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Recent Posts

Setting 'SMART' Goals

One of the best ways to advance your career is to have a specific goal to work toward. Last week, we discussed learning a new skill, and that is an excellent example of setting a goal. Having a goal makes it easier to determine what you should be improving on and how much progress you have made. However, not every goal is equal, and there are things you should keep in mind to create effective goals to follow. One of the best methods for setting goals is to follow the SMART method.

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Topics: Establishing a Career, Gaining Experience, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Work-Life Balance

The Risks of Self-Managed Hiring

Any organization that seeks to expand and grow itself will eventually run into the issue of not having enough staff. While the solution is simple, hire more employees, the way to get there is more complicated than it seems. Numerous issues arise when attempting to manage the process of growing your team that you may not have considered.

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Topics: Preparing for an Interview, Temp-to-Hire, Employment Agency, Contract-to-Hire, Managing Stress, Interviewing, Human Resources, Office Tips

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

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

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

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

Should you want to be a leader?

The answer to that question is yes, but… and there’s always a “but.”

You may be thinking:

  • I’ve never been a leader so how do I know if I’ll like it or be good at it?
  • Does it mean more responsibility and am I ready for that?
  • Does it mean more money and is the money appropriate for the level of responsibility?
  • Does it mean I’ll have people who report to me and will I have to evaluate and discipline them, if necessary?
  • Does being a leader always mean I’m in charge – or could I lead in other ways?

Some people never actually consider these questions, so they are unprepared when thrusted into a leadership position.

That leadership position could be as a mentor, team leader, project leader, supervisor, manager, and the list goes on. There are many ways, and some of them don’t require the designation as a “leader.”

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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

What to do if you are unhappy in your job?

This is the second of a two-part series on job happiness.  In last week's post, we took a look at the some of the warning signs that indicate you may be unhappy in your current position. This week, we will take a look at what to do if you find you are unhappy with your job.

One of the first warning signs we discussed is apathy. So, what should you do when you no longer care about the daily tasks or projects you are assigned, especially if it is a job you used to love? If you are in the apathy stage, now is the time to take a look at where you are and what you want out of a career or a position. You are older now than you were when you started this job and your interests and needs change over time. Take some time to think about what you are passionate about today, and what motivates you. From this vantage point, you will have a better understanding of what type of job or tasks will move you from apathy to enthusiasm. Then, you will want to see if you can adjust your responsibilities to focus on the things that do motivate you.

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Topics: Changing Jobs, Being a Great Employee, Managing Stress, Leaving a Job