Archive for October, 2014

You got a better job offer. Maybe you’re just burned out. Or maybe you’ve just had enough! Regardless the reason, you’re ready to quit your job. That’s all fine and good, but Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has some advise for you: Take caution in the words you speak and how you do it.

No matter if you are quitting your current on good terms or bad terms, burning bridges should be avoided if at all possible. When the time arrives to let your boss know you’re leaving, choosing the right words and presenting them in the right way could determine the ‘taste’ you leave behind. If you are angry about something or nervous about making the announcement, it is easy to say the wrong thing and then regret it later.

Two scenarios will drop words out of your mouth too easy that shouldn’t come out:

Another Job Offer

You got another job offer, what may seem to be a better job. This can inflate your ego and then disparaging things come out of your mouth. You want ‘teach them a lesson’ is a normal feeling, but that doesn’t make it right.

Personal Work Situation

Something isn’t right at work and you just need out of there. You may feel like the victim and can’t get any help from the company, so you want out of there, even if there isn’t a job waiting for you. It is easy to point fingers of blame in this case.

The Best Way To Quit

The best way to quit a job is leave with a positive attitude and positive words, even if its painful to be nice. Mention the things you’ve learned while there and how you will take that with you. Talking good about your time there will leave a positive in your favor and not burn a bridge you may need to cross again. Even if you never go back there, you don’t know where you may run into that boss or a co-worker again in a position you need them on your side.

So that you don’t burn any bridges, take some time first and write out your thoughts first, highlighting the positives of your manager and the company. There is no value to be had by pointing fingers and having a negative attitude.

Stay Diplomatic

As soon as you give your notice, there is a good chance your manager will be shocked and surprised. They may go into denial mode which could turn into defense mode. This is what you need to be prepared to handle. Stay diplomatic and keep your emotions in control. It isn’t beneficial for you to burn bridges and it isn’t beneficial for them to burn bridges either.

Check back with us next week on the 19 things you definitely shouldn’t say when you quit! 

After weeks, months, maybe even a few years of unemployment, you FINALLY got a job offer! How exciting! Here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions we know that is such a relief and you are elated and eager to start bringing in a paycheck. Before you accept that offer though …. take the time to objectively evaluate the offer. Are you getting what you need? Are you getting what you want? Are you getting what you’re worth? Are you clear on what is expected of you?

Before you get on board, we suggest you have 100% understanding of these things:

Your Salary

That’s the big one obviously, and if you’ve been out of work for awhile, you may just be desperate enough to take anything with the thought that it will take care of itself in time. Keep in mind though, that traditionally for most employers, raises come once a year. You may get a 90 day review, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a raise then. That just means they either like you and you’re good at the job, so they’re going to keep you.

The salary you accept with the job offer may be what you’ll have for at least a year. You know what you need to make to be comfortable, so if the salary offer isn’t there, now is the time to speak up. If you have done your research as we’ve talked about here before, then you should know the market rate for this position in this industry with your level of education, knowledge and skills.

The Benefit Package

Next to the salary, this is the next big one. Review this carefully, especially if the salary is lower than you expected, need or want because it can compensate that lower number. What is the health care coverage going to cost? Do they offer flexible schedules and more PTO? Is there a retirement plan? When do the benefits start? Thirty days, three month, six months or a year?

What Are The Costs

Yes, you’re finally getting a paycheck, but how much is this job going to cost you? What type of transportation will your commute require? Will there be bus passes and transfers, subway fare or toll ways? Does the company offer any type of discounts for these? What about parking, is it free? Will you need new clothes? Are you going to have more windshield time than family time?

The Duties

Be sure that there is an absolutely clear understanding between you and your manager what your job responsibilities will be. Yes, you were hired to fill a specific position, but make sure you understand every facet of what is expected of that position.

Ask questions so that you know exactly how your time is expected to be spent on the clock, before the clock, after the clock. What are your exact responsibilities and how is your success measured. You may think you’re doing a great job, then in 30 days, you find out that you haven’t been doing something and its held against you at review time.

Then ask yourself if are going to be able to do what is expect? Will you enjoy this job? Is this the career path you have planned or will it lead you back to it? Due to our personal circumstances, we can’t always be so picky about a job offer, but then again, you don’t want to take a job that is setting you up for disappointment or failure.

What Is Important

In addition to the things we’ve discussed here, there are things that are important to us as an individual. It maybe the ability to leave 15 minutes early on your son’s baseball game day or arriving 30 minutes late one Monday a month to have breakfast with your daughter at school. If the job requires you to relocate, is it an area you want to live in and will they pay for moving expenses? Will you have private office or a cubicle?

When you have received a job offer, you should have already explored these things we’ve discussed here and have an idea what’s in store. Some of the key factors that you may not know until you do start the jobs are things like your immediate manager’s style of managing or the company’s overall culture. Taking the steps that we have suggested can help you determine if this is the place you want to spend the largest amount of your waking hours. 

Are you in a position at work where you get cold calls? Do you think to yourself “Do I really need to answer that?”? Well Clear Choice Staffing Solutions wants you to know that the answer is YES, there is a reason why you should handle that phone call! In fact, there are seven reasons why you need to:

It Is Your Job

In the first place, especially if you are in a customer service position or sales, it is your job. In the second place, it keeps you ahead of what is going on with the competitors in your industry. Third and most of all, you will be neglectful in your duties and responsibility to the company.

Who Knows What Is Waiting

Whatever product or service that the cold caller is selling on the other could be revolutionary that could change the company or your department. Unless you answer that cold call, you never know what you may be missing out on.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Also known as Karma. When you ignore that cold call coming in, there is probably somebody that is ignoring your cold call. The old saying “What goes around comes around” has truth to it.

Its A Time Saver

Simply by answering the call and listen to what the cold caller has to save will keep you from having to answer the call again later. A driven sales person will not give up on just one unanswered call. They will try and try and tray again. So answer that cold call, listen to what they have to say and give them an answer, even if its “No, that wouldn’t be of any use for us”.

Do Not Be Too Full Of Yourself

Nobody is so important that they can’t take the time for a quick conversation. If you think you’re too good to take cold calls, its time to look around you and step off that self-righteous mountain.

It Is An Economy Booster

Businesses need to make connections in order to make money. When you avoid those cold calls you are impeding progress of the economy.

Don’t Have Your Assistant Do The Work

To begin with, your assistant is probably your assistant because you know more. Even if they know your company’s product an service like their own name, they won’t necessary know how your competitors operate. Your assistant should not be the one to answer the cold call and make the decision that you should make.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions knows that while it is exciting to land a job and have a paycheck coming in, there are some expenses that come along with that new job too. Now that you have accepted that new job, you are probably making plans on how to spend that first paycheck. Or maybe what bills to catch up first. What you may not have given any though to though is, how much will this new job cost you. A few expenses to think about are: 

Cost of Commute

Are you going to be driving further than you were at your lost job? Maybe you weren’t driving at all,it was just a short walk to the office or to mass transit. Now, with this new job you’ll have to drive your car which will cost you gas and possible tolls and parking. Not to mention, now that you’ll actually be driving more, the maintenance on keeping your car running is an expense too.

An upside to this new expense is that you are allowed to deduct those expenses on your Federal taxes.

Health Insurance

If you’ve been unemployed awhile, you probably didn’t have any health insurance. As you’ve probably heard the past 6 years, depending on the size of the company, it is now law that employers offer health insurance to their employees. They have to offer it. You will probably have to pay for it, or at least part of it. Before signing the acceptance letter, you might need to get information on the insurance and what it is going to cost you.

More Health Insurance

If you are leaving a job with health insurance, you will probably want to get COBRA coverage to cover you before the insurance starts, which is commonly 30 days, sometimes longer. If your employer has been paying for all or part of your health insurance, be prepared for sticker shock. COBRA is 100% your responsibility and historically, it isn’t cheap.

Wardrobe

Depending on your job, there may be the need for a new wardrobe. Your new employer may have a stricter dress code or required uniforms that are employee expense. For somebody that has been out of the workforce for awhile or maybe has never worked, this can be an expense.

Eating and Extras

There’s no news here that eating out can get expensive. Upon accepting the job, feel it out how lunch is done around there and inquire if there is a break room or lunch room with a refrigerator and microwave. Bring your own food will be much cheaper than even budgeting $5 a day for lunch.

 

You got that big interview coming up and you’ve done your homework on the company and where the company fits within the industry. You know the salary range to expect, have your interview answers rehearsed as well as your own interview questions to ask.

Do you have your wardrobe ready for the interview? Maybe you’ve out of a job or just graduated school, so there isn’t money to splurge on a new suit. However, you don’t want to blow this opportunity by being dressed completely wrong either!

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has a few tips to help you get your wardrobe ready. You can make what you have work fine with just a little fine tuning.

The Suit Must Fit

No matter what job you’re applying for, you can’t go wrong with a business suit. However, if it doesn’t fit right, you’ll just look silly!

Accessorize With Caution

Keep the accessories and jewelry classy and simple. Add a little pizzazz to your business suit but stay age-appropriate with a conservative look. If jewelry isn’t your thing, at the very least a wristwatch is a must.

The Skirt

For women, you can’t go wrong with a black pencil skirt. It is a classic, timeless piece and is flattering on any body shape. For the little to no budget job seeker, it is one of the most versatile piece of clothing you can own.

A Portfolio

Nothing looks more professional than to pull your resume out of a leather like portfolio. Having a legal pad and pen inside for your own notes isn’t a bad idea either.

Little Black Dress

The little black dress for interview may or may not be the same little black dress you wear to a party. It depends on the length of the dress (you don’t want it too little) and the neckline (showing your cleavage isn’t a good idea at a job interview). If you question it – then it isn’t right.

Back Up Suit

Another option to the basic black suit is either a dark blue or gray suit. A red tie and white shirt are good standards for all three colors.

Shoe Shine A Must

Your shoes will be noticed, trust us on that one. Make sure they are buffed and clean, shoe laces tied and closed toe is much more professional than open toe.

Pressed Dress Shirt

A pressed dress button down shirt should be a staple in your closet, in a neutral color. It will go with anything (the black pencil skirt or the dark blue suit) and you can even pair it jeans for a dressy casual look when you aren’t interviewing.

Let Them Grow

Nails that have been bitten and chewed look nasty and so does chipped or scratched nail polish. Let your nails grow but keep them trimmed at a decent length. If you have to wear polish ladies, go with a natural color that is neutral or go with a dark color.

What If The Job Is Casual or Uniform? 

Dress your best anyway! It can’t hurt to look better than the daily attire – it will just show them how conscientious your are in taking care of details. 

For anyone that is on the hunt for a job,you have probably received more advise, recommendations, suggestions and tips on how to land a job than you can absorb. Colleagues, former colleagues, former classmates, family, friends, neighbors even the guy at the car wash all have something to add. While they are all well meaning and may or may not have advise you can use, the place to get the best advise from are those who are doing the hiring.

At a recent event held at Columbia University in NYC, “Return To Work” conference, there was helpful advise coming from those in the know. More than 500 were in attendance, mostly mothers that were looking to go back to work. Even though the conference was focused on those moms, the panel discussions were refreshing and can be helpful for anyone looking for a job, either a first job, another job or as those attendees, getting back into the world of work.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions offers you the following great “take aways”:

Quick To Respond

There are hundreds to thousands of job seekers responding to job postings. The early bird gets the worm.

Have A Short List

You need to learn as much as you can about a company before you send your resume. The shorter you can make your list of prospective employers you’re interested, the easier it will be for you and the better you’ll do about learning as much as possible

A Customized Resumé

By customizing your resume with the keywords in a job posting, the more likely your resume will make it to the top of the stack. 

Network With The Right Person

Use LinkedIn as part of your research on a prospective employer and find connections of people you know that know people there. The more contacts you have on the inside, the better. Verbal referrals can do a lot for the job seeker.

Interview First, The The Rest of Your Day

No matter what time of the day you’re interview is set, work the other things you need to around that time. Don’t get over obligated and have to rush through an interview. Plan your day so that you aren’t squeezing the interview into a packed schedule. 

Questions With Meat

Prepare for your interview withsharp, viable questions so that you have control of the interview. The interviewer is going to ask you “Why do you want to work here”, so turn it around and ask them “Why do you work here?”. 

Enthusiastic

It may seem cliché, but enthusiasm for a job makes an impression. Hiring managers are looking for people that want to be a part of the team and are excited about it. 

Don’t Cover The Gaps

If you stepped off the career path to have kids or care for a sick parent, don’t hide it. Even if your time out of the career circuit was to start your business that failed, talk about. Be proud of what you did.

 

It is no secret that the gateway to any job interview is your cover letter. You want it to be attention grabbing and intrigue the hiring manager to give you a call. However, your cover letter could be building roadblocks instead of creating gateways.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions offers you a few things to look for that are the the roadblocks you should watch for and avoid.

A Name Says It All

Take the step to find out the hiring manager’s name so that you can send the email correctly too. The days of “To Whom It May Concern” are gone. Find out who it concerns and make sure you get the spelling correct. Remember how much are you annoyed when your name is misspelled at the local coffee shop? Well the hiring manager that gets your resume is probably annoyed just as much if not more.

When you are addressing your cover letter to a specific person, take the initiative to very you have the proper spelling. Is it Mc or Mac? Is it Ms. Chris Jones or Mr. Chris Jones? You don’t have to call the company and ask either. LinkedIn is a great resource!

Personalize It

The copy and paste of a cover letter is a sure sign to the hiring manager that this is just another resume to another company for you. It says “I’m lazy”. Remember, your cover letter is the key to the gateway where the hiring manager is and may or may not look at your resume. You want your cover letter to tell them “this is the applicant you need”. Take the time to do some research on the hiring manager and reference their own career and position in your cover letter. That will get their attention!

Map Your Career

A resume gives the hiring manager a map of your career. So make it easy for them and connect the dots. Your cover letter is where you can tell a short version of your story, a preface of your resume. Here is where you indicate your goals and how you see getting there in alignment with the position you’re applying for.

Keep It Short

No need to tell your whole story in the cover letter. Tell just enough to make the hiring manager want to know more about you. Got with the thought that whoever is reading your cover letter is most likely busy and the less you have to say, the better. 

Are you still unemployed after using the conventional and traditional ways to search for a job? You’ve read all the articles and blogs, attended career fairs, hiring events and webinars and nothing is working. You’ve checked your cover letters and resume to make sure you have corrected all typos, dotted the ‘i” and crossed the “t”, still no bites. 

Well Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has reached out and looked for some new methods to the job search game that won’t be boring and just may work. While they are somewhat unorthodox, even considered ridiculous, if you’ve been out of work for awhile, the creative ways we’re going to list here could work!

Well Informed Self Interest

You’ve heard, read and have been told repeatedly to volunteer while unemployed. It keeps you busy and you’ll pick up some experience and learn new skills. What you haven’t been told it to go one step further and do some searching on LinkedIn for the person in charge of the agency you’ve volunteered with and connect with them.

If you’re offered seats at a charity event because a CEO can’t make it, take it! Do you have any idea how many people are going to be there that are in the position to hire? Or at least get a word in for you. Not to mention, you’ll get to eat really good that night.

Stay Under Radar

Congratulations! You’ve graduated with that hard earned degree. We’re sure you deserve every penny you’re asking for and will be well deserving of the title you’re demanding. Do you realize just how arrogant you’re sound right now though? Or maybe you’re being seen as insecure and blowing a lot of smoke with an arrogant attitude.

If you have found the company you want to work at, get off your ‘high horse’ and get in there on whatever level they offer you. Is this a form of indignity? Not any more than being car-less or homeless. If you have the confidence that your ability to tackle the job you want, then prove it by starting at the bottom and show your worth. Take care not to be too far under radar though. You want to be agile, nimble and quick but you don’t want to look like your overqualified or underemployed.

Daily Reading Required

Maybe you’ve seen the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is vying to get the apartment of recent widow? NYC has been known for this very thing taking place. Those looking for a place to live read the obituaries to see where empty apartments can be found.

Read the obituaries every day you’re unemployed. While this may sound cold-hearted, and we have sympathy for those left behind, keep in mind, if the person was employed at the time of the death, business must go on. Look for the deceases LinkedIn profile and send your resume to the hiring manager.

Act It Out Theater Style

We’ve all seen the success stories of the guy who handed out his resume on the corner while he as dressed in his 3 piece suit and holding his brief case. Sure enough, a hiring manager comes along and offered him a job with a great salary and benefit package. Why? Because he put on a show of can do work ethic that couldn’t be ignored. Give it a shot – who knows what may come from it! 

Go All Natural

A story that made history at MGM involved the Marx Brothers roasting potatoes in the fireplace … naked. It did what they wanted it to: Got the attention of Irving Thalberg, the biggest movie producer of the time. He realized that he too needed to have some fun and joined them. The rest of that story is history we all know.

While Clear Choice Staffing Solutions doesn’t recommend going commando to a job interview, or bring a sack of potatoes and a wire hanger to roast them on, we do recommend find a way that grabs the attention of the hiring manager. Be the fun person without being too obnoxious and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that will come to you.  

Up until now, the Baby Boomer generation was the largest generation in the United States. This was the group that was born when the men came home from World War II up through 1964. This generation saw the change in music that will be with us forever. From Elvis and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. 

Baby boomers have been considered the most privileged of all generations and were the strongest to reject old traditions and yet redefine them too. The older they get, the more Baby Boomers seem to find that the values of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents are worthwhile. 

However, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions believes that the Baby Boomer generation has possibly met its match with the Millennial generation. Those born in the years of 1980 and 2000 have outnumbered the Baby Boomers. Making it an even larger generation is immigration. The American way of life is quickly being reshaped by this generation. Just as the Baby Boomers demanded to be heard with their moves of “taking it to the streets” with protests, the Millennial age with over 80 million, they are a generation to be heard now.

Where those of the Silent Generation, 1925-1945, have the opinion that the Baby Boomer Generation is the privileged generation, the Baby Boomer Generation has the opinion that the Millennial generation is the lazy generation.

Baby Boomers see the Millennial generation as believing they are entitled because they still live with their parents and seem to be full of themselves. However, just as the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomer Generation each shaped our lives, the Millennial have as well. What’s more … .they aren’t done yet.

The World of the Millennial Generation

The Baby Boomers are using Social Media daily. They’re posting grandkid pictures on Instagram and advertising their businesses on FaceBook. Who do you think created and invented those social sites folks? That’s right. The Millennial Generation. Snapchat, Tumblr and many of the other applications that the Baby Boomers,  and even the Silent Generation, are using on a daily basis came to us by way of the the lazy generation. The Millennial Generation. This is the generation that has found more diversified ways of doing things that the generations before them never even thought of.

These social sites are tools that have allowed everyone to connect with each other around the world. It has transformed the way we get our news and how we sometimes make news. If you checked your FaceBook account this morning, then my friends, you are living in the millennial world. It’s connected. It’s open.

An Accepting Generation

Today, the Millennial generation has more than 40% non-whites. The Silent Ones and Baby Boomers had fewer than 3 in 10. Because of this wider racial mix, Millennial look at things differently than the generations before them. And their way of looking at things has changed the world in the last 10 years and it is going to change it even more in the future.

We have already experienced great shifts in social issues across the country with issues such as legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage and giving citizenship to unauthorized immigrants. The Millennial Generation is accepting and progressive.

The Millennials and The Recession

The parents of the Millennials are thought to experienced “failure to launch” as the Millennial are graduating college with excessive debt and either staying home or moving back home. The recession slammed onto shore right about the time they were getting their diplomas and ready to launch their careers. Today, most of the Millennial remain unemployed. However, they remain optimistic when it comes to their future and their finances.

Why are they so optimistic? Because they aren’t afraid to try something different and something new. Plan A didn’t work out, so they look for Plan B. Because of the age of the computer and social media, they know they have more avenues available to them and they aren’t afraid to travel the unknown path. Millennials believe in themselves and they the can and will make things happen.

While over 30% say they have the income they need to live the live they desire, over 50% say they don’t, for themselves, but they have faith that they will. Even the youngest of this generation have confidence that they will succeed, even though the economy isn’t looking good today.

The Millennial Generation Has The Boom

Because the millennial generation does have drive and they are optimistic, they believe they will start a new boom for this world. They stereotypes of yesterday won’t be rehashed by this generation. They aren’t dismissive. They aren’t flip. They know that running this country is going to fall to them soon and they are ready to take it on. They have today’s politician’s tweeting and a gay wedding is becoming more of the norm in many parts of this country. This generation has shown the world that they don’t need a corporate job to make it today. They can create a blog and be just a successful as those before them that plunged into a store-front business. 

So we know that Halloween is just a couple of weeks away. We also know that means that big holidays are soon to come and it is inevitable, people want to take off. They may want to go home or they may have family coming in. Or they simply just like to have the time off to do holiday things around the house.

Regardless their reasons, the in between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can lead to skeleton staffs and employees pulling rank. It is also inevitable that there will be two or more employees requesting the same time off. Unless your business really comes to a slow down the last quarter of the year, you most likely can’t accommodate every employee.

So what is the best way to handle this problem? Well, before it becomes a problem is our recommendation here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions. To keep your business open and running as smooth as possible during this time, take the time to resolve the problems before they happen.

How? We’ve done a little researching and found a few tips to share with you so that you can keep the “happy” during the holidays:

Establish The Vacation Policy

Have an establish vacation policy and then reiterate that policy to your staff now. Hold a company wide meeting and hand out copies of the employee handbook. This should include any Federal or State holidays that the company recognizes as well as bereavement time, family time and sick time. If the company closes during between holidays, that needs to be communicated clearly, especially if it is without pay.

Same is to be said if this is your company’s busy time of the year if vacations aren’t allowed, communicate that clearly. If you extend business hours during this time of the year, communicate that clearly as well.

Establish Vacation Request Deadline

Establish a deadline for vacation requests to be submitted and then communicate this policy to your employees. Let it be known that any vacation requests that are made after the stated deadline maybe denied. You determine how much of an advance notice you need to maintain your business and be reasonable. Requesting a year in advance is a bit excessive, however you should have deadline at least 2 weeks in advance minimum so that you can schedule shifts.

Encourage Employees To Coordinate

It may be your business, you may be the manager, but chances are your staff knows their jobs and how it works best. Encourage them to work together in planning who gets what holidays off. Only if there are too many of them wanting the same time off, should you get involved. With your staff compromising with each other, it creates a team spirit.

Create A Schedule That is Balanced and Fair

If you have to become the arbitrator, create a schedule where the employees share holiday time off. One method that has been around forever is the seniority method, meaning who has been there longest gets first choice. Another method is a lottery or if you can establish an incentive for the employee that reaches certain goals during the first two quarters of the year gets to choose their preferred holiday time off.

Post The Final Schedule

The earlier you can finalize the holiday schedule the better. This will allow your employees to make their plans accordingly and eliminate any confusion.

If you don’t already have a holiday schedule in place for the 2014 – 2015 holiday season, hold your breath and get through it as good as you can. In the meantime, work on a plan for next year and when the holidays are over this time, have that company wide meeting.