The holiday season is well underway, as we are constantly reminded by commercials, sales, decorations and red-suited welcomers at every store. If your business sees an uptick this time of year, it is not too late to consider hiring seasonal workers. While the obvious businesses are retailers, a whole slew of different companies see more activity this time of year. Some organizations want financial advisors to review their accounts at the year end. Other companies see a surge in manufacturing and packing. Caterers, photographers and event planners are in demand for company holiday parties and family gatherings. And within retail, it’s not just more cashiers at the registers, but more stockers, delivery people (UPS announced that it planned to hire as many as 95,000 temporary workers this season), security personnel and customer representatives. Especially needed is help with online sales, as nearly half of Americans plan to do at least part of their shopping via the Internet. Hiring for this time of year begins as early as October, but the positions can last well into January (someone has to handle all those returns and post-holiday sales).

hiring seasonal workersHiring seasonal workers for the holidays can be entirely manageable if you plan and are organized.

The economy is still in recovery. You have a job, and it pays ok, the commute isn’t too bad and the benefits are fine. But. You’re bored, or even miserable. You feel you’ve done everything in your job three times before. You don’t feel stimulated. You may start wondering, "Is it time to quit?" Is it them or is it you? Maybe it doesn’t even matter. If you find yourself increasingly dissatisfied at work, it might be time to make a change in your career. Time to Quit

Here are five signs it’s time to quit:

Bosses dread it. Direct reports dread it even more. It’s often unhelpful, always stressful and happens every year. It’s annual performance reviews. The idea of offering feedback to your team comes from a good place, a great place actually. In a perfect world, you would have a comfortable conversation about how the past year had gone, what your direct report feels they accomplished and where they would like to improve. You would have a concise but thorough document outlining their important projects, where they had demonstrated leadership and how they could plan for the coming year. If only it were that easy. good performance review

But here are some tips on how to give a good performance review:

So you like your job, you feel that you are a very good employee, and you have been in the position for a while. Now you’re looking for the next opportunity – preferably upward. So how do you get a promotion to a new role? There are a lot of ways to skin a cat; you have to navigate the people and politics of your organization. But there are some steps you can take – and pitfalls to avoid – that are likely to get you noticed and move a rung up the ladder. tips to get promoted

Things you can do (and avoid) to get promoted:

For decades, many companies have provided employees with benefits like pensions, medical insurance and vacation. But in recent years, employers are getting more creative in what they offer. Useful perks – things really perceived as having value – can increase morale and encourage loyalty. And not all ideas have to be a huge investment. best company perks

Here are five of the best company perks that can really matter:

You have a job but you feel you are stuck in a dead-end position. Or you fell into it and realize it isn’t your dream career. Or you are between jobs and finding it difficult to find something new. Is a career coach what you need to take your professional life to the next level? Possibly. What are the current challenges to finding your dream job? Are you open to advice from a stranger and trying new ideas? Do you have the resources (time and money) to invest in a professional consultant?

Here are some things to consider before hiring a career coach:

hiring a career coach

There have often been comparisons, rightly or wrongly, to hiring employees and finding dates. Both require a certain mutual positive chemistry, shared interests and alignment of goals. Many can result in long-term relationships. But whereas it can be a bit touchy to run a criminal background search, do a credit check and interview references on a date, it might well be best business practices before sharing computer passwords with your next employee. An applicant can look great on paper and sound fantastic in an interview without ever tipping off that they have a less than stellar past. Some of that might not be a cause for concern – after all, do you really want to hold against someone an arrest for a student protest from decades before? But people are aware of the stakes when they are applying for a job, and can selectively forget to mention criminal histories and financial difficulties that can take them out of the running. It is also not unusual for people to get “creative about their educational or professional pasts – a correspondence course gets reinvented into a four year degree, a summer internship is elongated into a two year role. Whether it is truly misleading or just poor judgment, it can be an important step in your hiring process to ensure that you have independently researched your potential employee. In fact three-quarters of small businesses now conduct background checks.

Five Suggested Background Checks

Interviews are stressful to almost everyone. You want to sound great, but not arrogant, accomplished but not overqualified, enthusiastic but not overeager. So what can you do? Well, you can practice with friends or family (maybe not colleagues if you don’t want your boss to find out), you can study your resume extensively so that you do not stumble over answers, and you can make sure you are prepared for tough but common interview questions (see our post on Five Hard Interview Questions and How to Answer Them for more on that). But here’s the not-so-great news. What you don’t say can also greatly influence how your interview goes. Sometimes your interviewer will consciously notice these unspoken things, sometimes it’s more subconscious, but it will dissuade them from moving forward. non-verbal interview tips

We offer these non-verbal interview tips to keep in mind:

Who are you? And what do you do? Are those two different questions or the same thing? Before we get too existential, the basic question is, do you feel that your current career really reflects the person you currently are, or the person you want to be? A couple of decades ago, this query seemed almost unimportant, even confusing. You get a job, get a couple of promotions, perhaps start to manage people, and that morphs into a career. No more. These days, it’s highly unusual to drift toward a job and then look over your shoulder and discover that is the definition of what you are. Why? Two reasons – one, the world is no longer that stable. In a climate of recessions and layoffs and wind-downs, it is not realistic to expect the same company that gave you your first chance out of college to be the same place to give you your retirement part. The average duration of any one job is now 4.4 years. Second, we as employees are no longer that static. We move to new locations, we go back to school. We get bored, we get curious. We pursue passions, we scratch an itch. The “second career” is actually the third or fourth. So how do you reinvent yourself?

Consider the following if you are looking to reinvent your resume:

starting a second career

First, there was the closed office, one to a person, hopefully with a window. Then there were cubicles, lauded as increasing productivity (no hiding behind closed doors and surfing the internet), then came open plan (now embraced by 70% of all employers) – no walls between cubicles, just communal tables demarcated by one workstation after another (among other things, very cost efficient). But still very much in the mix is no office at all – at least not at the employer’s site. Telecommuting is popular both with small companies who are still tight on space, to large companies like Dell and Xerox (where a reported 11% of their workforce work from home). Is telecommuting right for your organization? Well, that depends. Is telecommuting right for your company

Here are some things to consider to make telecommuting work for your company