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3.12.15
How to Break Free When You’re Not Free
What do all these successful people have in common? Einstein came up with the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle. Salvador Dali believed that his daily siesta boosted his creativity. Thomas Edison said he got extra energy to invent electrical devices from taking short naps.   What they (and many other famous people from Leonardo da Vinci to John F. Kennedy) have in common is that they used work breaks to get more done, with better quality, in less time. And a plethora of scientific studies prove them right.   A DeskTime time-tracking experiment showed that the top 10% employees in productivity actually worked less than eight hours a day. They alternated 52 minutes of work with 17-minute breaks.   A Mayo Clinic study found that workers who stay glued to their desks all day without a break have more health problems, including cardiovascular disease, gastro-intestinal damage, impaired memory, poor decision making, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety....
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2.19.15
3 Better Ways to Interrupt Someone
Busy co-workers and supervisors are ... well ... busy. They may be putting out a "Don't bother me now" vibe that has stopped you from asking for the help or information you need. Or maybe you're afraid you'll come off as not knowing your job if you request their guidance. Rest assured, they would rather prevent your mistake before it happens than let you go cluelessly ahead and then have to clean up the mess afterwards. In fact, most people are flattered when their expertise is sought. Here are three better ways to get a positive response when requesting a colleague's input.   Ask for a Specific Length of Time (and Stick to It). "Do you have five minutes?" sounds a lot more doable to even the busiest person. The shorter time frame you can designate, the better. That's why asking for a working lunch or dinner is usually not successful: it takes too long. But be realistic with how much time it will take to get everything you need. Running beyond your allotted time will make a...
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2.12.15
Professional Networking 101
You’ve probably read, in this blog and elsewhere, that your network of contacts is an excellent source of news about job opportunities — usually better ones than what shows up on the job boards. But how do you build that network?   Here are some pointers to get your name and face into the minds of those who can help you up the next rung of your career ladder.   Develop a good elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is what you say about yourself to someone you just met in the elevator. This “speech” should be about 30 seconds long (the length of an elevator ride) and should be a summary of what you do, your strengths and abilities. Use your elevator pitch whenever you’re meeting people you’d like to network with.   Put yourself out there. The only way to add people to your network is to get out and meet them — lots of them. Attend conferences, workshops, events, alumni associations, etc. Join Linked-In and Twitter groups for your profession. Think about where else the people...
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2.05.15
Analyzing the Job Offer: 5 Questions to Help You Decide
Great news, you’ve received a job offer, and the pay is within your desired range. Should you jump at it without further ado? In this difficult economy and highly competitive job market, it’s understandable if you say yes. But we strongly advise you to consider other factors of the job before you commit yourself. After all, you’re hoping for long-term employment and career advancement. That won’t happen if you’re so unhappy at work that you can’t stick it out for very long out no matter how good your wages are. Then you’ll be right back where you started, looking for work. You wouldn’t be alone. Money is rarely the primary reason people give for the job dissatisfaction that caused them to leave. Ask yourself these 5 crucial questions when you’re deciding whether or not to accept that offer: Will I have work/life balance? Or is this a workplace where employees are routinely expected to work 10, 12 or more hours a day, leaving no time for family or social activities? Will I have...
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1.29.15
Your Next Job Might Be Right Under Your Nose
When there’s no room for advancement within your department, do you automatically assume you’ll have to look outside the company to take the next step toward your career goals? If you do, you may be missing some great opportunities. Look around the other departments for vacant positions that would complement or expand your skill set. For example, if you’re a customer service rep, a transfer to the sales department would be a natural fit, especially since you’re already familiar with the company’s products or services that you’d be selling. This is why being an “insider” is likely to give you an advantage over outside candidates when hiring decisions are made. You already know the company, and the company knows you. You just need to make sure the right people in the company know you — and appreciate your potential to succeed in roles they may not have thought of. Here are some strategies to start implementing right now, so you’ll be at the top of their short list when an...
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1.22.15
Is Your Online Presence Sabotaging Your Job Search?
Fact: 78% of recruiters “Google” candidates and 63% check them out on social media sites. Previously on our blog we’ve covered many ways you can make the Internet work to your advantage when you’re looking for a job. Today we’re going to discuss how it can be a big disadvantage if you don’t control your online identity.   Step one: Google yourself and see what hiring managers will see. If there’s anything that portrays you as less than an ideal employee, do what you can to remove it.   Negative posts about your current job. No matter how justified you are in hating your job, your boss and/or your co-workers, save your gripes for your diary, or a private conversation with your best friend. Don’t put them out there on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc., for anybody and everybody to see. Or, if you really must vent your feelings online, change your account settings to private.   Embarrassing photos. The party was great fun, but do you really want potential employers...
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1.15.15
5 Ways to Get Your Resume the Attention It Deserves
Did you know that most recruiters and hiring managers spend 7 seconds or less looking at a resume before deciding whether to put it in the “yes” or “no” pile? So it’s imperative that you make those few seconds count, and craft a resume that stands out from the crowd of dozens, or even hundreds, it’s competing with for the recruiter’s attention. Assuming you’ve already taken care of the basics, such as triple-checking it for neatness and errors in spelling, grammar, dates, etc., here are 5 great tricks for cutting through the clutter.   Add a marketing headline. There’s a reason why ads and billboards usually feature a large banner headline: it grabs attention like nothing else. At the top of your resume, under your name and contact info, place a headline that instantly tells the reader what you have to offer. For example, someone hunting for a job in sales might write: John Applicant   555.555.5555   japplicant@email.com   Large Account Sales Professional To further...
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1.08.15
How (and Why) to Research a Potential Employer
Why should you bother to learn about a company you’ve sent an application to? After all, they’re the ones that should be researching you, right? Wrong.   Nothing makes a better impression on an interviewer than being familiar with his or her company. In fact, you are quite likely to hear the question, “What you know about us?” during the interview. If you can come up with some ready answers to that question, you’ll demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in working for them.   Every time you apply for a job, take 5 or 10 minutes to dig up a few facts about that business and jot them down in case you make it to the interview stage. If these facts are things that interest you personally, you’ll be more likely to remember them and discuss them enthusiastically during the interview. For example, if you’re into preserving the environment, what eco-friendly efforts does the company engage in?   Fortunately, with the internet at your disposal, it has never been easier to...
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1.02.15
The Benefits of Working While in College
Working part-time while you complete your education can bring many advantages, both in the present life and in your future success in life. At Integrity Staffing Solutions, we have placed many students on temporary, seasonal or part-time assignments that help them get a head start on their careers, learn life skills, or simply earn some extra cash to help with essential expenses or fun indulgences. We’re happy to report that most of them wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. Here are some reasons why.   Money smarts. You may have heard or read about money management, but there’s nothing like hands-on practice to make it really sink in. Saving and budgeting get much more real when it’s your hard-earned money in question instead of your parents’.   Time management. This is one of those life skills we talked about earlier. Having responsibilities to a job as well as to schoolwork, play time and rest time will help you learn to balance, prioritize and...
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