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Fresh Start for a New Year

A new year has begun, 2017 at that, and we are already hurry-scurrying through the first weeks.

For some, this is a time of reflection on the year just past and on the things we’d have done differently had we the opportunity for a ‘do-over’.  For others the new year is simply that time when we shift into overdrive to gain a step or two on our competition, business competition or personal competition.

A bit of each of those approaches is often ‘just what the doctor ordered’.  We certainly can be helped by a bit of retrospection, not to dwell on the past, but to gain from those experiences.  We ought to take the time to gain from all our experiences, from those that made us feel great and from those that had the reverse effect.  Both are important parts of who we are.

This is a great time in which to look around at the new world of 2017.

If we’ve had a plan for our careers, where are we in that process?  Are we where we wanted to be or have we surpassed our goals?  What is it that we want to be able to say we accomplished come this time next new year?

If we have had no plan for our careers, might it be time to create such a plan?  We are not technically in the personal consulting business, but we do a lot of that as we work to help people understand what we see as their strong suits and where and how they might make themselves more attractive to a new employer.  We have a very good feel for the marketplace and that may be something we can help you bring to your personal conversation.

If we reflect on the past year, as most of us do in one way or another, we probably find that we had anticipated some of what happened but were blindsided by other aspects.  That reflection might include personal situations, workplace situations, whether or not to add more education credentials, and where the future seems to be pointing for those  with our present skill sets.

Once we’ve had that personal ‘sit down’ with self, there is that whole thing of just what we decide we’re going to do to improve or change the situation.

If we are in an industry that is being chipped away at by new technology, we may be at the turning point personally.  If we have just accomplished adding another notch to the experience we have, this may be the year that we try out the new credentials.

Maybe we’ve had a life-changing experience.  If that is true for you, this might be a good time to re-think where you are and where you are going in the new year if you stay on the current pathway.  Part of the job we try to do is to help our candidates be as honest with self as is possible.  That is sometimes a bit awkward, but it is sometimes the wake-up call that is necessary to get a person back on the track best-suited to their experience and current situation.

Feel free to give us a call or stop to see us if you’re in the area.  We benefit by being of assistance to you and unless we get together, we’re both going to miss that opportunity.  Best wishes for a personal best in 2017!

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

The Power of Optimism

optimism-1 Optimistic people fare better in interviews all other things being equal. That is the simple truth. Most people like people who have optimism, so long as it isn’t exaggerated and overblown simply for effect.

Optimism and smiles tend to go together. (See our recent entry http://wfastaffing.com/smile/ ) So there is a double-whammy in the package of a person interviewing for a position who is both optimistic and who has a ready smile; those people usually will have a better experience sometimes because they expected to have a better experience.If we are self-confidant without being overbearing, and we couple that with optimism and a sense of humor, the odds are in our favor if we have the work-related qualification the employer seeks.  This might seem too simple to really have an impact, but it does have an impact.  This combination is sort of the ‘holy grail’ for prospective employers, or the trifecta that simply doesn’t present itself too often.

If you are one of these people, you have probably been quite successful and you might not even understand why, or you may never have given it a thought because life has always been good.

So, what about the person who hasn’t experienced this before?  Is all lost for that person?  Certainly not, but you have to become aware of those things that can help you with optimism in the interview.

You need to have self-confidence; that is hard to fake.

You have very solid attributes. You need to take inventory of those and be sure you make use of them.  A ready smile is valuable.  A good self-image is important.  If you need to buy a new outfit for the interview, maybe that is a good investment if it helps you feel better about yourself.

You need to have a download-3positive view of yourself, without being egotistical, and about the world around you, and recognize and convey that you are a good person, and would be a valuable employee, if this proves to be the right setting.  You need to have your ‘elevator speech’ prepared.  What in the world is an elevator speech?  It is that 45 to 60 second talk that tells who you are and why you think you can be a value to this employer.  You may review your education and experience in short, succinct bites. And don’t forget about your personality and values.  It needs to feel natural and to be ready to be provided every time you encounter a new person or new situation. Maybe it is better thought of as the response to the interviewer’s request:  “tell me a little about yourself”.

Self-confidence and optioptimism-is-the-faith-that-leads-to-achievementmism about who you are will go a long way toward a favorable interview experience and for your future.

Al Campbell, Account Executive

 

 

SMILE!

smileWant to have a better today…SMILE!

 There is evidence that when we smile, even if we aren’t feeling it at that moment, we begin to feel better.

We can actually make ourselves feel better by smiling at others.  Now, wasn’t that easy?  When I receive a smile, I tend to automatically to return it.  If I am not ‘up to sorts’, I try to wear a smile and find that I work my way out of my funk and probably am helping others get out of their funk, too.

We don’t need to be goofy about it all.  A simple grin at another person will help you and the other person.  You might well find that you form a new habit.  You might also find that you develop a new friend or a deeper friendship.

We likemichael-phelps-happymichael-phelps-face-450 being around people who are happy.

We automatically work to stay out of the way of that guy or gal who is not happy almost as though we don’t want to catch whatever it is they’re having a problem getting beyond.

Be brutally honest with yourself and try to recall the last time you were in a funk.  Were people tending to stay away from you?  Did you continue to feed on your funk?  Did you ever get out of that funk all day, or did you take it home with you, too?

If you are seeking a new job, smile when you encounter anyone at the possible new place of employment, and continue to convey this positivity at all you encounter.  No one there wants to hire a sourpuss.  They probably already have their quota of bored, dreary,  or even scowling faces.

You don’t need to be happy-office-workeroverboard.

Just a simple show of your dimples, if you have those, is all it takes.  If you are about to interview with a person who has yet to find his or joy today, don’t go overboard but just smile a sincere smile as you introduce yourself.  You will almost be able to feel the atmosphere in the room changing for the better.

Another thing is very interesting, too.  When you are talking with a smile on your face that comes through even if you’re not in the same room with the person to whom you’re talking.  Your voice can convey the happiness on your face, just as it can convey the frown if that is pasted there.

If you are already a smiler, keep it up.

I have literally had people comment on my smile or lack of smile. If you smile once in a while, try to increase the frequency.   At the least, keep a happy thought in mind and that will begin to help you smile more often and you may find the people around are in a better mood too!

Tom Krist

 

 

Tom Krist, CEO

I lost one of my best friends this past year, who I truly miss.  He was a dear friend and a great mentor to me.  He helped me to get started in this business.  One of the things I remember most about my friend Jim is his wonderful, infectious, and memorable smile.  He could light up a room with that smile and he had the ability to smile in both good times and bad. This posting is in honor of Jim’s legacy.

Habits – Are they good or bad?

habits-wordle1Habits come in all varieties, but we tend to think of ‘bad’ habits whenever the word ‘habit’ is mentioned.  Maybe that is natural from childhood on through adulthood.  Maybe we were admonished so often as youngsters that we see the word as having a bad connotation.

Habits are defined as: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Even this definition of a habit is tinged with the stigma that a habit is usually bad.  But, that is far from reality.  If you have the habit of smoking you probably realize that is, by definition, a bad habit.  But, if you have turned that habit into a habit of no longer smoking, then you have traded a bad habit for a good habit; maybe that is chewing gum.  But be sure you don’t have the habit of loudly chewing your gum.

We often become creatures of habit, and we do not always recognize that in ourselves.  We tend to go to the same restaurants and we might have a habit of ordering the same dish since we’ve developed a liking for it.  We patronize the same gas stations.  We watch the same TV shows.  We have a favored news program that has become a habit.  We have a favored theatre.  We have a favored meal.  We have a favorite kind of music.  We may even have a favorite Bible verse.

In the workplace, habits, even good habits, can be the source of irritation for our associates.  Have you ever tired of the person who slurps her soup at lunchtime?  Do you annoy others with the tune you habitually hum?  Do you always begin a conversation with the same opening line?  Are you constantly clearing your throat?

The most innocent thing we do might be the source of irritation for others without us even recognizing that.

It is, unfortunately, usually easier for us to identify the bad habits of others than it is to identify habits we have that bother others.  It takes a very good friend, a kind-hearted person, to help us see those kinds of things about ourselves.

When we demonstrate that we can take a bit of criticism without ‘losing it’, we have taken a huge step toward being a better associate.

Habinew-habitsts during employment interviews can make or break the interview.  A good habit played to excess will be as damaging as a bad habit displayed during the interview in your job search.  A good friend can be an excellent source of constructive criticism…if we are confident enough to make that request and to handle the resulting discussion positively.

 

 

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Alan Campbell, Account Executive

Exciting Management Changes at WFA Staffing

wfa partners“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity…”  There truly is a time for everything and that includes the passing of the title of President from one person to another.  The time for that to happen is when it does not need to be done, when there is not some pressing situation or condition that mandates such action.  We determined that the time for this in our organization was now!

While we have achieved remarkable growth in the past ten years we felt it was time to strengthen our senior management team by adding a new President.  Our ideal candidate would have over 10 years of experience in the staffing business with proven results.  They must also be forward-thinking and a great manager of people who can keep our great culture while continuing our growth and excellent performance.  We could have looked outside for this person but fortunately, he sat in the next office.

I have been President of WFA Staffing and Fred D’Amato has served as Vice President for many years.  We have both been very active with our clients as well as in the community in general, and are both tied to WFA Staffing in the minds of all of our customers and many of our prospective customers.  Along with our CFO Todd Strehlow, we have participated in building WFA Staffing and in guiding it to where it is currently positioned.  We have a great staff and we all get along well with our team.

Fred D’Amato has officially been elected President of WFA Staffing and I have been elected to serve as the Chief Executive Officer or CEO if you prefer. Todd Strehlow will continue to guide our financial growth as our Chief Financial Officer.   I plan to continue my work here at WFA for a long time to come.

For our employees, nothing much will change since we’ll both continue doing what we’ve been doing with whatever modifications seem appropriate going into the future.  There may well be new opportunities for our staff members as we determine what WFA will look like going into the future.  There may be candidates for increasing responsibility in our midst just waiting for the opportunity to show their capabilities.  After all, Fred will be looking for HIS own ’Fred’ .

For our clients, nothing much will change either.  We each will handle the clients we’ve handled and Fred will become intimately familiar with the clients I have largely served in the past.  Our intent is to make this transition as seamless as possible.  I truly enjoy what I do as I have met many wonderful people through the years.  I look forward to enjoying my client relationships and growing our business here at WFA with Fred, Todd and the rest of our awesome staff for many years to come.

Tom Krist, CEO

Tom Krist

Future 50

mmac-v2The latest edition of the Milwaukee BizTimes (Sep. 7 – 20, 2015) features this years’ Future 50, the fifty select growing companies in SE Wisconsin according to the rankings of BizTimes.  They’ve been at this for quite a while, and we admittedly are partial since we were selected for this prestigious group three years in a row culminating in our designation as a Master Mettle organization, so we naturally think they are on-the-mark with their selections.

The Master Mettle group members are lauded for sustaining their growth patterns in both good and not-so-good economic times.  The members of that group this year are Cornerstone Plumbing LLC of Waukesha, EmbedTek LLC of Hartland, KS Energy Services, LLC of New Berlin, SmartChoice MRI of Mequon, Transcendent LLC of Hartland and W.I.S. Logistics of New Berlin.

Afuture-50-v2ll these Future 50 companies represent a true cross-section of businesses in this area.  Of the fifty, 2 are in the finance/real estate/insurance arena, 3 are in the wholesale trades, 15 are in manufacturing, 8 are technology companies, 7 are constructions organizations, and 15 provide ‘other services’.

WFA Staffing is very proud to work with some of these Future 50 organizations in support of their growth through searches to provide additional team members as they expand.

COSBE, which operates under the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), stands for the Council of Small Business Executives, and Mary Steinbrecher, COSBE’s Executive Director, stated that capturing a Future 50 designation 3 times is a “significant accomplishment”.

WFA Staffing extends its congratulations to all the Future 50 companies and especially to those six Master Mettle award winners for this year.

All would likely say that they have gotten to this level based upon having an excellent group of employees with the knowledge to help drive their business forward.  WFA Staffing is in the business of helping to identify just those kinds of employees regardless of what skill set they may need.  Give us a call and give us a challenge.  We don’t get paid unless we perform.

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

Supporting our veterans…

FullSizeRender6This past Friday  we at WFA were blessed to be able to support Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  Stars and Stripes Honor Flight honors all veterans by flying WWII, Korean War and terminally ill veterans from other conflicts to Washington, DC to visit their memorials. They actively promote educational aspects of this mission in our schools and our communities. The Greatest Generation is slowly fading away, and Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has pledged to celebrate each and every remaining WWII and Korean War hero before it is too late. This is their mission.

FullSizeRender                        FullSizeRender4Stars and Stripes Honors Flight: Bringing SE Wisconsin’s WWII and Korean War Veterans to DC–With Honor. Donate now at: www.starsandstripeshonorflight.org

Experience VS Pay

Experience VS Pay

We find the following quotation to be a truism in our business for it is the experience gained that hones the skills that lead to a better income for virtually all of us:

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. ~Harold Geneen

Our business is obviously that of finding the right people with the right skills and the right experience at the right price for the position we have been hired to fill by the employer-client.  That is anything but an easy job, especially if the person being recruited has a differing set of expectations than those we’re seeking in the ideal recruit.

Obviously we are between the proverbial rock and hard place if either the employer-client or the employee-candidate is not willing to accept the going price; that happens but it doesn’t happen as often as you might expect.

Among the reasons for that are the experience we have in this business.  We earned our experience the hard way; we worked at it, had the necessary disappointments along the way and got better and better at the business we chose to be involved with until we reached today.  We have many employer-clients with whom we’ve worked for years and we are thankful for those long-term relationships.

We are always interviewing new prospective placements and we are always anxious to interview, and be interviewed by, prospective new employer-clients.  If you are an employer in need of good people with the skill sets you require, we’d be proud to work for and with you.  We work in good faith rather than on retainer so we meet your needs or you bear no cost for our services.  We know that we need to perform well for you if we expect to have you as a repeat employer-client.  We recognize that if we do that repeatedly, your company might just be another of those employer-clients with whom we work regularly.  That would be good for us both, but we know that it is on us to earn that privilege.

 

Tom Krist – President

Tom Krist