4 Stages Of Becoming A Valuable, Competent New Employee

A young man is becoming a competent employee

You’ve spent weeks arduously crafting your resume, filling out countless applications, preparing for multiple interviews and you’ve finally accepted an offer. While the job search may be over, it’s important to prepare for the learning curve that lies ahead. As you start a new job, especially if you switched industries, you may not be as competent as you’d prefer, a discouraging fact for many. What follows are four phases you should become familiar with as you acclimate to your new job and strive to become an impactful,  competent employee.  

Stage 1: Starting a new job is exciting 

At this initial stage you’re relieved to be finished with applications and excited to prove yourself as a competent employee. As such, you display a high level of enthusiasm to your managers and coworkers. Perhaps you show up to work early, dress to impress and maintain an optimistic attitude at all times. You also progress through job training and learn about your company’s products, services, management style and culture. As the honeymoon experience reaches its peak, however, ominous clouds of anxiety may start to form as you begin to comprehend how much more you need to learn to become more competent at your job. 

Stage 2: Starting a new job requires commitment and learning

During the second and most difficult stage, you’ve confronted the reality of how much you don’t understand in order to perform your job duties competently. It may discourage you by how often you make mistakes or appear unknowledgeable. This discouragement can negatively impact your motivation to work. After all, no one enjoys being an incompetent employee. But rest assured, supportive managers will be patient and encourage you during this phase. 

So, what should you do during this phase? Despite the letdowns, it is crucial that you as an employee learn from your mistakes quickly and persevere through the emotions that come with failure. Your future professional self will greatly benefit from sticking it out. In the meantime, find consolation in your increased competence thus far.

Stage 3: Becoming a knowledgeable, confident and competent employee

In this third stage, despite any initial misunderstandings, you’ve learned a tremendous amount about your role in the company, how to mesh with your coworkers and the overall work environment. You probably feel more confident as you look back on your work journey and see how much you’ve grown. Your manager and team members find you a more competent employee, who they can rely on to complete tasks in a timely manner and with much less assistance.  

Stage 4: Commitment transforms you into a competent employee

Congratulations on becoming a highly capable employee! After all the time and effort you’ve put into the new job, you can complete much of your work automatically. Your manager is confident that, when delegated tasks, you will deliver results without a lot of additional detailed directions. As a competent member of the team, perhaps it’s time you start asking for more responsibility or working toward a promotion. 

Becoming proficient at your profession takes time and hard work. The beginning stages in your new job will be challenging, but do your best to learn something new everyday. Every piece of knowledge will bring you one step closer to becoming a competent employee and team member in your company.

Employees and Productivity: How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Tired woman at home office looking at watch

For many employees, there’s something that happens most afternoons. You may have even come to expect it: an energy crash.

The afternoon crash not only affects employees, it can also have a negative impact on overall company productivity and quality of work.

What can you do to avoid the afternoon slump and keep energy levels up? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Encourage Going Outside 

Going outside to get fresh air and sunlight can wake employees up, even in the middle of the day. Sunlight during the day can have the same effect as getting sunlight in the morning – it wakes the body up and gives you more energy.

  1. Get Moving

Encouraging employees to get up from their desk can not only wake them up a bit, it can also improve their creativity. As reported in Business Insider:

A pair of Stanford scientists recently had two groups of volunteers take creativity quizzes in which they tried coming up with alternative uses for common objects, like a coffee cup or a pen. The first group sat at desks in a blank room; the other walked on a treadmill in that room. The students who walked came up with about 60% more uses for each object, and their ideas were not only creative but useful as well, the researchers wrote in their study.

  1. Encourage a Light Lunch

While you may not be able to tell employees what to eat for breakfast or lunch, you can provide snack options that provide optimal energy. As Business Insider notes, “After we ingest too many empty carbs — foods high in sugar but low in protein — our blood-sugar levels spike; when they plummet a few hours later, we experience a ‘crash’ in energy levels.”

If possible, provide healthy snack options for employees to enjoy or offer takeout menus for restaurants that prepare nutritious food.

Experiencing the afternoon crash does not have to be a daily grind for employees. As an employer, encourage team members to go outside, move a little and eat well for high energy levels; and don’t forget to take this advice yourself.

What Are The Best Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Job Interview?

Young Businesswoman Holding Folder While Sitting On Chair Waiting For Job Interview

It’s crucial to have a list of questions prepared to ask at the end of your job interview. This tells the interviewer that you are invested in the position and company. The questions you ask can really set you apart from the competition and help you land the role. They also can help you better understand if the job is a good fit for you as well. It’s important to evaluate the compatibility of the position on both sides of the interview. Asking good questions can help you do that. So, below is a list of questions you can incorporate into your next interview.

Question No. 1 What does a typical day look like on the job?

When you ask this question, it not only helps you gain a larger understanding of the position, it also shows the interviewer that you are wanting to know more about how you would fit into daily life at the company. This question can help you envision your routine.

Question No. 2 What does success look like in this role?

This question is bound to impress the hiring manager. It shows that you are willing to help the company achieve its goals through your role. This also gives insight into exactly what the company is looking for and how you could be successful. If what they’re looking for aligns with your skillset and your desired pay range, then you know it would be a good fit.

Question No. 3 Do you have any questions or concerns about my resume that I can help clear up?

This is a great way to end the interview with a bang. It shows confidence and willingness to work with the interviewer to address their questions. It also shows that you aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions.

Question No. 4 What will the hiring process look like moving forward?

A question like this is always helpful to ask for your own curiosity. It’ll define the timeline in which they plan to make a decision about offering a candidate the job and the steps remaining in the process. This also shows that you’re excited about the idea of moving forward and potentially getting the job.

Of course, there are endless amounts of questions that you could ask at the end of your job interview. These are just a few to get you started. Looking for more job interview tips and advice? Check out our blog today for tons of information on how you can land that next job.

Here Are Three Questions You Should Ask In A Job Interview

Happy confident applicant shaking hand of hr getting hired

You’ve met with the hiring manager, nailed the job interview and wowed them with your experience. At the end of the meeting, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. A big mistake people make is saying they have no questions to ask. Everyone has questions they want answered, and having a few prepared will help you stand out as a candidate. Here are three valuable questions you can ask in a job interview.

Question 1. What are the current and ongoing major initiatives this department is working on?

By asking this question you can gauge your potential contribution to the company should you be hired. If the department has few current projects, it may signify a lack of growth or upward mobility at the company, so it can be beneficial to you to determine how useful you’ll be at the business. 

Question 2. How would you describe the work environment and company culture?

Filling a job opening requires finding a candidate who will not only be a good fit for the company, but thinks the company is a good fit for them as well. Employment is a two-way street, so be sure to know as much as you can about the company’s culture, values, day-to-day activities and work environment. 

Question 3. Can you tell me a little bit about the history of this position?

Knowing the history of the job you’re applying for can help you glean important details or clues as to why the position is vacant. If the previous employee left because the work had become too stressful, this may help you make an educated decision about taking the job. If there are no potential red flags, this question can help you learn valuable history that will help you perform well in your new position.

Gauging the level of anticipated activity at the company, learning about the work culture and finding out about the history of the position will help you make an educated decision about each position you interview for. Asking these questions will also demonstrate your interest in the position and can influence a hiring manager to choose you over your competition. For additional tips to help you in your job search, check out our blog today.

Laid Off? Here’s How To Get A Job Now

Upset businesswoman feel unmotivated trying to apply for jobs

Life over the past year and a half has taken plenty of twists and turns. This fact definitely applies to the job market. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, many people have been laid off due to less work and closing businesses.

It can be hard to get back on your feet and find your next opportunity after being laid off. As such, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has come up with a few tips to help you land that next job after being laid off.

1).  Allocate Time To Your Job Search

According to this article from Indeed, you should, “treat your job search like a job.” This is one of the best tips for finding a new position after you’ve been laid off. The more time you spend on refreshing your resume, editing your cover letter and reaching out to potential employers, the more likely you are to find that next opportunity. It might seem obvious, but spend that time you would’ve spent at your previous job looking for your next one. 

2).  Update Your LinkedIn Profile

This tip is a crucial one for finding a job once you’ve been laid off. Along with refreshing your resume and cover letter template, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile, or make one if you haven’t already. If you were at your previous job for a while, then there’s a good chance your profile has remained untouched. A large number of employers are turning to platforms like LinkedIn exclusively when hiring, so it’s very important that everything looks put together on your profile. 

This article from The Muse suggests that you should do things like add keywords to your profile in order to show up in recruiter searches, ask for LinkedIn recommendations and try making “thought leadership” posts to your newsfeed to draw attention to your profile.  

3).  Try Something New

Finding inspiration after being laid off can be challenging. However, this could be a perfect time to try a career in a different industry. This might not always be possible due to finances or job requirements, but if you end up spotting an opportunity that you’ve always wanted, don’t be afraid to take the jump – even if it’s not what you’re used to. 

Being laid off can help you reassess your goals and priorities. Have you always wanted to switch things up? This could be your chance. Additionally, you may find that other industries have more job openings, making it easier for you to find a job after being laid off. 

You might feel defeated after being laid off but there’s no reason to! There are plenty of jobs out there waiting for you to apply. Let us help you find that next opportunity!
Want to learn more job search tips and industry news to help you grow your career? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

What Makes Josephine’s Professional Staffing Stand Out In The Industry?

contemporary businesswoman computing by her workplace in open space office

Josephine T. Hughes, CEO of Josephine’s Professional Staffing, Inc. (JPS) founded JPS in 1988 in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, California. Since its introduction to the staffing industry, JPS has continuously built a reputation for professionalism and adherence to the highest standards of ethical practices.

Celebrating 33 Years

JPS has 33 years of experience satisfying client staffing and human resource requirements. Our success positions us to provide clients with top-quality candidates, exceptional value-added services and competitive billing rates. We know how challenging it can be to find the right candidate for the job and strive to make it as easy on you as possible.

We are driven by our mission at JPS to provide employment solutions and opportunities in a way that enhances and diversifies the workforce, while providing jobs for the community. It’s never been more important to employ people of all backgrounds at your company and we put this belief into the work we do.

We pride ourselves in providing unmatched service to our clients and will continue doing so for many years to come.

Each of our employees play a critical and core role in our personalized, top-notch staffing services. But our services don’t stop at employment; JPS takes pride in providing an ongoing bridge between our clients and employees.

Solutions JPS Offers:

  • Temporary or Contract
  • Temporary-to-Hire
  • Direct-Hire Placement
  • Vendor-On-Premise Placement
  • Transportation/Engineering
  • Health Care
  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial

At JPS, we are proud to offer our comprehensive services as a solution to your workforce challenges. It is our mission and goal to provide you with the best possible candidates . To learn more about our staffing services and how we can help your business, visit our website by clicking here.

Want to learn more professional tips and workplace advice? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

Virtual Networking: The Do’s And Don’ts

group of friends virtually meeting on a laptop

When the pandemic hit and everything went virtual, our social lives changed dramatically. This included our social interactions related to work and career development as well. 

Meeting new people and networking is a vital part of growing your career. However, just because everything in person has been cancelled, doesn’t mean you can’t keep successfully networking with people in your field. It just needs to happen virtually. Keep reading for five do’s and don’ts of virtual networking.

#1: Do – Reach Out To People On LinkedIn

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections, or make new ones, on LinkedIn. These people can be extremely important resources and can offer great advice. Reaching out allows you to grow your network and meet new people in a virtual environment. When the world opens back up again, you will have already introduced yourself and can seamlessly ask to meet up for coffee in person.

Here’s an article from The Muse that teaches you how to write messages on LinkedIn that will actually get read.

#2: Don’t – Be Afraid To Ask Your Network For Advice

People are generally understanding right now and are willing to help wherever they can. It can be intimidating to reach out to someone and ask them for career advice or for insight regarding a certain job. However, it’s likely that most of your connections will be more than happy to help you. You never know, reaching out to someone could be the start of a brand new opportunity.

#3: Do – Be On The Lookout For Virtual Networking Events

There has never been a better time to meet people in your career field from all over the world than right now. The virtual networking space has provided so many new opportunities to chat with thought leaders you might never have crossed paths with before. So many companies and individuals are creating their own virtual networking events, and most of the time they’re open to anyone to attend. 

EventBrite has a great page that is constantly updated with new virtual networking events. 

#4: Don’t – Be Closed Off To New Opportunities

It might be nerve wracking to hop on a Zoom event with a bunch of people you’ve never met. However, when you think about it, it’s actually a lot less stressful than going to meet these people in person. 

So, sign up for networking events, be willing to talk to new connections and volunteer to jump on a call with someone you’ve never met before – you never know how it might help you!

#5: Do – Make Sure To Follow-Up After Virtual Networking Events

There’s a chance you could meet someone who’s inspiring and an exceptional asset to have, so don’t forget to grab their contact information before the networking event ends. The last thing you want is to make this valuable connection and not have a way to reach them afterwards.

Make sure to send a quick follow-up email after the event and let them know you enjoyed the conversation you had. This is the best way to keep this person in your corner for years to come.

So, Have you signed up for your next virtual networking event yet? What’s stopping you?
Want to learn more professional tips and networking advice to help you grow your career? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

How Can You Reward Exceptional Employees?

group of people giving each other high fives in excitement at work

When it comes to employee appreciation, it’s important to make the effort to reward hard work and dedication. Your budget may not allow for bonus checks or lavish gifts, however it is still essential to acknowledge those who are going the extra mile.

Are you looking for some simple ways to reward employees? We have you covered!

How to Reward Employees 

1. Give Specific Compliments 

The Muse recommends offering specific compliments over generic ones. For example:

Good: “Thanks for your hard work, Cathy!”

Better: “Thanks for putting in so much hard work to win over that new client, Cathy!”

Best: “Cathy, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your hard work to land the new Smith account. We’ve been after that account for several months, so you really stepped up to close an important deal. This is a huge win for you, our team, and the entire company.”

Specific compliments will let your employees know that you see they are working hard and are paying attention to their efforts.

2. Provide Growth Opportunities

If you see your employees doing great work, give them opportunities to grow. Reward them with important tasks that will make a difference to the company. An example could be something like tickets to an industry conference where they can expand their network and continue to increase their skills.

3. A Free Meal

Offering a free breakfast or lunch to employees is an often-appreciated reward. Whether you take your team out or have it catered, make sure your employees know it’s on you and they are being rewarded for their work.

4. Get Their Feedback

If you have an employee who you trust and always produces quality work, ask them how they think the office or company is doing. The reward comes from them seeing their boss respects and values their thoughts and opinions.

5. A Simple Thank You

Sometimes, a simple thank you can be a reward in itself. Employees can often feel their work is overlooked or unimportant; taking the time to individually thank employees can mean a lot.

You don’t need a huge, expensive budget to reward and appreciate employees. Taking the time to acknowledge and listen to your staff is important to maintaining a happy and content office.
Want to learn more professional tips and workplace advice? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

How To Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Is Job-Search Ready

Laptop sitting open on desk with the LinkedIn Website on the page

Are you ready to begin your search for a new job? One of the first places job-seekers turn is LinkedIn, undoubtedly due to the wide-variety of resources available on the platform.

According to Top Resume, there are over 600 million LinkedIn users you can potentially network with to lead you to your next place of employment. Not only that, LinkedIn is where you can find thousands of jobs in your field, location and employment level. However, knowing where to start and how to make your profile stand out against the rest can be overwhelming. 

In order to help, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has prepared five quick actionable steps you can take to increase your chances of finding a job on LinkedIn.

1.) Make Sure Your Profile Picture Is Professional

First impressions are everything in the world of LinkedIn. When a potential employer or network connection clicks on your profile, you want to make sure your photo not only conveys who you are, but is an accurate representation of your professionalism. Now, not everyone can afford or has access to professional headshots, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Use your mobile device to capture a photo of yourself in good lighting, in a nice shirt and looking at the camera. You’ve got this!

2.) Update The Information In Your Bio

Your bio should let the world know a quick summary of what career field you’re in, your top skills, your education and what job opportunities you’re looking for. For example, the last sentence of your LinkedIn summary section could say, “I’m currently searching for job opportunities in the marketing industry” or “I’m looking to connect with other professionals in the marketing industry.” It’s important to let people know what you’re hoping to gain when they view your page. It’s also crucial for the information to be as up-to-date as possible. Having outdated information can lead to confusion and a negative impression.

3.) Set Your Profile To “Open To Work”

This is one of the most vital steps when beginning your job search on LinkedIn. When you make a connection, the first thing they’ll be able to see is that you’re open to new job opportunities, leading them to t keep you in mind if they see a job pop-up. Here is an article from the LinkedIn Help page with step-by-step instructions on how to set your profile to “Open To Work.” You can also add the #OpenToWork banner to your profile photo.

4.) Add Important Links and Descriptions

Under each of the work history and education sections, make sure to add descriptions of exactly what you did in that position and how you were able to help those companies. Be specific about metrics and tasks. Also, be sure to add links to any relevant websites, like your portfolio or published works. Taking the time to add in these valuable pieces of information will allow future employers and network connections to see your expertise.

5.) Interact With Your Connections

Let people know you’re active on LinkedIn by liking and commenting on posts, job updates and work anniversaries. LinkedIn makes it easy to do this through their notifications tab. Also, make sure you’re messaging valuable connections to let them know you’re on the job hunt and would appreciate any help they might be able to offer. 

Want to learn more professional tips and networking advice sure to help you land your next job? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.

How to Write A Professional Email

For many industries and companies, email is one of the most common forms of communication. Whether used for a quick response or a longer detailed message, email is an excellent form of communication. As such, it’s important that it looks professional.

Since this method of communication is used so often, there is a lot of room for error, which can negatively impact yourself and your business.

Here are a few key tips to remember when writing and sending emails that could save you a ton of grief.

5 Email Etiquette Tips

  1. Proofreading

While many email servers offer editing services, they may not catch the wrong word if it’s spelled correctly; if you write “ant” but mean “and” the editor may not catch it. While this may seem like a simple mistake, and the email recipient will likely know what you are trying to convey, it can make you look less professional.

  1. Take the time to read and then re-read your email

On occasion, you may want to ask a trusted colleague to proofread an email for you to catch anything you missed. This is especially important if you’re trying to convey a message that is potentially confusing or of a sensitive nature. Don’t lose credibility over a silly error!

  1. Keep It Brief

As we mentioned above, email is commonly used in businesses across all industries; people can receive dozens of emails each day. Get to the point quickly in your message so your recipient is more likely to provide a timely and efficient response. If needed, you can always pick up the phone or arrange a time to meet to review the points of your email together.

  1. Consider Your Subject Line

The subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. Does it represent your email accurately? Will it encourage the recipient to open your email? If they wanted to search for your email a week after receiving it, will they be able to remember the subject line? Make sure your subject line is clear and descriptive about what you need or are trying to convey; and remember, it is the first thing they’ll see!

  1. Remember Email Can Last Forever

Regardless of whom you’re emailing, remember that what you send can potentially be shared for anyone to see. Don’t be unprofessional or treat the recipient poorly; they can always take a screenshot of the message and share it with your supervisor, potential clients or publicly on social media. This can negatively impact your job as well as your  company.

When writing an email, take the time to proofread your work, keep it brief, use an effective subject line and remember that what you write can live on. Are you interested in more workplace tips?

For more recommendations on working from home, check out these additional articles on our blog today!