Workplace Tips

50% of Americans Are Skipping Their Lunch Breaks

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For one in two people, lunchtime is for crunching and cramming in more work. We shove snacks or meal-preps into our mouths while we type, plan, calculate, and schedule meetings. According to a new survey of 2,000 workers, it is unrealistic to be able to get away from your desk to eat a proper break. The research by OnePoll in partnership with Eggland’s Best, found that one in two Americans say that they cannot get in a full lunch break and that it even counts as a distraction. People seem to cling to their desk instead of going outside to eat in peace.

Lunch breaks are more vital than you think…

For the rest of us who take our lunch to enjoy some outside relaxation, a lunch breaks not just a getaway from out desk, but a moment to recharge for the last half of our workday. But this concept is generational. The group of works 45 and under claim that it was not practical to take a lunch break while the 45 plus age group gave a completely flipped response and disagreed.

“With a lot of work and little time in the day for themselves, the results indicated that eating habits are changing to suit such hectic routines, with an emphasis on snacking prioritized over lengthy meals. “ - source

When we skip our lunches we start picking at food throughout the day so we don’t get too hungry. According to swnsdigital 68% of American workers snack twice a day, and three in ten workers enjoy snacking three times a day or more while at work. All this snacking does not go without consequences. Research shows that eating frequently is actually unhealthy and detrimental to weight-loss goals. The latest endocrine science tells us that eating every three or four hours actually sets us up for not only exhaustion and premature aging but also less fat burning. A designated lunch break is not just a way of satisfying your hunger, but of also satisfying your unhealthy snacking habit.

Physical health reasons aside, a lunch break has a strong impact on the mental health benefits. In the U.S. half of the states do no mandate the employers to give their employees lunch breaks or a 10/15 min break, but research finds that breaks can replenish the psychological costs associated with working hard, improve work performance, and boost energy. Spending less than one minute looking at nature (Lee et al., 2015) improves employee performance after they return to the work task. Personally I have found that a complete lunch break gives me the metal and energy recharge for the second half of my day. It is a reminder that we are all people with lives outside of our meetings and deadlines and it gives us a fresh look on ideas and tasks when we return.

In the end if you have a lunch in your daily work schedule it is still up to you if you eat lunch at your computer non-stop working or cherish your gift of a break.


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If you are looking for a new top paying opportunity with benefits, then send in your resume to Staffing@ITHStaffing.com to be connected with a seasoned recruiter. We serve over 3,000 organizations through all 50 U.S. states.

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Can Healthcare Professionals Have Tattoos?

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Tattoos are becoming increasingly more popular and accepted in the US. They're cool, sexy, controversial and eye-catching; a tattoo makes a statement that a thousand words cannot. It is no surprise then that 36 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 sport at least one of these markings somewhere on their bodies. As tattoos continue to gain popularity, they gain social acceptance as well. In certain professions, however, tattoos are still frowned upon by employers. Nursing, for the most part, is not one of them.

If you have tattoos and want a career as a healthcare professional, it may be comforting to learn that the healthcare profession as a whole is fairly accepting of tattoos and body art. For many nurses and doctors, tattoos are not an issue. Many healthcare professionals have easily concealable tattoos where they do not need to worry about it coming to the attention of a supervisor or a patient. Even difficult-to-hide tattoos can pass, as long as they are not excessively large or explicit.

Even thought most tattoos can be a non-issue at work, there are still some circumstances that may become a problem. Here are some examples:

Large Tattoos

Massive tattoos, or too many tattoos, can pose a real problem in the healthcare field. Not all employers are strict on their tattoos, but some facilities have dress codes that require all professionals to conceal their tattoos while on duty. Tattoos on your neck and arms will be difficult to keep out of sight, so employers with strict dress codes may not give you a chance and will disqualify you if they notice them at your interview. 

Employer Policy

Most facilities are somewhat lenient to visible tattoos, but this is not always the case.

"Some employers’ tattoo policies are stricter than others. For instance, there are still facilities out there that do not allow their nurses to have visible tattoos or body piercings of any kind. If you have tattoos in hard-to-cover locations, like your hands or neck, there’s a good chance you’ll have trouble meeting some potential employers’ dress-code policies." - Source

Offensive Tattoos

Harmless tattoos like names, hearts, music notes, and other innocent symbols won't cause much of an issue to most employers. Some tattoos could be considered offensive and shocking and this could affect your job search and even keeping your current position. It's best to play on the safe side and not display or tattoo any art that showcases nudity, drug use, or any art that can be connected to gangs. Any tattoos in these categories should be kept completely out of sight while working in the healthcare industry.

If one of these topics above are an issue for you, we have some ideas that will help you tackle most of the issues you may encounter while working in the field with tattoos:

 

Cover-Up Strategies

The best way to deal with the tattoo-healthcare field related issue is to avoid tattoos altogether. 

"If your current employer’s tattoo policy is fairly strict, simply keep your tattoos out of sight while at work. Long-sleeve shirts can be used to cover tattoos on the arms in most cases. Alternatively, skin-tone sleeves can be used to cover arm and leg tattoos without wearing an additional layer of clothing, which is great for the spring and summer months. For tattoos on the face and neck, try keeping your hair down to keep them out of sight. If that won’t work, there are special concealers that can be used to hide tattoos quite well."  - Source

Job-Hunting Tips

If hiding your tattoos daily is a deal breaker, then you should do a thorough research of possible employers and their dress codes before going in for your interview or sending in your resume. Most hospitals and large organizations have their policies posted on their website and if they do not, then asking someone (preferable a friend) can be another route. It may be more work, but it will all be worthwhile if this is an important issue to you, and you want to be stress-free about your tattoos in your workplace.

Tattoo Removal

If your tattoo(s) are destroying your chances at employment and opportunities, then you may have to remove them as a last resort. Unfortunately, this will take months-if not a year or more.

"Tattoos don't just disappear after a once-over with the laser. It takes a long time to complete because each time the tattoo is lasered, particles are broken down and digested by the body's immune system. The regeneration period is up to eight weeks, and the next time you go, the laser breaks down new particles of pigment. And so on and so forth." - Source

What are your thoughts on nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals with visible tattoos on duty? Should they be allowed or banned from the healthcare workplace? Leave your comments and thoughts below.

How To Select and Coach Your Job References

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A great reference will be your biggest cheerleader and your #1 fan! A well picked reference can single handedly convince the hiring manager that you are perfect for the role with their raving recommendation. On the flip side, a reference that has been placed on your resume in an careless manner can cost you the job you're chasing after.

"A hiring manager is influenced by whom they speak to and what they learn in those crucial job reference calls. They know that up to 81% of job seekers lie during job interviews, and they will be on the hunt to sniff out information about how excited and prepared you really are for the role." - Source

If you want the right information about your skills and energy, then you need to really think through who and why you select your pick of references. Once you have your references in order, it's time to prepare them for questions they may face. Here is how:

Give your job reference proper notice

It's common courtesy to give your job reference a heads up on the upcoming call from the hiring manager. The last thing you want is a "umm... I don't know who you're talking about?" when your unsuspecting reference is called out of the blue during a busy work day.  

The first step should always be to ask permission to list them as a reference so you don't intrusively push this role on them.  Fifteen percent of employees said they were putting down references who had no idea they were being listed as references. Don’t do this.

When you reach out to ask if someone can be a reference, you can feel out their excitement or dread to do so. This is vital to understand if someone truly wants to be a great reference and will put you in a good light for your new possible role. If you have any red flags or question what a reference may say about you, then it's best to keep them off your reference list.

Coach them about what kind of questions they’ll be asked

Monica Torres from The Ladder says "Once you’ve picked your team of cheerleaders, you need to coach them about what kind of questions they’ll be asked. There is no shame in updating them about what you have been up to in the last few months if this is someone you do not work with closely. Send them a copy of recent projects you have done, your resume and the cover letter you used to apply for the role. Recognize that different colleagues are able to speak about different skills. A peer will have different knowledge about your internal influence and leadership abilities than a boss." 

Know the role you are applying for. Your reference needs to be able to relay the qualities and skills the hiring manager is looking for so they can attest to your fit for the job. You want them to be able to answer on your SEO skills if the job calls for excellent SEO skills.  “Tell them why you believe the company wants to hire you and how you are likely to be useful for that company so they can reinforce that,” Priscilla Claman, the co-founder of Career Strategiesm, told Harvard Business Review. “One could talk about your ability to establish relationships with colleagues, another about your technical skills, and another about your project management abilities.”

Recognize that common reference questions will ask how you perform under adversity like “How well did the candidate perform under stressful conditions such as facing sale” or “Are there any areas that the candidate could use improvement?” If you know your reference may have a difficult time answering something similar to these questions, then it may mean you need to select a different reference. 
 

The vision of your character and skills that a hiring manager can see in you depends entirely on who you select as your references. They can see who you selected as your recommendations and that directly reflects on to you and who you are as a professional, in and out the workplace. Do your research and methodically select your team of references; they can be the key to landing your next opportunity.


Looking for a new opportunity ? Take a look at our job board here

To connect with a recruiter call us at 909-545-6265 or email your resume to Staffing@ithstaffing.com. 

4 Ways to Get Out of a Productivity Rut

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You can't have an all-star productive day every single day you walk into work. This is what you need to do once you are overloaded with distractions and are up to your neck in work.

 

Get Your Rest

Kristin Wong, a freelance writer and author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Affordwrites about this in Lifehacker (the piece is written with the idea that you’re normally able to get things done, but you experienced a “short-term setback.”

Wong’s first tip is to “get an early start.” - source

"So your binge of unproductivity is over and you’re now on the mend. Great! The first thing you can do is resolve to wake up earlier the following day.

“Let’s say you got jack done Monday. Once you realize the day has been a waste, make it a point to get to bed earlier that night, so you can get a head start on Tuesday (getting up early is hard, but lucky for you, we’ve got a whole list of ways to make it happen),” she writes. “When you get up that morning, don’t dive straight into work, though. Indulge in something you love. This starts your morning on an optimistic note, putting you in the right frame of mind for tackling the day. Instead of approaching it with the stress of having to catch up, stay calm and approach it optimistically and methodically.” 

 

Start all over again

Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice and more, told Fortune about how to do this when things aren’t going as planned in terms of everything you have to get done.

“Forget the original plan. … What would success look like now, given my new constraints? Which problems are the most important? What would be the most valuable use of my now reduced time?” he told the site.

You should get comfortable moving forward in a different way.

 

Go ahead and clean your desk.

Kate Hanley, a mindset coach and author of the forthcoming book A Year of Daily Calm speaks out on the topic to Fortune: “I find one small thing I can easily knock out even in that agitated state, and then I do something indulgent to reward myself.” Maybe it’s a bit of online shopping or a walk to get a coffee, but whatever it is, enjoy it. “The most destructive part of a day that feels off the rails is how much we beat ourselves up for it,” she says.

 

Feel free to switch gears for a moment

Amanda Zantal-Wiener is a writer for the HubSpot Marketing Blog, strategist, editor and owner of creative consultancy Amanda Zantal-Wiener, LLC. She writes on the HubSpot site about helping her mother with computer troubleshooting on her day off, it redirected her brain from her to-do-list to something else but when she was done with her "break" she was ready to go back to work and hit the ground running.

“If you’re feeling stuck, use your brain for something else. Maybe there’s a colleague who you’ve been meaning to get back to on an unrelated project, or maybe you just need to do a quick online puzzle. Keeping your mind active while giving it a break from the dredge of your to-do list might leave you feeling re-energized and ready to hit the ground running, wherever you left off,” she writes.

Don’t be afraid to do this.


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Professional Voicemail 101

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In the modern day and age, it is simpler to email someone in a moment than to pick up the phone and call them . Leaving a proper professional voicemail has become a forgotten art. We have all had that moment of panic after the "BEEP" and rambled and stumbled through our introduction and message on the phone, so we should all recognize the need to master the skill of a proper voicemail.

Whether this is part of your daily workflow, or if this is a once in a while task, here is the breakdown of a great voicemail.

Get to the point and then hang up...

First thing first, you need to pin point the exact reason for leaving a voicemail in the first place - to get a call back. There is no need to fluff here. This is a case of stating who and why and leave the rest for the call back when you're both on the line ready to discuss.

After the "beep" is your moment - state your name and contact number with a, "Hello, this is [NAME], I'm calling you from [YOUR JOB] to [REASON FOR THIS CALL]. My number is 555-555-5555." Restate your name and contact info once more at the end to wrap it up and you've successfully left a concise, professional, to-the-point voicemail worthy of a call back.  

"As Tori Keith wrote for the women lawyer’s advocacy group Ms. JD, “A good rule of thumb is 40 seconds. Anything longer risks getting deleted or ignored. Repeat your name and number at the end of the message too, as sometimes a message will cut out or be hard to hear.” - Source

Smartphones today now have a handy feature that automatically creates a transcription of your call, so avoid awkward "uhhs" and "umms". Practice recording your voicemail message so you can nail it when the time comes. It may be easy to get nervous when it's a one way conversation with no one to cut you off, so it can be helpful to write down your message, practice, and read off your notes. Check the speed of your voice and make sure to speak clearly at a slow pace (but not too slow). 

 *Transcription example

*Transcription example

 

Proficiency in the art of the voicemail will be key at any stage of your career and life. The key is being considerate to the receiver of the voicemail. You wouldn't want to receive a voicemail that drags on with no meaning, so be thoughtful when leaving voicemail messages.


WE’RE RECRUITING!

Welcome to ITH Staffing, a healthcare and information technology industry trusted leader.

If you are looking for a new top paying opportunity with benefits, then send in your resume to Staffing@ITHStaffing.com to be connected with a seasoned recruiter. We serve over 3,000 organizations through all 50 U.S. states.

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After Your First 90 Days At A New Job...What's Next?

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After Your First 90 Days At A New Job

"Congratulations! You made it past your first 90 days at your new job. Hopefully, it went smooth and now you can focus on building your tenure into something great. Even if your first 90 days was a little rocky, you can still turn it around into something positive. Your first 90 days was a time of acclimation, learning and fighting the jitters. Beyond your first 90 days there is still a lot to learn but now it’s more about performing and contributing." - The Daily MBA

 

WHAT WORKED, WHAT DIDN’T

Time to be honest with yourself, let's review your last 90 days and plan ahead for the next 90. This assessment review is to see what worked and what didn't, with a clear view of how you are meshing into the company culture and how easy it is for you to get your goals accomplished in this environment. It is important to have a good rapport with your new supervisor (which we hope you do), so it's time to sit down and go over how they perceive your performance. This review session will help you dig deeper into what areas you are fantastically performing and what areas need some more work.

"Once you understand how you did, create an action plan for the next 90 days on how you will maintain and improve. This method of evaluating your performance every 90 days is a great way to think about your tenure. Ninety day increments are long enough to get meaningful work done, yet short enough to remember what you did. Make this part of your one-on-one. Doing this will allow you to focus on what’s important and have check in points more often than your annual review." - The Daily MBA

Tip: Create a 90 day plan for yourself. Review the plan with your boss to ensure that you are working on the right tasks

 

TAKING ON MORE RESPONSIBILITY

As you grow into your new role, it's only natural that you immerse yourself more into the company and become involved. This path of taking on more responsibility can lead to senior roles if desired. Taking on new tasks and slowly taking on more can show your supervisors that are a valuable employee with growth potential. More responsibility does come tied with more accountability so make sure you are ready for the challenge when you step up.

"Tip: Perform your assigned tasks well and on schedule. This will naturally lead to more responsibly. Be self-aware as to what you can safely handle while still making your commitments." - The Daily MBA

 

BUILDING STRONGER BONDS

Everyone from the CEO to your coworkers is crucial to your success. These are the people you see and collaborate with daily, the ones you eat lunch with, and the ones you team up with to accomplish company goals. Through long hours of working and problem-solving, you will naturally build professional and personal bonds with people. These relationships and connections will ultimately determine your experience at your company, so it is important to get to know these people on a professional and personal level. Take a closer look at what they do and why they do it, take a look at how they contribute to the overall success of the company. Interacting will naturally lead to building strong bonds with your co-workers. 

In some companies, it can be difficult to build bonds with senior management since you may not interact with them on a daily basis or in the same areas. Even so, with this hurdle, it is important to have your superiors at least know who you are and what you do. 

"Tip: Be curious about what others do so that you understand how everyone fits into the company. Get to know your co-workers at a personal level."

 

BECOMING INDISPENSABLE

Success can be many things to many people. One essential way to succeed is to become the "go-to" person when a major project needs to be done and done well. Getting to this point requires you to understand thoroughly your company culture and to know the strength and weaknesses of your coworkers. Indispensable people are the ones that get pulled into discussions or projects where their expertise can be used to rapidly and effectively solve problems. Keep in mind that indispensable people are highly valued but that does not mean irreplaceable.

"Tip: Find a project or task that gives you the visibility to show that you are indispensable. Strive to always meet commitments and be the go to person for difficult tasks." - The Daily MBA

 

SETTING THE STAGE FOR PROMOTION

If you want to move on to the next level then a key part of this is to understand how your company promotes people. This can be different from boss to boss, from company to company, and even department to department.  Once you know the rules you can now have a clear line of sight to be promoted. 

One thing that many people do not talk about is the importance of mentoring someone to take your old position. You must train and mentor this person to be able to pick up where you left off so you can comfortably be able to move up to your next role. This leaves no room for excuses of who can take over your responsibilities.

"Tip: The best way to get promoted is to train your replacement." - The Daily MBA

 

THE JOURNEY NEVER ENDS

"Your tenure will be a constant revolving of these 90 day plans until you leave or run the place. Thinking in terms of 90 day increments will allow you to focus on what’s important but also allow you to show your boss the value you add at regular increments. This is vital because your yearly review is too infrequent and not a good tool to ensure that you are delivering to you and your bosses expectations. Ninety day plans are also a great way to set expectations so that you and your boss are aligned to what is important." " - The Daily MBA

Tip: Make the 90 day plan a regular part of your career building toolkit.


WE’RE RECRUITING!

Welcome to ITH Staffing, a healthcare and information technology industry trusted leader.

If you are looking for a new top paying opportunity with benefits, then send in your resume to Staffing@ITHStaffing.com to be connected with a seasoned recruiter. We serve over 3,000 organizations through all 50 U.S. states.

Learn more about ITH Staffing

Check out our job board

Read more of our job advice blog

Contact us today!

Follow us on your favorite social platform

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10 ways you are destroying your executive presence

10 ways you are destroying your executive presence

"If you enter a room with 15 leaders one of them will stand out. She will have an air of confidence that people notice. Others will stop talking and listen to him. That person will have an overall decorum that exudes the message, “I belong here.”

Executive presence is a blending of mindset, competencies, and delivery that gives the overall impression that this person has dignity and can get the job done. Can executive presence be developed? Yes – if the person has a foundation of self-confidence and a willingness to build their self-awareness and self-regulation."