There comes the point in most people’s lives where they wonder what they want to do next in their career. Maybe this is after graduating from college or finishing school; maybe it’s after years or decades in the same industry or position.  If you need a break from what you’ve been doing, or perhaps you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, it might be time to consider taking a temp job. 

The big day is here: It’s time to interview for a job that sounds great on paper and in which you can really see yourself.  You’ve got your interview outfit ready, you’ve practiced your greetings and answers to the questions most hiring managers will ask about where you see yourself in five years and what you hope to gain from this job.  But do you have YOUR questions ready? Nearly every interviewer will provide the opportunity for a candidate to ask a few questions of their own. 

As soon as the calendar flips to November, some might believe all bets are off when it comes to productivity. There are parties to think about, travel to book, dinners to cook, presents to make, and correspondences to keep up. Who has the time to do all that and work!? As a manager, it can be difficult to keep people focused on the tasks at hand. The end of the year is busy in an office, too, as year-end reports need to be completed, last-minute deals brokered, and contracts completed and signed before the clock strikes midnight on December 31.  You understand your employees trying to balance their home and work lives and get that things are hectic all around, but there are still deadlines to meet. How do you make sure everything gets done? 

When you’re looking for your first office job, rejoining the workforce, or looking to change careers, it can be a little intimidating to wonder whether you have the right skills for the position.  To make it a little easier and help reduce your stress, here’s a list of basic computer programs most offices would expect candidates to be proficient in as they apply for a job. 

We, humans, are imperfect creatures -- sad but true. Normally our quirks and preferences don’t make all that much difference in the world. Still, when reviewing resumes and hiring candidates, our unconscious biases can lead to an unfair and maybe even discriminatory set of practices.  Biases toward people who have things in common with us can be eliminated or at least held in check just by taking a few simple steps to ensure the pool of candidates is deep and wide. 

This year’s challenges have certainly made some aspects of doing business more complicated than normal. Instead of being able to bring people in for interviews, everything is done remotely. Keeping up with customers is now a matter of video chats and phone calls instead of meetings and conversations over coffee or meals.

Working remotely has some opportunities as well: No longer are your applicants limited to a specific geographic area. If working from home is part of your current model and your future expectations, it’s time to embrace some tactics for finding and hiring excellent talent quickly.

Every customer is different, so when three people contact a company looking for support, they’re going to be looking for three different things.

When you work in customer service, you’re not expected to be a mind reader, but reading people’s tone is key to a good experience, as is the ability to stay calm when things get hectic.

There’s no one way to be a great customer service representative, but there are some skills and abilities that can help you stand apart from the crowd.

Here’s what to keep in mind, and what skills to develop to be an excellent customer service rep: