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!

 

 

 

How to Make a Great Impression On Your First Day At Your New Job

You did it, you found a job.  While the job market is hot, finding that perfect fit is both exciting and scary.  Before you set your alarm for that first day, take some time to think about what you can do to make a great first impression.

  • Arrive on Time. Do not be late, but do not be too early either.  Often, employers have procedures and tasks that must be completed on your first day of work and while you want to show your employer that you’re eager to get started, you also don’t want to create an awkward situation.  Arrive about 10 minutes early and be patient.
  • Pay Attention to Names and Learn What Each Person Does at the Company. Listen for people’s names and do your best to remember them.  Are you “bad with names?”  Many people are.  So admit and move on, “So nice to meet you Jim! I know I’ll be meeting a lot of people in the next few days, and I am not always the best with names, so forgive me in advance if you have to remind me the next time I see you.”  Ask them what their job is; the more you engage in conversation, the more likely you will remember their name.
  • Do Your Homework on the Dress Code. You’re the “new kid on the block.” You want to look nice, but not stand out.  If it’s a business casual environment, don’t show up in a suit.  If you start on a “Casual Friday”, you don’t need to show up in your most casual of clothes, but you don’t need to wear a shirt and tie either.  Be aware of the dress code at the company and pay attention during your interviews.
  • Be Prepared. Did the HR contact tell you that you need to bring in identification that permits you to work?  Were you asked to complete any paperwork?  Make sure you have what you need.
  • Don’t Over-Personalize Your Space. You are starting a new job, not moving into an apartment.  On your first day, bring only what you need.  Look at the workspaces around you and personalize your space slowly, and appropriately.
  • The first few days, weeks and months at a new job is the time to listen.  Do not be the person that walks in the door telling people how YOU would do things.  In order to be a great contributor, you need to first understand your environment.  You can only do that by listening.
  • Ask Good Questions. Use phrases like “help me understand…” and “can you explain…” when you ask a question.  You do not want to appear critical, you want to appear sincerely curious. Don’t repeatedly ask the same question over and over again; retain the answer.
  • Find a Mentor. Find someone you can trust and go to if you have questions.  But be careful, and keep the relationship professional and do not gossip about issues you see in the office.
  • Ask For Feedback. Ask your manager if you are meeting expectations or if there is anything else you should be focusing on.
  • Don’t Discuss Things That Aren’t Your Business. You may have replaced someone that was recently terminated.  You may have been recruited from a competitor.  You may be starting a job that an internal candidate applied for, but didn’t get.  Be sensitive to these things, keep your focus on your role and doing the very best job you can.  Don’t get caught up in office politics, gossip or speculations.

Coaches tell athletes to let their playing performance do the talking.  As your career coach, we will tell you the same thing.  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.

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!

 

Do You Need A Job? Are You A “Super” Job Seeker?

This year’s “big game” has come and gone.  While the actual game is over, the discussion about the infamous commercials continues.  What made a commercial memorable? Did it make you think?  Was it a funny commercial?  Did it make you more interested in the product?  In a recent CNN interview, CBS President Les Moonves said that a 30-second spot during this year’s broadcast would cost $5 million dollars.  Wow!

Luckily, you do not need to spend $5 million dollars to become a super job seeker.  However, you can take some of the lessons learned from the CBS advertisers and apply them to your local job search.  Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Make yourself memorable. Be the job candidate that includes real accomplishments on your resume instead of just your job duties.  Follow up after the job interview with a phone call and not just an email.  Take the time to email or hand write a thank you note to the person(s) that did the job interview, highlighting how your skills can make an impact in your new job and in the organization.  As simple as it sounds, many job seekers do not take this last step and doing so can make a huge impression.
  • Customize your resume and/or cover letter for the specific job.  Just like the big game marketing, your resume is a mini-commercial that highlights you.  Be sure you are talking to your target customer:  the company to which you are submitting your resume.
  • Know YOUR brand. Be prepared to talk about your background and your accomplishments during your interview.  Be specific about all you would be able to contribute to the organization and do not be afraid to sell your talents.
  • Know THEIR brand. Do your research on the company that is offering the job and know about their business.  Know who their competitors are.  Know who their customers are.  A quick online search can tell you more about their short and long term plans, their management structure and their company culture.  Searching on websites like LinkedIn, Google, Glassdoor, and even Yelp can give you valuable insight before you even walk in the door.
  • Have a little fun. Hiring managers look for technical skills and job experience.  However, they also look for personality and cultural fit.  Be appropriate, but be yourself.  Do not be afraid to let your personality shine during an interview.  After all, if you get the offer, you want to be able to enjoy the job.  A job candidate that is friendly, personable and appropriate comes off as trustworthy and someone who is enjoyable to be around.

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!

2016 and Your Dream Job

As 2016 approaches, have you made a new commitment to finding your dream job? Will it include telecommuting? A social cause? Collaborative teams? Employers are bringing some innovative ideas to the hiring space, so it pays to think about what they may offer vs. what you have to contribute. Whatever your dream, consider these three hiring trends as you adapt your job-seeking goals for the coming year.

  • Millennial workers rise to management as nearly 4 million baby boomers retire.

As younger managers assume vacancies left by retirees, expect outlooks and hiring practices to change. Millennials bring a fresh way of looking at both their jobs and the companies they work for. They will both identify new strategies for hiring employees to positions they once held as well as consider how those positions might fit into a transformed corporate structure. While boomers preferred a hierarchical organization, millennials like a flattering one that encourages more interaction. Millennials also find an entrepreneurial approach or a social-cause option to be appealing. Social media skills will help with client-facing jobs as well as team projects.

So how does this affect your job search?

Millennials: Present your fresh approach to leadership in a positive way. Promote it as an innovative way to move a company forward. Point out the benefits of millennial leadership. At the same time, show respect to the way of the Boomer. Indicate a willingness to learn and be mentored as you step into the shoes they wore yesterday.

Boomers: Even though you retired, you may still want to be professionally active – some of the time. Take advantage of the Millennial’s cry for mentoring as they step into leadership. Offer your services as a consultant/mentor. You may discover that your part-time retirement job is the dream job you always wanted.

  • More attractive, flexible benefit packages

A new wave of the workforce is entering the family stage. As millennial parents have children and desire to spend more time with them, they will require more flexibility within their jobs. Flexibility may come in the form of telecommuting or limited travel, but employees may be expected to be reachable outside the office or willing to work longer hours.

Millennials: Are you hearing your own voice here? This is the time to incorporate your desire for flexibility, telecommuting etc. into negotiations. The supply and demand scale is falling in your favor as companies face the skills gap. If you’ve got the talent, don’t be afraid to confidently claim what you need to make it your dream job.

Boomers: Many companies would welcome your part-time services for the transition. Don’t hesitate to request flexibility and other perks that please you. Like the Millennials who are stepping in, the supply/demand equation is falling in your favor.

  • Technology will be the method a potential employee uses for “employer shopping.”

Mobile technology and social media skills can bring the world closer to you. So, keep your options open in today’s employee-driven business climate. Unlike a decade or two ago, you can access company information via the internet. Take advantage of this opportunity to study a company’s culture before you choose to apply for a position. Use that transparency to your advantage in finding your dream position.

Of course, one of the best moves you can make on your journey to a dream job is connecting with a premier staffing company, like Nissen Staffing Continuum.  We are a great resource for job seekers. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you avoid pitfalls and obstacles so you can reach that goal of a dream job. Contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success.

 

 

Do You Have an Attitude of Gratitude?

It’s that time of year again – when thoughts turn toward thankfulness. As you consider your list of what you are thankful for, do your job and your employer come to mind?

Chances are, your answer may be “no.” And little by little, as lack of gratitude sets in, it becomes more difficult to stay motivated and to care about your quality of work or your job in general. In fact, statistics say that Americans actively suppress expressing gratitude on the job.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

While the number one reason employees cite for leaving a job is lack of appreciation, the responsibility doesn’t rest alone on their employer’s shoulders. Yes, fostering harmony, appreciation, high morale and quality relationships among employees begins with management, but it can’t continue without a positive employee response. Those positive feelings energize and sparkle – sending out good vibes. They reflect in the demeanor and behavior of everyone in the organization.

Certainly, it is possible to have an “attitude of gratitude.” Try it yourself!

A sincere “thank you” is always welcome, especially for people who usually never get thanked. The words not only hearten the recipient but also allow the speaker to experience a twinge of happiness. Those two small words may be a simple gift, but a truly prized one. They show respect and value. They build self-worth. They encourage trust.

Be specific in your thanks.

Instead of only saying “Thanks for the help,” try saying, “Thanks for the way you handled the formatting and the time you took to proofread the chart.”

“Thank you for responding so quickly when I call tech. My computer and I couldn’t survive without you!”

“Thanks for offering great cafeteria selections each day. Your wrap choices are delicious!”

Specifics impress the person and show that you noticed their effort as well as valued their skills.

Not only is it possible to feel grateful, a positive attitude influences those around you and trickles down to customers. Haven’t you been a customer who has noticed a “smile” in the voice of a happy employee? If so, then you know what a positive impression that gives.

Be the one who causes someone else to feel positively about you and the organization for which you work!

Don’t underestimate how other employees notice when an effort is made to express appreciation. Like a “wave,” they may just follow your lead and pass it on. Maybe you could be the one who begins the “attitude of gratitude” grassroots movement in your organization. Then watch for the result of the “wave” to boost productivity, cooperation, and the potential benefits that come back to you.

Besides, isn’t it much less stressful to work in a harmonious workplace? Isn’t it more encouraging of a better work/life balance when employees feel comfortable in their environments and committed to their work? The staff at Nissen Staffing Continuum challenges you to focus on gratitude in 2016 and when the season of thanks rolls around again, you might find your job at the top of your “things I’m thankful for” list!

Meanwhile, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you with your employment plans and strategies.

At Nissen Staffing Continuum, our focus is on you and your success. We work as your strategic partner by adding value, helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. How may we assist you with your job search?

 

 

Introverts, Extroverts, and Workplace Relations

Everyone experiences bumps in the road – and sometimes major potholes – when it comes to working relationships. We struggle to understand why someone acts, works and responds the way they do. Often, the key issue is the extrovert/introvert dilemma. Do you know the difference? Do you know which one you are? A little bit of understanding can make all the difference in office relations.

So what is the difference between extrovert and introvert?

Introversion and extroversion are aspects of personality, first identified by Carl Jung in the early 20th century. These aspects of typical personalities are frequently incorporated into personality testing (a prime example is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). The difference between the two is not complicated:

  • Introverts get their batteries charged by times of quiet solitude.
  • Extroverts get their batteries charged by social interaction.

Introverts do enjoy being with their family, friends, and coworkers, but eventually it drains them, so they need to spend more time in quiet solitude, one-on-one, or very small groups than they spend interacting with larger groups of people. They work best when allowed to think things through before reaching a decision, and sharing it. They are a great asset to the team when they are allowed to complete their own responsibilities alone or in smaller groups and save the big meetings for issues that need to be discussed as a whole.

On the other hand, Extroverts do enjoy their quiet times of solitude, but too much of it deflates their energy, so they need lots of time with family, friends, and coworkers. They work best when allowed to “think” out loud in groups, bouncing ideas off of people. They’re a great asset to the team when you appreciate and encourage their enthusiasm, letting them dive into their work.

Don’t be misled by the common myth that introvert refers to shy, easily-hurt people, who dislike leaving home and extrovert refers to people who never stop talking and wear a thick skin. In reality, introverts enjoy people and are very adept at conversation, and as much as extroverts thrive in a large gathering, they also can be great listeners who enjoy their evenings at home. Both personalities can be great leaders – they just have different styles. Furthermore, research reveals that neither type is “smarter” or “better” than the other type, but their brains do respond differently to stimuli.

Now that you have a clearer picture, how do you translate this into workplace harmony?

It’s a twofold plan:

Recognize your own weak areas and develop antidotes

Extroverts

  • Practice listening: Focus on the speaker, then think before responding.
  • Silence doesn’t always mean agreement, learn to ask for opinions.
  • Don’t fill every silence with words; learn to allow time for reflection.
  • Understand that some people prefer to see it in writing.

Introverts

  • Practice speaking: you may need to reflect first, but don’t expect others to read your mind.
  • Verbal expression isn’t always call-to-action statements, learn to decipher when others are simply bounding ideas.
  • Give value to your thoughts and opinions – if you just can’t verbally express them in large groups, at least develop the art of nonverbal communication.
  • Understand that some people prefer to hear it said.

Appreciate the strengths of your opposites and support them

Extroverts

  • Respect their need for privacy
  • Privately affirm or teach new skill
  • Let them observe new situations
  • Provide uninterrupted thinking time
  • Offer transition time and notifications

Introverts

  • Respect their independence
  • Compliment publicly
  • Accept and encourage enthusiasm
  • Recognize their need to verbally bounce ideas
  • Appreciate their ability to quickly switch between tasks

Despite differences, there is a great deal of overlap in the way that extroverts and introverts behave. Acknowledging normal variants of behavior along the spectrum can help with self- acceptance and understanding of others. Instead of focusing on the problems your differences can cause, use your differences to grow and challenge each other both individually and as a group. Rather than simply assigning roles according to ability, also consider the personality type. Remember, when opposites learn to work together, each can fully use his/her strengths to best support the project, creating genius in the form of a more productive, effective, and congenial team. As long as you recognize your personality type relative to your colleague’s, you should be able to find a happy medium and get along in the workplace.

At Nissen Staffing Continuum, our focus is on you and your success, assisting you with your career plans and placement. We understand both introverts and extroverts, and work as your strategic partner accordingly. We specialize in helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. How may we assist you with your hiring process?

 

 

Do You Fear Changing Jobs? Tips for Embracing the Unknown

Transitioning to a new career or simply changing jobs can evoke a variety of fears – even for confident people. Whether your fear centers on potential failure, meeting new people, loss of income, or a myriad of other fears connected to a professional change, you are not alone. Though fears pertaining to our work are not one-size-fits-all, they are still common to all.

The fact is, on average, each American will work for ten different employers, hold each job for about four years, and change careers three times prior to retiring. Because most people tie their self-esteem to their surroundings, it’s natural to feel threatened and/or fearful.

While your fears are perfectly normal and it’s okay to be afraid, it’s still important to develop techniques to handle the rough patches. This is particularly true if your fears stop you from following a dream that can ultimately improve your life personally and financially.

Consider the steps below as a way to face the fear and embrace the unknown as you move through a job or career transition process.

Navigating a job transition process 

  • Fear is all in your mind…literally. Set aside some time for thinking and planning.

Instead of viewing fear as an opponent, view it as an ally – a great motivator from which you can learn. Instead of looking at the past and the way things have always been, look ahead. Then write down the emotions you feel when you visualize your new work life. Journal the image you see in your head.

Next, write what you can visualize without that fear. Write about the new visualization. What does it look like when you have acted on and conquered the fear?

  • Do small things daily to work through fears. Build your “risk” muscle. Make that phone call you have been hesitating to make. Write down what you want to say, as well as your goals for the call, so you can engage the other person and make the conversation meaningful for both of you.
  • Write your three Es. What comes to you Easily and Effortlessly and is Exciting? Your innate skills are usually your strongest and will help you feel more self-confident when you write them down.
  • Find sounding boards. Briefly interview friends, family or colleagues. Ask them what they believe you do well. If any patterns emerge from their responses, note them. Allow their responses to resonate with you and compare it to the new job description.
  • Join a group or take a class. Local organizations can help build confidence as well as offer a support network. For example, Toastmasters offers support for public speaking. Support from its members will assist you with self-assurance, polishing communication skills, and learning how to engage people.
  • Ask for help when you need it. See a professional coach or therapist who can work through your fears with you and build your confidence.
  • Reframe the word “failure.” Acknowledge where you went wrong – that is the art of true leadership, but focus on what your learned and what you did right. Dissociate your self-worth with work tasks, as self-worth cannot be measured by external success alone.

Additionally, reframing alters your internal voices, making your self-talk more positive and realistic.

These tips may not help you eliminate fear of changing jobs or careers, but they can bolster your ability to manage the stress.

Connect with Nissen Staffing Continuum. We specialize in finding positions that match your strengths and skills. Our focus is on you and your success. We work as your strategic partner by adding value, helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. Contact us today and discover how we can assist you with your job search.

 

 

 

 

Interviews Types: Presenting Yourself as a Top Candidate

Suppose you have an interview coming up for a dream job. Naturally, you want to do well.

Specifically, though, how do you prepare for this job interview so that you handle yourself with confidence, communicate effectively, and present your best self from your first contact to winning the position?

You may already know there are several types of interviews: the initial screening, second interview, panel interview, and group interview. It helps to have knowledge of each so that you can be fully prepared. Following are some obvious and not-so-obvious strategies to help you succeed.

Passing the initial screening

Whether your first contact takes place at a career fair or by phone, remember that what you don’t say can be just as revealing as what you do say. The screener can be a recruiter or company representative who is evaluating your credentials, education, goals, and likeability toward matching the qualifications of the position and company culture.

If the meeting takes place in person, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Use body language that indicates you are interested and paying attention. Take several copies of your resume with you. If by phone, keep your tone positive and think about the language you use. Put a mirror in front of you and smile while you talk. It comes through in your voice.

Enunciate your words and speak at a reasonable pace. Above all, be honest.

In the dialogue, identify the general job characteristics that are important to you and why. Explain how your qualifications are a good fit for the position. If you can do so using an example showing you’ve done your homework or have a related experience, it makes you sound stronger.

On to the second interview

First, always be prepared with another 2-3 copies of your resume.

Build rapport by shaking hands, smiling, keeping eye contact, and listening. Make sure you have studied the job description and can address all its details. Knowing this helps you navigate the interview toward answering those points and explaining how your traits and skills contribute.

Additionally, do your homework on the company and its current events. Familiarity with current events helps you ask pertinent questions and shows genuine interest. At this juncture, the idea is not only to stay in the running but also to advance to the lead.

The challenge here comes from the interviewer’s use of open-ended questions. Many questions can be anticipated but some cannot. Searching the web to find examples of standard questions to use for practice is one option. However, this same technique is available to everyone else with a computer who is vying for the position you want. A smart interviewer will quickly discern canned answers and may even eliminate you from consideration.

So, how do you stand out as an individual? Be a storyteller. Use the STAR technique (Situation or Task, Action and Result) When you study the standard questions on the web, choose a personal professional experience. Describe the situation or problem, tell what action you took, and relate the outcome to the original question.

Handling a panel interview

A panel may conduct the second interview, which is when two or more people from different departments of the company share the interview. Usually, a lead interviewer introduces panel members. Each panel member may ask questions relevant to departmental concerns or interests. Remember that the above second interview strategies still apply.

Making a connection with each panel member is very important. Take out a pad and pen and write down names in the order of the seating arrangement. It is also appropriate to ask for business cards and lay them out in front of you. Discerning titles and functions of each panel member is helpful in identifying how to respond.

While answers to questions should be addressed to the whole panel, start eye contact with the person who initially asked the question.

Panel members are typically looking for strengths and weaknesses, but don’t become too hung up on group dynamics because there may be frequent interruptions as members may duck in or out. So, be prepared for possible breaks in your concentration.

At the conclusion, ask, “What other information would you like?” Make eye contact with each person as you wait for a response.

Acing the group interview

For this style of interview, candidates may be divided into groups, and groups may be required to join in a simulated work exercise or problem-solving session. Interviewers are interested in observing each candidate’s interaction and communication dynamics to determine abilities, competencies, and teamwork. Plus, there is added tension because of toe-to-toe competition with those in your group.

Again, many of the above strategies still apply, especially doing your homework. In addition, have a self-introduction sound-byte that will make a standout first impression. Don’t forget to be mindful of your body language and facial expressions. Convey respect for and interest in each person involved in the interview.

Be alert and listen attentively, not only to the questions you are asked, but also to your peers’ answers. You don’t want to appear as a bully by dominating the group, but it is good to be the first one to answer occasionally. Consider, too, that when you support others’ statements, you appear to be a team player as well as a supportive leader. Ask insightful, intelligent questions, but not until the interviewer asks for them. Never interrupt him/her.

Regardless of which interview phase you are in, finish every interview with a thank you. Verbalize your thanks on the spot, of course, but also follow up with a written or emailed thank you.

Looking for a new job? Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you put your best interviewing effort forward. We consult with you to help you find the right fit with your job goals. Contact us to discuss how we may help you.