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What to do When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

September 8th, 2016

Your supervisor dumped a big, hairy project in your lap. It has a lot of moving parts. Looking at it, and going over it in your mind, you are feeling just a wee bit overwhelmed. There is so much to do, you just don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Break it down
Looking at it all at once, your project may seem like this huge, unapproachable monolith. The secret is to break it into smaller parts and then work on each of those parts. This will make it easier to handle, and you won’t feel like you are going down for the third time.

Doing this also helps you to establish a plan of attack. If you break it down into smaller steps, you have to analyze what needs to be done and in what order. You develop some structure and method in how you are going to approach the work.

2. One thing at a time.
Then work on just one thing at a time, and focus on just that one thing. Yes, there may be many steps to follow, but each in its own time. It may be hard to do at first, but you need to make that one thing your priority.

And you will actually be more productive if you focus your mind completely on the thing you have to do, if you give it 100 percent of your attention and effort. What really hinders productivity is that too often people are not fully in the present. Half the time they are thinking about the past or the future, not the here and now.

3. Get psyched.
This may sound a little juvenile, but it works. Think about how football teams get themselves psyched for a game. Put on some cheerful music that you like. Get out of your chair and walk around a little. Talk to yourself a little – that’s right, it really helps. Do some deep breathing. Whatever will improve your mood and get you energized to get started. Remember the saying, “Well begun is half done.”

4. Use the timebox
This is how it works. Decide on the amount of time you are going to spend on a single task. Set your alarm for that amount of time. Then work on the task until the alarm sounds. Then you are finished. You can either take a break or do something else.

Setting a deadline like this really focuses your mind and effort, and you actually get more done than if you had no deadline.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in your job search, Trinity Staffing can help you. We have the network and the know how to find a job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How Volunteering Can Help Your Career

August 25th, 2016

If you are like most people, between your job and your personal life, you have little time to spare. But even though you may be very busy, you may want to think about taking the time to add one more activity to your schedule – volunteering.

That’s because the benefits of volunteering clearly outweigh the inconveniences. Volunteering really is one of the best things you can do for your career and your personal life. Here’s why.

1. It can help your career
It looks great on a resume. When an employer sees someone who takes the time to volunteer, they see a person who cares about more than himself, a person who sees himself as part of a larger community and a person willing to help and lend a hand. These are all values that look good to any employer.

2. It is a good way to network.
When you volunteer, you will very likely meet other people in your professional field. These are people whom you can learn from and add to your list of contacts. You will also meet people from other walks of life who can broaden your perspective on things. And you learn more about the place where you live and work.

3. You learn
By volunteering, you get to use your skills and knowledge in different situations and in different ways from those at work. This in turn can teach you new things, helping to grow your skills set. All of this in turn adds value to you in the eyes of an employer.

4. It makes you feel good
Knowing that you are giving back to the community and helping others can give you a sense of fulfillment that you did not have before. It can enhance your mental and emotional well being and relieve stress.

But, again, the stumbling block here may be time constraints. To get around this problem, you may first want to inquire if there are any volunteer programs at your company. Some companies have such programs where employees volunteer during regular work hours. Other companies allow workers to give a certain amount of their time each month for volunteering.

If this is not an option, look at your schedule and see where you might find time. For example, could you give up the time in the evening spent reading the newspaper or surfing the web to volunteer?

Volunteering is a good way to network for job leads, and another good way to get job leads is to work with Trinity Staffing. We have the network of employers and the know how to find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Focus Better

August 18th, 2016

Getting focused can be difficult at times. Getting yourself into that flow where your total awareness is only on the task at hand can take some doing. But, if you are having problems focusing, there are a few quick tricks you can use to help get yourself on track.

1. Practice mindfulness
This is something you should do every day because research has shown that it really helps you to focus. Being mindful is not difficult. It can be doing something as simple as concentrating on your breathing. Pay attention only to your breathing as you inhale and exhale; block everything else out of your mind. If stray thoughts creep in, just push them out and focus on only your breathing again. Do this for about 10 or 15 minutes each day.

2. Breathe
This may look like mindfulness, but it is a little different. These are simple deep breathing exercises, where you inhale slowly and deeply for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and then exhale for a four-count.
This helps to relax you and to get focused. It’s a method practiced by CEOs and even the military.

3. Get moving
Anything that involves physical activity will also help you to focus better. It gets more oxygen to your brain. So, take a quick walk, do some push ups, stretching, or just jump up and down, whatever works for you.

4. Get outside
This may not always be possible, but if you can do it, getting outdoors also helps with your concentration. Studies have shown that getting closer to nature has benefits for our mental health and emotional well being.

5. Chat with a coworker
Taking five or ten minutes to talk to the person in the next cubicle will also help you focus. If something is on your mind, you can talk about it with your colleague. This can help you get your mind focused on what you need to be doing.

6. Do something else.
Switching to another activity can also help you focus. If you are stuck on a certain task and no ideas are coming, doing something else will actually give your subconscious mind time to assimilate and ruminate on your problem, making it much more likely that you will come up with a solution.

7. Get a shot of caffeine.
We saved this one for last because this is something just about everyone does anyhow. But getting that jolt of caffeine can help get you moving and help with your concentration.

If you need to focus on the job search, Trinity Staffing can help you. We have the network and the experience to work with you and to find you a job that you will enjoy. Give Trinity a call today.

How Long Should You Keep Documents?

August 11th, 2016

Your human resources department produces a large number of documents, all related to employees and their relationship to the company. Needless to say, these documents are important to the operation of the company, both legally and financially.

So, it is also important for the company to have some type of policy on document retention. If you do not have such a policy, human resource employees have no guideline for when to destroy documents. As a result, they may keep some documents too long, and destroy others before they should. This could lead to problems if the company becomes involved in litigation. If you hold onto the documents for too long, you may have to produce them, even though you should no longer have them. If you get rid of the documents too soon, you may expose yourself to additional legal problems, namely, destroying evidence.

How long you keep records will depend primarily on the statute of limitations for statutory discrimination claims in your state. The statutes will vary among different states. For this article, Ohio will be used as an example. The statute of limitations for Ohio is six years. You should consult with legal counsel for advice on this.

Here is a list of documents and how long you should retain them based on Ohio law, as recommended by legal officials.

1. Resumes, applications, interview records and notes, and other employment documents – six years from date of termination for employees
2. Background checks, drug test results, company employment verifications, letters of reference – six years from the date of termination
3. Written contracts – eight years after expiration
4. Employee handbooks – six years after expiration
5. Collective bargaining agreements – six years after expiration
6. Compensation and time records – three years after termination
7. Performance appraisal and disciplinary records – six years after termination
8. Benefits records – six years after filing date
9. Workers compensation records – 10 years after the injury or illness or the close of the claim, whichever is later
10. OSHA and other employee safety records – five years after termination
11. Affirmative action plans – two years after the close of the affirmative action plan year

If your company is looking to hire and retain employees, you need to see the people at Trinity Staffing. Trinity is one of the leading staffing firms in the Lone Star state, with the expertise to help your business find the people you need. Give Trinity a call today.

Unconscious Bias in Hiring

August 4th, 2016

If you ask a hiring manager, he or she will tell you that he is being as objective as he can when looking at job candidates because he obviously wants to hire the best person for the job. He may believe that, but he may be biased toward certain people or groups of people without even being consciously aware of it.

These are biases that are so ingrained in our culture that we pretty much adopt them without realizing it.
Here are a few.

1. Bias toward a name.
Often, we make assumptions about people simply based on their name. If we see a name like Emily Walsh, for example, we simply assume white. But if we see a name like Jamal Jackson on a resume, it is difficult not to draw the assumption that the person is black.

And it has consequences – studies have shown that black job candidates have to send out five times the number of resumes as white candidates to get an interview. To avoid this kind of unconscious bias, it might be helpful to cover up the names on resumes before reviewing them.

2. First impressions
This is an unconscious bias just about all of us are guilty of. We form an impression of a person within the first few moments of meeting them, and this colors our perception of them. This happens to hiring managers as well. If a hiring manager instinctively dislikes a person, he may look negatively on the person no matter what his or her qualifications.

There are other problems with relying on first impressions. If first impressions are positive, they can lead the hiring manager to not even consider that the person is wrong for the job, to ask easier questions, to play up the candidate’s strengths and minimize his weaknesses.

On the other hand, if a hiring manager relies on a negative first impression, he might err in the opposite direction – not paying attention to the candidate’s good qualities, asking more difficult questions, and focusing on the candidate’s weaknesses.

3. Culture Fit Bias
This is where the hiring manager is more concerned about whether a candidate will fit in with the culture of the company, and less concerned about the person’s qualifications for the job. Ideally, the hiring manager needs to consider both.

Trinity Staffing has the experience and expertise to avoid bias traps in hiring, so we can send the best people to you. We are one of the leading staffing agencies in the San Antonio area. Give Trinity Staffing a call today.

How to Get Better Organized

July 28th, 2016

To get more done at work, to make progress toward your goals, you need to get organized. And getting organized means adopting certain behaviors at work that keep you on track. Here are a few of those behaviors.

1. Establish priorities.
You have probably heard this one before. But this is something you need to be doing constantly. When you are confronted with two options, which will you choose? You need to be constantly thinking about which choice will move you closer to your goals, to defer more immediate gratification in favor of the long-term goal. An app than can help with this is Priority Matrix.

2. Put everything in its place.
In other words, physically and mentally separate things that do not belong together. Keep your personal and professional lives separate. That means compartmentalizing them in your mind, and, if need be physically as well.

3. Do it now
Things become even more difficult when we put them off. If you have a problem, handle it right away. If you need to confront someone, do it now. If something needs to be fixed, don’t put it off.

4. Get rid of disorder.
If there are elements in your life that put things into disarray, you need to separate yourself from them. It could be a bad habit that you have, or a friend or relative who seems to turn things topsy-turvy when they are around. Getting organized has to come from within, but external elements that prevent you from getting yourself organized need to be eliminated.

5. Remember your purpose
When things get tough, when you experience failure, you need to remember why you are doing what you are doing. You need to remember what your ultimate goal is. This is what will keep you going.

6. Take breaks
Our minds can only focus intently for so long. That means we need to take breaks occasionally. A good rule of thumb is to take a break at least once an hour, since that seems to be the outer limit of our concentration. And taking a break means physically getting away from the desk and moving around. This gets the blood pumping and helps to restore energy, so we can work more effectively as a result.

Getting better organized will improve your performance, and contacting Trinity Staffing will help you find the job you have been looking for. Trinity has the resources and network to help you. Give Trinity a call today.

Pruning the To-Do List

July 21st, 2016

The infamous to-do lists. Sometimes, you look at them and wonder if they are helping or not. Often, we never really get to a lot of the things on the list anyway. The list just gets longer and longer, making us more and more anxious because we see all that we are not getting done.

But the problem is that many of the things on the list we don’t really want to do. When we think about doing them, it is not with a sense of joy and energy, but rather a sense of it has to be done.

So, how can you get your bloated to-do list under control? Here are some ideas

1. Mark off all of the things on the list that you don’t really want to do.
These are the things you have been putting off, the things that are on the list simply because you feel that you should do them.

2. Eliminate them, or delegate them.
Take a hard look at those dread-inducing tasks and consider whether you can simply get rid of them. Be honest with yourself – if you know that you will probably never do the task, or that not doing it will have minimal or no negative consequences, take the tasks off the list.

You may be gritting your teeth as you do this, and there is nothing wrong with that. You just need to realize that these are tasks that never would have been completed anyhow, and so taking them off the list simply reduces clutter.

If the unwanted task is something that has to be done, you could try delegating it to someone. Think about whether that is feasible or not and who you could give it to. Maybe you could negotiate a task trade with someone.

3. Try to change the unwanted task into something you would actually want to do.
One way to do this is by attaching it to something more pleasant, or giving yourself a reward for doing it. For example, you could do some work-related task while listening to your favorite music.

If finding a job is on your to-do list, Trinity Staffing can help you. Trinity is one of the leading staffing agencies in San Antonio, and we know how to showcase our job candidates. Give Trinity a call today.

On Providing a Job Reference

July 14th, 2016

You have been asked to provide a reference for someone. The problem is that you really do not feel comfortable giving one for this person. But you have conflicting emotions – you also feel bad about having to refuse to give one. Although you don’t feel the person’s work merits a reference, he or she may be someone you have known for some time or someone you worked closely with or even tried to mentor.

But in considering whether to give the reference or not, here are a few things to think about.

1. Your reputation is at stake.
If you give a glowing recommendation, but the person fails at the job, it doesn’t really put the best light on you, especially if you do it knowing the person may not be right for the job to begin with. You have to consider your reputation as well.

2. Are you helping to set the person up to fail?
If you know the person is not suited for the job, or does not have the qualities needed to be successful in it, it may only be a matter of time before they are out job searching again. You are not doing them any favors recommending them for a job that you know the person is not suited for.

3. Not giving the reference can actually be helpful
By not giving the recommendation, you may be alerting the job candidate to issues he or she may not be aware of, things they may need to address before moving on. You will be helping them to confront their shortcomings, which can only help them in their job search.

Saying no is hard, but you can do it in such a way that you don’t create animosity or hurt feelings.
One reason you may not want to give a reference is that you just don’t have enough information about the person to provide one that would be useful. You should then explain this to the person. Let him or her know that to really help him, the reference should include specific and concrete details about past performance, as well as a solid knowledge of the person’s character and personality. Explain that you just don’t have that detailed knowledge.

On the other hand, if you feel the person’s work was subpar, begin by telling him that you want the person to succeed, that you want to support them, but that you don’t feel you are the best person to give a reference for him or her. Tell the person that they should find someone who can really talk in detail about his or her performance and good qualities. If pressed, you can give him specific examples of where you felt his work needed improvement, doing it in a polite and factual way.

You will only get glowing references if you ask people about their experience with Trinity Staffing. Trinity is one of the best in Texas, with the knowledge and experience to help find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How Resilience is Connected to Attitude

July 7th, 2016

There is a lot of discussion about what qualities are important for professional success. It is not hard to come up with a short list – industriousness, perseverance, creativity, knowing how to get along with others.

But increasingly, there is another quality that has been gaining attention as a key factor in professional success. In fact, some see it as the most important factor. And that is resilience, the ability to recover and push on after a failure or setback.

The way we handle problems and difficulties is part of our resilience, and it is defined by three ways of looking at ourselves and the world, according to psychologists – it involves permanence, pervasiveness, and personalization.

1. Permanence
If we believe that the causes of bad things are permanent and will never go away, this has a negative effect on our resilience. We tend to have difficulty moving on. However, if we believe that the causes of bad things are temporary, we tend to push on, knowing that they will pass. If we see these negative influences as unchanging, it has a negative effect on our resilience.

2. Pervasiveness
This is when we allow our perception of adversity to bleed into all areas of our lives. If something bad happens at work, for example, we tend to expect something bad to happen at home. But if we realize that experiencing a setback in one aspect of our lives has nothing to do with other parts of our lives, we tend to bounce back more quickly. If we can compartmentalize the failure, rather than allowing it to color our entire life and everything else we do, we would be more resilient.

3. Personalization
This describes an attitude where we tend to blame ourselves when something bad happens, even if the cause of the failure is out of our control. We tend to be hard on ourselves, immediately feeling that we cannot do anything right, that we just did not do enough, or try hard enough. People who are more forgiving of themselves tend to have more resilience.

These are bad habits of thinking we fall into and need to watch out for. We need to remember how important our mindset is in influencing our behavior and experiences. It is always important to see past adversity.

Resilience is a quality you get with Trinity Staffing – permanence in being there for you, pervasive in our employer network, and personalized in our attention to your needs. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Manage Your Reputation Online

June 30th, 2016

In this age of social media, companies need to be more PR conscious than ever before. Just about anyone now can publish something online. And if a former employee or someone else puts something critical of your company online, you need to know about it and do something about it. If you don’t, your company’s reputation could be affected, and that will affect other things, like hiring.

It’s no secret that job seekers now get most of their information about companies online. If they see things they don’t like, they will cross your company off their list of potential employers. So companies need to push back against online hit jobs. Here are some tips on how to do that.

1. Know what people are saying about you online.
You cannot respond to something if you don’t know it’s there. You need to have some arrangement in place to monitor online traffic to see what people are saying about your company. You need to know what people who are looking for jobs look at online.

The ideal situation would be to establish your website as the place where people go to learn about your company. If you have the resources, you can work with a PR or marketing firm to structure your website so that it is the one search engines rank first.

2. Know how to respond
When you know what is there, you then need to come up with some kind of response to it. You will need to have some kind of response to give to job candidates who ask you about some criticism or issue they saw on a social media site.

3. Have a strategy in place for handling bad publicity
You need to have some kind of ongoing procedure set up to keep tabs on what is happening online. You need to stay current on the news and gossip that is moving online. This could be a job that human resources might handle. Then also you need a procedure set up for responding quickly to what appears online as well.

One of the best ways of handling negative publicity is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You should take steps in your company to minimize the chances of disgruntled employees venting their frustrations online. Employees often go online when they feel they have no other alternative, when they feel there is no way to address the problem inside the company.

So, you need to establish an atmosphere of open communication within the company, where employees feel comfortable expressing their criticism and giving feedback. This will often prevent negative information from appearing on the web.

If your company is looking for people to monitor its online reputation, Trinity Staffing can help your business. We can help you find qualified people for a variety of positions. Give Trinity a call today.

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