Office Personalities: Do This to Get Along with Everyone


Your colleagues may not end up being your closest friends, but it’s important to get to know your coworkers to foster a strong working environment. There are often a variety of people at any job site, from introverts to extroverts, new employees to veterans, young adults to older adults, bosses to entry-level employees. Each person brings different experiences and backgrounds.

It’s difficult to get to know a co-worker who arrives to the office and quietly sits down and begins working. It’s sometimes frustrating to be in a meeting with someone who has an answer for everything–especially if you don’t feel that your voice is being heard. Or, there may be a few co-workers who are always talking and you feel left out.

Office politics exist, and it’s hard to communicate with everyone and create that open, welcoming dialogue. But, it is important.

It’s critical to recognize each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and differences. This awareness allows you to know the personalities and learn the best way to connect with each other.

First Step

Trust us, your coworkers will respond to attempts to connect. Even if you’re not after a close friendship, a professional and courteous relationship will benefit everyone. Don’t be afraid to take the first steps. You may try a simple warm greeting in the morning without much additional communication. Try emailing someone who is usually vocal with your thoughts so that you are able to fully provide your feedback. Consider inviting a quiet team member to lunch. Or, during a meeting, ask for everyone to provide input.  This allows each person to have a voice.

Fostering an environment of respect, trust, and communication among all team members is a vital part of a great department and company.

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November is National Family Caregiver Month


November is National Family Caregivers Month and is an opportunity to recognize and honor the more than 65 million caregivers across our nation. Caregivers are sitting next to us at work, walking down the aisles at the grocery store and sitting in traffic after work thinking about the long list of things still needing to be done. Finding enough hours in the day for work, family, caregiving and all of your other responsibilities is a delicate balancing act. As a caregiver, you have many roles depending on the needs of your loved one.

You are an advocate. You are a nurse. You are a cook. You are a housekeeper. You are a companion. You are a driver. Transportation to doctor’s appointments, serving as an advocate in the appointments, managing medication, providing practical assistance with daily living activities, managing finances, helping with personal care…the list of responsibilities is countless.

Caregiving entails not only the physical responsibility of care but also the emotional involvement that comes with it. And, you may feel alone, overwhelmed and exhausted. In the midst of the care and assistance you are providing your loved one, it is hard to remember to care for yourself.

Thank you for all you do as a caregiver. You are doing an amazing job! Just remember to make time for yourself.

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Job Skill Bank – 100 Transferable Skills


You are working hard, being creative and well on your way to landing your new career. You might have read our recent blog posts Land your Dream Job: Transfer Skills to a New Career Part 1 and Transferring Your Skills Part 2: Action Steps and are working on communicating your transferable skills to potential employers. Need some more inspiration to keep you going? Check out our list of 100 transferable skills. How many do you have?

1. Ability to delegate
2. Accurate
3. Achieve goals
4. Adaptive
5. Advisor
6. Analytical
7. Assemble
8. Brainstorming
9. Budgeting
10. Building
11. Coach
12. Collaboration
13. Comprehension
14. Computer literate
15. Conceptualize
16. Confident
17. Conflict resolution
18. Correlate
19. Creative
20. Critical thinker
21. Meets deadlines
22. Dedication
23. Dependable
24. Designing
25. Detailed
26. Diplomacy
27. Editing
28. Efficient
29. Energetic
30. Engaging
31. Entertaining
32. Evaluation
33. Executing
34. Expressing
35. Flexibility
36. Focus
37. Generate Income
38. Goal oriented
39. Communicate
40. Listen
41. Planner
42. Calm
43. Hard-Working
44. Helpful
45. Honesty
46. Identify Income Streams
47. Improvise
48. Initiating
49. Integration
50. Interviewing
51. Intuitive
52. Investigating
53. Leading
54. Level-headed
55. Connect
56. Loyal
57. Mediate
58. Mentor
59. Motivate Others
60. Multi-task
61. Navigating
62. Organized
63. Patience
64. Persuasion
65. Positive Attitude
66. Prioritizing
67. Proactive
68. Professional
69. Promotion
70. Reading
71. Relating
72. Reliable
73. Repairing
74. Represent
75. Research
76. Responsible
77. Safe
78. Self Motivated
79. Selling
80. Serving
81. Setting up
82. Speak
83. Statistics
84. Strategize
85. Streamline
86. Customer service
87. Work Ethic
88. Summarizing
89. Supervise
90. Supporting
91. Systemize
92. Teaching
93. Tenacity
94. Training
95. Translating
96. Trouble-shooter
97. Thorough
98. Trustworthy
99. Visualize
100. Writing

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Boss vs Leader


We don’t typically circulate internal documents, but this one is too good to keep inside Brookdale’s walls. It illustrates an ongoing cultural shift towards a leadership model that empowers, supports and encourages employees. It was handed out during a recent meeting with top executives, who are focused on developing our associates and opening doors of opportunity within the company. Entitled “Don’t be a Boss, Be a Leader,” this document outlines the actions our supervisors are asked to take and the standard which they are judged against.

If you’ve spent any significant time in the workforce you’ve likely run into a boss. You know, someone who seems highly talented at barking out orders, making sure everyone knows he or she is in charge and demands work comes before family. It’s a common experience across all industries, and one that has become outdated. This style of leadership is well suited in the military, but in a company built on compassion and improving lives it just doesn’t work.

“If you dont’ have a heart and aren’t giving more than your taking you aren’t a servant leader,” said Bill Gargiulo, VP of Talent Development at Brookdale. “That really is at the center of who we are as a company.”

We find it refreshing that Brookdale took the time to create this document and that our leadership team is encouraging supervisors to become servant leaders. We invite you to take a look at how Brookdale managers are encouraged to lead by example, listen to the associates they supervise and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed. Whether you’re thinking about joining our team or not, consider what kind of person you want to work for, and if you want to be a boss or a leader.

(Click on the image below to open the full pdf.)



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The Difference Making Culture at Brookdale Communities


We’re constantly amazed, notice I didn’t say surprised, by the ways our associates make a difference in the lives of the seniors they care for. There’s Rogerio, who got an otherwise quiet resident to sing with him. There’s Emily, who puts smiles on the faces of dementia care residents every morning by asking them to fill in the punchline of jokes. And there’s Shane, a bus driver who keeps his passengers entertained during rides with stories and jazz music.

While Brookdale is focused on the single mission of enriching the lives of our residents, we know there are many ways this can be achieved. We place great value on having a diverse team of people united by a passion to serve. There are literally thousands of opportunities for you to make a difference at Brookdale.

[Find the right position for you on the Brookdale Careers Job Search Page.]

You can see for yourself. Just take a look at these videos to see what Brookdale associates have to say about their jobs and the difference they are making.


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Transfer Skills Part 2: Action Steps to Take When Shifting to a New Career


So you’ve checked out our “Tips to Land Your Dream Job: Transfer Skills to New Career Part I” (if not you should) and you’ve wrapped your mind around the possibility of shifting to a new career. Now get ready to take action on your search! Start with these four steps to get you on the road to presenting your best self to employers:

1. Upgrade to 2.0
Update your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn page. Your current editions probably match the jobs and positions you’ve held in the past, instead of the skills you possess that will be perfect for your next adventure. When you are writing your cover letter, make sure to talk about the reason why you want to change careers. Address it up front and how the change is exciting for you and a natural transition. Talk about other things you have done in your life that make logical sense for the transition. Make sure the information on your LinkedIn page also talks about the transition. Be enthusiastically upfront and transparent. Employers will appreciate it!

2. Skills to Pay the Bills
Make sure you focus on your skills in all communications: in writing, person, on the phone and video. Think about the words you use. There is a difference between your skills that are transferable and specific tasks you’ve done. Need some inspiration to get started?
Check out this list of 15 skills that might be your biggest strengths and could easily transfer to your new career:
• Helpful
• Trustworthy
• Efficient
• Organized
• Able to delegate
• Assembled
• Motivate Others
• Dependable
• Trouble-shooter
• Good Communicator
• Trust worthy
• Energetic
• Creative
• Adaptive
• Proactive

3. Get Out!
Immerse yourself. Go to events in the field and act like you are already in the job. Its kind of like the “fake it until you make it,” concept. Have lunch with the people that have been around for a while. Share your enthusiasm and your skills; they’ll likely want you on their team. Think of other opportunities to get you in front of your future colleagues. Find ways to volunteer in the industry. You’ll get some experience to put on your resume this way too. If you find it hard to volunteer in the field, then find out what charities they tend to support and when they do it, and offer to jump in! Meet the folks that are also passionate about the field. Find a Meet Up in your area to network with others.

4. Tell Your Story 
Create a really good story. Take time to really think about why you want the transition to another industry. Include your passion, your motivation, what skills (not tasks) you’ve gained and how they are transferable. Figure out a way to make it impactful enough that people will remember. Keep it packed full of good information and relate it to your audience/who you are talking to. Practice your story and tell it often.

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Tips to Land Your Dream Job: Transfer Skills to New Career


Ready for a career or industry shift? Looking for your dream job?
The first thing you should know is that a career change is within reach. Many of the skills you’re using at your current position are transferable to other careers. Also keep in mind that challenges you’ve already overcome or experienced in your current job are similar across other industries. We view these challenges as opportunities, and call them chopportunities. So what do you need to do? The first step is to wrap your head around the concept of transferring skills to a new career. Let’s start thinking about these chopportunities.

Here’s a list of challenges you’ll find across nearly all industries:
• Teamwork issues and low moral
• Poor project management
• Lack of resources
• Communication breakdown
• Lack of leadership
• Role confusion
• Inefficiencies

If you know how to solve these issues and can demonstrate the results you’re in business.

What transferable skills could you bring to a company?
Here’s what virtually every hiring manager is looking for:
• A problem solver
• Organizer
• A creative thinker
• Motivator
• A leader

Don’t forget about the skills you’ve acquired outside of employment. You use very valuable skills in your hobbies, leisure and volunteer time. They are likely transferable to your new career as well! For example:
• Do you demonstrate leadership through coaching your child’s ball team?
• Are you on a board of directors or volunteer your time at a non-profit organization?
• Did you navigate a long trip far away on your own?
• Are you a block captain in your neighborhood?

Now that you’ve wrapped your mind around the possibility of shifting to a new career, you can take action in your search. Do things to present your best self to employers. Check out part two next week for a list of action items to get you going.

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Brookdale Helps Nurses Pay off Student Loans


What if you had $7,000 to put towards student loans?

That’s what Brookdale Senior Living is offering all nurses who are hired as health and wellness directors. It’s an initative we’ve launched to help maintain the high quality of health care our residents receive, while the nation faces a projected nurse shortfall. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that there will be a need for more than a million nurses by 2022. The new student loan reimbursement program is just one of the ways Brookdale takes care of its nurses. nurses (1)

Especially fulfilling are the relationships our nurses make with the seniors they care for. Nurses from typical hospital settings find the Brookdale offers an opportunity to build connections and be part of a family.

KimEstes“It’s different than a hospital setting, where patients are there temporarily,” said Kim Estes, R.N., senior vice president of clinical services at Brookdale. “Because our residents live at our communities you get to know them very well. They become a part of  your extended family. There is a tremendous feelign of satisfaction when you see the difference you and your team make for them.”

Nurses with an interest in leading others and a passion for seniors easily transition into the role of a health and wellness director, even if they don’t have management experience. Brookdale offers a 12-week orientation for health and wellness directors, which provides leadership skills and quickly initiates nurses into the assisted living industry, which is full of advancement opportunities. Estes began her career as an health and wellness director.

The new initiative will reimburse up to $7,000 of a newly hired Brookdale health and wellness director’s student loans, with $3,500 provided after one year of successful service with the company and another $3,500 provided after the second year of continued achievement. The program complements the educational reimbursement program already in place at Brookdale, which provides tuition assistance to current associates with 12 months of continuous service for successful completion of undergraduate and graduate courses, certifications, licensing and continuing education units who agree to remain with the company for one year following the reimbursement. Combined, the programs seek to attract nurses, encourage continuing education, and retain and reward nursing talent.

Search for open health and wellness director positions along with other nurse openings on Brookdale’s job search page.



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Tips to Let Go of Stress This Weekend


As we wrap up Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to give you some tips on how to have a stress-free weekend. Below are four tips to help you let go of your stress this weekend so you can start the new week off ready to be extraordinary!

1. Turn it off!
Give yourself a break from the screens, dings and buzzes. Give yourself some uninterrupted time. Resist the urge to check your messages, emails and texts. Being free from technology will feel unusual at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll feel freedom, empowerment and best of all… relaxed!

2. Laugh
Did you know laughter interrupts the stress cycle? It is good for your mental health and helps you to relieve stress among many other health benefits. Go see a funny movie, hang with that friend that always makes you laugh, and if all else fails and you have given yourself enough of #1, head to YouTube. There is always something funny there.

3. Try to skip some obligations
True stress relief is obligation free time. Can’t you get by until mid week with out going to the grocery? Drop of your laundry to be done instead of doing it yourself. Do something to get some of those looming tasks off your list so you have more free time.

4. Give Back
It’s that trick volunteering does on us… we think we are doing for someone else but it really is feeding OUR soul. We feel better about our community and ourselves when we volunteer. Find an organization you are passionate about or just like and spend sometime helping out.

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