When You Chose the Wrong Career

It happens: we spend four – or more! – years studying for a certain type of career or profession and then two or three years after working within it, we come to the conclusion that it’s simply the wrong career. For us.

If this is you, don’t panic.  Read below to find out when a career really is the wrong one for you.

Here’s a typical scenario: It’s Sunday afternoon and you start to dread going to work. As in, you contemplate somewhat seriously if the fifth “I’m not feeling well and won’t be coming in today” excuse in three months is going to cut it. (Hint: it won’t.) Once at work, you constantly count down the minutes until quitting time. Your family comments again and again that you look miserable.

Brea Careers

And you definitely are, but before you decide to open up that art gallery you’ve always wanted, understand that you may be miserable not because you’re in the wrong career, but because you’re working for and with the wrong people and/or in the wrong industry.

There’s a terrific saying that’s a cliché but still true: “People join companies but they leave managers.” Your colleagues and manager do make or break your day-to-day enjoyment of the job

If this turns out to be the case, then consider finding another job either in a different department or in a different company within the same industry. Or perhaps you enjoy the tasks of social media, just not in and for the insurance industry? Time to switch to an industry you think you’ll enjoy

But if:

  • You feel that working in this career means you have to compromise your values.
  • You conclude that this career/industry may be DOA in a few years. (Hello, artificial intelligence!)
  • You realize your basic personality simply isn’t cut out for this type of career: not all really personable people are great at sales, for example.
  • You decide that the career you chose for love just doesn’t pay the bills and you’ve crunched numbers and you’ve sadly discovered that the things that are most important to you in life are unaffordable within the career path you’ve chosen.

Then it may be time to change careers.

Still, be careful here. Perhaps a compromise can be made. As mentioned above, it may be more the industry in which you’re toiling and not the career itself. For example, perhaps you want to take your social media skills and help make a difference instead of help sell consumer goods or services. Then it may be a good idea to work for a non-profit.

Or if you’re a lawyer toiling in a law firm, look into working as a corporate lawyer.

If you’ve decided that yes indeed you need a change, before changing careers, consider looking into industries that can use your current skills. For example, in Southern California you could:

  • Take your administrative skills from a distribution center to a college campus, a marketing company, a financial services firm, etc.
  • Move from HR with a retailer to HR in a startup.
  • Change from accounting in a non-profit to within the entertainment industry.
  • And so on.

In fact, moving to a new industry within your career is a great way to ascertain if it’s just your co-workers or industry making you miserable, or if it really is the career. (And if you do discover that if you’ve truly chosen the wrong career, read our blog post on how to successfully change careers.)

If you’re looking to take your skills to a new industry, contact Los Angeles and Orange County’s premier staffing firm, Helpmates. Take a look at our direct-hire, temp-to-hire and temporary opportunities and then follow the instructions regarding applying when you find one or more that appeal to you.

Why Working in Staffing is a GREAT Career

Arguably some of the best kept secrets when it comes to careers are working as a recruiter, manager and/or sales professional in the staffing industry.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve worked with us either as a temporary associate or client so you know what we do: we match candidates with Southern California companies in temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities. In other words, our work makes a huge, positive difference in the lives of our neighbors and our colleagues. We can’t think of a better career than that!

Staffing Careers

What’s more, the work is never dull (no two of our days truly are ever alike) and compensation – especially after working in staffing for a few years – can be quite attractive. In addition, while college degrees will help, they are not required in order to become a great recruiter or sales pro: a willingness to learn, to do things far out of your comfort zone, to deal with rejection and – sometimes – unhappy  people while always treating everyone with respect, professionalism and kindness is.

Most People Don’t Think: “Hey, I Want to Work in Staffing!”

Most of us didn’t graduate high school or college with the plan to work in this industry: most staffing pros come from other business sectors. In fact, we’ve found that folks who have worked in retail, food service/hospitality, customer service (particularly car rental services and call centers) do well because they know how to deal with the public.

How we came to work in staffing varies for each of us, but we all stay for pretty much the same three reasons:

  • We can have a huge, positive impact on people’s lives.
  • It’s fun.
  • It can pay pretty darn well.*

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention staffing’s downside: it can be a highly stressful industry. Priorities change constantly as you work to satisfy both clients and your candidates.

Yet every career has its downsides and we feel that the many positive aspects of this career far outweigh the negative.

If we’ve at all piqued your interest, contact us: we have a few internal openings now. But even if that link shows no current internal opportunities, or doesn’t show the type of position you’d like to explore, contact us anyway as we always are looking for great people to join our internal team.

The American Staffing Association (ASA) offers more information about opportunities found in a staffing career on its website. In addition, the ASA has partnered with CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions to create a program that prepares people for internal, entry-level recruiter positions in recruiting and staffing companies. (Note: taking the course in no way guarantees you a position with us, but you also don’t need to take the course in order to be considered for employment with us.)

*What does “pretty darn well” actually mean? While we can’t go into our salary ranges here, but let us direct you to Glassdoor.com, which shows that staffing coordinators in Los Angeles make an average salary of $33,700 (maximum of $55K), while recruiters average $53,428 (maximum of $72K). Staffing account executives (sales) averaged $59,201 (a maximum of $95K), while a staffing branch manager (management of a branch office plus sales) averaged $68,771 (a maximum of $94K).

Take a look here for more information on what we provide you as a member of our internal Helpmates Staffing team,

In Your Job Search, Focus on What You Can Control

Famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to tell his players to focus only on those things they could control.

His wisdom applies to your job search: you can’t control how many job interviews you receive but you can control how many people you reach out to. You can’t control whether or not you receive a job offer as a result of one of those interviews, but you can control how well you prepare for your interview, how much research you perform on the company and the hiring manager, how much you practice for the interview, and so on.

southern california careers

Take a look below for other things you can focus on in your job hunt.

  1. Making sure your resume and cover letter are free from typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes.

You don’t want to trip up your chances from the get-go, so proof your resume and cover letter for any and all mistakes. If you feel your grammar and spelling skills are sketchy, ask someone you know who is up on spelling and grammar rules to proof your documents.

Another way you can really help your candidacy is to write a different cover letter for each position to which you apply. You also should tweak your resume to showcase the skills and experience you have that best meet the job’s requirements. Yes, this takes more work, but every job is different and your resume/cover letter should “sell” your skills, education and experience in a way that best fits any particular job.

  1. The best positions often go to people who know someone at the company.

Is this “fair”? That’s not the point: this is reality. However, you can control your own network and allow it to help you find a great position. So start asking around (let people know what you’re looking for and the skills you possess). If you see a position you like, check LinkedIn to see if anyone you know has a connection with the employer.

  1. Many people apply for the same position. Competition can be TIGHT!

Don’t let that worry you because as someone who wants to take control of his/her job search, you are going to contact the company (or ask around your contacts) to find the name and contact information of the hiring manager for the position. Then you’re going to contact that person directly. Yes, you are!

There’s a lot you simply can’t control about the job search process, but there’s plenty that you can when it comes to your own efforts. So take as much control as you can and contact potential employers directly, make sure your resume/cover letter is different for each job and has no mistakes at all, and expand your network to help you learn of – and be recommended for –terrific positions.

If your job hunt is taking too long, consider working on some temporary assignments with us here at Helpmates Staffing as you search. Many temporary assignments can – and do – turn into more permanent positions (so you may not need to search anymore)! Take a look at our current job opportunities and then either apply or contact us.

When You Get Caught in a Lie

It happens: you’re feeling great and there’s a ball game you’d love to see playing downtown that afternoon. So you call your boss in the morning, giving the best “I have a bad cold” impersonation you can muster, telling her you’re not feeling well. She buys it and you head off to the game.

But who should you run into at the ballpark but your boss (who took official PTO for the afternoon). She’s not happy and she told you to meet her in her office the next day at 8 a.m. sharp!

Are you toast? Possibly, but not necessarily.

The scenario above actually happened several years ago and the gotta-go-to-the-ballgame employee was fired. But that may not be the case today, as many companies now meld vacation and sick-days into one entity called Paid Time Off (PTO). Employers generally want their workers to take time off for vacations and stay home when they truly are sick. But if you lie about it….

Los Angeles jobs

Most of us are employed at will, which means a company can fire us at any time for any reason. (We also can quit at any time for any reason.) Most employers understand that “things happen,” and pretty much wait for egregious actions (theft) or big mistakes (losing a major client) before using the employed-at-will option and firing an employee.

But you definitely could be fired for lying (such as calling sick when you’re actually well).

However, most lies aren’t serious ones. They tend to be small: you made a relatively minor mistake and you’re trying to cover it up. Chances are you won’t be fired for these, but such a lie will damage your reputation with your manager and affect her trust in you.

So what can you do if you find yourself caught in a lie? Some strategies:

  1. When found out, don’t try to cover it up.

You’d just be continuing the lie and making the consequences when truth does come out even worse for yourself.

  1. Immediately. And sincerely.

As you do so, take full responsibility for your lie. Own it. Say you knew it was wrong and stupid and you deeply regret it. Don’t say it was a small lie, it didn’t affect anything. You can explain why you said it, but don’t try to use that explanation as an excuse: again, own your actions.

  1. Tell your manager you realize she may not trust you as much.

Again, this is part of owning your lie. You must understand that she probably won’t trust you to the same extent going forward and you must address this. Tell your manager you will work hard to rebuild her trust and that you realize this will take some time to do.

  1. Work hard to regain your manager’s trust.

It will take time, but no self-pity allowed. Work harder than you ever have. Unfortunately, you may never regain her trust. If that is the case, after a few months of giving it your all, you may want to start looking elsewhere because chances are good you will miss out on promotions and other opportunities.

When it’s time for you to look for another position in Southern California, make sure you take a look at our current job openings with some of the region’s top employers. If you find one or more opportunities that appeal  to you, apply online or contact the Helpmates office nearest you for more information.

How to Decline a Job Offer (So That They Won’t Hate You)

Let’s say you’ve been offered a job but it’s lacking.   In something.  The pay isn’t enough. It’s too far to commute. (“91 freeway westbound in the morning? Are you KIDDING me!?”) Your ex-boyfriend just announced on InstaStories that he got a job there. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that the job isn’t what you thought it would be and so you’ve decided to turn it down.

But in order to get a job offer, one usually must say right out loud while shaking a hiring manager’s hand goodbye: “Thank you for this interview(s). I think I’d be a great addition to your team and I hope you will offer me the job.” Or you said as much on the phone. Or probably in your thank you letter after your interviews.

So. Turning down the job after you baldly and repeatedly said you wanted it? This is embarrassing.

No, it’s not.

People decline job offers all the time. What’s more, job offers get rescinded all the time. So, minor embarrassment aside, it’s perfectly normal to say no thank you after an offer’s been extended.

Los Angeles jobs

But. You never know: you may want to work at this company someday in the future. So be careful how you the job down: you want to do so with grace, professionally and in a way that makes the hiring manager think well of you.

Take a look below for how to do this.

  1. Don’t not show up on your first day.

Sure, you’re nervous about saying no. You also may be worried that you might be making a mistake by turning it down and so you postpone making a decision until the day you’re supposed to start. And so you don’t show up. And you don’t answer texts or calls or emails from your (could have been) new boss.

Instead, be a professional and as soon as you’re certain the job’s not for you, let the hiring manager know, preferably no later than a week before your start date. (Even better, turn it down before you even set a start date!)The absolute latest you can tell someone you’re not coming in: the day before your first day and even that is cutting it way too close.

Not showing up just shows extreme immaturity and massive inconsideration. Man- or woman-up and tell the hiring manager with days to spare.

  1. It’s best to call the hiring manager. Second best is an e-mail. Never text.

Yes, it could be a hard call to make. But the hiring manager deserves this courtesy. And you’re a professional: you definitely can do this.

Whether you call or email, follow these guidelines:

  • Thank the hiring manager for the offer. Tell her how much you appreciate her consideration of your skills and background.
  • Give a brief reason why you’re not accepting the offer/changed your mind. You don’t have to go into great detail: you’ve accepted a position at another company. After much thought, you’ve decided to stay put. You and your spouse discussed and the longer commute will just cut too much into critical family time, etc. You don’t even have to give a reason, you can just say “As wonderful as this opportunity is, unfortunately I am going to decline.” (If you say this in a phone conversation, understand the hiring manager probably ask for a reason. Have a good one handy. Again, you don’t have to go into details.)
  1. Offer a solution.

You’re not going to say “give me 20 percent more than you offered and I’m your gal!” Instead what we mean by a solution is to say you have several connections in your network who may be great for the position and you offer to talk to them about it and send their information to the hiring manager

You see, by turning the offer down, you’ve created a huge problem for your hiring manager: he has work to be done that no one’s going to do and he to go through the interview process all over again! By offering a solution you show that you understand you’ve created a problem and you want to help fix it.

This shows empathy and professionalism.

  1. Say you want to stay in touch.

The world of work is small one. Particularly within industries. There may come a time when you will want to work for this company. Or you may see the hiring manager at conferences, seminars and other professional events. If you aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn, say you will send a connection request soon (and then do so that day). Even a simple “Thank you for your time and offer and I hope we meet again,” will be enough.

Say yes to your next job offer by contacting Helpmates. We have many great job and career opportunities in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Good luck with your job search!

Top 6 Skills Employers Are Seeking in 2017

Thinking about a job change in the New Year? Here at Helpmates and across the country, dynamic, innovative companies are looking for talent to help them reach new heights in 2017.

But do you have the skills they’re seeking?

Los Angeles Jobs

With more options than ever, today’s employers are looking for certain skill sets in talent, regardless of position. The following list includes 5 of the top skills employers are seeking in the New Year:

  • Customer service. Strong customer service skills will never go out of style. And in today’s businesses, every role is essentially a customer service role. PRO TIP: Be prepared to answer questions about delivering exceptional service in your next job interview. Even better? Step it up a notch and be proactive about your focus and abilities on delivering exceptional service (to customers, or even other employees!).
  • Have a knack for building websites or helping your family through their technical challenges? It could be time to put those skills to use in your career! Many employers are now looking for tech-savvy employees in a variety of non-technical roles.
  • From inter-office memos to emails and other internal documents, you might not realize just how much writing you do in a work day! The ability to clearly and concisely convey meaning and drive action is highly desirable in just about every role — bring samples or be prepared to discuss why your business communications are effective to make a positive impression on interviewers.
  • Problem-solving. We all hit the occasional road block at work. But how we work through those challenges helps determine our strength and success as an employee. Many employers request employees who have strong problem-solving skills, for a variety of roles. To help prepare for your next interview, start thinking now about times where you were presented with a challenge and worked your way through it (and lessons you learned along the way).
  • Sure, most of us have to, well, talk, during the work day, but have you thought about your verbal skills from the perspective of an employer? Probably not, but it’s likely time to start working on your verbal skills. One of the most critical times you’ll need those skills is when you’re in an interview! Practice answering interview questions so you can accurately convey your message during interviews. But also think about how your verbal interactions affect your colleagues and bosses once you’ve landed the job. Are you accurately and clearly conveying the right message? Are you getting great results when you ask for assistance or when you deliver feedback? These are critical components of a successful career, and employers will be listening carefully to see whether your skills measure up.
  • Okay, this isn’t a skill per se, but it’s still extremely important to employers today. If you walk into an interview brimming with enthusiasm for the role and company, you will make a positive impression on interviewers. Keep the enthusiasm going in your thank you notes, second interviews and when you start the job — your new career adventure will most definitely be off to a great start!

Here at Helpmates, we work with a wide range of top employers across Southern California. We connect you with great jobs to help you advance your career and reach your goals! Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to find YOUR next great career opportunity.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

5 Career Tips to Increase Your Value at Work

Thinking about your career goals for the rest of 2016 and beyond? A helpful perspective to take as you work to impress your employer and climb the corporate ladder is continuously improve and increase your value in the workplace.career tips

Standing out to your boss for the right reasons can put you ahead of the pack when it comes to raises, promotions and recognition. But knowing just how to stand out for those reasons can be a challenge. Here are six career tips to help you increase your value at work and make a positive impact on your career:

1. Ask thoughtful questions. Knowing where your organization would like to improve or how to make your clients or customers happier can help you chart a course for improvement to impress your boss. The best way to get these details is simply by asking! In meetings and one on ones, ask insightful questions of leadership to understand the larger problems facing your organization and challenges or issues facing your customers. This is a great way to demonstrate to leadership that you are invested in the long-term success of your organization >> something many employers consider when granting promotions.

2. Think about how to make things better. Now that you’re armed with critical business information, it’s time to get to work. Take your unique perspective within your current role and use the information you’ve gained to think of ways to either solve the challenges noted above or improve upon things as they currently stand.

3. Avoid complaints (focus on solutions). To build on the second point, building a positive reputation and brainstorming ideas to help your organization are key. But conversely, complaining can help you stand out for the wrong reasons. If you are aware of new challenges or problems within your organization, share them constructively with leadership; however (and this is a big “however”), follow up your observation with a potential solution. At a minimum, share any insight you have into why the issue may be occurring and offer something to help solve the problem. Rather than succumbing to workplace gossip and complaints, you’ll be seen as a problem solver. 

4. Ask for more responsibility. Few things more directly showcase your ambition and increase your value at work than asking for more work! Now, it’s important to note that you’re not necessarily asking for a promotion. Instead, you’re asking for increased responsibility, which will of course demonstrate your ambition and increase your literal value at work. But, it will also help you learn more about your company and can also “test” out new roles with increased responsibility, in essence, testing out possible promotions down the line.

5. Help your coworkers. Be the person who is constantly offering to join committees or help out on a project. You’ll gain valuable experience, but you’ll also demonstrate that you’re a team player and are invested in your organization’s success >> not just your own.

Showing employers how much value you bring can elevate your career, but you have to find the right job before you become invested. The Talent Relationship Specialists here at Helpmates are experts at matching your background and goals with career opportunities at top employers across Southern California. Search our open jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the first step.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Going the Extra Mile: 5 Things You Can Do at Home to Boost Your Career 

Although we may leave jobs after our shift is over, our ability to boost our careers and get to the next level continues once we get home. Spending your time going the extra mile can help you whether you’re looking to get ahead at your current job or find a new, better career opportunity.stencil-facebook-post

Are you going the extra mile to take your career to the next level? 

It doesn’t take a herculean effort to go the extra mile. Here are five things you can do at home right now to boost your career:

  1. Refresh your resume. You should update your resume at least once or twice a year. Set a reminder in your cell phone calendar if you need to – this one can make a big difference on your long-term career success. If you’re able to update it more often, even better – your most recent accomplishments will be top of mind. Get specific in your accomplishments, include numbers and details about your successes to ensure you make the best possible impression on employers. Email your updated resume to one of our Helpmates Talent Relationships Specialists for targeted feedback and input to help you ensure your resume is at its most impactful.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in the past six months, it’s time for an update. Now you may have just updated your resume, but your LinkedIn profile should NOT simply regurgitate your resume. Instead, take those key accomplishments and updates and include them, but weave them into your personal story. Taking a personal approach to your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the pack. And while you’re at it, ask a friend or relative to take a new headshot for your social media profiles. If your headshot is outdated, cropped from a casual picture — or if you don’t have a headshot — a simple but professional picture can help strengthen your personal brand.
  3. Get out there. Networking is an essential component of successful careers. Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, attending networking events can open up doors at new organizations and at the very least, can help you boost your speaking and presentation skills. You’ll also get more comfortable talking about your strengths and differentiators >> a skill that will come in handy the next time you’re looking for a job! Not sure what networking events are scheduled nearby? Meetup.com is an excellent resource to find networking events in most cities. Your local chamber of commerce is also a great place to call. You can always call one of the Helpmates Talent Relationship Specialists for networking event recommendations as well.
  4. Curate your social media presence. LinkedIn is just one piece of the social recruiting puzzle. Recruiters are visiting ALL your social media profiles >> are they telling the story you want them to tell? We recently posted our top 10 social media tips for job seekers, which offers a great place for you to start. Be sure to focus initially on updating your privacy settings and completing your profiles. Also, scan your past posts and any posts you’ve been “tagged” in to remove anything that could be considered unprofessional or that could make a negative impression on recruiters.
  5. Build a new skill. The internet today is buzzing with free resources to help you boost your career skills. Want a job creating websites or apps?  Codecademy offers free HTML lessons. Always wanted to be a designer? Adobe offers free Photoshop classes. Udemy is another resource that offers free career classes – not all courses here are free, but you can often find many free courses (and others that are $20 or less) to boost your skills.

Putting in some extra time at home can pay off in the long run of your career. And when you’re looking for your next great job opportunity, call Helpmates. We work with some of Southern California’s top employers in a range of industries. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

3 Signs Your Interview Isn’t Going Well (And How to Turn it Around)

You only get one shot to make a great first impression. Often times, that “one shot” with an employer is at a job interview. It’s a pretty simple formula, right? Prepare for the interview and put your best foot forward and you’re much more likely to land the job.september-blog-1

But it’s not always that easy. 

Many of us have left job interviews feeling like a million dollars, certain that we are going to receive a job offer…only to get turned down (or never hear back at all). Sometimes the reasons are out of your control; however, a strong interview is critical to increasing your chances of getting the call.

Look out for these signs your interview isn’t going well

Keeping your eyes and ears open during your job interviews can help you identify trouble and steer clear of it – potentially saving your opportunity at the job. These three signs can most often signal that an interview isn’t going well >>

  1. No one tries to sell you on the job. Today’s job market is incredibly competitive. Employers know they have to effectively sell you on their opportunity and company as much as you’re selling your skills and background! If you’re doing a solid job highlighting key parts of your background but the interviewer isn’t trying hard in return, it could mean trouble. Not sure what to look for? When interviewers start to take about company culture, growth opportunities, office technology and other job perks, it’s a good sign they’re interested.
  2. The interviewer doesn’t mention “next steps.” If you’ve ever applied for a job before, you’ve probably heard about “next steps” frequently during interviews. Those next steps could be signaled by anything from salary requirements/history, references or even scheduling follow-up interviews. Some interviewers will give you a timeline to expect follow up >> these are all good signs. If you don’t hear a peep out of your interviewer, it could mean things aren’t going well.
  3. You’re in and out of the interview quickly. Hiring for the right fit puts a huge burden on interviewers – make the wrong choice and it costs an organization significant time and money. That’s why many job interviews can take 20 to 30 minutes or more. Today’s interviewers are asking more detailed, behavioral questions than ever to gauge things like culture fit, ability to navigate challenging situations and emotional intelligence. Job interviews should rarely (if ever) be quick and easy. If you haven’t been asked any difficult or detailed questions, the interviewer might not be interested.

How to turn around a bad job interview

All’s not lost if you recognize some of the above signs that an interview isn’t going well. Keep these tips in mind to try and turn it around:

  • Be upbeat. Nerves can get the best of all of us. If an interviewer picks up on negativity or stress, it could send the wrong message and result in an interview that feels like it’s going downhill. A cheery disposition and genuine enthusiasm for a company and role go a long way toward impressing interviewers. Skills can be taught, enthusiasm and drive cannot – employers know this, so show them that you are excited for the opportunity.
  • Ask thoughtful questions. Don’t just wait until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. This usually comes at the end of the interview and there isn’t much you can do about it at that point. Listen to what the interviewer is saying and explaining, think about questions before you answer them, then ask thoughtful follow up or probing questions yourself. Prepare some questions ahead of time, but also try to think on your feet and ask questions that demonstrate genuine interest and knowledge of the company and role.
  • Watch your body language. Nervousness really can make a big impact on the message you convey to interviewers. It’s natural to have some nerves, but be sure you’re overriding them and avoiding body language miscues like slouching, which can convey disinterest. A few other body languages “musts” include the basics like smiling, nodding and making eye contact.

Before you can ace your interview, you have to land one! Here at Helpmates, we work with top employers across Southern California. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest office to take the next step in your career.

5 Ways to Build Career Skills in Your Spare Time 

In today’s competitive landscape, you should look for every opportunity to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. Have you devoted time recently to honing your career skills to stay ahead of the competition? jobs in Los Angeles

Believe it or not, your hobbies and interests can help you boost your career and increase your chances of standing out with recruiters. In fact, these 5 hobbies can make a major impact:

  1. Indulging your creative side. Are you always creating funny memes or other images and sharing them with your friends and family? Your creative endeavors — both online and off — can help you build important critical and software skills. Even if the specific software you’re using doesn’t relate directly to a specific job, your ability to quickly learn and adapt to new software is extremely marketable to employers.
  2. Volunteering. Giving back to the community is great for your neighborhood and can even be good for your health, but it also offers benefits to your career. Many nonprofit organizations lack funding to hire full-time staff. They depend on volunteers for things like donor solicitation, administrative tasks and other mission-critical responsibilities. These types of tasks can provide excellent opportunities for you to learn new computer skills, grant writing skills and more >> earning hands-on experience with real results.
  3. Starting a Meetup. Meetup.com has become an excellent resource for clubs, professional networking groups and more to connect and unite over shared passions and interests. When you start a new group on a site like Meetup, you are not only nurturing your passion, you are demonstrating and building strong leadership skills. Promoting your group and expanding its reach will help you develop strong marketing skills. And when you present at your Meetups, you’ll hone important presentation and speaking skills that can help you in a range of industries and roles.
  4. Reading. One of the first hobbies many of us develop is also one of the most beneficial. Not only can you read books that help you learn new skills and aid in your personal development, reading any book helps improve communication skills. Focusing on business or personal development books can also give you some important leverage in job interviews. Many interviewers like to make small talk – this is partially to put you at ease, and it’s also often an assessment tool. Rather than talking about the latest TV shows you watched, talk about the latest important business book you read. That is MUCH more likely to get the attention of your recruiter and increase your chances of landing the job.
  5. Yoga. Yoga can help you avoid muscle injuries and stay flexible, but its effects can also help you at work. The focused breathing and mindfulness associated with yoga can help you better handle the daily stresses that happen at work. Most employers today are looking for a strong cultural fit. Employees who can keep their cool during stressful moments are highly desirable for employers. The next time an interviewer asks you about a time where you faced a difficult situation at work, mentioning your yoga hobby and the benefits it affords you in the office can show interviewers that you take your career seriously, inside and outside the office.

Today’s employers are looking for well-rounded individuals. Embrace your hobbies and their ability to impact your career! Here at Helpmates, we help professionals across Southern California match their skills and goals to job opportunities with some of the area’s top employers. Search our current job openings or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

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