Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Monday, November 27th, 2017
We sat down with Lee, an HR Director at one of the nation’s leading homeless services providers, to talk about his work in the nonprofit sector. He specifically works with hiring employees who have convictions on their records. While this is a group that typically struggles to find employment, Lee doesn’t shy away from investing in these employees and shared with us some of his experience and advice.
Lee has a passion for second chances and has changed lives due to his heart and drive. While a lot of organizations don’t even consider applicants with a felony conviction, Lee looks at each situation individually and uses many different qualifiers to determine if someone will be a good fit, regardless of their past.
“We’ll take a look at the conviction, we’ll use the [individualized assessment of criminal history] on how long it has been and consider what the felony was, what the conviction was, how long since they served time, and what their behavior has been since they came out. You can get a very passionate employee when you give somebody a chance that nobody else is willing to give them.”
He also offers advice for HR representatives looking to follow in his footsteps:
“The very first thing you have to do is take a critical assessment of the job and the job description. Once you’ve made a critical assessment of what the job looks like, what the exposures that they’re going to have are, what crimes probably do not fit with the job, you do your background investigation and take a look at the individual.”
Lee employs a very holistic approach; in addition to looking at if the crime will be a conflict with the potential job, he looks at the time that has elapsed since the conviction and whether several crimes have been committed in the past several years.
“You can get a very passionate employee when you give somebody a chance that nobody else is willing to give them.”
It is important to distinguish if past criminal activity is indicative of a pattern or if it was a one-time thing. He also makes sure to differentiate between a conviction and an arrest:
“What is the conviction? Was it truly a conviction? Or was it just an arrest? If it’s an arrest, you know, lots of people have had false accusations made against them. Look for the conviction. If it was one to three years ago, I probably would say that’s a red flag. If it’s three to seven years ago, then you might want to take a very serious look at it. Ask them to take a look at their environment since the fulfillment of whatever obligation they had. If it’s more than seven to ten years ago, why are we even talking about it? Unless it’s a directly related crime, what you are you being exposed to?”
Lee puts his belief that change is possible for an individual into action, and he has seen firsthand how much of an impact these second chances can have on one’s life. We asked him to leave us with one piece of advice, the best advice he has heard throughout his career, and it seemed to encompass his perspective nicely.
“Just don’t make any rash decisions. Consider all the possible ramifications of whatever decision you’re going to make, and make the best choice. But you can’t do that if you’re going to do it in haste.”
If you know what to look for, giving someone a second chance doesn’t have to be a huge risk. You might even get to change a life.
Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Sometimes it feels like technology has extended the 9-5 workday to a 24-hour workday. With a smartphone, you have the office in your pocket at all times. Because of this, it can be very tempting to answer emails at midnight or phone calls on the weekend, but these habits will drain you very quickly. The Corporate Executive Board found that employees that maintained a healthy work-life balance were 21% more productive than those who didn’t. While it may feel like you must be on-call 24/7 because everyone else is doing it, letting work take over your life can actually hurt your performance in the long run.
Establish Boundaries Early On
Nobody is going to be able to maintain your work-life balance but you. This is the most important thing to realize and accept when you set off to strike a healthy balance between your work and your personal life. Once you understand that, you will be able to establish boundaries that work for you. Talk to your boss or manager and set expectations with them early on. This should be done as soon as possible because once you start staying at the office late into the night or answering emails on the weekend, people will come to expect that from you. Setting these boundaries will help manage expectations and allow you to avoid uncomfortable conversations later on.
Take a Break When Needed
Everyone needs a break at one point or another. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that your work is too important to take a break from, but no job is more important than your own well-being. Whether it’s leaving your desk to take a short walk or planning a relaxing vacation, a break from your work can be exactly what you need to improve your performance. Employers understand that their workers are not machines and sometimes need to rest. In fact, 91% of senior business leaders believe workers return from vacations ready to work more efficiently. If you feel yourself burning out, talk to your boss about stepping away for a bit.
Make Deliberate Choices
Unfortunately, work-life balance won’t just happen. You need to make it happen, and that can be done by being deliberate in everything you do. Nobody chooses to let their work take over their life; it is usually the result of letting things slowly slide until it has become unmanageable. This can be avoided by making conscious choices and talking to the important people in your life to see what is or isn’t working. This may not be easy; it is something that you must be constantly monitoring. Come up with a plan of what is important to you, what you want to accomplish, and how you will do it. By making sure every choice you makes aligns with this plan, you will be able to strike a healthy work-life balance.
Without a doubt, it is important to work hard and be successful in your professional life. But it is also important to prioritize your personal life sometimes, and that is equally important to your happiness. A healthy work-life balance is also imperative to your professional success because you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and burned out if you focus on work 24/7. Ultimately, you’ll benefit much more by establishing a good balance.
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
Searching for a new corporate housing partner can be an intimidating process. There are so many options, and you don’t want to choose the wrong one. When it comes time to decide who you’ll trust to handle your corporate housing, here are four red flags you’ll want to watch out for.
Difficult or Unresponsive Staff
A staff that is difficult to communicate with during the search or booking process is probably one of the most obvious red flags. If they can’t be bothered to respond to your emails or phone calls at the beginning of the process, there is very little hope that they would be responsive if an issue arose during your employee’s stay. A corporate housing company should be a partner to you and work to make your job easier, not more difficult. If you start having trouble interacting with a company representative immediately, you should probably find a new corporate housing partner. You should always expect outstanding communication, but especially at the onset; this is when a company should be trying to impress you and convince you to work with them. If someone isn’t actively trying to win your business, then why would you award it to them?
Significantly Less Expensive Than Comparable Apartments
At first, this may seem counterintuitive; who can pass up a great deal? But as the saying goes, ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’ Look beyond the attractively low price tag and consider why someone would be offering an apartment at a price much lower than comparable apartments in the area. More likely than not, there is a problem that the landlord or company is not telling you about, and they may be trying to offload the unit as quickly as possible.
Lack Of Ability To Accommodate You
If your corporate housing partner is unable to provide housing in the places that you need, you should find a company that can. You want to find someone that can grow with your company; this means a company that can provide housing options in cities across the country, not just in your area.
Unwilling or Unable to Provide References
One of the biggest indicators of how a company will perform is how they have done in the past. Before deciding on a corporate housing partner, you’ll want to read reviews or testimonials from companies that have worked with them in the past. Many companies have a section on their website dedicated to testimonials; if these are not readily available on their website, you should ask a representative. If they cannot give you any reviews, references, or documents of recommendation, this is cause for concern and you should ask yourself why they do not have any happy customers willing to share their experience.
By avoiding companies with any of these red flags, you can feel confident that your corporate housing partner will make your job easier while also ensuring your employees have a satisfactory stay.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
San Diego is a multicultural, ethnically diverse metropolis, which means that the food is as unique as the people who make it. This sunny city by the sea offers a delicious sampling of everything, but there are a few signature dishes that embody “San Diego food.” Here are the three best San Diego signature dishes and where to find them:
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Looking for a place to stay means evaluating your needs and preferences. It can also mean sacrificing comfort and convenience, for the sake of having a reasonable place to stay that meets your needs at a specific time. You’ve worked to make sure your home is perfectly suited for you in style, layout, furnishings, comfort, and more. That’s why there’s no place like home.
Having to find a place to stay for business, relocation, or vacation purposes that meets your immediate needs doesn’t mean having to forego comfort and convenience. It is possible to get the convenience of a hotel stay with the comfort and independence of your home.
Friday, July 15th, 2016
You’ve tasted the coffee of Seattle-born Starbucks, which can now be found on practically every street corner in the U.S. But next time you’re in Seattle, a bona fide coffee-lover’s paradise, try a taste of lesser-known caffeinated splendor — you won’t regret it. And we’ll make it easy for you; here’s a list of the best coffee houses in Seattle:
Monday, December 7th, 2015
As the birthplace of what are known as “Hipsters” (move over Williamsburg), Portland has a hip restaurant scene to match its population. From carefully curated tasting menus to classic steakhouses to street food that will blow you away, Portland is full of fantastic restaurants to explore on your next business trip or vacation. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we do. In no particular order, here are the 7 best restaurants in Portland you should try next time you are in Stumptown.
Monday, February 16th, 2015
As the holidays and Super Bowl Sunday have taught us all time and time again, eating healthy is hard. It’s especially difficult when you’re on the road. Working and vacationing in a different city makes it even harder to make healthy choices. You’re probably craving fries and a shake instead of the salad bar. And that McDonald’s drive-thru is calling your name at night. But let’s not give up our idea of ditching healthy eating just yet. With a few small changes and meal planning, you can enjoy lighter fare and learn how to eat healthy on a trip.
Monday, October 13th, 2014
Portland, Oregon, is known for many things. Famed Voodoo Doughnuts calls this city home. As does Stumptown Coffee, Woodblock Chocolate and many fine craft beer breweries. But aside from the food and drink scene, stunning scenery and vibrant downtown, Portland is also home to some top-notch public art. You’ve just got to know where to find it. The artistic city has so much art that iPhone users can even use this handy app to find it throughout the city. Public Art PDX pinpoints your location and then shows where the nearest art is. Don’t own an iPhone? No problem. The local Regional Arts & Culture Council even has the handy map where you can track it down. Read on to discover more public art highlights of Portland. (more…)
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Darren Booth (@FrequentlyFlyin) offers travelers a first-hand tour of Virgin Australia’s Domestic Lounge at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport in his latest post over at Frequently Flying. Swanky, modern and showcasing one of the most unattractive hot dogs we’ve ever seen, Booth walks you through the full experience from start to finish. Good on ya’ mate!
Credit: Frequently Flying