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Archives: April 2014

ADP Hiring Report Shows Promising Signs for Job Market

job searchThis morning’s report by ADP shows positive signs for the job market. That’s because the U.S. economy created 220,000 brand new private sector jobs this past month. This number reflects 10,000 more jobs than analysts originally anticipated.

In addition, the report increased the number of jobs in March’s report by 18,000.

Per a piece in USA Today, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi explained, “The job market is gaining strength. The recent pickup in job growth at mid-sized companies may signal better business confidence.”Strength indeed. April’s increase was the biggest one since this past November when ADP revealed 245,000 new private sector jobs. And, per the report, large and small companies boosted their headcount in April.

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Four Ways to Make Your Work More Meaningful

ladderHave you ever had one of those days? Come on, you know. One of those days?

Nothing seems to go right, you’re so done writing about the same topic all of the time and you’re looking to dig your teeth into something meatier.

Well, tomorrow we’ll recap the annual Matrix Awards held yesterday by New York Women in Communications (spoiler alert: talk about inspiration!). For now we’ll focus on infusing your day with a different perspective to get through the drudge to see the big picture. Truth is, sometimes you don’t need a brand new job for challenging, more exciting work. Sure, it doesn’t hurt to start looking for a new opportunity but you can change things today by altering your perspective to get more satisfaction from the work you’re currently doing.

Per a piece on Psychology Today, there are several ways to find new meaning in your work. According to Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy, it can be done by adjusting your own tasks, relationships and your approach to work itself.

1. Adding tasks. For starters, Hurst mentions he mentors students and visits classrooms. This gives him purpose and pleasure and better yet, he makes time for it because it helps him stay engaged in his own work.

2. Building relationships. How often have you emailed a colleague to ask a quick question who literally sits two feet away from you? No worries, we’re not calling you out — we’ve been there, done that as well. Let’s make a pact to build relationships that are right in front of us. Maybe it’s a matter of inviting a colleague to grab a cup of coffee instead of going alone when you need to clear your head. Think about your relationships with colleagues, clients and others in order to bring “more purpose to your work as a whole.”

3. Adapting relationships. Hurst indicates some of his favorite relationships entail getting to know leaders in the market outside of his organization. He writes, “Rather than seeing them as competitors, I try to find ways for us to mentor each other and find mutual wins.”

4. Look at the big picture. Instead of seeing the impact of your work for its immediate results such as posting this blog, he looks at “the cascading impact from engaging and inspiring people.” That initial spark, he says, typically creates new organizations as well as programs they end up creating.

Sounds like a win-win to us!

Online Veterans Employment Center Launched for Vets Returning to Civilian Jobs

flagIn recruiting, veteran hiring is a hot topic. Check that — a very hot topic.

Here’s why: unemployment among veterans has demonstrated a higher unemployment rate than civilians. According to The Associated Press, since September 2001 veteran unemployment stands at 9 percent; this is equivalent to 1.6 percentage points higher than non-vets. Read more

Three Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Meetings

successAre your meetings getting a little stale? Are they always a waste of time? According to a piece from Business Insider, there are a few ways to shake things up.

1. Meet outside the office! Remember in college when it was the first beautiful day you were able to persuade your professors to take class outside in the fresh air under a big oak tree? (Or no, maybe that was just us?) Anyway, switch up the scenery. Especially now that the weather is finally nicer in most parts of the country.

Even if you schedule a meeting and it ends up raining that day, think about all of the possibilities that exist outside the office — a coffee shop or local bar may do the trick and then managers can treat the team to a beverage. Read more

Want to Boost Productivity? Eliminate ‘Got a Minute?’ From Vocabulary

stop wasting timeYou know the drill. You’re sitting at your desk. Immersed in thought, it’s clear you’re processing information.

And then the inevitable happens. Your boss or colleague swings by your desk with the ubiquitous question, “Got a minute?”

Just like that your productivity, not to mention thoughts, are squandered. According to a piece in Fortune, this is typical. A recent study shows 70 percent of senior managers pointing to the overwhelmed employee who has interruptions constantly throughout the day. Read more

Should Employers Allow E-Cigarette Smoking at the Office?

Aecigs e-cigarettes took center stage yesterday when the Food and Drug Administration proposed regulations, it’s still a conundrum as to how employers should handle the issue.

The booming business that’s anticipated to grow to $2 billion this year (yes, we said billion), is typically not banned in the workplace. According to The Wall Street Journal, as of January only three states (New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota) out of 24 that have banned smoking in the office have added e-cigarettes to their policy as well. Read more

Girl Hands Father’s Resume to Michelle Obama on Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day

When Michelle Obama sat down for a question and answer session yesterday during Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day, chances are she did not anticipate what was going to happen next.

Read more

Jobless Claims Rise During Holiday Week

job searchAccording to a story on Bloomberg, more Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week than originally anticipated. Apparently the Easter holiday break made it difficult to ascertain data for seasonal deviations.

For the week ending April 29, jobless claims increased by 24,000 for a total of 329,000. As per 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, they predicted a number of 315,000. A Labor Department spokesperson indicated to the press that it’s hard to quantify numbers from year to year during spring holidays. Read more

The Office Cubicle Turns the Big 5-0!

cubicleOn #tbt, better known as “Throwback Thursday,” we’re paying homage to the office cubicle. Every now and then we wonder how people worked without modern technology. Like when faxes arrived at the machine in shiny paper that was easily bendable.

That’s why this story about the fiftieth anniversary of the cubicle is so significant! Per a CBS piece, the majority of us work in cubicle-clad offices and yet 93 percent hate it. Like it or loathe it, there’s certainly no doubt the cubicle is here to stay. Read more

Survey Reveals Majority of Employers Covet Soft Skills in Candidates

judgeIf you want to stand out from the pack (and by that we mean other candidates), then let your soft skills shine!

That’s because a new survey by CareerBuilder indicates that 77 percent of employers say soft skills are just important as hard skills.

We would argue in some cases they’re actually more important. After all, you can always teach someone Drupal or WordPress but you can’t always send them to charm school. And actually, 16 percent of employers in the survey said the skills associated with your personality and attitude trumps technical skills. Read more