J Patrick + Associates Blog

6 Ways To Refocus your Team and Get back to Making Deals

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Mar 07, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

6 Ways to Refocus Your Team and Get Back To Making Deals.png

It happens to the best managers - your team was cruising along, making deals and running like the well oiled machine you built it to be.

 But then something happens. The latest flu makes the rounds in the office picking your employees off one by one, or people are having a hard time refocusing after vacation.Whatever the reasons, it's time for you to refocus your team and get things ramped back up.

Here are some ideas to help guide you.

Wipe The Slate

A stockpile of work can be overwhelming, but there’s nothing worse than having fluff making the pile even higher. Take the time to go through projects and clear out irrelevant and outdated tasks. What seemed like an important project back in early July may no longer be applicable. Clear the decks so you can get the team working toward clear and achievable goals.

Make A Plan

Even if you had the whole year mapped out, now is the time to realign and reprioritze. The best way to get your team back into fighting shape is to present them with a game plan. Clear priorities and a newly energized effort helps set the tone. We are back and ready to start cranking out the deals!

Resurrect Boundaries

Dress code and Friday closing times aren’t the only things to get loosened up in the summertime. Boundaries and conventions have a habit of slipping as well. Take these days in the early part of September to re-establish the conventions that help make you the most productive. Close the door on your office or put your phone on Do Not Disturb for a few hours in the morning in order to give yourself the time you need to refocus. Do what you need to do to send the signal to your team that it’s nose to the grindstone time.

Authorize and Engage

Sometimes the best way to get the blood going, and to show your team they're valued, is to change things up. You've hired a cracker-jack team, now it's time to push them. Give an individual a new responsibility, enhance a particular group’s reach. This isn’t about playing favorites, but it is about creating new avenues for development, both individually and for the team as a whole.

A Little Competition Goes A Long Way

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get people back into fighting form. Creating a sales competition is a great way to get the blood going again.

If a sales competition is not pertinent to your business, then try a fundraising challenge or even plan a sporting event. The idea is to get the team reinvigorated and re-engaged both together, and individually.

Take the time to reinvigorate and re-engage your employees, and the benefits will be seen long past the close of the quarter.

Bui

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Career Strategies, Career Advice

Why Vacation Is The Key To Success At Work

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 @ 11:11 AM

Even at J. Patrick executive it and audivisual recruiters take breaks for their careers

The American workforce can be described in many ways: driven, diverse, tenacious and dedicated. It can also be described as incredibly stressed out!

Taking time off is not something Americans do well. In fact, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Project Time Off, 41% of Americans did not plan to use their vacation days. Among the reasons cited in the survey were: 
  • A fear that they’d return to a mountain of work that would leave them playing catch-up for too long (40%)
  • 33% said they could not afford to take time off
  • They don’t want to appear replaceable (22%)
  • 28% of respondents think that by not taking vacation, they are demonstrating greater dedication

All these reasons are perfectly logical. But they are also incredibly flawed. There are several key reasons taking your vacation time actually enhances your chance for advancement and is the key to success at work.

Everyone Needs To Recharge

There’s only so long a person can keep performing at the peak of their abilities without time to rest, recover and regroup. If you need inspiration, you need look no further than at how elite athletes use rest to enhance performance. Just as they must be careful not to overtrain lest they suffer from burnout and staleness, so too must the dedicated employee. And burnout doesn’t only affect your mood, the health implications are real.

In order to remain healthy, productive and effective you have to learn to step back to recharge. Just like a car battery, you’re valuable only as long as you’ve got a full charge.

Creativity Needs to be Fed

Even if you’re not a fan of musical theater, chances are pretty high that you’re familiar with the phenomenon that is Hamilton: An American Musical. And if you’ve heard even one interview with the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, then you know that he was inspired to create the show after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, while on VACATION. What Miranda thought would be an interesting beach read, turned out to be the seed for an amazing creative breakthrough. For a business related example, you need look no further than Kevin Systrom, who dreamed up the idea for Instagram while laying on the beach. Now, I’m not suggesting that taking vacation will lead you to write the next great American musical, or the next disruptive tech idea,  but there is an important lesson to be taken from these examples. Allowing yourself time away from the demands of the office, of deadlines, and day-to-day business makes room for your mind to wander. Science has given us very convincing insight into the virtues of daydreaming, and the impact it has on creativity. It’s your ideas that make you stand out at work; give yourself the time and space to dream some new ones up.

Build Alliances

Relationships are everything in the workplace. No matter where you are on the corporate ladder; trust, faith and cooperation among team members are key to success. And just as one weak link can threaten the entire chain, so too can one burnt out, exhausted, running on empty employee. By taking vacation days you are not only taking care of yourself, but you are also presented with the opportunity to enhance the bond you share with your team. Planning coverage, or training someone up to watch your desk fosters cohesion and cooperation.  

A word of warning here: if, you don’t feel like you can trust your co-workers or manager to insure things run smoothly, it might be time to look for a new placement!

Appear More Productive

 Project Time Off found that “People who take all their vacation days have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time on the table.” While this may fly in the face of conventional logic, the reason is simple: managers perceive happy employees as more productive. Now this isn’t to say that taking vacation time is a magic salve guaranteed to fix everything that ails you, but it can give your brain and your body important time to recuperate and gain some new perspectives. If you want to know how to get ahead at work, begin with taking some well-deserved time off.

$$$

If nothing else can convince you, not taking time off means that you are spending those allotted days working for free. You may be the most dedicated employee or the hardest working team member, the one who doesn’t think twice about working overtime in order to get the job done, but if your boss flat out asked you to work without compensation for 10-12 days a year, would you?

If your goal is to get ahead, get that job promotion, prove yourself a great employee: you owe it to yourself, your co-workers and your boss to take time off, feed your creativity and rest your body.

For some great vacation ideas that don’t have to cost a lot of $, check out this list of the 16 Best Affordable Destinations in the US.

 

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Tags: Career Strategies, Career Path

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Offers

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Offers.pngCongratulations!

You’ve been looking for a new job, and now you’ve got not one, but two competing offers, with each presenting certain benefits that the other doesn't.  

First thing you should do is just take a moment and remind yourself that some people would riot to be in the position you are in.

Now, let’s break down some points to help you evaluate how to best handle the situation.  

Written In Ink

When presented with two offers, it’s natural to start comparing them immediately. However, it’s not wise to do so until you have a physical copy of both offers. You want to be able to weigh several vital factors, such as health benefits, vacation time, maternity leave, commute time against each other. All of these important data points should be measured as concretely as possible.

Also remember, without a written offer, your negotiating power is limited since you're basing all of your facts off a verbal agreement.

So get it in writing and don't forget to read the fine print!     

Be Honest

When you encounter this kind of situation, it’s common to ask yourself if you should tell one company about the other offer.  In some cases, one offer may require a decision before you've received the specifics from the other proposal. If you have the opportunity to review both offers without spilling the beans, than you should do so. It’s possible for a company to feel as if you're trying to shake them down or force them into a bidding war by revealing the other offer.

If you’re cornered and have no other option but to tell the company about the other offer, then do so carefully. An example would be:

“I am appreciative of your offer, and the thought of joining your company is very exciting, but I will be honest and tell you that there is another offer that is currently pending, and I’d like some time to weigh all my options.”

You will always run the possibility of them saying no or stripping the deal; however, hopefully they’ll respect you for being honest. And in the end you can thank them for making your decision a lot easier.

Break-It-Down

Once you have both written offers in hand, you should start with writing down what specifically you want from the new job.

This shouldn't be a quick process where you immediately run to the offer with the highest salary. You’ll be spending a good deal of your time in this new position, so make sure to consider all factors and not just the obvious ones. To make this process a little easier, consider making a S.W.O.T analysis or another form of a comparison grid.

Before considering the negatives, start mapping out all of the benefits from each proposal. Only after you’ve compared the potential benefits is it time to move on to reviewing the negatives. Factors, such as work environment, travel distance, and your overall happiness should be given the utmost consideration.

The simple act of physically writing them down allows you to grasp a better understanding of the benefits of both offers.

Take A Walk

Take a break. After all, it’s what you do when you need to blow off some steam or if you've hit a rough patch at work. It’s essential that you give some yourself some time to think and clear your mind. When you're stuck in one way of thinking, find some sort of distraction, whether it be watching a movie or reading a book. Just make sure you get out, let loose, and let the two offers be the last thing your mind for a little while.

Though this kind of situation can become stressful, you must ultimately choose what feels right for you. Consider everything that is important, make your decision, and never look back.

We all have that inner wisdom lying in the bottom of our stomach -- Listen to it.

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Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies, Career Path

The Pros & Cons of Contract Work

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

PROS__CONS.pngThe word on the street in Silicon Valley is that we are currently in a “gig economy.” What that means is that more and more people are opting to work as independent contractors, as opposed to traditional full-time employment. According to new research, conducted by labor economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger, between 2005 and 2015 the number of Americans seeking alternative work arrangements swelled by 9.4 million. The swing towardcontract employment can be explained by several factors, such as the need for flexible work hours, to the desire for increased autonomy.

But, if you find yourself thinking about joining the growing ranks of contract workers, you need to first understand the pro and cons of this kind of work.

PRO: Potential for Higher Earnings

Companies look to hire contract staffing because it provides the flexibility they need, it saves time, money and resources. However, they are looking to hire experts, not neophytes. They do not want to invest in training or other onboarding expenses. A contractor who knows what to do and how to get it done in a timely manner, is worth top dollar. They come in, do the job and don't put any further drain on company resources.

CON: Increased Uncertainty

The potential for higher earnings is a great benefit of work-for-hire, but there’s no guarantee you will keep working once a contract expires. And since the nature of the work you’ve been hired to do is finite, you have no guarantee that you’ll make the money you thought you would. Another other thing to consider is that the project you were hired to work on can be unexpectedly cancelled. All of these factors can add up to increased financial instability --if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.

And finally, there’s no way of knowing the amount of time you’ll spend between contracts.  

PRO: Lifestyle Flexibility

According to Randstad’s Workforce360 Study, about 86% of independent contractors reported their level of job satisfaction to be good/excellent. With this kind of work arrangement comes more freedom, you’re able to control your career path without having to wade through office politics for a promotion, pay raise, or time off. You negotiate to get the employment packages that suit you best, and you take as much or as little time off in between contracts. If this type of flexibility is appealing to you, then contracting out may be the best of all worlds.  

CON: Outside Looking In

All that flexibility may be nice, but the price you pay is that you’ll always be the outsider.  Contract work makes it difficult to create connections that might help advance your career further down the road. There’s also the fluid and evr- changing nature of social engagement at work. As we all know, you spend more time at work than at home, so your social life tends to stem from your work life. Relationships are fleeting and lasting bonds are rearely formed. 

PRO: Increased Technical & Professional Knowledge

You’re an expert in your field, and have a certain skill set that companies in your industry want. But, contract work also provides the opportunity to sharpen your expertise and work in different sectors. It allows you to broaden your experience in your field and perhaps gain new skills in other industries. You’re at liberty to choose the skills that you would like to further develop in other industries, allowing you to enhance your CV and marketability for future jobs. It can also be part of your story when explaining an employment gap to a potential employer.

CON: Career Development

The freedom provided by contract work to broaden your technical and professional skills means that you are in charge of your own development. Great, right? Maybe not. Although it feels empowering to be in charge of your own career development, it is a heavy burden to bear. You no longer have the human resources department or a talent management team to ensure that you’re properly trained and qualified for the job. It is now up to you to make sure that your skill set is up to par with the current trends of the industry.

Like everything in life, contract employment has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it might not be a career long plan, if you’re returning back to the work force or need a flexible work arrangement, contract work very well might be a great option.

 

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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

10 Tips To Help You Stand Out and Get Promoted

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

10_Tips_To_Help_You_Stand_Out_and_Get_Promoted.pngCompleting your everyday tasks just isn't enough when it comes to getting under your boss's spotlight and landing a promotion. With everybody in the workplace showing up to complete their daily tasks, what makes you stand out?

In order to get promoted, you must get the attention of your employer, and in order to do that, you must differentiate yourself from the rest of the team.

Here are 10 tips to help you stand out and get the promotion you deserve.

Eye Contact

Studies have shown that human senses and brain cells are triggered when someone is looking at you, thanks to a phenomenon commonly known as a “gaze detector.” Whether it be a one-on-one exchange, or a regular conference meeting, when conversing with your employer you have to maintain eye contact. A constantly shifting gaze or downcast eyes do not send the message that you're present and focused.

Dont forget, eye contact is also a strong indicator of a person's confidence level. And managers always appreciate a courageous and concentrated employee.

On Time

Shakespeare once said “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Nothing broadcasts apathy toward your job more than showing up late to work, even if that's not your intention. In most cases, it's an occurrence that could have been easily avoided, so take care to plan your life properly. When you're late, you are potentially decreasing work productivity for your co-workers. By getting to work early, you are illustrating your dedication to your job; an attribute employers love and can't easily ignore.

Engagement

To get the promotion, you must take initiative. This means going above and beyond your average work tasks and responsibilities. Don’t be intimidated by taking the lead and becoming a driving force behind your team’s productivity. Be open to work on new projects and look for opportunities to volunteer to help. Even if your boss doesn't immediately recognize how engaged you are, they’ll see it through your numbers and productivity.

Dependability

It's every employer’s dream to be able to call on someone and delegate a task with zero concerns on if it will completed in a correct or timely manner. When upper management delegates a task to you, that means they are putting their trust in your hands. Now it’s your job to make sure you deliver top quality work on time. Your capability to show up and and deliver are only a few of the factors that prove your ability to be trusted. If your supervisor is constantly looking to you and delegating tasks your way, you're doing something right.

Know When Speak Up

You have a voice, so you shouldn't be afraid to use it. An employee who gives their input on projects, and business activities is an employee who cares. And those who care, get rewarded. Whether it be during meetings or face-to-face interactions, don't be intimidated to get involved on relevant topics and let your voice be heard. However, you don't want to over step, so make sure you find a balance on when to pitch in and when to keep quiet.

Know When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Some offices can sometimes sound like a high school cafeteria with the amount of gossip being passed around. Instead of the buzz being centered around the ‘popular kids’, it’s often revolved around business operations or a co-worker in the office. It's normal for individuals to vent about their problems and concerns, however, when you're in the office space, keep your nose clean. You do not need to be caught up in anyone else's drama or bad feelings. So when you’re in the office, keep your mouth shut and your eyes on your work.

 Positivity

Time to turn the energy switch to level 1000. Put aside the morning's commuting nightmare, or the shoulder-check you received in the subway. When you walk into the office on Monday morning, put on a smile and wish everyone a good morning. Be enthusiastic around the office and provide a helping hand to your colleagues. Before you know it, your positivity will have spread throughout the entire building. Managers look to people who add to the office, and not those who look as if they dread their job.

Self Investment

As you're aware, you won't be the only person working to get the new position. You need to stand out, and the most dominant differentiator is your skill set. Use your personal time to increase your skills by taking a class, or earning a certification in a relevant field.  When your skills increase so does your value. So never stop learning, even if it means doing it on your own time.

Big Picture

Every successful company has long-term plans or goals. All of the tasks that you and your team members are working on are all little variables to the company's big equation. The goal is always at the top of upper management's agenda, so make it yours as well. Look for extra ways to contribute to the company’s big picture, even if it means you won't receive full recognition. 

And even if you don't get the next promotion that comes down the line, you'll be sending a very strong and clear message to your boss that you are a team player who is worth investing in. 

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Tags: Career Strategies

How to find Candidates with the People Skills you need

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:47 AM

How_to_find_candidates_with_the_people_skills_you_need.jpg 

Everyone wants to hire a Rock Star, aka the perfect candidate. You’re looking for skills, experience and depth of training. But there’s another quality that makes someone stand out, and that’s their ability to communicate.

So here are a few tips on how to improve your ability to find and hire candidates with great people skills.

Awesome Descriptions Drive Traffic

Designing a killer job description is the first way that you’ll start attracting talent with strong intrapersonal skills. Be certain to highlight specifically what people skills you’re looking for. Do you need someone to be customer facing? Someone who can deal with complaints well? Or just someone who can work well in the office? Identifying exactly what you require and being clear about it will help attract the brightest candidates..

Resumes With Meat

While a resume helps you find people with the necessary technical skills, it cannot necessarily tell you how proficient a candidate is with people. A resume that touts “good communication skills” isn’t a specific description of the candidate’s soft skills. So, start by looking for specific examples of their ability. Has the candidate headed up a team? Do they cite specific customer facing projects supported by metrics and data? Someone writing “skilled at dealing with a wide variety of people” indicates they’re aware of their ability to work with multiple types of personalities.

Interview (Should) = Reality

The best way to see how a candidate  communicates is to communicate with them. If they say they’re experienced in dealing with difficult customers, look to test that. Stage a mock sales call in which the customer gets angry or confrontational.

Also observe how they communicate with others in your office. Are they able to easily communicate or do they falter and stumble? This is also a good way to see if the candidate, and their communication style, is a good fit with your organizational culture.

Willingness to Argue

As counterproductive as it sounds, someone who is able to argue effectively can be a great employee to put in front of customers. They can represent your company even in the most difficult settings.Candidates who show they can handle tough situations, and work to defuse even the most tense situation, are the people you want representing your company.

Give them hypothetical arguments to make. Have candidates defend a previous decisions they made in another organization. Point out to them some hypothetical flaws. Ask them what argument they would make if you told them you didn’t think them a fit for the job. How they handle the stress tells you how they’ll handle it in the field.  

Not all Follow Ups are Created Equal

Every candidate should, of course, follow up after an interview. But if you're looking for people skills, look for those who include personal or especially specific information. Do they remember every person they met, from all levels in the company? Doing so is indicative of someone who is detailed oriented, and knows how to make an impression.

People skills are what makes the difference between a competent candidate, and a real rock star. There may be plenty of qualified people out there who meet your technical qualifications, but it’s the great communicator who will help move your business to the next level.

 

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Tags: HR and Hiring, Career Strategies, Career Path

6 Skills You Need To Develop To Be A Leader At Work

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

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Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” - Jack Welch

Let’s get this straight from the get go; there is no such thing as a natural born leader. Regardless of how much power and influence one may have been born into, leadership is a learned skill. Sure, it comes easier to some and we can’t ignore that there are those who enjoy a quicker route to the top, but in order to stay there, to keep growing their influence, they had to cultivate some key qualities.

Leadership is not a title, it’s a mindset, a way of being. Whether you have your sights on management, the C-level Suite, or run your own business, you’d do well to begin integrating these qualities into your everyday life now, for habits only become habits with practice.

Here are 6 things great leaders know.

They Speak Less, Listen More

The only way to get a broad understanding of any situation is to first listen to what other’s have to say. Take everything in, consider all sides of the story before formulating your response. Then, once you’ve considered what it is you want to contribute, concision is the key to effective communication.

When you are willing to listen more and speak less, others will feel more valued if you are willing to hear them out. When you do speak, people will be far more apt to listen.

They Value Integrity 

Someone who motivates and drives a successful team is, first and foremost, a model of reliability and accountability. Reliability is won by doing what you say you’re going to do, when you said you’re going to do it. And then going one step further to take responsibility should things go sideways.

They Are Always Adapting

There has to be more than one solution to any given problem, and a good motivator knows this to be true. Rigidity kills innovation, leaving no room for new ideas to bloom. Certainly there may be standards and procedures that must be adhered to, but a good leader leaves room for creativity to bloom.

They Communicate 

While this may sound at first like a contradiction of Speak less, Listen more, it’s in fact an important pillar of good leadership. Assumptions not only cause conflict and wasted time and resources, they diminish trust. Once again concision is the key - it takes less time to communicate clearly with your boss, your team, your customers than it does to clean up the mess left behind by confusion and miscommunication.

They Know It’s All In The Timing

Patience is a virtue, so we are told, and it’s also a key to understanding what true leadership means. Now is not always the best time to hold that meeting, to send that email, to ask your boss to assign you to that project. Just as entrepreneurs know that there must be a period of sacrifice before success, planning ahead and being willing to be patient often means the rewards will be all the sweeter.

They Know the Goal. 

The point of being a leader is not glory or accolades, or even the biggest office. In business, the goal it to build a strong company and ensure that everyone succeeds. Ego, selfishness, competition and other cut-throat tactics might get you ahead in the short term, but a career to be proud of is built of stronger, more generous material.

Great leaders are not born, they are made from integrity, respect and hard work.

Are you looking for a new position to help you meet your career goals? If so, let J.Patrick & Associates hunt for you!

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Tags: Career Strategies, management

Want To Get Ahead At Work? Take A Vacation

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Even at J. Patrick executive it and audivisual recruiters take breaks for their careers

The American workforce can be described in many ways: driven, diverse, tenacious and dedicated. It can also be described as incredibly stressed out!

Taking time off is not something Americans do well. In fact, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Project Time Off, 41% of Americans did not plan to use their vacation days. Among the reasons cited in the survey were: 
  • A fear that they’d return to a mountain of work that would leave them playing catch-up for too long (40%)
  • 33% said they could not afford to take time off
  • They don’t want to appear replaceable (22%)
  • 28% of respondents think that by not taking vacation, they are demonstrating greater dedication

All these reasons are perfectly logical. But they are also incredibly flawed. There are several key reasons taking your vacation time actually enhances your chance for advancement.

Everyone Needs To Recharge. There’s only so long a person can keep performing at the peak of their abilities without time to rest, recover and regroup. If you need inspiration, you need look no further than at how elite athletes use rest to enhance performance. Just as they must be careful not to overtrain lest they suffer from burnout and staleness, so too must the dedicated employee. And burnout doesn’t only affect your mood, the health implications are real.

In order to remain healthy, productive and effective you have to learn to step back to recharge. Just like a car battery, you’re valuable only as long as you’ve got a full charge.

Creativity Needs to be Fed. Even if you’re not a fan of musical theater, chances are pretty high that you’re familiar with the phenomenon that is Hamilton: An American Musical. And if you’ve heard even one interview with the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, then you know that he was inspired to create the show after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, while on VACATION. What Miranda thought would be an interesting beach read, turned out to be the seed for an amazing creative breakthrough. For a business related example, you need look no further than Kevin Systrom, who dreamed up the idea for Instagram while laying on the beach. Now, I’m not suggesting that taking vacation will lead you to write the next great American musical, or the next disruptive tech idea,  but there is an important lesson to be taken from these examples. Allowing yourself time away from the demands of the office, of deadlines, and day-to-day business makes room for your mind to wander. Science has given us very convincing insight into the virtues of daydreaming, and the impact it has on creativity. It’s your ideas that make you stand out at work; give yourself the time and space to dream some new ones up.

Build Alliances. Relationships are everything in the workplace. No matter where you are on the corporate ladder; trust, faith and cooperation among team members are key to success. And just as one weak link can threaten the entire chain, so too can one burnt out, exhausted, running on empty employee. By taking vacation days you are not only taking care of yourself, but you are also presented with the opportunity to enhance the bond you share with your team. Planning coverage, or training someone up to watch your desk fosters cohesion and cooperation.  A word of warning here: if, you don’t feel like you can trust your co-workers or manager to insure things run smoothly, it might be time to look for a new placement!

Appear More Productive. Project Time Off found that “People who take all their vacation days have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time on the table.” While this may fly in the face of conventional logic, the reason is simple: managers perceive happy employees as more productive. Now this isn’t to say that taking vacation time is a magic salve guaranteed to fix everything that ails you, but it can give your brain and your body important time to recuperate and gain some new perspectives.

$. If nothing else can convince you, not taking time off means that you are spending those allotted days working for free. You may be the most dedicated employee or the hardest working team member who doesn’t think twice about working overtime in order to get the job done, but if your boss flat out asked you to work without compensation for 10-12 days a year, would you?

If your goal is to get ahead, get that promotion, prove yourself a great employee: you owe it to yourself, your co-workers and your boss to take time off, feed your creativity and rest your body.

For some great vacation ideas that don’t have to cost a lot of $, check out this list of the 16 Best Affordable Destinations in the US.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Career Strategies, Productivity, Career Path

What Gets Enterprise Sales-Leaders Excited These Days?  - Part 1

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Attaracting top sales talent and recruiting with j patrick

Hiring managers and candidates alike know that recruiting and retaining an A-level sales team is key to the success of any company offering an enterprise solution. No matter how compelling the product, without top performers on your team, success is going to be elusive. Every company wants them, and yet, not every company can get them.

Certainly considerations such as compensation, company culture, the degree to which a company is willing to invest in training, ongoing learning and career development all carry weight with candidates. But what we find is that these are not necessarily the factors that drive top talent to leave one position to take another.

What does it take to attract top Enterprise sales talent?

In a word: Pre-IPO. Well funded start-ups that have not yet gone public are enormously enticing to our sales candidates right now. And while there are risks associated with moving to a new/unknown entity, the rewards can be enormous. That is, if you’re moving to the right company.

So, what is the right company?

Well, of course that answer is going to be different for every candidate, but driven to get involved with what could be the next great technological leap, here’s what top sales leaders are thinking about when considering a new position:

Disruptive Technologies with an Achievable Plan.

A disruptive technology is one that either displaces an existing technology or introduces a ground-breaking product that opens up a new industry. It’s exciting, it’s cutting-edge and it’s potentially important. You won’t find better salespeople than those who are looking to be engaged with the product they’re selling, who need to feel that they are helping to build something new, innovative and/or helpful. And truly, what salesperson worth their salt doesn’t want to be selling the world’s next great technological breakthrough?

But above and beyond the technology itself, savvy salespeople are considering the marketplace for this product. How corded is it? Are there too many players, is the company engaged in a red ocean or a blue ocean strategy?

Confidence.

A top salesperson got where they are based on the value of their relationships, and the depth of their network. There’s no point in making a move where you can’t carry those relationships forward with you. It’s not enough to only believe in the product you’re selling, it’s vital to consider if it’s one you can sell to a marketplace/customer base you know well. How well will you be able to leverage your existing network?  And, more importantly, does this new product solve a real problem your current customers?

Top-Level Management.

When it comes to startups, who is just as important as what. Top management leaders who’ve scaled a company before, who have the knowledge, experience and following to build a successful company are nearly as important as the technology itself. Savvy salespeople look to the management team as a good barometer for potential success. They’re looking for managers they not only they feel they can work with, but who have a track record of success and can move the company toward profit and beyond.

It’s also important to remember that more people cite lack of faith in, or a conflict with, their manager as the number one reason for leaving a position. And while you can’t know how you’ll get on with a manager, doing due diligence about the people you’ll be reporting to is a key consideration to make.

High-Scaling.

Look, salespeople know a worthwhile lead when they see it, and they can also recognize a dead-end long before it comes into view. Yes, there has to be a belief in the technology and an investment in the worth it adds to business, or society at large, but more than that, there has to be the potential for a high return.

Always consider who is involved. Is this a purely VC backed venture, or PE? Where are they in their funding? While getting into a company while they are still in series A funding might promise higher returns later on, we are currently finding that the majority of our sales candidates are interested in series C or beyond. This may be attributable to the fact that the first quarter of 2016 has seen the lowest number of companies going public, or it may be that they are looking to move only to companies that are further along in their development. Either way, the real potential has to be there for a company to attract top sales talent.

Getting in on the ground floor of a disruptive technology insures that a salesperson is both challenged, engaged and invested in the company’s success. The only gamble of course, is whether the tech will catch on or not. If they’ve judged well and have gone where the smart money is sitting, they can expect to find themselves post-IPO in a very comfortable position, and their reputation as a sales leader greatly enhanced.

J. Patrick and Associates serves Information Technology firms that are looking to improve or expand their teams in mission-critical functions, where the success of the firm is highly dependent on the quality of certain hires. Whether you’re a candidate looking to move to one of our top-end customers, or a vendor looking to build your sales team, contact us today. 

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Tags: enterprise, HR and Hiring, Career Strategies, Career Path

The Bottom Line: The Pros & Cons of Contract Work

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, May 10, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

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The word on the street in Silicon Valley is that we are currently in a “gig economy,” that is, more and more people are opting for contract work as opposed to traditional full-time employment. According to new research, conducted by labor economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger, between 2005 and 2015 the number of Americans seeking alternative work arrangements swelled by 9.4 million. The large move towards contract employment can be explained by several factors from the need of flexible work hours to increased autonomy.

But, if you find yourself thinking about joining the growing ranks of contract workers, you need to first understand the pro and cons of this kind of work.

PRO: Potential for Higher Earnings

Hiring contractors provides the flexibility companies need as it saves time, money and resources. Companies are also going to hire you because you’re an expert in your field. You know what to do and how to get it done in a timely manner, which is what companies look for in contractors. It is important to understand that most contractors are considered experts in their fields, so you will be rewarded for your expertise.

CON: Increased Uncertainty

The potential for higher earnings is a great benefit of contract work, but there’s no guarantee you will keep working once a contract expires. And since the nature of the work you’ve been hired to do is finite, you have no guarantee that you’ll make the money you thought you would. Another other thing to consider is that the project you were hired to work on can be unexpectedly cancelled. All of these factors can add up to increased financial instability --if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. And finally, there’s no way of knowing the amount of time you’ll spend between contracts.  

PRO: Lifestyle Flexibility

According to Randstad’s Workforce360 Study, about 86% of independent contractors reported their level of job satisfaction to be good/excellent. With contract work comes more freedom, you’re able to control your career path without having to wade through office politics for a promotion, pay raise or time off. You negotiate to get the employment packages that suit you the most, and you take as much or as little time off in between contracts. If this type of flexibility is appealing to you, this will help boost your professional and personal satisfaction.  

CON: Outside Looking In

All that flexibility may be nice, but the price you pay is that you’ll always be the outsider.  Contract work makes it difficult to create ties, connections which might help advance your career further down the road... There’s also the lack of social engagement. As we all know, you spend more time at work than at home, so your social life tends to stem from your work life. Some in-house employees may not be inclined to get to know you because you’ll be with the company for a limited amount of time.

PRO: Increased Technical & Professional Knowledge

You’re the expert in your field and have a certain skill set that companies in your industry want. But, contract work also provides the opportunity to sharpen your expertise and work in different sectors. It allows you to broaden your experience in your field and perhaps gain new skills in other industries while you’re at it. You’re at liberty to choose the skills that you would like to further develop in other industries, allowing you to enhance your CV and marketability for future jobs. It can also be part of your story when explaining an employment gap to a potential employer.

CON: Career Development

The freedom provided by contract work to broaden your technical and professional skills means that you are in charge of your own development. Great, right? Maybe not. Although it feels empowering to be in charge of your own career development, it is a heavy burden to bear. You no longer have the human resources department or a talent management team to ensure that you’re properly trained and qualified for the job. It is now up to you to make sure that your skill set is up to par with the current trends of the industry.

Like everything in life, contract employment has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it is not a career long plan, if you’re returning back to the work force or need a flexible work arrangement, contract work might be a viable option.

 

 

 

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies