May 25, 2017

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Challenge Yourself: Just Ask!

As Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” This could also be interpreted as “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know” or even with the addendum: “…and the answer will always be no.”

So here’s a challenge for you this month: just ask! Here is some inspiration to get you started. Ask…

  • what it will take to get that promotion.
  • someone you look up to if they will be your mentor.
  • if you can take on a project that you are highly interested in.
  • for a recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • yourself if it’s time for a new job.
  • for some time off.
  • when you’ll get your next raise.
  • if you can take a relevant class on the company’s dime.
  • for help on a project.
  • yourself if you’re happy.
  • why something is the way it is.
  • if you can go to a conference you’ve been dying to go to.

Image via Rajiv Patel (Rajiv’s View)/Flickr.

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May 23, 2017

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Is There Such a Thing as a “Dream Job?”

Do you love to read career success stories? Do you look up to successful entrepreneurs? Do you see internet superstars who seem like they’ve got it all figured out — traveling the world while doing what they love?

It’s easy to read stories like this and begin dreaming about the perfect job and the perfect life and what your pitch on Shark Tank should look like…It’s easy to think that you’re the only person who doesn’t have this career thing quite figured out. But what if the idea of a “dream job” is a fallacy?

Think about it: your life is always changing. New interests or hobbies. New partners or kids. New challenges or places. That means your ideal job may always be different too. Instead of searching for your dream job, search inside yourself for a few of these answers that can help guide you down a more clear career path:

1.What are my strengths?
Think of what you’re known for at work and for what task people turn to you.Revisiting annual reviews from your boss may help. Now think outside of work — your home life and your personal history — and brainstorm a few more ideas.

2. What inspires me?
Keep a running list of the things that invigorate you on a daily basis. These could be work related or not as well as things you know well or things you want to learn more about.

3. What are my core values?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can help with this one. Boiling down your life to a few guiding principles can help you make decisions at home and at work that make you happier.

It could take decades to find your “dream job.” It’s not a simple code to crack. But being more familiar with what makes you tick, what increases your happiness, and what you want to prioritize in life is a great place to start.

Image via Levent Ali/Flickr.

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May 18, 2017

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Bill Gates Shares Advice for Grads

In a recent tweet storm, Bill Gates shared some life and career knowledge for recent college graduates. While finding a job and career success are of the utmost importance for those in their 20s, he highlighted an important point: success is about much more than a career. And happiness in your life can inspire happiness at work. Here are our favorite bits of the conversation.

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May 15, 2017

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It’s Bike to Work Week!

Last week, Spectrum Brands engineer Jacob Musha helped co-workers tune up their bikes and prepare for this week’s Bike to Work Week.

Spectrum Brands’ world headquarters in Middleton is located right on the beautiful Pheasant Branch bike trail so special events are planned for every day this week – including casual group rides, a 2.5 mile mountain bike ride, and a 20 mile road ride ending at a Spectrum-sponsored Capital Brewery gathering!

We’re lucky that our neighbor Madison has been named one of the most bike friendly cities in the U.S. and we are one of only five cities to reach platinum-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. Biking to work is a common sight in this neck of the woods but we’re happy to bring attention to it during this special week!

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May 10, 2017

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A Big Year for Spectrum Brands and the Clean Lakes Alliance

As a company, we love giving back–and we’re so thankful for our amazing employees/volunteers who do good year round for their communities! In particular, we’ve always been pretty vocal about our dedication to the Clean Lakes Alliance here in Madison, Wisconsin. But you may not be familiar with how this organization came to be. Forbes learned about this unique partnership and took note.

In a feature titled A New Corporate Friendly Model of Environmental Activism, Forbes outlines how and why we as a company decided to fund a local environmental non-profit. Madison is located on an isthmus, a strip of land between two gorgeous lakes, but these lakes were often polluted. The phosphorous pollution caused blue-green algal growth that often shut down local beaches and kills fish.

“Back in 2010, Spectrum Brands and another big, local company, Lands’ End, came together and said ‘enough.’ They provided the financial backing to get the Clean Lakes Alliance on its feet, and now it’s one of the largest non-profits in the City, bringing in nearly $2 million a year from hundreds of donors to help fix the problem in a cooperative and thoughtful way.”

We’re thrilled that the latest State of the Lakes annual report found the clearest water in years. We’re so proud of the partnership we have with this great organization and the impact it’s hard on our community. If you’re interested in seeing how you can get involved in the Clean Lakes Alliance, click here for more information.

 

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May 3, 2017

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Spectrum Brands at the Engineer 3D! Conference

Dave Everett, our DVP of Global Engineering, had the opportunity to be a featured presenter at the largest engineering technology conference in the Midwest, Engineer 3D! in Milwaukee last month. We put together this great video to introduce our brand to the attendees. During his presentation, Everett said, “Engineers are the front line of innovation.” Watch the full speech below.

 

 

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May 1, 2017

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Central Fulfillment Center in Edgerton, KS!

Here’s a peek inside our new Central Fulfillment Center in Edgerton, Kansas! It’s filling up with product but still has a lot of space for growth. We are hiring Equipment Operators and Warehouse Workers for start dates every Monday through June.

Apply now: http://spectrumbrands.com/Careers/

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April 27, 2017

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Would You Join the 5 AM Club?

Benjamin Franklin said, “There will be plenty of time to sleep when you are dead.” He’s right, and it’s no secret that the most successful people in the world are early risers. They swear by those uninterrupted hours before the clock strikes eight. Knowing this, would you be willing to commit to a 5 AM wake up call for the next 30 days?

It may seem a bit extreme, but hopping out of bed earlier could change your life. Think about what you could get done before you head to work:

  • get in a solid exercise session
  • make breakfast and prepare a healthy lunch
  • read a book
  • write in a journal
  • clean or do chores
  • answer emails
  • meditate or do yoga
  • practice a hobby

If you’re not willing to get up at 5 AM–not many people are!–think about what an extra 30 minutes could do to your morning routine. Try it tomorrow morning: set your alarm for just a little bit earlier than usual and see how much more accomplished you feel before heading into work. You may not need to join the 5 AM club to find your bliss.

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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April 25, 2017

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The 10-Minute End of Workday Routine

An end of workday routine is good for many reasons. It can help you mentally decompress and “clock out” at the end of the day. When you arrive tomorrow morning, you’ll be more organized and will be able to hit the ground running, which will lead to a more productive day…and an easier time clocking out at the end of the day. It’s a cycle! Here are a few ideas for a 10-minute end of workday routine that you can enact tonight:

  1. Set an alarm for the end of the day, which will remind you to begin your routine. It will also encourage you to get home so you don’t linger and tire yourself out.
  2. Assess what tasks you’ve completed today, and give yourself a pat on the pack. These small achievements often go unrecognized but it’s important to end your day on a positive note.
  3. Assess what still needs to be finished this week. Update your weekly goals and tasks and decide what is most important.
  4. Write up a to-do list for tomorrow. Prioritize the urgent items that must be tackled first thing tomorrow morning.
  5. Review tomorrow’s schedule. Begin mentally preparing for tomorrow by visualizing how your day will flow.
  6. Clean up your physical desk and the desktop of your computer screen. Clutter is distracting and can inhibit your productivity.
  7. Say goodbye with a smile, and head home!

Image via perzonseo.com/Flickr.

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April 20, 2017

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Why Weekly Schedules are Good For You

We tend to run our lives day by day, making to-do lists each morning, and mentally calculating our successes and failures each night. But what if we thought “weekly” instead of “daily?” Here are a few reasons why thinking week-to-week can help you become more productive and happier.

  • Instead of planning out your day each morning, map out your whole week each Sunday night. Make sure there is time for exercise, family and friends, and–of course–work. Doing so can help better mentally prepare you for the week ahead and help you assess how you can best spend your time.
  • Weekly to-do lists are less stressful than daily to-dos. If you don’t accomplish something today, it can be moved to tomorrow. You’ll more easily be able to rearrange your schedule to make time for this task without sacrificing other important obligations or stressing out about your seemingly limited time.
  •  A week-long time frame is a better indicator of success. Assess your goals each Sunday night. Did you make progress during this past week? What changes can you make moving forward? Put those into action next week. Weekly progress checks and tweaks can help you improve drastically by the month’s end.

Image via Marie Coleman/Flickr.

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