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3 Ways to Fit More Free Time Into Your Life

February 20, 2018


When’s the last time you had a weekend to yourself? One of the reasons we feel so stressed out is that our personal lives can be just as over-scheduled as our professional lives. So when do we recharge? Never? I don’t think so. It’s time to stop feeling guilty for “me time,” “down time,” and “free time.” It’s necessary for a happy and healthy life. These three mantras can help you take back your time!

  1. Just because you’re available doesn’t mean you have to say “yes.” 
    Got a free night? That doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity for someone else to claim. Take more control over your schedule by blocking off “me time” or “family time” on the calendar. It may make it easier for you to turn down an invite. Simply say that you have a prior commitment–because you do!
  2. Just because you have an hour doesn’t mean you have to fill it with chores.
    I’m sure there are a ton of things you need to do this week from grocery shopping to laundry to cleaning. But let go of perfectionism every now and then and simply enjoy the free time you have. Again, it may help to schedule a dedicated few hours at the end of the week or beginning of your week for your to-do list. That way you won’t feel tempted to fill every waking minute with sporadic errands and chores.
  3. Just because your to-do list isn’t done doesn’t mean you should stay up late. 
    At some point, you need to call it a night. Set a strict bedtime for yourself that includes an hour of downtime for reading, relaxing, and getting ready for bed. And follow it! Don’t let it waver–even when work or chores await! It will still be there tomorrow morning, and you’ll feel much more refreshed and productive with a good night of sleep.

Image via Susanne Nilsson/Flickr.

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5 Networking Posts You Have to Read Right Now

February 15, 2018


Over the years, we’ve incessantly written about the importance of networking–and we’re not stopping! This round-up of five networking posts are must-reads if you’re looking to take your career to the next level. Networking benefits both job seekers and those who are currently happen in their position. It can take months or years for the seeds you sow to pay off, so start planting them now! Hopefully these five posts will inspire you to get going.

The Difference Between Networking and Demanding
Learn how to get what you want in a way that benefits both you and the person you’re reaching out to.

Is that Networking Event Worth Your Time…or a Waste of It?
Every networking event isn’t created equal. These three questions can help you decide whether you should attend or not.

The Secret to Networking Success and Why it Works
Here’s a philosophy that may help you actually like networking–and get way more out of it than you ever dreamed.

Out of the Box Networking Strategies
Not all networking involves one-on-one conversations and in-person events. Learn other ways to expand your network.

Networking Tips for Those Who Hate Networking the Most
It’s true! Networking doesn’t have to be miserable. These tips can help you get over your fear or dread.

Image via Ivan Emelianov/Flickr. 

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We’re Hiring in Edgerton, Kansas!

February 7, 2018


Save the date! We’re hiring Equipment Operators and Warehouse Workers in Edgerton, Kansas on 2/17 and 3/3. Stop on by between noon and 3 PM either day for on-site interviews at 31100 W 196th St in Edgerton. We’re looking for truck operators, order pickers, dock stockers, and more. 

There are many great reasons why you should consider applying for a job at Spectrum Brands:

  • Great pay! We offer great pay at $14/hour for Equipment Operators and $13/hour for Warehouse Workers.
  • Vacation and Sick Time accrues from day one. 
  • Benefits start on day one.

If you’d like to save some time, apply online in advance by clicking here: Hope to see you soon!

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3 Steps Every Job Candidate Must Take

February 6, 2018


Time for a new job? Time to get your head in the game! Ideally, before you even apply for a new job, you’ll have the three following steps completed–or at least begun. But it’s never too late to start stepping in the right direction during your job search. These three steps can help you take control of your destiny and give you confidence throughout the interview process.

  1. Clean up your online presence.
    Read our post on how to clean up your act online. It involves googling yourself, locking down your social profiles, and really putting yourself in a recruiter’s shoes. What does your online image portray about yourself? How can you make it even better? Don’t give anyone a reason not to hire you.
  2. Give your interview wardrobe a makeover.
    Well-fitting, polished, modern interview attire is an investment in your career. Don’t feel guilty buying a new outfit–and remember that includes shoes, a bag, and a haircut. You always want to present your best self in an interview. So treat yourself!
  3. Be a customer. 
    It’s one of our sure-fire ways to stand out in an interview. If you’re already a customer or user of the company you’re applying to, you’ll be a much better interview candidate. You’ll understand the brand, the customer, and the competition which gives more depth to your answers–and your questions.

Image via elycefeliz/Flickr.

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What To Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

February 1, 2018


Not everyone is lucky in love when it comes to their career. If you’re feeling burnt out, uninspired, or lacking confidence in your current position, it may be time for a change–or at least time to start thinking about a change. Finding the perfect career for your interests, abilities, and lifestyle could take years! And the correct answer may change again and again throughout your lifetime. It’s no easy task but these tips can help.

  1. Go on informational interviews.
    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a book editor? A retail manager? A marketing assistant? Set up an informational interview. Grab coffee or schedule a phone date with someone in the industry who’s willing to share their expertise and advice. If you’re lucky, you may be able to shadow them for a day. Sure, it’s a time commitment for both of you but the knowledge you gain is priceless. A “No, that’s definitely not for me!” is just as helpful as a “Wow, I’d love to do that!”
  2. Assess yourself.
    What are your strengths and weaknesses? What inspires you? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Be truthful. The answers to these questions can help you find a more focused direction. Take a quiet afternoon to sit down and really focus on your future. Online assessments can help. Or ask friends and family members for their input if a self-assessment is too challenging for you.
  3. Hire a career coach.
    The career path you chose when you were 18 or 22 might not be the right career path for you right now. It’s hard to assess your own wants, needs, and desires. A career coach can help. They can analyze what you’re looking for out of your life and how you can best get it. They’re more likely to think outside the box and push your boundaries farther than you’ve ever considered.

Image via Niklas Freidwall/Flickr. 

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What’s Your Morning Routine?

January 30, 2018


Is 2018 the year? The year that you finally make things happen? Many successful people start their days early–that’s no secret. But rising early isn’t the only key to their success–it’s their morning routine. Some people have accomplished more by 9 AM than others have accomplished all day.

Take a look at this Forbes article featuring the morning routines of some of the world’s most successful people. Some people avoid their email, some people check it first thing. Some people get up at 4 AM, others at 9 AM. So it seems like there is no perfect recipe for morning success. The routine and consistency is what keeps them on track. And what’s stopping you from creating a little routine?

Here are some things you can incorporate into your very own morning routine. There are no right or wrong answers! Pick three things that seem most important to you or can help you feel most accomplished and bring you the most joy first thing in the morning.

  • brief meditation
  • homemade breakfast
  • yoga
  • uninterrupted reading session
  • hot water with lemon
  • writing or journaling
  • working out at the gym
  • coffee or tea
  • run
  • revisit your agenda
  • shower
  • reading the news
  • checking and responding to email

Image via Markus/Flickr.

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Job Seekers, Can You Answer This One Question?

January 25, 2018


During your job search, you have one goal: get hired. But there are lots of small goals that must be met before you reach that ultimate destination. For example, refining your resume, brushing on your interview skills, and networking. But we’re talking about a question that must be answered even before you open your resume. Ask yourself: what do I want to do for a living?

If you can’t answer that simple question, it will be a lot harder to not only search for relevant jobs but also tailor your networking, resume, and online profiles in pursuit of that goal. Too many times during a job search, we let down our guards. We start off strong pursing our dream position but we soon get discouraged and may start broadening our wish list. And it can lead to unhappiness.

Before you know it, you’re months into a floundering job search with no clear direction. You’re applying for positions you never would have considered before and which you know will not make you happy. So let this question be your guiding light: What do I want to do for a living? And be sure to answer it clearly and concisely. Be confident in your decision, and it may lead exactly where you hope it will.

Image via Ryan Van Etten/Flickr.

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Our Most Popular Posts of 2017

January 23, 2018


We love sharing advice on careers, job hunting, interviewing, and more. Anything we can do to help you find happiness and success! This blog is filled with tons of information you can easily browse by using the search button above. Or, get started by clicking through this list of our most popular posts of 2017. Which one is your favorite?

  1. Our Top Ten Posts on Career Success
    We love a good roundup, and this one compiles our favorite posts on career success. Read quotes, tips, and more.
  2. What it Takes to Work at Spectrum Brands 
    Want to land a job at Spectrum? Learn the three qualities we look for in all of our employees.
  3. What to Do When You Don’t Like Your Job
    This popular post from the beginning of last year is still relevant today. Learn how to get through the ups and downs of your career.
  4. Three Things You Shouldn’t Say at Work
    These three phrases you shouldn’t say at work are probably different than you think. Learn why cutting them out is helpful to your career.
  5. A Great Question for the End of Your Interview
    This “closer” is sure to be a home run that can help seal the deal during your next interview.
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Time to Update Your LinkedIn

January 16, 2018


January is the perfect time to give your professional profiles a makeover, especially your LinkedIn. Here is an easy checklist you can follow at the beginning of each year:

  • Update your current position title and company if need be.
  • Include your biggest wins from the past year in your description.
  • Add any awards, accolades, or volunteer opportunities from the past year.
  • Update your profile with a relevant photo.
  • Update your general bio.
  • Connect with new coworkers and connections you’ve made in the past year.
  • Endorse a few coworkers in hopes that they’ll return the favor.
  • Write a recommendation for someone who made a big impact on your career success in the last year.
  • Share a status update, or comment on a few other people’s updates.
  • Browse your network and see how your connections have grown professionally over the past year. Congratulate them on their successes.
  • Set up a coffee date or lunch with three connections who can help you grown professionally in the upcoming year.

Remember to follow Spectrum Brands on LinkedIn, and read our tips on how to instantly improve your LinkedIn profile.

Image via Esther Vargas/Flickr.


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Take Control of Your Workday: Block off Your Calendar for Y-O-U

January 11, 2018


Seriously, what did we people do before digital calendars? How did a meeting ever get scheduled? While technology has made our work lives a lot easier, it has made certain tasks too easy–like grabbing an hour of someone’s time for a meeting.

If you feel like your work day is taken over by other people’s requests for your time and that you can’t get any of your own work done, it’s time to take control of your calendar. Those same digital calendars that allow you to plan meetings allow you to block off your calendar too. Remember? So make an appointment–with yourself!

If you have a daily or weekly task that is constantly pushed to the wayside, block off a time period in your calendar right now for it. For example, if you need more time to plan for Monday morning’s big meeting every Friday afternoon, block it off. If you need 30 minutes at the end of every day to de-stress and catch up on email, schedule it in. If you need 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time every morning, queue it up.

Not only will this strategy keep you on task, but it will keep you in control. And that’s the first step in being productive!

Image via Leif Harboe/Flickr.

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