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Rise and shine - wake up to new home decor ideas

(BPT) - Few things feel better than waking in the morning refreshed and ready to start the day. But if the first thing you see is a bedroom that needs some improvement, your day might not go as planned. If you’re suffering from the bedroom blues, why not reinvent the space? Especially since you don’t have to buy new to get a whole new look.

Bring a touch of nature to the room by transforming a boring headboard into a grand focal point. Simply spray paint it with Krylon’s Natural Stone Textured Finish, which goes on easy and gives you the natural beauty of stone. Available in eight designer colors, this paint features a smaller particle size for an elegant and professional-looking appearance. To complete the look, add a new comforter and accent pillows to your bed to complement your new creation.

Don’t stop there. Give outdated dressers or vanities a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. You can match the furniture to your new headboard, or paint each with a complementary color for extra visual intrigue. For the finishing touch, add new decorative knobs - or simply paint your current ones - to create additional dramatic impact.

Next, look to the accessories around the room that might need a bit of improvement or pizzazz. Lamps, frames and vases can be easily updated from bland to beautiful with a quick spray of paint to coordinate with the rest of your room’s new color scheme.

Finally, add a bit of cheer by filling your newly painted vase full of fresh cut flowers on the night stand. For an ultra-relaxing vibe, add lavender to the mix, as the scent soothes and comforts while you drift off into dreamland.

From the moment you wake in the morning to the moment you close your eyes at night, your bedroom should be your haven. By rising to the occasion and incorporating some small spray paint updates, you can kick back and enjoy - morning, noon and night.

For more product or project ideas, visit www.krylon.com.

Courtesy of BPT

Give your home a fresh look with color

(BPT) - A fresh coat of paint can give any room an instant lift, making it a great solution for converting a space from drab to fab.

Though neutrals reign as America’s most popular paint choices, the National Home Color Survey from Sherwin-Williams shows people are becoming bolder with color. Three-in-four homeowners indicate they want to incorporate more color into their home, most commonly in their living room, bedroom and kitchen.

“Colorful paint is an easy and inexpensive way to stylishly transform a space,” said David Bromstad, HGTV(R) star and celebrity interior designer. “Set the mood for a room with a splash of color and you’ll spice up your space like a design pro.”

Bromstad offers the following tips for anyone looking to add color to their home:

* Identify a colorful object as the focal point of the room. Select bold items to build your room around, such as a piece of artwork, rug or chair that really makes a statement.

* Use a color palette to guide design choices.-HGTV(R) HOME by Sherwin-Williams takes the guesswork out of choosing colors with coordinated collections of color, paint and wallpaper designed to flow beautifully throughout your home. Mix and match the colors to help guide your wall, furniture and accessory color choices.

* Coordinate your color transitions. For high-impact transitions, combine bolder shades with their more neutral counterparts and for a more tranquil transition, stick to softer or lighter shades that are from the same color family.

* Highlight unexpected areas. Turn ordinary areas like ceilings, banisters or door frames into extraordinary spaces. If you want to keep walls neutral, paint a piece of furniture, such as a chair, headboard or the back of a bookshelf.

* Use colorful patterns for the illusion of space. Horizontal stripes can help small rooms feel more spacious, while vertical stripes can add the illusion of height to low ceilings.

“Every colorful room adds personality to a home, from playful to serene to luxurious and beyond,” said Bromstad. “That’s what’s great about paint colors; they allow you to express yourself through your home.”

For more tips and color inspiration, visit sherwin-williams.com/color.

Simple steps to perfect slow-cooker meals


“This isn’t your mother’s slow cooker,” says Ginny Bean, publisher and founder of Ginny’s catalog and Ginnys.com. “Beyond coming in bright colors and stunning designs, many of today’s models are programmable, with digital timers that start automatically, and a self-adjust feature that switches the temperature to ‘keep warm’ at the end of cooking.”

While replacing your 20-year-old slow cooker with a newer model may be a logical place to start, Bean offers these additional tips for preparing perfect slow-cooker meals.

* Plan ahead. If you want to use your slow cooker first thing in the morning, cut and trim meat, chop vegetables, measure out dry ingredients and prepare sauce the night before; then refrigerate ingredients in separate containers. Don’t refrigerate in the slow-cooker insert, as a cold insert takes too long to heat up, affecting cooking time and, potentially, food safety. In the morning, add ingredients to the cooker according to the recipe. Reheat any sauce to a simmer before adding.

* Size matters. Slow cookers are available in sizes from 1 quart to 8 1/2 quarts. If you’re using a different size cooker than that called for in the recipe, adjust your ingredient quantities proportionately. Most manufacturers recommend filling a slow cooker one-half to two-thirds full. Foods will not cook properly if the pot is filled to the brim. Conversely, if the food and liquid level is too low, meals will cook too quickly.

* Keep a lid on it. Resist the urge to lift the lid to stir or peek at your meal. Each time you remove the lid, enough heat escapes to lengthen cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes. Only open it once, within the final hour of cooking, to check doneness.

* Check your temperature. For safety, food being cooked needs to reach 140 F. If you’re at home while your meal is cooking, use a meat thermometer to check that food temperature is at least 140 degrees, after four hours of cooking on low. If it isn’t, there’s a problem with your slow cooker and you should get a new one. Also, don’t put frozen ingredients into a slow cooker, as it takes too long for them to escape the food safety “danger zone” between 40 and 140 F.

* Use cheaper cuts of meat. Not only do you save money, but these cuts are actually better suited to slow cooking, because they have less fat. Fat causes slow-cooker meals to cook too quickly, and can carry an unpleasant texture. So remove skin from poultry and trim excess fat from other meats for optimal slow-cooker results.

* Brown when you can. While not necessary, browning meat and vegetables before adding them to a slow cooker provides color and a richer flavor to finished dishes. Time permitting, Bean likes to “deglaze” her browning pan with the recipe’s liquid and add the flavorful, caramelized bits into her slow cooker.

* Follow layering instructions. Vegetables do not cook as quickly as meat, so they should be placed in the bottom of the slow cooker, where food cooks fastest.

* Stir in spices in the final hour. Most spices lose flavor when cooked for a long time. Cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce actually become bitter, and should be used sparingly.

Just as slow cookers themselves have changed over the decades, so has the quality and quantity of recipes available. There are dozens of slow-cooker recipes on Ginnys.com, including one of founder Ginny Bean’s personal favorites for melt-in-your-mouth pot roast.

Gourmet beef pot roast

Ingredients:

3 potatoes, sliced thinly

2 carrots, sliced thinly

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package instant onion soup

3-4 pounds beef brisket, rump roast or pot roast

1/2 cup dry red wine

Directions:

Put vegetables in bottom of a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker. Salt and pepper the meat and place on top of the vegetables. Mix tgether the onion soup mix and wine and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Tips for managing your career on social media

(BPT) - Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, at some point you’ll likely find yourself searching for a new job. And as you start your job search, it’s important to understand the impact your use of social media may have on your career.

The hard truth: You can’t be too cautious when it comes to participating in social media. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, 37 percent of employers check sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in their research of candidates. And the employer scrutiny of social media takes on a whole new dimension for many once on the job as a growing number of employers are establishing policies about the use of social media on and off the clock for their employees.

The clash between employee use of social media and employers has come to a head with the dramatic rise in the number of legal cases involving employees and their use of the Internet both on and off the job, according to FindLaw.com, the nation’s leading website for free legal information.

“The photos and comments you post on social media websites can follow your career for years to come,” says Solomon Gresen, an employment law attorney with the Law Offices of Rheuban & Gresen in Los Angeles. “When you start posting online, you create a digital trail that’s available for all to see - including current and future employers. And, in many ways, what you post remains forever.”

In one case, an employee was fired when she posted photos of herself dancing and throwing a Frisbee at a festival on her Facebook profile. Why? She was on a temporary leave and claimed she was in severe pain from an old back injury.

“I would strongly urge parents to talk to their high school- and college-age children about the importance of building a reputable online presence,” adds Gresen. “One careless Facebook post or inappropriate tweet could wind up damaging your reputation and negatively impacting your career potential.”

Here are some additional tips from FindLaw.com on how to avoid career-limiting social media mistakes:

Ask about your company’s social media policies. With more companies adopting social media policies, educating yourself is key. If there aren’t any policies at your workplace, it’s best to use common sense.

Search yourself. Want to check out what your potential or current employer may see about you online? Do a search of your name on any of the leading search engines to get a snapshot of how you appear digitally to others. If you see any red flags, manage them right away - or be prepared for the situation should an employer bring it up with you.

Complete your LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates. This is one place to put your best foot forward and attract employers. Don’t treat it as an online resume with every career detail - just include highlights of your work history and accomplishments.

Don’t lie or exaggerate your work experience. The Internet offers employers the opportunity to corroborate information you claim about yourself. Therefore, it’s wise to not lie or exaggerate on your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Avoid sharing sensitive work-related information. Don’t share privileged or confidential information about your company or customers. It could put your career and the company at risk.

Don’t vent about work. Don’t complain about your boss. Don’t gripe about how boring work is. Don’t play hooky and then post photos about your incredible day off. Always assume that someone from your company may be watching what you say or post.

Be careful about what photos you share. With smartphone cameras connected directly to social networks, photos can easily be posted without a second thought. Photos of you participating in inappropriate or risky behavior can quickly tarnish your professional reputation. Employers want employees who mirror company values. If they’re looking for ways to quickly whittle down a large pool of candidates, this is one of them.

Be cautious about who you connect with. In the world of business you’re known by the company you keep. The same rule applies to social media. Everything you like on Facebook or follow on LinkedIn or Twitter factors into your online reputation.

Use your privacy settings. Want to limit some of the problems mentioned and put space between your personal and professional life? Adjust your privacy settings. Many social media platforms have controls that allow you to fine-tune how your information and posts are displayed.

To learn more about employment law, visit FindLaw.com.

Courtesy of BPT

Video conferencing takes next leap to connect colleagues in the cloud

  Video and Web conferencing have been around for decades, but the quality of the video and audio has proved disappointing and frustrating due to technology glitches and overall poor performance.

However, a new cloud-based system, OmniJoin, recently launched to change all of that. The OmniJoin cloud infrastructure provides a number of benefits to video and Web conferencing such as reduced costs from less hardware and IT; more scalability and increased response time compared to systems based on standard servers.

This video and Web conferencing technology provides the following unique advantages:

* Users can enjoy crystal-clear video images (up to HD quality) and seamlessly-synched audio

* It allows for enhanced collaboration and integration: During meetings, teams can view and edit documents in real time, and can then save the marked-up files for future reference. Users can also transfer files, and access presentations and videos, without having to exit the meeting

* Secure video meeting recording lets hosts concentrate on the discussions, knowing they can replay the meeting again later

Despite its advanced features, OmniJoin Web conferencing is surprisingly simple to use,” says Bill Henderson, vice president of Brother International Corporation. “We designed its user controls - like on all Brother products - to be clear and intuitive. This ease of use, combined with free customer support for the life of your license, makes OmniJoin service a smart, worry-free choice for any business.”

In addition to its cutting-edge product features, the conferencing tool helps small, medium and large businesses maintain the bottom line by eliminating airfare and other travel expenses - not to mention removing the added stress of going through airport security and potential flight delays. According to numbers provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, round trip domestic airfares in the past year are up 10 percent overall across the country. As companies search for new ways to do more with less, OmniJoin provides one solution without sacrificing quality and collaboration.

For example, Secure Telehealth, a Web-based platform for telepsychiatry, needed a video conferencing system to serve as a virtual meeting room between patients and health care professionals across different regions. It was important that the system provided superb audio and video quality to meet the demands of independent practices for sudden consultations. Secure Telehealth implemented the OmniJoin system to address these challenges via the cloud, thus eliminating hardware costs and travel expenses.

Crown Moulding - Adding a touch of glamor to your home decor

Crown molding is a great way to beautify an ordinary looking home into one that exudes class and style. Crown moldings are typically decorative strips made up of wood, plastic, or fiberboard. These are introduced to any room decor in an effort to camouflage the existing flaws and ugly blotches on the walls or ceilings. The crown molding is therefore similar to a wall decoration which adds a touch of elegance to a room, making it appear more grand and unique.

Crown molding ideas can be retraced to the Roman and Grecian culture where it became vastly popular. Wooden crown molding gained popularity later when craftsmen mastered the art of cutting, sanding, and carving wooden blocks to create masterpieces. Crown molding is affordable and can be implemented in almost any type of room. You can buy the raw materials yourself and get it made professionally by customizing it. What materials you choose for crown molding will largely determine how durable and beautiful it is going to be. Superior quality materials for home furnishing are likely to be far more expensive but are less likely to be damaged.

Home furnishing experts choose crown molding these days because it helps heighten a property’s real estate standing. When a property appears visually stunning, chances are buyers will be willing to pay more for it. Simply demolishing walls to give your rooms a spacious look is not enough; instead, this is more expensive and impractical. An easier and economical alternative is using decorative columns and ceiling medallions for your home decor. These home decor ideas are easy to implement and will not cost you dearly.

Buying crown molding online can give you many advantages. This is because you can purchase your decorative columns or door casings or ceiling medallions directly from the maker without having to handle the wholesalers and retailers. They offer you the luxury of customizing your home furnishing ideas and guarantee you good quality materials. Unlike furniture, such decorative columns or ceiling medallions will not occupy unnecessary space, nor will they clutter the room. Besides, they are fire-resistant and help keep away harmful UV rays. Crown molding can be easily maintained and these products seldom rot. Installing them is never a problem and most of the products can be set up by following simple instructions, except ceiling medallions where professional assistance is recommended.

Crown molding can come in various designs like the traditionally classic designs which help add elegance and class to your home decor. Crown molding in the kitchen is similar to ceiling and wall decorations, but the installation process is different. Although challenging, using crown molding is a sure way of giving your rooms that much-needed makeover. It helps give every room a distinct flavor, an aesthetic appeal, a unique personality, and a sophisticated touch.

When choosing the crown molding for your rooms, make sure to choose the right molding depending on the room dimensions and ceiling height. Select the materials that are sturdy, dependable, and weather-proof. The world of home furnishing has undergone a revolutionary change with the advent of crown molding.

By: Walter Mitchell
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7226.shtml

Celebrate the dairy days of summer by keeping products cool and fresh

(BPT) - Nothing says summer like dairy products from the number one dairy state, California. From scoops of cold, creamy ice cream to melted cheese atop juicy grilled burgers, dairy and summer menus go together like sweet corn and butter. But nothing spoils the summer fun like spoiled milk, which is why it’s important to know how to store your dairy products - especially in the hotter months.

Before bringing dairy products home from the store, ensure all items are securely sealed. Do not leave fresh dairy products in a hot car where they can lose freshness. Refrigerate immediately to keep them at the appropriate temperature.

Cheese

Keeping cheese fresh after opening depends on the type of cheese you have. Follow these guidelines to keep mold at bay:

* Fresh cheese such as Queso Blanco or Ricotta should be refrigerated in its original package.

* Soft-ripened cheese like Brie, Camembert or breakfast cheese will keep up to several weeks if properly stored in its original plastic wrap.

* Cheddar, Feta, Cotija, Mozzarella and other hard or semi-hard cheeses can remain enjoyable for four to eight weeks if properly stored. If you don’t consume all the cheese in one use, re-wrap in parchment or waxed paper and store in a plastic container or a resealable plastic bag.

* Very hard cheeses such as Asiago or Romano are much lower in moisture than other cheeses and will keep for months if stored the same way as semi-hard cheeses.

* If you do see mold growing on your semi-hard or hard cheese, don’t immediately toss. If the mold is located in a place it can be cut out, cut 1/4 of an inch below it and plan to consume your cheese in the next few days.

Yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, creme fraiche

* Yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and creme fraiche should be refrigerated in their original packaging and discarded as soon as any mold is spotted. Be sure to use a clean spoon that hasn’t touched other foods if you won’t be using the entire container so you don’t introduce any contaminants that may shorten shelf-life.

* These containers are stamped with a “sell by” date, which refers to how long the retail store can keep the product for sale on the shelf.

Butter

* Some butter packaging is stamped with a “best used by” date, intended to tell how long the product will be at top eating quality.

* Butter can be frozen for up to four months.

* Store butter in the refrigerator tightly wrapped or in a covered dish.

* Keep butter away from highly aromatic foods so it does not pick up foreign flavors.

* Butter can be kept at room temperature for short periods of time, but should be refrigerated to maintain peak flavor.

Milk, buttermilk and cream

Fluid milk is rich in important nutrients like calcium, protein and minerals. Studies show that the calcium found in nutrient-rich milk strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.

* Store fresh milk in the refrigerator, which is typically set at 38 to 40 F. Keep it in the closed container in which it is sold to prevent absorption of other flavors.

* Milk and other fluid dairy products are stamped with a “sell by” date, which refers to how long the retail store can keep the product for sale on the shelf.

* No matter what the “sell by” date says, if milk has an off odor or taste, it is best to discard it.

* Freezing these products is not recommended as it causes undesirable changes in the texture and appearance.

* In the case of buttermilk, separation normally occurs as it sits, so shake well before using.

* Ultrapasteurized cream keeps several weeks longer than pasteurized cream or half-and-half, but once opened, it should be handled like pasteurized cream and used within one week.

Enjoy a scoop of ice cream or a yogurt parfait and celebrate National Dairy Month and Ice Cream Month all year long. Make sure to look for the Real California Milk and Cheese seals to guarantee you’re getting products made with 100 percent California milk from California’s more than 1,500 dairy families. For more recipes and entertaining ideas, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com, like RCM at Facebook.com/RealCaliforniaMilk, follow at Twitter.com/RealCalifMilk, pin at Pinterest.com/RealCalifMilk and Instagram @RealCalifMilk.

Courtesy of BPT

Easy-to-change seasonal decorating ideas

When spring arrives with its bright sunshine, fresh air, vibrant colors and light, do you find yourself regretting the decorating decisions you made last fall or winter? It’s natural to incorporate the season into your home decor, and the best way to do that is with design touches that can change as easily - and quickly - as the seasons themselves.

While you may love the bright reds and greens of the holiday season or the lush lilacs and blues of spring and summer, making them the foundation of a room’s design can leave the decor feeling out-of-step when the seasons change. By starting out with a foundation of neutral colors in walls, flooring and furnishings, you can add colorful and seasonally appropriate accents.

Updating your decor to complement the season is as simple as focusing on a few key areas.

Lighting

It’s easy to overlook, but lighting is a key element in room design, and one that needs to change with the season.

In spring and summer, when sunshine is abundant and the days are longer, you can rely more on natural light. During warm months, you may only need artificial light late in the evening, when the advanced hour makes soft, muted light appropriate. Winter’s shorter days and weaker sunlight lead to greater dependence on artificial light throughout the day, so your lighting design should include options that can be used throughout the day.

Most rooms will benefit from a mixture of overhead lighting, floor lamps, wall sconces and table lamps.

Walls

While neutral-hued walls make a versatile background for virtually any design, don’t be afraid to spice things up with seasonal touches. Repositionable wall covering options make it possible to create a seasonal look with a wall mural - and then remove it and replace it with something different when the season changes.

A patented adhesive allows you to easily place the removable wallpaper on virtually any smooth, flat surface, from windows to walls. You can pull it down, reposition it elsewhere, even fold it up and store it in a drawer for use next year. A wide variety of designs mean you can find something to fit your seasonal decor, and if you don’t see anything you like, you can customize by submitting your own original photo through the website.

Flooring

If your floor is wood or you have a newer home with builder-installed carpet, you probably already have a neutral palette to work with. Adding seasonal flair to floors is as simple as adding or removing area rugs.

Area rugs in rich tones can warm up a room during winter months - especially when wood floors can feel cold underfoot. You can even add an accent rug in evergreen or crimson to underscore your holiday decor.

In warm months, when your family spends more time outdoors, a more durable area rug, positioned near entryways can help keep soil, grass clippings and other debris off your carpet or floor.

Accessories

From window treatments to wall art, accessories are an easy, great way to create a seasonal look in any room.

In winter, when you want to keep out the chill, choose heavier drapes in colors that inspire warmth and comfort. For autumn or spring, when you want to welcome in sunlight, lighter, sheerer options can be appropriate. And in summer, when you’ll rely on blinds to block out hot midday sun, pastels and lighter fabrics can be a soothing foil to the utilitarian appearance of blinds.

Just as you change your own wardrobe to stay in step with the seasons, updating your home decor seasonally can help make your home feel welcoming and comfortable. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your home decor in tune with the seasons when you make a few updates that are easy to change with the season.

Courtesy of BPT

Escape from reality by creating at-home retreats

Escape%20from%20reality%20by%20creating%20at-home%20retreats Life is hectic. And although technology has made our lives easier to multitask and stay connected, it also means that no matter where you go, it’s hard to fully escape. While traveling to a remote island to get away for peace and relaxation would be a wonderful retreat, you can easily avoid the hustle and bustle of your daily routine by creating peaceful escapes throughout your own home.
 
Bliss in the bath
 
The bathroom is the only place where you can shut the door and have complete “you time” with little to no interruptions. “As people’s lives get busier, multitasking is the norm - and our time in the shower is no exception,” says Jack Suvak, senior director of market research and insights for Moen. With 54 percent of respondents to a recent survey on showering behaviors saying they have children living at home, a shower means a bit of precious alone time, and people take full advantage of the peace to think about the day, their lives and more.
 
To add a bit of bliss in the bath, add a spa-like shower with multiple spray settings to meet every mood. The Moen Caldwell Shower Combination offers a spa of multiple sprays and a variety of spray patterns - creating the perfect shower retreat. The collection features an incredible selection of options - both a five-setting wallmount showerhead and a five-setting handheld showerhead with five unique spray settings. And the best part? It won’t cost a fortune.
"It’s been interesting to watch how the bathroom - and the shower in particular - has become a therapeutic retreat in homes of any size," says Rebecca Kolls, senior director home strategist at Iconoculture, a Corporate Executive Board company. "Living today is a juggling act. Consumers want balance, peace and tranquility, and that is now as easy as stepping into the shower. An effective showerhead brings an experience that’s as good as it gets - the golden ticket for relaxation whenever someone wants, or needs, it.

It’s a step away.”
 
It’s time to truly enjoy your shower and create the ultimate getaway. After all, you deserve it. And the multiple spray settings of the Caldwell collection are perfect for everyone in the house, with a slide bar that allows users to easily adjust the handheld showerhead up or down to the preferred height with just the push of button.
Escape%20from%20reality%20by%20creating%20at-home%20retreatsZen in the den
The TV is blaring, the phone is ringing off the hook, and power cords from everything from the Blu-ray, to the Wii, to the table lamp are refusing to stay neatly tucked away. Your den area might be a go-to hangout place, but it’s still easy to create peace among the chaos.
De-cluttering is one of the simplest things you can do to create order and a sense of calm. Remove items that haven’t been used in months and get rid of furniture that serves little to no function. The less clutter your den has, the better you’ll feel. It’s also important to open the windows whenever possible. Less mess and fresh air can easily change the outlook of a room.
 
Perfection on the patio
 
Don’t let that drab patio furniture or lackluster backyard get you down this season. A few pieces of bright colors can really change your outlook. Start off by planting flowers to spruce up the look of your space - no matter how small. Even if you don’t have a yard to put them in, flowers can be housed in pots, on balcony railings and even hung from the ceiling. They are the perfect addition of color and soothing smells.
 
Another great idea is to update your seating areas on your patio. A comfortable rocker, glider or lounge chair could be the perfect addition to create an inviting area for you to escape in a book or relax and unwind socializing with friends. If you already have seating, create an attractive and comfortable update with seat cushions, which can be found for reasonable prices at local retail stores and even outlets - giving your wallet a break.
Follow these tricks, and you’ll be on your way to feeling great, inside and out.
 
For more information about Moen and its products, call (800) BUY-MOEN or visit moen.com.


Courtesy of BPT

Job searching skills to help boost confidence

(BPT) - Finding employment can be a full-time job these days, and while there is good news that the jobless rate has dropped 8 percent in the last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in August stayed relatively flat. This can make it a challenge for those looking for long-term jobs and careers.

Before your confidence begins to wane, it can help to remember that the skills applied to a search for employment can strengthen performance on the job. “With a thoughtful and determined approach to finding employment, you can not only help yourself stand out from the crowd but you’ll also hone skills that will help you succeed on the job,” says Gizelle Ortiz-Velazquez, director of Career Services at Brown Mackie College - Miami.

Persistence is key

Rarely does anyone secure a position on the first attempt. “Looking for a job takes determination, patience and persistence. Candidates must look at job opportunities every day and use multiple resources, such as networking, online job boards, professional organizations and social media sites,” Ortiz-Velazquez says. Your persistence will apply to success on the job as well.

“In life, we don’t always get the results we want the first time we try to solve a problem. We have to try again, look at the problem in a different way and look for the answer in different places,” Ortiz-Velazquez continues. “Just like using multiple resources for a job search, employees must learn to use multiple resources to solve problems on the job.”

Clear, focused communication is a must

When interviewing, effective oral and written communication skills are a must. “Different companies recruit and interview in different ways. The process often varies from company to company, and can include phone screening, Internet screening, email communications and face-to-face interaction,” says Ortiz-Velazquez. The successful candidate must be prepared for all of them.

She advises candidates to speak or write clearly and stay focused on the topic. At every step in the process, prospective employers evaluate each candidate’s ability to communicate. Once employed, effective communication skills can prove invaluable.

“On the job, different employees prefer different forms of communication,” Ortiz-Velazquez says. “It is important to communicate effectively and convey necessary information well whether communicating face to face, over the phone or in writing.”

There is no substitute for professionalism

Whether an employee or a prospect, it is important to remember that the way people conduct themselves outside of the workplace is a personal reflection on them.

“During a job search, most candidates take great care to ensure that they are dressing, communicating and representing themselves professionally,” Ortiz-Velazquez says. “On the job, however, employees sometimes get comfortable in the work environment and become less professional over time. This can lead to a less than professional reputation and hinder future opportunities.”

Social media websites present a forum to be considered with an eye toward professionalism. Ortiz-Velazquez advises job candidates and employees alike to remove personal information and never post questionable images or negative information about a coworker, boss or the company.

“We’ve all heard the story about the employee that called in sick and then later the same day posted a smiling photo of himself while sitting at a sporting event,” Ortiz-Velazquez says.

Those out there looking for employment can take heart in the skills they apply to the search. Those same strengths can help them succeed when they accept a position. And once employed, Ortiz-Velazquez reminds everyone to “remember that every day on the job is an interview and screening process for an employee’s future.”

Courtesy of BPT


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The information contained within is believed to be accurate but not warranted to be so. Not intended to solicit properties already listed for sale.