Career Advice

3 Reasons Why Involvement in Your Local Apartment Association will Lead to Your Next Promotion

3 Reasons Why Involvement in Your local Apartment Association will Lead to Your Next Promotion

We have all been guilty of putting off getting involved with a professional organization because of lack of time and energy. However, you may be missing out on much more than a well-organized casino night with your industry peers. In the multi-family housing industry, apartment associations are a must-stop for career advancement. Below we have listed out 3 Reasons Why Involvement in Your local Apartment Association will Lead to Your Next Promotion!

1. Education

One of the cornerstone initiatives of professional associations are to educate their members on what the latest techniques and industry trends are. Your local apartment association holds valuable classroom-type and online educational courses on many of the subjects your employer cares about. Not only will you learn how to be the best you can be in your personal job, but you can be the employee that comes back to your office and shares valuable (and impressive) information with your fellow team members. Your employer is sure to notice your efforts and will put you at the top of the list for a future career advancement opportunity.

2. Networking Gold

It is very easy to get stuck in a career fishbowl by not socializing with other professionals in your chosen industry. Your local apartment association, in addition to educational courses, hosts social events that serve the purpose of allowing its members to meet and network with each other. In the case that you work at a company that does not offer opportunity for the growth you desire, these professional social events might just put you in front of a future employer that can offer the growth you are looking for.

Aside from introducing you to outside employers, these social activities can also help bring you and your current boss closer together. Often times the office environment is too busy and routine for you to really differentiate yourself from your co-workers, especially when a promotion is on the table. By giving yourself the opportunity to shine in front of your boss at an industry social event, you could reap the benefits back at the office in the form of career advancement.

3. Shows Your Career Ambition

Nothing shows your employer where your professional head is more than getting involved in your industry outside working hours. Being active in your local and national apartment association will tell others around you that you are an ambitious industry leader and you care deeply about your career path. These are the exact qualities that bosses look for when considering a promotion. Put yourself ahead of the pack and get involved with your local apartment association today!

National Apartment Association:

Texas Apartment Association:

Austin Apartment Association:

Apartment Association of Greater Dallas:

Houston Apartment Association:

San Antonio Apartment Association:

Posted in Career Advice |

It’s Not Too Late To Achieve These Top 5 Career Goals for 2018

Can you believe the end of the second quarter of 2018 is almost here? Many of use set personal and professional goals for ourselves back in January and now it is time to check in to see if things are going as planned. If you are shaking your head in dismay because time feels like it is slipping away, you can rest assured that it is not too late to set and ACHIEVE your career goals for 2018.

Whether you want to take on more responsibility at your workplace…or give some up…we have you covered with the Top 5 Most Common Career Goals for 2018!

#1: Work/Life Balance

One of the very first things you should consider when setting career goals is where do you want your work/life balance to be. Also known as: how much time do you want to spend working and how much time do you want to spend not working. The reason this goal should come first is it can dictate how willing you are to commit to the hours it will take to achieve other goals.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be black and white, you can allow your free time and work time to blend together which will result in an overall better work/life balance. For example, schedule a day every week for your spouse to meet you for lunch or for you to have lunch once a month at your child’s school. Plan to attend extracurricular work activities that will allow you to have fun and network at the same time. (put on shared calendar with spouse calendar and repeat every week)

The big takeaway here is to plan to do these things because they are easy to skip when the time comes to attend. Look at the areas of your personal life you feel are lacking and see where you could blend them with your job to increase your overall work/life satisfaction level.

#2: Money

Now that you have your work/life situation figured out you can really look at how happy you are with your compensation. Figuring out how much money you want to make can be a slippery slope because your answer is always going to be “more!”. The best way to go about settling on a magic number is to think about the things you want to spend that money on. Is it a certain school for your children? A retirement plan? A fancy fitness program? A yearly overseas vacation? Once you are able to incorporate your realistic wishlist into your current budget and see how much more money you need to make you will be able to confidently say how much you want to be making a year.

Now that you have that magic number, and it’s inline with the fair market value of your position and the size of your property, you can approach your boss and ask them what will it take to get your compensation where you want it to be. This leads us into our next goal.

#3: Growth

Growth in the workplace is something we should all constantly strive for. Not only will it almost always result in a better salary, it will also enhance our overall happiness in your career. When setting a goal in workplace growth, it is best to work backwards. Put some thought into what you want your career to look like in December of 2018. What activities did you participate in? What contests did you win at work? What certifications did you receive? What skills did you improve on or learn?

Perhaps you want to move into a different position in your workplace. Are you a leasing agent that wants to be a community manager? A manager that wants to be a regional supervisor? Perhaps the company you are working for is too small to accommodate the growth you want to experience. By thinking ahead you are able to take an objective and practical look at your current surroundings and decide if they are able to give you what you want.

#4: Relationship With Management

Some people never think to purposely work on their employer/employee relationship, however this is something that is very important. Your boss is often the gatekeeper to obtaining your goals and you need to make sure you are both interacting at an optimal level. Get out a piece of paper and a writing tool and make a good old-fashioned list of the things you love about your boss and the things you hate. The latter category is the one to focus on. You can easily turn a negative into a positive with a little bit of concentrated effort.

For example, if you are a leasing professional and you hate that your community manager is always stressed out in the office. Make it a point to find out their stress triggers and try to keep them at bay. Or perhaps start a productive and respectful dialogue at the beginning of the year with the objective of having you lend your support to your boss in the areas they decided they need. December of 2018 will look a lot brighter once your working relationships are firing on all cylinders.

#5: Executing Your Ideal Day

Controlling your ongoing daily activities can sometimes seem futile. However, you CAN sit down and put some thought into the things you actually want to be doing every day. Perhaps you want to go to the gym in the mornings, or meet friends for happy hour bi-weekly, or help one resident at your community a day with an issue. No matter what the tasks, you can actively decide on the things you want to take up your time. Once you have identified these things you can plug them into your calendar and keep yourself accountable when things seem out of control. If you don’t have a plan you can easily slip into something very unproductive (such as getting caught in a social media black hole) and decide to easily let it go and focus on something that actually made your list.

Now is the perfect time to put some effort into making 2018 your best year ever. Don’t let anything hold you back!

Posted in Career Advice |

The 3 Reasons You NEED a Career Mentor in 2018

Career Mentor

Navigating your way through your professional life can sometimes be very frustrating. Many times people are left confused as to what they really want out of their careers and the lack of focus can be detrimental to professional growth. Other times, you could know exactly what you want but feel you are not achieving your goals at a rate you are satisfied with. All of these problems can be solved by having a career mentor whose hindsight can become your foresight.

Below we have listed the top 3 reasons you need a career mentor. Use them as motivation to take the first step and approach someone you admire professionally.

1. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the biggest issues you can have professionally is not knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths are the things you want to highlight in job interviews or rely on when tackling a big project, while your weaknesses need to be worked on and tended to so they don’t hold you back. A career mentor can evaluate you professionally and tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are. Even better, they can tell you how to use those strengths to get what you want and how to overcome your weaknesses.

2. Invaluable Networking

Most likely your mentor will be in a professional level above you, which means the people they have contact with could be out of your reach in your networking efforts. Your mentor can, and most likely will, act as an advocate for you to those people that can move you up the ladder faster. Be careful not to use your mentor to introduce you to others too much, your mentor will act on their own when they see a reason for an introduction.

3. Keep Your Confidence Soaring

Let’s face it, your professional life can be brutal on your confidence sometimes. In some cases, all your best efforts will seem like they are not enough to keep you moving towards your goals. Your career mentor will not only understand this, they will have lived through this. They can tell you from first-hand experience that you are doing the right thing and that things will work out if you keep going. You can be sure to keep your confidence up by talking to someone that has not only been where you are, but broke through and achieved goals you are wanting to achieve yourself. What could be better than that?

Often times the thought of finding and approaching an individual to ask if they would be your mentor is intimidating. This discomfort factor alone keeps many people without mentors who could guide them to the career they have always wanted. Finding a mentor is not hard, they work at the same company you do in positions you want, they are on social media, or even in your church or other organizations you are already a part of.

Don’t let your fear of approaching someone you admire stop you from finding a career mentor. Make a list of potential mentors and reach out to them one by one, you will be surprised at how easy it can be to find someone willing to help you accomplish your professional dreams.

Posted in Career Advice |

5 Ways the Trump Administration Will Impact Hiring in America

5 Ways the Trump Administration May Affect Hiring in 2017

Photo: Trump Administration

President Trump has held office now for half a year and he has impacted America in many ways, including our workforce trends.

So far the POTUS has pushed Congress for $200 billion for infrastructure spending over the next 10 years along with the Expanding Apprenticeships in America act which aims to fix the skilled labor gap America currently suffers from. President Trump ran on a platform that promised his voters jobs and below we have mapped out 5 Ways the Trump Administration Will Affect Hiring in America.

1. E-Verify

E-Verify is an employment eligibility verification system that is currently used by the federal government to approve contractors and other federal workers. It, or its equivalent, is also used by 22 states which require all employers in the state to use it.
What the internet-based E-Verify does is compare information from your Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Social Security Administration (SSA), and Department of State (DOS) records to confirm that you are authorized to work in the United States.
President Trump wants to see this technology used by all employers in the United States. This will mean that hiring an illegal immigrant will be virtually impossible if the employer is following the federal law.

2. Minimum Wage

Currently the Trump administration has leaned towards not increasing the minimum wage on a national level. This means that some states that have not adopted a higher requirement for payment to its workers will be able to pay whatever they can get people to accept, provided it is above that state’s minimum wage.

While this does not sound like a positive as an entry level employee, it may be a good thing in terms of hiring. If the administration decided to raise the minimum wage on a national level, it could translate into less people getting hired because of the cost to businesses. It could also mean people with no experience would be rejected because businesses would be less likely to take a chance on someone if they were paying a higher wage.

3. Bringing Jobs Back Home

One of the biggest promises that President Trump has made is that he is going to bring more blue collar/factory jobs back to the United States. This is a promise that it seems he intends to keep, especially with his new apprenticeship initiative which will financially encourage companies to expand programs that will train individuals to be a part of the skilled labor workforce. What this could mean for hiring is simply that businesses will have more options to fill their workforce as more and more Americans acquire manufacturing and and other working skills.

4. Infrastructure Improvement

According to President Trump’s website, the President wants to
“Pursue an “America’s Infrastructure First” policy that supports investments in transportation, clean water, a modern and reliable electricity grid, telecommunications, security infrastructure, and other pressing domestic infrastructure needs”.
President Trump is a big believer in the private sector, which would mean he would be giving incentives to companies to implement the improvements to America’s infrastructure. He has already proven this with his push for the privatization of the air traffic control industry. In terms of hiring, as with bringing jobs back to America, this could mean a hiring boom in blue collar, skilled, and entry-level labor. Companies will be competing against each other to acquire a workforce capable of implementing big construction and engineering projects that will be financially supported (by way of tax incentives and governmental contracts) by the government.

5. Maternity Leave

Back in September of last year, President Trump unveiled a plan to require all businesses to provide 6-weeks of paid maternity leave for female workers. This past May of 2017, the POTUS included the plan in his “hard power budget” with it racking up $18.5 billion over 10 years. The government plans to pay for this with closing the gap on employment insurance fraud and raising unemployment taxes for businesses.

The results from this initiative could have a big impact on the hiring of temporary employees to cover the gaps maternity leave would create, while simultaneously discouraging sexism among hiring managers. President Trump has also promised to offer bigger tax breaks for the cost of childcare, making day care affordable to a whole new sector of work-eligible people.

With each new President, Americans hope for a better future. It seems that a Trump administration could mean an increase in the hiring of many types of workers, excluding those that are undocumented. Apprenticeship programs could result in a boom of an American skilled labor force, something that has diminished over the past 50 years.

Combine that with the President’s desire for infrastructure and you have a situation ripe to benefit both workers and citizens. As with any political wave, Americans will need to grab on to the opportunities quickly to be able to really benefit from programs that could be dismantled in the next presidential term. All in all, America’s skilled workforce future is looking bright.

Posted in Career Advice |

Top 5 Austin, Texas Experiences in December 2016 and January 2017

Things to do in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a great place to live for many reasons. Besides the Tex-Mex and live music, Austin also offers many unique and fun events for its residents and visitors to enjoy.

Now that the weather has turned to non-sweltering temperatures in central Texas, you will want to get outdoors and experience all that Austin has to offer!

Below we have listed the Top 5 Austin Experiences in December and January!

1. The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Road, 12/10/16-12/23/16)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the infamous Trail of Lights in Zilker Park! There you will find dazzling holiday lights to walk through with your family and friends, along with yummy food vendors selling everything from hot chocolate to tamales! You can spin yourself into a dizzy stupor under the Zilker Christmas Tree located at the entrance and pictured below or just take numerous selfies with all the holiday characters you will find there!

Things to do in Austin, Texas

2. The Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs (2201 Barton Springs Road, 1/1/17)

Barton Springs is a perfect 68°-70°F year-round that is refreshing on a hot summer day and cozy on those frigid winter mornings, but that doesn’t make jumping in on New Year’s Day any less impressive! Join other Austinites as they start their 2017 off shivering from the magical waters of Barton Springs. Be ready to warm up with free coffee and donuts right outside the gate after you take your plunge!

3. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (900 Barton Springs Road) and the Blue Genie Art Bazaar (6100 Airport Blvd) (11/25/16-12/24/16)

We admit it, we cheated a little on this one because it’s two events…but you can’t mention one without including the other! It is the ultimate holiday shopping experience that is quintessentially Austin. At the Blue Genie Art Bazaar shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar also features local award-winning artists along with with live music and two full bars making it the ultimate shopping experience.

4. Free Week (Various locations, 1/1/17-1/8/17)

The first week of January might be the best time for a music fan to visit Austin. Why? Hundreds of Austin bands participate in this annual FREE event that encompasses multiple venues all over Austin. Plan to be out and about to take part in a music tradition that showcases why Austin is just so darn great!

5. Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods (525 N Lamar Blvd, 11/27/16 – 1/7/17)

Just because you live in central Texas doesn’t mean you don’t need to brush up on those ice skating skills! Spend an afternoon on the ice rink at the Whole Foods flagship store on North Lamar. Then head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends! You can also plan to eat a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the pop-up restaurants in the store and enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer at the sit-down tasting bars. The PERFECT date night!

2017 is going to be another GREAT year to live in Austin, Texas…but 2016 isn’t over yet! Get out there and enjoy all this city has to offer!

Posted in Career Advice, Featured Jobs, Hiring Tips, Management Advice |