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Recent Posts

Can working a Temp-to-Hire position benefit your career?

Trying a temp-to-hire job is like auditioning for a play. You can try out a role for a while, see if it fits you and makes sense, and if it doesn’t work, you can always change roles. You can learn some new skills, find new ways in which the abilities you already have can be applied, pick up new networking contacts, and maybe you can find a whole new career when you aren’t looking.

Because it has been such a challenging time for many people with employers forced to cut staffing due to COVID-19 shutdown requirements and more, it is difficult to find a job that you actually will enjoy. But it doesn't have to be hard! Is it time for a change in your career, yet you don’t know how your skills can apply to a different work line? Consider a temp-to-hire position. These are jobs where a company wants an employee to fill a vacancy, which leads to a full-time position. In the long-run, how can this benefit you? Is it worth contemplating?

Here are 5 things to keep in front of mind:

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Temp-to-Hire, Employment Agency, Gaining Experience, Contract-to-Hire, Resume, Changing Jobs

How to know you'll enjoy a job - 6 focuses to consider

Woo! Look at all the options on this job board! But there is a lot there, so how do you confirm a new job will be one that you will actually enjoy? Let's go through the six focuses to consider!

  1. It all starts with the job description.
    Read your job description carefully. It often tells you what type of company you'll find yourself doing. If it describes the new company or department as lively, energetic, with a big focus on teamwork, but you're shy, prefer working alone if possible, and want quiet, it may not be a good fit. If it appears too calm and you like intermingling with co-workers, it may not be the job for you.
  2. Take a look at where the job is located and consider your commute.
    Know the company's name, so you know exactly where the job is: is the position at headquarters or in a satellite/branch location.
    If your commute is 30-40 minutes or more, consider all issues before choosing this position, especially if the commute will be an hour or more. 
    Reconsider if you think a higher salary will compensate for that long commute.
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Topics: Establishing a Career, Re-Entering the Workforce, Preparing for an Interview, Gaining Experience, Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance

Bouncing Back!

Thousands of people became sedentary during 2020. With people engaged in 48% less physical activity, it can be worrisome that we are all on a slippery slope! Of course, if you are in a career where you are already moving around often, you are in the clear! Manual labor jobs, like skilled-trade positions, can use some of these to help manage stress though. But if you've been stuck working from home, exercise is key.

Inactivity = negative

The well-substantiated hazards of inactivity can lead to numerous serious physical health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and falls. Increased ‘screen time’ even if it’s work related causes eyestrain, dry eyes, blurred vision, headache and neck, back and arm pain and strains.

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Topics: Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, Office Tips, Work From Home

Dealing with the monotony of working from home

What many have gone through, now that they are working from home, has required some adjustment. While many appreciate the advantages of working from home, they also need to cope with the disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is that working from home provides minimal separation between one's work and personal life. Additionally, this can lead to your work feeling increasingly monotonous. If this is the case for you, there are steps you can take to try and break up that monotony.

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Topics: Re-Entering the Workforce, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance, Office Tips, Work From Home

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