How To Maximize Your Work Day

Let’s face it. Many of us have found ourselves so crammed with work that we don’t have time to enjoy our lives and families once we head home for the day. Here are some tips to tackle that disorganized workload.

  1. Make a to-do list the night before

This quick list can help you gain perspective for projects and assignments that will need attention the next day.

  1. Prioritize

Look at that to-do list you made the night before. Does anything have an upcoming deadline? Do your most important or time sensitive tasks first! It’s best to get these items out-of-the-way, so you won’t have to play catch-up.

  1. Prioritize some more!

This time, you will want to assess which items will require the most time. Do tasks that will take the longest amount of time first (unless of course it is an ongoing project). Smaller tasks that will take no longer than 5 minutes are the tasks you can be more flexible with.

  1. Time Block

Once you know which items top priority are, and which ones are not, it’s time to organize. Allot each item its own special time frame to be completed during the day. Creating your time blocks on paper or on a spreadsheet will give you the ultimate visual tool to help you feel on top of your tasks.

Just by following these tips, you may find that at the end of the day there is no work to take home! You can finally take your pup to that fun dog park or join your best bud at the movies. Everyone is happy, including you.

Celebrating Five Years With Astyra

Victor and Kathy
Astyra loves to celebrate everything from birthdays to babies!
 
To celebrate Victor’s five year anniversary with Astyra, we gifted him and his wife, Kathy a vegan cooking class at Mise En Place.
 
In French, mise en place means to have all of the ingredients prepared before starting to cook. This technique allows one to create meals faster. However, to Richmonders, Mise En Place is a culinary school offering a variety of classes including Puerto Rican soul food, summer eats and perfect-crust pizzas.
 
The couple made a delicious five-course meal that included a vegan “chicken” salad, fiesta black bean salad, curried tempeh, quinoa tabouli and key lime pie.

A New Position At Astyra

Congratulations to our now Corporate Communications Specialist, Tianna Mosby!
 
This position has never existed at Astyra until now. After a year of working with us, we rewarded Tianna with this promotion to manage our social media platforms, write our quarterly newsletters and create and update our blog page.
 
In addition, we are expanding her role to include helping the IT Security team. She will have the opportunity to assist with platform integration, documentation and asset management.
 
We’re excited to see her grow in this new career!

Ken and Sam Visit Salt Lake City

Ken visiting the Mormon Tabernacle.
Sam and previous ChamberRVA chairmen during Mayor Stoney's speech.

Hiking the Rocky Mountains and visiting the Mormon Temple Square were just two of the activities available at this year’s ChamberRVA InterCity Visit in Salt Lake City!

During this trip, Sam and Ken engaged in conversations about how to encourage successful city growth based on Utah’s past successes and failures.

Participants get the option to choose from four different three-hour seminars on topics specific to their interests. Sam chose the “Transit Oriented Development and Affordable Housing” track while Ken chose the “Entrepreneurism” track. Each workshop allows for open discussions and brainstorming similar ideas for Richmond.

During the general meeting, Salt Lake City business, government, nonprofit and education leaders spoke about why sports tourism is an important investment in their economy and how to stabilize it throughout the year. Being that Richmond is known for the Flying Squirrels baseball team and having hosted the UCI Bike Race in 2015, the topic of sports tourism was extremely relevant to Richmond’s regional economy as well.

Although the official ChamberRVA visit ended with a reception and dinner at the Natural History Museum of Utah, Sam and Ken took some time to meet with some of our newest contractors in Utah!

Contractor Spotlight: John Legere

Hello everyone, my name is John Legere and I live on the South side with my wife and son.  I won’t tell you my age but let me just say that I’ve recently discovered the joys of the AARP discount!  I’ve worked for Astyra for the past 18 months, all of them as a contractor at Dominion Energy in downtown Richmond where I am a member of the Data Analytics team, designing and developing Oracle and Hadoop data integration processes via ETL code and also getting a chance to dabble in the latest Business Intelligence and Data Science tools and technologies.

I am originally from “up North”, born in New York, raised in New Jersey and I’ve called all of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island home at one time or another in my career.  You can probably hear the accent changes as I type!  I relocated to Richmond in 2014 to be closer to the rest of my family, all of whom had previously moved to the area for work opportunities and/or retirement.  It was actually my brother’s network connection with an Astyra recruiter, our esteemed colleague Carmen Zimmitt, and her storied persistence and insistence that she could find me the perfect job, which led me to my current position.

Anywhere I’ve found myself in my career I have always been “The Data Guy” on the team, having worked as both a contractor and an employee in many places across many industries in my 30 year professional career.  In my spare time I enjoy reading science fiction novels, bowling and running fantasy sports leagues, the latter being where my longstanding nickname “The Commish” was born.  I also love helping coach my son’s Little League and travel baseball teams and serving as a taste tester for all the various culinary creations my wife, the budding chef and baker, can come up with. That last job’s a tough one I know, but somebody’s got to do it!

From the fast-paced hustle and bustle of Wall Street to the slower pace of writing business reports for the local hometown insurance broker I’ve always enjoyed working with data, the places it can take us and the things that it can tell us.  It’s been a fascinating ride thus far and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working for Astyra and working with all the great folks I’ve met along the way.  As that pop song from the 80s goes “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”!

Welcome Our Summer Intern, Dominique

Dominique Duncan is our newest Summer Information Technology Intern!

Dominique recently moved to Richmond from the Metro Chicago area. She is a full-time student at Auburn University earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.

Her interests include front-end web design and development, photograhy and graphic design.

She is excited to learn and be on the Astyra team!

Collaborative Hiring

When you think of what led any great team to success, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?

Determination?

Drive?

Teamwork?

If you said teamwork, you’re on the right track!

As it relates to recruiting, one tried and true staple of success, according to Harver.com, is collaborative hiring

Now some of you may be asking, “Oh, that sounds nifty, but what’s that?” and the short answer is the combination of internal networks/networking efforts and employee referrals or employee referral programs. 

Harver.com states that “referred hires generally are (among other things) more productive, more engaged and less likely to leave.” It only makes sense that combining efforts should yield better results! Furthermore, they cite that “this is one of the reasons we see an increase in employee referrals and employee referral programs – and companies that provide AI driven technology to automate your employee referral efforts.”

It goes hand-in-hand with some of the articles I’ve previously shared about marrying AI with human experience. Innovation at its finest!

The Women’s Guide To Interview Fashion – Comfort Level

An outfit that can be worn in the spring

There is a lot that goes into the final product when picking an outfit for an interview. I will go through the deciding factors of how to create the best interview outfit for you therefore making the outfit selecting process a little easier.

If you haven’t read them yet, check out the preceding articles company dress code and seasonal fabrics as they will provide tips leading to my final point!

At this point, you have the outfit style and the right fabrics, but none of that matters if you are not comfortable in what you are wearing. Comfort could mean a lot of things for you, it could be in the colors you wear, the sizing of your clothes, or the cut/shape of the fabric and how it looks/feels on you. Regardless of how you define comfort, you MUST have it in order for your interview to be successful. I always say, “if it doesn’t work, don’t force it.” An interview is not the time to experiment with clothes you “think” you might like or styles you have been dying to try. An interview is a meeting where someone is trying to get know YOU! You know what flatters your shape, you know what colors look good on you, and you know what fits you not too long or too short, but just right. Making sure that your outfit fits you comfortably, allows you to be confident in what you are wearing, which in return promotes confidence in you. Who wouldn’t want a little confidence going into an interview?

That wasn’t so hard was it? Follow these tips and you’ll be fashion-ready for your interview in no time!