Monthly Archives: September 2017

4 Reasons Why It Is So Important To Follow Up And Stay In Touch

Jobs, bosses, colleagues and interviewers will come and go, but connections can last a lifetime.  It is imperative to stay in touch with your professional network, even while you are happily employed, because you never know when those connections may help you in your career.

1. Keep in Touch With Interviewers

It can be frustrating to make it to a final round of interviews, only to lose the position to another candidate. If you made it that far, however, it means that the hiring team saw something in you that they liked. Once you find out that you did not get the job, ask the hiring manager if it’s alright to keep in touch. Connect via LinkedIn, and check in sporadically. It is possible that their needs will change over time, and you may be a better fit for an open position in the future. It is also possible that the hiring manager will move on to another company. When she has an open position that suits you, you’ll have a much easier time getting your foot in the door if you’ve been diligent about remaining on her radar.

2. Don’t Lose Contact with Former Bosses

Hopefully, you’ve resigned from your former positions on a good note. If you parted ways amicably with an old boss, it’s not out of the question to keep in touch. Connect on LinkedIn, and when you see your former supervisors out and about at professional events, take some time to say hello and catch up.  Why? You never know where your career, or your former supervisor’s career, will go. Your old boss may move on to a new company, your old company could expand, each providing opportunities for you to return in a new capacity.

3. Follow up with Connections Made at Networking Events

People attend networking events to make connections. In order to make those connections work, you have to stay in touch. After each event, make time to sit down and email those people who made an impression on you – or those people you hope to impress. The emails should be short, but friendly and professional. Remind each person who you are and what you discussed at the event. Follow up by sending a LinkedIn invitation. Keep those people on your touch-base list and be sure to check in regularly.

4. Don’t Go Overboard

Staying in touch means sending an occasional email or placing an occasional phone call. Each point of contact should have a distinct purpose. You might attach or mention a news article about your connection’s company, or a piece of industry news they might find interesting. Don’t reach out once a week asking for a job. That is a surefire way to make yourself known as a nuisance. The point of networking is to establish professional relationships, not to hound people into doing things to further your career.

If you are actively seeking new career opportunities, the recruiters at The Prevalent Group would love to connect with you. We are always on the lookout for talented professionals in sales, marketing, engineering and technology. As a nationally recognized recruitment and executive placement agency, we work with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the country. We invite you to visit our job board and then contact us to learn more about current openings and potential opportunities. We look forward to meeting you.

Four Ways To Deal With Relocation

Making the decision to relocate for a job is never easy. That decision may often turn out to be the least stressful part of the move. Uprooting your family and your life to live in a new place can be extremely overwhelming. With a little bit of planning, however, you can ease some of the mental and emotional strain that comes with relocation. Here are four tips to help you manage that stress:

1. Take Advantage of Relocation Services

Many organizations offer relocation services to their employees. This typically involves working with a concierge who can help you with everything from locating a new home, to scheduling your moving van, to connecting you with local utilities. If your new company does not offer such a service, ask the HR department to connect you with a local, private relocation company.  Having a single point of contact to manage the details of your move can help minimize stress.

2. Stay Organized

Keep a calendar and detailed to-do lists for your move. Those lists should involve not only tasks, but also deadlines and important contact numbers. Keep a hard copy of each to do list as well as a digital copy in order to prevent loss. Lists will not only help you stay organized, but will allow you to break down large tasks into smaller, easy-to-handle steps.

3. Schedule a Visit to Your New City

If you’ve never visited your new city, schedule a trip for you and your family before moving day. While you certainly can take time to sightsee, the trip should be more about getting acclimated to your new surroundings. Show your family your new home or apartment. Figure out where the closest grocery store is, where the closest department stores and home improvement stores are, etc. If you have children, schedule a visit to their new school so that they can actually go inside the building, meet their teachers and see where they will attend class. This can ease some of the anxiety that you and your family are sure to feel in the first few days and weeks of relocation.

4. Create a Social Safety Net

Moving means leaving behind your social support network. Before you relocate, look for clubs and organizations that are similar to those you currently belong to.  If you use a site like Meetup, you can even connect with new people that share your interests before you move. The sooner you and your family can create social connections, the sooner you’ll feel at home in your new town.

Relocating for a new job can be overwhelming, but it can also be exciting. If you take steps to plan your move properly, it can ease some of the stress and keep you focused on doing well in your new position.

If you are an IT professional seeking new opportunities for professional growth, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of experienced recruiters can help you locate ideal information technology jobs in northern Illinois that align with your skills and your long-term career goals.

What You Should And Shouldn’t Ask As You Start Your Job

The first days and weeks on a job are the most critical when it comes to establishing a positive perception, learning the ropes, and building trust among your colleagues.  It will be important to ask questions along the way, but it’s equally important to know what not to say as you start your new job.

Questions for Your Boss

In order to have a good working relationship with your new supervisor, you’ll need to get a feel for the type of manager you’re working with. It is also essential to be clear about your exact responsibilities on the job.  It is appropriate to ask your new boss questions like:

  • How often do you prefer to receive project updates?
  • Do you like those updates to be made via email, telephone, or face-to-face?
  • What are your goals for my first month?
  • How will you measure my success in that first month?
  • How does this position fit into the “big picture” of the organization?
  • If I get stuck, who on the team is easily approachable for help?

Questions for Co-workers

Current employees can be wary of a new team member. They may wonder if you will upset the rhythm of the office, if you’ll get along with everyone, or even if you’ll upstage them. You’ll want to get to know your new colleagues and build a rapport by asking questions that show genuine interest in who they are and what they do. You might ask:

  • Tell me about your experience working on (project that you are assigned to).
  • What types of projects do you head up?
  • Do my responsibilities overlap with yours? In what ways?
  • What types of qualities do you like to see in your teammates?
  • What can I do to assist you and the team in achieving our goals?

What Not to Say

While it is important to ask questions as a new employee, you don’t want to be seen as needy or slow to learn. Asking too many questions, or asking the wrong types of questions can start you off on the wrong foot with your new colleagues. Avoid the following:

  • Don’t ask the same person the same question more than once. Keep a notebook and write things down.
  • Don’t bother people if they look extremely busy, unless it’s an absolute emergency.
  • Don’t ask your co-workers what happened to the person who held your job before.
  • Don’t ask how often you get to leave early, or if your boss cares if you show up late. It shows a lack of motivation.
  • Don’t ask anyone out on a date.
  • Don’t ask anyone how much they are paid.
  • Don’t turn down lunch invitations in your first few weeks. Be approachable and friendly at all times.

Always remember that your first few days and weeks on the job are going to be stressful. You will probably make some mistakes. Don’t be hard on yourself if you hit a few snags along the way.  Prepare yourself, ask questions, and do your best. There is always the next day to start over and get it right.

If you are looking for job search guidance, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement company that works with experienced professionals in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more. We look forward to working with you.

Summer Is Over And School Is In

Remember when September was exciting? When it meant a fresh start, new friendships, and opportunities to learn new things? Without “back-to-school” excitement, most adults don’t look forward to fall season the way they once did.

However, it’s always important to keep learning. Expanding your skills and knowledge base will make you more valuable to your current employer and more marketable to future employers. According to the American Psychological Association, learning can also help you increase your job satisfaction and reduce stress.  There are many ways that you can go “back to school” on the job this September.

Enroll in a Class

Visit the websites of your local colleges, universities, community colleges, and adult education centers. You don’t have to enroll in a degree program, but you may find a class or two that not only interests you, but will help you stay on the cutting edge of your field.

Sign Up for a Conference

Conferences are great places to network and to learn. Research conferences in your area of expertise, and when you find one that interests you, approach your boss to see if the company would be willing to sponsor your registration fee. They may be willing to pay for part of the fee or all of the fee, depending upon the conference and the skills you can bring back to the organization.

Start a Lunch-and-Learn Program

If your workplace doesn’t have a lunch-and-learn program, talk to your boss about getting one started. You may find that company leadership hops right on board. Lunch-and-learn sessions are events that give employees the opportunity to learn something new over their lunch break. To get things started, tap experts from within the company from different departments. For example, you may ask the marketing director to speak about social media. Lunch-and-learn sessions can be used for personal enrichment or to help employees grow their skills.

Get a Library Card

Do you have a list of books related to your field that you’ve been meaning to read? If you don’t already have one, sign up for a library card and start borrowing books for free. If you learn just one new skill or useful piece of information, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Volunteer for New Projects

A great way to learn is to simply do something. If you’ve been itching to try new things, volunteer for projects that might be slightly out of your comfort zone. Use those projects to not only expand your skill set, but to make professional connections with new co-workers as well.

If you’re looking for new career opportunities this fall, contact The Prevalent Group. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment company that works with experienced managers and executives in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more.  We can connect you with positions that will challenge you, expand your horizons, and help you reach your long-term career goals.