Prepare for Your Career Talk with Your Manager

Have you ever discussed your career hopes with your manager? No? You’re not alone: too many employees, unfortunately, are not having these kinds of conversations with their supervisors. Many supervisors do not talk about career development with their employees during the performance review process.

Los Angeles jobs

So, if you want to move ahead in your career, you need to take the bull by the horns and start the process yourself – and you don’t have to wait for your performance review to do it.

Preparation

The first step in this process is preparation. You need to have some idea about where you want to go before talking with your supervisor.

Begin by considering a few career issues. First, think about where you want to go with your career. As part of this, think about your values and whether they match up with your career goals. Review your strengths and weaknesses – how can you put your strengths to use in advancing your career, and what skills do you need to work on to move ahead?

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? For example, short-term – within the next year or so – do you want to move to another type of job or take on more responsibilities in your current position?

Longer term goals may be a bit more difficult to specify simply because of the time frame involved. But in general, you should be able to talk about what you want to accomplish in your career.

After you have contemplated all of these issues, develop a plan of action for achieving your goals.

Meeting with Your Supervisor

The first thing to do when you meet is to get some sense of how committed your supervisor is to helping you. You can begin by telling her that you want to talk about the next steps in your career, that you would like to advance within the company but are not sure how to make that happen.

Run through your achievements at the company during your time there and emphasize how much you have enjoyed working there. Then, observe the kind of feedback you get to gauge how supportive your supervisor is.

Talk to her about your goals for the coming years, giving her a general idea of where you would like to go professionally. For example, do you want to get involved with managing people or work more with clients? Also, discuss the skills you would like to acquire, as well as the knowledge you want to gain, and make sure to do so  within the context of how this can benefit the company.

If you are interested in a promotion, you have to let your supervisor know. You could ask her for ideas on what your next step should be. If the response is unbridled enthusiasm, you are off to a promising start.

On the other hand, you may simply get a blank stare, with little in the way of support or ideas. In this case, you will have to forge your own path if you want to stay at the company. Start by looking at other departments that can use your particular talents and where you can expand your knowledge and experience.

Check with colleagues at the company about possible opportunities, such as assignments or projects that you could get involved in.

Talk to your supervisor about what you would like to do and ask her to give his support to your efforts. If your performance has been noteworthy, she should be willing to do that. Review what your investigation has turned up and, working together, decide on a few possibilities that would be a good next step for your career and the best course of action to take. Ask your supervisor to take the appropriate actions to help you get started.

If you’re not sure where you want to go with your career, consider exploring a bit by working as a temporary associate with Helpmates. We have many terrific opportunities that can allow you to try out different industries and companies. What’s more, many of our assignments can turn into an offer of employment with our client (so long as both you think it’s a good idea).

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

 

 

Working Hard – or Workaholic?

We all believe hard work is necessary for success in life and in our careers. But even hard work can be harmful if we take it too far, because then it slips into something that can take over our life – workaholism. It is similar to an addiction, where we feel the need to work excessively and compulsively. We feel uncomfortable when not working

Carson Jobs

And today, when technology has become ubiquitous and the boundaries between work and personal life begin to dissolve, it is easier than ever to fall into the trap of workaholism. People are tethered to their jobs by their smartphones, text messages and email. Here in the United States, more than half of those surveyed said they check email after 11 p.m. And more than 56 percent check it 5.6 hours every day, Monday-Friday.

Although workaholism is gaining more attention, there is still little data on how many people fall into the category of workaholic. Some estimates in the U.S. put the number as high as one-fourth of all workers. In Norway, where studies have been made, the number of workaholics appears to be a little under 10 percent of the workforce.

The Workaholism Scale

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have developed a list of seven basic criteria for workaholism. If you answer “often” or “always” on four or more of the criteria, the chances are good that you are a workaholic. Here is the list:

  1. You are always looking for ways to free up more time for work.
  2. You usually spend more time working than you originally planned.
  3. You work to escape feelings of anxiety, guilt or depression.
  4. Your friends, family and/or colleagues have told you that you should cut back on the amount of time you spend working, but you generally ignore them.
  5. You get stressed out when you cannot work.
  6. Work is always your number one priority, crowding out other important activities in your life, such as hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise.
  7. You work so much that it has affected your health.

People may believe that workaholism is a way of being more productive, getting more done, getting ahead of the curve and so reducing stress. But the exact opposite is true. Working all the time, without taking time to recover and reenergize, leads to burnout, lower productivity, higher stress, and more health problems.

Fighting Workaholism

If you think you may be a workaholic, what can you do to get your life back on a more even keel? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Try to reduce the distractions when you work, so you get more done in less time. If you can, try working from home to reduce distractions. Or put on headphones or close your office door, if possible.
  2. Delegate more work to others.
  3. Put more emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. You can do this by trying to reduce your work time to a 40-hour work week. Try meditating. Take the time to exercise and socialize more. Set priorities – get the important stuff done first. Schedule a time period for your tasks and stick to it. Learn how to say no to people when they ask for help if you already have too much on your plate.
  4. Turn off the electronics when you leave work. Don’t check your email or send email.
  5. Develop a morning routine. This sets the tone for the entire day.

We’re always looking for hard workers (but not workaholics)! If you’re looking for a new job or just for work for a few days or weeks, contact the Helpmates branch nearest you. And make sure to check out our latest temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job openings.

Confidence is Key – How to Impress in Job Interviews

A few months ago, we talked about the importance of confidence in making a positive first impression with employers. But finding and exuding confidence can be a challenge in and of itself.

Showcase your skills and impress hiring managers by being confident.HM

If nerves are getting in the way of properly conveying confidence during your interviews, check out these tips. Doing your homework ahead of time can help quell nerves and help you put your best foot forward!

  • Show that you’ve done your research. Today’s employers want engaged employees who demonstrate they are invested in the company and its success. We always recommend candidates prepare for interviews by researching the position and company – it’s up to you to show that you’ve prepared! Prepare thoughtful questions that lead with something similar to “While researching your company, I noticed that [blank]” and you’ll not only demonstrate that you’ve done your research, you’ll impress interviewers by showing a genuine interest in their companies.
  • Pay attention to your body language. The old standards really come into play here – if you’re constantly looking down or mumbling, you are far from exuding confidence in an interview. Here’s a great list of body language mistakes to avoid from Forbes. One of the best ways to avoid body language mistakes and really exude confidence during your job interviews is to practice. Ask a friend or family member to act as the interviewer, and run through practice interview questions, working to avoid body language mistakes while providing thoughtful, positive responses.
  • Repeat back names as you meet new people. People like to hear their names – it makes them feel more positively toward you, and it can also make it feel like you “fit right in” despite meeting the employer for the first time. Plus, repeating back names can send a subliminal message that you intend to meet and speak with that person again. Listen carefully when introduced to any person at a prospective employer, then repeat that name back during introductions. Body language also plays a factor here – look someone in the eye, extend a firm handshake, and add a genuine, “Nice to meet you, [NAME].”
  • Practice what you want to say. There’s no way to know exactly what an interviewer will ask you during a job interview, but you can certainly have an idea of key points you’d like to make during job interviews. Prepare those responses and practice them ahead of time to sound cool and confident. The more you’ve said certain responses out loud, the more natural they’ll feel once you’re in an actual interview.
  • Be positive. Whether you’re talking about your skill set or your previous employers, always focus on positives in job interviews. No one likes to be surrounded by negative people – and although you may not mean to, talking about past challenges or mistakes can make you seem like you’re dwelling on the negative. That’s where practicing your responses comes into play – you can always take a positive spin! Work through any potentially negative areas and spin them to focus on the positive.

Doing your homework and being prepared for an interview is the easiest way to be relaxed and confident. Here at Helpmates, we help all our candidates prepare for interviews with Southern California’s top employers. We’ll help you find the right job to reach your goals, then we’ll help ensure you put your best foot forward with hiring managers. Search our available SoCal jobs to take the first step.

Not Getting Anywhere on LinkedIn? Here’s Why!

LinkedIn currently has more than 347 million users – not bad, right? Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second. That means that your past employers, coworkers and clients are likely there – as are your current bosses, peers and clients. Of course, hiring managers are some of the most active on the professional social network site. All of this means that there is incredible opportunity for you to leverage LinkedIn as a potent job search tool.

But are you? hm1

Active LinkedIn users should see benefits within their careers and job searches. If you haven’t seen much result from your LinkedIn efforts, these reasons could be to blame:

  • An unprofessional picture (or none at all). When recruiters visit your LinkedIn profile, they are forming a first impression of you and your suitability for their opportunity. A picture on your LinkedIn profile is imperative – if your profile lacks an image, it can signal to recruiters that you don’t care about the impression you make on them. The right picture should look professional and portray you in a positive light. LinkedIn is not the place for vacation photos or images with your loved ones (we’ve even seen some pets!). Professional headshots are best, but aren’t always the most cost effective. Check out Craigslist for potential photographers – you can often find students or newer photographers looking for opportunities to build their portfolios. Their rates are often far lower than more experienced photographers, but with similar results.
  • Your profile is incomplete. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to complete your profile – you simply click on “edit profile” and click on each section to fill it in. Have a copy of your resume handy and get started…but add more personality and insight to your LinkedIn profile. This is a tremendous opportunity to “sell” yourself to employers. Give more depth and insight into how your skills and background translate to successful results for your employers. Show some personality (while remaining professional) and most importantly – be sure to fill out your entire profile!
  • Spelling or grammar errors. Possibly the oldest (and often considered the most critical) resume advice out there is to triple check it for spelling or grammar errors. As business language becomes slightly more conversational today, grammar errors are less of a concern (barring major mistakes), but there is certainly no excuse for spelling errors on a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is essentially your online resume – a spelling error on your resume will often result in it being tossed into the garbage. An error on LinkedIn can mean getting passed over for your dream job. Once you’ve double checked your resume for errors, ask a friend to look it over as well – someone else can often spot errors you missed.

Of course, the best way to find job search success is to have the most powerful tools and allies on your side. Here at Helpmates, we match talented professionals like you with opportunities at some of Southern California’s top employers. Search our available jobs in SoCal and submit your resume now to take the first step.

How to Find “Unadvertised” Job Postings in Your Job Search

Do you ever feel frustrated when you don’t receive a response after submitting your resume?  Here could be a big reason why: Companies that post jobs in a newspaper or with online job boards often report receiving hundreds if not thousands of resumes. It can be hard to stand out among thousands! Finding elusive “unadvertised” job postings could be key to avoiding the competition and landing your next career opportunity.

The best way to stand out from the competition

There are many great job opportunities that aren’t posted on traditional online job boards. Here’s how you can find them:

  • Leverage your network. As we’ve discussed here in the blog, networking is a key component ofHM_BlogImage2_1014 a successful job search (and career). After cultivating strong relationships, it’s time to utilize them. Invite contacts to lunch or coffee and tell them about your job aspirations, or for online connections, send a quick LinkedIn note asking how things are going for them, then share your own job search situation. Staying in touch with your network and sharing your current job search situation is a great way to learn about positions that aren’t posted on job boards.
  • Partner with a staffing firm. We may be slightly biased, but the best way to gain access to jobs that aren’t posted publicly is by partnering with a staffing firm. Companies trust staffing firms like Helpmates to find them the very best and most qualified candidates for their job openings. We save them time by finding great professionals (like you!), which means they share exciting career opportunities with us, without ever posting them publicly. Plus, we’ll help you fine tune things like your cover letter and resume to stand out and increase your chances of landing the job – a staffing firm (like Helpmates) can be a tremendous asset in your job search and career!
  • Read. Sometimes jobs aren’t posted on sites like Monster or Careerbuilder, but there are ways to determine when companies are hiring. One area to keep an eye on is a corporate blog (like this one!). Some companies share news or even specific openings on their blog (as a bonus, reading corporate blogs can help you stay informed on company news – which can be a big help during interviews). Local trade journals and newspapers can also give tremendous insight. News of expansions or promotions (which often indicate another position that now needs an employee) can be indicators of new positions becoming available. If you read about an expansion or promotion in a trade journal, head to the company website to see if a job is posted there, or better yet – remember the first bullet and see if anyone in your network (this is especially easy when you’re well connected on LinkedIn) is part of the organization, or can introduce you to someone there.

Here at Helpmates, we help professionals like you find exciting job opportunities every day. Search our available jobs or contact us to find out how we can help you reach your career goals.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/posterize

© Year Helpmates Staffing Services. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Site Map | Site Credits.