Five Characteristics To Make You A Better Team Player

team-work-5-best-traitsSimply put, teamwork is an essential part of success. Being a vital part of the team requires us to contribute something valuable to the team. 75% of all employers describe teamwork and collaboration as crucial and need to the success of their companies. Here are five characteristics to make you a better team player, and raise your stock in your workplace.

1.Become Self-Motivated
The great thing about being self-motivated is that your fellow employees recognize that you are reliable and accountable for not only doing your part but doing it well. Aspire to grow with little prompting or encouragement, which will help the people around you to grow as well.

2.Be Sharp
Wanting to succeed and having the wits and skills to do so are two different animals. If you are able to adapt to your companies’changing needs easily you will be especially well-prepared to apply your skills to any given situation. Thinking ahead of time and being prepared will eliminate you needing someone to keep you on your toes because you will have already taken the necessary steps before they are needed. These people are great team players because they set the bar high and know how to keep pushing it higher.

3. Be Flexible
The ability to flexible, yet not be a complete pushover, implies you are willing and able to accommodate the teams’needs. Flexibility allows you to grow as a professional and as a team. Flexibility in your interactions ensures that you can focus on fostering the right relationships on your team. Flexibility allows you to grow as a professional and as a team.

4. Accessible
Being accessible to the team ensures success by providing accountability. Make it a point to communicate clearly (and often!) with your team members. Part of working together efficiently means mastering the art of concise emails and meetings.Accessibility is kind of like respect; if you want it, you should show it, too.

5. Passionate
The greatest achievements are accomplished because someone truly cared about the work. Bringing passion for the team encourages your teammates to join in on the fun. In all jobs it is important to believe in the mission of your work. Not every day will be perfect, but finding a job with purpose and passion is worthwhile. This impacts the kind of effort and commitment you show your team, and as a result, affects the company progress.

Above all else, team players are proud of their teams. Your success, and your sanity, will greatly improve by picking up these simple characteristics.

Five Tips to Help Stay Motivated While Job Hunting

job-search-stay-motivatedKeeping your focus and maintaining a positive attitude is crucial to landing a new opportunity. Yet the average time it takes to find a job has increased to approximately eight months. Maintaining motivation is one of the biggest struggles people face when looking for a job. The rejection, silence, and monotony can take a toll on just about anyone. Do not get discouraged, and down on yourself if you have begun to feel less motivated and more apathetic then when you stated your job search. Here are five simple tips to help you stay motivated while job hunting.

1. Pick a direction that you want to go with your search.
What type of job do you desire? How will you find available opportunities? What groups will you get involved in? Knowing where you want to end up will help you determine how you will get there and cause less stress along the way.

2.Look up Career Role Models
Search for people who have your dream jobs or who work at companies you are interested in. Looking at the various ways people have gotten to where they are now will likely remind you that there is no straight path to success. Now take it one step further, and reach out to a few of these people. Ask them how they got to their desired destination, and any advice they would give.

3.Put your career goals on paper.
Take some time to make a list of all of your dreams. Putting them on paper will entice you to think about what you want to achieve and motivate you to see at least one goal through. Think of it kind of like a to-do list for your career. Seeing things on paper will get you excited to check things off.

4. Know and remember your purpose.
Give your job search a purpose aside from just landing an interview. Give yourself goals to meet to land the interview, such as applying for a specific number of jobs each week, participating in a minimal number of Twitter chats and adding a specific amount of people to your network each week.

5. Believe in yourself.
Like a successful salesperson, you must believe that what you are selling has value. When looking for a job, you’re essentially selling yourself and your experience. Convince yourself that you are selling a quality product — and that by selling the real deal you’re saving a potential employer from buying something substandard. Imagine acting that way in your next interview … and you will.

Remember to stay focused and go easy on yourself. Searching for a job is hard work, and can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining but will be well-worth all of the hard work and the wait! Hang in there!

Six Superfoods for Spring That Increase Focus

super-foods-for-focusStaying on task and maximizing the level of efficiency can be difficult year round, but as Spring and Summer quickly approach, some of us struggle to maintain that laser-like focus either while job searching, or at our current place of employment. When it comes time to hone in and focus on a project at work, most guys reach for another shot of black coffee to stay sharp throughout the day. As effective as this can be, a better long-term approach is reaching for super foods to keep you at your best. Here is a list of 6 Spring Time superfoods.

1 .Avocado- The monounsaturated fats in avocado help support information-carrying nerves in the brain.

2 .Salmon- With a full load of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon provides the fuel to sustain concentration during long periods of work. The omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for increasing brain networking and sharpening cognitive function.

3. Leafy Greens- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are not only high in antioxidants, but also full of the B vitamin folate. Folate may keep your brain sharp.

4. Blueberries- One cup delivers 14% of your daily fiber, and fiber satiates you. Keeping your hunger level steady is key to maintaining focus.

5. Fruit and Nut Trail Mix- Combining your favorite nuts and fruit creates an ideal combination of nutrients to stabilize energy levels that support quality focus. The fat provides long-term sustainable energy while the fruit offers quick energy. Together, they keep you in the zone.

6. Peanuts- Peanuts offer a one-two punch to fuel focus by providing both fiber and more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals. Among these is vitamin E, considered an antioxidant-containing nutrient to prevent diseases of the brain and central nervous system

Spring is in the air, and staying focused and healthy has never been quite so delicious!

Two Roads Professional Resources Wellness Committee

tworoads-wellness-2014Giving back to our local community is very important to us here at Two Roads and to do that, we developed a Wellness Committee in the Fall of 2010. Our primary goal is to create a culture of philanthropy at Two Roads and to create an environment of wellness for our employees. We meet every couple of months to plan events that will support and help the community. Our priority and motivating factor is to make a positive impact on our community and in the lives of those that are less fortunate. Additionally and just as important for the committee is to try to make a positive impact in the lives of our internal staff.

What did our committee do last year? Here is a list of a few of the activities:

  • Two Roads Laser Tag luncheon
  • We donated to a local school Choir
  • Made a donation to the Relay for Life
  • Donated funds to the Hebrew Academy specifically for their summer camp for Military Service Member’s children.
  • We provided a masseuse to come into the Two Roads office to provide massages for our staff

And THEN came the holidays……. Our busiest time!

-Two Roads donated 20 pies to Colette’s House in Huntington Beach for their Thanksgiving Feast.
-Two Roads sponsored 3 families during the Christmas Season by purchasing gifts for the kids and parents and giving additional funds for a holiday meal. These three families were supported through the City of Bellflower, Colette’s House of Huntington Beach, and Project Self Sufficiency in Huntington Beach.

Planning of our 2015 events is already underway and we look forwards to sharing more with you soon!

Spring Clean Your Job Search

spring-cleaning-job-searchTake time to spring clean your job search. Re-assessing and revamping your search will help you stay focused and organized without burning yourself out. Start by asking yourself if you have been diligent with your job search in terms of;Are you attending networking events? Are you networking on social media? Have you scheduled any informational interviews? How many interviews and phone screens have you had? If you answered yes to these questions but are unsatisfied with the results, here are three basic tips to get you reorganized and rejuvenated for Spring job searching!

1. Take a class or volunteer
Job searching relies on your ability to get out there so don’t forget to network, network, network! Sign up on sites like Meetup or Dabble and take a pottery or a public speaking class. Not only are these activities great for networking, they’re also great additions to your resume.

2. Reassess your resume
How many interviews have you received with your current resume? If your answer is “none” or “not many,” invest time in redoing your resume.There are plenty of free sites designed to help resume writing.

3. Include a daily or weekly break
If you don’t already, insert some breaks into your job search routine. Grab a friend for coffee or go on a buddy run. Doing so will help keep your relationships strong while interrupting what can sometimes be a monotonous routine. Recent studies show friends are most likely to help in regards to securing employment.

Spring is a time for blooming, new adventures, and new opportunities. Take these simple tips and apply them immediately to your job search for a new, and effective approach to securing the job you desire!

5 Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk – Let it Rip!

exercise-in-officeBut what the typical adult does at work is sit in a desk chair for eight hours, plus a sitting-down commute both ways and an evening spent in front of the TV. This is a recipe for ruin. Sitting all day increases our risk for obesity and puts us at risk for back pain, poor posture, leg cramps, tense muscles and sheer boredom.

According to a survey by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. admit that they don’t engage in the suggested 30 minutes, five days a week of moderate physical activity or the suggested 20 minutes, three times a week of vigorous activity. In short, about half of Americans don’t get the physical exercise they need.

But there are exercises you can do right at your desk to help you improve your body’s flexibility and strength with nothing but a few minutes and your desk chair. Just remember to check with a doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

Here are 5 exercises you can do right at your desk! So no more excuses – let it rip!

1. The Magic Carpet Ride
This works your core and arms. Sit in your chair with your legs crossed and your feet on the seat. Then place your hands on the armrests, suck in your gut and raise yourself a few inches above the seat, using your belly muscles and hands. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five times.

2. Tricep Desk Dips
This is for upper-body strength, courtesy of Nolan Palmer Smith. Ladies, this will help the backs of your arms. Place your butt on the edge of the desk, then place your palms on the edge of the desk on either side of you. Keeping your feet together, bend at the elbows and slide forward off of the desk and dip down a few inches, and then push back up. Dip to where your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Do this 20 times. For a variation, put your feet on the chair.

3. Carpal Tunnel Reliever
Carpal tunnel syndrome shouldn’t catch up to you if you repeat this simple move every day. Stand at your desk, and, arms straight, place your palms on the desk with your fingers pointed toward you. Lower your body slowly until you feel the stretch (you won’t have to go far). Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat as needed through the day.

4. The Wooden Leg
For lower-body strength: Sit in your chair, extend one leg out straight in front of you and hold for two seconds. Then raise it up as high as you can, and hold it again for two seconds. Repeat with each leg 15 times.

5. Sitting Spinal Stretch
This enhances both flexibility and muscle strength. Sit tall in your chair, and stretch your arms toward the ceiling. Put your left hand on the desk, grab the back of the chair with your right hand and twist to the right. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and raise your arms toward the ceiling again. Then repeat the twist going the other way. Hold for 10 seconds.

Resume Tip: Include Personal Projects

ideasIf you’re new to the work force, it’s important to add your personal projects as experience.

Include Personal Projects On Resumes When You’re Just Starting Out

Getting a job when you’re just starting in your field can be difficult because your resume is essentially empty. That said, it has been suggested by many professionals seeking to hire that those personal projects you undertake are a great way to pad out your resume and showcase your potential.

Most people don’t walk out of a college with a lot of relevant work experience, but chances are you have plenty of experience in the field you’re looking to get into. The trick is to embrace that experience, even if you didn’t actually get paid for it:

Don’t limit yourself to the confines of a traditional resume. Recognize that under “Skills” you can list everything from Photoshop to silk-screening, that studio time can be just as important as past employment, and that unpaid side projects show dedication, initiative, and responsibility. If the majority of your experience is personal, studio, or classroom work, add more of a description than you normally would, explaining the kind of timeline you were working with and why you chose the subject matter.

While it’s not the same as prior experience at an employer, you personal or side projects can showcase your skills just as well. This is especially handy for anyone getting their start straight out of college, but if you’re looking to change career paths this is an effective way to talk about how you’re qualified for a position even if you don’t have the paid experience to back it up!