Posts filed under Community

The Wilbanks Consulting Group Appreciates Our Armed Forces

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Former President John F. Kennedy once said, "Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard."

May marks National Military Appreciation Month. It honors those who are active and former members of the United States Armed Forces. Take the time this month to thank someone in the military on one of these special days. It’s because of their selfless service that we have our freedom.

Armed Forces Day: May 18
A day set aside to give thanks to everyone serving in all military branches.

Memorial Day: May 27
Commemorating fallen soldiers while in active duty.

Ways To Show Gratitude To Former & Active Duty Military

Here are a few ways you can spread gratitude to former and active duty military.

  1. Send thank you notes to deployed active duty military or veterans.

  2. Get involved in local community gatherings to commemorate the Armed Forces.

  3. Volunteer your time at a local veterans organization.

  4. Simply say “thanks” to those you see in uniform.

Whether you’re a civilian wanting to show appreciation, or a family member of an active duty military person, take time this month to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices the United States Armed Forces took to help make our country great.

Active duty military and veterans receive a special discount on services with The Wilbanks Consulting Group. Contact our team for more information on how we can help you through a career transition!

Posted on May 14, 2019 and filed under Community.

Thank Your Administration Staff Today!

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In the day-to-day work routine, it can be hard to remember to stop and express thanks to those around you. When people are busy, they forget about being kind, especially to those in administrative roles. The truth is, administrative professionals do more than meets the eye. They organize, plan, solve, coordinate, assist, anticipate, and serve (among many other tasks) to keep the office running smoothly.

We encourage you to take time out of your day to express how thankful you are for them. Here are a couple of ways to show your appreciation.

Quick Ways to Show Appreciation

Notes - Simple thank you notes go a long way in expressing gratitude. If they helped you pull together a presentation in a pinch or booked your latest client dinner at a fantastic restaurant, send them a hand-written note thanking them. Learn how to write a great thank you note here.

Give them a Shout Out - Praise helps motivate people. Show the administrative staff how much you appreciate them with a public shout out. Either on a company-wide email, at a company-wide meeting, or on a company chat tool. Don’t underestimate what public recognition can do to make someone feel valued.

Use Humor - Humor tends to be more memorable than a simple “thank you.” Keep your thanks light-hearted with appropriate humor. For instance, you can say, “[name], you’re like a human Siri, always helping everybody out and asking nothing in return. You’re the best!” or “I’m sure you get frustrated on a daily basis — but you never show it! Thanks for putting up with us!”

Grab them Coffee/Tea - Heading out for a coffee run? Stop by the front desk and ask your administrative professionals what they’d like. Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness mean the most.

Taking a couple of minutes to quickly show appreciation can make your office administration professional’s entire day or week. What do you have to lose? Show your gratitude for them this week.

Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Community.

Helpful Tips For Taking Your Kids To Work Day

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“Take your kids to work day” is the fourth Thursday of April. The day marks a time when kids get a glimpse at the working world to learn what their parents do when they go to work. It’s an opportunity to show your children different aspects of your job so they can start thinking about career possibilities for themselves.

But this day is not as simple as bringing your mini-me into the office and carrying on with your normal routine. If you're planning to partake in the festivities, keep these helpful tips in mind.

Check With Your Manager

If your job has a “take your kid to work day” program in place, you’re in luck! If not, ask your manager for guidelines and ways to make the day go smoothly. Address things like if your child should stay the entire day, where they should sit, what meetings will be appropriate to attend, and if it’s appropriate to take a longer lunch break.

Plan The Day

Planning is crucial for a smooth day. Seek out parents who brought their kids into the office last year. Ask how it went and what they would do differently this year. Block off your schedule and make sure there are no important meetings or deadlines. That way you can work at a slower pace while you give an overview of what you’re doing and why, and welcome the kiddo’s questions.

Plan to show your kid around the office. Keep them busy by thinking out loud and sharing some problems and solutions you come up with. Engage them by asking questions and allowing them to try to do a few things on their own.

Identify What They’re Interested In

This day was created for youth to explore different aspects of the working world. Make the day about helping them explore office life. Are they interested in computer science? Let them meet an engineer. Do they love writing? Show them how to compose a professional email. Throughout the day keep in mind what they enjoy doing and incorporate that. While writing an email or a project brief may not seem fun to you, small things feel magnified when you’re young. It’s all about what they find fascinating.

Take your child to work day can be fun for you and your child with a little preparation. What tips for take your child to work day do you have to add to the list?

Posted on April 16, 2019 and filed under Community.

How To Give Back At Work

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The holiday season signifies a time to slow down, reflect on the good and bad, and appreciate the joys of life. Why not do the same at your workplace? Showing professional gratitude and giving back at work will leave you feeling more fulfilled and encouraging a pleasant work environment. However, giving back at work doesn’t necessarily mean gifts – it can come in many different packages. Show your gratitude at work without spending any money, here’s how!

7 Ways To Show Gratitude At Work

  1. Lend a hand - ‘Tis the season for holiday travel and fast approaching deadlines. If time permits, help your co-workers with projects that may be adding stress. You could also share your expertise by mentoring a junior employee.

  2. Slow down - Our lives can be fast-paced and a bit self-centered, especially around the holidays. Taking the extra minute to ask about your co-worker’s day is a small but mighty gesture. You never know what they have on their plate – both personally and professionally – until you ask. By slowing down and simply listening, you can gain perspective and have a friendly conversation. If you have an extra 30 minutes in your day, ask a colleague to grab a coffee mid-afternoon and practice active listening.

  3. Encourage others - Sure, you’re at work to do work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to appreciate and encourage others. Did your direct report have a great client call they were nervous about? Encourage them by expressing a job well done in a way that you know they would appreciate. That may mean a simple pat on the back or a quick announcement at the next team meeting. A little encouragement goes a long way.

  4. Say thanks - Who are the unrecognized heroes of the office for whom you’re thankful? Perhaps it’s the receptionist, mailroom clerk, or your manager. Take the time to write individual thank you notes to the people who make your workday better.

  5. Reflect on the positive - Maybe you accomplished a challenging project, connected with your co-workers outside of work, or achieved a promotion. Keeping a big picture perspective and reflecting on the good things that happen at work can motivate and inspire you during the day-to-day. Plus, it will make you much more pleasant to work with, which your colleagues will definitely appreciate!

  6. Volunteer - Organize a community volunteer day with your co-workers. Not only will you give back to the local community but it also doubles as a team-building opportunity.

  7. Rest and recharge - While you’re giving back to others, don’t forget to give back to yourself! Take time to unplug, get fresh air, and reconnect with family and friends. Giving time to yourself time to recharge will feed into your work performance and happiness.

We hope you enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. If you find some downtime in between family time, check out these five books that will inspire, motivate, and equip you for success.

Posted on December 18, 2018 and filed under Community, Leadership.

Celebrating Holidays Professionally At Work

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The holidays can be an exciting yet tricky time in the workplace. Between juggling office potlucks, gift exchanges, and holiday parties, it’s important to remember not everyone celebrates the same holidays. And some celebration activities may make a diverse workforce feel uncomfortable. Here are some tips to keep in mind as your company navigates the holiday season in the workplace.

Respect Different Celebrations

Some colleagues may observe different holidays from one another, while others may celebrate the same holidays in different ways. Neither is better or worse. However, when planning and attending office holiday celebrations, keep in mind the unique diversity of the workforce.

To get an idea of what’s important to your colleagues, encourage them to share what they love doing this time of year – including traditions, food, and decorations. Encourage each person to contribute something special to the holiday celebrations. Also, consider providing flexibility with events, even if they’re during work hours. Certain celebrations may be against people’s beliefs. Be mindful, respectful, and inclusive during this time.

Holiday Party Etiquette

With casual work environments on the rise, it can be easy to feel too comfortable with your co-workers. While taking that extra drink or exchanging flirtatious comments with a coworker might seem like a good idea at the time, it’s not. Simply put, avoid these temptations. Limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water throughout the event.

Holiday parties are work events and should be treated professionally. Don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t do in the office. Refrain from gossiping about your boss or acting like you’re back at a college party. At the same time, holiday parties are a great opportunity to have fun, get to know your co-workers, and reflect on a great year. Go into the celebrations with the mentality you’re at a work event and you’ll have a great time, within limits.

Some companies will reimburse employees for safe transportation home. If yours doesn’t, transportation home is best planned ahead of time. If you don’t have the convenience of ride-sharing services or taxis, consider public transportation, or coordinate designated drivers with coworkers to make sure each person has a safe ride home.

Don’t Lose Focus of Work

While it’s an exciting time of the year and celebrations certainly are in order, remember to wrap up the year on a strong note with your work. Stay focused and mindful of deadlines or quotas you need to reach. Don’t miss them!

The end of the year marks a great time to assess your current career path and decide if it’s the path for you. If you’re interested in exploring different options but don’t know where to start, our team of career coaching experts is here to connect.

Posted on November 27, 2018 and filed under Community.

Professional Gratitude

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Unfortunately, there are workplaces out there with cut-throat, climb-the-corporate ladder no-matter-the-cost environments. Hopefully you aren’t a part of a toxic workplace. But even “normal” workplace environments are not often seen as a place to show gratitude. After all, most people expect others to do their best since they’re earning a paycheck. However, this “thankless” mentality can do more harm than good – it can hurt company morale, breed resentment, and encourage employees to only do the bare minimum. On the other hand, by incorporating gratitude into your daily work life, you can foster a more positive environment and help boost productivity and overall employee happiness.

Showing Gratitude to Higher-Ups

Those in management roles are responsible for the success of their entire team(s). If one player underperforms, it’s their responsibility to redirect the employee. Since your higher-ups are in a position of power, it can be tough to show your appreciation without coming across as disingenuous.

We find the best way to show your gratitude toward your higher-ups is to deliver great work and be a “step ahead” of them. This can be the best symbol of gratitude. You can also verbally give them positive feedback for a job well done and to show appreciation for their leadership.

Showing Gratitude to Colleagues

Show gratitude toward your colleagues by befriending them and taking an interest in getting to know a bit about them personally. Establishing a camaraderie will help improve teamwork and create a better work environment.

Did a colleague lend a helping hand when you needed it? Show your gratitude by thanking them and giving them praise in front of your manager. Better yet, provide the praise via email so that it can be used as part of a performance review.

Showing Gratitude to Direct Reports

Did someone go the extra mile on a project? Was there someone who picked up slack while another team member was PTO? Don’t let these go unnoticed. Thank these team members and let them know how much you appreciate them.

The key to showing appreciation to your direct reports is to praise them in a group setting and provide constructive feedback in a one-on-one setting. Praising in a group setting can boost the team member’s confidence and motivate other team members to match their job well done. Be genuine with your communication and be specific with praise. Also take the extra step to provide the gratitude in writing, which can be used later as part of a holistic performance review.

Showing Gratitude to Clients

While you can call your clients and thank them any time of the year, the holidays mark a great time to get creative with showing appreciation. Send them gifts like chocolates, a bundt cake, or a bottle of wine. If you don't want to send food, consider sending a stationery set, tumbler, a nice card or anything that matches their personality or business. Above all else, a hand-written thank you note will go a long way.


Be sure to check out this guide for writing proper thank you notes!

Posted on November 20, 2018 and filed under Community, Career.

Finding Time To Vote During The Work Day

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Voting is important and should be made a priority by all eligible citizens, even on a work day!

Without citizen participation in elections, our government will not reflect the values of its people. As working professionals, the challenge of finding time to vote with your busy schedule is very real. Many employers value the power of voting and allow their employees to push away from their desks and vote on company time. Check in your employee handbook or ask your manager if your workplace has this policy.

If you can’t vote on company time, there are other opportunities for your voice to be heard on the November 6th mid-term election.

Wake Up Early

Are you a morning person? Do your other commitments leave you strapped for time throughout the day? Consider voting first thing in the morning. Most state’s polls open at 7 am, leaving you with enough time to cast your vote and arrive at the office on time.

Take a Mid-morning Coffee Break

Is your office located near a polling station? Take advantage of the convenient location and cast your ballot during the workday – with your employers' approval, of course. Mid-morning voting may lead to shortened wait times.

Lunch Break

If you work in an industry that needs you on-site all day, utilize your lunch break to head the polls. Pro tip: make sure you pack a lunch!

Afternoon Break

Beat afternoon mental fog with a visit to the closest polling station. Breaking up the afternoon may boost productivity and will certainly help your voice be heard in this election.

After Work

If you have a jam-packed work schedule, consider voting after work. Poll hours vary by state and some by county. Research the hours of your local polls and commit to a time that best suits your schedule.

A large factor for finding time to vote on Tuesday, November 6 is to understand where the closest polling locations are to you. Use this website to locate nearby places. Do you pass a polling location on your way to work? It may make sense to wake up early and vote. Is the location the opposite way of afternoon traffic? Consider skipping the traffic and vote after work.

We hope you find time in your schedules to let your voice be heard this election!


Posted on November 6, 2018 and filed under Community.

Why You Should Celebrate Independence Day (Instead of Working)

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Happy Independence Day! On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate the Fourth because it is the official birth of the United States of America. Since 1776, we have been celebrating our freedom and all the reasons that makes our country so great.

Throughout the years, our celebration has evolved into spending time with family and friends. We spend our day at the pool, grilling hot dogs, and watching fireworks. It’s also important that we remember how privileged we are to be able to have choices, personally and professionally, that others do not.

This year's holiday lands mid-week, which is... frustrating. But, it is so important to take time off to celebrate with family. Even if it’s just one day away from the office, time spent with your family and friends helps you gain perspective, prevents burnout, and increases your happiness. You’ll head back to work for the remaining short work week feeling rejuvenated. Who knows, time away from your desk may help you solve a problem at work you’ve been thinking about and you can tackle with fresh eyes!

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we’re celebrating today because we have the ability to help others achieve their “American Dream.” We feel so honored that our clients have chosen us to be part of their career journey.

How are you celebrating July 4th?

Posted on July 4, 2018 and filed under Community, Career.

3 Reasons You Should Be A Mentor (Even If You’re A Newbie)

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Who is the person that has shaped and molded your professional career? This person will have given you advice, provided constructive criticism, and assisted in developing your skills - perhaps both interpersonal skills and “hard” skills. Whoever plays this role in your life is your mentor, even if you’ve never identified him or her as such.

Taking the step from being mentored to mentoring is a scary one for many professionals. You may feel that you lack experience or are underqualified to advise someone else in their career. Even if you are just a few months out of college, there is someone out there that will greatly benefit from being mentored by you.

Here’s Three Reasons Why You Should Be A Mentor

1. You are qualified to be a mentor. Sure, you might only be six months in to your very first job out of college or only a few weeks into your new position. But you are further along than someone. Maybe it’s the intern still in college or your new colleague that was hired last week. The bottom line: you are less experienced than some and more experienced than others. Model how you mentor on what worked for you and your mentor. You can even ask your mentor for help to get started.

If you want a structured mentorship experience, there are many mentor programs that can help guide you in the process of finding a mentee and how to effectively develop the relationship. Ask your company if they have a program and conduct research to find industry-specific programs you can join.

2. Mentoring a great way to develop your leadership skills. Getting your feet wet will always be the best way to learn to swim. Similarly, mentoring someone is the best way to learn how to be a mentor! Your leadership skills will be stretched and challenged, improving them in a very real and tangible way.

Asking for feedback from your mentee is an effective way to build your relationship and also to learn where you need to improve. You both can benefit and learn from each other, which takes the pressure off of you.

3. As a mentor, you can help others. Most job satisfaction comes from having a clear purpose and the knowledge that you are bettering the world in some way. Mentorship provides a way for you to invest in the life of someone who needs help in their career. Being a mentor provides an opportunity to see both short- and long-term results of the fruit of your labor. There is nothing quite like knowing you made a positive impact on the life of another human being!

Take some time to list the strengths and benefits you would boast as a mentor. Then, take steps to find someone to mentor!

Posted on April 25, 2018 and filed under Community.

The Benefit of Truly Unplugging During The Holidays

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Happy holidays! We are in prime-time holiday season with shopping, wrapping, carols, food, classic movies and TV shows, and twinkling lights surrounding us most moments of the day. Even if you love the season, it’s a lot to take in all at one time. And soon your family and friends will be gathering for Christmas, which may also be adding to the mental overload of the holidays.

Whether you get time off this time of the year or not, it can be difficult to truly unplug and relax. Especially if your work connects you with colleagues from around the world who may not observe the same holiday season as in the United States. Emails still come in, phones are still ringing, and projects still need finishing. In today’s world where work email and phone are often connected to your personal cell phone, it’s nearly impossible to separate yourself from your professional life.

If you are on the job hunt, it can be an even more stressful time of year. It’s easy to spend every waking moment searching through the postings and contacting potential employers. While it’s a good endeavor, it’s exhausting. Taking a break for a couple of days won’t result in a missed opportunity. Most employers will be off around this time anyway, so that extra application and follow up email can be put on hold for a few days.

Another big culprit for holiday stress is social media and the news. This constant information dump can take a toll on our energy and our ability relax. When scrolling through our feeds, it’s easy to be stressed, anxious, worried, and discontent.

Even though it’s difficult to unplug, it’s important for our physical and mental health. Why not take a break from all of it for a few days. A detox from technology and work will leave us refreshed and refueled for the New Year.

So here’s your challenge this holiday season - be intentional about unplugging. Even if it’s just for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, take steps to “turn off” your work to relax and enjoy time with family and friends without interruption.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to truly unplug this holiday season:

  • Go to the settings in your mobile phone and turn off your work email. It should be a simple toggle switch that you can flip back on when you’re ready to get back to work.

  • Send out an email to your team and clients stating that you will not be reachable during a specific time period. Also, set the out of office on your work email so those that forget will be reminded!

  • Get all of your work projects wrapped up before the holidays. If that’s not possible, put together a strategic plan for completion that includes at least a couple of days for downtime.

  • If you use your phone as your camera, turn on airplane mode and turn off the wifi. Or better yet, grab an “old fashioned” camera and leave your phone out of sight.

What would you add to the list? Comment below and let us know how you are unplugging this holiday season.

Posted on December 20, 2017 and filed under Community.

Being Thankful When Looking for Work

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It’s almost Thanksgiving! Lots of family, friends, good food, and entertainment are in the forecast for many of us. If you’re looking for a job, however, you might have a difficult time shaking the dark cloud that’s casting a shadow on your holiday festivities. It’s hard to be thankful when you don’t have a secure income and job you love.

But there is much to be thankful for, even when you are looking for work!  Here’s a list to help keep things in perspective:

5 Reasons To Be Thankful While Looking For A Job:

  1. Looking for a job can be fun! The sky's the limit with the new opportunities you have to explore. Securing a job is one way to make a positive change in your life by finding a position that will bring fulfillment, satisfaction, and good work/life balance. What better time to be “picky” about what you are looking for and find the perfect fit.

  2. You aren’t alone! Everyone has been in your shoes at one time or another. It’s rare to meet someone who was handed their job without having to search, create a resume, cover letter, apply, and interview for it. Take advantage of the wisdom and insight your friends and family can provide by asking for their thoughts and advice over turkey and pumpkin pie.

  3. There are FREE resources available to you! You can google virtually anything you need help with and someone will have posted about it online. Just make sure you are finding quality, professional resources and advice! This blog is a great, free resource to glean tips and best practices. In fact, here’s a few you might want to bookmark:

  1. You don’t have to pound the pavement like you would have 20 years ago. Before the internet was prevalent, job seekers had to print a copy of their resume and either mail it to an employer, or physically drive to their office and drop it off with a secretary. Now, you can apply for dozens of jobs a day from the comfort of your own home. You also don’t have to scour newspapers and circle job openings with a highlighter. Job search engines make it incredibly easy to find opportunities!

  2. Caring professionals at The Wilbanks Consulting Group want to help you! Our team would love to partner with you to make your job search result in a fun, fulfilling career for you. We offer one-on-one in-person and virtual career coaching and many other job search services. Contact us today and let us help you find your dream job.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Relief without Red Tape Gift Card Drive!

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Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us since Harvey hit Houston. As a quick update, our consultant Adrianne is back in her home, and her home is dry! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for all of Houston. In fact, there is an entire section of the city known as "West Houston" that's still under water. 

The pictures above are pictures from my neighborhood during and after the flood. This scene, piles of debris, gutted homes and memories on the curb, is what a staggering number of neighborhoods in Houston look like right now. The need for aide and relief throughout the city remains significant. Working professionals and families continue to struggle to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, gasoline to get to and from work, and the list goes on. Many relief organizations and government assistance options require a lengthy and cumbersome paperwork process to receive aide IF they qualify. While I logically understand the need for process and procedure, I want to provide a faster, less burdensome solution to getting the people of Houston what they need; no questions asked. No red tape! As such, I've come up with two gift card drive options. 

Option 1: Gift Cards to CVS and Walgreens

After speaking with my son's pediatrician, the need to assist families with prescription medications is great. In disaster situations like this, even families who have insurance struggle to come up with the funds for their copay. He does not know of an organization currently meeting this need. The gift cards to CVS and Walgreens will be collected in any amount and distributed to pediatric practices at The Woman's Hospital of Texas - Houston Hospital and Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care centers. The gift cards will then be distributed by the healthcare staff to families in need, as needed, no questions asked. If you're interested in the ultimate no red tape relief, this is your option! This option is NOT tax deductible. 

Option 2: Gift Cards to Various Retailers Providing Basic Needs

My initial inclination was to collect gift cards to retailers that specialize in or carry clothing to help working professionals rebuild their professional wardrobes. Dress for Success Houston has informed me that the needs of Houston professionals are so great, they are collecting a broad spectrum of gift cards to meet all of their needs. We will be collecting gift cards in any amount to the following stores and businesses, and giving them to Dress for Success Houston to distribute to their community, as needed, no questions asked:

Walmart                                Randalls                          Mobil

Target                                   HEB                                  Chevron

JCPenney                             Kroger                              Phillips 66

Marshalls | T.J. Maxx            Fiesta                               Exxon

For this option, Dress for Success Houston will provide donors with a letter indicating their tax-deductible donation. Please submit your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and sum total amount of the gift card(s) you are donating with your gift card(s) to receive your letter. If you do not want a tax-deductible letter, please specify that.

All gift cards can be mailed to the following address:
Holly Wilbanks, WCG
6300 West Loop South
Suite 360
Bellaire, TX 77401

Want to take your support to another level? 

Spearhead a gift card drive within your company, worship center, networking or professional group, your child's school, etc. Collect gift cards for one of the options listed above, and mail them to us. We'll make sure they get to the right people! If you collect gift cards for Option 2, please e-mail me at Holly@WilbanksConsulting.com for a spreadsheet that will help you track donor information for tax-deduction purposes.

Thank you again for your support of our city and our people. Please continue to keep the people of Houston in your thoughts and prayers. 

Posted on September 19, 2017 and filed under Community.