Archive | May, 2019

Selling Yourself with the Present-Past-Future Formula

May 30, 2019


Whether you’re headed to a networking event or on your way to a job interview, you know you’ll have to talk about yourself. It’s not an easy thing to do. But there is a formula you can follow that demystifies the process and makes you sound extremely prepared and put together.

It’s called the Present-Past-Future Formula. The Muse sums it up well in article called A Simple Formula for Answering, “Tell Me About Yourself”: “First you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.”

If you’re attending a networking event, start by stating your name and what you do at which company. Follow that with a summary of what your last position was, and finally finish with what you hope to gain out of this networking event or this particular conversation. Perhaps you’re hoping to better familiarize yourself with the industry or you’re looking for new vendors to assist with an upcoming project. It may sound like a lot, but three sentences is the perfect amount to state who you are and what your purpose is.

If you’re on a job interview, this formula becomes even more important. It’s a great way to open up the interview on a great note and direct the conversation in your favor. Again, you’ll seem very prepared and put together. After all, you can never assume that each person who interviews you has memorized your resume but this little pitch gets everyone on the same page. Who are you and what are you looking for? That is the ultimate goal.

What’s your Present-Past-Future pitch? Comment below!

Image via Hernán Piñera/Flickr.

Continue reading...

25 Years with Spectrum Brands!

May 29, 2019


A huge congratulations to Jim Van Noort who celebrated his 25th anniversary with Spectrum Brands this month! Jim is a Director of Sales in our Mississauga, Ontario office near Toronto. We’re lucky to have you, Jim. What an achievement! Here he is pictured with his manager Phil Hanson who has been with the company for 29 years!

Continue reading...

How to Leave the Work Stress at Work

May 28, 2019


If you’re struggling to find that perfect work-life balance (and honestly, who isn’t?) there is one tiny habit that can give you a major step in the right direction. It all comes down to leaving the stress at work so you can enjoy your time at home. Easier said than done though, right? But it’s worth a try.

Here’s the trick: an end-of-the-day routine can send a signal to your brain that a) work is done and b) you are leaving work and c) you will soon be entering a work-free zone. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. According to the Harvard Business Review, a short routine or ritual can “lower our anxiety before we engage in high-stakes performance tasks, increase our enjoyment of the activity at hand, and even help us recover faster when we experience failure or loss.”

Here are some ways you can reclaim your time and retrain your brain to let go:

  • meditate for two minutes in your car before driving home or once you pull into your driveway
  • read a compelling book or listen to a favorite podcast on your commute home
  • scroll through your favorite family photos at the end of each day to signify it’s now family time
  • take a post-work pre-home trip to the gym
  • pull over at a scenic overlook or go for a short walk to decompress for a few minutes before heading home
  • prepare for the following day at the end of today’s workday so you aren’t fearing or dreading what’s to come

How do you “clock out” of work each day?

Image via Ronel Reyes/Flickr.

Continue reading...

Why You Should Never Brush Off Positive Feedback

May 23, 2019


Are you good at accepting compliments? Or do you tend to brush them off? But when someone gives you negative feedback it can get stuck in your mind forever. Right?! It turns out that there is more than one reason to embrace positive feedback.

According to a popular Harvard Business Review article, “receiving affirmation is a powerful way for us to grow, particularly when it comes in the form of stories describing moments when we are at our best.” It turns out that “people remember criticism, but they respond to praise.” So the next time someone gives you a compliment, dive in. Ask follow-up questions and don’t shy away from trying to better understand the details surrounding the positive feedback. Ruminating in that success may lead you down a path of future successes.

But you don’t have to wait for others to sing your praises. On a personal level, you can analyze and study previous feedback in order to propel your future self onward and upward. A follow-up Harvard Business Review article called To Become Your Best Self, Study Your Successes, outlines some steps for incorporating this practice into your career:

  1. Take inventory of any positive feedback that you have received in both your personal and professional life.
  2. Write down all positive feedback you receive moving forward in both your personal and professional life.
  3. Review this feedback regularly whether it’s in a notebook or digital file. Make it a part of your daily or weekly routine.

What do you do with compliments when you receive them?

Image via Chris Christian/Flickr. 

Continue reading...

One Simple Step That Can Make You Instantly More Productive

May 21, 2019


We’re eternally searching for ways to be more productive. One of the biggest pitfalls of productivity is that we often do tasks that keep us busy but don’t necessarily accomplish the actions we need to get done each day.

A great example of that is sending emails. We feel like we’re chipping away at our to-do list but did that email really accomplish anything? Is sending a request into the abyss and waiting for a response really that productive? Especially when it just ends in more questions and a drawn out conversation? Or even worse, it gets lost in the shuffle and never read?

The good news is there is a super simple step you can take to avoid this mess: don’t send that email. Instead, step away from the computer and make a face-to-face request. Why? The Harvard Business Review found that a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email. Thirty four times! Can you even imagine how much more productive that is?

As the study found, in-person communication is just more effective than text-based. You can apply this to the workplace by walking over to a coworker or boss to ask a question instead of sending an email. Or setting up a meeting to discuss a bigger request instead of relying on typed words to do the dirty work. You’re more likely to get what you want when you’re sitting face-to-face.

Read more at the Harvard Business Review.

Image via Chase Elliott Clark/Flickr.

Continue reading...

GloFish Raises $84,000+ for WellAware!

May 16, 2019


Could you give up showering for a week? We’re so proud of our GloFish crew for going on a shower strike to raise $84,000+ for Well Aware, an amazing organization that is working to provide clean water in Africa.

What’s a shower strike? Every April, supporters around the globe give up showering until they reach their fundraising goal. The money goes toward building life-saving water systems in East Africa. It’s also a reminder to appreciate how easily we have access to clean water when that’s just not the case around the world.

GloFish has been a proud supporter of global access to clean water since inception. GloFish® fluorescent fish were originally created by scientists at the National University of Singapore to help identify toxins in water. By adding a naturally-derived fluorescence gene to the fish, scientists hoped to quickly and easily determine when a waterway is contaminated. Scientists soon realized the public interest in sharing the benefits of this research, which led to GloFish fluorescent fish.

Watch this Fox2Now St. Louis video to learn more about the Shower Strike straight from one of Spectrum Brands’ own. Read more about GloFish’s partnership with WellAware here.

Continue reading...

Can You Picture Yourself Sitting Here?

May 14, 2019


Here’s a glimpse into our latest new employee orientation at our World HQ in Middleton, Wisconsin! Can you imagine yourself sitting in one of these seats? If you can, here are a few steps you can take to bring your closer to that goal.

  1. Browse our latest listings at We’re constantly adding new positions every day across the country from temp jobs to hourly jobs to internships to full-time salaried jobs.
  2. Set up a job alert now and get relevant positions delivered directly to your inbox. You can choose to be notified once a day or once a week, and can choose the length of your alert (from two weeks to six months).
  3. Learn about our hiring process and watch some behind-the-scenes videos to learn more about what your career path at Spectrum Brands could really look like. You’ll hear feedback directly from our employees as well as get insight into what we’re looking for in new hires.
  4. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re constantly posting about career advice, new opportunities, company news, and more. You’ll get an inside glimpse of what it’s really like to work at Spectrum Brands!
Continue reading...

Friday Feeling: Puppy Party!

May 10, 2019


TGIF indeed! We’ve been known to throw the occasional PUPPY PARTY, and boy is it popular! Definitely one of our most well-attended events at our world headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin. I wonder why? 🙂

The American Heart Association found that dogs can reduce heart risk disease factors and help you live longer. (Learn more about this scientific statement here.) According to TIME, owning a pet is good for your mental health too. Pets are known to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety in people of all ages.

Thanks to local non-profit Ma, Paws, and Me Pet Rescue for stopping by with puppies for us to play with. But they weren’t just for playing–they were also available for adoption. At our last Puppy Party in February, one of our employees successfully adopted a furry friend. Maybe another special match was made this month, too. Thanks for making our day, pups!

Read more about Ma, Paws, and Me Pet Rescue and learn how to volunteer, become a sponsor, or donate to this great cause:

Continue reading...

How Rituals Can Increase Your Productivity

May 7, 2019


Do you really know the difference between ritual and routine? Your routine is basically your daily schedule. The actions you take like wake up, work out, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, commute to work. They are often mundane things that are easy to understand. But the rituals are often more unusual and personal.

A recent Fast Company article says, “Days have a funny way of slipping past without us even realizing it. And while routines help us feel in control of our time, rituals make sure we stick to our plans.” Rituals are part of your routine, sure, but they can serve a specific purpose: to signify to you that it is time to do something. It can help you transition from one activity to another more smoothly. For example, during your commute to work, you may listen to your favorite podcast. It calms you down from the chaos of commuting and mentally prepares you to tackle the work day feeling refreshed.

As Brainpickings points out, ritual can make the mundane feel magical. Rituals are different for everyone. Maybe you do five jumping jacks before presenting at a meeting. Or you set a fresh cup of coffee just so on your desk each morning before opening your email. Or you go for a walk after lunch which helps you recharge for the rest of your afternoon. How do you make your days a little more magical?

Image via Andreas Hein/Flickr. 

Continue reading...

Why You Need to Create a Bubble in Order to Get Things Done

May 2, 2019


Productivity seems like a constant uphill battle. We can start our day or week with the best intentions but somehow our master plan gets derailed. Major goals might get overcome by more pressing to-dos and me-time might get pushed to the side as we try to satisfy the requests and needs of others. By the end of the week, it’s easy to feel frustrated, not in control, and overwhelmed. You may often utter the phrase, “There’s just not enough time.”

One way to overcome this hamster wheel is to take better control of your time. You must create a bubble–a distraction-free zone for which you can accomplish those major goals you have for today or this week. We’re talking about ZERO distractions. Set yourself up for success. In order to create this bubble you might:

  • close or log out of your email
  • turn of your phone notifications
  • shut off the internet
  • block off time on your calendar
  • close your office door
  • put on headphones so coworkers won’t distract you
  • grab a coffee, a water, and a snack so you have everything you need
  • go to the bathroom first
  • set a timer on your phone or watch

Then…get to to work! When you’re in your bubble, it’s go-time. Time to focus on YOUR goals, YOUR priorities, and what matters to YOU today and this week in order to feel productive and happy. How do you create a distraction-free zone? Comment below!

Image via Rhett Maxwell/Flickr.

Continue reading...