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  • Common Career Mistakes to Avoid at All Cost

    12/22/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    You were passed over for that promotion.

    You were never called in for that interview.

    You thought that, by this point, you’d be much further along in your career.

    Where did things go wrong?

    It’s natural to be disheartened, frustrated, even a little confused when your career feels like it’s off the rails – especially when you don’t understand why. Could it be something you’ve done – or that you aren’t doing?

    Time for a little detective work.

    Make sure you’re not committing any of these fundamental career mistakes:

    Not believing in yourself.

    “Imposter syndrome” – the idea that your success is undeserved or happened by accident – is common among professionals. And left unaddressed, it can hold you back from achieving your full potential in your career. If you struggle with feelings of inadequacy:

    • Monitor your self-talk. When a negative thought pops up, ask yourself: “Am I being reasonable?” Focus on your strengths to get your mindset back on track, repeating positive affirmations about your skills, experience and accomplishments.
    • Leave your failures where they belong. In the past! We all make mistakes at work. Learn what you can from them, but don’t let them paralyze you.
    • Talk about imposter syndrome with someone you trust outside of work. An objective “outsider” can shed impartial light on the reasons your fears are irrational.

    Ignoring the modern job-search players and process.

    As organizations, recruiting technology and work itself becomes more complex, so does the hiring “ecosystem.” Whether you’re aiming for a promotion or a job with a new company, make sure you get to know these key decision-makers in the process:

    • the HR manager;
    • the hiring manager or department head;
    • the headhunter, external recruiter or internal recruiter.

    Then, take decisive action. Instead of waiting for an interview to come to you, market yourself! Use your “marketing toolkit” (i.e., resume, portfolio or other work examples, LinkedIn recommendations and professional network) and relationships you’ve established with the contacts above to proactively make the case for your candidacy.

    Acting entitled.

    Doing your job adequately is seldom enough to merit advancement or land a better opportunity. If you want to advance your career, don’t behave as if you’ve already “paid your dues.” Go above and beyond by:

    • volunteering for stretch assignments;
    • tackling jobs nobody else wants to do;
    • continually searching for solutions to business problems.

    And have a great attitude when you do it! There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance; acting like “you’ve got this one in the bag” may irritate decision makers who can accelerate your career growth. Characteristics such as humility, a solid work ethic, and a focus on growth, however, are a winning combination if you want to level up in your career.

    Ready to take your career or your organization to new levels of success?

    Across the country, Exact Staff’s experts connect talented, career-minded professionals with the right opportunities in leading organization to drive productivity, performance and success.

    What can the Exact Family of Companies do for you?

    Contact our national employment agency today.

7 Striking Differences Between Amateurs and Professionals

12/21/17 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Amateur or professional?

Regardless of industry, functional discipline or role, most of us prefer to be thought of as the latter. But what, exactly, sets true professionals apart – and how can you make that transformative leap from “wannabe” to “the real deal”?

The first step is to understand these stark differences between amateurs and professionals:

Continual Improvement

While amateurs may rest on their laurels when they achieve something, professionals never reach the finish line. They realize that any achievement is just a stepping stone on their path of continual improvement.


Amateurs and professionals both have goals, but pros don’t stop there. They create processes and adopt habits that ensure they stay on track in pursuit a goal.


Amateurs do their best work when they’re motivated. Professionals show up every day, stick to a schedule, and do their best work even when they don’t feel like it. Most of us are inconsistent when it comes to pursuing our goals, letting life get in the way; professionals know what’s important to them and work toward it with purpose.


Amateurs wait for clarity (of purpose and of what they are); pros take action. True professionals know that clarity often only comes through action, and that they must sometimes perform their way to professionalism.

Tolerance for failure

Amateurs fear failure, while professional crave it. Pros see failures for what they are: temporary setbacks, from which they can learn and grow. And unlike amateurs, professionals don’t internalize failure. They realize that mistakes are a necessary, valuable byproduct of pushing the limits of their abilities and taking calculated risks.


Amateurs prefer committees and group decision-making, so blame won’t fall on them when something goes wrong. Professionals feel comfortable making decisions as individuals, and they hold themselves accountable for delivering results.

Usefulness of Conflict

Amateurs view disagreements as threats, while professionals know that constructive conflict provides important opportunities to learn and make smarter business decisions. Rather than shying away from conflict, professionals embrace it, explore it and work through uncomfortable situations respectfully.

No matter where you are in your career journey, there is always room to grow as a professional. Take the time to consider these important distinctions, and you’ll discover ways to make great strides in your professional development.

One Important Step to Take?

Work with True Staffing Professionals.

Exact Staff’s national staffing and placement services can help you – and your entire organization – operate more productively, effectively and professionally. Contact your local Exact Staff office today.


People Judge You Based on These Little Things

12/18/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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The way you interact with a waitress.

Your shoes.

Using conversational crutches like “so” or “anyway.”

What do little things like these tell the world about you?

A lot, apparently! Right or wrong, our brains are hardwired to make sense out of situations. As a result, we make all kinds of snap judgments about strangers – ranging from political affiliation to emotional stability – based on seemingly insignificant things.

Oh yes, people are judging you every day. If you want those appraisals to be favorable, pay attention to these details:

The Way You Treat Waitresses, Receptionists and Other Service Personnel

If you meet someone new for lunch, they’ll obviously judge you based on how you treat them. But make no mistake: If you’re rude to the person who takes your order, it’ll quickly erase any goodwill you’ve built with your new acquaintance. How you interact with support staff is surprisingly indicative of your personality, because it gives others a sense for how you treat people in general. So be nice and polite to everyone you encounter.

How Long It Takes You to Ask a Question

Ever come away from a conversation with someone you just met knowing a TON about them – and then realize that they know absolutely nothing about you? More than likely, it’s because they spent the entire time talking about themselves.

People who prattle on endlessly about themselves tend to be self-absorbed and loud. Not interested in making that kind of first impression? Then strike a healthy balance of give-and-take when meeting someone new. You’ll come across as an interesting person who’s attentive and a good conversationalist.

Your Shoes

In a University of Kansas study, researchers found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger’s age, income, political affiliation and more all by looking at the type and quality of their shoes. While it’s unsurprising that study participants accurately guessed gender and age based on shoes, it’s worth noting that they also made accurate assessments about attachment anxiety, agreeableness and political leanings based on footwear. Shoes – who knew?

The Way You Converse

Undisciplined language and seemingly innocuous comments can easily be misinterpreted – and forever impact another’s perception of you. Want to keep your foot out of your mouth? Check out this earlier post, “Words and Phrases Smart People Never Use in Conversation,” which includes tips for preventing misunderstandings, demonstrating your EQ and making a great first impression.

Snap Judgements and Hunches May Be Inevitable, but They Won’t Help You Hire Effectively.

What will?

A proven, disciplined and comprehensive assessment process – which happens to be our strong suit! Whether your requirements are local or national, temporary or direct-hire, we’re here to deliver the exact talent solution you need. How can we help you? Contact the Exact Family of Companies today.


If You Want People at Work to Trust You, Never Say This

12/15/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Hearing the words “trust me” at work can inspire confidence and hope – or just make you want to roll your eyes.

Why is the phrase so meaningful when one person utters it – and yet utterly meaningless when someone else says it?

Some are just better at building trust than others. As we mentioned in this earlier post, fostering trust requires you to:

  • treat employees as equal partners;
  • be honest, accountable and solutions-oriented;
  • always honor your commitments.

It also takes consistent, effective communication with direct reports, peers and senior management. Which brings us to the point of today’s post: Just what should you say – and avoid saying – to strengthen others’ trust in you?

Language that Destroys Trust

This post on TheLadders.com shares phrases that undermine trust:

“I’m not sure, but…”

(Variations: “only a thought,” “hard to say,” “this might be a silly question, but…”)

While you never want to instill false confidence, phrases like this make you sound as if you have no real grasp on what you’re discussing. If you want to make a compelling case, steer clear of throw-away phrases that convey a false sense of humility.

“Sort of”

(Variation: “kind of”)

This phrase does little more than confuse others, by implying that you either really don’t want to come out and say what you mean, or simply don’t know what you’re saying. Neither instills trust! Don’t unnecessarily soften or muddle your language at work. Be clear, direct and transparent.


(Variations: “possibly,” “basically,” “potentially”)

Qualifiers like these dilute the impact, clarity and accountability of what you need to communicate. Add any of them to a statement, and you’ll reduce powerful language to wishy-washy nonsense that smacks of indecision.

Language that Builds Trust

Here are a few powerful phrases you should use instead:

  • “You can trust me on this.” Don’t be afraid to state the obvious, if it’s true.
  • “Yes. Absolutely!” Give a clear, affirmative response when it’s appropriate.
  • “I will.” Phrases like this reveal your confidence in your abilities, accountability and willingness to help.
  • “Here’s what this means for you…” Others will instantly trust you more when your language demonstrates that you have their best interests at heart.
  • “That’s a great suggestion – let’s do it.” Acknowledging someone else’s idea and committing to it shows that you know your own mind – but also value others’ input. Making someone else feel important instantly builds their trust in you.

Build a trusting, high-performance workplace with Exact Staff.

With a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, Exact Staff provides precisely what your organization needs to increase trust – and fuel performance. To find out how we can strengthen your workplace, schedule a free consultation today.

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