Archive | May, 2018

5 Things to Do For Your Career by Age 35

May 31, 2018


Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s easy to feel stuck, overwhelmed, or behind. But you probably know a lot more than you think. With a little refinement (and help from these tips below), you can take another leap forward in your career.

  1. Know how to say no.
    Until you take control of your own time, you won’t reach your full potential. The tips in this post can help you better protect your schedule and your productivity.
  2. Know your super strength.
    By this point in your career, you should be able to humble brag about that one thing (or two or three!) that makes you stand out from the crowd. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed by it!
  3. Know your weakness and dislikes.
    There’s no shame in having a weakness or a thing or two that you dread–something you know is not your strong suit. Not only will it help you delegate better, but it may help you refine your job search and your career path even more.
  4. Know what career success means to you. 
    There are many different ways to define success and happiness. Figure out what that criteria is for you. If you’re unsure, this post can help find your way.
  5. Know your elevator pitch.
    Having a refined elevator pitch means you have a refined understanding of yourself! Wrap all of the above tips into this summary of your professional self, and it will take you far.

Image via bztraining/Flickr.

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How to Prepare Yourself for New Job Overwhelm

May 29, 2018


First days are thrilling and terrifying at the same time! The excitement can quickly change to overwhelm once you begin looking at your impending workload and the things that need to get done with your (currently) limited knowledge. Here are some things to keep in mind when you start that new position.

You will eventually learn everyone’s name.
It’s day one and your inbox is already filled with 100 emails from people you don’t know. Just breathe. With time, you’ll be able to crack this code. For now, focus on a few key players and set up informational meetings with each of them to try to better understand what they do.

Three months from now, you’ll actually know what you’re doing.
Remind yourself that the transition takes time. By the end of the 90 day period, you’ll have a much better idea of your role and your place in the organization. Take baby steps to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for training.

Six months from now, you won’t be the new person anymore. 
At some point not too far from now, another newbie will join the club. It will help you realize how far you’ve come in a short amount of time! Each day, you’re learning more and more and integrating yourself and your skills into the fabric of the company. Keep at it!

Image via Bob Duran/Flickr.

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Why You Should Talk Less at Work

May 24, 2018


Some people are shy. And others are over confident. Somewhere, there’s a happy medium and it tends to breed success in the workplace. Why? Because talking less means you’re listening more. It also means you might be giving more thought to the things you say before they come out of your mouth. Here are some tricks to help you improve your restraint and come off as a smarter, more enlightened employee.

  1. Get comfortable with silence.
    In a meeting or conversation, you don’t need to respond immediately. Be okay with an awkward pause to think things through before speaking your mind.
  2. Don’t always be the first to speak up.
    Give others the chance to respond first–their answer might help you refine your response into a better one.
  3. Don’t make rash decisions.
    It’s okay to say, “Let me think about that for a few minutes and get back to you,” or even, “Let me think about that and get back to you by the end of the week.”
  4. You don’t need to get in the final word.
    If the subject is wrapped up, let it be. There’s no need to chime in on everything, especially if a decision has been made and the subject is over and done with. A simple nod of approval or “Sounds great” can be enough.
  5. Have a plan.
    Before a meeting, know what points you want to drive home and stick to them. When you’re focused, people are more likely to listen.

Image via Kate Dreyer/Flickr.

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Save the Date! Job Fair in Dixon, Illinois on 5/31.

May 23, 2018


On Thursday, May 31, we are hosting a job fair in Dixon, Illinois. Walk-ins are welcome, but feel free to apply online in advance. Hope to see you there!

Apply now!

Basic Duties*: Machine Operator Packaging Associate

Operate packaging equipment including basic line set ups, use a PC to order materials and perform quality checks.

Basic Duties*: Distribution Associate / Order Filler

Fill orders within Conveyor system via Voice pick Technology and Stand-up Forklifts

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to repetitively lift 50 pounds
  • Constant walking, standing, bending, twisting, pulling, reaching and stooping
  • Basic computer skills preferred
  • Eye/hand coordination

*See the complete job description online

Pay Range: $12.25 to $14.80 based on the position and experience.

Quarterly Bonus, Vacation and Sick, Benefits

An Equal Opportunity / AA Employer

Successful completion of background check and drug screen is required. Spectrum Brands offers a full range of benefits to full-time employees and a quarterly bonus up to 10%.

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1, 2, 3… Interview Help!

May 22, 2018


Whether it’s been a while since you’ve slipped on an interview suit or you’re just especially nervous about landing a potentially great opportunity, brushing up on your interview skills is not time wasted. Interviewing is an art and a skill that you’ll be improving the rest of your life! These quick-hit tips can help you get back in the saddle.

3 Interview Red Flags and How to Respond to Them
Get a heads up on these situations so the interview doesn’t get awkward.

3 Things to Consider Before Dressing For Your Next Interview
These tips can help you be well-pressed and well-dressed but not overdone.

3 Simple Questions to Ask During Your Next Interview
Make sure you squeeze in these inquiries before your interview ends.

3 Reasons Why You’re Always the Runner Up
Here a few things the other candidate may be doing better than you.

3 Ways to Nail the Phone Interview
You’ll be hard pressed to nail a job offer without nailing the phone interview first.

3 Easy Ways to Beef Up Your Resume
You should always be working on improving yourself–and your resume.

3 Things To Do Before Your Interview
In that hour before the interview starts, these tips can help you prepare.

Image via cjelli/Flickr.

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How to Incorporate Exercise Into Your Work Day

May 17, 2018


Ask people what’s one thing they’ve done that drastically improved their lives and many of them will have the same answer: exercise. Beyond the obvious benefits like weight loss and increased strength, exercise can can increase your productivity, improve your sleep cycle, and make you happier. So what’s your excuse? Hopefully, you won’t have one after browsing this list of creative ways to incorporate exercise into your work day.

  • Go for a 15 minute walk in the afternoons. If the weather isn’t cooperating, walk laps around your office or hit up the treadmill in the office gym.
  • Sign up for a gym. Preferably one right next to work so you can take a class just before or just after work, or even make a dash to the gym during lunch.
  • Get a treadmill desk or a standing desk. They’re not cheap but the benefits are great. Your company may even be willing to invest in one for you or the office.
  • Sit on a yoga ball or backless chair. There are many creative office chairs out there than can improve your posture and give your abs a slight workout.
  • Organize a corporate kickball league, volleyball team, or running club. Meet just before or after work.
  • Bike to work. If it’s too far, attach your bike to the back of your car and go for a ride over lunch.
  • Take a fitness break every hour. Stand up, stretch, do 5 push ups or sit ups, or go for a five-minute walk. Set an alarm so you don’t forget to keep moving throughout the day.

Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

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How to Block Out Distractions and Stay Focused

May 15, 2018


We live in a world where text messages are answered within seconds and emails are answered within minutes. News is consumed immediately, decisions are made quickly, and we’re expected to produce a lot of work each day. So how does one stay focused in a connected high-stress environment? Falling into extreme focus is no easy task, but these tips can help you practice this skill.

  • Put your phone on airplane mode. When you need 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, shut off the notifications that constantly interrupt you.
  • Close your email. Along the same vein: what you can’t see can’t distract you. Don’t always have your email open. Check it only at certain times and respond in “chunks.” Or at the very least, close it when you absolutely need to get work done.
  • Squeeze in a workout. Get rid of the jitters, the stress, and whatever else is bothering you. You’ll find yourself more focused after you break a little sweat.
  • De-clutter your desk. More stuff equals more stress. Give yourself the mental breathing room as well as the physical breathing room to get stuff done.
  • Try aromatherapy. A diffuser or spritz of essential oil like lemon, mint, or grapefruit can help perk you up and keep you focused on the task at hand.
  • Put on the noise-cancelling headphones. Block out your surroundings–and interrupting coworkers–with large headphones that practically scream, “I’m in the zone, don’t bother me.”
  • Block off your calendar. Schedule a meeting with yourself! It’s a block of time just for you and the work that needs to be done.
  • Make a to-do list. Break down your next task into manageable steps that can be accomplished. Cross them off as you go to stay motivated.

Images via Héctor de Pereda/Flickr.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem

May 10, 2018


Even the most confident people can feel beat down occasionally. Bad luck, tough feedback, or a stressful week can make you wonder how ever will get through it all, and if you’re even capable of it. But there are easy steps you can take to re-fill your cup of confidence.

  1. Educate Yourself. 
    If you’re lacking confidence about something, it’s probably because you don’t feel comfortable. A little knowledge and familiarity can increase your self esteem. Ask for help, take a class, and give yourself the chance to be a student.
  2. Try Something New.
    To take your mind off something that is scaring you or makes you feel incompetent, try something totally different. Some totally random, small thing like trying rock climbing or painting a canvas. When you’re done, you’ll feel great–and more likely to tackle your next big thing.
  3. Fake It Till You Make It. 
    If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Confidence starts with you. Believe in yourself–or at least in your own potential–and others will follow. You deserve it.
  4. Write Down Your Achievements. 
    When all else fails, jot down a list of at least 15 accomplishments or 15 skills or great qualities that define you. Don’t be embarrassed. Go there! Toot your own horn then revisit the list whenever you’re second-guessing your abilities.

Image via Chris & Karen Highland/Flickr.


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10 Quotes that Inspire Change

May 8, 2018


Spring is a great time for change. The flowers begin blooming, the cool breeze warms, and the days become longer. But change isn’t easy for everyone. These quotes will help you embrace change–whether it’s in your career or at home.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
― Rumi

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
― Steve Maraboli

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
― George Bernard Shaw

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
― Wayne W. Dyer

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”
― Milton Berle

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
― Alan W. Watts

Image via Juan Julbe/Flickr.

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Have You Read a Book Yet This Year?

May 3, 2018


According to the Pew Research Center, one quarter of American adults have not picked up a book this year. Are you one of them? If you are (or if you admittedly have only read a single title so far this year), it might be time to rethink your priorities and consider how you’re spending your free time.

There are lot of benefits to reading. Readers live longer and are often more open-minded and creative. Also, they’re in good company: how many successful people do you know in this world that don’t read? So how can you incorporate more reading into your life? Here are some tips:

  • Audio books count. If you’re glued to your phone, an audio book might be the perfect hack to get you back into the swing of things. Instead of listening to a podcast or music, try an audiobook.
  • Power up your Kindle or another e-reading device. Carry it with you, or at least add the app to your phone so you’re more likely to pick up a book when you have down time.
  • Get a library membership. Sure, books are expensive. But your local library has a ton of physical books, e-books, and audio books for free! Familiarize yourself with their borrowing system and start placing holds on your reading list.
  • Join Goodreads. The social network for book lovers lets you keep track of which books you want to read, which books you’ve read, and you can see which books your friends love. You can also track a reading goal for the year.

Image via Helen/Flickr.

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