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5 Tips to Get Yourself Organized at Work

If you struggle to stay organized at the office, know that you are not alone. Many employees have this challenge. Fortunately, there are simple ways to overcome this obstacle.

Choose among these five ways to stay organized at the office.

1. Declutter Your Workspace

Keep only what you need in your work area. Maintaining adequate space helps you focus and be productive. For instance, move, discard, or donate what you do not need or regularly use. Also, make it a habit to keep things where they belong unless they are being used. Plus, clean up your desk before you leave for the day.

2. Maintain Your Inbox

Check your email three times a day: morning, afternoon, and before you leave work for the day. Maintain folders for urgent, important, informational, or other types of messages. Be sure to respond as needed or delete when appropriate. Also, unsubscribe to the newsletters and other emails you lack the time or interest to go through. Plus, when possible, use the phone or a chat app to convey information rather than send an email. Then, you will receive fewer emails in response.

3. Avoid Multitasking

Focus on completing one activity at a time. This results in increased efficiency and accuracy. When you try to accomplish more than one thing at a time, the brain has trouble switching among tasks. This makes it harder to concentrate and make decisions, which reduces the quality of work.

4. Take Breaks

Step away from your desk at regular times throughout the day. Use these breaks to take a walk, read a book, or meditate. Also, use your lunch hour to fuel your body with healthy foods and talk with coworkers in the breakroom. You should return to your desk refreshed and focused.

5. Plan Your Week

At the end of each workweek, plan what you want to accomplish the following week. For instance, keep a broad overview of your meetings and the tasks you need to handle or delegate. Use this information to plan each workday the night before. Include the activities you want to finish and the times you will work on them.

Find a New IT Job

When the time comes to find a new IT role, include RightStone in your search. Follow this link to our job board.


Why a Work-Life Balance Is Important

 

Like many employees, you might have difficulty separating your personal and professional time. This may be especially true if you work from home and have a family. The desire to spend more time completing work or being with your loved ones means having less time for other activities. As a result, maintaining sufficient time to fulfill your most important work responsibilities each day while participating in family activities is important. This helps you feel personally and professionally engaged and fulfilled.

Apply these strategies to help maintain a work-life balance that is right for you.

Set Limits

Because there are only 24 hours in each day, carefully plan how you want to spend them. For instance, schedule a realistic amount of time for the tasks you have to get done. This may include checking email only three times throughout the day. Cut or delegate the activities you do not like or cannot handle. Also, put family events on a weekly calendar. Include these activities in your daily action plan. Additionally, learn to say “no” to requests that do not fit your schedule or interests. You need to maintain time for what matters most to you. Plus, take breaks throughout the day. The brain needs rest in order to retain information and function. Further, leave your work at work. Your personal time is for family activities.

Prioritize Self-Care

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps you reduce your stress level and accomplish more. For instance, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats when planning your meals. These foods help you retain knowledge and build stamina. Also, set aside time each day for yoga, hiking, meditation, dancing, reading, or other activities you enjoy. Plus, make sure you get enough sleep at night. Put away personal electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime to avoid interference with your melatonin level that stimulates sleep. Additionally, schedule time to volunteer with a local charity once per month. This can increase your emotional and social well-being. Further, partner with colleagues to cover for each other’s work absences. Ask family and friends to help with childcare and household responsibilities when you work overtime or travel.

Find a Job Encouraging Work-Life Balance

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to find an IT job that promotes work-life balance. Start by visiting our job board today.


Leaving a Job with No Future

If you are passed over for a promotion you truly deserved, it may be time to find a new job. After all, you cannot stay in the same position indefinitely and advance along your career path. If you are not finding the room to grow with your current employer, then you need to begin finding a new one now.

If you continue to be passed over for promotions, implement these guidelines to determine when a good time is to leave your job.

Consider Your Last Promotion

You typically should be promoted after 18 months to 2 years in your current role. This timeline may be less if you discussed it before being hired. If you have been in the same position longer than 2 years and have no opportunities for a promotion, you should find another employer.

Look at Colleagues’ Promotions

Determine whether similarly qualified colleagues with the same level of experience as yours have recently moved up. Also, find out whether IT professionals in comparable roles at similarly sized companies have been promoted faster than you. If they have, then you need to begin your job search today.

Write Down Your Contributions

Make a list of all the ways you provide value to the organization. This may include routinely helping to finish projects or making material contributions that lead to success. Use this list to determine whether you should be at a higher level than you are. If so, begin applying to positions that fit your skills and experience.

Talk with Your Boss

Meet with your manager to discuss a promotion. Prepare to talk about your contributions, achievements, and qualifications to move up. See whether your boss supports your request or provides concrete guidelines to be considered for a promotion. If not, begin your job search after work hours.

Enhance Your Skill Set

Find ways to gain or enhance the skills required for the job you want. This may include engaging in additional training, taking a class, or gaining certification. This can be beneficial in landing your next IT role.

Find a Higher-Level IT Job

Let a recruiter from RightStone help you find an IT job in line with your skills, experience, and interests. See which jobs are available today.


3 Tips for Working in a Different Time Zone Than Your Co-Workers

Remote work became the theme of 2020, but it’s not a fleeting idea. According to one survey, 74% of workers expect remote work to transition from a contingency plan to a standard form of practice.

As people find more opportunities for remote work, they will continue to spread out between timezones. And those changes can present opportunities as well as challenges.

Are you joining an organization that operates across timezones? Here are three tips for maintaining those relationships.

Be Mindful with Meeting Times

Working between Central and Eastern time can be done with a bit of consideration and extra effort. But the difference between Eastern and Pacific? It’s a different story.

Do your best to keep meetings within normal working hours. When that’s not possible, make sure you don’t consistently burden one party with the unsocial hour. For example, if you work on EST and you have a colleague in Australia, you can take turns with anti-social meeting hours so that one party doesn’t consistently find themselves online at 8 PM or 6 AM.

Use Calendars to Set and Share Schedules

Encouraging calendar sharing is the simplest way to set deadlines, schedule meetings, and manage expectations.

For example, if you want to schedule a Zoom call, you can send out an invitation and hope it works for everyone. However, when you share calendars, you can go into the organization calendar and look for a time when you’re free.

You may also find it helpful for people to schedule out-of-office events, deep work hours, or hours generally out-of-bounds for video or phone calls. Then, you’ll schedule mutually agreeable meetings and avoid rescheduling.

Keep Cultural Norms in Mind

American work culture insists that 7:30 AM meetings are part of life. In Britain, setting a 7:30 AM meeting makes you a tyrant.

Cultural norms impact working hours and days as well as pace, workflows, and collaboration. Being understanding of how others use their work time will go a long way in ironing out issues before they become contentious.

 

Are you looking for your next role and hoping to land a remote option? Visit RightStone’s job board to find a new opportunity to work with coworkers across the United States and beyond.


Spring is a Time for New Beginnings: Should a New Job Be One of Them?

Leaving the cold, dark days of winter behind always brings a sense of renewal. For some people, things start to feel easier, and some of the past stress falls away. Your job feels easier, your tasks less stifling.

But sometimes, spring can be a chance to try something new. A new job can set you up for an excellent spring, summer, and even career.

Is it time to be looking for a new job? Here are a few signs that it’s time to move on.

1. You’re Unmotivated Even in the Sun

For many people, cold dark winters can zap the productivity right out of us, even if you aren’t engaged with your job. Often, the good weather can make even bleak days feel brand new.

But if your Sunday Scaries persist even into April, May, and June, the issue may not be the weather. It may be your job.

Rather than waiting for something to change, it may be time to create that change for yourself.

2. You’re Browsing Job Boards

Do you find yourself on LinkedIn or other job boards just to see what else is out there?

If you are looking at new posts and thinking seriously about applying, then there’s likely something amiss in your current job. Subconsciously, you may not feel challenged or believe you’ll get the growth opportunities you want. Or you could be looking for a different culture or benefits.

No matter what’s on your mind, if you read job advertisements with interest, it may be time to start making a move for a new role.

3. You’re Struggling to Recover Each Week

Do you start every Monday feeling even more tired than you did on Friday? Are you struggling to make the most of your time off? It may be time for a new job.

The ability to rest, refresh, and recover from a workweek is a core part of staying engaged in your current role. If the job or the culture won’t allow you to take a beat and breathe, then it may be better to get out before you burn out.

 

Do you recognize some of the feelings described in this post? RightStone can help. Get in touch to learn how the RightStone 360 process perfectly matches consultants with employers.


Can Taking a Break During Work Actually Make You More Productive?

How often do you sit down at the computer and not look up again until it gets dark?

It happens to everyone, and even if you feel focused, you may not be as productive as you think you were.

The human brain needs a break every once in a while, and if you don’t actively provide it, then, your brain will do it for you. Taking a break isn’t a sign of weakness: it’s the best way to stay productive.

Here’s why you should take more breaks — both long and short.

Reduce Stress Levels

You can feel stress even at a job you enjoy. Finding yourself facing an intractable problem, feeling frustrated about a lack of resources, or even waking up on the wrong side of the bed can leave you with hunched shoulders.

Breaks are one way to deal with a high workload without sending stress hormones flying through your body. A clinical study found that even five-minute breaks every half hour can help surgeons significantly reduce psychological stress.

Imagine what it can do for those of us whose daily tasks don’t involve surgery!

Increase Your Attention Span

Are you struggling to concentrate? Finding yourself easily distracted? There’s a temptation to push through and try harder. But sometimes what your brain really needs is a good old-fashioned break.

In a study of assembly workers, workers who enjoyed a short break were able to increase their attention span significantly in the period after their break.

The lesson: if you can’t concentrate, stop trying. Get up, walk away, and return to your desk when you’re ready. You’ll not only be able to focus but you will have an improved focus.

Feel More Engaged

Taking breaks can improve your overall job performance and increase your chances for a promotion. Why? Because workers who take breaks are more engaged than those who don’t.

Research found that daily micro-breaks leave employees feeling rejuvenated, even in work they didn’t enjoy. However, you have to take a proper break and relax: a quick break for a snack won’t do the trick. Take five to ten minutes and do something else or just switch off. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it works.

Looking for more great career advice? Visit our blog or get in touch to learn more about our RightStone 360 service for placing consultants like you with their dream clients.


Start Standing Out: 3 Tips to Help You Get Promoted

Today, career experts say the best way to get promoted is to find a new job. But you don’t need to start job hunting to get the recognition you deserve. And you shouldn’t need to, especially if you love where you work right now.

Even still, working hard won’t win you the promotion all on its own. Your coworkers also work hard. You also need to find a way to stand out.

What does that look like? Here are three of our expert’s best tips.

1. Get a Mentor

We don’t get anywhere in life on our own. The same is true in career advancement: you can choose to fight hard or you can choose to work together with a mentor. The impact of mentorship is huge: you actively work with someone who is where you want to go, and then you learn from them second hand.

2. Be Open About Your Career Goals

Often, people find themselves passed over for a promotion they wanted and work for and wonder: why not me? In reality, their leadership team had no idea they wanted the promotion in the first place.

Having open lines with communication and sharing your career goals means your boss will know what you want to work towards. It also means that you will know early on if your goal isn’t available at your current organization. In other words, you will have a better indication of whether to move up or move on.

3. Take Ownership of Projects

You need to be a team player, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take ownership of your projects. Demonstrating that you can take a project from ideation through to completion — and uplift others along the way — makes you indispensable to your company.

Indispensable people are the people who tend to find themselves first in line for that big promotion.

Take Control and Win Your Next Promotion Sooner

Working hard is no longer enough to earn you a promotion, but you don’t necessarily need to go searching for greener pastures. When you take concerted steps outside of your daily work to prepare yourself for more responsibility and make your intentions clear, you are more likely to find yourself at the top of the list of those earning a promotion.

Are you looking for the next stepping stone in your career? We’re here to help. We help place qualified candidates with the right clients, which makes getting that promotion easier. Visit our job board or get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


Are You the New Kid on Zoom? Tips for Meeting Co-Workers as a New Remote Worker

Common aspects of everyday life came to a standstill in 2020. But after a period of uncertainty in the spring, employers began hiring again.

If you started a new job or are about to change careers, you will meet your co-workers online. First impressions matter more than ever, so it’s helpful to be thoughtful about those interactions. Use these tips to make those first few meetings more productive — and a little bit less awkward.

Ask New Questions

“Hi, how are you?” It’s the most straightforward conversation starter there is. However, you can do better for those first interactions. Skip the “how are you doing” during the first meeting. You don’t have a baseline to work from; you don’t know what ‘good’ means to them. It’s also a hard question to answer right now.

Instead, keep it positive and ask a question with a concrete answer. Instead, you might ask:

  • What did you do this week that you loved?
  • What’s been the highlight of the week?
  • What are you working on right now?

These are casual questions that help you get to know each other, keep it professional, and avoid perfunctory answers.

Choose a Fun Background

Zoom backgrounds are a fun way to express yourself and show off a bit of your personality. They’re free, and there’s no shortage of them available.

However, do remember to keep it professional. You might use a background photo of your current city or home town, the backdrop of your favorite sports team, or even a generic backdrop that expresses your interests. For example, you might put yourself in a beautiful library if you love to read.

Remember Your Body Language

One of the tricky things about Zoom is the over-reliance on verbal language. Even with video, delays, low-quality cameras, and the concept of video in general means it’s harder to communicate.

Be sure to keep an eye on your body language. It’s perceptible even on Zoom. Be sure to position your camera so that it captures your upper body when sitting up straight. When on the call, sit back from the camera so your co-workers can see your gestures. And as always, when in doubt, smile and nod.

Ease into a New Role with These Zoom Tips

Zoom is imperfect, but it’s a valuable tool that most companies now use to conduct everything from onboarding to essential business. You can make those first interactions meaningful by remembering Zoom’s limitations and working to overcome them by communicating as effectively as possible. Remember, these tips aren’t just great for daily meetings. They’re also helpful interview tips.

Are you looking for a new role in 2021?

RightStone can help! Visit our jobs board to look for your next move.


3 Reasons IT Professionals Should Consider Switching to Contract Work

In 2018, one in five U.S. jobs was a contract job, and the number continues to grow. By 2030, half of all workers could work on temporary contracts rather than a permanent basis.

An increasing number of IT jobs also fall in this category, and if you’re currently in a full-time role or looking for one, you might wonder if a contract job might suit you better.

Here’s when and why you should consider switching to contract work.

You Want a Pay Raise

The best way to get a pay raise in today’s economy is to get a new job. And one of the surefire ways to make sure the salary bump is more than negligible is to take on a contract.

Contract jobs pay roughly 20% more than full-time employment for two reasons. First, a contractor won’t get the same benefits. Though benefits vary by agency and contract, and we’ll come back to that later. Second, paying contractors looks different on a balance sheet than paying employees. Unlike employees, contractors aren’t a “fixed cost,” so clients are more willing to spend more even if they keep the contractor around as long as an employee.

You Are Returning to the Job Market

Getting your foot in the door for a permanent position can be tough if you have a gap in your employment history. Whether you are a new grad or returning to work after several years, employers still tend to overlook you for candidates already in a similar role.

Contract roles come with no strings attached, which makes it easier to step into them if your employment history works against you, in part because employers (and investors) see investing in contractors differently than a permanent employee, who costs more in the long run.

You Want to Specialize

It’s not uncommon to see a permanent IT post come with the responsibilities of an entire IT department in one role. Hiring managers want to get the most bang for their buck for permanent staff. If that expectation doesn’t appeal to you, then a contract job may suit you well.

Employers tend to bring on contractors for specific and often specialist roles. If you want to increase your knowledge and experience in areas like cybersecurity, data center management, or ERP, you may find you have more opportunities as a contractor.

Becoming a consultant can open up a whole new world of work for many IT professionals.

Are you looking for your next role?

Visit our jobs board and get in touch to learn more about how we place IT consultants with the perfect client.


Turning a Temp Job into a Full-Time Career

Everywhere you look in today’s job market, you’ll find temp workers. You find them in some of the U.S.’s largest and most successful corporations, and you find them in local businesses in your hometown.

Temp jobs now run the gamut of industries and roles, and they offer a springboard into a full-time career if you choose to use it.

How can you turn a temp job you enjoy into your next permanent position? Use these tips for making the jump.

Treat Your Temp Job Like It’s Permanent

In a temp, some people fall into the trap of treating the job like it’s about to end. While it’s true that your contract will run out eventually, this mindset can get in the way of turning your temp job into a successful hire.

It’s helpful to treat your job like an audition for a permanent role. Arrive on time and leave at the appropriate finish. Don’t take long breaks, and take care of your assignments. Going above and beyond to make suggestions for improvements or work along with organizational strategy will also demonstrate your suitability for a full-time role.

Take Initiative and Help Out, Even When You Don’t Need To

Temp jobs have defined responsibilities; you’re not expected to help out permanent staff or aid other departments. However, there’s no reason that you can’t lend a helping hand.

Help out others in your department, your boss, or those with who you may work in other departments. If nothing’s assigned to you and something needs doing, take it upon yourself to do it. Aiming to create value and acting in the best interest of the company helps you stand out from the crowd and help you prepare for a jump into full-time work.

Build an Army of Allies

Being good at your job and helping out your team is a good start, but they’re not always enough to get you hired, particularly in companies that prefer the flexibility of temp workers. In these spaces, you need extra help from allies.

The relationships you build will help you make the transition from the temp to an invaluable member of the team. If your boss and colleagues advocate for you, then all your other work and skills will shine.

Are you looking for a new role in 2021? At RightStone, we use a unique process to perfectly match candidates with clients by finding roles suited to your skills and personality. Get in touch to learn more about what we do.


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