Tag Archives: motivation

3 Helpful Articles to Prepare you for Employee Reviews

Employee_Review_Nov2013Annual employee reviews are starting to take place and we’re ready to help you prepare. With all the excitement and expectation of the holidays, it’s easy to get carried away and forget to prepare for your review. So here are a few helpful articles to assist in your employee review preparation.

1. Transform the Dreaded Employee Review
What emotions do you associate with your employee review? Fear? Anxiety? Stress? Anticipation? The thought of an annual performance evaluation can trigger a wide-range of negative responses, but it doesn’t have to. In Transform the Dreaded Employee Review, you will learn how to see things differently as you become a more productive employee.

2. It’s Time to Check your Progress – Self Evaluations
Most companies typically hold performance reviews or annual reviews at the end of the calendar year, but at that point there isn’t much you can do to improve your scorecard for the year. In It’s Time to Check your Progress – Self Evaluation, you will learn key elements for conducting a self-review.

3. Understand “the Numbers” in Your Job Search
Whether you’re crafting a résumé, preparing for a performance review, or reporting in the weekly staff meeting, knowing the key metrics used to measure the performance of your company and your job is critical. In this article on Understanding “the numbers” in the Workplace, we’ll talk about how to make sense of the numbers that relate to success in your career.

If you have any helpful tips that you use to prepare for an employee review, share with us in the comment section below.


5 Quotes to Inspire Your Job Search

5_Quotes_Inspire_Nov2013Searching for a job can feel overwhelming at times, but a little inspiration can help take away the pressure and bring motivation to help you keep looking. More than likely, you’ll experience rejection before landing that dream job, but keep your spirits high and press on. During the job search process, it’s important to keep a positive attitude. Here are five quotes that will help inspire and motivate you to continue searching.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” – Brian Tracy

“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” – Marva Collins

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
T.S. Eliot

Do you have any encouraging quotes that help motivate you during your job search? Share with us in the comment section below.

Persistence in the Job Search

Persistence_In_Job_Search_webimageWhether you’ve been searching for a job for just a few days or more than a year, it’s easy to become discouraged. The continual hunt for new openings, tweaking your resume over and over, rewriting your cover letter for the hundredth-time, and going through the roller coaster of emotions is enough to make anyone want to give up. But giving up isn’t how you land a job.

Unfortunately, millions of other Americans have stopped being persistent and have fallen into defeat. This current phenomenon is the focus of a recent Express Employment Professionals white paper. The Great Shift highlights the recent decline in America’s labor force participation rate, which describes the percentage of working-age adults that are either actively searching for a job or currently working. Today, the rate stands at 63.4%, a level not seen since the 1970s. As the white paper points out, that rate means “among the estimated 89.9 million Americans not in the labor force as of July 2013, at least 6.6 million still want a job.”

Those are some pretty bleak numbers. To get the full picture of the situation and learn why it’s happening, you can check out Express white paper.

It would be easy to let these facts dissuade you from continuing your hunt. However there is something that sets you apart from those millions of Americans, and that one thing is you. While you may not be able to give yourself a job, you do have the ability to NOT give up. Staying hopeful and remaining persistent is the name of the game, and there are some practical ways to keep yourself from losing momentum.

Set Goals
Searching for a job is practically a full-time job in its own rite, so treat it like one. Set daily and weekly goals for yourself, such as spending a certain amount of time each day looking through online job boards or applying for a specific number of positions per week. This will keep you moving forward and give you achievable short-term targets to hit along the way.

Review Your Skills
If you haven’t already, take an inventory of your skills. Consider both your hard skills, like education and work experiences, and your soft skills, such as time management and flexibility. Are there skills listed in the jobs you’ve been applying for that you lack? Do you have the top three hard skills employers want to see in a job candidate? If there are areas you need to work on, make a plan to grow those specific skills as you continue the hunt.

Check Your Expectations
No one wants to be in a job they’re over-qualified for, but turning down a job when you’re out of work just because it doesn’t meet your expectations isn’t the best move. In the argument between underemployed and unemployed, underemployed wins out. So don’t derail your job search by saying “no thank you” to a legitimate job and then buying into the idea that there is nothing out there. You can always take the job and still keep looking.

Don’t let yourself become another worker who’s given up and called it quits. Being persistent will pay off in the end. Share your ideas for staying positive and persistent during a job search in the comments section below.

Hot Fields Hiring Non-College Grads

HotFieldsHiring_Sept2013Matching personal skills and abilities with open jobs can be a frustrating task for job seekers. But if you’re curious about what your top options might be without a college degree, read on.

A recent survey of Express Employment Professional’s franchises uncovered the top hiring fields for workers without college degrees. The industrial job category topped the list, followed closely by office services. This aligns with an announcement in July citing the top 10 hardest jobs to find people for that included CNC programmers, welders, machinists, and administrative roles. The survey is part of a series of reports titled America Employed, a look into who is currently getting hired and why.

Before you make a job switch to a field with current open positions, do some investigating into your career options. With 1/3 of your time spent at work, and your work determining your income and lifestyle factors, how are you investigating and planning your career? One tool you may consider is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which allows you to search job projections and growth rates by education level, training, and pay.

There are many paths toward your career future, and they don’t all include college. Experience in the workplace and your attitude can make a huge impact. So look for ways to get your foot in the door and become a trusted team member.  It’s not just your degree – or lack thereof – that determines your job prospects!

Let us know what your biggest asset is in your job search in the comments section below.

Fall in Love With Your Job All Over Again

fall in love with jobWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, millions of people will be coming together to be with their loved ones to celebrate the bond they have with each other. While wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, and significant others are getting ready for the romantic holiday, there’s a very special someone you might not be considering – your job.

It happens to the best of us. The passion is gone for your job and the flame has died out at the workplace. It can be easy to neglect the dwindling desire you once had for your job, but not being passionate about your job can lead to a stilted career path later on. Here are ways you can fall in love with your job all over again.

Reach Out
If nobody knows there is a problem, no one can help fix it. Consider reaching out to your manager or mentor to discuss your lack of passion and find out what it is that’s keeping your interest down.  It could be a simple fix of changing your workflow or new project, or it could be as big as moving on to the next challenge. Your leaders have the experience to give you a frame of reference and point you in the right direction.

Another way to recharge your batteries is to develop relationships with co-workers and peers. Practice your networking skills and schedule lunch breaks with others to learn about different areas in your organization, uncover interesting opportunities, or discuss trends in your industry. Building relationships can break up the boring routine and let you see diverse points of view.

Live Life
It may sound counter-productive, but are you doing what you’ve always wanted to do with your spare time? Passion is often contagious, and if you can find fun, fulfilling hobbies and activities outside of the workplace, that enthusiasm can flow through to your work. Work often doesn’t allow you to practice your passions through the job, so it’s important to get back to the root of what you love.

Challenge Your Innovation
Nothing can smother a fire of passion more than a routine. Workers can get stuck in a pattern that becomes second nature. This repetition can have no room for excitement or imagination. That’s why it’s important to put forth some effort to keep a fire burning. Someone once told me, “Remember K.I.S.S.: Keep Innovating Something Significant.” Challenge yourself to improve every day. Dream big, set a goal for yourself, and work to make a change. This mentality can greatly increase and fuel the fire than can burn inside you.

There’s not a rut from which you can’t crawl out. Whether with the help of others or through changing your mentality, falling in love with your job is possible. Your career is going to be with you for most of your life. You might as well love it.

What are some ways you’ve fallen in love with your job? Let us know in the comments section below. You can also use our ecards site to send free valentine greetings!

3 Important Traits You Can Use in Any Job

Being a Team PlayerLanding a job takes more than just having education, experience, and a good reference. Employers want well-rounded individuals who can add value to the team and be successful in the position, whether it’s an entry-level or senior management position. Employers look beyond the resume and seek personal and professional traits in candidates that set them apart as the best fit for the job.

There are three important job traits that you can use effectively in any job. Demonstrating that you possess these traits will put you ahead of the game and help you land an interview – or even a job. If you don’t feel you have these skills yet, don’t fret. You can learn them with a little practice on the job, just like any other job skill.

Team player
This trait is critical because no one wants to work with someone that’s selfish, irresponsible, or unprofessional. Getting along with the people you work with is important, because employers don’t want the added stress of dealing with conflict among team members. Act with integrity, hold yourself accountable for your behavior as well as your assignments, and work with your team – not against them.

If you struggle with being a team player, start now by doing your part and getting your projects completed on time at your current job. Your team is counting on you to pull your weight and offering to help others with their assignments. Also, avoid creating conflict within your team. If conflict arises, handle it with professionalism, discussing the problem and creating a solution without yelling or pointing a finger.

This trait is more than keeping your files in order or your e-mail inbox cleaned out. It includes a variety of skills including time management, multi-tasking, and meeting deadlines. Employers look for individuals who are organized and can be relied on to handle more than one assignment, prioritize tasks, and complete projects on time. With organizational skills, you can handle what’s thrown your way in any job, and your supervisor won’t have to spend their time staying on top of you to get your work done.

To get organized, start by making a list of your assignments. Determine which tasks are most important, and rank them according to deadlines and the time it will take to complete each one. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor if you need help deciding which tasks are most important. If you have several small tasks, consider working on them throughout the day to allow time for your bigger tasks to be completed.

Employers want employees who are motivated to not only get the job done, but to get it done right. This type of worker is excited to work, enjoys what they’re doing, and successfully completes their projects every time. Employers like working with motivated individuals because enthusiastic workers give their all to every project and are likely to accomplish more than uninspired workers.

If you find yourself motivated about certain projects but not others, talk with your supervisor. You may be able to switch projects with another co-worker who could also benefit from trading assignments. But remember, there are almost always some parts of any job you won’t love. So, think about the positive aspects of your job, and don’t dwell on the less motivating things. When you think this way, you’ll be more motivated to work toward something positive and be able to do a better job completing your tasks.

Improving your interpersonal skills and time management techniques while on the job will prepare you for your next career move. Providing examples of how you exemplify these traits will make you stand out to employers looking to hire the perfect fit for their team. These traits are just as important as any other job skill, so practice them to become a better employee and a stronger job candidate the next time you’re looking for a new opportunity.

2-4-6-8 Here’s How to Motivate!

Motivate Yourself at WorkAt some point in our career, we’ve fallen into that rut. That mysterious slump that can drag our productivity down to a near halt. Our brains check out and we do the minimum amount of work needed to avoid getting in trouble. Some workers hitting a slump might not get that bad, but the temptation and desire to slack off can slowly grow into a career problem sooner than you think.

Sometimes seeing the fruits of your labor takes longer than expected. Success takes time, which is often longer than you’d like. Because success doesn’t happen on your time, it can be easy to get discouraged, making it harder to achieve the success you deserve.

The key to motivation is to find small achievable goals that will help keep you consistently on track. You will have to look deep inside yourself and discover what you want to accomplish at work and how you are going to do it. Here are some things to ask yourself that will help jumpstart your motivation and get your workplace mojo back.

What Are You Doing?
The most important thing you can do to get motivated is to define your purpose, and figure out why you are working. While some workers look for jobs that are fulfilling or enjoyable, others are just trying to find something that pays well or just enough to feed their family. There isn’t a purpose that is better than the other, it’s a matter of finding the one that works for you. Once you find your driving factor, the prospect of accomplishing that purpose helps set up your career goals and keeps you motivated.

What Does That Have to do With Your Employer?
Now that you’ve found your workplace purpose, take a moment to think about what your employer sells, makes, or provides. Take what the company does to sell or serve its product and figure out how you can use that purpose to fit within your role. The more closely you associate your goals with your company’s goals and services, the better you’ll be able to motivate yourself to do what’s necessary to get your job done.

If you are unsure about your employer’s goals and motivations, ask your manager to set up some time to discuss the company. If possible, include an upper-level director who can give a different perspective. You can get some direction and a possible boost of motivation when talking to upper management.

What Does That Have to do With Your Team?
Odds are, you work with other people. They rely on you every day to get the job done. Your team has specific goals and purposes that fit into your employer’s goals. If your team hasn’t already defined their goals, ask to layout your team’s key objectives and goals that will drive sales, increase awareness, or whatever purpose your employer has. Hearing from your co-workers about what needs to be done and why it’s so important can be the extra kick you need to find motivation.

Another way to find motivation beyond focusing on goals is to ask for extra tasks or minor projects to be completed. Taking a break from your daily tasks can give your brain and body a chance to recharge while still being productive.

What Are You Going to do to be More Ambitious?
You’re bored with the normal, right? That’s why you’re in this slump. That’s why you need to break away from the safe and secure. Find out what you can do to contribute to your team’s objectives and be daring. Don’t choose anything that is too risky, but give yourself a challenge that is exciting and inspires you.

Motivation starts from within. Once you find your inner drive, you can work to overcome the challenges that you could face. What are some ways you’ve found motivation at work? Let us know in the comment section below.