Category: Success Tips

  • Wear it right: a Goldilocks approach to dress codes for employees

    Company dress codes run the gamut from very casual to buttoned down, and many in between. So, before accepting an offer for a full-time job, know your prospective employer’s wardrobe requirements, as you will have to adhere to it for 40 hours or more each week.

    If how you are permitted to dress for work is a priority, be familiar with the typical dress expectations for the job you have in mind. “Business,” “business casual” and “casual” dress codes have pronounced differences, and their interpretations may vary somewhat from company to company.

    Many companies permit their staff to dress casually, although some do not allow shorts or jeans, for instance. Others, where employees meet with clients and prospects, may expect staff to adhere to a business dress code. The in-between business casual attire might seem “just right” for many of you, but it isn’t for everyone—not dressy enough for some; too dressy for others.

    Business casual is not just casual

    Many companies have adopted a business casual dress code to let employees be comfortable at work while still projecting a professional image. More than half of surveyed employees prefer more relaxed dress codes, yet many say they’re uncertain at times about the acceptability of an ... Read More

  • What to Wear to Work – How to Dress in the Workplace

    Does adhering to a dress code really matter at work? The answer is yes; what you wear to work can either make or break you. You’ve heard the old adage “Dress for Success” and it is true. Not observing dress guidelines makes you stand out in a bad way. No one wants to be known for wearing ripped and faded jeans, a razorback tee and crocs to work. Remember that humans are inherently visual so if you make an attire mistake it will stick in your coworkers or supervisors minds.

    Navigating the nuances of dressing for success can be hard. To help I’ve compiled a simple list of attire that is appropriate for a casual, business casual, and professional work environments. These are just guidelines so remember to be cognizant of the specific guidelines for your job and your company.

    Guidelines for Casual Attire:

    what to wear to work


    • Sundress
    • Long skirt or short
    • Jeans or khakis
    • Casual button-down or tee
    • Sneakers, loafers, sandals


    • Jeans or khakis
    • Casual button-down or tee
    • Sneakers, loafers, sandals
    • Casual button-down or tee
    • Polo shirt

    Guidelines for Business Casual Attire:


    • Skirt, dresses, khakis or dress slacks
    • Knit shirt, sweater
    • Loafer, heels, dress shoes

    what not to wear to workRead More

  • Finding Your Niche

    You just graduated and you are being thrust into the big world.nich job wanted sign
    For the past twenty-ish years of your life, it has been planned out for you. You go to school, make good grades, go to college, make good grades, and get an internship. You no longer have your professors or guidance counselors or parents guiding your decisions. You are on your own. This is your wake-up call, you can do what you want, when you want it. Europe, anyone? But after the luster of receiving your diploma has worn off, you begin to realize that the world is open to you and that is a frightening concept (or it was for me at least).

    When I graduated, I thought that I had reached the pinnacle and it would effortless to land my first “real” job in the Public Relations field and I would be so successful that they would promote me to Account Manager and I would be a lifer at that organization. My expectations and my reality collided and my beliefs of effortlessness were put to bed.

    I thought that I had reached the pinnacle and it would ... Read More

  • Navigating the Outlandish Job Interview Question

    We’ve all been there; you are asked a question that completely stumps you in an interview. You are unsure how to answer it and you don’t completely understand how this question will help them make a hiring decision. So take a journey with me into the Twilight Zone of Hiring to give you a little insight into what companies want from those questions and how to avoid being a causality of that minefield.

    tough interview

    Let me give a little insight into why these outlandish questions are asked in an interview. Companies want to test your adaptability, your ability to think on your feet and then articulate your thoughts in a coherent manner even when under stress. These types of questions are a good baseline to see your ability to think fast and express your thoughts. So how do you survive these questions?

    1. First off, don’t panic! My first reaction when I first started interviewing out of college was to freak out. My response to panic was probably one of the worst things that I could do because it caused my nervous system to go into ... Read More
  • Surge in Temp Jobs Expected to Continue – Some Local Observations

    I saw a story this morning about the increasing use of temporary or contract workers since the bottom of the recession and that this trend is expected to continue.  Good news certainly, for my business!!  Woo Hoo!!   However, there were a couple of observations in the story and comments that I thought may make interesting reading.

    First off – why the surge?  Here in Central Pa what we’re seeing first is that businesses are continuing to try and operate as efficiently as possible.  Staff to the core, and supplement with temporary employees when needed.  Secondly, the labor market continues to improve.  The fact of the matter is that there are fewer and fewer experienced, qualified employees to choose from.  When this happens to the labor market businesses call people like me more.

    What we’re not seeing here in Central Pa are businesses asking us to take on their employees to get around the Affordable Care Act.  I have yet to have a serious conversation with a client looking at this as a strategy.  May that change as we get closer to the implementation of fines?  Maybe.  But at the moment it’s not an issue.

    We ... Read More

  • Stay Home – Cold and Flu Season is Here. Sick? Stay Home!

    As we move into the winter months, cold and flu season will affect many of our employees; however, most of these employees won’t stay home to recuperate.  Instead, they’ll drag themselves into the office when they are feeling sick and end up making several co-workers sick in the process.  The sick employee isn’t intentionally trying to spread their germs around, but they feel the need to come to work for reasons related to responsibility, perception, and financial burdens.  There’s now a new term to describe this trend “presenteeism”.

    According to a new study by Staples, 90% of American workers go to work when they are knowingly contagious.  This percentage is up from 80% in 2012 and 60% in 2011.  In addition to showing up for work sick, approximately 50% of employees will not get a flu shot.  So why are people at work when they shouldn’t be?  The term “presenteeism” has been coined to describe this trend.  Presenteeism can be as costly to an employer as absenteeism.  For example, germs can be spread to healthy workers resulting in other employees not being able to come into work. Another example is even though the sick employee is present at work, they are ... Read More

  • Writing… a lost art. How Johnny’s Inability to Write Is Impacting Hiring.

     Writing…  a lost art.  Are you finding it difficult to identify candidates who can actually put a few sentences together? We feel your pain. 

    We live in a world of informality.  Text messages and email have changed the speed of communication.  I’ve been “talking” with a business owner in Australia.  I’ve never really spoken with him.  We’ve communicated through email.  Digital ones and zeros fly through cyberspace at the speed of light. 

    Communication has been revolutionized.  With any revolution there is change – that’s what revolution is.  In the case of our communication revolution, what’s being lost is the ability to write.  For example, here’s a text I received from my son the other night;  “When will u guys get home”.  No punctuation, but he did capitalize “When”, although his phone probably did that automatically.

    The problem we face today is the increasing inability of our workforce to properly compose sentences.  Schools are spending more money on English and Math, but our youth are communicating all day long with texts and twitter posts.  This problem isn’t going away. Candidates that can write well and persuasively are going to be harder and harder to find. 

    What do we do about it?  We test.  I’ve written ... Read More