Welcome back, everyone! Hoping you had a great weekend and, if you’re located in the Midwest, are embracing the warmth that is still lasting through the beginning of our fall season. Keep reading below to engage with the importance of LinkedIn, its profile attributes, and what information recruiters look for as they scan applicants!

LinkedIn Profile Attributes…

  1. Profile picture: Likely the first piece of content addressed when someone views your profile. LinkedIn headshots anchor the professionalism of your page, so most recruiters expect to view a picture that looks: formal, displays professional dress, and is centered against a plain background (a dorm room wall is often a good place!). Make sure you’re smiling, and crop from the chest/shoulder area up so that your face is still clear to see from that little circle!
  2. Header Image: An area of your profile that you could make fun! Since the header is simply the top of your profile and not necessarily linked to candidate information, we encourage you to display a photo that relates to your identity, hobbies, or professional goals. For example, throughout college, I chose a header image of Lake Mendota (on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus); not only did my header relate to one of my favorite places, but it helped easily lead to an overview of my college experience and activities on campus.
  3. General profile below picture: Make sure your occupation is documented in your profile headline (i.e.: student, full-time, part-time, actively seeking a new job, etc.)! Include as much information as you feel comfortable with: first name, last name, pronouns, home location, or any other characteristic that might help someone viewing your profile to mentally map out your full candidate identity.
  4. About Section:  This space is dedicated to personal attributes about yourself! Remember, recruiters view so many profiles, so keep it concise (6-8 sentences). Communicate your year in school (if applicable), University, major(s), career interests, and anything personal (in my free time, I love to…../you can find me/…. something like that!). Remember that any recruiter can glance through your experiences, but they won’t know the non-related pieces of your lifestyle that contribute to a job search. So, take advantage of this section to add color to who you are and what you’re looking for in your next role (i.e.: what motivates you?).
  5. Experience: Your experiences should essentially match your resume, in addition to providing more detail since you are not limited to a single printer paper page. If you have valued experiences that didn’t make it onto your resume due to relevancy or space, this is a great space to elaborate on prior work you’ve done that may contribute to future roles. Make sure to keep this space up to date with your current role and any bullet points about the work you do.
    • Extra Tip: If experiences start to feel too dated to be valuable to your profile and identity, it’s expected that they will be removed over time!

Check back in later this week for a full run-down of the additional attributes in Part 2!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we’re so excited to share our annual fall note with you – how has it already been a year since the last fall season?! If you’re as excited as we are to dive into cozy months, pack on sweaters and fuzzy socks, and cuddle up by a fire, this annual note is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. So, how should YOU embrace the upcoming season and the changes that come with it? Find out everything you need to know below!

Frolick into Fall!

  • Get Outside: There’s no doubt that the summer months are spent beneath the sun, but don’t let the end of summer mean the end of venturing outside – especially during the last few weeks of September and early October, make sure to value pockets of time that you can spend outdoors! Not only is doing so a great source of Vitamin D to stimulate overall health and productivity, but it will allow you to appreciate the warm weather while it’s still here.
    • Extra Tips: Find a picnic spot, listen to a podcast on a walk, take a lunch break on a patio or at an outdoor cafe, or go see a “movie in the park” and participate in an outdoor community activity.
  • Make a Bucket List: A bucket list is a perfect way to track all of the things you’re most excited about in the coming season. Ready to leave summer behind? The heat, bugs, and lack of routine might have you craving pumpkin spice lattes and a Halloween movie marathon. If this sounds like you, make a bucket list of things you are looking forward to. Even if you LOVE summer, to get excited about October and the new things to come, a list is just the tool you need. Setting goals and creating bucket lists help focus our attention, articulate what we want to explore, and turn those ideas into a reality.
    • Extra Tip: Here are some ideas to boost your excitement and creativity! Try apple picking, visit a new pumpkin patch or corn maze, take a trip to a Halloween store or haunted house, play around in the fall leaves and watch them change, visit a new holiday-themed cafe or taste a pumpkin spice drink, treat yourself to a pumpkin-themed treat or pastry, and embrace the key pillars of the season!
    • Extra extra Tip: As we enter Q4, this is also a great time to check in with the goals you’ve set for this year! Are you on track personally? Professionally? How can you make these last few months count?
  • Personal Reflection: Whether this is through journaling, meditation, or simply thinking, we encourage you to set aside some time to reflect on the year thus far and how you’re feeling. If you don’t know where or how to get started, try exploring these ideas!
    • What was your favorite thing about this year so far?
    • What was the best thing that you experienced this summer or this year? Did you cultivate any new hobbies or interests?
    • If you could go back and do a season, quarter, or event over from this year, what would you change?
    • What did you learn about yourself this year? Are you on track with resolutions or professional goals?
    • How was this summer different from past summers?
    • What lessons or takeaways would you like to carry with you into the fall? What activities, events, or locations are you excited to explore?
  • Create a routine: Creating a new routine might be the perfect fresh start you need to kickstart the new season. Get organized and prioritize what needs to be done over the next few days, weeks, or even months. You can almost think of September as the new January! Cleaning out your closet, workspace, or other environments is a perfect way to create a refreshed and re-ignited sense of motivation to close out the year.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Good morning and Happy Monday! To those who celebrate, we wish you an easy fast, and beautiful evening spent with loved ones. With the holiday in the air and the cozy nights on the horizon, we thought today would be a perfect time to remind everyone of the importance of quality time – non-distracted, unplugged, truly meaningful memories created around the people most important to us. So, how can you schedule some quality time today or this week? Keep reading to find out!

Creating Quality Time

  • Unplug and Tune In: You may be sick of hearing us say this by now, but we truly believe that in order to be fully engaged with family and friends, it’s time to shut down the phone. By directing half of your attention (or more!) toward a screen, you’ll miss out on key moments that happen in real life and in person. Remember, it’s also super important to create boundaries at work so that you aren’t viewed as someone who is accessible at all hours of the day, but instead, someone who ‘works to live’, and when you’re offline, you’re truly offline. If you get antsy at the thought of being unable to access your work apps this week, then try setting yourself up for success by instead implementing goals around increments of time dedicated to checking. For example, can you allot 15 minutes each night to a quick email scan instead of having your phone by your side or in your pocket for the entire night? Minimizing temptation and distraction is a key component of unplugging!
  • Planning Ahead and Activities: We all know the all-too-familiar feeling of attending events with friends or family when there isn’t much to do besides sit around and talk. In these moments, it’s also easy for us to fall into the comfort of our screens, pulling out our phones and becoming removed from the conversations out of habit. So, if you’re hosting family time, a holiday party, or otherwise gathering a group of friends, be mindful of creating activities and guiding the vibe of the event! Is there a new trivia game you can try? Do you have a tradition of carving pumpkins, decorating table settings, or otherwise crafting together? Is there a nearby apple orchard, zoo, or even a schoolyard/field in which you could arrange a sporting event? Getting together through a shared activity is not only a great way to bond but also a great way to ‘force’ unplugging from screens by focusing on the activity at hand.
  • Include Everyone in Prep: On the same note as the above, we encourage you to bring friends and family members into your ‘preparation process’ wherever possible. Take Thanksgiving for example, you may be so swept up in cooking that you forget about the rest of the household – did everyone sneak back into their bedrooms to ‘doom scroll’ as a result? Is everyone separated by their own activities and scattered around your home? Rally everyone together by inviting children, spouses, siblings, friends, partners, and anyone else into the kitchen with you! Can you offload the potato mashing to someone else? Is there an opportunity to assign ‘ingredient’ collecting to someone else while you assemble your dish? Thinking of small tasks that require partnership is another great way to begin sharing traditions with younger family members and ensuring they know that they’re valued, included participants.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back to the blog, everyone, and Happy Friday! Today, we’ll be chatting about a super important concept relating to brand sustainability and growth: rebranding. What is a rebrand? Are you in need of one… and how do you know when? Find out everything you need to know about rebranding and our experience at Esquire below.

Rebranding…How and Why!

  • Mission and Vision: Almost all companies undergo fluid re-evaluations of their mission and vision as they grow and evolve. Especially for entrepreneurs and employees working at start-ups, it’s almost a guarantee that your initial direction will veer into new courses time and time again as you work out the flow of your business. If your company has evolved away from its initial identity, functionality, purpose, and especially in what it provides to consumers, right now is a key moment to assess the need for a rebrand. Think about it like this, you’re not changing the intent of your brand, but instead re-aligning in a way that makes sense to its current identity.
    • Extra Tip: Another ‘alarm bell’ that should sound the idea of a rebrand occurs if your intended consumer demographic changes! Are your products geared toward a different age group than originally focused on? New geographical area? Are there seasonality elements to consider? Think about the way your products are perceived and the look/feel of your overall brand, as well as the way your consumer demographic perceives and engages with brands.
  • Audience Appeal: Let’s bring it back to our own brand at Esquire! As you each have evolved through your career and as candidates, so has Esquire; in order to stay connected in an authentic way with our audience, it’s necessary that our growth is continuously reflected in our logo and brand design. When we experienced a color and logo update in 2020, it resulted in our audience being better connected to our brand “vibe,” appearance, and message. We also hoped that in doing so, we would continue to differentiate from competitors; brand differentiation is especially crucial to success as we live in the ‘digital age’ and during a time where saturation of companies and accessibility is more prevalent than ever! When consumers are afforded the luxury of assessing brands and choosing where to invest their money and engagement, you must cater to their preferences, expectations, and needs.
  • Design: After the hypothetical re-brand is complete and the vision is clear, it’s time to assess the need to redesign your logo! This may require a partnership with a creative firm, which will introduce your team to a variety of color and font choices, as well as applications of each as they appear on websites, business cards, or other components of our brand. Designing the logo is so much fun! Make sure to make this a team-wide effort, and engage as many employees as you can so that they can feel a part of the process and end result! Remember, a variety of perspectives is key to success and to reach a variety of consumers as well, so take all employee opinions and identities into account when determining your redesign!
  • Launch! Rebranding is undoubtedly a TON of work, so make sure to create a meaningful and exciting announcement to unveil your new look and feel. Does your company have a presence on social media? If so, blast it across all platforms! Doing so will not only create momentum and excitement, but will ensure that your consumers and customers view the change and are aware that your brand remains the same, but elevated!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Happy Monday, everyone! After a rejuvenating and relaxing weekend, we’re ready to hop back into the swing of the week. Were you able to follow along with our consistent advice to unplug this weekend and spend quality time with loved ones? Did you fully engage in creating meaning outside of your job? We hope that you feel equally fulfilled and motivated to get back into a productive flow over the next few days. And, there’s no better way to guarantee you’re being a productive and valued employee than by asking for feedback! Not sure how to guide and engage in these types of meetings? Follow along to learn everything you need to know below!

Requesting Feedback…

  • Mindfulness of Tone and Presence: The most meaningful effect often isn’t even constructive feedback, but the way you receive and reply to it. Be mindful of smiling, maintaining eye contact, and avoiding any demonstration of irritation. This means… don’t eye roll, slouch in your seat, look around the room, or otherwise display signs of disengagement. Receiving feedback is all about interest in growing, embracing criticism, and actively listening. Make sure to start these conversations by expressing gratitude for the fact that your leader took time to shape feedback about your performance, and approach the conversation with the same tone, smile, and body language as you would any networking conversation! Remember, your manager might be ‘evaluating’ your performance during this meeting too – and those employees who are open to growth and self-aware of their areas of opportunity are those who will generate long-term success in any corporate setting.
  • Active Listening! While it is crucial to allow your manager to speak without interruption, it is appropriate (and often expected!) that you reply with questions that show you’re engaged and interested in growth. Whether this means asking for specific examples, creating measurable goals to improve on mentioned skills, or requesting regular meetings for the feedback discussed, showing that you’re actively listening will set you up for a successful conversation. If asking for feedback on general skills feels too ambiguous (for example, “How can I improve my presentation skills?”), make note of specific examples that you can share and point the conversation toward. Have you presented at a recent team meeting? Do you have a deliverable you just completed? Have you sent out a mass email to your department? Pointing out specific documents and meetings to guide feedback will help you derive the most value out of these conversations and their relevance to your individual performance.
  • Thankful Attitude: It’s essential to thank your manager for feedback and not express any animosity about the result! Getting constructive criticism is a part of life, and a vital skill to success is being able to channel those types of messages with action and appreciation. Especially when feedback may not have aligned with your expectations, make sure that you and your manager are on the same page before finalizing goals in any type of HR platform. Make sure that your goals are SMART (measurable!), align with your interests and role, and are reviewed by the same management/leadership that will evaluate them. Creating an open channel of communication so that your goals are interactive is key to success.
  • Provide Your Feedback: Take advantage of the opportunity to discuss your perception of your manager’s work and communication style as well. Provide constructive feedback about areas in which you need more support, their strengths, and general opportunities for the team’s workflow. In the same way that you expect to be given feedback in a kind manner and with respect, exemplify the same awareness of creating a positive conversation – whenever able, always end on a positive note!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Happy Friday to our Esquire follower family! Today, we’re here to recenter on a topic that will consistently bring value to your career: staying focused. In the digital age, and whilst being surrounded by media and technology at all hours of the day, it’s far too easy to become distracted or fall into a multi-tasking rhythm at work. While we’re huge proponents of taking breaks throughout the day, we encourage you to read below so that you can ensure you’re tuned in while working, and differentiating time to mindlessly scroll.

Staying Focused and Minimizing Distractions!

  • Ditch Your Phone: First things first, your phone will almost always be your main point of distraction. Whether this is from personal calls, texts, or social platforms, our phones keep our eyes glued to screens. Whenever possible, instead utilize online work chat platforms like Microsoft Teams or Jabber, and ditch your phone! The best way to completely mitigate distraction is not to create the opportunity for it at all. If this feels drastic for you, we recommend scheduling ‘phone breaks’ throughout the day instead of keeping it next to your desk: explore 10-minute breaks every few hours or a gap for lunch as our top strategy!
  • Stay Hydrated and Nutritious: Another key component of staying energized and motivated is hydrating your body and eating a nutritious breakfast! Meal prepping the night before to ease the effort required to create a hearty meal is a great way to minimize your to-do list for the next morning. And, we highly encourage you to purchase a reusable water bottle (maybe even one specifically for your work desk!) so that you can continuously refill and have easy access to water throughout your work day. Keeping a clear and healthy mind, and stomach, will place you on a fast track toward staying focused.
  • Create Schedules: Another way to stay accountable is by creating daily schedules highlighting goals, tasks, deadlines, and other priorities of your work, week, or even month! Doing so will help you stay in line with an organized list and also keep you from getting lost among a variety of tasks and ideas. Even better, use sticky notes or other physical forms of paper and paste them onto your screen or a spot in your constant view to serve as a consistent reminder.
  • Be On… and Off! When you’re on… be on. And when it’s time to be off,… be off! There is nothing more important than making time spent in and outside of your job meaningful. Trying to spread yourself across both responsibilities at once will leave your productivity and outcomes at half the value that you can truly reach! Always remember, you’re not expected to work around the clock for a reason, so put in effort when appropriate, and know when it’s time to unplug.
  • Time blocking! A key phrase that’s been gaining serious traction over the last few years is “time blocking.” So, what does it mean and how do you achieve this strategy of time management and optimization? We encourage you to batch out certain obligations or facets of your role across different points of the day. Maybe this means you dedicate your morning hours to necessary meetings, your afternoon to online training courses, or your lunch hour to a walk away from your screen. This will take time and practice, but entering a workday and having that sense of organization will allow you to optimize your time and focus on certain tasks without having intrusive thoughts about what you “could be doing” in addition!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back from the weekend, everyone! Today, we’ve got an exciting blog that will relate to every single one of our careers. No matter where you’re at in your professional life, what industry you’re working in, or what your role looks like today… the truth of the matter is that we will all be ‘up for promotions’ at certain points throughout our careers. So, in the event that this occurs, how do you ensure you’re ready for a promotion? How do you become your best advocate? And how do you achieve a promotion in general? Find out EVERYTHING you need to know below!

Securing Promotions in Your Career…

  1. Be Proactive: Take a moment and think about your ‘go-to’ teammate. Who do others view as the person who can get things done? Who proactively addresses challenges instead of staying reactive in their role? If there’s a person who comes to mind immediately, then they are likely a model employee and someone who you should aspire to become. Leadership will undoubtedly evaluate this trait as they consider promoting future leaders and appointing management.
  2. Find Solutions: On the same note as the above, when you identify problems or challenges in your processes, make sure to find solutions and a ‘fix’. Simply calling attention to a break won’t create long-term efficiency or change, so continuously reflect on how you solve problems on your team. If you feel stuck on a team that tends to ‘open a bunch of cans of worms’ without digging to the root of an issue, we encourage you to create the change required to progress. Whether it looks like calling a team meeting, proposing a weekly problem-solving session, creating a ‘brainstorm’ virtual board where all teammates can contribute ideas, or any other method of collaboration, guiding the improvement is a phenomenal way to expose your leadership and growth to management.
  3. Seek Leadership Opportunities: While engaging in the above exercise, and leading ‘problem solving’ opportunities is a great way to get in front of and display promotional-readiness to leadership, seek out other opportunities to transform into a leader! Does your company offer employee resource groups (ERGs) for employees to connect together? Are there opportunities to engage in mentorship as a mentor to another employee or intern? Finding ways to cultivate new skills both in and outside of your role within an organization is an amazing method for solidifying your reputation as a capable leader at any company!
  4. Address and Discuss Goals, Often: Seeking input and advice from your management is another key strategy in ensuring you’re aware of how you and your work are perceived. So, schedule frequent and consistent check-ins with the people who will one day contribute to your promotion conversations. Don’t be afraid to ask what you could be doing better and ways to improve so that you can advance to the next level and take on more work in your role!
    • Extra Tip: Make your desire to advance known! Stay mindful of the wording and way that you frame your hope of advancing your career on the ‘hierarchy’, but staying complacent and assuming that management will ‘just know’ that you hope to achieve a promotion is not going to help you accelerate. Talk to your manager about the title you’re chasing… what skills are required? What does leadership look for in ‘X’ employees? How can you take on projects over the next year to intentionally cultivate the skills needed for the next step?

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, bloggers! Today, we’re going to dive into a topic that is near and dear to my heart – commuting to work! If you’re like me, and driving to work takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, this article is for you! Even if you take the train, ride a bus, or are on foot… finding ways to fill a commute with little hobbies can help you bring joy to an otherwise (and sometimes unenjoyable) mindless activity. So, keep reading below to find out some of my favorite forms of media to fill the time!

Filling your Commute with Fun!

  • Podcasts: Potentially the most glaring of all… podcasts! Not only can podcasts be mindless, but they can also be full of fun new topics and motivation. Whether you’re looking for a comedy focus, self-help, documentary, news, or other form of content… we guarantee you that you can find what you’re looking for on the podcast apps! We highly recommend tuning into a podcast anytime your music is feeling bland or ‘stale’ and instead learning about a new concept or topic that you haven’t heard before. Especially relating to your role, keeping up with industry trends by tuning into a few stories in the morning is a fantastic way to differentiate yourself as a super-strong employee!
  • New Music and Playlists: When you’re itching back to Apple Music or Spotify, we also encourage you to try out a new type of music or playlist you haven’t heard before. Especially while commuting on the same path each day, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of the same playlist, same routes, and same routine.. which can undoubtedly get stale! However, there are endless playlists, artists, and songs at your fingertips to dive into. If you’re not sure where to start, check out a top 100 songs or ‘current hits’ playlist in a new category.
  • Reading a Book (if you’re NOT driving!): There’s no better time to dive into a new book than during your morning commute (if you’re not behind the wheel!). For our bus and train riders, we nudge you to explore reading as a new hobby and activity to look forward to on your commute. That way, you won’t simply think of each new day bringing a morning ride to work, but instead a new opportunity to get further into a new read.
  • Listening to an Audio Book: For those of us who aren’t ‘handless’ commuters, that’s what audiobooks are for! Especially on the same tune as podcasts, this is a perfect (and consistent) time of day during which you can learn about new topics and expand your skill set. However, if you’re like me, and love a thriller or fantasy novel, this is also a perfect time to fit in a few chapters ahead of sitting down at your desk for the day.
  • Scheduling a Morning or Nighttime Chat with a Friend: While some of us don’t feel our energy peak until closer to lunchtime, many are morning people! If that’s the case, spending time in a vehicle en route to an office might be the perfect time to schedule a catch-up call with a long-distance friend, partner, or family member. It’s all too easy to fall into work routines and let relationships slip as a result. So, make sure to be mindful of and aware of your free pockets of time during each day… and put them to use in a meaningful way!
  • Morning Mindfulness and Meditation! Finally, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to once again remind you of an optimized activity for your commute. While this would likely fit best for those of us commuting in private (and not on public transportation), mindfulness and meditation practices can be seamlessly baked into a morning routine. As we’ve said in the past, meditation can be as short as a few moments of breath work and mindfulness could look as simple as listing a few things you’re grateful for in the morning. Whatever it looks like for you, we are confident that engaging in this activity will put you on a fast track toward success, by getting your day started in a positive and intentional manner.

We hope that after reading this, you’re all geared up to try at least one new activity during your commute next week!

Searching for a new position? Read through our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a LONG, relaxing weekend and are entering into your new-to-September work week with a refreshed sense of motivation. With kids heading back to elementary schools, and other students heading off to colleges, there is a sense of refresh and newness in the air this month. And with that… job searches! For anyone entering into interviews, starting a new job, or navigating a work culture and its ‘ambiguous’ dress code, this article is for YOU! Keep reading to find out how to dress for success in any professional work environment…

Dressing for Professional Success

  • Research: You have to research the company beforehand when kicking off an application or interview, so you should definitely compile a bit of research about the company culture. In doing so, try to figure out how they dress by checking out their social media, pictures on the website, or capture any information in an employee or company resource guide. Types of dress include business professional, business casual, and generally casual – we recommend dressing in a way that will allow you to fit into the company preference. If the way they dress is uncomfortable to you, make sure you evaluate this component of a role well ahead of the interview process to understand your fit best!
    • Extra Tip: If you’re teetering between two levels of formality, we encourage you to err on the side of formal when it comes to first impressions and interviews – you’d rather be overdressed than underdressed! Keep reading to understand why.
  • Confidence and Comfort: Let’s say that you’ve already done your research and discovered that the company is business casual, but you really wanted to wear your pencil skirt or suit. Guess what? It’s okay to overdress for the interview! Dressing for success is proven to boost our confidence in situations like interviews. Additionally, paying attention to what YOU feel comfortable in is a guaranteed way to settle some nerves when prepping in the last few moments before entering the interview room. Extra effort is always okay for an interview outfit – just make sure that you are comfortable with envisioning how you will fit into the long-term dress expectations.
  • Keep it Simple: When you think of your outfit, try not to go overboard on jewelry, accessories, brand names or labels, layers, colors, patterns, etc. Generally, make sure that you don’t distract from the most important part of the interview… you! Try to incorporate simple pieces that are elegant and conservative.
    • Extra tip: Simplicity also applies to colors! Sticking to blacks, browns, greys, dark blues, or other dark shades of colors will ensure you appear professional and aligned with any possible company culture or dress code.
    • Extra, extra tip: If you are someone who may sweat under pressure, we recommend layering your outfit so that you have an opportunity to cool off when you arrive at the office. This may look like a cardigan, blazer, jacket, etc., whatever it may be, doing so will help you to not feel trapped or suffocated by your nerves!
    • Final Tip: Arriving early affords you a crucial moment way to use the bathroom, cool off, reorganize, and feel fully prepared when you are ultimately called into the meeting!

Searching for a new position? Read through our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! As we step into a long, holiday weekend, we wanted to remind you all to UNPLUG and enjoy the day(s) off. Especially as we round out warm weather, our ability to be outside, and extra time with friends and family, it’s especially important that you set boundaries with work and ensure a balance so that you can soak up the joy of the weekend. If you need some reminders or strategies to help you do so, keep reading below…

Let’s Chat: Unplugging over a Holiday!

  • Set Boundaries in Advance: In order to truly achieve the goal of unplugging, it’s crucial to set yourself up for success by creating boundaries in advance. Whether this means limiting to checking your work apps only during certain hours, or a # of times throughout the day, set a restriction for yourself to follow! Implementing these goals will provide you with a sense of achievement and a “rule” to stay accountable.
    • Extra Tip: Many of us also have an early release today, so make sure to TAKE IT! There is no reason to ‘be a hero’ by staying on after everyone else has logged off. In fact, to contribute to work-life balance and your company culture, you should embrace these ‘little gifts’ from management and fully engage. If you’re being told to take an early start on the weekend, it’s for a reason, and it’s not a trick. So… log off!
  • Make Plans! If you feel the same way as I do, that creeping feeling that settles in that you should be doing “more” occurs when lying in bed and unoccupied. For that reason, try to occupy yourself over the weekend by creating a schedule or set of plans to take action. Try out a picnic, in-home date night, movie night, art project, workout class, or other do-it-yourself activities to stay engaged outside of technology! If you aren’t near home, or close to friends or family, try out a new workout class, art class, comedy show, or other form of entertainment to take space in your ‘me time’! Feeling productive and accomplished can take several forms outside of work obligations, so remember to seek fulfillment outside of your job in order to truly balance your work-life routine.
  • Maintain Open Communication With Your Team: If you’re ever feeling a sense of guilt, it may be a result of a difference between operating standards within your team or organization. Remember, just because your coworker or manager may stay online through all hours of the night does not mean that you must! Having an open communication plan where you let your manager know when you will and will not be reachable will relieve your sense of uncertainty, and therefore the ‘need’ to stay available at all times.
  • Set Your Phone Down… Physically! For many of us, checking our phones has become so natural that we might not even realize we’re doing it. If that sounds like you, then you are highly recommended to physically put your phone down in order to remove any chance of plugging into your email or work apps. Make sure to be present during the important, meaningful times spent with friends and family…. and remember, work will always wait for you until you’re back!

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend, everyone!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back from the weekend, everyone! Last week, we chatted about the possibilities that are waiting for you and your morning routine. However, when thinking about the ‘5-9’ lifestyle (aka the hours OUTSIDE of the corporate schedule between 5:00 PM and 9:00 AM), we couldn’t leave out the importance of nighttime fun after leaving the office. So, if you’re itching for a new activity, keep reading below to find out some fun ways to spend your after-work time.

Post-Work Activities…

  • Sports Game: No matter where you live, you’re likely within a few dozen (or fewer!) miles of your team’s sports arena. This might look like hockey, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, or more, but finding a friend and attending a professional sports game is a great treat regardless of which sport you prefer. You can often find tickets as soon as a few minutes before and at a discounted price! So, if you’re looking to hype up your week and get your energy levels flowing, this is a perfect activity to get you started.
  • Cooking Class: In the interest of expanding skill sets, we encourage you to locate your nearest cooking class, or even a free YouTube video to learn a new recipe tonight. As simple as a soup and as complex as a steak dinner, there are millions of resources across social media platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, sitting at your fingertips to help train you on new cooking methods and skills. And if you’re looking to indulge even more, find a cooking class near you and learn live, in person from a true expert.
  • Painting Class: If you’re interested in channeling your creative side, a painting class is a great way to kick off a new hobby. Grab a friend, coworker, mentor, partner, or roommate, or connect with someone you haven’t seen in a while over painting/crafting so as to get involved in an activity while spending quality time with someone you enjoy.
  • Concert, Open Mike Night, Comedy Show: These three activities are great venues to bring many friends. Many comedy shows are relatively inexpensive, and it’s easier than you’d think to track down a smaller concert venue (sometimes even within a regular bar!), especially on weeknights to check out a new artist or comedian.
  • Walks! Walking opportunities are endless – whether you walk home from the office, find your way to a nearby outdoor path or lake, or find a new friend to get to know over a leisure exercise, this is an invaluable activity to increase overall mental health, physical health, and a great way to pack socialization into the work day.
  • Picnic Dinner: Especially during the final few weeks of warmth and summertime, one of our favorite activities is as simple as grabbing a blanket and finding your nearest park, lake shore, field, or outdoor spot to hunker down for a casual dinner.
  • Intramural Leagues: Many major cities offer intramural leagues for just about anyone looking to get involved and meet new people – check out Chicago Sport & Social Club and sign up for a new league as soon as TODAY! They offer (but aren’t limited to!) pickleball, volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, bowling, kickball, softball, and MORE!

Especially for those of us in climates with temperatures dropping soon over the next few weeks and months, we highly encourage you to take advantage of many of these outdoor opportunities while they’re still available and accessible!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back! Have you ever heard the term crafting a ‘5-9’ schedule? This trendy topic seemed to take the world by storm this summer as many new full-time employees, seasoned professionals, and in-between individuals are seeking to fulfill their lives outside of work. Not only is it crucial to remember that we work to live (instead of the other way around), but it’s a key indicator of sustaining happiness. So, what happens for YOU before you start your work day? How can you optimize and create a meaningful pre-work morning? Find out everything you need to know below!

Pre-work Morning Routines

  • Ditch Your Phone: That’s right, we’re starting off strong and we know it’s a hard one. However, we encourage you to challenge yourself as soon as tomorrow morning, and, when you feel the urge to grab your cell upon opening your eyes, focus your attention elsewhere. Take in the morning light, listen to your uninterrupted thoughts, breathe in, and acknowledge the space that you’re in. Remember, your phone (and its notifications) will always be ready and waiting for you, but the sacred few moments that you have to yourself each morning can remain solely yours by waking up intentionally and off-screen.
  • Meditation: Above all, achieving a clear mental headspace ahead of initiating work obligations is key to setting you up for professional and personal success. Meditation does not have to look like hard work and can be as simple as 5 minutes of your day! Remember, listing attributes of your life that you’re grateful for, clearing your mind, engaging in breathing, and any other form of mindfulness counts! It’s all about figuring out what works for YOU! And, if you’re not sure where to start, make sure to check out the plethora of websites, apps, and free resources at your fingertips to learn more.
  • Substantial Breakfast: Let’s be honest, we know that when many people say they’ve “had breakfast” it often means grabbing a cup of coffee and maybe a banana or granola bar on the way out the door. However, by waking up just a bit earlier and creating a few extra minutes for yourself in the morning, you can create a breakfast that will fill not only your tummy but your mind with delight. Transforming this component of your morning into one that brings you peace and happiness will change the way you view morning food! We encourage you to make some eggs, avocado toast, an omelet, a fruit bowl with yogurt or oatmeal, granola or cereal, or any other “substantial” meal that will prove more nutritious than before!
  • Exercise or Stretching: That’s right, we’re hammering in our encouragement of exercise as we often do. Exercising may look like a morning walk, a short run, an elliptical, a strength-focused online video, a yoga routine, or a stretching sequence! The world of exercise is at our fingertips with just a quick online search, so make sure to incorporate some time for this highly rewarding experience into your morning! Not only with your body prove better off, but you’ll also feel a higher sense of energy, focus, and productivity as a result.
  • Daily Preparation: Finally, allowing yourself to relax and sit down for a few extra moments each morning will help provide you extra time and space to prepare for the day ahead. This may look like a Google calendar, a physical planner, a quick sticky note to-do list, or any other form of “scheduling” – Regardless of the form it takes, planning out your day will create a sense of accountability and organization all at once!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone, and CONGRATS to our students heading back to school! Whether you’re entering college, higher education, high school, or even middle school… this article is for you. Keep reading to learn about our best strategies for preparing for your first day and nailing your first week back into this new routine. Keep in mind, heading back to school may come with a large feeling of change compared to your summer… so ease in by following along with the below.

First Day of School Prep

  • School Shopping Starts… Now! In order to truly get on top of several different courses, we encourage you to purchase the appropriate materials before your first day. Whether this means binders, folders, pens, pencils, headphones, a driving pass, or whatever it may be, setting yourself up for success is a great way to get ahead. We also encourage you to define your materials by class; for example, coordinate a blue notebook with econ, and a red notebook with psychology. That way, you won’t be scrambling on your first day and will decrease your chance of accidentally compiling notes across varying topics all in one space, and potentially losing track. If able, try swapping out your books and notepads on a regular basis so that you only bring relevant materials with you for the classes you have each day!
  • Prioritize Your Routine: We know it can be easy to fall out of a regular routine throughout summer when most of our tasks are pushed to the side. However, during the school season, adhering to a structured routine is your best way to avoid missing projects or deadlines, and also to continue feeling your best.
    • Extra Tip: To stay on track with all of your assignments and due dates, we encourage you to incorporate any of the following into your daily plan: an alarm clock, morning mindfulness, meditation or stretching, making your bed, taking a walk and getting some fresh air, or eating breakfast! We know that nobody is perfect, but trying to achieve at least a few of the above tasks is a phenomenal way to create a sense of accomplishment, productivity, and motivation ahead of any day.
  • Practice Your Routes: Similarly to preparing class materials, we encourage you to set aside some time in the days leading up to walk around campus and get a feel for your daily routes. What we mean is… which way will you be heading to class? How much time should you give yourself to get to each building? Are your classes close together, or do you have time to head back to a dorm, library, or lunch in between? Getting a feel for the flow of your day, and mitigating the risk of getting lost during the first week, is an amazing opportunity to create confidence about your schedule… and excitement!
  • Rest: Above all, we know that when your body is telling you to take a break, it’s because you’ve pushed yourself to the max. Make sure to afford yourself a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night to jumpstart your next day and maintain optimal energy and health. Especially during the first few weeks when there is a ton of new information and topics coming at you, making sure that you’re rejuvenated and refreshed for each coming day is your best bet toward maintaining energy for retention, comprehension, and success.

Once You Start Receiving Assignments…

  • Task Prioritization: Between assignments, presentations, projects, and exams, it’s crucial to prioritize assignments based on their due date and impact on your overall grade. Make sure to avoid spreading yourself too thin across multiple projects; to prevent this, pace your study schedule out across days and a variety of times, and incorporate breaks so that you won’t be left with cramming for hours on end in the days leading up to due dates. By prioritizing obligations, you will find yourself on a healthy track toward success!
    • Measurable Goals: A great way to set measurable priorities is to include goals for each assignment or study habit. Whether this means a one-hour goal of studying per exam each day, or a one-page goal per report or essay to be completed every other day, SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) will assist you in actually tracking progress and spanning obligations over a time period instead of cramming at the last moment.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! Were excited to dive into a super timely and relevant article today as we know that many of you have engaged in pre, post, or during work-hour events where drinking is involved and coworkers are mingling! If you’re in the process of navigating these new waters, if this is a key part of your industry, or if you’re itching to get into a corporate event-filled space, keep reading below! We’ll detail what to expect from these events, expectations, and the best way to prepare yourself for ultimate professionalism and success!

Professionalism ‘Off the Clock’

The main focus of the below is guidance surrounding drinking behaviors in work environments. You may not be sitting in the office, but remember that you are still with coworkers and leadership, and should behave as if you were in a corporate setting. The key to these types of events is engaging with your limitations and making sure to have fun! So, identify your balance below and ensure that you won’t have to ever feel ‘work scaries’.

  • Mandatory? The begging question is, are these events mandatory?! The short answer is yes, and the long answer is no. Realistically, you cannot be forced to attend an event that occurs outside of your work obligations and hours. However, you should always prioritize engagement and participation in company events when able. These are special times, outside of work hours, when you are afforded to get to know your teammates and management on a personal level and avoid just work-related topics. So, when able, always try to go! However, if family, doctor, appointments, religious, or other obligations are getting in the way of a particular day or time, make sure to inform your management of the reason why you cannot attend and know that it will be accommodated.
  • Typical Duration/Length: You can expect to spend, on average, approximately 2-3 hours at work happy hours or after-hours corporate events. It takes at least 30 minutes to get situated in a new space, especially if you are leaving the office and venturing into a new environment. The next hour and so after is often unstructured and casual. So, if you’re engaging with a teammate or enjoying yourself, stay for longer! If you have plans after, are tired, or are struggling to maintain your social battery, make sure to stay for an appropriate amount of time, and then understand that you can leave. After all, you are dedicating additional hours to ‘work’ even if it doesn’t feel like it, and leadership knows that you have a personal life to get back to afterward.
  • Pairing Drinks with Food and Water! We’re all adults here, but it’s always worth reading the reminder that mixing a cocktail with an app and a glass of water is key to offsetting the effects of alcohol. You never want to find yourself in a situation where you are overly intoxicated around work peers, so balancing alcohol is crucial to your engagement and self-awareness at happy hours and events. If there isn’t going to be food at the event, make sure to pack a snack or eat a larger lunch. Additionally, while there is almost always water wherever you’ll be, packing an extra bottle never hurts! A 1:1 ratio of a drink and either a snack or glass of water is a great way to create balance and hold yourself accountable.
  • Steer Clear of Shots! On the same note, we highly encourage you to steer clear of shots and even ‘hard liquor’ when able. These types of drinks will undoubtedly have a more rapid and intense effect on your awareness and alcohol levels, so be super mindful of ingesting these types of drinks as well as the impact they have on you specifically.
  • Positive Chat Only! Finally, we know that ‘loose’ feeling that comes with a few drinks. However, we encourage you to avoid ANY gossiping with coworkers or management! Remember that you are held to what you say and how you behave in and outside of the office, so ensuring that there are only ever positive things that people have to say about you will pay off in the long run as it relates to your professional reputation. So, even if you are pulled for a chat and to share the ‘tea’, zip those lips!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back and Happy Monday everyone! Today, we’re here to regroup on a topic we like to continuously remind ourselves of… jumping into a productive week. This is the article for you if you’re chasing that well-organized, motivated feeling to take you into a successful work week. Keep reading HERE to find out how to best set yourself up for success!

Productive Monday Habits:

  • Plan Ahead: What are your top priorities? What meals will you cook this week? Are there any appointments that need to be scheduled? Take some time on Monday to write down or type out what you need to get a handle on this week in order to shape your inside and outside of work priorities. There are MANY ways to organize this and we’ve covered several in previous organizational series – check out our posts on time batching, creating schedules, A/B work strategies, and more.
  • Schedule Relaxation Time: Instead of binge-watching your favorite TV show, or falling into the all-too-addicting ‘doom scrolling’, try and schedule some time for a bit of non-screen related relaxation each week. If you are struggling to carve out specific time, layer ‘fun’ into your to-do list. For example, while you clean your room or fold laundry, throw on some of your favorite music or a podcast to help you stay focused and continue powering through the week.
  • Dress for Work No Matter Where! While many employees often start the work week from home on a Monday, we encourage you to treat your outfit as you would if it were a day in the office. Putting on a pair of jeans or casual business attire is a great way to differentiate your space from feeling simply like time for bed! So, dress for success by tossing on some work clothes to present yourself with during virtual meetings.
  • Hydrate, Hydrate…Hydrate! Find your favorite water bottle and make sure to schedule drinking water into your day. Whether this means purchasing a water bottle with timestamps as reminders or setting alarms on your phone, ensuring hydration is a great way to sustain the energy for a productive day both during and after work.
    • Extra Tip: Pay attention to nutrients! Balancing the indulgence that often comes during the weekends by ‘getting back on track’ by preparing nutritious meals is a great way to boost your energy any day, any time. Following helpful ‘food-fluencers’, looking up online recipes, and even meal prepping is a great way to ensure you’ll stay on track with healthy habits this week.
  • Get Moving: Whenever you can carve out even just 10 minutes, we highly encourage you to take a step outside for some fresh air and movement! Especially during the summer, many of us are living in cities with walking paths, parks, lakefronts, and various opportunities to get outside. Even just a quick walk will help you clear your mind, keep up positive energy, and regroup to dive into work obligations after a much-needed break.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! Yet ANOTHER speedy summer week has almost flown by and I spent this one primarily studying for the Illinois Insurance exam requirements. Have YOU ever considered joining a professional requiring examinations for licensing requirements? Are YOU in the process of studying? Keep reading here to learn about the top tips and tricks I picked up over the last few weeks as I geared up to prepare for the General and State, Property, and Casualty, exams!

Professional Certifications or Examinations…

Quick Example:

If you have no idea what I’m talking about then I’ll quickly queue you in don’t the exams I was required to take to obtain my Illinois Insurance Producer license. Not only will you be required to take four total exams: 2 General/State for Property, and 2 General/State for Casualty, but also complete 20 hours of pre-examination education for each line you enroll in. While I only pursued casualty and property, I could’ve tagged on life and health too! If you are considering or in the process of obtaining licensing for a career change, follow along to tap into my best practices:

  • Flashcards: Arguably one of the oldest strategies in the books, if you’re opting to memorize a group of concepts or words for an upcoming test, creating flashcards and continuously testing yourself on each concept is a great way to get familiar with a large group of concepts in an effective way. Even transcribing your previously written notes onto a new format (flashcards) will help you commit the ideas to memory before entering that self-test phase of preparation. If this seems like the right route for you, make sure to start ahead of time to ensure ample time dedicated solely to hammering in concepts through self-testing.
    • Quizlets: Quizlet is a phenomenal online platform for creating study guides, transforming study sets into online flashcards, and otherwise storing critical concepts in one organized place to refer back to as you continue to study. If you’re drawn to an online study format, this might be the best place for you!
  • Note Compilation: My favorite strategy, deemed “note compilation” will enable you to piece through a significant quantity of notes by slowly deriving the most important concepts, and compiling them all into a new, separate document. Whether you’re doing this by hand or typing into a new document, I find that doing so helps me to refresh my brain on past concepts, reignite an understanding of key points, and ultimately create a guide to read over several times that contains what will likely be on the exam! Doing so also helps me to recognize concepts or terms that have been heavily repeated throughout the course, and therefore hold notable value.
    • Extra Tip: Take the insurance prep courses for example… we were specifically told to highlight and circle certain terms that were ‘guaranteed’ to pop up at least once on the exam. Compiling those key terms and differentiating them from the larger scope of information to intentionally nail them into memory is a smart and intentional way to spend studying time, prioritize key concepts, and get started ASAP.
  • Written Memorization: As it relates to compiling your notes, writing down the most important key terms over and over to instill a repetition-focused memory is another strategy for memorizing key terms from concepts loaded with extensive vocabulary, types of policies, or ones that are linked but differentiated based on super specific/minor details. Again, start ahead!
  • Conversation: Once you’re in the final stages of studying, and often a night or two before the exam, I encourage you to sit down with a study mate, or even a friend or parent and talk through the concepts you’ve been working on mastering. Gaining a new perspective from a classmate, or even showcasing your understanding of a concept to someone unfamiliar with the subject is a great method to test your true understanding of the material.

Searching for a new position? Read through our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we wanted to build on our previous article that touched on how to help out new hires through onboarding and training. If you missed it, make sure to click here to catch up!

On the topic of new hires and the training that comes with it, we find it incredibly important to build on how to provide new employees with tools to achieve intangible success. What do we mean by this? Everything that comes beyond the output of work deliverables… networking! ERGs! Volunteering! And all of the ways to make a difference and create a robust professional brand at work beyond the scope of your role. So, keep reading to find out how to be an advocate and a resource for these types of skills, HERE!

Spreading the Success!

  • Free Up Space on Your Calendar! As we mentioned last week, try your best to free up your calendar when and where you can. Simply stating to the new teammate “Find some time on my cal!” will not suffice in being welcoming and engaging. Make sure to suggest optimal times to chat live in person or via video; if you’re tasked with specifically training another individual, we recommend you schedule recurring meetings with them to kick off on a positive note as soon as the first day they join the team. During these meetings, we encourage you to set aside the last 5 or so minutes to touch on ‘non-work topics that can help the employee integrate into the company culture at large. Not sure what to chat about? Keep reading!
  • Introduce ERGs and Volunteering Opportunities: Almost all corporate organizations are developing employee resource groups and volunteering opportunities to offer to employees (and sometimes even during work hours!). For example, the company I worked for offered ‘ERGs’ focused specifically on helping develop and connect young professionals, women, latinX, PRIDE, Asia-Pacific, and MANY more! So, it’s likely that at least one ERG will not only be aligned with the new teammates’ identity but could also be a fantastic opportunity to become an ally for another like-minded group. Remind the person you’re training that ERGs and volunteering events within the company are a phenomenal way to build professional relationships with coworkers outside of your immediate scope of work. And as we know, building a strong network is almost always the underlying key to success, future promotions, and your personal legacy at an organization.
  • Connect with Other Employees and Potential Mentors! Spread the networking success to the newbies! Are there specific employees that you have strong relationships with that you can connect this person to? Do you know of senior employees seeking out a mentee? Who did YOU connect with throughout the first few weeks/months on the job? Think about those employees you find particularly friendly, open to new connections, or even just useful to know as it relates to the scope of your work. We encourage you to go so far as compile a shortlist of emails, names, and associated roles to share with the new employee to help kick off their individual networking endeavor. And always remember to remind them to keep asking for MORE during these conversations! If they’re feeling a connection with an employee during a coffee chat, it’s completely appropriate to inquire about additional employees they’d recommend connecting with.
  • Invite Them to Lunch! While it may seem obvious and is often even coordinated immediately during a new hire’s first week, we encourage you to CONTINUE including the employee with notable intent when it comes to lunch. While you likely feel super comfortable and acclimated to your company’s environment and culture, it’s easy to overlook the imposter syndrome that your new teammate may be feeling. Going above and beyond, and continuing to extend invites even when it may seem ‘obvious’, is a great way to take the extra mile to create an inclusive atmosphere.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs!

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we’re here to discuss a topic that almost every single one of you will encounter at some point in your career. As we transition into new roles or companies, it’s guaranteed that others will do the same! And with that, comes new teammates, leadership, mentors, and more. If you’re in a ‘senior’ position on your team, have the longest tenure, or otherwise possess a ‘specialty’ skill in an area at work, you will likely be tasked with at least part of another employee’s onboarding experience. So, learn how to prep, provide a meaningful training experience, and get started… HERE!

Onboarding and New Hire Training

  • Create Standard Work: Where applicable, I highly recommend creating step-by-step guides on how to complete blanket tasks that your entire team is responsible for knowing. Whether this is a request for access to company software platforms, a request to join a cross-functional team’s working station or ‘board’ (on platforms like Miro!), recurring submissions within commonly used software/platforms, etc., it will not only help them but also YOU to have a reference guide! Often, the more “mundane” tasks that you’ve become used to are those that are most ambiguous to a new employee, so make sure to be mindful of all inputs that you execute daily.
    • Extra Tip: We also encourage you to get ahead of the curve on this one! Joining a new team? Anticipating an upcoming rotation? If this sounds like you, start to brainstorm ways that you can create standard work while onboarding to save time and effort in the future when you inevitably pursue a new role.
  • Document Best Practices: On the same note, create best practices or include them within standard work resources! Whether this means a certain way of titling projects, general naming convention, descriptions, communicating as a team (on platforms like Microsoft Teams!), meeting cadences for weekly team connects, fonts/formats/layouts utilized in presentations or documents, and more, there is likely a quicker avenue to the finish line that’s guided by knowing your best practice. Especially as it relates to the preferences of the cross-functional teams you work with, assisting someone new on the ins and outs of the way you work is key to their onboarding success.
  • Track In-flight Projects: If you’re in the position of leaving a team, it’s also super important to have written documentation of projects or tasks that are incomplete upon your departure. Documenting project components (ex: employee dependencies across the org.), who tasks are assigned to, inputs and individual status, and any relevant documentation will ease your team’s ability to take over where you left off.
  • Free Up Space on Your Calendar! Free up your calendar when and where you can. Simply stating to the new teammate “Find some time on my cal!” will not suffice in being welcoming and engaging. Make sure to suggest optimal times to chat live in person or via video; if you’re tasked with specifically training another individual, we recommend you schedule recurring meetings with them to kick off on a positive note as soon as the first day they join the team.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs!

Welcome back, everyone! As we wrap up the month of July, we wanted to build on a concept that we introduced to you last week: your professional brand at work. Many of us are consistently thinking about who we hope to become, how we want to be viewed, and the aspects that make up our identities within our roles and company. However, who are you OUTSIDE of the hours of 9-5? How do you spend your free time? What makes you, YOU in your personal life? Keep reading here to find out!

Your Personal Brand…

  • Morals and Values: Who you are and what you value are still the building blocks of your personal brand. In the same way that we posed this question in a professional format… is your career your first priority? Building a family? Playing an instrument? Spending time with friends or a significant other? Moving somewhere new? Traveling? Whatever is in your mind will guide your brand, conversations, opinions, and daily discussions. So, writing down a list of values and figuring out what is most important to you is a great place to start.
  • Unique Identity: In the same way that each employee possesses a unique skill set that they bring to work to help shape their corporate identity, we each possess unique skills outside of our companies too! Think about it like this, how would your friends describe you? What are your specific strengths that differentiate who you are? What legacy do you want to leave after graduating? After moving? In life overall? Think about the way you’re perceived and those attributes that hold the highest value in your mind…
  • Motivations: A super key factor in identifying your personal brand is understanding your greatest motivations. Not only will this drive you toward your career path and goals, but will help you to schedule activities and events that bring you fulfillment and joy. Are you motivated by giving back to your community? What charities resonate with your values? Are you motivated by compensation, work-life balance, or benefits? Or a mix? The blend of your personal motivations, driven by the way you find fulfillment, helps shape the unique way that you create a life for yourself in and outside of work.
  • Goals: Your current goals are a fantastic reflection of ‘where’ you’re heading in life; whether this looks like a home base, a location to move to, a career advancement, a relationship next step, or any other monumental moment, this ‘north star’ drives you to succeed and work hard every day! Identifying goals is also a great way to adapt or change your personal brand to fit who you want to be. For example, if you want to be viewed as a talented artist, your goal may be to enroll in a painting class that meets weekly over the next 6 months to cultivate this skill set. If you hope to be viewed as a charitable and generous individual, donating a few hours each week to an intentional charity is an amazing step to dive into. Aligning your goals with the qualities through which you hope to be viewed is a largely success strategy for perfecting your personal brand.

Remember, our personal brands are continuously evolving as we learn more about the world and grow! Checking in with yourself to ensure that you’re on the right track is a valuable skill to execute. It’s never too late to get started – so find a pen, and notebook paper, and start jotting down some answers to the above as soon as TODAY!

If you’re looking for a job… Check out our open jobs list!

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we’re going to dig into a concept that will highly contribute to your career long-term – your professional brand! While it’s true that you’ll work for an organization and, in turn, contribute to the way that the company is perceived, you also make up your individual brand. So, keep reading here to find out the attributes that make you, YOU in the workplace!

Your Professional Brand Identity…

  • Values: Who you are and what you value are the building blocks of your brand. Is your career your first priority? Building a family? Finding a significant other? Starting new friendships? Moving somewhere new? Whatever is at the forefront of your mind will guide your personal brand, conversations, goals, professional relationships, and daily discussions. So, writing down a list of values and figuring out what is most important to you is a great place to start. Digging even deeper to ensure that your values are aligned with those of your organization is a key trait in ensuring longevity at work and personal alignment too.
  • Unique Identity: Beyond the values that contribute to your decision-making and perspective, what are the unique traits that make up your personality? When you enter a room, what do you bring to the table that no one else possesses? In other words, what are your ‘super powers’? Figuring out the unique strengths that contribute to your identity is another component of your professional brand. If you’re not sure of the answer to these questions, taking online identity and personality assessments is a great way to begin understanding your strengths and the special qualities that you hold too!
  • Your Role: Undoubtedly, your role is a huge factor in how you’re perceived at your organization and who you work with along the way. What function do you bring to your company? What is your organization able to achieve as a result of your work? What other teams or teammates rely on you to be able to complete their work? Figuring out how you fit into the enormous puzzle that your entire organization represents is equally valuable to understanding your corporate identity at work. And remember, make sure that you are frequently checking in with yourself, and your goals, to ensure that you are fulfilled and inspired by the role that you’re in! With an intrinsic desire to succeed, fueled by the work that you’re doing, you’re on a great track to achieving optimal results.
  • Connections! Finally, we’ll leave you with this idea: build on your personal brand by connecting it with others! If you share identity traits, look into employee resource groups that will help you gather with other like-minded individuals! If you are interested in certain sports or hobbies, check out if your company offers intramural leagues! If you are seeking to improve the way you’re viewed as a leader, find a mentee! Building your network, strengthening these traits by bonding them with other coworkers, and expanding the reach in the way your interests are recognized are all amazing ways to build your professional brand.

Remember, it’s not only important to have a professional brand for yourself, but it is a key factor in promotional opportunities too. Think about the positions you hope to step into one day… what key traits do they require? How is leadership perceived at your company? What do you look up to in your own leaders and management? Working towards the attributes that are circling your mind is a great place to start while you continue to build your professional brand.

And if you’re looking for a job… Check out our open jobs list!