6 Warning Signs That You Shouldn’t Take a Job

July 27th, 2017

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of a job search, it can feel like any job offer will be necessary to maintain your sanity. But the truth is, accepting the wrong job will only lead to bigger problems down the road. But what should you be looking for to help you determine whether or not you should accept a job offer? If you notice any of these six red flags in the job search, it may be time to graciously walk away. Here’s what to look for.

1. Poor Communication

If at any time throughout the process, the hiring manager engages in inconsistent communication or insulting behavior, it may be time to cut bait. For some, that could be a microaggression that makes it clear you’re not the type of person they would rather be working with. Or it might be an inability to connect with you in a timely manner.

2. Bad Office Attitude

When you interview, pay attention to the office attitude as a whole. Are people happy to be at work? Is the overall mood positive? If not, can you determine why? You don’t want to work in an environment where no one seems excited to be there. If you can visit on more than one occasion, that will help you determine if it was just a bad day.

3. Bad Reputation

Do your homework. Before accepting a job offer, check out any news related articles about the company. Read former employee reviews on sites like Glass Door. Look for financial information to make sure the company is healthy. Taking into account sour grapes, use this to make an informed decision about your offer.

4. Personality Conflict

Do you genuinely like the person you would be working with? If you think that your personalities won’t match up, then it might not be a good idea to take the job. Once heads start to butt, it can be far too late to make repairs. If you feel tension with anyone you meet with, just politely walk away.

5. Unclear Job Duties

Throughout the process, the company should be able to effectively communicate the expectations of the job. If they seem unclear on what the job will entail, how can you expect to have clear instructions and proper training? If things seem inconsistent, it might be time to turn them down.

6. Inconsistent Policies

Speaking of inconsistencies, you should also pay attention to corporate policies. If their environment and their policies seem to be on very different pages, it might be a red flag. If their policies seem reactionary, you may not be fully protected if something happens they’re not prepared for. Make an informed decision before accepting any offer.

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How to Manage Through Sensitive Situations

July 20th, 2017

A tragedy or other sensitive situation can strike an office at any time. An entire company is affected when an employee passes away or become ill. But through everything, management needs to manage to ensure that everyone is provided with the tools they need to cope and continue. What actions should you take to support your team through this situation while still maintaining productivity? Here are some thoughts to get you started in the event you ever have to deal with this kind of situation.

Be aware of your staff’s emotions.

In the case of the death of a coworker or even a serious illness, don’t assume that your entire time will be emotionally able to carry on without a pause or some help. Know that everyone grieves and deals with emotions differently, so simply being aware of how your staff reacts will be important to the healing process. Give them space and support they might need.

Consider how this might affect productivity.

By doing so, you do need to consider how your productivity will be impacted. Will there be people who can pick up the slack? Are you prepared for an emergency in your company? Simply looking ahead at what needs to get done over the next several months will give you an idea of ways you can compensate to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Organize a gift for the employee or their loved ones.

Often the reason people feel so helpless in situations like this is they can’t do anything about the situation. By asking your team or organize a care package for their coworker who is ill, or finding the appropriate memorial gift for the loved ones of the deceased co-worker they can feel like they have a hand in the grieving process.

Provide professional resources for your staff.

But no matter how much time you give to your team or what kind of gift they organize, there will be individuals who aren’t able to process the information on their own and move on. This is why you need to ensure they have access to a professional who can help them along the way. Partner with a counselor or provide access to group therapy so they can build the personal tools they need to cope.

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How to Write Smarter Job Search Emails

July 13th, 2017

It is simply a reality of the 21st-century job search – you will have to write professional emails throughout the process. There are plenty of times when emailing is going to be preferred both by you and the person you’re connecting with. Let’s look at some of the times when you will be emailing throughout your job search and we can provide some easy to use templates to get you started.

Initial Inquiry

In today’s marketplace, you’re probably sending a lot of resumes via email through online job postings. You may already know that you shouldn’t just attach a document without some accompanying email. If you do that, the recruiter probably won’t open it. But your initial inquiry should act as your cover letter.

This cover letter needs to include important information that might not be on your resume, your contact information, and your interest level. Also be sure to address it directly to the hiring manager or recruiter. If you can’t do that, never use “To Whom It May Concern.” Simply begin with “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.”

Here is a template to get you started:

Good Morning [Mr. or Ms. and their Name, if known],

I saw your listing online and I’m interested in learning more about the [job title] position.

I have [# of years] experience with [this work] and believe I would be a good fit.

[Insert a specific example of how this experience has helped you in the past in a similar position.]

I am available to talk at your convenience. Call me at [phone number] or email me at [email address] so we can set up a time to meet.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

[Your Name]

Thank You Note

After any interview, you probably know that you should be sending a Thank You note. Some people prefer the handwritten note over the email, but there are limitations to that option as well. They take longer to arrive and may not include all the details you want to convey.

A Thank You note is a great way to share information you may have forgotten in the interview. For example:

Good Afternoon [name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. I enjoyed meeting your staff, loved your office, and am excited about the opportunity.

[In this section, start with something like “I forgot to mention in the interview, your job posting specifically stated that you were looking for someone with (experience.) I have worked with that in the past and (share details about your experience).]

I look forward to hearing back from you.

[Your Name]

Interview Follow Up

After an interview, you should also follow up with a potential employer. During your meeting, you should have asked when they expected to make a decision. Then, after you’ve sent your initial thank you note, you can mark the calendar with the time frame. For instance, if they said “about a week” connect with them 5 days later and remind them you’re still interested. For instance:

Good Morning [name],

I really enjoyed our meeting on [date] and wanted to find out if you had made a decision regarding the open position in [department or office.]

I am available and interested in talking with you more. If you have any more questions for me, you can reach me at [phone number] or [email address].

I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your name]

Online Networking

Emails are also a staple of online networking, such as the generated emails from LinkedIn when you connect with a new person. But these general emails don’t share any information and don’t give any reason the person should accept your invitation. You should always customize it for your specific needs.

For example, you may have a mutual professional acquaintance. You can reference that. Or they may work in an industry you are interested in or have worked in before. They may be in your city and you’re looking for more local connections. Add a paragraph about why you’re reaching out and they’re more likely to connect.

As always, you should customize all of the templates we’ve provided here and use them only as a jumping off point.

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4 Reasons Employees Quit (and What to Do About It)

July 6th, 2017

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, American workers are not saying in their current jobs until retirement. While the average length of employment varies based on the job duties and title. There are multiple reasons that employees quit. More than ever before, employee satisfaction is becoming an important topic for managers and business owners. And it is as important to know why your employees are choosing to leave as it is to determine retention programs to keep them. Here are some of the most common reasons employees leave their jobs and what you can do to overcome it.

1. A lack of connection.

Employee loyalty doesn’t have to be a relic of the 1950s. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your team feels a connection to your corporate culture. Learn what makes your employees tick as individuals. Get to know them. Then help them understand how their unique skills fit with your overall company culture. Once they have a sense of belonging, they are bound to be loyal to your brand.

2. No challenge or motivation.

While you’ve hired each employee to be a very specific cog in a very complex machine, no one is happy doing the same tasks over and over again. They need to feel challenged. And you can provide that for them. Create milestones for achievement. Allow them to have creative control over aspects of their job. Find out what motivates them and reward accordingly. Some companies also cross train so everyone can feel a sense of variety in their work.

3. No clear career path.

Of course, one of the most common reasons a person leaves a job is to advance their careers. They may not see any upward mobility in their current job. While you may not be able to promote everyone in your organization to an executive level position, there are ways to provide advanced career opportunities throughout the business. Demonstrate the long-term career viability on your team.

4. They’re stressed or bored.

Happiness is essential to personal satisfaction. And there is ample evidence that stress in the workplace is the cause of multiple medical conditions, like heart disease. If someone feels that stress is far too overwhelming, they may look for a less stressful environment. The opposite is also true. If someone is bored and not having fun on the job, they will be less likely to remain loyal and look for a place that puts more emphasis on enjoyment.

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