There I was….My first day….Extremely anxious….I mean who wouldn’t be? I am beginning my first real job in the corporate world at a Fortune 500 company. Anything could happen….I could screw up bigtime. I hope not…..but I could.

I am dressed in my brand new business suit with hair up in a neat little bun and a subtle touch of make-up, yet my nerves are making me a little shaky. I walk in and go straight to the Human Resource Department. After completing all the initial paperwork, I am escorted to my new desk with my stomach still fluttering. The first thing I noticed was an envelope with name on it in the cool little inbox that was set up on my desk.

When I opened it, I was delighted to see a Welcome card with the signatures of everyone in my department including my supervisor’s, the President’s and the Vice President’s. What a wonderful thing to do for their employees. My stomach calmed down and my nerves mellowed out. This was a great way to make me feel right at home in my new position.

This is when I realized that even though I was making my first impression, the company was also make their first impression. Making a first impression in the professional world is a two-way street. Welcome cards are a great and easy way to do that. I know working for this company will be a terrific experience for me because it is run by thoughtful, considerate people.

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Of course it is always a great idea for a company to send out Christmas cards at the end of each year to its customers and clients to let them know how much they’re patronage is appreciated. However, to go the extra mile—showing an even higher level of gratitude by doing something more personal–will surely make an even better impression. Instead of printing just a business’ name by itself, adding employee signatures will give your holiday sentiments that much more of a personal touch.

Having each employee sign his or her own name will impress the recipients for sure. However, if there are many names that may make it difficult for people to sign all the cards, having a template where a person only has to sign once, will certainly make it easier for all concerned. While the printing inside a greeting card can be done in many different colors, a recommendation for the signatures to be in either blue or black would make them appear more real since most people use either a blue or black pen to sign their names anyway.

By taking the extra time to arrange to have signatures appear on a company’s holiday card will definitely go a long way in promoting goodwill with those who are most important to a business’ life – its customers!

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Tips on Surviving the First Day on the Job

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You finally get the call. After 3 intense interviews, you’ve been hired. You’re excited, but the feeling soon wears off because it’s replaced with first day jitters. Fear not, because your first day checklist will provide tips on surviving the first day on the job.

Assuming that you start on Monday, you will go to your local Walmart on Saturday. Pick up a new steno pad and a pack of pens. This will not only provide the illusion that you are a prepared employee, but you will be jotting down some notes on the second page of the steno pad that will get you through the day. Make sure that they are on the second page. You may forget that they are there, and you do not want your nosey neighbor knowing that you wrote “fake it till you make it” on the top line. That’s correct. Write this in bold letters. When you walk through that door, you are clueless, and that’s ok. You need to be reminded that you will get through everything, but until then, you will carry yourself, like you know everything.

All the while, you will soak up any information that will contribute to you getting through that first day of employment. First impressions last. Write this beneath your first mantra. You have already walked through the door between 12 and 14 minutes early (hint). If you’re too early, you may annoy the receptionist. She will be starting her day, and nothing is worse than multiple clueless employees already waiting at your desk on a Monday morning. Never tick off the gate keeper. Of course you will not be late. If you are late on your first day, you become that person. It’s very hard to shake that association, once it is implanted in someone’s head. By the way, until notified differently, you are dressed as if this is another interview. Your attire shows the level of how much you care.

Please care. This is your livelihood. Your third bullet point will be one word. “Smile.” This simple act, provides a comfortability to those around us. Until we truly get to know each other, this not only breaks the ice, but provides a comfort level to the people that we meet. How you finish is just as important as how you start. Thank your trainer before you leave. It shows an appreciation that is valued in work culture.

Consistently check your second page throughout your first day, as a reminder of your first day conduct. In the meantime, you will take notes and readily adapt to any changes in your expectations. After all, tomorrow is another day!

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Greeting Cards: Still Relevant After all These Years

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Sending greeting cards can be traced all the way back to Ancient China. Then, it was wishes for a prosperous new year. The tradition of greeting cards then moved to the early Egyptians. When you look into the history of exchanging greeting cards, you will see that by the early 1400’s, cards were being exchanged all over Europe.

So now that we are in the 21st century, are greeting cards still relevant? I say, “Yes!” I think we can all agree that it is a wonderful feeling when we go to our mailbox and instead of bills we find an elegant card sending us well wishes. Whether it is your birthday, anniversary or just because, receiving a card is always a pleasant surprise.

Greeting cards make the recipient feel cared for and wanted, loved and appreciated. Knowing you are a thought on someone’s mind is such a great feeling. But, giving greeting cards can also leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is awesome to know with this small gesture you can make someone’s day.

In these days with texting and emails, the personal side of things sometimes get forgotten. Take the time to make someone in your life feel extra special by sending them a greeting card.

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Let’s Talk Christmas Cards In July!

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Wait, what? Christmas cards. . .in July?? You read that right. Here’s why you should be thinking about your Christmas cards now.

Let’s be real, events creep up on all of us. No matter how diligent we are, time passes and we lose track of it, and other things come up, and BAM the occasion is at your doorstep and you’re unprepared. Getting your cards before December ensures that you will have cards to send out this year.
Thinking about your cards early also gives you the leisure to shop around. Many card vendors have their best sales before crunch-time, so peruse throughout the year to find your best deal. Plus, there is the most selection before everyone else is thinking about their Christmas cards.

Ordering your cards early means you won’t have to splurge for expedited shipping — to you or to your recipients — and you can relax knowing that your cards will make it to their destinations on time. Not rushing also means you are less likely to forget about someone. And if you send your cards out early enough, who knows, you might receive more cards from people who might not have otherwise sent you a card. Talk about Holiday cheer!

Lastly, when you purchase your Christmas cards in the summer, you also get your brain geared toward Christmas earlier than you regularly might. This means you’ll find yourself slowly stocking up on gifts as you notice them. This will leave you with only a few more things to get as December approaches, with money to spare because many of the items you’ve gotten already were on sale (and not picked over). Score!

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Christmas Cards From Your Accountant

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My husband and I go through all our Christmas cards as they arrive and we check them off against our list of those we have already sent cards to and then start a new list. This new list is comprised of cards we have received from people we did not send a card to and now need to reciprocate.  It seems that every year our initial list gets longer. We always have gotten enough to cover everyone in the first mailing and have a few leftover for new acquaintances.  

We started out 38 years ago sending out only about 50 cards from the local drugstore when we were first married.  But, now we are up over 125 and found it to be so much easier to have them printed with whatever we want them to say.  We actually have our signatures printed on the cards also. They look absolutely gorgeous! We even get an extra 25 as a buffer.  Our cards look so nice that many have asked us how we do it and where we get them.  We always freely share the www.GalleryCollection.com website.

Our new accountant was impressed by our card 2 years ago and so we shared the website.  This past holiday, we got a beautiful holiday card from her today with the business information and a very professional imprint with the company name.  Who knows  maybe this year you might be getting Christmas Cards from your accountant too!

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Sending Retirement Cards To Employees

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After an employee retires, one of the first things you should do is send them a retirement card. The Gallery Collection offers retirement cards perfect for any office.

A favorite is The Gallery Collection’s Retirement Bliss Card. This card oozes relaxation! It harkens to the possibility of the kind of rest—and fun—your former employee could be about to enjoy during their retirement. You could also go for a more generalized Congratulations card and have the inside be more personalized.

It can be hard to know what to say to your employee inside the card, once you have a design selected. On the inside you could use any of The Gallery Collection’s many greetings in case you’re at a loss for words. An example would be M3: “Happy retirement! May the years ahead bring you the best of everything!” There are also 1 -2 lines included at no additional charge where you could write something like:

“FROM ALL OF US AT [YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE]” and have everyone sign the card. You could also have the inside say: “THANK YOU FOR YOUR ______ YEARS OF SERVICE. IT WAS TRULY A PLEASURE WORKING WITH YOU AND YOU WILL BE MISSED!” this way you can change it depending on which employee it is for.

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Is Your Current Career Field Right For You?

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I’m sure we all grew up hoping to find our dream job. However, as we approach the “career stage” of our lives, many of us tend to struggle defining exactly what our dream job would be. It’s probably because life and all of its responsibilities bombard us before we can even experience the “I love what I do” feeling. We rush to find a job or career that will make us the income we need to be financially stable and once we find it, we settle. However, we don’t take the initiative to ask ourselves, “Is my job right for me?”

Tough question, isn’t it? You sit at your desk or wherever you perform your daily job duties and think, “am I here because I want to be or because I have to be?” One should find their career purposeful, rewarding and most of all stress free. What’s a job that makes us not want to get up in the morning and take a trip to the clock in station to start the day? What’s a job that loses our attention through unsatisfying workloads and makes us look at the clock every other minute hoping it yells out, “Time to go home”. What’s a job that makes us question whether we want to be here at all? It’s a job that is not for you.

With that being said, is your current career field right for you? If your answer is no, then I cannot help but quote Confucius when I say “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

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First and foremost. Staying hydrated is the most important thing when working long hours. You will feel drastically better if you take sips of water every so often. This will keep you from feeling bloated and full, help you avoid running to the bathroom every 15 minutes, and you won’t feel as light-headed. Staying hydrated means staying focused.

Take breaks. Every so often, get up and walk around. Get some fresh air or a cup of coffee. Chat with a friend for a minute. Take a bathroom break. Even just looking away from your work for a minute (especially if you work on a computer screen) will help you feel less drained. Any small break that is acceptable for your office will do, so long as you are moving. Adjust your posture to avoid feeling stiff and tiring yourself out further for no reason.

Conserve your energy. Do not over-exert yourself if you know you have a long night ahead of you. Pace yourself with your work so you will not burn out. It is better to be a steady worker than to work in one big spurt and then lose your momentum.

Know when to stop. At a certain point you will no longer be productive. You will get tired. You will lose focus. As the night goes on, you will become slower and less accurate. Even if you are not finished with your work, sometimes it’s best just to call it a day and tackle in the morning when you’re feeling fresher.

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How to Make New Employees Feel Welcome

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We’ve all gone through the horrible experience of being the new kid or new employee. It’s one of the most anxiety filled experiences of anyone’s life. We all know how it felt to be coming into a whole new working environment and not knowing anybody. Here are three simple ways to make a new employee feel welcome without scaring them away.

1. Introduce Yourself to Them
This is the most important step in making the new employee feel welcome. Walk up to them with a warm smile and just introduce yourself. It may seem like something frivolous but a new face with a warm smile can make anyone feel comfortable and safe. It’s a great way to make them feel welcome without creeping them out. A lot of people are really shy and would rather walk around in obscurity than introduce themselves to someone new. Take the initiative and say, “Hello, my name is…” Maybe all it takes is a hello from you to break them out of their shell.

2. Offer Advice on their New Position
This is a key component of the new job jitters. A new employee is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to advice. We all want to show that we know what we’re doing but a little advice can’t hurt. Pull them to the side and offer key tidbits about their position to help them progress. Of course every new employee makes a few mistakes but help them learn from the mistake, figure out how to solve it and avoid making the mistake again. Being that helpful hand goes a long way and can give them the little bit of confidence they need to succeed.

3. Invite Them to Lunch
Everyone knows how it feel being the new kid walking into the cafeteria and not knowing where to sit. So just walk over and invite the new guy to sit and have lunch with you. What harm can it be to have conversation over some sandwiches and soup? No one wants to sit alone in a corner eating their lunch alone, so don’t let that happen. Encourage the new employee to talk to some new people and take the weight of anxiety off their shoulders.

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