Career Tips by Fisher Investments

Whether you’re interested in an opportunity at Fisher Investments, or simply looking to further develop your current career path, our career tips can help you stand out from your peers.

Take a Break to Improve Productivity

By, 11/25/2013

Productivity is always good. One way to improve productivity is by taking breaks. In order to keep up with high quality work, recharging every now and then is crucial. In a world full of deadlines and to-do lists with more items than you can complete in a day, productivity is important. It’s easy to push ourselves to the limit in order to complete tasks—but doing so may detract from the quality of your work. That’s why taking breaks is important—at a certain point, your brain needs a breather to recharge.

Stepping away from your work for a break is important for several reasons. For one, concentrating on one task for too long will impact how you think about it. If you step away for a walk or a cup of coffee, you can regroup and get motivated to continue. Additionally, it may help you think about the task at hand differently—especially if you’re stuck. Perhaps your time away will help you think more critically or help you take a different, and perhaps better, approach.

Multitasking vs. Uni-Tasking

By, 11/21/2013

Multitasking is often touted as an important way to improve productivity at work. But there’s also a lot to be said for uni-tasking—or focusing on one task rather than several at once.

Though you may be able to get more done quantity-wise when multitasking, focusing on more than one task could detract from the quality of each. For example, you might make more errors if you don’t have enough time to review important work before submitting it. Often times, there are many projects or decisions that require deeper thought and concentration.

Here are a few tips for uni-tasking:

  • Disconnect. Silence your phone, turn off your email notifications and put your cell phone away. These are common distractions, so just doing these alone probably helps improve productivity right off the bat.
  • Allocate a specific amount of time to the task at hand. If you know you have a set amount of time to accomplish something, you’ll probably focus better.
  • Choose the right time of day to complete your task. For example, don’t work on something that requires a lot of attention if you’re hungry before lunch.

The Value of Communicating Over the Phone vs. Email

By, 11/18/2013

As technology has advanced, email has become the main form of communication in the business world—but there is still a lot of value in a good old fashioned phone call.

Tone is a significant factor when relaying important messages, but it isn’t always communicated effectively when written. By calling someone and speaking to them directly, the chances your tone is heard as intended increases dramatically.

Verbal communication also allows you to clarify your message further. As written communication can sometimes leave too much room for interpretation, speaking over the phone can allow for more efficient communication as you’ll likely spend less time emailing back and forth, clarifying requests, asking questions and setting proper expectations.

Finally, taking the time to pick up the phone shows you’re approachable—a quality that will help you in any career. That way others will feel more comfortable reaching out to you when business needs that require you to work together come up in the future.

Facing Your Work Fears

Everyone has fears—spiders, heights, you name it. But in addition to personal fears, people can have professional fears, too. Facing them is important for professional development, but it isn’t always easy. What’s the best way to do so?

Tackle them head on. If presenting to large groups of people scares you, offer to teach an internal class or speak at a team meeting. If sending emails company-wide or to important distribution lists is intimidating, offer to take on the responsibility. If using a certain computer program seems like a daunting and complicated task, offer to take over the project that utilizes it.

Don’t let the fear of something keep you from learning or developing professionally. Doing something that scares you is the best way to become comfortable with it. Further, repetition should reduce your fear as you become more comfortable with whatever it is. After all, more often than not, we fear something because it is new or unknown. Plus, facing your fears is a great way to show your boss and co-workers you’re up for a challenge and want to learn something new.

End of the Work Day Routine

By, 11/07/2013

The end of the day can come before you realize it. To get a start on tomorrow’s work, here are a few steps you can take to get your day in order.

Evaluate your to-do list. They can often become a giant mess at the end of the day, between making additional notes and marking off tasks you’ve completed. It may even be helpful to create a new list every day—carrying over tasks you need to complete but getting rid of the unnecessary extras.

Check your calendar for important appointments the following day. Perhaps there is something you forgot in preparation for your important meeting. By double checking beforehand, you may save yourself unnecessary time and stress. Additionally, leaving the office and realizing you forgot to do something with no way of fixing it until tomorrow isn’t exactly ideal.

Doing each of these things may help you leave on a positive note—always a good way to end the day. Regrouping will help you anticipate your workload for the following day and it allows you to reflect on the day’s accomplishments.

The Value of a Thank You

By, 11/04/2013

After completing an interview, you may walk out of the room and see 19 other applicants waiting for their turns to impress the recruiter. Need a way to stand out even after your interview? Enter the “Thank You” card.

The Thank You card, particularly one hand-written, can serve as a follow-up that conveys your gratitude for the interview and a physical, personal reminder of your meeting. If time is of the essence, a thank you email can suffice for leaving a positive image.

For the content of the letter, first thank the interview for their time. Then reiterate what you bring to the table to address the company’s needs.

If you forgot to make valuable points in the interview or need to clarify a point, you can do so in the card, giving the reader more context.

After finishing writing, proofread your Thank You. Multiple times. Have a friend/family member do so too. Avoid conveying either a lack of communication skills or apathy for professionalism.

Finally, give thanks and be merry. You scored an interview and potentially a job!

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