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Exact Staff News

  • The One That Got Away?

    10/19/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed

    by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

    So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.

    Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

     

    The author of this quote may be dubious (it’s commonly – yet improperly – attributed to Mark Twain), but its relevance to your career isn’t. Twenty years from now, you’re much more likely to regret the career opportunity that you let slip away, than the work mistakes you actually made.

    And there’s more than a “warm and fuzzy” quote to back this notion up.

    An article recently published by the American Psychological Association (APA) examined six studies that explain why “not taking that job” may wind up being your biggest career regret. Here are a few key takeaways:

    • Your most enduring regrets more often stem from discrepancies between who you are and the person you wanted to become (i.e., your “ideal self”), not who you think society and expectations said you should become (i.e., your “ought self”).
    • This imbalance is due, at least partly, to the fact that we cope with regret in different ways. In general, we are quicker to act with ought-related regrets (i.e., ones related to duties and responsibilities) than we are with ideal-related regrets (i.e., ones related to goals and aspirations).
    • Consequently, ideal-related what-ifs are more likely to remain unresolved, leaving you more likely to regret not being all you could have been more than all you should have been.

    The Career That Got Away

    Left unattended, your discontent over passing on what could’ve been your dream job will likely linger. You may wind up with unresolvable regrets, because you cannot take back or fix something you never actually did.

    Our advice? Throw off those bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor of your mediocre job. Explore. Dream. Discover. Actively seek out opportunities to realize your full career potential. In today’s job market, these opportunities are more plentiful than ever. And the Exact Family of Companies is ready to help you seize the right one.

    Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent today – you won’t regret it!

    Combining in-depth interviews, personalized assessments and 20 years of recruiting success, we’re the ideal partner to help you:

    • identify your strengths;
    • evaluate your career options;
    • find assignments and full-time positions that align with your career goals and aspirations.

    Search jobs here.

Improve Your Life with These Everyday Tips

08/24/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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If you could improve one aspect of your life, what would it be?

Your finances? Relationships? Health and fitness? Career?

No matter what you’d like to change about yourself, it won’t happen overnight – and it won’t happen by accident – but there is a simple formula for success:

Small Habits + Consistency = Meaningful Change

Lasting improvements in any area of your life will take hold by consistently implementing everyday tips like these:

Take Responsibility for Where You Are Now

Admit your mistakes and own your role in your current circumstances. Being honest with yourself is the first step to heading in a different direction.

Believe It

Believe in yourself, that you’re capable of change, and that today will be better than yesterday. Having confidence in your ability to change is essential to achieving it.

Face Your Fear

Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of making the wrong choice, or fear of the unknown, you must face it to conquer it.

Love Yourself

Take time every day to care for yourself by going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, meditating or engaging in any other form of nurturing. The more you love yourself, the more positive your outlook will be, and the better equipped you’ll be to handle the stress of change.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Your brain and body repair themselves when you sleep in ways that aren’t possible during waking hours. In this post (link to “Here’s Proof that Sleeping in on the Weekend Can Add Years to Your Life) we explain proven benefits of getting more sleep.

Exercise Daily

Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to improve your attitude, confidence, resilience and performance – all of which will prime you to make other positive changes in your life. In this post, we share key benefits of frequent exercise.

Laugh More

When it comes to alleviating stress, a good laugh can boost your mood and improve your mindset. Life is short. Learn how to laugh at yourself and find ways to inject more humor in your life. Try watching stand-up comedians or sitcoms, or follow humorous accounts on social media.

Read or Listen to Inspiring Content

If you want to improve your life, learn from others who have already succeeded at improving theirs. Countless self-help books and motivating podcasts are just a click away; find something that resonates with you and commit to 15 minutes of reading or listening each day.

Related Posts:

Habits to Dramatically Improve Your Life

Habits of Happy People

Want to dramatically improve your work life?

Get the staffing support you need. The Exact Family of Companies provides the resources and expertise you need to:

  • hire proven performers who can support your success;
  • offload non-critical activities to free up more of your time;
  • meet pressing deadlines;
  • alleviate overwork and the stress it causes.

What can we do for you? Give Exact Staff a call.

See It, Do It: Using Visualization to Achieve More

08/17/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Athletes and performance artists use visualization techniques to prepare for competitions, mentally rehearse difficult performance situations, and improve execution for one reason:

It works!

And not just on the field or the stage. In fact, smart professionals practice visualization techniques to maximize their performance in the workplace.

Why is visualization so effective?

By definition, visualization is the mental ability to conceive imaginary or recalled scenes. Pretty innocuous, right? But when you visualize yourself performing something successfully – whether it’s giving a sales presentation, interviewing for a promotion, or performing a complex audit – your brain releases dopamine. This neurotransmitter (which is part of the reward system in your brain) allows you to not only see a reward (i.e., a positive outcome) in your mind’s eye, but to move toward it.

Phrased more simply, when you visualize your success, your brain stores that information as a real success.

Phrased even more simply, if you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can do it!

Visualizing success is one of the most powerful performance-improvement tools you’ll ever have. And it’s always available to you – and completely free! Today, we’re sharing four tips to help you use this technique to achieve more:

  1. Start with relaxation. If you’re nervous or anxious, mental images quickly break down. For your images to be as vivid and influential as possible, precede your visualization practice with a few minutes of relaxation exercises in a quiet room, free from distractions.
  2. Clarify the outcome you want. Visualizing yourself successfully achieving a goal forces you to get serious – and specific – about what you want. Move beyond a vague notion (e.g., “I want to be rich”) and detail what that outcome truly looks like to you:
    1. Paint a mental portrait of where you want to be.
    2. Determine what you need to do to get there.
    3. Imagine yourself handling objections, overcoming obstacles or managing other potential roadblocks to your success.
    4. See yourself performing all the steps from start to finish, imagining what you will experience and how you will achieve your goal.
    5. If your goal is large or long-term, create a series of visualization sessions, each devoted to achieving a specific milestone along the way.
  3. Stay mentally strong. When uncertainty rears its ugly head (it will), anticipate, embrace and move through it. Note when you feel uncertain, and consider the root cause of your doubts. The better you understand the “why” of your self-doubt, the better equipped you’ll be to nip it in the bud.
  4. Stay positive. The strongest memories we have are associated with powerful emotions. To make your visualization more effective, channel positive emotions like joy, satisfaction, enthusiasm and pride when you practice. Imagine exactly what you will feel like when you achieve your goal. Over time, you’ll feel better prepared to handle situations in the real world, because you’ve already mentally associated those situations with positive emotions.

Visualizing better work performance?

Exact Staff can help you move from “nice idea” to reality. Offering a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, our team is here to support your success by:

  • offloading non-core activities that distract you and your staff;
  • alleviating overwork and the burnout it causes;
  • improving your team’s focus, productivity and effectiveness;
  • allowing you to confidently tackle new or pressing projects.

Ready to get started? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

Doing This in the First Five Minutes of Networking is a Game Changer

07/30/18 2:35 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Your eyes glaze over.

Your attention wanders.

And after about three minutes, you want to throw up your hands, yell “I can’t take it!” and run out the front door.

What happened? You were attacked by a conversation bully. You know, one of those people who dominates the entire conversation, blathering on (and on and on) about themselves, their job, their company, their achievements…

…and learning absolutely nothing about you.

It happens all the time. And when it comes to professional networking, it’s the biggest blunder out there.

What? You say this doesn’t happen to you all the time?

Then (gulp) maybe you’re one of “those people” (in which case, you REALLY need to keep reading).

Regardless of how you use business networking events – to identify new business opportunities, broaden your circle of influence, recruit candidates, solicit advice for solving a challenge you’re experiencing – you’ll dramatically improve your results if you do this one simple thing:

Ask questions!

In the first five minutes of a networking conversation (or any conversation, for that matter), using active listening skills to pose thoughtful questions is an absolute game changer. Here’s why:

  • You’ll keep them engaged. The best small-talkers are perceived as interesting because they: stay in the moment; focus attention on the person they’re talking to; and show a genuine interest in learning about them.
  • People often feel awkward talking to strangers. If you gently guide the conversation with questions, they don’t have to figure out what to say next – which puts them more at ease.
  • You’ll identify all kinds of “openings” to form the basis of a strong business relationship. Maybe you’ll discover a common interest or client. Maybe you’ll be able to connect the individual to someone who can help them with a problem. Maybe you’ll even find your next business deal or the perfect job candidate for a position you’ve been struggling to fill. But you’ll never know unless you ask!

At your next networking event, try spending the first five minutes of each conversation listening more than you speak, and asking open-ended questions to learn about others. You’ll have more meaningful conversations that uncover more opportunities and ultimately lead to more meaningful connections.

Want tips for becoming a better listener?

This earlier post shares Three Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills.

What are you trying to achieve? What challenges are you facing? How can Exact Staff help?

We listen, ask the right questions, and then create solutions that offer the workforce flexibility, support and access to talent your team needs. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Here’s Proof That Sleeping in on the Weekend Can Add Years to Your Life

07/23/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Does being a sack hound on the weekend make you lazy – or extend your life?

According to the results of a 13-year study of sleep habits published by the Journal of Sleep Research, it’s the latter. The study reported the following:

  • For people 65 and under, weekend sleep can make up for sleep deficits accrued during the week.
  • People who slept fewer than 5 hours per night during the week faced a 52% higher mortality rate. However, those who gained 2 hours’ sleep per night on weekends lived just as long as those who consistently slept 7 hours per night.

Afraid to turn off the alarm clock on the weekend?

If you create a sleep deficit for yourself during the week, you no longer have to feel guilty about sleeping in Saturday and Sunday. First, the results of the study above (which followed 43,000 people) prove that catching up on your Zzz’s each weekend can add years to your life. Second, sleep deprivation is an illegal method of torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention (it’s literally a form of torture!). And finally, study after study confirms what most people already know about sleep loss:

  • It diminishes your ability to focus and block out distractions.
  • It reduces your ability to solve problems and make effective decisions.
  • It slows your reaction time.
  • Besides that, being sleep deprived just makes you feel lousy.

Get more sleep on the weekends!

If changing your sleep habits doesn’t come naturally to you, read this earlier post for tips on how to make a new habit stick and consider these ideas:

  • Figure out how much sleep you really need to feel good and perform at your best. Then track your hours each week to determine if you’re behind.
  • Make sleep a priority. Stop scheduling early morning activities on the weekend. And if you can’t, get creative to share “early rising” duties with your significant other, friends or family members.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. If you associate Friday and Saturday nights with rich food and alcohol, change your routine for a few weekends and see if you sleep longer and/or more soundly.
  • Unplug. The blue light emitted by screens of all types can make you restless. Turn off your technology an hour before bed to help you fall asleep faster.

Then, contact Exact Staff. With a national presence and a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, we can help you better you plan your hiring and staffing needs, offload non-core business activities, and assume time-consuming hiring activities. We’ll help you lighten your load – and sleep a little better.

“Big Sister” Is Listening: How to Delete Alexa’s Recordings of Your Private Conversations

07/16/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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George Orwell’s fictitious Big Brother may not truly be watching you…

…but Amazon’s very real Alexa is definitely listening to you. All the time. And recording everything she hears you say.

Kinda creepy when you think about it.

Even worse? A Portland woman claims that the Echo virtual assistant took things a step further, recording a private conversation between her and her husband – and then sending the recording to one of the husband’s employees.

Kinda extremely creepy.

While an Amazon spokesperson explained the incident away as an innocent series of voice recognition mistakes, news like this makes it clear that you need to protect yourself if you use voice recognition technology in your home.

What is Alexa listening to – and recording? And how can you erase her “memories” of your conversations? It’s pretty simple if you have the Alexa app:

  1. Open your Alexa app and click “Settings.”
  2. Scroll down and select “History.” You’ll see of all your voice interactions listed.
  3. From this list, you can review Alexa recordings. Be sure to listen to those with “Text not available.”
  4. From there, you can select any recordings you’d like to delete by choosing “Delete Voice Recordings.”

If you don’t want to use the Alexa app, here are the steps to delete all of your interactions, using the Amazon website:

  1. Navigate to the Amazon website, and then go to “Manage Your Content and Devices.”
  2. Select the “Your Devices” tab.
  3. From the list of devices registered to your Amazon account, select your Alexa device.
  4. Select “Manage voice recordings.”
  5. Select “Delete.”

“Alexa, create a new reminder.”

Voice recognition technology is amazing, but it’s far from perfect. If you want the convenience this tech offers, understand that it comes with risks – and schedule regular reminders to delete your virtual assistant’s recordings of your conversations.

Have something we need to hear?

As a national staffing service, Exact Staff understands and appreciates the value of constructive feedback in maintaining a productive business relationship. So, tell us what you think! Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.

The Secret to Being Your Best Self Requires This ONE Thing

07/9/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Finding new ways to improve your effectiveness – both as an individual and a leader – is a common goal among managers, and it’s a common theme to posts you’ll find on our blog.

In fact, we’ve written about the topic frequently over the past year or so, sharing great advice from a variety of sources. Here are a few of our favorite installments:

Adopt These Habits of Mentally Strong People

8 Things the Happiest People Do Every Day

3 Ways to Be a Leader People WANT to Follow

5 Ways a Leader Can Build the Perfect Team

In today’s post, Exact Staff shares S. Chris Edmonds’ secret to being your best self every day in every way by doing this ONE thing: living your Servant Purpose and values, in service to others.

Here are a few highlights from his video:

Work/Life Balance Doesn’t Work

Trying to separate, or even balance, work and life today is more difficult than ever. When you attempt to “draw lines” to distinguish the various roles you play across a wide range of contexts, it causes inner struggle that makes you frantic – and ultimately less happy and effective.

Aligning your purpose as a servant leader, however, provides a solid foundation for success. Clarifying and formalizing servant values leads to calmer, more consistent, purpose-driven behavior that you can apply across all areas of your life.

Becoming a Successful Servant Leader

Effective leadership isn’t a position; it’s a choice to serve others. It requires a single philosophy that works in all areas of your life: at work and at home; with co-workers, superiors, family and friends.

To be a true servant leader, plans and decisions must be aligned across every context, in every role and with every interaction. When you act in alignment with your best self in every situation:

  • There’s no conflict among the aspects of your life. You’re fully in sync with your true self and there’s no “imbalance” to address.
  • You’re better able to help others succeed, in ways that support your own success.
  • You’re living your servant purpose in a way that’s meaningful to others, creating a calmer, more consistent and more authentic path for yourself.

Creating a Servant Purpose Statement

To serve others effectively, you need a single clear statement of your servant purpose and values, defined in behavioral terms. An effective servant purpose statement includes these three elements:

  1. It specifies your talents and passions.
  2. Identifies whom you’re trying to serve.
  3. Clarifies to what end (i.e., how your talents improve your “customers'” quality of life.

Once you’ve defined this statement, you can then apply it to every situation you encounter and every role you play at home, at work and in your community.

Find the Great Leaders and Managers Your Team Needs

Exact Staff’s national network of offices can connect you with unforgettable talent to strengthen your organization. Improve performance. And achieve more. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today!

Email Opening Lines That Make You Look Clueless

06/22/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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“You have absolutely no idea who I am, and I have absolutely no idea how to start this email.”

You wouldn’t begin writing an email this way, right? Unfortunately, some business professionals pour a ton of effort into writing compelling email subject lines that get their emails opened, but drop the ball once they get to the body by:

  • being too casual or formal;
  • being too cheery or disingenuous;
  • offending the recipient.

If you want to appear confident, sincere and likeable in your emails – and convince recipients to take a desired action – steer clear of these opening lines that make you look clueless:

“Hey there”

This opener may be fine for personal emails or emails to coworkers, but steer clear of it if you’re writing to someone you’ve never met. It’s too casual, and it sounds like you’re trying to gloss over the fact that you don’t know the recipient’s name (believe us, your recipient will notice).

“To whom it may concern”

It’s cold. It’s impersonal. And your reader will likely think, Alright, this doesn’t concern me, so there’s no need to read further.

“Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear [job title]”

Nothing screams “I don’t know who you are!” quite like these greetings. If you’re not convinced, consider how likely you’d be to read an email from a stranger that started one of these ways.

“You don’t know me but”

You may be a stranger, but there’s no need to emphasize that fact; it only puts more distance between you and your recipient. In most cases, you can eliminate this opener entirely and just get to the point: “You don’t know me but I’d like to invite you to our business mixer on July 17th.”

Want a better alternative?

If you’re writing a business email to someone you don’t know well (or at all), keep it simple! A variation of “Hi [first name],” is usually your best bet. It’s friendly, innocuous, straightforward and sincere. And if the situation dictates a bit more formality, you can always use the person’s last name.

Looking for more tips for writing effective business emails?

Check out these earlier posts:

Secrets to Writing Clear and Effective Emails

Writing Email Subject Lines? Here’s What NOT to Do

What can Exact Staff do for you?

With a national presence and a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, our national employment agency is here to help. Drop us an email or give us a call today.

The Leading Soft Skills to Develop

04/30/18 3:00 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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They may be called “soft,” but make no mistake: Regardless of your industry or job function, soft skills are an undeniably important success factor in your career. They’re those often-underrated skills that make team members collaborative, professionals confident, service providers caring and leaders inspirational.

What Soft Skills are Most Important for Success in the Modern Workplace?

Here are a few that should be on your radar:

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is a combination of self-awareness and awareness of others. It’s a unique kind of intelligence that enables you to:

  • identify and manage your emotions;
  • recognize emotion in others and better understand their behavior as a result;
  • effectively manage your relationships with others by reacting and responding appropriately.

It’s also one of the most important measures of potential leadership success, making it an essential quality if you’re in or pursuing a management role.

Listening Skills

Anybody with functioning ears hears the words coming out of employees’ and managers’ mouths – but there’s a big difference between hearing and effective listening. In this earlier post, our team shares simple tips to dramatically improve this sought-after soft skill:

  • Be fully present, by eliminating distractions and making a conscious effort to focus your eyes and ears on the speaker.
  • Make the speaker feel comfortable, by subtly mirroring their nonverbal behavior.
  • Employ active listening techniques such as reflecting and clarifying – before you formulate your response.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal skills can make or break your ability to connect with, instill confidence in, persuade and inspire others. Some experts even argue that nonverbal cues have an even greater impact on a conversation than what you say! Make sure you pay attention to the following aspects when speaking:

  • Eye contact. Avoid extremes (i.e., staring at the floor or your phone; glaring intently) when it comes to making eye contact. Too little conveys disinterest or insecurity; too much conveys aggression.
  • Posture. If you tend to slouch or fold your arms across your chest, be aware of the negative ways in which these signals can be interpreted. Sit (or stand) upright when speaking and lean slightly into the conversation.
  • Smiling. It helps you relax and makes you appear approachable and warm. Just make sure you do it the right way. A wide grin can convey naiveté (which isn’t ideal for leaders), but a subtle smile can convey friendliness and even intelligence.

Growing Your Team?

Experts in behavioral interviewing, Exact Staff’s recruiters can help you identify candidates with the experience, hard and soft skills to thrive in your organization. Contact your local Exact Staff location to make hiring leaders faster, simpler and more successful.

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Smart People Never Include These Words and Phrases on Their Resume

04/25/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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 “addicted to online shopping”

“in my 30s and living with my mom”

“someone who enjoys long naps during the work day”

You’d never put phrases like these in your professional resume. They’re career sabotage!

But if you want to create a resume that truly distinguishes you as the best candidate for a position, you need to do more than avoid obvious faux pas. Today, we’re sharing a list of words and phrases that, while they may seem innocuous, should never make it onto your resume. Some are cliché. Others are utterly meaningless. And all could knock you out of contention for the job you want.:

Results Driven

Um, who isn’t?

Hard Worker/Strong Work Ethic

That’s a bummer; the employer was looking to hire a loafer.

Ninja/Guru/Rockstar

Instead of using a quirky word to show you’re great at something, quantify it.

Self-Starter/Go-Getter

Think this makes you sound eager or productive? So does every other job seeker you’re competing against. List projects or responsibilities that provide evidence of your initiative.

Team Player

Finally – a candidate who plays well in the sandbox! Instead of claiming you have great qualities, describe activities or accomplishments that portray them.

Seasoned

What are you – coated in dry rub? Your years on the job and job titles clearly explain how experienced you are.

Detail-Oriented

Phrases like this waste valuable space on your resume. Replace it with examples of how you spotted mistakes or identified problems in complex situations.

Honest/Trustworthy/Loyal

The employer had presumed that – until you just brought it up, that is…

Disruptive/Cutting-Edge/Bleeding-Edge

Unless you’re Elon Musk or Bill Gates, just don’t.

Need Help Refining Your Resume?

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can help you improve your resume so that it strengthens your candidacy – and improves your job prospects. If you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, register with your local Exact Staff office today.

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