Tag Archives: April

Poll: Do You Have a LinkedIn Account?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollLinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 250 million members. It’s a place to connect with people, build your professional online identity, and stay in touch with colleagues. LinkedIn allows you to discover professional opportunities, business deals, and possible new ventures for your career. A LinkedIn profile is your professional brand and, in a sense, your online resume. With that being said, it’s a great tool for job searching. In fact, an article from Mashable.com shows that LinkedIn is helpful when it comes to landing higher-paying jobs.

We want to know if you’re one of LinkedIn’s 250 million members. Let us know by voting in our poll.

Cashing Your Paycheck Could Be Costing You

Cashing Paycheck_April2014Everyone loves pay day. It’s a great feeling to see your hours of hard work result in a paycheck. But, there’s a chance you’re not pocketing as much of your earned money as you could be. It all boils down to your bank account, or, to be more specific, your lack of a bank account.

The Cost of Cash
US News reported, “According to the FDIC, 28.3% of U.S. households either don’t have bank accounts or rely on alternative channels for financial services, such as check-cashing.” Whether by choice or not, many people and households depend on major retailers, check-cashing stores, or the check-issuing banks to cash their paychecks to access their money. And, as US News pointed out, this service comes at a price, ranging from a flat-fee to a percentage of the check amount.

Specifically, that price, according to NBC News, which highlighted a new study from Tufts University, is about $200 billion a year. To narrow it down, that means “someone without a bank account pays an average of $3.66 more a month than someone with a bank account,” and is “four times more likely to pay fees to access their own money.”

Go Electronic
The best way to avoid losing your hard-earned money is to use any electronic funds transfer (EFT) options your workplace offers. Most employers, offer some form of EFT, whether direct deposit or paycard, because it saves them the time and cost associated with paper checks. And, EFT can save you money too. NBC News reported that “getting paid electronically is often significantly cheaper than receiving a paper check” when there are fees for cashing a check without an account.

With so many people living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save money for emergencies or retirement, it’s more important than ever to manage where your money is going. Find out if your banking method is costing you money, and if EFT could put a few dollars back in your pocket. You shouldn’t have to pay to get access to your money.

What have you found to be most effective for accessing your paycheck? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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

written by: Ashlie Turley

How to Survive a Bad Review or Termination

Survive_Termination_April2014Everyone hopes to get a glowing report at their annual performance review, but sometimes, you’re met with more negative feedback than positive. Receiving a bad review doesn’t have to mean it’s time to change jobs or signal the end of your career, though. With the right response, you can survive and even thrive. Just make sure you follow these four tips.

Stay Calm
No one likes being told they’ve made a mistake or done something wrong, and it’s normal to feel upset. However, now is not the time to lose control of your emotions. As The Wall Street Journal explains, “while it’s natural to feel defensive or angry during a bad review, career coaches advise against acting on these emotions to avoid making matters worse.” Remind yourself that the performance review isn’t personal and try to think logically about the situation.

Be an Active Listener
As you push through the emotions, really listen to what your supervisor is saying and take detailed notes. Ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand during the performance review. If your manager is being more general, ask for specific examples of mistakes, why your actions were incorrect, and what you should have done differently. And, as Marie McIntyre, a career coach and author, told CNBC, “Even if you don’t completely agree, you need to show that you understand.”

Make a Plan
Once the bad review is over and you’ve had time to digest everything, you need to come up with a game plan to address the problems your supervisor pointed out. Think about what behaviors or actions you need to change, how you can address issues before they become problems again, and if you should involve your co-workers in your plan. Also, make sure you take into account what your manager said you should have done. Then hold a follow-up performance review meeting to present the plan to your supervisor and get their approval.

Stick with It
The last part of your response is the most critical, because if you don’t follow through with the needed changes, you will only make things worse. Review your plan often, hold yourself accountable, and request regular feedback from your manager.  As you see things improve, take notes for future meetings and performance reviews. The Wall Street Journal recommends “keeping a detailed journal of your accomplishments. Memos that commend you on your work accomplishments also should be filed.”

Nobody is perfect, so don’t let a bad review get you down. Your response to the review is actually far more telling and important than what you did wrong in the first place. Employers value employees who can accept critiquing, be proactive, and implement changes on their own. So, the next time your performance review doesn’t go how you hoped, seize the opportunity to do more than just survive and show what a great employee you truly are.

Have you had a bad review before? How did you survive? Share your experience and insight in the comment section below.

 

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

Be the Captain of Cool

Captn_OF_Cool_April2014We all have stress in our lives. Stress with relationships, finances, and work. According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress is far and away the major stress for American adults. 46% report that their workload causes stress while only 28% report relationship issues as a main source of stress.

Workplace-related stress has escalated progressively over the past few years and is the number one cause of stress for adults. The third annual Work Stress survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that 83% of Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs. A 10% increase over the previous study.

In order to grow in your career, it’s important to face and deal with stress the right way. Stress is inevitable and having an effective coping strategy could make a positive difference the next time you’re faced with stress.

Top Performers Know How to Manage Stress
Remaining calm under pressure has a direct link to performance according to Forbes magazine. Talentsmart study found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress. Those top performers have well-planned strategies to use in stressful circumstances. Having a plan to help you “keep cool” under stress can lower your stress level regardless of what’s going on around you.

Why Managing Your Stress is Important to Productivity
Managing stress helps you stay focused on the task at hand, keeping you on track to meet deadlines and achieve goals.

New studies show that moderate stress can actually lead to cell growth in the brain’s learning center i.e. it can actually help you learn. To achieve this benefit from stress, it’s important to keep your stress levels manageable.

How You Can Manage Your Stress

Stay Positive. There are lots of ways to help manage stress from listening to music, to taking a break now and then, but one of the biggest ways you can control your stress levels is by finding things to be positive about. In a study from the University of California, people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for example experienced improved moods and energy. And that can have a big impact on reducing your stress hormone levels. Staying positive also means staying positive about stress.

Change Your Perception of Stress.
Instead of fearing stress, let it motivate you. The feelings that come with stress are often part of your body’s flight of fight response. Try to change your perception that stress is a bad thing and instead use it to push you forward. In one study where participants were asked to view videos that contained messages that stress could be helpful, had a better work performance than those that watched videos about stress being harmful.

As you continue to grow and develop in your career, you’ll take on more responsibilities, and as we all know, that can mean more stress too. So it’s important to learn how to manage that stress now to be successful in the future.

Did You Know?
Prolonged stress can cause serious physical harm. And can result in an increased risk of heart disease, depression, obesity, and decrease your cognitive performance.

There are many things that can cause stress at work, but there are just as many ways you can counter that stress. Maybe your desk is messy and that causes a trigger for stress. Perhaps scheduling your tasks or “to-do” list is causing stress. Whatever the culprit, there is a good chance your physical environment is affecting your stress level. Take time to organize your work space and schedule and see if that helps relieve some stress.

What are some successful ways you handle stress? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d also like to know what your biggest triggers of stress are at your workplace, so let your voice be heard by voting in our poll.

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

Creating an Organic Resume

organic_Resume_April2014In regards to food, when something is labeled organic, it simply means there are no added ingredients, artificial chemicals, or hormones. Just like organic products don’t have any additives, neither should your resume. With the average resume review time at a mere 6 seconds, it’s important to make sure your resume has exactly what the hiring manager is looking for and nothing more. Here are some recipes to help make your resume more organic.

Cut the Additives
If you’re working on rewriting your resume or if you’re starting from scratch, keep in mind that less is more when it comes to your resume – it needs to be to the point, honest, and informative. An article in the Daily Muse shares that “size matters,” and hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to spend reviewing resumes. In this article, writer, Elizabeth Lowman states, “The average resume is chock-full of sorely outdated, essentially meaningless phrases that take up valuable space on the page. Eliminate them, and you’ll come off as a better, more substantial candidate.” Include relevant job experience and don’t forget to get rid of unnecessary information like the job experiences you had during high school.

Let a Few Pure Ingredients Shine Through
As stated in a Forbes article, “Every word—yes, every word—on that page should be working hard to highlight your talents and skills. If it’s not, it shouldn’t be on there.” When preparing your resume, use simple yet meaningful power words to help convey your experience and skills. Including numbers in your resume is also important and allows you to present your abilities in a way that demonstrates the value you would add to a team and can help you stand out as the best candidate for the job.

Presentation Matters
Since most resumes are only viewed for a few seconds, choosing the right format could help get your resume more attention.

To highlight extensive work history and to show off your attributes that make you a great candidate for the job, use the Chronological format. If you have a limited work history, you could use a functional format to showcase your abilities while de-emphasizing your chronological work history. Functional format is used most often by those changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history. A Combination resume draws more attention to your abilities instead of poor work history, and the Targeted format specifically highlights your experiences and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

After you choose your resume format, remember to tailor your resume to be applicable for each job you apply for. Knowing this, do your best to keep your resume to one page. If your resume takes up more than a page, be sure to include your name and contact information on both pages and try early on in the resume to make sure the recruiter or hiring manager will want to read more!

In today’s job market, it’s important to have the best possible resume. So, look over your resume carefully and make the changes you need for the best presentation possible.

By applying simple organic concepts to your resume, you can make a difference in your job search.

What resume refining tips can you share? We want to hear about your experience in the comments section below!

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