How to Maximize Your Potential in 2020

So you’ve put away the holiday decorations, have vowed to start that diet and get to the gym more, and are otherwise kicking off the new year. 

We all know how busy life can get and how that busyness quickly develops into a generally stable routine. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s important to consider how to maximize your potential in 2020 and thus have a better year overall.

In his classic book, “The Magic of Getting What You Want,” Dr. David Schwartz notes in chapter 11: “If we keep our present it-can’t-be-achieved attitudes toward success, continue to associate with negative people, make no positive adjustments in our attitudes, and set our sights on mediocre goals, then we are guaranteed a dull, uneventful, boring, and unrewarding future.” 

That pretty much says it all. Though that paragraph comes off as a somewhat harsh admonishment, these things bear consideration, so let’s look at a few key takeaways.

  1. Attitude Is Everything.  It’s also important to consider how to have the right attitude. Those who see the glass as half full are optimistic, work through challenges and adversity, and just have a happy countenance as they go through life are set up for success. These people will experience greater joy and satisfaction in both their work and personal lives. When trouble stops at their door, these are the people who don’t say, “Why me?” but instead, “How can I best work through this?”.  Avoid the “why” and start asking “how” to seek positive solutions.
  2. Talk to the Hand. Avoiding negative people seems basic enough, right? We shouldn’t even have to spend time on it, but the fact of the matter is you will encounter negativity and it may be in a situation where you just can’t walk away. If a coworker, for example, seems continually intent upon telling you their problems (and in doing so makes you and the entire office staff miserable), it’s best to simply say, “I need to get back to work,” and then get back to your work. This may not succeed right away, but after a while, the office-dwelling psychic vampire will get the message, and you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back for having developed a better approach on how to avoid negative energy.
  3. Aim High. Setting meaningful goals that fulfill and motivate us is a real key to advancement in all areas of life. Think of your life as a journey that you control. If you don’t have a good road map, it’s easy to get lost. Take some time to quickly jot down 10 things you’d like to see, be, do, or have in the next 12 months. Use first-person language in writing down your desires and add as much detail as you’d like. For example, if you currently weigh 200 pounds and want to lose 10 pounds over the next 3 months, state it this way: “I weigh 190 pounds.”  Then ask that magic question, “How?”. Losing 10 pounds over 90 days is .11 pounds per day. An adjustment in diet and exercise will produce excellent results, but you have to write down the goal and track your progress daily.

In “The Magic of Getting What You Want” Dr. David Schwartz goes on to say: “But if we elect to make positive adjustments in our attitudes, discover what is right, not wrong with life’s situations, make friends with people who are moving up, and set big goals for ourselves, then we are assured a large measure of happiness, joy, money, and influence.”  

Well said, Dr. Schwartz. Based on this approach, we can successfully learn how to have a positive attitude towards life.If one of your goals this new year is to find a better job or to find better employees for your organization, then consider STS Staffing. With 29 years of business experience, we are well situated to assist in either case.

6 Reasons Why Becoming a Contingent Worker Fits Your Lifestyle

Man in a blue shirt working at a garden shop surrounded by green plants
If you have ever thought the 9-to-5 grind just isn’t for you anymore, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of permanent employees lose their passion for a job — leaving them stuck twiddling their thumbs in career purgatory with a perceived “safe” position at a company that provides what employees think are good benefits.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Becoming a contingent worker could be the answer you’re looking for, whether you’ve lost the drive to perform in your current role, lost faith in your current company or just want to try something different with your career.

What Is a Contingent Worker?

A contingent worker is an individual who is not an employee of a company, but somebody who is brought in on a temporary basis either through a time-sensitive contract or on a project-by-project basis. These individuals work for themselves or through a temporary staffing service like STS Staffing, and flow from one company to the next as special assignments arise.

If your company has ever planned a big celebration for their 50th anniversary, it’s likely they hired a specialized event planner to work temporarily on throwing the important birthday bash. The party planner works for your company until the job is done, collects a paycheck and then they’re gone.

If you think it sounds like the event planner has a pretty flexible schedule, you’re right. And that’s not the only benefit. Here are 6 other contingent worker advantages.

1. Contingent Worker Rights

Now, this is a heavy topic to begin the list, but you have the right to know what you’re getting into. Many see breaking free from a company’s shadow as a risk because you’re left vulnerable and lacking benefits. However, this isn’t the case.

For starters, you have more flexibility when it comes to compensation and work hours when you’re a contingent worker. Establish what you’re worth and make sure an employer is providing you with these state and federal contingent worker rights:

  • No discrimination on the basis of race, gender and disability
  • Entitled to federal and state minimum wage and overtime pay standards
  • Must provide a safe working environment according to OSHA

While contingent workers are not eligible for the same benefits as regular employees, there are options provided by the staffing company you’d be working through. For example, STS Staffing is ACA compliant and offers health insurance for contingent workers.

2. No Degree? No Problem.

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more contingent workers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree than noncontingent workers.

We can conclude from this survey that your education level has nothing to do with whether or not you can become a contingent worker. The risk is no greater for a high school-educated person to start working as a contingent worker versus settling as a full-time employee somewhere else.

Employers looking for contingent workers only care about whether or not you can get the job done. While a college degree might look standard on a resume, it isn’t required to get an opportunity in an industry you are passionate about.
A multi-colored bar graph showing the education attainment of contingent and noncontingent workers

3. Contingent Work Can Be Found in Every Industry

As employers realize the benefit of offering contingent work on the business end, more and more jobs are sprouting up. And they’re not just manufacturing and sales jobs. Here is a list of contingent job examples:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Retail Sales Associate
  • Office Administrator
  • Seasonal Work: Snow Removal, Landscaping, etc.
  • Social Media Specialist, Marketing Assistant
  • Event Planner
  • Delivery Personnel
  • Package Handler
  • Installation/Repair Occupations

4. Build Your Skills

Contingent work is a great place to start if you’re trying to get your foot in the door of a particular industry. Whether you’re considered an intern or not, contingent work could be your introduction to a field where you can excel.

Take a social media specialist for example:
Working part-time handling social media accounts for a marketing firm will look great on a resume when — or if — you decide to apply for a full-time salaried position in the future.

Contingent work could also be your introduction into something you suddenly feel passionate about. Many human resource specialists start in office administration roles, and have climbed their way to a position with more responsibility within the HR department.

5. Flexible Options & Electronically Mediated Work

Working 9-to-5 for 40 hours a week isn’t logistically realistic for a good portion of the adult population. That’s why nearly every generation has a group of people who believe contingent work just makes sense. It makes even more sense with today’s technology — because working on a contingent basis has never been easier!

Electronically mediated work is easier for many college students, adults starting families and seniors when it comes to managing their hectic schedules. This type of work gives them more control over their lifestyle while still allowing them to collect the stable paycheck they depend on.

Of the many contingent worker advantages, not having a set time to arrive at an office is among the best benefit!

6. Long Term Potential

Contingent work isn’t for everybody. It provides the opportunity for a freer lifestyle and good pay, but some individuals may have a sudden desire for stability. Fortunately, permanent employment is still possible after you become a contingent worker.

According to the vice president of a prominent global staffing company, 40 percent of contingent workers develop into permanent employees of the companies they are contracted to work.

If you’re looking for a foot-in-the-door opportunity, becoming a contingent worker is your best bet.

Contingent Worker Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages

If you’re ready to stop twiddling your thumbs and try something different, STS Staffing can help you find contingent jobs. We have hundreds of employers posting their opportunities on our site.

STS Staffing wants to help you take the first step in becoming a contingent worker — so what are you waiting for?

How to Change Careers Successfully: 4 Easy Steps

Pen on a job application

If you’re looking to land a job in a different field, the key is making your skills transferable. If you’re a truck driver that wants to transition into CNC machining work, for example, that’s not an unreasonable stretch. You most likely have mechanical ability and other attributes necessary to work in an industrial environment. Going from truck driving to being an attorney, however, is a bit more complicated. While that kind of job change isn’t impossible, it would require much more time and schooling.

If you’re interested in getting a job in a different industry, here are four steps to success:

Step 1. Evaluate Your Current Skill Set & Abilities

Grab a pad of paper and a pen, sit down, and take stock of your overall experience. Determine how the skills and experience you’ve gained, to date, can transfer into another field or an elevated role in your current line of work.

Step 2. Network

Get some first-hand reports from the front lines by speaking with those already engaged in the work you’re interested in. Put together a list of questions you want to ask, such as:

1. What do they do in a typical day?
2. What type of training was required?
3. What do they love best about what they do?
4. What don’t they like about what they do?

No job is perfect, but if you determine that those who have gone before you in your field of interest are enjoying career fulfillment, then you have a good benchmark to work with.

Step 3. Take action

Once you’ve determined your strengths and abilities and thoroughly investigated your target career choice in terms of what it entails, put a plan into play and get the education or training necessary to meet the minimum requirements of the industry. In tandem with this, reach out to companies and potential employers about your interest in the work they do.

4. Consult the Experts

Ask for any additional advice or even an informational interview to discuss the industry and your specific interest with someone in the position or field you desire. Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in that field of work, what previous skills you bring to the table, and to sell your enthusiasm for their industry.
In our ever-changing world, there are many who have stepped out and found meaningful jobs in new industries. There are no limits as long as you rely on your imagination, drive, and desire to make your life better. So don’t be afraid to take a leap and make a change with the help of these steps on how to apply for a job outside your field. You may surprise yourself!

If you’re interested in getting a job outside your industry, contact the experts at STS Staffing today!

Reasons Why You Should Consider a Seasonal Job for the Holidays

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and Christmas quickly approaching, this is an ideal time to look into earning extra cash through a seasonal job.

During this time of year, many businesses need extra help to get them through the holiday rush. Consider all the possibilities available to gain short-term employment:

  1. Retail stores (clerks, sales associates, warehouse helpers, shipping/receiving, gift wrapping)
  2. Christmas tree lots
  3. Snow shoveling & removal
  4. Delivery driver and/or driver’s helper
  5. Restaurant staff (hosts, servers, bartenders, bussers, dishwashers, catering, cooks)
  6. Hospitality (hotels, resorts, ski areas, holiday events, janitorial work)

There are many reasons why you should consider a seasonal job for the holidays. Not only can you earn additional money for gifts, but you can also receive discounts from retailers as a full-time, or even part-time, seasonal employee. It’s truly a win-win.

Other advantages come in the form of new work experiences and networking with supervisors and other employees to expand your circle of contacts and influence. Serving others during the holiday season always tends to bring out the true spirit of Christmas as well!

For more information about seasonal part-time and full-time jobs during the holidays, feel free to contact your nearest STS Staffing location to see what type of work fits your skills, background, and schedule.

The 3 Most Important Soft Skills for Your Job Search

After 26 years in the staffing and placement industry, STS Staffing is often asked by our job seeking candidates to provide tips on how to best “package” and present their skills, abilities, and previous work/life experience when catching the attention of hiring managers at top companies.

You already know what your “hard skills” are, right? These are the culmination of education and hands-on experience you have in your chosen line of work. Earning a 4-year technical degree from a highly rated university, and 2 years of real world experience in robotics, programming or engineering speaks for itself. But what can you present as your “soft skills?”

Soft skills can be loosely defined as the things about you that may not be as easy to quantify as hard skills, but are no less vital to your professional success. Let’s consider 3 important soft skills to have in your job.

  1. Social Intelligence: Various definitions abound, but we would describe social intelligence as your ability to interact and function well in a working group. Think of past work assignments where your input in a department setting was vital to a design review or product development effort, and convey that during an interview. Being able to consider others’ views, offer useful suggestions, and “critique without crushing” (while still selling your own ideas), is a true art. It’s one that propels those who master it to a higher chain of command.
  2. Being Likeable: Likeability at the office, or anywhere else for that matter, is one of the most important soft skills for your job search, and on the job, to give you an edge. Your ability to interact in a friendly and social manner with those around you will do more to insure your place in an organization aside from your work. But don’t confuse likeability with being phony or false. Just be your happy self, particularly in an interview. You should always strive to be agreeable, cheerful, and whenever possible, SMILE. An outgoing, calm confidence, genuine interest in others, and helpfulness will make you likeable to most people, and it’s particularly important during your interview.
  3. Go the Extra Mile: Success in business and life is often a matter of “going the extra mile.” What does that mean? Well, it starts as a mindset that tends to manifest itself in the physical world. If, as a Sales Rep for example, your quota is 10 new appointments each week, but you make a commitment to “go the extra mile” and do 15, you’re that much further ahead in landing a new account and generating revenue for your organization. Going the extra mile means working until 6pm when everyone else leaves at 5pm. You miss a lot of the rush hour traffic, and the extension of your work day by a full hour is always a good investment in your success. However you choose to “go the extra mile” will always pay great dividends in the long run. Before your interview, think of ways in which you have gone that extra mile, and make sure you inject those examples into your meeting with the hiring manager.