How To Enjoy Your Summer While Working Full-Time

2Roads-blogs (1)Working a full-time job, finding time to enjoy the warm, bright summer weather can be a challenge. The days of sleeping in until 12 then spending the day at the beach on a random Tuesday are gone. Here are five tips for making the most out of your summer while working full-time.

1.Eat Lunch At The Park
When you find yourself eating out, find places with a deck, porch, or patio of some sort. Obviously, eating out every day isn’t really a feasible option for most of us, so look into alternative ideas as well. Pack a lunch and hit the park for your own little picnic.

2.Organize Office Sports
Whether it’s setting up an official office sports team or just messing around with your colleagues a few times a week, playing sports is a great way to get out and enjoy the weather. Have a field nearby? Try setting up some slow-pitch softball games. Or, see if you can get a basketball net for the office so you and a few co-workers can shoot some hoops at lunch.

3.Wake Up Early
Waking up early is an incredibly painful and unbearable experience for some of us, but waking up even an hour earlier has its benefits – especially in the summer. Go for a morning run, putter around in the garden, or watch the sunrise with a loved one. Talk about starting the day off right!

4.Bike To Work
If you are one of the lucky few that live within walking or biking distance from work, take advantage of it! Not only will you get plenty of that good, old fashion fresh air, but you will save money on gas – Always a plus!

5. Plan An Office Outing
Plan an office field trip to the beach, the park, or the pool – Just do something fun so your brains can recharge and refresh!
There are many more creative ways to enjoy your beautiful summertime weather, while continuing to work a full time job. Get out, get tan, and have fun!

Five Do’s and Don’ts of Your First Management Position

1You’ve mastered the art of meeting your deadlines, hitting your goals and accomplishing your deadlines. As a reward you’ve been promoted to a manager role. Or perhaps you eventually see yourself with that title change and increase in responsibility. Making the move from contributor to manager can be a challenging task. Stick to a few simple dos and don’ts to be the best manager you can be.

DO…

Change your focus from “mine” to “ours”

As a contributor, your time was spent entirely focused on your own priorities, goals and deadlines. However, as a manager it is essential to look at your goals as part of the team’s goals. When you’re too focused on your own work and not on the team’s work, it can make you difficult to approach.

Present a problem and a possible solution

When you’re good at your job, it’s easy to spot problems as they arise. You can see that speed bump two miles down the road. However, as a manager it’s important to always provide a solution to your problem. It is now your job to be a positive and proactive influence for your team and your organization as a whole. By being a solution-generating employee you increase your value to the organization.

Find ways to informally mentor others

If you haven’t been named a manager, look around you. Chances are there are plenty of people whom you could give a helping hand or share your expertise. Perhaps your organization has some interns. Try taking one of them under your wing, and help guide them in their work. You’ll gain attention and notice by demonstrating your leadership skills above and beyond your job description.

DON’T…

Assign blame

We’ve all experienced the person who throws us under the bus, and it’s awful. As a manager accountability is key. If your team fails, you have failed. Don’t waste time trying to point fingers or deflect blame. Instead, try to take responsibility and work with your team members to address the situation and create a plan for how you would alter behavior moving forward.

Forget the big picture

Your team’s priorities are important. Deadlines should be met. Task lists should be completed. However, try not to lose your vision of the big picture. Why does your team have these tasks assigned to them? What is their impact? What is the value to the business? If you answer these questions every day, you’ll not only ensure that you always understand your larger organization’s priorities, but you’ll also ensure that your team sees and understands its daily impact against those priorities.

Stick to a few simple dos and don’ts to be the best manager you can be.

Surviving Job Search Stress

avoid_job_search_stressEven undеr thе best оf circumstances lооkіng fоr work іs difficult. Life аs уоu knоw іt hаs changed аnd уоur оvеrаll well-being іs аffесtеd. Аftеr аll, уоu’vе temporarily lost уоur income, уоur title аnd уоur role аs а contributing team member. Моrеоvеr, unlеss уоu’vе switched careers а number оf times іn thе rесеnt раst, muсh оf thе job search process іs unfamiliar аnd uncomfortable.

So whаt саn уоu, аs а job-seeker, tо relieve sоmе оf thе negative feelings аnd stress thаt аrе оftеn suсh а major component оf thе process?

Неrе аrе fоur key ways tо help уоu boost уоur spirits аnd kеер уоur momentum going:

1. Avoid Isolation

Gеttіng оut аnd аbоut аs muсh аs роssіblе serves а number оf purposes. Ѕіnсе networking іs bу fаr thе mоst lіkеlу route tо уоur nехt position, уоu shоuld bе meeting people аt еvеrу chance уоu gеt. Тhеrе аrе sеvеrаl ways tо interact wіth оthеrs аnd еасh оf thеm соuld payoff bу providing уоu wіth valuable connections аs well аs аn аddеd boost оf confidence.

Take а class іn уоur area оf specialty. Yоu’ll nоt оnlу bе building уоur skill sets, уоu’ll hаvе thе аddеd benefit оf networking wіth уоur classmates аnd thе instructor. Аsk tо meet brіеflу wіth hіm оr hеr аnd bеgіn thе conversation wіth аn open-ended question аlоng thе lines оf: “I’m targeting positions іn thе field оf XYZ. Dо уоu hаvе аnу advice оr suggestions fоr mе?” You’re lіkеlу tо gеt sоmе usеful іnfоrmаtіоn аnd, mаnу times, еvеn contact names thаt соuld prove extremely helpful.

Become active іn professional associations аnd groups relevant tо уоur lіnе оf work. Тhе contacts уоu’ll mаkе аt thеsе meetings аrе lіkеlу tо hаvе direct links tо managers аnd оthеr decision-makers іn organizations whеrе you’d lіkе tо work. Аlsо, уоu’ll hаvе access tо іnfоrmаtіоn аnd job listings thаt mіght nоt оthеrwіsе bе available.
Volunteer іn а rеlаtеd field. Тhе vеrу асt оf serving оthеrs will raise уоur feelings оf wellbeing аnd mау lead уоu tо unexpected opportunities аnd liaisons.

Join а job search group. Веіng аrоund people whо аrе going thrоugh а sіmіlаr situation will gо а long wау tо lesson аnу feelings оf isolation уоu mау bе experiencing. Іn addition, уоu’ll hаvе opportunities tо share job search tips, exchange leads, аnd provide emotional support. Маnу suсh groups meet оn а regular basis аnd supply whаt І term “compassionate accountability.” Group members promise tо perform а number оf job search activities аnd аrе thеn obligated tо report thеіr progress аt thе fоllоwіng meeting. Ѕо, bу joining thіs type оf group, уоu’ll bе gеttіng а combination оf tips, support аnd motivation tо move forward… а stress-busting combo fоr sure!

2. Write Out a Financial Plan

Worrying аbоut finances durіng а job search саn zap уоur energy аnd disrupt уоur focus. Rаthеr thаn expending valuable time worrying аbоut уоur expenses, mаkе а list іnstеаd. Identify уоur nесеssаrу expenses: rent, mortgage, utilities, food, еtс. Аlsо factor іn additional funds fоr non-essentials: clothing, transportation, recreation, еtс. Тhеn tаkе thе time tо create а budget thаt will pull уоu thrоugh untіl уоu land уоur nехt position. Engage thе family іn thіs activity sо thаt еvеrуоnе knоws whеrе thеу stand аnd, іf needed, thіs mіght bе а good time tо draw uроn thе services оf а financial planner.

3. Track Your Progress and Make It Tangible

Оnе оf thе mоst frustrating aspects оf lооkіng fоr а job іs thе fact thаt you’re expending vast amounts оf energy–generally wіthоut sееіng аn іmmеdіаtе return оn уоur investment оf time аnd effort. Тhеrеfоrе, еvеn thе simple process оf keeping а checklist іs іmроrtаnt. Ву tracking hоw mаnу face-to-face contacts уоu’vе mаdе, thе number оf emails уоu send оut еасh day, оr thе amount оf phone calls уоu’vе mаdе саn gіvе уоu а sense thаt уоu аrе making progress.

It’s аlsо helpful tо tаkе а break frоm уоur search activities bу dоіng а small chore whеrе уоu’ll realize а tangible result. Cleaning оut уоur sock drawer оr weeding а patch оf garden mау sееm lіkе simple busywork–but thеsе small projects саn boost уоur mood bу providing а sense thаt аt lеаst раrt оf уоur life іs undеr уоur control. Ѕо gіvе уоursеlf regular opportunities whеrе уоu саn sее іmmеdіаtе rеsults аnd reap sоmе tangible benefits frоm уоur labors.

4. Finally, as much as possible, give yourself some TLC!

Fоr mоst оf us, lооkіng fоr work іs rіght uр thеrе wіth learning уоu nееd а root canal. Вut bу usіng thеsе tips, уоu shоuld find thе process аt lеаst а lіttlе easier. Таkіng small, consistent steps аnd making сеrtаіn tо network аs muсh аs уоu саn will help. Ѕо will gеttіng sufficient sleep, eating rіght, аnd engaging іn sоmе form оf daily exercise. Аnd dоn’t forget tо gіvе уоursеlf small rewards оn а regular basis.

Keeping yourself stress free keeps you in the best attitude for job placement. If you have any questions on your job search or are looking for a position in engineering or any technical industry, give us a call!
Or take a look at our job board. It is updated daily.

Five Habits to Practice While Working at a Desk

2Sitting at the computer all day may not exactly be good for the body, as it can bring about backaches due to poor posture and eye strain, among other effects. Being in a desk job, or devoting your days to job searching does not have to be an ordeal for your health. If you’re one of those people who have to be at a desk all day long, here are five simple steps you can follow in order to improve your health.

1.Take Breaks.
     Stand up every half hour to walk around a bit. This will ensure continuous blood circulation in your arms and legs, and        will keep them from getting too strained. Take walks to the water station to refill your glass. Aside from giving your legs        and heart a good workout, you can take in some fresh air as well.

  1. Avoid Eye Strain
    Set your monitor as far away as possible to begin with. Give your eyes a break by looking around at something distant to prevent irritation and short-sightedness.
  2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
    Drinking water consistently throughout your work day will help you feel more alert. Avoid too much caffeine and/or sugar-filled beverages as they will inevitably lead to a sugar crash. Take trips to the water refilling station to refill your jug or glass, so that you can also walk around and exercise your legs at the same time.
  3. Take deep breaths.
    To work your abdominal muscles, hold your stomach for a few seconds when breathing in, then release when breathing out. If possible, get some fresh air in your lungs by taking a walk outside.
  4. Take advantage of the downtime created by rebooting or large file downloads.
    Get up and take short walks around your floor. If you can find the space to do it and do not have many co-workers around who would be bothered, try something more ambitious such as doing a fewpush-ups, sit-ups and/or jumping jacks. 

Find ways and opportunities to better your health while working at a desk, and/or searching for your next career endeavors. Taking care of your health will allow you to remain productive and effective throughout your days.

 

Tips for Organizing Your Job Search

2Roads-blogsIt can be difficult to keep track of your job search details these days with the use of job boards, social media, online advertisements, and recruiter calls. However, it’s imperative that you come up with a system that works for you to keep track of companies you have applied for, Managers you’ve interviewed with and locations on the internet you have posted your resume. Inconsistencies in these areas can cost you your next job.

Here are some brief tips that can help you stay organized:

1. Create a “spreadsheet of opportunities”

Head to Google Drive or Excel to organize every job you’ve ever wanted, heard of or applied for. Be sure to include even those companies where you’ve only dreamed of working. I organized mine by Company, Position, Contacts, Job Application Link, Date of Application, Notes and Status.

Update your spreadsheet daily. It will help you keep track of when to follow up, where you might need to make a new contact and what homework you need to do to prepare for the next interview stages.

This also comes in handy if you’re on unemployment. Having all this information in one place is a great reference guide when you need to prove you’re actively looking for work.

2. Save answers to application questions

Job applications are significantly more complicated than they were just a few years ago.

Many applications now ask specific questions about a project you’re most proud of or require a list of your most useful skills. Instead of just typing this directly into an online form, store those answers (proofread and spell-checked, of course) in a Job Hunt folder in Evernote.

For your next pesky phone screening, keep these questions open during the call so you can quickly reference your best answers. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll get answering these questions. (I’ve memorized most of mine by now, which is a bonus since I began to sound really articulate during those calls.)

Evernote also has great a great tagging system, so it’s easy for find responses pertaining to skills or project results when answering new questions on the fly.

3. Save your cover letter templates

Though you should submit a customized cover letter for every job, it’s OK to start from a template. Each template should include your favorite accomplishments relevant to the role you want. This makes applying for jobs the right way easy as pie.

Save your cover letter templates and a PDF of your resume to Dropbox so you can access them from anywhere on any device. So if you meet a lead for coffee and the conversation goes well, you can send your resume right there.

While my title has pretty consistently been “Social Media Manager,” that can mean different things to different people. Instead of limiting myself to roles with the same title, I applied to content strategy and community management jobs as well as more traditional marketing positions. When I sat down to write a cover letter for a position, it was helpful to have a few different templates to start from.

4. Become best friends with your calendar

Randomly applying for jobs will not get you hired. My biggest successes have always come from meeting people in person.

Whether it’s at a formal networking event or meeting a friend of a friend at Starbucks, talking to humans always trumps applying online. Regularly talk to people who love their jobs. Buy them coffee in exchange for picking their brains about work, projects and valuable skills.

This means you need to invest time in organizing your calendar. And don’t forget to pencil in valuable Parks and Recreation time so you don’t go crazy — there is such a thing as too much networking.

Set a schedule for what you will do each day: Who you’ll reach out to, what jobs you’ll apply for and what action steps you can take. With an organized calendar, your job hunt will feel purposeful and productive instead of listless and hopeless.

Three Simple Job Search Tips to Put Into Practice

3If only job hunting could still be as simple as seeing a job posting in the classifieds, applying for the position, and starting your new employment endeavor. Job search today is more sophisticated , trickier, and highly competitive. You have to be imaginative, savvy and smart to be successful. Just responding to advertisements in the classifieds probably won’t land you your dream job .Follow these three simple tips to help you land your next dream job.

1. Don’t Rely on Just Classified Ads
Who is not to say that you can’t find a job from the classifieds ? These days classifieds include not only local newspaper ads, but also online classified ads (found at places such as Craigslist.org) and entries listed on large, online job search engines (such as Monster.com) but it’s not the only place you should be searching. If your job search were equivalent to an Internet connection, a classifieds only search would be similar to using a dial-up modem; it might help you get where you want to go, but it won’t do so as effectively or quickly as a high-speed connection.

2. Update and Customize Your Resume
If you aren’t getting results with your current resume consider revising it. When updating and customizing your resume,make sure your descriptions are concise and detailed, focus on just the most relevant, significant and recent information, remove any personal pronouns, and proofread your resume for any typos and/or grammatical errors. Once your resume is updated, customize it for each new potential position you apply for.

3. Network
When job searching, who you know, and who you get to know, are often times just as important as what you know. When you start looking for a job, contact friends and trusted professionals in your field to let them know you’re on the hunt. Consider giving them your personal business cards or a copy of your résumé in case they run into someone who’s searching for a candidate like you. Also ask them to serve as professional references or to let you know if the companies they work for are hiring.

So, unless you want to make job searching your new full-time job, follow these search tips to improve your hunt and land a great new gig in no time.

Five Foods To Boost Your Energy This Summer

4Preparing for summertime and thinking of all the fun activities you can partake in as the weather continues to warm up, you may want to think about choosing foods that energize you and maximize your energy throughout the day. Our bodies need protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins , and nutrients to make energy. It is tempting to choose a quick fix such as sugar or caffeine, but these temporary sources of energy lead you to crave more sugar and caffeine. A great way to increase your energy is to choose energy-giving foods. By providing important nutrients, these foods also help with mood and focus. Here are five foods that will help feed your cells in a positive way this summer, while tasting delicious too.

  1. Berries
    Whether you pick them yourself or stop by the farm stand for a pint, berries of all kinds (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and others) contain flavonoids; cell-protective nutrients that reduce inflammation. Enjoy a few berries with organic granola and almond milk for a mid-afternoon summer snack.
  2. Nuts
    Cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds all contain fats, carbohydrates and protein that are good for you, providing very efficient energy for your cells that will help you keep up with your summer activities. Keep them in your travel bag to be sure you always have access to something to maintain your energy and mood.
  3. Salmon
    The protein, carbs, and fats in salmon give your body exactly what it needs to keep you going. Choose wild salmon whenever possible to ensure you are not exposed to unwanted toxins.
  4. Shish kabobs
    Kabobs made with chicken, lamb or beef and vegetables such as green, red, and orange peppers, and onions, are a fun and delicious way to enjoy the summer while boosting your energy with protein from the meat and anti-oxidants from the vegetables. You can make your shish kabobs vegetarian by using mushrooms instead of meat.
  5. Seeds
    A common ingredient in trail mix, seeds such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds can be the perfect solution when you need a quick lift. They contain the nutrients, including potassium and zinc, which your body needs for energy that sustains you, especially in the dehydrating summer heat.