Archive | July, 2018

How to Find Time for Vacation…Even When You Can’t

July 31, 2018

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Wouldn’t we all love to take a two week break to recharge every year? From lounging on the beach for the ultimate relaxation or bouncing around Asia for the ultimate adventure, let’s face it: a vacation is a luxury. Not only in money spent but in time spent. So what is one to do when an extended vacation is a pipe dream but you need a break?

  • Take off a day mid-week: A random Wednesday off can work wonders for the soul. Make it a “me day” where you hit up the spa, the gym, the beach or wherever else you find most relaxing and rejuvenating.
  • Take off a Friday or a Monday: Give yourself a long weekend every so often. You’ll instantly feel like you’re on holiday when you know you have an extra 24 hours to yourself this week. Be sure to schedule something fun or relaxing so you’re not just tackling your to-do list.
  • Take a staycation: Not only are staycations more affordable (no flight!) but they can also be less stressful. (No airport! No lines! No crowds!) Ever feel like you needed a vacation from your vacation? That won’t happen this time around.
  • Take a weekend trip: You don’t need a whole week to get out of town and recharge. There are plenty of “48 hours in…” articles that show how you can experience a destination in a short amount of time. Pick a location within a three hour direct flight of your hometown and go explore!

Image via Chris Goldberg/Flickr.

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Recent Study Warns Summer Interns: Don’t Act Entitled

July 26, 2018

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Hoping to land a job offer after your summer internship? It’s no secret that you’re a newbie and you’re there to learn. But while interns can get an occasional free pass thanks to their student status, you still need to be on your best behavior. In fact, many will say that an internship is simply an extended job interview.

There are more than a few deal breakers that you need to avoid during your three-month stint. A recent study by Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm, found the number one performance deal breaker: entitlement. Thirty-seven percent of professionals surveyed were turned off by an intern who acted entitled. Other deal breakers (in order of most to least) included a bad cultural fit, not understanding the company, and showing up to work late or leaving early.

In contrast, about 2/3 of the professions were turned on by an intern with passion. Passion was the top attribute employers looked for in an intern–even over performance. There’s more good news: 99% of the professionals surveyed said they’d hire an intern who performs well. So keep that in mind and put your best foot forward every day on the job.

Read more about the study here.

Image via C YL/Flickr. 

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What To Do the Morning of Your Interview

July 24, 2018

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You wake up knowing today’s the big day. How do you feel? The morning before an interview can be tense. You may be nervous or unsure of yourself, overly excited or totally intimidated. But there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure a smooth interview just hours before it happens.

  1. Eat.
    A well-balanced breakfast will keep your blood sugar stable. Don’t choose this morning to skip it, even though you may be feeling rushed or not as hungry as usual. Try a banana and yogurt or oatmeal with berries.
  2. Work out.
    Get the nerves out by breaking a sweat. If you don’t have time to squeeze in a full-blown workout, try a 15 minute walk around the block. Even a short burst of movement can help you calm down and find clarity.
  3. Talk.
    Have your partner ask you a few generic interview questions or just talk out loud to yourself as you get ready. Speaking out loud will help you dust off those pipes and get your brain in the right mindset.

Image via Susanne Nilsson/Flickr.

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What To Do When You Need More Direction

July 19, 2018

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No one likes feeling stupid. But sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we are completely, well, lost. It may be a project we’ve been tasked with, a meeting we’re feeling unprepared for, or a new initiative we’ve been asked to join.

Instead of wasting time stressing out and making no progress on your own, ask for help–sooner rather than later! There’s a brief window of opportunity where you can ask for clarity without feeling silly. Don’t wait too long or your boss will wonder why you’ve been wasting time in the dark.

Here are some questions to ask when you find yourself in this situation:

  • What’s the overarching goal?
  • Can we set up a meeting to talk through the details?
  • Is this what you were thinking?
  • Where do you see this going?
  • Can I have more clarity on this?
  • Mind giving me a little more direction?
  • Does this sound like I’m on the right path?
  • Can you share an example?
  • What first step would you take?
  • What do you think about this?
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The Power of “Yet”

July 17, 2018

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Throughout your career, it’s easy to feel down. You may be longing for a promotion, or a raise, or a chance to work on a great project. Perhaps you are hoping to switch careers or switch companies. Or maybe you want to become more productive or more outgoing or a better communicator.

While these thoughts are running through your head, there’s one key word that can change your mindset: “yet.” Seth Godin covers “the danger of ‘not good enough’” in a recent blog post. In summary, we’re capable of a lot more…if we try.

Here are some ways to apply this philosophy to any negative thoughts you are having:

  • I can’t imagine giving a speech like that in front of the whole company…yet.
  • My boss won’t consider me for that promotion…yet.
  • I won’t get asked to be a part of that project…yet.
  • I’m not qualified to get a job like that…yet.
  • I’m unable to demand that kind of salary…yet.

“Yet” leads to possibilities. But the work doesn’t stop there. Changing your mindset is one step, and taking action is the next. Now’s the time to map out those possibilities and the steps you can take to get there. You feel better already, right?

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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Now Hiring in St. Louis!

July 13, 2018

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We’re hiring within our Supply Chain Team at our Pet, Home & Garden division in St. Louis! Positions include Demand Forecast Analysts, Customer Care Account Reps, and an Inventory & Supply Planning Manager.

Spectrum Brands is a leading supplier of consumer products globally for the pet supply markets, and nationally for the home, lawn and garden insect and weed control markets. Our products are well-recognized by consumers for delivering exceptional value and trusted results.

The Home & Garden brands include Spectracide®, Garden Safe®, Hot Shot®, Cutter®, Repel®, Black Flag® and Liquid Fence®. You’ll likely recognize our Pet Brands, which include Tetra®, Instant Ocean®, Marineland®, 8-in-1®, Dingo®, FURminator®, Nature’s Miracle®, GloFish®, DreamBone® and SmartBones®.

Take a glimpse at some of our current available positions in St. Louis:

The Pet, Home & Garden corporate office is located in Earth City, Missouri and is home to a café, a fitness center, and the Home & Garden R&D Lab and Insectary. Employees are offered robust wellness opportunities and participate in frequent social/community volunteerism activities.

Interested in learning more about Spectrum Brands? Browse all of our current job openings today. Or set up a job alert so you can stay on top of anything that becomes available in the future.

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New Job? You Better Practice This.

July 12, 2018

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As the first day of your new job approaches, you probably have a lot of things on your mind: What will I wear? Should I bring a lunch? Where will I sit? What will my team be like? But I bet there is one question that isn’t on your mind: how will I introduce myself?

Over the course of your first week–and even the first few months–you’ll have to introduce yourself over and over and over again. You shouldn’t assume that everyone has seen a copy of your resume or even knows what new position you’ve been hired for. But if they did it would be great, right? That’s where your practice comes in.

Before the first day, come up with a few sentences that you can repeat to anyone you meet at your new company. Here are some bits of information that are important to include:

  • your first and last name
  • which position you were hired for and what department you’re in
  • who your boss is
  • a basic explanation of your responsibilities
  • what company you came from
  • any other relevant information about your background (Did you just move here? Have you been in the industry for 15 years? Did you just finish a masters degree?)

Bonus Tip: Connecting with the new folks you meet on LinkedIn can help them understand who you are and what you will be doing at the company, as well as–most importantly–how you can best work together.

Image via Aidan Jones/Flickr.

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We’re Creating More Sustainable Products

July 10, 2018

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We’re excited to share this news from The Sustainability Consortium:

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today that Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. has joined as a member, joining over 100 TSC members working to create more sustainable products for a more sustainable planet. TSC translates the best sustainability science into business tools that are used all over the world to create more sustainable consumer products.

Spectrum Brands is a global consumer products company offering a portfolio of leading brands providing superior value to consumers and customers every day. They combine origin and destination logistics solutions with transportation services across all modes and regions of the world. They will focus their work on identifying environmental and social issues in their product supply chains, reducing their carbon footprint, improving water efficiency and developing an outreach program to positively affect the people in all communities where Spectrum Brands operates.

Euan Murray, TSC Chief Executive, states, “TSC is proud to welcome Spectrum Brands as a member, joining our other TSC members in the collective effort towards creating more sustainable products for a sustainable planet. Spectrum Brands’ portfolio of products and leading brands, along with its global reach, lets us expand our work exponentially. The company’s membership and efforts are invaluable to our mission.”

Spectrum Brands regularly responds to the Walmart Sustainability Index, which is powered by TSC metrics and methodology. Because of the Index’s impact on measuring its sustainability progress, Spectrum Brands joined TSC to grow existing strategies and further leverage the tools, resources, and opportunities available only to members of the Consortium.

“We look forward to partnering with the Consortium,” said Daniel Hutter, CSO. “Their experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we advance our sustainability initiatives.”

Photo via David Maxwell/Flickr. 
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Spectrum Brands Gets Active!

July 5, 2018

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June was a busy month at Spectrum Brands! Besides getting outside and getting active for our third annual Day of Service, we celebrated Bike to Work Week and Global Running Day.

For Bike to Work Week, which is June 2-9, we organized five days of events from an after-work 2.5 mile mountain bike ride at Pleasant View’s trails to an early morning group “ride to work and coffee” meet-up. We distributed maps of local bicycle trails to employees and topped off the week with a 20 mile group road ride that ended at Capital Brewery (with two drinks on us!).

June 6th was Global Running Day, which is simply a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. Participation was easy—employees had to pledge to take part in some type of running activity on the day of the event from a solo lap around the block to a long run with friends, or even a game of tag with their kids. The key was to share their passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving. To celebrate, we organized a two-mile run at our world headquarters. The run began at the South end of WHQ at 11:30 a.m. and all participants earned Vitality points and t-shirt.

Congrats to all of our employees who got out and got active in June! Let’s keep it up throughout the summer.

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A Peek Inside Spectrum Brands Nationwide Day of Service

July 3, 2018

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June 14th was our third annual company-wide day of service! This year’s theme was #CommunityWithPurpose. With help from the National Environmental Education Foundation, we organized volunteer events for our employees in eight cities across the country.

Here’s a glimpse into what we did:

  • Removed invasive plants at Marshall Park and Stricker Pond in Madison, WI with help from the Clean Lakes Alliance.
  • Spruced up equestrian trails at Possum Creek with help from Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, OH.
  • Weeded, planted, harvested vegetables, and tended crops at Gateway Greening in St. Louis, MO.
  • Partnered with the Laguna Canyon Foundation in Laguna Beach, CA to pick up trash and restore trails impacted by California wildfires.
  • Lent a hand at Nellies Cave Park in Blacksburg, VA mulching, removing invasive species, and cleaning up.
  • Worked on trail maintenance and planting at Tarrywile Park and Mansion in Danbury, CT. 
  • Partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to volunteer at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge near Denison, TX.
  • Spruced up an area impacted by last year’s hurricanes at Amelia Earhart Park in Miami, FL.

“With eight Spectrum Brands locations spread throughout the country engaged in this day of service, we are poised to have a national impact on local parks and nature areas and their connected waterways,” said Spectrum Brands Division Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer Daniel Hutter in a press release. “By helping employees make the connection between their individual actions and the long-term impact they can have on the natural areas around them, the day gives our employees a chance to be part of ongoing, lasting change.”

We’re so proud of our employees for not being afraid to get their hands dirty and give back to the community! We made a big difference by working together, and we can’t wait to see what more we can do in the years to come. View more photos from our event here.

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