Professional Advice

How to Navigate Summer Office Fashion

“Dress how you want to be addressed.”― Bianca Frazier

Once it hits 100 degrees outside, staying work and weather appropriate quickly becomes a fashion feat. Keeping cool without being a hot mess can be tricky, but totally doable. Follow these guidelines to keep it professional in the Summer without looking inappropriate or over casual at work.

linen blazer

Achieve a more relaxed business casual look in the summer by wearing lighter fabrics like cotton and linens in creams and khakis. You can also work casual pieces into your normal work attire, by pairing a nice t-shirt and blazer or dark-wash jeans and professional top for casual Friday.

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Flip flops are just a no-no. Save those for the beach and opt instead for a leather slide, which is equally as relaxed and comfortable.

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Have fun with your footwear and go for flashy flats, open-toed heels, or wedges with bold and bright summery patterns. With bare shoes, consider these three C’s: clean, clipped, and chip-free. Manicured toes are essential for exposing your bare feet in the office.

Shorts are difficult to pull off in the workplace, so it’s generally best to stay away from them. Golf shirts and bathing suits under your clothes are also not ideal. If you look like you’re ready for the beach, you do not belong at the office.

geometric-1Summer dresses are a great way to help keep you cool on sticky days. Opt for those with some structure in light or bright colors and soft, friendly patterns. 

As temperatures rise, so too do hemlines. So what’s acceptable in terms of length? The general consensus is no more than a couple of inches above the knee; short shorts, miniskirts, and clingy fabrics aren’t appropriate.

Avoid spaghetti-strapped and strapless dresses and those that reveal too much of the chest, shoulders, and back. Also, be careful about the fabric choice. Thin, barely-there sundresses should be saved for the weekend.

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Keep in mind the hotter it is outside, the cooler the office will be, so always keep a light blazer or cardigan within reach for when you’ve had enough of the arctic blast. Keeping a blazer or a tie on hand is also convenient for when you have client meetings.

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Depending on the formality of your workplace, sleeveless dresses and blouses could be an option in areas with scorching temps. Open backs, plunging necklines, rising hems, and peeking midriffs are always inappropriate at work. Also, be careful not to show too much skin at once. If you opt for a sleeveless top, for example, pair it with pants instead of a shorter skirt.

 

electro-denim-lab-5700-6257251-1shoes-without-socks-menFor men, short-sleeved button downs and polos with a nice pair of khakis or chinos is a great way to stay cool and look cool, too. A rolled up long sleeve can be a stylish way to stay comfortable. Also consider no-show socks to give the ankles some air while rocking the classic sockless look, paired with a loafer or oxford shoe. 

Whether you go with short sleeves, lightweight materials, or slightly more casual outfits, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and comfortable while still looking office-appropriate.


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Life Tips, Professional Advice

Recent Grads: How to be a Highly Successful Employee

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

–John D. Rockefeller

Congrats, you’ve graduated! But now what? You may have a degree in your career field, but being good at your job is something they don’t teach you at school. Technical skills are important because organizations need people with specific skills to get the job done, but what about “soft skills”? Adaptability, accountability, positivity, and communication are needed to become a high performing employee.

Knowing the secrets of high performers will help you become irreplaceable, promotion-ready and raise-worthy.

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1. Always put your hand up. 

Being a team player who takes on more than the job description is key to being a great employee and showing value. When your boss asks for help, raise your hand to take on the extra challenge. Standout employees always take on additional projects.

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2. Be proactive. 

Better yet, don’t wait to be asked. Be motivated to seek out challenges, propose ideas or ask your manager to take something off their plate. The best employees are not passive, they take initiative and run with things.

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3. Bring solutions, not just problems.

Problems and challenges will come up in every job. It’s inevitable. The best employees do not just bring the problems forward to their boss and let them deal with it- they come with solutions. While you may not always have the perfect answer, help your boss by showing that you’ve thought through some possible options.

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4. Be adaptable. 

Circumstances change all the time. The best employees are able to modify their expectations and adapt to new situations. While it may be uncomfortable, top performers know that it is inevitable and strive to be flexible. This is especially true in the social impact sector.

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5. Never stop learning. 

The best employees know they don’t know everything and strive to continue to learn. Top performers still make mistakes, but what defines a top performer is that they learn from it.

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6. Make your own development plan.

Top performers make their own development plans, they do not wait for their manager to create something for them- because often that doesn’t happen. Chart your own path for growth and bring forward your goals to your manager. It’s important that you understand that while your organization wants to see you succeed, it’s still an organization with its own goals.

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7. Don’t expect a promotion. Earn one.

Everyone is not entitled to a promotion after a year. Promotions are earned when you show sustained great work.

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Employer Tips, Professional Advice

How to Avoid “Ghosting” in Today’s Job Market

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

Ghosting, a term commonly used in online dating, is quickly becoming an issue when it comes to hiring. With job seekers receiving multiple offers, “employer ghosting” can range from candidates not showing up for scheduled job interviews, accepting offers but not going to work on the first day, or hired employees vanishing from positions.

With a hot job market on the rise, job seekers now have the upper hand. What’s an employer to do in this situation? Review the following steps to avoid being ghosted and increase your chances on hiring the best possible talents.

Consider new strategies.

Some employers have taken to streamlining the hiring and on-boarding process by conducting group interviews, leaving more time to move onto the next prospect when someone unexpectedly blows off the interview. Another idea is to have candidates fill out hiring and HR paperwork online, creating a smoother integration process.

Stay in touch.

Job applicants and new hires alike are less likely to disappear into thin air if they feel connected to people they interact with during the job search and interview process. As a hiring manager, don’t skip the small stuff: keep in contact with all candidates, lay out the tentative hiring process timeline from the start, and keep applicants updated on their progress each step of the way.

Set expectations.

The hiring manger should set expectations with job seekers at the beginning of the process to decrease the chance of a lack of communication from candidates. Courtesy is key. If you’re no longer interested in a candidate, respectfully let them know they didn’t get the job. That way, you can keep good relations with the individual if you have an open position down the road.

Ghosting job candidates can hurt employers, too. Some employers are also waiting longer to inform their second- and third-choice candidates about their hiring status until they’ve ensured that the first choice both accepts the job and shows up for the first day of work.

Using a recruiter can be one of the best ways to save time and resources. But remember, if you do everything that it takes and you do get ghosted, maybe that wasn’t the right candidate for your company.

But by putting some thought into effectively minimizing the chances of being ghosted by job applicants and new hires is well worth the effort. If you need help with your hiring process, or have any questions, feel free to call City Personnel at 401-331-2311.


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Life Tips, Professional Advice, Things To Do

Common Interview Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

—Arthur Ashe

Landing a job interview is cause for celebration…until the pressure sets in! Unfortunately, it’s easy to make little mistakes without even realizing it— and many of them are more common than you might think. Take the time to prepare before your interview so you can enter the room feeling cool and confident.

1. Being Late

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We get it; life happens. But being late is the easiest way to make a bad first impression before you even arrive at your interview. It shows a lack of respect for the company, the position, and even your interviewer.

Give yourself 10-20 minutes of extra cushion time in case of unforeseen circumstances, and you’ll have no reason to stress about making it there on time.

2. Dressing Inappropriately

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When you interview for a job, it’s imperative to look professional and polished. Although your attire may vary based on the position you’re applying for — for example, you should wear business casual clothing to an interview for a non-professional job — it’s important to look well-dressed and put together, no matter what the company.

3. Bringing a Drink With You

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What’s the harm in toting your morning coffee with you into an interview? Not only is it unprofessional to enter with a drink, but during your interview, you should be laser-focused on the task at hand: making a good impression, answering questions, maintaining eye contact with your potential employer, and paying attention throughout the entire interviewing process.

Having a drink in front of you creates the opportunity for distraction—fiddling with the cup, or missing a question while taking a sip, for example. And although it may be an unlikely possibility, it also gives way to other unsightly accidents—like spilling the drink on the desk, on you, or even your interviewer!

4. Using Your Phone During the Interview

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A recent study found that a full third of millennials think it’s acceptable to text during the job interview.

Before you get to your interview, triple-check that your phone is silenced and put it out of sight. Texting during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority.

5. Not Knowing Anything About the Company

kenneth

Don’t let your potential employer stump you with the question, “What do you know about this company?” It’s one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you do some research before your interview.

Background information including company history, locations, and a mission statement are available in an “About Us” section on most company websites. Social media is also a good source of current information about the company. Prepare the night before and review the role you’re applying for and the business. You should have enough information to be able to ask questions and to demonstrate how you might add value.

6. Trash Talking Your Previous Employer

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Don’t say negative things about people or companies – no matter how much you feel they deserve it.

When interviewing for a job, you want your employer to know that you can work well with other people and handle conflicts in a mature and effective way, rather than badmouthing your coworkers or talking about other people’s incompetence.

7. Failing to Follow Up

At the end of the interview, you should be asking three questions: “What’s the next step in the process?” “When do you want to bring someone on board?” and “How should I follow up with you?”

Take the time to send a short thank-you email within 48 hours that cite specifics from the conversation (e.g., “The way you described the company culture really resonated with me”).

Give your references a heads-up they might be hearing from the company and supply each person with an updated resume.


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Life Tips, Professional Advice

8 Effective Habits That Will Make You Happier at the Office

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ― Dalai Lama

We all have our good days and bad days, and everyone’s relationship with work is unique. But there are small ways to improve any job, and those incremental improvements can add up to major increases in job satisfaction. Here are 8 simple steps to cultivating an atmosphere of office optimism.

1. Add a personal touch.

We all like to feel connected to our greater lives, even when at your desk. Displaying a photograph of your family, or having your favorite coffee mug at your reach can remind you of what makes you happy.

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2. Declutter your desk.

Organization is the key to completing your workload. When you maintain a tidy desk, you are creating the best environment for accomplishing day-to-day tasks. Messy desk = messy mind!

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3. Step outside.

It’s amazing what fresh air can do for you! Take a break from your desk and step outside for some sunlight, it will help wake you up and refresh your mind.

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4. Greet your colleagues with a smile.

Don’t be the office grump! Make a point of wishing co-workers a good morning or good afternoon and ask them how they are doing. It helps to start the day off on the right foot and spread positivity.

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5. Socialize.

Humans are social animals. Being around other people makes us happy, improves our physical well-being, and boosts our mental performance. Spending your lunch break socializing can give you the pick-me-up you need to breeze through the afternoon’s work.

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6. Steer clear of toxic people.

Do you have co-workers who approach you and complain about topics in their work? If you can structure your days to minimize your interaction with people who thrive on confrontation, negativity, and bullying, do so. Be mindful of not doing the same to others in order to find happiness at work.

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7. Focus on the wins.

Just about every day, we do something great. It may be small, such as making a colleague their favorite drink or getting that report done before it is due.

Take a moment every day to think about how you have impacted your company positively that day. Work harder tomorrow to do even more.

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8. Have pride in what you do.

Those with pride in their work have better outcomes and are generally more positive.

Take a few moments of extra care and attention with that next task, and work on improving your work over time.

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No position is without its challenges and tough days, but positive work habits can do a lot towards being more productive and having a better experience at work. Remember to choose happiness over negativity, and be mindful of your mood, and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!


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Things To Do

Spring Things to do in RI

After a long and chilly winter, chances are Spring Fever symptoms have kicked in and most of us are itching to get out and play! (And no, I’m not talking about allergies.) Kick those Winter blues to the curb and enjoy these fun activities Rhode Island has to offer this Spring.

FAIRY GARDEN DAYS

Roger Williams Botanical Center

April 13 – 28FairyGardenDays2019flyer

Explore greenhouses and grounds where fairy houses and villages abound! Embark on a scavenger hunt or walk through the Gnome Trail. Enchant others with your creativity by crafting a fairy or gnome home. Experience the magical interpretation of children’s classical literature, as you stroll through the gardens to find whimsical tiny houses constructed of natural materials. For more information, visit rwpconservancy.org.

 

CONFREDA’S EASTER OPEN HOUSE

Confreda Farms

April 20

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Get the first taste of Spring at Confreda’s Open House! Their Garden Center is blooming with fresh, fragrant Easter flowers. Don’t forget to stop in the Farm Market and visit the Easter Bunny and snap a free photo with him! Be sure to check out their newly remodeled Farm Market with lots of delicious new baked goods, sandwiches and made-to-order salads! Don’t forget to stop by Confreda’s Animal Barnyard and visit the Goats, Chickens, Cows, Pigs, Turkeys, and Ponys before you leave. To plan your visit, go to Confreda Farms Facebook Page.

 

WICKED TULIPS

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

Expected to open in May – TBD

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You will not believe your eyes when you arrive at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm. A truly stunning experience, they have the largest u-pick tulip field in New England. Tiptoe through more than 600,000 tulips, experience the sights, sounds, and smells of spring on a historic farm and bring home a fresh hand-picked bouquet of the most amazing tulips you have ever seen. Visit wickedtulips.com for more information.

 

HOPE STREET FARMERS MARKET

Lippitt Park

May – October masthead

The Hope Street Farmers Market is a farmer-run cooperative created and managed by many of the best farmers and food artisans in Rhode Island. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese, bread and pastries, pasture-raised meats, seafood, poultry and eggs, and many other items that are grown, made or raised locally. Visit them every Saturday morning from 9:00 to 1:00 and Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 6:00. Load up your shopping bags with great things to eat, listen to live music and spend time with your neighbors – all at Lippitt Park on the East Side of Providence where Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard meet.

 

NEWPORT FOOD & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

Fort Adams State Park

May 18

aerial-of-fort-adamsFeaturing some of the area’s most popular food trucks, along with dozens of regional and national craft breweries, Food Truck Festivals of America will be bringing the ultimate food truck experience to Fort Adams on Saturday, 5/18 from 12pm to 5pm. For tickets and additional info, visit foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com.

 

GASPEE DAYS ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL

Pawtuxet Park

May 25 – 27

gaspeeEnjoy a day outside where shopping, eating, music, and friends are all brought together in one place! The Gaspee Days Arts & Crafts Festival is a free, fun, and family-friendly experience that showcases over 100 fine artisans, community groups, and non-profits where you will find one-of-a-kind arts and delicious craft fair eats. Over the course of three days, Pawtuxet Park fills with live music by hand-picked local bands while children enjoy the many amusements available. Over 60,000 people will walk up and down Narragansett Parkway on Memorial Day Weekend, enjoying the atmosphere of this long-time tradition. Visit www.gaspee.com for more info.


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Business News, Employer Tips, Professional Advice

Competing in a Candidate’s Market

“Great businesses are born when entrepreneurs can’t find something they need and so build their own. Great workforces are born the same way.” ―Leigh Buchanan

Your company is a great place to work, and it only makes sense that you want to find the best employees. But when it comes to hiring, you want to be choosy with your candidates, but not unreasonable. While searching for the “perfect candidate” may seem logical, creating a requirement list a mile long could discourage qualified candidates from applying.

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If you’re suffering due to slow hiring, it may be time to reconsider what you’re prioritizing in new candidates.

1. Focusing on Job Titles & Education

While having the proper schooling is a necessity for some forms of employment (i.e. Law, Medicine), higher education and flashy job titles do not always lead to proficiency. Touting a degree may portray a certain level of knowledge, but doesn’t necessarily represent skill.

Hiring someone who meets 75% of the requirements and spending some time training for a lower salary can also be more beneficial than someone that costs a lot of money but has a lot of experience. So when evaluating a resume consider the costs your organization will save if you hire someone that needs a little training.

Furthermore, training becomes valuable to an employer because they have the opportunity to mold the employee into the perfect fit based on their company culture.

2. Emphasizing Experience Over Potential

Hiring managers tend to get hung up on finding candidates who have already done the job. While this may make some sense, candidates who demonstrate the ability to learn quickly may often get overlooked due to their apparent lack of experience.

Hiring someone based on their potential and attitude and letting them develop into something great can beneficial, as these candidates come with fresh perspectives and unique ideas. Additionally, choosing not to hire someone because you think they have too much experience can be detrimental to your organization as well.

Evaluating whether or not the candidates have the ability to learn new things, continuously grow and develop, build relationships and adapt to new environments are the skills needed when taking on intricate projects with increasing responsibilities.

3. Favoring Industry Over Skills

By hiring from outside of your industry, you welcome new and diverse ideas and ways of thinking into your team. Rather than focusing on the industry a candidate comes from, evaluate their competencies, motivation, and ingenuity. If all these boxes are checked, it would be a safe bet that their skills would transfer across industries!


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