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How to Handle a Big Mistake at Work

April 19th, 2013

Little mistakes happen frequently.  We are, after all, human beings and as such we are flawed.  The small errors are usually easily fixed and but minor blips in an otherwise smooth work life.  But when you happen to make a big mistake, one that costs your company time and or money to fix, you need to handle it properly to control the damage to your reputation and safeguard your career.  Here are some things to consider should this ever happen to you.

  • Own it.  If you make an error, admit it immediately.  Go to your direct supervisor and report it as soon as you can so steps can be taken immediately to fix the problem.  Waiting and/or trying to cover it up will only make things worse for you once the error is discovered by someone else.
  • Apologize.  Admitting your error is only part of it.  You must also sincerely apologize for the mistake.  Don’t give excuses.  Don’t make any more out of it than is necessary.  Also, don’t beat yourself up for too long.  It’s ok to feel bad for a bit, but don’t wallow in self-pity.  It is counterproductive to your next step…
  • Bring solutions.  Once you discover your error, begin brainstorming on solutions and fixes.  Strive to understand the full scope of the mistake and take into consideration others that might be affected by it.  See it from all sides and work with your boss to tackle immediate responses as well as secondary ones to begin to remedy the issue.
  • Correct it.  Work hard to undo what you have done.  Be willing to put in extra hours and effort to see that you do everything possible to make things right.
  • Prevent future errors.  In other words, learn from the mistake.  Perhaps the fact that you made this error in the first place uncovers a need for some more checks and quality controls to be put in place.  Further, if you made this error, chances are that your colleagues could make the same one in the future, so work with your boss to protect the company from a repeat performance.

When you are looking for employment in warehousing or any light industrial field, make sure you call us at ERG Staffing Services.  We are the leader in warehouse staffing in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets and we are ready to place you in the right job to match your skills.

Been out of the Work Force for a While? Here are Some Tips for Easing Back In.

March 15th, 2013

You have been out of work for some period of time, and now you have finally landed a new job.  Now what?  You are used to being in charge of your own schedule, coming and going when you decide, and now, starting in one week, you have to do the 9 to 5 grind (a welcomed grind so it is!).  Here are some tips for getting yourself back in work mode.

Get your rest.  It may sound silly, since you were not going to work every f day, but you may have been staying up late and sleeping later than usual during our time off.  Now you need to get yourself back on a work day schedule.  Insure that you get the right amount of sleep for you, about 8 hours or so.  A regular bedtime planned around what time you need to be out of bed in the morning is an important adjustment to make.  You will be more likely to perform your best when rested.

Plan out your first week.  Think about your commute, your meals, when you will go to the gym, who will be getting the kids after school…all these wrinkles should be ironed out before you start your first day of work.  This planning removes stress and allows you to focus on the important task of making a good start at your new workplace.

Share your feelings.  You will undoubtedly have many and mixed emotions about returning to work.  You will obviously be relieved and excited to be employed again.  You may also be sad about leaving the easier schedule of unemployment.  Fear and anxiety are also common emotions people go through when returning to work or embarking on a new journey.  One thing you can do for yourself is to share your feelings with those close to you.  Give them the opportunity to share in your joy and support you in your fear or nervousness.

Don’t dive in head first, at least not right away.  This may sound counter-intuitive  but often times in our zeal to do a great job and impress our new boss and colleagues, we dive right in, head first, and try to tackle everything all at once.  This could work out fine, or it could lead to you getting completely overwhelmed, burned out right away, or making some big mistakes because you don’t know enough yet to do things properly.  Do yourself and your new employer a service, and don’t try to be superman.  Take things a bit slower, at least for the first month or two, until you are certain you know everything you need to know to do it all very well.

If you haven’t yet found your next work situation, ERG Staffing Services can help.  We are expert in placing light industrial and clerical workers in jobs that they are perfectly suited for.  Call one of our professionals today to get started.

Interviewing 101: How to Answer “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

December 14th, 2012

If you are fortunate, you are looking for a new job while you still have a job.  More and more likely these days, you are looking for a job because you lost your last one.  If you were laid off due to the bad economy or any other reason, the question in the title is an easy one to answer.  But, if you quit or were fired, then just like Lucy, you may have some ‘splaining to do.  The time to think about how to answer the question is now, before you get asked.  Here are some tips on how to respond gracefully.

First of all, stay positive.  Do not go to the dark side.  Do not start complaining about your old boss, or how disorganized your last company was, or anything of the sort.  Nobody likes a whiner, and if you go off on how bad it was at your last job, the hiring manager is going to bristle imagining how you will talk about his company when you quit.  All companies are flawed.  Complaining vehemently just makes you an unattractive candidate.

Explain it in terms of cultural fit, or lack thereof.  The most graceful way to explain why you are not with your last company without assigning any blame either way, is to say that you and your last employer were simply not a good fit.  Perhaps it was the right company but you didn’t fit the position or department you were in.  Maybe you would feel more comfortable in a small to midsize company culture, and your last employer just got too big.  However you spin it, make it about a bad “fit” and you are able to remain neutral, without assigning blame to your old employer or yourself.

Focus on your skills.  Now that you have established why you were not a perfect match for your last employer, let these new guys know why you are a good fit with them.  Focus on how your skills align beautifully with the set required for this new position.  Point out that the cultural vibe is just what you are looking for and why.  Describe how you can contribute to the company culture and how you feel you already fit in.  Demonstrate similarities in style.  However you can align your strengths with their needs – that’s what you should focus on.

The most important item to remember is to not talk badly about your previous employer.  Think of it this way:  You know that woman who is always gossiping and talking badly about everyone?  Well, you know how you wonder what she says about YOU when you’re not around?  If you are trashing your previous employer, you are that gossip lady.  Don’t be that gossip lady.  Be the gracious host of the party and offer positive information on what you can do for your potential NEW employer.  That’s what gets you lots of friends, and gets you invited back.

In the market for a new job?  Contact the professional staff at ERG Staffing Services and let us begin the placement process to get you into a new light industrial job today.

Avoid These Job Search Mistakes

August 24th, 2012

You work hard to avoid the obvious errors in searching for your next job by proofreading and spell checking obsessively. But there are some other mistakes you might be more likely to make because you think they aren’t mistakes at all. See if any of these open your eyes to some behavior changes you need to make.

  •  Not sending a cover letter. Please don’t cut this corner. You cover letter is an easy and direct way to get the reader’s attention and set yourself apart from the rest of the field. Take the time to write a concise cover letter specific to the opportunity for which you are applying. Spell out why you should be considered in a way that your resume just can’t convey.
  •  Not utilizing your network for help in your search. This group of people you are connected with is an invaluable resource. They can give you leads on job openings, yes. But they are also a tremendous source of information beyond that. Once you’ve written your resume, float it out to a few trusted individuals for some professional critiquing. Ask others to take a few minutes with you to run through some potential interview questions and answers. Keep your profiles updated with all new skills you’ve acquired and education you’ve received, so when your network is looking to refer you they will know your current skill set.
  •  Seeing the recruiter as an adversary. The interview isn’t you against them. You shouldn’t feel as though you need to trick or outwit the person across the desk. Instead, think of them as your partner in finding the right job for you. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, so make the job as easy as possible for them. Be friendly and open, and simply demonstrate all the reasons why you are the right person for the job.
  • Information overload. It is not important that you itemize every job that you have every held. In fact, if you are listing past experience that is completely irrelevant to the position for which you are applying, it could end up working against you. Remember that the reader is going through many, many resumes, and if you are wasting her time with unimportant details, you will not fare well. Tailor your resume for each application so that the most recent, relevant experience is featured prominently.
  • Don’t be overconfident in your achievements. It is critical to remember that your past achievements, while an indication of what you are capable of, are not really enough alone to get you hired every time. The prospective employer needs to know what you will do for him. Your impressive education and promotion track record certainly speak to your abilities. Your job now is to demonstrate how these assets will effect positive changes for the company’s future.
  •  Taking your references for granted. You will undoubtedly be asked to provide both professional and personal references. Make sure you stay in touch with the people you’d like to speak for you. Have their current contact information, let them know that you are currently seeking employment and to expect some calls on your behalf
  • Too much follow-up. The last thing you want to do is annoy the individuals who are in a position to hire you. Calling or emailing repeatedly will do just that. Before you leave the interview, ask how they would like you to follow up, and do only that.

Contact ERG Staffing today and let us help guide you through your light industrial job search. Our experienced staff specializes in putting the right people in place as quickly as possible.

Successful Resumes for Light Industrial Positions

May 24th, 2012

You may think a well-written resume isn’t important when you’re applying for an industrial or light industrial position.  After all, they’re not hiring you for your writing skills, right? Well, that may be true, but they do need to see the skills, experience and training they’ll want to hire you for—and the best way to make sure of that is to make sure your resume is written right.

Tips for Resume Writing

For industrial positions, you need to pay attention to what the company is looking for in the ideal candidate—and show them that you have it. In other words, tailor your resume for each application you put in. It’s easier than you might think!

For example:

  • Change the order of your skills and experience to make sure the most relevant are at the top. For many industrial positions, these are the factors that matter the most. Get them to the top of the list to make sure they’re getting maximum exposure.
  • Brainstorm for a few minutes. Ask yourself what makes you a better candidate for the job than anyone else and why an employer should hire you instead of the competition. Make sure these factors are included on your resume.
  • List your qualifications and skills plainly. Depending on the experience and training you’ve had, you may be able to make a significant point just by creating such a list. Don’t exaggerate, but talk about the skills you have that are important specifically to the job you are applying for.
  • Do list the positions you’ve held in the resume. Depending on your experience level, you may have a large number of positions. List only those with the most importance or those that show how versatile your experience is.
  • Keep your resume clean and organized. Don’t use overly long paragraphs or too much wording. Keep it clean by using short sentences, bullets and brief statements. This allows the most important details to stand out.

One last tip: when applying for an industrial position, create a customized cover letter to go along with your resume. Let your cover letter show the prospective employer that you do have an idea of what he or she needs and why you feel you are a good fit for the position. A cover letter is a great place to also communicate that you may have skills outside the job’s requirements but within a company’s needs.

Looking for help creating the perfect resume and cover letter? Contact our staffing specialists for job seeking advice and more! We can help you find the job best suited for your needs and skills.