy culture?

With most phones capable of recording video, it’s easier than ever to record your own resume. But, is ditching the prehistoric paper method and cueing the camera to record a video resume the way of the future?

Well… Sort of
While job seekers making professional recordings of themselves is a quickly growing trend, it’s not for the reasons you may be thinking. According to video interview service TalentRooser, 89% of employers have not yet watched or considered a video resume.

What is interesting is that TalentRooster also reports that 63% of employers have conducted at least one interview using video services. With the increase in job seeker video profiles, more companies are resorting to interviewing and recruiting through video technology. Large companies like Starbucks and Wal-Mart have recruiters screening video resume sites looking for top, tech-savvy talent.

It’s Up To You
So, should you be firing up the video camera and sending video files to every job opening you learn about? For the most part, try to refrain. If your industry is known for creativity, like fashion, graphic design, advertisement, or entertainment, then consider using your creative juices to make yourself shine. Those looking for industrial or accounting work should think twice before ditching the paper resume.

Employers are looking to video for recruitment and interviewing, so learning how to appear in front of a camera should be an extra tool in your job searching arsenal. More recruiters are looking to video resume sites like TalentRooster, ResumeTube, and GetHired to look for talent. Consider building a video resume to put on some of these sights to boost your online professional image and grab the attention of potential recruiters.

But, there’s a lot that goes into making a good video resume and a lot to consider before making your Barney Stinson quality video.

If You Must
When making a video resume, keep it shorter than 60 seconds. You may love yourself enough to fill 15 minutes worth of footage, but keep it short and sweet with just the highlights of your professional accomplishments. While video resumes can be a strong attention getter, they can give you the bad kind of attention.

Video resumes may not be the norm today, but with video resume hosting sites growing rapidly every year and more companies looking to recruit and interview through the internet, the way we job search in five years could be drastically different. Video resumes could help you get noticed, but they can backfire easily.

How Many Resumes do You Submit a Week? Take Our Poll!

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollWhile the economy is slowly and steadily improving, the job market is still highly competitive. According to the career coaching firm Turning Point Executive Search, a new job posting elicits an average of 300 – 400 resumes. With so many resumes being sent and submitted all over North America we wondered how many resumes you typically send out in a given week. Let us know by taking the poll below.