Category Archives: job search

December Webinars Announced!

Looking to end the year with a plan for your future?  Why wait until January and your New Year’s Resolution?

Several times a month, our company will provide you with timely (and free!) career development webinars to help you make the most of your job search and career development.

You do not need to come to our office to attend these webinars, you simply need to sign up and log in from the comfort of your own home.

Of course, if you do not have access to the internet and are interested in taking one of our webinars, please contact our office and we will do our very best to accommodate you.

To register, log into your Career Resource Circle account and click on the Webinar Tab. If you have any questions, please call our office at (262) 544-4787.

CAREER RESOURCE CIRCLE

The Career Resource Circle is a free career resource tool for our current and future associates.

To access this resource:

Log onto www.nissenstaffing.com, click on “CAREER RESOURCES” and then “CAREER RESOURCE CIRCLE”

or quick link to http://www.careeresourcecircle.nissenstaffing.com/

DECEMBER OFFERINGS

Ignite Your Job Search with Confidence – Re-THINK YOU

Tuesday, December 5th @ 3:00 pm CST

It is time to re-invent your self-image, expand your self-concept, and ignite self-confidence.  No matter what you are doing in life, it’s important to know how to effectively manage yourself on all levels; physically, mentally, and emotionally.  If you feel like job searching is a defeating experience, make it a priority to join us.

In this webinar, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Shift your perspective to cultivate self-confidence
  • Discover how easy you can change your self-image
  • Learn strategies to help you powerfully manage emotions
  • Build and strengthen your attitude – Be a Yes to You!
  • How to access the courage, clarity and power already in you!

 

Make the Holidays Happy: Resume Writing Tips to Beat the Job Seeking Doldrums

Tuesday, December 12th @ 10:00 am CST

In this webinar, job seekers will learn tips to keep their job search fueled through the holiday season and beyond. Targeted to help all job seekers—from entry-level to senior-level—our resume writing expert will offer easy to implement strategies that attendees can use immediately.

 

Nine Things to Do Before an Interview

Tuesday, December 19th @ 12:00 pm CST

There are hundreds of interviewing books and thousands of articles on the Internet. Often the most qualified person does not obtain the job offer. It is often the job seeker who aced the interview. Today we will discuss what you can do before an interview to gain a competitive edge. During this session, we will address the following topics:

  • Nine steps to help you prepare for an interview
  • Why preparation improves your interview abilities
  • Tips to remember during the interview process

 

Holidays are the Best Time to Escalate Your Search

Thursday, December 28th @ 11:00 am CST

Holidays can be very difficult when you are not working. Don’t get caught in the trap of waiting until after the first of the year to continue your Job Search. Understand the benefits of escalating your Job Search during the Holidays. During this session, we will discuss the following:

  • Hiring budgets that must be spent before the end of the year
  • Why many terminations occur during the last quarter of the year
  • How there is “less competition” right now!

Lifelong Learning is the Key To Success

Don’t look now, but your local big box store has exploded with back to school offers and products and tucked them in right between the Halloween costumes and the dwindling summer clearance merchandise. You just noticed that it is getting darker earlier and you occasionally think about grabbing a light sweater before heading out for the evening.

This time of year always makes us think about learning and new beginnings. Do you feel stuck in your job? Do you wake up in the morning and wonder if your career is heading in the right direction? Stop wondering and start DOING. The employment market is great and employers are bending over backwards to attract and retain talent.

Do Some Goal Setting.  September is a great time to think about what you want to accomplish in both the short and long term. Think about what you can accomplish in the next 30, 60 or 90 days and develop a plan.

Commit to Learn Something New.  Our most successful employees are both capable and willing to learn new things. Did you know that Nissen Staffing Continuum offers free webinars several times a month? Check out the events page on our website to learn more! With the unemployment rate at an almost 30-year low, now is a great time to take a risk and try something new. Go back to school, try a different industry, ask your manager to expand or change your areas of responsibility. Seek out leadership opportunities. Open yourself up to what could be and walk away from things that are no longer fulfilling to you.

Ask for Training or Seek It Out.  Love where you work, but sick of what you do? Ask to be cross-trained. Today’s employers are more likely to offer on-the-job training programs to employees they want to retain. If your employer doesn’t offer this, look for one that does. If you position yourself correctly as a life-long learner, ready to learn new skills and show that you’re both dependable and trainable, there are many options in today’s job market.

Find a Mentor.  A great teacher is a plus for any student starting a new school year. Don’t decide that just because you’re an adult that a great teacher can’t make a difference for you. Find a mentor that can help you identify and develop your strengths and work on improving areas of weakness.

Polish Your Resume.  Now is a great time to take a look at your resume, even if you’re not sure you’re ready to make a move. Have you learned any new skills this year that you can add? If not, why not?  Talk to your current employer about growth opportunities.

Ask For Feedback.  Research shows that those who ask for and apply feedback feel more successful and have a higher rate of success. Welcome feedback and make necessary changes.

Start a New Job!  If you are not currently working, or not currently happy in your role, this is a great time of year to try something new. Consider working temporary jobs that allow you the flexibility to work around family schedules and help you find a great fit. Check out some of our current openings or contact us for an appointment!

At Nissen Staffing Continuum, we encourage our employees to never stop learning. An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level. For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

Today’s Job Market is a Win for Job Seekers

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development just released February unemployment numbers and the results aren’t surprising area employers:  The State’s unemployment rate has declined to 3.7%, the lowest since 2000.  Pick up an issue of any business-focused magazine, HR-related journal or Google “how to find and keep employees” and you’ll see article after article about the talent shortage. While finding new talent is part of the challenge, keeping that talent is equally as difficult.  While employee recruitment and retention is a huge challenge for employers, it’s a huge opportunity for job seekers.

Employees are no longer lured to a company just by a decent salary and benefit packages.  This generation of our workforce has different ideas and the current employment market is only adding to their cause.  Companies are offering things like unlimited vacation time, flexible work schedules, paid volunteer time and employee wellness programs. Employers are getting creative, doing things like providing free lunches and breakfasts and offering family friendly policies that employees are encouraged to take advantage of.  Some are even allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Today’s employers have had to get creative.

This work environment has made us pause and take note. Workers in Southeastern Wisconsin, what is important to YOU?  What types of recruitment programs and employment offerings would make you sit up and take notice?  What type of benefits are most important to you and would make you consider leaving your current job?

Sound off!  We want to hear from you!

An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!  

 

Source:  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2017/unemployment/170323_february_state.pdf

 

Twenty Years of Learning Can Lead to Your Success

Happy New Year! This year is especially important to Nissen Staffing Continuum, as we mark and celebrate 20 years in business.  We’ve come a long way, starting off as a three-person operation and growing and expanding to being one of the largest and most successful staffing companies in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Some may ask, “How did you do that?”  The answer is probably simpler than you think:  We Listen.

We listen to our clients when they tell us what THEY need to make their business successful.  We listen to our associates when they tell us what THEY need to be successful in their careers.  We listen to our staff when they suggest new and better ways to do things.  We listen to both our supporters and critics, because each of them tell us something new from a different perspective.

As your trusted career advisor, all of this listening has given us a lot of insight that can help you. While this list isn’t inclusive of everything we’ve learned, we hope that some of our learnings will help you grow into a successful career.

  • Integrity comes first. Be honest, do the right thing, and never compromise your integrity.
  • Do your very best. Give 100% effort in everything you do. You might not be good at everything, but sincerely trying to do your best is all anyone can ask for. You might learn something new or you might learn what you were meant NOT to do. Sometimes, landing your dream job can take a number of attempts. Don’t give up.
  • Be willing to learn. If there’s one thing that is certain, it’s that nothing is certain. Things change.  Technology changes. Processes change. Don’t run from change, run to it. Embrace the opportunity to learn something new and once you do, learn it well enough to teach others.
  • Mind your manners. Say please. Say thank you. Show the best of intentions, always. Be mindful of others’ time, and this includes being ON time and ON task.
  • Ask good questions. If you don’t know something, ask. However, before you ask, make sure you don’t have another resource that can get you the same answer. Maybe it’s in some training material you were expected to understand. Maybe it’s something that can be found on the company’s website. Ask a question because you can’t find the answer, not because you weren’t willing to look for it and couldn’t retain the information you were already expected to know.
  • Ask for feedback. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. Ask for feedback, and more importantly, be open to the feedback that you get and act on it.
  • Find a job you love. Many people spend more time at work than with their own families. Make sure you enjoy your work and your place of employment.  Happy employees make happy customers.

Notice that our list doesn’t include technical skills, the name of a school, or a specific job title?  This is because over our 20 years of experience, placing people into careers in Southeastern Wisconsin, we’ve learned that we can TEACH technical skills and many employers are more than willing to make an investment in job training.  What an employer can’t teach is a good attitude and work ethic.  Employees with great attitudes that work hard, with integrity and dedication are often the employees that are most successful in our workforce.

An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

Surviving (and Thriving) During a Job Change

Change.

This one little word can cause excitement in some and panic in others.  While the expression is “Change is Good,” it can also be a bit scary, especially when it involves an involuntary change in your employment status.

Here is where we can help.  As your local employment expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, our team of dedicated staff can provide you with support as you navigate the unknown waters that is a job search. Earlier this year, we provided you with some helpful tips on the World of Work Basics and this month we will share the benefits of working with a staffing firm like Nissen Staffing Continuum.

Benefit #1 – Working Knowledge of Your Specific Job Market

Remember, career consultants at Nissen Staffing Continuum are talking to employers every day.  They know which skill sets are in demand, they know what companies are paying and they know who is proactively looking for employees, even though they may not be advertising it.  Take advantage of this information and look to our team of employment experts to be your eyes and ears in the job market.

Benefit #2 – Honest, Straight-Forward Advice

Of course your mom loves your resume and thinks you are grossly underpaid.  But do employers think the same? We’ll evaluate your skills, your experience and your salary expectations and give you an honest answer about whether or not your expectations will likely be met.  We’ll coach you through the job search process and help you identify which skills are most marketable and suggest skills you may want to develop.  While our advice is not always exactly what you want to hear, it is always helpful and well intended.

Benefit #3 – It’s FREE.  That’s right, we said free.

Our clients pay our fees.  Our associates never pay a dime for our services and this is most helpful if you need advice about your resume, or coaching on an upcoming interview or the “inside scoop” about an employer, an interviewer or a benefit package. Take advantage of us. That is why we are here.

Benefit #4 – In many cases, you can “try before you buy.”

If you’re open to a temp-to-hire job, you have a wonderful opportunity to work in a business before actually committing to the position.  Want to know more about the company culture?  Not sure if you want to work in a small business?  Have you always been interested in jobs in manufacturing but are not sure where to start?  No problem.  Actually DOING something is always more insightful than hearing about doing something.  So give it a try and see what you think, and THEN make a longer term decision.  Not your thing?  No problem.  We also offer direct hire placement.

Benefit #5 – We can help you fill in the gaps. 

Not sure what you want to be “when you grow up?”  Are you feeling stressed and not sure which direction you want to go?  Want to change industries but are not sure how? Consider temporary work.  You might find an environment you’d love to call home and you are now connected and have your foot in the door.

Get expert advice on the current job market, honest advice and get your foot in the door, all at no cost to you. Allow our team of experts to help you during this transition.  You’ll be glad you did.  After all, like we always say, it’s not who you know alone, it’s who we know together.

An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner and career coach, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

 

 

‘Tis the Season to be Working

According to the National Retailer Federation (NRF), an average consumer will spend more than $800 on gifts and holiday merchandise this season.  The NRF also estimates that retailers will hire between 700,000 and 750,000 new holiday positions to cover the busy shopping season.  But the retail industry is not the only industry that sees an increase in activity this time of year. Product needs to be produced, items need to be shipped and delivered, restaurants and grocery stores see an increase in sales and the demand for personal services (hair salons, spas, etc.) also increases.

This increased activity means that you have an opportunity to make a little extra money this holiday season, and perhaps try something new. Here are five reasons to pursue a holiday position this year:

  • Earn more than you’ll spend! Wouldn’t it be great to not incur debt this holiday season?
  • Discounts! Many retailers offer product discounts to their employees.
  • Learn something new! Many companies are willing to train seasonal help and it’s a great opportunity to learn something new.
  • Get your foot in the door! Have you always wanted to work for a specific company? See if they are hiring seasonal help and apply.  Companies often offer longer term positions to people that do a great job during their seasonal roles.
  • Enjoy the flexibility! If you’re looking for some extra money and want a short-term, flexible job, seasonal positions often fit the bill.

Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you find seasonal work or a short term, flexible temporary job. An awarding-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum, can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

Finding (and Keeping) A Job in Today’s Market

Recently, our team of experts was invited to speak at a conference targeted at people looking to enter, or return to, the workforce.  The goal of the program was to provide essential job search skills and advice on how to keep a job in today’s employment market.

Here are some highlights from our program:

On Job Availability:

  • There are many available jobs in today’s job market, as unemployment is extremely low and the market is looking for capable workers, provided they have skill sets that complement emerging job trends.
    • Health Care jobs, IT jobs, Construction jobs, Business Management and Financial jobs, Installation, Maintenance and Repair Jobs are some of the jobs with the largest needs and the most availability.
    • These jobs all have a median salary higher than the median salary in our region.
  • Our low unemployment means one thing to qualified job seekers: GREAT OPPORTUNITY.
  • If you don’t have experience in one of these growing jobs, look for transferable skills (skills that you already have but can use elsewhere) that you can apply in a new role.
  • Look for non-traditional employment!  As employers seek to diversify their workforces, ignore gender stereotypes about certain jobs and pursue any job you find interesting!  Many employers have developed special programs to introduce interested job seekers to roles that have traditionally been filled by typically one gender or the other.

 

On “The Search”- Considerations When Looking For A Job:

  • Manage every contact like it’s a live interview. Your interview started with the first contact and will continue until you get an offer, or they move on to someone else.
    • Check your voice mail! Make sure your outgoing message is professional and says “Hire Me!”  If it doesn’t, change it!
    • Check your e-mail. Make sure your email address sounds professional and all things related to email (your auto-signature, your grammar, etc) is professional.
    • Check your social media. What does it say about you?  Remember, if you put it on the internet, you should not expect any privacy.
    • Answer the phone with a pleasant, professional voice. If you are in a situation where you can’t talk, or things around you are chaotic, then let it go to voice mail and handle the call when you can do so in a quiet, professional manner.
  • Use your Network
    • Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work.
    • If you are involved with organizations that can help you, take FULL ADVANTAGE of their services, many of which are free.
    • Consider informational interviewing and find a mentor.
    • Consider working through a staffing company. You can build your resume, gain work experience, try something new and learn more about what you like and don’t like.
  • Follow up and be persistent. Don’t be afraid to call, but do so on a reasonable schedule, like once a week, not several times a day!
  • Have an updated and accurate resume.
  • Don’t give up and when feeling frustrated, DO SOMETHING.
  • Know your bottom line. We all have a budget, we all have a “bottom line”—know what yours is!  If you don’t know this, figure it out.  It’s important.
  • Know what the market is currently paying for your skill set. And if you’re not happy with that, go find a new skill set and learn some new things.  That’s the great thing about resources—you can use them!
  • Interview for as many jobs as you are invited to. Interviewing takes practice. Get good at it!
  • SAY THANK YOU. Thank you notes, letters, even e-mails, will set you apart.
  • If you are working, always give notice.

On KEEPING the Job You Found:

  • Be On Time. On time means on time.  Every Day.  Without Fail. It shows you are dependable and that you care about other peoples’ time as well.
  • Work Ethic.  Work Ethic means doing what you say you’re going to do, without fail, with honesty and good judgment. Always try your best and seek out improvement.
  • Body Language. You “hold” yourself with confidence and look approachable and pleasant.
  • Be Positive! Your bring effort and a can-do, positive attitude every day. A good attitude is half the battle.  Look at your job, your wins, your losses, your celebrations and your frustrations with a positive attitude and your life just gets easier.
  • Learn to love what you do.  And if you don’t love what you do, learn what you can from it so you can work toward loving what you do.
  • Be Coachable. Be coachable and learn to take feedback.  Learn to ask for feedback and most importantly, apply it.  It will only make you a better human being.
  • Do Extra. Go out of your way to be exceptional. Ask what else you can do to help and show a willingness to go the extra mile.
  • Be Prepared. Always be ready for your day, your week, your month.  Have a back-up plan.  Be ready for whatever the task at hand is.

All of these tips can help you to have a more successful job search and working experience.  In this market, many employers are willing to TEACH a candidate the specific job skills, but they expect a candidate to come to the table with excellent “soft skills.”  Apply our advice and be ready to succeed!

An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

Back to School Means Back to Work

The days are getting shorter and there’s an occasional crisp feeling in the air.  Before you think that back to school is only for the kids, channel those feelings and apply them to your professional life.

Sharpen your pencils and grab your new backpack, it’s back to school time! For many, back to school brings excitement and hopes of new beginnings.  Even those that dread the end of summer, find something exciting about that crisp September morning.  There is something encouraging about that first day of school and its promise of new resolutions, organization and growth.

Establish a Routine.  It’s been a great summer, but the days of late nights and sleeping in are about to end.  It’s time to make lunches, do homework, and sign permission slips.  While you help your family get back into a routine, commit to getting back into your own routine.  Plan ahead so you can manage your mornings and start your day without stress.  Manage your workload and make time to focus on things that are important to your own well-being, like exercise and eating healthy.

Do Some Goal Setting.  September is a great time to think about what you want to accomplish in both the short and long term.  Think about what you can accomplish in the next 30, 60 or 90 days and develop a plan.

Commit to Learn Something New.  Be a great role model for your kids and show them that learning is not something that ends at graduation:  learn a new skill, expand your horizons, and challenge yourself.  Not sure where to start?  Did you know that Nissen Staffing Continuum offers free webinars several times a month?  Check out the events page on our website to learn more!

Find a Mentor.  A great teacher is a plus for any student starting a new school year.  Don’t decide that just because you’re an adult that a great teacher can’t make a difference for you.  Find a mentor that can help you identify and develop your strengths and work on improving areas of weakness.

Get Organized.  Clean your desk, refill your supplies, and organize your inbox and calendar.  When your surroundings are organized, your ability to think clearly improves and so does your productivity.

Think about progress reports!  Research shows that those that ask for and apply feedback feel more successful and have a higher rate of success.  Welcome feedback and make necessary changes.

Start a new job! If you are not currently working, or not currently happy in your role, this is a great time of year to try something new.  Consider working temporary jobs that allow you the flexibility to work around family schedules and help you find a great fit.  Check out some of our current openings or contact us for an appointment!

Channel your inner student and get excited for a brand new year and all of the excitement it brings!  At Nissen Staffing Continuum, we encourage our employees to never stop learning.  An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum, can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

 

 

 

A Millennial’s* Guide to Workplace Success (*Also applicable to every other employee on Earth)

If you are reading this, chances are you are a millennial who is sick of two things:

  • Constantly having to defend your generation
  • Trying to communicate with other generations and consistently failing

Never fear – help is here!  We know you like things quick and succinct, so here you go:  Ten Workplace Tips for the Millennial Generation

  1. Break the Stereotype: Don’t be bothered by people that say your generation is rude or lazy. They are generalizing and this is never a good idea.  Every generation has rude and lazy people.  At the same time, don’t be rude or lazy.  Say please.  Say thank you.  Respect other people.  Do what you say you’re going to do. You know, all the basic things you learned in kindergarten.  Model how you expect to be treated.
  2. Be Careful with Technology: Technology is great, but does not replace the value of an actual conversation or relationship. Be efficient, but be present.  Too many things can be misinterpreted over email, text or other digital communication tools. You can’t build trust over email.  Don’t discuss your job, your boss, your co-workers or company issues on social media unless you are asked to do so or it is positive marketing.  We live in a world where nothing is private.  Be conscientious of that and don’t share something “privately” that you are not ready for the rest of the world to see.
  3. Be Patient: Not everyone grew up like you did. Your own parents did not grow up with Windows-based operating systems, smart phones or the like.  They didn’t use a “cloud,” they saved things on Floppy Disks.  It was a different time and some people take to technology just a bit slower than your generation grew up learning.
  4. Be a Teacher: You might not know your industry like the 25-year employee that sits next to you.  But, you know a thing or two.  Offer to help, but don’t be a know-it-all.  Say things like “I noticed that it’s difficult to get everyone’s schedules coordinated for our department meeting.  Would you like me to help by showing everyone how to share their calendar so we can find the best possible meeting time and help you make this task an easier process?” or “I am really strong in Photoshop.  I’m not sure if you are, but if you every need help, I’ll be happy to help you!”
  5. Be a Learner: NEVER discount the life experience that sits next to you.  Yes, things may have been “different” back in the day: things change, products change, practices change. But this work history, life lessons and unwritten knowledge are invaluable to your future success.  Say things like “Tell me about a lesson you learned the hard way” or “What are you most proud of about your success in your job and this company?”
  6. Ask for Feedback: You can’t fix something you don’t know is broken.  You can’t be proud of something if you don’t know it’s being noticed.  Look for a mentor or mentors, and continually ask for feedback. Choose someone that you know will be honest and be ready to accept the feedback and apply it.  You don’t always have to agree, but you need to be open to feedback.
  7. LISTEN: Have you ever spoken to someone that you know is just waiting for you to finish your sentence so they can speak? Have you every spoken to someone that you know is not listening?  Don’t be that person.  Make an effort, every day, to LISTEN. Sometimes we do our best learning just by paying attention.
  8. Be Dependable: Be on time. Do what you say you are going to do.  Say you are sorry if you miss a deadline and be prepared to share a plan for how you are going to fix it.  Deadlines ARE important.  Start and end times to your day, meetings or appointments are important.  Ignoring time parameters shows disrespect to others’ time.  If you need more time, ask for it and say why.  If you need more resources, ask for them, and say why.  Don’t say you are/were busy.  Everyone is busy.
  9. Ask About the Big Picture: Ask questions about your company’s past, present and future.  Try and understand why things have happened in the past and how they exist today.  Ask your peers and leadership about the company’s future goals and initiatives.
  10. Ask How You Can Help: Regardless of your generation, companies appreciate people that aspire to be helpful contributors.  Ask how you can help the company achieve its goals.  Volunteer to be part of leadership initiatives. Show interest in the future and success of your organization.  Learn where you can make the greatest impact and go for it.

Following these ten tips will help you to become an engaged, successful employee that is not burdened with a generational stereotype.

An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum, can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level.  For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!

 

Ten Things You Can Do to Stay Healthy At Work

Most of us spend more than one half of our waking hours at our jobs. Because we spend so much time at work, we cannot ignore our health during these hours.  Here are ten easy ways to stay healthy at work:

  1. Walk to Work or Park with a Purpose. If you can walk (or ride your bike, etc) to work, do.  But if you can’t, park with a purpose.  In the lot, park as far away from the entrance as possible or use a parking structure a few blocks away from your office.  If you park in leveled parked, park toward the top of the parking structure and take the stairs.  If you take public transportation, get off at the stop before you normally would and walk the rest of the way.
  2. Brown Bag It. Pack your lunch, drinks and snacks.  Skip high calorie coffee desserts drinks, sugar laden soft drinks and vending machine temptations.  Pack a healthy lunch that includes energy boosting proteins and healthy carbohydrates.  Pack snacks like almonds or vegetables and hummus, and avoid processed foods.  Don’t linger in the break room or wherever your co-workers offer baked goods, donuts or birthday treats.  Taste if you want, but then walk away.
  3. DRINK WATER. Buy an insulated water bottle and keep it filled so you can drink water throughout the day.  An easy target is to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day.  Not only is hydration important, but drinking water helps keep you full and focused.
  4. STAND UP and be noticed. Research shows that sitting for long periods of time can be as hard on your body as smoking.  Is your employer open to a stand up desk?  Would you be allowed to sit on a stability ball vs a regular chair?  You’ll never know unless you ask.
  5. Seek out Support. Sometimes staying focused on a healthy lifestyle needs some support. Find people that share your goals and keep each other accountable.
  6. Limit Eating at Restaurants. Avoid going out to restaurants every day, either before, during or after work (including Happy Hours!)  When you do, make healthy choices.  Plan ahead by going online and looking at the menu BEFORE you leave.  For example, not all salads are healthy, beware of extra cheese, fried food, and excessive amounts of salad dressing, etc.  Watch portions and ask for a To-Go box as soon as you receive your meal. Most restaurant portion sizes are excessive and you can easily reduce the portion by removing ½ of it from your plate as soon as you get it.  Avoid alcohol.  First, most alcohol/mixed drinks are high in sugar and calories, and second, alcohol can impact your ability to make good choices, eating or otherwise.
  7. MOVE. Take time on your breaks and lunches to stretch and walk.  Better yet, find a friend and make it a point to encourage each other to move.  When possible, consider “walking” meetings.  If something needs to be discussed that doesn’t require computers or presentations, take the conversation on the move.  Pack your gym bag and go work out before work or before you go home.  Chances are, once you’re home, life will take over and you’ll never get there.
  8. Look Away from the Screen. Take care of your eyes, back and neck and look away from the computer screen at least once an hour and focus on something else.  Eye fatigue can have long term effects on your eye health and sitting at a desk, staring at a screen can put unnecessary stress and tension on your neck and back.  Pay attention to ergonomics.
  9. Plan ahead. Have a plan for dinner BEFORE you leave work.  Do your best to pre-plan your meals, etc so that you are not tempted to rush out after a stressful day and stop at the nearest drive-thru to feed your family.  A little pre-planning can save a lot of tension….and calories.
  10. R-E-L-A-X and smile. Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made headlines a couple years ago when he reminded millions of fans to calm down and relax.  While work is, well, work, try to find some time during your day to enjoy what you are doing and the company of the people that you work with.  Remember that while problems come up, there is always a solution.  Things will work out.  Try your best to let the day-to-day stress roll off your back.

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