Tag: career advice (page 1 of 2)

How to Handle Workplace Conflict Like A Pro

Every office has a culture that is very specific to the organization. This culture is made up several variables including the sum of its values, traditions, interactions, etc. One of the biggest contributors to a workplace culture is the people who work there. The thing about people is, they have varying personality types. While this often can cultivate an office space that benefits from the different perspectives, conflict may also arise. It is difficult to distinguish your coworkers from your friends as you spend close to 40 hours a week with them, and attachments are bound to be made. However, when a conflict happens within the office it can be a delicate issue to address as it affects friendships and work relationships, but also could lead to a decrease in office performance. With that being said, you may can see why it is important to deflate any tension. Below are a few simple but effective communications tips to ensure you navigate the negativity like a pro.

Be Objective, B-E Objective

Everyone in the office is working towards a higher company goal, but as mentioned previously, it is hard not to have your “work friends” merge into your personal life. Due to this fact it can often be hard to take off those subjective lenses and be objective. However, it is vital that you do. Don’t get caught up in the subjectivity of the conflict, look at the hard facts of what has happened and focus on those when deciding how to approach your coworker. This is an effective way to make sure the problems are work-related and the lines of work and personal are not being blurred due to a relationship that you may have outside of the office.

Say It Out Loud

You do spend every day with these individuals, when a conflict arises you need to be able to put out the fire quickly. Approach them immediately and privately about the matter at hand. This is an easy way to ensure that those little grievances don’t fester causing everyone a very awkward workday.

Don’t Gossip

Simple and straightforward enough, yes? However, it still needed to be said. When you don’t deal with your coworker directly you risk entering the dangerous snowball effect. When you allow conflict to build over time, it no longer is a quiet problem that you can deal with effectively and quickly. Instead, it becomes a much larger problem for not only you, but also the other coworkers you have chosen to involve.

Know When to Phone a Manager

Typically, you want to try and resolve the matter between yourselves, however there are situations where it becomes vital to notify HR or your superior if the offense takes a more aggressive tone. Be smart with your problem-solving skills, and use this only as a last resort when you feel like you and the opposing party still aren’t seeing eye-to-eye and it’s affecting your daily productivity.

Learning how to be better communicator in the workplace can benefit you regardless of the time you have put in at any job. Learning how to effectively deal with conflict in the workplace can go a long way not only with the other coworker, but for the entire office. Dealing with the situation appropriately encourages a higher employee morale as well as increased productivity. As much no one wants conflict, sometimes it does happen, and being prepared for it can make you a much better team player and overall employee.


Adjusting To Office Culture

In many of our articles we have discussed how to go about applying for a job, building on networking skills and manifesting a great interview. However, what happens when you land the job? Walking into the office for the first time can be both inevitably nerve racking, while also incredibly exciting. Whether it is your first position in an office or you simply made a career change, we are here to offer a few helpful tips to help you navigate a new office culture.

Observation is Key

In your first few days in a new job, you will essentially be showed the general ropes of the office. Make a point to be extra aware of not only the facilities your office has to offer (AKA where the coffee machine is located), but also make sure you are observing the people around the office as well. What are they wearing? Do they bring headphones to work? What is lunch hour like? These are all things that can help you be more prepared in the days to come. Also, in your first few weeks of work your coworkers are bound to notice you as well. Make sure they are observing you for the right reasons, as this will make your transition to the office one of ease.

Smile and Wave Boys, Smile and Wave

I, along with many people I have spoken to, make the huge mistake of forgoing interaction with coworkers. Even if the office culture is a very quiet one, simply saying hello to the people around you can go along way in building office relations. Believe me when I say that while zero human contact may appeal to all of us some days, you are not immune to feeling disconnected from your job. Building even the subtlest relations with your coworkers is a vital part of boosting employee moral.

Do as the Romans Do

While you are walking around the office making your observations, it is important to implement what you observe. For example if everyone in the office is wearing a very professional and conservative outfits, you too should follow suit. Making these small adjustments will help you acclimate to your new surroundings much faster and much easier.

Anytime you start a new position you will have a period of transition, but transition does not have to mean awkward and uncomfortable. Each office will have a completely different vibe that is often built on the foundation of what industry they are in, but these small tips can make a huge difference no matter the office culture.

3 Career Resolutions for 2017

It’s a new year and you’re likely looking ahead at a blank canvas and thinking about the things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. While you may have set resolutions for your personal life, January is also a good time to consider your professional goals and think about the things you want to achieve in your career. Whether you are currently in a position or are still searching for the right opportunity, there are always chances to improve and prepare. Take a look at these three simple and attainable career resolutions to follow in 2017.

Learn new skills.

Whether it’s a free webinar, an industry conference or a multi-week training course, take every opportunity you can to continue learning. This not only allows you to add continuing education to your resume, but also exposes you to situational examples and case studies that activate creative thinking functions that may be helpful in your own line of business. There are countless online resources like Coursera, CodeAcadamy and Lynda that can help polish your current skills or add a new area of knowledge to your resume.

Update your resume.

Regardless of whether you are searching for a job or not, it’s a good idea to keep your resume updated with your most current positions, job responsibilities, skills, achievements and any certifications you may have received. After all, your resume acts as an overview of your career and professional brand – you never know when someone may ask to see it or when a job opportunity may become available that you are interested in. Be sure to update your resume on LinkedIn, as well!

Network, network, network.

Even if you aren’t actively searching for a job, it never hurts to establish connections. There’s always the chance you may meet someone who can assist you with your current job or who may know of an ideal opportunity for you–even if it is a year from now! Make a plan to network with other professionals in your industry throughout the coming year and stick to it. Research relevant industry associations and find a local chapter to join, attend learning luncheons and grab business cards of the people you meet, and expand your LinkedIn connections. It’s all about who you know!

Think you don’t have time for professional development? It doesn’t have to be difficult! Having small, simple goals is a great way to put your best foot forward in your career or in the job search. There’s no time to waste, so let’s start the year off right!

From Basic to Tailored: How to Make Your Skills Shine

Employers are looking for you, but you have to go the extra mile to make your resume shine. Check out how to modify your basic resume and skills to match the position you’re applying for with tips from seasoned John Deere Recruiter Bev Curtis.

For additional resources and job seeker advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook.

Seasonal Jobs: To Apply or Not To Apply?

It’s that time of year again. The busy, holiday season where companies hire an abundance of seasonal workers to handle extended hours and a heightened demand for help. If you are unemployed, you are likely holding out hope for a long-term position, and rightly so, but a seasonal job may be something you should consider. Take a look at some of the reasons why seasonal employment may actually be a good thing for your career, aside from the extra cash in your pocket.

It’s no longer just for the retail.

The idea that seasonal work solely equates to “big box sales clerk” is no longer true. Think of all the industries affected during the holiday season, and the careers that are associated with each – retail, e-commerce, travel and hospitality, event management, restaurants and catering, etc. Seasonal help in one of these areas may not fall into your industry of choice, but may allow you to try a career not previously considered. Think of it as a test run in a field you may end up enjoying.

It’s a resume builder.

Regardless of what type of work the job entails, a seasonal position provides you with additional experience to add to your resume and also portrays motivation and good faith efforts in the eyes of a potential employer during a future job search. In addition, you’ll learn new skills, which could be applied to another job later on. For example, if you are interested in a full-time customer service position, consider a seasonal job at a store like Nordstrom where customer service is a priority. This will go a long way in the eyes of a recruiter looking to hire a customer service representative! You may also use this as an opportunity to network with the higher-ups at the company, which leads to the next reason why you should consider a seasonal job…

It may turn into a full-time offer.

Through a job well done and positive interactions with managers and corporate executives, you may find that your seasonal position turns in to a full-time job offer, whether for your current position or for another within the company. At the very least, your networking activities may give you some leads to follow up on after your seasonal position has ended. After all, it’s not just about your connections, but the connections of those you know.

While seasonal employment may not be the opportunity you had in mind, it can be a learning experience in the very least and if you’re open to it, a stepping-stone for your career! Ready to get started? Find temporary and full-time work online by searching open positions on My.jobs.

The College Student’s Guide To Making It In The Workforce

First and foremost, congratulations! You made it through the grueling years of formal schooling and are on the road to graduation. Many college seniors are now going to be faced with the equally stressful task of successfully transitioning from campus to workforce. *gulp* As daunting as that sounds, it can be done. Things will be undeniably different, however, following the three guidelines below can allow for a much easier transition.

Prepare To Be Humbled In The Job Hunt.

It’s no surprise that the job market is very competitive. You may apply for a position, get an interview and still not land the job on the first try. As tempting as it may be, do not get discouraged. You have a fresh perspective and highly sought-after skills that are bound to land you something. When you do accept your first position, know that it may not be the most glamorous. Be prepared to stick it out and gain experience that will make you more marketable, so you can earn that reputable position you have always dreamed of. 

Learn To Be Responsible And Accountable.

We’ve all been there – that 8:00 am class you decide to skip after a late night. Reality check – you can’t hit “snooze” on the real world. When you land your first job, you are expected to be both responsible and accountable. This means being reliable and showing that you are dedicated to your new job. Always be prepared to take on new tasks and challenges! Similarly, if you make a mistake, speak up and accept responsibility. After all, you are the wonderful, qualified worker that your new boss spent time and resources to hire. Starting off on the right foot is vital and will help you establish rapport with your new employer – this can go a long way!

Always Be Open To New Opportunities.

While loyalty is an admirable trait, your first job won’t likely be your last job. At each step in your career, you will learn valuable skills that are building blocks for your personal brand. With that said, your first job is your first chance to gain valuable experience to make you a better, well-rounded employee. While we all dream of being the top tier employee, everyone starts at the bottom. Enjoy the ride and take on each job with the idea that you are one step closer to where you want to be.

All transitions are hard, but with the right work ethic and desire to do more than what is expected, you will set yourself up for great opportunities from the start. While your schooling may be complete, understand that there is still so much to learn! Now go forth, polish up that resume, and prepare for success!

5 Characteristics of a Top Employee

In a highly competitive job market, it’s hard to know exactly what employers are looking for in a star employee. Of course, becoming a desirable asset to a company is what everyone strives for. It sounds relatively easy right? Do well in the interview, land the job of your dreams and live in employed bliss forever. Unfortunately, the real struggle often begins after the interview when you begin your new role. Molding to the preferences of your new employer, therefore enabling you to do well and advance in your career, isn’t always as simple as it seems.

So how do you stand out as a new employee? Below are five key characteristics that employers look for, not only in the hiring process, but also in a long-term employee.

  1. Good work ethic

Don’t get hung up on the idea that you are new to the company. Everyone is new at some point (yes, even that super successful CEO). Employers take notice and value someone that is willing to learn new things and work hard at doing so. In the end, having a willingness to work hard will overcompensate for your lack of experience. Just remember, skills can be taught but a work ethic cannot.

  1. Ambition

Having that “can-do” attitude is not only what employers look for in the interview, but also what they look for on the job. Employers want someone that is willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities, without the fear of making a mistake. On your downtime, look for ways to improve, read industry blogs and continue to be innovative. The employees that do are the ones who end up making great strides for the company – and landing those highly sought after promotions.

  1. Leadership

Despite your “newbie” status, displaying confidence and a willingness to help others can get you far in the eyes of your new employer. Make the decision to get involved in your company, make suggestions and share your ideas, even if you are uncertain. These qualities are the formula for a great leader!

  1. Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are vital in establishing trust with your employer. Your demeanor, interactions with co-workers and clients, as well as your performance all play a role in establishing yourself as trustworthy. Just remember that you now represent your company and poor choices can ultimately make or break your time there.

  1. Team Player

Whether you work from home or in a large office, it’s inevitable that you will have to work with others and is therefore important to be a team player. When making the decision on whether or not to hire, the employer must consider how you will fit with the existing team so it is important to come into the company ready and willing to work cohesively with others. After all, there is no “I” in team!

Regardless of where you are in your career, possessing these five traits can be a step in the right direction for not only the job you have now, but also any position you may hold in the future. Remember, anything about a product or service can be learned, but having a good work ethic cannot.

From Military to Civilian Career: Tips for a Successful Transition

Basic training teaches you how to walk and talk like a member of the military, and instills values such as discipline, loyalty and comradery. Exiting the military and entering the civilian workforce doesn’t provide the same transitional training. Prepare yourself and learn tips from retired U.S. Army First Sergeant Jason Schenkel of USF Holland on how you can make the transition from servicemember to civilian an easier process.

Managing Your Personal Brand During the Job Search

What comes to mind when you think of the word “brand”? Perhaps you think of designer denim or your favorite soda, but would you think of yourself as having a brand? You should.

Personal brand is absolutely a real thing and you don’t need to do a thing to create it because, whether you realize it or not, you already have one. So what makes a personal brand? For starters, do an Internet search for your full name + your city, and see what comes up in the results. Your social media profiles probably display at the top of the first page, among other things including news articles about you, blog posts you’ve written, company profiles, etc. Also referred to as a ‘digital footprint’, how you portray yourself (and are portrayed by others) online represents your brand – despite its accuracy or intention. Unfortunately, to a potential employer, it’s also a first impression of you.

Did someone tag you in a politically incorrect meme on Facebook? Did you write a controversial blog post back in your college days? Even though these things may not necessarily be true to who you are, they all represent you in the eyes of an unknowing employer. That’s why when starting the job search, its important to do an audit of your personal brand to see what’s out there and how you can impact it positively. To help you get started, here are a few tips for managing your personal brand during the job search.

Network, network, network

They say that once something is published on the Internet, it’s there forever. While you may not be able to erase some things, you can take control of your brand and lead it in a new direction. This is where your personal brand extends from the Internet into the real world, giving you the chance to take the reins. If you are trying to establish a reputation within an industry, start networking with others in your line of work. Find associations, groups or industry events and get out there. This will get people talking about you and help you make a name for yourself in a positive, professional manner.

Become an expert.

Another way to establish your personal brand is to become a pseudo expert in your field. Start a blog or submit articles to niche news outlets, engage in industry forums or join online groups where you can share your knowledge and be recognized for it. Having your name associated with this relevant content is a great way to establish yourself in an industry and also looks great in your portfolio when applying for positions.

Secure virtual real estate.

Many candidates are taking control of their employer brand by securing a domain for themselves, typically their name (i.e. http://www.johnsmith.com/), but may include your city or profession to be more specific. This website is not only likely to appear at the top of search results when someone does a search for your name, but is also a medium that you have total control over. So what do you do with this website? Consider it a living biography and portfolio of your work. Include a bio and headshot, your resume, links to professional social networks and most importantly, showcase your work. Include links or upload files that show your best work and represent you professionally. And be sure to include the link to your website at the top of your resume!

Just remember – your personal brand is already out there, whether or not you put forth the effort to cultivate it. So why not make the best of it? Regardless of your methods, it’s important to ensure that it is a true representation of your personality and professionalism and ultimately gives employers the right impression. Now put your marketing cap on and get to work promoting your brand!

What Tool Do Job Seekers Find To Be The Most Useful In Their Job Search?

What Tool Do Job Seekers Find To Be The Most Useful In Their Job Search?

A. Networking

B. Online tools

C. Advertising

D. Career fairs



B. Online tools

While advertising, career fairs and networking events all aid in the search for employment, recent research from Pew Research Center shows that online tools prove to be the most useful. According to their study conducted in July 2015, nearly 80% of the respondents who had looked for a new job within the last two years said that they used the internet in their job hunt and over one-third said that the internet was the most important resource. With easy access to Internet connection through the use of mobile devices, this is no surprise but finding the right online tools can be a little more difficult.

My.jobs is one such tool, helping you seek employment online through simplified search that connects you directly with global employers and their currently available positions. With a network of over 15,000 career sites and over 2 millions jobs from 10,000+ employers, My.jobs aims to ease your job search frustrations and show you only the types of careers that you are interested in.

Roughly one-third of recent job seekers say the internet was the most important resource available to them during their most recent employment searchHow does this differ from the typical job aggregator? The My.jobs network is especially helpful for those looking for careers in a specific geographic location, industry or company. For example, want to work in engineering? Engineering.jobs shows all of the open positions specific to the field of engineering. Dream of working for a company such as Phillips 66? Phillips66.jobs lists only their job openings. Looking for work in an area like Chicago? Chicago.jobs displays all of the open jobs in city and surrounding area. The possibilities are endless!

Speaking of online resources, check out this extensive list of hiring employers – many of which repeatedly occur on the Fortune 500 list – and click on each to be sent to their dedicated career site. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for posts containing valuable job search advice, and be sure to follow our Help Wanted blog for tips on interviews, networking and much more.


Pew Research Center. Searching for Work in the Digital Era; Web. 19 Nov 2015. < http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/11/19/searching-for-work-in-the-digital-era/>

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