Posts by Deb Schaffer

hurricane

Do you have your hurricane kit up-to-date? It’s hurricane season on the coast of Texas and that means it’s time to check your supplies.

Make sure your hurricane kit includes:

·        Flashlights & extra bulbs

·        Battery-operated radio

·        Battery-operated lanterns

·        Batteries (in different sizes!)

·        Matches

·        First aid kit

·        Duct tape

·        Rain gear

·        Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)

·        Plastic garbage bags

·        Fire extinguisher

·        Scissors

·        Can Opener

·        Clean clothes

·        Extra blankets

·        Heavy gloves

 FOOD AND WATER

Pack enough non-perishable food for each person for 3-7 days.

·        Bottled water (1 gallon/person/day)

·        Bottled juice

Two coolers: One for drinks & one for food

·        Canned foods

·        Manual can opener

HOUSE CHECKLIST

·        Remove outdoor items

·        Trim dead branches from trees

·        Board up windows

·        Fill gas tanks and extra containers

·        Get extra cash

·        Move furniture away from windows

·        Store important documents in waterproof containers

·        Extra supply of medicines

MEDICAL NEEDS

·        Medic-alert tags

·        Insect repellent sprays

·        Feminine hygiene items

·        Sunscreen

·        Soap

·        First aid kit

·        Prescription medication

·        Over-the-counter medication

·        Children’s medicine

·        Bandages

·        Adhesive tape

·        Antiseptic solution

·        Thermometer

·        Tweezers

PET CHECKLIST

Your pet needs more than a bag of food in a storm.

·        Water for your pet for 3-7 days

·        Non-perishable food

·        Crate/carrier/tank

·        Leash (non-extendable)

·        Collar and/or harness

·        Favorite Toy

·        Blanket or pillow

·        Clean litter box

·        Updated shots and medical records

·        Microchip with up-to-date contact info

·        Any medications

·        Calming aids

·        Tags

·        Puppy training pads

·        Heartworm preventatives

·        Rain gear

In addition to having enough supplies to last 3 to 7 days, be sure to confirm your emergency contact plan for your friends and family.Be aware of your most likely evacuation route and emergency shelter.  If you get separated, where will you meet? Does everyone in the family know how to find each other if cell phone service is down? Don’t leave these important questions to chance.

For more information on planning for a hurricane, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

connect

Do you get up in the morning, excited to go to work? If so, congratulations. You’re one of the few.

Connection and engagement in your work improve productivity and just makes the day go better and faster. Everyone wants their work to be meaningful.


“You spend more than a third of your day at work, so naturally you want it to mean something.”

~Robby Berman, How to Find Meaning in Any Job


Here are 5 tips to be more engaged and connected to work.

Connect

In order to enjoy your work, you have to connect.  Connection in your job includes enjoying what you do every day, the people that you work with, or that you enjoy finishing a deliverable. When you enjoy your work, you participate because of the unseen emotional, intellectual, or moral rewards, not because you get paid.  That’s connection. To make  your job more interesting, you have to connect.

Create

Many of us don’t have much control over our jobs. If that’s you, see if you can find an area where you do have some degree of control. You’ll feel more connection to your work if you have control over some part of the job. If additional training is available, take the training that you’re offered. Folks that learn continually are more engaged and connected to their job.

Stretch

If you’re goal-oriented, have a stretch goal. If goals are not something that motivates you, try to stretch in other areas of your work. If you struggle with getting in on time, aim to show up 10 minutes early. Take your production goal and add 10% – see if you can do it. You don’t have to tell anyone – just test yourself and see if you can do more. Your production may increase and you’ll feel good that you’ve accomplished something.

Accomplish

When you achieve a milestone, most of us feel great. Accomplishment in our work helps to keep us interested and engaged in our work. Combine this tip with stretching in your assignment and stay connected to your organization.

Own it

Human beings are hard-wired to want to contribute to their community, whether that community is their neighborhood or their work. If you want to connect with your organization and job, contribute your ideas and work. Making a contribution is the sure way to make a difference in your job and feel more engaged.

How do you stay more connected with your work and organization? Let us know.

Education makes a difference!For the first time in history, the United States has a larger population of college graduates than those without higher education. Does it really make a difference?

Statistics say yes – you’re more likely to be employed in a good job if you have some type of post-secondary education. According to a new report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, of the 11.6 million jobs created in the last 5 years, 8.4 million went to those with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Even if you have an associate’s degree, it helps. Of those 11.6 million jobs, 3 million went to those with an associate’s degree or some college education.

Those with merely a high school education got the leftovers.

College grads make more money as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a bachelor’s degree made, on average, $1,137 per week in 2015. If you had only a High School diploma, your average weekly wage was $678, nearly half that of the college grad.

So, what’s the fix?

Go back to school.

This is the most obvious solution. However, before making this move, know why you’re going and what degree or credential you hope to earn. If you get this degree, will it really be easy to get a job that pays what you need? Do your homework! Talk with folks that have finished the program you’re looking to get into. If the school won’t put you in touch with alumni, that’s a bad sign. Stay away.

Be very thoughtful about the cost of the school and beware of schools who promise “free money” to attend. If possible, try to pay for school as you go. If you’re employed, and your company has a tuition reimbursement program, use it.

There are also online programs available, including programs from Harvard and Stanford Universities. Even if you only want to take a few specialized courses in accounting, finance, or marketing, this is a good option. Check out the Open Education Database for free or low-cost college courses.

Remember, even some college work increases your chances for a better job with a better wage.

Millions of people are struggling with huge loads of student loan debt because they didn’t understand what they were signing or the wages they could expect after graduation.ja

Don’t make that mistake.

Get more experience and develop additional skills.

For some, additional formal schooling isn’t practical. But that doesn’t discount learning on your own. There are courses you can take at a very low cost or free on the Internet. Check out Career One Stop for career resources and training.

If you prefer an apprenticeship program, check out this Department of Labor resource for available programs and scholarships.

Ask about additional training at your current employer. Many training budgets go unused because individuals don’t ask for additional training. Work with your manager to develop and training program, and do it!

Yes, it does make a difference if you have some education. Keep adding to your skill set to make yourself more marketable and employable.

 

fitness-strength-strong-male

June is Men’s Health Month!

Are you in the best health of your life? Let’s turn our attention to men’s health this month, reminding you that keeping yourself healthy is good for you and good for business.

There are many low-cost ways to think and act healthier.

Get out and run, shoot hoops, or go to the gym.

Staying active even for a few minutes every day helps to keep you healthy. Take a run on your lunch hour or stop at the gym on your way home from work. A bike ride through your neighborhood after dinner also counts. Find a few minutes and get active!

Each mile a man runs burns 105 calories. Just shooting hoops burns about 300 calories per hour – play from half court and burn about 558 calories. Go to the gym for some strength training and burn about 90 calories for a 30-minute session of weight training.

best health

Coutesy of www.Calorielab.com.

Take advantage of preventative care by getting your annual doctor visits.

Employees that come to work sick expose everyone to illness. Get medical treatment if you need it, and get an annual check up to catch any health issues before problems turn into serious conditions.

Get your hearing and vision screenings annually.

As we age, our hearing and vision can gradually erode. Sometimes, it’s hard to notice that you’re not hearing entire conversations or you’re missing written details. In fact, slips and falls can be the result of not seeing clearly.

To catch any issues early, arrange to get your hearing and vision tested.


Do you need a hearing test? Go here to take the quiz!


Review safety guidelines and rules

Has it been awhile since you had a refresher course on safety in the workplace? Use of power equipment such as jacks, basic lifting procedures, and ergonomic guidelines should be reviewed at least once per year. Encourage your employer to spend a few minutes reviewing any updated company procedures.

Falls account for a large number of workplace injuries every year. Remove or report hazards that might cause slips and falls and please – watch where you’re going.

Eat healthy

Review what’s in the company kitchen of your workplace. Is the vending machine stocked with sugary treats or snacks that contain a day’s worth of sodium? Bring and eat healthier snacks such as fruit, nuts, and granola bars to reduce sugar and salt intake.  Avoid soda and drink plenty of water or iced tea.

Eat fruit and yogurt a few hours before your workout to load up on carbohydrates, vitamin C, and protein. Eggs are a great source of quick energy with a multitude of nutrients, vitamin A and B12 and lutein for eyes and skin.

best healthAccording to Cooking Light magazine, after your workout, recover with meals stuffed with protein and carbohydrates. A great choice is a Grilled Turkey and Ham sandwich, filled with sliced meats, veggies, and a light mustard spread. Find the recipe here.

If you’re working out in the morning, dish up an egg sandwich after your training. Add some cheese and veggies to round out restoring your tired muscles and prepare for the day.

Stay healthier and get more fit. During Men’s Health Month, adopt a healthier lifestyle, eat healthy food, and get together with your co-workers for a game of basketball.


Time and good health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until we’ve run out of both. –Denis Waitley


 

Keep moving!Clear Choice Staffing Solutions is supporting the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge all employees to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Yet in Colorado, 16% of adults don’t get enough physical activity and in Texas, nearly 28% don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Recommended Activity

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults:

– Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes

  • Walking fast
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Raking leaves

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month - Get moving!– Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days a week.

Want greater physical fitness?

For even greater health benefits:

– Do 500 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity such as

  • Race walking, jogging or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing)
  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

-Do muscle-strengthening activities at 2 days per week or more. Focus working on all the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!

womenThe participation of women in the workforce has increased over the years until over half of all women of working age have a job or are looking for a job. Gender diversity is good for companies. In a study by the Kellogg School of Management, teams with both men and women performed better than single-sex groups because the mixed groups were better and solving problems.

We know there are differences in how men and women approach the world of work. Let’s talk about a few specifics.

Teaming

Women are good team members. They often are better at being supportive and rewarding, while men are often seen as better at delegating. Because women tend to more collaborative, their participation in teams often results in more ideas. Both styles are necessary when running an effective team.

womenInfluencing

Women are seen as better at encouragement and networking than men. Female workers read situations better and are seen as better communicators. They often are better at resolving conflicts. Partnership is seen as a feminine trait while aggressiveness is seen as more masculine.

Habits at work

Women have a greater tendency to ask for more and challenging work than men. Men are more apt to “wing it” or try to do a task or volunteer to do a job in which they have no experience. Women have a tendency to assume they need more experience than men to do the same job.

Women tend to take fewer sick days and often put in longer days than men. Both genders appreciate flexibility in the workplace, allowing them to handle personal matters that can’t wait until after business hours.

Negotiating

Men tend to be better negotiators than women. Men ask for more money when starting jobs while women may underestimate their value. Women who negotiate hard are often seen as too aggressive or not being part of the team. Tough male negotiators are seen as typical.

In addition, men tend to ask for what they want. Women often are not as obvious when asking for assignments. They are more likely to wait until their manager notices that it’s time for a new project.

womenEducation

Women increasingly have higher levels of education than their male coworkers. Women received 62% of advanced degrees granted in the U.S in 2009-10 according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). For every two men in college, three women are registered. In the next few years, women will have the majority of college degrees.

Companies who hire college-educated workforce will have more women to fill their ranks. With fewer college degrees, men could be shut out of management roles in larger organizations. This will be a very big culture shift for many companies.

The differences between how men and women view work are important to a well-rounded company. Studies have shown that companies are more profitable with more women in upper management positions. Diversity in the staff helps an organization to be well-rounded and better serve their customer base. Is your company promoting gender diversity?

Are you interested in a new position? Check out our jobs page here.

company cultureIf you’re looking for a new job, pay attention to the company culture. For many employees, it’s important to feel comfortable with the values, mission, and beliefs of their organisation. Here are three questions to ask yourself when wondering if you will fit in.

Are you a team player or an individual contributor?

Some companies value team players. The managers insist on everyone’s input before decisions are made and teamwork is the norm. Others prefer to give assignments to workers, then check in periodically to see how it’s going and when the deliverable is complete.

If you hate teams, you’re probably better off in a company that values individual contributors. If your company is your social circle, then choose a company that values team work and play. Ask your interviewer if being a team-player or individual contributor is more important.

Do you prefer close management, or left alone to deliver?

Some companies want their managers to be very involved in the day-to-day work. Many workers like having their manager closely monitoring how the work is going. The managers are available to smooth the path if the worker gets stuck.

Other workers hate having managers inquiring several times per day or week about the work. If you’re the type of worker that just wants to put their head down and finish, you’ll be happier in a company whose supervisors don’t over-manage.

Is the dress code conservative and professional or casual?

Dress codes can tell a lot about a company. Although over the years dress codes in many companies have relaxed, there are still places where business suits and very professional attire is required. Law, Finance, and Banking are still quite conservative careers.

If jeans and T-shirts are the only way you can be comfortable, find a company that it a bit more relaxed. Casual dress is often fine when employees don’t interact in-person with the customers. Information technology, customer call centers, and warehouse positions are often casual dress or require uniforms.

During the interview, ask to be taken through the office space where you’ll work. Notice how your future coworkers are dressed and be prepared to match them.

Finding a good cultural fit can be a challenge for employees. If you’re looking for a new position, pay attention to your surroundings during the interview and do a bit of research on the web and you can see if a company is a good cultural fit.