Life Is a Marathon

Yesterday I had a rare mom moment where a piece of advice came out of my mouth and it actually sounded wise and true. I even looked at my eldest son after I said these pearls of wisdom and said, “oh, that was good, right?” I am not totally sure if he meant this but he seemed to whole heartedly agree. So maybe wisdom does come with age and experience and maybe sometimes parenting isn’t just shooting in the dark hoping to hit the right path to turn your children into fantastic, caring, successful members of society.

So, this was my advice, and It applies to everyone, including me. “Life is a marathon, it is a solid pace of steady work running towards your goals. You can’t sprint every time you get behind or you will never win the race.” Ok – it’s not genius but it really worked. In my son’s case, he was stressing over finals and I was taking him in early so he could start his chemistry test. If he would have been more prepared and took that steady working pace throughout the semester, he wouldn’t have had to sprint this entire week to prepare. In the end, he did NOT do well on the test and it was a major lesson for him. It will be his first C in high school and he feels like he not only let us down but more importantly, he let himself down.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about tips for Time Management in The New Year and the conclusion of that post was simply: time management IS life management. As Ramona Mathany always says, “Just keep on doing the next right thing. Making bad choices in life only makes your life harder – so why be the cause of your own stress?”

I completely agree! We have all made the wrong choices in life, especially by not putting in the work every day, at a steady pace. Why do we continue to get in our own way? Hopefully my pearls of wisdom can help you, I know I need to take my own advice. Let’s just keep on doing the next right thing!

– Erin, Marketing Manager, All Star Labor & Staffing

Top 5 Tips For Professional Success

Even if you’re not in the customer service business, there are 5 easy ways to please your customers, your fellow co-workers and your boss: act like serving them is your first priority. Below we have compiled tips and pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers. Why did we do this? Because serving others really is serving yourself. If you can serve in the best interest of your job without putting your own personal issues before the task at hand, you can only succeed.

1. Be accessible
It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with your smallest or biggest client. If you always make the time to give them your full attention, no matter what – they will always bring you their business. With excellent customer service comes loyalty and referrals. When companies build relationships with their clients and suppliers, it’s a huge competitive edge. This rule also applies to your co-workers. Be a helping hand, everyone needs someone or something and when it is your turn you will want to be treated with the same attention and care.

2. Take care to really listen
People aren’t impressed by what you know or what you can offer until they see that you care. And you can’t possibly care in any meaningful way unless you have some insight into what people are feeling and why. While you’re paying attention to your customers and co-workers, make sure you take note of their mood as well. Sometimes serving others means taking into account what might be happening outside the work world.

3. Be experts in your field
Aside from being flexible to changing needs, the most important thing a small business can do to differentiate itself is having deep expertise and knowledge about a particular customer segment or industry. If you can quickly help a customer because you simply know the answer to their problem, then they know you are the company they can look to for direction.

4. Everyone is in customer service
Your customer-service team is your WHOLE team. Everyone who works in your company is on the frontline because they reflect the kind of business you want your customers to see. Your workers need to make sure customers are not just satisfied – but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person to hire to serve with everyone’s best interests at heart is your manager, since employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover. You want someone who’ll stick around and truly believe in your company’s mission, because otherwise, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the hiring challenge.

5. Serve better than the competition
A huge downfall is not knowing our competition. You need to know what your competition does well and what they don’t do well. You need to be able to differentiate yourself by compensating for what similar companies are not doing and what you do well. Become an expert in all areas of service including those that are gaps in the industry you serve. After you know the competition, you simply have to do better for your customer than the competition would.

Millennials and the “Silver Tsunami”

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According to Oregon Business Magazine, millennials are working in health care, retail and customer service. Kim Moore, a Research Editor at Oregon Business Magazine reported that many industry sectors – manufacturing, utilities – are facing a “silver tsunami”: an abundance of aging workers.

While Oregon Employment Department data has shown an increase over the past decade in workers between the ages of 22 and 34 in the sectors like customer service and retail – they are not seeing any growth in construction, finance, real estate and information services.

Millennials don’t seem to always follow the trend of going where the jobs are. For example, construction is currently the fastest growing sector in Oregon but it tops the list of the industries where the millennials are NOT working.

Working in staffing we see that there are a lot of opportunities for millennials with the right skills to find work in construction but we just aren’t seeing any growth there.

Nick Beleiciks, economist for the Oregon Employment Department suggests it’s probably because they came of age at the wrong time. “The construction industry was cutting jobs and then not growing at all from 2007 through 2013, a period when many millennials were starting their careers,” he says. “There wasn’t a lot of job opportunities for new workers in construction at the time, so young people went into other industries that were hiring.”

The Construction industry rebounded throughout 2014 but there’s still a deficit of millennial workers. New data from the state employment department shows a slight increase in millennial hiring in the manufacturing sector, which has hired more young workers than construction in the past few years.

You would think that millennials would be dominating the tech world but the data is not supporting the stereotype that comes with that generation. “Although tech is engrained in the daily lives and jobs of most millennials, they aren’t really over-represented in what is typically considered high-tech industries,” Beleiciks says. “The 35-to-54-year-old actually group holds the largest portion of jobs in the tech sector.”

We also know the stereotype that they are looking to work somewhere that will “make a difference,” and they are constantly looking for approval and instant gratification. With the Oregon unemployment rate at historic lows, millennials have more choices than ever but that should put more attention on the “silver tsunami.”

We encourage all ages, including millennials to learn new skills. We see this issue a lot in the staffing industry. There are incredibly skilled people out there wishing they could retire if only they could bring on more people that have the necessary skills, but they are incredibly hard to find. There are so many great and fulfilling jobs in construction and manufacturing and we are looking to do our part in helping to fill the age gap but the construction and manufacturing industries are going to have to step up its game to compete for millennial talent.

All Star Labor & Staffing has a talented group of recruiters that anticipate these kinds of trends in staffing. We will work hand in hand with you to mine a skilled, eager to learn group of millennials to help keep your business running strong.