Blog

4.30.15
Host Fewer, Shorter and Way More Effective Meetings
Probably the biggest productivity saboteur in the workplace today: the meeting. The meeting that was supposed to take an hour and ended up consuming the entire morning. The meeting where everyone talked in circles and nothing got decided or resolved. The meeting where information was pushed at people who barely even pretended to pay attention.   Wouldn’t it be great if those meetings could happen less often, in less time, and still achieve the same — or even better — results? We’re here to tell you it can be done! Here are the strategies we at Integrity Staffing Solutions use to make this dream a reality.   Eliminate the Non-Essential. Ask yourself if this meeting is really necessary. Do you really need production updates more than once a week, or is the same information being repeated from one meeting to the next? How about once a week, or even one every two weeks?   Ask yourself how many people really need to attend. Remember, the more man-hours are tied up in your...
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4.23.15
What to Do When You’re Out of Ideas for Small Talk
There you are at a professional networking event, chatting with new contacts and (hopefully) making a fantastic impression. Suddenly, silence falls. And you can’t think of a thing to say. Awkward!   It’s bad enough if this happens when you’re among friends, but it’s a thousand times worse when you’re with people who could have a positive or negative effect on your career. So let’s make sure it never does happen to you.   Here are our top 3 successful talking points that will keep the conversation going; and make yourself look good in the process.   The News Ask people’s opinion of the latest news story, movie/TV show/viral video, or local sports team’s performance. If you don’t know what’s going on, take a few minutes ahead of time to read a newspaper, visit a news website and check out what’s trending on Reddit and Digg.   Stay away, however, from anything intense or personal like politics, religion and health problems. You never know what someone will find...
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4.16.15
Is Your Work Ethic in Sync with Your Bank Account?
In this tough economy, it’s not always within your control, or even your employer’s, whether or not you get the pay you deserve. Many companies are struggling just to stay alive and can’t afford any wage increases. They may even be forced to hand out pay cuts or layoffs.   Along with the economic downturn has come a perceived decrease in employee work ethic, and a big debate over a possible relationship between the two conditions.   Does inadequate pay cause poor work ethic … or vice versa … or none of the above?   Some studies say that employees who aren’t rewarded for their hard work lose their motivation. Other researchers say that the millennial generation’s emphasis on work-life balance has caused traditional employers to view them as poor workers, and remunerate them accordingly. Still others see no correlation between pay increases and productivity increases in the statistics of the past several decades.   So, are you caught in a vicious cycle, where the less...
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4.09.15
How to Prevent Getting Fired in 5 Steps
You’ve heard the rumors: your company will be laying off employees. And maybe you think there’s nothing you can do about it.   But you’re wrong. Someone will make a decision about which workers to keep and which to let go. That decision will be based on how valuable or essential each person is to the company’s future success. Factors considered could range from your productivity ratings to your enthusiasm in supporting the team’s morale.   Here are five steps you can take to get yourself on the “keep” list.   Outwork Your Peers. You want your employer to see you as the hardest worker on the team. Clock in before everyone else and leave after they do. Volunteer to help out a colleague who’s overwhelmed, and never say “it’s not my job” when asked to take on extra assignments.   Check Your Last Performance Review. You want your supervisor to have nothing bad to say about you. Were any weaknesses were pointed out to you during your last review? Focus on improving those...
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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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