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Six Dimensions of Quality of Life in the Workplace

by Kristen Jacobs, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager

Does it surprise you that the average U.S. employee spends more than half of their waking hours on the job1? With the amount of time we spend at work, it’s inevitably going to make an impact on our quality of life.

Knowing that being satisfied with your job leads to increased performance, engagement and commitment, Sodexo creates strategies around supporting and encouraging the well-being of employees. Even the smallest things can make a big impact. Did you know the optimal temperature in an office environment reduces errors by 44%2? Good to know!

In the recently released 2015 Workplace Trends Report, we've identified six dimensions of Quality of Life where we can make a real and measurable impact in the lives of our employees. 

Sodexo's 6 Dimension of Quality of Life: Social Interaction, Personal Growth, Ease & Efficiency, Recognition, Physical Environment, Health & Well-Being
Six Dimensions of Quality of Life
I've personally been impacted by all six of these dimensions during my career at Sodexo, including training and networking opportunities, special recognition from co-workers, and a virtual work space. Even in a remote environment, my department’s commitment to each of these is evident. We incorporate time to stretch into our weekly team meetings, recognize special events and successes, and have the tools to operate efficiently. 

The point is, not only has Sodexo identified these dimensions of quality of life, they have created a culture of success that is driven by these factors.

Are you ready for a refreshing change in your quality of life? Search our career opportunities!
according to 2004 Cornell study “Linking Environmental Conditions to Productivity”

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Service, Innovation, Leadership: My Takeaways from the Sodexo Leadership Academy

By Guest Blogger Renny Xu, University of Massachusetts Amherst Student and Sodexo Summer Intern

When I was first invited to attend the annual UMass Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Leadership Day with Sodexo for Dr. Oh’s Hospitality Leadership class, I was elated to oblige.

As a dedicated Hospitality student and member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) chapter at UMass Amherst, I was excited for the opportunity to learn about the leadership roles from senior executives and UMass HTM alumni working for Sodexo.

Just prior to this experience, I had the privilege of attending the 26th NSMH National Conference. During that time, I was exposed to some of the biggest Hospitality companies and their industry partners at the career fair. I met Michelle Robinson, Director of College & External Relations at Sodexo, and scheduled an interview for the Future Leaders Internship program. Meeting such an important member of the Sodexo brand was an honor but also filled me with excitement, as it was my first one-on-one interview.

Two weeks later, I was offered a Food Service Management internship for Sodexo at the Boston Children’s Hospital. It was thrilling to know that getting out of my comfort zone and taking on a challenge allowed me to accomplish something huge.

Fast forward a month to the Sodexo Leadership Academy, where over 20 Hospitality students were given insight about the duties that junior and senior executives hold as part of a multinational corporation. To kick it off, Michelle Robinson posed a question to the audience, asking, "What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear 'Sodexo'?" The answers that followed were hesitant and slow: "Food." "Sustainability." "…People?" 

Throughout the workshop, we were invited to learn and discuss Sodexo's Quality of Life Services, aided with a visual of Sodexo’s accomplishments from the past year. The job opportunities at Sodexo are not limited to school cafeterias and food courts. In fact, Sodexo is the 18th largest employer in the world and offers positions in catering, facilities management, talent acquisition and much more.

Along with their expertise, the senior executives exposed us to the basics of what Sodexo does and some of the duties they handle on a daily basis working for a company that designs, manages and delivers services dedicated to improving others’ quality of life. Learning from UMass alumni like Arie Ball and Mike Grey was an inspiring experience. It was amazing to hear where they started, how they got to their current positions and the advice they had to offer us as future leaders.

Arie Ball, VP of Talent Acquisition, began her college career in fashion merchandising and dietetics. Her advice about always having a Plan B was especially motivating, as many attendees were rising or graduating seniors.

Having a backup plan means you have to think ahead and consider different outcomes. If Plan A doesn’t go accordingly, Plan B will have your back.

Then, Mike Grey, VP of Regional Operations, posed a case study to the audience involving a scenario with a food service manager and a school board contemplating the termination of Sodexo’s contract. He invited us to come up with a solution where we had to step into a leadership role. After some well thought out suggestions, Mike told us the solution: In order to keep the contract, it was essential to satisfy not only the client but also the manager involved.

Being put on the spot to come up with a plan, explaining how it would be executed and what the results would be was a compelling experience, and when I start my internship with Sodexo, I know I will have wonderful opportunities to learn even more from these leaders.

At the end of the workshop, Michelle asked again, “So, what is the first word that comes to mind when you hear 'Sodexo'?" Students eagerly answered, "Service." "Innovation." "Leadership.” 

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Culinary Students Prepare for Amazing Careers through Sodexo and ProStart Partnership

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager  

This article first appeared in the March issue of C@reer Connections, Sodexo's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

Leadership. Communication. Commitment to excellence. Passion. These are the qualities of tomorrow’s culinary leaders; they are some of the elements Sodexo hopes to engage, encourage and grow in today’s high school students interested in possible careers at Sodexo.

As a partner in the National Restaurant Association’s program called ProStart since 1998, Sodexo aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn leadership skills early on to help students advance their careers with great job opportunities after high school and formal culinary training.

ProStart offers high school students the opportunity to learn about culinary arts and foodservice management by training with professional chefs and foodservice managers through in-unit and classroom instruction. Whether students are interested in culinary, marketing, accounting, general management, information technology … they have tremendous career opportunities in our industry and as leaders in hospitality, we want to help guide students as they navigate these early days in their careers.

Want to learn more about how Sodexo works with students interested in culinary careers? Watch this video

Already a culinarian? Check out Sodexo’s career opportunties at

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What does Career growth look like in a Sodexo Facilities team?

By Guest Blogger Bryan Hesse, Senior Recruiter – Healthcare, Senior Living & Laundry Facilities Nationwide

This is the 15th post in our Recruiter Series. This year we are focusing on providing you with the answers to the most common questions our Recruiters receive from candidates.  

A job search is challenging on many levels!  You may have an instant connection with an interviewer, but often relationships take time to develop and do not happen overnight.   Sodexo strives every day to ensure that your candidate experience is a positive one but bear in mind not every job you apply to will be a good fit.

As a Senior Recruiter in Facilities Management for Sodexo’s Healthcare division, I often get asked by FM professionals the following question. 

I am looking for career growth. What does this look like in a Sodexo facilities management position?

Facilities Management continues to evolve as more and more responsibilities are being placed upon facility management professionals.  They must be proficient in project management and financial accounting systems, and have technical design knowledge of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.  As your career level increases, so does the need to have a balance of these business savvy and technical skills.  

Sustainability is moving in a new direction and discussions are taking place on how to take existing structures and make them more sustainable through innovative ideas. As these best practices evolve, careers will continue to expand and grow as well.
In our Continuing Care Retirement Communities such as the Asbury system in the Mid-Atlantic and Oklahoma, our clients depend on our facilities managers’ expertise to help them to optimize their business.

Matthew S. Reddington, Sodexo Multi-Service Area General Manager explains the scope of projects for the Asbury Group that his team executed. “We now provide energy management and fleet management and assist with master planning and equipment purchasing.  At Solomon’s Island in Maryland, we have completed a central plant replacement project, managed the renovation of the irrigation system as well as the Brickman landscaping contract.”

What advice can you provide for those who are looking to grow their career with Sodexo?

Facilities in general have evolved to where just knowing facilities management (the mechanical: boilers, chillers, HVAC, plumbing etc.) is not enough.  Facilities managers today must possess skill sets in financial/business acumen as well as strong communication/relationship skills across many levels.

I recommend to network as much as you can, build relationships with Sodexo recruiters and the facilities teams.  When searching for jobs, set goals for yourself, know where you want to land and be strategic in choosing positions that match your qualifications, if done correctly you will naturally lead to career growth.  Once onboard, Sodexo has the tools to proactively manage your career, as well as numerous professional development opportunities to support your career growth.

If you enjoy the challenge and ever-changing demands in Facilities Management, in a rewarding Continuing Care Retirement Community, a Healthcare setting, on a college campus or a multitude of other environments, Sodexo offers plenty of career opportunities.

Connect with me on LinkedIn to get the conversation started!

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5 Habits to Start Now for Career Success

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle." – Steve Jobs

Having a passion for your work is the first step reaching for success. For many, career success might look like a series of promotions that lead to increases in responsibilities along with some appreciated increases in salary. For others, it might include the opportunity to change things up now and then with new skills and experiences and not necessarily a path leading straight up the corporate ladder. And still for others, success may never take on new opportunities, but becoming simply the best at what they are doing right now.

Regardless of how you define success in your career, here are five tips that will certainly keep you moving towards your goals:

1) Get Organized –
Whether you’re new to the workforce or a seasoned pro, being organized is a critical element of your daily routine as you manage your day. From everything from your e-mail inbox to the papers on your desk, organization will be key to your ability to find things when needed and keep yourself on task.

Quick tips: Keep your work space clear of clutter so you can focus on the task at hand while being able to find other documents quickly when needed. Also, use automatic rules in your e-mail inbox to keep e-zines and other subscriptions separate from your work.

2) Manage Your Time –
This may seem like a simple thing: receive an assignment and complete it. Time, managed. But once your to-do list starts to reach across multiple pages with competing deadlines, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or to forget a minor task. Scheduling time on your calendar to strategize and review your responsibilities, as well as blocks of time to accomplish certain tasks can help you be more focused.

Quick tip: Use a steno pad to make an old fashioned to-do list. Better yet, use the task management system in Outlook or find another online resource to help you manage your tasks. Some online systems give you access to your lists via mobile, the web and through integration with Outlook plugins.

3) Be Results Oriented –
Are you more worried about how you work or what you accomplish? While the processes required for task completion are always important, keeping your eye on the end result is just as important for your success. Setting annual goals as well as individual project goals can help you stay focused on what’s important and lead you to your next career move.

Quick tip: Schedule an appointment with yourself once every quarter to review your goals and outline steps to reach success. This is also a good time to visit with your supervisor to discuss your goals and seek feedback on your plans.

4) Look Ahead –
Career planning and career success are much like a game of chess. The player needs to be constantly evaluating the landscape and planning the next move. Where do you want to be in five years? How about 10? Setting some goals now will help you create plans for your future success, including the opportunity to choose both professional and volunteer opportunities that will lead you towards those goals.

Quick tip: Once you identify your career goals, network with others in those roles. Learn about what a day-in-the-life looks like, and seek out stretch assignment s or volunteer opportunities that will help you gain the skills you’ll need to reach your goals.

5) Feed Your Mind –
Sometimes when we think about growing our careers and gaining new skills, we get focused on the next training class, the next certification and the next degree we want to earn. But feeding your mind is also about feeding it with positive affirmations and experiences that bring you joy. These are just as important as those continuing education credits.

Quick tip: Read motivational books and watch inspiring movies. And don’t forget the body-mind connection: keeping your body healthy will keep your mind sharp and ready to charge forward.

If you do a search on the internet, you’ll find there are hundreds of tips to help you reach for success. These are just a few to get you started. With 20 years behind me and another 20 ahead of me, I've come to realize that career success is really about just one thing: love what you do. Like Steve Jobs said, don’t settle until you find your passion. If you love your work, everything else will come together.

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Step Up to the Plate during National Nutrition Month!

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

You don’t have to be a health nut, to know that proper nutrition is critical for the mind, body and soul.  When you choose a variety of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins you’ll feel vibrant and healthy, inside and out.

This month we have been celebrating National Nutrition Month on social media with wellness tips and photos from our Registered Dietitians to give you some ideas of how to Step Up to the Plate! 

Jeanie Kumlien, RD, LD
Sodexo Clinical Nutrition Manager
Hazelden Betty Foundation
Sodexo Clinical Nutrition Manager, Jeanie Kumlien, RD, LD, submitted this years’ theme which “encourages healthy eating habits based on the MyPlate Model with the goal of developing regular physical activity habits and promoting a healthy mind and body.”  

In her role at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, Plymouth and St. Paul, MN, Jeanie provides individualized nutrition consultations, presents group lectures on nutrition and recovery and also co-facilitates a Food and Body Awareness group for patients who are in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. In collaboration with the Executive Chef, she has developed a menu to meet the nutrition needs of someone in recovery. 
As you have heard from our many RD guest bloggers, a career path in Nutrition at Sodexo can be exciting and rewarding.  However, navigating your career path can be treacherous if you can't see where you're going.

Let Sodexo shed some light on your professional development journey by joining our live webinar Gain Insight Into Your Dietetic Career Path on March 24th at 8:00pm Eastern or March 26th at 6:00pm Eastern.

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9 Pieces of Interview Advice from Sodexo Careers Bloggers

by Kristen Jacobs, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager

Our blog is filled with a ton of helpful tips for jobseekers, but I thought it might be fun to feature some of our favorites BuzzFeed-style.

1.  Prepping for behavior-based interviews

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

2. Understanding your true talents 

By Shari McNeeley, Senior Recruiter - Campus Sports and Leisure

3. Keep Calm and Shine

By Kristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

4. Do your research

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager 

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

6. Get ready to knock their socks off! 

By Darla Mayse, Senior Recruiter - Clinical Nutrition

7. Finding your perfect fit

By Gina Smethurst, Senior Recruiter - Facilities and Engineering Management

8. Set the scene for your video interview

By Danielle Gordon, Senior Recruiter - Hospitals and Senior Living

9. Break the mold with your resume

By Autumn Anderson, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager

Do you have an idea for our next blog post? Give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!

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