How to Climb the Ladder in Your Career in 2018

January 2nd, 2018

Are you feeling stuck in your job? As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that whether you’re interested in a promotion, or a new opportunity at a different company, you can’t sit idly by and wait for the right possibility to come along. Instead, you need to be proactive in your efforts, all so you can uncover and attract great new opportunities in the year ahead. To help you in the process, here are some tips to consider:

Tip #1: Be open.

It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone and stay where you are. That’s fine, but it’s also not the way to move forward and achieve your career goals. Instead, if you want to take your career to the next level, you need to be open to new and different opportunities. Whether it’s taking on a stretch assignment, chairing a volunteer committee, or spearheading a new initiative at work, these are the kinds of challenges and roles that will enable you to acquire valuable skills, meet new people, and make yourself more marketable for a promotion or new job.

Tip #2: Build a strong network.

When it comes to getting ahead in your career, your network can play a big part. When you’re connected to the right people, you can find out about opportunities faster or that are not always advertised. Beyond that, you can also gain valuable insight and use your network as a sounding board when you’re trying to make important decisions about your career.

Tip #3: Be flexible.

Today’s workplace is changing quickly. If you want to keep up and get ahead, then you need to be flexible. Sometimes that might mean taking on a role or task that’s not necessarily part of your job description. Or it could be changing the way you do things in order to streamline processes and make your company more competitive. Whatever the case for you, you need to be flexible and roll with the punches if you want to achieve long-term career success.

Tip #4: Learn new skills.

If you want to be the best, then you should always be learning. Whether you’re reading industry publications and blogs, going to trade shows and seminars, or enrolled in online training, your goal should always be to sharpen your existing skills, as well as to gain new ones. When you do, you’ll become more valuable to your current employer, as well as more marketable to new ones.

Interested in professional help from Houston’s trusted headhunters?

Contact Murray Resources. As top Houston headhunters, we offer talented, highly motivated candidates opportunities across a broad range of industries and job functions. Call us today to learn more or get started.

The Best Time to Ask for a Raise

November 27th, 2012

So you have proven yourself as a valuable employee and put in countless hours on the job. Your supervisors have taken note of your excellent performance and you have been commended for your accomplishments. In light of all this positive reinforcement, you rightfully may be wondering, ‘Is it time to ask for a raise?’

The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources will all agree that timing is everything when it comes to this issue. Following these tips about knowing when to ask for a raise will put you in the best possible position to successfully negotiate your desired salary:

Do Your Research

Before you set up a meeting with your boss, you should do plenty of research about typical compensation for your particular position. There are a number of websites available that can give you a general baseline. For many positions, our Houston recruiters can give you a good idea of what the industry standard is. If you are being paid below the market rate for your position, then you may be more likely to receive a raise if you ask for one.

Consider the Economy

It’s no secret that we are currently experiencing a sluggish economy. With so many people facing layoffs and pay cuts, you may be hesitant to ask for an increase in your salary. Conditions are certainly better for you when the economy is stronger. If things are slower at your company and departments are facing cutbacks, you should probably wait at least one or two quarters to reevaluate things before approaching your supervisor for a pay raise.

Market Yourself

Many people make the mistake of failing to sell their manager on why they deserve a raise. Your supervisor may be aware of some of your accomplishments, but if you want a higher salary than you will need to be prepared to highlight many different ways that you have proven yourself as an asset to the company. Selling yourself the right way makes it much easier for your employer to consider you for a pay increase.

Consider a Change in Your Position

This long-term strategy puts you in a great position to ask for a raise when the time comes. First, ask your supervisor if you can transfer to a position with more responsibility. If you move to a new position that produces more value for the company, then you can leverage this as a reason to justify asking for a raise. Just make sure that you time your request appropriately and not when the company or your current department is short-staffed.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to the top Houston recruiters at Murray Resources for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


5 Tactics to Stand Out as a Job Applicant

November 26th, 2012

We at Murray Resources, leading Houston recruiting firm, know it’s a tough job market out there in this economy. We’re committed to helping people become their best candidate possible when it comes to applying for a position, and we’ve acquired some tricks over the years that can help a candidate get that extra edge necessary to land an interview. Intrigued? Then check out our list of 5 techniques that will help you to stand out as a job applicant below:

Snail mail:

In addition to electronically submitting your application, cover letter and resume for a job opening, surprise someone in HR by mailing a hard copy directly to the reviewer. While some bloggers have written this tactic off as superfluous or outdated, we know firsthand that when wading through a sea of electronic submissions, it’s refreshing to receive the personal touch of a hand addressed letter containing a thoughtful cover letter and resume. Just be sure to follow all instructions in the application when doing so, and indicate in your cover letter that you’ve also submitted an electronic copy for their review.

Leverage Your Connections:

As we’ve stressed every week on this blog, networking is a huge part of landing your dream job. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who already works at the company you’re interested in, or who is in the same industry as your ideal employer, see if they can help you get your foot in the door. Meet up with your connection for lunch or coffee and politely ask if they’d be willing to write you a recommendation or make an introduction for you. A good word from someone in the business can go a long way in a reviewer’s eyes.

Utilize Social Media:

More and more companies are turning to social media platforms to engage with customers as well as job seekers. Take advantage of these direct lines of connection with a target employer by interacting with them on their social media profiles. Liking their Facebook page, commenting on their LinkedIn posts, and following them on Twitter are all great ways to learn more about the company, its culture, and upcoming events and opportunities. As an award-winning Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources is constantly using social media to share new job openings, career advice, and recent successes with clients and candidates who follow us.

Strategic Resume Naming:

We’ve touched on the topic of common resume blunders in some of our previous posts, but we think one of them in particular is worth revisiting. As the job application process becomes increasingly digital, reviewers are swamped with more and more generically named resumes, i.e. “John Smith Resume,” “Smith Resume 2012,” or worst of all, simply “Resume.” Your resume file name provides one of the first opportunities to convey your creativity and enthusiasm for the position you’re seeking to a potential employer. Don’t waste the opportunity to stand out by using a generic title to save your resume that you’re uploading to an electronic application. Name your resume document something specific to the job you’re applying for that will catch a reviewer’s eye, i.e. “John Smith- Coca Cola, Inc. Financial Analyst Resume.”

Show Your Appreciation:

If our first four tips helped get you through the first round of the application process and landed you an interview, congratulations! But you’re not finished just yet. If you really want to stand out as a job applicant, after your interview, always always ALWAYS (did we mention always?) send a personalized thank you note to your interviewer. Email is obviously the quickest and easiest way to do this, but handwritten letters are pretty rare these days and add a personalized touch to an already nice gesture. Aside from thanking your interviewer for their time, there are a number of other topics you can mention in your note: reemphasize something you and your interviewer discussed during your time together, congratulate the company on a recent success, or even include an article that may be pertinent to the industry if you think your contact would find it interesting.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Annual Performance Review Myths BUSTED

November 21st, 2012

There are three words that, when combined in a certain order, have the power to raise the collective blood pressure of an entire office: Annual. Performance. Review.

The recruiters at Murray Resources, the award-winning Houston staffing agency, are constantly receiving questions about annual appraisals from employees, and we think it’s high time to de-bunk some of the myths that make the concept of an annual performance review so daunting.


An annual performance review is your boss’s chance to rehash every little mistake you’ve made as an employee over the past year.

Why This Myth Exists:

Employers often don’t do a good enough job setting proper expectations for performance reviews. The purpose, the process, and the possible outcomes are typically under-communicated, creating unnecessary anxiety going into the review.

The Truth:

An annual performance review is really an opportunity for an employer and employee to step back and assess how well the employee met their work objectives for the year, to learn from past mistakes and, to set new goals for the future.

MYTH #2:

An annual performance review is a waste of an employer’s and employee’s time since it covers past projects instead of looking forward.

Why This Myth Exists:

Reviewing a year’s-worth of accumulated work can be an overwhelming notion, with employees assuming they’ll have to review the difficult-to-recall minutiae of past projects.

The Truth:

Annual performance reviews are just that: the review of an individual’s ANNUAL performance. While individual projects likely received specific feedback, an annual performance review gives employers and employees the opportunity to review projects at a higher level and to identify / discuss general work patterns that may have formed over the past year.

MYTH #3:

The annual performance review is the only time when serious feedback can be offered and discussed with employees.

Why This Myth Exists:

As a leading Houston staffing agency with a client base of over 800 companies, we get it: work days can get hectic. With deadlines to meet and tasks to be accomplished, it’s easy for managers to get wrapped up in the day-to-day responsibilities of their position and to feel that they don’t have time for a formal meeting with an employee to discuss their work habits.

The Truth:

While annual performance reviews are indeed an important part of keeping employees on track to meet their goals, they shouldn’t be the only time feedback is given. Quarterly or even monthly one-on-one meetings with employees are a great way to ensure short-term goals are being achieved and small issues don’t grow into big ones over the course of a year. Frequent feedback in a comfortable, more informal environment lessens the anxiety of a pending annual performance review.

We hope that with these three common myths busted, you’ll be able to walk into your next annual performance review less anxious and more prepared.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, the leading Houston staffing agency, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


How You Know When It’s Time to Change Jobs

November 17th, 2012

Afraid of the uncertainties that changing jobs can entail, many people try to convince themselves that it’s normal for a job to be a source of unhappiness and undue stress. If you find yourself dreading your morning commute and feeling miserable throughout the day, it’s probably time to start looking for a different position. We spend the majority of our adult lives working, so it’s important that we enjoy what we do!

For all those people trying to convince themselves otherwise, premier Houston staffing agency Murray Resources has put together a list of signs that say it’s time to find a new fit:

You Spend a Lot of Time Staring at the Clock

Unfortunately, we cannot speed up time no matter how often we look at the clock. If you find yourself checking the time excessively throughout the day, disappointed when you find that not as much time has passed as you hoped, chances are you’re bored with your day-to-day activities and should start looking for a more stimulating environment.

You Want to Progress, but the Advancement Opportunities are Unappealing

You know that you would like to take on new responsibilities and move forward with your career, but what your boss or his boss does on a daily basis simply does not interest you. If this is the case, you may consider contacting our Houston staffing agency to help you find a company with better advancement opportunities and room for your own personal growth.

You Come Home Stressed Almost Every Day

Stress from work can really take its toll on our private lives. If you come home stressed all of the time, it can be almost impossible to enjoy your time off. Your personal relationships and even your physical health may suffer. While small levels of stress at work can help motivate you to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks, excessive stress from your job shouldn’t be spilling into your home life. The professionals at Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing agency, have hundreds of candidates whose lives changed for the better after leaving leaving an excessively stressful job.

You Dread Waking Up and Going to Work

If you find yourself hitting the snooze button more often than usual, it may not be due to lack of sleep. It is hard for anyone to be excited about waking up and going to work if they do not enjoy what they do everyday. You should strive to find a position that provides you with engaging challenges that will keep you motivated and energized everyday.

Another Career Sounds More Interesting to You

Sometimes we can find ourselves working a job that really does not match our personalities. If there is another career out there that you’ve always wanted to explore, there is no better time than the present to start pursuing it.

You Don’t Enjoy Talking About Your Job

Have you ever been having a conversation with your friends or loved ones and found yourself reluctant to discuss your job? This can be a sign that you are not really fulfilled by your current position- if you love what you do, you’d want to share your experiences with those whom you love.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Your job shouldn’t feel like a grind, and if it does, then it’s time to make a change. Murray Resources is an award-winning Houston staffing agency that specializes in finding job hunters the right position to fit their individual needs. If you are ready to start exploring more rewarding career options, then Contact Murray Resources today.


Houston Recruitment Firm Offers 5 Ways to Relax and De-Stress at the Office

November 14th, 2012

Impending deadlines, increased workloads and demanding managers are just a few of the variables that can start to make you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities throughout your workday. The key to success in these types of situations is knowing how to manage this stress and not let it negatively affect you. We at Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruitment firm, have compiled a list of 5 techniques to help you relax and unwind at work.

1. Remember to Breathe

Studies show that when we are stressed or anxious, we tend to take shorter breaths. While it may not sound like a big deal at first, did you know that this irregular pattern of breathing can lead to light-headedness or headaches? Deep breathing is an excellent technique for calming the nerves and clearing the mind. Here’s how to do it:

  • In order to take long, deep breaths that fill your lungs with air, allow your diaphragm to push out and down as you breathe in slowly. As you exhale, pull your diaphragm in slightly.
  • Inhale through your nose for a slow five count, and exhale through your mouth for a slow five count. With each exhale, envision all of your tension, stress, and negative energy leaving your body.
  • Continue breathing in this fashion for one to two minutes.
  • Repeat this process at least three times throughout your day, more frequently in times of heightened stress.

2. Listen to Classical Music

Studies have also shown that classical music and piano compositions can help people relax by engaging their brain in a different kind of analysis. By focusing on the intricacies and complexities woven throughout a piece, the mind works to place and predict each note, while you can let your other worries dissipate. If classical music isn’t to your liking, there are a number of other soothing styles of music that can help to lower your stress levels through the same process of mental distraction: jam bands like Explosions in the Sky compose lyricless ephemeral music; instrumental cuts of bluesy electric guitar riffs from Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn can be relaxing; there are even soothing electronic pieces in genres like trance or dubstep that can help to ease your stress levels. Rather than starting your day listening to the morning news in your car, try listening to the relaxing music of your choice instead. You can even bring your iPod to work and listen to a track or two on your lunch break.

3. Massage Your Neck

Mounting stress can manifest itself in the form of tense muscles in the neck and shoulders, leading to headaches and general discomfort. Counteract these negative side-effects by stretching and massaging your neck and upper back muscles while at your desk. At least three times a day, use one or both of your hands to massage your neck muscles for about 60 seconds. If things are really tight, consider getting a massage every two weeks or so to relieve built-up tension.

4. Take a Walk

The professionals at our Houston recruitment firm will tell you that this is one of the best ways to relax in the middle of a stressful workday. Spending hours on end sitting in the same position staring at a computer screen is neither healthy nor productive. When you have the chance to take a break or go to lunch, go for a brief walk (music optional) to clear your mind. If possible, get outside for some fresh air. Going for a leisurely stroll helps to relax muscle tension and get your blood pumping, making you feel more alert and energized.

5. Laugh

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, researchers agree that taking a moment to laugh is a great way to keep stress at bay. Take a break in your day to swap stories with your office neighbors about something funny that happened over the weekend. Or, if you’re feeling a little anti-social, the Internet is a great place to find a quick laugh. There are tons of websites that post funny images (Imgur and Buzzfeed) or satirical articles (The Onion and Cracked) that can lighten your mood, or you can always browse through the millions of cute kitten videos on YouTube!

Regardless of your position in a company, chances are you’re going to encounter stress at work. Our five tips offer ways to cope with that stress while maintaining your own productivity and mental focus, proving to yourself and those around you that you can perform under pressure.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, the top Houston recruitment firm for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

How to Set Up a Successful Informational Interview

November 13th, 2012

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has seen informational interviews work well for job seekers looking to enter a new industry or job function. A well-executed informational interview can provide job leads, opportunities for industry-related introductions, and a more focused search for candidates looking to break into a particular sector.

Below we’ve compiled a list of five crucial steps for conducting a successful informational interview:

1)      Target Your Search — Prepare a detailed list of intriguing industries and types of companies in which you would potentially want to work. Be sure to narrow your list to a few industries that are not only interesting to you, but also are practical for your abilities and an environment in which you could achieve success. From this list of industries and companies, compile a list of any personal contacts you might know in this sphere.

2)      Make Contact and Be Specific – After you’ve highlighted the people you know in your target industries and related companies, reach out to your contacts to set up an official appointment. It is extremely important that from the onset you convey to your potential interviewee that you are not looking for a job. Be specific in explaining the true purpose of your proposed informational interview- that you are looking for career advice and insights about that particular industry from someone who knows it well. Also, while it may be tempting to try and set up an informal meet-up to learn about an industry via casual conversation, this is a business interview and should be conducted as such. A professional atmosphere helps to ensure that both parties stay on topic, and you glean the specific information you’re looking for.

3)      Be Flexible – Remember, this contact is taking time out of their day to meet with you. Be flexible and understanding when it comes to working around their busy schedule. Someone who has agreed to participate in an informational interview has done so because they are passionate about their career and want to share their insights with an interested audience; the advice they have to offer is well worth the hoops you may have to jump through to accommodate them.

4)      Create An Agenda – Of all the steps, this is the one in which you get to showcase your professionalism as well as your creativity. When coming up with a list of questions for the interview, do some research on the industry/company of your informational interviewee. Thorough research gives you a foundation of knowledge from which you can create insightful and specific questions, and also shows your interviewee that you’re dedicated and committed to put in the time and effort to learn about their industry.

5)      Show Your Appreciation – After the meeting, make sure your interviewee knows just how appreciative you are of their time and insights that they shared with you. Send them a thank you email or handwritten note as soon as you get home expressing your gratitude for their willingness to take time out of their schedule to help you. It’s also a nice gesture to send them an update later on down the road if you end up acting upon a piece of advice they’ve given you, or landing a job in their industry. If they cared enough to meet with you, they likely want to hear about your progress and success!

Sticking to these five simple steps will ensure that you conduct a productive and successful informational interview. Armed with valuable knowledge about your career interests, staffing agencies in Houston, TX like Murray Resources can better help you take the next step of landing that dream job!

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to one of the staffing agencies in Houston, TX – Murray Resources – for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Five Ways to Prepare for Your First Day on the Job

November 12th, 2012

It’s a great feeling when Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources set you up with an employment opportunity that turns into an actual job. But how can you ensure that your first day will be the lasting, positive impression that you want it to be?

Below we’ve compiled a list of important details to keep in mind when preparing for a successful first day:

1)      Look up the office address and parking situation – There are few worse feelings in the world than showing up late to an important event, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Running late to work on a normal day is stressful enough, but spending an unplanned extra 15 minutes of your commute driving around lost on unfamiliar roads or turned around in the parking garage on your first day at a new job puts you in a frenzied, negative mindset that can ruin what was supposed to be an exciting and fresh start. Many times, interviews are conducted by Houston staffing agencies or at a company’s corporate office and not the actual location where you will be working, so be sure to double check the address and directions to where your actual office is.

2)      Dress to impress – In any unfamiliar professional setting, especially on your first day at a new job, it’s always better to err on the side of overdressed rather than under. The first impression you make often happens before you even open your mouth, so wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident within the boundaries of professionalism. Something you would wear to church or a nice dinner with your grandparents is always a safe bet for an office environment.

3)      Did you bring your papers? – Most of the time, your first day will be spent filling out paperwork, signing forms, and watching training videos. This new employee paperwork usually requires certain kinds of official documents to prove your identity, citizenship, proof of residence, etc. Get in contact with an HR representative or the new hire advisor at the company who can tell you what documents to bring on your first day so you can get all of the necessary paperwork out of the way. Commonly requested official documents include driver’s license or State issued Identification Card, Social Security Card, Passport, Birth Certificate, or Right to Work permits.

4)      Get to know your company – As we’ve already touched on, an unfamiliar environment can easily feel intimidating and overwhelming. A great way to curb these anxieties is to conduct some research about the company you’re starting with so that you’re more familiar with what to expect upon your arrival. Learning about your new employer’s industry, recent news, and corporate policies and values is usually just a matter of browsing through the company website. Showing up well-informed on your first day leaves a great first impression on colleagues and supervisors when they see how much you care about your new position and are willing and eager to learn.

5)      Connect with fellow co-workers – Utilizing social networking sites such as LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people you’ll be working with before you even step foot in the office. Engaging your soon-to-be-colleagues in conversations about shared interests or even just questions about the company can greatly help lessen the stress of feeling alone when you first arrive, and you can learn a lot more about a person through their social media profiles than in that 15-second introductory break room conversation.

Your first day on the job plays a major role in determining your attitude towards your new company and setting the tone for your time with them. These five helpful hints will help you to start off on the right foot for what’s sure to be a new and exciting journey!

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to one of the top Houston staffing agencies – Murray Resources – for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


How Can Starbucks Advance Your Career? The Best Networking Tip for Job Seekers

November 9th, 2012

At Murray Resources, our Houston recruiters are always looking for new ways to help people find methods to improve their job search. When it comes to finding and capitalizing on new opportunities, there is no better technique than effective networking. The number one tip we always recommend to our candidates is to plan your meals as networking opportunities.

In his breakthrough book about networking, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi discusses how important it is to set up business lunches with new contacts. The author cites several examples where success in business and politics is the result of personal relationships. He claims that reaching out to other people for help and looking for ways you can be generous is the best way to find a path to success.

Ferrazzi recommends that you set up new business lunches and networking opportunities as often as you can. By widening your network, you have the chance to meet new individuals and offer your services. Many people are more than happy to help out if you are sincere and ask for help.

Start out by making a list of people you would like to meet with in your industry. This can be accomplished executives, human resource managers or professors at business schools in your area. Houston recruiters recommend that you send each individual a short and personalized e-mail and offer to buy him or her lunch. Be sure to include your intentions for the meeting, such as asking the person questions about their industry or finding out about ways you can volunteer your services.

And since buying a new person lunch everyday can become expensive, offering to meet someone for coffee is just as effective. Many people are happy to sit down and talk about their work over a latte—especially when someone else is buying! Remember that you are asking someone else to volunteer their time to sit down with you; be flexible when it comes to accommodating his or her schedule.

Our Houston recruiters will all agree that sharing a meal with someone is one of the best ways to expand your personal network and find out about new opportunities that may be available. Keep in mind that you should always be looking for ways to provide value to these people before you ask for any favors. If you follow these steps then you will be surprised at how many new doors may open up for you.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to the top Houston recruiters at Murray Resources for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started


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