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Three Ways to Avoid Burnout

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It’s no secret that Millenials are actually workaholics—but this tendency to be a “work martyr” has a debilitating side effect: burnout. Burnout is a type of job stress that comes with physical, mental, and/or emotional exhaustion and doubts about your competence or importance at work, and it can have a significant impact on employee productivity, performance, and overall happiness with their jobs.

But never fear! If you notice yourself starting to experience the symptoms of burnout, there are ways to get ahead of it. Here are three tips to avoid burnout and stay happy and productive on the job.

1.       Switch up your lunch routine
It sounds simple, but something as simple as switching up where you go for lunch (or actually going to lunch, if you usually work through it), getting outside and taking a walk, or doing a quick lunchtime workout can do wonders for your health and motivation. You’ll come back to work feeling clear-headed and refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day.
 

2.       Ask for new responsibilities
It may be counterintuitive, but asking for a new responsibility at work may help you feel like your work is more important or valued—one of the key indicators of burnout. Volunteering to help with an upcoming event, starting an office-wide incentive program, or even offering to help your boss with that report that’s due at the end of the week can help you feel like your work is more important and give you something to look forward to.
 

3.       Take your vacation days
Millenials are more likely to forfeit their vacation time compared to other generations—24% of millennials gave up the time off they’d earned (compared to 19% of GenXers and 17% of Baby Boomers). But people who use their vacation days are happier and more productive at work. So book that cruise, plan a road trip, or even have a stay-cation with some cozy blankets and your Netflix queue. Your boss will (probably) thank you.

Have you experienced burnout on the job? What tactics helped you overcome it? 

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“Do You Have any Questions for Us?”

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You’ve made it through the bulk of the interview – you had a solid answer to the classic “tell me about yourself,” breezed through the technical questions (hopefully), showed the interviewers that you’d be a great cultural fit through your sparkling sense of humor, and now they’re politely staring at you asking “do you have any questions for us?”

Instead of folding up your padfolio and saying “no, I think that’s everything,” take advantage of this opportunity to learn a little more about the role and the company—and give the interviewers another great reason to remember your name. Here are five starting places for great questions to ask your interviewers:

 

 

Company Research

Check out the company’s website and any news that’s been released about them recently, and use it to formulate questions. Did they recently acquire another company? Ask about the transition. Launch a new product? Ask about the development process. Showing the interviewers that you’re knowledgeable about the company’s current events is a great way to demonstrate your interest.

Refer to an Earlier Topic

Reference back to something you discussed earlier in the interview (or in a previous phone interview) that could benefit from some further clarification. Did they ask how big of a team you’d worked on in your current job? Ask what size team you’d be working on. Did they ask you about challenges you’ve faced while working on a project? Ask what challenges they currently have on the project (or anticipate having on a new project). Show that you’ve been paying attention and are curious about the project.

Think About Workplace Culture

Ask the interviewer to take you through “a day in the life” at the company. Are people usually at their desks working by 7:45 or are they still wandering in at 8:15? Quiet around lunchtime or do people work through lunch? Are there all-department meetings once a week? This is a great way to get the interviewers talking honestly and openly about the culture so you can determine whether your personality would be a good fit.

Talk About the Project

If you’re interviewing for a spot on a specific team or working on a specific project, use this opportunity to learn everything you can about it. You don’t want to be a month in to your six-month contract only to find out that the project doesn’t interest you at all. Ask about the people leading it, the end product or goal, and the motivations for doing the project. If you know the scope ahead of time, you’re more likely to follow it through to completion. And if the scope or timeline doesn’t sound realistic, you can bring it up in advance and avoid a headache later.

Get (Appropriately) Personal

Ask the interviewers for their opinions – why do they love working for this company? What do they look forward to when they come to work every day? What’s the coolest thing they’ve ever done as part of their job? This is another great way to get down to the true culture of the company, and give you a sense of what your interviewers (and potential new managers) value about their jobs.

Want more tips for how to successfully interview for your dream job? Contact one of our recruiters today!
 

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Thank You Note Tips & Tricks

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One of the easiest and most forgotten methods to show a hiring manager that you are truly interested in a position after an interview is writing a thank you letter. Although the business world has become less formal over the years, CareerBuilder did a survey proving the importance of this simple step in the interviewing process. According to this survey, managers are 22% less likely to hire a candidate if they do not send a thank you letter after the interview, 56% of supervisors feel like they are less serious about the position, and 86% of employers feel like it shows a lack of follow-through.  So, as you can tell by the data we need to make this a priority after interviewing to show interest and convey the right work ethic.

 

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEND THE EMAIL:

It is highly recommended to send the email within 24 hours of the interview. This is because the interview is still fresh in the hiring manager’s mind and it will allow you a chance to prove that you are a great fit for the role and the company.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE THANK YOU LETTER:

First and foremost, thank the interviewer(s) for their time and express interest in the role and possibility of joining the team/company. If there was something that you agreed on with the hiring manager during the interview that seems important to them, make sure to include this because it will reiterate the fact that you are a good fit for the role and will be a great culture fit.  Next, express why you think that you would be a great fit for the position. For example, include information about your technical and soft skills that are important to the role according to what you heard during the interview and what skill sets they are looking for according to the job description.

On the other hand, we know that all interviews do not go smoothly and sometimes we get tripped up on questions and contemplate about how we wish we would have answered a question another way. This is the perfect opportunity to reference the question you didn’t answer to the best of your ability and show the hiring manager that you are a good fit for the role.

HOW TO USE YOUR RECRUITER:

There are a couple of ways you can use your recruiter in this process. One way that may come to mind is having them send the thank you letter on your behalf to the hiring manager. This is a great way to keep your recruiter in the loop of all the communication that is occurring between you and the hiring manager throughout the interview process. Likewise, if the hiring manager gave you their contact information during the interview and you want to reach out directly it is strongly recommended to copy the recruiter on the email so everyone is on the same page.

Another way to use your recruiter is to have them check your thank you letter for spelling and grammatical errors. If there is a mistake in the thank you letter it could depreciate the overall impression the hiring manager may have of you. Take advantage of having a recruiter and let them help you throughout the entire interview and hiring process!


 

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Coding4Kindness

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It is that time of the year again for the Coding4Kindness annual event! Anchor Point was honored to help Salesforce and AgileForce earlier this week for the first time with this event. Salesforce’s 1-1-1 philanthropy model was truly inspiring to participate in and witness as brilliant team members worked with local, non-profit organizations to assist with technology solutions. This 12-hour hackathon involved anything from email template designs to assisting with company website issues so that businesses could conduct business more efficiently.

The event was held in a large conference room in the Gibson building in downtown Indianapolis where the non-profit representatives met with product owners, scrum masters, developers, designers, and other professionals to get their products implemented and meet their business needs. Each representative explained what the product was and what they wanted the end goal to be. Once that was established, the various team members collaborated, came up with a game plan, and hacked away to meet their goals.

Throughout the day, Anchor Point ensured that Salesforce volunteers were rewarded for all of their hard work and had a lot of fun doing it! We did this by holding tournaments for foosball, ping pong, and pool and participating in raffle drawings with great prizes. Furthermore, the day was filled with yummy goodies including candy, doughnuts, cupcakes, a burger bar, and an amazing Hawaiian barbecue dinner.

We had an amazing time helping Salesforce employees, and we cannot say enough about how incredible they are and how much of an impact this event will have on the organizations and the community. 

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When Can You Wear Jeans to an Interview?

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Congratulations! You just received the phone call saying the hiring manager would like to have an onsite interview with you. You immediately start thinking about questions you want to ask the hiring manager, preparing answers for questions they may ask you, and getting familiar with the company. Now it is time to consider one of the most important parts of the interview: your attire.

It’s been said a million times that first impressions can make or break the job interview, and this is becoming even more important with so many types of industries, company cultures, dress codes, etc. They may have even told you that it is better to be overdressed than underdressed, but this old adage may not be as sound as it once was. Since business casual has become increasing popular, some managers may not want to consider you for the position if you are too overdressed or underdressed.  So what should you wear to the job interview?

With so many resources on the internet, you should take time to research the company’s culture, values, and dress code. If you notice that the workplace is still on the conservative side, you will want to wear the traditional suit and tie for males or a pant suit or skirt for females. On the other hand, if the company is on the informal side and they tend to wear jeans and a tee shirt to work there are several options. For males, it is recommended to wear khakis or nice pair of jeans (darker wash, no holes and not faded) and a nice button down or polo to an interview. Moreover, women can still lean towards a nice pair of jeans and top but it is also recommended to wear slacks and a nice top or casual dress.  

 

 

With so many options, how do you know when it is appropriate to wear the jeans to the job interview?  This should come down to the position that you applied to. If you are interviewing for a managerial role or business-facing position, such as a project manager or business analyst, it is recommended to wear khakis and a button down or polo for men or slacks and a nice top or casual dress for women. If you have an interview for a technical position and will not be business facing, it is appropriate to wear jeans and a nicer top or casual dress to the job interview.

 

 

 

 

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If you are worried about looking too underdressed, wear a business casual outfit. Remember, you are going on a job interview and need to impress the hiring manager but also need to make sure that you look the part and look like a good culture fit. Dress to impress so you can get the job offer you want! 

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Two Traits Hiring Managers Look For (That Aren't On Your Resume)

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You've found the perfect job, written a stellar resume and a captivating cover letter, and have landed the interview. You're dressed to impress and know that your skills match the position description perfectly--but what else is the hiring manager looking for? What won't they see on your resume?

Hiring managers evaluate candidates on much more than just their technical skills. The interview process should bring out more than just your hard skills--it should also include who you are as a member of the team. More than anything else, the in-person interview is a way for the manager, and the team member, to evaluate how you fit into the existing puzzle. Here are two traits that hiring managers will look for in your interview that they won't find on your resume, and that we have heard over and over for the past couple years.

First, Passion. Early in my recruiting career, a hiring manager told me – “you can’t train passion,” He is right. There are a lot of skills that can be trained, but passion is not one of them. How do you show passion? Be excited about what you’ve done. We know work isn’t always exciting, so show your enthusiasm by mentioning hobbies you enjoy outside of the office. I once sat in on an interview where a 25-year-old candidate was so excited about knitting that I considered learning to knit.

Second, ask good questions. It shows you are intrinsically curious and helps build rapport with the interviewer. Recently, someone told me they asked the interviewer, “who is your hero in the company?" This question alone will make a candidate be memorable and show they are interested in more than surface-level information.

There are a lot of ways in which you can be memorable and set yourself apart, these are just a couple things we’ve heard from multiple hiring managers at organizations across Indy.  

Ashley Reller is an account manager in our Indianapolis office. You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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3 Productivity Tips to Keep the Momentum Going

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Congratulations! It’s the last week of January 2016, and we’re positive you haven’t broken any of those New Year’s Resolutions yet. But just in case you’re starting to feel the creep of procrastination throughout the work day, try out these three tips to get yourself back on track.
 
1. Plan your day the night before.
 
We’ve all been there. You’re rushing into the office after dealing with traffic and you open your email and you’ve got 15 new messages to respond to, and already your boss is asking you for something. Before you know it, it’s noon and you haven’t started on what you meant to accomplish today.
 
Taking 10 minutes at the end of your day to write out your tasks and goals for the following day, perhaps even going so far as to schedule when you’ll work on each, can save you a lot of sanity. Give yourself leeway to respond to urgent matters as they come up, but stick to your task list as much as possible. Writing your list of to-do items down while it’s still in your head will make you much less likely to forget tasks and miss deadlines.
 
2. Tackle difficult tasks early.
 
A friend has a quote pinned to his desk: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” It’s his daily reminder that all of the things he doesn’t want to do—or may be afraid to do—will end up being the most rewarding. Get these things out of the way early and see how the rest of your day changes when you’re not dreading them anymore.
 
Schedule these things early in the day—once you’ve had your coffee—and eliminate distractions while you’re doing them. Send your phone to voicemail, close the Facebook tab, and focus all of your energy on getting whatever it is done. Reward yourself with a little break, a fresh cup of coffee, and a walk once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
 
3. Set realistic expectations.
 
It can be easy when you’re creating your task list to just do a “brain dump” and write down everything you can think of that needs to be accomplished. But putting all of that on your list for one day, then leaving many things unstarted, can be a major hit on our self-esteem and lead us to think we’re not being as productive as we are. 
 
Do the brain dump, but then realistically estimate what you can get done in your day. Leave only those things on your list, then commit yourself to getting them done. Then keep the other list as the backup, just in case you’re more productive than you thought you could be!
 
With just a bit of organization and planning, days can go from chaotic to controlled, and we can all go from procrastinator to productivity master. What are your best productivity tips? Let us know on Twitter at @AnchorPointTR!
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How to Succeed at Networking Events

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Networking—such a feared word, but why? Networking is the most beneficial way to grow your career and your circle of contacts. We do not like networking events because it’s hard to see the benefits of the pre-arranged “Hello, my name is,” super-awkward networking events. And after two very long hours, you leave with two useless business cards. As recruiters, we’re outgoing, have high energy levels, and can honestly talk to a tree, but networking events can bring out the timid, uncomfortable version of ourselves. We go into networking events optimistic and excited, but leave feeling like they were a waste of time. We like the idea of networking more than networking itself.

 

But networking is vital to both personal growth and career development. Your network, or your circle of friends and associates, is a group that you can personally draw energy from and keeps you going. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals brings career growth and ambition. Building high quality relationships with your peers is fundamental to your career. Whether you are networking for a new job, career advancement, business development, referrals, or personal growth, it does not matter—interacting and connecting peer-to-peer is important! The concept and definition of networking has probably been beaten into your head and is a word you do not want to hear, but maybe if we looked at networking in a new light, you can take advantage of the relationships you built.

 

Networking can create new opportunities, find new connections (when you meet someone new you are also building a connection with their network too), and building your own self-confidence. The more you network, the more comfortable you become with the idea.

 

Here are some of our tips, tricks, and pointers to look at networking in an unconventional way!

 

First, you must create a plan. Why are you networking and how do you accomplish it successfully? 
It’s a new year and a great time to get a plan in motion, but building a plan is essential to your success. Set networking goals for 2016 and create a plan so that you can accomplish those goals! This step is largely over looked or people usually just “wing it” and improvise. There are several questions you can yourself to create your plan: Who do I want to meet? Where can I meet them? How do I create the foundation for a relationship? You can answer these questions very broadly or very specifically, but figure out your goals for networking and that will help you create your networking plan. 

 

Second, networking can be done anywhere. 

 

There are formal and informal network settings, and use both to your advantage. There are daily routine situations that present a way to meet new people—these are those “right place right time” situations, and if we take advantage of those situations that we can grow our circle of peers. The most successful networkers do not just network through traditional approaches, but connect with others through their daily routines. Initiate a random conversation in the grocery store, coffee shop, or airport. Jump into a conversation and introduce yourself. 
On the other hand, attend the formal networking events. Use the plan that you created to meet the right people and learn the right things about those around you. Set a goal and make sure to attend events each month! Find events that will benefit you that are related to your industry or field. There are so many online resources you can use to find groups of people that have common interests, so use those sites for your benefit! (One of our favorites is meetup.com.)

 

Third, work to build lasting relationships. Ever heard the song, “make new friends, but keep the old”? The same goes with your connections! Networking can bring in a lot of new connections and help build new relationships, but make sure to grow those relationships and build deeper relationships. Follow up with coffee and lunch, send thank you notes, keep in touch, and stay connected. Make sure you check in with your contacts; you do not need a reason to reach out. In today’s world, keeping up with relationships is so easy with social media and email, so use those outlets to benefit your relationships. And don’t forgot about meeting people for lunch or sending something through the mail—that’s how you can stand out.

 

Fourth, make the time! All of us have found events and planned on attending different local networking groups, but always make excuses because we are too busy! If you say you are too busy, it’s time to rethink your priorities. With everything on your plate between work life and personal life, networking does not seem important. Take the time, whether it is one event a month or every other week. And when you are not at a formal networking setting, create new contacts! 

 

Lastly, do not have rules! You have a plan and goals you want to accomplish, but do not set guidelines or bounders for yourself! If you create a script, you will be more worried about following that then paying attention to the conversation. Know your plan, but let conversation flow. The more you put yourself out there the more comfortable you will feel! Start working on it with close friends and then branch out. The more you do it, the more confidence you will have in yourself.

 

Networking is a powerful tool, but very few people are naturals. The more you network, the more natural you will become. If anything can be taught, the lesson of putting yourself out there takes the cake. You never know where one introduction can lead!

 

Mary Margaret Autry is a recruiter in our Louisville office. You can find her on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

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How to Make New Year's Resolutions That You'll Actually Keep

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The New Year is always full of high hopes for making big changes in our lives. But as most people can attest, come February the gym is notoriously empty as New Year’s Resolutioners give up. Despite our best intentions, the sad truth is that for most of us, our resolutions fall by the wayside as we get pulled back into the hustle and bustle of life.

So how can we be better about keeping our New Year’s Resolutions? Whether they’re personal or work-related, a few simple shifts of habit and thinking can go a long way into helping you achieve your goals in the coming year.

Spread the Love. There are many different aspects to your life, and your New Year’s resolutions should cover all of them. Setting too many health, financial, or business goals can be overwhelming. Think about how you want to improve each area of your life, and set a specific goal for each.

Break it Down. Losing 30 pounds can be intimidating. But losing 5 pounds a month for 6 months? Much more manageable. Breaking down lofty resolutions into smaller milestones can help you see your goals as much more achievable—and gives you more reasons to celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

Write them Down. We’ve all had the (embarrassing) moment where we say “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember,” and then promptly forgotten. Writing down your goals—and their deadlines—makes you that much more likely to accomplish them. Whether you carry a planner, put it on your phone, or make reminders in your Gmail calendar, write your resolutions down and look at them frequently.

Grab a Friend. If you have trouble staying accountable, having a friend committed to the same goals as you can help you stay on track. Whether they’re coming with you to the gym every week or just sending you a text to check in on your savings plan, a friend can keep you motivated to make those milestones.

Celebrate Success. Big or small, accomplishing a goal is a big deal! Celebrate the small milestones along the way and recognize every achievement. You’re much more likely to continue your progress when you’re still feeling the happy memories from the last celebration.

If any of your New Year’s Resolutions this year involve finding a great new job, Anchor Point’s recruiters are here to help. Drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to help you start the new year off right!

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5 Perfect Gifts for Everyone at the Office

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5 Perfect Gifts for Everyone in the Office (For Under $15)

The holiday season is officially here, and that means it’s the season of gift exchanges, white elephant gifts, and office parties. Picking the perfect present can be daunting, especially when buying for your boss or coworkers, so here are a couple of ideas to take away the stress of shopping and bring out the joy this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.       The Dash of Inspiration.

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Who couldn’t use an extra dose of motivation with their morning cup of joe? The internet is practically bursting with coffee mugs with every possible saying or image, all it takes is a little searching to find the perfect one. Think about the person who will be receiving it when choosing your saying or image so it’s extra meaningful to them. Bonus points for filling it with their favorite candy, tea bags, instant coffee, etc.
 

2.       The Stress Reliever.

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Paper Source)

Everyone has the coworker who’s incredibly stressed out all the time. Help them chill out with a coloring book (or in this case, calendar), to let them unwind whenever they need a mental beak. Bonus points to this one from Paper Source, which doubles as a desktop calendar and daily doodle.
 

3.       The After-Work Sipper.

(Image via ModCloth)

 

For the cocktail (and/or literature) enthusiast, “Tequila Mockingbird,” a book of literary-inspired cocktails, is the perfect gift. The pun-filled cocktails include the “Moby-Drink” and the “Gin Eyre,” and it’s sure to keep your coworkers laughing as they mix up an after-work treat. Bonus points for including the ingredients to make your favorite one.

 

4.       The Lunch Savior.

(Image via UncommonGoods)

For the coworker who’s constantly working through lunch or reheating leftovers, these reusable grilled cheese bags let them take a plain cheese sandwich and the office toaster and magically transform them into a perfectly toasted, comforting, gooey grilled cheese sandwich. (And we bet it’ll smell much better than those burned Pizza Rolls.)
 

5.       The Coffee Keeper

(Image via Mr. Coffee)

Finally, no more yucky cold coffee at the bottom of your cup! For the coworker who needs a caffeine IV drip, this is the next-best option. This desktop coffee warmer keeps your mug warm all day and keeps you fully caffeinated at all times.

The season of giving doesn’t have to be stressful! A bit of thought and a little searching can yield some fabulous—and thoughtful—presents for bosses, coworkers, and employees that make them feel appreciated and valued all year long.

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