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Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Organizational Skills

 

Whether you work onsite or remotely, your organizational skills are important. Your ability to focus on tasks, remain productive, and meet deadlines plays a role in your career progression. As a result, you need to complete as much work as possible to the best of your ability each day.

Use these tips to improve your organizational skills at work.


Create a Routine

Establish habits that give structure to your day. This helps things go more smoothly so you can accomplish more. The longer you spend streamlining your habits, the more efficiently you can reach your goals.

Schedule Time for Email

Determine the times of day to check your email. This prevents you from reading new messages as they enter your inbox. When the time comes, respond to your priority email first. Star any messages you need to get to later. Organize your read email into folders. This helps you stay focused on your tasks while minimizing disruptions.

Time Block Your Days

Plan blocks of time to finish specific tasks. Include your most though-intensive activities during the times you are most productive. This helps you maintain focus and minimize disruptions. Be sure to allow for flexibility when things that need your attention come up. Remember to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Complete One Task at a Time

Focus on finishing one activity at a time. This helps prevent mistakes, lowers stress, and helps meet deadlines. You should get more done in less time with fewer distractions. You also can use your momentum to start the next activity on your list.

Take Regular Breaks

Walk away from your desk at regular intervals. Take a quick walk, talk with a coworker on break, or listen to music. Or, read a book, meditate, or listen to a podcast. You should come back focused and ready to accomplish more.

Establish Checklists

Develop checklists for recurring tasks and projects to standardize your work processes. Streamlining the steps ensures you fulfill all of the requirements. This reduces the number of errors and time spent redoing tasks.

Develop a Filing System

Establish a digital or physical system to file documents. You may want folders for invoices, contracts, or other important papers. Or, you could set up email folders by project, sender, or other categories. This ensures you save important correspondence without keeping unnecessary messages or documents.

Clean Up Your Workspace

Put away everything you do not need at the end of each day. Having a clean workspace when you start work the next day helps you stay motivated, focused, and productive. It also lets you find the documents you need when you need them.

Looking for a New IT Position?

Stay organized during your next IT job search by working with a recruiter from RightStone. Here is a link to our job board.


Reaching Out to Someone You Know About a Job Opportunity with Their Company

 

One of the best ways to land a new job is to have an employee refer you to the hiring manager. The manager is more likely to bring aboard someone their team member knows than another candidate. You are more likely to blend with company culture, fulfill the job duties, and remain with the organization long-term. This is why reaching out to a member of your network during your job search can be beneficial.

Follow these steps to reach out to a connection about a job you want with their company.

Write Down Your Talking Points

Make a short, bulleted list of where you have been and where you want to advance to. Include your last three job titles, the companies you worked for, and your top responsibilities. For instance, Account Executive, Smith PR: Served as the main point of contact for tech clients including Microsoft. Share the job title and function you desire and others you would consider. For instance, Senior Account Executive, Account Supervisor, or Public Relations Manager. Point out how you would be a good fit for each.

Send a Targeted Email

Craft a personal email to your connection at the company. Include a specific request about how they can help you. Ask for specific introductions at their company, such as to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Consider requesting an informational interview, general advice on the role and organization, or feedback on the resume you included with your email. Thank your contact for their help. Encourage them to stay in touch.

Remain Patient

Keep in mind that your contact is busy and may not reply to you right away. Wait a few days to follow up with them. Let your connection know you still are interested in the position and would appreciate an introduction to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Include any other request you may have, such as insider information about the organization, an informational interview, or input on your resume. Share that any help would be appreciated. Offer to return the favor when possible.

Partner with a Recruiter

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to find the IT job you want. Visit our job board today.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Communication

 

Strong communication skills are necessary for career success. Because every job requires human interaction, the more easily you facilitate communication with others, the more efficient and effective your work will be. This is why developing your communication skills should be one of your top priorities.

Implement these five tips to improve your workplace communication.

1. Pay Attention to Communication Styles 

Knowing how others tend to communicate helps you effectively facilitate conversations. For instance, passive communicators typically act indifferent or agreeable to keep the peace. Aggressive communicators often freely express their emotions and can be intimidating. Passive-aggressive communicators may appear aloof when they are upset or annoyed. Assertive communicators usually are considerate and express themselves in a clear, direct manner. Careful observation of others’ verbal and nonverbal communication can help you adapt your own style to build a foundation for mutual understanding.

2. Actively Listen

Pay close attention to what others are saying. Ask clarifying questions to show interest and understanding. This builds respect for the people you communicate with and facilitates collaboration.

3. Show Empathy

Demonstrate a shared understanding of others’ emotions. Showing you can relate to how someone feels helps you more effectively communicate with them. You can determine an appropriate approach and exhibit the proper feelings toward what they are talking about.

4. Be Persuasive

Convincing others to complete a desired action or behave in a certain way is important. It can lead to increased productivity and help achieve a goal. The stronger your ability to influence others’ attitudes and behaviors, the stronger your impact within the organization.

5. Practice Public Speaking

Increase the effectiveness of your presentations by repeatedly practicing them. For instance, begin each talk with something that immediately engages your audience and holds their interest. Also, use notes to guide your presentations. Additionally, maintain eye contact with your audience. Plus, project your voice and pace your discussion so the information is easy to process. Further, use visual aids and end on a strong note to leave a lasting impression.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone has a variety of IT roles that fit your skills, experience, and interests. Visit our job board today.


Why You Should Always Do Your Research Before an Interview

One key to success during an interview is sharing the information you learned about the company. This can be just as important as demonstrating your education, skills, and experience relevant to the role. The more you know about the organization, the better the impression you make on the interviewers. This can help you land a job offer.

Here are some reasons to find out all you can about an organization before an interview.

Understand the Company

Researching an organization lets you learn about its history, achievements, and culture. This includes how long it has been in business, the products/services it offers, and how they have improved throughout the years. Be sure you find out whether the company expanded to other locations, who the CEO is, and other relevant information. This helps make a good impression on the interviewers and can serve as a guide for your questions for them.

Behave in Line with the Culture

The more you know about the company, the better you can align with its culture. For instance, the attire you choose for your interview will be appropriate for the office. Also, answering interview questions in a way that aligns with the culture helps show that you would excel in the role. The better you present yourself, the greater your odds of moving forward in the interview process.

Share Excitement About the Organization

Knowing a significant amount of information about the business lets you show excitement about working there. For instance, you may be excited about the position because the company has a history of philanthropy and you enjoy giving back to the community. Sharing enthusiasm about this detail shows you would enjoy working for the organization.

Link Your Qualifications to the Role

The more you know about the company and position, the better you can point out why you are best qualified to work there. For instance, use the education, skills, experience, and other requirements mentioned in the job description to show you have what it takes to be successful. Also, provide specific examples of how your prior achievements are similar to what would be expected of you in the role. Additionally, discuss your ideas for how you could help increase efficiency if brought aboard.

Interested in a New IT Role?

Let a recruiter from RightStone know when you are ready for a new IT position. Visit our job board or send us your resume to help with your job search.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Work Discipline

Self-discipline is what helps you complete tasks when you do not feel like doing them. This is important whether you work remotely or at the office. The more self-discipline you develop, the greater your long-term career success will be.

Follow these guidelines to increase your self-discipline while working.

Set Your Work Hours

If you have flexibility, determine which work hours best fit your schedule and lifestyle. Include the time during which you are most productive. Try to keep the schedule as much as possible. Be sure to allow time to run errands and take care of personal responsibilities when needed.

Begin with Small Exercises

Choose something easy you can use self-discipline to improve on and consistently do. Or, use self-discipline to break bad habits and form good ones. For instance, choose a task you dislike, such as checking your inbox each morning. Perform the task first thing each day. Then, reward yourself with something else you like, such as a cup of coffee. After a few weeks, you should have a new habit.

Schedule Breaks

Taking regular breaks helps you maintain self-discipline. This helps you stay focused for significant periods and motivated to continue working. Be sure to leave your desk for each break. Go for a quick walk, listen to music, or do something else to relax. You will come back rested and ready to work.

Break Up Large Tasks into Smaller Tasks

Tackling a significant assignment can feel overwhelming. This can lead to procrastination and lack of achievement. To combat the issue, break up the complex task into more manageable tasks. Begin with the first assignment, then move to the next. Continue until the entire task is finished. This increases your motivation to complete the assignment on time and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Prepare for the Next Day

Finish each day by getting ready for the next one. For instance, think about what you accomplished throughout the day. Then, consider what needs to be done tomorrow morning. Next, write down the tasks you need to finish the next day. This gives you a plan to work from tomorrow.

Looking for a New IT Job?

When the time comes to find a new IT job, include RightStone in your search. Here is a link to our job board. Or, send us your resume to learn about future opportunities.


How to Create a Career Development Plan

Managing your IT career helps maximize your happiness and success. Because you invest so much of your adult life by working, you want to make the most of your time. Having a plan helps you set milestones and accomplish your professional goals.

Use these tips to develop a plan for your IT career.

Start with Your Current Role

Think about where you are now. For instance, make a list of your skills, strengths, and experience. Also, include what you enjoy doing most, what gives you energy, and what keeps you motivated. Additionally, focus on whether you prefer leading, collaborating, or working independently. Plus, consider whether you have finished your education or would like additional certifications or degrees.

Include Your Destination

Figure out where you want your career to lead. For instance, think about what you want to be doing in 5 to 10 years. Then, focus on where you want to be in shorter increments. Also, decide whether you will be with the same employer in a more senior role, at another company, or in an entirely new career. Be sure your goals align with what motivates you the most.

Analyze Your Gaps

Use your career goals for the next 2 to 5 years to find postings for the type of job you want. See whether you have the education, skills, experience, and requirements for each role. Next, rate your list of education, skills, and experience against the job requirements. Use 1 to indicate no match between yourself and the requirement and 5 to indicate an excellent match. The lower the rating, the more time and energy you will need to invest in improvement. Then, group together the common skills and experiences you have a solid background in and those that require additional development. This shows the type of education, skills, and experience you should focus on.

Develop Your Career Plan

Use your list of the education, skills, and experience you need to develop to create your career goals for the next few years. Start by creating tasks related to each item and how you will achieve it. For instance, if you want to learn specific software, you could ask a colleague to show you or take a class. Then, organize a timeline for a logical direction in which to reach your goals. Begin with the short-term tasks you can quickly achieve, such as reading a book, before moving to the long-term goals, such as earning a master’s degree. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Give yourself start and end dates with milestones in between.

Measure Your Progress

Hold yourself accountable for making progress toward your goals. For instance, keep track of how your results align with your deadlines. Also, find ways to get back on course when needed. Additionally, revise your deadlines accordingly. Plus, celebrate your successes along the way.

Advance Your IT Career

Move forward in your IT career with help from RightStone. Visit our job board today.


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.


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