Busy Life? How to Gain Job Skills When You Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time

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Thanks to technology and changing market demands, job requirements are evolving at a breakneck pace. The skills that got you a job three years ago may not be enough to get an interview today, so you need to adapt and learn new skills to stay competitive. However, between jobs and family and other commitments, who has the time? Here are three expert tips that will help even the busiest person learn the new skills you need.

Find Online Courses That Can Fit Into Your Schedule

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites and online programs that are dedicated to teaching you skills specific for your field. While you may not have four hours at a time to complete a program, you may be able to do it in 20-minute increments. Also, be on the lookout for online colleges that offer classes with downloadable lectures and online testing, as they can not only teach you skills, but also give you written documentation of your achievements.

Make It a Part of Your Current Job

Many companies and bosses encourage learning and personal development because they recognize it makes employees happier as well as more effective and productive. Identify the skills you need, find a class that will help you gain those skills, and determine the time required to complete the class. Then present a plan to your boss for how you can fit that time into your current workload. Chances are, your boss will be thrilled to see you taking the initiative, and if it’s a paid course, they may even pick up the cost.

Prioritize and Calendar Your Key Commitments

There’s a saying that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. Very busy people have very detailed calendars that help them get everything done. A quick look at your personal calendar will show that you do have pockets here and there where you can fit in segments of training. You may find that you have an hour before bed to dedicate to learning, or a few hours on the weekend. Block off these times and find a program that you can fit into it. Don’t try and multitask your training with other items, plan to take that scheduled time to focus on learning.

Going For Gold: How Thinking Like A Superstar Athlete Will Get You The Job

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A world-class athlete will tell you that, when they think of big moments, they visualize winning. Whether it’s inching out the competition for a Gold Medal, or sinking the game-winning shot with one second left on the clock, successful athletes don’t have times for “what ifs” in their outcomes. When it comes to a job search, having the same positive outlook will help you towards success. Don’t worry about “if” you’ll get a job, visualize yourself getting it. This way, you won’t need to worry about the outcome, but rather how you are going to get there. Here are three things to remember when it comes to conducting a job search without worrying about the outcome (because you know you’ll succeed):

Work Backwards: Know Your Goal and Identify Steps That Will Take You There                              

A successful sprinter doesn’t worry about the outcome of a race; they instead focus on the steps that they will take to the top step of the podium. When you are applying for a job, don’t worry about the outcome. Instead identify what you have to do to get there. Working backwards from your goal allows you to work out the steps logically. Start from the last part of the process, accepting a job offer, and look at what goals you have to hit to get there. For example, a job offer comes from a great interview, which you will get by submitting a resume that matches the position, which will be seen if you can work your network to get it to the right people. By the time you lead all the way back to the beginning of your search, you’ll know how to move forwards towards a successful outcome.

Turn a Perceived Weakness Into a Strength

When Kobe Bryant missed a game-winning shot, he would stay long after the rest of the team left the arena to work on that shot.  After losing a race in 2012 by less than .1 second, Michael Phelps changed his training to include high-altitude workouts to help his closing speed.  All athletes have weaknesses, but world-class athletes work to turn their weaknesses into strengths. There are going to be parts of your resume that you may perceive as a weakness. Instead of just hoping you get a job despite them, do something about it. If you don’t have certain skills you see in ads, take an online class to learn them. If you don’t have a lot of experience, take temp jobs to learn on the job. If you feel like something is holding you back, don’t shy away from it, do something about it.

As Long as You Keep It Up, You’ll Succeed

Dan Jansen was considered one of the best speed skaters in the world and was a lock at the 1988 winter games for a medal. He fell in both events. In 1992 he was a gold medal favorite again in his two events. He again failed. In 1994, he finally won gold in his last-ever event. It may have taken him longer than he would have liked, but he achieved his goal. Job searches don’t always go as planned. They have setbacks. They have rough patches. But if you stay positive and keep moving forward, you’ll get there. If you fall down, you’ll come back the next time. If you didn’t get a job, you’ll get the next one. The outcome should never change in your mind, even if you have to adjust the path a little bit.

 

The #1 Key To Ensuring Happiness in a New Job

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The joy you feel when offered a new job can quickly turn to dread when you have to spend another day at a workplace you can’t stand. It can happen to the best of us, but there is something you can do to avoid a bad match.

Most people realize that finding a company that is a good match to their preferred workstyle is important. Roughly 2/3 of all workers (and 80% of millennials) state that company culture is one of the biggest considerations they weigh before accepting a job offer. But, how can you really know if a company is fast paced and energetic or a place where you can feel comfortable working at your own pace? Review sites like Glassdoor can help, but they can’t possibly tell the whole story. You need to dig deeper.

Before You Start, Rank What Is Actually Important To You

Make a list of everything that you are looking for in terms of company culture, and then rank them from most important to least important. Finding a place that has flexible work schedules so that you can pick your children up from school may be very important to you, so much so that you may be able to live without extra vacation or work-from-home opportunities. Making this list will help you weigh different opportunities to see which one best matches your specific cultural needs.

Seek Out the Voices Of Current Employees

One of the best ways to get an idea of company culture is to seek out the voices of current employees who work at a company you are targeting. If you already identified connections to this company to help you when applying, they may also be able to give you a good idea of what the workplace is like or was like when they worked there. During your interview you can also ask for a tour or to meet a few people in the department. That can give you a good idea of things like dress code and you may even be able to get some cards to follow-up to see if you can drill deeper into what working there is like. As a final resort, you can also check for connections or reach out to current employees on LinkedIn.

Let The Company’s Online Presence Paint A Picture

One social post may not give you a clear view of a company’s culture, but looking at a company’s online presence as a whole will. This starts at the official company website, where you can gain valuable information from the “About Us” section, and expands towards social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Ask Questions During Your Initial Phone Screen Or Interview

Take advantage of opportunities to ask questions directly to hiring managers. Whether you are having an initial phone screening or an in person interview, have several pre-determined company culture questions ready to ask. Companies want to hire good cultural fits, so asking questions will show hiring managers that you are interested in making sure that you will thrive in your new job. Make sure the questions are job-specific, and that they reflect well on your drive and potential.

 

 

 

Don’t Let That Internship Go to Waste – How to Wrap Things Up and Finish with Style

You’ve been working hard and your internship is drawing to a close. While your managers and co-workers may have marveled at your work ethic and potential, it is important that you stick the landing. You want to leave on a high note and make a lasting impression on your managers and co-workers so they will be happy to help you if you need advice or a strong reference in the future.  Here are four things you need to do in order to bring your internship to a successful close:

Share What You Have Learned With Your Manager and the Impact the Opportunity Has Had on You

Part of bringing on an intern is a genuine desire to help somebody prepare their career. Make your boss feel great by confirming that they really did help and teach you a lot. Go into detail about what you learned and accomplished under their tutelage and describe the impact they will have on your career and future.

Establish LinkedIn Connections with Everyone You Met

While you may have individuals in your office that you plan to keep in touch with, it is important that you establish LinkedIn connections with everyone you met during your internship. Networking is vital to your future job prospects. One of the things many young people say is that they can’t network because they don’t have any connections. Now you do, so it’s important to get them down in a system that is designed to help you keep track of them as they and you move from job to job. Your former co-workers may move into power positions in companies that you are targeting when you graduate. Simply knowing someone who can recommend you during the application process can significantly increase your chances of being hired.

Keep Your Energy Up and Finish Your Assignments Before You Leave

The last several weeks of your internship can be extremely busy. While your schedule may be populated with wrap-up meetings and “farewell” lunches, it is important that you stay focused and show your commitment until your assignment is officially over. Make sure all projects are finished, and tie up all loose ends. Aim to make your last week on the job your best week!

Hand-Deliver a ‘Thank You’ Card for the Office

While you may have said a big ‘thank you’ to everyone that you worked with during your internship, it is important that you hand deliver a card thanking the entire office on your last day. You don’t need to write an essay on what you learned, just a simple, heartfelt thank you would do. You should also consider writing an individual note to people you worked with closely during your internship such as managers and team members.

ACT•1 Group Ranked Among 2016’s Largest Staffing Firms in the U.S.

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We are proud to announce that AppleOne parent company, ACT•1 Group, was recognized recently as one of the leading staffing firms in 2016 by Staffing Industry Analysts.  In fact, we were named the 16th largest staffing firm in the United States and are one of the largest privately-held firms.

This recognition demonstrates to the marketplace that the ACT•1 Group’s staffing affiliates (AppleOne, ACT•1 Personnel ServicesALL’S WELL Health Care StaffingAT-Tech Technical Staffing) are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to providing high quality staffing solutions throughout the United States.

To qualify for the list, which highlights 134 companies, a firm must have generated at least $100 million in U.S. staffing revenue in 2015. Altogether, the companies on this list generated $75.7 billion in revenue, making up nearly 57% of the market by SIA’s estimates.

In addition, so far this year, the ACT•1 Group was also recognized with the following SIA rankings:

  • #6 on the list of Largest US Office/Clerical Staffing Firms
  • #32 on the list of Largest US IT Staffing Firms

We would like to congratulate the entire ACT•1 Group family on this honor and thank them for their continuing hard work.

Four Insider Tips On How To Maintain Your Mentor Relationship

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When someone agrees to be your mentor, they are excited to use their experience and expertise to help you progress through your career. They believe in you and are willing to put in the time to help you succeed. Because you want to keep the mentor/mentee relationship as mutually beneficial as possible, it is important that you take steps to maintain your relationship. Here are four items that you should do to help keep the relationship fresh and running smoothly.

Align Your Goals with Your Mentor’s Abilities So You Know Where to Focus

Because of the limited time you’ll have with  your mentor each week/monthly, focus on how they can best help you. No mentor can meet all of your needs, so go back to why you wanted them as a mentor and how their knowledge and experience aligns with your goals. Create a plan for what you’re hoping to accomplish so you can shape the relationship towards those objectives.

Work with Your Mentor to Articulate Goals You Are Looking To Accomplish

Once you have your initial plan, schedule a meeting or phone call with your mentor to discuss what you’re hoping to accomplish. There should be a lot of give and take in this initial meeting. You’ve come with a plan, but you don’t know what you don’t know, and the reality is that no plan is set in stone. Every relationship will go in unexpected directions and that can be a good thing, so stay flexible and roll with it. Coming out of this meeting you will ideally have a set of long and short term goals and a rough timeframe for working on them.

Establish Norms

Most professionals have very full calendars, so in the same goals meeting, you need to establish how you can best communicate with your mentor and how they would prefer to work with you. Some may just want to meet in person once a month, while exchanging e-mails as needed, while others may want to have a 15 minute phone call on Saturday morning to talk about your progress. This schedule will also establish what their expectations are in terms of communication. Some mentors might want you to call or e-mail them whenever you have a question, while others may want to keep any questions until specific meeting times.

Show Your Appreciation

Most mentors will be working with you out of a genuine desire to be helpful. This means that one of the best ways to thank your mentor is to make sure they understand how and to what extent they are actually helping you. Share what you’ve learned. Share the impact they have had on your life. Share your wins. And, don’t forget the little things. A classic thank you card can do wonders, and so can a simple thank you at the end of each meeting. They may not be looking for praise and appreciation, but they will still like to hear it.

3 Things You Must Say To Someone You Want To Be Your Mentor

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People who have climbed the corporate ladder understand the value of having a mentor, and are usually willing to help young professionals gain the upper hand in their career. While most people are open to the idea of being a mentor, you want to ask them in the right way. Here are three important things to say to someone who you want to be your mentor.

“I’ve admired your career path, and it is something that I would like to emulate.”

Even if a potential mentor knows you well, it’s still important to let them know why you want their mentorship. When asking them, give reasons why you think they would make a great mentor, and what in their career path you want to emulate. This isn’t just important in terms of giving them a reason to accept your request, but it also lets them know what you are looking to get from them long-term. You don’t need to go into too much detail, but give them reasons to say yes.

“I am looking for advice and guidance, if I have a question is it ok if I reach out to you for a brief 10 minute conversation, at your convenience?”

It’s safe to assume that your potential mentor is very busy. Whether they are still working or retired, taking on a protégé means that they have to devote time to you and your questions. It’s not that they don’t want to do it; it’s a matter of whether they have the time. With this in mind, explain that you will look for advice at their convenience. Maybe that means a 10-minute phone call on a Friday morning, or a quick text or email. Let them know that you are working on their schedule and that you don’t expect them to drop everything to answer a question. Even if your potential mentor seems eager to help, remind them that this won’t take much of their time.

 “Thank you very much.”

It is important that your potential mentor knows how appreciative you are of their time. While they may like the idea of mentoring someone rising through the ranks, they are also investing their time, so reminding them that you appreciate what they are doing is important. Mentors aren’t looking for gifts or accolades; a simple “thank you” will do wonders.