Are you considering accepting a management role? Ask yourself these 4 questions before the big step

Management positions and promotions are what we seek to reach our career goals. But sometimes we don’t consider how it will change our work environment. Promotions are like career changes. Your duties and position are different. Your new roles may not even resemble the one you started with. Before saying yes, here are 4 things to consider before accepting a management role.

 

1. How will it change your life?

A management position affects not only your work life but also your personal life. Accepting one of these posts is like a career change, so tread lightly before making any final decisions. Consider how it’ll affect your hours, stress, availability, and any other potential ways it can change your life, for better or worse.

 

2. Do you work well with others?

For workers who prefer to work by themselves, management positions aren’t suited for that type of work. A majority of the time, you’ll be surrounded by your team and colleagues. You’ll oversee and work on projects and tasks together, and will find you’re never alone.

 

3. Are you ready for the responsibility?

Look at the duties and responsibilities of the management role. What does your average day look like? As a manager, you have to be prepared to take praise for success, but also assume responsibility for failures. You’ll also have to deal with unhappy clients and supervisors when things go wrong, and problem solve if an employee shows up late, or calls out.

 

4. How do you handle conflict?

Managers serve as mediators in the workplace. You’ll hear complaints and deal with many conflicts. You’ll have to problem solve, and deal with situations you’d rather not. For instance, are you ready to deal with lazy employees, enforce company policies, and write honest performance reviews? If you want to be liked all the time and avoid conflict, management may not be for you.

 

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How to Make the Most of Short Term Work on Your Resume

Short term work is often overlooked by many job seekers. Because of this idea that only long term experiences matter and have the potential to add value to resumes, many candidates tend to be ashamed to list these short term experiences during their job search process. However, Short term experiences have the power to make a strong impact and land you the job you want.

Let’s explore how to make the most of short term work on your resume.

Do not be ashamed

When it comes to short term experience, everything matters. What often hinders shop seekers is the belief that their experience is irrelevant or will not make them look good. Do not be afraid to step outside of that box. Sit down and list all of them. It can be easy to forget about some of our experiences and leave them under the rug while they have the potential to increase our chances of getting hired.

Short Term Work

Many young professionals find it beneficial acquire experience through temp jobs. Don’t be ashamed of your short term work experience. Every experience is valuable and can equip you with the tools you need to execute your next, long term positions.

Magnify your value 

In order to make the most out of your short term experiences, it is important to highlight your value through the description of our different responsibilities/tasks. It won’t matter if you only worked part time for a 3 month contract if you can truly show that the experience you have gained while doing so has given you qualifications that you will be able to carry with you to your future position. Be specific. Quantifying is alwaysa great idea and will help bring more weight to your resume.

Related: How to Get Your Resume Noticed Online

Be honest and open

Do not try to make your experiences seem like something they are not. Be honest about what you have learned without pretending to have more experience than you really have. Open up about what you want/need to learn from the job you are applying for. Be open about it!

Short Term Work

Short term experience is a powerful tool when you use it wisely. They help fill in the gaps in your resume and add value to your portfolio.

Take advantages of them and use them to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints.

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Why You Need a Useful and Valuable Company Mission Statement

Does your startup or small business have a mission statement? The purpose of a mission statement is to let people know what your company does – your customers and employees.

Studies have shown employees who believe their employer’s work is meaningful are 68% more engaged and productive.

A great mission statement is simple, and it can make you memorable. Below is why you need a useful and valuable company mission statement.

They Set You Apart

The point of a mission statement is to let others know what drives your business; however, you don’t want to be generic. Otherwise, your statement will sound just like everyone else’s. Be specific.

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A great mission statement is unique to your company. What is it your business really does? And what do you hope to do? It blends reality and optimism together.

Related: Need Help with Your Vision Statement? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

They Tell a Story

Your story must be plausible, and revolve around why you exist, how you treat your employees (temps, interns, traditional staff), and why you do what you do.

They can reflect your short term or long term goals – but choose only one. It sounds simple, but communicating it effectively to your audience can be tricky.

Make it succinct and to the point. Keep it between 1-2 sentences. For instance, Nike’s mission is summed up in one sentence: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” – to them everyone is an athlete.

They Provide Value

Part of running a successful startup or small business is being able to give value through your products or services.

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You need to communicate the value you can provide your potential customers with your mission statement. What is your mission, your purpose, the drive behind running your company? Include it in your mission.

Readers should take away why your company and mission are valuable.

***

What’s your current mission statement? What’s your biggest challenge in creating one?

 

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4 Bad Employee Traits to Watch Out For

If you’re new to hiring as a startup or small business, you may not be able to vet which candidates will be good employees, and which ones could potentially be problematic.

You’ve most likely worked with a co-worker or two in the past who were prime examples of what not to do.

When you run a startup or small business, every employee matters – your temps and interns, all the way down to your seasonal hires and short term contractors.

Startups
Hire with care, toxic employees can be destructive to the workplace.

A bad employee can be toxic in the workplace, and it can spread and hinder the efforts of your team.

Let’s discuss 4 bad employee traits to watch out for.

  1. “It’s Not My Job” Syndrome

Now and then, you may come across an employee who doesn’t value teamwork. You ask them to perform a simple favor, or complete a small task, and you get the “that’s not my job” response.

This type of employee never volunteers to help out, and may even refuse if you ask them.

When you have a small team, this employee brings everyone else down and starts to give other team members bad ideas.

If you don’t resolve the issue with this employee, you could find yourself managing a team of workers who don’t want to help out.

Related: Your Employee Said, “That’s Not My Job” – Now What?

 The Gossiper

We’ve all known at least one or two people in our life, whether at work or personally, who like to gossip about others. In other words, they love getting the “dirt” on others for entertainment.

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Incorporate a solid hiring system to create a better work environment for all.

Gossipers are terrible for employee morale, they don’t value their co-workers, and it can lead to issues and drama in the workplace.

They’re more interested in talking about others, rather than focusing on their work. And worse, you can’t trust them. They could very well be stirring up drama based on lies about management, supervisors, and other employees.

According to Bamboo HR, difficult co-workers is one of the top 5 deal breakers for employees.

  1. The Storyteller

Like the gossip-loving employee, storytellers love to tell stories or make up excuses about everything. They will have a new reason every week to why their assignments are always late.

This type of employee is especially problematic because they lie. They’re more concerned with self-preservation and do not care about you, your staff, and your business.

Their lies and damage to your company will only increase. Plus, they never take responsibility for their actions, and it’s never their fault. You can’t trust them.

  1. Chronic Bad Decision Making

Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect, and your employees will make mistakes. Sometimes, they’ll make bad decisions. However, that doesn’t automatically mean they are a problem employee.

A problem employee is someone who continually makes bad choices that harm your company and their coworkers.

This can usually be fixed. But if the employee frequently repeats the same mistakes, isn’t open to constructive criticism or feedback, doesn’t recognize their error, or has a natural inclination to repeat the wrong decision again, you’ll have more problems and a harder time getting to the bottom of it.

***

Have any additions? What are your tips for spotting problem employees?

 

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When Should Your New Startup Invest in Branding?

Many things go on behind the scenes of building a successful company. Branding is one of them.

While having a profitable idea and solving a problem in your industry are what propels your business from just an idea to a profitable business plan, you need to have a strong brand to back it up.

Branding sets you apart from your competitors, targets the right customers, and makes you memorable. Did you know 65% of your audience are visual learners?

Without a strategic brand identity and plan, you aren’t going to be as successful as you like.

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So, when should your new startup invest in branding?

The answer is simple: right away. Set aside funding and savings to invest in quality branding for your company.

And keep in mind investing in your business doesn’t just mean money; you can also spend time – lots of it – if you don’t have the funds to hire an expert to design your brand.

Related: Company Branding – Things Not to Do on Social Media

With the right branding of your startup under your belt, the more time you can focus on building your audience, landing sales, creating revenue streams, and all the other parts of running a startup.

Don’t overlook branding or set it on the back burner. It is a pinnacle part of your startup.

You don’t need a hefty budget to build a brand. Hire a temp, short term contractor, or intern to help.

You can DIY some of your branding with your team, or hire an expert. But understand it extends beyond your logo.

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A strong brand resonates with your audience, instills trust, positions you as an expert in your industry, and makes you memorable – you want your company to achieve all of these things.

***

What do you think? What are your favorite business branding resources?

 

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Lay Offs – Should You Accept a Voluntary Lay Off?

Layoffs are common. Many companies offer voluntary layoffs packages when they begin downsizing their staff. While these packages may seem great, they have pros and cons. Should you accept a voluntary layoff?

The answer to this question is yes and no, depending on your situation. There are some things to consider before you accept.

Why Companies Offer Them

Employers try to make laying off their staff as smooth and conflict-free as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by providing severance, and voluntary layoff packages.

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It also helps them weed out the employees that want to be there, and the employees that don’t. Workers may accept the voluntary packages for a myriad of reasons, including a career change, being unhappy at the workplace, or because they’ve been looking for a new job or have a job lined up.

Related: Lay Offs – What’s Plan B?

Pros

  • Best benefits package
  • Move on to new opportunities
  • You expect it
  • You can plan for it

Cons

  • Involuntary layoffs are not in your control
  • If not enough employees leave voluntarily, companies will further downsize
  • Risk difficulties finding work in the job market

Does It Harm Your Chances on the Job Market?

Seriously consider your reasons for taking the package. You have to explain your reasoning to hiring managers. If you don’t have a good explanation, you risk appearing like a disloyal, and even selfish worker. But if you do have a good reason – a career change, a Plan B, etc. – you will have better luck having hiring managers understand your choices.

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What are your thoughts? Should you accept a voluntary layoff package?

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For Startups – Why You Should Focus on Emotional Branding

If you’ve  been in business long or have researched the ins and outs of running a startup, you’ve heard the term ‘branding.’

And you’ve most likely learned by now that you need a strong brand identity and it is more than your company logo.

There’s no doubt that branding can make or break your startup. A good brand connects with its target audience and is memorable – you can do this by appealing to emotions.

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Below we discuss why you should focus on emotional branding.

It’s Proven for Successful Advertising

Any advertisement will fall flat if it doesn’t focus on appealing to a person’s emotions. A brand without emotion is boring, ineffective, and it doesn’t connect.

Our brains have been trained to ignore unnecessary stimuli and outside forces. The only way in is through emotions.

It triggers a response, and we start to pay attention. When the market is flooded with startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, you need a way to stand out. Otherwise, your brand will be ignored, or worse, go unnoticed.

Plus, 90% of any decision we make is emotional. If you want your startup to stand out, this is how you do it.

Related: What is an Employer Brand and Why You Need One

It Drives a Strong Emotional Response

The point of emotional branding is to drive an emotional response. We react to emotions – things that make us happy, sad, excited, energetic, angry, and so forth.

If you want people to pay attention to your brand, emotions are essential. Sit down and brainstorm the type of emotions you want to be associated with your name, and how you can achieve that through your branding.

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If you want to uplift your customers’ lives and help them pursue happiness by helping them with life coaching, communicate those emotions with your company brand.

Plus, people will associate your startup and its products or services with emotion. You may believe you have the best wedding planning services online, and say so, but it’s up to your customers to decide that.

You’re More Memorable

Your company is only successful if people remember you. Otherwise, you get lost in the sea of other businesses trying to vet for your potential customers’ attention too.

Make sure the right emotions are being sent to your target market. If they don’t feel happy and uplifted looking at your ads, and your website doesn’t drive that same wanted response, you’re not connecting.

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Everyone knows if people remember your brand, you’re the go-to company for the products and services they need.

Look at Nike. They’ve positioned themselves as a company that inspires and empowers athletes and everyday people to achieve their goals with “Just do it.”

Nike appeals to people through heroism. People struggle and conquer obstacles, triumph, and become the hero. They turn their customers into the heroes of their stories, which has created strong bonds with their clients all over the world.

Stuck? Hire an intern, short term contractor, or temp to help target what you want and how you’ll communicate it.

***

How can you emotionally connect with your audience? When you think of your company, what kinds of emotions do you want your customers to feel and why?

 

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Supercharge Your Business with a Powerful New Project Management Tool

As a startup or small business, project management and productivity are essential to the success of your business.

If you can’t streamline processes and get things done, your business will fall behind.

Luckily, you can supercharge your business with a powerful new project management tool.

Recently, Wrike, the creator of a project management platform, launched a new tool aimed at marketers.

project management
Incorporate efficient Project management and productivity practices.

They created an all-purpose project management tool any business can use. And it has been working well.

Last year, the company’s revenue grew 120%, and today over 12,000 businesses use their tool.

Related: Top Tips for Successful Project Management

With the success of the general tool over the last few years, Wrike aimed their efforts at more particular industries and areas. That’s why they created Wrike for Marketers.

With a typical marketing workflow in mind, Wrike made sure to include in the platform briefs, assignments, reviews, approvals, and requests, according to TechCrunch.

And communication and workflow are effortless between your temps, interns, short term contractors, and other employees.

project management
The right tools can promote efficiency and effectiveness.

Plus, because many marketing campaigns and projects rely on Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, Wrike created an extension that works with Creative Cloud so users can use Wrike’s tools while using either Adobe program.

Extra features are also available for users of the Business Plan with a small additional fee.

Wrike is working on other projects at the moment to improve productivity for more targeted niches and industries, but there is no word yet as to what their target market is next.

***

What are your favorite business tools for organization and productivity?

 

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Is Your New Startup Positioned for Success?

It’s never too early to start planning for the future.

Think of your current business. As a small business or startup, have you thought about a future beyond being small?

Business planning and development is what will help you get past being just a new business and lead you towards growth.

What are your business goals? The big question is: is your new startup positioned for success?

Here are a few ways you can ensure you are getting the most out of your business and aiming for a brighter future.

Let Customer Feedback Guide You

Do you currently ask for customer feedback on your products or services? It’s a fundamental component to growing your business.

startups
Feedback can help a business thrive.

After all, you need to know what is and isn’t working for your customers.

The critical part here is to listen to the feedback you receive and take action toward positive change.

Your customers will have great ideas or suggestions they’d like to see or need from your products or services. By making them better, you open yourself up to more sales, revenue, and success.

Don’t underestimate the power of customer feedback, and never neglect it. It can cost 6-7 times more money to gain a new customer than to keep one.

Related: How to Use Social Media to Create Brand Awareness

Implement an Organization System

When preparing sales or big deals, make sure you have an organized system in place. You must be able to find contracts, records, and other important documents when you need.

Organization is a key aspect of running a successful business. It will help you find things when needed, and keep track of sales, revenue, clients, products, and more.

Plus, it will make running your business a lot smoother. If you’re unorganized, you can lose important papers, forget critical information, and even think your revenue sales are higher or lower without all the proper paperwork in front of you.

With the legal aspects of running a business like taxes, keep it all organized. It will make everything much easier, and help the success of your sales.

Build Relationships and Networks

As a startup or small business, your connections are everything.

The right person or business relationship can help you land a big deal, put your foot through the door in meeting an important new contact, or give you access to the funding you need to launch a product or service.

Startups
Building new business relationships could mean increased revenue.

Do not underestimate the power of connections. While this may seem like something else to add to your already heavy workload, it is worth it.

Make time to meet business owners and influential individuals in your industry. Reach out to them, attend industry meet-ups in your area, and even connect online.

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you connect and build your network with people globally.

You can tap into your network for advice on new hires, such as whether you should hire a temp, intern, or short term contractor, or should take that business risk you’ve been considering.

Without a network, it’s difficult for your business to grow, evolve, and expand.

***

What are your thoughts? What else can position your business for success?

 

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Obama and Zuckerberg Announce How to Help Small Businesses

Since the end of June, there has been a buzz around President Barrack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg’s panel (with other global entrepreneurs) at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley.

Obama and Zuckerberg discussed the importance of technology access for startups and small businesses. They believe more action must be taken, and more support must be given to startups, particularly in receiving funding, increasing web availability and connectivity, and having access to tools and resources.

On average, 25% of startups fail in their first year. The percentage increases every year.

Startups
Is your startup getting the support it needs?

During the panel, the president noted, “Turns out that starting your own business is not easy. You have to have access to capital, you have to meet the right people, you have to have mentors who can guide you as you get your idea off the ground.”

Zuckerberg chose to highlight FbStart, a platform designed to help mobile startups and small businesses grow and build apps. Startups can apply to the program. Those that are accepted undertake the company’s mentorship program and have free access to $80,000 worth of tools and resources.

Related: Tips from Facebook to Hire the Best Talent

Following the panel, Zuckerberg with Obama hosted a Facebook Live Broadcast, discussing the importance of startups and small businesses having access to tools and resources to grow further.

Obama supported the idea of having the government fund programs that give entrepreneurs and startups access to these valuable tools. So these companies can make a positive change in the world, particularly in energy and climate change.

Startup Plan
Do you feel the new program will benefit your startup?

He stated, “We’re going to be funding more young entrepreneurs around that issue.” It was also noted it could extend past climate change and energy to other areas such as health care.

As a startup, having access to these resources can greatly help a business’ team of employees, including interns, short term contractors, and temp positions. Only time will tell when these programs and ideas take flight.

***

What do you think of Obama and Zuckerberg’s ideas on helping small businesses? Are other startups besides energy, climate change, and health care important to fund?

 

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