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Digital Literacy Skills

We recently released a blog about the skills to focus on in 2021; there are also additional skills you can train to supplement and further improve your core skills. These additional skills are known as ‘Digital Literacy Skills’ and focus on being able to properly consume and understand information received from a digital medium. Digital literacy skills can be broken down into three specific skills. Let's go through them now!

Information Literacy

Information literacy as defined by the American Library Association, "is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” The first key takeaway from this and the first step in information literacy is that you must be able to recognize when you require more information than what you currently have. Second, once you have identified the need for more information you need to be able to obtain that information. This is something you can improve by learning good resources for obtaining information, and how to pick out good keywords to make effective online searches.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Computer Skills, Gaining Experience, Being a Great Employee, Office Tips

Skills to Focus on in the New Year

As time goes on, the world always continues to change, but as long as people exist, we'll be interacting with each other. Whether you are looking for a new career path or achieving a new year’s resolution, there are several core concepts that build the foundation of how we manage these interactions. These are the skills we use every day; from ordering pizza to attending an interview.

Self-improvement is a never-ending journey that everyone goes through. The choice is yours to grow and flourish or become stale.

These key skills are all connected to your continued deeper learning. The focus is on flexibility and adaptability. You will need to be able to focus on ways to get along with others through your understanding of skills such as the following:

1. Critical thinking

This skill involves analyzing facts to reach a conclusion. It is based on a rational, logical, objective evaluation of evidence.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Gaining Experience, Resume, Being a Great Employee, Office Tips

Laughter in the Workplace

“The future, the present, and the past walked into a bar. Things got a little tense.” 

We may not always be able to see a smile, but we can still hear laughterDid you know that there is a National Let’s Laugh Day on March 19 each year? After all, as William James said: 

“We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.” 

Laughter, also known as “the best medicine,” helps boost the immune system and brings relaxationThat is in addition to being very contagious! According to the Mayo Clinic, there are both short- and long-term benefits from laughter: 

In short term, laughter releases tension in the body and stimulates organs. In long term, it improves the immune system and stabilizes mood.  

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard says that according to research from Wharton, MIT, and London Business School, every chuckle or guffaw brings with it a host of business benefits. Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”  

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Topics: Managing Stress, Office Tips

Providing Professional References

We looked at how to request a reference for a job here, so now let’s look at what to do when you are asked to be a professional reference.

First and foremost – Do you want to say ‘yes’?

Keep in mind some companies have policies that only the HR Department can provide information to prospective employers. If the person was a great employee or co-worker, the answer may be obvious. If they were not so stellar and does not perform well in the job, you could look bad for giving a recommendation. 

If you do not want to give a reference, be honest. There are a number of ways to politely decline to give a reference. One way is to say you cannot give a strong recommendation and suggest they look for someone who can praise them properly. Alternatively, you could recommend them on one skill (customer service, for example), but avoid another (timeliness with completing projects).

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Topics: Gaining Experience, Resume, Hiring, References

Updated Interview Etiquettes - In a world with Covid-19

With much of the closure restrictions lifted in many areas, companies are beginning to ramp back up. That means more interviews and new hires!

In the age of the COVID-19, much of the interview etiquette rules are changing. Here is what you should know:

  1. Depending on the type of job, inquire about a video interview.

While certain jobs are more likely to require in-person interviews, if it is a job where you may be working off-site or remotely, there is nothing wrong with asking about using video for the first interview. This is more likely to be granted if there are going to be multiple interviews before the position is offered to a candidate, or if stay-at-home orders are still in place.

But before asking for a video interview, be sure you have the proper equipment at home, along with the internet bandwidth and a professional setting in which to conduct the interview. It is never good to have the company say “sure” to your video interview only to have technical issues and kids or pets interrupting.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Changing Jobs, Hiring, Interviewing, COVID19

Making the most of your LinkedIn profile

When applying for a job, your potential employer will check references. What if they want to know more about who you are? It is likely they will check social media; which is why having a profile on LinkedIn can be a great tool to promote yourself.

LinkedIn bills itself as “the world’s largest professional network.” It is a platform that seeks to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” It was launched in 2003 and has been used by more than 706 million individuals for everything from finding a job to finding a provider of services.

Your LinkedIn profile is a wonderful place where you can tout your successes and show recommendations from colleagues, customers, or employers. Think of it as your online resume – plus it's interactive!

Just like your resume, there are tricks and tips to help you stand out among those 706 million users.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Social Media, Gaining Experience, Resume, Changing Jobs, Interviewing, References

Learning Something New Everyday

In-person learning is greatly limited nowadays. Before COVID-19, it was already on the decline, but with social distancing in full-swing, it is almost impossible to conduct/attend any form of in-person training. So how will job-seekers gain education for their career when they can't go train anywhere? Well with the tools of digital learning, continuing education doesn’t have to stop just because of limitation on where you can physically go. The online world hosts a zillion certification programs, trade skills, and even college degrees. With that being said, there is no time like the present to try to get more knowledge and skills under that belt of yours.

The Washington Post reported that more than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March. In July, ABC News announced that nearly 16,000 restaurants have closed permanently. Even though many businesses have been harshly impacted, there are still employers looking for workers, primarily in the skilled trades and technology. Many of these trade skills need some sort of experience or training to even be qualified for them, but in many cases, that can be acquired through online learning, as opposed to in-person training or classes. It really is an extraordinary world that we live in today. Technology has made our lives more complex, but at the same time, it has given people chances they would never have had before. We at Supplemental Staffing want to see everyone succeed, and utilizing the plethora of knowledge available at your fingertips can certainly help you get there.

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Topics: Re-Entering the Workforce, Resume, Training, Skilled Trades

Stress in this Time of Uncertainty

There are many recent events that have upset our world, along with the social distancing recommendations and many who have lost their jobs because of businesses closing. Others are working from home and families are trying to establish routines for children and distance learning. There is a lot of uncertainty, in our own lives and in society. And then there is the isolation. Humans are social; we like being with others and having freedom of movement. We are averse to change, finding comfort in our routines and our normal lives. As a result, this isolation and changes are overwhelming and stressful.

Everyone responds to stress differently, but older people and those with underlying conditions which make them more susceptible, are likely to respond more strongly to the situation. Children also have stronger adverse reactions to stress, as they do not always understand the implications of what is going on and may start to exhibit behavioral changes.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Changing Jobs, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, High-Stress

A Safe Return

Even in tough times, you must persevere to succeed. When starting a new job position or returning to your previous in-person roll, you should take an extra step of caution for yourself, co-workers, loved ones, and the community.

In this tenuous situation, there are many questions employers and employees should be asking. We have compiled a few of the common ones to ask:

Employer questions:

  • Have you been exposed to anyone who has or may have COVID-19?
  • Are you caring for anyone with the virus?
  • Do you have childcare needs covered?
  • Do you have a fever of over 100.4⁰ F or 38⁰ C? (This may be asked of you each day.)
  • Are you experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Do you have any pre-existing conditions that make you more susceptible to the virus?
  • Is your normal mode of transportation available and do you feel it is safe for you to use it?
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Topics: Safety, COVID19

Top 8 Characteristics of Good Leadership

Last week we asked if you should want to be a leader.

This week, we’ll look at how to be a good leader, regardless of your actual leadership role or title. 

Anyone can be a leader. The best, work at developing their skills and adopt the characteristics of other quality leaders. The easiest way to do this is to observe several leaders you admireObservation may include following them on social media, reading their books, and attending or downloading any speeches they have given. Watch what they do and how they do it, then incorporate the traits you admire into your own leadership style. 

Next, realize that leadership isn’t just a “top of the ranks” role. The greatest leaders can – and will – work alongside those they are tasked with leading. Leadership is about setting an example. No task is beneath you. You shouldn’t ask others to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. 

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job, Work-Life Balance

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