Tag: life balance

You don’t know what you’re missing!

Written by Cindy M., Recruiter & Assistant Team Manager – JFC Workforce  

Prior to my current work family I spent six years in the insurance industry as a case manager.  In that period of time I learned many things but was never ‘formally’ introduced to the concept of professional development.  After my time in the insurance industry I was hired by JFC Workforce.  It was a foreign world and industry to me however I was excited to embark on a different path.  That was three years ago and “wow” was I in for an awakening.

It was at JFC where I was propelled into being a student of deliberate learning; not just about the industry but also about myself.  It was a pivotal moment where professional development was infused into my mindset.

From the very first day, heck the very first hour, it was apparent that my employer genuinely cared about my personal and professional growth. Several of the VP’s spent one on one time with me and welcomed me to the team.  The CEO even spent time to learn about me and explain the vision and culture.  It was quite surreal.  It was also during those first few encounters that it sunk in…”I had gained a second family, my JFC family.”

I was dedicated to their philosophy of pursuing my better self and it was noticed.  Most recently I was selected for JFC’s Professional Development program – when each year a select few team members are entrenched in executive mentoring, consultation, coaching, as well as lesson study, and of course, team building activities.

So what did I learn?  

I was introduced to the topic of Emotional Intelligence and the “why” behind it.  If you have never heard of this, I urge you to look it up.  Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is critical to self development.

Here is the essence of EQ:

  • Self-awareness – Your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. This includes keeping you on top of how you ten to respond to specific situations and certain people.
  • Self-Management – Your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior. This means managing your emotional reactions to all situations and people.
  • Social Competence – The combination of  your social awareness and relationship management skills. It’s more about how you are with other people.
  • Social Awareness – Your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and get what is really going on. This often means understanding what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you don’t feel the same way.
  • Relationship Management – Your ability to use aware of your emotions and the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully. Letting emotional awareness guide clear communication and effective handling of conflict.

Now I know what professional development really means…

Throughout my tenure at JFC I have been pushed to grow, to develop myself as a person. Most surprising to me was that learning doesn’t have to feel like work.  When done right, it is very energizing!

It also does not need to be in a formal setting, like a classroom.  Sometimes it is as simple as getting together with a group of colleagues to share experiences and provide support .

I imagine not many employees of other organizations can say the same.  After all, what have you learned this past month, week, day?

 

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“Big Brother” meets “Undercover Boss”

Undercover-bossImagine if a reality TV crew followed us around for an entire work week.  Think “Big Brother” meets “Undercover Boss.”  What would they see?

While many of us think that we are 100% effective at work, the truth is that we allow distractions to creep into our routines.  We create busyness such as checking our handheld devices, checking Facebook, browsing websites for irrelevant articles, and so on.  Busyness is not effectiveness; and it certainly will not bring us closer to achieving our best.

Effectiveness is about managing your priorities, not time, so to work smarter rather than harder.  It is finding methods to be more productive in less time.  It is how much you get out of an hour as opposed to how many hours you spend.  As business guru John C. Maxwell says, “Time is an equal opportunity employer; everybody gets 24 hours a day, no more, no less – but not everybody gets the same return on their 24 hours.”

But what about all the unplanned interruptions?  Admittedly you cannot eliminate interruptions.  On the contrary, you do get a say on how much time you will spend on them.  It is in your power to decide what gets your time and attention and how much of it.

I think it safe to say that all of us could benefit from tweaking at least a few of our daily activities to become more effective.  It’s time to remove any self-sabotage or self-limitation you have around “not having enough time.”  Prioritize and schedule your work week for maximum impact, develop and maintain focus, and motivate yourself to achieve extraordinary things!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

 

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How will you pursue your better self?

So many of us are not deliberate or intentional about our own professional development.  Maybe it’s fear, maybe its complacency, or a little of both.  No matter what the reason(s), all are unacceptable.  Rather than go with the flow we should routinely stretch our boundaries and push out of our comfort zone.

Legendary leadership guru, John Maxwell, said it best, “The smallest crowd you will ever lead is you – but it’s the most important one.  The first person we must examine is ourselves.  If you don’t look at yourself realistically, you will never understand where your personal difficulties lie.  And if you can’t see them, you won’t be able to lead yourself effectively.”

My personal advice…focus on the present.  Don’t put off today what you should have started yesterday.  Do something today that your future self will thank you for.  When you’re constantly focused on the future you’re actually much less productive in the current moment.  No one can control the future BUT what you do today will influence it.

future self

My personal request…take action and repeat.  When was the last time you read a book about professional development?  When was the last time you listened to a Podcast for learning?  When was the last time you sought out a mentor?  How about video TedTalks?

Discover untapped abilities by working toward your full potential; never stop growing into your better self.  Be a driving force that contributes to your future self!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

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@ Work, How Do You Create Space?

In 1993 NASA suffered extra pressure and great stress when the Hubble Space Telescope broke down.  They faced a daunting task of figuring out how to go up in space and fix the distorted mirror inside the telescope.  For months the brightest minds in NASA couldn’t identify a solution.

Then one day NASA engineer, Jim Crocker, was taking a shower in a hotel and noticed how the shower head was mounted on adjustable rods with folding arms.  Eureka!  The answer did not appear while working late hours in the lab.  It occurred when Jim was in the shower on vacation, when he created space (no pun intended) from the perplexity of his problem.

Mindset spaceCreating space allows our minds to process thoughts more freely and creatively.  Heck, Newton discovered gravity when sitting under an apple tree.  It requires purposeful separation from the typical problem solving environment in order to let your thoughts move more freely.  It happens when thinking on a problem while out for a stroll, riding a bike, or sitting out in nature (under an apple tree).

Why does creating space work?  Your brain is like any muscle in your body.  Imagine lifting weights multiple times per week but only on biceps.  Doing so will surely strain and fatigue those muscles.  Thus, when you are consumed by constantly tackling the same challenge at work, you actually lose mental energy needed to identify solutions.  This is when it’s time to create space!

June is the halfway mark.  You are six months into 2016.  Are you where you should be? Are you where you want to be?  Take time, create space, and allow deep thought to happen.  The goal is not to be perfect – it is just to be better than before.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

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Vulnerability & Professional Development

What does Professional Development mean to me…

By Jen Silvetti, JFC Workforce Branch Manager 

Honestly- I didn’t know what it was until I started working at JFC.  Every other job previously was just that, a job.  I showed up on time every day and worked to the best of my ability.  Not until I joined the JFC work family did my professional and personal worlds collide so drastically.

I started almost 4 years ago in, what I thought would be, a job.  I still was showing up on time and working to the best of my ability.  Then only after one year I heard a knock at the door- it was opportunity. (I know it sounds cliché doesn’t it?)

Well, for those who know my personality, I am one to take advantage of opportunity.  This meant stepping into the role of Branch Manager in the very branch I was already working in.  Wow- can you imagine?  There I sat managing those who I called my team just the week prior. What was I getting into?  I will admit, it took some time to find my way.

My previous life of corralling preschoolers and probationers did not prepare me for this new world of Staffing and Management- wait yes it did.

I was not managing, I was coaching.  Everything I have done up until this point has shaped me in some way.  My life has created a virtual tool belt and I get to utilize it every day.  One has no idea what tool she will be called to use at a moments notice.  Since working with our Chief Enthusiasm Officer (Jimmy) and the JFC work family, I have been provided with a never ending supply of tools.

What I needed most was to be vulnerable; being afraid to make mistakes and fail.  Or as someone that I met just recently referred to them, see the opportunities in every failure.

How cool is that?

human eye tearingWith this mindset, you have nothing more to do than grow. All these years, I had no idea that being vulnerable was even “a thing” until I heard it and read more about it. I had always thought that this was a sign of weakness and a flaw I had. Since working at JFC, I have grown comfortable embracing vulnerability.  I now know that it is merely something to be conscious of and continue to work through.

Vulnerable by many means, “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Susceptible yes- but you must have the courage to face it.

Over the last few years, I have learned how to cope, manage and coach through my vulnerabilities throughout my development.  JFC has provided such a variety of ways to do this.  I have never in any workplace felt so respected and encouraged. I feel safe enough to make mistakes and question things as long as I still have the openness to keep getting better (and receive feedback).

Also, I am no better or worse than anyone else. These skills that I have learned, and continue to learn, not only help me the 40 hours a week at work but also with my personal life. I am so excited and passionate about my growth, I love sharing it with others anytime I can.  As you can imagine, not everyone is open and vulnerable.  But I will continue to learn and share as much as I can.

Thank you to JFC for showing me how important Professional Development is!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

 

 

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Lesson Learned: Pivotal Life Moment

What are you waiting for?

I will never forget the date – Tuesday April 26th.  It was 6:30am and we are at Pinnacle surgery center.  Our six-year-old daughter lays on a gurney with wires all over her little body.  The doctor enters our room and says, “we’re ready.”

We placed a kiss on her little forehead before they rolled her out of the room and down the hall.  Back out to the lobby.  There we sat, among other anxious parents, awaiting our names to be called, signifying the procedure was over.

I’ve never, ever experienced such a tense feeling; seconds passed more like hours.  Things were in slow motion but for the million thoughts racing through my head.  You could hear a pin drop in the waiting room.  It’s as if my mind had hit a pause button, freezing the moment in time.

Hourglass-time

Then an epiphany hit me like a freight train.  A quote from John Maxwell consumed my thought process – “Time is an equal opportunity employer; everybody gets 24 hours a day, no more, no less – but not everybody gets the same return on their 24 hours.”  How true this is.

Fortunately for us, our daughter’s surgery was minor and her results came back clear. The experience however, put us in deep reflection – for our own little family and the other families at the surgery center. We ought to be, must be, more mindful of how we prioritize (not manage) the precious gift of time.

Reflecting on this experience I realized how minor setbacks seemingly are big deals.  Then a “real” setback hits and reality sinks in.  Never wait for a low point to remind you of the great life you routinely live.  Always be grateful.  Savor the regular days – don’t wait for the irregular ones to reveal how lucky you have it.

Make today and everyday your masterpiece!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

 

 

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Get your psychological well-being on!

Well-beingEverybody wants and deserves a sense of relatedness in life. It is a human need, not something to be turned off or on between home and work.  Think about it.  You can’t divorce one from the other; the two worlds are dramatically interconnected.

Healthy relationships are fundamental to our success in life. When they are absent at work, our potential is limited.

Be mindful of the influence you have on your peers’ psychological well-being.  Make a conscious effort to facilitate a culture of connectedness.  I guarantee that doing so will bring joy to both yours and their personal and professional life.

Work should be a place where friendships are created; people can go home fulfilled, and they can inspire their friends/family.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

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Is motivation a skill?

Motivation is indeed a skill and actually, you are motivated all of the time. Bubble people

Think of the last meeting you attended.  Aware of it or not, you went into it with certain feelings and beliefs – your outlook.  This decided the direction of motivation you chose.

Your outlook either motivated you to actively participate or to tune out altogether.  Thus, the real question is not “if” you are motivated but “why.” Here is where the magic happens.  The true nature of motivation is that we can learn to choose and create the intentions behind it; positive or negative.

Let’s say you chose positive intentions going into the meeting.  You went into the meeting motivated to actively participate, you learned something new – even helped a peer learn something new.

Now let’s reverse those intentions.  You went into the meeting motivated to disconnect from the conversation, you were close minded – even disruptive of other’s learning experience.

Which scenario was more beneficial to you; to others?  Hopefully you are connecting the dots.  A positive outlook leads to positive intentions, leads to positive motivation, leads to positive results.

Motivation is a skill and just like any other skill; it can be learned.  The real power is not in being motivated but in “why” we are motivated.  I challenge you to learn to choose and create optimal outlooks and intentions.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

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Best Places to Work in PA 2015

JFC Staffing Companies named one of the Best Places to Work in PA for 2015. The awards program, created in 2000, is one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Central Penn Business Journal.

“Our work family and culture mean everything to us.  Without our people there would be no company.” James M. Carchidi, CEOCentral-Penn-Business-Journal-Best-Place-to-Work-in-PA

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Pennsylvania, who are benefiting the state’s economy and its workforce. Employers are categorized based upon the total number of employees they have in the United States, 25 to 249 employees and 250 or more employees.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in PA. The first part of this process was evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process.

JFC Staffing Companies will be recognized at the Best Places to Work in PA awards banquet on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, PA. Rankings will be revealed at the ceremony. Tickets may be purchased online at www.CPBJ.com/events.

WANT TO WORK AT A CO. WHERE HAPPINESS IS A CORE VALUE & YOU NEVER WORK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

Life is too short not to have passion and purpose in the work that you do…

Throughout the course of our lives we will spend more time working than any other activity.  That dedication of time should improve our quality of life, rather than act as a weight that sucks the happiness out of us.

What we do here is BIG…we influence one of the most important aspects of people’s lives – how they earn their income.  Our contribution helps them pay their mortgage, feed their families, and purchase birthday presents for their children.

The JFC Staffing Companies are in the business of connecting people. We aim to elevate individual careers and accelerate company growth through extraordinary levels of customer service and performance. The decision was made to be GREAT. Providing positive experiences for our customers will be the driving force to our success.

Here you will receive the power to express yourself while being part of a company renowned for its fun, supportive culture. There is constant cross-departmental training and collaboration; anyone in the company, regardless of specialty your experience, is free to make suggestions, offer criticism, and participate in the developmental process. We put into place programs and resources like employee-taught JFC Universities that seek to improve and develop from within. …And there is much more.

Join our team and become an essential part of the business landscape; dedicated to creating a better, happier, and more engaged community where people want to live, work, and play.

If you’re interested in a company where your skills can be leveraged, where you will learn from the best and continue to grow – contact the JFC Staffing Companies!

Contact us for details of what winning in this position looks like!

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Are your beginnings really endings in disguise?

Do you start your day with negative or stressful thoughts? Oh it’s raining again, I do not want to have that meeting today, and on and on…Emotional Intelligence

When you focus your attention on the negative you prevent yourself from observing the many possibilities around you. A negative mindset is self-fulfilling but so too is a positive mindset. Why not choose the latter?

Beginnings are important. The way you begin your day often predicts the level of success that follows. This is especially true for what you tell yourself about the given realities of your day.

A simple way to rewire your thought process is to look for positive moments from your previous day in which your behavior influenced a better outcome. Such positive reflection fuels better performance; it reorients the brain toward things that help create a better reality.

Everything you are exposed to will influence your behavior. Social psychology refers to this as priming. It often occurs without you even noticing what is going on.

One example is watching the news. All the sensational negative charged stories will surely prime your mind to be negative. So why start your morning watching the news? Rather, begin each day reflecting on the good and positive possibilities that lie ahead. Doing so will reinforce an optimistic mindset and change your behavior for the better.

Each morning is a gift. Never go into a new day with pessimistic thoughts.

The greatest compliment I receive is a referral from ecstatic readers and valued friends.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

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