Why Soft Skills Still Matter

Have you noticed how companies, hiring managers and recruiters are screaming “Where are all the skilled workers!?” It seems everyone working to fill a position is looking for skills, as in skills in technology, engineering, digital, coding, nano-tech, accounting and so on.

But what if you don’t have those particular skills? What if you’re a great writer? You get along well with others and help alleviate conflicts among colleagues when things get testy? What if you work well alone as well as in a team? What if you’re good at training others in sales, or WordPress?

What about you? Are you sunk, lost, never to be noticed by an employer again!

Hardly! Yes, certain skills are highly valued by employers, but the best coder in the world isn’t going to be highly prized by his colleagues or his supervisor if he’s a loner who makes snide remarks when he’s interrupted.

Instead, as technical skills become more and more important, so are soft skills raising their profile among hiring managers because the more impersonal the workplace becomes, so grows employers’ need to hire people who have the skills necessary to answer yes when someone asks “Can’t we all just get along?”

This post discusses how you can showcase your soft skills to an employer. Take a look below.

Jobs in Irvine

The Three Top Soft Skills.

As our workplaces become more automated and technical (and therefore impersonal), employers are going to be looking people who:

  • Have the ability to collaborate with others (also known as a knack for teamwork).
  • Can think critically.
  • Are able to communicate well.

“Hard” skills may get you an interview, but unless you have soft skills, you won’t get the job – and then promoted within it. Tech, accounting, coding, marketing skills, etc. are what employers specify in job descriptions, but you will need to let your soft skills shine by being personable in your job interview, communicating well, asking questions, sending sincere thank you notes, negotiating salary, and so on in order to receive an offer

In addition, once you’re on the job, your people skills, your positive attitude, a strong work ethic, emotional intelligence, etc. will help you move up the ladder. They are, in fact, crucial skills to have if you want to succeed in any capacity.

To showcase your soft skills in a job interview, follow these tips:

  • Give specific examples of the times you went “above and beyond” for an employer and how doing so benefited the project on which you worked. (Soft skill: work ethic.)
  • Bring examples of written work you created to showcase your communication skills. In addition, tell the hiring manager/interviewer how you helped diffuse a tense situation, how you were able to move a skeptical prospect into a buyer, and so on.
  • Explain how you prioritize your to-do list, how you delegate to others and/or speak to managers when too many of their competing must-dos need to be coordinated among them. (Soft skill: time management.)
  • Dress appropriately for the job interview. Look the interviewer directly in the eye. Give her a firm handshake before and after the interview. Keep fidgeting to a minimum. Ask questions that show you’ve researched different aspects of the company and how the job opening fits into helping the company meet its goals. (Soft skill: self-confidence.) Practice these skills with a trusted friend or family member, if possible.

If looking for work in Southern California, bring your much-needed soft skills to Helpmates. We can help you find terrific job and career opportunities with many of the region’s top employers. It’s a candidates’ market today and our clients need you! Contact us today.

Helpmates Staffing Services Once Again Wins Two of Inavero’s 2018 Best of Staffing® Diamond Awards

Helpmates Staffing – once again! – has been named to the “Best of Staffing” list.  For the 9th straight year! We are way beyond thrilled! And honored!!

Helpmates Staffing  Services has earned Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Talent and Client Diamond Awards after winning the best “Best of Staffing” award in each category at least five years in a row.

Only 2 percent of all staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win the Best of Staffing award and only 33 percent of the Best of Staffing Award winners also earned the diamond distinction this year.

More than 1.2 million people (staffing candidates and clients) across the country provided feedback on many of the nation’s staffing firms. Award winners are determined by the percentage of satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 (out of a possible 10) given to them by their placed job candidates and clients.

Helpmates Wins Best of Staffing Diamond Awards Again

Helpmates won in four areas:

  • Client Satisfaction Award (9th year in a row)
  • Talent Satisfaction Award (7th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award (4th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Talent Diamond Award (2nd year in a row)

What’s particularly important in this year’s awards is the fact that our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer metric that measure the loyalty between a provider (Helpmates) and its customers (clients and candidates/talent). Helpmates’ 2018 NPS score was 51.3 percent far above the staffing industry average of just 9 percent.

We need to acknowledge the dedication and extremely hard work our internal Helpmates team members performed on our behalf in order to earn us these important awards. We are grateful beyond words that our clients and temporary associates appreciate the work that our recruiters, branch managers and sales professionals do on their behalf.

All of us here at Helpmates intend to continue that hard work throughout the rest of this year and beyond, committing once again to ensuring that Southern California candidates and businesses find terrific work and the top talent possible.

Finally, thank you to our clients and candidates: it’s a great honor to work for and with you and we are exceedingly grateful for your belief in us!

Is THIS Why the Candidate Said No to Your Job Offer?

Yours is a nice company filled with nice people who work hard and aim to do their best in their jobs. Your receptionists are pleasant. Your HR department is filled with people-persons. You feel your managers are professional and have great communication skills.

Los Angeles temp agency

Then why do so many job candidates feel they’ve been treated so shoddily?

Yes, that’s right: too many companies make the application, interviewing and job offer process tough for applicants:

  • They don’t let rejected candidates know they didn’t get the job.
  • They make candidates jump through hoops to even apply. (WHY – in this age of identity theft – are employers still insisting on online applications that applicants provide social security numbers!?)
  • They call applicants at their current job insisting on having a phone interview right then.
  • They won’t accommodate candidates who can only interview in person after hours.
  • They put them through impersonal preliminary interviews.
  • They insist on tough panel interviews.
  • An experienced candidate contacts a hiring manager directly but the manager insists the candidate contact HR first
  • Candidates with several years of experience must still take basic-level skills testing.
  • And so on.

It’s tough to find great people. But too many companies still treat candidates as if it were 2008, the peak of the Great Recession, when great people were plentiful and businesses could pick and choose among the best job candidates.

Instead, it’s 2018 and the tables have turned: candidates get to choose among the best job opportunities!

This is important when it comes to hiring top talent because 79 percent of those surveyed said they would be “unlikely” to accept a job offer if they felt they were treated poorly during the recruiting process.

And it gets worse: 27 percent of respondents said they might talk about their poor experience on their social media channels!

What’s the right way to treat candidates?  With considerable courtesy and attention. Look at it this way: it’s something of a courtship today between employers and candidates, with companies doing the wooing and candidates saying yes or no to making a commitment.

So court your candidates! How do you do so?

  • Be accommodating to their schedules: interview them after hours, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for them to apply. Allow them, for example, to simply send a resume and cover letter as application. Ask for references only once you’re thinking of hiring and individual. Leave the nitty-gritty paperwork (and asking for their SSN) when they start the job, not before.
  • Send emails – or even videos — about the company culture, dress code, directions, etc. to those people you invite for an interview. This helps them get to know you before meeting and helps them know how to dress, where to park, etc.
  • Hiring managers: welcome phone calls from candidates who have the chutzpah to pick up the phone. Most applicants won’t; doing so shows assertiveness, courage and not a small amount of self-confidence, all terrific traits to have in employees.
  • Make a decision quickly and let interviewees know when you expect to make it. In fact, explain your next steps in the recruiting process clearly. If there’s a delay, let all interviewees know of it.
  • If you interview a candidate but decide not to hire her, she deserves the courtesy of a phone call from the hiring manager letting her know so. After all, she took several hours out of one of more of her days to visit your offices. It’s simple common courtesy.
  • Let all non-interview applicants know when the job is filled. An e-mail message or snail-mailed letter is sufficient.

When you need help attracting, interviewing and, yes, even courting top candidates in Southern California, let Helpmates help you source, interview, vet, and place them. Contact the office nearest you to learn how we can help you make job candidates feel like the VIPs they are in today’s tough talent-search market.

The Quick-Start Job Search Guide

Even though this definitely is a candidate-driven market (and it should continue to be so at least through all of 2018) and employers are practically on bended knee “proposing” to talent, Los Angeles-area workers could see themselves suddenly without a job: layoffs STILL occur!

If this has happened to you, you may decide to take a few days or weeks off to mourn your loss and even recharge. (“It’s a sort-of vacation!”) This can be a good idea, but we urge you to take only two or three weeks – at most – “off” before starting your job search in earnest.

Why? Because the very fact that you are unemployed – even if it wasn’t your fault – makes you much less desirable than someone who is still employed, even if you have highly sought after skills. Why? Because being unemployed makes you an “active” candidate. If you were still employed, you would be a “passive” candidate and employers prefer passive candidates because “we don’t have to worry about the circumstances surrounding their departure from their last job.” That’s right: get laid off for no reason other than because your employer decided it needed to cut back on its employee roster and you’re automatically (probably subconsciously) lumped in with ne’er do wells, thieves, folks who weren’t up to the task, “problem” employees, etc.

Is this fair? Of course not! But it is reality. So if you find yourself out of work, don’t sit around watching Hulu videos or finally getting around to painting your Huntington Beach condo. Start looking for work. Pronto!

Take a look below for 11 steps to take to get your job search started quickly. As in half a day!

Orange County Jobs

  1. Get organized.

Put on some comfortable clothes, find a quiet space in your home, get your previous resume and a cover letter handy, open up the laptop, and start contacting friends to see if they’d be willing to proofread your revised resume. Get some tea and/or coffee and settle down for the afternoon.

  1. Start thinking about where you’d like to work.

Have you always wanted to work at some particular company or companies? List them. Go to each of their websites and do some research. Jot notes about the companies’ products/services, their goals/challenges (check their blogs or news media sites for insight into these things). Look at your LinkedIn profile to see if you have any first, second or even third connections who either work at the companies or who may have connections at the companies. Check the companies’ job openings to see if there’s anything that fits your bill.

  1. Check job boards.

Don’t spend a lot of time on this. And don’t apply to any openings. Not yet. This is recon: you want to see what job opportunities currently are to be had for your background and skill set. Make notes (bookmarks, too) if anything you see particularly strikes you or piques your interest.

  1. Pick five favorite openings and/or companies.

Head back to LinkedIn and see if you know anyone with any connection. Ask them to set up an informational interview with them. (Here’s a networking email template that says it will “get you a meeting with anyone you ask.” Let us know if it works!)

Work to set up a minimum of three meetings. Set those three meetings up today.

  1. Write a cover letter and tailor it to EACH different opportunity.

Seriously: each cover letter needs to be different. You cannot use the same cover letter for each opening. You need to show how your skills, background, accomplishments, and possibly education will help the employer solve the problems the position is supposed to solve and/or reach the goals the position is supposed to reach.

  1. Beef up your resume.

Tweak/edit it so that it highlights your specific accomplishments: those problems you solved and goals you reached for your previous employers. Don’t be afraid to also tweak your resume for each position.

  1. Send the resume/cover letter to one or more friends for proofing/feedback.

You want absolutely no grammar or spelling mistakes. None!

  1. Apply for the three or so openings online.

Upload your docs and hit send.

  1. If you’ve heard back from your potential informational interviews, set up meeting times.

Mention that you’ve applied for openings at their company (if applicable). Approach friends, family members and current and/or former colleagues for coffee meetings. Let them know what type of work you’re looking for, your skills/background and make sure to ask them if they know of anyone else with whom you could meet. (Tip: don’t wait for your friend to make the intro: people are busy and may forget. instead ask your friend for his contact’s email or phone info and ask your buddy if it’s OK if you contact the person directly, saying that your friend suggested that you contact the individual.)

  1. Repeat each day until you accept a job offer.

The way to find a job quickly is look for work each day. Yes, the old saw is true: view searching for a job as your job.

  1. Consider signing up with a staffing service such as ours.

Helpmates has new temporary, temp-to-hire and even direct-hire job opportunities appearing every day. You can work with us on temporary assignments while you job hunt on your own or allow us to send you on interviews for more permanent positions.

Take a look at our job openings and apply online. Or contact the office nearest you.

Is This Why No One’s Sharing Your Job Postings on Social Media?

Your company has what you believe is a pretty nifty job-referral program for employees: if they refer someone who ends up working for you for at least six months, the referring worker gets a few hundred dollars.

So you ask your employees to let their friends and friends of friends know about career/job opportunities with you. You also ask that employees share your job postings on their personal social media channels.

Irvine temp agency

You sit back and wait for the referrals to rush on in. But what do you hear? The sound of nada (if nada made a sound).

What gives? You ask employees to share your job openings, you reward them handsomely if a referral works out, they can easily hit “share” on a job posting, but candidates don’t respond?

Why?

It could well be because the employees who refer great people are really, really picky regarding who they will refer to your (and their) company: they only make a referral if they truly feel it’s a good match for both the company and the potential employee.

And so that downsizes their pool of referable friends/acquaintances considerably!

And regarding why those jobs that are shared don’t get a response? Indeed.com’s study of 10,000 job seekers, Privacy of Job Search, found that 24 percent of those looking for work are the least likely to share this fact online. What’s more, 50 percent of job seekers wouldn’t even tell a partner that they’ve applied for a new position. In fact, two-thirds of job hunters said they were concerned (very to somewhat) about their job search going public.

So when it comes to jobs that do get shared via social media? No one may apply because they are worried about being found out: if they express interest to a friend on social media for more information? Ooops! There goes their cover!

After all, according to the Indeed.com study, 52 percent of respondents reported that their biggest fear was having colleagues find out that they’re on the job hunt. This fear was far greater than the risk of not getting a new job (29 percent).

It’s a bit ironic: we tend to post great photos of our families, our activities and so on to all and sundry on social media. But when it comes to our search for work, mum’s the word.

If your Irvine-area company isn’t finding the right people for your openings via employee referrals, consider partnering with Helpmates: we’ve been helping companies in Southern California find great people for their temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities for more than 40 years and we’d love to help your company. Contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

 

Making the Gig Economy Work for You

The Great Recession definitely “did a number” on many individuals’ careers. Mid- or late-career professionals were downsized and unable to find a similar position at a similar income. New college grads struggled mightly to even find their first post-college position. Many men were let go and unable to find work due to a lack of positions in “traditionally” male occupations such as construction, transportation, etc.

Southern California jobs

If you’ve struggled to find employment in the years since then, you may have found that you prefer to work as a free-lancer, subcontractor or even temporary associate due to the independence and flexibility such positions offer.

Yet the “gig economy” is attractive to many people today, not just those who fought to find regular work with an employer, because the siren call of freedom is hard to resist for many who have the skills to make it in this new, flexible economy:

“No one can ever fire me again!” is their mantra!

Additional reasons why more and more people are embracing a non-traditional work style (from Forbes.com):

  • Only 14 percent of companies offer pension plans to their employees (down from 60 percent in 1982), so what’s the point of working for an employer (some people may figure)?
  • LinkedIn reports that the average length of unemployment is almost six months (25 weeks). Many people may have decided not to look for work anymore and instead started a freelance enterprise.
  • Developments in technology make it easier than ever for people to start up new ventures and/or freelance from home.
  • Artificial intelligence probably will uproot the workplace in ways as yet unimagined, forcing/pushing more and more people to go solo. The Forbes article predicts that 47 percent of jobs are “at risk in the next 20 years,” with those who work in transportation, office and administration, logistics, and production probably at the most risk of employment upheaval

If you’d like to become a member of the gig economy, take a look below for some steps you may want to take in order to do so:

  • Ascertain your skills.

Many freelancers develop websites, work as business writers, write code, provide bookkeeping services, work as virtual assistants, consult for businesses, etc. What skills do you have that you could sell to others? Start researching how much money you may be able to make as a freelancer.

  • Save money! Lots of money.

It’s going to take time to start making money, so you’ll need some sort of income/cushion to tide yourself over as you start marketing your services. If you have a working spouse, congratulations! If you have debt, pay it down while you save.

The less outgo you need to worry about and the more savings you have as you start your new gig-economy career, the better. If at all possible, have at least three to six months’ savings handy and no debt.

  • Build a website and a social media presence.

Don’t spend too much time on your website in the beginning; it needn’t be fancy at all. Create social media channels and start posting/curating information of benefit to your target market.

  • Start trying different marketing tactics.

Whether you want to network at business functions in your local area, email or cold-call prospects, approach them on LinkedIn (or a strategy that uses all three), you’re going to have to start putting yourself out there.

If you consider yourself a shy person, work hard to take yourself out of your comfort zone: many introverts think they can simply email/reach out on social media to get clients. Of course you can, but it will take you far longer to land clients that way than if you were to pick up the phone and call and/or attend many networking events. At least in the beginning.

Instead, if you hustle up some courage and actually ask people for work, you’ll grow as an individual and grow your business much more quickly than you will hiding behind a computer.

  • Treat your freelancing as a business.

Sure, you can take an afternoon off to see the latest blockbuster, but if you do so and miss deadlines, you’ll have seen the movie but missed out on income. You can do both (see the movie when you want and get paid), but understand you may have to work on the weekends/late into the night in order to meet deadlines.

Remember: most clients want a reliable freelancer, not the best freelancer. Good enough is more than good enough if your clients know they can count on you to meet deadlines.

If you’ve decided to become a part of the gig economy and need some income to help you along as you build your business, consider working temporary assignments with Helpmates. You can work one-day assignments here and there, or work at a client for several weeks, which will help you keep your coffers full. Contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you today.

Ideas for Revamping Your Employee Rewards Program

As the new year begins and new starts….start, it may be a good time to take a look at your current employee rewards program to make sure it’s one that helps your employees feel valued and engaged.

Take a look below for five ideas you may want to consider for revamping your rewards program.

Irvine temp agency

  1. How often do you reward employees?

If you reward hard work just once a year with bonuses, naming an employee of the year, prizes, etc., why not up the number of times you acknowledge a job well done? In fact, why not reward employees in some small way every time they go above and beyond or otherwise provide exceptional work and/or results.

  1. Give employees what they want, not what you think they want.

Take a survey: do your workers really enjoy the monthly Employee of the Month award? The Employee of the Year? Do they enjoy a Starbucks gift card when they hit a previously agreed-upon target?

Ask them and you may be surprised: perhaps more time off is a better prize than a plaque in the lobby. Points on their favorite airline also could be a winner. Even just a simple hand-written thank you note from the company’s president can be huge when an employee does something “small” but nevertheless outstanding while on the job.

  1. Are the rules for rewards programs/incentives fair?

Every employee in all departments in all locations should be eligible for your rewards program. If your workers start to believe that some positions or departments have an easier time of it in earning rewards they may become less engaged – even cynical – with your company’s plans, ethos and goals.

  1. Announce attaboys and -girls on social media.

And not just internal social media: praise and recognize employees on your public social channels. If the acknowledged worker is on a certain channel, make sure to tag the employee properly so that his or her social friends/followers will see the accolades.

  1. Managers need recognition, too.

Yes, your line supervisors are making sure to reward and acknowledge their subordinates, but are managers’ supervisors keeping an eye on their direct downline, making sure they are rewarded and acknowledged when they – or their department – do exceptional work?

Employee engagement and satisfaction is critical to your company’s ability to retain and attract top talent. Beefing up and/or tweaking your employee rewards program can be a “quick win” in your ongoing work to keep employees satisfied.

If your Irvine company needs top talent for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire career opportunities, contact the Helpmates office nearest you. We look forward to helping your company find and hire the best!

3 Things Your Staffing Firm Can’t Control

As much as your staffing firm works – and works exceptionally hard – to ensure that its temporary associates show up on time to your assignments and provide exceptional value for you while they perform the tasks and complete the projects you need done (placing many strong management/HR policies and screening processes/tests and procedures to do just that) there are three things your staffing partner simply can’t control:

Cerritos staffing agency

  1. Ensuring that a temporary associate absolutely shows up for an assignment.
  2. An associate’s personal life/financial situation and how it may affect his/her ability to put in a good day’s work.
  3. Emergencies in associates’ lives.

Before we discuss why a staffing firm ultimately can’t control these three things, here’s a bit of background about how Helpmates Staffing works a) to bring you the best candidates possible and b) makes certain as much as possible that they show up and perform well.

  • One hour before an associate is scheduled to arrive at your company on his or her first day, we call the associate to make sure he or she is able to get to work. We also contact our associates the Friday before a Monday start to let them know we’re excited for them and know they will do a great job on their assignment. We also often touch base with a light industrial or clerical specialist before the assignment’s second day.
  • We know that some temporaries interview well but then perform poorly. That’s why we offer our 100 Percent Unconditional Guarantee: if our associate doesn’t meet your standards, you pay us nothing. If you participate in our Employee Quality Assurance Program, you pay only for the portion of our specialist’s work with which you’re satisfied.
  • Our screening process is tough. We interview in-depth and in-person. We offer felony and misdemeanor background checks and drug screenings (based on your request and/or requirements), as well as reference checks (always). We also take an extra step and check each employee at the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system. We also offer Integrity Testing, which evaluates applicants objectively on their attitudes regarding alcohol and drug use, employee theft and violence in the workplace.

Bottom line? All three things your staffing firm can’t control boil down to this: temporary workers are human and humans make mistakes. Humans also – thankfully! – have free will and if they decide not to show up on a morning after accepting an assignment, little short lassoing them and then dragging them work, there’s no way to absolutely guarantee if temporary workers will show up if they really don’t want to.

As soon as we know that a temporary associate hasn’t shown up, we will start working to find a replacement ASAP. We almost always find a replacement within a few hours or – at the very latest – for the next day.

If you’d like more information on our policies and procedures that help us find and place the best candidates for your temporary opportunities, contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Hiring Managers’ New Year’s Resolutions

The Big Day is behind us. Now on to the next chapter: New Year’s.

Most of us probably have some personal and career-oriented New Year’s Resolutions we’re considering: get fit, take a class/get some technical certification, eat better, go to more networking events.

If you’re a manager, chances also are great that you may see yourself hiring one or more people next year. That being the case, we offer you some New Year’s Resolutions pertaining to hiring. Take a look below.

2018 hiring resolutions

  1. Resolve to make a hiring decision quickly.

This year was a candidate’s market and 2018 is shaping up to be the same, at least in the near term. Dawdle on a hiring decision and don’t be surprised if you lose out on a great candidate.

  1. Promise to consider the “imperfect” candidate.

Face it: in todays’ war-for-talent climate, finding someone who matches everything your job description says she should and then hiring her at the price you can afford is going to at least somewhat difficult (and that’s an understatement).

So look beyond the perfect and consider other “perfectly good” attributes:

  • Cultural fit
  • Personality
  • Trainability (hire for personality and train for skills)n i
  • Work ethic

Many wonderful job candidates are out there if you only you would look at their “flaws” for the hidden potential within them.

  1. Pledge to embrace the reference check.

Too many people interview well and/or look great on paper. If you’ve never hired someone who appeared to be more-than-good-enough only find them a disaster once onboard, you’ve no doubt seen a supervisor or manager in your past do so. Many hiring mismatches could be solved by performing a thorough background check.

In fact, rather than look at the reference check as a formality, don’t even think of hinting at an offer of employment until you’ve spoken to several professional colleagues in the candidate’s past.

As you speak to references, ascertain if the candidate is as team-oriented as she says she is, truly can get along with anyone and can deal with an angry customer on the phone with grace and aplomb no matter how tired she is.

The main things to look for are to see how well the new hire will fit in with your current team.  Most people don’t turn into a “bad hire” because they don’t have the skills but because they just don’t fit in with your corporate culture.

  1. Vow to ask for help.

As a manager in a department or supervisor of a few people, you’ve a lot on your plate. Hiring someone to fill a departure or new personnel need can take up a lot of your time, time you’re not spending on the tasks for which you were hired.

That’s why working with Helpmates can be a smart move as you gear up for hiring in 2018: we can source, vet and even place terrific people in your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire openings.

Resolve to help make 2018 the year hiring employees isn’t overwhelming and contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Happy New Year!

All I Want for Christmas is a Great 2018

Chances are good that you want your career/job situation to be the greatest it can be. With Christmas and the season of giving gifts upon us, it’s understandable if you’re hoping that this coming year will give you all you hope for and desire.

better career in 2018

And it can, so long as you realize you are the one who will deliver that gift. In other words, effort and some sacrifice on your part are what will help you obtain the career goals you dream of.

Happily, you really need only two things to make your job situation/career great this coming year.

So write a “Dear Santa” letter to yourself and ask yourself for these things:

  1. I will give myself the gift of additional training/education.

No one wanting to build a career – or stay employed – should think he or she can sit around and do the same old, same old every year and not feel the consequences at some point.

Additional training/education/certification always is going to be critical to success in the job market of tomorrow. Technology is changing such that artificial intelligence more than likely will (disrupt the employment prospects of millions now-employees in the next few years.

(Just some of the careers/jobs that could be affected: dermatologists, lawyers, sports journalists, financial reporters, retail clerks, border patrol agents, middle managers, pharmacy technicians, program software, and  more.)

Bottom line? The next time your boss asks if you want to go to a seminar on such and such, say yes (and then ask if you also can get certified in it).

  1. I will give myself the present of learning how to be a better “political” animal in the workplace.

Office politics exists. The most successful among us learn how to make their way through it with grace and skill because those who rise to the top are able to:

  • Be friendly – but not too much so – with everyone.
  • Stand up to bullies without becoming a bully themselves.
  • Take bad news stoically.
  • Give bad news with kindness yet firmness.
  • Know when to take a stand and know when to stand back.

Some people appear to easily navigate the politics of the workplace. Others struggle. But all of us can learn how to improve our own skills dealing with it.

Success truly comes easier if you can promote yourself and your “causes” fairly with your boss, clients and co-workers. Learning the “art” of office politics can be a terrific gift you give yourself this coming year.

Would another great Christmas gift to yourself be a new job? If you’re looking for work in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, take a look at Helpmates’ current job openings.

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