Considering Temporary Work? You Should

December 16th, 2016

You’re on the job market and you’re looking for a full-time, permanent position that can keep you engaged, cover your bills, and support the long-term growth of your career. You want the whole package, and you have no plans to accept any compromise on any of these terms. But here’s the problem: You’ve been looking for a long time. And with every week that passes, your resume gap is getting wider and your bank account is getting thinner. You want what you want…but while you search for your next permanent role, consider taking on a temporary job in the meantime. Here’s why.

A temporary job keeps you in circulation.

As you build your career, you rely on your personal network to help you find and access hidden opportunities. And a temporary job can expose you to a new workplace, new people, new points of view, new relationships and maybe even some valuable new professional friendships. It’s never a bad idea to shake up your social ecosystem.

A temporary job can build new skills.

When you thing “temporary job”, you might imaging filing or joining a typing pool—but these tasks aren’t so common anymore, and most temp jobs require a higher level of skill than you might imagine. Temporary employers also tend to offer on-the-job training, and it’s never too late to learn something new.

Close your resume gap.

If you’ve been on the market for more than six months or so, your interviewers and potential employers may ask what you’ve been doing this time. If you’ve been working—no matter where or how—then your resume can answer this question for you.

A temporary job can reduce your sense of urgency.

When you have a paycheck coming in—from anywhere—then you can keep the lights on and the mortgage paid, which is nice. But staying on top of things financially can have another benefit: it keeps you from feeling like you’re running out of time, which can push you to accept the wrong position or a lower salary offer than you’d like. Patience gives you leverage at the negotiating table, and nothing builds patience like a steady income.

A temporary job can keep you in the loop.

Most industries change fast, and even if your temporary job ends in a few weeks or months, your presence in the workplace can help you stay aware of what’s going on. And who knows—even a job that’s presented as a short-term gig might evolve into a long-term opportunity. Anything can happen, but you’re more likely to recognize and take advantage of available opportunities if you’re present and paying attention.

For more on how to find and land a temporary job that can help support your career, turn to the Charlotte staffing experts at PSU.

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Networking in 2016: Top Strategies to Stay Connected

May 5th, 2016

Technology may change, and the methods and formats we use to communicate may evolve rapidly, but the basic principles that support effective networking tend to remain the same. More than anything else, most people seek out friendly, familiar faces and voices. They feel a sense of pleasure and reward when they learn something new, and feel an equally strong sense of pleasure and reward when they share new information, teach something new, or help someone else accomplish a goal.

So what do these essential facts mean for your 2016 networking strategy? Keep these tips in mind, whether you’re communicating by text, email, phone, social media or face-to-face conversation.

Focus on others

When you’re trying to spark a conversation or keep an active dialogue open and in motion, don’t emphasize your own issues. Turn the spotlight toward the other person, and turn statements about yourself into questions about your companion. If you can’t think of a way to start your message or a way to break the ice, think for a minute about your audience. What does she do? What’s been happening in her life recently? What topics in the local and national news have probably had an impact on her daily routine?

Every touch can resonate

If you’d like to follow up with a recruiter or touch base with a potential contact, be proactive, and recognize that a little goes a long way. A short, polite one-line message or question might be enough to accomplish your goal; and if so, there’s no need for a five-page message or a constant stream of pushy, repetitive texts.

Feelings come through

People have an uncanny ability to sense when we’re trying to make a meaningful connection and when we’re transparently networking. So be nice. Don’t think of your intended connection as a career-building move, think of it as an opportunity to learn more about someone you admire or respect. The best networkers, ironically, are those who don’t network at all. They just enjoy the company of others and genuinely like making new friends.

Remember everything

When people tell you something about themselves or their companies, remember what they say. Pay special attention to needs, pain points, goals and desires. If they’re struggling with something, they want something or they’re facing a challenge, remember this fact. Even if you have nothing to offer at that moment, you never know when this might change.

Be thankful

The two most powerful words in your network-building toolkit are these: Thank you. Whenever you have a reason to thank someone, even the flimsiest reason, do so. There’s never anything wrong with showing gratitude and appreciation.

For more on how to build your connections and strengthen your relationships during this year—or any year—reach out to the Charlotte career management experts at PSU.

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Are you Losing Top Talent to Your Competition?

April 20th, 2016

There’s only one thing more disheartening than saying goodbye to a talented employee – saying goodbye and then watching that employee sign on with your toughest competitor. After all the closely timed parallel rollouts and the tug-of-war over market share, the late night brainstorming sessions and team-building exercises, it’s galling to watch one of your best players switch sides. But this business isn’t a game for your employees; it’s a livelihood. They don’t come in every day and cheer for the company the way they cheer for their favorite soccer team. They come in here to make money, build their careers, and take care of themselves and their families. So if you’d like to inspire loyalty and keep them onboard when the road gets rough, you’ll need to take action.

Don’t assume that a family atmosphere means family loyalty.

Your employees have families, real families, and they care about those people more than they care about you. So if you aren’t paying them what their skills are worth, don’t expect an atmosphere of love and friendship to keep them from looking for work elsewhere. Love or no love, Every time you say no to a raise request, you take a gamble. Think carefully and conduct some research before you do this.

But a family atmosphere definitely helps.

At the same time, a fair wage should only represent one pillar of your retention strategy. The rest of your efforts should focus on making your workplace safe, clean, and respectful. And this starts with your culture. Do you actively encourage friendly collaboration or hostile internal competition? You don’t have to go to extremes, but the first usually fosters more loyalty than the second.

Listening matters.

Your employees will inevitably come to you with requests for accommodations that you can’t provide. But if you can’t afford to wave a wand and replace the ancient printer, reduce the workload, or fix a broken workflow system, you can still listen. Do your best to understand the problem. Listen carefully and respectfully so employees will come to you later with problems that are well within your power to solve.

Engage in last minute rescues.

There’s nothing wrong with making a bid to retain an employee who’s heading out the door. When your talented experts give notice, spring into action. Quickly assemble a counteroffer (even if you denied them a raise just last month), and make this right. If you can’t convince your employee to change her mind, ask for an exit interview so you can determine exactly what when wrong and how similar departures can be prevented in the future.

For more on how to attract and retain top performers and encourage them to reject offers from your competitors, contact the North Carolina staffing professionals at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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Is It OK to Leave Without Giving Two Weeks’ Notice?

February 26th, 2016

You finally landing the job you’ve been looking for, and you couldn’t be more excited. Your new employers can offer everything your current company can’t—or won’t. They’re an innovative, functional, respectful organization and you know that once you make this transition, you’re never going to look back. In fact, you can’t get out of here fast enough and you plan to take nothing with you—only fading memories of poor treatment and absurdly low pay.

So if you know that the new job is locked down, and you have no interest in the old job, why not just leave now? Why not walk out into the sun and enjoy some free time before your start date? Or even offer to start tomorrow? You may be tempted to leave your old company without providing two weeks notice, but it’s a good idea to avoid that temptation. Here’s why.

Two weeks notice is a professional courtesy.

No matter how poorly you were treated by your boss or how little you were paid by the company, take the high road. You have nothing to lose by walking out the door with your classy reputation intact and your head held high. And there’s a strong chance that these last two weeks will define how you’re remembered here, no matter what else you’ve done during your entire tenure. If you give notice, you’ll leave a trail of glory behind. If you don’t, you’ll leave bad blood.

This will be part of your file.

Some companies are so serious about this courtesy that they actually keep records that can last for decades. If you ever apply here again or if a future employer calls for a reference, the company will respond by checking the records. If you gave notice, you’ll get a glowing review. If you didn’t, you won’t. And you may be added to a “do not hire” list.

Giving notice means you care.

If you don’t resent your employer—you actually like this place and the people who work here—giving two week’s notice can make their jobs much easier. This allows them the time they need to find and hire your replacement. They might bring this person onboard within your two-week period, which means you can participate in the training process and facilitate a smooth transition for everyone.

Two weeks will cost you nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with spending two more weeks in this place if giving notice can provide a serious boost to your career arc and strengthen your professional network. Plan for the long term. Meanwhile, your professional attitude can help you make a strong impression with your new employer.
For more on how to leave your old company and start your new job in style, reach out to the Forest City staffing and job search experts at PSU.

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