Navigating Career Changes and Growth

In the latest episode of “Hard work-ah with Pete the Job Guy”, Pete interviews Nikos Westmoreland, Director of Business Development at Jimerson Birr and they center their conversation around the idea of change, particularly in one’s career. Before sitting down with Nikos though, Pete gives 3 tips to consider when thinking of a change. The first is to evaluate your reasons and why you are considering leaving. Ask yourself: are you running away from something? Get to the core of why it is you want to leave your current role. The second is to establish what it is that you are looking for and define the criteria. Is it the company culture, a new industry, the healthcare benefits, increased salary, or tuition reimbursement? Define what it is for you and what you really want. The third is to fully understand the job and the company. Find out what a day in the life of the job looks like. Know the ins and outs of the company from their mission statement and company culture to their financials and stability. Pete’s final advice is that if you always stay in your comfort zone you will not grow. Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.

As mentioned above, Nikos is the Director of Business Development at Jimerson Birr and is new to the law field and company. Being that he is new to this industry and company, he knows first-hand what it’s like to make a pivot in one’s career and embark on a new adventure. Below he offers tips and advice for others wanting to change paths in their career.

Perspective on Value of Personal Growth

As we mature in any position, the value we place on certain factors changes over time. At different points in our career, money or rank are the most important factors and at other times quality of life and a good work-life balance are more important. Nikos has found that for himself he is the happiest when he is achieving the most and that more positive things come his way when he is in that zone. We spend so much of our waking life at work so it important to do what inspires and drives you and if you need to step outside your comfort zone to get to that new step in your career, reconcile with your doubt and focus instead on what you can become.

Getting Past Doubt

You are the master of your thoughts so you can decide what thoughts you accept and what thoughts you push aside. If you have an “I can’t” mentality then you won’t. Reframe your thoughts to be supportive of your goals. While we are usually most comfortable with where we are, push past the doubts and fears that are holding you back and focus instead about what you do know. For instance, certain experiences you currently have can apply to your new career so focus on those transferable skills.

Advice to Help Through Change

If the reason you’re not making a change is because of uncertainty or fear, it’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Being new in an industry can be a good thing – you are hungry and invigorated and can view things through a fresh perspective. While there can be fear, on the flip side it can be really exciting to embark on a new career. Focus on the positives.

Advice for Younger Self

Nikos advice to his younger self is simple: Slow Down. While he wouldn’t change anything in his past, he does believe he missed out on moments in life in his constant quest to advance his career. Enjoy the ride you are on instead of constantly thinking about what the next step will be. While career growth and advancement are important, also don’t miss out on the sweet everyday moments.

Author: Tara Harrison

Tara is the Marketing Coordinator for SNI Companies.  She oversees all marketing efforts including SNI’s social media accounts, developing and designing print materials and ads, researching data and creating our yearly salary guide, coordinating sales contest and campaigns, working on email marketing efforts, sending out weekly internal newsletters and overseeing localized external newsletters, and completing other marketing tasks as needed.

Pete Answers Your Workforce Related Questions

The first question: What can leaders and managers do to motivate their employees?

The first thing is to realize that all people are different. One person’s career goals and values can be completely different than the person sitting next to them. You should ask each employee what they want and gain an understanding of their personal motivators. This way, you will be on track when you want to inspire individuals to perform at peak levels.

The second is to express gratitude and recognize and reward employees’ achievements. One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is because they feel undervalued and underappreciated. Continually show your gratitude and celebrate employee’s successes.

The third is a simple but often overlooked motivator – food! In your office, if possible, have some food or snacks available for your employees and bring in breakfast for the team once in a while. One great way to increase employee attendance at optional meetings is to have a lunch-and-learn where free food is offered. People perform better with a little food in their bellies.

The forth is to offer a flexible work schedule. In today’s corporate environment, the 8-5 schedule is being replaced by flexible work schedules. To reduce lengthy commute times, some folks prefer coming in earlier and leaving earlier, or conversely coming in later and leaving later. Some people can work remotely from time to time, and some may prefer to knock out their work in four 10-hours days and enjoy 3 day weekends. Be open and work with your team on what accommodates their schedule and lifestyle the best – of course, production cannot suffer.

The fifth is to be respectful. Be open, transparent, honest and respectful with your team. Lead by example and be the type of leader who inspires their team with greatness instead of motivating them with fear.

The sixth is to give people the room to grow and offer a career path for them. No one wants to feel stagnant in their role, so continually check in and see what you can do to help them further their development and growth.

The seventh is to “gamify” your most important or redundant tasks. Make the everyday tasks fun. Pete gives the example of in his office having the sales team think of a word of the day that each person needs to use when leaving a voice message. This results in more activity and often more client call backs.

The eighth is to create stretch goals. Stretch goals with a reward incentive are a great way to motivate your team to do more. They inspire people to go above and beyond what is considered expected.

The second question: What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

A resume is a brief summary of your experience, credentials, and accomplishments. This overview is typically 1-3 pages and is the most common.

A CV (which stands for curriculum vitae) is more in depth and is more common for those with an academic or scientific background. A CV can be up to 10 pages and gets more into the details about what each of their specific previous roles entails. Pete’s tip is to always tailor your resume for the position you are applying for.

The third question: What is a good starting salary?

In Jacksonville, the average starting salary for college graduates is $41,000. This will of course differ based upon what job they get and what field they are in. The current mean salary in Jacksonville is $46,000-$47,000 and the salaries for all professions in Jacksonville have increased by 1% in this last calendar year. One thing to also consider is that the cost of living is 5-6% lower in Jacksonville then the rest of the country so the pay for people living in Jacksonville will also reflect this.

The forth question: What second language is the best to learn?

One of the best languages you can learn is Spanish. It’s versatile and most commonly used in the US. The second best language to learn would be French.

The fifth question: How do you recommend overcoming adversity at work?

We all deal with adversity at some point in our lives – whether it’s in our personal lives or business. The first thing to do is shine the mirror on yourself and ask yourself if you are part of the problem. The second is Pete’s take on the Serenity Prayer where he says when faced with adversity to accept what you cannot control and to look to the things you might be able to change. Finally, you may need to reset your goals or the steps to reaching those goals. Accept that failure is part of the path to success.

Author: Tara Harrison

Tara is the Marketing Coordinator for SNI Companies.  She oversees all marketing efforts including SNI’s social media accounts, developing and designing print materials and ads, researching data and creating our yearly salary guide, coordinating sales contest and campaigns, working on email marketing efforts, sending out weekly internal newsletters and overseeing localized external newsletters, and completing other marketing tasks as needed.

Pete’s Mother’s Day Episode

Pete begins his weekly episode of “Hard work-ah with Pete the Job Guy” by expressing a heart-felt message to some very special moms. Later, producer Josh McCarthy joins Pete and goes into the ‘mail bag’ to read listener questions about challenging workforce issues that were sent into Pete.

This week’s “Mother’s Day Special Edition” of the show starts with Pete thanking the mothers of recent young heroes who put their own lives in peril to save others. The first mother is of Kendrick Castillo who was a member of the Highlands Ranch robotics club and recently died rushing a shooter at his STEM school in Colorado. The second mother is of Riley Howell who was a U.N.C. student that was shot while tackling the active shooter saving countless lives with his selfless act. The mothers of these heroes raised incredible children and on this day deserve all of the love and support of their community. Pete also thanks the women in his life: his mother and his wife. These women are mothers who have shaped his life and helped make Pete the man he is today.

The first question in Pete’s ‘mail bag’ is from a listener who wants to know if she should send a ‘thank you’ email or hand written letter following a job interview.

Pete suggests sending an email. This is because an email will open up a channel of communication with the hiring manager. If you send a thank you note via snail mail, while they may appreciate the thought, it will likely take too long to receive it in the mail and will only be a way one communication method (the hiring manager is not going to hand write a letter back to you). Email begs a reply and is a fast way to let the hiring manager you appreciate their time and are interested in the role.

The second question comes from a listener who want to know what questions from candidates let hiring managers and recruiters know they will be a good fit in the workplace and a ‘Hard Work-ah’?

Pete thinks a sense of urgency is a key indicator in how serious someone is in their job search. He wants to know what they are specifically doing to find a job. Are they tailoring their resume to each job description to highlight their skill-set? Is their LinkedIn profile summary and photo professional? When looking for a new role, candidates need to set themselves apart and remain focused on why they are looking for a new job.

The final question comes from a stay at home mom who is ready to get back into the workforce and wants to know what she needs to do to land her first role back.

Pete recommends quantifying the experience stay at home mothers have been doing. Have they stayed current with networking groups, been volunteering, or managing the household? Use action verbs on your resume to describe what you have been doing while out of the workforce. You can also google tips for mom’s rejoining the workforce and what has worked for others. Another tip is to think about what experience you had prior to being a stay at home mom and highlight that on your resume. Finally, another tip is to update your LinkedIn profile. A great LinkedIn profile cannot be underestimated and having an up to date headshot and professional summary are key.

We hope all of the mothers out there had a great Mother’s Day and were shown the love and appreciation they deserve not only on this day, but every day. Pete also hopes that his answers to your questions were helpful and if you’d like to ask Pete a question for him to address in a future episode submit your questions to pete@petethejobguy.com

Pete Answers Your Questions

In this week’s episode of Hard work-ah with Pete the Job Guy, Pete answers your burning questions and shares his tips and suggestions on what to do if you are currently unemployed and trying to land your next job. We’ve all had career highs and lows and by sharing one’s experience and tips we can all learn and grow together.

Pete starts off the episode with his suggestions on what to do if you’re currently unemployed and the steps you should take to land your next gig.

  1. The first suggestion is to realize that your current job is now to find a new role. Spend the hours you normally would at work focused and determined on finding your next role. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile, expand your network, and spend each moment looking for a job.
  2. The second tip is to build your personal brand. In today’s current environment your social media pages, LinkedIn profile, and networking groups are key to help you land your next role. Get a professional headshot taken for your LinkedIn profile and make sure everything is up to date.
  3. The third suggestion is to consider getting a temp role while you are on the job search. Even if the role is technically below your level, you will likely pick up new skills and it will prevent you from having a gap on your resume which can be a red flag for hiring managers.
  4. The forth tip is to perfect your resume. You will want to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. The buckshot approach of sending out the same resume to a bunch of companies doesn’t work – you need to have a rifle-shot approach. Take the time to research the role and company and tailor your resume accordingly to reflect the skills you have that would appeal to that company.
  5. Finally, the fifth tip is to let your friends and network know you are on the market. Don’t let your pride get in the way of telling others that you’re looking for a new role. They may know of companies hiring that would be a great fit for you.

In addition to the tips above, Pete always answers some of your top questions.

Question 1: A restaurant server wants to change their career path but worries that the money won’t be as good in an entry-level role. What should they do?

Answer: Sometimes to get on the path you want to be you need to take a financial setback. Essentially, you need to take a step back to take a step forward. Once you come to terms with this, you will want to prepare for the financial setback and save money while you can to hold you over with the new role that begins with a lesser salary. Another tip is that while you are interviewing ask if there is a possibility to EARN an annual raise or if there are incentive bonuses that can also be earned. Another option is that if you are in a role that has flexibility on hours (such as the restaurant industry) you may be able to take on a role in the field you want to switch to while you continue supplementing your income with your current job.

Question 2: This person has been in the same job for 10 years and there is no opportunity for advancement. What should they do? 

Answer: First, clarify what it is you want to do and ask yourself if you are currently qualified to do that? If not, what steps do you need to take to become qualified? It’s also important to do some introspective work and ask yourself if there was anything you could have done to grow with the company. Finally, it’s important when you are interviewing to make sure there are growth opportunities with the company you are interviewing with that way this situation doesn’t happen.

Question 3: An employee at a company that was recently acquired is nervous they may lose their job because of this change. Should they be looking for a new role?

Answer: With acquisitions and mergers the company often looks at and evaluates what roles are now duplicated and eliminates one of the roles if the other person is able to take on the added responsibility. There is a possibility that your role may be the one that is cut, so it’s important you are prepared for that outcome. Now is the time to update your resume and join networking groups.

Question 4: Pete, what advice would you give your younger self?

Answer: The advice I would give my younger self is to always work your hardest and work to better yourself. Know and accept that you will fail but that it will be ok and you will grow from those experiences. When you fall pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.

Mary Marx, President and CEO Pace Center for Girls

In this week’s radio broadcast of Hard work-ah with Pete the Job Guy, Pete sits down with Mary Marx, President and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. Pace employs a gender responsive and trauma informed model that works with adolescent girls with a history of trauma. Mary led the organization through a transformational period of growth since being appointed CEO in 2009. Mary truly is an inspirational leader at a company that is making a difference not only in the lives they directly touch but the community as a whole.

Company Overview

Pace changes the life trajectory of more than 3,000 girls and young women annually. From their site, “Pace provides academic education through individualized progress monitoring plans and daily instruction taught by certified teachers. All educational initiatives align with requirements of the local school district.” Each center operates like a school and they have 60 girls in each center and 10 girls in each class. They have full school days at each center and the students have access to therapists and physical health support. Their mission is to find the great in every girl and they do that by providing students with all the tools to help them reach their full potential.

Pace Center for Girls Background

Pace started in Jacksonville, FL with 10 girls and a budget of $100 in 1985. Since then, they have opened 20 more Pace Centers in Florida and over 40,000 girls have been helped by Pace.  One inspirational success story is of a girl named Mia (permission was granted by Mia to share her story). Mia came from a middle class family and grew up engaged and involved with school. However in middle school something happened and her attitude towards school changed. She was constantly being thrown out of school and it wasn’t until she started to go to Pace that things clicked and changed for her. She graduated from Pace, received her Bachelor’s Degree and went to law school. The amazing thing is that she is now a practicing attorney. Pace truly was a transformational experience for her. Women such as Mia, come back to Pace to give speeches and give back because as Mary said, “Once a Pace girl, always a Pace girl”.  

Mary’s Background

Mary’s own background had quite a different beginning. She originally wanted to be a doctor and graduated from Reed College in Portland, OR. She was a molecular biologist for 4.5 years before coming to the realization that that’s not what she wanted to do. She decided to change careers and switched to children’s art. She felt that art is a child’s first language and it’s important to have all children be able to express that. She started a children’s art museum in the San Francisco Bay Area which soon became one of the largest in the region. They also became the arts education program for 4 school districts, partnered with public housing for after school art programs, and brought kids together from all over the community to make art. Mary’s introduction to Pace was actually through her father who started volunteering at Pace as a math tutor. He told her about the amazing organization and Mary started working at the company herself as the VP of External Affairs in 2007. In 2009 she was promoted to the role of CEO. Since then she has helped double the number of girls reached by Pace. She also works with Florida legislature to help change the lives of all girls in the area, not just their students.

If you are inspired by Mary (as I know I am!) and would like to get involved there are 3 ways and that’s through time, treasure, and talent. Visit their website to learn more about volunteering for Pace, donating money to the organization, or how you can tour some of their centers.  

To listen to the full podcast of the show, please visit http://www.petethejobguy.com.

Pete Sits Down with Jacksonville SNI Financial Team

Pete Langlois recently sat down with part of Jacksonville’s SNI Financial team to discuss their backgrounds and what led them to SNI, what it’s like being a recruiter, giving back to the community, and how they view themselves as a resource to clients and candidates.


This week’s guests on Pete the Job Guy included Virginie Mascia, Patricia Wisniewski and Ryan Burrill who have all been with SNI Companies for a varying amount of time.  Virginie has been in this space the longest and has worked in the accounting and finance field for over the last decade. She has her MBA in Management from Jacksonville University and is a seasoned recruiter whose extensive knowledge in the field makes her a trusted resource for clients and candidates alike. Patricia has a background in education and has her Master’s Degree in English. She has been with SNI for a couple of years and brings her experience as a teacher into her current role by offering coaching and guidance to her candidates. Ryan is the newest member of the team and worked as an EMT while in college and after graduation found himself in the non-profit world for the last several years. Wanting to continue making a difference in people’s lives, he turned to recruiting and loves how his newfound career personally impacts other’s lives.


Being a Recruiter

With the unemployment rate in Jacksonville hovering around 1.8% for accounting and finance professionals, it’s a candidate’s market with a strong workforce. The team works to get to the core of what people are looking for and what their motivators are. Making a successful job placement is like being a matchmaker and they take their job seriously with finding the perfect match for their clients and candidates.


Giving Back to the Community

The team is passionate about volunteering and has worked with various non-profit organizations such as the Humane Society and will be offering their time to the Food Pantry in the near future. In addition, they are always running drives in the office and raising money for various causes. Giving back to their community is a key cornerstone of the office and brings the team closer together when they are working together for a greater cause.


Working at SNI and Helping Our Clients and Candidates

Working at SNI is fast paced and there are always lots of moving parts. The team works together and pushes each other to do their best all while having fun. They bring this enthusiasm to their clients and candidates and view their relationships with them as partners and a resource in the market. For their clients they are always asking how they can help and what hiring needs they have.  For their candidates, it’s getting to the root of what they are looking for and helping them find their ideal roles. Doing a successful placement is a win-win for all parties and they take the time to develop strong relationships.


If you’d like to listen to the full podcast you can do so on petethejobguy.com or on iTunes by simply searching Pete the Job Guy for this and all of Pete’s other episodes.

Charlie Jimerson Rejoins Pete: Resolutions, Goals, & Goal Setting for Business & Personal Life


I recently sat down with Charles Jimerson who is not only a good friend but co-founder and managing shareholder of Jimerson & Cobb, P.A. Charles, aka Charlie, served in the U.S. military while simultaneously receiving his undergrad degree. He then went on to get his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and has practiced law since 2006. He is a guy that walks the walk and in 2018 was named by The Business Journals as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Attorneys in Law and Business in the United States. I was so excited to talk to this powerhouse and discuss New Year’s Resolutions, the importance of positivity, and goal setting for your personal and professional life.

Difference Between Resolutions and Goals

While similar in nature, Charlie suggests that instead of just having resolutions you should have a goal with trajectories and clear milestones on how to obtain it and believes that the “power is going to be in the follow through”. Charlie himself has made resolutions every year since he was 15 and is a big fan of creating a business plan every year – specifically business oriented resolutions.


Charlie recommends that people make SMART goals. If you are unfamiliar with that, it is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.  He believes you are more apt to accomplish your resolutions if you create them this way.

Specific: Set a goal that is measurable and think specifically about what are you trying to achieve. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get what you want. For example being happier is not a measurable goal however eating vegetables twice a day is.

Measurable: Have milestones along the way. For example if you want to lose 20 pounds in a year that’s 1.6 pounds each month.

Achievable: The goal has to be within reach and something you can actually accomplish so you don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment.

Relevant:  Think about why you are setting this goal and if it’s relevant to the ultimate destination.

Time bound:  Tie yourself into a specific timeframe and set a deadline that you are constantly working towards.

Focus on Accentuating Your Positives

Charlie recommended this exercise to help you focus on what you what you are good at: choose 3 things that you’re as skilled or more skilled at than anyone else at your company. Why are you good at these things? How can you get any better? What outside forces get in the way of you getting better? What resources do you need to get better? How would your life and career change if you focused on just these 3 things? After you have written down these things, think about what you can do to reorient your life to focus on those skills. Another good exercise is to list 5 things you hate to do. After you have them written out think about which 1 you can delegate or outsource.

The moral of the story is to focus on what you love and are good at, and for the things you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy, see if someone else can do them for you. You will get so much more energy and work done if you focus on your strengths instead of the things that drain you.

The Power of Positive Thinking

When I asked him what he is going to do differently in 2019 than 2018 he said that in the past he had allowed himself to be influenced by the squeakiest wheel and this year will incorporate a matrix on how he spends his time and makes decisions. He plans to employ a 10/10/10 decision making tool which is where you ask yourself:

  1. How will I feel about it 10 minutes from now?
  2. How about 10 months from now?
  3. How about 10 years from now?

He also wants to be contagiously positive and uplift those around him. The way he plans to accomplish this is by having what he calls “time-outs” throughout his day in which he will take a breath, regroup and gearshift to be more positive.

I hope these tips and exercises help you make 2019 your best year yet! My thanks again to Charlie who gave us some great advice and insight on how to improve your professional and personal life. If you’d like to listen to the full podcast you can do so on petethejobguy.com or on iTunes by simply searching Pete the Job Guy for this and all of my other episodes.

3 Tips You Can Learn from this Successful Local Irrigation Company

You might be thinking,

“My company has NOTHING to do with irrigation, HOW IS THIS GOING TO HELP ME?”

Trust me. This information will help you – whether you run an irrigation company or you do something entirely different. Often times what matters is the person(s) behind the business. Here is how a local irrigation company owner grew a successful local business by listening and adapting to his customers’ needs. 

Scott Hulihan of Hulihan Territory was a recent guest on my radio show, Hard Work-ah with Pete the Job Guy.  Scott shared his advice on how to keep moving forward in the small business world. His secret: adapting. On a past show, I used Blockbuster and Netflix as an example on “…adapting to the customer and their evolving needs.”

If you want to listen to this example from the show, click here.

I was talking about innovation, disruption, and lack of adaptation. Even though customers were showing interest in another way to rent/watch movies, Blockbuster essentially said, “This is what we do. This is the way that people like it. We have to give the people what they want.”

However, it was not what the people wanted… anymore. Do you know what people wanted? They wanted to watch movies in the home, without going down the street to the Blockbuster. The customers wanted to watch movies in the comfort of their own home via streaming with the click of a button. And Netflix, well, they heard their customers’ problems, and they adapted. 

So you might have a business plan with products and services, but if your customers tell you they want a little something different or you’re not currently serving them, you need to adapt to the customer’s needs in order to continue the business, or you will be obsolete to them.

Now, back to Scott Hulihan — during high school, Scott got a job working for his gym teacher, who taught him how to cut grass and install sprinkler systems. After he graduated high school in 1988, he bought his gym teacher’s equipment and continued to serve the same customer base. He learned a lot as a young entrepreneur, and he continues to learn more about his customers’ evolving needs and adapt his business accordingly. He shared this with us:

Be Patient, Stay Consistent, Stay Focus

My advice to any entrepreneur that is first starting out, it doesn’t come overnight. You find yourself working very hard and the days are long, and things can be pretty ‘lean’ initially.  Then you see your friends put their suits on and go to their office jobs that have a steady salary …and when you’re talking about my type of business, installing irrigation systems, you can easily start to think that ‘the grass is greener on the other side.’ So, there’s going to be times you second guess yourself and your decisions.  That is precisely when you have to stay focused.   The straighter you stay, the more focused you are, the quicker you’ll get there.  Also, have a strong support system.  I relied on the advice of my stepdad, and my mom and brother were also an important part of the business.” –Scott Hulihan

Adapt to the Customer’s Needs in Each Season

From the beginning, the company started as purely an irrigation company. Over time, Scott got certified for well-drilling, taught it to his employees, and then added it to his list of services. Scott also decided to add Christmas lights installation to the list after noticing there was a gap in the market for Floridians. Which worked out well, after seeing that irrigation and well-drilling slow down in the colder months.

This is the 16th year we’ve done Christmas lights. I was looking at a landscape magazine, and out in Utah, areas like that where they get snowed in, the landscape guys can’t do anything else, so they hang Christmas lights.  And I said to myself, “Well, you could do that right here in Jacksonville.  Even though it’s a warmer climate, people still want Christmas lights.”  And so, I started that as a keep-the-guys-busy type of deal and it’s really turned into a super-profitable busy time of year for us.  My customers love it.” –Scott Hulihan

Scott found a way to withstand seasonality by adapting. He:

  • observed the same market in another location (competitive analysis)
  • asked his current customers if they have this need
  • learned the new trade and got really good at it


Understanding the Customer’s Needs

To understand the customer’s needs, there needs to be an established relationship. Building a good relationship will not be hard if you already deliver consistent and exceptional service. If you are already delivering a good service, then ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I expand this current relationship, or rather, how can you solve more problems that your customers have? 
  • What will make the current process easier for them?


These tips are the difference between a business owner and a successful business owner. Are you applying this tips to your business or considering to start a business? Let me know at Pete@PeteTheJobGuy.com

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

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.

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