Stress Busters: 7 Tips for Effective Time Management

May 24th, 2011

Overwhelmed by the number of projects you have at work? Feel like the days fly by without getting anything done due to distractions and interruptions? As Houston recruiters, we know that if this is the case, your productivity could be decreasing, while your stress level is on the rise, which can impact your overall health. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, stress can be linked to approximately 80-85% of all medical conditions and illnesses.

Here are some ideas to help you get back on track, manage your time better, and reduce stress. Don’t try every single one at once. That may stress you out even further! Instead, adapt one or two ideas for a few weeks to see how they work. If things go well, consider adapting others.

1. Evaluate how you’re spending time.

Track your time for one day. Record everything you do between work hours, from the commute to checking emails. What you find out could be surprising. For instance, if you’re spending more time than you thought in your car during the commute, can you take a bus or ride the train instead and get some work done on your way to the office?

2. Prioritize tasks.

It sounds simple enough, but are you really prioritizing each task in your day? If not, you could be scrambling at the last minute to get important projects done. One way to prioritize is to make two lists everyday. One that includes “must do” activities and the other that includes the activities you’d “like to get done.” Not only will you feel more in control, but you’ll minimize conflicts and the need to rush around.

3. Break tasks up.

One gigantic task could leave you feeling uncertain of where to begin. Instead, break the task up into smaller, more manageable pieces and set a reasonable time limit for getting each task done.

4. Learn to say “no.”

If you’re already feeling overworked and overwhelmed, then learn to set boundaries and say “no.”

5. Disconnect.

When you have a looming deadline, it’s time to disconnect and focus. That means no logging into Facebook or LinkedIn or sending out email messages.

6. Delegate tasks.

If you can, hand off certain tasks to someone else.

7. Don’t multitask.

Studies show that multi-tasking can actually make you less productive, not more. In one study, researchers at Stanford University found that students who regularly juggle high-tech activities such as checking email and text messages, and surfing the Internet pay less attention, have trouble remembering what they’ve seen, and are less adept at switching from one task to another. So focus on doing one task at a time – and do it really well.

If part of your stress is due to a job search, Murray Resources can help. As top Houston recruiters, we can give you access to leading employers and job opportunities in and around the Houston area. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Awards

15 Critical Questions You Should Ask Every Temporary Employment Firm

July 13th, 2010

Landing a position through a temporary employment agency can provide a host of benefits, like a flexible schedule, supplemental income, and the ability to test the waters at different companies. But if you’ve never worked for a Houston temporary employment agency before, you may have some questions. That’s a good thing! Before committing to a particular agency, you should ask each a variety of questions to ensure they’re a good fit for you.

Here’s a list of 15 important questions to help you get started:

Questions to Ask About the Temporary Employment Agency

1. How long have you been in business?

2. Why types of Houston employers do you work with?

3. What are some examples of the job opportunities that you fill?

4. How much do your services cost? (Hint: If the employment agency tells you they charge job seekers for their services, then it’s time to say good-bye. Reputable employment agencies don’t ask applicants to pay for placements in temporary job assignments.)

Questions About How the Process Works

5. Will you contact me when a position I’m suited for becomes available, or should I call to check in? How often?

6. What happens if I want to turn down a job opportunity? Is that allowed?

7. What if I accept a temporary job opportunity, but realize after a few days things aren’t working? What should I do?

8. If I show up to an assignment and the company decides they don’t need me, do I still get paid?

9. Will I receive training? Do I have to pay for the training? (Again, if the answer’s “yes,” it’s time to turn and walk away. A reputable employment agency will not ask you to pay for training.)

10. What if the Houston employer you place me with wants to hire me full-time? Can I accept?

Questions About Pay & Benefits

11. Approximately how much do the jobs I’m qualified for pay?

12. How do I track my hours?

13. How often will I be paid?

14. Do you offer any benefits, such as health insurance, to temporary employees?

15. Do you pay overtime to temporary employees? If so, what’s the rate?

Make sure you get the answers to these questions – and any others you may have – before committing to a particular temporary employment agency. And if you want to add Murray Resources to the list of Houston temporary employment agencies you’d like to possibly work with, then please feel free to contact us to learn more. Or, to get an idea of the types of positions we can give you access to, take a look at our current job openings in and around the Houston area.

Posted in: Awards

How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

June 22nd, 2010

Not on LinkedIn? Then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to promote your skills and search for jobs in Houston. In fact, the professional connections you make on LinkedIn can truly give you an advantage in your job search – and in your career.

Here’s how to get started:

Create your profile.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. Create a detailed profile, including past employment, education, and qualifications. Also be sure to include keywords (such as Houston civil engineer) so that you will be easily found. If you have a professional headshot, you may also want to upload that to your profile.

Build your network.

The more connections you make, the more opportunities you will have. With that said…don’t go crazy with your connections. Only connect to people you know and trust.

Reach out.

Let your network know that you’re looking for a job in Houston, TX. The more people who know you’re looking, the faster you may be able to find a job.

Get recommendations.

Recommendations from people you have worked with in the past carry a lot of weight. A variety of positive recommendations will put you in the best possible light to potential employers in Houston.

Search jobs.

Use the job search section to find job listings you may be interested in.

Ask & answer questions.

The Answers section in LinkedIn is a great way to increase your visibility, as well as enhance your credibility within your particular field. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information.

Check if a company is still hiring.

Many companies today have their own pages on LinkedIn. So if there is a Houston company you’d like to work for, go to their LinkedIn profile and check out their “New Hire” section to see if anyone new has recently joined the company. Also, look to see if you know any of the company’s current employees so you can make a connection.

Get to the hiring manager.

If you do know someone at the company, ask that individual to forward your resume to the hiring manager. Hiring managers are much more apt to review a resume that comes from someone they know.

Find out about the company.

Again, if you know someone at the company, ask them for the inside scoop on getting hired at that company. If you don’t have an “in” at the company, then take a look at the profiles of existing employees to get a better sense of the backgrounds and experience of people who already work at the company.

Searching for a job can be a daunting challenge. But by leveraging the power of social media, you may be able to find the job of your dreams a lot quicker. And if you still need helping finding the right job opportunity here in Houston, TX, please contact Murray Resources. As a premier employment firm serving the Houston area, we can connect you with a variety of Houston job opportunities in fields such as administration, engineering, accounting/finance, and sales and customer service.  We look forward to helping you!


Posted in: Awards

Murray Resources Wins First Place for “Blended Team Awards in the Administrative Category” in 2006

October 29th, 2008

The Texas Association of Personnel Consultants awarded Murray Resources first place for the “Blended Team Awards in the Adiminstrative Category” in 2006 at the TAPC annual meeting in April 2007. The Murray Resources team was selected for the top production award in the blended services desk division, where each personnel consultant handles temporary, temp-to-perm and direct hire placements.

The Murray Resources team received top honors in 2006 at the annual TAPC conference.

Posted in: Awards

Murray Resources Named One of Houston’s Best Places to Work 2008

October 29th, 2008

Firm ranked #7 for Houston-based companies with 100 employees or less.

Murray Resources, Ltd., was named one of Houston’s Best Places to Work as part of the Houston Business Journal’s annual awards competition. The firm, founded in 1988 by Marsha Murray, is one of Houston’s leading personnel and staffing solutions firm. Murray Resources was ranked number 7 in the 10-100 employees category with a score of 96.47 out of a possible 100. The annual ranking is based on information supplied by company employees that is then evaluated by an independent research company in a rigorous statistics-based program.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of Houston’s Best Places to Work,” said Marsha Murray. “Good work environments really are a team effort. We’ve recruited some of the best of the best to come work for Murray Resources. It takes talented people to recruit the most talented candidates on behalf of our clients. We are extremely proud of the contributions each and every employee makes towards our company’s overall success. Thank you to all of our employees for making Murray Resources such a positive, supportive and fun work environment to be named as one of Houston’s Best Places to Work.”

Posted in: Awards
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