May 28, 2015

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Don’t Let Excuses Hold You Back From Success


We love this recent article on Huffington Post called, “7 Excuses That Will Hold You Back From Success.” Now these excuses could hold you back from success on anything be it losing 15 pounds, learning how to play guitar, or traveling to a new country. But they’re especially applicable to career success.

We took a note from this article and came up with our own spin on this topic. Here are the excuses that we think are common when it comes to the job search.

1. I don’t feel qualified enough. 
As we mentioned in our post, 5 assumptions that are preventing your from landing a job, just because you don’t meet every single qualification in a job description doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. Many skills can be taught and if you have a willingness to learn, a company might be willing to take a chance on you.

2. The timing isn’t right.
Perhaps a new job opportunity appeared but you aren’t quite ready to leave your current position. If only this opportunity arose a few months later… Well, unfortunately life doesn’t always time itself perfectly but we can’t let an opportunity pass us by. Remember, it never hurts to apply! You can always turn down a job offer if you aren’t ready to accept.

3. It’s not my dream job.
This job may not be your dream job but does it get you a step closer to it? Will you learn some skills that are applicable to your dream career? Does it get you into the department you hope to work for? Sometimes it’s easiest to enter a dream career through a side door. It’s a nice way to differentiate yourself, learn all sides of a business, and make connections that can help you in the future.

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May 26, 2015

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5 Questions to Help You Decide Which Job Is Right For You


It’s almost impossible to determine exactly which industry, which company, and which position will make you happy, keep you motivated, and inspire you for years to come. But doing a bit of soul searching can help and make you feel more in control of your career.

Take some time to answer the following five questions. Write down your answers, look for the connections, and discover a more clear vision about what you’re looking for in a career, in a company, and in the day-to-day activities of your job.

As you search and apply for positions, revisit this list. If it doesn’t meet your criteria, move on. Being clear about what you’re looking for can not only help you ensure happiness when you do land a job but it can also help you land a job in the first place. If you’re passionate and can clearly communicate your wants and needs, you’ll be able to better represent yourself as the perfect candidate.

1. What did I like about my past positions?

2. What did I dislike my about past positions?

3. What are my most unique skills?

4. What accomplishments made me most proud?

5. Where do I want to be career-wise in five years?

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May 21, 2015

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3 Bad Business Habits You Must Break

Entrepreneur recently wrote an article called, “3 Dirty Little Habits That Will Kill Your Entrepreneurial Dreams.” But we think these three bad habits will kill your chances of any kind of career success — they’re not restricted to entrepreneurs. Here are those three bad habits and how we think they apply to your future as a happy and successful employee.

1. Excuses
Nobody wants to hear your excuses. If you can’t handle a project, say no right away or ask for help immediately. It’s important to be transparent in the workplace. Excuses will only make you enemies and will only hurt your reputation as a reliable and hardworking individual.

2. Procrastination
Unfortunately, there’s just no place for procrastination in the workplace. The projects you are working on affect other people and affect the bottom line of your company. Running behind schedule can set off a chain reaction of bad mojo that you don’t want to be a part of. Strive to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. And don’t let fear hold you back from starting on something new. Stay positive.

3. Complaining
No one likes a whiner. You don’t want a reputation for being negative or gossip-y in the workplace. Not only will you bring morale down but your team will eventually avoid working with you on projects and it will negatively affect your chances for promotion or the likelihood that your boss will recommend you for future gigs. Remember that old saying, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!

 

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May 19, 2015

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A Glimpse Into Spectrum Brands Internship Activities

sb headerOur internship program is pretty great — see what the interns themselves had to say about it. We also like to make sure our interns go on to do great things thanks to their experience with us. Not only will you learn what it’s like to take work a job in your field, but you’ll also get career help along the way to ensure success post-internship. Here are just a few of the activities you’ll get to take advantage of as a Spectrum Brands intern.

Lunch and Learn with Leaders
Over the summer, interns will be treated to a lunch session with one or more leaders of the organization. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the organization’s current and future state and to gain insight on how our leaders view the importance and contributions of our internship positions.

Mock Interviews and Skills Section
Interns can participate in an informative session that includes a mock interview and/or resume critique.

Career Fair Participation
Interns will have the opportunity to participate in their school’s spring or fall career fair by representing Spectrum Brands at the company’s booth. There may also be opportunities to be a part of information sessions and mock interviews.

Learn more about our internship activities on our careers site.

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May 14, 2015

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Great Career Advice: You’re Always Marketing Yourself!

Huffington Post recently wrote a piece called, “You Are Your Own Best Marketer.” It’s a good reminder that you — and only you — are in charge of your own career success, whether you like it or not. And we’re not just talking about the job search.

Every move you make at work is a chance to send a message about yourself to your coworkers and your boss. If you turn in a project a few hours late, you’ve delivered a message about yourself. If you deliver a project a few hours early, you’ve delivered a very different message. We’re only talking about a few hours difference here but it’s the difference between being perceived as going above and beyond and being perceived as not following through on your word.

It can be exhausting to think about your career this way but it’s true — every action you take during the work day paints a picture of the kind of worker you are. What message do you want to send to your coworkers and to your boss? And how will that message affect your career success?

Here are a couple tips from the article that will help you send the right message: First, think before you speak or act. Secondly, know that your actions matter not only before and after a project, but also during a project. Read the full article at Huffington Post.

 

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May 12, 2015

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The Biggest Adjustments For Recent Graduates at their First Jobs


The “real world” is a scary one, especially for recent graduates who came straight from the comforts of college. Schedules, grades, credits, and classes kept you on track but once you enter the workplace, things change. (And it’s not always bad — in fact, it’s good!) Here are the biggest differences we found when transitioning from college to the cube:

1. You’re always “on.”
Suddenly cramming for a test seems a lot easier. Because in the real “world,” there’s no single test. You’re always trying to prove — and improve — yourself day in and day out.  That’s why work-life balance is so important. Otherwise you’ll burn out!

2. You won’t know everything, and that’s OK.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask a question simply because you think it will make you look incompetent. There is no way that a newbie entering the work force for the first time will have it all figured out. It’s better to set clear and realistic expectations.

3.  It’s okay to say no.
As a student, you really didn’t have a choice when it came to homework assignments, tests, papers, and more. But now you can speak up if you’re feeling overworked or underpaid. Negotiate your salary. Negotiate your workload. Ask for help when you need it.

4. You pick your own path.
There’s no simple path to follow anymore and it’s okay to diverge from any traditional route that’s been laid out for you or seems easier to follow. Regardless of your career, you are in charge of your own success — and your own happiness.

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May 7, 2015

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Why Being Overqualified Can Be Bad


Have you ever wondered why an employer wouldn’t want an overqualified candidate? What have they really go to lose? It turns out a lot — including you.

That’s right, many companies are scared to hire overqualified candidates because there’s a chance you’ll only stick around for a few months until something better comes along. And it takes a lot of time and money to hire a candidate.

There are a lot of other reasons why an overqualified candidate isn’t the right person to hire. Here are just a few things running through an employer’s mind when they turn you down for being overqualified:

  • There’s a chance you’ll get bored in this position and leave when something more exciting comes your way.
  • Although you say you want this position, on a day-to-day level you might get sick of doing tasks that are beneath your skill level, which could create conflict.
  • Your potential new boss could be younger than you or equally as qualified as you, which could create conflict and internal competition.
  • They may not be able to pay you fairly for your experience, and are concerned you’d leave when a better salary is offered to you elsewhere.

Read 4 other reasons why you didn’t get hired.

 

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May 5, 2015

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What It’s Like to Intern at Spectrum Brands

Interested in landing an internship at Spectrum Brands? Our goal is to have each and every intern walk away from our program with a positive experience. See what these participants had to say about their internships:

“Rayovac has completed the academic circle for me. I can apply knowledge gained from the classroom to the work field, and use experiences from the work field back in the classroom. It has provided me with exposure to different aspects of everyday business functions.” –– Matt, 2011

“Not only did I gain some valuable analytic and technical (Excel, Nielsen, NPD) skills but I felt that I’m getting some great exposure to the business and the decisions my managers are making.“ — David, 2012

“I received expert guidance and the freedom to work towards my own professional development. From product knowledge to meeting participation and input to the independence to be creative and ‘own’ projects, the experiences I had during my time as a UI intern were unlike those at any other internship. Most importantly, I developed relationships and a level of trust that helped me secure a full-time position with the company.” — Mallory, 2010

“I enjoyed the hands-on experience, especially the projects that had deadlines and required problem-solving.” — Hannah, 2012

“I was able to have hands-on experience with things that are relevant to my major. The people around me were very easy to work with and helped me grow as a person.” — Paul, 2012

“The environment is fast-paced and casual, which has allowed me to easily blend my life as a student into the office setting. The best part of the internship is that I am integrated into current and vital projects, so I can truly see how my work has made a positive impact on the company.” — Ashley, 2010

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April 30, 2015

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More Predictions for the Future of Resumes and the Job Search


We’ve been talking a lot about the future of the resume and it seems like everyone has a guess as to where it’s headed. Will the one-page document ever die? How does video, social media, and LinkedIn factor into its future? Here’s a roundup of some predictions from a recent Career Thought Leaders report. Where do you think the resume is headed?

  • Infographics and portfolios will be used more frequently on resumes and LinkedIn profiles making the whole job search process more visual.
  • Companies are using LinkedIn more and more to find candidates and are even limiting their search to those who have the most connections. Having a built-in network is a bonus for any employer.
  • YouTube will be integrated into LinkedIn and/or the interview process. Video allows recruiters to get a better sense of your personality, strengths, and professionalism.
  • A one-page job proposal may replace the resume. At the very least, it shows how a candidate stands out from the other interviewees. Some employers are even asking for a 30, 60, or 90 day job plan to see how each candidate will approach the position.
  • Job searching and hiring is going mobile from job searching apps for job seekers to mobile-friendly documents for recruiters.
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April 28, 2015

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Before You Accept That Job Offer…


We’ve already gone through the list of great questions you should be asking your potential employer during an interview. But there’s also a list of questions you should be asking yourself, especially before you say “yes” to an offer. Before you get too excited, run through the following list to be sure that this job is a great fit for you.

1. Will I be comfortable working here for 8 hours each day?
Be sure to get a glimpse of the office environment during the interview process and ask for a tour if you don’t. You don’t want to find out that you’ll be sitting in a dark room with no windows on your first day on the job. Or that the cafeteria has been replaced by vending machines or that the gym has been closed for months.

2. Does this job fit within my budget?
When it comes to finances, there’s much more than salary. Commuting costs, lunch prices, gym costs, phone bills, and required corporate attire can all factor into your budget. A job may pay more but it may come with a higher “cost of living” — or maybe it pays a bit less but it means you’d be able to sell your car. Figure out what’s important to you and your budget.

3. Do the people and company share my values? 
What you stand for is important and the people you surround yourself with and the work you dedicate yourself to should be in line with this. For example, if family and work-life balance is important to you, look for companies with flexible day-to-day work schedules, holiday breaks, and on-site gyms or daycare.

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