How to Find Your Pot of Gold Dream Job

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, today we will discuss how to identify and work toward finding your own “pot of gold” in the form of your dream job. Everyone has a dream job, that one employer or position they would stay with forever. Have you ever considered what your dream job would be? Are you currently working toward obtaining your “pot of gold”?

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Let’s Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day!

Everyone likes to feel appreciated for his or her contributions at work. Have you been making it a point to show gratitude to your employees recently? Observed on the first Friday in March each year, which happens to be today, is Employee Appreciation Day! Take some time today to participate.

Let us count the ways:

1. Organize a Recognition Ceremony
Have a ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of your coworkers. Whether it is their work anniversary year, great customer interactions, or meeting sales goals, your employees will enjoy being recognized for their accomplishments.

2. Have a Food Day
Order out for lunch, have a breakfast buffet, or bring in some baked goods. Whatever you choose, employees will enjoy free food and a reason to hang out in the break room.

3. Provide Professional Development
Become a mentor or provide training opportunities for your employees. Allow them to develop within their careers.Employee Appreciation Day

4. Send Thank You Notes
Create personalized thank you notes to recognize your employees. Take the opportunity to show your coworkers that you care about their work and accomplishments.

5. Small Gifts
This one depends on your company’s gift policy, so make sure to check with Human Resources before buying any gifts. If HR gives you the go ahead, buy small gifts or gift cards to hand out.

6. Take Time to Listen
Listening to your employees is one of the keys to great communication. In this case, listening does not mean only paying attention to work-related conversations. Take time to listen to your employees all the time. What do they like to do outside of work? Do you know?

7. Create Opportunity
Show your coworkers that you appreciate them by creating opportunities. Send someone to an important meeting to encourage him to step out of his comfort zone.

8. Extra Time Off
Surprise your office by sending everyone home early. If that won’t work, give out some PTO or vacation time. This will allow your coworkers to rest, relax, and be ready continue their great work.

9. Give Away Apparel
Giving away shirts, polos, sweatshirts, or blankets with company branding makes a great employee appreciation gift, boosts morale, and serves as a marketing tool. What more could you want?

10. Keep It Up
Don’t wait for Employee Appreciation Day to recognize your coworkers. Find ways to show your gratitude throughout the year.

How are you going to show appreciation to your employees this year? Share in the comments below!

14 Ways to Express Love for Your Job This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! While everyone is discussing ways to show love for their friends, families and significant others. We are going to give you 14 ways to express love for your job.hearts-937664_960_720

1. Learn about Your Coworkers
Instead of always covering the same topics like weather and sports, take time to learn about your coworkers’ hobbies and interests outside of work.

2. Food
Show your workplace or department some love by stopping for bagels or donuts. Even better, if you like to bake, your coworkers will appreciate some homemade baked goods.

3. Referrals
A company’s best new hires are usually referred to the organization by its current employees. Do you have a friend who is looking for a change? Refer them to your company.

4. Participate
Does your office have holiday parties, happy hours, or birthday celebrations? If so, show appreciation to your workplace and coworkers by participating as often as possible.

5. Decorate
Add your personal style to your workspace. This helps to both make you comfortable and spark conversation.

6. Say Thank You
A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Whether it is an email, Post-It, or even a more elaborate card, be sure to say ‘thank you’ to those coworkers who choose to help you out during the workday.
love-your-job-steve-jobs-quote
7. Mentor
Take time to share your knowledge with those around you. There is nothing more valuable to a new employee than a trustworthy mentor.

8. Volunteer
Does your workplace sponsor volunteer activities? If so, volunteering is a great way to help your community, while showing appreciation for your workplace.

9. Give Compliments
If you like a coworker’s outfit, tell him or her! Do you like something management has changed, let them know! Compliments can spark conversation and help create a cohesive environment.

10. Be Optimistic
Even if you do not LOVE something about your job, don’t be negative about it. Optimism and critical thinking will help solve problems in the office.

11. Collaborate
Teamwork is something we all get tired of hearing at work. However, collaboration is one of the best ways to show love for your job.

12. Gratitude Board
Inspire your company or department to create a gratitude board. A gratitude board is a space where everyone can participate in leaving notes of gratitude for the office, management, coworkers, or customers.

love-903178_960_72013. Be Present
Some days you may be just going through the motions at work. Make it a point to be present throughout the day. You will do a better job if you are sure to stay mindful.

14. Be Genuine

No matter the way you choose to show love and gratitude at your job, be sure that it is genuinely how you feel.

 

Do you have any other ways to show love for your job this Valentine’s Day? Leave them in the comments below!

Health and Wellness: Super Bowl Recipes, Tips, and a Workout!

super bowl atlanta falconsAre you ready for some football? Although our Pittsburgh Steelers will not be playing this weekend, many of us will be attending or hosting a Super Bowl party for the food, commercials, and Lady Gaga! Here at ABG Capital, we are not quite ready to give up our healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the big game. As an organization, we focus on creating a culture of health and wellness; for example, check out our other healthy blog posts here! Before this weekend’s festivities, we would like to share with you some ways to stick to your resolutions while still having fun.

Let’s start with the food! Here are a few of my favorite healthy party recipes:

Sweet Potato Bites with Bacon and Guacamole

These are a great alternative to the potato skins, chips or fries. They have just the right amount of protein and fat without all the excess starch and carbs. They’re sure to be a hit at your Super Bowl party.

Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

Who doesn’t love chicken on a stick? This recipe packs a lot of flavor while being healthy. They’re also easy to make for a big crowd as they can all be marinated and grilled easily.

If these recipes aren’t enough for your party, check out this list of 20 Healthy Super Bowl recipes from Pinterest!

Another source of calories on game day comes from your drink choices. If you can’t possibly have fun while drinking water, here are some suggestions. If you’d rather keep it simple try to stick with flavored vodka, water, and ice or diet coke and rum.

Lastly, get off the couch! Use this football workout to get your exercise during the game!

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Do you have a favorite game day recipe or cocktail? Will you be trying to lighten them up? If so, share your suggestions in the comments.

6 Best Apps for Business

Now that 2017 is here, it is time to get more organized, set new goals and enhance your professional experiences. Let us help you get the most out of your smart phone and tablet this year by recommending the six best apps for business. Let us know your favorite business apps!

business apps

Expensify

Do you constantly forget to turn in your expense reports? Expensify can help you keep track of your expenses, submit them, and get reimbursed. This app has features for employees, supervisors, and administrative staff to enhance your entire organization.

Scanbot

Scanbot is both a document scanner and QR code reader. This helps combine two essential business functions into one great app. If you’ve ever been on the go but had to get a document to the office ASAP, this app can help you. Business professionals can use this app to scan documents, receipts, business cards, labels, or QR codes.

Avaamo

Who else hates to be included in an e-mail conversation about something that could be easily discussed with one or two words? I know that I do. Avaamo is an app that can help you avoid those situations. This messaging app allows you to message groups and individuals internally, externally, or one-on-one while on a secure server.

Hot Schedules

This app is great for hourly workers and those who manage them. Hot Schedules allows managers to create schedules easily on any mobile device. Employees are then able to switch shifts, share messages, and communicate better with each other and management.

iTranslate

Whether you travel for business or live in a diverse city, iTranslate can help you communicate in over 90 languages. This app allows you to translate websites, voices, and e-mails. They also have another app called iTranslate iMessage which allows you to translate text messages as well.

Fiverr

Everyone knows someone who will do anything for $5. This app allows you to access a world of business professionals who can contribute to your organization for $5. Fiverr is a community of professionals looking for freelance work. The categories are diverse including, writing, design, video, translation, and marketing. Next time you are looking for someone to contribute to a project or if you have the skills to contribute, check out Fiverr.

4 Social Media Trends for 2017

One of my favorite end of year trends is the Google Year. In my opinion, this is a great way to summarize the year in technology, social media, and the public. You can check out the 2016 video here.

Now that you’ve looked at the year in review, let’s discuss social media trends for 2017!

trends in social media 2017

Virtual Reality

2016 has been the year of VR. Many major companies are releasing VR devices, including Sony, for use with their Playstation game console and Samsung for use with their Galaxy phones. Although these were released with gaming in mind, the rise of social VR is coming. It is beginning with 360-degree photos on social media platforms and will only keep getting more involved. Be prepared to feel like you are at all of the hottest events in 2017!

Live Video

Live Video is catching on with companies much faster than individuals. Recently, I’ve seen quite a few television commercials demonstrating how to go live on Facebook. This doesn’t seem to be going away in 2017. Live videos are a great way to interface with customers and have customers connect with each other in real time.

Social Fundraising

Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, and Crowdrise have gotten a lot of attention in 2016. Social fundraising has become a great way to get ideas funded by individuals who can get behind those ideas. Individuals, start-ups, and nonprofits have all found great success in social fundraising campaigns. Look for this trend to keep getting more popular in 2017!

Filters and Photos

In 2016, we saw a lot of pictures of our friends with dog faces, reindeer, funny voices, explosions, and glitter thanks to Snapchat’s filter feature. 2017 will bring filters to Facebook and Instagram due to the public interest in expiring media. Look for Snapchat to be the trendiest social media platform of 2017.

 

As we look forward to what will happen in 2017 one thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. What are you most looking forward to happening?

A Festivus (at work) for the Rest of Us!

Festivus! A holiday celebration created by Seinfeld writer Daniel O’Keefe, which became a popular culture phenomenon when it was written into a 1997 episode of Seinfeld. Seinfeld fans, as well as, those who have never seen the show celebrate the unofficial holiday annually. Typically celebrated on December 23rd, Festivus is celebrated as an alternative to commercialism and the pressure of the traditional holiday season.

Keep reading to learn about traditional Festivus activities, and how to make them safe for your workplace this year!

festivusFestivus Pole

In contrast to your fully decorated office Christmas tree, a Festivus pole is a plain, unadorned aluminum pole. This is the ultimate symbol of Festivus, with no glitz or glamour. You can buy an official Festivus pole for the office from FestivusPoles.com, or go to your local hardware store and pick up a plain aluminum pole. However, in the anti-commercialism spirit of Festivus try to find an aluminum pole in an office closet or storage room.

Festivus Dinner

The official dish of Festivus is meatloaf! Although meatloaf might not be practical for your office Festivus celebration, why not turn it into a potluck. Ask everyone to contribute by bringing a dish. After all the importance of the meal is to prep for the Feats of Strength!

Airing of Grievances

Now this part of the celebration, although it created many comical TV moments, may not be work friendly for some. A few tips for including this in your work celebration are to remember to keep your grievances light-hearted, try to focus your grievances on celebrities and politicians and most importantly, remember that you need to keep your job!

Feats of Strength

Lastly, the Feats of Strength should follow your meal and Airing of Grievances. Although the traditional Feats of Strength wrestling match isn’t work appropriate, you can choose from some of these suggestions; arm wrestling, thumb wrestling, staring contest or board games.

 

The most important thing to remember when celebrating Festivus in the office is to be safe! We hope that you enjoy your Festivus celebration and have your share of Festivus miracles.

 

 

National Letter Writing Day

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you actually wrote a letter? Not an e-mail, or a text message, a paper and pen, envelope, and stamp, letter? For most of us the answer is “I don’t remember” or “third grade?” Well it’s time to get that pen and paper out, buy some stamps, and sit down to write because December 7th is National Letter Writing Day!

lettersLetter writing has a very long history; it can be traced back to ancient times in Egypt, India, Rome, and China. Only recently has society begun to correspond in 140 characters or less. Although you might not feel a need to write a letter to your family and friends (because they follow you on Twitter), let’s discuss who would still appreciate receiving a letter…Potential employers!

Writing a thank you letter after an interview is still an important use of the letter. Whether you actually mail the letter or attach it to e-mail in letter format is still hotly debated. The point is that potential employers love to hear words of gratitude from those they’ve interviewed.

Here are some tips when writing thank you letters.

Address the letter to your interviewer

Addressing your interviewer by name will reinforce to the potential employer that you are detail oriented. The best way to make sure you get the name and contact of an interviewer correct is to ask for a business card before leaving the interview.

Reaffirm your interest in the position and company

Let them know that you are still interested after the interview. Include a few highlights from the interview that reaffirm why you’re interested in the position. Make sure to be enthusiastic, but genuine.

Highlight your strengths

Was there something during the interview that made you think, “I would be really good at that?” Make sure the interviewer knows what it is! Tell him again what you would bring to his team, and why you’re a better fit than the other candidates.

In conclusion, don’t “write” sending letters off as an ancient art form, but use them to your advantage to wrap up a great job interview and land your dream job!

#ShopSmall: Small Business Saturday is Coming!

“Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.” – Paul Ryan

small-business-saturday-2016_1_orig

Many of us will look forward to Black Friday Shopping after we eat our turkey this week. With so many deals and steals, who can resist? However, you should make sure to save some of your Christmas budget for November 26th and help celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop small and shop local. The event was first observed on November 27, 2010, and was sponsored by American Express. To this day, it is still a registered trademark of American Express and has been celebrated Saturday after Thanksgiving every year since 2010. In 2011, the United States Senate passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday.

The event has taken on its own life on social media through Facebook advertisements and “likes”, various hashtags such as, #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall, and American Express sponsored ads for small business owners. According to American Express, in 2015, 95 million people went out to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Supporting local small businesses is both good for your community and good for the business owners. Small businesses are the backbones of many communities across the country. Are you planning to celebrate Small Business Saturday this year? American Express has provided us with this handy tool that allows you to easily locate your local small businesses, just click here! Although the point of Small Business Saturday is to visit brick and mortar shops, if you are an online shopper you can still find local business on their webpages and online shops like Etsy.

 

Have you shopped Small Business Saturday in the past? Share your favorite small businesses and products in the comments section!

4 Business Life Hacks to Make Life Easier

Who doesn’t like a good life hack? A way to make dinner, exercise, cleaning or another everyday activity easier. From apps to technology to organizational tips, the internet is full of ways to make your life easier. Today I want to show you a few life hacks that can help you stay organized at work, avoid interruption, and use technology to its fullest potential.

Business Hacks

Apps

Dropbox

If you don’t already have Dropbox, you don’t know what you’re missing. This app and website allow you to save, then access your files from anywhere you have the app or website access. You no longer have to worry about putting files on a flash drive or e-mailing them to yourself. Let Dropbox use cloud technology to help you.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a to-do list you can always have at your fingertips. Using this app you are able to make and share multiple to-do lists to help you manage your personal or professional life, as well as multiple projects. Who doesn’t like to check off items when working their way toward a goal?!

Organization

Erin Condren

For those of you who like to hold their to-do list in their hands; Erin Condren has a solution for you. The website’s “Lifeplanner” allows you to purchase a custom planner with inserts for just about anything. Custom additions range from custom post-it notes to wet erase to-do lists to interchangeable covers.

LastPass

Everyone forgets a password now and then; let technology help you. LastPass keeps your passwords organized for you by importing your passwords from all of your browsers to help keep you safe and organized. Also offered by Last Pass is credit and identity monitoring, cloud services and tech support.

Last but not least, treat yourself to this self stirring mug to make your morning pick me up even better!

Do you have any business hacks you use to get through your work day?