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“Why experience is important.” With Alexine Garcia

Truly investing in making an optimal worker experience is a must. Create a plan that is focused on specific goals. For instance, for myself, I wanted writers that were well paid and desired to stay with my company for over a year. So, I made it optimal. When a writer reaches a year, they get […]

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Truly investing in making an optimal worker experience is a must. Create a plan that is focused on specific goals. For instance, for myself, I wanted writers that were well paid and desired to stay with my company for over a year. So, I made it optimal. When a writer reaches a year, they get recognized in front of everyone and a generous gift. Fancy coffee, name brand coffee tumblers, vintage books, tea samplers, IKEA products are just a few examples (all were customized to the writer’s likes). Another goal was to give writers control over their workload. So, even though it takes more energy and work on my end, writers always approve a project before I give it to them.

As a part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Are Helping To Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees” I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexine Garcia.

Alexine Garcia is a born and raised El Paso native. She spent nine years serving in the Army (where she met her husband 15 years ago) and went on multiple deployments. Now, she spends her time writing, raising a beautiful, rambunctious boy, and volunteering at church. She has a strong passion for using her talent for writing to support people through their career paths. With over nine years of experience in resume writing, in-depth insight to HR, USAjobs and the current job market, Alexine’s skills are hard to match. She also dedicates a great deal of time to cultivating a team of six writers and one editor.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Iwas actually a stay-at-home mom for two years. I was so invested that I even donated all my business attire to a church garage sale. Before this, I was a thriving freelance writer, which included work for a resume firm and a Christian publishing company. I used to post my (well-written) resume online for kicks. Out of the blue the GM of a marketing company contacted me and asked me to come in for an interview. My son was two and I thought this was a good time to get back out there, even if I had never intended to. The company gave me two weeks to get everything in order before starting. In that time, I realized I had been suffering from PPD this whole time without addressing or facing it. I handled it, sought help and started working. Surprisingly, the routine of full-time work really helped.

After working at the company for over half a year, I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled. A team coach came to give us courses and he stated that we spent more time at work then we did with our families. I refused to believe this, but the math told the truth. With 45 hours a week and optional weekends our “work family,” as he tried to sell it to us, got more of our time. I asked my boss to move to part-time or work from home hours and was denied. “Other employees might ask the same and start a trend,” was the answer. I didn’t feel that the work we were doing, which amounted to marketing for small businesses to earn more income, was fulfilling enough to justify being away from my family so much. So, I planned my move, created a new family budget and quit. I thought that I was starting my resume business as a side hustle. I thought I would write a resume once a week or so and spend the rest of my time as a stay-at-home mom. Well, I created a $50 WordPress site, started using SEO marketing and offered stellar services. Word of mouth spread, clients left excellent reviews and the work blew up. I became so busy that I had no choice but to slowly build a team to keep up with the demand!

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

The first thing you need to do is set up boundaries. Whether you are in the beginning of a job or mid-career, knowing your limits is so important. It can be so frustrating for others to have more control of your time and energy than you do. If you are client-facing, don’t fear clients’ responses to your boundaries. Consider it more of training for your clients to adjust to how you run your business. For instance, I personally don’t work on weekends because I dedicate a lot of time M-F. So, I don’t require my team to meet with clients on Saturdays or Sundays. It is up to them if they want to work on their own projects on weekends, but I don’t include weekends and holidays on counting deadline days. Not, only am I setting boundaries, I am teaching my team mates to do the same. So, when a client absolutely needs something that is expediated, especially over a weekend, I charge a rush fee. And, 100% of the rush fee is given to the writer on the project because they conduct 90% of the work. This makes weekend work, at the least, a bit rewarding when it has to happen.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Place your individual team members as a priority over your clients.

Create a work environment that encourages learning new skills.

Reward your team members in front of everyone.

Conduct discipline behind closed doors.

Make longevity and seniority goals to be obtained and give your team members good reason to stick to the company.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others,” Philippians 2:4.

At our work we provide resumes and career documents for job seekers. A lot of times they come to us in hard times or difficult situations. They may be facing layoffs, bad work environments, being underpaid or not being able to keep a steady job. We not only write for them; we encourage and support them and serve them. Often times, when they look at the documents we create, they are blown away by their own skills and potential. A client typically lands an interview within 1–3 weeks of leaving our office and this is truly gratifying. We dedicate hard work, long hours and don’t cut corners because we understand the value of serving others.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure. In recent years many companies have begun offering mental health programs for their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, we would love to hear about five steps or initiatives you have taken to help improve or optimize your employees mental wellness.

For a person who has never experienced depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. they may not understand what it is to experience these issues. It may be a blind spot to them. When they see an employee behaving a certain way a write up or lecture may seem more in place than empathy.

I think the strategy that I took on came from experience of being mistreated at several jobs in different ways. In both cases, business income, revenue and clients were placed priority over worker experience.

Truly investing in making an optimal worker experience is a must. Create a plan that is focused on specific goals. For instance, for myself, I wanted writers that were well paid and desired to stay with my company for over a year. So, I made it optimal. When a writer reaches a year, they get recognized in front of everyone and a generous gift. Fancy coffee, name brand coffee tumblers, vintage books, tea samplers, IKEA products are just a few examples (all were customized to the writer’s likes). Another goal was to give writers control over their workload. So, even though it takes more energy and work on my end, writers always approve a project before I give it to them.

From your experience or research, what are different steps that each of us as individuals, as a community and as a society, can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious and having other mental health issues? Can you explain?

Mental health issues can look like unproductivity, laziness or a bad attitude. Educate yourself on the signs, the causes and the actual chemical and physical factors that cause it or result from it. Not only that, really know your team members individually. Know what their lives are about so you can be keen to anything out of the normal that pops up. If you see a worker acting differently, perhaps reduced productivity, more sick days, a bad attitude, ask questions before jumping to conclusions.

Habits can play a huge role in mental wellness. What are the best strategies you would suggest to develop good healthy habits for optimal mental wellness that can replace any poor habits?

Stress and burnout can happen when work is over our head or too hard to complete. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be done. However, breaking large projects or complex projects into smaller steps or 1-hour period per day, or whatever your case might be, can help to alleviate the stress. For instance, I have marketing Mondays and Learning Fridays for myself. On Mondays I prioritize in the first hours of the day anything related to marketing and Fridays, learning new skills or gaining certifications. Making routines means making yourself more comfortable.

I also break my work into work sessions 40-minutes / 10-minutes. This keeps the creative mind flowing. I get up and do a physical task like getting water or washing my lunch dishes during my 10-minute breaks.

Do you use any meditation, breathing or mind-calming practices that promote your mental wellbeing? We’d love to hear about all of them. How have they impacted your own life?

I like to meditate on Bible verses. These are focused outwards on others and the spiritual rather than me. Some verses even urge self-improvement through honest introspective searching.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

I think subscribing to Audible and listening to audiobooks on my drive to and from the office truly changed my life. I switch between motivational nonfiction books about business improvement and personal improvement and novels. Learning from others that have been there is the best way to go.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would bring about a movement for bosses to become better leaders. Statistics show that good employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. Too many managers don’t take an introspective look at themselves and how they can change management styles and actions. Placing your team as a priority and truly serving them is what being a good boss and leader is about. This is a step down for some, but I’d love to start a movement on that!

What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?

Check out my LinkedIn, blog and website on a regular basis!

www.elpasoprofessionalresumes.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexinegarciaresumes/

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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