Monthly Archives: January 2017

One Month In: Time to Check Up On Your Resolutions

ThinkstockPhotos-450795057If you’re like millions of people, as 2017 loomed, you felt compelled to plan some life changes in the coming year. Your New Year’s resolutions. It’s an annual ritual which typically consists of an ambitious goal following a year of discontent or excess, encouraged in part by peer pressure and tradition. So, now that we’re a month into the New Year, it’s time for a resolution check-up. Below are three categories that most people fall into. Read on to see which group you identify with.

You didn’t make any resolutions.

This is the category that I fall into. Not because there aren’t any aspects of my life that I’d like to change and improve. Far from it. Personally, I’ve found that making a life change based on the calendar just doesn’t work for me. When I decide to make a change, the motivation has to come from within, not from the calendar. I believe it’s always a good idea to seek ways to improve, not just at the end of the year. So after some reflection, I decided to put more thought into the gifts I give my wife. She’s really great at picking out presents for me. I, however typically fall somewhere on the other end of the spectrum. I manage to produce gifts for all the appropriate occasions, but rarely come up with an awesome idea that she hasn’t already suggested. So how will I turn around my dismal gift-giving ways? It’s going to take planning and a lot of consideration, paying attention to hints she periodically drops, making notes, and devoting the time and effort she deserves, to show her how much she means to me.

You made resolutions, but feel like you’re failing miserably. 

First, give yourself a break. Now take a step back and ask, “What’s holding me back?” Did you set your sights too high? Set an unrealistic timeline? Or are you just being too hard on yourself? Try to think of your quest for improvement as a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long run. Analyze the steps you’re taking toward your goal. Are they leading toward the results you desire? Big changes don’t happen overnight. Having a goal is admirable, but your chances for success will be much greater if you make a reasonable and attainable plan to reach your goal.

Suppose, for instance, that you’ve resolved to lose 10 pounds. Here it is, almost February, and you’re still hovering around the same weight as when you rang in the new year. Don’t beat yourself up. Sensible, sustainable weight loss takes time, most effectively achieved by lifestyle change rather than a crash diet, juice cleanse, or other quick-fix. Eating smarter and being more active are the keys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have good, common sense advice for weight loss.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with altering or revising your resolutions. What sounded like a great idea a month ago, may in fact turn out to be a bit over ambitious in reality. Altering the plan doesn’t make you a failure, it shows that you’re able to adapt to changing conditions. We change plans all the time, at work, at home, and socially. It’s part of reacting to the ebb and flow of life. Maybe you resolved to hit the gym every day, but can only manage to get there a few times a week. There are plenty of ways to get a workout at home, or even at work.

If you’re still dedicated to making a change, but struggling to make it a reality, don’t give up. Take a step back and look for different or additional ways to achieve your goal.

You made resolutions and are making progress    

If you fall into this category, you’re probably in the minority of resolution makers. Congratulations on sticking with your plan! Keep up the good work. Take a moment to celebrate and share your progress with others. It will give you the motivation to continue and may inspire someone to begin their own journey of self-improvement. If you feel there is still more you could do on your quest for personal growth, consider additional ways to change your life for the better. Check out this great list of 50 resolution ideas and how to achieve them.

No matter what path you take toward self-improvement, the rewards are worth the effort.

Remember, it’s never too late to start. It doesn’t matter whether you’re motivated by the time of year or by your personal timeline. Make a plan or revise your plan, stick to it, and work on making a better version of yourself in 2017.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not? What tips and advice do you have?

Share with us in the comments section below.

Article author David Harper is a video script and content writer at Express Employment Professionals.

Poll: How Do You Track Your Goals?

MOV_POLL-ICONAt the beginning of the new year, you may have made resolutions to improve your professional and personal life in 2017, and hopefully, you are well on your way to success! It’s important to mark milestones along the way and celebrate the little victories as motivation to reach the finish line. So we want to know how you track your goals. Share your thoughts by voting in our poll!

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.

Associate Spotlight: Frantz Cameau

Frantz Cameau AOY 2016Movin’ On Up takes pride in recognizing outstanding Express Employment Professionals associates who’ve been acknowledged by one of our Express offices. Every associate we put to work has a story to tell, and we want to celebrate the accomplishments of the individuals who come to work for us.

This month’s associate spotlight recognizes an associate who is always up for an assignment—Frantz Cameau from the Braintree, MA Express office.

Frantz was hired in October 2014 and has since then completed more than 20 short- and long-term assignments for the Braintree office. He was recently named the Associate of the Year for this location.

“He is our go-to associate because he is reliable, hardworking, and just a pleasure to work with,” said Maggie May Moran, the office’s Senior Staffing Consultant. “Frantz always has a smile on his face, is consistently grateful, and always happy to help whenever he can. He has referred many people who he not only helped find work, but also helps get to and from work, as he regularly provides transportation to assignments for his friends and family.

“Anytime we call Frantz, he is usually happy to accept any assignment available—even if that means driving from Brockton to Hyannis, which is more than 60 miles each way! He has a great attitude, is self-motivated, and works hard to provide for his family.”

Express is proud to have Frantz as an associate, and we appreciate his dedication to going above and beyond!

If you’re an Express associate or know an associate who would be a great candidate for our associate spotlight, let your Express office know. And, if you work with an Express associate you’d like to feature on Movin’ On Up, let us know in the comments section below.


Ask a Recruiter: How to Highlight Experience Over Tenure on Your Resume

ask_a_recruiterWhen it comes to preparing for a job search, acing interviews, and creating resumes, we know you have a lot of questions. To help answer your job search questions, our very own industry experts at Express Employment Professionals are posting their answers here on the Movin’ On Up blog.

Question: Help! I’ve been laid off from my last two jobs in the span of one year due to budget cuts, and I’m back on the job search. How should I format my resume to make my skills stand out to recruiters rather than tenure at companies?

Answer: There are two types of resumes that job seekers commonly use; chronological and functional. In your situation, I’d suggest creating a functional resume.

A functional resume will focus on your skillsets and how they might transfer to the role you are applying for, whereas a chronological resume typically lists the most recent positions that you’ve held. It’s important that you do your homework when building a functional resume.

I would suggest tailoring each functional resume you send to the specific role in which you are applying. List those skillsets that are clearly desired from the job description or were noted during a conversation with the recruiter or hiring manager. Then help draw the commonalities between their job description and your background. 

Thank you to Joe from Express for providing the above answer! The Movin’ On Up blog has featured articles on how to create and when to use functional resumes. In the changing workforce where more people are spending less time with one company, a functional resume format can help your resume stand out and keep it from heading straight to the trash can. See what a functional resume looks like.

Or if you can’t decide which resume format to use, try both!

Do you have a question about the job search, hiring, or recruiting process? Now’s your chance to have your question answered by industry professionals who find, interview, and hire people every day. Ask your question in the comments section below and check back soon to read what our experts have to say!

New Year 101: How to Handle Change

ThinkstockPhotos-510570474Of the few things guaranteed in life, change is one of them. We live in a fast-paced world that is constantly adapting—and chances are, not every change will be a positive one. In January, those changes are especially noticeable as people begin focusing on their resolutions and looking to do better in the new year. So, how do you move forward when faced with unexpected change? These four tips can help you remain focused this year.

Find the Positives

It’s easy to spot the negative aspects of change, but it’s often harder to find the positives. The truth is, most changes have both good and bad elements. Instead of focusing on the speed bumps or road blocks, try to keep the end goal in mind when faced with a new project or process. If a change to the way things are done is implemented, it was likely because a better end result is expected. Keep that in mind as you navigate through the transition.

Make Your Mark

When a change is forced upon you, it can be hard to accept. But, finding a way to become actively involved with the change can help you feel better connected to it. When you’re part of the process, you may be able to offer solutions or explain how the changes may affect your job. Try to find ways to involve yourself, when possible, or offer suggestions to those who are in charge. Chances are, change won’t seem so bad when you’re able to engage with the process.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Trends are important to all industries and are often the first indicators of changes to come. You can help anticipate such changes by staying up-to-date on trends and industry information. If you are an office assistant, for example, take some time to research what new computer programs or office systems may be coming soon. Then, anticipate how those changes might affect your work, as well as the company as a whole. Communicating what you find, as well as providing solutions for adapting to or staying ahead of trends, will help you stand out in the workplace.

Don’t Stress

We all know the importance of eliminating stress from our lives, but it’s not always easy. Often, change can induce stress, making change even more difficult. Looking for the positive aspects will help reduce the stress you may feel when encountering change, as can focusing on the things you can control. Unfortunately, when it comes to change, most things are usually out of our control, and focusing on them will do more harm than good. Learn to let go of things you cannot control, and focus instead on where you can actually make an impact. Improving your diet, establishing an exercise routine, and making time for yourself will also help reduce your stress level.


This year, resolve to accept that change is unavoidable. Focus on the positives, anticipate trends, find ways to be involved, and reduce your stress so you’ll be better equipped to deal with changes in your personal life and in the workplace. And remember, change may be scary at first, but it’s not always bad.


What tips do you have for dealing with change? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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

Resolve to Land a Job This Year

ThinkstockPhotos-609804644Resolutions can be great for personal and professional growth, but only if they are commitments that you truly want to see accomplished. You’ve probably heard the statistics, but it’s worth repeating: according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, just 8% of people achieve their resolutions and less than half make it past the first six months of the year.

Of all the New Year’s resolutions you can make this year, landing a new job could be at the top of your list. With the economy recovering and employers becoming more and more optimistic about their prospects for the future, 2017 has the potential to be the year for job seekers.

But which resolutions can you make to help you get a new job this year?

1. Grow Your Network

Whether you are currently working and looking for a new opportunity, just getting out school and looking for your first full-time job, or have been on the job hunt for a while, you have access to a bigger network than you may realize.

If you sat down and wrote out a list of all the people you know—friends, family, former and current co-workers, teachers—you might be surprised at the number of connections you have. The key to networking though, is not to stop with the people you already know; it’s working with those people to grow your network and be introduced to more and more people.

Those connections will either lead to your next job or connect you to the person who can help you land your next job. Resolve to spend more time in 2017 growing your network of connections so you find yourself closing out the year celebrating the great job you’ve earned.

2. Expand Your Skills

If you haven’t noticed, the workforce has changed. More and more jobs that didn’t before, now require technical skills or education, which means it’s important that you make 2017 the year you learn at least one new skill.

If you have an interest in technology, why not check out the many free online resources that provide training on everything from building your own app, to learning how to code and build websites? Having this type of knowledge is a great way to set yourself apart from other job candidates while showing your commitment to ongoing learning.

Maybe you prefer working with your hands. Taking the time to research the various classes offered through the career techs in your area could lead to an exciting career in industries like welding, dentistry, nursing, cosmetology, or culinary arts.

3. Clean Up Your Social Footprint

Do you remember what you said to your friend last Thursday? What about the conversation with your brother last month, what did you say to him?

If you’re having trouble remembering what you said in those conversations, try remembering what you posted on Facebook five years ago, or on Twitter two years ago.

In 2017, more and more employers are doing an online search of your name to see what they find, and if you haven’t taken the time to clean up your social footprint, you may not like what the search results turn up.

4. Make Your Resume Stand Out

If your biggest resolution of 2017 is to land a job, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t take the appropriate steps to make sure your resume stands out from the crowded inboxes of hiring managers.

Set time aside to focus solely on the effectiveness of each section of your resume. Go through it while thinking like someone who’s making the decision to hire, and then ask for someone you trust to do the same thing and give you honest feedback.

Also, consider the way you deliver your resume to a potential employer. Is there a creative way to make sure your resume gets in front of the person making the decision on new hires and piques their interest in you?

In a survey of businesses conducted by Express, respondents gave several interesting ways candidates delivered their resume, including a YouTube video, folded into a paper airplane, and even a gift package containing the resume.

Based on the early indications, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year for the job market, and starting a new career can be accomplished as long as you’re willing to set some resolutions and commit to seeing them through.

What other resolutions would you recommend for someone looking for a job in 2017? Let us know in the comments section belo