(Family Features) With so many job openings these days, you may think you’ll have an easy time sliding into a new role. Not so fast. Because of the huge number of options available and plenty of workers contemplating changes, you’re likely to encounter some competition to land the job you want. A solid interview can help you close the deal.
Consider these five tips to help you make a great impression and land the job of your dreams:
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Avoid thinking of the interview as your first step toward a new job. Once you set the appointment, it’s time to take a deeper dive to learn as much as you can about the company and position. Ideally, you did some of this legwork when you created a custom resume and cover letter, but for the interview, you need to know more. After arming yourself with all the information you can, practice answers to questions you expect the interviewer to ask.
Decide what the interviewer should know about you. Using the job description as a guide, create a list of points you want to communicate to show how your experience and knowledge fit the role. During the interview, pay attention to opportunities for sharing these details about your skillset. Most interviewers will give you the opportunity to add information you haven’t covered; use this time to deliver a succinct summary of how you can succeed in the position.
Create your own list of questions. An interview isn’t just about determining whether you’re a fit for a job; you also need to decide whether the job is a fit for you. Think about what you need to know in order to feel confident accepting an offer. You might organize your thoughts by considering what is essential in a new job and what aspects are “nice to have.”
Present yourself as a winning candidate. Impressions are everything when it comes to interviews. Dress to impress with well-fitted clothing appropriate for the job and practice good grooming habits, including details like trimming your nails and minimizing distractions like pet hair. Arrive early enough that you’re not rushed or flustered when you check in for your appointment. Use good posture, a firm handshake and a clear, confident voice. Speak authoritatively but respectfully and try to make the interview a comfortable, conversational exchange.
Leave a lasting impression. Before you end the interview, ask for clear insight on the next steps in the process. Within 24 hours, send follow-up messages to each person you met with. Thank them for their time and include references specific to your conversation, such as elaborating on a question or reiterating a key point. This shouldn’t be a copy-paste message, but rather a tailored one to each individual. Close by reiterating your interest and how your skills are a fit.
Find more advice for handling personal and professional challenges at eLivingtoday.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) Starting your career can be both an exciting time and a daunting experience. While there’s no secret formula to becoming successful in the workplace, there are steps you can take and skills you can build during the early stages of your career that can help you move toward your long-term goals.
Many young professionals face unique challenges, but with the right guidance and advice those obstacles may lead to opportunities for personal and professional development. Passionate about mentoring young professionals and sharing her methods for success, Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of digital media and technology company Blavity, partnered with Sharpie – makers of a wide selection of permanent markers, pens, highlighters and more for the classroom, office and home – to share these tips.
Be proactive: Take initiative and identify areas you can contribute beyond your assigned tasks. Instead of waiting to be asked to do something, draft an email, spreadsheet or project board that could benefit the team. Showing a willingness to go above and beyond may lead to additional projects or responsibilities being sent your way in the future.
Write everything down: Putting your dreams and goals to paper can help you commit to them, track progress and stay on course to achieve them. Additionally, particularly in meetings, your brain is processing new information, ways of thinking and operational systems all while you are trying to come across as engaged and personable. Jotting down key action items and learnings along the way can save you later. Being an active listener and note-taker can increase your ability to retain information and contribute to your team.
Featuring no-smear, no-bleed technology with best-in-class ink, an option like the Sharpie S•Gel pen promises exceptionally smooth writing experiences. To put her best work forward, DeBaun uses the Medium Point (.7mm) White Barrel. The high-performance gel pen enhances handwriting with its sleek, professional look and offers a variety of ink colors, barrel styles and points to choose from, making it a must-have for professionals looking to make a statement.
Identify useful productivity tools: Look for tools and programs that can help make you more productive and successful then leverage them in your personal workflow. Whether it’s an email scheduling tool, calendar software or favorite writing utensil, ensure you are taking advantage of things that can help you succeed.
Develop and strengthen your organizational skills: Regardless of what role you are in, being systemized and structured in the way you work can help keep you on track as you grow in your career. Whether it’s a smartphone app, old-fashioned to-do lists on paper or desktop reminders on your computer, find a system that works for you and stick with it – refining the approach as you go – for best results. For example, with a variety of available ink colors, the Sharpie S•Gel can make it simple to color code calendars and to-do lists, which can make prioritizing tasks a cinch.
Embrace teamwork and learn from your peers: Across your company, you are likely working with bright, talented people who may have completely different skill sets and ways of working and thinking than you. Set up 15-20-minute virtual coffee chats to meet people not on your team during your first 90 days as a way to connect with your coworkers and learn more about not only them but the company and its environment as a whole.
Say yes to opportunities: Whether it is a work event, new project, meeting or class, take advantage of prospects presented to you. Taking advantage of opportunities to network, learn and grow in your career can help lead you on the trajectory you are aiming for.
Find the must-have tools to set your career on the right path at Sharpie.com.
(Family Features) Businesses that run efficiently often find continued, long-term success. However, running a small business comes with a multitude of challenges that can hinder productivity.
Between hiring employees, managing payroll, handling customer relations, delivering products, meeting with staff and other tasks, it’s important to take steps to help your business work smarter, not harder, while maintaining productivity. More efficient workdays mean more projects or tasks can be completed, giving you an advantage in a competitive marketplace.
To help improve productivity and create a more efficient work environment, consider these tips from the experts at Pitney Bowes, a global shipping and mailing company that has worked for more than 100 years to provide technology, logistics, financial services and solutions that help enterprises thrive and small business owners operate right from their homes including the PitneyShip Cube, which simplifies shipping packages and e-commerce orders while saving time and space.
Set GoalsSetting goals for your operation is vital to building a productive business and ensuring your employees understand your vision and how they can actively contribute to the company’s success. Whether you’re a startup or an established business with multiple employees, set realistic, well-defined goals that are in line with your business strategy, like investing in office tools and solutions that can help you discover efficiencies. Periodically revisit those goals to ensure you’re on track to meet them and make any adjustments as necessary. For example, working from home may provide an opportunity to save on rent and enable you to allocate those savings toward upgraded office equipment.
Delegate Less Critical ResponsibilitiesRemember, you can’t do it all by yourself. In the same way it’s important to prioritize your list of tasks, delegation is key to improving productivity. Passing on some of the work, such as designing email templates, writing blog posts, creating white papers and more, to your employees allows you to maximize your limited time. Think through additional ways for others to lessen the load, like using a cloud-based shipping solution to streamline the process and ensure alignment in task sharing. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, look at what tasks you may be able to outsource to a third-party vendor to free up some of your time.
Simplify ShippingIf your business sells a product, shipping may be a time-consuming, expensive part of your operation. Leave the post office behind and save valuable time with an option like the PitneyShip Cube, an all-in-one, Wi-Fi-enabled thermal shipping label printer with a built-in scale. It includes companion software and can integrate with your current online store to automatically import order details then easily print the shipping labels and postage. You can weigh packages, compare discounted shipping rates and automatically share tracking notifications via email.
“One of the biggest barriers for small businesses are shipping costs,” said Shemin Nurmohamed, president, sending technology solutions, Pitney Bowes. “Our goal is to allow clients to take advantage of what larger shippers get in terms of discounts while saving them the critical time they need to work on their core businesses. With the PitneyShip Cube, the first shipping label printer of its kind with a built-in scale and companion software, users are able to ship faster and smarter. This product is ideal for both e-commerce and office shippers looking to save time and space by streamlining their processes and eliminating unnecessary equipment. Plus, it can save users money as it provides a discount of 3 cents on First Class stamps, up to 89% on USPS Priority Mail and up to 82% off UPS standard rates.”
By completing all the necessary tasks beforehand, you’ll skip the post office line and allow yourself to focus on more profitable endeavors. You can also track parcels throughout their shipping journey with data that can be shared with customers for a smooth shipping experience.
Streamline SoftwareA quick and easy way to increase productivity and efficiency is taking advantage of technology like software as a service platforms. Particularly true in this age of hybrid and remote workers, cloud-based communications software can keep your team members on the same page, regardless of their location, to help your company keep up with important information such as ever-changing carrier rates to quickly identify the best shipping and fulfillment options. With available platforms that combine team messaging, video conferencing, task management, file sharing and storage, it can be simple to stay connected with your employees. Additional cloud-based software for everything from payroll to word processing and graphic design is also readily available to help further streamline your business’s technology. Knowledge is power and combining all this information in one place can give you greater control over your organization as a whole.
Learn from Your CustomersWhen looking for ways to improve, start by asking your customers for honest feedback. Creating customer satisfaction surveys provides you with a fresh perspective while giving customers a voice so they can feel valued. Plus, it can help you build a rapport with customers as they know their voices are heard while you discover what’s working, what isn’t and ways you can improve the business.
Find more solutions for improving your productivity and efficiency in the workplace at pitneybowes.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (businesswomen)
7 ways to break away from your desk and boost morale
(Family Features) When the sun is shining and comfortable weather is calling you outdoors, focusing on tasks at work can become a challenge. Workdays are often long and strenuous, making that blue sky and fresh air all the more tempting.
Don’t let a full to-do list bog you down. In fact, taking a break from your desk and averting your eyes from the computer may actually help you mentally reset and increase efficiency through the remainder of the day.
Consider these popular ways to disconnect for a short while so you can take on busy days without feeling overwhelmed.
Stretch – After hours of sitting, stretching from head to toe can be a good way to get physically active if you’re short on time and stuck at your desk. Neck, shoulder, arm, back and leg stretches are all easy ways to stand up and disengage from the computer. Another trick:practice wrist exercises to avoid injury or strain from typing.
Go for a Walk – If you have a few minutes to spare, leave the office or your desk at home entirely and head outside for a walk. A stroll through your neighborhood or the city sidewalks can provide the fresh air and physical activity your body craves.
Take Five Outside – On hot days when a mid-workday walk might not be the right refresh, skip it and simply find a shady spot to sit down. You can enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunlight without getting too hot.
Rest Your Eyes – Follow the rule of 20s. If you’re working a computer job, eyestrain may be a serious concern. Give them a break by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Enjoy a Favorite Snack – Push that office chair away from the computer and treat yourself to a bite of something you enjoy. For example, Nestlé rallies nut butter bombs are a perfect cure for those back-to-back video calls, delivering a balance of permissibility and indulgence while helping you rally through your workday. Available in three craveable flavors – raspberry peanut butter, brownie almond butter and salted cashew butter – the chilled delights combine decadent chocolate and smooth nut butter for a rich burst of flavor with no preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors.
Check in with Friends – Squeeze in a midday chat to catch up with a friend or coworker. Socializing is a feel-good way to take your mind off work even for just a few minutes.
Sip an Afternoon Coffee – If caffeine gives you that much-needed jolt to finish out the workday, head to your favorite local shop for a refreshing iced beverage. Pair it with a chilled snack like Nestlé rallies nut butter bombs for a perfect sweet and savory afternoon pick-me-up.
Find more delicious ways to rally through the day by visiting nestlerallies.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman working from home)
(Family Features) According to a study by CESAR® Canine Cuisine on pets in the workplace, dog-friendly policies can have a positive impact on company culture, the employee experience, recruitment and retention. Check out these stats to see the “paw-tential” benefits of welcoming canine colleagues into the workplace, and to learn more, visit Cesar.com/dogs-at-work.
(Family Features) Balancing work and life can be challenging for many parents, especially when it comes to affording child care. When employers recognize and address this need, they’re not only helping working families, they’re also positioning themselves as an employer of choice for prospective employees.
“Our Parent Confidence Survey shows parents are in dire need of child care support and they’re willing to change jobs for better access to employer-sponsored child care support,” said Dan Figurski, KinderCare Learning Companies’ president for employers and champions. “When employees say child care is the second most important benefit their employer can offer – second only to health insurance – that’s a sign employers cannot ignore if they want to retain and attract top talent.”
Why these benefits matter:
Talent attraction and retention: According to Harris Poll, 69% of parents have or have considered switching jobs because quality child care is too difficult or expensive to secure.
Encouraged engagement: According to the U.S. Census Bureau,4.9 million people missed work because they were caring for children not in daycare.
More than half of parents who responded to the survey said they would stay in their current jobs if any of the following child care benefits were offered to them:
Tuition. This benefit is one of the easiest ways employers can offer child care support, by covering up to 100% of tuition at an accredited early learning center. This allows parents, no matter their work style, to have affordable access to high-quality early childhood education and care for their children. It also allows employers to offer child care support to a broader swath of their employee population. According to Harris Poll, 67% of employees believe employers should offset the cost of child care.
Backup care. Backup care supports families on a moment’s notice when their regular child care falls through by allowing them access to in-center care.
On-site child care. A custom, high-quality on-site early learning center brings child care directly to employees, allowing parents to be near their children even while they’re at work.
Before- and after-school care. Child care needs don’t end when a child goes to elementary school. Many families struggle to bridge the gap between school and workdays beginning and ending. Employers can help bridge the time gap by providing access to a safe place for elementary school-age children to continue their educational journey while parents start and finish their workdays.
Learn more and find tips to talk with your employees or employers about these offerings at kindercare.com/employer-sponsored-child-care.