Halloween Costume Ideas for the Office

With Halloween just over a week away, it’s that time of year when we all embrace the spookiness and silliness that is Halloween in the United States.  It can be great fun at the office too, with tastefully created costumes that give people a chuckle, or maybe leave them wishing they had been as creative as you!  Here are a few easy and light-hearted costume ideas that are in good taste and still good fun.  And best of all, it is easy to add components of these costumes to your professional work attire for a fun look that is appropriate for any business setting.

Dilbert – This one is easy and entertaining.  All you need is a white, button-down, short-sleeved shirt, black pants that are a little too short (you can just roll them up), a striped tie, and black rimmed glasses.  The finishing touch is an upturned wire in the tie and you’re all set.

Groucho Marx – Wire rimmed glasses, a bushy mustache, and a suit and tie will bring some humor into your office.  Add bushy eyebrows and a faux cigar for an extra silly touch.

Nerd – You can be as creative as is appropriate for your work environment.  High-water pants, too-tight belt, mismatched socks, too-short tie, thick glasses, pocket protector, cell phone clipped on your waist…you get the picture.  In a more conservative environment?  Tape on the bridge of your (removable) glasses and a calculator tucked in the front pocket of your suit can be just a touch of Halloween fun.

Time Period Costumes – These are great because you might be able to throw them together from articles you already have and it’s unlikely that anyone will find them offensive.  A fun take on this theme is to dress in what would have been appropriate at your workplace during a different era.  For example, take a “Mad Men” 1960’s approach to your attire for the day, or pull out some shoulder pads, bright colors, and big hair, and you’ll be ready to represent the 1980s.

Blues Brothers – Here is another simple costume that you can do alone or with a friend.  Wear a black suit, white shirt, black fedora and dark sunglasses.  Throw in a harmonica for the authentic blues touch.

Classic Halloween Witch – A witch hat and broom are all you need to convert a black suit or dress and black tights from business to haunt-worthy!

You get the idea here – simple, low-fuss costumes that are fun and safe for a work environment.

Finding the right job is about more than the type of position available; the culture, environment, and personality of a company are key components as well!  With over 40 years of experience  let the experts at Helpmates help you find the workplace you have been looking for this fall!

Have a safe, fun, and Happy Halloween!

Handbook How-To’s | Southern California

When was the last time you actually read your employee handbook?  Chances are high that it has been too long.  Your handbook is an infinitely useful tool for you and your employees, and can significantly reduce your company’s liability if written correctly.  Further, a good employee handbook makes sure that everyone knows their rights, obligations, and important procedures, and will save you time answering frequently asked questions.  If you have a handbook, read this list of key considerations, and if you don’t have one yet, read this list and get started right away!

1. Shorter is better.  You want your employees to read it!  And the simple truth is: if it seems like too much work, your employees won’t bother.

2. Use clear, concise language.  Include a glossary if necessary.  The language is all you have with which to communicate.  Be as precise as possible.

3.  Don’t reinvent the wheel.  You don’t need to create this document from scratch.  Many, many employee handbooks have already been written.  Get your hands on a few and compare the content, language, and how they are laid out.  Take the best ideas and repurpose them to suit your organization.

4.  Ensure incident (injury, harassment, discrimination, etc.) reporting information is clear and easy to find.  This section should define your policies and give detailed information on to whom an employee should report a violation, how it should be done, information about timely reporting, and the procedures that will follow all incident reports.

5.  Have a disclaimer.  Your handbook cannot completely cover every possible scenario, condition, or infraction.  Without a disclaimer, your handbook may be misconstrued as a contract and put your company in an unfavorable legal position.

6.  Keep it current.  Laws change, policies change – you must keep your document up to date.  This will ensure your employees have good information and a current understanding of their rights and commitments.  Keeping your handbook up to date is also critical to limiting your liability.

7. Have an attorney review it.  Even if you are a lawyer, it is in your best interest to have an independent attorney read your handbook and make any necessary modifications to the language and content so it will be legally binding under both state and federal laws.

8. Introduce the new handbook professionally and consistently.  By distributing it matter-of-factly, to all employees, you can avoid the nervousness and confusion of employees mistakenly assuming they are receiving new rules as a result of their actions or work results.

9.  Set a good example.  Read your handbook thoroughly, with fresh eyes.  Know its contents.  Refer to it when appropriate, and keep it out and visible in your office.

10.  Ensure the direct managers of all departments are working according to the policies outlined in the handbook.  All managers should be aware of the company policies and should both support and enforce them.  Even a great handbook can’t protect your organization from legal liability if the company doesn’t actually operate under the policies and standards outlined in the document.

You will never regret the time you spend getting your handbook ready.  All future revisions will be easier because you took the time initially to make sure it was as good as it could be.  And, your company can only benefit from having this document available for all to reference at any time.

Helpmates protects our clients and minimizes liability by ensuring that our staff are up to date on legal matters affecting employment, as evidenced by the fact that 100% of the Helpmates team is certified through the American Staffing Association as Certified Staffing Professionals (CSP).  We are also proud to encourage continuing education in our business community through hosting Human Resources seminars on a quarterly basis.  At Helpmates Seminars, attorneys specializing in employment law share the most important news for employers and managers.  Contact Helpmates today to learn how you can be invited to our next seminar! 

Think your dream job is out of your league? Maybe not!

In your search for a job, have you ever read a job posting and thought, “This is my dream job!”, but then you didn’t apply?  There is an interesting phenomenon that might explain why.

Some 70% of Americans struggle with what is known as “Impostor Syndrome” at some point in life.  Impostor Syndrome is the term ascribed to individuals who are absolutely competent, perhaps even more than competent, and yet are unable to recognize their accomplishments and strengths.  They sometimes experience feelings of doubt or lack of confidence that prevent them from chasing after a dream job or pursuing that promotion. Don’t let doubts stand in your way!  There are a few simple steps you can take to objectively measure whether you are ready for that dream job.  And if you’re not quite there yet, identifying the steps you need to take can start you on your path to success.

Measuring Your Qualifications

When you finally find your dream job you have to sit back and ask yourself a couple questions:

  • What experience is the employer looking for?
  • What skills do I need to gain to be considered?

Despite any hesitancy to apply for your dream job, objectively measuring your qualifications against the job listing will give you valuable perspective. Check to see if you meet the qualifications to complete a majority of the responsibilities listed in the job description. Even ask yourself what you can bring to the job that may not have been listed. If you are able to bring valuable experience and a majority of the necessary skills to the job, apply!

But do not fool yourself; if you are unable to perform listed responsibilities, the timing is probably not right. However, don’t get discouraged!  Although you may not have the experience now, take note of the skills that you will need to gain to land your dream job. Then, create a strategy to be able to gain the skill set that is required.

Close the Gap

Once you have identified what seems to be holding you back, you can seek out help.  Search for a career coach, or a mentor who can work with you and help you realize all your strengths.  Let a professional mentor help you develop a strategy to gain the skills and experience needed.  Temporary assignments are a great way to build your skills and experience as part of a career growth strategy.  An experienced recruiter can help you with your strategy and identify temporary assignments in industries, positions, or even the exact company to get you into your dream job.

Track your progress and your success.  It is important that you track all the positives such as new skills you have learned, great ideas you have, fears you have overcome.  List anything and everything that represents forward progress and positive accomplishments, no matter how small you may think they are.  Once you have reached your skill set and experience goals, be prepared to highlight them in conversations with recruiters and in job interviews.  Your dream job could be closer than you think!

Helpmates is proud to have played a part in the successful career growth strategies of many individuals.  Having earned the prestigious “Best in Staffing” award for both our service to our clients and to our job seekers and employees, we have the experience and dedication you can count on to help you climb the ladder.  Call us today!  

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