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Plants to Brighten Your Office Space

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Plants to Brighten Your Office Space

As you can imagine, aside from the aesthetic benefits, having plants in your office space can provide numerous other benefits to your work habits and work environment. If you’ve always wanted to decorate your space with greenery, but were concerned about caring for them, I’ll present you with some alternatives that can give some of the benefits without the hassle.

Succulents

Depending on your confidence in maintaining even a low maintenance plant, you may consider a fake succulent.

They brighten your office space, without the worry of sustaining it! Don’t feel bad, sustaining ourselves is hard enough.

  

Fake succulents can be found almost anywhere right now. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls tend to have some cute, affordable options, while you can also find some higher-end options elsewhere. Ikea also has a wide variety of attractive, fake plants between $5.00-$10.00.

If you do feel comfortable owning a low maintenance succulent, you might consider a cactus, aloe, or a snake plant, if you’re into the taller types. If you prefer the shorter succulents, echeveria comes in a huge variety of shapes and colors.
Care for these guys typically requires as much light as possible, a hearty amount of water (but given less frequently), and drainage. If you don't have access to a window, you may consider a specialty light to help stimulate growth.

Air Plants

Air plants are very trendy right now. Pop these guys in a bowl of water for about 25 minutes once to three times per week and they’re all set. They live best in indirect light, but also do well in fluorescent work lighting. They can be housed in a number of unique ways. A cute animal planter adds a pop of color to a montone work day while white ceramic or a cork can do the job in minimalist fashion.
 


Bamboo
Another relatively forgiving plant is bamboo. Requiring *minimal watering* and indirect sunlight, bamboo will stay with you for years, giving you a low-maintenance option for your desk. A few stalks of this plant can be simply set in water or water beads, or multiple stalks can be arranged uniquely in a bed of rocks. The options are limitless.

 

Unique/Multi-Purpose Plant Holders

Whether you’re looking for real or fake plants, multi-purpose plant holders can usually house either, and can provide you with a little extra support! If not for the productivity or stress-relieving benefits, having a plant is a great excuse to show your style, whether it be in the form of a nerdy Groot or Mario planter or a cute and stylish mint phone dock planter.
 

 

Happy Planting!

 
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Tailoring Your Resume For The Job You Want

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You've just made the conscious decision to find a new job. Maybe it was that third weekend in a row of mandatory overtime, the 45 minute commute in gridlock traffic, the overbearing boss, or maybe you just wanted a change of scenery. Whatever your reason for looking for a new job is, your search always starts in the same place. 
The resume.

The resume is the most powerful tool that a job seeker has to help them find a new position. Hiring managers look at dozens, if not hundreds of resumes every week, so creating a resume that accurately reflects not only your skills, but also your potential, is key. Here are three easy steps that will help you build the resume that hiring managers are searching for. 
 
Step 1: Build a resume "backbone". This should be the meat and potatoes that all resumes need on them; name, location, phone number, email, education, certifications, employment history, position details, hard skills, and soft skills. Find a simple, yet aesthetic, template from a quick google search and build from there. 
 
Step 2: Find a job you want and identify the "core competencies".  Read through the full job description to get a firm understanding of what they are looking for. Usually the first few bullets under "Job Qualifications" are the most crucial. Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes and think of what an "ideal candidate" would look like. 
 
Step 3: You want your resume to jump out to your potential employer, so tailor your resume to reflect your relevant experience. Once again, the purpose of a resume is to show the hiring manager you have the skills necessary to excel in this position. 
 
For example: You are applying for a marketing role. In your last position you were an Administrator, but did all of the company's marketing as well. In your "backbone resume" you've highlighted your administration experience, but left out most of your marketing experience. If you don't tailor your resume, the manager will never know this! Don't just add a few marketing bullets under that position, but really dig into how you handled the marketing responsibilities and how that experience is transferable and applicable to this new role. Make these bullets as visible as possible so the hiring manager doesn't have to dig for them. 
 
Following these steps may take a bit more effort on your part while applying for positions, but it will also get you a lot more interviews and a lot more job offers! 
 
Happy Hunting!
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Three Reasons Never to Accept a Counter-Offer

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Picture this: You just landed a great new job, one that is a vertical move in your career with a pay increase. How much better could it get? You accept the offer, and now you have to put in your notice at your current job. You’ve written your resignation letter and you’ve practiced what you are going to say. It’s nerve-wracking, but you gather your thoughts, go into your supervisor’s office, and resign.  Surprisingly, your boss makes a counter-offer, offering you a higher salary to stay at your current job. This may make you feel great and wanted, but I’m about to give you three reasons to say “No, thank you.” 

1. There’s a reason you were looking for a new job.

Think about how you got here, well-thought-out reasons that became deal-breakers for you. Maybe you were feeling undervalued. Maybe you are underpaid. Maybe your commute was too long. Maybe you were unhappy with the work environment. Or, maybe you were just looking for a step up in your career. 

If you accept a counter offer, how will any of those things change? Yes, you will be making more money, but you will still be doing the same job at the same place. You won’t be valued any more than you were. Your commute won’t change, and you won’t be making any vertical moves in your career. An increase in pay won't fix the issues that made you look for another job in the first place. 

2. Broken trust = less job security.

Your boss now knows you wanted to leave. This absolutely will affect your relationship and how much he or she trusts you. This could affect the amount or type of work you are given, and any potential promotions in the future. You may also end up getting overloaded with extra, unwanted work. Do you think managers will give the exciting and important work to someone they don’t trust? 

And with that broken trust comes less job security.  Because your boss now knows you wanted to leave, you may have just moved to the top of the expendable list. If any issues arise with the work you are involved in, you may be the first to go. 

You should also consider that your company could be looking for your replacement. You’ve expressed interested in leaving, so they could be looking for someone that they can count on for the long term.

3. Statistics.

If my first two reasons weren’t convincing enough, just take a look at the statistics. According to the National Employment Association, 80 percent of people who accept a counter-offer end up leaving within six months. They either leave voluntarily because nothing has changed, or they get let go. 

Changing jobs can be a scary and exciting time. A counter-offer is exciting and makes you feel wanted. Who doesn’t want to feel wanted? Enjoy that feeling, but know your value and focus on your long-term goals.  

Finally, it’s best not to approach job changes without sound advice. Remember that your recruiter is always there to talk through counter-offers and answer any questions you have. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out. Your recruiter will help you to focus on the facts and make the best decision for your career. 

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How To Nail Your Video Interview

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Finally! You get that interview request you’ve been waiting on for the past two weeks. Good for you, but that was the easy part. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for your interview to ensure a well-received and memorable experience for the employer, putting you at the top of the candidate list.

Interviews can be overwhelming, then throw in the request for a video interview and you could be scrambling to educate yourself on the dos and don'ts of a proper video interview presence. Don’t panic, it’s really not so different from an in-person interview.

You can resume the normal level of interview panic, because these tips will put you at ease, at least for the virtual part. (Seriously though, don’t panic at all, you’ll do great!)
 

  1. Find an Ideal Environment: Establishing a distraction-free environment for your interview is vital. Ensure you will be alone so as to avoid background noise. The more organized and minimalistic your background is, the better. If you can place yourself in front of a plain wall, the interviewer will be able to focus on you, and not what’s behind you. If you absolutely do not have the capacity to be in front of a plain wall, at least ensure that your surrounding environment is neat and tidy. This will show the employer that you are capable of organization and understand the importance of it in a professional environment.
     

  1. Lighting: Set up good lighting! Sit in a brightly lit room or set up lamps near you to make sure the interviewers can see your face. If you look like you’re about to tell a scary campfire story, you need to adjust. You want your face to be well-lit and seen. This video has some helpful ideas for setting that up in your home or office.
     

  1. Check Your Tech: Ensure a smooth start to your interview by testing your video equipment in advance, multiple times. Check your camera, your audio, and make sure your computer is plugged in or charged and is not expecting any updates. The longer the delay in your interview because of technical issues on the candidate’s end, the more frustration can build, causing a potentially negative experience. You want to be memorable, but not because of a difficult interview.
    Most importantly, have a backup plan!

     

  1. Dress the Part: Having a virtual interview doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas. Dress as if you were interviewing in person, not only to look presentable for the potential employer, but also to feel presentable and confident. While you’re choosing your outfit in advance, research the company to get a feel for their culture. Overdressing or underdressing can be a sign that you haven’t prepared properly.
    Bonus Tip: Be mindful of your color/pattern choices for the camera! Avoid white, pure black, and overly bright colors. These will not pair well with your lighting and can be distracting or wash you out. Busy patterns are never a good choice for the camera. Try wearing softer, more solid colors, such as blue.

     

  1. Interview Time: It’s time for your interview! You’re dressed to impress, in a distraction-free, well-lit environment and your equipment is all working fine. This part is surprisingly not unlike an in-person interview. You’re about to begin your mission of proving why you’re the ideal candidate for this position to the employer.
    Here are some important tips to remember during the interview:

    1. Silence your phone

    2. Maintain “eye-contact”

      1. While you can’t physically lock eyes with the interviewer, look directly into the camera while speaking rather than at yourself or the interviewer.

    3. Be mindful of your non-verbal cues

      1. Body language will still be read, just as it would be in a physical interview. Be alert and professional, avoid fidgeting and getting distracted.

    4. Let your personality shine.

      1. Employers aren’t just looking for someone who’s technically capable. They want an addition to the team, someone who has interpersonal skills.
         

Just as you would in a physical interview, thank them for their time, and then follow the standard “after-interview” process.
 

First impressions may not be everything, but they’re certainly important. Your video interview should not differ from an in-person interview in the sense that you should showcase yourself and prove your worth to the company. While you might be the most experienced and qualified candidate, if you don’t stand out in a personable way, you might be overlooked.
 

Never hesitate to reach out to us to practice a video interview or ask questions.
 

Good luck!

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So You’ve Interviewed. Now What?

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What you do after an interview is just as important as the interview itself. Here are some tips to navigate this phase, starting before you’ve even said goodbye to your interviewer.

1. Thank them


Seems obvious, but some applicants forget this in their haste. Don’t. If you liked what you heard, tell them.

2. Ask about the next steps in the process


Some companies have many rounds of interviews. Some are more deliberative in their decision making. Some companies will ask you to do a coding challenge or complete some kind of form. Most interviewers won’t give you a yes-or-no before you walk out the door, but any information they can give you on what comes next can help. If the next step is a long onsite interview you need to squeeze into your busy schedule, start thinking about how you’ll make that work.

3. Get the names of everyone you met with


These may be your coworkers one day, so it’s good to remember them. This is especially true if the interviewer would be your direct supervisor or peer. Plus, you may come across them at the next networking event (or your recruiter may!).

4. Write down some notes


This follows the previous step, and it’s vital. It helps you gather your thoughts. If you’re interviewing with multiple places, it helps you keep track of everything. It can also help you prepare for your next interview or even your first day on the job. If they mention a tool you’ve never heard of or a product they’re working on that seems interesting, look it up! Walking into your next encounter with them and telling them you’ve done some research shows that you’re an inquisitive employee and reaffirms your interest in them.

5. Call your recruiter


When my candidates interview for a role, I’m almost as anxious and excited as they are. Don’t keep me in suspense! Recap everything in as much detail as you can. It will help me prepare you for the next step in your process, myself for the next conversation with the hiring manager, and future candidates who (if all goes well) want to ace their interview for the next position on the team you’re about to join.

Be honest with me. If you liked what you heard, tell me. If you have questions or concerns, I want to know those too. Some questions I can answer directly, others I may forward on to the hiring manager. Obviously, I want to be the one to get you your next position, but I don’t want unhappy candidates to take jobs they aren’t excited about. Let’s have the conversation sooner as opposed to later.

6. Write a thank-you email


You may forget to write Aunt Sally thanking her for that sweater she got you for Christmas, but don’t forget this thank-you note! For it to be effective, it should be sent within 24 hours of your interview. Get it to your recruiter for them to forward on. Your note should include the following things (each 1-2 sentences):

a.) A general statement of thanks for their time and the opportunity to learn about the position
b.) One thing you really liked hearing
c.) Why you think you would be a good fit for the role
d.) (Optional) If you have anything you want to expand on—if there’s something you were blanking out on during the interview or wish you could talk more about, or if you want to link to a GitHub or portfolio, this is your chance.
e.) Thank them again, and tell them you look forward to hearing about the next steps
 
7. Be patient and responsive


The waiting game is tough and hard to predict. It could be a day or a couple weeks before you hear back, depending on things that are entirely out of your control. As your recruiter, I’m just as eager to get fast, positive feedback as you are! As soon as I hear something, I’ll let you know so you can get a jump on whatever scheduling or paperwork comes next. So, pick up when I call. And, keep me posted on what’s going on with you. If other positions come across your radar or things change at your current job, I want to know about it. Communication is key!

The post-interview phase can be nerve wracking, but there are some things you can do to get through it. Remember, your recruiter is there to help at every step of the way. Good luck!

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ANCHOR Values and Vision

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Earlier this year, we developed a set of Values and a Vision Statement for Anchor Point which I'd like to share with our clients, our consultants, and the community. During this process, two main things were of primary importance to me:

To have collaborative input from the team to ensure the values were truly reflective of our culture, both today        as well guiding principles to move us forward

- To truly understand what makes us unique as a company in a fast-paced, highly competitive industry

At first, the idea of using the term "Midwestern Values" in the vision statement seemed somewhat colloquial.  The perception that the Midwest is slower paced and less competitive from a business perspective than the coasts influenced my thoughts that this was not a good idea.  But when you consider the positive aspects of family and community first, integrity over winning, and relationship driven business interactions, it's a differentiator that I strongly embrace.  Valuing the hard work and talent of our amazing team and demonstrating day in and day out genuine respect for the candidates we work with is integral to our culture.  In the end, this gave me confidence that it's not just okay to embrace Midwestern values in the staffing industry, it's our 'secret sauce'.  

ANCHOR Values

A – Appreciative - We value the hard work and effort put forth by our team, our clients, and our consultants.


N – Nurture – We listen, we care, we serve.

C – Celebrate - We support our team and celebrate our wins.

H – Honesty -  We do what we say we’ll do.

O – Optimism -  We face challenges with resiliency.

R – Relationship-Driven - We believe in people and value relationships.

Vision Statement

To build upon our reputation as the leading regional Staffing Solutions company embodying Midwestern values of honesty, integrity, perseverance and servant leadership.  To achieve the highest levels of quality and value for our clients and candidates through relationship driven practices by investing in our team and community.

         

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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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