The Secret to Enjoying Life

b loehr - enjoyIf the title enticed you because you expected a quick solution to magically make your life enjoyable, well . . . Sorry folks. We hate to burst your bubble, but there is no one secret to enjoying life. There’s no magic pill or formula or even supplement that will trigger an enjoyable life. It just doesn’t work that way.

But before you slink away in despair, consider this. What if the secret to enjoying life is realizing you can’t pin life happiness on any one thing? Or person or circumstance or event. Rather, it seems there’s a number of factors – many within your control – that contribute to an enjoyable life. Of course, some things in life simply are what they are, and there’s not a thing you can do to change them. But it’s also true that a lot of the other stuff that makes up the fabric of our daily lives is most definitely within our power to modify or improve upon.

Consider how working in the following areas could make your life more enjoyable.

  1. Take a chill pill

Not every obstacle has to be a mountain. Not everything is worth fighting over. I used to bristle when folks quipped, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It seemed, to them, everything I sweat over was small. They didn’t understand my life, my circumstances. My issues were outside of their realm of comprehension. But after I smoothed down my ruffled feathers, I had to admit there were small things that I did sweat. Stuff I could have let go and should have let go.

  1. Make relaxation a priority

Our culture celebrates being busy, living nonstop lives, always trying to fit in one more thing – all to the detriment of both our health and happiness. We feel guilty at the thought of taking a break and ignore the mounting stress our go-go-go lifestyle produces. Taking time to relax, recharge and reconnect with ourselves and our family should not be considered a luxury but rather a necessity. Believe the truth that R & R will leave you better equipped to handle the challenges of your hectic life. If you have to schedule times to recharge, then do it. But no “penciling-in” allowed. Use ink.

  1. Set goals

 Could be you gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago – so has more than half of the adult population. But why not jot down a couple of things you’d like to accomplish. Something simple like organizing the garage or a more challenging feat such as paying off a debt. Because even the smallest goals, when met, come with a sense of accomplishment that can boost your morale. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and celebrate. Then set another goal or two.

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

Ever notice how it takes zero thought to come up with something to gripe about but it can take real effort to think of something for which you’re thankful? Another casualty of busy, stressed-out lives.

If you’re serious about upping the enjoyment factor in your life, commit to writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Such purposeful effort is guaranteed to make you happier because it will shift your focus toward gratitude.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we understand people. And it’s that understanding that has earned our reputation as a premier provider of staffing solutions in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Contact us today to learn more.

It’s Okay to Reap the Rewards of Giving Back to the Community

b loehr - givingYou have to admit getting involved in the local Little League program, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Junior Achievement or (you fill in the blank) has been fun. And rewarding too. But last night when you crashed into bed exhausted from a marathon day, those feel good vibes from “giving back” were running on empty – just like you were. And one question loomed large in your tired mind. “Why am I doing this again?”

Of course, volunteering isn’t about what’s-in-it-for-me. You know that. But still, recognizing the benefits reaped from community involvement would be welcome right about now.

Indeed, the benefits are many, and it’s okay if the rewards help spur your volunteer efforts. After all, you’re only human. So keep this list handy for the next time that very small part of you quietly questions, “What’s in it for me?”

1. Chance to Meet New People
Often our busy lives confine us to specific circles of people: coworkers, neighbors, church congregation, families of the children’s friends, etc. Volunteering is a great way to broaden our “people” horizons and expand the opportunities to:

• Network with those in related industries
• Find people with similar hobbies or interests
• Meet the new guy from the next block who’s also looking for someone to jog with

2. Avenues to Gain Knowledge
Want to give your career, any career, a boost? Choose to be a life-long learner. Similar to the “people” circles noted in #1, a chosen profession usually comes with a “box” of knowledge that centers around one or two main components. Volunteering will naturally expose you to knowledge outside of your “box” as you connect with people from a wide range of professions. Imagine the possibilities such as this conversation starter. “I’ve always wanted to learn more about ___________. What can you tell me about your job?”

3. Opportunities to Expanded Experiences
While you may not foresee a job or career change in the near future, the truth is you never know when an opportunity or crisis may push you in a brand new direction. Experience gained while volunteering can open doors you never expected to face. Welcome any and all new opportunities that come your way through community volunteering because who knows what the future holds?

4. Provides a “Test Run”
Maybe you’ve always, secretly, harbored the idea of a career in theater or event planning or interior design. Especially if this carefully guarded notion is lightyears from your current career, how awesome – and wise – would it be to explore this would-be field via a volunteer position. Uh, very. So before resigning your job, enrolling in a course of study, or trashing the idea altogether, give this secret ambition a whirl by seeking a trial run through community involvement.

5. Transition into Retirement Years
Even if you’re years from retirement, it’s never too soon to think about how you’ll spend those golden years. Whether it’s because of the need for additional income or simply because of the desire for “something to do”, many retirees find themselves revisiting past connections and experiences. The people, knowledge, and experiences gained through years of service to the community can easily translate into a blessing after retirement.

At B. Loehr Staffing we applaud the efforts of citizens to “give back” to their communities through various avenues of volunteering. We also recognize how these experiences contribute to the skills candidates bring to the hiring table. Contact us today about the many advantages of a position with B. Loehr Staffing.

Why Should I Get Involved in My Community?

b loehr - givingEveryone wants to live in a good, safe, thriving community, and few will argue against the importance of strong community connections especially for families. But strong communities don’t just happen. And it takes more than simply electing upstanding community officials and paying them a fair wage to do their jobs.

It’s a fact. Strong, vital communities do not become strong, vital communities without the support, energy, and efforts of local citizens.

If you’ve been waffling over the idea of little ‘ole you getting more involved in the community, consider these motivations for pursuing opportunities to “give back.”

  1. Volunteering provides a chance to experience something bigger than yourself

There’s something about doing /giving/serving without any expectation or assumption of receiving in return that is so inspiring and satisfying that it defies explanation. While some would argue that human beings are not capable of such altruistic actions, many more can attest to the truth that giving without condition is rewarding beyond measure. It’s one of those things you probably have to experience to understand. So pick a cause or organization and get to it.

  1. The rewards of giving “time” last longer than writing a “check”

“But why can’t I just give money? Don’t they need money?” Yes, they probably do need money. But why not hand-deliver that generous donation, and while you’re there, check the place out. Find out what else they need besides cash. The more you give of your talents, skills, time, energy, creativity – the more you give of you – the greater your connection and empathy will be for the mission and purpose of the organization.

  1. A new perspective is priceless

 Have you ever driven by the soup kitchen, the free food pantry, or clothes closet and wondered who even utilizes those services? Do you question why your co-worker tutors kids after school? Then it’s safe to say your perspective could use a bit of refreshing. In our fast-paced lives, it’s so easy to develop tunnel vision that barely acknowledges the existence of people and circumstances beyond our own.

  1. Your efforts will save the community’s resources

Every hour that volunteers contribute saves local communities money. Those saved funds can be funneled toward improvements and innovations that benefit the entire community. It’s estimated every volunteer hour saves the community $15.39. Now do that math. That’s a whole lot of money that can be channeled toward keeping your community a strong, thriving place to raise a family.

  1. You DO have something to offer

If you’re thinking, “But what can I do?” stop that line of questioning right now. Absolutely do not let a lack of special skills rob the community of your involvement. Virtually anyone can pick up trash at the park, read a book to kids, work the concessions booth at the festival, and the list goes on. It’s practically endless. Start small but do start. Because when everyone does something, the impact is enormous.

B. Loehr Staffing prides itself on the caliber of our pool of candidates. Their involvement across the community have helped to make St. Louis metropolitan area a stronger and better community. Contact us today about joining our team of outstanding candidates.

 

 4 Tips for Beating Procrastination

b loehr - procrastinationThe “simple” definition for procrastinate, according to Merriman-Webster.com is:

“To be slow or late about doing something that should be done: to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.”

Ouch, lazy? That cuts pretty deep. I mean everyone procrastinates from time-to-time, right? It’s part of being human, right?

Webster’s “full” definition leaves out that ugly four-letter word.

  1. To put off intentionally and habitually
  2. To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

Still not a pretty picture.

Did you know there is a science to why people procrastinate? According to the UPMC Healthbeat, there’s a chemical reason we prefer relaxing activities versus those “have to” things that we find so easy to put off. The intense urge to avoid work by focusing on more pleasant or satisfying activities is an actual  battle between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is less developed and thus weaker, so often the limbic system wins out, leading to procrastination.”

Before you get all kicked-back and in the so-it’s-not-my-fault-at-all zone, consider the very real pitfalls of procrastination. For instance, putting things off can cause stress later when you have to double or triple-time it. And we all know how stress wreaks havoc on your overall health – your immune system in particular – not to mention how relationships between stressed out people suffer.

Factor in the bad rap your reputation will get. Also, how repeatedly succumbing to procrastination will squash both your drive to succeed and the likelihood of realizing your dreams. And those are but a few of the myriad ways procrastination can lead to trouble.

Understanding the science behind procrastination is all well and good, but what most of us need are practical tips for beating procrastination.

  1. Dismiss the notion of perfection

 If you’re waiting for everything to line up perfectly before diving into whatever it may be, just don’t. Not only will you accomplish next to nothing, but you’re giving procrastination a foothold in your life. Get your ducks in a row as best you can – then dive in.

  1. Change things up

 Realize that different environments have a huge impact on your productivity. A writer friend of mine finds one distraction after another at home, but can buckle down at the corner coffee shop where laundry, dishes, and a million other chores are not front and center.

  1. Remember how to eat an elephant?

 Big tasks or projects often saddle you with a crippling sense of being overwhelmed before you even get started. Which makes it ten times harder to get started. So, break the assignment into bite-sized pieces . . . Err, smaller tasks. And make it a priority to bask in the sense of accomplishment, for just a wee bit, after each step.

  1. Create the adult equivalent to a sticker chart

Remember the sticker chart that worked wonders to get your preschooler to behave? That same reward principle can work for adults too. Establish little reward incentives along the way then treat yourself to something special when the task is finished, on time in a quality manner.

Get a grip on procrastination before it becomes the middle name that even the dog knows you by.

Now here’s a biggie. Don’t procrastinate about contacting B Loehr Staffing. You are our priority at B. Loehr Staffing. That’s why both our Client and Candidate Toolboxes are chalk full of resources to assist you. Check them out today.

Laugh out loud! It’s good for you!

Relax, take five, pull up a chair and engage in the psycho-physiological reflex that manifests in a successive, rhythmic, spasmodic expiration with open glottis and vibration of the vocal chords often accompanied by a baring of teeth and facial grimaces.

Don’t worry – you’re not being asked to mimic a rabid dog. The above description is actually the medical definition of laughter.

Ah, heck, take ten or twenty and enjoy a good ‘ole belly laugh courtesy of Work One Liners:

  • When my boss asked me who is the stupid one, me or him? I told him everyone knows he doesn’t hire stupid people.
  •  Nothing ruins a Friday more than realizing that today is Tuesday.
  • My resume is just a list of things I hope you never ask me to do.
  • I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.
  • When an employment application asks who is to be notified in case of emergency, I always write, “A very good “
  • Whatever you do always give 100 % – unless you are donating blood.

Hold on to your chair because this LaughFactory.com joke may have you rolling in the aisle.

  • Two factory workers are talking. The woman says, “I can make the boss give me the day off.” The man replies, “And how would you do that?” The woman says, “Just wait and see.” She then hangs upside-down from the ceiling. The boss comes in and says, “What are you doing?” The woman replies, “I’m a light bulb.” The boss then says, “You’ve been working so much that you’ve gone crazy. I think you need to take the day off.” The man starts to follow her and the boss says, “Where are you going?” The man says, “I’m going home, too. I can’t work in the dark.”

If your aching side can stand a bit more humor, let these giggle-worthy anecdotes fill your laugh tank to overflowing!

  • I hope when I die; it’s early in the morning . . . So I don’t go to work that day for no reason.
  • My boss texted me, “Send me one of your funny jokes, Pete.”

I replied, “I’m working at the moment, Sir, I will send you one later.”

He replied, “That was fantastic, send me another one.”

My boss told me yesterday, “Ken, you shouldn’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.”

But when I turned up at the office today in Ghostbuster’s clothing, she said I was fired.

And one more source of good clean humor

  • Sam walks into his boss’s office. “Sir, I’ll be straight with you, I know the economy isn’t great, but I have over three companies after me, and I would like to ask respectfully for a raise.” After a few minutes of haggling, the boss finally agrees to a 5% raise, and Sam happily gets up to leave. “By the way,” asks the boss as Sam is getting up, “which three companies are after you?” “The electric company, water company, and phone company,” Sam replied.
  • The Boss of our small company was complaining during a staff meeting that people didn’t respect him enough. Trying to improve the office attitude, he came in the next day with a sign for his door. It said, “I am the boss.” One of the employees, apparently not appreciating the change, stuck a post-it-note on the sign, which said: “your wife wants her sign back!”
  • An employee approached his boss regarding a dispute on his Employee – “Sir, this is $100 less than my salary.”

Boss – “I know, but when you were overpaid $100 by mistake last month, you didn’t complain!”

Employee – “Well, I don’t mind an occasional mistake, Sir, but it seems to be becoming a habit, now!”

Manage your professional and personal life more effectively with B. Loehr Staffing’s vast database of resources. Our Candidate Resource Center contains a wealth of information to help you land a great position, maximize on-the-job performance, create a healthy work-life balance and more. Contact our staffing specialists today – we might even share a laugh or two.

 

 The Best Summer Ever

b loehr - summerA couple of months ago over lunch, a friend and I made plans to get together this summer to brainstorm this idea that had mulled around in my brain for years. “I think you’re on to something here,” he’d said, encouraging the tiny spark to flicker brightly once again.

While I would have loved to get him on board and make some headway in turning this idea into something tangible, I filed the “get together this summer” comment in the same faraway place where all the other this-summer-let’s-do conversations ended up—never to be heard from again.

So I was totally blown away when in mid-May he called and announced, “Let’s get those brainstorming sessions on the calendar. You mentioned Wednesdays are good for a long lunch, right?” I mumbled something unintelligible, too stunned to form a coherent sentence. Undaunted, he continued. “Sorry I didn’t call sooner, but I saved every other Wednesday. I figure by the end of summer, we’ll be ready to make a presentation.”

Now words really failed me. But somehow the conversation had continued. The proof now stared back at me from my calendar in two-hour lunch blocks on half the Wednesdays through June, July, and August that bore the notation “lunch w/Brian”.

That first Wednesday, I not only picked up the lunch tab but thanked him profusely for making time for me in what had to be an incredibly busy summer schedule. After all, whose summer schedule wasn’t busy?

“Yeah, we have a lot going on. But this project is important to me.”

“Aren’t you coaching Little League, too? I don’t know how you fit everything into your schedule. Summers fly by so fast that it seems like I blink and it’s over.”

And then he shared his secret to making every summer the best summer ever: get it on the calendar.

“Used to be like that for us too. All these hopeful plans that never came to fruition. Then a couple of years ago we got serious about planning our summers. Now in early May—actually started in April this year—we grab the calendar and begin plotting out all the stuff we want to do. The fun things like outings to the zoo and the kids’ games as well as the not-so-fun stuff like painting the deck. We try to knock out all the major chores around the house by the end of May, so we have more time to enjoy summer.”

I’m sure my mouth hung open in a most unflattering pose as he detailed how the calendar had become their secret weapon for making the most of the summer. And thankfully, he shared some awesome time-saving tips that help them squeeze every spare minute out their summers.

  • His wife does a huge grocery stock-up the first week of June to cut back on all those annoying emergency runs to the store.
  • He hires a couple of teens from the neighborhood to help with the major lawn care.
  • They established a family chore time that has incentivized the kids to pitch in because when the job’s done, they take a family bike ride to get ice cream.
  • They offer double allowances to any child willing to take on additional, age-appropriate household responsibilities that free up some time for mom and dad.
  • Each family member gets to suggest an outing for the family to enjoy together.

On the way home, I swung by the office supply store and purchased a calendar with huge blocks for writing in summer activities. Then after dinner, I called our first “best summer ever” calendar planning session.

At B. Loehr Staffing we understand the importance of life-work balance. We can offer you a position with the freedom and flexibility your lifestyle demands. Contact us today.

 

 

2016 Yields Positive Hiring Predictions for Graduate

2016 graduates are looking at the rosiest hiring predictions in a decade with well over half of employers planning to hire from this year’s pool of college grads.

More good news: the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is 5.6%, the lowest rate since June 2008, according to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute.

Employers expect to hire 5.2 percent more graduates from the Class of 2016 than they hired from the Class of 2015, according to the report from The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update. The NACE’s original report last November announced a heady 11 percent increase over the previous year’s hiring. While the new prediction slashes the number by half, still the forecast is quite favorable.

Reasons cited for the swell in hiring include the need to offset upcoming retirements as well as the importance of building talent pipelines

Even with this promising outlook, striking out to find your first “real” job can be a nerve-wracking proposition. These four proactive do’s and don’ts will set you up for success in the life-after-college world of employment.

DO:

  1. Target what you want to do

While this may sound like a no-brainer, it’s amazing how many graduates shake the college president’s hand, grasp their diploma, and wander off the stage as questions like “Now, what happens?” swirl through their brain.

Simply wanting a job, any job, will make your job search unfocused and likely a disappointment in the end. Applying for everything and anything not only wastes time and energy but too often concludes with the grad accepting something—maybe the first “real” offer—simply to end the search. “Phew, now I have a job,” can quickly turn into, “What was I thinking?”

To avoid wasting precious time only to end up disillusioned, take the time to examine what you like to do and what you hate to do. By now you know where your strengths lie as well as your weak areas. Mesh all of that with your qualifications and skills, your experience and education. This composite of who you are should help you pinpoint several jobs to target on your quest for a “real” job. That will lead to #2:

  1. Put together a list of potential employers

There are many resources that can lead you to potential employers. If you’re seeking a position in a mega-company,  Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and Fortune 500 are good choices. Lists compiled by Forbes, including the Forbes 2000, America’s largest privately-held companies, and Best Places for Business and Careers are also a rich source of ideas.

The Thomas Register of Manufacturers is a help for anyone seeking a position in manufacturing, and the local Chamber of Commerce can offer can help you connect with small to medium size companies.

Networking, however, is your best bet for any industry – from small companies to mega. The more you connect with the right people, the greater your chances of securing the right position. Attending networking events, participating in forums and discussion groups on social media, and participating in community and volunteer events are just a few of the mega networking opportunities available.

Connecting with a staffing company will also net a broad range of potential employers. Not only do staffing companies know the employers, but they also have an inside track to available positions.

Note: Create a spreadsheet to keep track where and when you sent résumés, as well as contact names and other pertinent information about each potential employer.

DON’T:

  1. Fall prey to the “I have too little to offer” syndrome.

Of course your experience is limited. On top of that, your “real world” accomplishments are few and far between, maybe even lame outside of the world of academia. You’ve spent the past four-plus years learning and preparing for a career, which left little time to work in your chosen field. That’s okay. Employers know all of this.

Before you decide you have no choice but to settle for the first job offer you’re lucky enough to receive, take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the last four to eight years of your life. Your project team consistently ranked at the top in the department. Your management skills netted a supervisory position at the coffee shop. You served as a class officer in high school and on the student life committee at college. You brainstormed a successful plan to revamp class scheduling for your major.

Do not sell yourself short but rather focus on what you “handled”, “organized”, or “contributed to” rather than what you feel is lacking.

  1. Be afraid to dream big

Does this sound like you? “I know what I’d love to do. But I have zero experience, and it would stretch my qualifications and skills, so no point in even trying.”

Remember, this first “real job” isn’t likely to be the one you will still be at come retirement. Rather this is the perfect time to get your foot in the door of an industry you’re itching to delve into. Even if your major only vaguely links to this sector, if it appeals to you, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Employers want and need enthusiastic, passionate employees and are quite often willing to train candidates who are eager to learn and will give their all to the position.  Personal and family contacts can be of great help in such situations. When someone shares first-hand knowledge about a candidate’s personality and work ethic, that info often tips the scales in the candidate’s favor.

Set your sights high and get that game plan in order. Strive to impress employers with a “go get ’em” attitude and don’t allow what you might lack in experience to deter you. Approach your targeted job opportunities with ambition, energy, and a demonstrated desire to be a valued member of the team.

B. Loehr Staffing’s employees receive the most competitive pay package available as well a benefit program that includes portable medical insurance, referral program, and skills enhancement training. Take the next step in your career by submitting your resume or searching our currently available positions today.

Interview Tips for Recent College Grads – Part 1

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????You’ve aced interviews in the past. That one for the cafeteria job your freshman year and just last winter you nabbed a spot on the groundskeeper’s crew after a very successful interview. When you think back, though, those interviews were pretty much a formality. Your roommate recommended you for kitchen prep – actually, she begged the manager to hire you so she’d have a friend on the work team. And with the early, snowy winter, the grounds keeping crew were short-handed, big time, so the interview lasted maybe four minutes before the supervisor pronounced you hired.

But now that your college days are behind you, and you’re officially on the prowl for a “real” job, the game has changed. This is the big leagues. The real deal. The realization that those past interviews did nothing to prepare you for landing a real-world, honest-to-goodness, 40-hour-per-week job causes your stomach to knot.

Don’t let the prospect of a job interview send you into a tailspin. With some preparation and attention to detail, you can successfully navigate a “real world” interview. This week we’ll delve into several key “don’ts” and continue with the “dos” in next week’s post.

Don’t:

  • Focus too heavily on college accolades

In the “real world” grades, extracurriculars, and such matter less than they did in your pre-graduation days. Of course, you’ve every reason to be proud of your accomplishments and will want to note them on your resume. But this potential employer will be most interested in how your knowledge and skills will translate into on-the-job know-how. Focus on the experiences that have prepared you for this position.

  • Focus on everything but the job itself

 It’s fine if the company “perks” have you psyched. The culture and benefits and the location – surrounded by awesome eateries – not to mention that cool coffee shop on the first floor. But none of these topics should dominate the interview conversation. You’ll make a much better impression if you focus on how you’ll give 110% to the job rather than drool over the vending machines. 

  • Forget about non-verbal communication

While interviews are mostly about talking, it’s crucial to be aware of the impression your body language makes. You want to come across as confident so don’t fidget or allow your eyes to dart around the room. Sit up straight and sit back rather than hover on the edge of your seat. You want to project enthusiasm so smile sincerely and focus on the conversation. Speak with “a smile in your voice.” 

  • Expect perfection

Even the best interview has its low points. The one question you dreaded the most, whose answer you stumbled over. The awkward silence when nary a coherent thought could find its way from your brain to your mouth. It happens to everyone at some point. So cut yourself some slack. If you go in accepting that something will probably not go exactly as you’d hoped or planned, you’re likely to be calmer and make fewer bloopers.

Stop by for next week’s post on key “do’s” for navigating successful job interviews.

At B. Loehr Staffing we are continually searching for the highest caliber candidates to become our employees. An interview with us might be that all-important first step in your new career.  Don’t waste another minute.  Contact us today.

The Many Benefits of Positive Thinking

b loehr - positiveWhether your attitude reflects a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty outlook, it will impact every aspect of your life. The benefits of positive thinking are particularly impactful on your health and overall well-being. In fact, a sunny disposition can increase lifespan, reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol and increase resistance to the common cold. Positive thinking lowers rates of depression, lessens stress, slows aging and improves coping mechanisms for dealing with the inevitable bumps in the road of life.

All of these benefits should be reason enough to strive for an optimistic outlook. But according to Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, there’s even more to gain. An optimistic outlook can impact your job skills and create lasting, impactful value in your work life as well.

Fredrickson refers to this as the “broaden and build” theory. Positive emotions create a broadened sense of possibilities and open your mind to potential opportunities. This encourages a person to seek out, build and develop new skills and resources that can provide value across all areas of his/her life.

A sunny disposition is often accompanied by a can-do attitude, a characteristic that certainly makes an employee more desirable—not to mention more teachable/trainable and pleasant to be around. A positive thinker commonly appears on the list of most sought-after “soft skills”.

Many see positive thinking as simply a personality trait. While some folks are naturally more optimistic, those who find themselves prone to negativity don’t have to allow a pessimistic attitude to rule their lives. Choosing to shut down gloomy “self-talk”— the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head—can make a huge difference. Minimizing negative self-talk and intentionally redirecting one’s mental monolog paves the way for a more optimistic overall outlook.

While some of this ongoing internal conversation comes from logic and reason, some self-talk results from misconceptions or a lack of information. Get the facts—assuming almost always leads to a blurry picture—then refuse to allow a gloomy Gus attitude to sabotage a positive approach.

When life throws you a curb, it’s tempting—and takes little effort—to succumb to woe-is-me thinking. But fight the urge to expect the worst and focus instead on the bright side. Because expecting good things to happen actually increases the chances of a positive outcome.

So, Debbie Downer and Negative Ned, make way for Positive Patrick and Optimistic Olivia!

The caliber of B. Loehr Staffing’s Field Associates, as well our clients has earned us the reputation as a solid premier provider of quality staffing in the greater St. Louis area. Whether you are a candidate looking for a position or a company seeking talent, building a “positive” partnership with us will provide a timely solution. Contact B. Loehr Staffing today.

6 Teamwork Characteristics that Will Get You Noticed

Collaboration in the workplace is an effective way to harness creativity, birth innovative ideas, and bring major projects to a timely completion. That’s why job boards are littered with pleas for “team players”. Many of today’s fastest growing industries have stepped up to make teamwork an even more integral piece of their organization’s structure.

When it comes to sports, we know what a “team player” looks like. But what makes for a “team player” in the workplace? What are employers looking for from their team members?

Candidates who demonstrate the following qualities are the people who will grab an employer’s attention.

  1. Reliability

Teamwork fails or succeeds based on the dependability of the individual members. Someone who is known for being behind or shirking his/her duties altogether will not be anyone’s first choice for a project requiring teamwork. However, the person who delivers on time, every time, while willingly taking on a fair share of the work – plus a little when necessary, that’s the guy, or gal everyone will want on their team. Consistent reliability is a must-have quality for teamwork to be effective.

2.  Active participation

“Bumps on a log” have no place on an active team, so no “in name only” team members, please. Good team players participate. They come prepared for discussion, ready to share input and practice “active listening”. No thumb twiddling from the sidelines, thank you very much. A real team player takes initiative, volunteers and exemplifies a “How can I contribute?” attitude.

  1. Straightforwardness 

With tact and diplomacy, a good team member will strive always to be up front. Beating around the bush, game playing and leading folks down a long, winding road that ultimately goes nowhere undermine teamwork. A great team member shares his/her opinion – even when it is an opposing one – with tact and respect. And that includes not being afraid to say, “Look, this didn’t work like we thought it would so it’s back to square one.” Be honest about the good and the bad.  Failure isn’t about shucking plan A and moving on to plan B. Insisting everything is A-Okay when it’s as plain as the nose on your face that something has to change? That is failure.

  1. Flexibility

Being flexible, which is not at all the same as being “wishy-washy,” is an excellent team work characteristic. The ability to review and adjust and forge ahead without losing momentum is of huge value to group efforts.

It happens all the time. Either external or internal forces – maybe both – shift, resulting in the need to tweak or even perform a major overhaul. The best team players choose to view such situations as opportunities and refuse to dig in their heels, stamp their feet and declare a firm “No!” This isn’t about change with nary a thought to the outcome, but rather a purposeful approach that realizes sometimes change is necessary.

  1. Commitment 

Good team players get the job done. Exceptional team players do so with a level of passion that drives them to give 110%. It’s that extra commitment that will get employees noticed. They are in “it” for the long haul – whatever “it” may be. No taking shortcuts or knocking off early. They care deeply enough about the group effort to give their all and expect others to do the same. When they devote themselves to the team, it is serious business. 

  1. Initiative

Not everyone is a leader—and that’s perfectly okay. But everyone can demonstrate initiative. Like coming forward to take on an extra task. Stepping outside your comfort zone to fill a need. Speaking up to get or keep the ball rolling. Going the extra mile see a task completed. Shouldering more responsibility. Each of these initiative-taking roles plays an important part in effective teamwork.

You can make your unique blend of skills and experience shine by polishing your teamwork qualities. Fitting the “team player” bill will present a myriad of job options to the candidate serious about on-the-job collaboration opportunities. Pursuing teamwork-edifying qualities with all you’ve got will make you stand out amongst a sea of less teamwork-inclined job candidates. It’s in your best interest to pursue being the best team member you can be.

When teamwork jells, creativity thrives. Fresh, unleashed ideas and a get-the-job-done energy flow through team members. And that’s a good thing.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we test and train only the highest caliber candidates to become our employees. Their outstanding performances over the years have solidified our reputation as a premier provider of quality staffing in the greater St. Louis area. Contact us today about a position with excellent opportunities for both personal and professional growth.