Personal Productivity

April 3rd, 2018

How’s your productivity? Notice, please, that we did not ask how busy you are? Being busy, busy, busy is often a sign of unproductivity – yes, it is! Reality: taking care of self, including getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy meals, and taking time for unconnected quietness helps us get more done in less time, with less stress. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Let’s begin with sleep

Since this is often the first place that people try to carve out an extra hour for their day. In fact, for many, sleep deprivation has become their way of life.  Unfortunately, payback is coming, so do yourself a favor and take back control of your bedtime.

  • Studies show that our bodies operate best on consistency. As adults, we need 7-8 hours a sleep per night and . . . We need it close to the same schedule. So choose the time that fits you (10-6, 11-7, whatever) and stick to it.
  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before sleep time. (60 is better, but we’re dealing with real life here). Our brains need time to get away from the screen and let our body’s melatonin kick in to increase the restfulness of our sleep.
  • Use the 30 minutes to organize for the morning – from choosing an outfit to packing your briefcase, your kid’s lunch, etc. to mentally organizing and jotting down the next day’s agenda.
  • Finally, make your room as dark as possible and if you can, position your bed so that natural light awakens you in the morning. The darkness and the light will give your body a break and then a boost.

Establish a morning routine

  • Our brains need time to reach full function – by having a consistent routine of personal and household “chores” we can slide quickly through the list and save brain function for the more critical decisions in the day ahead.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast – choose protein over empty carbs. It will provide fuel for several hours.

Schedule Tips

  • Learn to set realistic deadlines (Studies reveal that only 15-20% of people at predicting how long a task will take). Give yourself enough time to do the job, but not too much – a little (notice we said little) pressure can be a great motivator.
  • Schedule your difficult or mind-consuming tasks during your peak times. For some people it’s mid-morning, but for others, it’s early – or late afternoon.
  • Group like tasks together.
  • Set a specified window of time for email and other social media, and then stick to it. Connection is an essential part of business and personal life but left unchecked it can also be a time waster.
  • Skip multi-tasking – switching from task to task sabotages schedules in short order.
  • Go for excellence, not perfection – it’s a great motivator and an obtainable goal.

Plan a vacation

Time off from work and chores restores the whole person – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It rejuvenates creativity and gives our energy a boost. People who choose to take time off consistently, tend to be more productive when on the job.   

Now that you’re rip-roaring to go, stop in and see us at Olympic Staffing. We can help you put all that energy and productivity into a new and better position. We do it by building relationships.   We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

Winning Resumes

March 13th, 2018

Creating a winning resume isn’t easy – in fact, it’s downright challenging. On the other hand, the payback is terrific. Taking time to perfect our resume may very well be the boost your job search needs. These tips will help you get it accomplished.

Getting Started

There’s more than one way around the mountain – so choose the best way for your education, skill set, and work history.

  • Chronological: A fact-based resume listing your employment history (and corresponding accomplishments) in order from most recent to past.
  • Functional: Highlights abilities (with corresponding positions) instead of work history. Present your skills by category – in order of relevance, rather than by a timeline of accomplishments.
  • Combination: This combines functional and chronological by first highlighting your most pertinent skills/experience, followed by a chronological work history.
  • Targeted: Tailors any of the above types to a specific position. Customizing resume’s bullet points and skills to the job position, using keywords from the job description and rearranging resume’s sections to highlight your most relevant experience. Targeted resumes take time, but it pays off – especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

Choose a font that is easy to read – this is not the place to get creative and quirky – unless you’re applying for a position where creative and quirky are crucial aspects, such as graphic design.

Make contacting you simple. Include all – yes all – of your contact information.

  • Full name, street address, city, state, and zip.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • LinkedIn profile or professional website or blog – if you have them.

Getting Your Point Across

Don’t think of your resume as a “list” your skills, experience, and education. Think of it as an advertisement – you are convincing a company to choose your product – YOU.

  • Back up your skills with specific accomplishments that demonstrate those skills. Use power verbs to describe those accomplishments -quantify whenever possible – numbers talk!
  • Provide specific examples that highlight your leadership skills and present evidence that you’re a team player.
  • Include any awards or recognitions you have received for accomplishments directly and loosely related to your industry – or to skills that are pertinent to the position.
  • Show how you have continued to learn and grow. In addition to certifications you’ve earned, include industry-related seminars, conferences, etc. that you have attended – anything that contributed to your professional development.
  • Include a bulleted list of core competencies – customize it to keywords and phrases from a general job description for your industry or, better yet, to a specific job description when targeting your resume.

Polish Before Submitting

Don’t skip the final step – Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.  We’ll show you how in next week’s blog.

Bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

 

Your Company & Diversity

January 23rd, 2018

Every company says they support diversity, but how many are taking specific steps to make it happen. Are you? Let’s talk about how – but first, let’s share a little light on why you need diversity in your company.

Companies who encourage diversity – hiring based on skills, experience, personality, rather than gender, ethnicity, or lifestyle – reap in multiple ways.

  • A broader base of talent encourages more open-minded learning, which in turn, means increased innovation and effective decision-making.
  • Expanded recruiting opportunities, including improved attraction and retention rates, and broader talent pool, which turns into more productive, smarter teams. In other words, you now have a definite competitive edge when it comes to hiring.
  • Strong employee relationships and improved company culture, all which leads to increased company attractiveness and employee loyalty.
  • An increased market reach – due to your expanded awareness of trends for varying demographics, which means happier, more satisfied customers who keep coming back.
  • An improved and notable reputation with both employees and colleagues, as well as clients.
  • Improved bottom line – all of the above means a growing, healthy, and stable bottom line.

Ok – there’s a packet of reasons to build diversity, but how do you make it happen?

  • Be intentional about breaking stereotyping. You may think you don’t have a bias or preconceived ideas, but when we dig beneath the surface, most of us do – we have to choose to change our thought patterns.
  • Build a diverse network. Connecting with different organizations, and attending various conferences will connect you to a broader spectrum of talent.
  • Change your tactics when recruiting. Focus on top talent in skills – both hard and soft, experience, cultural vibes – rather than gender, ethnicity, lifestyle choices, etc. It will not only bring diversity into your company; it will give you the competitive edge of a more in-depth talent pool. Ideally, your work team should represent the full diversity of your customer base.
  • Start a pattern of not only accepting diversity but embracing it. Start at the top – what management does is much more influential than what management When you create a diverse team for a company project, encourage feedback and lively exchanges of ideas, promote by merit, express appreciation for every job well done, your employees will soon pick up on the idea that everyone has value and potential. And if someone doesn’t – it’s time for some private dialogue and laying out of your expectations. Don’t let a few ruin the whole.
  • Present opportunities for employees to express themselves.The best way to encourage innovation and fresh ideas is to provide a safe atmosphere for sharing. Respect differing viewpoints and promote a healthy exchange of perspectives. Foster group problem-solving.

Of course, there are more ideas afloat on how to build diversity, but the critical key is simple – do it!

Looking for help in building a diverse workforce? Contact our team at Olympic Staffing. We do more than fill positions. As your strategic partner, we craft solutions designed to increase your productivity and profitability. Contact us today.

Personality Traits that Impress Employers  

January 16th, 2018

Getting a job and keeping a job isn’t just about your skills and experience – even in a healthy market. Prospective employers dig deeper – yes, they want the skills and experience, but they are also looking for personality traits that will help their business grow. Do you have what it takes?

Professionalism

Professionalism is a pillar to success in the workforce. Employers are looking for candidates who present themselves professionally in every way. They know how to dress appropriately for the position. They can be depended on to do their work well and on time. They have mastered the art of communication – connecting with others, treating everyone with respect, abstaining from foul language, etc. Professionalism includes keeping the company’s reputation in mind when interacting with customers.  And one more thing – don’t throw professionalism away when it comes to social media.

 Interpersonal Skills

The ability to be a team player who can work well with diverse groups of people in a variety of situations. Being someone who can be counted on not only keep the peace but also to understand the art and value of a healthy debate – and the time and place.

Self-Motivation

Do we have to say more? Can you be counted on to get up and get there – on time – every day. Do you fulfill your job plus a little? Can you perceive what needs to be accomplished and do it? Yes, being able to receive instruction and willing to follow orders is critical, but so is being an initiator – someone the boss can depend on to keep going on their own, solving problems as they arise.

Flexibility

Everybody wants flexibility – they want the freedom to balance their work against their lifestyle, family, and other commitments, but your employer wants flexibility too. Change is a constant – they need employees who can bend in the wind when problems arise, change direction when necessary, and even fill a different role than their job description defines.

Aptitude and Desire for Learning

Employers want, and need, staff members who don’t remain happy with status quo but are consistently learning and growing, developing themselves professionally.

 Confidence

Do you have the confidence you need to do the work? If there’s a glitch, do you dig in and find the problem, consider your options, and present a solution, confident that you can complete the project?

Teachable and able to teach

Are you willing to learn from others, to receive instruction – including from someone younger? Are you ready to be mentored and coached when necessary? On the other hand, can you step in and teach/mentor someone else. Can you help them land on their feet in a new role?

Bring your winning personality traits to Olympic Staffing. Together we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, work experience, and yes your winning personality. We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities. Helping you achieve your career goals is our priority. Contact us today.

Time Management for 2018

January 9th, 2018

Did the close of 2017 catch you by surprise? Are you still holding that list of goals you made in January, and now it’s January again? You are not alone – a lot of people share the same story, but wouldn’t you like to sing a different tune this year? Maybe it’s time for the ABC of time management.

A. Evaluate where you stand right now. For the next ten days, keep a record of all your activities – at work and when you’re off the clock. If possible, do it in 15- 30-minute You don’t have to write a book – just jot a note. The point is to see:

  • Where you’re wasting time
  • When you are your most efficient
  • When the need-a-nap bug hits
  • What activities can be combined
  • What you need to delegate
  • Which activities support your big picture goals – and what doesn’t

B. Create a plan. Use the SMART system – You know: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and, of course, Time-based.

  • Give a swift kick to all your time wasters
  • Schedule specific times for social media, phone calls, etc.
  • Now for the meat of your responsibilities – assign each must do to the best time of day according to your energy, resources, and controlled boundaries.
  • Determine when multi-tasking is efficient (for example folding wash while you listen to your child’s spelling words or planning your meeting agenda while you walk the dog.)
  • On the flip side, eliminate any multi-tasking that hinders your progress.
  • Consider whether you can afford to hire some things done to free your time for something you need to do yourself.
  • Make a “do not disturb” sign and use it

C.  Work the Plan. Begin small, but keep growing. If it’s overwhelming, prioritize – Choose the most crucial area that requires change and focus on that the first month. Track your activities the last three days of the month and compare it to your first record. Note where you have improved. It will give you courage to work on another area. By the time December 2018 arrives, you’ll be a time-management pro.

Is a job-change part of your solution? Consider Olympic Staffing. Together we can create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience. We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities. Helping you achieve your career goals is our priority. Contact us today.

Companies and Cell Phone Policies

January 2nd, 2018

Establishing a cell phone policy that respects employees while preventing disruption of productivity, encouraging a safe environment, and protecting company data isn’t easy. It’s downright complicated, but it’s a responsibility that cannot be ignored. Here’s some tips to help you get started.

Policies that work well for most companies –guidelines based on basic good manners and consideration of others.

  1. Keep phones on vibrate while at work.
  2. Make/take personal calls/texts during breaks and lunch time, excluding emergencies, medical calls, etc. Ensure that family and friends understand when calls are acceptable and when they are not.
  3. When calls must be made; keep them brief. If your call will disrupt others; step outside or into a private area.
  4. Keep all calls “professional” including personal calls – no arguments, foul language, intimate details . . .
  5. Never let cell phone use interfere with safety.
  6. Don’t use phones to take pictures during work.
  7. Don’t use personal cell phones to transmit confidential company information.
  8. Never let cell phone use interfere with customer service. If an employee who works with customers has an emergency, another coworker should immediately take the employee’s place.

Some companies – especially those with lots of customer contact, may find the need to ban cell phones while on the job, while others may have a very loose policy. The key is to have a policy.

  • Put it in writing.
  • Clearly communicate the policy to all employees.
  • Set specific expectations and consequences for policy breakers.
  • Enforce the policy consistently and fairly.

 

While most agree that companies need a cell phone policy – the big question remains – what should that policy be? Businesses come in various sizes and cultures. Likewise, with employee responsibilities. On the one hand, there are some policies, like those mentioned above, that make work well across the board. On the other hand, one size does not fit all – so in the end, common sense must come into play.

If you’re looking for a new employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find an employee in sales or any department, who is perfect for your company culture and who will be a good fit for your fellow employees.

The End of the Interview Questions

December 26th, 2017

You made it – the interview is closing, and you’re feeling pretty comfortable with how you did. But, there’s one last hurdle – “do you have any questions for us?”

Frankly, you need to have four or five questions ready and let the direction the interview went help you decide which one to ask. Better yet, ask two.

Here’s a list of questions that will help express your interest in the company and the job, reveal that you did your research, and give you insight into the opportunity that will hopefully be yours.

Questions that show your interest:

  • Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?
  • Beyond the hard skills required to perform this job successfully, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?
  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm.
  • Is there anyone else you would like me to meet?
  • Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?

Questions that reveal you did your research:

  • I saw that your company recently announced _______ What does this latest major development mean for the future of the company?
  • I saw on LinkedIn that you have been with the company for a while. What do you like about working here?
  • I see that ______ and _______ are your major competitors. What do consider the top three things that makes your company the best choice?
  • I read _____ (something positive) about your CEO in Business Insider. Can you tell me more about this?

Questions that give insight into the job opportunity:

  • If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?
  • Can you give me an example of how I would collaborate with my manager?
  • What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?
  • Where do you see the company in three years, and how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Revitalizing your Resume in 3 Steps

December 19th, 2017

If you want to keep growing professionally, keeping your resume cleaned up, on target, and ready to go at a moment’s notice is oh-so-crucial. Here are tips from Olympic Staffing to pull your resume together and be noticed. It’s a simple as 1 – 2 – 3.

  1. Know your career goals and ensure that your resume objective shouts it.
  2. Compose a tight, descriptive summary that covers the education, training, skills, and experience that supports your ability to reach that career goal. This is your chance to grab HR’s attention and keep them reading.
  • Cover the essentials – the information that rocks – and slash out all the fluff that everyone can do. Focus on what makes you the #1 choice for the type of position you’re seeking.
  • Give specifics – rather than say you can do such and such, give an example of how that talent made an impact in a past position.
  • Tailor your skills to align both with your goals and with the job description of the position you’re seeking. (All within the realm of honesty, of course)
  • Use power words and be unique. A little buzz is good, but too much sends your resume to the slush pile.
  1. Share your vision. It’s not just about education, skills, and experience. Share your life philosophy.
  • What’s your global view?
  • Where do you volunteer?
  • Share your thoughts in a way that expresses your personality and ideal work culture.

When you have that resume ready to go – contact Olympic Staffing.   We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

10 Ways to Boost Your Career

October 31st, 2017

Everybody says they want to succeed in their job but are you willing to “do the work” Do you know what “the work” is to ensure success? Here are 10 tips that will help you boost your career to a new level.

Stimulate your mind: Learn something new and then learn something new again. In other words, be a perennial learner and do it with a broad brush. Don’t limit yourself to a narrow range of skills.

Be risky: Step out of your comfort zone and take a new challenge.

Stay on top of industry news and trends: Know what’s happening in your arena, and you won’t get hit by a surprise punch.

Follow your passion: If you know what you believe in, what excites you, what gives you more energy than it takes; that’s where you should focus your career.

Stay connected: Connect with people at work – don’t skip the team lunches. Connect with people in the industry. Connect with family and friends. Connections pay off in the immediate – you will be happier and in the long run – they may lead to your dream job.

Accept criticism: Whether it was meant well or was an intended jab, take time to consider the criticism. Even if there’s only a small element of truth, you can always learn something.

Let go of what isn’t yours: So you don’t like what your coworker is doing? If it doesn’t directly affect you, let it go – it’s not yours to worry about or fix. Put your mental and emotional energy on what counts – your career.

Adjust your attitude: Having a positive, appreciative, bend-with-the-wind attitude will add power to your career. Don’t forget the little details that make for a happier person – courtesy, punctuality, professionalism, etc.

Take care of yourself: If you don’t eat right, sleep well, and get exercise, your mental and physical self will lead your career to a very stagnate place – on the couch.

Take a vacation: If you learn the art of relaxing and take time for fun, you will build your energy and zest for life – which makes you a more attractive choice for employers.

Sometimes boosting your career means looking for a new job. Contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals.

5 Ways You Can Brand Your Company Online

October 24th, 2017

Branding your company is extremely important because it tells people who you are and what your goals are. Not only can you brand your company by word-of-mouth, but you can also brand yourself digitally. Here are some “How to” tips to get you started.

Facebook.

Facebook is one of the most preeminent ways to brand yourself. Most businesses use it, both as a way of letting people know who they are and what’s happening. Facebook is also a great platform on which to create events, let people review your business, and to network with other businesses.

Instagram.

Instagram is a great way to present a “behind-the-scenes” brand your company. Take some time to post photos that show what your employees do while they’re not at work and to showcase the different hobbies and interests they have. This is a great way to “humanize” your business.

Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to brand your company as being extremely communicative and quick to respond. A lot of customers will take to Twitter to give complaints or bring up other issues. If you respond quickly with a solution, your company will be known as a caring and responsive.

Website.

Your website is a great place to brand your company as being professional. It’s surprising how many professional businesses don’t have websites, but that’s usually the first place a potential prospect or client will look to make sure that you’re well-qualified to be conducting business in your field.

YouTube.

YouTube is a great place to showcase that you’re savvy with technology and are current with the times. Many companies use YouTube as a place to begin branding their companies as being helpful. You could try releasing a series of tutorial videos, or even doing some Q&A videos.

If you’re looking for a new employee – perhaps one who is social media-savvy, contact Olympic Staffing. We make an art of matching top quality employees with our clients. We find employees who not only are skilled but also fit your culture.