Monthly Archives: November 2016

Poll: What Are Your Job Market Predictions for 2017?

MOV_POLL-ICONThe year is almost over, which means it’s time to reflect on 2016 and look forward to a new year.

Last year, we asked Movin’ On Up readers what they predict the job market will look like in 2016, and 34% believed the market would be stable enough to try for a new job, followed by 25% who thought the market would get worse before it got better. Readers who were confident they’d get a job offer in 2016 made up 18% of respondents, and 11% planned to stay where they were in their career paths.

This year, we want to know if your expectations have changed. Do you think the job market will grow, remain the same, or plummet? Do you feel the same way as our readers did last year, or did your year affect your outlook on 2017? Let us know by voting in our poll!

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

Stay Safe This Holiday Season

IBeat the Winter Bluest’s the most wonderful time of the year—unless your holiday is disrupted by a trip to the hospital, a visit from the fire department, or a case of the blues that steals the joy of the season.

How do you keep your holidays as safe as they are festive? Here are five tips to keep in mind.

Talking Turkey
You may be trying out a brand new recipe, roasting your first big turkey, or just so caught up in fun and conversation that you can’t remember how long the roast beast has been sitting out.

To keep food poisoning off your guest list, try these tips from the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, stuffing is a common culprit of food-borne illness, so pay special attention to its temperature, and don’t ever stuff a turkey the night before roasting.

Deep frying a turkey includes different hazards, including fryer related fires, burns, explosions, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Use these safety tips from the National Safety Council to stay safe.

(Don’t) Keep the Home Fires Burning
According to the National Fire Protection Association, holiday decorations cause 860 home fires each year, and Christmas trees trigger another 210 blazes. Untended candles and fireplaces also increase the risk that your holiday will go up in smoke.

Following these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International can help your holidays stay delightful, not frightful.

To Grandmother’s House We (Carefully) Go
Today’s parents are experts at child proofing their own homes, but holiday travel takes babies and children into new environments where toilet seat locks and safety latches are not part of the floor plan.

Even the most child-proofed grandparent’s home may pose a real potential safety risk: poisoning. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, grandparents’ medicines are among the most dangerous causes of childhood poisoning.

If you’re traveling with kids or hosting them, these tips from can be a big help.

Home for the Holidays
In 2015, more than 100 million travelers hit the road for the holidays, according to AAA, and that number is only expected to increase this year. Here are three tips to remember if you will be driving to join in the season’s festivities:

  • Try traveling a bit earlier or later than the typical holiday travel days. Traveling on the holiday typically means less traffic overall.
  • As you eat, drink, and be merry, make sure you are not impaired before you head out in your car. If needed, call a cab or app-driven ride service.
  • Avoid distractions, such as texting while driving. The government reports that distracted driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries per year, as well as thousands of fatalities.

Traveling overseas? Check the alerts and warnings advisory put out by the U.S. Department of State and the Government of Canada.

Not Every Spirit is Bright
Despite the joy of the season, many people experience depression or “the blues.” And for Millennials, holiday gatherings can also bring a different kind of stress.

An article in Fortune reports that 70% of this generation experiences social anxiety around the holidays. Some tips for navigating these stressors:

  • Choose gatherings where you feel the highest comfort level.
  • Don’t feel pressure to attend too many parties. A little quiet time can help you stay rested and refreshed.
  • Seek counseling if your holiday social anxiety or depression escalates from discomfort to a serious issue that interferes with your ability to enjoy life. This list of emergency hotlines is good to keep on hand if you, a friend, or family member needs help.

Above all, remember that no holiday is ever perfect. Don’t get stressed out trying to do too much in too little time. You’ll enjoy friends and family more if you’re relaxed and rested.

What are you doing to stay safe this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below!

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, Thank You Express Associates

COM15_Thanksgiving_SM_1200X900At Express Employment Professionals, we are in the business of putting people to work and providing hope that comes with a job well done. As we enter the holiday season, we have so many things to be thankful for. Here are some specific things that you, our associates, inspire our gratitude:

  • We are thankful for the half million Express associates who work for us and help our client companies fulfill their production and staffing needs.
  • We are thankful for our associates who are committed to enhancing the communities where they work and live. Through you, Express is making a real difference locally, and will continue to do so in the future.
  • We are thankful you chose Express as your staffing company. We are so proud as a company to have such dedicated people representing Express across North America.

Take time this Thanksgiving to make memories that last a lifetime. We hope you enjoy the holiday, knowing that we are thankful for you every day.

Thank you, for being a valued Express associate.

CEO and Chairman of the Board Bob Funk
President and Vice Chairman Bill Stoller


Try these Teamwork Games at Your Holiday Party

gamers_June2013_webThe holidays are upon us, complete with office treats and parties. This time of year is also a great opportunity to build camaraderie with your co-workers, as well as build unity, strengthen morale, and decrease stress in the office.

Our friends at put together a list of four teamwork games to play at your next company holiday party, so take a look and tell us which one is your favorite in the comments below!

Office Celebrity
The game Celebrity is great for parties, but this play off of this classic is bound to break any barriers between coworkers and lead to knowing one another better. When workers know more about each other, they tend to work better together!

  1. Break your office into two teams.
  2. Write everyone’s name on separate pieces of paper and place them in a bowl.
  3. Round One: The first team has one member get up and pull a name from the bowl. He or she tries to get their team to guess which worker it is by giving characteristics of that person. After the team guesses it, another name is chosen and so on until a minute has passed. After one minute, the second team picks one member to try and get their team to guess as many names as possible during a minute. This goes on, switching teams and rotating players until all of the names have been guessed. Replace all names back into the bowl. Keep a tally of how many names each team correctly guessed.
  4. Round Two: Same as round one, but each moderator can only use ONE word to describe each name drawn.
  5. Round Three: Same as the previous rounds, but each moderator can’t use words to describe drawn names, but instead must act them out. The team with the most correct names tallied after three rounds wins!

Two Truths, One Lie
Another great way to see how well everyone knows each other is by playing Two Truths, One Lie. This is a fun game that will help team members find out more about one another.

  1. Have your team members bring chairs and sit in a circle.
  2. Tell each person to think of two truths about themselves and one lie.
  3. Have a starting person tell the three stories. It’s best to have the truths be something about them that no one else would know.
  4. After the person says the two truths and lie to the group, have the rest of the team discuss and try and come to a consensus on which story is the lie.
  5. Have the person reveal which is the lie, and then have the next person go.

Trivia is one of the most simple to set up and most enjoyable. From history to current events to business questions, engaging in a simple game of trivia will sharpen minds and encourage teamwork and office competition.

  1. Split your employees into teams of three to six people.
  2. Choose three rounds of topics (i.e., World History, Art and Music, Movies, etc.).
  3. Ask five questions involving the first topic. After each question, have a member of each team silently write down an answer on a piece of paper with their team name and turn it in to the trivia moderator.
  4. After each round, give the answers to questions so the teams can keep a tally of how they’re doing.
  5. After three rounds, the team with the most right answers wins. (You may need to have a “lightning round” for a tie breaker.)

Office Scavenger Hunt
One great way to loosen up a stiff work day is to have an office-wide scavenger hunt! Although you could just have a simple search-and-find checklist, this is a great opportunity to engage workers by simple problem solving.

  1. Create an in-depth series of clues with each clue leading to a different one. (This works best in riddles, like “The best way to cure a case of Monday morning tiredness to get you ready for the day.” And then hide the next clue by your office coffee maker.)
  2. Break your office into three to five teams, giving each one the first clue.
  3. Set a time frame for the office to complete the scavenger hunt.
  4. As each team finds the next clue by figuring out where the previous clue was directing them, encourage teams to involve each person during the problem solving process.

This is a competition after all, so offer a prize for the first team that finishes the hunt.

What teamwork games do you play at your holiday parties? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

New Survey Reveals Who’s Hiring

12-9 GradsWhile shipping giants and retailers have been ramping up their holiday hiring, a survey of 282 businesses indicates the current employment market is trending up. Not only are there job options to get through the wintry months, employers anticipate hiring full time in the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter Hiring Trends
Express Employment Professionals surveyed 282 businesses about their fourth quarter hiring trends. Thirty-four percent of businesses indicated they plan to hire in the industrial sector, followed by 25% who plan to hire for skilled labor positions. Additionally, 16% of hiring managers surveyed indicated they plan on hiring for administrative and office clerical positions.

When asked if any of the new hires will come from newly created positions, employers indicated that 43% of the administrative and office clerical positions will be new jobs. Thirty-eight percent of the skilled labor positions will be newly created, while 36% of employers surveyed anticipate creating new general labor positions.

“If you’re looking for a job right now, it appears to be a good time to be looking in the industrial sector, be it general labor or skilled labor positions,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “These are encouraging results for the fourth quarter.”

The survey of 282 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in the third quarter of 2016.

Job Hunting Tips
We reached back into our vault of valuable Movin’ On Up articles concerning job hunting tips. Here are some great articles to help you get through the job search, whether it is for a holiday job or full-time job.

Have you recently landed a full-time or holiday job? Let us know in the comments section how you successfully navigated your job search.

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

Why You Need a Thank You Note

thank_mentor_webYou’ve just finished a job interview and you’re feeling great about your chances of landing the position. Walking out of the building confidently, you play through the interview in your mind, remembering the questions you answered well and a few areas where you think you could have done better.

But what’s next? What are you going to do over the next few days to help land the job and start this new path in your career? If sending a thank you note to the interviewer wasn’t at the top of your list, it’s time to make some adjustments.

The Science Behind “Thank You”
Hopefully, you’ve experienced the joy of being thanked for doing a good job or helping someone. As it turns out, that feeling isn’t just a passing emotion, it’s actually a drug produced by your brain.

A study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that when you have an interaction with someone else and gratitude is shown, an increased level of oxytocin is produced in your body. Known as the “love hormone”, oxytocin has an impact on social behaviors including relaxation, trust, and stability. This hormone is thought to be a major component in relationships, so taking the time to show gratitude toward a potential employer has an obvious benefit.

What to Include
As you sit down to write your thank you note, start by thanking the interviewer for their time and the chance to meet with them, but don’t stop there. Make sure to remind them about your strengths and highlight one of your stronger answers from the interview. If they had a question about the skills you can bring to the job and you had a great response, remind them of it and expand on why you’re interested in the company.

If there are qualities or areas you wish you’d had more time to speak about during the interview, the thank you note is the perfect time to bring those up.

Keep the note short, two to three paragraphs, and don’t forget to proofread it several times. This is another chance to make a good impression, so don’t let spelling or grammatical errors set you back.

The Next Step, Not The Last
There were likely multiple steps to take along the way to landing your job interview, followed by the time it took to prepare for your interview. Consider your thank you note the next step in the process of getting the job, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s your last.

Write down notes on the questions you were asked, including the ones you know you can do better on in the next interview. If there was anything the interviewer asked for you to send, like a sample of previous work or a list of references, make sure you include those with your thank you note.

This is also the time to be patient. Be sure to pay attention to the time frame the interviewer gives you for making their decision. If they say it will be two weeks, wait two weeks before checking back to see how the process is going.

Each interview process is different, but there’s a chance that you will be called in for a second interview that includes other leaders from the company. Take the notes you wrote down from your interview and find areas where you can strengthen your answers. Then, research more about the company and think about the questions you want to ask the interviewer. Great questions will help you make a great impression with leaders.

What other tips would you give to someone sending a thank you note? What have you included in your thank your notes after an interview? Let us know in the comments section.

Three Ways to Show You Appreciate Your Co-Workers

Appreciation at WorkPositive relationships in the workplace have never been more important than in today’s fast-paced and competitive marketplace. At the end of the day, your success often depends on your co-worker’s willingness to partner with you. So it’s essential that your colleagues feel you are thankful for all they do.

Three Ways To Say Thanks
It helps to pay attention to the type of thanks that best resonates with your teammates. Then, consider which of these would appeal most to them as individuals.

1. Verbal Attention
Most people love compliments, especially when they are genuine. Just saying “I really appreciate all you did for this project” can make someone’s day. It’s even better if you do so within earshot of the boss, such as a compliment passed along in a staff meeting.

2. Notes of Appreciation
Some people are embarrassed by any kind of public display of attention. It’s just the way they are built. For those co-workers, consider sending an email and copying the boss, if your team has access.

If a co-worker has really gone an extra mile so that your whole team can succeed, consider sending a greeting card or eCard to make them feel appreciated.

3. Small Acts of Kindness
Every workplace has days when one person on a team is deluged with tasks, works late, and feels under pressure. That’s when a random act of kindness is a perfect way to show how you value their efforts.

It can be as simple as offering them a hot cup of coffee, a cold bottle of water, or their favorite candy bar from the vending machine.

Thankfulness is Contagious
Don’t be surprised if your thankfulness comes back to you in unexpected ways. Thankfulness tends to be contagious, and your co-workers will likely be inspired to pass thanks along.

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