While many Americans started 2020 commuting to their jobs, the onset of a global pandemic quickly showed just as many that their jobs can be done from remote locations. As “stay-at-home” orders shut down state after state, extending a short-term change in the workplace environment from on-site to virtual, a lot of companies have realized that there may be some benefits to not having their employees return to the corporate office full-time. As the new “hybrid” working environment is making itself more popular, it’s very clear that there is an adjustment period for the company, the employees, and their families.
“Working from home” has long been a term associated with parents who want to stay home with their kids and make a little side money. However, this virtual working concept was already gaining popularity in the past few years as technology applications were created to help companies connect across the global, cutting down on travel, and ultimately costs. While workplaces were starting to see the benefits of having their workers move to a remote environment, most were not prepared to have to do so immediately in 2020-and it has been a rough adjustment for many. Now that states are opening back up, some organizations are starting a “hybrid” workplace concept, meaning they are having their employees work from home, and at the office.
We have talked to some of our colleagues and corporate clients about the ups and downs of switching to a remote/hybrid working environment, and asked them to share their personal insight as to how to navigate the obstacles and challenges, as well as the perks of having a home office for the first time. Here are some of their tips to help make your new “workplace” as productive and normal as your former office was.
Establish your workspace in your home. Try to find a room separate from living, dining, or sleeping spaces so that you truly feel like you are in an office setting. Make sure your modem and router are both up to speed and that your wireless connection is strong enough for your occupational needs in your new office space. If you are lucky enough to have a door to your workspace, make sure your family members or roommates know that when the door is shut, you are not to be disturbed.
Know your virtual communication applications. What programs will your company be using for team meetings and communications? Zoom? Webex? Find out what you will be using the most for teleconferencing and give yourself a quick tutorial so you don’t miss out on important information and events.
Stay organized. If you are an employee that is having to learn the “hybrid” concept for the first time, organization will be key. Find a way to keep important files and notes electronically in a shared drive or database so that you are not constantly moving piles of papers to and from your work environments. Have everything on your laptop ready to go so that wherever you have to be logistically, you still have access to everything you need for meetings.
Create a schedule. There will be times when you are going to be required to be in the office for in-person meetings. Work with your supervisors and colleagues to find common days and times to be in the office, when necessary. As the whole purpose of social distancing is to limit contact, be sure that you are only including the people who absolutely need to be sitting in the conference room and any others can be brought in from their remote locations.
Plan for changes in your salary/benefits. If a car allowance is part of your monthly income, you need to be prepared that the amount you’re currently getting may be reduced or eliminated altogether. I mean, you’re not driving to work full-time anymore, so why should the company be compensating for you to do so? As our economy has taken a huge hit due to the global pandemic, more and more companies will be doing anything they can to cut costs to make up for their financial losses. Headcount and benefits are usually the top costs in many organizations, so these will be the first areas to see cuts.
Be prepared for the future. If your company doesn’t need you to come into the office on a full-time, they may also realize that they don’t need you to work full-time anymore. Then, eventually you may not even be needed part-time. Meaning…you just got laid off…permanently. Start planning now for a potential job change..today. Reduce your spending and find ways to stockpile some cash, should you find yourself unemployed. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile so you are ready to hit the ground running if you need to start looking for a new job. Network amongst your peer group, family members, and colleagues to see what is out there in your industry and beyond. While some companies are going under, there are just as many thriving and adding to their workforce.
As we continue to try to live and work during these “uncertain times” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, being prepared for the unknown will be key to surviving. The new “hybrid” work environment concept that has been a direct result of what’s going on in the world will be a win for some and a huge loss for others. Hopefully these tips will help to ensure that you are one of the “winners” in 2020.
Many of us have been working from home for years. Now called a “Virtual” or “Remote” environment, with the global healthcare crisis consuming daily activities, many more of you are getting the opportunity to see that “working from home” isn’t always as glamorous as it seemed when you were working outside of the home. However, there are things you can do to make the experience a positive and productive one for you and your family.
Logistics & Structure: Your first priority is to establish a space for each person to work in, and if you have kids home from school or college, they are going to need a place to study and do homework as well.
If you have the room in your home, try to give each individual their own space to work in. Whether it be an established home office or setting a card table up in a basement or spare room, make your workplace as close to your office/dorm/classroom setting as possible.
Establish work/quiet hours as much as you can and save your evenings for downtime.
Make spaces like the kitchen and family room “No Work” zones, so you still have a place to gather without interrupting someone who is trying to work.
If you are tight on space, work with each other to prioritize who gets the “quiet space” at certain times.
If your internet service is not optimal, look into other options. Many internet providers are offering WiFi packages for homes that may not have it, or may need to upgrade their speed, with minimal, or in some cases no extra fees.
Communication is Key: While the original “work from home” environment is usually one person, by themselves most of the day, that scenario has changed for many of us. Now we have a spouse, college or school-aged kids, and even toddlers who can no longer go to daycare/school/college surrounding us all day while we are still trying to work…oh my!
Consider your family your new team of colleagues. You still have a job to do, and they probably do as well, so have a team meeting upfront and establish some guidelines for your new corporate office setting.
Communicate with your family the times you can and cannot be interrupted. A lot of professionals are still dealing with conference calls and virtual meetings, while students are having to sign into remote learning sites at specific times. Everyone needs to be on the same page. If you have a door for your space, keep it shut so they know not to bother when it is shut (as my teen just barreled through my door with a non-essential life question, clearly I failed to communicate what “when the door is shut” means).
If priorities or deadlines change (and believe me, they will), make sure your team is aware of these changes and lets you proceed accordingly.
Don’t overcommit to clients or colleagues regarding when you can complete a project or get online for a meeting. Depending on the ages in your home, you may find that your corporate colleagues and clients would rather “meet” after hours when kids are in bed, or early in the morning before the kids are jumping off of the walls and needing your attention.
Keep Work and Family Separate: We all have work and school commitments, but we all also need to remember that we need our normal family time as well (remind me of this again after our three weeks of in-house isolation is up-lol). This situation is new to all of us and navigating through it on top of each other in one space is going to take an emotional toll on everyone involved. Stay strong and set the tone for your work and family environments.
Bring back the family dinner – at the table or in front of the television – at least you are having a meal together!
Still talk about your workday/school day so everyone has an opportunity to talk about what is actually going on in their own virtual worlds.
If your kids are willing (raise your hand if you have a teenager), try to do a movie or game night and leave the “screens” on their chargers for an hour or two. It may just lead to laughter and fun…you never know.
Have a “Project List” of things that need to be done around the house. If one of your team members has a really frustrating day, ripping out that nasty half-bath wallpaper from 2002 may be the key to feeling better.
When the weather allows…get OUT of the house. Take a walk by yourself or with the family, play a yard game, etc. Do something that gets you outside of the work/school environment, even if it is only for a short time period. Fresh air is great!
These are unprecedented times for ourselves, our families, our places of work, our nation, and our world. Change is hard on many of us-and “social distancing” and “shelter in place” are not only new terms but also a new way of life for all of us. Perseverance and tolerance will be key in guiding your family through this pandemic and time of isolation and fear in our world. Emotions will run high, but if you communicate, try to focus on your work and family needs, and keep a positive attitude, your “team” will be more productive and stronger in the long run. This too shall pass and your working from home environment will eventually be yours again!
3 Reasons Why Setting Realistic Career Goals is Important
Focusing on the goals you’ve set for yourself can keep you motivated even when times are tough. However, the top resume writing services always see people set unrealistic or overly-ambitious goals, which often ends up hurting them more than helping. One aspect of goal-setting everyone can benefit from is always looking at the end result of what you actually want to achieve. Most goals are based on money or production, but many people feel a hollow happiness when they’re actually achieved for several different reasons. Here are some of the main reasons why you should think about setting realistic career goals for yourself.
Work-Life Balance Is A Necessity
One of the main career goals proven to lead to happiness is having a good work-life balance. Besides, what good does a six figure salary do if you never have the time to enjoy the benefits? Everyone has different lifestyles, so if you live to work instead of work to live, then do what makes you happy. But when work begins taking a toll on you and is impacting your personal life in a negative way, then your executive resume writer may suggest reevaluating your goals and making adjustments as needed.
The Right Salary Expectations Will Make You Happier
Making your goals based around the amount of money you make usually won’t lead to genuine happiness. Money is necessary to live and get the things you want, but if you set unrealistic salary expectations, then the constant grind to achieve it will eventually catch up with you. Instead, every executive resume writer will suggest looking at your current finances, what possessions would make you happy and how much money you need to live comfortably. Taking the time to do so can be eye-opening in either a good way or a bad way. The main idea here is to not focus on the size of the paycheck solely, since long-term happiness usually doesn’t stem from it.
Love What You Do
If you dread the thought of getting up to go to work every morning, then it may be time to reevaluate your career goals. Sometimes the mental aspect of not liking your job will outweigh the size of the paycheck significantly. The happiest executives are the ones who base their goals off of enjoying what they do every day. This doesn’t mean you have to brush up your LinkedIn profile and start looking for a new job if you aren’t happy at your current one, but it may mean you need to set new goals and make little changes. Achieving goals is all about perspective and being realistic. Small victories throughout the course of your career make a big difference in having a positive mindset. Professional Resume Services is one of the top resume writing services because we focus on every one of our clients as individuals. We understand everyone has different goals and are motivated differently, so we will adapt and cater to those needs and desires. If you struggle with setting attainable goals that will make you truly happy, we can help you think about certain aspects you may not have considered before. We are always available when you need us, so feel free to contact us when that time comes.
With the busy lives everyone has, it’s easy to lose touch with people in your network over the course of months or years. Because of this, many people think it’s inappropriate to reach back out to reconnect for various reasons. The truth is your connections are likely just as busy and may even want to reconnect as well. You’ll never know until you try, but there are effective ways to reconnect while avoiding any awkwardness. Working with a LinkedIn profile service may be beneficial before you do so, though. Your connection may not completely remember where you were the last time you spoke, so having an updated profile can give them a refresher and increase the likelihood of them responding.
Reach Out Via LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a valuable platform for many reasons, and reaching out to past connections is one of them. If the connection was a cold contact to begin with, you can simply start out by re-introducing yourself and reminding them of where you met and what you talked about. When you use a professional LinkedIn profile writer, be sure and tell them all of your past experiences so you’ll have a profile that’s as complete as possible. Most of your connections will remember you, depending on how long it’s been, but it never hurts to give them as much information as possible on your profile to help them out.
Be Personal And Honest, As Appropriate
If you had a close relationship with a particular connection, starting out by saying it’s been too long since you last talked can be a good ice breaker. They will likely agree with you and respond back with similar feelings. You could even share a personal moment that recently happened in your life, such as a marriage, birth of a child, change of career or more. Simply sparking a conversation is all it takes, and you don’t need a professional LinkedIn profile writer in order to be genuine with your connections.
Provide Them With Value
When you look on a past connection’s LinkedIn profile, see what they’ve been up to lately and share something of value to them. This could be an interesting article or another resource for their career or personal interests. Any conversation that starts off with you providing value to them, rather than you trying to sell yourself, will usually end with a greater result. A LinkedIn profile service can help you sell yourself on your profile, but it’s not appropriate to do so when reconnecting with people in your network. Professional Resume Services does more than simply help executives with writing a professional resume. Networking is a huge part of any career, and doing so the right way can help you easily reconnect with people in your network. This is often times more effective than finding new connections, so it’s well worth the time and effort. If you’re ever unsure about how to utilize LinkedIn to reach out to your network, give us a call for more helpful tips and advice.
A job is one of the top sources for stress in people. And since most of us work, we all have to deal with stress at some point. Dealing with and managing stress isn’t always easy, but it is possible. In fact, employers will often ask job candidates how they handle stress at work. This isn’t something you generally put in your executive resume, but it’s an important component of being successful with a job. Here are some of the most common ways people handle stress at work.
Work On Time Management Skills
Sometimes 24 hours in a day just doesn’t seem like enough to do everything you need to do. Prioritizing your list of to-do items is one of the first steps you can take for better time management. If possible, schedule certain blocks of time to complete a task and reduce distractions as much as possible so you can get it done. Many people handle stress by avoiding certain work and doing things. Avoidance only increases stress levels because it is always there in the back of your mind, bugging you. Start delegating! Delegate what you don’t want to deal with. Can’t even think about updating your LinkedIn profile? Let a LinkedIn profile writer do it for you instead. When I have too much on my plate, I ask my assistant Jennie to take some of it over. What a weight off my chest. Take the pressure off yourself by having someone else do it.
Make Lists! Not sure how to go about your daily jobs for work? Create a list! I love lists, mostly because I love crossing off the items. Now, every morning I make a list of what I need to do and I even do subheadings with things like: Email, Project Updates, Calls, etc. It keeps me ultra organized and I get them done.
Know Your Limits
Saying “no” to anyone is hard at a job, but sometimes you have to in order to keep your sanity and a high work productivity. When you say “yes” to someone, you are essentially saying “no” to another task you already had to complete. It may take time, but knowing your limits will help you manage your stress and saying “no” at the appropriate times. There is nothing wrong with turning something down.. especially if it is someone else’s work. It’s great to help out, but not at the expense of your own workload and piece of mind.
Take A Break
Taking breaks throughout the day can help clear your mind enough to refocus when you get back. Go on a short walk or just sit outside and get your mind off of work for a few minutes. These relaxing minutes can translate into more productive time once you get back to your desk.
Talk With Your Supervisor
If your job duties are simply too overwhelming for you, and there’s no end in sight, you may want to talk with your supervisor about re-assigning duties. You don’t want to work yourself into the ground to the point where you make a brash decision to quit on the spot. That wouldn’t look good for your executive resume biography, and your supervisor may have a simple solution to help you.
Evaluate Your Workplace Satisfaction
If you’ve done everything imaginable to reduce your stress and nothing has worked, it may be time to gain an overall perspective of your workplace satisfaction. Being unhappy with your job can create stress on its own, and sometimes you can’t do anything to make it better. In situations like this, it may be time to visit a professional resume writing service to brush up your resume and look for new opportunities. Stress plays a big role in the success or failure of any employee, so contact us at any time if there’s any way we can help reduce your stress level.
Getting a new job offer is exciting, especially if it comes with a significant salary increase. However, many executives only look at the size of the paycheck and don’t look at other aspects, especially if a job relocation is required. Sometimes a fresh start is exactly what an executive needs at some point in their career, but picking up and moving your family is easier said than done. Your professional resume writing service may help you land a new job in another city or state, but consider these points before you pick up and move.
Consider The Cost of Living
Understanding the cost of living in your new city will help you determine whether the higher salary is worth it. Many candidates find the higher salary is equivalent to the higher cost of living, making the move essentially a wash. Of course, everyone has their own reasons for wanting to relocate, and money may not be the only factor. You may be able to check the LinkedIn profile of other professionals in your field who live in your potential new city. Don’t hesitate to message them directly to get more information and make a new contact.
Think About Your New Commute To Work
If you don’t like spending hours every day commuting to work, then you need to consider your options. Check on public transportation, parking, high traffic areas and more. Some cities are known for having bad traffic, so you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you have to sit in traffic for hours, especially if you don’t have to with your current job. Again, this is where checking in on the LinkedIn profile of another professional can help you gain a better understanding of the area.
How Will Your Relocation Affect Your Family?
No matter how effective you are at writing a professional resume and ultimately landing a new job, you need to consider how the job relocation will affect your family. If you are single with nothing to lose, then this may not be an issue for you. However, dealing with the stresses of moving can be difficult for a family. Whether it’s your spouse’s job considerations, children’s education or other points, be sure to cover all aspects so your family is comfortable with the move as well. Professional Resume Services is a professional resume writing service dedicated to helping executives land the jobs they desire. Relocating for a job is difficult on everyone, but many times the benefits outweigh the negatives. Be sure to contact us to learn more about writing a professional resume or for other tips about job relocation.
Can Your Family and Friends Boost Your Networking Success?
Networking seems so simple, but so tricky at the same time. Many professionals and executives believe they will have easy access to a job if there is a family member or friend in the company. However, this isn’t necessarily true. And even if it is partially true, you have to be careful how you approach the situation. When it comes to personal branding for senior level managers, always having a professional approach is critical. You could be putting your family member’s or your friend’s reputation on the line by asking for a favor. Here are other things to consider.
Use Them, But Don’t Abuse Them
There’s no harm in asking someone you know to help you get your foot in the door. But you don’t want to make them go out of their way and potentially damage their own reputation and success on your behalf. As you know, c-level personal branding takes a lot of time and effort to build, but can be damaged instantly. Don’t abuse your close connections by pressuring them to fight for you, especially if you may not be completely qualified.
Verify Your Qualifications First
The best thing you can do right away is ask your close connections whether you are qualified for a position they have available. You should also learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you even reach out to them, just so your information is current. The worst thing that can happen to both your reputation and your friend or family member’s is to make the effort to get your foot in the door, only to find out you don’t meet the necessary qualifications.
Understand Their Risk in Helping You
Family and friends can boost your networking efforts, but also take into consideration the risk they are taking in helping you. They’ve worked hard to get in the position they are in just like you have. If they recommend you and you don’t fit with the company for some reason, their own c-level personal branding could take a hit. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk for them, so take that into consideration before asking any favors. Professional Resume Services can help you with your networking efforts. Whether you need to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile or brush up your resume, we are here for you when you need us. Feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Four Tips for Tending to Your Family AND Your Job Search
Going through a job search affects your family indirectly more than you think. As much as the search takes a toll on your own mental and physical state, you still have to find a balance with your family. You may have gone from working 8-12 hour days and never being at home to always being at home searching for a job. The best professional resume writers see this happen all the time with executives and different professionals, so there are some things you can do to help ease the transition. Here are some ways you can tend to your family and your job search without either one suffering.
1. Establish a New Routine
Sometimes you don’t realize how routine your life is until the routine gets disrupted. When you go from being employed to unemployed, you have to adjust your routine accordingly. You may now be the one to drop off and pick up the kids from school, cook dinners or do other household chores. The best way to start establishing a new routine is accepting that you have to change.
2. Set Goals
Set both family goals and job search goals at some point. One goal could be writing a couple resumes and cover letters each night after dinner. Another goal could be determining when the best time is for you to land a new job. There’s a chance you don’t have to rush as much as you thought when you consider the family duties you have to take care of.
3. Get Your Family Involved in Your Job Search
Be transparent with your family, including kids who are old enough to understand what’s going on. Let them know as much as you can what all goes into personal branding for senior level managers. It will require some time away from the home to network, meet with potential employers or even take classes. When your family is on the same page with your goals, it will be easier for you to go about your job search.
4. Split Up Family Responsibilities
Instead of stressing about doing all the family responsibilities yourself, get the rest of the family involved in them. This will give you some time to dedicate to writing resumes and cover letters, but you can also have some family time as well. Professional Resume Services has the best professional resume writers to help you craft the perfect resume so you don’t have to spend as much time on your own. Having a family while searching for a job is stressful, so feel free to contact us if we can help in any way with your resume.