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How to Prepare for Your First Day at a New Job

woman entering a business

Even after completing the interview and landing the job, preparing for the first day in a new work environment can still be stressful for new employees. A good first day sets the tone for the way you interact with your coworkers, your attitude toward your career, and your overall experience.

At the JFC Staffing Companies, we’re in the business of connecting outstanding employees with their best-matched companies in the area. Part of this process involves helping our customers make a good first impression as a valuable new team member.

Here are five tips to help your first day of work go as smoothly as possible.

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What makes the most successful teams truly tick?

Many of the best teams – the ones that deliver results, wow customers, and always hit their goal – share a few key traits:

  1. They share a common promise for a customer.
  2. They coordinate action to fulfill that promise.
  3. They take care of each other.

low angle photo of people doing huddle up
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

When each team member understands their role in the big picture, great things happen.  They share a common promise, meaning there is unified agreement on the objectives and how each individual brings a unique set of skills to the mission at hand.

Teams coordinate to fulfill a promise always looking toward the end goal.  When they have healthy relationships consisting of high-quality interaction, characterized by trust, open communication, and a willingness to embrace “constructive” conflict – they become great.  These teams willingly assume and embrace both personal and shared responsibility for fulfilling their common promise.

They take care of each other – the environment is supportive, open, and expressive.  Make no mistake, successful teams don’t agree on everything.  When disagreements arise, they tackle them in a respectful and constructive way, with appreciation for the ideas, skills, and perceptions of their team members.

In our professional life teamwork plays a vital role.  We engage with and depend on others to accomplish virtually every task.  Don’t leave it to chance, follow the formula above (the three traits) and be part of a great team!

What will you personally do to help improve your team for the better?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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What Really is Professional Development?

This month’s blog was written by Will Richard of the JFC family.  A little about his military service: 4 years in the Army with a year tour in Iraq, Rank:  Sergeant, Company:  756th EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), MOS/Job: EOD/Bomb Squad

The term “professional development” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In its simplest form, it is the continual process of acquiring new skills and knowledge as it applies to their career. It requires turning your focus inward to self-reflect and take an honest appraisal of yourself. In my own self-reflection I found that there were two areas that had the greatest potential for personal and professional growth. Figuring out how to lead by inspiration rather than fear, and learning how to better handle personal issues when they leak into the business world.

It’s easy for managers to try and lead by fear and intimidation. While in the military, fear was the main tool taught and used on a daily basis. From basic training to everyday life, fear was used by most people in charge to keep the troops in line. It’s a quick and easy way to get people to listen and do what you say. Fear has its limits, though, making people comply only enough to avoid what causes their fear. Whether that’s a talking to, a ton of push-ups, or even losing their job. Fear is a short term solution and when it is removed so is the motivation. That’s why I’ve devoted a lot of my professional development energy to learning new and superior tools. I want to inspire and lead, not just manage through intimidation.

Fear is an easy, one size fits all method. And as most good leaders know, it is rarely the easy way that’s the optimal way. In order to get best results from people you have to take a more nuanced approach that’s tailored to each individual. You must find what makes them tick and what makes them want to give their best. This takes time and can be very difficult because it requires a leader to spend energy and use tools that are much more complicated. Fear is the fast food of a leader’s tool kit. Quick and easy but it won’t give you the best results. Over reliance on it can have devastating long term effects.

Fear is a strong emotion, but many strong emotions can creep into the workplace. I’ve always been very good at learning new processes, solving unique issues and handling stressful situations, but if you put a crying person in front of me I’ll have no idea how to handle it, or at least, that’s how I used to be. This can be a problem if you’re leading a team because, no matter how hard we try, personal circumstances can infiltrate the workplace. Growth as a professional for me has meant learning how to handle emotions in the right way at work.

fear

It becomes a delicate balancing act of showing concern for your fellow employees without overstepping boundaries. Some people like sharing and having others involved in their personal lives, while others are very closed and guarded. Showing care without pushing too far and maintaining a professional working relationship can be difficult. This is where learning different strategies for handling unique situations is so important. Talking out real and hypothetical situations with others who have experience is an excellent tool in a leader’s toolkit.

Ultimately, I want to be the type of leader that motivates and inspires my team to reach their full potential rather than bark orders and get the bare minimum. In order to do this, I will continue to hone my management tools, adding new ones and adjusting others for the situation. I’ll continue to balance being there for others in their time of need with the needs of the company. I’m still not much of a hugger, but if an awkward hug will brighten your day, then feel free to stop by anytime.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

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Vulnerability & Professional Development

What does Professional Development mean to me…

By Jen Silvetti, JFC Workforce Branch Manager

Honestly- I didn’t know what it was until I started working at JFC.  Every other job previously was just that, a job.  I showed up on time every day and worked to the best of my ability.  Not until I joined the JFC work family did my professional and personal worlds collide so drastically.

I started almost 4 years ago in, what I thought would be, a job.  I still was showing up on time and working to the best of my ability.  Then only after one year I heard a knock at the door- it was opportunity. (I know it sounds cliché doesn’t it?)

Well, for those who know my personality, I am one to take advantage of opportunity.  This meant stepping into the role of Branch Manager in the very branch I was already working in.  Wow- can you imagine?  There I sat managing those who I called my team just the week prior. What was I getting into?  I will admit, it took some time to find my way.

My previous life of corralling preschoolers and probationers did not prepare me for this new world of Staffing and Management- wait yes it did.

I was not managing, I was coaching.  Everything I have done up until this point has shaped me in some way.  My life has created a virtual tool belt and I get to utilize it every day.  One has no idea what tool she will be called to use at a moments notice.  Since working with our Chief Enthusiasm Officer (Jimmy) and the JFC work family, I have been provided with a never ending supply of tools.

What I needed most was to be vulnerable; being afraid to make mistakes and fail.  Or as someone that I met just recently referred to them, see the opportunities in every failure.

How cool is that?

human eye tearingWith this mindset, you have nothing more to do than grow. All these years, I had no idea that being vulnerable was even “a thing” until I heard it and read more about it. I had always thought that this was a sign of weakness and a flaw I had. Since working at JFC, I have grown comfortable embracing vulnerability.  I now know that it is merely something to be conscious of and continue to work through.

Vulnerable by many means, “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Susceptible yes- but you must have the courage to face it.

Over the last few years, I have learned how to cope, manage and coach through my vulnerabilities throughout my development.  JFC has provided such a variety of ways to do this.  I have never in any workplace felt so respected and encouraged. I feel safe enough to make mistakes and question things as long as I still have the openness to keep getting better (and receive feedback).

Also, I am no better or worse than anyone else. These skills that I have learned, and continue to learn, not only help me the 40 hours a week at work but also with my personal life. I am so excited and passionate about my growth, I love sharing it with others anytime I can.  As you can imagine, not everyone is open and vulnerable.  But I will continue to learn and share as much as I can.

Thank you to JFC for showing me how important Professional Development is!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Goals: If you do not know where you are going you will likely end up somewhere else…

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~ Henry Ford

Why do some people accomplish their goals and others do not?

It is because of the reality they “choose” to live in. Neuroscience discovered that a human brain receives eleven million pieces of information every second yet it can process only forty bits per second. Essentially your mind chooses what tiny percentage of input to process and attend to, and what huge portion to dismiss or ignore. Thus you do have a choice in shaping your reality.

Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the resources you have that can be used to get you toward your goals. By resources I mean peers, leadership, and other company support. This will help you shift to a more positive reality where you can focus on all the reasons why you are likely to achieve your goals – rather than waste mental effort worrying about reasons you might not.

No matter the situation or circumstance, it takes no more mental effort to choose a positive reality over a negative one. It’s not that you don’t see the negative realities around you, but rather you recognize and focus on the positive choices you have. You can and should choose the reality that will better support your success.

If you choose a reality oriented around discouragement and lack of control, then all you will see are failures, rather than all the resources and paths to success. When you choose to focus on the positives, then you can see how all the opportunities and resources are connected. Thus you are better equipped to chart a path to achieving your goals.

What your mind concentrates on will affect every decision you make and every action you take both at home and at work. Choose the right mindset and hitting goals will seem much easier!

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi Bubble people

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