September 12, 2017

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Spectrum Brands Has Been Recognized by the American Heart Association!

Great news! Spectrum Brands has received a Silver Level Recognition from the American Heart Association for our Wellness Initiatives and Programs. See the full list here. According to their website, the Workplace Health Achievement program assesses overall workplace health based on certain factors.

“Companies recognized by the American Heart Association meet AHA criteria for their achievement to implement quality employee health programs in a workplace environment characteristic of culture of health best practices.

The Workplace Health Achievement Index scores organizations on 55 individual best practices, organized into seven categories of organizational best practices (leadership, engagement, programs, policies and environment, partnerships, communications, and reporting outcomes) and the objective, unbiased science-based assessment of overall workplace heart health using aggregate data from My Life Check or aggregate an equivalent source.”

We’re so honored that we’ve been recognized for our commitment to employee health. Read more about our wellness programs here.

Image via American Heart Association.

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September 7, 2017

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Rayovac’s 111th Birthday!

Happy birthday, Rayovac! Today, we’re celebrating more than 100 years of providing jobs in America. Here’s to US job creation with a commitment to American-made products!

Did you know that Rayovac manufactures all of our Alkaline batteries in Wisconsin? The Fennimore plant produces 2,500,000 batteries per day–that’s more than 1 billion per year! WOW.

 

September 5, 2017

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Rayovac Donates to Harvey Relief

The effects of Hurricane Harvey have been devastating for so many, and we wanted to help. In fact, the entire city of Madison, Wisconsin put forth an amazing effort to gather supplies for Houston. The CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Michael Johnson, was thankful for our donation of 25,000 batteries and 12,000 flashlights.

Retired firefighter Dale Emmerich drove from Madison to Dixon, Illinois to collect the supplies, which were then transported to Houston. We’re so proud of Wisconsin for being so generous and caring in a time of dire need. The entire city came together–incredibly fast–to gather and transfer the necessary supplies for hurricane relief. Stay strong, Houston!

August 31, 2017

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Everything You Wanted to Know About References

References can be a nerve-wracking task that you have to deal with during an already-stressful job search. Who will you ask? How will you ask them? What will they say about you? Here are a few tips that can help.

  1. Keep it professional.
    You may have plenty of personal references who will say great things about you, but professional references are always best. That can include former bosses and coworkers, mentors, and any connections you’ve made while volunteering or during an internship.
  2. Keep it in the past.
    If you’re applying for a new job while you have a job, references can be tricky. You should avoid asking anyone at your current company to speak on your behalf. Think about your previous working relationships and who can best speak to your abilities.
  3. Ask a former coworker.
    References don’t have to be a boss or manager. A past coworker can speak to how great you worked on a team, and that’s an insanely important quality to hiring managers. Be sure to ask someone with whom you worked well. Bonus points if you worked on a lot of successful projects together.
  4. Fill them in on the details of the position.
    The more your reference knows about the job you’re applying for, the better they can speak to your specific skills that are relevant to the job. Send them your current resume so they can brush up on your background.
  5. Give them a call.
    A reference should be someone you feel comfortable giving a call to instead of an email. You’re asking them to dedicate a chunk of their time talking you up–the least you can do is pick up the phone. Plus, you may need to use them as a reference again in the future. Keep the relationship going!
  6. Follow up.
    Don’t forget to send a thank you note for their time–even if they never get called! Also, give them an update if you get hired.

Image via Ant & Carrie Coleman/Flickr.

August 29, 2017

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What Should You Be Researching Before a Job Interview?

Got an upcoming job interview? That’s great news! There’s no doubt that you’ve been spending a lot of time quizzing yourself on common interview questions and deciding which experiences and stories from your past are most relevant to this opportunity. But the job interview isn’t just about you. Here are three more things you must research before the interview:

  1. The company.
    Thanks to Google News, you can find the latest articles written about the company with whom you are interviewing. You don’t want to be caught off guard by an awesome new product launch, a merger, a study, or a great piece of recent press. Check their social media updates as well as the Press Releases section of their corporate website for more recent news.
  2. The people.
    If you know the names of the people with whom you will be interviewing, look them up on LinkedIn! Try to get a better understanding of their title and background. This will better help you compose relevant questions for each person during your interview.
  3. The industry.
    Learn more about the industry itself as well as the competition. Familiarize yourself with some buzzwords, some challenges, and any exciting new developments or technology. Set Google Alerts or subscribe to an industry publication for the latest updates.

Image via Gabriela Pinto/Flickr.

August 24, 2017

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Three Things You Shouldn’t Say at Work

Wouldn’t you love to be the smartest, most competent, most respected person in the room? It all starts with one person: you. The more respect you have for your own thoughts, ideas, and skills, the more respect others may in turn have for you. Slights tweaks in your language can have a big affect on your career success. Eliminate the following phrases from your workday and see what happens!

“I think…”
Saying “I think” is the same as saying “maybe” or “hopefully.” They are words that indicate that you are already questioning an outcome or questioning your own abilities. Try “I believe,” or “I know” instead. Speak with confidence instead of already instilling doubt in your work.

“I’ll try…”
If you need something desperately and someone responds with, “I’ll try,” how does that make you feel? Not great. “Try” inherently means that it may or may not happen. Instead, say “I can” or “I will.” Again, confidence is key and you don’t want to sound like you’re giving a half-hearted effort before you’ve even started.

“I may be wrong, but…”
There’s no need to instill doubt in your forthcoming thought before the words have tumbled out of your mouth. Let others judge whether or not you are incorrect in your assessment. Respect your thoughts and ideas, and give yourself a little more credit!

Image via Marc Wathieu/Flickr. 

August 22, 2017

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How to Return to Work after a Voluntary Career Break

These days, “gap years,” career breaks, and sabbaticals are becoming more and more common. This voluntary time off doesn’t have to be a year-long endeavor. It could be three months. It could be three weeks. It could be five years. It’s whatever you need to do what you want.

Er, what is it that these people are doing on these career breaks? They’re often expanding their knowledge by gaining skills in a new field or they’re taking time off for a little soul searching–and likely traveling around the world along the way.

Whatever it is that you’ve done during a career break, you must figure out a way to tie it back to your career path. A sabbatical can even have a place on your resume if the experiences you had are relevant to the position you’re applying for. That requires advance planning for volunteering, educational programs, passion projects, collaborations, or freelance work.

When a hiring manager sees a career break, there are a few things that can help you stand out from the other applicants. They may see that you have:

  • a willingness to take risks
  • independence
  • confidence
  • an ability to cope with many people and many situations
  • career clarity

That last point is an important one. After taking a break, you should return focused and confident in the career path you are following. Explain how your sabbatical helped you get to that point and that you’re ready to commit to a steady job again.

Image via Christine und Hagen Graf/Flickr.

August 17, 2017

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How to Make Career Decisions More Easily

Your career path will be full of questions now and in the future: Is that the right job for me? Should I apply for that promotion? Do I want to take on that project? Does going back to school make sense? Do I go right or left?

Answering these questions is not easy–unless your career goals are clearly defined. Think about it on both a macro and micro level: when your goal is clearly defined, you can approach any decision with one simple question, “Will this help me reach my goal?” If the answer is yes, then move forward. If the answer is no, step away.

If your goal is to lose weight, you could approach each temptation with one question. As you look at the bowl of ice cream, ask yourself: will this help me reach my goal? The answer is no, so move on. If you are debating between grabbing dinner with friends or going to an exercise class, ask yourself: which will help me reach my goal? The answer is the exercise class.

The same strategy can be applied at work. If your goal is to be the global marketing manager of a consumer products good company, think about what that goal entails: an MBA? International experience? A second language? Experience managing others? Now write this goal down, as well as the steps it will take to get there.

The next time you have to make a decision, you’ll be better prepared to make an educated choice. And you’ll feel more confident doing it.

Image via David Mulder/Flickr.

August 15, 2017

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The Two Words You Should Avoid in Your Next Interview

It’s no secret that great speakers probably perform a lot better in an interview setting. After all, they are great at communicating an idea (“Hire me!”) and are comfortable while they do it.

For the rest of us, interviews can be a time of anxiety and doubt. Literally every word can be a struggle. That’s why we use fillers such as “umm” and “like.” But those aren’t the two words we’re telling you to avoid during your next interview. It’s something that likely strikes, you know, closer to home.

*Record scratch* “You know” are those two words. They slip so easily into conversations especially during an interview setting. These two words are used so carelessly that we’ve forgotten what they mean. Oftentimes when we say “you know” the person doesn’t know! That’s why they asked!

While “you know” isn’t the end-all be-all when it comes to assessing a successful interview, removing it from your vocabulary will help your overall communication style become more succinct, clear, and effective. And isn’t that what you want in an interview?

If you’re afraid those two little words will slip into the conversation when you’re under pressure, practice talking about yourself in front of a family member and ask them to interrupt you each time you say “you know.” Also, try speaking more slowly and thoughtfully. It’s ok to pause and think as opposed to rambling with filler words as you try to gather a response.

Do you have any tips to avoid using filler words like “you know” and “umm?” Comment below!

Image via Kate Dreyer/Flickr.

August 10, 2017

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The Truth About Being the “New Kid”

Whether you’ve recently transitioned from college to the workplace or you’re a seasoned new hire at a company, you have one thing in common: you’re the new kid! And even though you’re an adult, you may still fear sitting alone at the lunch table. But let’s be honest–you have bigger things on your mind right now like, “How will everyone know that I’m not an idiot?” Proving yourself in a new position is not easy, but these tips can help.

  1. Be outgoing and friendly.
    Even if you’re shy, the first week on a new job is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone. The more people you can meet the better. Introduce yourself, put a smile on your face, and shake some hands.
  2. Talk about yourself.
    The first week on the job is one of the few times you get to blab about yourself without seeming conceited. Consider which experiences or talents you’d like your new coworkers to know about. Be sure to ask questions too so you don’t seem too into yourself.
  3. Invite yourself.
    Certain group dynamics and workplace traditions will have already been established once you walk in the door. During the first few weeks is your chance to claim your seat at the table–both literally and figuratively. It may feel uncomfortable but you can’t rely on anyone else to pave the way for you.
  4. Be your own cheerleader.
    As the new kid, you’re on your own. You must be your own advocate and make sure the transition is going well and that all your questions are being answered. Don’t be afraid to speak up, make requests, or ask for clarifications.

Image via Enokson/Flickr.