September 21, 2017

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Productivity Hack: A Change of Scenery

It’s hard to stay focused day in and day out. But sometimes all we need is a bit of change to reinvigorate our minds. Ok, ok, so we can’t all fly to Fiji and enjoy the ocean breeze for a day. But there are little things we can do to incorporate a change of scenery into our work day. Here are our favorites:

  • After lunch, work from the company cafeteria for an hour.
  • Try an exercise ball or a standing desk for a day.
  • Add a new plant or dim light to your desktop.
  • Bring your laptop to a foyer, lobby, or another seating area at work.
  • Switch desks with a coworker for an afternoon.
  • Encourage holding your next meeting at an off-site location.
  • If the weather is nice, head outside to a bench or table.
  • Work from home for a day.
  • Invest in some quality headphones and try a new soundtrack for your work day.
  • Clean up your desk space so it’s free from clutter.

Image via Giorgio Montersino/Flickr.

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September 19, 2017

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A Great Question For the End of Your Interview

When an interview ends, it’s hard to know for sure what the interviewer was thinking. Did they love you or did they think you were unqualified? Do they think you’re perfect for the job or just a runner up? Besides reiterating your interest at the end of an interview, there’s not much more you can do to “seal the deal.”

But this one question may help. Are you ready for it? Once you’ve answered their questions, and they’ve answered yours, save this one for last: “Do you have any concerns with my experiences or questions about my abilities that I can address right now?” Not only does this give the interviewer a chance to bring up any outstanding issues or lingering doubts, but it also shows that you’re definitely interested in landing this offer. After all, you didn’t want to leave any doubts in their mind!

The interviewer may brush off this question–but they’ll still be impressed that you asked. Or, they may bring up a true concern. Since that’s always a possibility, be prepared to answer a serious question. You likely already know what the interviewer may be worried about when it comes to your past experiences. Practice a few talking points regarding any of your soft spots so this question works to your advantage–and not your detriment.

Image via Ryan Van Etten/Flickr.

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September 14, 2017

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10 Ways to Stay Fit During Your Work Day

Exercise? Try desk-ercise! There are simple ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine. For those who are wearing activity trackers, you know that every little bit counts. Not only may you hit your step goal and raise your heart rate, you may trim your waistline, ease your back pain, and increase your muscle mass with consistent effort. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate fitness at work:

  • Take the stairs.
  • Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes.
  • Hold a “standing” meeting.
  • Do a 60 second wall sit once per hour.
  • Take a 30-minute walk during the lunch hour.
  • Jog in place for 30 seconds during the afternoon slump.
  • Sit on a fitness ball instead of a chair.
  • Do a series of squats while you’re waiting for the printer.
  • Stretch out your neck and shoulders in the morning and afternoon.
  • Sit straight and practice good posture!
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September 12, 2017

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Spectrum Brands Has Been Recognized by the American Heart Association!

Great news! Spectrum Brands has received a Silver Level Recognition from the American Heart Association for our Wellness Initiatives and Programs. See the full list here. According to their website, the Workplace Health Achievement program assesses overall workplace health based on certain factors.

“Companies recognized by the American Heart Association meet AHA criteria for their achievement to implement quality employee health programs in a workplace environment characteristic of culture of health best practices.

The Workplace Health Achievement Index scores organizations on 55 individual best practices, organized into seven categories of organizational best practices (leadership, engagement, programs, policies and environment, partnerships, communications, and reporting outcomes) and the objective, unbiased science-based assessment of overall workplace heart health using aggregate data from My Life Check or aggregate an equivalent source.”

We’re so honored that we’ve been recognized for our commitment to employee health. Read more about our wellness programs here.

Image via American Heart Association.

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September 7, 2017

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Rayovac’s 111th Birthday!

Happy birthday, Rayovac! Today, we’re celebrating more than 100 years of providing jobs in America. Here’s to US job creation with a commitment to American-made products!

Did you know that Rayovac manufactures all of our Alkaline batteries in Wisconsin? The Fennimore plant produces 2,500,000 batteries per day–that’s more than 1 billion per year! WOW.

 

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September 5, 2017

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Rayovac Donates to Harvey Relief

The effects of Hurricane Harvey have been devastating for so many, and we wanted to help. In fact, the entire city of Madison, Wisconsin put forth an amazing effort to gather supplies for Houston. The CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Michael Johnson, was thankful for our donation of 25,000 batteries and 12,000 flashlights.

Retired firefighter Dale Emmerich drove from Madison to Dixon, Illinois to collect the supplies, which were then transported to Houston. We’re so proud of Wisconsin for being so generous and caring in a time of dire need. The entire city came together–incredibly fast–to gather and transfer the necessary supplies for hurricane relief. Stay strong, Houston!

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August 31, 2017

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Everything You Wanted to Know About References

References can be a nerve-wracking task that you have to deal with during an already-stressful job search. Who will you ask? How will you ask them? What will they say about you? Here are a few tips that can help.

  1. Keep it professional.
    You may have plenty of personal references who will say great things about you, but professional references are always best. That can include former bosses and coworkers, mentors, and any connections you’ve made while volunteering or during an internship.
  2. Keep it in the past.
    If you’re applying for a new job while you have a job, references can be tricky. You should avoid asking anyone at your current company to speak on your behalf. Think about your previous working relationships and who can best speak to your abilities.
  3. Ask a former coworker.
    References don’t have to be a boss or manager. A past coworker can speak to how great you worked on a team, and that’s an insanely important quality to hiring managers. Be sure to ask someone with whom you worked well. Bonus points if you worked on a lot of successful projects together.
  4. Fill them in on the details of the position.
    The more your reference knows about the job you’re applying for, the better they can speak to your specific skills that are relevant to the job. Send them your current resume so they can brush up on your background.
  5. Give them a call.
    A reference should be someone you feel comfortable giving a call to instead of an email. You’re asking them to dedicate a chunk of their time talking you up–the least you can do is pick up the phone. Plus, you may need to use them as a reference again in the future. Keep the relationship going!
  6. Follow up.
    Don’t forget to send a thank you note for their time–even if they never get called! Also, give them an update if you get hired.

Image via Ant & Carrie Coleman/Flickr.

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August 29, 2017

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What Should You Be Researching Before a Job Interview?

Got an upcoming job interview? That’s great news! There’s no doubt that you’ve been spending a lot of time quizzing yourself on common interview questions and deciding which experiences and stories from your past are most relevant to this opportunity. But the job interview isn’t just about you. Here are three more things you must research before the interview:

  1. The company.
    Thanks to Google News, you can find the latest articles written about the company with whom you are interviewing. You don’t want to be caught off guard by an awesome new product launch, a merger, a study, or a great piece of recent press. Check their social media updates as well as the Press Releases section of their corporate website for more recent news.
  2. The people.
    If you know the names of the people with whom you will be interviewing, look them up on LinkedIn! Try to get a better understanding of their title and background. This will better help you compose relevant questions for each person during your interview.
  3. The industry.
    Learn more about the industry itself as well as the competition. Familiarize yourself with some buzzwords, some challenges, and any exciting new developments or technology. Set Google Alerts or subscribe to an industry publication for the latest updates.

Image via Gabriela Pinto/Flickr.

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August 24, 2017

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Three Things You Shouldn’t Say at Work

Wouldn’t you love to be the smartest, most competent, most respected person in the room? It all starts with one person: you. The more respect you have for your own thoughts, ideas, and skills, the more respect others may in turn have for you. Slights tweaks in your language can have a big affect on your career success. Eliminate the following phrases from your workday and see what happens!

“I think…”
Saying “I think” is the same as saying “maybe” or “hopefully.” They are words that indicate that you are already questioning an outcome or questioning your own abilities. Try “I believe,” or “I know” instead. Speak with confidence instead of already instilling doubt in your work.

“I’ll try…”
If you need something desperately and someone responds with, “I’ll try,” how does that make you feel? Not great. “Try” inherently means that it may or may not happen. Instead, say “I can” or “I will.” Again, confidence is key and you don’t want to sound like you’re giving a half-hearted effort before you’ve even started.

“I may be wrong, but…”
There’s no need to instill doubt in your forthcoming thought before the words have tumbled out of your mouth. Let others judge whether or not you are incorrect in your assessment. Respect your thoughts and ideas, and give yourself a little more credit!

Image via Marc Wathieu/Flickr. 

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August 22, 2017

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How to Return to Work after a Voluntary Career Break

These days, “gap years,” career breaks, and sabbaticals are becoming more and more common. This voluntary time off doesn’t have to be a year-long endeavor. It could be three months. It could be three weeks. It could be five years. It’s whatever you need to do what you want.

Er, what is it that these people are doing on these career breaks? They’re often expanding their knowledge by gaining skills in a new field or they’re taking time off for a little soul searching–and likely traveling around the world along the way.

Whatever it is that you’ve done during a career break, you must figure out a way to tie it back to your career path. A sabbatical can even have a place on your resume if the experiences you had are relevant to the position you’re applying for. That requires advance planning for volunteering, educational programs, passion projects, collaborations, or freelance work.

When a hiring manager sees a career break, there are a few things that can help you stand out from the other applicants. They may see that you have:

  • a willingness to take risks
  • independence
  • confidence
  • an ability to cope with many people and many situations
  • career clarity

That last point is an important one. After taking a break, you should return focused and confident in the career path you are following. Explain how your sabbatical helped you get to that point and that you’re ready to commit to a steady job again.

Image via Christine und Hagen Graf/Flickr.

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