Tips

Leaders Share Advice to Their ‘Younger Self’

We’ve All Been There

No matter who you are, we all have that one thing—that one situation—we regret or would do differently. Whatever it is, reflection is a good tool to make that specific situation be a lesson to you, or someone else contemplating the same decision.

Reflection as a tool is often times not utilized in the professional space, which leaves leaders repeating an unproductive process, or even worse, a costly mistake.

How Can I Implement This Tool

Reflection can be as easy as spending 5 minutes to think about your day before you go to bed, or as intense as the car ride home without the music on.

Benefits of Reflection

There can be many benefits of self-reflection depending on how you use it. I will just name a few that I have personally experienced:

  • Learn from my Actions
    • I can analyze what I did on a ‘good’ day and what I did on a ‘bad’ day and change my attitude or actions to ensure a better day.
  • Gain Humility
    • When you are able to analyze your thoughts and emotions outside of the immediate conversation, you can find faults that could be attributed to yourself, which in the end makes one extremely humble and makes you think before you speak before the next time.
  • Challenge Myself
    • We spend time in reflection to grow, it never hurts to give yourself a mini-challenge the next day to correct minor things (i.e. coffee consumption, water consumption, saying hello to a stranger, etc.)

How does this Apply to the Hard Workah Show

On the show,  I make it a point to ask my guests:

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 21-year-old, younger self?

I am not surprised that these leaders knew exactly what they would advise their younger self. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) from our shows are below. Be prepared to learn from someone else’s mistakes and let us know if it was helpful in any way to you.

Don’t want to read it? Listen to it in this episode!

Work-Life Balance

“If I was going to give advice to someone who is just starting out on their career, again, I would say, “Be committed. Find something that you’re passionate about or that you at least really enjoy doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time at work. And when you’re at work, work smart and work hard so that you can go home to your family and do ‘home’.”

Allison Gwisz, Human Resources Business Partner, The Suddath Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Recognize the Resources You have

“Nobody’s a self-made man. There’s always somebody there who’s helping you out and helping you along the way. My recommendation would be to anyone, pay attention to what you’re doing. Listen to those people. Do the best you can and just understand that every decision that you make today will affect every decision that you make in the future.”

Lt. Jason A Clements, PE, PSM, Civil Engineer Corps, United State Navy

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“I can tell you, I think I would have told myself what a recruiter is and what they do.  Because when I was 21 and I went to UNF, I had no idea that a staffing agency existed. I had no idea that there were people out there that, pending graduation, were able to assist me and that it would be so simple for me to have the door open to all of these companies that I had never even heard about.”

Erica Brockway, Division Director, SNI Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“One, it’s gonna be okay. And you will find a job, you will figure out what you wanna do with your life. I mean I think that Erica spoke to it very well, where if I had known there was going to be a resource for me coming out of college, I probably would have been more comfortable. I was one of the students who took every class, changed my major like four times- I had no clue what I wanted to do and I think I could have probably gone to a recruiter or a staffing firm and said, “Listen, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and this is what I hope to make in life.”

Taylor McLellan, SNI Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

 

Be Resilient

“One that I’ve struggled with, from time to time, that I’ve hopefully gotten better with over the years is, when you hit upon hard times or when you don’t get something you’re pursuing, being resilient with a positive attitude.”

Harold Stankard, Senior Vice President, General Manager and Regional Leader of the Fidelity Investments Regional Center in Jacksonville, FL

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“The main thing I’d probably tell myself is to be open to being an entrepreneur, because the nine to five cubicle space was not for me. I don’t sit still well; it just wasn’t for me. And I’d say the last thing would be to always be ready, because in some moments maybe I was in between jobs, I still got up every morning, and I got dressed like I was going to go to work in case I got a call from a resume, or I got a call from a staffing agency, or I got a call to do some temp work, whatever it might have been. I had some of my best sales whenever someone said, hey, can you come right now? Just always be ready.”

Katie Norton, Independent Agent at LegalShield

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

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This advice comes from combined years of experiences and a LOT of mistakes. My wish is that you are able to avoid some of those hefty mistakes and run with this great advice from successful leaders.

There is a Balance

Warning: too much reflection is overthinking and overthinking is unhealthy. If reflection brings on anxiety, try doing it in small doses, or focus on things that are correctable.

For instance, you can correct your attitude by how you speak to people or by your morning routine. You cannot correct someone else’s attitude or thoughts, you can influence them, but try to focus on YOU in reflection.

Activity

Try to spend 5 minutes right now, wherever you are and just think about your day (so far). Think about the interactions you had, about the times you spoke, or emailed, times when you got upset, or felt uneasy. After taking some time to do that, now try to think about how you can improve the rest of your day, or tomorrow.

Here are some examples:

“I spent the morning rushing out the house and I didn’t even say goodbye to my family. Next time, I will take a minute to say goodbye.”

OR

“I was upset on the way to work because I got cut off (or I cut someone off), next time I will leave a couple minute earlier to avoid traffic so that I will not have to cut someone off, or I will not lay on my horn.

I use this format:

Today, I [What I did] and next time [what I will do].

I hope that this time of reflection becomes a part of your daily life, and that it makes you strive to be better than the day before!

If you would like to hear the full conversation, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons to Work (and Stay) at Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is hiring and here are just a few (of many) reasons to head on over to their job listings to apply to your next dream job!

I had the distinct pleasure to have Harold Stankard, the Senior Vice President, General Manager and Regional Leader of the Fidelity Investments Regional Center in Jacksonville, FL as a recent guest on Hard Workah with Pete the Job Guy. He shared great information based on his 21 years at Fidelity Investments (that’s a LOOOOOONG time).

To listen to the full conversation (or read, if you’re a reader), click here.

Before I dive into the reasons to consider working at Fidelity Investments, I’m going give important background information.

Fidelity Investments is one of the largest and most diversified financial services firm in the United States with over $7 trillion in customer assets. Fidelity Investments serves over 27 million Americans by helping them build a strong financial future. One in five American investors has an account with Fidelity Investments (and they actually handle our 401k at GEE Group Inc. NYSE: JOB). For more information on Fidelity, click here.

All in all, Fidelity Investments is a hot destination employer nationally. Specifically, in Jacksonville, Fidelity is planning to hire 70 to 100 people by the end of the calendar year of 2018. If you’re already convinced that you or a friend should work for Fidelity Investments, (then great!) click here to view the current job openings. If not, keep reading for my 6 reasons to work (and stay) at Fidelity Investments.

  1. Two words: “Mom room.”

So, if you’re like my co-host Arren and you’re a working mom, this is going to be something VERY appealing. They have a whole room dedicated to moms. And get this, IT WAS DESIGNED BY MOMS. So, it has everything you need if you have just had your child and you’re ready to enter the workforce again. The room concept is so thoughtful and cool itself, but this is just one of the many things that prove Fidelity Investments will go the extra mile for YOUR comfort – again, the word “comfort” is not even on the radar for most companies, just remember that!   

  1. Central Location = Shorter Commute

At the beginning of the show, I shared a couple stats on how long commutes can affect your work day, ultimately wasting your time and making you more stressed. You’d be happy to know that Fidelity Investments is in the center of Jacksonville, off Gate Parkway, on Touchton Rd. This not only means lunch at some of the best places in Jax (I may be biased) but also a shorter commute for many of you!

See how far it is from you:

4601 Touchton Rd Jacksonville, FL 32256

  1. Open Concept

“I just LOVE going to work and sitting in a boxed cubicle for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, not interacting with people around me,” SAID NO ONE EVER.

One thing that Harold mentioned that is VERY rare in Jacksonville is that the office has an open floor plan. There is nothing traditional about walking into their office – the cube walls are down, which ultimately drives flexibility and work ethic up. They have a new 50,000 square foot facility here in Jacksonville!

Harold Stankard: We wanted to do things in a new, modern manner that created a really collaborative work environment for our people. So, when thinking about this new 50,000 square foot facility, most people would visualize a traditional call center setup. Where is there is this big room with lots of cubicles and everybody has a headset and they are tied to their computer all day, and also tied to their phone.

Let me tell you, this is not that.

Every one of our associates works off a laptop and a wireless headset. There are no cubicles. It’s all flat desks with open areas. There are standing stations all over the place where, if you want to get up, you could even mid-conversation, detach your laptop and walk around the building and go to a couch to finish the call or a standing station to finish the call.

We’ve been in this space for about six months and the results are just awesome. Most people feel much more free while at work, they collaborate with their peers better. We tore down the walls. We tore down the traditions and we’ve created this new, really cool work environment.

  1. No Dress Code

Fidelity Investments allows you to dress comfortably (of course, if it’s appropriate) so that you can save your brainpower to focus on more important issues and feel good!

Now, I will say there is a difference in dressing appropriately for interviews, but once you land the job and prove that you’re a ‘hard workah’, then enough spending hours on thinking about what to wear or moving to adjust your pants or socks that ride up or down throughout the day – just dress for comfort and work hard! I like that, I mean Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg did/do it.

  1. Student Loan Forgiveness + Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Pete: Harold, maybe you can help me out with this. I see a lot of folks that graduate college and they’re wrestling with so much student loan debt and people make life decisions based on that debt, or perhaps maybe they decide not even go to college just to stay out of debt. Do you have any kind of programs or something that Fidelity Investments offers for people carrying substantial student loan debt.

Harold Stankard: Yes! It’s a legitimate concern for people today and on one side, we’re constantly advising parents, grandparents and others on how to best save for future college, so debt isn’t required, but there are a lot of us, myself included, who leave school with debt on the books. And, about a year and a half ago, Fidelity Investments unveiled a pretty awesome benefit.  In addition to tuition reimbursement programs that most companies have, we now have a Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefit where we will help you pay back your student loans if you’re a Fidelity employee. We’ll help you pay back up to $10,000 worth over five years.

So, I took away two things when Harold told me this: (1) Free money and (2) Fidelity will support your educational endeavors! Which leads me to the number one reason on why you should work at Fidelity Investments:

  1. They Offer World Class Training

When making hiring decisions, Fidelity Investments looks for hard working individuals that have a passion to serve others.  Fidelity Investments has a phenomenal and innovative training program to help you to be successful no matter what previous experience you bring to the table.

Harold Stankard: If there are people in this industry that are interested in Fidelity Investments, we’d love to talk to them, but the majority of people we hire, believe it or not, don’t have financial services experience. We teach those skills… It’s really important for us to find people who are learners, who thrive on learning…  we’ll help you get licensed. We’ll teach you the dynamics of our firm and how we serve customers. Just getting licensed in this industry is not easy. In the past, the historic pass rates for the Series 7 license have always hovered in the high 60 percentages nationally. We hover around 90%. So, we make sure we prepare people for that examination.

*BONUS: They Treat their Customers like People* 

Harold Stankard: When it comes down to talking to customers who are real people with real problems, they’re worried about their finances, because finances empower so many of the other things that you care about in life: family, retirement, vacations, college, etc. So, we try and create a learning experience that’s as real as possible. In fact, one of the things that we’ve been piloting this year is a virtual reality learning experience. Imagine being new to the industry, new to Fidelity, and we’re trying to teach you our systems, products, services, and how we communicate with customers. It’s one thing to learn it with role-playing or in a book or in video, but it’s quite another if you can put on a virtual reality helmet and we can place you right in the kitchen of an investor who happens to be juggling two kids and calling us with their statements on the counter, pen in hand, feeling the stress that they’re feeling when they call…

Fidelity will train you so that you can be the best in your field. Whether you are already familiar with the finance industry and just don’t have certifications OR even if you are new to the industry, it will definitely bump up your personal development!

Additionally, they are aware of the human condition. I firmly believe that businesses who recognize that customers are people and not numbers will create a highly valued experience for their customers and gain even MORE business. Fidelity Investments uses technology (virtual reality) to teach their employees, firsthand, this concept that ‘people are people and they have real problems’. You don’t get this type of training just anywhere, it only comes from successful businesses who have a genuine relationship with their customers rather than simply a transactional relationship. This is truly invaluable.

There you are! These are the reasons you should consider working for this hot destination employer, Fidelity Investments, provided to you by me – a staffing expert who has been in the field for over 20 years. So catch this opportunity and apply now, before it’s too late!

If you have your resume ready, apply here, today!

Ready to listen to the full conversation, click here.

5 Simple Online Tips to Prevent Criminals from Stealing your Identity

It happens to A LOT of people; to enumerate, 7 million people. According to an online survey conducted for Symantec by The Harris Poll in 2018, 7 million consumers experienced identity theft in 2017.

It makes you wonder: well, how safe am I?

Katie Norton is an independent agent with LegalShield & IDShield.  She is an Employee Benefits & Identity Theft Specialist and she is certified to go into companies and train their employees on how to prevent identity theft in the workplace. The official name of what she does is (long, but it is called) Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS).

Katie Norton: I’ve worked with over 200 companies just in the Jacksonville market, going in and talking to them just about this very thing, doing a workshop with them, getting all their employees signed off, that they’ve been through the training. Really, that’s what they need. They need to have someone come in, and train their employees on how to prevent the simple things of identity theft.

If you would like to have Katie come in to train your employees, click here.

On the show, Katie and I talk about how easy it is for regular people and professional hackers to get to your personal information. Katie shares with us some consumable tips that we can start practicing in our daily lives to prevent identity theft and hacking.

 

  1. Logout of work and public computers

Katie Norton: You know, over 70% of identity theft happens in the work originates in the workplace, not because of an employee’s intent. Really, because of employee error. They do something like walk away from their desk, and leave information out on the desk. Somebody walks by with a camera, you know, we all have one, we carry it with us on our hip, or at our purse, everywhere we go.

[So], I always tell employers, make sure that your employees are using a two-lock policy. If they’re walking away with something sensitive in their office, it should be locked. Even if they’re just walking down the hall to get a bottle of water, going to the restroom, they need to consider a two-lock policy. Lock your desk, lock your door, make sure the building is locked at night, because of things like that.

If you want to protect your (and others’) personal information, then lock those computers and offices. Five seconds of human error could burden you with 600 hours of repairing your identity. Take that extra five seconds to simply lock your computer and door and you WILL lower your chances of being a victim.

  1. Use Incognito windows when making purchases on the internet (IT CAN SAVE YOU $$$)

Katie Norton: So, we travel, right? We’re often in hotel lobbies using the computers, or maybe we’re at the office store because we have to print something out, and we’re using their internet, their websites. Really, what we should be doing, even if we’re using those, is using an incognito browser. It’s just a matter of right-clicking on the tab at the top of your internet explorer and saying I want to open a ‘New Incognito Window.’

Where [using an incognito window] saves you money, whenever it comes to airlines, is if you’re going to the same computer from the same IP [address] over and over again, and they see you’re searching for the same flight, to get a better price, to get a better price. You’ll notice it keeps going up, up, up, there is no better price. It’s because some of them, [they are tracking you and raising the price.] -Katie Norton

This is true, airlines want to scare you into buying the ticket. It’s called personalized pricing or price discrimination – and it results in different prices for different people for the same product. To protect your personal information as well as price discrimination, use those incognito browsers. Here’s a short video from Chrome on how to use the Incognito feature.

  1. Phishing emails – Don’t click

Katie Norton:  Then the phishing emails. You brought that up earlier, they’re so easy to trick someone. My brother, just the other day, called me and said, “Hey, I just got a message on my computer that if I don’t call this number, that they’re going to take over my computer. It’s Microsoft.” I said-

Pete:   It’s weird, because they look so official, they’ll have the logo of whatever it is, and say, oh, we just need a password update. I was watching one on one of those expo shows on TV, I don’t know which one, like a 48 hours … Not 48 hours. What’s … I don’t know. One of these ones where they were doing this thing on identity theft. The very people, the producers that were on the show going through, meeting the guests, and talking, all this stuff, we said, watch this. We’re going to send them an email, that we’re updating, we’re all getting brand new phones. They’re going to be so excited that they’re going to be getting all brand new phones, all they have to do is send in so they can update the software, just send us your password, send this, and your new phone will be issued today. Both the producers of that show immediately got the email, responded to it, and then all of a sudden the camera crew comes in and says, hey, did you fools know that you just did exactly what they said? But it was legit, it was from this, and we’re getting new phones. Well, number one, you’re not getting new phones, and number two, you’re stupid. We just told you not to do this stuff.

Katie Norton: It is absolutely crazy what happens. Just with the phishing emails, if you just hover over top of the email address that it comes from, you’ll see it’s not really that address. Just never, ever click on a link on an email. I know we’ve heard that over and over again, and it’s a simple tip. But never click on a link in an email. Just go directly, matter of fact, pick up the phone. It’s old fashioned, it’s really direct, there’s no way to hack it. So pick up the phone and call your bank, call your credit card company, or whatever it might be.

Here is an example of how to check for spam email:

  • Look at the “To:” These pictures have “undisclosed-recipients.” That should set some flags off
  • Too good to be true (if you won a contest you have not even entered)
  • Using all caps in the subject line
  • Look at the “From:” email, if it is not a credible address, it is probably spam.
  • If they request personal information

  1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

We didn’t get a chance to elaborate on this term more on the show, however, I do want to share what it is now.

Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security. It requires two ways to verify the user (1)  a password and username but also (2) something that ONLY that user has on them. It is a piece of information only they should know or have immediately to hand, i.e. a picture, icon, a physical token. This makes it harder for criminals and hackers to steal personal information. To read more about it, click here.

  1. Create Smarter Passwords

Katie Norton: [If I am a hacker and going to hacking  your account] I’m going to be thinking about that, and I’m going to be looking for your anniversaries, looking for your birthdays. I see people literally trying to think how quickly can they get to their computer or their phone to change their password because I’ve really guessed, if I really did know the name of their kid, their kid’s birthday, that they would have … I would be in their password. So we need to be thinking about using smarter passwords, or even a password generator. ID Shield has ID Vault, and you know, there is other ones, Lass Pass, and so on. But using one, where it generates the password for you, and then fills it in for you later. I could never remember any of the ones they generate, never remember those.

Passwords should be hard for you another to guess. If your passwords (right now, as you read) contain:

  • names of people who are significant to you
  • your pet’s name
  • a significant date (your birthday, your kid’s birthdays)

these are all things hackers (with enough research) can retrieve THEN please, change them. It can be hard to remember, especially with everything now having passwords, but look into ways to keep them for you.

We really hope that you start using these tips so you can set yourself apart from those 7 million people, who had their identity stolen last year. If you aren’t propelled to start using these simple tips, Katie has something she wants you to know:

Katie Norton: If you think about it, there are people out there that still say, I don’t get on the computer, I’m not susceptible to this, I can take care of it myself if it happens. It’s not true. It takes 600 man hours to restore someone’s identity on an average basis. They think because they’ve never been on a computer, they don’t do social media, that they’re not vulnerable. But if you’ve ever been anywhere, and you’ve given them your driver’s license, your social, your medical ID, and you’ve had them copy it on a copier, now you’re open, you’re exposed, because I mean, have you heard of this before? Where they go in, and they buy the copiers after they’ve been turned back over to the leasing companies — they’ve extracted 48,000 documents and they sell most of it.

The point is, next time it could be you.

Remember to not only proactively (1) prevent but also to (2) plan if such a situation were to evolve.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Katie Norton at www.katienorton.net or her email katie@katienorton.net and let her know that Pete the Job Guy sent you!

I didn’t write down all the tips that Katie shared on the show, so if you want to listen (or even read the show), go to PeteTheJobGuy.com or click here. (and practice those link-awareness skills and hover to see the site we’re linking 😉 )

5 Free Solutions to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Focused

Laura Nolan, Health Solutions Executive at Humana, is a strong advocate for bringing a healthy lifestyle into the corporate office environment. We spoke the other day and she spoke passionately about how health solutions can positively affect output for any company AND the community.

Here are the numbers:

  •  Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 BILLION (or $1,685 per employee). Source: CDC, International Monetary Fund
  • People going to work when they’re sick (presenteeism) accounts for nearly TWO-THIRDS OF THE TOTAL COSTS of worker illness. Source: Harvard Business Review
  • More than 48 million workers—or 38 percent of the U.S. working population— have no paid sick leave. Source: NHIS, 2008
  • Companies that have exemplary safety, health and environmental programs OUTPERFORMED THE S&P 500 by between 3 and 5 percent. Source: Fabius R, Thayer R, Dixon BA, et al. 2013

And then it hit me:

Why aren’t all companies already doing this? It would save them so much money!

After 16 years with Humana, Laura has to say this to employers:

“…with wellness, each and every employer should consider it. Even if they aren’t, [or if] they don’t have the funds with the budgets to purchase a high tech wellness program for their employees, anything that you can do to think outside of the box [to ensure your employees are treated well.]”

There are BILLIONS — okay, maybe not billions – but a lot of apps out there to help you and your employees on their health journey!

Check out these other articles:

The best 8 Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind by Huffington post

15 tools that will help you stay focused by Product Hunt

 

Personally, I’m old school and if I try to take a break, I try to do it away from tech. So, here are some of the things that are free (or close to free) that can help you through the day.

 

1.     Set up reminders to take a break

“[At Humana,] twice a day I get an email that tells me to be mindful and to take a moment to meditate, to stretch or to do yoga and it’s linked to YouTube videos, so right. They don’t want me sitting and stuck at my desk all day zoning out and becoming less productive because I’m in the zone, so twice a day I get an email.”

 

This takes time, yes, but overall a free alternative and makes you (your company) an ‘accountability partner’ to your employees’ health journeys.

2.     Stretch

Do some chair yoga! This sound intense, but even just not looking at your computer, or stretching forward while sitting down will do your body some good! Our bodies take so much physical strain from sitting. YES, you heard correctly! Or as Laura would say: “Sitting is the new smoking.”

3.     Dance

Now for those who follow me on “the” social media, you know that I don’t waste any time. In the morning, I like to get my blood pumping! Some mornings I spend at The Gym Jax, but in the office, I like to dance…with my office! We usually do the YMCA, we blast the volume, share some laughs.

Check out this sweet video of us in action. AND YOU’LL LOVE THIS: I did the #inMyFeelingsChallenge, check it.

Are you in Jax? Check out some classes at The Gym Jax here or listen to our other podcast episode about The Gym Jax, here.

4.     Walk it Out

Bring your phone, don’t bring your phone, whatever you choose, just set a timer to 5 minutes and see how far you can walk away from your desk! Whatever you do, the point is to get those legs moving and your brain a break from going 100MPH all morning/afternoon.

5.     Play a Game

Get your office involved, too! Arren was telling me about her college job: she worked at the Dean of Students office and at 2:55pm every day the entire office gathered and would play a game. The games would range from doing icebreakers, light team building activities, and or just being in the room together silent and listening to classical music – just something unrelated to work!

So there they are, 5 free, easy solutions to get your employees happy, healthy, and more productive.

Keep workin’ hard my friends!

 

 

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Tips on Buying your new house from a real REALTOR™

I had licensed Realty Professional, Kim Sessions, in the studio the other Sunday and we talked about “everything houses.” In case you missed the full conversation, here were her tips for before buying your dream house.

#1 Get pre-qualified first

Kim: Get pre-qualified first! So, the biggest thing a lot of times is people just, they think they can afford “x” and they start a window shopping and even start looking and then they can’t afford it. And then, you have your mind set on a certain price house and you can’t get it. And then it’s a big struggle. So, it’s very easy to get pre-qualified I would say. That’s the absolute first thing that you need to do.

#2 Check/ Work on that Credit Score

Pete: What’s your payment? What the total cost is? What you’re looking to accomplish? Is it 30, is it 15 [years]? And you know, FHA, VA, you got all these different programs out there and the adjustable/ nonadjustable I don’t even know what the heck…

Kim: Oh my gosh, they have something for everybody. But it’s, that’s why it’s so important to pre-qualified again because if your credit is not that great, it can affect what your interest rate would be. And that could actually push you out of a whole price point of a house.

#3 Envision what you want

Kim: I would really start to think about how you live your life. Where do you go, how do you live your life, not only in your house but within a facility because I mean, if stores are very popular to you or, or whatnot, you really need to think about what is in the area and can it fit your price point. And within that time too,

#4 Interview Realtors in the Area

Kim: I would interview agents that do take buyers out and see if they’re qualified to know what you want. Do they have the knowledge and the ability to get you the best deal.

 

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Check out Kim’s advice for home-sellers here.

To connect with Kim Sessions:

Phone: 904-537-8380

www.KimSessions.com

Facebook | Instagram Twitter | LinkedIn

 

Tips on Selling your house from a real REALTOR™

I had licensed Realty Professional, Kim Sessions, in the studio the other Sunday and we talked about “everything houses.” In case you missed the full conversation, here were her tips for before putting your house on the market.

#1 – Declutter

Kim: Well, the first thing you should do…

Pete: …it’s called Kim sessions, right?

Kim: [laughs]. Well, yes. The first thing you should do — Which is everyone’s non favorite thing to do is declutter. Go through closets, depersonalized, things like that. It gets very overwhelming because you open a closet and you have a small closet and you take everything out and it fills the whole room. It’s amazing what we just shove in places. So, really it’s not really cost. That takes a lot for a lot of people their time.

Kim notes that it is important to declutter because it does take a lot of time, but also, could cost you money in the end.

Kim: You could have a house that wasn’t even updated but was super organized and clean and you would maximize and get a great price for it. You can have an updated house that was dirty and not organized and people view that as you don’t take care of your house and you will not get the maximum price. You can’t for your house.

#2 Fix the little things

Kim: I get this a lot. “Well, I’m going to leave a couple of these obvious things out because the inspector has to get, you know, ding a couple of things.” But the reality is, is if you take care of these things before you put it on the market and get a contract, you can have a handyman or you could do it yourself. When you start getting into your home being under contract per the contract, you do need to use a licensed contractor, which means you are most likely spending more money and frankly, buyers are walking in and they’re looking for things. So, if they see a ripped screen, that’s so easy and cheap to fix, you don’t want them to see that; you want them to walk through and see an immaculate house and they will be impressed. They will give a really great offer for that and just have the confidence that the house has been really taken care of.

 

#3 Stay neutral … when painting

Kim: So, a lot of people can’t visualize, so I do recommend to neutralize. I don’t go into every house and say you need to repaint your whole entire house, but if it’s a color that doesn’t really meet the mass, a lot of people will walk in and they can’t get past it. And painting is very easy fix. So, you know, the grays are the new neutrals right now. So, we really recommend sometimes it really will bring more money to the table by painting.

 

#4 Stay safe and use a Realtor

Kim: So, we’re actually seeing more for sale by owners right now because we are in a great market. But, it’s not as easy and as it is; there’s a system in place and there are strong statistics that show that you are leaving probably money on the table by not listing with a professional that does this on a daily basis.

You are also putting yourself in a safety situation. We are in the one of the most dangerous occupations; we have to really pay attention. We have to field out people, and really try to qualify them before we even meet them because I am putting myself in big jeopardy meeting a stranger. So, the safety is a huge factor.

#5 Save Valuable Time with a Realtor

Time. I mean, you’re taking a lot of time. You have to leave work to go open the house up buyers. I mean when they want to see a house, they want to see a house. So, not all of them are going and wanting to see it from 7 – 9 on the evenings or on the weekends. So, you really want to try sell your house, be available at all times.

#6 Have a game plan for post-sale

Kim: Sellers should have a game plan of where they’re going to go next. We are seeing this very often right now, where someone’s putting their house on the market and it’s going in a week or less. And a lot of people were like, “oh, we’ll just list it and see.” And they have nowhere to go or an idea. So, really kind of have an idea if you decide if you really want to sell your house…

#7 Crunch some numbers

Kim: I would say the financial part of selling a house, have an idea of what the closing costs are, what are the fees are, so you really know what your profit is at the end of the day and you have no surprises.

 

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Check out Kim’s tips for homebuyers here!

 

To connect with Kim Sessions:

Phone: 904-537-8380

www.KimSessions.com

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An Open Letter to Busy Parents about Motivating your Kids

Dear exhausted-busy-parents,

It’s hard. Raising a human (or multiple humans) seems like an insurmountable task, mostly because it cannot be done in just one sitting AND you have to do it while tackling your job and your personal physical and mental health.

You know, I get it. You have something going well for yourself: a personal business, your job, your social life, and it seems like you jip your kids of “learning opportunities” or time spent with family because you’re just so busy. And when you realize that you are doing this (some are lucky to catch it) you just feel awfully guilty. I’ve been there. Multiple times.

Let me tell you: I’m right there with you. I’ve been a parent for 22 years and I feel like I am still am not giving enough. It’s a feeling that eats me up when my head hits the pillow and I want to know how to get rid of it.

Luckily, I had a conversation with some of my friends who are also parents facing the same struggles of preparation and motivation.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

I was able to get some good takeaways that I think would be good to share with you, the stays-up-asking-“I’m I really giving 100% to my children to ensure they are prepared for the future?-question-parent”

Here is how to combat the following situations:

When you’re not with them

Desire (you want this for them): You want your kid(s) to thrive when they are “set-free” into the big world (whether that’s college or the workforce). You want them to succeed when they are independent of you because they choose to be responsible and not fall to the pressure of their peers or environment.

Action: Stop weeping for yourself about the time you are not with them. If we could all quit our jobs and still get money, we would, but we can’t. Instead, start focusing on who your children are spending time with beyond you. If you take note of who they are spending time with and if they (friends/ family) encourage your kids to do better, to do more, this will help achieve your desire of responsible, independent young adults. It is good to “train them up” to make a decision by themselves and to surround themselves with positive people.

Hear Preston Stuckey, son of Alex Stuckey, and rising sophomore at Florida State University, talk more about taking on independence and responsibility in the full conversation here.

When you are with them

Desire (you want that for them): You want them to be a good human. And by “good,” I mean you want for them: good self-discipline, the power to choose to do the right thing in the situation, and the courage to fight for what’s right. You want them to help whenever they can, even when they don’t want to. AND most importantly, you want them to be happy.

Action: When you are around them, the quantity of time does not matter, so long as it is quality time where they can witness those good traits in you. Be the example of what you want your kids to be in the future, today.

Stop telling and start doing.

If you want them to realize that family is important, then make time for family. If you want them to be successful, show them persistence, responsibility, and motivation propels you to finish. If you want them to clean their room, wash your dishes after dinner. These small ripples can make lasting waves in their minds. You must understand that you cannot control them or order them; you can only lead by example and show them that there are certain principles that you won’t compromise.

So, parents, my friend-who-stays-up-wondering-about-the-future-of-your-child(ren)’s-life, stop thinking and start doing.

As my good friend, Tom Nolan says,

“Everything you do is a reflection and your kids are watching.”

Or I like to sum it up like these: kids are sponges. (Not as eloquent, but you get the point.)

So, to the busy parent, my challenge for you, right now, is to talk through your child(ren)’s goals. Why? To make yourself aware of them, to make yourself available when you can, and to motivate them until they make it.

Until then, parents, keep workin’ hard, for this is the best way to prepare your kids!

Connect more:

Connect with Tom Nolan on LinkedIn!

To listen to the full conversation, go to the Pete the job Guy Podcast here. Thanks for reading!

Four Things You Didn’t Know that Recruiters Do For You

1. Guide you before, through, and after the interview process

Patricia: So, what’s really important for them to do is I try to provide as much information about the company and about the job description and they need to do their homework. Everybody’s got to do their homework. I can’t do it for them. So, when I mean homework, it’s more like going to the website of the company, figuring out information about the company. Who’s the president? How long has the company been? You know, what’s their mission says and then not only that, but the expectations of the job.

Patricia: So, we would give tips on what to mention or what questions to ask. A little bit of a mock interview. [For example,] what would you like, what are some questions that you’ve thought of to ask the company afterwards? Because when an a company interviews you, a lot of times at the end they’ll say, ‘so do you have any questions for us?’ Your answer should always be yes, here are a few good ones, you know, and because they want to know that you’re invested in that, you’ve thought about it. So, I like to ask them, ‘what would you ask them?’

I actually had one person say, ‘oh, well I went online, I went online, and, and notice that you had a couple of bad reviews. What are some things that you as a company are going to do to improve your reviews online?’

I said, ’that is not a question. [laughs] So, I’m so glad that I asked you what you’re going to ask them.’

So, that it’s important for us to know what they’re going in. I don’t want anybody going rogue, you know, and asking some crazy thing.

Recruiters are your professional coaches. They give you professional tips on any and everything you need to know so that you land the job (and keep it)! They are your help before, during, and after the interview process.

Recruiters can typically help with your resume. They understand the company so they know how to make your resume more appealing to the company and they know how to highlight your strengths. Recruiters can naturally prepare you for interviews through practicing difficult to answer questions and through encouragement.

Also, our recruiters at SNI Companies go the extra mile and ensure to deliver in small ways like:

  • calling before and after the interview
  • sending reminders of the time and location of the interview as well as
  • how to dress
  • what to say
  • reminding you to write/send a thank you note.

These are all small things that you don’t have to stress about so you can focus on landing the job!

Going even further, even after you land the job, our recruiters can still help you. They can assist with orientation, questions you may have (but are not confident to ask to your employer). They are still there to assist you.

2. Help you identify our value to the company and market yourself

Patricia: Knowing how are you going to sell yourself to that company because hey, you know, not everybody’s in sales, but when you’re looking for a job, you’re in sales, let’s be real. So, you have to be able to identify with that, what you’re going for and how to market yourself. So, doing that homework, quote unquote, research on the company is, is very important.

I like to call research, “due diligence.” This is a law term but it can be applied to this situation; it means: “reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement, especially in buying or selling something.”

Due diligence is required. Conducting this due diligence at the level companies are expecting will give you the answer on how to market yourself to the company. Understanding the background, the goals, the needs, the problems/pains of the company will propel you above the other candidates. This knowledge and your skills will form your value which is answering how you will fill the gap between their problems/pains and their goals.

3. Bargain your salary for you

Kumi:  I always, actually, advised the candidates never to discuss money in an interview. And also I always let them know like that’s what I’m here for. You don’t ever have to talk about money. That’s my job… one of the things that we’re able to do is, we would not have them go to that interview or be put in that process with that knowing the ballpark of what the range is for the position offering.