Welcome back, everyone! We hope you’re enjoying the feeling of a short week and that the weekend is on the horizon. As Chicago seems to have temporarily surpassed the winter cold (shoutout to Punxsutawney Phil!), we are certainly enjoying days filled with sun, warmth, and opportunities to gain fresh air on walks or outdoor runs. For any of you who love to rollerblade, walk, bike, skate, rollerskate, run, or play outdoor sports, this is a perfect weekend to capitalize on a rare winter chance to fully embrace the feelings of Spring.

However, we also know that with warm weather comes feelings of angst being trapped indoors at an office all day. So, we’re here to offer you a few of our key strategies below to help YOU lighten up the work day by integrating pieces of your home routine and ‘home favorites’ into your office space and work atmosphere. Keep reading below to learn HOW to do so as soon as TODAY!

Lighten Up Your Desk and Office Environment!

  • Coffee Routine: While caffeinated drinks certainly don’t jive with everyone, curating my perfect cup of coffee is admittedly my morning highlight. I encourage you to find a reason to get excited every morning; maybe your cup of coffee takes the form of a bagel, bowl of yogurt, cup of fruit, smoothie, matcha, tea, or simply water… whatever it is, make it uniquely yours. I specifically enjoy K-cups, with Trader Joe’s chocolate oat milk and a tablespoon of cinnamon (sometimes with a spoonful of collagen when I’m feeling extra motivated). Spending an extra few moments to feel like a barista makes coffee an activity to look forward to instead of another task to complete, it’s all about framing it in your mind. Especially if you’re returning to work, having a ‘sweet treat’ to bring on the go as your commute is a fantastic way to jump-start your day with positivity and delight.
  • Pictures! Smiling at a picture of my puppies is always a pleasant and shining moment in my day. Think about printing or collecting a bunch of pictures of your favorite things (activities, restaurants, vacation spots, memories, family, and friends) to serve as a visual reminder of why we work…. to live (and certainly not the other way around)! Printing photos at places like Walgreens or UPS is a super cost-effective way to DIY a collage that can hang at your desk, sit within a frame, and provide you joy throughout the work day.
  • Candles and Scents: Another way that I make my space as pleasant as can be is by lighting a candle each morning when I sit down. Crafting a perfect scent to blanket the room and my space makes my day feel curated, custom, and exactly what fits my preferences. This could look like incense, candles, wall plug-ins, flowers, or whatever else you need to feel your best in your space – be mindful of how physically close your desk is to others in the office for this one. But, if you can find an isolated space or set an agreement about scents with your teammates, you can curate an ‘office scent’ that mimics home as soon as today!
  • Colorful Pens and Sticky Notes: This may sound pretty niche, but I find unexpected pleasure in writing in colorful pens, crafting notes on colored stickies, and making my space colorful. Whether these details impact your mood and productivity is, of course, a personal preference, but I would definitely recommend it! It is also crucial that you identify the most productive way that you can retain information – whether this is on your computer, physically on a sticky, or even in a notebook, make sure to collect the materials that will allow you to accomplish your best work.
  • Cords, Plug-ins, and Technical Equipment: To wrap things up, in order to set yourself up for a smooth transition into an in-person office desk space, you must ensure that you have all the necessary materials handy to complete daily tasks. Whether this looks like your HDMI cord to link your laptop to a monitor, headphones that plug into your computer, or other equipment to ready your space, gather it all or request it from your company prior to your first physical day-in.

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

Happy President’s Day, everyone! For those of you who are working today, we hope that your week is off to a great start and that even though you may feel glued to your desk, the sunlight is brightening your day (at least for us Chicagoans)! However, many of us are off today and that brings us back to a topic we love to touch base on every so often… managing your workflow and catching up on work after a long weekend.

Especially as you jump into a short week, and potentially condensed timelines to submissions and due dates, we’re here to get you back on track. Keep reading HERE to learn how to best manage your inbox and catch up on overload from a long weekend below…

Let’s…Catch up after the Holiday (or a Long Weekend)!

  • Hydrate: One of the best ways to stay awake and help your body get back into the swing of a healthy week is to keep yourself hydrated. Keep a water bottle by your desk and try to drink the entire thing multiple times throughout the day; and if you’re worried about forgetting, set reminders on your calendar or mobile phone to do so! There are also a variety of water bottles available everywhere that track time stamps on the side to remind you to keep up through the day.
    • Extra TipIn order to encourage yourself, try forcing yourself to finish a glass of water prior to a morning juice, matcha, or caffeine! That way, your drink of choice will serve as a reward instead of as a starting point for your day.
  • Nutrients! As enticing as it may feel to snack on chips, morning sweets, or any junk food, try to jump-start your week with nutrients instead. Starting off the week with healthy meals will rejuvenate your body and ensure that you are feeling energized and prepared for all obligations. On the same note, we also offer you the tip to bring workout clothes to work, as it may be your key to stepping back into the gym (and will also save the time of having to stop back home).
    • Extra TipIf you feel limited in your ability to dedicate time to meal prepping or creating nutrient-dense meals, check out one of the endless meal kit programs offered online! Not only are these friendly toward a variety of diet focuses and preferences, but are often even more affordable than independently grocery shopping. Planning ahead with a week’s worth of meals is a perfect strategy to ‘set yourself up for success’ and minimize an item on your daily to-do list.
  • Stay Organized: Making a to-do list, filling out a daily planner or calendar, or even using a sticky note and writing down what you need to complete is proven to help individuals accomplish their daily tasks and goals. This will also keep you organized and decrease your chance of forgetting a meeting or assignment. Make sure to check out the multiple articles we’ve written in the past to learn about certain scheduling strategies that could assist your organization… we recommend starting with ‘time-blocking’!
  • Check-In: With your inbox! Try out a “priority” folder to move all of your most important emails from the weekend into a different space, as we all know how crowded an inbox may become even after a single day off. Make sure to keep your team in the know about where your projects or outstanding requests are on their way to completion – while you’re not expected to finish all of your obligations momentarily, you are expected to inform those who rely on your work when they can expect it!
  • Let Yourself Breathe: Finally,… schedule breaks into your day as you would any other obligation! Letting yourself have time to relax is equally as important as completing your work to your mental clarity and ability to maintain motivation.

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

Welcome back to Part 2, everyone! Today, let’s chat about the benefits of rotation programs for post-graduate students and why you should consider these types of opportunities during your job search.

Benefits of Post-Grad Rotation Programs

  • City Exploration: With many companies still offering full-time remote opportunities or pushing for a return to in-office work, a rotation program in a new city is a great way (or excuse) to push you to explore a different location for a limited amount of time! Especially for those students who don’t yet have a full-time position secured upon graduation, moving away and knowing that there is essentially an “expiration” date for you to reevaluate your goals should provide a huge sense of comfort and is the epitome of… why not?! So, we encourage you to take a deep breath even if you have no plan for your career, and shift your mindset into evaluating a rotation program as a lever toward exploring a variety of interests in roles or locations throughout the U.S…. and beyond!
  • Career Exploration: In a similar way to how a rotation program may encourage you to try out a completely new environment, this job format may also provide you a chance to explore multiple career paths and try something that you may have never previously considered! Why not go for that accounting, marketing, graphic design, fashion, product development, supply chain, real estate, finance, or any other role that taps into a newfound skill set that you haven’t ever been able to develop in the past?! If you’re itching with discomfort about knowing what you ‘want to do’ forever, don’t fret! That is a completely normal feeling that you can easily tackle while becoming even more experienced. Consider taking a few LinkedIn courses with the downtime you have over school breaks or the summer to preview a variety of fields and skill sets to identify those that leave you feeling inspired.
  • Networking: Additionally, as rotation programs inherently provide opportunities for participants to rotate throughout companies and organizations, you’ll be immediately set up for networking success! Simply by working on a variety of teams, you’ll be afforded the chance to connect with a variety of different employees, to further evaluate where you are best suited in terms of team culture, skills, and more. If you do pursue this type of program, always take advantage of networking events, coffee chats, ‘speed dating’ events, employee resource groups, and other avenues through which to connect with others and leave the most impactful footprint on a company as you can. Whether you stay at an organization after the program or venture toward a new opportunity, creating a network of support may very well provide the bridge toward returning to a company one day and maintaining positive sentiment.
  • Friends! It’s easy to overlook one of the most crucial components of job satisfaction… work friends! These are the people that you will end up spending the vast majority of your days with, so it is important that you find a culture fit and develop professional relationships that help embed fun into your daily tasks. Engaging in a rotation program is a great way to create friendships within your ‘rotation class’ and those above and below you. As I’ve found, rotation participants are notably linked throughout the company by their shared experience (no matter the age or seniority!). Especially if you’re considering a new city, this is a top benefit to aid your social life and connection to others.

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

Welcome back everyone and hoping you’re recovering from a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday! No matter who you were rooting for, we had a blast joining with family and friends and celebrating what feels like a truly significant American Holiday.

While our bellies are still full of wings, pizza, and dips galore, our brains are ready to tune into another work week and re-engage with productivity. If you’re coming up on college graduation, sifting your way through the job market, or otherwise curious as to what a rotation program is… this article is for you!

Keep reading to learn about what a rotation program can offer and why you may consider it as an entry-level opportunity!

All About Rotation Programs:

  • Duration: First and foremost, the duration of a role rotation will fluctuate depending on which company you are working for. Even within an internal rotation program, durations may shift anywhere between 6-month, 9-month, and 1-year depending on the needs of the business! The rotation program I engaged in post-grad followed 2, 1-year-long rotations throughout different areas of the enterprise. Engaging in this long of a rotation allowed me to feel fully immersed in a team, valuable in projects I accomplished, and even ready for a new endeavor and transition! However, participants may also advocate for shorter length of role experiences so as to become exposed to additional areas of a business prior to pursuing a position long-term.
  • Role Selection and Placement: Another variable of rotation programs is your ability to contribute to the role that you are placed in. Some companies may completely decide your rotation placement for you and have consistent rotation positions that remain the same and “rotate” through employees, whereas others might change every cycle! It is key to discuss with your hiring manager what this will look like as you are applying and also once you are involved in the program so that you know what to expect. If per se, you will be able to have a voice in the way you rotate through the company, it’s even more beneficial to get ahead and start networking ASAP to build connections and be able to gauge which areas of the organization might need future help (in the form of a rotation) soon!
  • Rotation Transitions, Best Practices: What do I mean by this? You likely won’t have an exact rotation date where 100% of your work shifts to another employee as you rotate onto a new team. If you’ve worked in a corporate setting, you know how easily lines get blurred as timelines shift and responsibilities are adjusted when employees move into new internal roles. So, make sure to discuss your transition plan with your manager; do they expect a 50:50 ratio shift when you change positions for the first few weeks? 75:25, 80:20? These are crucial questions to ask so that you can shape your transition plan and set expectations with your new manager.
    • Extra Tip: Plan ahead and begin crafting your exit resources approximately 60 days before you depart from the team. Whether this looks like creating standard work to follow within software programs, project submissions, communications, etc., or other resource guides, use your final weeks to get ahead of these deliverables! Doing so will not only help the person who back-fills your role but will alleviate the potential of you having to complete more work after you leave as a result of a lack of knowledge on a certain process.

Why should you consider rotation program opportunities? Find out on Friday!

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

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you had a great week and are chugging toward the Spring with every next day. With the sun setting later, and daylight savings on the horizon, there is a renewed sense of hope in the air and refreshment around us! On that positive note, we’re excited to regroup on a topic that is everlasting in important in the workplace and corporate world…. soft skills! We often remind you of the resources to tap into online to take on new certificates, courses, licensing, or other valued attributes of your job. However, how do candidates differentiate themselves off of paper, during interviews, and distinguish across several hundred others? Keep reading to find out below!

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills won’t look like something technical, for example, having proficiency working in Excel. However, your ability to network, advocate in interviews, communicate across all role levels, manage your time, empathize with coworkers, actively listen, and contribute to meetings, and the intangible assets you bring to the table are those that will define your soft skill competencies. These skills are heavily valued by recruiters, employers, and managers as they make up the, sometimes unmeasurable, aspects of employees who become distinguishably successful in organizations.

Another key attribute of soft skills is the way that they will impact any transition into a higher role (like going from individual contributor to manager), shifting into a new space (like going from Marketing to Operations), or meeting and onboarding teammates. Soft skills, not narrowly linked to a software platform or output, are those that can transfer into multiple areas. Take it this way… can you think of any corporate role that doesn’t include meeting invites and expectations to participate in group settings? Well, having strong communication, collaboration, and teamwork skills will integrate into success in any team setting!

Extra Tip: Especially as you phase college, volunteer, and other experiences out of your resume due to relevancy, make sure to always include a section for soft corporate skills! These will likely be the bridge that separates you from the next candidate and is super important to your overall profile and perception.

How do you grow your Soft Skills?

In reality, soft skills are less measurable and executable than ‘hard’ – you can’t take a test to measure your ability to empathize, or ask impactful questions in meetings. However, many corporate companies, as well as online platforms like LinkedIn, offer courses that employees can enroll in to improve upon these skills. Make sure to check in with your management to get a sense of the corporate buzz around your reputation, and identify certain skills where you have room for improvement. This way, you can be intentional when drafting a timeline and goal-setting for specific skills, as well as narrowing down online enrollment in courses to those most relevant to your development. Also, make sure to frequently check in with leadership about skills that are highly valued in future positions you may pursue, across your organization, or in other areas that you could transition into.

Check out the top 15 soft skills as defined by Workable…HERE!

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

Welcome back, everyone! Since we last spoke, Punxsutawney Phil graced us with the optimism of an Early Spring, and Chicago experienced its (seemingly) first sunny and relatively warm day since the beginning of this winter. If you’re like us, then we hope you enjoyed some extra time spent outdoors, relishing in the warmth of the sun and taking advantage of fresh air. However, we know that this season often comes with extra downtime spent indoors and feeling a bit limited regarding access to activities. So, how can you capitalize on the winter season and take advantage of extra time at home? Keep reading HERE to find out!

Capitalizing on Downtime

Professional Maintenance

Ultimately, we are laser-focused on helping each of you optimize your professional presence to grow into strong candidates in your field. Especially at the beginning of the year, it’s more likely than not that you set out on a few professional goals; whether this is intentionally guided by your HR department or manager, or an independent, organic activity, the New Year undoubtedly brings optimization to front of mind. If you’re aiming toward developing a new professional skill, embarking on a certification or role-focused course, or otherwise investigating a new career path, the winter is a perfect time to get started. We recommend you conduct a quick Google Search to scan pricing, availability, and access to a certification or course you have in mind. From there, identify whether this is an asynchronous or scheduled type of activity, and start to map out how it will look in your daily or weekly schedule. For example, can you dedicate 10 minutes per day to an online module? 30 minutes? Or maybe 2 hours every week? Creating accountability by integrating a new activity into your schedule is a great way to transition dreams into reality and begin the journey toward achieving your next goal.

  • Extra Tip: ‘Down-time’ provides a perfect chance for you to re-engage with your online profiles, review your resume, and ‘upkeep’ your professional toolbox. Even if you’ve spent the past several years at one company, or do not have a current intent to leave, it is still crucial to be constantly treating your resume as an evolving product of your success and work. While it may feel easy to push this off to the side, tracking accomplishments and making updates in real time is the best strategy for ensuring you don’t forget about the little wins you’ve had along the way to your career growth.

Check-in on Your Personal Goals

On a separate note, downtime also provides an ample opportunity to check in on your personal goals developed in the New Year. Have you kept up with your new exercise routine? Have you practiced that new skill you were pining for in January? Have you maintained the healthy lifestyle, diet, or activity you embraced at the start of the year? If not, don’t get too down on yourself, and take advantage of a free night and its ability to help you reset into productive habits. For example, if you were aiming to become a better cook in the new year and embrace new recipes, engaging in a meal-prepping kit or service is a great way to map out your and ‘force’ yourself into a helpful habit. On the other hand, if you have fallen off of a New Year workout routine, this week is a great time to re-engage with an online video from the comfort of your home! However big or small the activity, showing yourself that you can stick to your personal goals is one of the key responses to developing confidence in all areas of your life.

Try Something… New! Building skills and Exploring new Hobbies

Finally, for those of us who embraced the New Year without a lengthy list of resolutions, then there is no better time to develop a new interest or hobby than today! Remember that not all activities need to become lifestyles, and diving into a new skill may be just the thing to get you through the day or week. But if you have ever been interested in learning a new language, practicing an instrument, developing a crafting or art technique, embracing a craft like knitting or embroidering, cooking, baking, journaling, meditating, or anything else… winter is the perfect time to do so! Take advantage of a day off of work (like a Sunday) to take a trip to the store and gather the materials you’ll need for your new activity, and transform a night of downtime into an exciting new experience.

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

Welcome back to part 2… Keep reading to wrap up our latest, new jobs we’ve posted since the new year has arrived!

…. And remember, for more details on any of these open opportunities, please send your resume and position of interest to: [email protected]. We are so excited to meet all of you!

Check out Our Open Jobs:

  1. Billing Specialist
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Chicago office!
  2. Senior Billing Specialist
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Washington DC office!
  3. Billing Specialist
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Washinton DC office!
  4. Accounting Project Manager
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law client firm in their Chicago office!
  5. Conflicts Staff Attorney
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client firm in their Chicago office!
  6. Business Development and Marketing Manager (Global Arbitration)
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client firm in their Washington DC office!
  7. Conference Center Manager
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client firm in their Chicago office!
  8. Senior Business Development and Marketing Manager (Regulatory and Enforcement)
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client firm in their Washington DC office!
  9. Business Development and Marketing Manager (Regulatory and Enforcement)
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client firm in their Washington DC office!

Looking for the full list of our current open jobs? Click HERE!

Welcome back, everyone! With Chicago experiencing a brief relief from the cold, we hope that our Midwest followers can escape into the outdoors and catch up on some fresh air this week. We are also super excited to share some of the new jobs we’ve posted since the new year has arrived; keep reading below to learn about SEVERAL exciting new job opportunities with our client firms.

…. And remember, for more details on any of these open opportunities, please send your resume and position of interest to: [email protected]. We are so excited to meet all of you!

Check out Our Open Jobs:

  1. Litigation Legal Assistant
    • Target Salary: Range of $70,000 to $90,000.
    • Attributes: Chicago-based mid-size law firm client, great benefits (hybrid).
  2. Insurance Coverage Associate Attorney
    • Target Salary: Range of $110,000 to $160,000 plus benefits and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work for our prominent Chicago-based boutique firm client.
  3. Legal Billing Assistant (part-time 3 days per week)
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive hourly wage.
    • Attributes: Contract role with a prestigious Chicago-based boutique law firm.
  4. Communications Specialist
    • Target Salary: To $85,000.
    • Attributes: Work for our global law firm client. Position can sit in the client firms Chicago, Dallas, or Houston office.  Excellent benefits and firm culture!
  5. DEI Director
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work for our global AM LAW 50 firm client. Position can sit in their LA, Century City, or Palo Alto offices.
  6. Pricing Manager
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 firm client in their Chicago office.
  7. Business Development and Marketing Coordinator
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Chicago office.
  8. Partner Recruiting Assistant
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Chicago office.
  9. Billing Assistant
    • Target Salary: Highly competitive salary, benefits package, and bonus.
    • Attributes: Work with our global AM LAW 50 law firm client in their Chicago office.

Looking for the full list of our current open jobs? Click HERE!

Welcome back to a blog that’ll ensure you wrap up your week with a smile! As we spoke about on Tuesday, the way that employees perceive company values and align with their mission should be at the top of every employer’s mind. Especially as it relates to younger generations, employees feel empowered to seek new opportunities for reasons based on fulfillment and job satisfaction more than any other working demographic. So, how can you keep up and ensure you meet your retention goals as a manager, executive board member, or overall organization?

Keep reading HERE to learn all about how employers can ‘treat’ and support their employees across any industry and for any role.

Creating Fulfillment and Job Satisfaction as an Employer:

  • Referral, End-of-Year, or Quarterly Bonuses: While the compensation-focused employee incentives are certainly the most obvious, they do not go unnoticed! Whether an impromptu quarterly bonus after a well-performing period, a scheduled merit increase on an annual basis (even of a few %!), or referral bonuses for word of mouth, all bonuses are regarded with gratitude and appreciation. Especially in our current economy, a few extra dollars per paycheck may amount to greater comfort in purchasing gas, groceries, or other necessities throughout the year.
  • Wellness Days: While your employee base always welcomes general PTO, additional incentives in the form of wellness days (typically on a quarterly basis) are a great way to stimulate motivation and gratitude. Some companies even provide stipends to employees aimed at their engagement with wellness (that are factored into compensation)! Whatever it looks like for your company, implementing this type of award showcases an employer’s belief in the value of mental wellness and commitment to ensuring it is met by their employees.
  • Office Amenities
    • Free Coffee and Breakfast Treats: An easy (and often expected) part of the day… is employers providing coffee! This is a great way of saying an informal thank you to your employees who may commute from all different types of neighborhoods or cities to get to your office. Not only is starting the day with a cup of coffee and a sweet treat a great way to increase positive sentiment in the office, but stimulates productivity too.
    • Casual Dress Day: If you have a strict dress policy in your office, think about ways to ‘offset’ the professional requirement, where possible, to allow employees to dress down and wear casual clothing every month, or maybe even more frequently (like on Fridays!).
    • Treat Everyone to Lunch or Dinner: Especially for employers in industries like Accounting, layered with busy seasons, saying thank you in the form of treating your employees to lunch or dinner not only offsets the commuting cost of getting to the office, but provides an unexpected treat as well. These small acts will likely not impact your overall budget or net profit, but go a long way in the form of showing employees you care about their office attendance and strive to incentivize their desire to continue coming in.
    • Gyms, Fitness Classes, Health-Related Discounts: Think of ways that you can afford your employees even MORE opportunities to come into work beyond the scope of their desks. Especially for employers renting out or moving into new spaces, think about aspects of the building’s amenities like a gym, fitness classes, generalized health discounts for online or in-person programs, etc.
    • Ergonomic Office Chairs: Finally, and sometimes the most important, is ensuring that your office is a COMFORTABLE space… physically! We encourage you to splurge on seating and other equipment that contributes to the ease of working in-person, technical efficiencies, and general comfort. Replacing old chairs, keeping up with modern themes, and announcing these investments is an easy way to both satisfy employee expectations while ‘tooting your own horn’ for continuously investing in top-of-the-line materials!
  • Consistent Recognition Programs: Do you announce employee achievements? Do you host quarterly or consistent meetings to spotlight those employees who went above and beyond? Make sure that your company has programs in place that recognize employees for positive performance, innovations, and contributions to the overall culture. Doing so will create fulfillment, celebrate achievement, and incentivize other employees to aspire to greatness!

Remember, Investing in Employees is an Investment in Yourself as an Overall Company or Individual Employer!

If you’re reading this and thinking about how it may apply to you… remember that investing in your employees is an investment in yourself! Not only will doing so lower your turnover and therefore the cost of retaining and training new employees, but will also increase company-wide motivation and productivity. Elevating your culture through in-office presence now requires additional investment by employers to create space employees WANT to come to each day… so use the above tools to begin evaluating how your office matches up to corporate expectations in 2024!

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

Welcome back to another week, everyone! We hope you had a great weekend.

Today, we’d like to discuss a topic that is forever on the mind of corporate employees: “How often should I be in office?” The concept of ‘flexibility’ in the corporate space has undoubtedly taken on a mind of its own since the COVID-era of employment. We are now faced with a variety of approaches to in-office expectations and employee flexibility, so finding what works for you may look completely different than the next person! However, what is the current sentiment around in-office work? Where do employees WANT to be on a daily basis? Find out through some interesting Chicago Tribune insights below!

Thoughts from the Chicago Tribune…

“In the uneasy tug of war between bosses and workers about how much time should be spent in the office, new evidence reveals that many employees think they should come in more often than they do.

Office workers recently surveyed by an international architecture firm reported that they typically come into the office about half the time, but said they ideally needed to be there two-thirds of a typical workweek for their best productivity. The workers’ attitudes mark a change from the early months after the pandemic when most said they got more work done at home.

“That has been a surprising evolution,” said Elizabeth Brink, a workplace expert at architecture firm Gensler. “People find they are more productive at the office.” While some find it easier to focus working at home, others find themselves more easily diverted there. Pets beckon. Children demand attention. Roommates are too loud. “Then there’s all the laundry,” Brink said….

Younger workers also commonly want the office to be more than just rows of desks, Brink said, preferring to have options that may include spaces with library-like quiet for individual work and spots that may feel more like a hotel lobby where people can gather to collaborate and bounce ideas around. Many younger workers also want spaces their older peers wouldn’t have thought to ask for in years past, such as cafes that feel like public coffee bars, fitness centers, and meditation or napping areas….

Older generations “wouldn’t have thought to ask for” workspaces such as meditation areas that may seem indulgent by previous standards,…. “These next generations are not quiet generations,” she said, but their desired work environments may make offices more desirable to their elders too. With the goal of getting more people back in the office more often, making it a more appealing place to spend time is a key attraction in the carrot-and-stick approach some employers are taking with their workers. Ideally, the upgrades also make people more productive….

People roll into the office an average of 2.8 days a week, CBRE found, but bosses desire to have them show up an average of 3.4 days of a week. Efforts to boost attendance since the pandemic eased haven’t always succeeded, even with the old five-days-in-the-office workweek completely off the table at most companies. “So now the question that companies are asking is, ‘After three or four years into this, what the heck can I do?’ ” to persuade people to show up in person more often.

In recent years, many bosses thought the solution was to clearly spell out their expectations for office attendance, but it wasn’t enough to substantially change behavior. “There was a brief uptick in visitations in some companies that has kind of fallen back out because what was missing from just communicating the expectation is a key piece of the equation — communicating the why.”

Even the best offices will not be utilized anymore than is convenient for people’s schedules if they don’t see why it will be of benefit to them. Those benefits must then be delivered, but many companies are falling short on that front…. Offices that support teamwork, collaboration, and other performance objectives are an added boost, she said. “You’re going to have that perfect scenario where your culture, your workplace, and your employee experience are all in sync.”

Our Thoughts On the Above…

There are undoubtedly very interesting insights documented above, thanks to the Chicago Tribune! Not only does generation impact the desire to work in-office, but so does the physical office itself! We encourage our employers to continuously evaluate whether or not their office provides a positive atmosphere, is modern and well-kept, and is a place that creates motivation and stimulates productivity. While some office investments are large, treating employees to lunch, providing coffee, and layering ‘incentives’ into the experience of working in person will prove valuable to your long-term employee retention.

Above all, we encourage you to avoid force when and wherever possible; now that employees feel empowered to change roles often and as a result of lacking job fulfillment, it’s crucial to your success that you stay on top of company morale, preferences, and expectations. Have you taken a recent ‘pulse check’, deployed an employee satisfaction survey, or otherwise shown interest in your employee’s well-being? If the answer to any of the above is no, then Q1 of 2024 is the perfect time for you to implement a company revamp that puts employee needs at the top of your business objective and goals list.

And, if you’re interested in hearing more about how to prioritize your employee’s needs, tune in Friday to learn all about the ways in which employers can ‘treat’ and support their employees across any industry and for any role.

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

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we’re here to send you into the weekend full of delight. That’s right, by following the below, you’ll be sure to unplug from work obligations, clear your mind, and capitalize on the free time afforded by the weekend.

Weekend Delight through These Strategies:

  • 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 a time of day, a specific day in the week, or a limited number of times checked, set a restriction for yourself to follow regarding your work and technology. Implementing these subtle goals will provide you with a sense of achievement and a “rule” to stay accountable to. There are also many ways that you can hold yourself accountable within your own mobile device, set screen time limits and reminders on social apps so that you can truly understand the amount of time you’re spending scrolling.
  • Capitalize on Open Space and Time: If you feel the same way as I do, then you know that creeping feeling that settles in that you should be doing “more” when lying in bed or sitting unoccupied. For that reason, try to occupy yourself over the weekend by creating a schedule or set of plans to take action. If it’s nice outside, make sure to get outdoors for a walk, a picnic, a trip to the dog park, a barbeque, a drink outside, or even a workout class. This is also a great way to keep up with friends in a socially casual setting doing something that you enjoy! Especially if you’re looking to broaden your friendships, we encourage you to reach out to someone new and ask if they’d like to get together this weekend to connect.
  • Be the Initiator! On the same note as the above, we all know the all-too-easy feeling of allowing others to initiate plans and maintain friendships. However, we challenge YOU to call up a friend for a coffee date, schedule a walk, coordinate a restaurant reservation or night out to the movies, and otherwise get the group together! After all, creating plans with others is a clear bet to pay off for you in the end too; so, look up fun activities in your city this afternoon and call up a friend you haven’t connected with in some time to connect over quality time this weekend.
    • Extra Tip: Today marks the start of Chicago’s restaurant week; is there a new restaurant you’ve been itching to try recently? The next few weeks are a perfect excuse to explore the city and find your new favorite spot to eat.
  • Maintain Open Communication With Your Team: If a sense of guilt is taking over your mind, 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 by mail or whatever it may be will relieve your sense of uncertainty and therefore need to stay in contact at all times. Something that I do that I find super helpful is muting any notifications from ‘work apps’ on my phone throughout the weekend – this way, even if someone is emailing on a Sunday, I won’t be reminded of it until Monday morning.
  • Treat Yourself to Something FUN! Whether this is a few dollars spent on a new coffee from your local shop, a trip to the spa, an outing to dinner, a sports game, a concert, a new piece of jewelry, an hour of meditation, a daily journaling session, or anything else that brings you joy … treat yourself this weekend! It is all too often that days pass us by without even a moment of acknowledgment of doing something solely for YOU. So, regardless of spend, find an activity or treat that will bring you joy this weekend and indulge.. after all, we work to live!

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

Welcome back, everyone! We’re jumping back into work after an important holiday weekend, commemorating the ever-influential Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We hope that you were able to take part in even the smallest bit of service during the Nationally recognized day of service, give back to your community, or pass on generosity in his honor!

Keep reading below for a fun topic that is especially relevant to our Midwest following,… how to take advantage of winter weather and extra time spent indoors!

Capitalizing on Winter Weather and Staying Indoors

Enroll in a LinkedIn course or Elevated Learning Opportunity

As we often speak about, the world is truly a candidate’s oyster year-round as it relates to elevating professional expertise and skills. Whether on LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, Adobe, or entirely separate from social platforms, the internet hosts an endless number of resources through which to enroll in learning opportunities. If you are even beginning to ponder the idea of a promotion, job shift, or industry change, then this is the perfect time to engage and create goals!

We encourage you to begin your learning journey by simply surfing the web to identify the naming conventions of skills that appeal to you, scan through job postings to gauge the skills listed, or even take a course for fun! The idea of practicing learning is one that will provide value throughout the rest of your entire life, and ‘exercising’ the muscle that is your brain, outside of daily repetitive tasks, is a perfect way to stay sharp and ahead of the curve in 2024.

Creating a Reading Goal or Trying out a New Genre

Similarly to the idea of ‘learning’, taking up reading as a hobby in the winter is a key point in the year through which to create tangible change. Whether this looks like taking advantage of online platforms like ‘Good Reads‘ to create annual goals, or writing down a few books that you’re interested in this season, reading is a perfect pathway to help you unplug from the drain of a workday and escape through any genre of your choice. If you’re seeking a challenge, we encourage you to frame goals around new genres, ‘self-help’ or industry-focused books, or otherwise poke into a subject you have no prior knowledge of.

Cleaning Out Your Spaces One-by-One

Finally, we encourage you to embrace the ‘refresh’ that comes with a New Year. It’s never too late to get started, either on January 1st, tomorrow or throughout the year, refreshing your space by keeping it clean and intentionally decluttering is a key strategy for sustaining work-from-home energy and motivation. While approaching an entire apartment or home may feel daunting, splitting cleaning up into ‘phases’ through dividing out rooms, areas of a room (ex: your closet, dresser, cabinets, drawers, etc.), or sections of your home will compartmentalize a task into approachable steps. In doing so, it is also optimal to create accountability through consistency: Can you dedicate 10 minutes each day to de-cluttering? One hour each week? One afternoon per month? Whichever cadence most seamlessly fits into your routine will undoubtedly prove most sustainable long-term.

  • Extra Tip: When and where able, reward yourself! Creating incentives through ‘chores’ turned into activities is a simple strategy to transform dread or procrastination into excitement. For example, if you declutter your closet, you can create a reward by purchasing new closet organizers to optimize the space. If you, similarly declutter a makeup drawer, maybe it’s time to take a trip to your nearest Sephora and replenish some items! Creating small ‘wins’ is a helpful strategy to make ‘fun’ out of seemingly ‘mundane’ tasks.

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

Welcome back to Part 2 of our 2-part series surrounding job offer declines and more positively, acceptances! Keep reading along to tune into all of the ways to seamlessly move through a job acceptance process, while also ensuring that your needs are met and expectations set for long-term job satisfaction!

Elements of Job Acceptance

Express Appreciation

Immediately after your interview concludes, and regardless of the outcome of your journey, we encourage you to continue showing gratitude to all employees who assisted you in the interview process (whether internal or external). Writing a follow-up email, handwritten letter, and saying ‘thank you for your time’ before your interview concludes is a fantastic way to set yourself up for success! Even better, if you’re interviewing for an internal role, take advantage of any opportunity to express gratitude in person instead of through a screen; expressing appreciation and excitement will set the tone off the right way for the rest of your interview experience, especially if your next step is negotiating.

Time Length

Maintain awareness of important timelines regarding your offer acceptance. Once you receive a formal offer letter (either through email or sent to your permanent address), take a meaningful amount of time to review the terms, conditions, benefits, compensation, and all aspects of what your role will include. Doing so may take a few days, and that’s okay! Make sure to continue communicating with the hiring manager, maintain transparency, and proceed when you’re comfortable and ready. Establishing the window of acceptance during the interview process is a great way to set expectations; make sure to ask the right questions during your interview to understand when to expect to hear back, when your answer should be submitted, and if/when a negotiation period will begin.

That Brings us to our Next Point… Negotiate!

After reviewing an offer letter, we highly encourage you to negotiate details of benefits, or compensation in the form of salary, PTO, benefits, etc. Whether you value a 401K plan, health insurance coverage, or a few extra days off each year will be a completely personal and unique assessment of your career and future mindset. Remember, there’s no better time to achieve the exact offer that you want than right before you accept, so make sure to take advantage of the moment while it’s there! Negotiating offers is also crucial to the way your employer perceives you – make sure to stay calm, kind, and polite in all environments!

  • Extra Tip: Conduct market research before entering negotiations to understand the going rate of your role across the industry and at a variety of companies, general benefits that contribute to offer letters, education expectations, or other certificates that may result in higher compensation, etc. Providing validation and evidence to justify your negotiation is a phenomenal way to showcase that, not only did you take meaningful time to craft a proposal, but your expectations are validated by your industry at large.

Accepting the Offer

Finally, accept the job offer! Write an acceptance letter; if you correspond via email, you can also email your letter. Ensure that you express gratitude again and thank the company for the opportunity. Make sure to include verbiage stating that you accept the company’s offer (“I formally accept…”) and state the title of the role, salary, and benefits that you agreed on. Recapping the salary and benefits will help ensure there isn’t any confusion on either side and that there is a written trail of expectations. Lastly, include the date you expect to start!

Ready, set, …. accept!!

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

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we wanted to chat through a 2 part series in which we’ll coach you through the process of accepting or declining a job offer. The reality is, that almost every one of us will incur the need to decline AND accept a variety of roles throughout our careers, so understanding how to do so with professional elegance is crucial to maintaining positive relationships. Keep reading below to find out how to do so!

Professionally Declining Job Offers:

Saying Thank You

The absolute most important component of correctly declining an offer is to express gratitude for the opportunity. Whether that is over the phone, through email, or in-person (if internal), take time to craft a personal thank you to the recruiters you’ve met and each interviewer will show that you took the offer seriously and maintained respect despite whichever outcome occurs. Make sure to send your thank you letter promptly (within 24 hours) of the offer in addition to your decision if you are already sure that this isn’t the right fit for you.

Providing Meaningful Reasoning

Remember, you’re not locked into any role that you apply to! More often than not, candidates apply to a variety of different roles, and sometimes even just to get a ‘pulse’ on their industry,  so you may realistically narrow down or succeed in being offered two or three different roles. Especially to our college grads, make sure to effectively explain the reasoning behind your final decision to the hiring manager to avoid your answer seeming like a baseless decision. Whether you’ve decided to stay in your original role, hope to instead relocate somewhere else, have an offer with higher compensation, etc., providing additional information is a great way to justify your decision. However, make sure to always be clear and concise! There is no need to go into too much depth about which opportunity you’ve decided to pursue and where you’ll be headed next.

Maintaining the Relationship

While this aspect of a job offer conversation takes place farther down the road, we encourage you to maintain relationships with both the recruiters that connected you to the role, the hiring manager, interviewers, or anyone that you felt especially connected with throughout the process. You never know when you may find yourself back on that job search, and upholding a chance of re-pursuing a prior role as a result of relationships you’ve worked to cultivate will prove a key to your success.

It is so important to understand that it’s completely acceptable to decline an opportunity! It is how you communicate that will solidify the “terms” you leave on the company, so follow these steps and we’re sure you’ll achieve a long-term connection and avoid burning any professional bridges!

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

Welcome back, everyone! Today, we’re excited to hone in on a topic that often brings anxiety, procrastination, or dread…. that’s right, waking up in the morning! We all know the all-too-familiar feeling of ‘doom scrolling’ before bed and incidentally causing yourself to lose hours of sleep. This year, we’re here to put a stop to alarm snoozes and instead push ‘start’ on starting your day earlier and retaining more morning hours! If this is a concept you’ve EVER been interested in, we highly encourage you to follow along below to evaluate which new habits you can begin integrating into your lifestyle as soon as today.

Waking Up Early With These Strategies:

  • Set Yourself Up for Success: There are several factors that contribute to your morning wakeup outside of the actual moment that your alarm goes off. In order to dive into an early morning routine, it’s essential to set yourself up for success by taking measures the day before that will help assist your ability to get your day started. Some of our favorite ways to offload the ‘to-do’ morning tasks are: meal prepping for the week, making coffee or tea the night before, laying out supplements/medicine easily in reach on your counter, choosing your outfit for work the night before, packing your lunch or work tote/backpack the night before, etc.!
    • Extra Tip: If none of these resonate with you, we encourage you to write down a ‘typical’ morning routine and what it looks like. Once you have transcribed all of the steps you regularly take to start your day, evaluate which can be swapped into your nighttime routine, or executed weekly to offset a daily to-do item!
  • Allow Yourself Time to Wind Down at Night: Through the same message that we started off this blog, we encourage you to evaluate your nighttime routine as that will highly impact the ease through which you wake up the next day. Do you hop into bed and keep your phone near you? Do you watch TV until you fall asleep without allowing yourself a moment away from blue light? What if you tried reading before bed? Being intentional with your nighttime routine by affording yourself resources that will naturally help you fall asleep is a much stronger method to support an earlier wake-up call. If you’re also interested in evaluating a holistic approach to sleep wellness, we suggest you explore Magnesium supplements as a natural boost that contributes to restful sleep!
  • Make Changes Gradually: The first step is being realistic with yourself; there is no reasonable method to instantaneously shift your alarm from 8:00 AM to 5:00 AM, and creating that large of a change will undoubtedly feel impossible to uphold. For this reason, we encourage you to begin shifting back your wake-up call in smaller increments on a consistent basis. For example, can you try setting back the clock even 5 minutes early each day for a week? Doing so will result in 35 minutes saved in week one, 70 minutes (over an hour!) by week two, and so on. Making small changes and showing up for yourself by staying accountable to small, daily goals is the most reliable way to make a sustainable, long-term change.
  • Explore your Wake Up Call: If you dread your morning alarm (like most of us!), then the New Year is a perfect time to explore different options to help you rise in the morning with a sense of calmness and readiness to take on the day. Waking up because of an urgent alarm is guaranteed to cause an increase in cortisol at the beginning of your day which causes negative associations. Instead, explore methods like the Hatch System to mimic a natural wakeup from daylight instead of a blaring noise.

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

Welcome to 2024, everyone!

What an exciting time of year; we hope that you each feel refreshed, were able to soak up a bit of time off between Christmas and the New Year, and are ready to tackle this week with a blank slate and a sense of motivation. Whether engaging in a New Year ‘challenge’ like dry January or 75-hard, or simply tackling the challenge of returning to work after a break, this article is for you! There is no better time of year than Q1 to begin drafting goals and idealizing what you hope for your year. If your career is on your mind, then keep reading below to find out how to achieve advancement in 2024!

Engage and Utilize Your Network:

There is no greater resource to help you in advancing your career than your own social and professional networks. After all, your network is made up of people who are there to support you and may very well provide you with the bridge to obtaining or discovering new opportunities. One of the greatest ways to utilize your network is by hosting or participating in a professional gathering; no matter where you’re located, almost all urban cities host professionals through organizations that are open to the public for a minimal fee. Joining charities, extracurricular clubs, or other community-oriented organizations in your city is also a phenomenal way to meet like-minded individuals. Make sure to stay involved with young professionals around you to continue reaching a network of people beyond the scope of your company, role, or industry.

New Skills:

Advancing any aspect of your life often requires extending your level of education and knowledge. In doing so, contemplate your contentment with your current level of intelligence about your general career path, work obligations, title, role, or even education in general. Have you ever thought about obtaining a new certificate or degree? Potentially taking a few new business courses just for fun? Today, there are more resources than ever before (many offered by LinkedIn and Amazon) to help expand your knowledge and reach beyond your role… so take advantage of courses and activities you can accomplish even from the comfort of your own home! And remember, when you’re ultimately up against another candidate for a promotion or new position, small distinguishers like these could very well contribute to a favorable final decision.

If you don’t feel that your schedule will allow for enough free time to dedicate to education advancement, try shifting/creating a reading goal centered around self-improvement, subscribing to a relevant podcast or newsletter, or even adding your email to an industry-focused newsletter. Utilizing these types of consistent resources will help you to engage with current events relating to your profession and industry so as to ensure you’re well prepared for any impromptu formal/informal interview or conversation with leadership.

Mentors:

Do you have a mentor? Someone you look up to guide decisions, and career choices, and offer general advice? If not, now is the perfect time to designate someone to fulfill this role (formally or informally)! In identifying this person, take time to evaluate people within your workplace and life who you look up to as a positive influence and source of growth. If you’re struggling to identify this person, try reaching out to people who inspire you in an even more casual setting! Conducting informational interviews, coffee dates, or lunch meet-ups will help you expand your network and also designate people who may end up acting as unexpected mentors in the future! Remember, all networking conversations are valuable, regardless of the immediate outcome. Investing in these conversations and creating lasting relationships across your industry will only help you as you advance into new roles, companies and positions.

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

Happy New Year to our family, friends, and adored Esquire followers!

A few reflective thoughts to wrap up 2023…

While 2023 was layered with unforgettable memories, happiness, and equally difficult parts of the year, we hope you feel you’ve grown through it all. As we often encourage, this is a fabulous time of year to reflect, map out goals, clear out spaces, and rejuvenate in order to achieve a productive and refreshed January. However, don’t be too hard on yourself this weekend or in the following month; remember the importance of affording yourself breaks, grace, and time to adapt to new environments as well as lifestyles.

Many of you will embark on a ‘dry January’ or even a 75-hard challenge (never heard of it? Click here to find out more about the components of this diet/lifestyle and its benefits!), and many of us will center our days around redefined ‘resolutions’. Whatever the New Year will look like for you, we hope that it brings you a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and satisfaction. 

Even more of you will contemplate your professional identity in the New Year; is your current job a good fit? Are you on a trajectory toward a career you’re inspired by? Do you feel aligned with your company’s mission and vision? Do you feel you can grow in your current role? Are you challenged? Are you content with your ‘work from home’ vs. in-office balance? All of these questions will likely shape your desire to remain in your role or search for a new one; if you’re feeling inspired to embrace change in the new year, then make sure to check out our open jobs list!

And finally, we’ll leave you with the most important note of all. While scrolling on social platforms may lead you to believe that there is more ‘crazy’ and extreme thinking than there are neutral feelings about any and all social movements and political views, we encourage you to demonstrate kindness through it all. Even when it feels significantly more challenging to rise above aggression happening online, it’ll always pay off, in the long run, to maintain a positive online identity as you would in treating people face-to-face. At the end of the day, I believe that as humans we are all more similar than we are different; if we afford a chance to hear others, respect different opinions, and grow through adversity, we will rise together and be stronger for it. 

We are so proud of our Esquire candidates, our followers, and our growth this year! We cannot wait to meet more of you, continue connecting, and ensure that we find roles for YOU that will bring challenge, growth, and fulfillment… no matter the industry or position! Believe in yourselves and your potential in this New Year; your opportunities are endless!

Welcome back from the Holiday weekend, everyone!

We hope that those who celebrate had a lovely Christmas Eve and Day spent with family and friends. For those of you who simply relished in time off, we hope that it was well spent and brought both relaxation and rejuvenation. The truth is… many of you are actually off until the New Year! So, if you work in an industry that cools off between Christmas and the New Year, or have otherwise compiled your PTO to take a week for yourself, then this article is for YOU! Keep reading to find out our favorite ways to capitalize on PTO, downtime, and unplugging from the corporate world.

Capitalizing on End of Year PTO…

For our Chicago Followers

  1. Zoo Lights: Tickets to ZooLights are $7 nightly from Tuesday through Sunday. Explore one of the most iconic holiday spots in the city’s history at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Lincoln Park, Chicago. With a minimal payment, you’ll have access to the entire zoo light track in the park and can stroll for as long as you please. This is an awesome activity for those with young children, our post-grads looking for an inexpensive way to spend a night, or even a first date. Make sure to dress warm and indulge in some hot cocoa as you make your way through!
  2. Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon: Another awesome activity for those with children, looking to spend an afternoon with friends, or navigating a large group; Maggie Daley Park offers a low-cost walk-up fee to enjoy skating. We recommend doing so on a sunny day and with some friends… it’s a blast! Especially for those of you who live on the North side of Chicago, the park is an awesome way to make a trip downtown and enjoy the holiday lights and high rises that surround it.
  3. Walk along Michigan Avenue: A free activity! Michigan Avenue is home to dozens of beautiful shopping stores, holiday lights, Christmas Trees, and the infamous Starbucks Reserve. Make sure to take a trip down and spend an afternoon walking along the streets of ‘Streeterville’ to enjoy all it has to offer. Not only is Michigan Ave. a great place to shop, but it also offers an enormous variety of delicious lunch and drink stops along the way.
  4. Christkindl Market: Finally, another iconic staple of Chicago’s holiday season is the Christkindl Market. With a relatively new location in Wrigleyville and a historic site in the Loop, Chicago’s own Christmas market displays several trinket shops, drinks, and German treats. We highly encourage you to find a time to stop by this market… you’re sure to feel like you’ve been transported to Europe!

Relaxing During Time Off

  1. Gather for a Christmas Movie: It’s all too easy to fall into the comfort of isolation during time off. If this sounds like you, and if you find yourself sneaky off into the comfort of your bedroom, we encourage you to challenge yourself and coordinate a family activity. If taking advantage of being ‘lazy’ is a key component of your PTO, then watching a Christmas movie is a great place to start. Almost every streaming platform offers a plethora of old and classic Christmas movies that can round up any family and guarantee smiles and laughs. Especially for younger siblings who haven’t yet been introduced, the holiday season is a perfect time to round out some classics.
  2. Engage in Home Games: Once your movie binge is complete, try out a new family game! My personal favorites include “Blank Slate”, “Rummikub”, or a card game! These are low-cost, and often low-effort activities that still force those younger siblings off their phones and facilitate quality time as a group. If you’re scrambling to find a new activity, take a quick scan on any website (including Amazon) and you’ll be guaranteed to tap into a whole new slew of games that debuted this year.
  3. Take a Walk Outside or Sit by the Fireplace: If you have extra downtime on your hands this week, coordinate a firewood delivery and relish in the pleasure of a real fire! How often are you afforded a chance to wind down in front of a real, wood-burning fire? And better yet, how often do you have the time to maintain it and keep that flame burning? This week is a perfect time to capitalize on colder weather, cozy dark nights, and a cozy fireplace.
  4. Make your own Hot Cocoa Bar: Keeping children and siblings in mind, a sweet treat is a guaranteed ‘win’ to gather the family around a shared interest! A simple run to any local grocery store is guaranteed to help you track down sprinkles, whipped cream, milk, heavy cream, MnMs, and any other makings of a perfect cup of hot cocoa. This is a fun, low-energy, and low-stakes activity to bring smiles to your home.
  5. Try out a New recipe, Puzzle, or Craft: Especially in the midst of free time, engaging in otherwise tedious tasks is a great way to keep your mind moving and your brain at peak speed for the New Year. Tackling a new recipe and skill in the kitchen, diving into a puzzle that’s been collecting dust in a closet corner, or taking on a new art project that you’ve been dreaming of for months is a fabulous way to round out the year with a memory Sur to never be forgotten! Even better, each of these activities can incorporate multiple participants for varying lengths of time.

We hope you’re all enjoying this special time of year together and soaking up every moment of rejuvenation for the New Year!

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

Welcome back everyone and an early Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! We hope that you are enjoying rest, relaxation, and quality time with family and friends all around you. Today, we felt inclined to re-center around one of our favorite concepts and another annual note (there are quite a few this time of year!). Keep reading below to hone in on the positivity that YOU can bring into the New Year…

Exude Positivity and Light in 2024!

  • Building Connections Online and In-Person: It is phenomenal to acknowledge the ways in which our U.S. workforce has come together under the idea of embracing technology to not only maintain, but also build connections with one another; whether an interview, training session, recurring meeting, or end of year review, we’ve found ways to band together through screens and in person too. Many of us felt the ‘return to normal’ that 2023 brought; companies are back in person at full force, and many employees are hanging up their pajamas for suits as they return to regular work days and routines. However, with this also came a new wave of companies embracing a plethora of different opportunities for employees to have flexibility surrounding their own schedules and days in-office. Never before have candidates and employees had such autonomy over their daily roles and lives – so take advantage of the format that works best for you! And if your current role doesn’t feel like the right fit on a daily basis, the New Year is a PERFECT time to re-center around career goals and begin applying for a new position.
  • Saved Commute: Working from home periodically, in a hybrid format, or fully remotely has allowed professionals of all industries the reprieve of extra sleep, relaxation, and the comfort of their own homes. So, although it may be easy to become fatigued by the repetition and environment of your home, it allows you to skip a lengthy commute and pack in a few chores or errands along the way. If your current ‘WFH’ environment feels stale, then the New Year is also a perfect time to revamp or reorganize your space to gain a fresh feeling and sense of motivation; we highly encourage you to evaluate your space on a consistent basis to ensure that you’re comfortable and well-suited for peak performance at home in the same way as you are in your office setting.
  • Gratitude and Mindfulness: As we adapt to an ever-changing world dynamic and different challenges that face our society on a daily basis, it has never been more evident that practicing gratitude and mindfulness are essential components of strong mental health and fulfillment. We have been tasked with some of the greatest challenges of our lives, but reminded of the value of those we love, the comfort of our homes, our own health and safety, and the hopeful health and safety of those around us!
    • Extra Tip: Although it may sound cliche, the New Year is a notorious opportunity for you to re-evaluate your personal health and identify any opportunities to dive into fitness. Let 2024 be your year to maximize your personal fitness, mental health, nutritional intake, career trajectory, and more!
  • Maintaining Positivity: Above all, staying positive has proven key to the course of our years! While it may feel easy to get knocked down by the struggles our world faces on a daily basis,… remaining calm and grateful for those aspects of life that provide you fulfillment and happiness will prove the key to pushing forward to the future.
    • Extra Tip: Always take time for yourself! Whether this means scheduling in blocks during your workday, carving out solo activities during the weekend, or otherwise practicing ‘self-care’, doing so is an amazing strategy to clear your mind and maintain a positive outlook.

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

Welcome back everyone and happy second to LAST work week of 2023! I can’t believe that another year has sped by us and how much we were able to accomplish as a team. As the year wraps and the Holiday season continues to speed toward Christmas time off, we thought it would be a perfect time to remind you to thank your clients this week! If you have not already engaged with this type of gratitude practice, which is essential to sustainable success, keep reading here…

Thanking Your Clients in a Meaningful Way

  • Prepare as Far in Advance as Possible: Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or any other holiday, make sure to plan out your approach in advance! Don’t cut it too close to Christmas day or do anything to jeopardize the delivery of a letter, note, gift, or anything that travels by mail. Sending thanks early is also important as it will allow you to get ahead of and potentially avoid windows during which many employees or the company are on holiday leave or PTO. Be sure to think about your industry and when reaching out will be most meaningful to each client!
  • Cover all of Your Bases: We strongly encourage that you take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to gifting. Whether you have legal or HR considerations and limitations on what you can gift to external clients, or generally have different relationships across partners, it’s important to avoid playing favorites or showcasing disproportionate appreciation. Before sending out your thanks or gifts, make sure to run through the variety of projects, partnerships, deals, and other interactions you’ve played a part in throughout the year to ensure you’ve accounted for everyone!
    • Extra Gift Ideas: Flowers, chocolates, custom cups, company ‘merch’, hand-written notes, soap or lotion for the office, a succulent, anything to do with coffee and caffeinating in the AM, or any other useful resource for an in-office setting.
  • Be Personal! When able, we strongly encourage you to try and be as personal as possible in your gifting process. If you have a long-lasting relationship with a client, know that they enjoy certain trinkets or gifts, have mentioned interests in your conversations, or have otherwise alluded to things that bring them happiness… provide it! It sounds obvious, but taking small notes throughout the year during conversations to track certain ideas that will help you gift in the holiday season is a great way to get ahead of planning and provide yourself with ease when the time to gift comes.
    • Extra Tip: If your gift feels unoriginal or ‘basic’, don’t worry! Compensating with a blanket gift approach by handwriting thank you notes and holiday cards where applicable is a fantastic way to differentiate your gift from other clients and showcase appreciation.
  • Maintain Relationships: Above all, ensure that gifting season isn’t the only time you reach out to clients. Check-in regularly, schedule ‘catch up’ connects/coffee chats, join company intramural leagues, participate in corporate events or professional organizations, and invest in your professional relationships continuously!

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