The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

How to Set Goals That Stick in the New Year

by Alyssa Stahr

25 December, 2017

Oh January, how we love you and your empty promises, otherwise known as “resolutions.” The gym is packed, the refrigerator is full of vegetables, and we have finally dumped that potential significant other who should have been less than significant from the start. January holds so much promise. We’ve turned the page on a fresh new start; we know how to make goals; and we know exactly how we want to succeed.

And — then February happens. Winter has really set in, and the excitement of goal-setting has lost its fizzle. Spring seems forever away, and we lose our verve. So, how do we make sure the goals we have set at the beginning of the year are achieved?

Develop a Year-Long Strategic Calendar
Writing the end goal down is wonderful, but let’s take this a step further. Using the example of getting a new job by the end of 2018, there are steps one should take for success. Write each of those down in your calendar, effectively creating deadlines. Revamping your resume and cover letter; updating your LinkedIn profile; applying to at least 10 jobs a week; setting up five appointments with a recruiter; going to 20 networking events this year — all of these are concrete items on a no longer virtual to-do list that can be created throughout the year.

Hone Your Craft Each and Every Day
Continuing education for any type of field is key. Think back to the cell phone you had in college. If that has aged, it is possible that your education may already need a brushing up in this rapidly-changing digital world. Take a look at the year-long calendar of classes in your area (in person or online) and write a few down that strike your fancy (see tip No. 1).

Additionally, if writing or artistic ability is in your wheelhouse, don’t forget to do something to hone that craft each and every day. Keep a journal; work on something you love. If you miss a day, that could turn into two, three, a week, a month, and then the end goal is lost.

Make Friends Within Your Field
The buzzword on this topic is networking, but we sub headlined this one “make friends” for a reason. Yes, networking events and schmoozing with people in your field is a great way to exchange business cards. However, chances are one 10-minute conversation won’t get you very far. Let’s also take this one a step further. Invite your newfound connection to lunch, a game night, a holiday get-together, etc. Getting to know people on a more personal level will showcase who you really are. And, in a time where fitting into a company’s culture is cited as an aspect recruiters are looking for in 2018, your personality, not just your resume’s credentials, may make all the difference.

Make the Work-Life Balance Count
Take the vacation — for real. Turn off the electronics for a week and see how amazing that feels. The first few days may leave you reaching for your phone, but after a few days it’s freeing. Burnout is a real thing; even Oprah has been spotted on the beach, so you can do it too. Those who punch a 9 to 5 time clock have the luxury of checking out at the end of the day. But, chances are many of us are workaholics who are checking our email late at night or making those last revisions when we can’t sleep at 2 a.m. More companies than ever are relaxing their work-from-home policies, which has its pros and cons. When working from home, sometimes the hours never end and we become chained to our electronic devices. Be cognizant of this and really keep track of the hours you are working — 40 can turn into 70 before you know it, and a burned-out employee helps no one.

Wake Up Early
Mark Wahlberg recently spoke at an event in the Midwest, and whether you love him or hate him, he had one piece of advice that stuck. During the question and answer portion of the talk, someone asked what is the one piece of advice he could give of how he stays successful. Wahlberg said, “Wake up early.” Wahlberg typically goes to bed at around 7:30 p.m. and wakes up at around 4 a.m. to start his day. By the time his kids are ready to go to wake up for school, Wahlberg has already read scripts, went to the gym and retreated to his meditation room for at least 10 minutes of quiet time to himself.

While this may be an extreme example, studies have shown that getting a good night’s sleep and rising early are keys to having a more productive day. And, with 365 of those coming in 2018, we have the potential to make any goal we set a reality.





Job Searching Starts with a Strategy

by Ryan Stene

12 June, 2013

Although I am fortunate to not have been a job seeker for many years, I have many colleagues, friends and family that were affected by one our country’s most difficult economic tragedies. I have had the opportunity to help some of them in their job searches. The most important thing that I have stressed is building the foundation, which is the strategy. I believe that the strategy sets the tone and will make you or break you in your success—which is ultimately getting hired.

Throughout my travels, I have narrowed it down to six key points.

  1. Prep Work: Is your resume updated, clean and well-done? Do you have an online presence?
  2. Research, Research, Research
  3. Stay Focused—track your progress; go offline for at least 90 minutes of the day.
  4. Build Your Network. Are you online or building your network? Are you being social on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
  5. Practice: Work on interview questions, your body language and be prepared for last- minute changes.
  6. Follow Up

Prep Work: When it comes to prep work it can be in various levels and context. The first place I would start is “are you online?” We live in a digital “Web 2.0” world and recruiters live fully submerged in this world. They are going to Google you. Don’t think they won’t. When you Google yourself, what comes up? Is there something that you don’t want your mom to see? If nothing comes up with your name, then you have some work to do … get on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Be intentional online. When I Google myself,, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Plaxo all appear in the top seven search results. If you need some help revamping your online image, check out this article. Create an email address that you can take home to mom.

If you need help your with resume, research resume writing services, blogs and career development classes. See if a friend will share it with his or her human resources department and get feedback—they will know a good resume from a bad one; they look at millions of them a year. As your resume is your first impression, it is key to your job search. Go to or a for assistance; they have tons of content. Cover Letter & Resume Articles

Research, Research, Research and Then Research Some More: Research is very important to the job search; it tells you what the market is like and who is hiring. So when you begin to go to a or another job board to look for opportunities, take advantage of tools like job agents to push opportunities to you. Before applying, Google the company and review your connections on LinkedIn and Facebook to see if any know someone at your company of interest. Look at their careers page and gather as much information on them so that you can make a sound decision but also have knowledge for when you apply. Tailor your cover letter and resume to the ideal requirements of the job. It also will help you come interview time. Create a saved search on Indeed; it will help you save time and become efficient.

Stay Focused: It is crucial in a search that you stay focused and positive. Track your progress, where you’ve applied and the responses you’ve received. Work your job search like you would a job. Take breaks, go to lunch and most definitely get offline for at 90 minutes (workout, gardening, cleaning)—this will help you clear your head and remain refreshed.

Are You Online or Building a Network?: Recruiters are spending a large amount of their time online—if they tell you differently, they are lying! So, if they are online, then you need to be. There are so many thought leaders and perspectives on what is a good online presence, so it is all about what you can manage or handle. I personally spend my time on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. When it comes to social networking, I consult my dear friend Paul DeBettignies. He has some great webinars and content. Just have fun with it and experiment!

Practice: Just like when you were growing up and were playing a sport, the only way you got good at it is with lots of practice. The same applies to interviewing. Practice in front of the mirror with your 30-second elevator pitch about you and your particular skills that will make you asset at “x-company.” Go out and get some frequently used interview questions or ones that will make or break your interview and practice with your spouse, neighbor or even your dog. Create a “last minute” interview kit for one at home and one in your car. There may be a case where you are out running errands and they want you in today to interview. This could give you a leg up being prepared and not having to tailor an interview to your schedule.

Follow-Up: Follow up can be the last deciding factor in a selection process. Invest in some thank you cards; follow up with an email not just thanking them for their time, but restate why you are good fit for the role and the company. Also, ask them if they are any unanswered questions that they want answered. Connect with them on LinkedIn—they may not hire you now, but you may want to connect with them in the future.  Ask for feedback.

STAY POSITIVE, there are going to ups and downs, good times and bad, but if you get defeated it is going to show. Good Luck!






Taking the Show Out of Networking

by Emily Pirraglia

28 May, 2013

When I was halfway through the second grade my family moved from Pennsylvania to Houston, Texas. I remember being “the new kid” for the next five months, constantly trying to figure out whom to hang out with, what sports to play and how to become someone’s new best friend. The beginning of third grade was a huge relief for me, because it took me out of the new kid spotlight. I thought the experience of entering a new world where you don’t know if you belong was over.

It was not. Growing up, it dawned on me: networking events are the adult version of being the new kid. Networking leaves me feeling more like the new kid than I ever did in elementary school. I’ve read tips on how to successfully attend networking events, ways to fearlessly network and how to improve your networking strategy, but I just can’t shake the feeling that networking feels so forced. After all, in what other life situation do you find a bunch of advertising/creative/public relations professionals poised to tell you all about their career?

It takes time while networking to forget about trying to network. At events, I always end up giving myself all these paranoid little reminders: “Don’t talk too much. Act natural. Ask people about themselves. Don’t talk too much.” And like that dog in the Beggin’ Strips commercials, the one who always exclaimed to himself, “BACON!” the word “SMILE!” constantly flashes in my mind. Besides leaving me feeling completely neurotic, my reminders make me act stiff, nervous and completely unlike myself.

I just want to enjoy networking. I want meeting new people to be fun. I want to feel like I’m gaining friends, not business cards. Most of all, I want to leave an event knowing that I learned something while helping someone else. This week, I’m hoping to get to do all these things at Social Media Club St. LouisSocial Media Workshop. The workshop will be my first SMCSTL event, so I literally will be the new kid. If you’re going, say hi, and help me realize that networking doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

Strategizing Makes Success a Piece of Cake

by Sharon Lynch

15 September, 2011

Here at The Arland Group, we pride ourselves on applying successes from one area to another, sharing ideas from consumer marketing to recruitment marketing, vice versa, and on over to business-to-business. Similarly, I like to borrow work strategies that can extend to my personal life. For one, pro-active planning, creativity, detailed project management and research are just some of the things we do here to ensure success and I’m hoping to carry that forward to a large undertaking at home . . . I am already thinking ahead to my son’s 4-yr birthday party and it’s 2 months away – I just can’t help it. I enjoy planning and love being pro-active, so that makes for a great fit when planning client strategies . . . I am hoping this will also help me make a Treasure Chest Birthday Cake – not your average 3-step box cake or store-bought cake (one step: pickup). It has so many steps it needs a VIDEO to go with the recipe! Yikes!

So as a first step to my “planning and strategy” while I’m considering this I decide to draw on my business world acumen. Network. Use social media. I post the idea on Facebook only to get an immediate reply from someone who actually already made the cake! (How’s that for personal research?) And she got huge applause for it. Well then, I guess I’m “in”: decision made. And I will use my business strategies: project management, pro-active planning, and prioritizing to get this done. I will enjoy every step of it as I do working with my customers and just as I experience the success of a Target Mail with a very creative message and high open rate, I will love to see the happy face of my 4-yr-old and his friends.