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News & Events

Overcoming Your Interview Fears

BY: Clique Studios | April 20, 2018


 

For some (AKA everyone), walking into an interview can evoke a myriad of uncomfortable emotions ranging from just a hint of nervousness to a crashing wave of panic. Similar to taking those first, uneasy steps into a haunted house, your heart begins to race, not because you are unsure of what your fears are but because of the mere possibility that you might come face to face with them.

While we don’t have a blanket “haunted house” blueprint to let you know exactly what’s lurking around every corner of an interview, we do have some simple suggestions that will help you confront your fears without so much as a shiver if they do manifest.

 

See these top 4 fears interviewees have before an interview and learn how you can stay in control of them:

 

Saying Something Foolish

Often times, when people are nervous, their natural instinct is to just keep talking.  With an unfiltered slew of words funneling from your brain to your tongue, sometimes what you intended to say finds itself in direct disagreement with what you actually uttered.

If you’re afraid that this will happen to you, remember to take a breath.  A one or two second pause before responding to a question will allow you to quickly collect your thoughts and pace yourself.  Focus on that which you know and try not to posit ideas about that which you have no experience.  Once you feel that you’ve sufficiently answered their question, take a pause and let your interviewer be the one to decide if you need to expound further.

Feeling judged

An interview, by definition, is an introductory meeting where a hiring manager is judging whether or not you will be a good fit within an organization.  Without knowing exactly what the interviewer is looking for, this can often make people feel self-conscious

If you’re concerned about arriving over or under-dressed, ask what the dress code is when you are accepting the interview.  If that is not an option, review the company’s website and social media pages to draw inferences about their company culture and what is deemed to be acceptable work attire.

If you are known to have nervous compulsions such as shaking your leg, fidgeting your fingers, or not making direct eye contact, have a practice interview with a friend, asking them to pay close attention to your body language.  After a few practice rounds, you should be able to find what your triggers are and develop a method to counteract them.

If you are worried about being judged for any of your other physical attributes or personality, take solace in the fact that if they don’t hire you for one of those reasons, then you are dodging a bullet.

Feeling Undeserving

On occasion you may apply for a job thinking that it’s a long shot and then you get “the call”.  If you find yourself thinking that there is no way you are going to get the job, focus on the reasons why they should hire you instead of dwelling on why they shouldn’t .

Hiring managers sift through dozens (sometimes hundreds) of resumes looking for their perfect candidate and they chose YOU to speak with! That alone speaks volumes about your experience and skill set.  Remember that your idea of the perfect candidate may be completely different from theirs.

Forgetting Your Key Points

We’ve all had those moments where as soon as we open our mouth to speak, the only thing that comes out is a nervous “Ummm…” as sweat begins to form on our brow.  And while blanking out can be embarrassing, it happens to the best of us.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to prepare.  As mentioned before, take some time to have a mock interview.  Write out your key points the night before your interview and review them until you feel comfortable.

If you still feel like you may forget something, put together a small portfolio or presentation to share with your interviewer.  You can use this to guide you through your train of thought, making sure no stone is left unturned.

 

Keeping these thoughts in mind before your next interview, you can be confident that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you will be prepared to handle it head-on.


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Highlights: BLS March Jobs Report

BY: Clique Studios | April 13, 2018


 

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in February – a six-month continuation of a 17-year-low.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 103,000 in March, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were professional and business services (+33,000), manufacturing (+22,000), health care (+22,000),and mining (+9,000).

The unemployment rate of adult men (3.7%) and adult women (3.7%) remained largely unchanged from the previous month. Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ months) accounted for 20.3% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earning rose by $0.08 to $26.82, adding to the 4 cent earnings growth in February.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


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The Marco Secrets to Career Longevity

BY: Clique Studios | April 3, 2018


 

We are pleased to announce that Marco & Associates celebrates its eight-year anniversary today!

Just to put that into perspective, at this time in 2010, Jay Leno was named the new host of The Tonight Show (again), Avatar was the movie of the future, Beyoncé had everyone trying to learn the “Single Ladies” dance, and nobody had ever heard of Instagram.

We’ve traveled a long, winding road to get to where we are now, and it has truly been the most fun, rewarding experience that we could have ever asked for.

So as we reflect on what has made us successful these past eight years, we wanted to pass along what we’ve found to be the Marco secrets to longevity.


Be a Lifelong Learner

 

You’ve likely heard the adage “You don’t know what you don’t know”.  We have a slightly different saying – “Find out what you don’t know before it finds you!”

No matter how long you’ve been in the business, there are still plenty of things to learn every day.  Become an active learner and be prepared to tackle any issue that may come your way. Find new solutions to problems before they arise and take note of your mistakes, making sure to avoid them in the future.


Embrace New Technology

 

It’s no secret that technology is constantly evolving, whether we want it to or not.  According to a 2016 study by McKenzie & Company, 86% of accounting and bookkeeping activities have the potential to be automated.  This is both an exciting and terrifying revelation.

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, be willing to embrace new technology.  If you don’t do it now, somebody else will and they will be the ones who succeed in the long run.


Be Comfortable Saying “No”

 

If you try going through your everyday life saying “yes” to everything, you’ll quickly find that you made a significant error in judgement – and that’s why we don’t do it! Why, then, do we find ourselves saying “yes” to everything at work?

Whether it be taking on a new project you don’t have time for, accepting added responsibility that you can’t manage, or simply going along with a poorly conceived strategy as not to appear confrontational, we all say “yes” to things we don’t want to.  But the good news is that you don’t have to!

If you are confronted with a scenario that you know will not be beneficial to you or the company in the long run, outline your reasons why and just say, “No”.


Be a Mentor

 

“You are only as strong as your weakest link” – we know; it’s cliché.  We also know that it’s absolutely true.

Helping those around you to be the best that they can be will not only pay dividends for their career, but for yours as well.  It’s much better to be a support player on a winning team than to be a star player on a losing team.

Take some time to support those around you and we guarantee that everyone will be better for it.


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5 Podcasts Every Accounting Manager Should Be Listening To

BY: Clique Studios | March 20, 2018


 

Let’s face it – leading a team is difficult. Whether you are trying to figure out how to deal with a difficult employee or brainstorming innovative ways to become more productive, the one question that you don’t want to have bouncing around your mind all day was, “Did I make the right decision?”

The best way to handle any situation that may arise is to be prepared! Take some time on your morning commute to listen to some great podcasts that are sure to give fantastic advice on how to better manage your team – no matter what problems may arise.

 

Ask a Manager

Need expert advice on handling workplace dilemmas and dramas? Alison Green, founder of the popular website AskAManager.org, is here to help you resolve your toughest, most frustrating, or just plain weirdest work predicaments. Each week, she takes calls and talks directly with listeners about how to successfully tackle clueless coworkers, toxic bosses, impossible employees, crazy clients, and much more.

 

 

 

 

Worklife with Adam Grant

We spend a quarter of our lives at work, but too little time thinking about how to make it better. In this TED original podcast, organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside unconventional workplaces to explore the ideas we can all use to make work more meaningful and creative.

 

 

 

 

How to be Awesome at Your Job

If your job requires substantial thinking and collaboration, this podcast will help you flourish at work. Each week, I grill thought-leaders and results-getters to discover specific, actionable insights that boost work performance. These practical nuggets sharpen the universal skillset every professional needs. Pete has coached world-class thinkers from 50 countries, every Ivy League university, and many elite companies to work brilliance. Now, let his VIP guests guide you to becoming a better thinker, doer, presenter, and leader.

 

 

 

Dear HBR:

Work can be frustrating. How can you get along with that maddening coworker? Figure out what your unapproachable boss really wants? Motivate your demoralized team? “Dear HBR:” is here to help. With empathy, experience, and humor, veteran Harvard Business Review editors and co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn explore solutions to your workplace dilemmas. Bolstered by insights from guests and academic research, they help you navigate thorny situations to find a better way forward.

 

 

 

 

The Global Leadership Summit Podcast

The Global Leadership Summit Podcast brings world-class leadership training to your smartphone, tablet and computer! In this twice-monthly podcast, you will learn from the world’s top leadership experts as they share insight on topics such as self-leadership, vision and organizational growth. With fresh, actionable and inspiring content, The GLS Podcast is the perfect resource for leaders on-the-go.

 

BONUS PLAYLIST

 


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How to Make the Most of Your Time at Work

BY: Clique Studios | March 9, 2018


It’s Monday morning and with coffee in hand you round the corner to your desk. “SURPRISE!”- the work you left from the previous Friday is still there.

You already know what projects have to be completed by when and who is going to be reprimanding you if they don’t get done.  Now the only question you have left to answer is how are you going to do it?

Try out the 5 simple tips as you work through your to-do list and you will find that you will actually start making a dent and keep the boss happy!

 

1. Turn off your phone

If you don’t need your cell phone for business purposes, then stow it deep in your drawer and don’t look back.

The waves of notifications flooding your phone screen will do little (and by that I mean “nothing”) to help keep you focused on the tasks at hand.

Brad won’t mind that the 207th picture of his new dog doesn’t receive your “like” until 5:00, but your boss will certainly mind if you miss the 5:00 deadline.

2. Focus on the important items first

Important items don’t always mean urgent items.  Focus on the items that are vital first so that you can return to other, less-important items later when you have time.

In other words, simply attend to the tasks that require the most attention.  Everything else will fall into place.

3. Take a break.  Actually, take multiple breaks.

Most offices have break rooms, so use them! Get up and take a stroll, eat an apple, or even do a dance.

If you work non-stop, you will only end up feeling burnt out. Take the time to reset your mind so that you won’t be “over it” with half of the project left to complete.

4. Just say, “No.”

Unless you’re the rare breed who enjoys living in a world of constant stress, then don’t be afraid to utilize the word “no”.

If you are asked to take on another project, check to see if you can manage the additional workload before you commit to it.

By explaining how the different project might suffer if you were to take on something else, most managers will be understanding and delegate it to another team member who has the time.

5. Know when you’re going to leave

Often, when employees think about times to “clock out” for the day, they only have two times in mind: the time that they could leave and the time that they should leave.

The problem with this mentality is that you have not given yourself any hard deadlines to complete your tasks for the day.  This flexibility may result in working at a slower pace throughout the day knowing that you can finish it after hours.

By setting a pre-determined time when you will leave, you will be motivated to stay focused all day and finish your work at a reasonable time.

 

Have some more tips on how to be more efficient? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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Highlights: BLS February Jobs Report

BY: Clique Studios | March 9, 2018


 

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in February – a five-month continuation of a 17-year-low.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 313,000 in February, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were construction (61,000 jobs), retail trade (50,000 jobs), professional and business services (50,000 jobs), and manufacturing (31,000 jobs)

The unemployment rate of adult men (3.7%) and adult women (3.8%) remained largely unchanged from the previous month. Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ months) accounted for 20.7% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earning rose by $0.04 to $26.75, adding to the 7 cent earnings growth in January.  The average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


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Olympic Curling: A Demonstration in Successful Project Management

BY: Clique Studios | February 27, 2018


 

The Olympics are officially over.  The podiums have been stored, the stadiums have been swept, and U.S. business owners are rejoicing.

With the Olympics costing businesses an estimated  $1.7 billion in productivity, owners across the country are understandably ecstatic that their employees will once again focus on their work and not on the medal standings.

That being said, there is one sport that may have been beneficial for every employee to watch after all…

Curling.

And, no.  I’m not joking.

While most people simply see a rock sliding on ice, I see project management in action.  I see a blueprint by which departments of all sizes can build successful strategies.  I see the road map for visionaries.

And, yes. I know I sound silly, but follow the steps of a curler with me and I hope you will begin to see the beauty of the sport that I see.

 

If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching a curling match, click here to better understand the basics  –

 

1) Set your target

 

This first step seems simple enough, but don’t let it fool you – this step is the most crucial. Do you want to guard? Do you want to draw? Would you like to go for a takeout?  Maybe you want to try a whole new sport?

Far too often, managers set the wheels of a project in motion without having a clear destination in mind, essentially blindly hurling a stone down the ice just because they can.

If you want to win the gold in curling or in business, you first have to set very clear goals.


2) Visualize the path

 

You’ve decided that you’re going to draw (get the stone in the target) – now you have to start thinking about what has to be done to get there.

What obstacles are currently in the way?  What are the ways in which things could go wrong?  Could anything derail your progress along the way? How much initial energy is required to get the stone to the target?

Successful project management requires not only evaluating the obstacles that you see in front of you, but anticipating that which is unseen.  If you have a clear goal without a plan to reach it, then you are setting yourself up for failure.


3) Clearly communicate plan with your team

 

The key to successful communication is over-communication.  What if your team knows that you’re stone will be curving to the right, but they are unsure of where is should arrive? Or maybe they know the target but think that you will be curving from the left?

In either scenario, a lack of communication will result in your team missing your target completely by focusing on the wrong things.

Make sure everyone is on the same page.


4) Set the stone in motion

 

Unless your plan is to forfeit the match, the stone has to leave your hand eventually.

Many times project managers will do all of the necessary work leading up to a project kickoff, having everyone on the same page with a clear direction towards a goal, and then do nothing with it.

At some point, you just have to let that stone go and trust the process.


5) Trust your team to guide the stone to the target

 

The stone has left your hands and now it’s up to your team to see your vision through.

While you should always be willing to give direction to your team throughout the process, you have to allow them to do their jobs and trust that they know how to sweep.

They have a unique perspective which allows them to see issues as they arise in the moment.  Allow them to adjust and fix them as needed.


6) If target is not reached or stone is sidetracked, then regroup and adjust.

 

Failure is part of sports – failure is also part of business. If you see that your project did not go exactly as you envisioned, take note of the problems and try a different approach.

 

You may throw three stones before you see the result that you want, but that third stone might just be the one that brings you the gold!


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6 Important Employment Stats for Accounting Undergrads

BY: Clique Studios | February 23, 2018



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Highlights: BLS January Jobs Report

BY: Clique Studios | February 16, 2018


 

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in January – a four-month continuation of a 17-year-low.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in January, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were construction (36,000 jobs), food services (31,000 jobs), health care (21,000 jobs), and manufacturing (15,000 jobs)

The unemployment rate of adult men (3.9%) and adult women (3.6%) remained largely unchanged from the previous month. Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ months) accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earning rose by $0.09 to $26.74, adding to the 11 cent earnings growth in December.  The average workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 34.3 hours.

Click here for full report.


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How to Resign Without Burning Any Bridges

BY: Clique Studios | February 9, 2018


 

You’ve done the hard work.  You’ve submitted resumes, had interviews, negotiated salary requirements and accepted an offer all while being a productive member of your current team.  Now there’s just one more balancing act left – resign from your job while maintaining a positive professional relationship with your supervisor.

To those of you who feel that resigning is as simple as waving goodbye as you stroll out the door, I urge you to keep in mind the oft-quoted mantra for success, “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know (who also likes you).”

So, if you want to avoid burning any bridges and keep your professional relationships in tact, do these three simple things before you leave:

 

1. Write a Resignation Letter

 

When you are drafting your resignation letter, it can be easy to go overboard on the details, but this is not necessary.  Just follow these guidelines and your writing session will be a breeze.

DON’T: Leave out the day on which you intend to leave.

DO: Provide firm date of departure no less that 2 weeks from the day you present the letter

DON’T: Include your negative feelings about the company

DO: Highlight the positives of your experience at the company

DON’T: Drag other’s names through the mud

DO: Thank your supervisor for the opportunity they gave you to work with them


2. Create Workflow and ‘In Process’ Lists

 

Just as you want to be set up for success at your new company, you should also want to provide your replacement with all of the information that they will need to hit the ground running.

By mapping out your current workflow and making a list of projects that are in process or upcoming, you will ease some of the burden of the inevitable learning curve, allowing your supervisor to lead, not continually rehash.


3. Offer to Provide Short-Term Support

 

Understanding that there will be bumps in the road after you depart (despite your detailed lists), offer to be available for calls after hours for any questions that they may have.

By showing your continued commitment to the supervisor and team that you left, they will continue to be committed to your future success, as well.


Once you’ve made sure to do these three things, ask your supervisor if they would be willing to be a reference for you in the future.  SPOILER ALERT: They will likely say, “YES!”.

 

 

 


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