Best day to get work done? Survey shows workplace productivity peaks on Tuesday’s

Accountemps Offers Five Tips for Making Every Day as Productive as Tuesday

Have a challenging project to tackle? Take it up on Tuesday, a new survey from Accountemps suggests. Thirty-nine percent of human resources (HR) managers interviewed rank Tuesday as the most productive day of the week. Thursday and Friday tied for the least productive day, each receiving just 3 percent of the response.


The fact that Tuesday was cited as most productive comes as no surprise: It’s held the top spot in similar productivity surveys since 1987.

The most recent survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

HR managers were asked, “In your opinion, on which day of the week are employees generally most productive?” Their responses:

Monday 24%
Tuesday 39%
Wednesday 14%
Thursday 3%
Friday 3%
No particular day 14%
Don’t know 3%

View the research highlights and other historical productivity statistics.

“Many workers spend Monday catching up from the previous week and planning the one ahead,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “On Tuesday, employees may begin to have time to focus on individual tasks and become more productive. The goal should be to maintain the positive momentum established on Tuesday throughout the week.”

Accountemps offers the following five tips to increase productivity and make every day like Tuesday:

  1. Axe the excess. Start by creating your to-do list for the day. Then, cut it in half, focusing on your top priorities. Too often workers overestimate what they can accomplish and become frustrated by their lack of progress. A shorter, more realistic list that leaves room for unexpected projects and setbacks will help you become more productive.
  2. Aim for quality, not quantity. In theory, multitasking seems like a good way to increase productivity. But it often leads to oversights and errors. Repeatedly switching from one project to another also slows you down. Do your best to focus on one item at a time.
  3. Know your prime time. Tackle critical or challenging assignments during the time of day when you’re most productive. Handle less-pressing tasks, like online research, when your energy level starts to wane.
  4. Dodge derailers. When working on important assignments, you can increase productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of email and social media. That allows you to give full attention to the task at hand. Prevent interruptions by politely informing your colleagues you don’t want to be disturbed.
  5. Explore apps. Consider taking advantage of the wide selection of software that is specifically designed to increase productivity. Digital calendars, task management apps and other time-saving programs can help you keep track of projects, meet deadlines and be more productive.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 345 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at

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The Ultimate Holiday Gift: More Firms Allowing Employees to Shop Online At Work

Only One in Three Employers Blocks Access to Online Shopping Sites

More employees may be bagging holiday bargains on the job this Cyber Monday, a new survey suggests. Sixteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed by staffing firm Robert Half Technology said they give their workers unrestricted access to online shopping sites — up from 10 percent last year. More than half (54 percent) said they allow on-the-job online shopping but monitor activity for excessive use. Less than one-third (29 percent) of CIOs said their firms block access to online shopping sites — down slightly from 33 percent a year ago.

The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, “What is your company’s policy regarding employees shopping online while at work?” Their responses:

2012 2013
Block access to online shopping sites  33% 29%
Allow access but monitor for excessive use 55% 54%
Allow unrestricted access 10% 16%
Other/ don’t know 2% 1%

“Employees appreciate being able to attend to occasional personal business, like holiday shopping, while at work,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Workers who are given this type of flexibility may be more focused and productive on the job because they’re worrying less about getting through their holiday to-do lists.”

Reed advises professionals not to abuse relaxed Internet policies, however.  ”It doesn’t reflect well on any professional to be flagged as someone who spends a lot of work time on shopping sites,” he said.

Robert Half Technology offers three tips for employees who might shop online at the office this holiday season:

  1. Understand the policy. Don’t assume your company’s web policy is unrestrictive just because you haven’t gotten official word. Check the company handbook, and ask around. If the policy is not clear, play it safe and use non-work times like your lunch hour to shop.
  2. Don’t get ‘lost in cyberspace.’ With all the deals on Cyber Monday, you may be tempted to spend hours on end scooping up bargains. If your goal is to shop until you drop, take a vacation day. 
  3. Limit online ‘window shopping.’ Conduct product research and price comparisons on your own time so you can make online purchases quickly — and get back to work faster.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Technology

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: Robert Half Technology, Contact: Joshua Brost, (650) 234-6249,

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month: DISH and Reworx partner to provide job opportunities, second chances

October is National Disability Awareness Month. The goal of this national campaign is to raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.”

Two national companies are working together to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment while also benefiting the environment. DISH has partnered with Reworx, an electronics recycling program that employs individuals with disabilities and those who face barriers to traditional hiring. Reworx will recycle the pay-TV provider’s retired satellite receivers and related electronics in an extension of DISH’s existing sustainability operations that last year processed more than 26 million pounds of materials.

“Reworx not only furthers DISH’s sustainability endeavors by keeping nearly all received materials out of landfills, but it also yields another critical byproduct: opportunity,” said Jim LaRocque, DISH SVP of Service. “Reworx provides much-needed second chances by putting individuals to work. Steady employment can be a motivating force that prompts a sense of purpose, feelings of independence and, in many cases, helps staff rebuild their lives.”

Programs like this can provide an opportunity. And for those with disabilities or facing barriers, an opportunity to prove themselves is all they need. Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, is proof of that.

“When I was growing up, many people doubted what I could do just because I was blind,” said Martinez in a Department of Labor statement promoting National Disability Employment Month. “But because I had people in my life who instilled in me an expectation of work and showed me opportunities to be successful, I completed college and became known for what I can do. I urge all employers to benefit from the skills of workers with disabilities by giving them, including our returning veterans, a chance to show that they, too, are equal to the task.”

DISH leaders echoed those words.

“DISH looks to create efficiencies that allow the company to pass savings to its customers while keeping with its goal to reduce and eliminate waste,” said Mike Daniels, Reworx COO. “The responsible disposal of DISH electronics is a smart operation with a lasting environmental and, now, social impact. By recognizing this value, DISH advances its business objectives while forever impacting the lives of our people.”

Kelley Ferguson, shipping and receiving coordinator at Reworx, says Reworx provides opportunities from which she believes her daughter will one day benefit.

“This company has always had a special place in my heart,” said Ferguson. “I have a special needs daughter so I really believe in their cause. One day I feel sure my daughter will be in the program, so she’ll be able to conquer… in the workforce.”

Reworx employees are supported by nonprofit Nobis Works’ staff who provide ongoing training to help achieve continued professional success. Last year, Reworx employed 67 individuals, resulting in an economic impact of more than $961,000 in taxes paid and reductions in public assistance. This social enterprise has also been recognized for excellence in operations, becoming the first Georgia-based electronics recycler to achieve the EPA’s prestigious R2 (Responsible Recycling) certification.

While DISH’s partnership with Reworx is new, the pay-TV provider has long been committed to sustainable practices in the way it utilizes and disposes of equipment. Prior to recycling a satellite receiver, DISH works to maximize use with an average receiver lifespan of seven years. Once a set-top box is no longer viable, partners like Reworx sort, breakdown, recycle and resell materials retrieved from the receiver like plastics and precious metals. In 2012, DISH recycled 1.2 million pounds of plastic and 4.45 million pounds of steel. DISH also recycles materials such as cables, cardboard, remote controls, batteries and PC boards.

Providing opportunities and helping the environment. Together, it’s a win-win.

Learn more about The Campaign for Disability Employment and how individuals and corporations can help provide and support opportunities for those with disabilities.

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How to advance your career: 7 ways to become a better people person

Vicky Oliver is a Manhattan-based job interview consultant, and the bestselling author of five career development books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions, and Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots. She’s been featured and interviewed widely in the business media, including Fox News, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Forbes, Fortune, CareerBuilder, and many others. In the article below she discusses 7 ways to become a people person:

In the words of a legendary fairy tale, maybe you’re Grumpy, maybe you’re Bashful, or maybe you’re just not all that Happy.

No big deal, because you’re terrifically Talented, and everyone knows it, right?

Not in the real world, no. When it comes to getting promoted, you’re more likely to be chosen if your boss counts “people person” among your many assets. In fact, a recent study that followed 20,000 recent hires found that nearly half of them (46 percent) failed within 18 months–and it wasn’t because they lacked skills. Eighty-nine percent of the time it was for attitudinal reasons: inability to be coachable and get along with others.

Contrary to what many believe, anyone can become a people person–that is, anyone can acquire the behavioral skills others find attractive and compelling. You may not feel at ease schmoozing with others and endearing yourself to them–but they won’t know that. Here are seven skills that will make you seem friendlier, more approachable, and come across as a more appealing employee to bosses and prospective employers. With some attention and a lot of practice, you might just become a people magnet!

1. Act enthusiastic, even if you’re not. When someone tells you news she seems excited to share, be ready with a response that lets her know that you’re rooting for her. “That’s great” and “kudos” are always appreciated. Or just, “Wow! Thanks so much for sharing that!” When you greet people, give them a big smile and a big hello. They’ll remember you as the one who seemed really happy to see them and made them feel good.

2. Check your baggage at the door. We all have rough days. Maybe you fought with your beau this morning, or left your favorite tote bag on the commuter train. You might be surprised to discover that the most cheerful, upbeat people have plenty to gripe about, too. They just don’t, and that’s the difference between being a positive “can do” person and an energy drainer. Worry about your worries later, once you’re home.

3. Be social with your media. Now that you have a professional network, keep it alive by sharing an occasional link to an article you think might be beneficial, or by sending an email about a professional event that piques your interest, with an invitation to join you. Your social friends and fans may not respond or they may decline your invitation, but they will remember that you reached out.

4. Cultivate acquaintances. Acquaintances are people who may not care so much whether you lost your favorite tote bag, but they will remember that you shared a professional contact with them, or discussed their job goals at the last networking event you both attended. Get in the habit of making small talk with everyone you meet, and trade business cards with them. These people will become your allies who can open professional doors.

5. Listen harder, talk less. One of the easiest ways to be perceived as a people person is to listen more. People love to talk about themselves. They see superb listeners as smart, empathetic people. Being a great questioner is also good for you–as long as you keep asking questions about the other person.

6. Take acting lessons. Find an acting class in your community, and give it a try. Acting classes help build confidence along with your communication skills. You’ll learn how to modulate your voice, and you’ll quickly confront some of your presentation fears. Acting training can also help you see yourself as others do, giving you a degree of self-knowledge that few possess in the corporate world.

7. Practice circumspection. If you’re the type who visibly bristles when you receive negative feedback, or grimaces when a coworker says or does something you disapprove of, it’s a good idea to learn how to keep a poker face and keep your mouth closed. You’re smart enough to stop making knee-jerk comments or reacting with snap judgments. Recognize that you can learn from constructive criticism, and sometimes, by requesting it early on in the process and adjusting to it, it can prevent big problems in your career. You’re free to think the person criticizing you is an idiot, of course, but never let your words and expression betray you.

About Vicky Oliver
Vicky Oliver is a Manhattan-based job interview consultant, and the bestselling author of five career development books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions, and Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots. She’s been featured and interviewed widely in the business media, including Fox News, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Forbes, Fortune, CareerBuilder, and many others.

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The job search: 7 temporary staffing myths and facts revelead

When people hear the words “temporary work,” they often think of clerical jobs or seasonal holiday positions. But as business needs have evolved, so has the “temping” professional. Temporary financial staffing firm Accountemps has identified a new set of realities for temporary workers today.

“Interim work has gone far beyond the ‘temping’ of the past,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Businesses are hiring project professionals at all levels to tap into the specialized skills organizations critically need but may lack internally.”

Accountemps offers seven facts about contemporary temporary work:

Fact #1:
Interim workers range from entry-level to executive-level. Temporary work is no longer limited to lower-skilled assignments. Firms of all sizes engage payroll clerks, bookkeepers, business systems analysts — even treasurers and chief financial officers — on an interim basis today.

Fact #2:
Temporary assignments offer career flexibility. Interim professionals have the freedom and flexibility to choose projects based on their professional goals and preferences. They can accept short- and long-term assignments and may work either a full- or part-time schedule.

Fact #3:
Contingent workers can earn good money. Compensation for project professionals is generally on par with that of full-time employees. And temporary workers with in-demand skills often command even higher pay. What’s more, many staffing firms, including Accountemps, offer their temporary workers access to health insurance and other benefits at competitive rates.

Fact #4:
Project work can help professionals bolster their resumes. Sixty-five percent of staffing employees surveyed by the American Staffing Association said they developed new or improved work skills through their interim assignments. Accountemps offers all registered temporary candidates access to free skills training, including courses on the most popular accounting software.

Fact #5:
Interim work can lead to a full-time job. Many businesses look at a temporary assignment as an on-the-job audition. A company that feels an interim professional has performed well and is a personality fit often will ask that person to stay on permanently.

Fact #6:
Temporary workers don’t have to pay to register with a staffing firm. Reputable temporary agencies never ask their job candidates for fees.

Fact #7:
Companies seek skilled interim professionals. Contingent workers with specialized expertise are in demand. Organizations of all types are relying more heavily on a flexible workforce to access specialized skills that either do not exist among their core employees or are not needed long term.

Are you a temporary employee who isn’t sure of how to update your resume? Do you have questions on how to put your work history, skills and achievements together? Then find out how Matt Krumrie can help you with your resumes needs.

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Career advice: Common mistakes job seekers make when changing careers

What are some common mistakes job seekers make when changing careers? Karen Kodzik, a St. Paul-based career coach with Cultivating Careers discusses this below.

When career changers assess their strengths and skills, a common piece of advice from job search “helpers” is to ask others around them what they are good at.

“I think this can be a trap and lead to a common career misstep,” says Kodzik, who has been a guest on KARE 11 discussing jobs and is the author of Navigating Through “Now What?” a book that helps you through the various career crossroads in life.

“It is human nature for us to gravitate towards both what we are familiar with and what we have been reinforced for. Those seeking a new direction believe that it must be a sign from the universe that they should pursue what others think they are good at. Though this information can offer some valuable insights, it is important to step back and assess if you really liked doing those tasks or using a certain skill set. When we excel in a certain area we are often put in situations to leverage that skill, again and again throughout our careers. And a result of this is we don’t explore or develop other skills that we may enjoy using more in our careers. Remember that when evaluating your next career move, just because you can do something doesn’t always mean should. Take time to evaluate all the skills in your “toolbox” and pursue those that excite and engage you the most.”

Contact Kodzik for a free 15-minute career coaching consultation to learn more how she can help you!

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Career tips: What is your personal brand and why is it important?

Guest post by Joan Runnheim Olson, M.S., A.C.C.

Identifying and managing your personal brand is critical for your career or business success.  Your brand is just one of 10 keys to becoming a career conqueror. To learn the other nine keys, attend Joan Runnheim’s upcoming teleclass on August, 7, 2013, Top 3 Myths of Career Success and 10 Keys to Becoming a Career Conqueror.

Michael Jordan has a brand. Oprah has a brand. And, whether you think so or not, YOU have a brand. Your brand is your professional reputation. It is how others perceive you. It’s your unique promise of value that you consistently deliver. Your personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are and what you represent.  Your brand includes your appearance, your actions, and your interactions with others.


I would like to illustrate how your brand can show up in your appearance. A friend of mine, a local real estate agent, loves the colors of teal and purple. This has become an important part of her brand. Her clothing and accessories incorporate these colors. Her business cards, website, and other marketing materials reflect these colors.  And, even her home and office décor include these teal and purple. Those who know her expect to see these colors associated with her.


Your brand can show up in your actions. I am a continuous learner, always updating and expanding my skills and being sought out as a career expert. I want my clients and potential clients to see me as a career expert.  Why? Because I want to attract clients that are highly motivated and invested in their careers too. My actions as a continuous learner have led to me being selected to serve as a career expert by Monster and as a career coach for CareerBuilder- two of the heavy-hitter global job boards. I was also invited to be an expert blogger on careers by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, a think tank for the now, the new, and the next in careers.


Your brand can show up in your interaction with others. Let’s say you’re employed by a company and you consistently receive positive feedback about how you “go above and beyond” in the area of customer service. This reminds me of a story of a client who worked in collections. We know what kind of reputation they have. Well, this client has actually received thank you letters from individuals she has called on who have been late in paying their bills. Why? Because of the way she handles these folks that are oftentimes in dire straits. This behavior is “out of the norm” for the person typically doing collections. Her ability to demonstrate true empathy and concern shines through.

Joan Runnheim Olson is the career management expert for high-achieving professionals who want to maximize career success and satisfaction. Joan is an internationally certified career coach and founder of Pathways Career Success Strategies, LLC.

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Best interview tips: 7 Ways Job Interviewers Try to Trip You Up – and How to Avoid Stumbling

By Vicky Oliver

With the dramatic improvement in the job market, now is the time for all job seekers to get serious about finding a job. Landing an interview is the first step. But then you’ll need to get mentally prepared for the 45 most harrowing minutes of your life. That’s the average length of a job interview.

Job interviews are nerve-wracking for the simple reason that interviewers like to ask questions that knock people off balance. Doing so gives them the opportunity to see if the candidate can think on her feet, come up with dazzlingly brilliant answers instantly, and keep her cool.

Here are 7 types of questions that can trip you up–and how to answer them so you’ll leave the interview standing tall.

1. Questions that imply you’re too inexperienced or rusty. “I see you’ve been out of the workforce. How can you compete with people who have lots of experience in our industry?” Don’t get your toe caught in holes in your resume. Quick, talk about your social media smarts. You Tweet, you’re on Facebook, and you can navigate LinkedIn with your eyes closed. Being fluent in social technology could trump your industry inexperience. Don’t forget to show, not tell, what a quick study you are in any given field. Give examples.

2. Give-us-one-good-reason-not-to-hire-you questions. “What’s your biggest weakness that’s really a weakness, and not a secret strength?” Be honest by giving a real weakness, but demonstrate how you turned it into a successful strategy that led to a successful outcome. You might say that you’re extremely impatient, and that you expect coworkers to be competent, well-prepared, and accountable. Explain how your impatience led you to ask management for team assignments so the work could be broken down into manageable pieces and assigned to individuals according to their strengths.

3. Ethical questions with a twist or secret agenda. “How would you handle working with someone who took credit for your great ideas?” Show the interviewer how well you would manage an awkward situation. Say that, first, you’d credit the idea thief publicly for ideas that were genuinely his, hoping he would return the favor. If that failed, you’d try to work out an arrangement where you’d present ideas that were your own to your bosses. And if that didn’t work, you would try to openly discuss the issue with him, stressing that teamwork matters and positioning both of you as “strong-ideas people” to your superiors would benefit everyone. Show that you’re a problem solver.

4. Pop quiz questions designed to fluster you. “What is the best-managed company in America?” There is no right answer. The best answer is the one you defend thoroughly. If you mention a company, say, Apple, then talk about all the products they’ve introduced and how these have revolutionized consumer behavior around the world. Talk about how they survived the death of an iconic founder and have bounced back. Mention some details about their company culture, and how that has been reflected in the company’s public brand in a very positive way.

5. Questions that send you to the confessional. “What is the most courageous action you’ve ever taken at work?” These types of questions are designed to probe your values. You might say something along the following lines. You used to have a partner who’d cut out every night to be with his family, and a boss who preferred that everyone stay till 8. The boss would berate your partner behind his back. But you came to feel that this wasn’t a good position to be put in, and told the boss you felt he should talk directly with your partner. You also told your partner to meet with the boss. Together, they worked it out, even though you took a chance by giving moral direction to your boss.

6. Questions that strip off your work mask. “What are some of your pet peeves?” Employers want to know more about your personality, so give them something that shines a light on you in a good way. You might say, “False deadlines.” Explain that you feel it’s unfair to ask someone to jump through hoops to finish a project only to have it languish on a higher-up’s desk. Then say you’d rather earn others’ respect and trust by delivering tasks on deadline–a real deadline.

7. Questions from another galaxy far, far away. “If you were to give a speech to a group of executives, what topic would you select, and why?” You might be thinking, “Whaaa? What does this have to do with the price of beans?” But smile and tell them something you want them to hear. You might want to deliver a motivational speech about overcoming obstacles. Then talk about a major obstacle that stood in your way and how it offered you a fantastic learning and growing opportunity.

Vicky Oliver is a Manhattan-based job interview consultant, and the bestselling author of five career development books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions. She’s been featured and interviewed widely in the business media, including Fox News, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Forbes, Fortune, CareerBuilder, and many others.

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The Internship: What interns can do to succeed in today’s workplace

Internships are more important than ever – here are tips to help interns succeed

The nation’s employers are increasingly selective in recruiting and now demand that even entry-level candidates have on-the-job experience.  As a result, the once optional summer internship has become a requisite component of any young person’s resume, according to one employment expert, who advises those embarking on internship programs this summer take steps to ensure they make the most of the experience.

“Internships are more important than ever, but not all internship programs are created equal.  Many employers do not have any type of strategy when it comes to utilizing and educating their interns.  In these situations both the employer and the intern lose.  It is critical that young people entering an internship program take a proactive approach to managing and maximizing their experience,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

According to a recent outlook by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the entry-level job market is expected to be stronger this year.  However, the competition for these positions remains fierce and having internship experience can greatly increase the odds of post-graduation job-search success.

A survey of 2012 graduates conducted last August by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 60 percent of those who participated in paid internships received at least one job offer.  In contrast, only 36 percent of graduates with no internship experience on their resume had received job offers.

“The classroom is great for developing critical thinking skills, writing and presentation skills, and general knowledge that provide the fundamental building blocks of any viable job candidate.  However, nothing beats the hands-on practical experience that internships provide.  For those who have already graduated, internships are often the stepping stone to a full-time position,” said Challenger.

“Internships give employers the chance to evaluate a potential employee’s performance for an extended period of time in real-world conditions.  It also lets an employer gauge how the intern fits into the company culture, which is nearly as important as skills and experience.

“As an intern, it is critical to treat each day like a job interview.  You want to set yourself apart from your fellow interns by exceeding expectations.  Those who merely meet expectations probably will not get the full-time job offer,” said Challenger.

“Meeting the right people during your internship is also critical.  It is likely that the person supervising the interns is relatively low on the corporate totem pole.  In fact, he or she may be only a year or two out of college.  The intern with full-time job aspirations should make a daily effort to meet the managers and executives who make the hiring decisions.  The higher up the executive you impress, the greater the odds that a permanent position will be found for you,” he added.

“Students who do not receive an offer from the company where they interned can still benefit from the experience.  Managers and executives in the company represent the beginning of your job-search network.  Even if they cannot find a spot for you in their company, they may know executives in another company that may have openings.”

John Challenger provided the following advice for this year’s crop of summer interns to improve their chances of being offered a full-time job or the opportunity to return next summer, in the case of non-graduating college students:

Treat your internship as a real job. 

The best way to prove you are qualified for a permanent position is through action.  Think of your internship as a trial period or extended interview for obtaining the position you desire.  Always be on time and meet deadlines.  Maintain a positive attitude and show that you are eager to learn and succeed by seeking out feedback to improve your performance and develop new skills.

Take initiative and exceed expectations. 

By taking initiative you can show management what you are capable of.  Do not be afraid to voice your own ideas, offer solutions, and ask questions.  Show interest in attending meetings and seek out extra work and new projects.  When you go above and beyond the minimum, you demonstrate your commitment level and gain the attention of management.

Dress according to company dress codes. 

While you want to stand out from the pack, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.  By dressing professionally you reinforce the impression that you can adapt to and fit in with the company’s culture.

Keep track of your contributions and accomplishments. 

Keep track of the projects you worked on, your individual contributions, and the results achieved.  Having a tangible record of your achievements with the company is a helpful tool in convincing a manager why you should be hired full time.

Network, network, network. 

Developing contacts inside and outside of your department is extremely important.  Schedule lunches or meetings with company managers and executives to give them a better understanding of what you’re about and what you plan on accomplishing.  Find a mentor to teach you the ropes of the organization and offer advice on company politics.  The contacts you make through your internship could prove invaluable throughout your time at the organization and throughout your career.

Ask about available entry-level positions. 

Let your employer know that you would like a job with that particular organization.  Ask about what positions are available and express your interest in them.  An employer will be more likely to consider you for a position if they know you are interested in it.

Stay in contact. 

If you don’t get hired for a position immediately after your internship ends, stay in touch.  Check-in with your contacts and provide updates on your progress.  This will help to keep you in the forefront for the employer’s mind when a position opens.

Related Resource

What today’s employers really think of today’s college graduate


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Job Search Advice: How to know if you are ready for a career change

By Karen Kodzik

Karen Kodzik is a Twin Cities-based career management coach, speaker and author of the book Navigating Through Now What?. She provides tips and advice on how to think through making a career change in this guest blog post below:

Thoughts of any change can be equally exciting as well as daunting.  Changing jobs or careers is no exception.  Whether you initiate change or change is imposed upon you, change does not come easily to most.  There are many stages you may want to consider as you consider making a change in your work.

Pondering.  This is when you recognize that your current work situation is no longer serving you or fulfilling you.  You see the benefits of changing jobs outweigh the negative consequences of staying.  However you may not be sure you are up for changing jobs, you may not have the time or energy or you may not believe there is a better job out there.  In this stage you are daydreaming about better days and pondering “what if?”

Considering.  This is when the idea of change moves from daunting to exciting.  You start to think of possibilities in a more concrete way.  You may seek out the counsel of someone who has made a similar change before you.  The idea of change starts to materialize however still lacks a clear goal, timeline and game plan.  Your thinking moves from “what if” to “why not?”

Planning.  This is when you start to gather concrete information, mobilize resources and create a project plan for tackling change.  Sometimes this stage can be overwhelming given the myriads of information available and not knowing what information is most relevant to you.  A plan provides the road map for career change, ensuring more likely success in transitioning to something new.

Implementing.  This is the stage when it’s time to move beyond thinking and planning to making change happen in you career. This is embarking on sustainable activity that moves you closer to your goal.  It is about addressing and overcoming set backs and obstacles.  It is where you are committed to the belief that change can and will happen.

Recognizing these stages of change are fundamental to realizing rewarding careers.

About Cultivating Careers and Karen Kodzik
Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Management Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 15 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen is highly regarded in the Twin Cities market. Uniquely qualified as a HR insider, management consultant and coach, Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. She is a contributor and source for the Minneapolis, St. Paul media on job market trends, employment and career related topics. Her recently published book “Navigating Through Now What?” has been a valuable resource for anyone finding themselves at a career crossroad.  A popular and passionate presentor and speaker she quickly and easily engages her audience, leaving them empowered and equipped for any career transition.  She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reach that next point in their career.

The Cultivating Careers team includes top notch career professionals who specialize in LinkedIn, interview prep and practice, and standardized assessment. This team helps us provide our clients to exceptional customized individualized consultation as they prepare for the next step in their career.

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