Hi everyone! After a beautiful weekend, I wanted to discuss a topic that I have had lots of experience with: golf! Summer is always the best time to get back out on the golf course and hopefully you golfers out there can hit the course a couple more times before fall weather is in full swing .  If you are not a serious golfer… this post is for you!

 

I went to a high school of 4,000 students so my parents pressed me to try out for a fall sport in addition to the soccer team in the spring. Showing up without ever swinging a club, I barely got the ball off the ground the entire 9 holes (which felt like 18). Luckily, the team was no cut so over 4 years I learned and grew in the sport. I was also able to get my score down drastically, although I’m not sure it could’ve gotten worse.

 

On Thursday I will discuss golf etiquette, but today I wanted to talk about some of the most basic golf rules if you have limited previous experience.

 

  • Dress appropriately: how you dress is often one of the first things someone will notice about you. For women, a longer skirt or golf pants and a collared shirt are appropriate. For men, nice shorts or pants, and a collared shirt. No backward hats or t-shirts. You want to look sharp the same way you would want to look polished going into work on your first day.
  • Don’t be late: this rule goes for most things in life, but make sure that you are respecting other people’s time. Be on time for your tee time. You should even go a bit earlier to get some practice in.
  • Turn off your phone and keep it that way: You should not be using your phone during your time on the course. Make sure that you turn it off or at least turn your ringer off. You do not want your phone going off as your partner is in mid-swing!
  • Keep your temper under control: Although golf can be a frustrating game, you want to keep your cool. You may be hitting the ball every way except the fairway as a beginner. No matter what happens, you want to keep your composure and keep going. Golf is a great way to see how someone can deal with adversity. So, after a bad shot, pick your head up, laugh it off, and get ready for the next one! Under no circumstance should you throw your club or start yelling and cursing!
  • Be careful on the green: On the putting green, you don’t want to leave your mark. If you make a mark, do your best to repair it (I’ll get into this more on Thursday). If you’re carrying your bags, place them off of the green. Lastly, when taking out the flag, place it down carefully.
  • Play farthest from the ball: Once everyone has teed off, whoever is farthest from the hole will hit next. This is a great rule of thumb. You’ll want to stay out of that golfer’s way and stay quiet. During this time, you should be thinking about your next shot.

 

This is just a beginners’ guide to a golf outing, but I will share more etiquette tips on Thursday. I hope you enjoyed it and come back later this week for more.

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

Hi everyone and happy Thursday!

Today I want to talk about something that I have always been fascinated with: how to improve your memory. Whether this is prepping for a presentation, remembering others’ names, or mentally tracking where you left your Air pods, improving your memory can keep you feeling sharp.

 

You might have heard the term brain fog over the past year and a half. It is a term that describes a lingering sluggish feeling after contracting COVID-19. Even if you have not had COVID-19, the online work/learning environment may have you feeling off. I have some tips that will help if this describes how you’re feeling or just want to find ways to improve your memory (I know I do!)

 

  • Eat less added sugar: eating too much added sugar has been linked to cognitive decline. Sugar can lead to poor memory specifically with short-term memory so next time you reach for that soda replace it with water this will help with both memory and overall health.
  • Try a fish oil supplement: fish oil is said to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline. Try adding fish oil supplements to your daily routine!
  • Try your hand at meditation: meditation has many positive effects on your health with memory and cognition being just a couple. Meditation can help with spatial working memory which is your ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.
  • Get some sleep: short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories during sleep. Put that phone away before bed and get a good night’s sleep to improve your memory.
  • Train your brain: exercising your brain is also a very effective way to boost your memory. There are a variety of fun brain games to keep you on your toes. Try out a new game like a crossword puzzle, tetris, or sudoku. This has also shown a reduction in the risk of dementia.
  • Exercise more: exercising your brain helps with memory, and the same goes for exercising your body! If you can’t tell from some past blogs, exercising has an impact on both physical and mental health. Take 15 minutes out of your day to get a quick workout in and hopefully you will be feeling better on the inside and out.
  • Eat some chocolate: don’t have to tell me twice! Cocoa has antioxidants called flavonoids that increase blood flow in parts of the brain associated with memory. Choose dark chocolate with a content of 70% cacao (source of antioxidants) or higher.

 

There are fun, simple, and even tasty ways to improve your memory. I hope these tips can help you remember that last item you need from the grocery store. I’m on my way to get some dark chocolate and fish oil supplements right now!

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

Happy Monday and happy Labor Day! On this day we celebrate workers and the labor force’s achievements with parades, picnics, and parties! I hope you all enjoy this day off because it is very well deserved after this past year turned work upside down.

A majority of people have been working from home since the pandemic hit. This has been a difficult transition for everyone: figuring out how to ignore the distractions of working from home, miscommunications, being in a different time zone than teammates, loneliness, mental and physical health, the list goes on. It did have a couple of perks, like no morning traffic, but it was a very stressful time across the globe for all. As some work has returned to the office, this can also be a difficult transition. The concept of work-life balance becomes SO important.

Why is having a work-life balance important? Having a balanced schedule helps reduce stress and prevent burnout in the workplace. On the flip side, employers can save money and maintain a healthier and more productive workforce so it is a win-win! Here are some tips to improve your work-life balance as you enter the office again.

 

  • Have set work hours and stick to them. This is so important. With your computer just one foot away, it can be easy to extend the workday. Turn off your computer and save some time after work so you can enjoy personal time. This can help with problem-solving as well!
  • Make your workspace work for you. Adding your own personal touch to your workspace as well as having comfortable furniture and support can go a long way.
  • Exercise! Make exercise a priority. Stressed at work? Need to get outside? Squeezing in some exercise during the day can help release some much-needed endorphins.
  • Do what you love. Take time to do something that you love – other than work – throughout the day. Creating little habits and finding time for your hobbies will make you not only happy but can help your success at work by thinking outside the box.
  • Make time for friends. Working can get lonely. Schedule time for friends whether it is as simple as grabbing coffee or a quick call to say hello. The pandemic has definitely taught me that it is important to check in on those that you love.

 

I hope this helps as people begin to return to the office and I return to the classroom. This change will be difficult for many people so continue to check in on your friends and employees. Enjoy this Labor Day and if you’re searching for a new position, check out our open jobs list!

As September means that summer is coming to a close, many of us might be wondering where the time went this summer. I know I am! Although for some that may mean getting back into the swing of school and others may be counting down the days until Halloween festivities, September is a great time to reflect on summer.

  • Make time to get outside. The summer months are spent beneath the sun but don’t let the end of summer mean the end of venturing outside. There is sufficient research to show that not enough vitamin D can lead to depression-like symptoms. So, make it a point to take a nice daily walk or eat lunch outside with friends to soak up the sun (with sunscreen of course).
  • Make a bucket list of things you’re most excited about in the coming months. Ready to leave summer behind? Summer is not for everyone. The heat, bugs, and lack of routine might have you excited for 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 for September and the new things to come, a bucket list can help. Setting goals and creating bucket lists help focus our attention, articulate what we want to explore and turn those ideas into a reality.
  • Set aside time for a personal reflection. Whether this is through journaling, meditation, or time alone with your thoughts, think about some of these questions:
    • What was your favorite thing about summer?
    • What was the best thing that you experienced this summer?
    • If you could go back and do summer over, what would you change?
    • What did you learn about yourself this summer?
    • How was this summer different from past summers?
    • What lessons or takeaways would you like to carry with you into the fall?
  • Create a routine. Creating a new routine can be just the fresh start that you need to kickstart the new season. Get organized and prioritize what needs to be done in September. You can almost think of September as the new January!

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

Hi everyone! My name is Niki Urban, and I am so excited to take over this Esquire blog.

With that being said, I have huge shoes to fill after seeing how Hannah was able to create unique and easy-to-read blog content for three YEARS!

You might be thinking… Who are you and how did you land this job? Great question! I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin double majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. I met Hannah through Greek life, and she recommended this job to anyone interested in taking on a marketing role. Always looking to expand my horizons, I jumped at the idea and got to talking with Hannah and Scott. One interview later, where we discussed everything from golf to SEO exposure, and here I am!

I have lots of first-hand marketing skills as I started my own art business four years ago. I create personalized portraits made solely out of words. Whether that be singers filled with lyrics or wedding photos filled with first dance songs, this passion of mine has taught me a lot about what it takes to create a business (and market it!). I have also completed two marketing internships at a graphic design and financial services company. I am excited to take my creative ideas and turn them towards this blog. If you want to check out my art, my website is www.nikiurbanart.com Outside of school, I love hiking, cooking with my roommates, drawing, and of course the occasional Netflix binge. I am still trying to come up with a fun fact for my first day of senior year, though!

I look forward to writing this blog and wish Hannah the best of luck in her new role at Discover.

If you’re looking for a new position… check out our open jobs list!

Hello everyone! I truly can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is my farewell! I signed onto to take over the blog posting for Esquire back in May of 2018, and haven’t looked back since. Working with this team has taught me the importance of social media exposure, growth, followers, audiences, and so much more about online omnichannel marketing. I’ve learned so much about a wide variety of business industries, legal recruiting, and what it means to work for a boutique firm with an outstanding team.

So, what does the future look like for me? Keep reading HERE to find out!

Hannah’s Next Steps

Full-Time Work

Primarily, I’ll be joining Discover Financial Services on Monday as a participant in their Business Leadership Rotational program. When searching for full-time work last fall, I kept the option of a rotation at top of my mind. Not only do I believe programs of this sort capitalize on company-wide exposure but are a fantastic way to transition from an internship to a full-time position. Entering into this 2 year rotational program (one year per role, so two in total), provides me two more years to explore the company and identify my interests and strengths. Doing so also introduces me to a “cohort” of entry-level employees joining the same program, creating a fraternity-like relationship between all 22 of us! I am so excited to be surrounded by like-minded but diverse individuals experiencing the same career trajectory – I can’t wait to learn from those around me!

Chicago Move

Aside from my actual work, I do plan to relocate to downtown Chicago sometime within the next few months. What I recommend for anyone in a similar position to my own is to… save! Let’s be honest, Chicago, as well as several other populous cities in the US are still not fully back to “pre-pandemic” atmospheres. For that reason, I plan to take advantage of the first few months acclimating to my new role to save up money for rent and expenses and get situated. If you’re someone who feels discomfort when it comes to change, this is a fantastic way for you to mitigate one component of change while taking on a completely new professional endeavor.

Professional Upkeep

Finally…. how will I maintain awareness of industry trends and stay in the know without Esquire?! If you feel like you’ve fallen off the map this summer, or are interested in learning more about your industry, I highly recommend signing up for newsletters! The Skimm, the New York Times, and the Morning Brew are three components of my morning routine. Taking just a few minutes each morning to learn about the current events of the world is a great way to keep up to date with your industry as well as foster intellectual conversations with your coworkers.

Thank you to everyone that has allowed this platform to grow over the last 3 years… I’ll surely miss this position, but can’t wait for you to meet Niki on Monday!

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

Hello and welcome back everyone! I can’t believe I’m saying this… but it is my final week as head of posting and creating this blog content. I’ve had such a wonderful experience leading this endeavor and growing such an unmatched and valued community within you all. At Esquire, we are so lucky to have evolved over the last few years and grown with such incredible clients and candidates across all business industries!

I thought that it was not only appropriate but very pertinent to my current situation to offer my top tips for transitioning into another role! Are you swapping roles at your company?! Leaving altogether? Wrapping up an internship? Any of these changes will welcome our tips so keep reading below to find out…

Transitioning Roles Effectively

  • Preparation: Above all, preparing so that you leave your future “replacement” in a beneficial spot is the most courteous way to create a smooth transition. After all, you aren’t expected to stay in one role your whole life, so leaving on good terms with any company will likely revolve around how you left things. If you have any outstanding projects, due dates, emails to get back to, etc., put in the extra time over your last few weeks to complete everything so that the next employee can start FRESH!
  • Create Guides or Manuals: Almost every single role across each business industry comes with specific software, operations, logistics, templates, etc. So, think through the technology or platforms that you use on a daily basis to complete your given role. How can you create a resource (most likely an online document) that will assist the next employee with completing their tasks? Going this extra mile will not only showcase your care for their transition but your commitment to any company. This does not need to be a novel… a few pages may suffice! Just make sure all login information is converted, platforms are explained, directions are given… and you’ll be set to leave!
  • Transfer Contact Information: This may be best situated within a resource document, but we encourage you to write down any applicable contract information that will help the future team member. Whether this means other team members, Microsoft Teams groups, your manager, or any other employee “resources,” documenting these people’s contact info. is guaranteed to save this person time when they run into a question!
  • Act as an Ongoing Resource! Finally, we highly encourage you to offer up ongoing assistance, at least over the first few weeks when the new person takes their role. While they may be feeling flustered, guiding someone through a task you’ve likely done for years will take minimal time out of your day! Being a resource to this person is not only great “karma” for you but an awesome way to continue showing your company that you care.

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

Hello everyone! We are rapidly approaching another warm summer weekend. Today, we’re here to offer you a few different ideas for ways to commute to your job. Are you still working from home? Considering heading back to the office full time or periodically? Not sure how to prep to get there? Keep reading HERE for all of the answers you need…

Commuting to Work…

Train

First and foremost, the commute we’re all probably envisioning. The train is a commute as old as time, and a great way to navigate any city and even many suburbs. Locating your closest line, and also communicating that to your company in case you are eligible for commuting benefits (often in the form of reimbursements or supplemental credits towards passes like CTA) is a great way to take advantage of your offer package and get moving! The train is not only convenient but quick and a hands-free approach to commuting to your job.

Bus/Shuttle

Often, a bus/shuttle will be paired with your train ride in the case that your stop is still a few blocks or miles away from your office. Check with your company to identify whether or not they provide a company shuttle specifically for employees (many do!) and how to best navigate the timing to take advantage of this benefit. If your office is within a few miles of your home, taking a quick bus and locating a walkable stop might save you more time than even taking the train! Again, see if your role is eligible for compensation surrounding transportation to take financial advantage where applicable.

Personal Car

Another option that may suit you if you’re looking for some alone time in the morning is by traveling in a personal vehicle. For our college students… if this sounds like you, make sure that your future apartment either provides parking, directs you to a near parking facility, or is situated near street parking! Make sure to weigh the costs and benefits with this option, as monthly city parking adds up quickly and gas mileage may too. However, driving a personal car to your company is undoubtedly a quick, convenient, clean, and peaceful route to work!

Walk!

Finally, if you’re someone with the pleasure of living within a few blocks or miles from work, walking is not only a fantastic way to jumpstart your morning, but an exercise in and of itself! We recommended bringing work clothes and changing once you are there if you think you’ll work up a sweat. This alternative is a fantastic way to pack in a few steps, maybe a podcast, and some fresh air all before your work day even begins.

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

Welcome back, everyone! We are so excited that so many of you are gearing up to return to middle, high school, or college… in person! If your start date is approaching quickly, we’re here to help you get readily prepared to take on your first day and conquer the new year. Keep reading to find out our best preparation strategies…

Heading Back to School…

  • 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 avoid this, pace your study schedule out across days and a variety of times, 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 towards 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.
  • School Shopping Starts… Now! In order to truly get on top of several different courses, we encourage you to purchase the appropriate materials ahead of 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.
  • 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, whilst in school, adhering to s 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 meditation or stretch, making your bed, eating breakfast, or otherwise setting consistent tasks is a great way to replicate a regular day, but adapted to a study environment.
  • 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 allot a minimum of 7 hours of sleep to each night to jumpstart your next day and maintain optimal energy and health.

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

Hello everyone! We hope that you’re gearing up and excited to enter into a new weekend. If that sounds like you, and especially if this relaxation is taking the form of a flight and trip to the airport, we’re here to help. Keep reading HERE to find out your top airport essentials and everything you need to know to best prepare for a vacation…

Let’s Airport “Prep”…

Night Before

The night before the flight is undoubtedly your time to shine. What do we mean by that? Use your home Wi-Fi, download your movies, and take advantage of this time to have everything you need for the actual plane ride intact! Follow along with the checklist we created to assemble your carry-on.

  • Chargers – for all tablets, laptops, cellphones, headphones, and more!
  • Downloads – Podcasts, Movies, TV, Music, and more!
  • Any snacks to get you through the day (granola bars, bagged snacks, etc.)
  • An empty water bottle to bring with you on vacation – make sure that there are no liquids left in its content so as to avoid problems at security!
  • Any books or beach essentials to start on the plane…
  • Hand wipes, sanitizer, face masks, and other resources to allow you to reach optimal comfort on the flight. 
  • Neck pillows, blankets, or other seat compliments. 

Morning Of

We encourage you to use the morning of to secure all of your vacation essentials. At this point, it would be most beneficial for your carry-on and flight belongings to be prepared and ready to grab on the way out the door. But… did you pack:

  • Pajamas
  • Exercise or activity clothing/gear
  • Night-time outfits for a fancier “vibe” – always remember to bring extra layers or jackets in case your location cools off or endures a breeze!
  • All appropriate shoes: for exercise, lounge, nights out and walks around town.
  • “Hang out” clothing like tees, shorts, sweats, and other comfort essentials. 
  • If you’re going someplace warm… bathing suits, sunscreen, hats, flip flops, ponytails, scrunchies, cover-ups, and all of your pool go-to’s!

We hope that this list provides MORE than enough of a start for you to be secure as you step onto your flight. Safe travels and we hope you enjoy your trip!

If you’re looking for a new position… check out our open jobs list!

PSA to our post-grad students! Starting a full-time job?! Not sure how to best prepare for that first day looming over your head?! Keep reading here to find out everything you need to know to leave a positive impression and succeed through all components of your role…
AND… if you’re still looking for a job, have no fear! Check out our open jobs list HERE!

Let’s Prep: Day 1 Addition…

Night and Week Before:

  • Practice Transportation: If your new position requires travel to an unfamiliar area or city, we recommend practicing your route to work beforehand. That way, you won’t run into any commute-related surprises on your first day!
  • Elevator Pitch: Let’s be honest, you’ll likely be meeting new people all day on your first day on the job. In order to leave a positive and well-thought-out impression, try to loosely prepare a casual “elevator pitch” to share with those you meet – think of it as a brief introduction of why you’re there, what you’re doing, and who you are!
  • Relaxation: Your next day is going to be jam-packed whether you’re working from home or going to the office, so remember to allow for some relaxation the night before! Whether this means a movie night, meditation, bath, face mask, hearty meal, or even a glass of wine, allow for some self-indulgence.
  • Layout Your Outfit: The last thing your morning needs is a scramble of what to wear. Layout any clothing, shoes, or accessories (even if it’s a briefcase) that you plan to wear the next day. This will decrease the time it takes you to get ready the next morning and will also diminish any anxiousness.
  • Set Alarms! Set two! Set three! Set four! Anything you need to do to completely ensure that you will wake up at the exact time you have set.

Morning of:

  • Timeliness: The first day means… first impressions! There is no easier way to increase your first impression in a positive way than showcasing your preparation by arriving early. Yes, this means getting out of bed earlier than usual, and leaving your home early too! As we’ve said in the past, if you’re on time, you’re late. Trust us, it’ll pay off.
  • Be Extra Aware of Attitude and Tone: Walk in with a smile! All of your hard work has paid off and you are finally starting your new job. Look excited, engaged, motivated, and ready to become emerged in your new role. Also, make sure you are using a tone that showcases excitement.
  • Be Friendly! We encourage you to make the first move and initiate a conversation with those around you. Say “Hi,” ask how people’s day is, and make an effort to meet the people you will be working with. If it helps, plan out some common questions to ask others (conversation starters) beforehand. Everyone loves to feel valued!
  • Active Listening: On your first day, remember that you are a sponge! Take in any information offered to you by your supervisor, hiring manager, or co-workers. As a newbie, it will help you immensely to gain any intellect that you can (be cautious of company-specific acronyms).
  • Accept Lunch: More times than not, lunch will be offered to you on your first day, or there will be a cafeteria to purchase food in. Take advantage of this time to socialize with new coworkers and become immersed in your new setting! Packing snacks are okay, but try to avoid preparing an entire meal.

However, if you’re still looking for that new position… check out our open jobs list!

Hello everyone! We hope that this week is breezing by as quickly for you as it is for us. At Esquire, we feel as though we’ve never been busier, and we couldn’t be more grateful! After all, it’s YOU who makes this company go round and keeps us around, so thanks for all you do.

Today, we’re here to chat about morning coffee. Are you one of the millions and millions of Americans (and people all over the world!) who start your morning with a cup of joe? If the answer is yes, this article is for YOU.

Morning Coffee Chat…

According to Ladders.com,… “Caffeine is so effective because it peaks right away and then lingers in your system for hours. Typically, the half-life of caffeine is around four to six hours, meaning that four to six hours after consumption, about half of that caffeine is still in your system.”

While we all know the beneficial feeling of a caffeine rush that takes you through half of your workday, is coffee really good for us? Whether you’re drinking one or four cups a day, it’s likely that coffee may disturb your sleeping patterns if consumed too late in the day. And, if you’re someone looking to change up your routine and uptake caffeine through a different alternative, check out these options!

Caffeine Alternatives…

  • Matcha!
  • Probiotics!
  • Chai – Teas and Lattes!

and don’t forget… the importance of water! Water is a key source of your energy and consistency throughout the day. Relying on coffee to get started in the morning can easily turn into an unhealthy reliance and large influence on productivity. So make sure you’re pairing your morning brew with energizing food, nutrients, and a whole bunch of water!

If you’re currently searching for a job, check out our open jobs here!

Many of us like to use summer to either play catch-up or get ahead of our upcoming courses map. If this sounds like something you’re interested in or something you’re currently experiencing… we’re here to offer our best tips to help you succeed in this type of learning environment!

Conquering Summer Learning…

Prepare Adequately

Remember… summer courses are often crammed into a smaller amount of time than regular semesters, so you should expect a workload that correlates to that timing. You must prepare and weigh whether or not you have enough time to dedicate to this work in addition to a professional or personal experience filling your summer. Speak with your professor or check your syllabus to see what you can expect in terms of the workload so that you can always maintain a work-life balance and enjoy yourself!

Time Management

Always carve time out of your schedule to get your work done just like you would for a normal in-person class. If you do not have set times and days that you set aside for working on the online class, you might fall behind. So, whether this is a morning or nighttime routine, time blocking (as we’ve learned!) in order to maintain accountability is a top key to success.

Limit Distractions

It’s very easy to get sidetracked when working on assignments and projects for online classes. Try to limit your social media use and web browsing when you are supposed to be getting work done. Log out of all of your accounts if you need to and make a deal with yourself to not log back in. If you get one assignment done, then you can scroll on social media for a few minutes. It’s all about balance and it can be hard to stay focused with many distractions.

Environment

Try to find a study space where you can be your best productive self. This may be a spot in the library, your desk at home, or a coffee shop. Wherever you can go to get work done without external distractions! A quiet area where you can fully think about the material you are working on is best.

An online class can have many challenges! Take into consideration all factors before deciding to take an online course. Like working remotely, online courses take determination and productivity!

If you’re currently searching for a job, check out our open jobs here!

Welcome back, everyone! We hope that you’re enjoying the summer heat, spending time outdoors and in the fresh air, and always searching for a quick read while you’re at it. If so, keep reading here to find out how to capitalize on summer downtime by engaging in networking calls! Whether this means chatting with other employees at the company, family friends, mentors, professors, or connections in other industries, networking calls are one of our keys to success.

How to Lead Successful Networking Calls…

  • Preparation and Purpose: Before engaging in these phones calls, it’s crucial to conduct a quick search on the person’s background, and a light gauge of their current work so as to avoid taking a large portion of time dedicated solely to introductions. Make sure to prepare specific questions relating to their career trajectory, project success, company experiences, etc. If you could ask your prepared questions to anyone, that’s a sign that they are not meaningful enough for the person you’re speaking with.
  • Ask Specific Questions: As it relates to our point above, you should not be asking questions like, “How’d you get here?” or “So, what do you do?” If you’ve initiated a chat, it is likely for a specific purpose to learn more about a role. For example, if you’re speaking to someone on the public relations side of the business, focus questions around, “How have you handled our company’s relationship with X topic/company/etc.? How much of your time do you spend avoiding negative PR vs creating positive PR?” Always make the employee feel valued! After all, they dedicated a portion of their day specifically to you.
  • Thank Them for their Time! Always always always make sure to express gratitude to the person for taking up a part of their day to speak with you. Thank the person for discussing their role, opening up about a certain topic, offering advice or direction, etc. We also encourage you to follow up with a thank you note or email to wrap up the chat in a kind way.
  • Maintain the Relationship: A coffee chat might be a periodic occurrence, but communication should not be. Make sure to maintain the relationships that you’ve worked to schedule and cultivate! Whether this means a weekly check-in, email update of your recent accomplishments, or quick link to a relevant article, make sure to keep consistent contact and follow-up after your thank you note!

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

If you live in the Midwest like me, then you’ve probably already encountered a few days that feel as if we live in Arizona…. in fact, just about everyone in the country has experienced outrageously hot summer days this year. However, with the weather and heat comes a push and encouragement to spend time (safely, and with sunscreen!) outdoors and in the fresh air. If you lost track of your workout regime in quarantine or over the past year, or if you’re looking to jump into exercise, this article is for YOU! Find out some of our favorite fitness resources below…

Let’s Engage…

Self-Guided

Above all, getting to the gym and rotating around a few different machines is a traditional, basic, and effective way to get your body moving. Whether this means the elliptical, treadmill, weight machines, stair climber, bench, or any other material you have as a resource, get on there and get going! The hardest part about working out is getting to the gym, and remembering that every other person is there for the same reason that you are is a great way to decrease the nerves and start increasing your confidence.

Bicycling Outside

No matter where you live, we can almost guarantee that there are forest preserves, hiking routes, or outdoor bike paths near you. This may look like a few miles or a few hours.. anything works! Just get on, and get moving. Bicycling is a fantastic lifetime sport that does not require the same cardio exertion as would a treadmill or outdoor run. Not only is this sport maintainable and a great way to burn some calories, but is a super-inclusive activity for any aged person looking to get riding.

Find a Hill

Cardio lovers… this one is for YOU! If you live in relatively close distance to a hill (at parks, near schools, at a neighborhood recreation center, etc.), this is a cost-free and highly effective workout for individuals seeking a cardio heavy experience. Taking the side stairs or running up the face will provide equally exhausting and rewarding exercise experiences at your leisure and at a self-guided pace. Remember, getting there is the hardest part! Whether you run, jog, or walk, moving your body is a success in and of itself… and there’s always room to continually improve! Working out is a lifestyle above all else, so take it slow and steady to optimize your health.

Online Classes and Videos

Since the start of the “OG” quarantine, we’re sure just about every single one of you has heard of a friend, family member, or have even found yourself engaging with online fitness content. YouTube, IGTV, live videos, and almost every social platform have taken to fitness classes taught through the screen. If you’re like me, and 91-degree weather means staying inside and away from the heat of the sun, this is a great alternative to maintain movement! Even more, many fitness classes require no added equipment or materials to participate… so all you need is you. 

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If you’re itching to take a summer vacation, a few days of PTO, or relax by the beach this summer, we’re here to help you do so. Learn below how to prepare to take time off and go about it eloquently to leave a positive impression and be able to enjoy yourself, work-free!

Communicate and Anticipate:

If you are planning to ask for time off, make sure to read any company policies in order to make sure you are following all guidelines. For example, if your company requires that you give notice of your request at least 4 weeks prior to your desired vacation, plan as far ahead as possible to be able to do so and request the dates that work best for YOU! It’s always better to ask way ahead of time so as to ensure that your manager will have time to prepare for your absence and allocate your assignments to other employees.

Tips on How and When to Ask:

  • Ask during “down” times: This may seem obvious, but make sure you are asking at a time that is both right for you and for the company. If you are swamped with projects, wait until the busy period is over and everything has cooled down (keep this in mind for your boss as well – if they are super busy, leaving in the midst may leave a negative impression on the team).
  • Prepare: If you know that you are going on your vacation soon, make sure all of your work is complete beforehand. Even if this requires some extra hours in the office, they will pay off in the future by showing your teammates that you care to leave them in a secure position to take on some of your responsibilities.
  • Communicate: On the same note of leaving minimal work to your teammates, make sure to communicate (through email or other written dialogue) to all appropriate parties that you’re leaving and when. That way everyone will know what to expect once you’re gone!
  • Collaborate with your coworkers: There will always be “popular” times to take off work. Divide these days up and work as a team with your coworkers to maximize each employee’s satisfaction.
  • Extra note for new employees: Remember that if you are new to a job, you are expected to be prepared, productive, and most importantly, present. We recommend that you do not ask for time off within the first several months of your job if you can avoid it.

Searching for a new job? Look through our open jobs list!

As we’ve all been attempting at integrating time-blocking techniques into our daily lives, we decided maybe it was time to introduce a few other options! If you’re still looking for ways to optimize your workday, prioritize your to-do list, and get back on a scheduling track, this article is for YOU!

Four More Organizing Strategies:

  1. The MIT Method: Standing for “most important tasks first,” the MIT method focuses primarily on the prioritization of obligations and deadlines. It’s easy to log onto your computer and feel compelled to check emails or tackle other administrative-like tasks that are looming over your day. However, we encourage you to explore a new way to stimulate the start of your workday by categorizing your highest priorities and getting to them before all else!
  2. A/B Scheduling: This technique brings me back to my days in high school, filled by “A” and “B” days splitting courses up throughout the week. In reflecting on this experience, I think that it poses a fantastic opportunity to refresh and recharge on new tasks without becoming fatigued. So, try out breaking up your priorities into two schedules, A and B. See if this allows you to recharge and come back with a fresh and rejuvenated mindset on a periodic basis instead of the repetition of one schedule for each day.
  3. Energy Flow: Energy flow is presented with its title because it signifies 50-90 minute “sprint” work periods throughout the day. Let’s be honest, we are not our most productive selves 100% of the time throughout the workday. So, to combat dips in energy and a clouded mind, try out energy flowing through tasks! If you’re the most productive and awake in the morning, after lunch, at the end of the day, or whenever, fit your flows in here.
  4. The Pomodoro Technique: Similar to a few of the other strategies, this technique utilizes 25-minute blocks of uninterrupted productivity on a single task. If you’ve been dreading an upcoming presentation, putting off a certain project, or otherwise need to sit and focus for a solid block of time, this is a great strategy for you. If you’re easily distracted by other tasks, this may be for you too!

We hope that no matter your productivity and organizational approach, you will be able to identify with one of the 4 techniques (in addition to time blocking referenced last week) above! Doing so will increase your work efficiency, motivation, and ease.

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Welcome back! We hope that you enjoyed learning exactly what time blocking is yesterday and how it can benefit your workday. If you finished reading and are thinking about implementing this technique but don’t know exactly where to start. we’ve got you covered! Keep reading here to find out the 5 steps we’ve identified to set you up to time block starting today…

5 Steps to Implement Time Blocking

  1. Prioritize

Step one is absolutely to prioritize your most and least pressing obligations to the day and week. Do you have a project due? Is an assignment deadline approaching? Is someone awaiting a reply or feedback from you? Mapping out and writing down a few of your priorities and listing them out until reaching your least pressing matters is a perfect place to begin.

  1. Map it out

Once you’ve identified all of the obligations of your day or week and listed them in order of importance, it’s time to start mapping it out! We encourage you to break off the day in 30 minute or hour blocks so as to leave yourself enough time to create meaningful outcomes and progress. We also suggest this: what if you spend an hour straight at the beginning of the day simply catching up? Replying to clients or emails instead of spacing it out and consistently distracting yourself? Creatively using the morning as an outlet to brainstorm new ideas or future endeavors? Think about the times of day in which you find most productive to optimize this step.

  1. Incorporate repetition, second blocks, and leave time for breaks!

If there are certain obligations that you know you must revisit in a day (think big projects or assignments that require much more than one hour), then make sure to repeat these blocks, add in additional time frames, and otherwise “double block.” Also, remember that you’re only human! Leave yourself time for kids, personal relaxation, lunch, exercise, breaks, or other obligations that suit YOU and not just your job.

  1. Implement

Now you’re ready to implement! Whether you’ve mapped and blocked on a sheet of physical paper or have stored this schedule online, you’re ready to go. Keep your time blocking resources near you to reference it throughout the day and make sure you’re staying on track and keeping accountable.

  1. Ongoing tweaks to perfect!

Also remember, nothing is perfect on the first try! Your schedule will absolutely require updates and new obligations integrate into your work day. Your schedule should be viewed as an ongoing tool and time management metric and should not be a fixed resource. Change it up, lengthen blocks, add in new steps, and make it your own! The more confident you are and the more you edit this schedule to perfection, the better it will work in the long run.

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Hello everyone! We apologize for this short hiatus (I’m blaming it on a lack of access to stable Wi-Fi), but, as promised, let’s dive into time blocking! We’re trying to incorporate organizational tactics into your everyday responsibilities so that we can ease your schedule and help you out along the way. If you’ve heard that buzzword “time blocking” circulate your media, then today is your day to finally dive into the ins and outs of what it means!

So, what is Time Blocking?!

Time blocking is a strategy to attack your ability to manage your time. In doing so, you’ll avoid diving into your schedule “blindly” with a general and overarching list of to-dos and instead divide your day into “blocks”. Each block will serve a specific task, a component of work, assignment, or other “block” of obligation that you see fit. Incorporating this strategy into your organization on a daily and weekly basis will help you optimize time inside and outside of work hours! It will also encourage you to create a schedule that will force accountability and ease the overwhelming feeling that can come with an ever-growing to-do list.

While time blocking does encourage someone to plan out most hours of their day, we’re here to remind you to make it your own! Whether you want to time block your morning, your afternoon around a schedule when kids and distractions are out of the house, or personal time to clear your mind, this strategy will help you do so. Time blocking is a fantastic mechanism to protect against becoming distracted, optimize focus and productivity, and increase your time management skills.

If you’re reading this and asking yourself, how do I know if time blocking is right for me, then ask the following…. are you juggling a variety of responsibilities that don’t coincide? Do you scatter out your emails throughout the day instead of giving replies full attention for an hour or two? Do you spend too much time in meetings? Are you lacking space in your day for YOU? Are you looking to engage in creative outlets or brainstorms? If you’ve answered yes to ANY of these questions, time blocking may be a great strategy for YOU!

Make sure to tune in tomorrow to learn the 5 steps of time blocking and how you can make them your own!

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

Now that many of us work behind a screen, between the office and our homes, and generally in environments with other activities occurring, it’s easy to fall off the productive wheel and into a multi-tasking behavioral approach. However, we all know in the back of our minds that this isn’t the best way to stay on track with obligations and deadlines. So, how do you avoid multi-tasking? Find out HERE!

Let’s Avoid Multi-tasking with these Steps…

  • 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 isn’t an option for you, we recommend scheduling phone breaks throughout the day instead of keeping it next to your desk: explore 10 minutes breaks every few hours or a gap for lunch as our top strategy!
  • Create Schedules: Another way to stay accountable is through 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 amongst a variety of tasks and ideas.
  • 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 final 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.
  • Next week we’ll dive into… 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? Find out next Monday!

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