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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.

Revitalize Your Job Search

September 21st, 2012

As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, you may be feeling an added sense of urgency about getting a job. The holidays are fast approaching as is the end of the year, and these can put some stress on top of an already taxing process. Here are a few ways you can lower your job search stress and stay focused on the prize.

1. Get motivated. Take an honest look at what your motivation is for seeking out the job you are after. Hopefully the answer involves more than a paycheck. You need to have some other personal goals involved with your career choice for you to achieve happiness and long term success. Decide what it is that makes you excited about the job you want, and what you will get out of it, aside from money. Remind yourself of why you chose this career in the first place. Now, tell yourself you can do this.

2. Get a Plan The plan you need has to have a few different parts to it. Make lists of things you need to do immediately, like get your resume updated or re-write your cover letter to be more specific. Then set aside time to do those things. Next list some things you need to do soon, mid-term goals, like reach out to some of your contacts you haven’t spoken to in a while, just to see how they are doing. Then plan a time for those tasks. Lastly, set some longer term goals for yourself, and if you are feeling strong, set a time frame for those too. If you don’t give yourself some goals and a plan to reach them, along with a deadline, you may never really get your ball rolling.

3. Self-examination. Some of us are very introspective naturally and others don’t really like this exercise, but it is important for all of us to do a bit of honest self-evaluation from time to time. What is it you are really good at? What do others see in you? Why are you uniquely suited for the job you want? Write down lists of things you are good at, things about you that set you apart, things you really like about yourself and that others seem to like about you. This is you differentiation list – what sets you apart from the crowd of others that want the same job you do. Many times, the person who gets the job when all other things are equal is the one who believes he should have it the most. Believe that about yourself. Remember the old saying: Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

4. Prepare yourself. Whenever opportunity knocks you want to be able to open the door looking good, feeling prepared and smiling. Go about your days with the thought that “Today I might meet my new boss”. This way, if you get a call to do a telephone interview, you are already in a mindset for success. Dress the part each day when you leave the house. Keep a mental list of past achievements that you can present to an interviewer when asked. Be mindful of items 1 and 3 so if you meet someone at the coffee shop who may turn out to be a potential connection to your next job, you can speak easily about why they should help you connect. Sometimes situations present themselves in the oddest ways and times, and if you are prepared for anything you will never have any regrets about a blown opportunity.

5. Be good to yourself. Remember to take care of yourself so you can stay energized. This process can be long and arduous if you allow yourself to get run down. Get plenty of rest, eat well, get some exercise, stay close to family and friends, and do things you enjoy. Live happy.

Call ERG Staffing for help with your light industrial job search.  Out staff of trained professionals are ready and able to place you in a job that fits your needs.

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.