Figuring Out the New Workplace

You landed the job and now it’s time to start figuring out the ins and outs of the new workplace. Starting a new position in a new company is exciting, but it doesn’t come without challenges. You’re part of a new team of individuals, new mottos, new goals, new procedures. It’s not uncommon to feel slightly overwhelmed with the numerous changes and responsibilities you’re now facing.

Getting On the Same Page

Take a deep breath and let it out — you’ve got this. One of the most important aspects of figuring out the new workplace is getting on the same page with your direct boss. New boss, new rules and a new personality to try and figure out, but it’s not always difficult. Getting on the same page with your boss helps you gain your footing in the new position. It also helps you to realize exactly what’s expected of you without the guessing games that normally come with such a task.

Remember you were hired for a reason and you wouldn’t have the position if there wasn’t something about you that stood out and told your now boss that “Hey, this guy’s got what it takes.” Be upfront with your new boss about any concerns you have about your list of responsibilities or new projects you’re taking on. When you know exactly what’s expected of you in your new working world, it’s easier for you to complete your tasks without making common mistakes.

Realizing When You Need Help

It’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed at a new position, especially if the job entails responsibilities that you’ve never had before. While it’s sometimes human nature to feel ashamed in asking for help, realize that it’s important — especially in a new working environment. Just like getting off on the right foot with your new boss, it’s equally important to know which team members are reliable when you have a question  relating to your new responsibilities.

Going Above and Beyond — Responsibly

When you start a new position, chances are you’re wanting to make a grand impression on your new boss and the team. Many people often try to go above and beyond what is expected of them, which is never a bad thing; however, it’s easy to overdo it. 

One problem that comes along with going above and beyond is stretching yourself too thin and not being able to complete all of your projects or responsibilities because you’ve taken on too much. This is unfortunate because it has a negative effect. While your boss may see that you’re taking on additional projects and trying to help the company, he’ll also see unfinished projects and unmet deadlines.

Another problem with going above and beyond is that many people make the mistake of stepping on the toes of others. Taking on additional responsibilities is great, if you have time for them. However, you don’t want to directly undercut another member of the team by taking their responsibilities out from under them. It’s a fine line.


Your new job is surely going to surprise you with questions here and there, but that’s part of the game. Handling the issues and questions that come up correctly can help ensure your future at the company and your overall work experience.

Offering the Right Salary and Benefits — The Employer’s Version of Keeping Up With the Joneses

It’s no secret that today’s job market is tough. What’s less well known, though, is that it can be just as tough on you, the employer looking to fill a spot. Sure, you’re getting dozens, hundreds or thousands of resumes flowing into your email for the few — or one — positions you have available, but this means it takes more work trying to find the perfect candidate. You also have to make sure that you’re offering the right salary and benefits package to help retain the ideal candidate. No matter what the job market looks like, an employee who doesn’t feel appreciated will look elsewhere for work and, if he’s as good as you think he is, he’ll find what he’s after.

Salary and benefits are a major concern for people in the job market today. They need enough of a salary to support their living conditions, including benefits packages, perks and other features.

Salary is bound to come up during the interview; typically, you’re the first to bring it up. While you and your company have decided on what salary to offer the new candidate, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t research what the market rate is and what similar companies are offering as far as benefits and perks.

Slow down and do some research! Market rates for individual positions vary, sometimes from region to region. The national median salary is a good place to start. Another place to look is your favorite search engine. Type in the title you’re hiring for followed by “market rate salary” and see what comes up.

Another place to look is at your competitors. Searching for your company’s industry or the specific job title in well-known job boards will return results that allow you to see what other companies are offering in their job postings.

Some of the benefits that can make your offer more enticing include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Flex time
  • Paid time off
  • Generous vacation time
  • Wellness perks

○      gym memberships

○      wellness contests with prizes

  • Telecommuting options for positions where this makes sense
  • Cell phone and Internet reimbursement for employees who consistently use these services and pay for them
  • Per diem pay
  • Upgraded travel accommodations

In today’s job market, it makes sense to know what everyone else is offering to make sure that when you find the best employee you can keep her.

New Resume Trends vs the Basics

Today’s technologically savvy world requires a few twists on things we once considered the norm or status quo. Your resume is no different; there are a few basic “rules” that still apply while new trends are stepping in and merging with the “old way.”

Creating a resume is sometimes difficult, especially with the ultra-competitive job market. You know it needs to stand out without being falsified; it needs to be to-the-point while still showcasing your skills and achievements.

The standard resume rules (read that as required information) that still apply are as follows:

  • Contact Information

    • Make sure your email address is professional (your name is always a good start)

  • Work Experience

    • Highlight your work history including skills and achievements at each position

  • Education

    • Only if you have higher education or have taken classes outside of high school

  • Qualifications

    • Certificates you’ve achieved, past training

  • Achievements

    • Brag a little — if you’ve received any achievements or recognition, let it be known

  • Keywords

    • Buzzwords are all the rage and can be the deciding factor on whether or not your resume gets noticed. Some hiring managers rely on software that picks out keywords, so add them in. They will also stand out to the eye of a hiring manager that goes through resumes manually.

New Trends to Consider

Of course the basics are solid, time-tested and downright important; that being said, however, it may be time to take the next step as far as your resume is concerned. Show off your web skills and savvy by employing one — or more — of the following new trends:

  • Tweeting

    • Harness the power of the almighty tweet — but only if you have a Twitter account with a large number of followers AND you’re professional on your account (you use it more as a branding tool than a personal platform).

  • YouTube

    • Make a short, 1- to 2-minute professional video resume and upload it to YouTube. These videos give you a little edge — the employer gets to see you and get a feel for your personality.

  • Infographics

    • Jump on the infographics bandwagon and create a professional, colorful and efficient infographic that will stand out. If you don’t know what you’re doing, hire someone or skip it! A poorly created graphic will be an eyesore and turnoff to potential employers.

If you choose to employ the hot, tech-savvy trends, follow some of the basic rules of resume building: Target your resume to the job you’re after, be specific, and be ready to supply supporting facts to anything on there.


Boosting Your Resume While Unemployed

If you’ve been unemployed for any length of time, you may be wondering why your resume isn’t making the impact you feel it should. Even if you have the work experience, skills and education required by the positions you’re applying for, you may be getting overlooked. The job market is competitive; these are hard times and a large percentage of the population is unemployed and looking for work, or currently employed and looking to further their careers. Even if you’re the ideal candidate for the job on paper in your eyes, chances are there is a large number of people out there that share the same experience, education and skills that you have on your resume.

It’s time to boost your resume by taking advantage of some of your free time. While you may be having a hard time figuring out what you can do to improve your resume, rest assured there are many activities you can take part in to boost your resume.


Volunteering always looks good on a resume — and for a number of reasons. Firstly, reaching out and helping a great cause shows initiative and a can-do attitude. Secondly, it shows potential employers that you are able to make the most of your time and are a get-up-and-go person. It shows them you don’t like to stay idle and you are continually looking for ways to keep busy while helping your community.

Another benefit of volunteering is you can often do pretty much anything for a cause you believe in. Are you an expert web designer? If so, check out some of you favorite non-profits and see if they need any help in that area. Administrative skills your strong suit? Many non-profits need help with day-to-day administrative tasks.

Teaching a Class

Do you have a skill that could benefit other people, or that other people are wanting to learn? This could be anything from woodcarving to pottery; painting to knitting; website design to online marketing. If you have a skill, contact your local community’s Parks and Recreation Department and see if they offer community classes. Many cities offer these types of classes and people just like you instruct the class. And while you may not think your special skill applies to the jobs you’re after, instructing a class on any subject can help boost your resume and give you a little edge over your competitors.

Taking a Class

Stemming from the above, you can also take classes. Check out your local YMCA, Parks & Recreation Department, local university extension or your community’s website. Your local unemployment office may also offer classes or have a list of those in your community. In many cases, the classes are very reasonably priced and you can learn a whole new set of skills — or polish up the ones in your repertoire.


Make the most of your time while you’re off the clock by expanding your resume. Every little bit can help, and keeping busy can help keep your mind off of the negatives associated with unemployment.


Making the Most of Your Current Situation

Unemployment is up, that’s a hard fact to face for many Americans who are in that position at the moment. However, many people who are currently employed are looking to further their careers by either switching companies or growing within their company. It’s a cutthroat job market, something that’s causing a lot of misery and grief.

If you’re among the group of people looking to further their career and are currently employed, you may be frustrated or unable to visualize your future. You can, however, gain more success in your current position, whether it comes with a raise, promotion or even recognition. Hard work and a little mental work can help you further yourself, which in turn makes your resume look better with the new information you’ll be able to add.

Starting in childhood, humans are told to do the best they can do. There may be no greater piece of advice for trying to make the most of your current job situation. Not living up to your potential can hurt your relationship with your co-workers, boss and customers. Not only this, but it can take a toll on your mind and body. Yes, giving that little extra bit of work and time may be frustrating, especially if you feel stuck, but it can do wonders.

Even the small things can turn the heads of people who need to notice.

  • Taking on an extra task at work once your project is finished shows your co-workers and management team that you are able and willing to take on more responsibility. Initiative comes with a hefty payout in many cases.
  • Always remembering to say “thank you” with a smile can make a customer feel more appreciated, which can lead to increased sales or repeat business.
  • Finishing your project, no matter the cost, can show management that you have what it takes to lead the team and further the business.
  • Put your work first while you’re there. It’s hard sometimes, especially with the demands of family, other engagements and, especially, wanting to get a new job, but it can be done.

Yes, you may feel stuck in your current position, but you can try and improve your working environment for you and everyone involved in the business. Once you’ve successfully improved even one aspect of your working environment, take a look and see if the improvement has led to any additional skills or experiences. When employees give that extra 10 percent and a manager notices, you may have landed yourself an excellent recommendation to a potential employer.

Bottom line: You may feel stuck, but you can still try to make your work environment a better place for all of your coworkers and even your customers. It’s worth it in the end.