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News & Events

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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Why You Should Socialize Outside of Work (Quick Read)

BY: Clique Studios | February 2, 2018


Nine thousand six hundred – these are the minutes spent with your co-workers each month.  To put that into perspective, if you just wanted to count to 9,600, it would take you around 2.5 hours to do so!  Seems like plenty of time to get to know someone, right?

Well, you may know that Brian chooses restaurants based on the type of ice they have or that Mary runs a Yanni fan club, but how much do you really know? And how much is that knowledge helping your team become more successful?

Gaining a deeper insight into what makes your co-workers ‘tick’ lays the foundation of understanding and trust that leads to successful teamwork and a more pleasant work environment.

A simple change in scenery will result in free-flowing conversation allowing individual personalities to blossom.  Enjoying a walk around the block, a warm cup of joe or a tall glass of Goose Island with your co-workers outside of the office is one of the best ways to develop that mutual confidence in one another.

Your colleagues will be more willing to lend a helping hand, provide advice, and ask for the same in return once the vail of your ‘professional self’ is lifted and your genuine selfdom is revealed.

By building your presence outside of work, the positive effect of socializing will extend beyond the group and benefit your own journey within the company, as well.

As topics surrounding work arise within the group setting, you can gain valuable insights about the company; keeping you “in the loop”.  These insights can help you navigate your way through new developments within the company and solidify a strong internal network.

So ask your co-workers to join you at the pub this weekend and let the team building begin!

DISCLAIMER:

The benefits of out-of-office team building come with the assumption that you and your peers will participate with maturity.  One too many drinks or an inappropriate joke could turn your pleasant outing into an embarrassing one. Don’t be that guy (or gal)!

 

 


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BY: Clique Studios | January 12, 2018


 




This limited time offer is available for a new engagement confirmed to start by 2/18/2018. 20 hours of credit will be applied after 80 hours of engagement time. Contact us at 312.546.9800 for more details.

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Top Ten Things NOT to Say on Your First Day

BY: Clique Studios | January 11, 2018





A new day.  A new job.  A new panic attack.

If you’re about to start a new job and are nervous about making a good first impression, you’ll be just fine as long as you just don’t say any of these things:

 

10. “I’m sorry that I overslept – I stayed up late binge-watching ‘Friends’.”

First impressions on the new job are long-lasting.  Don’t start out by making tardiness an unfortunate expectation.  Get plenty of rest and if you are running late, make sure your reason is valid.


 

9. “It was okay for me to double park in [insert Executive’s name] parking space, right?”

Unless you were hired to literally “run the place”, don’t walk in acting like you do.  Remember, respect is not given, it’s earned.


 

8. “Why is Facebook blocked on my computer?!”

While many companies do not allow social media sites to be accessed from their computers, do not consider this to be an affront.  Complete the job at hand so that you can have a stress-free evening of scrolling through pictures of your friend’s chicken carbonara.


 

7. “Is this Friday too early to cash in one of those vacation days?”

Even though you may have vacation time available right off the bat, consider holding off on using it.  An early vacation may make you appear to be either a slacker or irresponsible.


 

6. “Here’s my unprompted opinion on politics, religion, and flat earth…”

While it’s certainly possible to have a cordial conversation about these topics, there’s always the possibility that the tone could quickly turn combative.  Err on the side of caution and keep the conversation on the job on your first day.


 

5. “I know a great toupee guy who can help you out with your ‘situation’.”

Everybody has boundaries and it’s safe to assume that you won’t know what they are on your first day.  Imagine you’re meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time – if you wouldn’t say something to them, then don’t say it to your new co-worker.


 

4. “Oh, I’m sorry. There was no name on your leftover brisket, so I thought it was fair game.”

Food. Is. Precious. Don’t treat the office kitchen as your free-for-all buffet.  If you don’t know if something belongs to someone, all you have to do is ask.


 

3. “This is my jam! I CAME IN LIKE A WREEEEAAAKING BALL!”

Respect for other’s personal space also extends to their ears.  Be a good neighbor -don’t play any music too loudly and use your ‘inside voice’.


 

2. “Can I leave a little early? My cat has a strict feeding schedule.”

The first day on the job is not the day to leave work early.  Unless you have a legitimate reason to leave, try to be the last one in the office to set up good expectations for yourself.


 

1. “Yeah, this isn’t really working out.”

Sure, there are a handful of fine reasons to quit on your first day, but odds are that you probably won’t encounter any of them.  If you feel uneasy about your new job after your first day, see how you feel after your first week, month, or quarter – you may just have a change of heart.


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Highlights: BLS December Employment Report

BY: Clique Studios | January 5, 2018


 

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in December – a continuation of the 17-year-low November unemployment rate.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 marking a payroll employment growth total of 2.1 million in 2017.  The industries to receive the most job gains were health care (31,000 jobs), construction (30,000 jobs), and manufacturing (25,000 jobs).

While the unemployment rate of adult men and women remained largely unchanged, unemployment among new entrants (those who are unemployed and had never previously worked) decreased by 116,000.

Average hourly earning rose by $0.09 to $26.63, marking a 2.5% earnings growth since January.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


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Eight Resolutions for Managers in 2018

BY: Clique Studios | January 5, 2018


 

It’s that time of year again.  Across the country, pages scribbled with New Year resolutions have been drafted (and some of them already scrapped) in an attempt to improve one’s own well being and/or the well being of those around them.

With nearly half of the country being less than satisfied with their current job situation, it would not not be surprising to see “Make A Career Change” scrolled atop lists across America.

If you want to ensure that your team stays happy and intact, try making some of these resolutions of your own.

 

Loosen The Reins

While some leaders may feel that they are providing valuable guidance during their every-half-hour-check-ins, they may only be providing more stress.  Consider giving your employees some more autonomy so that they can focus on the job at hand without a looming shadow cast across their computer screen.

 

Become More Available

Employees may not want you constantly by their side, but they still want to know that you are there for them.  While you may have an open door policy, if you’re not in your office then it doesn’t serve much purpose.  Try to be more responsive to employee emails and texts so that productivity doesn’t begin to lag.

 

Make Your Feedback Helpful

When it comes time to perform quarterly reviews, instead of simply stating any issues that you may have, provide suggestions on how to remedy the problem or direct them to a resource that can help.

The same goes for feedback on any work that you approve of.  Let your employee know exactly what you liked and why you like it so that they will continue to deliver in the future.

 

Make Your Goals Clear

In the same way you may get a little nervous when your Uber driver turns off their GPS mid-route, employees don’t like being lead down a path without knowing where they are going.

Make sure that your employees are certain of what they are working towards and the expectations that you have for them along the way so that their eyes are always on the clearly-outlined goal.

 

Don’t Overfill Their Plate

Sometimes an unforeseen project arises creating a juggling act as you and your team try to complete it amongst other deadline-sensitive tasks.  Before simply dumping it on one of their desks, ask your employees what they can reasonably manage and, if possible, split the workload up among others on the team to ensure that all of your deadlines are met and nobody feels overworked.

 

Be Open to New Ideas

Everyone on your team was hired because they demonstrated that they bring value to the company.  It is important to remember that just because someone may have been hired for one specific duty, it does not necessarily mean that they are one-dimensional.

If you are approached with a new idea by anyone on your team, have them walk you through the benefits that they foresee and, if it makes sense for the business, make a plan to implement it.  Even if you don’t agree with their idea, let them know that they were heard and that you appreciate the thought that they put into it.

 

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Just as (most) game-winning quarterbacks give credit to the entire football team for their victory, give your team the same respect.  Any success that you have as a leader is facilitated by the work of those you lead, so try to give them the credit they deserve.

Be Liberal With Your Appreciation

A “thank you” goes an incredibly long way.  Always let those you work with know that you appreciate the effort they put forth – this will pay huge dividends as they continue to produce for you in a happy and healthy work environment.

 

 


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The Best Way to Shop (for jobs): Online vs. Brick & Mortar

BY: Clique Studios | December 29, 2017


 

In the midst of the digital age, we are witnessing the decline of traditional business models as online retailers are successfully flipping the industry on its head.  From buying deodorant to 3-piece suits, with just a few clicks of the mouse you can avoid traffic, checkout lines, and the Chicago plastic bag tax with near-instant gratification.

In recent years, business professionals have made this shift into the online shopping realm not only for their material goods, but for their job search as well.

While “shopping” online for jobs has plenty benefits compared to a more traditional search through a staffing firm, there are inevitable pitfalls to this approach that you should be aware of.

Check out our quick list of pros and cons for online vs traditional approaches before you begin your job search so that you can decide which path will lead you to the career you deserve.

 

Online Shopping (Job Boards):

 

Pro: Time-Saver

Search, Select, Submit – these are the three simple steps it takes to apply to a job via the online market.  Simplicity means savings on time, and (if the old adage holds true) time is money.

By efficiently breezing through multiple job opportunities, you have the ability to distribute your resume on a grand scale with minimal effort.

In an age of instant gratification, you expect online job boards to cater to your expectations.

 

Con: Click & Forget

A common issue with job boards is that the ease-of-use enables consumers to get “click happy”, leading to resumes in the hands of companies which simply don’t match your personal criteria.

Much like finding an Amazon package at your front door that you had forgotten you ordered, a wave of confusion may crash over you as you are called to schedule an interview with a company that you know nothing about.

 

Pro: Visibility to “Endless” Supply

The efficiency provided by online job boards exists not only for applicants but for companies as well.  With a relatively low cost and ease-of-use, companies of any size can now market their open jobs on an impressive scale, providing prospective applicants the ability to scroll through page after page of exciting career opportunities.

This dense saturation of postings gives you the opportunity to uncover potential career paths that would have remained hidden otherwise.

 

Con: Quality Control

Since nearly any company can upload their job descriptions onto these sites, it puts the onus on the applicant to decipher between postings which are valid and those which are attempting a classic “bait & switch”.

A “dream job” scenario may turn out to be a nightmare – a realization that you won’t uncover until after you’ve invested time into an interview, or worse, after you’ve accepted the position.

 

Brick & Mortar Shopping (Staffing Firm):

 

Pro: Individual Attention

Maybe the most important aspect of working with staffing firms is understanding that there is a mutual investment in your success.  Placing you in a position that is beneficial for both you and a hiring company is what recruiters are paid to do, so your success is necessarily a recruiter’s success.

In order to ensure that you are hired into a company where you will thrive means that you can expect to have a recruiter strive to understand your core wants/needs and provide individual attention throughout the entire hiring process.

From interview prep to salary negations, your recruiter will lay the foundation for the career path that you want to travel down.

 

Con: Time

As with any beneficial collaboration, expect to invest some time with your recruiter throughout the process as they work to ensure you are hired into a position that suits your needs.

Similar to buying a suit, it may be easier to order one online and hope that it fits, but the benefits of working with a tailor, gathering your measurements for a perfect fit, generally outweighs the time cost involved.

 

Pro: Quality Sourcing

In order to do right by the applicants, a staffing firm will weed out any companies who do not meet the standards set by both you and the firm itself.

You can expect to only be submitted for roles at companies which will set you up for continued success in your career, never having to fear a “bait & switch”.

 

Con: Limited Supply

By only working with companies who meet established criteria does mean that there is a smaller pool as a result.

Applicants willing to work with any company that extends an offer may not find this approach to a job search as the most efficient, but it is important to understand that, like you, firms are invested in your long-term success and that begins by working with only those companies that are aligned with your goals.

 

 

 


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Tax Reform Articles Free of Bias

BY: Clique Studios | December 29, 2017


 

Finding a bare-bones, unbiased analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act seems like it would be a breeze, but a simple Google search would suggest otherwise.

To help you wade through all of the available content on the topic, we’ve put together a short list of articles that will give you insight into the contents of the recent tax-reform legislation for you to determine what it means for you and your businesses.

 

Full Text of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (source: congress.gov)

Summary of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (source: taxfoundation.org)

What Tax Bill Means for Individuals (source: journalofaccountancy.com)

What Tax Bill Means for Businesses (source: journalofaccountancy.com)

Distributional Analysis of Tax Bill (source: taxpolicycenter.org)

 


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Embracing Change: What We Learned by Moving to a New Office

BY: Clique Studios | December 7, 2017


 

In the recruiting and project placement industry, we are contacted daily by individuals who are looking to take the next step in their career and make a significant change.

Caught up in the excitement of interviews, negotiations, and eventual job placements, we sometimes forget just how daunting it is to take a risk and venture into the unknown of a new work environment.

When we moved to a new office building last week, we were given a small taste of how it feels to make an intimidating change of our own and we learned a couple of things along the way.

If you are considering making a shift in your career, keep these “moving” lessons in mind:

 

Measure twice, lift once.

 

Eyeball measurements are notorious for being terribly inaccurate, yet for some reason the guy in Marketing was certain a full-size couch could be comfortably transported up a two-person elevator.  He was wrong.

Save yourself some backache and do your due diligence before accepting a new role, making sure that the company is the best fit for you.  Research the company culture, browse through review boards, and ask your interviewer thorough questions about the goals of both your role and the company at large.

 

The landlord is nervous too.

 

From making sure we all have the correct keys, to painting walls, to introductions with other tenants, our landlord wanted to make absolutely certain that we made a smooth transition.  We clearly weren’t the only ones who were a little stressed out and nervous about our first impressions.

As you enter into a new work environment, understand that you are not the only one who is trying to make a lasting impression.  Any good hiring manager wants to set you up for success from the beginning, and that puts pressure on them as well.

 

A tidy desk is a refuge amidst chaos.

 

With towers of a seemingly endless amount of boxes encroaching on our personal space, it was clear that our first priority was to organize our desk area in to gain some semblance of order.  Maintaining productivity while in a new, chaotic environment can still be achieved.

As with any new job, the first few days will require a bit of a learning curve.  From learning new work flows to the unwritten rules of the office refrigerator it can feel as if you’ve stepped into a whirlwind at first.  Make organization your first priority so that you can set yourself up for success in the midst of a temporarily overwhelming environment.

 

 

By the way, if you are wondering where our new office is, we are located at 119 W Hubbard St, Ste. 3E, Chicago, IL 60654.  Stop by and see us sometime!


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