Monday, June 18, 2018

Are These Bad Habits Ruining Your Productivity?

Everyday we make countless choices that influence every part of our lives . What we often don’t realize is that even making one wrong choice can ruin our productivity. Take a look at the list below to see if you’re falling into bad habits that ruin your work day.  

Tackling your easiest tasks first
Do the hard stuff first. Some people call this strategy "eating the frog," based on a quotation attributed to Mark Twain: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
Some researchers say willpower decreases as the day goes on, so it makes sense to work on tasks that require lots of focus and concentration in the morning. Others disagree that willpower is a finite resource.
If nothing else, it makes practical sense to start with the hardest tasks, since you never know what scheduling conflicts will pop up later on.
Constantly checking your email
The siren call of your inbox can be hard to resistYet research suggests that switching between tasks -- say, doing research and checking for new email -- takes up to 40% longer than doing one at a time. Even when you think you're being more productive by multitasking, you're probably not.
One simple solution, from psychologist Ron Friedman, is to silence your phone so you don't receive email alerts or to close your email tab while you're working on something important. Designate specific times to check and respond to email in batches.
Keeping your phone on your desk at work
Turning your phone on "vibrate" isn't enough. Actually, turning your phone off isn't even enough. Research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests that the mere presence of your cell phone nearby can hurt your cognitive performance -- even if you're unaware of its influence. The best solution appears to be keeping your phone in another room entirely.

Staying seated all day
Office jobs aren't exactly conducive to getting a lot of physical activity. But you don't need to be up and about for hours at a time. A growing body of research suggests that even if you get up and move around for a few minutes several times a day, you're improving your overall health.
Recent research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and cited by The New York Times, found that people who were active for a total of about an hour a day had half the mortality risk of people who didn't. And it didn't matter whether they were active in 5-minute increments or in longer chunks.
Staring at a screen for hours at a time
Staring at a computer all day can lead to "digital eye strain," resulting in symptoms like dryness and blurriness, Business Insider's Erin Brodwin reportedEnter the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds, Rahul Khurana, the clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmologists told Business Insider's Kevin Loria.

Waiting until late afternoon to take a break from work
Take that break mid-morning instead2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that the more time that's passed since the beginning of the workday, the less useful a break is. Breaks taken earlier in the day are more likely to replenish resources, including energy, concentration, and motivation.
Interestingly, that same study found you don't necessarily have to engage in non-work-related activities during a break. Just make sure you're doing something that you like to do and you choose to do. In other words, making some headway on a work project you're excited about could be even more restorative than browsing social media.
Staying up too late
Scientists have identified a common phenomenon they call "bedtime procrastination": "failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so."
For example, you keep watching one episode after another of a not-that-interesting TV show.
This isn't just silly -- it can be dangerous. As Business Insider previously reported, in some cases sleep loss can be just as deadly as smoking.
Turn off the TV and get ready for bed. You'll be grateful tomorrow, and years later.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Building Stronger Work Relationships in One Easy Step

How many times a day do you find yourself asking people “how are you”? In most social settings, it's considered to be a polite greeting, but when it comes to your coworkers is there a better way to start a conversation? According to Forbes, in many work circumstances questions with more substance are vital when it comes to establishing strong working relationships. When simply asking someone how their day is going, you are not going to learn anything new about them, nor are you portraying any real interest. Next time you walk into a meeting or are assigned to a team project, considering using one of the following openings to really get the conversational ball rolling.

#1. What was the best part about your day?

#2: What work is most exciting you this week?
#3: What new ideas are giving you energy lately?
#4: Tell me one thing you’ve learned recently that inspired you.
#5: What is one thing we could do right now to make this (day, project, event) even better?

Monday, June 4, 2018

How To Find the Right Recruiter for You

               Here at Worlco, we’ve been successfully pairing IT professionals with new companies since 1982. However, we understand that people who have never worked with a Recruiter before may be a bit hesitant to start. Below, you’ll find a list of ways to find the right Recruiter to help with your job search, courtesy of Forbes. And remember, whether you are an individual looking for a new opportunity or a company in need of new IT professionals, contact Worlco to help you get started today.

1.  Start by asking current colleagues and former co-workers with similar backgrounds as yourself who they would recommend.  It is always a little tricky, as you don’t want too many people at work to know that you are thinking about finding a new job.
2. In addition to the referrals, search LinkedIn to find recruiters that specialize in placing people in your field. Send an introduction and invitation to connect on LinkedIn.  Once connected, see if you share any common connections. If you recognize some familiar faces, contact them and ask about their experiences with the recruiter.
3. Look at the recruiter’s activity on LinkedIn. See if they posted jobs that are in line with the types of jobs that you are seeking out. Review any negative or positive comments posted about the recruiter.
4. Check if the recruiter has been with the same firm for a reasonable amount of time or if they seem to jump around a lot. If you see a lot of movement, it could be a warning sign. The constant job changes could suggest that they are moving around to find the next, hot area and really don’t care about building long-term relationships with candidates.  Excessive jumps could mean that they are staying one step ahead, as they may have burned bridges with corporate clients and candidates at the prior search firms. It could also demonstrate that they may be smooth talkers, get hired, but really aren’t that good and quickly move on to another place.
5. Is the recruiter an expert in one or two areas and have they been doing it for a long time? It is preferable to find a recruiter who specializes, so that they really know an area well. If they have longevity, it is fair to say that they will have many contacts and clients that could help you in your search.
6. Are they connected with a fair amount of human resources and high-level professionals in your area of expertise? If so, that is good sign they have many connections to help you.
7. Search to find out if the recruiter has a website and how many relevant jobs they have on it. If there are a large number of current jobs that match-up with your skills, it is a good sign.
8. Check out all the job boards and search for opportunities in your space. Are there a few recruiters who consistently post jobs that are relevant to you? If so, bounce the names off of your work associates. Also, Google search them, check out their LinkedIn profiles and visit their website.
9. Email a résumé to the recruiter and judge their response.  Is the recruiter interested in speaking and meeting with you?  In the meeting, are they sincerely interested in building a long-term relationship or only looking for a quick placement? Do they listen to your needs, goals and desires? Do they try to force you into roles that you are not interested in? Does the recruiter have their pulse on the job market? Does it look like a shady organization or a well-established firm?
10. Does this person have a proven track record of success? The key is to find an experienced recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise and has a long history of successful placements. Also, once you find the person, make sure you are comfortable partnering with them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Can You Compete With Recent College Grads?

About a year after the class of 2017 turned their tassels and graduated into the real world, LinkedIn did some research to see where these graduates are now. After doing some research, they made a list of the top ten skills most popular skills of graduates who found employment.
Here are the top ten skills of the graduates that got hired. Do you have what it takes to compete against them?

1.      Microsoft Office- Today, being fluent in Microsoft programs is a requirement for most jobs. To stay competitive, it’s important to set yourself apart. Anyone can create a document in Word or a PowerPoint presentation, but not everyone can do so effectively. Master Word and PowerPoint and learn how to manipulate data in Excel to really give yourself an edge against the class that grew up with computers.

2.      Customer Service- Creative problem solving will get you a long way with companies who are looking for ways to increase their customer service ratings. If you have success stories from your past, don’t be shy about sharing them in interviews. Show companies that you have the knowledge and skills to be one step ahead when it comes to keeping customers happy.

3.      Leadership- There’s a big difference between managers and strong leaders. If you can motivate your team to enthusiastically complete their work while gaining their respect, you should brag about your leadership abilities.

4.      Public Speaking- One of the most common fears of the workforce but also one of the most desirable traits, public speaking is pertinent in almost every industry. Learn how to keep calm and still communicate clearly when all the pressure is on.

5.      Social Media- Because the class of 2018 grew up with social media, competing with them here might take some extra work. Try starting with your own social media accounts to see if you can set and obtain goals such as increased followers or more interaction. You can also read up on social media or even take classes online to catch up.

6.      Teamwork- It almost goes without saying that being able to productively collaborate with colleagues to reach a joint goal is a highly desirable quality in an employee. Practice communicating with your coworkers and ask your boss to put you on more team projects if you don’t think you’ve had enough experience.

7.      Time Management- Be honest, how productive are you with your time? Take away distractions and train yourself to accomplish tasks on a timetable that will impress future employers.

8.      Research- No matter what your job title is, chances are research will be part of it. Whether you are finding information for a project or looking for self-improvement, it’s important to find reliable sources and be able to learn from them.

9.      Management- Good managers can gain the respect of subordinates without ever making them feel below them. Is your team motivated to succeed? If not, step back and reflect on how you can improve.

10.   Event Planning- Workshops, office parties, client luncheons… can you handle the stress of putting together an event for a large group? Are you detail oriented enough to make a small gathering useful and memorable? This is another skill you can practice in your personal life to perfect it in your professional life.

Monday, May 21, 2018

What Not to Ask in Your First Interview

       There are a lot of articles on the internet filled with interview tips, detailing everything from what to wear to following up after. Just as important as knowing what to do is knowing what not to say. At the end of your interviewer when asked if you have any questions, your potential employers will be on the watch for certain red flags. Here’s what Forbes recommends you should be careful to avoid when asking questions during an interview:

When would I be considered for a raise and a promotion?
Reason to avoid: You want to reflect interest in supporting the organization through this role they’re trying to fill, not focusing on how you can immediately get beyond this role.
What’s the vacation and flextime policy?
Reason to avoid: Again, you want to reflect a sincere interest in working for this organization in the role they have open, and not evaluate the appeal of the job by the amount of time you have off. In my view, asking all about benefits, vacation/leave, flextime, etc. is for after you get the job offer and before you decide to accept it.
What would I be doing every day?
Reason to avoid: You should ask about the nature and scope of the role, but not “what will I be doing?” because that question sounds like you may not know as much as you should about your stated area of expertise.  Most often, "what will I be doing?" is answered in the job description that got you interested in the role. If you’re still unclear after discussing the job, you can ask something like, “What types of projects would this role be actively engaged in and what are the most important goals of this role?”
Why is this role open now?
Reason to avoid: This might be something you want to ask later with a question like, “What is the history of this position in the organization?" but not initially, because it suggests you’re digging to find out if the predecessor was fired or laid off, etc.
Do you check references?
Reason to avoid: This question gives the impression that your references are not what they need to be, and you’re worried about it. Do everything you can secure good references, but if you have an issue with that, wait until the interviewer knows you better and you’ve advanced to the stage where they ask for references, for you to share any more about the situation.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Three Tips to Take Your Network to the Next Level

Network, network, network- you’ve heard it in school, all over LinkedIn, and through your colleagues. But just how important is networking? According to a survey conducted by Lou Adler, 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Even the most active candidates in his survey found their jobs via networking. Don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled a list of the three networking tips you need to take your professional network to the next level.

1.      Help Your Network- Remember the golden rule when it comes to professional connections! If you want their help, you must be able to assist them too. When relationships are one sided, people will be far less open to helping you out when the time comes. Create mutually beneficial relationships by staying up to date with the people in your network and always being ready to lend a helping hand.

2.      Be Straightforward- When you need help from your colleagues, don’t be afraid to ask. Rather than beating around the bush and hoping the other party picks up on what you want, be direct and tell them what you need from them. It will save time for both of you and keep the relationship open.

3.      Keep in Touch­- Don’t only reach out to your network when you need something- tell them when things are going well too! No one wants to be an afterthought who is only called to help others. Plus, the people in your network probably care about you and would want to hear about your success.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Using Bad Days to Your Advantage

Bad days are a part of life. Even those of us who love our jobs are bound to experience a day when everything seems to go wrong. The best way to keep the same bad days from happening over and over again is how you react when you leave the office. Resist the urge to go home, throw yourself a pity party, and try to forget it ever happened. Instead, take the time for self- reflection and ask yourself the following questions from Kat Boogaard to stop making the same mistakes:

"1. Will This Day Have a Lasting Impact?
When your day was nothing but awful, it's easy to send yourself into a downward spiral of despair. You make mountains out of molehills and become convinced that this one brief rough patch will be the demise of your entire career and reputation. Rest assured, that's hardly ever the case- and this question will help you step back and get some much-needed perspective. 
2.  What Would You Do Differently? 
Are you the eternal winner of the blame game? I can relate. When things don't work out as planned it's easy to place all of the responsibility on your shoulders- regardless of whether you had any control over those circumstances or not. This is why it can be so helpful to identify what-  if anything- you'd do differently if you magically had a do-over of your day. 
3. What Went Well Today?
Alright, you're so wrapped in everything that went wrong that you're convinced that today was so terrible it's worthy of being the plot of a horror film. However, even the worst days have a few bright spots. Obsessing over the bad things is probably only going to send your mood into more of a nosedive. So, ask yourself this question to pull out a few of the positives."