Get a Hobby – It’s Good for Your Career!

A “work-life balance” seems to be what everyone is chasing after. You work hard all day so when you come home, you’re able to unwind by doing something you actually love to do. Your overall well-being is very important to your long-term success and your hobbies contribute immensely to that. Hobbies positively impact your personal life (for obvious reasons) and it also positively impacts your professional life as well. Here’s why:

  • There are some hobbies that build confidence. Being confident is a very important quality to have, especially in the workplace. It allows you to express your ideas or opinions in a poise manner. Confidence is the key to success, and it shapes the foundation of your endurance. Some hobbies that can boost your self-esteem and confidence are running marathons, yoga, traveling alone, and learning a new language or instrument.

 

  • Having hobbies make you seem like a more interesting person. It can help other people get a sense of what you’re all about and helps you connect with other people. People want to be around other people that have attractive lifestyles, otherwise there’s not much to talk about! Want to be a more interesting person? Try rock climbing, fishing, volunteering, or photography.

 

  • If you have the type of job where you are working your left brain all day, then maybe you need a hobby that works the right side. Having a creative hobby stimulates your brain and affects your brainstorming and problem-solving abilities. You’re able to think more outside the box and it sets you apart from other peers or companies. Start painting, writing, knitting, baking, or doing DIY projects.

 

  • Hobbies can improve your multitasking. Having a multitasking hobby can help speed up your performance, especially if you are working on a couple different things at one time. It can also help train your brain to stay focused for a long period of time. A couple great multitasking hobbies are cooking, dancing, and acting.

 

  • A great way to network is through having hobbies! By going to spinning classes, golfing, or playing team sports, you meet so many people and get a chance to widen your professional circle. Who knows, maybe your spin class neighbor is the CEO of your dream company!

 

Overall, everyone needs hobbies to stay sane. Get out there and find a couple things you like! There are millions of hobbies and, one way or another, they’ll affect your life in some way!

Tips to Stay Focused at Work

Sometimes it’s tough to get your work done when there are so many things going on around the office — whether that’s because of coworker chit chat, that smartphone screaming your name begging to be checked (even though you checked it five minutes ago), or because your mind seems to be somewhere else.  It can be hard to keep your focus on your work throughout your day. But, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are some ways to stay focused at work:

  1. Break it Up

Yes. It is absolutely okay to take little breaks. Go out for a walk around the building or do some stretches for five minutes.  Reward yourself for good chunks of work with a short, friendly chat with your cube mate or scrolling through your Facebook feed. But you also need to remind yourself that these distraction periods should last about five minutes, then it’s back to business. You control it!

  1. Turn it Off

If you’re one of those people who constantly checks their phone every five minutes (even though nothing is different), maybe it’s time to turn off your phone. We know, that’s easier said than done but, turning off your phone actually has some great benefits, such as, making sleeping and waking up easier, increasing efficiency, improving productivity, and boosting your memory.

  1. Headphones are Key

Let me guess. You sit close to a Chatty Kathy and a good chunk of your day is listening to them go on and on. Boy, do we have a solution for you! They’re called headphones! Wow! Amazing! But, seriously, if you put those bad boys in, Chatty Kathy will get the hint. Also, listening to music or podcasts provides inspiration and increases productivity. Especially, if you’re listening to jazz or classical music. Classical music is known for boosting your mood and your concentration. “Hey Siri, play Bach!”

  1. Water & Snacks

Water. What a marvelous thing. Water has so many benefits and it solves everyone’s problem (OK, not really, but almost). Drinking water helps clear skin, cure headaches, promote weight loss, increase brain energy and function, boosts performance in exercise, we could go on! So, make sure your cup of water is always within reach to avoid unnecessary breaks in the office kitchen or at the water fountain.

Just like water, make sure your snacks are within reach. The only thing that will cure that annoying, grumbling stomach that you’ve been thinking about for the past hour is food!

  1. Prioritize and List

Nothing will keep you more focused than writing all your tasks down. To-do lists help you prioritize what needs to get done and limits you to doing one thing at a time. Some people are great at multi-tasking but overall, multitasking lowers your work equality and efficiency. Keep your day organized with lists and cross those bad boys off when you finish a task, then reward yourself with a walk around the building.

Succumbing to those daydreams, phone alerts, or office chit chat can negatively impact you at work, so don’t let it happen! Put in those headphones, turn off that phone, or go to a quiet spot in the office for a little while – you’ll eventually notice you’re a lot more focused!

Seasonal Health Risks

It always seems like everyone gets sick right around and after the holidays, doesn’t it? This year, it’s even worse than normal since winter has been so mild throughout the country. Allergens have persisted since there hasn’t been a steady freeze in many regions. Couple this with the usual viruses and infections making their rounds, and it’s a recipe for a rough season of sickness. Here are some of the more common illnesses to watch out for this winter.

Winter Allergies

Normally, allergies are the worst when plants start to bloom again in the spring. But in places like Florida, people have been struggling with seasonal allergies through even December and January since it has been so warm. Symptoms include a runny or congested nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, ear blockage, postnasal drip, and general sinus inflammation. Allergies are best treated with prescription steroid nasal spray, but over the counter medications can help as well.

Common Cold

The common cold gets its name because it is a year-round virus, but it is more easily spread in winter. That fact has nothing to do with the nature of the virus itself – it spreads faster because people spend more times indoors to avoid cold weather, so more germs collect inside. The symptoms of this virus are primarily upper respiratory issues, like allergies, but could carry with them, in addition, a sore throat or cough with a mild fever. There is no treatment for this illness, but over the counter medications can help you manage the symptoms.

Seasonal Influenza

In contrast to the common cold, influenza or the flu does spread more easily in cold conditions, which is why the winter is dubbed the “flu season.” Because of this, most healthcare professionals stress the importance of getting a flu shot to guard against catching the virus. More serious fevers, muscle aches, and fatigue accompany this virus, in addition to all the other symptoms of a common cold.

Norovirus

Perhaps the nastiest thing going around during the winter is the norovirus, commonly called the “stomach bug.” Contrary to popular opinion, diarrhea and vomiting symptoms aren’t due to the flu or influenza, but to the norovirus. It generally lasts 1-3 days, but an infected person is contagious for a few days after recovering.

HealthCare Support is a national recruiting firm which strives to link talented healthcare professionals with employers across the country. We don’t only serve clinical professionals – we help everyone in the medical industry find the right job. To learn more about our services for employers and individuals, give us a call at 888-219-6285.

The Ideal Candidate – What to Look For?

You have an open position in your company, you put out a detailed job description online and in comes numerous resumes. You pick your top prospects and you’re ready to interview them. Our question is, what do you look for in the ideal candidate? You obviously want someone with the background and experience, but there are other factors that come into play. So, what are some key qualities you look for in an interviewee? Funny you ask, they all start with P’s!

  1. Passion

The ideal candidate has the right experience for the job, but do they have the passion and enthusiasm? There’s a quote that says, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” You’ll want to hire someone who is excited about the opportunity and puts a little zest into everything they do.

  1. Personality

When you hire someone, that person should be someone who you think you can get along with. You’ll spend 40 hours a week with each other and it will drive you crazy when the person you’re talking to is spineless. It’s like talking to a wall! Find someone with a sense of humor and good character.

  1. Positivity

No Negative Nancies! It’s hard enough to succumb to the rumors and gossip around the office, but when your coworker bashes other employees, talks trash on other companies, or complains about everything they do, it gets frustrating. Positive employees make for peaceful and fun workplaces. Plus, positivity rubs off on other people!

  1. Player

Being a team player is a key quality to look for in an ideal candidate. There are many situations where people will have to work with others for group projects. Being a team player and teamwork motivates unity in the workplace and promotes workplace synergy.

  1. Potential

Look into the future. Where do you see these candidates in a couple months from now? A couple years? It’s important when hiring a candidate, you look for long term potential. Do you see them impacting the company positively in the next 6 months? You also must ask yourself if they are committed to the company and the position. Look into their past positions and see how long they stayed with their past companies.

When looking for the ideal candidate, there are a lot of things to consider. First impressions make final decisions. So, candidates, just be your best self. And clients, hire someone that brings a lot to the table. Don’t just hire someone for their experience.

Office Homies 101

You just started your first day at your new job! Congrats! How was it? Did you make lots of friends? What are the people like? Are they friendly or serious? Outgoing or shy? Sorry, I probably sound like your mother, but making new friends at a new company is serious business and it can be tough, especially if you’re a little shy! A simple “Hi, how are you doing?” could start the beginning of a life-long friend. Also, according to a study, making friends at work not only brings you happiness, but it makes you very successful in your career. You are seven times more likely to be engaged in your job when you have friends around the office. So, how do you do it? How do you make friends in a professional setting? There are many factors that come into play with making and maintaining work amigos and there are some serious ground rules to follow:

Do’s

  • Do say hello and ask how they are. In fact, by the end of your first work week, make it your goal to say hi to everyone around you and try to learn names. The more the merrier!
  • People love to talk about themselves. When trying to make new friends, ask about them – where they are from, if they have any siblings, etc. These are easy conversations to have and you might have some things in common.
  • Ask for help if you need it and learn from other people. Eventually, people will feel comfortable approaching you with their own questions, which means they trust you. Trust is a very important component in relationships.
  • Attend your work events. I know. You see your coworkers 40 hours a week and, by the end of the week, all you probably want to do is get away from them, but that won’t help you build relationships. Attend the happy hours or plan a work lunch. Socializing outside the office makes relationships stronger and you also don’t have to worry about anyone eavesdropping into your conversations. Not only are you meeting more people and making more friends, but you’re also widening your network.
  • Do be a positive person. No one wants to surround themselves around negative people who always bash the company, their job, their significant other, or their parents. Keep it fresh, practical, and professional. Besides, positive people want to be surrounded by other positive people and, soon enough, the others will flock to you.

Don’ts

  • The last thing you need while starting a new job is succumbing to all the gossip and rumors. We all have our rough days and need an outlet for all the pent-up frustration, but don’t do it in the office. Save it for when you get home. You never know how complaining or bad mouthing someone will affect your work life down the road.
  • Keep outside problems to yourself. Your coworkers don’t want to hear you go on and on about what your s.o. said to you the other night or how your parents are driving you crazy.
  • Let’s not be one of those people that talk too much and are a huge distraction. Of course, talking is what creates relationships but don’t overdo it to a point where no one is getting any work done. On the contrary, don’t be so quiet and closed off. You won’t be making any friends that way!
  • Don’t burn bridges with any coworker. You never know where they are going to be in the future or if they can be a reference for your dream job. Treat everyone you meet with respect.
  • Don’t feel pressured to accept friend requests or follow other coworkers. It’s okay to want to keep your private life private. Your social media pages are for your social friends, not professional ones.

Remember: they’re your work friends not your social friends. Different rules apply between these two friend groups. By following these easy Do’s and Don’ts, you ought to make some great work friends and, just like you, they do have their own personal life. So, keep it practical, professional, and genuine.

How to Choose Between Two Qualified Candidates

You have seen tons of applications, you have done countless phone interviews, and have been through many face-to-face interviews, but now you are stuck. There are two very qualified candidates that you just can’t seem to choose between. These two candidates have been side by side throughout the entire recruitment process, so how are you going to choose between these two candidates? Here are a few things to keep in mind if this situation occurs:

  1. For the Long Haul

Which of these candidates do you see fitting well long-term? Look into the future. What candidate do you think will positively impact the company down the road? Look past all the requirements and look at how much potential they have to grow and move up in the company. Also, look at the skills they have that don’t apply to the position, but could still be very useful to the company, such as leadership skills, enthusiasm, or being able to work in a team. There’s also the factor that this process is a two-way street. You might pick one candidate and they may not end up accepting the position. So, go with your gut. It’s usually never wrong.

  1. Coffee Break

Take them out for coffee. Get to know them a little outside the office.  Keep in mind that you’re going to be spending most of your time with them, so which candidate can you see yourself hanging out with or getting along with the rest of the team? While hanging out once may not uncover everything there is to know about the person, it will almost certainly leave you with a clear picture of if you mesh well. If possible, bring some of your coworkers with you and see what they think. Different people catch different things.

  1. Use References

Contact their previous employer for a reference. All it takes is one negative review, or even a sentence, from their previous employer for you to choose one over the other.

  1. Cover All Your Bases… Again

Make sure you have asked their thoughts on salary, the role, growth, etc. one last time. They should have no questions about the expectations for the position. During this final comparison you may uncover that one candidate has a bigger salary in mind or cannot say for certain if they’d accept the position immediately because they are interviewing for others simultaneously.

There are worst things than being torn between two great candidates. Even though the final decision is harder than you expected, the good thing about this situation is you’re going to end up with a good candidate no matter what. If you’re in the opposite position and struggling to find even 1 great candidate for your opening, consider working with a staffing and recruiting firm like ours. We specialize in the placement of healthcare professionals in both clinical and non-clinical roles and have a proprietary database with over 1 million vetted candidates. To start the process with us, submit a job request form here.

Working from Home for Working Parents

Some parents who work in an office all day think working from home is a dream, especially when they’re struggling to balance work responsibilities and parent responsibilities. But the truth is, working from home with the kids is way harder than it seems. With the constant distraction, it’s tough to get all your tasks done. Don’t get us wrong, working parents are known for their extreme multi-tasking, but when is it too many tasks? If daycare has been out ruled, here are some tips to help you work from home with those little rascals:

  1. Create a Schedule. If you think you can get most of your responsibilities done in the early morning when your kids are eating breakfast, during their naptime, or late at night when they are all in bed, let your coworkers know that these are the times you’ll be online. It’s likely your work hours will not be the traditional eight hours. Look for spontaneous work moments. If your child is occupied for a short moment like watching an episode of Paw Patrol, get some work done that you can easily put a pause to in case they need your undivided attention again, like answering emails.
  2. Make sure the children 100% know that you are working. Have a talk with them, let them know the situation, and tell them there needs to be minimal disruptions throughout the day. Let them know they are part of the “team” as well and their job is to make sure you stay busy all day.
  3. Give your children incentives. Tell them if they’re good until lunchtime, you’ll take them to the park or out for some pizza. You can also give them task incentives. These could be “if you don’t disrupt mommy on this work call, I’ll give you a popsicle.” Then, that popsicle should keep them quiet for a little while longer *winky face*.
  4. Have boundaries. If you have a job that requires your undivided attention for long periods of time, create a home office. Let your kids know that when you’re in your “work space” you are not to be disrupted. Not only is your attention on your work, but you also won’t feel that pull to your children.
  5. To-Do lists save lives! Okay, not really. But they do help immensely. When you’re doing your work, give your kids a list of fun educational activities to do and if they finish that, give them a to-do list that involve chores (But don’t write “chores” on it or they won’t want to do it!) Some of these jobs could be to clean the playroom or set the table for dinner. This will keep them occupied for a little while.
  6. Entertainment is key. If toys and TV just aren’t cutting it, create a “boredom bowl”. In the “boredom bowl”, have fun little things they can do. Some examples are: build a Lego tower as high as you can or draw a self portrait of the family. As they get older, you can tie in some of your work responsibilities into the “boredom bowl”, such as filing.
  7. Ask for help. If you are knee deep in work, can’t seem to get anything done, and you’ve run out of options, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Sometimes it’s necessary to ask a friend, relative, or hire a nanny to get in a couple uninterrupted hours of work done.

Being a parent isn’t easy, especially while you’re working. Equip yourself with the right tools and mindset to succeed and be sure to keep open lines of communication with your employer.

 

Are you Dreaming of a White (and Worry-Free) Christmas?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! People’s cubicles and offices are decorated in all things merry, seasonal candles are being burned, and holiday music is flowing out of speakers. Everyone’s getting antsy and they know it’s almost time to get out of town to be reunited with their families. Some people may have mentally checked out already, these people are part of the Great Christmas “Click Off”. December 16th is the day of the Great Christmas “Click Off”, meaning this day is the point when productivity plummets in the office. Don’t be a part of the “Click Off”, push until the holiday. We even made it easy for you by brainstorming some ways to make sure all your responsibilities are done, and you are worry-free before heading home for holidays!

  • When you know the dates of your vacation, let your manager and coworkers know. Put your hours in early and make sure it’s not around any important deadlines or meetings.
  • There is nothing worse than coming back into the office from a long weekend and having your desk be a mess. Before heading out for the holidays, go through your drawers and organize them. Get some Windex and give your desk a wipe down. If someone needs to find a file in one of your drawers, it will be easy for them to find. Plus, you’ll be all set to grind in the new year!
  • Have two separate to-do lists. One needs to be time-sensitive. These involve things that absolutely must be done before you leave. The other list includes things that aren’t as time sensitive but still need to be done before you go. Also, check your calendar and see if there is anything coming up when you get back from the holidays.
  • Clear your schedule for the last two hours before you leave for the holidays and the first two hours you get back from the holidays. A coworker may have an important, last minute task that you need to attend to or someone might need your undivided attention as soon as you return.
  • Find a coworker to cover for you. Make sure they have everything they need during your time off. Meet with them before you leave and answer any questions they may have. Tell your coworkers and boss this person will be filling in for you while you’re gone. Lastly, bring them back a little something for all they’ve done!
  • People who are out of the office might want to put an automatic email responder. You should include how long you are going to be away from your email for, when and if you’ll ever be checking into your email, and who to contact in case of an emergency. Even add a touch of holiday to them, if you’d like.

Some good examples:

For the Grinches –

Hello,

Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, I will be out of the office from December 21st to January 3rd for the holidays. I will be checking my email sporadically throughout the week. If this is an emergency, please contact John Doe at johndoe@company.com.

Wishing you a happy holiday.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

For the people with some holiday cheer –

Happy Holidays,

Thanks for your email! You caught me on my holiday vacation in Colorado! I will be out of the office, away in a cabin, with little to no service, making snowmen from December 19th to January 5th. If there is an emergency, contact Bob at bob@company.com. Until then, I’ll see you all in 2019.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

[Your Name]

 

For Buddy the Elves’ –

Ho-Ho-Hello there,

It’s my favorite time of the year! That means I’m at the north pole, helping Santa pack up the last of the gifts! I’ll be up here in the land of the holly and jolly until January 2nd. In the meantime, if you have an emergency you can contact John at john@company.com. I’ll try to check my emails every time Santa gives us a break, most likely every couple of days!

Until then, I hope your stuffing your face with Christmas cookies, making snowmen, and decorating your tree with tons of Christmas Spirit! – Oh, Santa’s looking for me, I got to go finish these dang wooden horses!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,

Santa’s little helper [Your Name]

Make sure you’re enjoying yourself over the holidays, you deserve it. Recharge and be ready to come back fresh for the new year! And, if you want some more career advice, subscribe to our blog here !

9 Ways to Foster a Positive Environment in the Office

These days, most of our time is spent in the office, working our tails off, constantly being surrounded by the same people. It’s the same thing every day of the week and it’s hard not to get caught when there is a negative vibe going around. So, how do you establish a positive work environment? It’s simple. Encourage your employees to have positive attitudes. How do we do that? Here are a couple examples:

  1. Make your employees feel appreciated. Constantly.

I can’t begin to express how important this is. The best feeling you can achieve is feeling good about the work you have done. You’re doing so much, and some might not realize just how much blood, sweat, and tears you are actually putting in to your projects. Let your employees know all their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.

I appreciate you doing this…

I am really impressed by…

You are doing a great job doing…

I admire the way you…

The team wouldn’t have been so successful if you didn’t…

Thank you so much for doing this…

Something so little as a small compliment can do a 180 on someone’s attitude.

  1. Flexibility

Most of your employees have families. Some need to be home by a certain time to pick up their kids from school. Others need to schedule doctor’s appointments but they are almost impossible to get because of our work schedules. Offer your employees some flexibility in their work hours. Give them the chance to work remotely, even if it’s just for a little bit at the end of the day when all their kids are in bed. Allow them a little freedom to choose their own schedules and in return you will have less stressed-out employees.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness

Do something simple and sweet for one of your employees. Catch them off guard with some sincerity. Bring them a sweet treat from a bakery, a nice-smelling candle from a store, or write a positive, motivational quote for them and place it on their desk while they are at lunch. You never know the mood some people could be in and you don’t know what they are going through so sweeten up their day with a random act of kindness.

  1. Now, Walk it Out, Walk it Out, Walk it Out

Get with some employees and go for a little walk around the building or to the cafeteria. This is a great way to learn more about your employee’s lives outside of work. Also, walking improves your mood, increases your heart rate, and burns calories. I can’t think of a better way to burn calories than to walk around the building while gossiping about the latest Kardashian scandal!

  1. “Fun it Up”

Allow your employees to fun it up a bit with their cubicles, offices, and outfits. Have “Costume Tuesdays”, “Casual Fridays”, or “Workout Wednesdays”. Is it the holidays? Give your employees a chance to dress up their cubes in all things Christmas. Someone’s birthday? Decorate their office by sprinkling confetti on their desks, blowing up balloons, or creating a cute poster for them. Have music playing throughout the office with the latest hits. Get creative with it, everyone loves having fun!

  1. Don’t you Dare Micro Manage

No employee likes to be constantly looked over their shoulder by someone, especially their boss. Give your employees space to do their work and allow them to have the freedom to do their own thing. Macro managing will build trust and honesty throughout the company by giving them the satisfaction that they are bettering the company on their own.

  1. Company Incentives, YAY

Your employees will work harder if there is something in it for them as well as the company. If your sales team meets a goal, treat them to lunch or a round of drinks after work. Have company weekend trips for people who break records. Motivate your employees by giving them something for all their hard work.

  1. Exude Happiness

This one’s easy. It doesn’t take much. It’s easy to turn around someone’s day. They could be having the worst day of their life and need a sign of something good. This could be giving them a smile, asking how they are and listening to what they are saying, holding the door open for them, or cracking a joke and making them laugh. Show happiness everywhere you go, after all, your employees are human beings too.

  1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T *cue our girl, Aretha*

Back in kindergarten we learned one very important rule that is forever engraved in our brains. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Take this one to the grave and I promise you’ll have a more positive attitude because of it.

Here at HealthCare Support we encourage our employers to have positive attitudes day in and day out. It’s part of the reason our employees love coming to work. We have employees celebrating 5, 10, and 15-year anniversaries. It also plays a big factor in our ratings on Google, Glassdoor, and Facebook.

If you’re looking to partner with a positive team of staffing professionals, look no further than HealthCare Support.