Career Building en-US 7 Job Search Stunts to Get You Noticed by Employers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-job-search-stunts-to-get-you-noticed-by-employers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job seeker" title="job seeker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you ever think your dream job would be snatched away by a desperate grad with a viral gimmick? No. No you didn't.</p> <p>In today's society, we're more interested social media hacks than work experience. We'd rather follow a good speaker than a good leader. And we'd rather have an out-of-the-box thinker than someone who knows what he/she wants. (See also: <a href="">10 Outdated Job Hunt Techniques to Avoid</a>)</p> <p>But don't worry, the same rules apply to you. If your previous job hunting strategies have failed, we've compiled an inspiring list of crazy stunts that landed real jobs for real people.</p> <h2>1. Billboard Lands Media Grad 60 Job Offers</h2> <p>By far the most publicized job stunt in recent memory is that of <a href="">Adam Pacitti</a>, a college grad with a media production degree who found himself working as a coin exchanger at a video game arcade.</p> <p>After job applications failed, Adam decided enough was enough and of course, as any of us would have done, spent his last 500 pounds on a billboard. After being featured in literally every news source imaginable, Adam received over 60 solid job offers and went to work for award-winning production company KEO.</p> <p>What few people realize is that Adam put a whole lot more work in than simply buying a billboard. His spot in news media was only the result of a successful multi-platform social media campaign that went viral. Viral media always finds its way into the news these days, so his success shouldn't be a surprise.</p> <p>If that sounds like too much work, you'll love our next stunt.</p> <h2>2. Grad Student Suits Up, Hits the Metro, and Lands a Job</h2> <p>If you aren't one for all that social media nonsense, you'll love the story of <a href="">Alfred Ajani</a>. Alfred's marketing degree wasn't enough to land one of 300 positions he applied for, so he decided to go on the offensive.</p> <p>Armed with a suit and a stack of CVs, Alfred posted up at Waterloo station, collecting a few emails and business cards in the process.</p> <p>Oh but wait, that's actually not what landed him his job. Twitter took his post viral, where it caught the attention of recruitment company Asoria Group, who offered him a job via&hellip; LinkedIn.</p> <p>Looks like you're going to need those social media accounts after all.</p> <h2>3. Grad Lands Dream Job After Walking London Streets In a Sandwich Board</h2> <p>At this point, you're probably frantically following people on Twitter, preparing for your next job stunt. But just take a breather. It might be easier than you think.</p> <p>After making the unfortunate decision to get a history degree, <a href="">David Rowe</a> found himself predictably jobless. Emboldened by a father-son debate, David strapped a sandwich board around his shoulders and advertised that he would work the first month free.</p> <p>He was then interviewed by recruiting firm Parkhouse Bell and ended up landing his dream job, which I'm assuming was in recruiting. We're guessing the firm saw his photo on Facebook, but it hasn't been confirmed, so you know... there might just be room for something more old fashioned.</p> <h2>4. Send QR Code Cupcakes to Editorial Teams</h2> <p>If public infamy isn't your cup of tea, what about something more direct and personable?</p> <p>Like cupcakes. Everybody loves cupcakes.</p> <p>Blogger and fashionista <a href="">Katie Oldham</a> decided to take her summer internship into her own hands with the help of a local bakery. Katie researched the editorial teams at her favorite publishing companies and delivered special batches of cupcakes with her website's QR code to their London offices.</p> <p>And it worked! She interned for Cosmopolitan, and her website is currently part of the Vice blogging network.</p> <h2>5. Home Brewed Beer Resumes</h2> <p>Nothing says work hard and party harder like a home-brewed batch of beer. What makes that beer even better? Resume covers of course.</p> <p>Brennan Gleason takes a distinguished spot on our list as being the only to pull off a successful job hunt stunt outside of the UK. Then again, he did it in Canada, so potato-patata.</p> <p>Brennan wanted to nab a sexy graphic design job, so what did he do? He designed custom resume covers for six-packs of beer he brewed himself.</p> <p>Let's see...</p> <ul> <li>Creativity&hellip; check.</li> <li>Graphic design skills&hellip; check.</li> <li>Free specialty beer for the office&hellip; CHECK!</li> </ul> <p>Surprise, surprise &mdash; <a href="">Brennan</a> was hired.</p> <h2>6. Wacky Website Campaign Turns Bakery Manager Into VP</h2> <p>Many of you are under the false impression that working successfully at your company will translate into a promotion.</p> <p>Not true!</p> <p>That VP spot just went to this guy. Despite seven tries, his CV tells us he hasn't been able to hold down a job for even one calendar year. But guess what!? He acted super wacky on video and a lot of people laughed, so he's qualified to be your boss!</p> <p>His name is <a href="">Dan Conway</a>, but you can call him &quot;Yes, Sir.&quot; Dan launched a wacky website campaign consisting of him doing wacky things in order to find work and was eventually made a VP of marketing for a company I won't advertise.</p> <p>Apparently, <a href="">THIS</a> is what British marketing employers look for in their executives.</p> <h2>7. Grad Lands Social Media Manager Position by PMing a Stranger</h2> <p>What's the quickest way to land an interview? Find the owner's profile and hit them up with a private message.</p> <p>&hellip;Said no one ever. Unless you're <a href="">David Cohen</a>. David knew a guy who knew a guy, and he randomly messaged that guy, who then interviewed him with another guy, and now David's their top social media guy.</p> <p>Sounds quaint. Perhaps you should try it. Just don't blame us if you get slapped with a restraining order.</p> <p><em>Have you ever tried to land a job with an outlandish stunt? What did you do &mdash; and did you get the job?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Job Search Stunts to Get You Noticed by Employers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting job search promotion resume self promotion Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:03 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1238130 at Bosses Say These Are Their 6 Favorite Qualities in Employees — Do You Have Them? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bosses-say-these-are-their-6-favorite-qualities-in-employees-do-you-have-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="boss employee working" title="boss employee working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you can't get ahead at work, there's probably a reason why. You might not have the experience or educational background for a specific position &mdash; or worse, your boss may feel that you lack important qualities. (See also: <a href="">5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise</a>)</p> <p>Since your boss holds the key to your future with the company, it is imperative that you understand qualities employers look for in employees. This can be the difference between advancing up the corporate ladder and staying stuck in the same position.</p> <h2>1. Good Communication Skills</h2> <p>Bosses look for employees with strong communication skills &mdash; written and spoken. Being able to clearly express yourself is a major asset and can take your career to the next level.</p> <p>&quot;If you have a gift for the spoken and written word, you will always put your best foot forward. Being articulate is highly prized in today's workplace, when time is at a premium and technology requires constant communication,&quot; Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0470457643&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FSOK7MOUNS3ZLT5N">Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job</a>, <a href="">told</a></p> <p>Master good communication skills and you might become the official or unofficial spokesperson for the company. You don't have to become a walking dictionary. But if your communication style needs improvement, it doesn't hurt to brush up on your English and writing skills, or take a public speaking course or workshop on your own dime.</p> <h2>2. Adaptability</h2> <p>Companies must adapt or evolve to keep pace with the times, and it's important for employees to evolve as well.</p> <p>&quot;I have found that people who are comfortable with change in general tend to be more successful,&quot; <a href="">says Jennifer Dulski</a>, President and COO at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Even if you do not understand the changes taking place in the organization, go with the flow and trust that your boss knows what she's doing. The end goal is simple &mdash; grow the company. And if the company grows, so can your income. So, don't buck the system or make it difficult for your boss. Being adaptable goes hand-in-hand with being a team player. Team players put aside their personal feelings and work for the common good of the company.</p> <h2>3. Honesty</h2> <p>Bosses have enough on their plates, and they don't have time to supervise each employee. Therefore, employers need workers who are honest and willing to follow rules and policies, even when no one's watching. An honest employee is committed from start to finish, honest in everything, and takes responsibility for his actions.</p> <p>&quot;If they can't be honest with themselves and honest with me, then we are likely going to be wasting time and not operating at our full potential. I expect all team members to express any concern that comes up so we can keep improving not only our processes, but also our morale,&quot; <a href="">says Patrick Curtis</a>, founder at <a href=""></a>.</p> <h2>4. Hard-Working Mentality</h2> <p>Bosses need employees who go beyond the call of duty. Technically, you shouldn't be expected to do anything outside your job description, especially if you're not getting paid for your time. But at the same time, taking the initiative and going the extra mile speaks volumes.</p> <p>Karen Rehn, owner of HH Staffing Services, brings attention to a recent employee trait survey that says &quot;57% of <a href="">managers are looking for hard working employees</a>, those who embody work ethic and good ole hard work.&quot;</p> <p>It takes hard work for a company to succeed, and most employers can't get to the top without help from diligent employees. So, your commitment to the job won't go unnoticed and it can open doors to a brighter future with the company.</p> <h2>5. Punctuality and Conscientiousness</h2> <p>From clocking in on time to meeting deadlines, it only takes one tardy or unreliable employee to get everyone off schedule. Do a self-evaluation to determine whether your punctuality needs improvement. A manager may not say anything to you, but arriving even five minutes late or turning in an assignment 15 minutes late doesn't go unnoticed. If you can't be counted on to handle seemingly insignificant tasks, how can your boss trust you with bigger responsibilities?</p> <p>&quot;If the resume has typos or the candidate is late or sloppy, you can be sure those typos will translate into frustrating quality issues on the job,&quot; <a href="">says Josh Bersin</a>, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte.</p> <h2>6. Leadership</h2> <p>Your boss might be the top dog, but he needs a few leaders on his team. No good comes from being a follower. And when bosses look to promote, they prefer applicants who aren't too impressionable. As a leader, you can motivate your co-workers or be a voice of reason during difficult situations.</p> <p>&quot;Anyone can get others to show up for work. Leaders, on the other hand, genuinely inspire people to choose to follow them &mdash; on a mission, toward a goal, or perhaps even to transform an industry,&quot; <a href="">says Walt Bettinger</a>, President and CEO of The Charles Schwab Corporation.</p> <p><em>Are you a boss? Are there other qualities you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Bosses Say These Are Their 6 Favorite Qualities in Employees — Do You Have Them?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career getting hired good employee job promotion Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1225625 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Your Career a Success <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-your-career-a-success" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="business team leader" title="business team leader" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on ways to make your career a success, money ideas for freshmen, and catching up on Christmas savings.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Ways to Make Your Career a Success</a> &mdash; Knowing how to form relationships is vital when it comes to making your career a success. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="">7 Essential Money Ideas for College Freshmen</a> &mdash; College freshmen would be wise to join campus organizations and get involved beyond the campus. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="">10 Tips to Help Debt Proof Your Christmas &amp; Catch up on Christmas Savings</a> &mdash; If you want to debt proof your Christmas, give up dining out and reduce your cell phone plan. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="">7 Proven Ways to Boost Your Morning Productivity</a> &mdash; To be more productive in the morning, wake up at the right time and have a good breakfast. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="">9 Tips to Give Your Best Speech Ever</a> &mdash; Give a great speech by knowing your audience and practicing. [Lifehack]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">How to Deal With the Crappiest People</a> &mdash; It may be best to try to ignore the people you can't stand and remember to not give them advice. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">How Do I Ask Someone to Be My Mentor?</a> &mdash; When asking someone to be your mentor, ask them face to face over coffee as opposed to via email. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="">10 Toxic Behaviors That Kill Your Confidence</a> &mdash; Making excuses can kill your confidence, as will second-guessing your intuition. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="">7 Things Stopping You From Pursuing Your Impossible Dreams</a> &mdash; If you aren't making your dream a priority, you may be preventing yourself from achieving your dream. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="">4 Fun Books for Kids Who Love Animals</a> &mdash; Bella Lost and Found is a great book for children who love animals. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Your Career a Success" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building best money tips career success Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207168 at Wages Are Rising — Here’s How to Get Your Cut <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wages-are-rising-here-s-how-to-get-your-cut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="counting money" title="counting money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thankfully, after wage levels remained stagnant for many years, wages are finally rising! Annual gains could hit <a href="">4% by 2017</a>.</p> <p>That said, employers are still conservative and not rushing to pay you more. Here are some helpful tips on getting your share.</p> <h2>1. Join an Industry on the Rise</h2> <p>Information technology positions such as programmers, developers, analysts, and engineers continue to fare well. Cities are <a href="">battling each other</a> to court IT companies. Have a background in mathematics, science, or information systems? Start interviewing for jobs in that arena, where the starting salary is already higher than the average.</p> <p>Health and medicine professionals are also riding a higher tide. Nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and practical nurses are all making more, but nurse practitioners are especially in demand with the <a href="">expansion of health care</a> coverage to more citizens.</p> <p>Financial sector workers like traders, bankers, and fund managers <a href="">continue to do well</a> (surprise, surprise). Due to the continued need for credit and asset analysis, there is room to join the financial sector with the right experience.</p> <p>Areas that do not see much growth are categories in which tons of eager candidates compete for jobs: teaching, marketing, public relations, and customer service. If you find yourself in one of those categories, try spinning your experience to applying for positions at companies in information, health, engineering, and finance.</p> <h2>2. Ask for a Raise</h2> <p>If you are currently employed, now would be a good time to <a href="">ask for a raise</a>. When was your last raise? It should typically happen every year. If you have gone longer than two years without a raise (and thanks to the recession, many have), it will be fairly reasonable and easy to ask. (See also: <a href="">5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise</a>)</p> <h3>When to Ask for a Raise</h3> <p>Try asking three to four months before the annual review. Annual reviews tend to happen at the end of the fiscal year, when the money is spent and companies are more conservative. Asking before your company's annual wage hike is ideal because you can state your case before the bosses evaluate the staff. Plus, you likely do a lot of great work that your bosses do not know about. Make them aware of your worthiness and <a href="">negotiate your slice</a> before the pie has been cut.</p> <h3>Leverage Your Education</h3> <p>Have you spent most of the recession going to back to school in the summers, nights, and weekends? It's always a good time to take advantage of your new income potential. Those who can boast a college degree for entry-level positions can ask for more than those with a high-school degree. Try asking your employer to review your new experience and education level when considering your raise.</p> <h2>3. Relocate to a High Minimum Wage State</h2> <p>Many students and working parents find themselves in need of extra minimum wage shifts in industries such as retail, fast food, and customer service. If you are work for hourly wages, now might be a good time to relocate, as 13 states raised their minimum wage in 2014. Even more good news: Those same 13 states are seeing <a href="">faster job growth</a> than the states that did not increase their minimum wage. This may also be a good time to leverage a higher paying position elsewhere for an hourly raise at your current job.</p> <p><em>How are you planning to boost your wage? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Wages Are Rising — Here’s How to Get Your Cut" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amanda Meadows</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building jobs money negotiation raise wages Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1203542 at How NOT TO Answer 10 of the Most Common Interview Questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-not-to-answer-10-of-the-most-common-interview-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A smart, thoughtful answer to an interview question can help you clinch the job. Likewise, an epic blunder can knock you out of the top three. So it's as important to study what NOT to say as it is to practice and polish your real answers. (See also: <a href="">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our round-up of common job interview answers to steer clear of. You can thank us when you're in your brand new corner office.</p> <h2>1. &quot;So, Tell Me About Yourself&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>Don't give the interviewer a walk-through of your resume. That's a different question. The question you're being asked is intended to test your ability to answer an open-ended question with eloquence and ease. Don't use &quot;um&quot; and &quot;ah&quot; fillers. And don't blather.</p> <p>Experts say the best answer is short, to-the-point, and highlights your career and educational background while also shedding light on why you want this particular job.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Why Do You Want to Work Here?&quot;</h2> <p>Ditch the boilerplate answer. And don't give an answer that simply addresses why you want to work in that field. You also want to avoid an answer that makes you seem desperate, such as, &quot;I need experience,&quot; &quot;I need more money,&quot; &quot;I got laid off.&quot;</p> <p>Instead, tell the interviewer specifically how you can benefit the company and how the job will help you achieve your own career goals. After all, a good fit is a mutually beneficial one. For example: &quot;It seems like I could really benefit the company with my X and Y skills while also furthering my own career goals to do Z.&quot; The key is to convey why you are the best fit for <em>this</em> job &mdash; not just for your own benefit, but also for theirs.</p> <h2>3. &quot;What Do You Know About Our Company So Far?&quot;</h2> <p>Stay away from negativity &mdash; the interviewer doesn't want to hear what you know about the company's most recent round of layoffs or the latest stock market tumble. You also want to avoid giving the interviewer the impression that you haven't researched the company, which will lead them to believe that you're more interested in landing a job, period, rather than a job with this specific company.</p> <p>Experts say it's best to focus on things like the company's role in its industry, its history, and any accolades, awards, or distinctions it has won. Show that you've taken initiative and done your research.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?&quot;</h2> <p>Never cast blame. Don't bad-mouth your last employer or your former managers. Don't go into the gory details. But don't leave them hanging. If the interviewer gets the feeling that you're trying to cover up something related to your departure, he or she will most likely assume there's skeleton in your closet.</p> <p>Be honest and succinct in explaining why you left. Experts recommend sharpening your focus on how your past job has prepared you for the future.</p> <h2>5. &quot;What Are Your Strengths?&quot;</h2> <p>This is your chance to shine. Don't screw it up by highlighting non-work related attributes or coming off as a braggart. Do away with examples of times when you shined at someone else's expense.</p> <p>Instead, bill yourself as a team player who consistently goes above and beyond job expectations &mdash; and have a few specific examples to back up your claims.</p> <h2>6. &quot;What Are Your Weaknesses?&quot;</h2> <p>Don't say, &quot;Nothing.&quot; Don't rattle off a list of negative attributes about yourself without explaining how you've overcome them in the past. And don't answer, &quot;I work too hard&quot; &mdash; that's not a weakness.</p> <p>Experts say the best answers to this question prove that you are self-aware and resilient.</p> <h2>7. &quot;Where Do You See Yourself Five, Ten Years Down the Road?&quot;</h2> <p>Don't intimate that you have no idea what you'd like your future to be like. And don't say that you want a job with this company as a stepping stone to getting another job with a different company.</p> <p>Interviewers want to hear about your career goals and how a job with their company could help you fulfill them. They want to hear that you have a plan, even if it's fluid. They want to know that you're thoughtful and not haphazard in your career decisions.</p> <h2>8. &quot;What Kind of Salary Are You Looking For?&quot;</h2> <p>Steer clear of the following responses: &quot;I haven't thought about that yet,&quot; &quot;I'll take any salary,&quot; &quot;I'm sure whatever you offer is fine,&quot; &quot;My last salary was X. I'd like a little more than that.&quot; And don't just pick an arbitrary number.</p> <p>Know your worth. And arm yourself with the research and data to back it up. If you want a salary in the $100,000 range, it better be because other people in similar jobs at similar companies are making that amount. It's also smart to consider factors like geography and cost of living expenses. Website likes <a href=""></a>, <a href=""></a>, and <a href=""></a> can help with this task.</p> <h2>9. &quot;Why Should I Hire You?&quot;</h2> <p>These are all major no-no's: &quot;Because I really need the money.&quot; &quot;Because I think this job could help me learn this skills I need to do X.&quot; &quot;Because I think a job at your company would look great on my resume.&quot; &quot;Because I'm fun and easy to work with.&quot;</p> <p>Better answers are honest, highlight your confidence in yourself and your skill set, and exemplify why you're a great fit for the job. For example: &quot;Because I really, really want this job and I know I'm the best fit for X, Y, and Z reasons.&quot;</p> <h2>10. &quot;Do You Have Any Questions for Me?&quot;</h2> <p>Do not say, &quot;No&quot; &mdash; it implies that you're disinterested or worse, unintelligent. You also should not ask the interviewer what he or she thinks are your chances of landing the job.</p> <p>The right answer is always, &quot;Yes.&quot; You might have questions about the company culture or how on-the-job success is measured. Maybe you want to know what qualities the company most values in new hires or what a typical day on the job would like. Whatever the questions, just make sure you ask them. It'll show that you're interested, inquisitive, and not willing to settle for just any old job.</p> <p><em>Any questions we've missed? Ask in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How NOT TO Answer 10 of the Most Common Interview Questions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building interview job hunt Job Interview job search Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1197961 at Are You in the Wrong Career? Here's How to Tell <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-in-the-wrong-career-heres-how-to-tell" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="tired businesswoman" title="tired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to the new normal: The average worker today <a href="">stays in a job for 4.4 years</a>.</p> <p>You should probably expect that number to get even lower as 91% of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than <em>three </em>years. (See also: <a href="">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>And while being labeled as a job hopper may make you less attractive to future employers, there's no time to waste if you don't like what you're doing. Here are seven tools to check if you're on the right career path.</p> <h2>1. What Can I Do With My Major In...?</h2> <p>In 2012, there were about <a href="">19.9 million Americans</a> enrolled in college. With the <a href="">average student debt around $29,400</a>, students need to take a close look at the career options that their degrees provide. offers a comprehensive list of jobs according to major through its <a href="">What Can I Do With a Major in&hellip;?</a> tool.</p> <p>Taking a look at your career options during your studies is a good way to check what your career path may look like in the future. You can filter your options by using the results from your Values Assessment Test, which helps you understand what is important to you in a job.</p> <h2>2.</h2> <p>What if you haven't declared a major yet or what if you are just taking a sabbatical year to think things through? In that case, the U.S. Department of Labor's <a href=""></a> is a comprehensive tool to help you explore a wide variety of career options and industries. You can search careers through keywords, browse careers by industry, or use the Interest Profiler to find out what kind of careers may be a good fit for you.</p> <h2>3. Occupational Projections Data</h2> <p>If you already have a job or are thinking about switching jobs, then you may be wondering what are the expected employment and wages in a couple years. The <a href="">Selected Occupational Projections Data</a> from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gives you data starting 2012 and with projections up to 2022.</p> <p>For example, I looked up that there were 129.1 thousand writers and authors in 2012 and that number is expected to grow to 132.9 thousand by 2022. With a small number of competitors, a median annual wage of $55,940, and a 64.4% rate of self-employment, I am comforted that I made the right career decision!</p> <h2>4. Careerrealism's Quiz</h2> <p>Let's imagine that you are just fed up with your current job. Maybe you haven't been promoted for several years or your work hours are starting to affect your health. To help you decide whether you should quit your job, take this <a href="!bB3x78">11-question quiz</a> from Carrerrealism. They also provide you a suggested course of actions based on your quiz results.</p> <h2>5. Glasdoor's Job Finder</h2> <p>Sometimes the root of your job frustration may not be that you are in the wrong career, but that you are just in the wrong city. <a href="">Glassdoor's Job Finder</a> allows you to plug in your job title and check how many work opportunities are available across the United States. For example, my search for <a href="">freelance writer</a> showed me that while Hawaii only has two opportunities, New York has 49, California has 375, and Illinois has 99.</p> <p>While the first two made sense to me, I would had never imagined that the Prairie State was ripe with opportunities within my field. The Job Finder also allows you to drill down results per city and find out what other job titles (and cities!) you should consider in your career path.</p> <h2>6. PayScale's GigZig</h2> <p>Here is a really interesting twist on job evaluation. If you already know that the average person stays in a job about four years, then you can leverage that knowledge to predict your career path. <a href="">PayScale's GigZig</a> uses data from millions of people to indicate, based on a job title, what job that person held five years ago and what job that person will have five years from now.</p> <p>Based on those three job titles, GigZig shows you what percentage of people have taken a specific path. Since the median salary is included for each job, you will find yourself exploring the many zigs and zags your career path could take.</p> <p>If you cannot make up your mind between two jobs, then take a closer look at each one through PayScale's chart on the <a href="">most and least meaningful jobs</a>. This interactive chart compares job meaning, salary, and job satisfaction for over 450 job titles.</p> <h2>7. Career Values Test</h2> <p>Finally, if you need a full revaluation of your career path, then you should take a look at your career values. The <a href="">Career Values Test</a> is a comprehensive examination of your career values and your motivations behind them. Having a deeper understanding of what makes you tick in career terms allows you to better evaluate your career path and any potential employer. According to the makers of the test, these career values provide the means to evaluate the merits of any career and negotiate the terms for actual job offerings.</p> <p><em>What are some other useful tools to evaluate if you're in the right career path?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You in the Wrong Career? Here&#039;s How to Tell" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career choosing a career job search Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1197957 at 15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="compose email" title="compose email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average person spends <a href="">about 13 hours every week</a> sorting through email.</p> <p>With the number of worldwide email accounts expected to hit nearly <a href="">4.1 billion by 2015</a>, it seems that those hours are likely to keep on growing and growing. (See also: <a href="">This Thing You Use Every Day Is Ruining Your Productivity</a>)</p> <p>If you want to cut through the noise (78% of us receive <a href="">up to 100 emails per day</a>) and make your emails stand out from the crowd, start using these 15 techniques.</p> <h2>1. Update Subject Lines</h2> <p>Some people have a lot of email sitting in their inboxes. For example, the senior director of Yahoo! email claims to have held <a href="">36,815 emails in his inbox</a> at one point. If your subject line looks like &quot;Re:Re:Re:Fw:Fw:Re:Re&hellip;,&quot; it is very likely to be ignored.</p> <p>On the other hand, if your email is actionable, it has a better chance of catching the attention of the recipient.</p> <ul> <li>Don't write &quot;Steve,&quot; write &quot;Call Steve at 555-987-1234 this Friday.&quot;</li> <li>Instead of &quot;Resume,&quot; write &quot;Davila Resume for Freelance Writer Position.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Remember to keep it short and sweet. From a study of 200 million emails, researchers at Mailchimp found that subject lines should be kept to <a href="">50 characters or less</a>. That's about ⅓ of the length of a tweet.</p> <h2>2. Use Prefixes on Subject Lines</h2> <p>An email that can be fully read without opening is the best kind of email. That's why you need to make smart use of <a href="">email subject prefixes</a>. Here is a useful list:</p> <ul> <li>FYI &mdash; &quot;For Your Information&quot; lets the reader know that the email holds general info and is not urgent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>EOM &mdash; &quot;End of Message&quot; informs the reader that all the required info is in the subject line and that the email body is empty.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>NRN &mdash; &quot;No Reply Needed&quot; tells the receiver that no response is required.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>URGENT &mdash; Not necessarily a prefix, but if something is <em>truly</em> urgent, then it should be at the beginning of the subject line. Use very sparingly or risk all of your &quot;urgent&quot; emails being ignored.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>NFA &mdash; &quot;No Further Action&quot; is a combo of FYI and NRN.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Use If-Then Statements</h2> <p>Nobody likes to be caught in a neverending email duel. So, the next time that you need to set up a meeting or call time, include the statement &quot;If not, let me know what times work for you.&quot; Get in the habit of including &quot;if&hellip; then&quot; statements every time that you ask a question to prevent replies that are just &quot;no&quot; and force you to send another email.</p> <h2>4. Provide Choices and Number Them</h2> <p>Take a cue from master email negotiator, Steve Jobs (yes, that Steve Jobs!), and include a list of numbered choices, when applicable.</p> <p>During a hard-nosed negotiation via email between <a href="">Apple and News Corp</a>, he clearly stated to his counterpart that he &quot;has the following choices&quot; and that &quot;Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see any other alternatives. Do you?&quot; This email habit allows you to negotiate within a range of pre-approved terms and forces the other party to choose one.</p> <h2>5. Think About Small Screens</h2> <p>If you are an HTML whiz and love to tweak your emails, remember that 43% of email is opened on a mobile device. Email company Constant Contact recommends using a San Serif font with a point size from 11 to 14.</p> <h2>6. Don't Use Images for a Signature</h2> <p>Several email providers and platforms automatically block images or force images to be attachments. This means that your fancy signature image goes unnoticed or, even worse, screws up the format of your email.</p> <h2>7. Skip the Emoticons</h2> <p>Not all emoticons, especially the very obscure, render the same way across platforms. Even the <a href="">smiley symbol often appears as a J</a> in several email platforms. Skip the emoticons altogether, so that you don't confuse your recipient or make her think that you are including typos in your emails. Plenty of people, including <a href="">Microsoft employees</a>, are annoyed by this.</p> <h2>8. Pay Attention to Your Grammar</h2> <p>Just because it is the Internet, it doesn't mean it all should be all LOL and TWSS. Studies show that only <a href="">16% of us read things word by word on the web</a>. This means that if &quot;you is not doing it good, the grammar,&quot; you're adding unneeded difficulty and your readers may skip your email altogether.</p> <h2>9. Don't Ask to Be on a Call Today or Tomorrow</h2> <p>If it is urgent, the onus is on you to pick up the phone, not the other way around. A Wharton professor of management and psychology indicates that this may make you look rude. He recommends to <a href="">let the other person suggest some time</a>s. If you need to reach the other person immediately, then move away from the computer and pick up the phone.</p> <h2>10. Pay Attention to Time Zones</h2> <p>As a Hawaii resident (that's -3 hours PST and -6 hours EST during daylight saving time), I cannot stress how important this point is. If you need a same-day reply by 10 a.m. EST, it would be a good idea to have sent your email at least the day before. Unless you're writing me a tax-free check for $1 million, it is highly unlikely that I will wake up at 4 a.m. just to reply to your email. Use a <a href="">time zone converter</a> or Google to calculate time zone differences.</p> <h2>11. Update Your Vacation Auto Responders</h2> <p>Skip any of these <a href="">awful email vacation auto responders</a> and keep it as simple as possible. Include the start and end dates of your vacation, and the name and phone number/email of an emergency contact.</p> <h2>12. Exclamation Points Are Not Periods</h2> <p>Self explanatory! This bad habit gets annoying very fast! Or indicates an obsession with factorials! You be the judge of that!</p> <h2>13. Never Embed Large Images</h2> <p>Images do speak louder than a thousand words. Unless they are 2MB and require you to go &quot;up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right&quot; to view them. Also, large image files <a href="">increase the chance of your email being caught by a spam filter</a>.</p> <h2>14. Address One Person at a Time and By Name</h2> <p>If your email open with &quot;Hey&quot; or &quot;Hi&quot; and without a name, it is most likely to be flagged as spam or upset somebody that you don't remember their name. You need to address an email recipient by his or her name and on a one-on-one basis.</p> <p>If you send an email to a long list of people and request &quot;somebody&quot; to help you with your project, the only person answering is going to be &quot;nobody.&quot; If you truly need to send the same message to several people, opt for individuals emails with a personalized message. You will increase the chances of people responding to you, which is what you need.</p> <p>Additionally, it prevents the number one sin in email writing: The abuse of the Reply All button.</p> <h2>15. Follow Up</h2> <p>Busy, successful people pride themselves in achieving <a href="">Inbox Zero</a>. For example, author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, <a href="">deletes emails after 21 days</a> because he assumes that if it's truly important, the other person would follow up. So, follow up!</p> <p><em>What is your top piece of advice to use email more efficiently at work?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Productivity email email subject line inbox zero productivity Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1196857 at 5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-to-say-to-your-boss-to-get-a-promotion-or-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="boss employee handshake" title="boss employee handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that goes double when it comes to asking for a promotion or a raise.</p> <p>A 2014 study performed by management consulting firm Accenture found that nearly 80% of employees who ask for a raise, and 70% of employees who <a href="">ask for a promotion, get one</a>. (See also: <a href="">12 Ways to finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <p>But even with such high success rates, the study found that half of the people polled never bring up the subject of a promotion or a raise to their superiors, potentially robbing themselves of advancement. Getting ahead and earning more can be as easy as asking for it, as long as you know what to say. So go ahead and try one of the following angles.</p> <h2>1. &quot;I'm Good for the Company.&quot;</h2> <p>Remind higher-ups of your value whenever the opportunity arises, such as during performance reviews, meetings, and other business-related conversations with management. You don't want to bring up every little thing you do, but you should definitely mention those specific times when you exceeded a customer's expectations, outdid yourself on a special project, or had an especially positive impact on the bottom line. Make sure you have hard numbers or other evidence to back up your claims, or it may just come across as empty bragging.</p> <h2>2. &quot;I Have a Unique Skill Set.&quot;</h2> <p>One of the best ways to set yourself up for a promotion or raise is to let management know about the distinctive knowledge, skills, and experience you bring to the table. Think about the things you do or know that go above and beyond what is necessary for your current position. Even better, demonstrate how those skills have helped you overcome issues or otherwise perform your job. Of course, the absolute best way to go about it is to let your boss know how you can use your one-of-a-kind knowledge to address a current or recurring problem.</p> <h2>3. &quot;What He Said.&quot;</h2> <p>How do upper leadership, top performers, and key influencers interact and engage upper management and each other? Observing these interactions during meetings as well as in the break room can tell you a lot about the communication styles and behaviors adopted by leaders in your company. To learn even more, engage these key people in conversation by making a positive comment about how they handled a recent project and asking specific questions, such as how they dealt with a prominent issue or managed to come in under budget despite the high demands of a client.</p> <h2>4. &quot;I Understand the Inner Workings.&quot;</h2> <p>Showing that you know the little nuances that keep the business running smoothly tells your supervisors that you understand not just the nature of your position, but the interconnected network of other employees and departments as well. Use the intel you gather from all that bigwig shoulder rubbing to enhance your knowledge and demonstrate your grasp of things that exceed your job description, especially the details of any specific positions you're gunning for. Peruse trade publications and professional association newsletters and attend industry-related functions to stay up-to-date on the bigger picture, as well.</p> <h2>5. &quot;People Like Me.&quot;</h2> <p>You may be the absolute best person for the job, but your chances of snagging a raise or promotion can be affected negatively if you don't have a good rapport with coworkers and supervisors. A 2010 study to <a href=";pg=PA125&amp;lpg=PA125&amp;dq=favorable+impression+performance+review+study+pfeffer&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=9-P0-n6gVL&amp;sig=uYzdxXvDRyB-Sf7VDBV031JO5hg&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=5y3QU4PWH4LC8AGqiYGYAw&amp;ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&amp;q=favorable%20impression%20performance%20review%20study%20pfeffer&amp;f=false">determine the effect friendliness has on performance evaluations</a> found that participants gave more favorable reviews to people who displayed better interpersonal skills than those who appeared less amiable, even when the good-natured subject performed worse on tasks. The leader of the project, Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, summarized the gist of his findings in a 2013 interview: &quot;<a href="">Life is really about relationships</a> and your success in getting promoted and getting raises and getting hired, depends on the quality of the network and relationships you were able to build with a large number of other people inside your company and for that matter, outside your company.&quot;</p> <p><em>What have you said to help you get that promotion or raise? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Lauren Treadwell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building career promotion raise Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 1195556 at These 10 Words and Phrases Are Keeping You From Getting a Raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-10-words-and-phrases-are-keeping-you-from-getting-a-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="female businesswomen talking" title="female businesswomen talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nobody seems to have told 2014 that the <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">recession ended five years ago</a>.</p> <p>Not only are college graduates having a hard time getting jobs, but current employees are having <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">a hard time getting raises</a>. This means that now more than ever, you should take every interaction with your supervisor or boss as an opportunity to leave a positive impression.</p> <p>And while we can't necessarily tell you how to solve your companies' specific challenges or exceed your role's specific expectations, we can tell you that speaking eloquently and with confidence is a great way to stand from the crowd. (See also: <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <p>With that in mind, here are 10 words and phrases that you should drop from your vocabulary to increase your chances of getting a raise.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Oh&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>If the first word coming out of your mind is &quot;oh&quot; every time that your boss asks you a question, she may get the impression that you have no idea of what's going in your projects. Being caught by surprise every now and then is not a corporate sin, but you shouldn't give the impression that your mind is wandering instead of focusing in your tasks.</p> <p>Stop looking like a deer caught in headlights and ask relevant, meaningful questions that allow you to gather more information.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Everything&quot;</h2> <ul> <li>What caused the delay in the project?</li> <li>What can I do to help you improve your performance?</li> <li>What are the benefits to our company from your job?</li> <li>What would you have done differently?</li> </ul> <p>If you answer &quot;everything&quot; to the four questions above, your supervisor is likely to facepalm. While it may be true that every single possible thing went wrong with your project, he is asking you to shine some light into the specifics.</p> <p>From that &quot;everything,&quot; cite up to three specific reasons and elaborate on them. Your supervisor will thank you and believe that you know your stuff.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Not My Job&quot;</h2> <p>Words to die by. If you are a fan of the Spiderman comics or movies, then you know that this mentality contributed to the eventual death of <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">Peter Parker's Uncle Ben</a>. (See also: <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">The Surprisingly Frugal Lifestyles of 12 Famous Superheroes</a>)</p> <p>You cannot refuse to lend a hand to your coworkers all the time. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine if every single person in the office did that to you &mdash; how would you feel?</p> <p>Listen to your coworker's request and determine who is the right person to help. Remember what goes around, comes around. Set a positive expectation for when you are the one asking for help.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Honestly&quot;</h2> <p>Does this mean that unless you're saying &quot;honestly&quot; people are to assume that you're not being honest?</p> <p>Most people tell white lies or misrepresent facts. Researches have found that <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">men tell six lies a day</a> on average to their partner, boss and work colleagues, while women tell an average of three. However, this doesn't mean that you should create special truth periods through &quot;honestly.&quot; Additionally, if you say &quot;honestly&quot; out loud, it sounds as if you're venting frustration rather than infusing confidence in your statements.</p> <h2>5. &quot;I'll Try&quot;</h2> <p>Does this mean that you will do it or not? There is a big difference in either answer, so you need to be more specific than that.</p> <p>For example, imagine that you want to get a raise. The &quot;I'll try&quot; answer doesn't provide you any specifics. You don't have a target date, a list of action items, or a target salary to reach. If you want a raise, you have to go for it, not just try. From those who ask for a raise, <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">85% at least get something</a> and 63% get at least as much as they asked for.</p> <p>So say yes or no, and fully commit to a course of action.</p> <h2>6. &quot;It's Just Business&quot;</h2> <p>It's never just business. The <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">80/20 rule explains</a> why.</p> <p>This ratio reminds us that 80% of your revenue, comes from 20% of your client base. That 20% is a combination of legacy clients, satisfied clients, and &quot;afraid of change&quot; clients. You know most of those clients by name and are comfortable enough to have a relaxed, casual chit-chat with them during conference calls. These clients are sticking with your company because of a good relationship. It's just not business.</p> <p>By coldly claiming &quot;it's just business,&quot; you are burning bridges and closing doors to potential business opportunities. And you're also potentially closing a door on your own raise if your supervisor catches wind.</p> <h2>7. &quot;Just Kidding&quot;</h2> <p>Every office needs a bit of good humor. No office needs passive-aggressiveness. And the end-all phrase of passive-aggressiveness is &quot;just kidding.&quot; As in:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Kelly is such a slacker. Just kidding!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Because Matt aaaaalways shows up on time, right? Just kidding!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;I didn't mean that, you know I was just kidding, don't you?&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Sugar coating insults or negative comments leads to resentment. There is a time and a place for jokes. Make sure that you learn the appropriate situations for serious and light comments at your company. Making enemies means losing respect, means having a tougher time justifying why you deserve more responsibility and compensation than you're already getting.</p> <h2>8. &quot;Let Me Finish This First&quot;</h2> <p>Every time that you hear this phrase, three things often come to mind:</p> <ul> <li>This person can only work on one thing at a time.</li> <li>This person is very rigid and not willing to adapt.</li> <li>This person is not willing to listen to me.</li> </ul> <p>While multitasking can do more harm than good, it is also true that our brains can handle <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">five to nine things</a> at once. When asked to pay attention to something that may be more urgent, you need to answer that call. Being a team player provides you ammunition for the next time that your supervisor is doing performance reviews or that you ask for a raise.</p> <h2>9. &quot;But&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>This one word has the power to undo everything positive you listed earlier. As in:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Your design is outstanding, but&hellip;&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Yes, you show up to work early, however&hellip;&quot;</li> <li>&quot;I love the latest logo revision, but&hellip;&quot;</li> </ul> <p>People don't hear enough compliments throughout the day. Researchers say that you should give between <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">three to ten positive comments for each negative one</a> you dish out. So the next time you provide a compliment, simply say it, and let it marinade on the other person. Especially when closing a meeting or ending a call, you want to end on a high note that resonates for a couple moments.</p> <h2>10. &quot;I'm No Expert&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>Then you shouldn't be saying anything!</p> <ul> <li>Would you ask a non-expert in medicine about how to treat a disease</li> <li>Would you care that somebody without legal expertise reviews your will?</li> <li>Would you trust your retirement account to a person without expertise in financial matters?</li> </ul> <p>No, you wouldn't.</p> <p>When you don't have the expertise, let the experts talk. And when you do hold the necessary credentials, don't undermine them and just state your case. You will sound more assertive and look more professional.</p> <p>And so will your new compensation package.</p> <p><em>What other words and phrases need to disappear from our professional vocabulary? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="These 10 Words and Phrases Are Keeping You From Getting a Raise" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building earnings extra income income paycheck promotion raise Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1184375 at Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="teamwork" title="teamwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>True generosity means giving without expecting anything &mdash; zero, zilch, nada &mdash; in return. Generosity takes many forms, both tangible and intangible.</p> <p>You donate to a specific cause, volunteer at a food pantry, offer to help the intern write a press release, give away free copies of your recently published book&hellip; Opportunities to brighten someone's day abound. And yet, although it may seem paradoxical, being generous can also brighten your day &mdash; and your career. (See also: <a href="">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good For You</a>)</p> <h2>Generosity Can Boost Your Career &mdash; and Happiness</h2> <p>Giving makes people happier, increasing their productivity at work and leading to long-term success.</p> <p>A 2008 Harvard Business School study found that participants who gave money to another person resulted in <a href="">greater feelings of happiness</a> than those who spent money to buy something for themselves. While this study specifically focused on participants giving something tangible (money), the same logic can apply to intangible gifts of generosity, like time, advice, and mentoring.</p> <p>Happier people make <a href="">better employees</a> because they work harder and tend to be more productive. Just ask the folks at Zappos and Google, two companies well known for their innovative corporate culture based on happy employees.</p> <p>The positive feelings that result from acts of generosity can be traced to <a href="">biology</a>, according to an earlier study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust are activated when people contribute to charity, according to the research.</p> <p>&quot;Charity&quot; in your career may take the form of leading a networking discussion group, offering a free podcast, or introducing a recent college graduate to your company's hiring manager.</p> <h2>Team Players Win the Networking Game</h2> <p>Karma aside, the selfish ones usually finish last &mdash; and alone. By contrast, in life and at work, generous people generally build supportive networks. They are seen as more likable, and people are attracted to their presence (perhaps because they are so happy!).</p> <p>Generosity also helps you exude confidence. When you offer to mentor the new hire on your sales team, you send a positive message: &quot;I know I'm good at what I do, and I'm not afraid that you'll overtake me in sales if I show you my trade secrets.&quot;</p> <p>Confident people often believe that knowledge is like the flame of a candle; it shines just as brightly no matter if one person or 10 people are enjoying its beauty. Therefore, they don't feel a need to &quot;hoard&quot; information due to any insecurities. They are true team players.</p> <p>Eleanor C. Whitney, author of the book <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1621060071&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MHFANJKY3GEGXV5">Grow</a>, said that &quot;when you <a href="">act with generosity</a> you are consistently open with your skills, ideas and knowledge. When you are generous you don't just give of yourself, but acknowledge the contributions and needs of others. The result is a network of people who are also willing to help you.&quot;</p> <p>Networking &mdash; and its multiplier effect &mdash; can be one of the most influential factors leading to professional success. It is often listed as the number one way to find a job. And the importance of networking &mdash; in person and online &mdash; extends throughout your career, by increasing your exposure (and, thereby, perhaps sales) and by building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.</p> <h2>Generous People Make More Effective Bosses...</h2> <p>&hellip;Which in turn inspires more successful employees.</p> <p>It may be one of the least-touted qualities of a good leader, but generosity may well be one of the most important. Communications expert Jodi Glickman explains that if a manager or leader is generous, he or she is generally well-liked.</p> <p>But it goes much further than that. &quot;<a href="">Generous bosses get 10x the productivity</a> from their employees; generous employees' stars rise in tandem with their bosses'.&quot;</p> <h2>Small Gestures Go a Long Way</h2> <p>Being generous doesn't necessarily mean donating a million dollars to your favorite charity (although that would indeed be generous!).</p> <p>Giving your time to mentor a new employee may take just an hour out of your day, but could set your new colleague on a solid path for success. Contributing $5 to the kitty for the mailroom employee's 10th anniversary at the company won't break your bank, but the collective efforts of your department breed feelings of social connectedness and goodwill.</p> <p>Thanks to social media, we are more up-to-date than ever when it comes to our friends' and colleagues' professional news. That means plenty of opportunities to send a congratulatory email to a former co-worker on a new job, refer a friend for a vacant position in your company, wish your new client all the best as she goes on maternity leave, or offer some insightful tips to a group discussion on LinkedIn.</p> <p>Being generous with your thoughtfulness in ways that you might deem &quot;insignificant&quot; could have a very big impact on someone else.</p> <h2>Win-Win Doesn't Get Any More Classic</h2> <p>When you give to others, the world gets a little brighter. Generosity is about more than karma &mdash; what goes around comes around &mdash; and its ripple effects can boomerang back to you in many positive, often unexpected, ways, especially in your career.</p> <p><em>How has generosity boosted your career? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mardee Handler</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career charity generosity leadership productivity promotion Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1164532 at A Pro Resume Editor Reveals the 5 Dumbest Things You Have on Your Resume <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-pro-resume-editor-reveals-the-5-dumbest-things-you-have-on-your-resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="resume" title="resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Resumes are your first introduction to a potential employer; they're the key that unlocks a closer inspection. You might be the world's best interviewee, but if you can't land an interview in the first place, those interpersonal skills won't do you much good. (See also: <a href="">12 Words You Need to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a>)</p> <p>In an effort to identify the dumb mistakes many job hunters make on their resumes, I spoke with Jenny Rae Le Roux, professional resume editor and owner of <a href="">Management Consulted</a>, an online resource for would-be consultants. After spending several years as a consultant with Bain &amp; Company, Jenny Rae now helps others enter the highly competitive world of management consulting.</p> <p>Here, in her words, are the top five mistakes Jenny Rae sees in resumes.</p> <h2>1. It's a Novel</h2> <p>We are sure your history is amazing, and you may be an awesome storyteller, but don't ever, ever,<em> ever</em> have more than two pages on your resume. Five sections (summary, professional experience, academic experience, leadership, and personal), four entries per section, and four to five bullet points per entry should cover it. And please don't ever use less than 10.5 point font size and 0.5 inch margins!</p> <p>Less is really more. You only have 10 seconds to make an impression, so don't bore the reader or scare them away with too much detail. Instead of reading everything, they'll look at your huge document and skip it completely.</p> <h2>2. The Formatting Is a Fiasco</h2> <p>Keep it consistent, people! If you are hoping someone will select you to appropriate their big honking budgets, manage multi-member teams, make major decisions, or perform any basic job at a competent level&hellip; you should be able to make one page flawless.</p> <p>Don't mix fonts, sizes, or styles and PLEASE &mdash; do NOT put color on your resume (unless you are 10 years old or younger).</p> <h2>3. Previous Positions Prioritized Poorly</h2> <p>Say that three times fast!</p> <p>If you scooped ice cream for 10 years, but just completed a three-month non-paid internship with Google, that's what employers want to know the most about. If you can fill up a page with short-term prestigious experiences, leave off the 10-year piece altogether &mdash; especially if it makes someone picture you in a setting that isn't compatible with your current aspirations. The last thing you want is to paint a picture of yourself in a role you're attempting to break free from.</p> <h2>4. It Suffers From TMGI</h2> <p>(That's <em>Too Much General Information</em>)</p> <p>You do not have to explain to the reviewer that you answered phone calls as a secretary. They know that. They also don't want to know about your middle school awards. Focus only on college achievements and beyond, and make sure that you don't just include summaries of each job. Include one clear illustration of something you did over and over with positive results.</p> <h2>5. It's Missing Key Details</h2> <p>&quot;Offered advice to companies,&quot; does not pack as much punch as &quot;Oversaw team of four consultants to manage a contract with $5B pharmaceutical company; assisted CEO directly with new market entry strategy.&quot;</p> <p>Provide relevant details and metrics wherever possible. Expect to spend time on your resume on your own, but also consider having an expert review it for you. It's a small one-time cost that will pay itself back tenfold by the time you start your first day at a brand new job.</p> <p><em>Have you made any of these resume mistakes? Share in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="A Pro Resume Editor Reveals the 5 Dumbest Things You Have on Your Resume" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting job hunt resume resume mistakes Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1161453 at 8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-take-a-break-at-work-and-still-look-busy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="office copier" title="office copier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you spend your day in an office, a cubicle, a dark room, or behind a desk, chances are good that &mdash; at some point &mdash; you are going to lose focus, your productivity is going to decrease, and your energy level will plummet. Combating those problems can mean the difference between staying ahead of your work or getting behind, getting out of the office on time or staying late, or even impressing your boss or getting on her bad side. (See also: <a href="">Science Shows You Need to Work Less</a>)</p> <p>If you can work in breaks, whether they are small ones or a full hour, it is possible to keep your level of productivity and attention to detail at its peak. Here are eight ways you can do just that.</p> <h2>1. Deliver Messages Rather Than Emailing</h2> <p>Instead of sending a short email from your desk, take a walk and deliver the information in person. This little break will get the blood flowing, give you a couple of minutes to think, and allow you to return to work refreshed for a bit longer. Plus, a little face-to-face interaction with your co-workers is great for networking and relationship building.</p> <h2>2. Make Multiple Trips to the Copier</h2> <p>It might be more efficient to save up everything that needs to be copied and do it all at once, but if you find that you are losing focus throughout the day, make two or three trips to the copier to give yourself a break.</p> <h2>3. Split Your Lunch Into Smaller Breaks</h2> <p>If you get an hour for lunch, speak with your boss about breaking that up into three smaller breaks &mdash; 30 minutes for lunch and two smaller 15 minute breaks at other times later or earlier in the day. During these times, head outside to get some sunshine and fresh air. Walk around the block or even the parking lot.</p> <h2>4. Utilize the Speaker and Mute Functions on Your Phone</h2> <p>If you are going to be on a long conference call, familiarize yourself with how the speaker and mute buttons work. Use the two of them at the same time while you walk around your office space and listen to the call. The movement will do your body good.</p> <h2>5. Do Simple Exercises at Your Desk</h2> <p>When walking around is not an option, but your body needs a break, try to do some simple stretches or exercises from your desk. There are many videos that show <a href="">examples of these easy-to-do exercises</a>. These will help release tension from your body and get the blood flowing back to your brain. (See also: <a href="">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a>)</p> <h2>6. Volunteer to Go on an Errand</h2> <p>It could be an errand for your boss, a quick trip to the supply closet, or an afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks. Whatever it may be, look for opportunities to get out of your space and move around. As an added bonus, those times you offer to run errands makes you look like a team player in the boss's eye.</p> <h2>7. Get a Longer Phone Cord</h2> <p>I once worked at a call center where I was attached to a phone for eight hours a day. Thankfully the phones had longer-than-usual cords, which gave us the opportunity to stand up and pace a short distance during calls, while on hold, or between speaking to customers. These weren't full-fledged breaks, but they did help.</p> <h2>8. Set a Timer to Take a Breath</h2> <p>If walking away from your desk isn't always an option, set a timer to go off every 30 to 45 minutes and then reset it for three or four minutes. (If you are using <a href="">Google Chrome</a>, there's even an extension for that.) During the reset, close your eyes and take deep, cleansing breaths. Try to relax and shut out any worries you have about work and the stress you are feeling.</p> <p>If you are finding that your attention wanes at certain times of the day, such as 10 a.m. and then again at 3 p.m., ask your boss for planned breaks during those times. Often, employers will agree to schedule in these breaks because it means more productivity from the employees who slip around the same time every day. You could justify these breaks with your boss by offering to come in 15 minutes earlier or stay a half hour longer. It never hurts to ask for what you need to be a happy employee.</p> <p><em>How do you work in an extra break (or two) at work? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Ways to Take a Break at Work (and Still Look Busy)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building General Tips breaks lunch productivity work breaks Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1149978 at STOP: 10 Words to Never Use at Work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-10-words-to-never-use-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessman talking" title="businessman talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Assuming you have a place of work right now, you likely did something very right in an interview. Maybe you even successfully avoided these <a href="">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a>. So that's the good news.</p> <p>The bad news is that minding your tongue still matters now that you've got the job, and the wrong word still has the power to separate you from said job. Though none of the below words and phrases will necessarily get you fired on the spot (like obvious slurs and profanity might), they may be even <em>more</em> insidious: you very well may be using them, hurting yourself with each utterance, and not even knowing it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a>)</p> <p>So take a look at the list, and remember that even if you have a good reason for using one of these words, others may be perceiving something negative every time you use it. Nobody said this was fair.</p> <p>Speaking of which&hellip;</p> <h2>Fair</h2> <p>You may be treated exceedingly fairly at work. You may not be. But pointing out the &quot;fairness&quot; (or lack thereof) of any given situation in the office isn't an effective way to bring about change. This is because it misses the point, which is that a business place is about creating value. If you feel something's unfair, better to analyze the ways in which said injustice hurts the company, and then present those in a measured argument.</p> <p>Even in cases of customer service, &quot;fair&quot; doesn't have much relevance. Is it fair for any angry customer to take out frustration on a service rep? No. And would it be fair for the service rep to hang up on said customer? Yes. But again, &quot;fairness&quot; isn't the goal of the interaction &mdash; protecting the company's reputation (and by extension, furthering its value) is.</p> <h2>Try</h2> <p>There are no certainties in the workplace, and everyone understands this at some level. So from a logical perspective, explaining that you'll &quot;try&quot; something instead of that you'll &quot;do&quot; something is redundant. Everything is a try. And from a rhetorical level, the word communicates a lack of confidence in your ability &mdash; a hedging of bets, preparing for possible failure. Better to &quot;do&quot; everything and then apologize when you can't successfully &quot;do&quot; one thing down the line than &quot;try&quot; everything. Yoda said it best, &quot;Do or do not. There is no try.&quot;</p> <h2>Whatever</h2> <p>This word is an insult, and it's a lazy one at that. It's a one-size-fits-all exasperated gasp that communicates to the other person, &quot;I can't think of a more intelligent response,&quot; or &quot;you're not worth hearing my more intelligent response.&quot; Either way, the word demeans you, them, and the conversation. If you have a problem with someone or something, and you think it's an appropriate time to communicate the problem&hellip; then communicate! Don&rsquo;t use a passive aggressive word like &quot;whatever&quot; to show you're unhappy without explaining why.</p> <h2>I Guess</h2> <p>See above. At best, this phrase communicates dissatisfaction without communicating its cause. Like &quot;try,&quot; it also expresses a desire to shirk off ultimate responsibility &mdash; to establish that you agree with something, but not so much that you stand up for it if it fails.</p> <h2>We'll See</h2> <p>While seemingly an indication of a coming decision, this phrase actually does the exact opposite: it's a placeholder, delaying a decision indefinitely. Clearly, all decisions aren't ready to be made as soon as someone asks, and telling someone that you're not quite ready to make a certain call yet is acceptable. But &quot;we'll see&quot; is often used in place of an explanation as to why or when the decision will be made, effectively giving the other person nothing to go on.</p> <h2>I'll Get Back to You</h2> <p>Like &quot;we'll see,&quot; this phrase is often used as a stalling technique. It communicates nothing about <em>when</em> you'll get back to them, depriving them of the ability to plan or prepare. Further, it's dismissive &mdash; it acknowledges that you're not giving the other person a timetable, which can come off as demeaning. Give the person a timetable, even if you can't be exact on a date and time.</p> <h2>You Guys</h2> <p>Even if your workplace is informal, this can come off as particularly unprofessional. More to the point, it's shorthand that addresses a group less precisely than things like &quot;your team&quot; or &quot;your company,&quot; which are easy and effective substitutes. And finally, if women are present, it's inaccurate at best, and offensive at worst.</p> <h2>I May Be Wrong, But&hellip;</h2> <p>Just like &quot;try,&quot; there's a redundancy here. Of course you may be wrong. Everyone may be wrong, always. So it goes without saying. But if you're making a statement, you should have some confidence that you're right. And if you're unsure of something, that's fine too, but then it'd be better to ask a question than offer an uninformed opinion.</p> <h2>Okay?</h2> <p>As an acknowledgment, this is fine (as in, answering &quot;Can you take care of that?&quot; with &quot;Okay&quot;), but when used as a question, it's problematic. Tacking on &quot;okay&quot; at the end of a declarative statement is validation-seeking: it implies that your statement only holds true if the person you're making it to agrees. So lose it &mdash; it's okay to be wrong!</p> <h2>Impossible</h2> <p>The idea that &quot;nothing is impossible&quot; may seem cheesy for a work setting and may not even be true&hellip; some ideas in the workplace are impossible. But it's very unlikely that you've really exhausted thinking about all possibilities, so it's not your place to deem someone else's idea. As such, &quot;I can't see a way to make that work right now&quot; is more accurate.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="STOP: 10 Words to Never Use at Work" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development words work Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:00:22 +0000 Joe Epstein 1140960 at Science Shows You Need to Work Less — Here's Why <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/science-shows-you-need-to-work-less-heres-why" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="stress" title="stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you heard about the <a href="">new labor laws in France</a>? They've limited when employees can receive and respond to work-related emails, hoping to give most workers more true leisure time. And then there's the <a href="">six-hour work days in Sweden</a>. To anyone who doesn't have those job perks, they sound like a dream. (See also: <a href="">America Is the No Vacation Nation</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, we might dream about working less because it would be good for us, and even good for our work and the planet. Wondering how to pitch a shorter work week to your boss? Read on for three killer arguments.</p> <h2>Working Less Keeps Your Brain in Top Shape</h2> <p>As it turns out, human beings can't sustain high levels of focus and energy and, when they try to do so, <a href="">they sacrifice creativity and innovation</a>. In today's marketplace, creativity and innovation are of particularly high value. Thus, if you want to succeed in your chosen career path, it's probably worthwhile to think about the different ways you can work less.</p> <h3>Get Flexible</h3> <p>Working fewer hours is the most obvious way to get your brain a break. If you can't move to Sweden and your job doesn't offer any sort of flex time, you might consider looking into a company that offers <a href="">ultraflex jobs</a>. These companies allow employees, at least those in certain positions, to choose their own hours and, sometimes, even the location where their work gets done. Workers still have to fulfill their roles, but they can figure out how to do that on their own.</p> <h3>Take More Breaks</h3> <p>Consider taking more breaks at your job. Choose a longer period of time, usually 30-90 minutes, to focus on work, and then take a 5-15 minute break. Set an alarm to get started, work until it is done, and then set it again for your break. Keep following this pattern until your workday is complete.</p> <p>Some companies don't encourage employees to take extra breaks. If this is the case for you, try taking shorter breaks and either going to the bathroom (stretching your legs will do you good) or finding <a href="">some quick exercises</a> you can do. (See also: <a href="">11 Things You Can Do During Your Lunch Break to Change Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>Working Less Increases Productivity</h2> <p>Working less not only helps improve your creativity, but it also <a href="">makes you more productive</a>. Even if your current job doesn't involve putting old ideas together in new ways, you will benefit from figuring out how to work less, because it will help you get more done and to do your tasks more efficiently. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">The 5 Best Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder</a>)</p> <h3>Working Shorter Means Working Smarter</h3> <p><a href="">No one is quite sure</a> how working less helps make you more productive, but the link seems to persist throughout the studies. It is likely connected to the tie between working less and creativity. In fact, it seems that, while the human brain does focus well, it doesn't function best when it focuses on the same types of tasks for long periods of time.</p> <h3>Break Up Tasks</h3> <p>If you can't actually work less, try breaking your tasks up by type. For instance, you may have several tasks that involve focused computer work, several that involve meeting with others, and a few that require you to evaluate other employees. Instead of attacking these as they come up, try planning to spend sections of your day on each type of task. (See also: <a href="">10&nbsp;Weird Ways to Get Things Done That Might Work For You</a>)</p> <p>Scheduling your day like this allows your brain to do different things, even if it's all considered &quot;work.&quot; This can help you be more productive, because each set of tasks gives your brain a break from the other types.</p> <h2>Working Less Is Better for the Earth</h2> <p>If becoming more creative and more productive aren't enough motivation for you to consider working less, think about this: People who work less <a href="">rely less on disposable, consumable products</a>.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">It makes sense. Do you grab fast food on the way home because you worked late and you don't want to have to think about dinner when you get home? Do you use disposable diapers or drink bottled water because you simply don't have the time or the head space to use anything else, because your days and your mind are filled with work?</span></p> <p>You can also think about this a different way. Would you make more stuff for yourself (and your friends and family) if you weren't working so much? I went to a baby shower recently where a friend of mine was lamenting her gift. &quot;I started knitting a blanket,&quot; she said, &quot;but it's tax season and I didn't have time to finish.&quot; Instead of the blanket, she gave a gift that included disposable bottles of baby shampoo, lotion, and so on. If only she'd had more time!</p> <p>Other people might not make blankets, but they'd love to make dinner instead of picking it up. Still others would take the time to grow their own vegetables, so they wouldn't have to buy them. And some would make their own hand soap, shampoo, detergent, and more, thus choosing to spend their time on these things, rather than their money. (See also: <a href="">16 Everyday Things You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <p>It's easy to feel like these are small things that don't matter very much. But if everyone had even a few extra hours a week and spent even a fraction of that time making their own things rather than buying them, the world would be a healthier place. We can't make those changes, though, if we don't have the time, and we won't have the time if we keep working the way we are now.</p> <p>So think about it. Working less is good for you. It's good for the world. It's even good for your employer. If at all possible, think up ways you can work less today. If it's not possible at your current job, think about finding one where it is.</p> <p><em>Have you cut your working hours? What benefits did you reap? Please take a moment out of your busy schedule and share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Science Shows You Need to Work Less — Here&#039;s Why" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Productivity 8 hour day flexible work work hours working less Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:00:36 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1141209 at 15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won't Make You Feel Slimy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="team working" title="team working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sucking up may be perceived by many as an easy way to manipulate someone else to your own advantage. But sucking up is really an art form, a craft that must be fine-tuned and mastered to be effective.</p> <p>There is actually a formal terminology for the classic term of sucking up. It's referred to as <a href="">ingratiation behavior</a>, defined as &quot;establishing oneself in the favor or good graces of others, especially by deliberate effort.&quot; (See also: <a href="">12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of scientific studies that show that <a href="">sucking up can be effective</a> &mdash; that is, when it's done properly. As people of power (such as your boss) may become suspicious or even jaded when offered constant compliments, being a suck up can actually backfire on you if you have not yet mastered the art of sucking up.</p> <p>Here are some basics to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Gauge Your Target</h2> <p>There are some bosses who thrive on constant, blatant compliments, and there are bosses who detest them. You need to figure out your strategy based on how your boss responds to such instances. If your boss gives you a weird look when you compliment her, then back off and take a more subtle approach. Instead of, &quot;You're so amazing, wonderful, smart, awesome, at <em>everything</em>!&quot; Say something along the lines of, &quot;I'm glad I get to learn so much from you everyday,&quot; or, &quot;I've learned so much about being adaptable by watching how you handle situations.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Retain Your Values</h2> <p>If your boss is all about the Brown Nosers, but sucking up is not something you are comfortable with, you need to make a decision pretty quickly about your future at the company. Don't ditch your values for the chance to get ahead. It's rarely worth it in the end.</p> <p>Plus, if you're not being authentic and truthful about the compliments you're spewing (and if you're not a Meryl Streep caliber actor), then it's going to seem phony, which is completely counter-productive.</p> <h2>3. Be Well-Rounded</h2> <p>While your initial target for a good impression may be the boss in charge, you also need to consider the other people in your work environment that should have your focus. Effective sucking up should include anyone who can influence the decision to promote you such as your big boss's support staff, administration team, and management leaders.</p> <p>These people are most likely your coworkers. Moral of the story: Be nice to everyone.</p> <h2>4. Know Where the Line Is</h2> <p>There is a big difference between friendly compliments and blatant flattery, so make sure you know where to draw the line. Following others around like a puppy and throwing compliments like confetti will become annoying and will not be effective, at all.</p> <p>Subtlety and authenticity must be your guiding lights.</p> <h2>5. Ask for Guidance in a Flattering Way</h2> <p>Approach your target under the guise of asking for advice or guidance with some flattery thrown in for good measure. For instance, start the conversation with, &quot;I really admired the way you handled the Smith situation. Do you have any advice for this issue I am having?&quot; This is a nice way to pay a compliment while gaining some one-on-one time with your boss.</p> <h2>6. Observe and Regurgitate</h2> <p>What do you learn from your boss or coworkers on a daily basis? Constantly take notes (mental or actual &mdash; there's no shame in jotting down things) of the great things you are observing, and then, when you have the opportunity, bring up elements of what you learned when meeting with your boss on other matters. Boss or not, everyone loves hearing things about themselves. Observe and play back the good things you've been seeing.</p> <h2>7. Dish Compliments to Their Allies</h2> <p>When given the chance to associate with friends or confidants of your boss, feel free to show your admiration. Mention how well you think your boss does managing the team or throw out a compliment like &quot;he/she has such great ideas.&quot; In some cases, you might even receive a compliment in return if your boss has expressed their opinion of you to them.</p> <p>Likely, your compliment will get back to your boss and then, guess what? You'll get thought of in a positive light, again.</p> <h2>8. Expand on a Common Passion</h2> <p>If you learn your boss is a clothes' horse, an avid hiker, really into baking, or shares a passion for your favorite hobby, start a conversation about it. &quot;Hey, I heard you're quite the fisherman. What kind of bait have you been using?&quot;</p> <p>Create common ground and you'll have more to talk about. People like people like themselves.</p> <h2>9. Acknowledge an Affiliation You Share</h2> <p>Find out if your boss is a member of the same church, same alumni association, or the same parent/teacher organization. Bring up connections you may have in common. Your boss may be more likely to remember you when he or she can relate you to other areas of their life outside of work.</p> <h2>10. Ask for an Expectations Refresher Course</h2> <p>Speak with your boss about setting some time aside to have a serious conversation to discuss expectations &mdash; the company's and yours. Focus on the things your boss expects of you overall and your boss's general thoughts on daily issues that can make a difference. Make sure the things you are doing every day and the way you do them is what your boss expects.</p> <p>By taking the initiative to connect with your boss and make sure you are meeting expectations, you'll show that you value your boss's opinion of you.</p> <h2>11. Request More Responsibilities</h2> <p>As they say, actions speak louder than words. Don't just throw constant compliments at your boss. Let your actions speak for you. Request additional responsibilities, a bigger work load, or volunteer to handle the extra projects that need to be done. Proving your ambition can have a bigger impact than saying, &quot;What a great blazer!&quot; every single day.</p> <p>By showing you care about what the boss cares about (you know, your workplace), the boss will see that you are an <em>action taker</em> and not just a <em>talker</em>; a very important distinction.</p> <h2>12. Be Socially Appropriate</h2> <p>In the age of social media you really need to retain perspective on what is appropriate and what is not. If you are tagging your boss in every Facebook post and Twitter statement as if you are now BFF's, you will likely come to regret it. Gushing and gloating publicly may not only be a turn off for your boss, but it could also cause some serious office drama amongst your co-workers. Be a professional, not a creeper.</p> <p>Even if you do get along great with your boss on a personal level you've got to stay professional. Texting at 1:00 in the morning might be okay with your buds, but if you try to take your relationship with your boss to that level of personal, it will not help you garner any raises. It will only show that you lack good judgment.</p> <h2>13. Prove You Are a Leader, Too</h2> <p>If you want to be taken seriously as a leader, be a leader. Find the balance between keeping your boss happy with your performance without alienating other staff. Be sure to implement good time management skills in your everyday work life. Don't engage in office gossip or get caught loitering in the break room every day. Stay on task and act like the leader you want to be seen as.</p> <h2>14. Don't Be a Wallflower</h2> <p>In line with proving your abilities to your boss and the office in general, you must find the confidence to speak up in meetings, other team activities, and individual meetings. Show people what you are made of by offering suggestions, ideas, and confidence in your abilities rather than sitting quietly without an ounce of ambition. Get recognized for the value you add to your position and to the company as a whole.</p> <h2>15. No Tasks Are Beneath You</h2> <p>Want to show your boss that you care? File what needs to be filed. Do the menial tasks that move the office forward, and generally, don't try to pull &quot;rank&quot; in any way. Do whatever needs to be done. You might be hired to be the Creative Director, but if someone is out sick, or if something simply needs to be done, step up and do whatever you've got to do.</p> <p>Taking initiative and staying humble will show your boss that you are awesome, and you should probably be considered for a promotion when the time comes.</p> <p>It comes down to this: Sucking up isn't about flinging out random compliments and bringing your boss her favorite coffee drink every chance you get. Sucking up, effectively, is about having a genuine concern and care for the company and showing it every chance you get.</p> <p><em>What's your best suck up advice? Would you honor us with a comment or two from your experience?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won&#039;t Make You Feel Slimy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Anna Newell Jones</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development brown nosing ingratiation behavior kiss up sucking up Fri, 30 May 2014 08:48:24 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 1141047 at