Laid Off From Your Houston Oil Job? Here’s How to Cope

January 27th, 2015

Due to falling gas prices, layoffs having been widespread in Houston’s oil and gas industry. Consider these recent statistics:

  • Schlumberger: 9,000 layoffs
  • Halliburton: 1,000 layoffs
  • Apache: 250 layoffs

Those are just three examples – and there’s likely more to come. And it’s not just Houston that’s been impacted. In fact, there have been at least 31,000 cuts announced in North America alone.

That’s the bad news, especially if you’re one of the employees impacted by a layoff or you think you might get let go in the future. The good news, though? You can cope with the situation and survive. Here’s how:

Don’t rush.

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows the stress and anxiety of a job loss is hard to handle. This is therefore not the time to be making quick decisions and jumping into new opportunities you’re uncertain about.

Know your severance options.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you fully understand and leverage all your severance options, including:

  • Do you have a non-compete clause preventing you from getting another job with a competitor? If so, can you be released from it?
  • What are the details of your health benefits and how long will they continue?
  • What will happen to your retirement account and can you access it if you need to?
  • Can you be compensated for unused vacation days?
  • Will your company help you find a new job?
  • Will they give you a reference?

If you’re not sure or have questions, it’s always a good idea to seek out legal counsel.

Tap into your support team.

During a layoff, you need a strong support network of colleagues, family and friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask for help and advice. If you know people who work at a company you’re interested in, reach out to them and ask if there are any openings. Don’t feel ashamed about being laid off. It’s important to deal with the stress in a positive way by tapping into your pool of resources to move forward and find a new job.

File for unemployment.

File for unemployment as soon as possible. The sooner you become eligible, the sooner you can start collecting funds. Even if you received a generous severance package, you should still file. When doing so, make it clear the job loss was not your fault. If it was, then you won’t receive compensation.

Review your financials.

It’s important to know where you stand financially. Examine your cash reserves so you can figure out how much you have and how long it will last. With severance and unemployment only lasting a limited time, now’s also the time to look at your budget and find areas where you can cut back.

Start your job search.

Sitting around day after day without any goals will only lead to depression. Instead, get back in the game by starting your job search. Set goals each week – such as updating your resume, attending networking events, and creating a LinkedIn profile – that will ultimately help you land a new job.

Need some help with the process? Call Murray Resources. As recruiters in Houston, TX, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today to learn more.

Looking for a New Job? Don’t Forget About Company Culture

May 20th, 2014

As leading Houston, TX recruiters, Murray Resources knows when looking for a new job, most job seekers tend to focus on the position – is it a good fit, do they have the right skills, is it work they will enjoy? However, did you know that it’s just as important to assess the culture of the company when determining whether an opportunity is right for you?

The culture is the company’s personality. And not every company culture is a fit for every candidate. Consider the formal, structured culture of many large corporations and pair that with a laid back, free spirited individual.

So if you’re searching for a new job, how can you evaluate the culture – so you’ll end up somewhere you love? Consider these tips:

Determine what’s important to you.

Is it flex time? A company dedicated to helping others? A smaller, more family friendly environment?

When looking for a company that’s going to be a match for your needs, determine what’s most important to you and what the deal breakers are. Once you know, you can look and ask about those traits (and traits you don’t want) on your interviews. It will make finding a good employer/employee match a lot easier.

Find out why the last person left.

If you ask this question and hear a lot of stumbling, stuttering and a vague answer, then there’s a problem. The hiring manager should be able to tell you clearly why the last person left. Also, if you find out the position is a revolving door for people, then that’s a good indication of what’s to come should you accept the offer.

Dig deep during the interview.

Sometimes, hiring managers will exaggerate an ideal company culture during the interview. Then, when a new hire is on the job, they quickly become miserable because the position and culture don’t match up with reality.

That’s why it’s important to get specific with your questions – i.e. “What things do you wish you’d known before starting to work here?” Or “What one thing don’t you like about the culture?”

Ask around.

If you know someone who works for the company, or has in the past, ask them directly about what it’s like to be an employee there. Use sites like LinkedIn or your network of contacts to reach out to those who are “in the know.”

The bottom line is that the more you understand about a particular company, the better shot you’ll have at finding an employer that’s right for you.

Need more help with your job search? Contact Murray Resources. As leading Houston, TX recruiters, we work with top employers all over the city and can match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.


After the Job Offer: 4 Steps to Easier Salary Negotiations

April 15th, 2014

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources understands salary negotiations is a dreaded part of the hiring process for many job candidates. While you want to secure the best offer, going about it can feel like walking on a high wire. Ask too much and you’ll get shot down; too little and it can impact your quality of life, as well as your future earning potential.

So when you’re doing the salary negotiation “two-step,” what strategies should you take to make the process go as smoothly as possible?

Step #1: Know the Numbers

Too many job candidates rely on employers to determine a fair compensation for the job. But if you want to secure a better offer, then you need to spend some time researching how the employment market values someone with your skill set. Just a few thousand dollars more can make a big difference over a period of time. And when you know the facts and numbers, you can justify your case for your salary expectations.

Step #2: Know Your Bottom Line

Before you buy a home, for instance, you know what your budget is. Before you walk into salary negotiations, you need to know what your bottom line is. In other words, what are willing to accept if you don’t get the exact offer you want? You’ll need to crunch some personal financial numbers to come up with the right figure. But think it through ahead of time so you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation, left accepting an offer that’s too low.

Go beyond salary too to vacation time and benefits. Are less days off more important than a bigger paycheck for you? Or is a more flexible lifestyle an important objective? Identify what you’re aiming for before you walk into any negotiating sessions.

Step #3: Know the Right Questions to Ask

Once the offer is made, you’re going to want to feel it out by asking some questions. For instance:

• Is the job offer negotiable? This is a tactful way of inquiring whether or not there is wiggle room in the offer. In most cases, there is. However, there are certain instances where there may not be much, if any, room to negotiate and it’s best to know immediately. Asking this gets the ball rolling into negotiations.

• Does that include base pay only? Total compensation includes benefits; base pay is salary only. Asking this question is an easy icebreaker into talking about benefits.

Step #4: Know the Benefits

When negotiating salary, many candidates assume benefits are firm. But, in fact, they’re often negotiable too. So don’t leave any on the table. Inquire about health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, vacation time, and flex scheduling. This is especially important if the base salary is lower than you’d like because you may have more leverage to negotiate a a better compensation package.

The point to remember is that as a job candidate, you have the power to negotiate what you want to earn. Don’t concede it. Take your time, stay focused and confident, and know when to walk away from the table.

Need more help negotiating your way to a new job offer? Let Murray Resources know. As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can not only help you find out about great job opportunities, but we can also help you navigate your way through all aspects of your job search. Contact us today to learn more.

Creating a Website that Attracts the Best Talent

September 3rd, 2013

When a job seeker learns about a position at your company, the first place they’re going to look is your website. When they get there, what will they find?

As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that if it’s a confusing, overwhelming, or disappointing experience, then that’s going to reflect poorly on your employment brand as a whole – and impact your ability to attract quality candidates. In order to attract the best talent, your company needs to communicate clarity and innovation.

To help you make a great first impression on your website, here are a few tips to follow:

Polish Your Careers Section

For too many companies, the Careers section of their website is an afterthought. The information is sparse and the job postings are outdated – sending a message of disorganization to job candidates.

Instead, spend some time thinking about the information you want to present to job candidates. Sell your company and offer details as to why it’s a great place to work. Most importantly, keep the job postings current.

Understand Your Audience

In order to provide information that speaks to top talent, you need to know what they want in an employer. For instance, are you looking to target millenials? Then provide information about your flex schedules and the ability to telecommute. Do you want to attract those with growth potential? Then highlight your mentoring program and all the opportunities for advancement at your company. Before you craft your website message, know what it is your audience wants to learn about your company.

Keep Your Site Fresh

When your last press release was posted in 2010, it makes your company look stale. So make an effort to keep the dynamic sections of your website current. Post regular and fresh content to your company news and events section and keep your blog updated.

Make Your Site Functional

There’s nothing worse on a website than confusing navigation, information that’s hard to find, or a homepage so chock full of bells and whistles that you don’t know where to look first.

Instead, keep things simple. Make sure the site is easy to navigate and important information is simple to find. Also, when it comes to using your site as a recruiting tool, the Careers section should be a main area of focus. So promote it throughout.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out

Your company and all its offerings are unique. Then why does your site look like everyone else’s?

When developing an effective website, don’t just copy what your competitors are doing. Make an effort to stand out and do something different. This may be through the information presented (such as videos of employees talking about what they like about working for the company), custom photography, or an employee penned blog.

Your website is the online face of your company. So when it comes to attracting the best talent, it’s important to ensure you’re communicating the right message.

Need More Help Recruiting the Best Talent?

Let Murray Resources know. As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



Finding a New Job When Your Spouse Gets Relocated

August 27th, 2013

You love your job – and you never planned on leaving. The trouble is, your spouse got offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s in a different city. In order to accept it, you need to find a new job, fast. What steps should you take? Here are some tips:

Do Your Homework

As top Houston, TX recruiters, Murray Resources can tell you that you should not wait to move to the new location before researching it. As soon as the decision is made and the location is set, start researching the market, the employers and the job areas that are growing.

Ask for Help

Reach out to and leverage the power of your connections on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Talk to those who live in your new city and try to get a sense of the employment landscape, including the challenges and opportunities there. Once you actually re-locate, connect with them in person and ask for introductions to others who may be of assistance in your job search.

Also, ask for referrals to different kinds of associations and business groups to join that may help you in your job search. If you already belong to a professional and networking group in your current area, ask them if they have a chapter in your new area.

Another area of assistance may be your spouse’s new employer. Some will offer assistance in terms of career counseling or may even have job openings within the company that would be a good fit for you. They understand that in order to keep their new hire happy, they also need to provide some support to the relocating spouse as well. So be sure to ask. Some candidates are even able to negotiate job search help for their spouses in their compensation package.

Take Your Time If You Can

Don’t jump at the first job offer you get. If you can’t find the right job immediately, then consider taking on volunteer, part-time, or temporary work to stay busy and make connections. You want to take your time to find just the right opportunity for you. Doing so may mean getting to know your new location and all its offerings a little better before you accept a position.

Relocating to Houston?

If you’re considering making the move to Houston to seek full-time, part-time, or temporary employment, it’s important to stay on top of the job market in the Bayou City. Read our article about the Houston job market to help you in your search.

And if you’d like expert help from Houston, TX recruiters, give Murray Resources a call. We work with top employers all over the city and can match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Is It Time to Quit Your Job? 6 Signs That Scream ‘Yes’!

July 16th, 2013

You’re good at your job, get along with your boss and feel a strong sense of job security. So why in the world would you want to quit your job?

As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to career advancement, one of the decisions you’ll have to make along the way is how long to stay in a particular job before moving on. If, for instance, you’ve plateaued and there is no sign of new opportunities at your current employer, then it may be time to jump ship – even if things are going ok.

So what are a few telltale signs that it’s time to quit your job? Here’s a look:

1. You’re feeling disengaged and unmotivated to get your work done.
2. You find yourself awake at night, having anxious thoughts about your job.
3. You aren’t being given challenging assignments.
4. You dread going to the office each day.
5. You’re butting heads with your boss or the relationship has changed in a negative way.
6. You’re being kept out of the loop or out of important meetings.

Keep in mind too that if you have plenty of experience, than staying in one position for too long without a clear increase in your level of responsibility can actually hurt your career. Unless you have a good reason – such as having a young family – it will look like your career has stalled out.

That said, if you haven’t been on the job long, then you may want to rethink resigning. Having short employment dates on your resume can impact your ability to get a new job in the future. One short tenured job likely won’t hurt you, but several can lead a hiring manager to conclude that you’re a job hopper.

So should you quit your job? There’s no clear answer. You need to make the decision based on your unique situation. Just keep in mind that the decision you do ultimately make can have a long-term impact on your career.

If you know you’re ready to quit – but would like expert help finding your next opportunity – give Murray Resources a call. As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, we’ll get to know you – your background, skills, and career goals – then match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.



5 Ways to Make Friends With Your New Co-Workers

June 18th, 2013

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows the job search process is certainly stressful. And unfortunately, all that anxiety doesn’t end once you’re offered the job. In fact, it’s really just the beginning as you navigate your way in your new position and your new workplace.

And while you should be focused on learning all you can those first few days on the job, it’s just as important to start making connections with your new co-workers. After all, these are the people you will likely be spending more time with than your own family! And having strong workplace relationships will not only enhance your job satisfaction, but also help you advance your career at the company in the future.

That said, if you’re not the most outgoing person around, breaking the ice can be stressful. But you can make a great impression and hopefully forge some friendships if you play your cards right. Here’s how:

Open Up.

This can be especially difficult if you’re more of a private person. But it’s essential if you’re going to start forming the foundation for strong relationships at work. So, for instance, if you hear a co-worker sharing a story about their kids, and you’ve got kids of your own, share your own similar experiences. Opening up will help you find common ground with colleagues and foster trust and a sense of camaraderie.

Listen Too.

While you need to open up, it’s even more important to be a good listener. So don’t constantly butt into a co-worker’s story with your own thoughts. Instead, sit back, listen, and ask questions. Not only will you actually learn more, but taking an active interest in what a co-worker has to say will make a more positive impression instead of engaging in a constant stream of chatter.

Get Social.

You may hate the thought of lunches and happy hours with colleagues, but make an effort to attend all the events you’re invited to. Not only will you be exposed to more people and information about the company, but you’ll appear more friendly and less standoffish than if you declined.

Give Off Good Vibes.

Negativity is a turnoff, while a positive attitude will attract people to you. Not only will your co-workers want to be around you, but they will also want to work more with you, which could result in new and exciting opportunities coming your way.

Be Yourself.

While you want to make a positive first impression, it’s also important to be yourself. Remember, you’re going to work with these people day in and day out, so if you act phony, you will eventually get found out.

Ready for New Co-Workers?

If you’re ready for a new job opportunity, and the new co-workers that come along with it, let Murray Resources know. As recruiters in Houston, TX, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today to learn more.


6 Easy Ideas for Boosting Morale at Work

June 4th, 2013

Motivating employees is easy if you have plenty of cash to burn. But did you know you can actually motivate your team without impacting your overhead? In fact, as leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that there are plenty of simply morale boosters you can put into place that don’t cost much – or anything at all. Here’s a look at 6 of them:

#1. A Pat on the Back

Do you regularly praise your employees for a job well done? If not, then you’re missing out on the most effective and the least expensive way to boost morale in the workplace. It’s easy to ignore such a small gesture, but it can make a big difference in an employee’s engagement level at your company.

#2. Private Meetings With Key Employees

How often do you meet with your star performers? If you don’t meet regularly, then now’s the time to start. Not only will regular meetings with them make them feel more important, but it will also open the lines of communication and bring out any areas of concern or that need attention.

#3. Development Opportunities

When companies invest in their employees by enabling them to develop or enhance skills they’re sending the message that they value their employees. And when employees are trained in the most advanced skill sets or techniques, it will serve to benefit your company as well in the long run.

#4. Encouraging Participation

Create an environment in which employees are encouraged to offer their opinions and feedback. Not only does this result in a fresh perspective, but it also motivates employees because they feel good about the contributions they’re making to the company.

#5. Flexibility

In today’s day and age, work life balance has become more and more important, especially for the younger generations with children. Offering more flexibility through perks like flex time and the ability to telecommute shows that your company cares and will earn greater loyalty as a result.

#6. A Choice in Projects

Do you have an employee that’s doing an exceptional job? Then allow him or her to choose their next project or take on more responsibility in an expanded role. New challenges and opportunities will not only keep them engaged, but will also serve as a great motivating force for them.

As you can see, rewarding your employees isn’t all about spending money; it’s about making sure they feel like a valued team member and keeping them engaged.

Need More Help Hiring & Retaining Top Talent?

If you’ve been experiencing higher turnover than you’d like and need help in the retention department, give Murray Resources a call. As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.




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