Why Workplace Culture Matters

“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

This is the first blog I’ve written in a while. Things have been busy, for sure. However, I’m glad to be writing this to connect with the community on The Thrive Vine. Today’s topic is just why Workplace Culture is so important. In my personal life I’ve recently made a job change that has proven to be excellent financially however the workplace culture, has proven to be challenging. I’ve found that many of us in the beginning stages in our careers or even fresh out of college might not know what to expect or even what to value in a workplace. If you are unsure of what to look for in a workplace culture, you are in luck because this blog is for you! Sit tight as we dive deeper into exactly why Workplace Culture is so important:

What Are Your Values –  Before you can be aware of what you are looking for in a workplace you first need to be aware of what you value. Do you value camaraderie amongst your co-workers, do you value a quiet space so you can perform your best work, or do you put a high priority on leadership and development? Aside from all of these topics being wonderful interview questions, these are also wonderful aspects to ponder to gain a self awareness of what you value. The million dollar question is how do you know this, or how would you figure out what you value in a Workplace? I feel Corporate America has kind of set us up via trial and error. Aside from a self awareness for what you are looking for the best way to understand what you value, and what you do not value, is to experiment with working at different places, networking with different professionals, and doing some introspection on what you value, and can you achieve your goals based on the company culture and vision. 

Safety and Acceptance – When we think about Workplace culture we tend to think about the time off policy, the layout of the office, happy hours, etc… However in reality Workplace culture is nothing more than achieving basic needs of humans as a species. In order to thrive in any environment humans, or any social species, need to feel Safe and Accepted by their family or pack. When our behavior doesn’t match what is around us, we might feel as an outcast or that we don’t fit in. Realistically when we are in our 20’s and 30’s we spend most of our waking hours as work. If we don’t feel safe due to workplace conflict or accepted due to the culture, issues such as workplace stress and anxiety can ensue and can take a huge toll on our mental health. 

So how can we combat workplace stress and anxiety? This very topic is what I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. In my personal situation I was offered a position at a not so “emotionally intelligent” workplace where excessive swearing, slamming of phones, and yelling doesn’t seem to bother anyone… except for me. However the money is wonderful and sometimes it makes sense to “suck it up.” Yet, as most of us know after a while of being in an environment our body reads as toxic, biological effects take place such as anxiety, panic, and stress. Here is what I did personally to combat these feelings and get myself mentally back on track:

  • Getting up from my desk and taking more frequent walks. Sometimes taking yourself out the environment for short periods of time can do wonders for your mental health
  • Taking a step back and thinking long term. What I mean by this is that the probability of me being at this new job for the rest of my life is extremely slim. By taking things into perspective and realizing that I can use the pay increase I received by taking this job, to invest more aggressively; will help me reach my goals faster. I look at this opportunity as just a mere page in an entire book of my life.
  • Always keep an eye out for new opportunities. It’s really important to remember that you are in control. Especially when it comes to your employment. Even if you’ve worked at a place for a week and the work culture is not what you expected and is being toxic, there is nothing preventing you from starting your job search again or pursuing your own entrepreneurial endeavors. There are always options and you should never feel trapped in a toxic environment. 

Purpose/Support – I think most of us have been raised to think that our purpose of working for a company is to make the company money, or produce a level of value to the company so it secures our employment. Yet, most of us don’t realize that value is a two-way street. As much as we provide value to a business or company, it is the businesses job to enrich our lives not only through the transaction of money; but through purpose and support. If you really think about it, any job on the planet can be a great job (or at least more enjoyable)  if it’s in the right environment and we are surrounded by the right people. I understand first hand how hard it can be waking up when Monday morning comes around, however I encourage you to really think about what value and purpose does your job/career/workplace give you. You should feel a good feeling when you help a customer, or you make a big sale, and I encourage you to celebrate those wins; however the place you work for should also help you celebrate those wins and in turn be there when you are struggling.


Conclusion –  In Corporate America there seems to be a generational disconnect of what each generation and individual values. Is it practical for each company to heed to a generation’s needs? Probably not. However, in my opinion, a business is more than just a place people go to work. It’s a place where employees spend most of their time, and should be obligated to provide safely, sustainability, and support to the people who are growing it as a direct result of their time. What do you think? How can we do a better job with providing a better culture to employees? What are some aspects  you value in a workplace? Share your comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

3 Ways To Know If You’ve Lost Passion For Your Career…Or If It’s Your Work Environment

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl

 

Losing passion for something can be a real challenge; especially if you’re fortunate enough to do your passion for a living. What intrigues me most about passion is that it’s really nothing more than an interest that takes over; our passions make us feel great, make us feel worthy of status, and above all make us unique. However, how does one lose passion for something? All too often we enter careers that we think we will love and enjoy, only to turn around and either change paths completely; or end up hating our original passion. Why is that? What happens to us? I strongly feel often times it’s our work environments. To me, there is little doubt that humans as a species can do anything we put our minds to. There are some really gnarly jobs out there and there are people who love doing them. My theory is that it’s not really so much what we do, but the environment we do it in. Here are my three signs you’ve lost passion for your career, or if you’re a victim of your working environment.

 

Low Energy – When you come home from a job you once loved, and feel absolutely drained you know something is up. But what? When we are fatigued, stressed, and anxious our bodies are telling us there is an imbalance in the force. Since I spend probably 90% of my time working I can usually relate any change or feelings of imbalance back to work. When feeling drained take a deep breath and meditate on it. Ask yourself why are you feeling drained? If it’s a deadline, or a tough boss or client, it’s your work environment not your passion that needs to change. How do you change your work environment, preferably without quitting? Communicate. Share with your clients or coworkers that you’re burning out and are going to take it easy on yourself the next few days. Schedule vacation days and personal days, above all shut off your phone and relax! You deserve to take some time for yourself!

 

Outside Forces – I think at one time or another I’ve heard from every friend of mine in the teaching profession that they were considering a career change. It wasn’t until I really sat down and thought about it, that I really understood what teaching as a profession is up against; a lot of outside forces. Whether it’s administration, parents, or children there are a lot of outside forces that can affect how your day can go. I think many times people get disappointed when they mistake a passion for a position. What I mean by that is we all get excited when we start a job or career but when something turns out to not be the way we thought, or want it to be, we start to question our motives and why we even tried in the first place. Outside forces are always going to happen whether in personal or professional life. The only thing we can control is how we react to them. Don’t blame your passion or motive, look inward and think of ways your passion might be salvageable in your current environment.

 

Meet Your Needs – Needs are what drive our passions. We might have a need to help others or serve, a need for ourself to have a high paying job to ensure financial security, or a need to create value for others; our needs drive our passions. I don’t believe any teacher or firefighter would choose such that career because they absolutely hate people and never want to help… it’s the exact opposite; they want to influence, save, and impact. When feeling really down on your career it’s so important to look at what need isn’t being met by your career. Here’s the tricky part: Needs change! Your needs at 25 when you first started your career might be completely different than the needs of you now. I would suggest to sit down with yourself and do some self reflection. Think about not only what you want out of life, but what you out of your career; often times the same needs we like to be met in our personal lives carry over to our professional careers.

 

Conclusion – Falling out of love with our careers is tough; but before we jump to conclusions after having a rough day really sit back and analyze the environments we subject ourselves to. Remember in the right environment anyone can do anything! Really take time to connect to the needs that you want to meet and always re evaluate your goals both personally and professionally. It’s a wonderful way to check in with yourself and continue your personal growth. What do you think? Do you think a bad work environment can take away someone’s passion? Do you have any tips on how someone can rekindle their passion? Let us know in the comments below!

I Pledge Allegiance To…

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

 

The employer-employee relationship, something that will always interest me. Businesses need employees, and so many of us need that job to pay our bills, and sustain our way of life; the relationship is completely codependent. But what happens when the relationship becomes abusive? What happens when our work-life balance gets all in a tizzy? When we find ourselves being glued to our phones and email day in and day out; something we may have never intended to happen. Now what?

 

I’d like to share some of my experience when I was put in this situation. I’m not sure if you’ve read enough of my blogs to really get a good feel for me. To sum it up I’m the most introverted, hard working, and complete people-pleaser individual you will probably ever (or never) meet. I love helping people and I love making people happy. So when work asked me to pick up additional hours or work on my off days I really didn’t think anything of it.

 

What I found after months of “working outside of work” is that your brain needs a rest. Businesses and managers alike may not understand this. Any CEO is dedicated to their business, and what I found in my situation is that the same level of dedication was expected of me. More hours, same pay, more responsibility. I suddenly realized I was not getting the deal I wanted. My free time was taken up, I felt like I was on call all the time, and didn’t see a dime more for my efforts. This was not good.

 

The purpose of this blog is for those of us who over work ourselves to remember why we’re doing it; especially if we’re not happy or become unhappy with our lives. I’ll stand by the statement that many of us pledge allegiance to our jobs and businesses. The reason? I think work always gives us a sense of purpose but I think many of us are scared of losing it. What happens if we lose our jobs and can’t afford the mortgage, the student loans, the car payment etc… Yet, we don’t think what happens if a business can’t get anyone to work for them; which would result in no business at all. It is important to remember that employees have the upper hand in the relationship. A business relationship, like any other relationship, can sadly become abusive. Stay connected to your worth.

 

Our most precious resource on earth is time. Most of our time is spent working. Doing what we love is simply not enough; we are creatures of environment. Business culture is no different than the values you set on yourself. Sometimes though, business values and personal values collide. That is what I was experiencing in my personal experience. I personally hated working all the time for two reasons. I’m not all that in love with what I do, and I love having control of my time.

 

At the end of the day I didn’t quit my job, and I didn’t yell at anyone. I made a behavioral change. I will always continue to help, it’s literally in my nature to do so; but I’m more aware of the stress and toll things have on me now. When I come home from work I turn my phone off; anything that I’m not in the office for can wait till the next day, and if my employer has an issue with that I’d be more than willing to address it.

 

In closing I truly believe it is so important for us to value our time, because I’m not sure if we can assume any business will. As depressing as it is, in business, people are a replaceable commodity. People come and go but our work ethic stays with us and is a point of uniqueness that makes us stand out. We can always be the employee that every business would want; but what would it take for every business to be a place we would want to work for?

 

Has anyone run into an experience like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic!

Why It’s Important To Choose A Career That Matches Your Personality

“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted.”- Susan Cain

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. In fact I kind of secretly despise them. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something you shouldn’t wait to take action; whether that is mapping out a plan, or diving right in to your goals. However, this year I did decide to make a New Year’s resolution: to read 2 books every month. I’ve started the year reading some amazing books and I want to share those books with you; so I created a reading list! Every book that I feel played a significant part in my life through a personal, career, or investment standpoint I add to that list.

I recently finished Susan Cain’s work of art Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her work, Susan Cain discusses not only what it means to be an introvert, and the importance of balance between introverts and extroverts in the world and workplace; but brought up a really good point that I wanted to focus today’s blog around. The topic is temperament and careers. How do we choose careers that match our temperament? Is this an innate sense? Do we choose passions based on the environment they will allow us? In today’s blog I’m going to discuss why it’s so important to choose a career that matches your personality and temperament; and more importantly how to find that career.

 

Dig Deep – Like most revelations choosing the right career that matches your personality takes tons of introspection. You need to really connect with yourself and think not only what you enjoy doing; but what environment you like doing it in! For instance it’s wonderful that you love numbers, but if dealing with stressed people during tax season isn’t going to give you gratification it might be worth trying to find another career that allows you to foster your love of numbers while providing an environment that isn’t so stressful. You can kind of see what I’m getting at here; your passion is what you love doing, but your temperament dictates the environment you like doing it in. So how can you find the healthy balance!?

 

Learn From Experience – Honestly the best way to find that healthy balance is to put yourself in various environments dealing with your passion or interest. Say you are so passionate about music. Take time learning and asking questions from music teachers, musicians, recording artists, acoustic engineers, instrument builders, etc… There are so many possibilities for each career. If your temperament is highly sensitive to stress and judgement you need to find a career that will allow you to feel relaxed while feeling like you have an impact. If you thrive under pressure you might love setting up for a big rock show minutes before it’s announced.

 

The key here (and I’ve said this before) is that our passions certainly are a driving factor; but I believe the human species is more impacted by the environment we do our passions in. In essence, are you geared to do your passion with people or alone? Do you prefer to travel or do you enjoy the safety of your own space? These things might not seem like important factors when deciding on a career; but they can become factors that might affect your happiness down the road. It’s important to ask: will this career/position fit my personality? Asking this question is just as important as asking about salary, benefits, or a 401k match.

 

Going Against The Grain – One thing I truly believe is that humans, in an anthropological sense, are the best adaptation creatures earth has ever seen. We went from discovering fire to creating the most unique ways to find a mate (#swipeleft?) but what we need to look at is what happens if you go against the grain. In essence what happens if you’re an introvert in an extroverted career? And vice versa. Is it possible? Well I have a little experience with this and would love to share that this is completely possible.

 

As I hope some of you know from reading the blogs on this site; I’m a real estate agent. Sales in general is perceived as one of the most extroverted careers there are. You are constantly talking to people, networking, meeting new clients, and mortgage reps. For me (one of the most introverted people on the planet) it wouldn’t appear to be a good match for a career. However, surprisingly I love sales! and another surprising thing is that I’m good at it! So how can this be? How can a person who really can get overstimulated easily make a career of being around people all the time?

 

The secret is looking into your career and aligning your passion. My passions are helping people, forming deep connections, and creating lasting relationships. A career in sales, somehow, meets all of my passions and needs. Being introverted, I admit, I’m not much of a talker (that’s why I write!) but this makes me a great listener; and it turns out people love to be listened to! Finding a passion is one thing, but digging into your values and personality traits and deciding how you are going to bring them out in a career is another story. Be creative, be innovative, but more importantly be yourself.

 

Conclusion – The important takeaway and message I want to convey is that when choosing a career it is incredibly important to not just follow your passion, but evaluate your temperament and environments that you thrive in. What values has your temperament gifted you? And how can you incorporate those gifts and values into your career? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, we always love to hear from you!

How To Handle An Emotionally Unintelligent Interviewer

“In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels” – Daniel Goleman

 

Good Morning Class! Take a seat and get cozy. Today’s topic of discussion: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for short. Emotional Intelligence is a term that is getting thrown around more and more in today’s society. EQ is essentially the exponent to your IQ. While your IQ is strictly how much you know in terms of academia EQ measures how much you know emotionally. Specifically focusing on empathy, viewing other people’s emotions, and the self awareness and self management of your own emotions. Here’s the kicker, studies have found that the more emotionally intelligent you are, the more successful in your career you will be! However, some careers require a little more emotional intelligence than others. In today’s blog I’m going to discuss an experience of mine when I went on an interview and was met with a very Emotionally Unintelligent interviewer:

 

Preface- It was a cold February day here in Northern New Jersey. The position I was applying for was for a Pricing Analyst Position at a pretty cool company. The company was a tech start up and judging from their website were really creative and innovative. I was excited for this interview and an opportunity to speak with them! I should mention this specific interview was done via skype (another blog on that soon to come). My attire was killer, even though I felt weird sitting in front a of a computer screen in a suit jacket and with my hair done, I was feeling really self confident in my abilities to perform this job. I was ready for this interview:

 

Interview – As the interviewer called me in via Skype a nice girl (happy, but it was clear she was there to do business) appeared on my screen. She was probably in her early to mid 20’s, dressed business casual. “Hi Jess, how are you?” “It’s so nice to meet you” I said on my end. “Hi” She replied, “Why don’t you tell me what you already know about the company” in a toned that was between stressed and annoyed. After receiving that statement my primal sensors went off. Either this interviewer is having a bad day, or she might not be too great with people.

 

I did my homework on this company (as everyone should do for any interview they are on!) So I proudly recited when the company was founded, the products and services they provide, and why I found this company so interesting; being sure to include sincerity yet enthusiasm in my responses. She replied “ok, let me go over the benefits,” she then recited the benefits which were posted on the job description off a computer screen.

 

As an interviewee I’m already thinking something is up. A) This interviewer is having a terrible day B)This interviewer hates her job/isn’t into me C) This Interviewer is emotionally unintelligent. As the interview progressed I asked more questions about the company, position, and how I could add more value to the company through my skills. Every response was met with very melancholy at times apathetic responses. After I was finished asking questions I thanked the interviewer again so much for her time and the call was ended.

 

Conclusion/Reflection – In the course of 20 minutes I went from being over the top excited about a position, to really asking myself “do I want this position?” So what changed? On a primal level humans can detect danger or when other human beings are feeling uncomfortable (this is empathy and emotional intelligence) Three seconds into my interview I felt something was wrong due to the interviewers tone and facial expressions; this slight sense of discomfort triggered questions in my mind “what kind of environment, does this company provide?”or “this interviewer seems like she’s not a very good fit for this position, how will they ensure I’m a good fit?” These questions and many more hit me just a few seconds after the first impression of the interviewer.

 

So what can we learn? When dealing with an emotionally unintelligent interviewer/person there are a few things you can do. First, you want to be yourself. A person who has high EQ is very good at changing their mood to fit those around them, it’s so important to be yourself and that you feel comfortable. If an interviewer is displaying negative or apathetic behavior it’s only a reflection of the company culture (that’s why it’s so important for companies to choose wisely when deciding who will be on the front lines of their business.) The second tactic you can take is to show empathy. The more I reflected on the interview I felt I should have taken the initiative and responsibility to ask the interviewer if everything was alright? It seems that she might have been having a rough day. Looking back this might have been an effective method.

 

So I know you’re all dying to know, did I get the job!? Well after pondering on it, I decided that if I was offered the position I wouldn’t take it; as I don’t feel it would have been a good fit. As you can tell from most of the blogs on this site, company culture and environment is what drives people to be their best. Without a cultivating environment I personally don’t believe I could thrive. I think we owe it to ourselves from time to time to let our emotional minds take over, as sometimes it brings greater clarity and sobering thoughts than our logical minds.

Three Signs You Need To Start Looking For A New Job/Career

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan

 

Things have been busy here at The Thrive Vine. We’re launching a reading list of really helpful books, starting a YouTube channel, and might even be bringing some merch to the site (stay tuned!). Yet amidst all the excitement, reality has gotten a little much for me lately; and I started to think that I’m due for a change. I’ve been at the same job for just about 5 years and it pays decent, allows me to explore an active real estate career on the side, and provides a wonderful work environment. So I started to think to myself, “what the hell is wrong with me?!” There are so many people who would give so much for the things I have, yet I’m thinking of moving on? I’ve come to find when it’s time, it’s time. Here are my three signs you need to start looking for a new job/career:

 

Being Challenged – For me, the biggest reason I started looking for a new position is because I’m not feeling challenged. Keep in mind feeling challenged is not the same as feeling stressed. When in a position for awhile I find that I grow extremely fast, but then it stops; and that to me is paralyzing. I need to be growing and learning at all times or the feeling of being trapped kicks in and I can’t have that! If you’re not sure if your feeling trapped really evaluate the goals that you have. It’s also important to not evaluate yourself when you’re having a bad day at work. Take some time, clear your head, and think about what you want for yourself from a sober balanced place.

 

Frustrated – Have you ever been at work and it just seems like everything ticks you off? From the way someone moved something on your desk, to even a harmless conversation; some things can just throw us over the edge. This has started to happen to me lately and I started thinking about it a little more in depth. I attribute some of these feeling back to the environment. Now here’s the thing, I work in a great environment. The people are supportive, the offices are clean, etc.. However I think that we forget that people are the ultimate adaptation machines. There is a reason we’ve built methods of transportation to go to different places, and above all, why we use the phrase “get out of your comfort-zone.” It’s because our environments are meant to be changed and challenged. Some of us are more open to change than others, but by being in the same environment doing the same things often times doesn’t appeal to most of us. If you’re feeling frustrated or maybe even held back where you are at; it is more than most likely time for a change!

 

Time Vs. Salary – I’d be an absolute liar if I didn’t include this in today’s blog. It’s the elephant in the room that most people attribute to their decision of looking for a new job/career. The all mighty “I don’t get paid enough!” I thought about this alot when I was deciding if I should start looking for other jobs. I started to think to myself “why do I feel I should be making more money?” The answer that came back wasn’t one I was necessarily expecting. The answer was: because I put a high price tag on my time when I do things I don’t want to do. For instance, no one is paying me to do this blog. However I love to share my experiences and hope that it will help people who read it; just the notion that it mighthelp makes it completely worth it to me. If you’re in the position where you might be thinking about changing jobs or careers really think to yourself what your time is worth. Sure you can take a job for more money, but if you truly aren’t doing something you get value from, you will continue to job hop until you find that something that gives you meaning.

 

Conclusion – Making the decision to change jobs is a big one. Yet, the most important part of the process is having the self awareness of why you are changing jobs. Maybe it is financially related or maybe it is because you currently aren’t being challenged. By recognizing your needs you will be able to pick up on patterns within yourself and start to realize faster when change is needed. What do you think? Would you work for less money in a job that made you feel more valuable? How do you put a price tag on your time? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Reasons Why Job Hopping Is An Act Of Workforce Survival

“I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.”– Susanna Kaysen

The workforce ecosystem is something I could probably write about forever. I follow recruiters on Linkedin, have been on countless interviews, and have been in the workforce long enough to see how the ecosystem functions. Yet, being the product of this ecosystem I feel I have a little insider information to share. For someone who never stayed at a job for more than 3 years; I’ve seen the faces of interviewers who feel you might have “commitment” issues when it comes to staying at a position. I’ve also seen recruiters voice their opinions both in person and via social media on the the “oh so rouge” class labeled as “Job-Hoppers.” Job-Hoppers are labeled as knowing no loyalty to a company; once they see something better they’ll take that opportunity in a heartbeat. However as a Job-Hopper, I wanted to provide a little clarity on why the workforce ecosystem is more to blame than Job-Hoppers themselves. In today’s blog lets address why Job-Hopping isn’t a personal preference, but an act of adaptation for workforce survival.

 

Money Anyone? – Sit down kids it’s story time. Travel back with me to once upon a time where people used to stay at jobs for 30+ years. That had to be a good feeling! Yet in the last 20-30 years the labor market has gone through some growing pains. With the market inundated with a Baby Boomer and Millenial mix; things got a little dicey, specifically with salaries. Somewhere down the line we ran into this issue where we still needed to pay Baby Boomers enough money to justify their career experience, but then we also have a generation who spent tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars on educations who well, expect some coin as well. What happens as a result? We know not everyone can get paid the same, something has to give. Enter the creation of Job-Hopping. The millennials aren’t going to wait to get paid what they’re worth, and aren’t willing to sit back until Baby Boomers retire; as a result they will continue to shop around until they get the opportunity and pay they demand.

 

Cost Of Living Much? – In my honest opinion I feel businesses are getting absolutely run over by the cost of living in parts of the United States. In the past ten-fifteen years: housing costs have increased, taxes have increased, student debt has increased, wages have increased… but not at the rate comparable to the aforementioned. As a result, a higher paying job isn’t a matter of a want, but a need; it’s survival. When looking at it this way it’s not hard to realize that a Job-Hopper needs to be opportunistic. As long as employers don’t give raises timely, or other incentives for their employees to stay; the turn over will continue to be high. I don’t believe you can fairly blame Job-Hoppers for consistently pursuing something better.

 

Oh, The Judgement – Job-Hoppers get a really bad reputation which I believe is through no fault of their own. Many Job-Hoppers do change jobs for money to give themselves the raises they missed out on during their past employment period. However, many Job-Hoppers get bored. This was always my personal motivation for changing jobs. Once again, I’m going to direct this back to the businesses who might have some “Job-Hoppers” on their hands. As a business, what would happen if you changed things up? What would happen if all businesses offered cross training, where their employees trained in different departments? Where associates alike would have the opportunity to move to any department they wanted? These types of things, believe it or not, spell retention (not physically, duh!). What I’m getting at is that people, no matter what stage in their careers, love opportunity. Humans like to learn, we like excitement, we like to work together towards a common goal. This is all achievable, however businesses need to look at the way they keep their associates engaged. Job-Hopping is the result of people feeling underpaid, underappreciated, and under stimulated by their work.

 

Conclusion – If you’re a recruiter or business owner reading this, the next time you look at a candidate who has more than a few jobs on their resume, I’d encourage you to dive a little deeper. It’s not that people specifically want to move job to job without knowing security; but it’s an adaptation of the environment created for them. If your goal as an employer is to stop Job-Hopping look at the ecosystem. Is your business engaging and growth oriented? How do you plan to keep your employees when just the basic benefits aren’t enough?

 

If you’re a Job-Hopper reading this, you have a simple question to ask yourself: what do you want out of your work? What is the feeling and purpose you want to leave on those around you? Until these questions are address by both sides, the ecosystem will continue to produce Job-Hoppers; the result of adaptation and survival in the workforce.

3 Reasons You Should Intern At A Small Business

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”– Martin Luther King Jr.

Internships kind of get a bad rap. There’s always that one friend whose job it is to brew coffee or run errands, while not really gaining “experience” in their area of study. Or there’s the other friend that will make crazy good money being an intern at a Fortune 500 company. When it comes to internships where’s the happy medium? I think many college graduates (or about to be graduates) feel that choosing a company to intern for is a little of an “be-all end-all” situation. If they do a really great job, the company might offer them a position. But if they intern at a not so reputable company, that might hurt their chances of landing that big gig. After all, interning at Apple or Google looks much better on a resume than any mom and pop business, right? I’m going to silent the masses and say, no. In fact, small businesses make up about 75% of the United States Economy, and interning at one might not be such a bad idea after all. In today’s blog I’m going to share my 3 reasons of why you should intern at a small business:

 

Learn Something – What is the purpose of an internship anyway? I hope you would say it’s to gain experience! There’s no better way to gain experience than working for a small business. Why is this? Because small business owners do (or at one time did) everything in that business. From ordering and accounting, to marketing and product research. They’ve built and had to succeed in every scope of business. If you ever have the opportunity to ask a small business owner questions about how they started their business, I would highly recommend to do so; and if you can intern under them that’s even better. What you’re getting by interning with a small business is a lesson in business creation. Whether you go on to work for Amazon or a small business around the corner, you’re going to have to know how the puzzle fits together.

 

Don’t Get Lost In The Mix – When I hear stories of students getting coffee or running errands for their internships it really gets me down. What do those things have anything to do with the subject matter the student is trying to learn? Unless your major is “coffee brewing” or “errand running” I don’t see a need. Each company should hold themselves accountable for teaching proper methods to their interns, and I feel most big businesses don’t quite adhere to it. I feel in bigger businesses the intern is maybe viewed at as “less than” than traditional associates or employees. Yet, in a smaller business I feel a different vibe. In a smaller business you will be put to work, because your work and help is needed. It’s not about happy hour at the end of the day; it’s about putting in an honest day’s work and learning as much as you can. This allows you to develop a certain skill set, which you can bring to the table at any business. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my professional career were from working for small businesses.

 

Connections – Something that always gets me is when I hear interning at a bigger business will get you so many more connections. I understand that, and to some point I agree with that. But what I’ve found is the number of connections doesn’t mean anything if the quality of the connection isn’t there. Let me explain: I would rather have 5 really strong connections than 100 weak ones. Connections and networking are to be used as a sense of leverage when you are looking for a position, or even another opportunity down the line. Think about the connections you have and how strong they are. If I didn’t feel I had a strong connection with someone I interned with, I couldn’t imagine reaching out to them 5 years down the road to vouch for me as a reference. When it comes to relationships it’s quality over quantity every time.

 

Conclusion – What are your thoughts on on interning at a small business? Do you think the connections you would gain at a bigger business or firm would outweigh the quality of connection you might get at a smaller business? Do you feel working directly under the CEO of a business would be a greater advantage in your future career? Let us know your thoughts and comments below we’d love to hear from you!