Fall is a Time For Change

 

Changing your career path can be a scary and overwhelming decision. However, if you are unhappy at your current job or uninterested in your current career path, a career change may be the proper fix. Changing your career is a natural life progression – it is common and expected, so don’t be alarmed when the thought of changing your career crosses your mind. Rather than feeling intimidated or worried about your career transition, understand that there are several steps you can take to ensure that you start a career that you will love.

The first step you should take when exploring new career options is to get a full and complete understanding of yourself. You should know what you like and don’t like, what motivates you, and what type of work environment you enjoy. Know what you are passionate about and what excites you. If you have a better understanding of yourself, you can explore careers that specifically fit you. You may find it useful to research a variety of careers that center around your likes, dislikes, passions, etc. In the future, finding the perfect career fit will make you more productive and happier.

Once you have researched and found some career paths that you believe would lead you down the road to success, it’s time to analyze your current skills. Make a list of what skills you possess – whether it’s leadership, creativity, or analytical skills. You can then tailor these skills to apply to your new career path. Furthermore, knowing what skills you do possess will show you what skills you may need to improve. Understanding what skills need to be improved will allow you to start taking the necessary steps to actually improve those skills.

Now that your skills are perfected, it’s time to start applying. Brush up on your interview skills and make sure your resume is ready to go. It’s important to understand that finding a new career won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take hard work, dedication, and perseverance for you to land your dream job and start down your new career path. Make sure you have people who will support you – whether it be family, friends, or a mentor.

Changing your career is exciting and intimidating all at once. For your next career move, let TWG help you! Check out our website or call us at (361) 883-3535 to see how we can cater to your needs and help you change your career path!

Maximizing Your Summer Job

 

Having a summer job or internship is a great way to gain real world experience and get hands-on learning. Because summer employment typically only lasts about three months, it is important to make every day count. You want to learn as much as possible and jump on every opportunity presented to ensure that you make your summer job worthwhile. Follow these three simple steps to ensure that you maximize your summer job!

 

Be a self-starter.

Often time employers allocate more time than necessary for a task. If you finish early, ask for more work! When you take initiative and ask for more work, chances are that your employer will be more than happy to give you something else to do – therefore giving you another opportunity to learn. It is also important to ask questions. It is very typical for a company to have a specific way of doing things, but it’s okay to ask why. A majority of the time, your boss or manager will be impressed with your curiosity and be willing to explain to you why things are done a specific way. Again, this gives you another opportunity to learn.

 

Network.

Being the “new guy” in the office can be awkward and uncomfortable. However, if there’s one thing that most people have in common, it’s that they love talking about themselves. Reach out to your coworkers and make an effort to get to know them. Engaging with others will not only make work more enjoyable, but it doubles as an excellent way to network with others in your field. You already have one thing in common: your company, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find common ground on other topics as well. As important as it is to make these connections, it is just as important to keep these connections even after your summer employment has ended. Keep in contact and continue to grow these relationships – it will help you in the long run!

 

Have fun.

This may seem obvious and overstated, but having fun in the workplace is vital to success. There is a strong correlation between those who have fun in the workplace and those who are successful. Typically, the more fun you have, the more successful you are. “Fun” comes in different forms for different people, so make sure you find your own fun. It may be watching a silly video during your lunch break or sharing a new joke with a coworker. Whatever your fun may be, embrace it. It will make work more amusing, and besides, who doesn’t want to have fun?!

 

Although summer jobs are short, there are still plenty of opportunities for both personal and professional growth. If you spent your summer job being a self-starter, networking, and having fun, it’s safe to say that your manager would be more than happy to write you an excellent recommendation. If you’re looking to find a job, come check out our website. We would love to help you find an amazing job where you can learn and grow!

On Company Culture

One of the most overlooked elements in regards to finding success and happiness within a workplace is understanding the company’s culture. The company’s culture can range anywhere from strictly formal and professional to creative and casual. A company’s culture is much more than the image reflected to the public. The culture is also about how the members of the company interact with one another, how they dress, how the office space is presented, and how the company relates with their customers and clients. Some companies may have a very strong culture with deeply ingrained roots and values, and others may not have such an obvious one. Understanding a company’s culture is key to knowing if you will fit in with the company and if the company is a good fit for you.

Do Your Homework:
Before applying for a job, make sure you understand a company’s culture. This is not only key to acing a job interview, but also ensuring this job will be a positive fit. A company’s website is a great way to start understanding their culture. Videos, blogs, and pictures give great insight into what a company believes in and how they interact with one another. Second, checking other online reviews is another way to capture what the company’s clients and employees think and feel about that company. However, one caveat to online reviews is they are often on either ends of the spectrum, being either extremely negative or extremely positive. Most people with average or normal feelings about a company will not take the time to write a review for the world to see. Finally, a great way to capture a company’s culture is to look into the company’s social media sites. These will give the most genuine representation of a company’s culture through posts, events, and photos.

Understand Their Mission Statement:
The mission statement is inherently their culture in a few sentences. Most companies have a mission statement that allows one to understand their core values as a company. Be critical with their mission statement to fully understand if it aligns with your own mission and values. If it does not, than the company may not be the best fit for you, and it much better knowing this from the get go.

Observe Their Environment:
The interview is not only the best way for the company to get to know you, but also the best way for you to get to know who they are and what they stand for. Don’t let nerves get the best of you, and solely focus on what you are going to say to the interviewer. Instead, look around, and take some time to observe their culture. What does their office look like? What do people wear when they come to work? Are co-workers mingling or getting along? One of the most important parts of an interview is that you ask questions yourself. Be sure to include at least one question geared toward the company culture to the interviewer, it not only helps you understand their culture, but also shows the interviewer that you care about their mission and values.

For more tips and tricks on your job search, visit our website.

How To Fall In Love With Your Job

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, love is in the air. However, this is not the typical romance advertised for February 14th. This Valentine’s day we are focusing on loving your job. Just because you may not have your ultimate dream job, does not mean you cannot love your job. Enjoying your job not only helps your mental health, but it also helps you succeed in life. Whether you are just embarking on your career path, or have matured through the workforce, these tips will help you learn to love your job.

Tips for Loving you Job:

Focus On the Positives
We all know the feeling when we wake up early and all we want to do is to hit the snooze button. Getting up early for a nine to five job, seven days a week can become a drag. However, instead of waking up and focusing on the lack of sleep you got, or facing a traffic filled commute, focus on something positive about your job. Once you have that one positive attribute about your job, amp it up! This can be anywhere from enjoying spending time with your coworkers, interesting assignments, to opportunities for learning. Changing how you perceive your job can make all the difference. Even if there is no tangible change, having a positive attitude will not only help you enjoy your day more, but it will also encourage a positive workplace for everyone else in the office.

2. Surround Yourself With Those You Love
Sometimes the key to happiness within a career is being surrounded by those you love. Having a strong relationship with your coworkers and your superiors can turn any job into one you feel passionate about. The key to enjoying your job is being surrounded by people
who you enjoy and you look forward to spending time with. The fact of life is that you will be spending a lot of time with people you work with, so creating and maintaining positive relationships will allow you to enjoy going to work each day.

3. Ask For More Responsibility
Having a routine is great, but sometimes routines at work become tedious, which only increases boredom. Feeling unimportant within a company can take a tole on how you perceive your job. If you feel as though you are completing the same tasks at work on a daily basis, ask for more responsibility! Having more responsibility will add a new element of interest into your daily responsibilities and it will look impressive in the eyes of your supervisor. Tackling a new challenge at work increases your skill set, allows for opportunities for learning and growth, and can open you up to new and interesting people at your company.

This Valentine’s day focus on what you love about your job, and what you can do to change what you don’t love. Remember The Wilson Group is here to help you find that job you love. For more information and tips on landing a job you love visit our website.

Job Searching in December

The holiday season is slow when it comes to job searches. However, this is the prime time to be searching, as everyone else assumes recruiters have backed off. Don’t miss the opportunities the holidays bring by loosening the reigns on your job search. Recruiters are still out in full force and you could be just the one they are looking for! We have compiled some tips to help you navigate your job search this holiday season.

Networking

Holidays are filled with parties and schmoozing. What more perfect time to network than times like these? Put yourself out there by introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Be open in communicating with those you meet about your job search. Others may not be aware that you are looking for a job, however, if you mention to them you are in the market for a job, you may be surprised with what people have to offer!

Reconnect

There is not a more appropriate time than the holidays to reach out to old acquaintances. Are there old people you once knew that could be potential connections (old roommates, friends, colleagues)? Consider calling these friends to wish them a happy holiday and see what they have been up to. This could open the door to job opportunities, and if not you will at least reestablish some cherished relationships! If a phone call is too intimidating, a greeting card with a personalized life update is a sufficient alternative to let the person know you are seeking connections!

Leave Doors Open

There are many opportunities that only arise during the holiday season. For example, temporary jobs. Although they are not glamorous, they may give you just the leverage you need for landing a full time position after the holiday season. Similarly, volunteer opportunities are at their peak during the holiday seasons. Look to serve at different functions around your city as a way to network and gain skills for your resume.

Take advantage of your job search this holiday season by putting yourself out there and remaining confident. Employers will notice the extra effort you exude during a time where most are relishing in holiday festivities!

We wish you a merry job searching holiday season!

Self Improvement Month

This month is national Self Improvement Month, which means it is the perfect time to reevaluate your interview habits. Interviews can be an especially daunting part of the job hunting process. Here are some tips that will make your interview less nerve wracking!

Do Your Research

Research will help you look more prepared and interested in the opportunity. Start by researching general interview questions  that you are likely to be asked. Then research the company that has asked you to interview. Knowing information about the company shows you care about this job and the success of this company. This can also help you to gauge the company culture to decide what is best to wear to the interview. Knowing what is appropriate to wear can show that you are a good fit with the other employees. If you are still unsure as to what to wear to the interview, it might be worthwhile to call the office where your interview will take place. Go to sleep a little early so that you are well rested for the interview.

At The Interview

Go to your interview alone, do not take your children or any friends. Bring a copy of your resume to the interview and possibly a notepad in case you want to write down any follow up instruction. Get to the interview on time or 10 minutes early if possible. First thing to remember is to relax. You are prepared so make sure that you look confident, keep eye contact and remember to smile. Make positive and upbeat comments. Talk about what previous work experience you have that would relate to this position. Make sure that your phone is on silent and that you don’t check it during your interview. Never badmouth a previous boss or job, it looks unprofessional.

After the Interview

Make sure that you follow the follow up instructions. Check your email and phone for further information so that you can get back in a timely manner. Make sure to send a thank you note either written by hand or via email (handwritten is preferred most of the time). Thank them for their time and the opportunity they gave you to interview. If you had an obviously unsuccessful interview send a thank you note and ask for feedback on what you could have done better. For more tips like these or information about The Wilson Group, please visit our website or our Facebook.

What’s Up With That Interview Question?

There are some common job interview questions that always seem to stump candidates, no matter how well they’ve prepared beforehand.

The questions are not complicated. But candidates often fumble around or give inappropriate answers because they don’t understand the reasoning behind the questions – what the interviewer is REALLY getting at.

Here are a few common interview questions, with explanations of what the interviewer is actually trying to determine about you.

“Tell me about yourself.”
For the record, the correct answer is not, “Everything you need to know is on my resume.” Besides possibly coming off as a bit of a jerk, you’re not really telling the interviewer what he or she wants to know. They want to know that you can intelligently and succinctly sum up your professional accomplishments and goals without giving your whole life story, throwing in irrelevant information or going off on a tangent.

You should have a one-minute maximum answer – also known as your “elevator speech” – rehearsed and ready. If you don’t have an elevator speech prepared, here is an excellent article from Forbes to get you started.

“What are your weaknesses?”
This may be the most universally dreaded interview question, and the most challenging to answer. However, it’s a very common question, and you should be prepared.

Many people have been advised to try to spin a weakness into a strength. For example: “I’m a serious perfectionist,” or “I’m a workaholic – I’m just too dedicated to my job and I’m always in the office until 8 p.m.” Contrary to popular belief, this is not the right approach. First of all, interviewers can see right through your well rehearsed martyrdom. Everyone has weaknesses, and they want to know if you’re honest enough to own your shortcomings. It’s difficult to coach and develop employees who are afraid to admit they’re not perfect.

How do you answer the question? First, you should only discuss your weaknesses as they relate to a work environment. Your personal shortcomings relating to family and friends are irrelevant in this case. Second, be honest. Every human being has weaknesses – even the one interviewing you. Finally, be prepared to discuss the steps you are taking to overcome your weakness or make it work to your advantage. For example, people who are described as “too shy” are often great listeners.

Please check out this excellent resource if you’d like more help formulating your answer to the “greatest weakness” question.

“Why do you want to work here?”
One simple rule – this is NEVER the time to tell the interviewer what you hope to gain from the company. Answers like “I’ve heard you pay well,” or “I need benefits,” won’t go over well. This question is designed to determine two things: 1. How do you think your skills and background will benefit the company? and 2. Are you excited/enthusiastic about the company and the position?

This is a good chance to show the interviewer you’ve done some research on the company and tell them why you think you would be a good fit. For example, “After studying your website, I can see you do a lot of work with the Widget industry. I love Widgets and I have a lot of experience with them, so I saw this as a perfect chance to put that knowledge and passion to work for a progressive, stable company.”

If you are consistently having difficulty with these or other tough questions, The Wilson Group offers one-on-one interview coaching designed to improve your interviewing skills so you can land the job you want. Contact us today for more information.

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