TACC Celebrates Community Achievement at Annual Event

TACC Celebrates Community Achievement at Annual Event

For many East Texans there are months left in the year, but not for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). Their fiscal year ends on September 30, so their year just came to a close. They celebrated with an annual event recognizing Chamber accomplishments and presenting awards to community members.

I Choose Tyler

The event was held at Harvey Convention Center and catered by Stanley’s and Roast Social Kitchen. The banquet’s theme was “I Choose Tyler,” and that message resonated throughout the evening. “A lot of people come to Tyler for a specific reason,” Henry Bell, TACC’s Chief Operating Officer said, “And they end up staying because it’s just such a great place.”

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to encourage an environment where businesses can thrive and to enhance both economic well-being and quality of life in the area. Over 2,500 businesses, organizations and individuals make up the association. Amazingly, it is the fourth largest Chamber in the state of Texas.

This Year’s Highlights

The Chamber of Commerce is made up of subcommittees that enhance different aspects of community life and business development. They’re responsible for why so many people do choose Tyler for their place to live and do business.

Big things happened this past year because of each committee member’s commitment to making Tyler even better. Skip Ogle, Chairman of the Board for 2018-2019, introduced a video highlighting accomplishments like these:

  • The Aviation Committee celebrated the completion of Runway 422 at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, part of ongoing improvements to that side of the facility. On July 2, Frontier Airlines started offering nonstop flights to Denver, connecting Tyler to a second transportation hub.
  • The Energy Committee offered the 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas, bringing key industry experts to Tyler. They also continued to stimulate area job growth by establishing the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter. This partnership encourages apprenticeships between area businesses and educational institutions.
  • The Surface Transportation Committee worked to improve the transportation infrastructure around Tyler alongside NetRMA, the Texas Department of Transportation, Smith County and the City of Tyler. Work is ongoing in places like Old Jacksonville, Loop 49, Rhones Quarter Road and Paluxy.
  • The Business Development Council hosted multiple expos to support Tyler area businesses. Their program “School is Cool” provided supplies and services for thousands of students before classes started this year.
  • The Business Education Council focused efforts connecting local businesses and the area economy. The program matched city and local business leaders with Tyler ISD high school seniors to work together to ensure senior success.
  • Visit Tyler reported last year visitors spent $386 million in Tyler. The 2019 Azalea Trail alone had an economic impact of almost $1.9 million.

Business of the Year Awards

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Business of the Year Award to local organizations that support TACC’s mission to enhance the business environment, economic well-being and quality of life for the Tyler area. Cooperative Teacher’s Credit Union received the Small Business of the Year Award because of their heart for giving, community involvement and support for the Chamber Education Committee.

Mewbourne Oil Company received the 2018-2019 Large Business of the Year Award. TACC commended the organization’s high standards in hiring and its support of local events.

TACC Award Winners

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presented several awards at the evening event. Bob Garrett, an East Texas real estate developer and president of Fair Oil Company of Texas received the T.B. Butler Award, an award Butler Publishing Company has presented to outstanding leaders since 1929. Friends and associates describe Garrett as a man of his word, who can handle any challenge and do so with integrity.

The W.C. Windsor Award goes to Tyler’s most outstanding person under the age of 40. This year’s recipient was Lindsey Shaver Harrison, director of sales for medical device company NanoVibronix. Harrison founded flippingtyler.com, is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center, serves as public relations chair of the Cattle Baron’s Committee and has been involved in several volunteer organizations.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce also presented our own Gates Brelsford with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Gates has been the Team Lead for the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas for several years. The March 2019 Energy Summit had a record of 450 attendees and 35 sponsors. The Energy Summit exists to bring top industry experts to East Texas and focuses on:

  • Job creation in Northeast Texas
  • New investment in energy resources
  • Educating the general public about the benefits of the energy industry

For more on this year’s energy summit, see our 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas Recap.

Live Love Tyler

The Chamber welcomed June Cheatham as the 2019-2020 Chair of the Board. She challenged attendees to ponder what it means to live in Tyler, to love Tyler and to live out your love on a daily basis. “To love Tyler is to love its people,” she said, “To commit to its people…which each of you do on a daily basis as you either own, operate or work for entities that provide jobs and stability for the people of Tyler.”

At Brelsford Personnel, that’s a commitment we take seriously. We feel privileged to be part of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and our community. We look forward to serving area residents and members of the business community in the year ahead.

Personal Tragedy in the Workplace – Showing Support While Respecting Privacy

Personal Tragedy in the Workplace – Showing Support While Respecting Privacy

When you spend 40 hours a week with the same people, you share success and stress, trials and triumph. You get close. But when someone experiences a personal tragedy, it can be hard to know how to react.

When a co-worker experiences a death in the family, divorce, serious illness or other difficult circumstance, you want to show you care, but you also don’t want to overstep boundaries. They may take some time off, but that’s not long enough to heal from a crisis. Here are tips for showing support.

Stay Away from These Phrases

When you don’t know what to say, it’s tempting to use phrases you’ve heard before. Avoid statements like the following:

  • I know exactly how you feel.
  • At least now he/she is in a better place.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • You can always try again.
  • God never gives us more than we can handle.

Your goal is to be supportive and say the right things, but those statements minimize what they’re going through. Plus, they’ve probably heard the same clichés from others, and it gets harder each time they’re repeated.

Avoid Comparisons

There may come a time when you can share what happened to you, but immediately after the tragedy, try not to compare what happened to your co-worker to what you or someone else you know experienced. Also, try not to offer advice unless your co-worker asks for it.

Every loss happens differently, and mourning is an individual process. You can let them know you experienced a similar loss and you’re available if they want to talk, then just leave it at, “I can’t imagine what this is like for you.”

But Don’t Avoid Your Co-Worker

Every time you see them, you hurt for what they’re going through. You don’t want to say or do the wrong thing, so it’s tempting to try and stay away. There’s nothing you can do to “fix” what they’re feeling, but you can let them know they’re not alone and that you care.

When you have a chance to talk in private, make eye contact and offer your condolences. Listen if they want to talk, and if not just be there. Send them a text every so often to let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Mail a Card

Tangible evidence of support matters. Buy a greeting card with an appropriate message and give everyone at the office time to write a brief message, then drop it in the mail. That allows everyone to express their concern and willingness to be available. Written words get read again and again. They end up as keepsakes that later, when the person has had time to heal, are evidence of the people who were there for them at the very worst times.

Start a Meal Train

It’s almost always helpful to bring food, and believe it or not, there’s an app for that. Meal Train has a free plan that allows you to create an online meal calendar, designate where co-workers should drop off food, warn about food allergies or meal preferences and send invites through email or social media. People who don’t cook but still want to participate can show support with a gift card or restaurant meal.

There’s no timeline for healing from a tragedy, and the process is difficult. Your co-worker will appreciate your support and concern throughout the process.

Administrative Assistant Skills That Make You Stand Out

Administrative Assistant Skills That Make You Stand Out

Clients of Brelsford Personnel are always looking for the best administrative assistants. Our agency seeks out quality administrative talent to place with top East Texas employers. But what exactly does it mean to be the best? Take a look at these key skills to find out if you’re a good fit for one of our administrative assistant jobs.

Communication

Administrative assistants tend to be one of the first faces a client will see. All communication – whether it is on the phone, over email, or in person – should be clear, concise, and direct. Administrators rely on their assistants to communicate with company employees at every level, so a friendly and professional communication style can keep things running smoothly.

Another essential part of communication is body language. For example, maintaining an open stance by not crossing your arms demonstrates you are approachable. Keeping eye contact and wearing a friendly expression are also indispensable parts of this skill.

When you understand and manage your own emotions and positively influence those of others, you show strong emotional intelligence. Your strength enables quick decision-making and simplifies conflict resolution.

Effective Time Management

Would people who know you describe you as someone who sets goals, prioritizes, and plans ahead? Many recruiters are searching for a candidate with exceptional time-management skills. Time management is a vital attribute for any employee, but especially for administrative assistants.

The key is to start every day with a clear idea of what needs to be done. That means planning. Make a to-do list or outline a plan to make the most of your day. Anticipating solutions to common hiccups helps work move more efficiently. A good administrative assistant instinctively looks for problems and addresses them before they are noticed.

Strong candidates also have a laser-like focus. They know how to filter out distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. Their time management skills lead to higher productivity and job satisfaction. For more on time management, see our article 3 Time-Wasting Habits to Break Now.

Attention to Detail

Paying attention to the little things can mean the difference between an average employee and an amazing one. It’s the details that count. When you spot even the minor mistakes, your work is dependably accurate.

This skill requires good listening, meticulous observation, and exceptional patience. Even small mistakes can have major consequences, but detail-oriented administrative assistants thrive.

Confidentiality

Administrative assistants should handle all information with extreme confidentiality. One of the most important parts of your job is safeguarding the information you receive about clients, the company and other employees.

Sharing this information can lead to a loss of revenue. It can ruin relationships and cause big accounts to go to the competition. A confidentiality breach can turn into a media nightmare and ruin a company’s good name forever. If an administrative assistant leaks information their company doesn’t just lose business, they break trust.

Most companies have regulations explaining what you can and can’t discuss outside of work. These are often outlined in the employee handbook, so if you get the job make learning them a high priority. No matter where you apply for an administrative assistant job, recruiters are looking for employees that know how to be prudent with their words.

Organization

Organization and adaptability are must-have skills for administrative assistants. It’s not just about who has the cleanest desk or powers through a to-do list fastest. These are the skills you’ll need to promote a positive working environment:

  • Problem-solving – This goes back to effective communication. A strong administrative assistant can work with others to solve tough problems in an organized fashion.
  • Physical Work Space – Having stacks of loose papers or personal items piled all over your desk sends a bad message to an employer.
  • Professional attire — A person’s physical appearance indicates to employers the care and attention to detail with which they approach their work. Clean, professional clothing can go a long way.
  • Planning and Scheduling – Your ability to juggle deadlines and appointments makes you an asset. When you take the initiative to complete tasks, it shows employers that you’re looking out for their interests. In the long run, your organization signals you’re ready for more responsibility.
  • Prioritization – A strong administrative assistant knows the difference between a high-priority task and a low-priority task. He or she always responds accordingly.

For an administrative assistant, these traits are key ingredients of a productive and fulfilling job experience. When you apply and when you go through the interview process, employers are evaluating your organization skills. Once you get the job, you won’t last long if you don’t show adaptability and oversight.

Problem Solving

How do you respond to the unexpected? For administrative assistants, new situations arise quickly that may require rapid-fire decisions and clear knowledge of the workplace.

Sometimes events derail your day and ruin your plans. Getting off-track can be difficult, but the best administrative assistants know how to quickly alter course and minimize disruptions after new problems arise. Recruiters are searching for employees who can adapt to change quickly and efficiently.

Being adaptable makes the workplace more cohesive. It’s a must-have skill for your position, and one that will make you stand out as a driven and exemplary employee.

The Importance of Experience

Being an administrative assistant requires diverse talents, but your company needs those skills to run smoothly. If you are self-motivated and a team player who is comfortable using a phone or computer, this might be the job for you. Administrative assistant jobs may include responsibilities like handling phone calls, answering mail, managing filing systems, and maintaining office supply inventories. You’ll probably also be required to type, enter data, and manage schedules and appointments.

Always check the job posting to see what is the minimum amount of experience required. It’s also good to be upfront about proficiency in programs you will interface with like Word, Excel, and QuickBooks.

If this article describes you, you may be perfect for the job of administrative assistant. Feel free to check out our online job postings for your next career opportunity.

What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview

What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview

Your resume got you in the door, and you’re already thinking about how landing the job will make your life better. The next step is the interview. The person you’re meeting with will be watching everything you say and do to evaluate whether you’re the right fit for the job. If you wear any of the following, the first impression you make might not be what you hope.

Wild and Flashy Attire

When you select your interview attire, stay away from loud colors and wild prints. No cheetah or tropical print, no neon colors, and no large logos or slogans. It’s better to stick with simple and classic.

That goes for accessories as well. Avoid big earrings and chunky necklaces and bracelets. Nothing you wear should jingle when you move.

Don’t put anything flashy on your head. Big hair bows and beanies are distracting. Also, leave your sunglasses and headphones in the car.

Makeup can be wild and flashy too. It’s better to wear light, neutral colors so your interviewer remembers your intelligence, not your eye shadow.

Strong Scents

Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne. If you’re not sure how scented you are when you apply your favorite fragrance, ask someone you trust or skip it altogether when you go for your interview.

Tight or Baggy Clothes

How your clothes fit matters. If you have to struggle to get into any part of your outfit, choose something else. You’ll look much more professional if you avoid attire that’s form-fitting. Also, stay away from clothing that shows cleavage, your midriff or tattoos and body piercings.

You can go too far in the other direction as well. Baggy pants and oversized tops can make the wearer look sloppy. The interviewer could infer your work might be sloppy too.

Uncomfortable Shoes

Flip flops are too casual, but they aren’t the only type of shoes you should avoid. Choose something simple, professional and basic. You can’t predict how much walking you’ll do before, during and after your interview, so it’s best to avoid new shoes or tall heels. If your feet hurt, it’s harder to focus on the interview.

Anything Transparent

Don’t wear clothing that has material you can see through, no matter how trendy it is. Undergarments should never be visible when you go for an interview. Also, don’t wear clothing that has holes in it.

The best idea when planning interview attire is to research the company you hope to work for. Check their social media pages to see if they have pictures of employees at work, or drive by the parking lot a few days before your interview. See how current workers dress, then choose attire that’s slightly more formal than what you see.

At Brelsford Personnel, we want candidates to have all the tools they need for success. For more on typically acceptable attire, visit our resources page.

Summer Jobs in East Texas

Summer Jobs in East Texas

Some people think summer is just about hot days at the lake, leisure and vacation. Others view the season as an opportunity to make extra income. Teachers have a few months to supplement their salary with seasonal work. High school and college students can take advantage of time away from the books. Retirees may choose to work a few months to pocket additional income.

Sometimes Tyler seasonal employment even provides an opportunity that lasts into fall. These summer jobs are available now in East Texas.

Food Server

Restaurants often experience a traffic surge during summertime. The days are longer, schedules are packed with summer activities and no one wants to heat up the kitchen. Food server jobs provide summer income. They also help workers develop customer service skills, multitasking abilities, situational awareness and active listening.

Back of house food service employees prepare dishes and clean up after. Front of house employees interact with diners. Small restaurants might ask staff to do a little bit of everything. Look for area restaurants with a “Now Hiring” sign in the window, but also think outside the box. Places like Christus Trinity Mother Francis and Tyler Junior College also frequently advertise a need for food service workers in their cafeterias.

Camp Counselor

Summer day camps provide childcare and activities for kids when the school year is no longer in swing. East Texas has several, and they all need camp counselors and childcare workers. A camp counselor job allows workers to mentor kids and spend the summer in a fast-paced, high-energy environment. You’ll hone transferrable skills like communication, leadership and conflict resolution. Here are a few of the summer camps hiring counselors in East Texas:

Retail Store Jobs

Area retailers are always looking for good employees, whether it’s seasonal or otherwise. If you’re looking for a Tyler summer job hiring now, here are a few of the roles you might want to consider.

  • Cashier – Use the store’s point-of-sale system to check customers out. You’ll need a positive attitude, solid math skills and good interpersonal communication abilities.

  • Stock clerk – If you excel at keeping things neat and organized and have strong attention to detail, apply for a summer job as a stock clerk. Your store will rely on you to keep shelves full, put back scattered merchandise and track inventory.

  • Merchandiser – Merchandisers set up product displays strategically to draw attention to featured products and sales. Workers need strong design and organizational skills.

  • Retail associate – These workers answer questions, help customers find what they’re looking for and act as a general store ambassador.

Look for summer retail jobs at places like Dillards, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy and as well as smaller retail stores.

Summer Internships

High school and college students can use the summer break to learn skills that could help them land a more professional role later. Some summer internships are on a volunteer basis, but many of them are paid. If you’re a student, visit your school’s career center to find local opportunities in your chosen field. It also doesn’t hurt to make a dream list and go directly to company websites.

Summer is also a good time for job shadowing, where an individual works alongside professionals to gain knowledge in a particular field. Financial corporations, legal firms, manufacturing facilities, medical institutions and other industries sometimes offer job-shadowing for qualified candidates. Observers or interns get an inside look at what it’s like to work for one particular employer and gather firsthand information on must-have skills.

Positions Available Now

At Brelsford Personnel, we match East Texas job seekers with top area employers. Here are just a few of the positions we’re hiring for now. (They are not summer jobs.)

View other available positions when you visit our job board today.

How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

A huge part of how you feel about your job involves the people you work with. Positive work relationships will make you look forward to doing what you do. When the workplace contains undercurrents of tension and dissatisfaction, everyone suffers.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on building positive, effective relationships with co-workers and administrators. You may not be able to be friends with everyone but there are always steps you can take to strengthen the work relationships you have while forging new ones.

Evaluate and Improve Soft Skills

Building better relationships doesn’t start with your co-workers and managers. It begins inside when you take an objective look at your soft skills.

Hard skills are the ones you trained for. They’re things like your certifications, degrees, second languages and the number of words per minute you type. Soft skills are harder to measure. Here are a few examples:

  • Leadership
  • Problem solving ability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Strategic thinking
  • Competitiveness
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Compassionate listening

You may not have put them on your resume, but they’re crucial to building strong work relationships. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and look for ways to improve.

Steps for Better Communication Skills

No matter where you are on the communication skills spectrum, there’s room for improvement. You have the power to build better relationships when you make your goals specific and measurable.

Speak positively about your co-workers and administrators. It’s not kissing up, it’s being encouraging. Look for three ways to provide positive feedback every work day. Set a reminder on your phone to note whether you met your goal before you go home.

Ask questions. If you know your co-worker has a skill you’re curious about, give them a chance to share how they learned it. When working as a team, pause and ask other members what they think, and listen to what they say.

Express appreciation. Thank at least one person every day for something they do. Be on the lookout for little things that might normally go unnoticed. When presenting teamwork, let others hear you be appreciative for their individual contributions. Share credit when things go right, but when they don’t, avoid the temptation to place blame.

Avoid gossip like the plague. Office politics kill relationships. If you have a problem with someone, speak to them in private. If the situation doesn’t involve you, don’t add fuel to the fire by passing on information.

Improving work relationships takes consistent effort, but it’s worth it. When you make an intentional effort to pour good into the lives of those around you, it creates a ripple effect that will spread throughout your entire organization.

5 Email Etiquette Rules Every Employee Should Know

You may send and receive electronic communication all day long, but are you using email correctly? With some types of messaging it’s okay to be informal, but if it involves work email, there are rules you don’t want to break. Before you hit “send” one more time, make sure you’re protecting your professional image.

Use These With Caution

Think carefully before you use some email buttons and classifications. Use these options sparingly:

  • Reply All – Before you send an email, ask yourself if it needs to go to everyone on the list. There could be disastrous consequences if you mean to send a sarcastic comment to your friend and it actually goes to everyone at the office. If your communication doesn’t concern everyone, don’t use “reply all.”
  • Read Receipts – If you request to be notified when co-workers, employees, customers and clients open your email, it feels intrusive. When your information is time-sensitive or you’re concerned about whether or not it reaches its destination, ask the recipient in the email to let you know once they receive it.
  • CC vs. BCC – If you’re sending an email to a group, often it’s better to send a blind carbon copy (BCC) rather than a carbon copy (CC) where everyone’s email address is displayed.
  • Forward – If it doesn’t have to do with work, don’t use this button.

Write Good Subject Lines

If you could summarize your email in a few words, what would you say? Your email subject line should be clear and direct. Examples include, “Staff Meeting At 2 p.m. Today,” or “Question About Atkins Project.”

A well-written subject line makes it more likely people will open your email. Subject lines aren’t the place to be vague or make obscure references. Remember, the whole point of office email is to streamline communication.

Use a Professional Email Address and Signature Block

It’s best to always use your company email address. If you’re self-employed or for some reason have to send an email from your personal account, make sure your email address reflects professionalism.

Include an automated signature that attaches to every email. It should contain three or four lines of text that tell who you are and how else people can get in touch. It might also include your photo or company logo. Avoid hard-to-read fonts or lengthy statements. Simple and direct is always best.

Use Professional Salutations

Avoid informal greetings like “Hey,” or “What’s up?” Instead, use “Dear Mr. Smith,” “Hello Mrs. Francis,” or “Hi Jonathan.”

Don’t shorten the recipient’s name unless you know that’s what they prefer. For example, don’t address Steven as Steve unless he invited you to do so.

Proofread Carefully

Read through your email at least once silently and once out loud before you send it. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, and to make sure your tone is what you intend. Be careful with humor, since that doesn’t always come across electronically.

Only use one punctuation mark at the end of sentences, and in most cases, that punctuation shouldn’t be an exclamation mark. Multiple exclamation marks make you sound angry!!! Plus, can you see how using several question marks make you seem impatient to receive an answer????

Remember if you send it, others can forward it. Show your best self on email to protect your professional image and your career future.

Employment and Wages – Good News for 2019

Employment and Wages – Good News for 2019

On any news network, you find phrases like, “border crisis,” “violence surge,” “government shutdown,” and “trade war.” It’s alarming, and after a while it becomes discouraging. Brelsford Personnel notes some good news backed by hard data. Employment opportunities are better than they’ve been in years, and wages are firming and increasing. If you’re looking for a new job or a better position, this may be the most encouraging environment in a while for conducting your search.

Unexpected Gains

Analysts didn’t expect things to be going as well as they are. Before the new year, experts predicted employment would drop. The economic forecast was flashing warnings. The United States and China have been trading tariffs that raise the cost of goods. The stock market suffered its worst yearly losses in ten years, and interest rates were heading up.

However, employment exceeded expectations. According to an article by The Wall Street Journal, employers in the United States continued adding jobs at a robust rate. In 2018, wages posted their biggest gains in a decade. That is good news, along with the Fed’s announcement they’d be patient about further interest rate hikes, which caused stock prices to surge.

It’s all consumer-based. Unemployment is at its lowest in 50 years, nationally at 3.9 percent. In Smith County, the numbers are even better, with unemployment at 3.7 percent. People are working. They’re making money, and they’re spending it.

What That Means For You

Employers say it’s hard to find the right employees. When they do find them, their goal is to keep them. In 2018 the national average for hourly earnings went up 3.2 percent.

In East Texas we have a very healthy job market and qualified candidates are in high demand. When asked how local employers are working to keep employees, Brelsford Personnel’s Gates Brelsford offered an insider’s view. “Our sense is because there is a shortage of quality employees,” he said, “that creates more demand and therefore pushes up wage rates, because companies have to pay more to get good people.”

“Employers are looking for someone who has at least two things,” he continued. “The first is a very close match in their skillset for that hiring authority. The second is a cultural fit or professional demeanor, and what that is that depends on the company.”

The bottom line is, now is a good time to look for a job. The economy is very healthy as far as hiring goes, so it’s a great time to find the position you’ve been hoping for. It might even come with a wage increase.

Currently, the Brelsford Personnel job board includes openings for a wide range of positions. They might have already posted your next graphics design job, legal assistant position or bookkeeping job. Brelsford specializes in administrative office support, accounting and financial services, human resources and more.

Look through our online job postings to see what’s available today. Also, like and follow The Brelsford Facebook page to see new job openings as they become available.

Sources:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-december-nonfarm-payrolls-grew-by-312-000-jobless-rate-rose-to-3-9-11546609016

Stick to That Resolution, We Can Help

Stick to That Resolution, We Can Help

Year after year East Texans set New Year’s resolutions, but those resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. The most common ones involve eating better and exercising more. This year a survey by Inc.com found 16 percent of Americans are also pledging to find new employment. Brelsford Personnel offers tips on how to keep some of the most common resolutions, whether they involve nutrition, physical activity or a complete career change.

Simple Tricks for Eating Healthy at Work

Once you get to work, your food options are limited to what you brought with you and what you can pick up on your lunch break. Nutrition is an all day, every day thing. Keep yourself on track with these tips:

  • Meal prep – Spend time on Saturday or Sunday to cook and package food you’ll actually want to eat. Try a one pot meal, healthy soup, quinoa salad or something else you can munch over the course of a few days. If you don’t cook, find healthy, prepared protein, raw veggies and whole grains at the grocery store. Pack meals in individual portions so you can grab and go.
  • Snack prep – You’ll be better able to resist the doughnuts in the break room if you have healthy snacks in your desk. Pack fruit, snack bags of nuts, low-fat yogurt etc.
  • Have a backup plan – If you forget your lunch or don’t have time to prepare, decide now what you’ll pick up that won’t derail your diet. Try a salad from Jason’s Deli or an “enlightened” entrée from BJ’s. If you only have time for fast food, a chili from Wendy’s only has 170 calories.

Work Exercise Hacks

It’s always a good idea to park farther away and take the stairs, but there are other ways to squeeze in physical activity, even if you have a desk job. Set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour and every time it goes off, try one of the following for 60 seconds:

  • Stretching
  • Jogging in place
  • Air squats
  • Imaginary jump rope

If you’re stuck in your chair, strengthen your core by raising one leg at a time until it touches the underside of your desk, then repeating with the other. Also, Amazon sells an elliptical trainer that fits under your desk for easy, on-the-job cardio.

New Year, New Job

If you were among the 16 percent of Americans who resolved to find a new position, now is the time to take your first steps in that direction.

Check out the open jobs on the Brelsford Personnel website at https://www.brelsfordpersonnel.com/ . Click on “Positions” and scroll down to review the open jobs. If there are any you wish to be considered for, you may apply online by filling out an employment profile under our “Candidates” tab. We review all incoming resumes and retain them even when there’s not an immediate fit.

While you’re there, you may also want to visit our “Resources” page, where you’ll find resume writing advice, dress code guidelines, interview tips and other tools that might help you in your job search.

Holiday Stress – What Causes It, How to Reduce It

Holiday Stress – What Causes It, How to Reduce It

This month the holiday season cranks into high gear, and not everyone is feeling merry and bright. Many East Texans feel financial stress, loneliness, relationship issues and fatigue. Often it feels like work pressure seems to intensify.

If you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of holiday stress and find ways to release some of that pressure.

List Workplace Stress Causes

It’s easy to get so busy putting out fires you don’t stop and think what’s causing them or how they’re affecting you. Take a few minutes on your daily commute to make a mental list of what’s creating your feeling of stress. Are you facing deadlines on any of the following?

  • End-of-year reporting
  • Conducting or receiving performance evaluations
  • Participating in company holiday celebrations – choosing a Secret Santa gift, figuring out what to wear, arranging your food contribution etc.
  • Planning for and working Black Friday and other holiday sales
  • Training and managing seasonal staff
  • Working extra hours when others take off for holiday vacation or shopping
  • Handling your most demanding workload during holiday-shortened weeks

When you start making your list, you’re probably going to recognize you feel overwhelmed because you face a formidable mountain of demands. If you haven’t been bubbling over with holiday cheer, that’s okay. Give yourself a break.

You may also be facing personal challenges. The holidays highlight strained family relationships and intensify grief over lost loved ones. All the extra shopping, entertaining and travel can strain any individual’s budget. Sometimes it helps just to acknowledge what you’re dealing with.

Be There For Others

Being kind to others will help lighten your own mood. Be on the lookout for people who need an extra word of encouragement.

If your co-worker is going through a difficult divorce or you remember your employee lost a parent last year, be available if they need someone to talk to. When people go out of their way to make the season joyful for others, be generous with your gratitude.

How Managers Can Reduce Holiday Stress

If you’re in charge of your team, you are integral to the emotional climate in your workplace. You can help struggling staff cope with holiday stress in several ways.

Encourage healthy habits. Highlight employee fitness programs at the end of the year as much as you do at the beginning. If you’re planning food for corporate events or picking up breakfast for the group, provide healthy choices.

Accept “no.” Be understanding if employees choose not to participate in workplace holiday activities.

Include employees in decisions. Find out how they want to celebrate the holidays. Instead of a party, would they rather organize a toy drive or participate in a charity 5k?

Allow breaks when needed. Consider making one of your holiday gifts to staff a half day to do whatever they need to take care of themselves.

A little thoughtfulness and sensitivity goes a long way. It may be what eliminates just enough of the pressure to turn a stressful holiday into a merry one.

Sources:

http://www.clearrock.com/5-ways-managers-can-reduce-holiday-stress-in-the-workplace/

https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/the-dark-side-of-holiday-season-how-leaders-can-help-employees-cope-with-holiday-stress.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544