Archive for January, 2015

We have provided a few blogs recently about how to get promoted once you land a job. Things like how to be a leader and things you should do as well as how your height may be holding you back. The team here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions likes nothing better than to make a perfect match between a candidate and an employer, except to hear that one of the candidates we matched has been promoted.

So when we hear from previous candidates we’ve placed that they are looking for another job, we ask what happened. When the answer is something to the effect that they just weren’t getting moved up, we have to wonder what wasn’t right.

In addition to the things in our recent blogs, we have to suggest that maybe its the way you, the candidate, dresses. Are you dressing for success? Okay, maybe the position you’re hired for is on the factory floor or in the warehouse. That doesn’t mean that you have to stay there, right? But … you do need to have the appearance of somebody that is ready to advance.So maybe it’s how you dress and present yourself that’s holding you back? 

Walk The Talk, Look The Part

If you are the candidate that has dreams and visions of being more, then you need to look the part of somebody that can be and do more. Look around where you work and note how management and supervisors are dressed. Watch how they act and interact. Until you act and dress like management material, you won’t ever be seen as a manager.

When we speak of how you dress, this is not only your clothing, but your hair, for women how you wear make-up and for men, how well groomed your facial hair is. But you do your job and rank top of the department you say?

While your performance does matter, its not all that matters. When you want to move up to a certain position, you need to dress the part of that position. Now this doesn’t mean that every person who dresses management style is going to be management material. Any more than the slouchiest person in the company isn’t the worse employee.

However, in today’s world people still judge other people and make assumptions based on how we look. While clothing and mannerisms should be irrelevant as to whether you’d make a good manager, you are judged accordingly. Just like being the shortest in the group of candidates is sometimes overlooked.

So Should You Conform?

Yes. Unfortunately, the powers in place that make the decisions to promote are most likely going to be the people who make a judgment call based on looks. They tend to choose the ones that have conformed over the ones that don’t simply because it feels like more a sure thing.

You should still be yourself with your experience, skills and talents. Even keep your unique personality. Just keep it tamed within the company’s personality. Why keep it tamed? Sadly, more times than not, expressing your unique individuality can make it difficult to accomplish your goal of climbing that proverbial ladder of success. 

 

Are you too short to climb the ladder in your chosen profession? Everyone knows that height is a major factor for some careers like professional basketball. When it comes to politics, history shows that the taller candidate is more likely to win. In show biz though, it is just the opposite with the taller actors in less demand than the average height actors.

However, with Hollywood aside, when we look at historic stats though and look deeper at what people make, the taller you are, the more you make. Statistics have proved that taller people have a higher income. How much higher? One inch in height averages about $1,000 more a year.

So what gives with this fascination on height? Perhaps Americans tend to vote for the taller candidate because they convey a power about them. Yet the shorter actor is more likely to win the leading part “because he’s easier to work with” according to Brian Hennessey, film producer. However, the shorter guy will still make less than the taller guy. Or does he?

Three economists took on this subject of earnings and height a few years ago, What they found is that along with earnings, height as well as gender and race, it is your height as a teen that will dictate your salary as an adult. However, they also discovered that your pre-teen height doesn’t correlate to your success in the future. Remember when in high school, most of us lack self-conscious and struggle to find who we are, thus our height plays an important role in our future. If we never gain that self-confidence as a teen, we will struggle to make the same earnings as our taller counterparts.

Still, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions wants to remind you that your success as and adult is going to be because of your abilities. Being proactive, using your brain to think and willingness to step up to get the job done will make your success.

Regardless of our childhood medical and psychological disorders, we can still grow when we are “grown”. While we can’t go out and buy some confidence, we can learn it. Each time we “win” at something, it boosts our confidence. We can learn from mental exercises and even make the investment of seeking professional help. 

One of your New Years Resolutions was to go after that promotion at work. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen even though you did all the prep work as we’ve discussed here before at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions. 

So you went back to your cubicle and you’ve noticed that not only did you not get that promotion, your career seems to be slowing spiraling backward. Former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, and now executive chairman of The Jack Welch Management Institution suggests that maybe you need to look at yourself and determine what you are doing, or not doing.

According to Mr. Welch, one thing that may be faltering or stalling your career is your behavior. He goes on to offers 5 things to look for about yourself. If you realize that you are exhibiting even one of these things, revamp your New Years Resolutions to start with change:

All Talk, No Walk

Do you over-commit and under-deliver? Don’t promise things you aren’t able to follow through with.

Resist Change

Be open minded and willing to go with change. When you resist new ideas, you are causing serious damage to your career.

The Here And Now

Do you only focus on your career‘s future and how you’re going to get there? Stop it. By only being concerned with the future, you can’t concentrate on the here and now. Thus, you can’t complete the present duties and tasks that may be the foundation for your future.

Problem Identifier

Are you the person that looks for and points out problems or are you the person that looks for ways to solve problems? You may be coming off as a complainer then. When you do find a problem, find a solution too.

Complacent

When you become complacent with your job, you quit growing personally and professionally. Look for challenges. 

Now … step back, take a honest, serious look at yourself and then get to work fixing these things. Then, in 6 months, go for that promotion again! 

 

 

Behind every successful leader is a path built of a healthy culture that promotes innovation and brings the people on their team together as one. Sometimes though, that path to being a successful leader has road blocks of misconceptions, or myths maybe, that are unproductive.

Here Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has 5 myths on what it takes to be a leader and how you can turn them around and be the successful leader:

#1 Myth: The paycheck is reward enough
When it comes to moving those mountains that you’ll need your team to move, the paycheck alone will not be enough to motivate them. Your employees will expect a paycheck for simply showing up to work. The average employee isn’t concerned with the business’ bottom line.
 

However the are concerned with their relationships with co-workers and their managers. By taking a certain level of personal interest in your employees you can build a stronger relationship. And you’ll be more likely to see “A” performance.

#2 Myth: They are my employees

Your first thought as a leader is that your team should make you look good aka make you a success. This is totally opposite of how you should approach your new position. You should strive to make your people a success. Start by eliminating obstacles that keep them from their personal and professional goals and you can do that by spending a day at their desk.

Yes, they are your employees, however, provide them a service and they will reciprocate.

#3 Myth: I should only have to tell them once

Verbal feedback and suggestions are often lost among all of us. Pair your verbal feedback and suggestions with written feedback and suggestions. When you are providing in-person feedback and it doesn’t seem to be followed, put in writing either by email or the old fashion memo.

This creates an electronic or paper trail and will make your employees accountable and thus, more likely to follow through.

#4 Myth: The mistakes being made are costing me

Most of the time, mistakes are unintentional and none of us are above making them either, including you. Look at mistakes as an opportunity to make improvements in your current system. Yes, big mistakes can be expensive, but the smaller daily mistakes are a way to see where there are flaws or weak spots in your system.

We can’t deny that mistakes cost, but when you take the time to learn from them, there can be some savings found going forward.

#5 Myth: It’s easier and quicker to do it myself

Yes, it probably is, but if you can take the time to train your employees for many of the day-to-day things, it will free up your time for the tasks that are management specific. By training your staff to do the complicated tasks and integrating them into their workflow, you’ll avoid roadblocks later on.

By identifying the challenges and roadblocks you’re always “managing”, training then assigning them to your staff, you can focus on what will make your business grow more. 

Whether or not you are a registered voter, it is now a mandate that you must have health insurance. Yes, we still live in a free country, but in effort to make us a healthier nation, President Obama and his team created the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. It is an effort to reduce the spending we currently are experiencing in health care in this country. 

So maybe this isn’t the best way to go about that problem, it is now the law and and we all must conform accordingly. It not only has put this mandate on the citizens of America, but the health insurance companies now have to meet certain standards as well. 

By law, they now are required to offer and provide health insurance coverage on anyone and everyone that applies for coverage. They can no longer deny coverage to anyone. This is considered the Patient Protection part of the ACA that was signed into law by Mr. Obama in March of 2010.

This new law also mandates that employers who meet certain guidelines must offer health insurance to their employees. The basic guidelines are any company with 50 or more employees and any company that has employees working over 30 hours a week. There is a lot more details to the law, which you can find at www.healthcare.gov.

Through that same website, you can find out if you are eligible for tax credits through the Federal Marketplace to help you pay for your now required health insurance. Yes, the government has said you must buy health insurance, but they are offering you help in paying for it. The catch is, you will have to repay that tax credit at some point, but that is not a discussion for this blog.

Why does the government want us all to have health insurance? Well with health insurance, you’ll be able to get preventive health care, some of at no charge. That preventive healthcare will enable doctors and medical professionals to make early detection of a problem that can be corrected or cured before it becomes more serious such as cancer.

Even if you are young and healthy, or even older and healthy, life has no guarantees. You could become seriously ill tomorrow or worse, be engaged in an accident that left you seriously injured. Nobody has a firm guarantee that the good health they have today will be here tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

Still not convinced? What if you were to become ill or suffer an injury from an accident, not necessarily a car accident either, today, tomorrow, next month? Without health insurance, how will you pay for your medical care? Yes, hospitals have to take you as a patient, they can’t deny you service. But there are costs to be absorbed by somebody. Not to mention you may need follow up care and that won’t be through the hospital ER. You may need long term medication or treatments, all of which costs.

While you may not agree with Mr. Obama’s plan of forcing health insurance on every one, it is here and it isn’t going away anytime soon. So just as you get your cars inspected, insured and registered because its the law, you need to get your health insurance too. With all that being said, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions offers our employees an indemnity health care plan through our partner Essential Staff Care.

Open enrollment runs through March 12, 2015. We have to have the forms by end of day on March 12th, no exceptions. Should we not receive a signed enrollment form from you by the end of the day on March 12, 2015 we will assume you are declining medical coverage. Contact Emily for more information and enrollment forms by email at emily.wieder@clearchoicestaffing.com or call her at 720-689-2324 or 281-631-5950. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a response due to increased call volume and email load.

After the holidays have calmed down and we’ve regained our normalcy of back to work, income tax time comes up. By January 31st, employers must mail out the 1099, W2s and other income statements. As well as financial institutes must mail out their statements of interest earned and paid, 401k statements of any withdrawals, etc. 

And so many start planning on what to do with those income tax refunds. Somehow, you can pay in taxes all year and then with the right addition and subtraction on any 1040 form, you may get money back. There’s one catch though regardless which 1040 form you use:

Your current and past employers needs your current mailing address

The IRS fields a lot of calls inquiring what to do when a taxpayer doesn’t receive their W2 from an employer. Many of those calls could be eliminated if we all did the following:

  1. Be sure your employer had you complete a W4 which is the form that generates the W2.
  2. Be sure to update your employment records with current and advise any former employers of an address change should you move.

Many taxpayers that are anticipating getting a tax refund get a little ahead of themselves with the idea that they should have their 1099 or W2s as soon as the calendar turns over to January 1st. This is simply not the case though.

Employers and financial institutes have until January 31st to get those postmarked and in the mail. As long as they do that, they have followed the protocol as set by the IRS. If it comes back undeliverable, they can make an attempt to contact you, but they don’t have to. It is your responsibility to make sure you receive all income reporting statements and file them with whatever 1040 form you file.

If you file your 1040 without a 1099 or W2 reported on it, the IRS will find out. How? Well they get a copy of all the 1099s and W2s that employers mail out. They they are looking for the employee copy of that same form. Consider it a game of “Concentration” or “Memory” where all the cards are laid out face down and you turn them over in attempt to match them up. Except the IRS will make those matches.

So if you are one of the lucky ones that anticipates getting an income tax refund check, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions encourages everyone to make sure your current and former employers have the right mailing address for you today!

 

We have discussed how to get a job when inexperienced or overqualified. Now you have the job, how are you going to get promoted? Work hard, long hours to the max of your ability? Here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions we have found that to rise in any organization you have to do more than just that.

You need to do not only great work, but you have to make sure that the right people know about it. As such, we offer you five things that can get you moved up in the company:

Become Noticed

It is vital to be visible! If you want access to opportunities like promotions or a raise, you have to be visible. Talk about your accomplishments and take credit for your work. Managers can’t keep track of each employee’s achievements. Their days are filled with handling day-to-day things and if your part of the team is running smooth, they aren’t going to be as likely to notice.

So do your manager, and yourself, a favor and send them weekly or monthly updates stating what has been accomplished in terms that are measurable and objective. Be sure to show the connection between what was achieved and how it affects the department and the company as a whole.

Be Seen

Arriving early and working late may get more work done, but its not always seen. If nobody sees you do it, then it really doesn’t matter. Try to put in your OT when your boss is there. Even making a point to walk by their cubicle or office and say hello.

Take on projects that are highly visible. Don’t just look for those opportunities and take them on, but look for a better process to accomplish the end goal that will affect the company’s bottom line.

Be Heard

At the next company event or meeting when introductions are being made, make a good pitch for yourself. In addition to stating your name and position, add your achievements or a testimonial. An example would be something along these lines: “I am John Doe in Sales Support. I make the day-to-day operations move smooth for the sales team.”

Plan ahead with your colleagues and teammates to talk up each other. They give you accolades and you do likewise for them when they are introduced.

Keep Track

Start tracking your achievements and recording them. Something like a simple grid that has a column for Task/Goal, Actions and Results where you list the things you were assigned or were proactive in taking on, what steps you took and what the final results were.

Be Organized

By keeping track of things, you’ll have supporting documentation when you apply for that promotion or ask for a raise. 

  Open Enrollment For Healthcare Now Until March 12, 2015

  • Enrollment takes 2 – 3 weeks before coverage begins
  • Health care can be for employee only, or employee plus dependents
  • Dental, vision, term life and short term disability also available.
  • Contact Emily for more information and enrollment forms at

emily.wieder@clearchoicestaffing.com

720-689-2324 or 281-631-5950

PLEASE ALLOW 24 to 48 hours FOR A RESPONSE DUE TO HEAVY CALL AND EMAIL VOLUME

We recently discussed here how when the only jobs out there are jobs that you’re overqualified for. What about you have minimal to no experience? Clear Choice Staffing Solutions knows that it can be just as hard to find a job on that side of the spectrum too.

So when it is a job in an industry that you really want to get in, what is the best way to handle the questions about your experience? There is no doubt the wrong answer can be the fastest way to be shown the door out. Here we offer you some advice and tips on how to answer those “what kind of experience do you nave in this field?” part of the interview:

The first thing you should do is the most simple thing: Read the job description and study the company. Be sure about what you know and learn what you don’t know. When you have only book and / or classroom knowledge, but limited working skills are limited, you can quickly set yourself up for failure with the fear of what you don’t know.

You have to gain an understanding about your lack of skills. By taking the time to prepare yourself and focusing on what experiences you do have and how they relate to the job you’ve applied for, you can often over come what you lack.

It is rare to find candidates that have 100% match to any job description. So approach your interview with reasonable parallels and ties that you have learned by research and answer the questions accordingly. In this manner, the interviewer will be more likely to remember your answers and not focus so much on what you lack.

It is common to think that the more experience, knowledge and skills you have the easier it should be to get hired. Even if it you’re overqualified, right? Here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions we have learned that is not necessarily true. When you have a Ph.D in neuroscience, you probably aren’t going to be hired for staff doctor at the nearby quick clinic.

We have found that employers more often than not, choose the candidate that has less education, knowledge and skills than the candidate that is overqualified. Why? Well there are 3 substantial reasons:

  • They fear the overqualified candidate will be cost too much

  • They fear the overqualified candidate won’t be there for the long haul

  • They fear the overqualified candidate could become disgruntled and unhappy

So if you are one of those “unfortunate” job seeker that has been told you didn’t get a job because you were overqualified (or another candidate was more inline with the company’s needs), what can you do?

Apply For Positions That Are Appropriate

Don’t waste your time applying for positions that are you overqualified for! Go for the jobs that are more suited with your background, education, experience and skills. What if there aren’t that many jobs that do fit? Look at other industries where skills similar to yours are needed and customize your cover letter and resume accordingly. You’ll need to create a sales pitch in other words.

Address The Salary

You could have a good reason that you are applying for positions that were like what you did five or ten years ago. And you may be down playing your responsibilities on purpose. If so, be sure to tell this to the person who interviews you. The majority of applications ask what salary you require. Put what salary fits the position you’re apply for then use your cover letter to explain why, you are willing to take less than what you are qualified for. Put a positive sound to is like you’ve realized that you are looking for a balance in working for a company with a good reputation. Don’t make it sound like you are desperate, even if you are.

Make A Commitment

Whether by phone or in person, even both, be sure to let the interviewer, manager, whoever, know your plans for the future, ie, how long you plan to stay on board with them. If in fact this is a job you want, let them know it is not a stepping stone for bigger and better opportunities.

Make A Good Sales Pitch

You are going to have to sell yourself so build your case up why you are the right person for the job. You do this by studying the job description and the be able to state why you are the perfect candidate for the job.