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Adding Value as an Employee: 8 Actionable Tips to Increase Your Value Today

How can you add value as an employee and secure your job? Here’s everything you need to know, including 8 tips you can use today.

2023 US Labor Market Guide: Comprehensive Overview and Market Predictions

Looking for the latest US labor market news? Here’s everything you need to know about the labor market and what the future may hold.

Quiet Hiring: What Is It, Where It Comes From, And How It Benefits Us All

We’ve experienced many new workplace buzzwords in the past year, including quiet quitting, quiet firing, and now…quiet hiring. Gartner listed quiet hiring as a top prediction for the 2023 workforce, so you’ll want to understand the term as we progress through this year.

Here’s everything you need to know about quiet hiring, including what it is, where it comes from, how it benefits employers and employees, and much more. Let’s dig in!

Quiet Hiring Definition

Quiet hiring is a strategy companies use to fill talent gaps without hiring new employees. When the country’s economic state is uncertain, and it’s riskier – or less feasible – to hire fresh talent, quiet hiring can fill the gaps.

Quiet hiring means evaluating an organization holistically and understanding the skills of current employees. From there, if any existing employees are capable or can be trained to assume some functions of an open role, they’ll be asked to do so. 

Essentially, quiet hiring is acquiring new skills for the organization without hiring anyone new.

Quiet Hiring Often Requires Employee Development

While it’s possible that existing talent already has all the skills to fill talent gaps, it’s unlikely. Often, employers need to train employees to assume functions related to, but outside of, their professional expertise.

Professional development’s undisputed benefits make it a worthwhile investment for employers, even beyond quiet hiring. Such benefits include:

  • Better creativity
  • Performance improvements
  • More goal-oriented work
  • Better employee retention
  • More cohesive, functioning teams

Developing employees is necessary for quiet hiring, which benefits both employees and employers. It makes employees more marketable and fuels their careers; employers avoid a costly and involved hiring process while boosting their company’s overall success.  

Why Is Quiet Hiring Becoming Popular?

Until recently, employees and candidates had control of the job market. These conditions resulted in “quiet quitting,” where employees still showed up to work and cashed paychecks but didn’t put their all into their work.

Then, the situation changed. Many employees are nervous amidst a challenging economic climate with significant tech layoffs and hiring freezes.

While employees grapple with uncertainty, employers are under immense pressure to keep costs down. Unemployment is also at historic lows, making sourcing talent significantly more difficult.

All these factors create an environment where hiring is costly, and employees are committed to proving themselves to their organizations. 

Employers need to get creative to meet their talent needs, and quiet hiring is an excellent way to do so. It also allows employees to further prove their worth and grow professionally.

How Do You Take Advantage of Quiet Hiring?

As we’ve mentioned, quiet hiring benefits both employers and employees. Let’s dive deeper.

Employers

There are numerous benefits for employers when it comes to quiet hiring, including:

  • Increased employee retention
  • Saving time and money
  • Filling immediate talent gaps without a lengthy hiring process
  • Keeping employees engaged and productive
  • Expanding internal capabilities
  • Helping employers find high performers

When companies can’t afford to hire outside the organization, quiet hiring becomes an opportunity to strengthen the existing workforce. By investing in current employees, you’re boosting their performance and lowering turnover. You’re also identifying the best performers you can develop to lead the organization.

To best take advantage of quiet hiring, start by evaluating your workforce holistically. What skills does your organization have, and what skills do you need to develop? From there, you can identify which employees have the greatest aptitude for learning and whose skills are tangential to the ones you want to build.

Provide ample support and professional development to create employees who fill your talent gaps. Professional development can include:

  • Workshops
  • Mentorship programs
  • Developing hard skills (teaching new technical skills such as CRM tools, accounting software, or managing sales pipelines)
  • Developing soft skills (communication, problem-solving, time management, creativity, leadership)
  • Professional certifications

Employees

Quiet hiring may feel like you’re being taken advantage of since you’re being asked to do more work – work you didn’t sign up for. Although this can happen (more on that next), quiet hiring is, first and foremost, an opportunity.

Quiet hiring gives employees a chance to do the following:

  • Grow current skills
  • Learn new skills
  • Try new things
  • Further prove their worth to employers
  • Demonstrate more impact that can help with landing jobs in the future
  • Become better equipt to lead
  • Drive their long-term careers

Taking on new skills and demonstrating adaptability proves your worth as a potential leader. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, quiet hiring is the perfect opportunity to further your career.

Additionally, by taking on new work, you put yourself in a position to negotiate for better pay, benefits, resources, professional training, and other perks.

Quiet Hiring Red Flags

Quiet hiring comes with many opportunities but can be taken too far. As an employer, avoid the following red flags. For employees, be on the lookout for them and call them out right away.

  1. Lack of Professional Development

Leaving employees without support while they attempt new tasks sets everyone up for failure. 

To ask employees to fill skill gaps, employers must provide ample support. Professional development is essential for this process and builds talent that exceeds expectations.

  1. Unchanged Salary

Asking employees to take on new tasks and not compensating them appropriately will lead to resentment and burnout. Compensation must reflect expanding tasks and an increased workload.

Employees should negotiate their salaries before committing to additional work, and employers must be open to these conversations. 

  1. One-Way Conversations

Quiet hiring is a significant change for an organization and dramatically affects employees. Delegating work without being open to conversations about the process is detrimental to all. Optimizing the process will have a learning curve, so employers should be open to feedback.

Two-way conversations are critical. Employers should seek information on:

  • Where employees feel they can add the most value
  • If employees feel overloaded with their new workload
  • Whether there’s enough professional development to support these transitions
  • Anything else employees think is relevant

Other Cost-Cutting Recruitment Strategies

Quiet hiring is one major way companies can reduce recruitment costs. Here are a few others to consider.

  1. Expand Sourcing

The smaller your sourcing pool, the less talent you have accessible. To make hiring easier, look for talent in diverse places, including job boards, networking events, social media, and referrals.

Importantly, when it comes to job boards, look for niche job boards that pertain to your open roles. 

Crunchboard is TechCrunch’s job board that is excellent for sourcing tech talent. Dribble is a popular portfolio site designers use with a job board for sourcing these types of candidates. 

Getting specific helps you find the most qualified talent.

  1. Utilize Networking

Referrals and utilizing your network are great ways to reduce hiring costs. Allow everyone in the company to participate, and incentivize successful referral hires with bonuses. If an employee you trust refers someone they trust, the odds of that person working out are higher than a random hire.

  1. Optimize Job Descriptions and Postings

The more specific your job postings, the more qualified candidates you’ll attract. Avoid wasting time sifting through unqualified applicants by clearly listing job requirements and the types of candidates you’d like to see.

You’ll also want to tell candidates the benefits of working for your organization. Here’s a deep dive into creating optimized job descriptions.

  1. Outsource Critical Hiring

If quiet hiring won’t cut it, consider outsourcing the hiring process when hiring for your most critical roles. Fill these positions quickly and accurately to avoid the cost of a bad hire, which is usually around 30% of the role’s annual salary.

The need to hire efficiently is especially true for senior- and executive-level positions. When pressure runs high, and companies can’t afford mistakes, they need to execute these crucial hires flawlessly.

Jennings Executive specializes in matching companies with the best senior- and executive-level talent for their organization. We know how to help you build successful teams and generate value for your stakeholders.

Similarly, if you’re an employee who’s being taken advantage of by quiet hiring at your company, Jennings Executive can help you find a better job elsewhere. 
Whether you’re an employer or employee, Jennings Executive can help. Learn more today!

Dealing With Burnout at Work: Signs, Symptoms, and 6 (Easy) Steps to Take Immediately

Burnout is a term we hear often, with 75% of employees experiencing it at some point. If you’re feeling exhausted, hopeless, and withdrawn, you may be burnt out, and this article will help. Dealing with burnout is possible.

Learn what burnout is and what you can do to regain control.

What is Burnout?

Dealing with burnout starts with understanding what it is, so let’s dive in.

Burnout is physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive, enduring stress. It’s defined by a loss of identity and reduced feelings of accomplishment. Burnout leaves you feeling resentful, hopeless, and without energy.

Unfortunately, although work can cause burnout, its effects will impact your personal life. It may affect your physical health and make you more vulnerable to colds and flu.

Burnout recently became an official medical diagnosis in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases. So yes, it’s a real phenomenon, despite what some people may tell you.

Pre-Burnout Signs & Burnout Symptoms

Let’s talk about two things: pre-burnout signs and burnout symptoms.

Pre-Burnout Signs

Perhaps you aren’t burnt out yet. To help you better understand whether you’re dealing with burnout or are on your way there, let’s talk about some factors that may lead to burnout:

  • Constant exhaustion
  • Working so hard your personal life becomes almost non-existent (no time for family, friends, self-care, sleep, etc.)
  • Lack of care toward your personal life (usually due to lack of time)
  • Feeling like nothing you do is appreciated or meaningful
  • Feeling like all days are bad days
  • Dreading Mondays and the start of the workday

Battling these feelings for an extended time with no end indicates that you’re on your way to being burnt out. We’ll discuss later in this article how to combat burnout, which will also apply to stopping yourself from becoming burnt out.

Related: 7 Tips For Quitting a Job Professionally and Maintaining Those Relationships

Burnout Symptoms

We all have stressful days where we feel exhausted or underappreciated. However, you may be burnt out if you feel this way all the time. 

Burnout is a slow process you may not be aware of, so paying attention to the following red flags is essential. Ignoring them can lead to a full-on breakdown, which can be harder to recover from. 

Here are some burnout symptoms

  • Constant exhaustion
  • Poor appetite
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Headaches or other physical pain
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Negative or cynical outlook at work
  • Feeling helpless or trapped
  • Self-doubt at work
  • Sense of career failure
  • Decreased satisfaction with work
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Using food, alcohol, or other substances to cope
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating excessively
  • Skipping work

Do a lot of these apply to you? If so, you may be dealing with burnout. We’ll discuss what to do about it, but first, let’s clarify the difference between depression and burnout.

Burnout vs. Depression

Symptoms of burnout can look a lot like depression. Some major overlapping symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Physical pain
  • Substances to cope
  • Poor sleep or appetite changes
  • Isolation or withdrawal
  • Feelings of helplessness

The big difference between burnout and depression is two-fold: depression lasts longer (a few weeks or more) and severely affects your personal life.

If negative feelings haven’t gone away for a few weeks, you may be depressed. Similarly, if you’re feeling hopeless, withdrawn, aren’t enjoying activities you used to, or are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms in your personal life, this may be depression.

Eating, showering, and picking up after yourself might seem impossible with depression but they shouldn’t with burnout. 

Lastly, if mental health days or vacations don’t improve your mood, you’re likely dealing with something more serious than burnout.

If you think you’re experiencing depression, speak to a mental health professional. BetterHelp and Online-Therapy.com are two places to start. You can also contact your insurance for resources.

For immediate help, especially if you’re dealing with suicidal thoughts, call 800-273-8255 (TALK)

You can also text “HOME” to 741741 to receive support for any crisis; a counselor will respond immediately.

6 Tips For Dealing With Burnout at Work

Dealing with burnout can seem overwhelming, but here are some simple tips to help you beat it.

  1. Prioritize Self-Care

One primary driver of burnout is sidelining self-care. Excessive working hours lead to deprioritization of self-care, which contributes to burnout.

Self-care can be quick. Just 10-15 minutes each day can help your mood substantially. You can meditate, go through your skincare routine, do yoga, or participate in any activity that suits you.

Prioritize exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet every day.

  1. Ask for Help

Let the people in your life know you’re experiencing burnout. This includes your boss and coworkers, as well as family and friends.

Ask for help with tasks at work and home to alleviate some of the strain you’re feeling. There’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed asking for help when needed!

  1. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries at work and home can help combat burnout. 

When you’re done with work, stay offline. Similarly, set aside time and space if you need “you” time away from home responsibilities such as caregiving. You can make your own space in the house to relax, such as a spare bedroom or part of the backyard.

  1. Stay Social

Even if it feels exhausting, staying in touch with friends is critical for dealing with burnout. If you don’t feel you have the time, make it! You’ll be happy you did.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation help reduce burnout, stress, and even depression symptoms. Reducing stress through mindfulness can lead to a better mood, better sleep, and increased quality of life.

Mindfulness looks like this:

  • Moving your body
  • Pausing and focusing on deep breathing
  • Noting your environment – sights, scents, sounds
  • Listening to music
  • Meditating
  • Doing yoga

Try some of these out and see if they help.

  1. Make a Plan

If you’re dealing with burnout, reflecting on your experiences and what may have caused it is a good idea. Doing so will help you better identify early warning signs in the future and handle the situation.

Ask yourself:

  • What causes me the most stress?
  • What are the signs of burnout for me?
  • What risk factors can I reduce to minimize the occurrence of burnout?
  • What can I do immediately if I think I’m getting burnt out?
  • Who can I turn to for help?
  • What aspects of self-care do I need to continue prioritizing? 

Sometimes, It’s The Job

Sometimes, no matter what steps you take when dealing with burnout, symptoms don’t improve because of where you work. Burnout can worsen if your boss doesn’t take your symptoms seriously and continues to push you.

Excessive burnout can lead to depression and is associated with poor physical health, including heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and sleep disorders. You can’t live in a constant state of burnout.

If it’s time for a change, Jennings Executive specializes in matching the best talent with companies that respect their boundaries. Let us help you find an organization where you can thrive and leave burnout behind. Learn more.
Related: What is an Executive Search Firm? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The Secrets Behind Meaningful Work: 6 Tips to Find It

Over 80% of American college graduates want meaningful work, but fewer than 50% feel they’ve found it. This is a significant problem because meaningful work impacts your financial, physical, and social health.

Finding meaning at work means clearly understanding what it is (and is not) and why it’s so important. We’ll discuss all that and more in this article.

What Does Meaningful Work Mean?

Before we go any further, let’s define meaningful work. Meaningful work fuels your passions while contributing to a greater purpose. It means connecting with others and helping them in a way that excites you.

Meaningful work doesn’t mean you’ll be stress-free all of the time. Often, important work comes with stress, struggle, and effort, but because it can be linked to meaning, it’s worthwhile.

The exact way in which work is meaningful depends on the individual. We’ll discuss what factors make up meaningful work and how you can find it later in this article.

Importance of Meaningful Work And What It Looks Like

The more meaning you find at work, the more engaged you’ll be. This benefits employees and employers alike.

Meaningful work – in practical terms – can be built on the following:

  • Flexibility at work
  • Autonomy to set your own schedule and hold yourself accountable
  • Using information, tools, and processes to streamline work
  • Work that aligns with personal goals and fosters professional development
  • An understanding of expected outcomes and how success is measured
  • Using innovative technologies to enable better output

Ultimately, a company that supports meaningful work creates an environment that fosters collaborative, purpose-driven, and flexible work.

How to Find Meaningful Work

How can you, as an individual, find meaningful work? Here are 6 ways.

  1. Follow Your Passions

It’s challenging to find meaning if your work doesn’t excite you. While your job doesn’t have to be the most passionate part of your life, you want to feel enthusiasm towards the day-to-day. 

Your work passions may shift as you go through your career, so be open.

  1. Lead With Empathy

Meaningful work is largely defined by helping others; leading with empathy helps accomplish this. Focusing on problem-solving and relationship-building are the keys to finding meaning at your job.

  1. Add Value

If your work adds value to people’s lives and improves the world, whether in a large or small way, you’re far more likely to derive meaning from it.

While driving a business’s bottom line is critical, think about adding as much value as possible for your customers.

  1. Align Work With Personal Values

Finding meaningful work is much easier if your values match your company’s. Finding meaning doesn’t mean curing cancer or inventing the next big thing. It can simply be finding work that aligns with what you find important, whether that be environmentalism, social justice, or enhancing technology.

Importantly, meaningful work and money can coexist. Work is not meant to be done for free, so seek fair compensation and don’t feel burdened by it.

  1. Seek Growth Opportunities

Meaningful work is easier to find when your work allows you to grow. You can’t always do work that saves lives or changes society in its entirety, but you can always look to grow and become a better version of yourself.

Being the best version of yourself allows you to maximize your contributions at work, impacting your customers’ lives.

  1. Focus on Small Actions

We tend to find meaning in significant milestones. In reality, you’ll spend most of your professional life taking small steps that add up. 

Meaningful work is built out of these small actions, so don’t forget to celebrate and recognize their importance.

Meaningful Work Myths

To sharpen your understanding of meaningful work, let’s examine some myths about it.

Myth 1: Only Professions That “Help” Are Meaningful

Psychologist Blake Allan and his colleagues found that meaningful work occurs when you find your work to be important, valuable, or worthwhile. Thus, its exact definition is largely driven by your set of beliefs.

Although traditional helping professions – such as counselors, caretakers, or firefighters – may make it easier to find the “why,” all occupations have it. Step back and think about the positive impact you have.

Myth 2: Meaningful Work Isn’t Strictly Necessary

Many of us may think that finding meaningful work is a “nice-to-have,” but, in reality, most of us strongly depend on it. 

A Gallup study found that financial stability, community, strong relationships, and physical health depend on finding meaning at work. While we may consider these aspects separate from meaning, research suggests the opposite.

Myth 3: Meaningful Work Is Only Work That Pays Well

There’s far more to meaning than bringing home a paycheck. People cashing in large paychecks but who aren’t serving others or are compromising their personal values may struggle to find meaning at work.

You can find meaningful work if you’re contributing to something larger than yourself, independent of the paycheck size.

Myth 4: Meaningful Work Doesn’t Pay Well

One strong misconception about meaningful work is that it can only come from nonprofit work, which can be notoriously low-paying. In reality, as we’ve discussed, all jobs can derive meaning depending on the individual, including high-paying ones. 

Myth 5: Finding Meaning Means A Career Change

If you don’t find your work meaningful, you may think a career overhaul is necessary. In reality, changing your thoughts, tasks, and relationships with others at work can impact the degree of meaning you derive.

If you’re struggling to find meaning at work, zoom out and identify what greater purpose you serve. You can also shift your day-to-day tasks to things that align with personal values and fuel professional growth. Lastly, consider building stronger relationships with coworkers and addressing any disagreements as they arise.

Meaningful Work Examples

We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: any job can create meaning; it all depends on the individual.

Some ways people can derive meaning from various careers include:

  1. Garbage collector: keeping the earth free of litter
  2. Salesperson: connecting people with solutions that solve pain points
  3. Personal trainer: helping people improve their physical health
  4. Content creator: entertaining and informing the masses
  5. Product manager: identifying customer needs and filling them through product innovation

Company Culture and Meaningful Work

Sometimes, it’s tough to find meaning at work due to the company culture where you are. If your personal values don’t align with your company’s values, deriving meaning is challenging.

If you’ve done all you can do to find meaning where you are, it may be time to look elsewhere if those efforts failed. Jennings Executive has over two decades of combined experience matching employers with talent. We’ll find you the perfect company where you can find meaningful work. Learn more today!
Related: What Is An Empathetic Leader? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The Best 7 Strategies For Hiring During a Recession

Are we in a recession, and is it easier to hire during a recession? Let’s take a look. Plus, 7 leading tips for hiring during a recession.

Is Mentorship Right For You? Your Guide to Effective Mentoring

Wondering if mentorship is right for you? Here’s everything you know about being an effective mentor to help you decide.

ChatGPT: What’s The Big Deal? Your Guide to Understanding ChatGPT

What is ChatGPT, and why has it garnered so much attention? Here’s a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know.

What Is An Empathetic Leader? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

What makes an empathetic leader, and why does it matter? Here’s everything you need to know about leading with empathy.

Everything To Know About Quiet Quitting — Is It Worth The Hype?

What is quiet quitting, and is it worth worrying about? Here’s everything you need to know.

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