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How to Handle Stress as a Temporary Employee

Stress is often defined as the reaction a person has when a situation exceeds a person’s ability to handle it.

Mindy Shoss, an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Central Florida, says work-related stress “occurs when the demands on employees are greater than the resources the employees have to meet these demands.”

Basically, people become stressed when they think they don’t have control over a situation. Temporary employees, placed in a job only until a specific project is completed or only for a specific length of time, have even less control over their work environment and their work situations than other employees.

Plus, the nature of being a temporary employee with a temporary job could result in high job insecurity, one of the causes of work-related stress.

Not all stress is bad. Wanting to do a good job when you are first hired or working to meet a deadline or production target can be stressful, but the impact of that stress is driving you to perform better. It’s when the stress you’re experiencing is negatively impacting your work, health or home life that you need to worry.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Health & Safety, Managing Stress

How to Give Constructive Criticism

As hard as it is to hear that you’re doing something incorrectly or need to improve a behavior, being the person who has to tell you can be worse.

It’s called constructive criticism and learning how to give it correctly is important for everyone, and not just in a work environment.

Constructive criticism doesn’t just come from your boss or supervisor. You may need to give suggestions for improvement to your co-workers, especially if you’re responsible for mentoring a new employee or if a co-worker’s action is impacting your performance.

So, regardless of the situation, everyone should know how to give construction criticism. Here are some hints to help you do it well.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Being a Great Employee

What is MSDS and what is the importance?

At some point in your orientation for a new job, you’ll probably be told where to find the MSDS forms or book. It’s usually assumed that you know what the MSDS is and why you need to know where to find it. However, not everyone understands what the letters stand for and why it’s important to know where to find them. Of course, if you don’t know and it seems like everyone else does, you usually don’t want to ask.

So here is an explanation of what it is and why you should care.

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. Sometimes, it’s just SDS for Safety Data Sheet or PSDS for Product Safety Data Sheet.

The Material Safety Data Sheet is a form that gives you all the information for handling or safely working with a particular substance – usually a chemical, chemical compound or a chemical mixture. It generally gives you all the information you would need to know if you’re going to use a particular item, product or material in your job tasks.

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Topics: MSDS, Safety, Training

Learning to Accept constructive criticism

No matter how much any of us tries, we all make mistakes. And even when we’re not making mistakes, we may have other flaws or negative mannerisms that impact our work. Invariably, this leads to someone trying to help us by pointing out the error of our ways.

That’s pretty much constructive criticism in a nutshell – and it’s constructive because the purpose is to help us improve.

If we truly want to improve, we must learn how to accept the constructive criticism and use it to better ourselves.

So how do we do that?

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Being a Great Employee

Top 4 Reasons To Keep A Clean Work Space

It finally feels like spring when the birds begin chirping, flowers blooming and the sun is out so our temperatures climb to appropriate levels.

It’s been pretty dreary with all the rain and wind, but now our thoughts are turning to that annual ritual known as Spring Cleaning. Did you know that spring cleaning isn’t just for the home? Your work space can benefit from it too!

There are a ton of reasons why it’s important to keep your work space clean and tidy, but here are the top four:

  1. Health:

    According to research, the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. That’s why cleaning your desk on a regular basis, not just in the spring, is a good idea if you and your co-workers want to stay healthy.

    Don’t have a desk? Non-office work-spaces can harbor germs as well, whether on the tools, the work space or in common eating areas. Even door handles or push plates can host a colony of germs just waiting to infect the next person who touches them.

    Regular daily cleaning and periodic deep cleaning will keep those germs at bay.

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Topics: Preparing for an Interview, Health & Safety, Managing Stress

Is the grass really greener? Things to consider before changing jobs

Everyone, at some point, will wonder if they should change jobs. It’s a normal feeling, whether you’re thinking about pay, opportunity or just doing something new.

If you’re a younger worker, you’re more like to actually change jobs than if you are an older worker well-established in your career.

Regardless of age, here are seven key things to consider before making that leap:
  1. Why do you want a change?

    Knowing why you’re not finding fulfillment in your current position and what things you’re looking for in a new one will help you get started in the process of switching jobs. Is it because you’re not being challenged? Are you seeking more money? Is it a bad work environment? Are there changes in the company, like mergers or financial issues, that you want to avoid?

    Whatever your reason, knowing why you’re looking to leave will help you avoid the same thing in a new position.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Preparing for an Interview, Changing Jobs, Managing Stress

Will they call me after I submit my resume?

A commonly asked question job applicants have is:

“when will the phone ring?”

Don’t be disheartened, but the answer is usually: only if they want to schedule an interview.

In today’s world of automated job sites and machine evaluations of resumes, most employers aren’t calling applicants unless they want to schedule an interview.  And even then, the employer might use email rather than a phone due to the natural hesitancy of people to answer unknown numbers.

(Hint:  if you’re looking for a position – take that call from an unknown number.)

It’s nerve-wracking and frustrating to wait for the phone call that may never come. So how do you increase the chances of getting an interview?  You pick up the phone and follow up.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Preparing for an Interview, Resume

What's the difference between temporary and temp-to-hire?

Understanding Temporary vs. Temp-to-Hire

If you’re looking for work, you’re bound to come across the terms “temporary” and “temp-to-hire.” But what, exactly do they mean and how do you know which is best for you?

According to BusinessDictionary, temporary employment is where you are expected to remain in a position only for a certain period of time. That time could be based upon completion of a project, availability of funding or other circumstances, like replacing someone on leave who is expected to return.

This type of work is also referred to as seasonal employment – like at a retail shop during the Christmas season, or summer work at a pool. Other terms you might see used are: temps, contract, interim, outsourced or freelance.

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Topics: Temp-to-Hire, Temporary, Seasonal, Contract, Gaining Experience

Why trends in job descriptions are important to job seekers

Low unemployment and high demand for skilled workers means that companies are changing the way they seek employees. This means changing job descriptions in order to attract their ideal candidate in as little time as possible.

The job description is usually the first introduction to a company that job seekers have, unless it’s a well-known global corporation like Google or Amazon. Even then, the job description should contain information that makes the company’s “ideal” candidate want to apply.

Some of the emerging trends in posted job descriptions are taking that into consideration, which is good for job seekers.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Gaining Experience, Job Description

Do Staffing Companies work for the client or the candidate?

Staffing Scrabble by Amtec CC BY-SA 2.0

Finding a job isn’t always easy, even in today’s economy. What makes it even more difficult is navigating the various types of placement and staffing companies and their fees.

If you’re unemployed, you don’t necessarily have the funds to pay someone to find you a job, so do you have to pay the staffing company that’s advertising for warehouse workers? And just who is that staffing agency working for – you or the company that needs the worker?

As in most things, the answers to those questions are: it depends.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Employment Agency, Gaining Experience

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