Archive for July, 2014

Three Office Etiquette Tips You Need to Consider

Jul 29 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – In order to be successful in an office setting, there is an unwritten code for employees to follow in terms of their workplace etiquette if they wish to be successful. Proper workplace etiquette is the norm for office behavior that is acceptable all over the world. Obviously good etiquette in the workplace includes having good manners and being courteous to others and also includes using the office technology in an appropriate manner.

Below are three tips for having good etiquette in the workplace.

  1. Dressing appropriately for work. If your workplace has a dress code that is business casual and you’re not quite sure what would be appropriate attire or not, make it a point to ask. Many employers are choosing to go with a business casual dress code and some people are unclear on what business casual means. Some people take business casual to mean khaki pants and collared shirts, other types of casual pants, dresses that are casual and so on. However, some company’s business casual dress code excludes clothing like jeans or shoes that are open-toed. If you meet with clients outside your office you may require to dress differently than you do when you’re in the office. The normal and accepted rule for this would be to dress like your client or a step above. It’s best to check with your supervisor first though. There’s a popular saying that you should “dress for the job you want”. In other words, if you dress like a member of management, then it is safe to assume you’re probably dressed appropriately for work.
  2. Using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.  As children we are taught that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are the “magic words” that should be used when asking for something and then receiving what was asked for. Obviously we have outgrown our parents and other adults reminding us to use the “magic words” but these words are still crucial. After all, every language uses words in with the same meaning, and manners are especially important at work. You should still be saying please and thank you in the business world at every chance. If you make a habit to use these courteous words, you are showing respect for those that you’re dealing with. Regardless if you work in customer service, you should still be using customer’s service with your fellow employees and management. Doing so proves to your superiors that you can be a go-to person because you are always pleasant to deal with.
  3. Being a team player. In the workplace there are many expectations that you should be able to work with different people and clients on projects throughout your employment. Sometimes it can be rough working with certain personalities and that is exactly why clear communication is key. A big part of proper workplace etiquette is being able to work well with others and being able to communicate effectively. Step back and listen to the other person’s point of view. While you may not always be able to agree with their point of view, you can learn something new by remaining open to their perspective and being respectful of it.

Office Manners

Here are some other workplace etiquette tips you can follow to maintain positive work relationships:

  • Being friendly and encourage your co-workers
  • Be responsible for your actions. – If for some reason you can’t complete a task, make sure to communicate this to all it effects.
  • Be considerate to any office mates you may share a workspace with
  • Dwell on co-workers and managements positive qualities
  • Keep out of office drama and gossip
  • Communication is key!

It’s not hard to learn to use proper workplace etiquette, but it is a skill you should always be using throughout your career no matter where you work. It will help you get far and your co-workers, bosses and clients will thank you for it.

Comments Off on Three Office Etiquette Tips You Need to Consider

The importance of perspective in work

Jul 15 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – When you’re miserable at work, quitting your job can seem like the solution to all your problems. It gives you hope that your life will one day not be quite so miserable. Maybe you’re not naïve enough to view it as your one-way ticket to Utopia, but the unknown is much more appealing than your current situation. The importance of perspective in work cannot be underestimated.

But what if you’re wrong? It’s scary to think that you may, because if you think too long the helpless feeling is all but certain to return with vengeance. Even so, it is important to resist the urge to completely resign yourself to defeat. Instead face your fears, face your problems and map out a plan.

Take control of the situation and write your own destiny. Here’s how to maintain the importance of perspective in work.

Confront Your Emotions
Helplessness and hope are common feelings when you feel like giving up and quitting. Quitting your job, or not, is a big decision—and one that is complicated further if you have dependents. But if you aren’t happy your job performance and overall mental health suffers as well.

The Importance of Perspective at WorkDon’t ignore your emotions, or the emotional and mental impact your job has on you. Instead, confront your emotions, manage them, and work through them so that you can gain perspective and uncover the root of the problem.

Once you do this, ask yourself:

  • Have I always been unhappy?
  • Is it one or many issues that have led to this feeling?
  • What area of my job is the primary source of my unhappiness?

Consider Your Options
Once you’ve processed your emotions and carefully evaluated the situation, you can more clearly assess your options. After all, now you know precisely what the problem is. If you don’t, you have a much better idea than before.

If the problem is the job itself and you’ve simply always been unhappy, then it may be time for a change. Think of what you want to do. Be aware that any new career path will have its own advantages and disadvantages and just as now, it may take some trial and error to determine your best fit.

However, if your unhappiness stems from a particular coworker, policy, duty or any other specific job related source or sources, and you may want to address those problems before calling it quits. This may seem like an uphill battle, but the job market is competitive and comes with its own challenges.

Talk to your coworkers, managers and others and try to resolve the problem. If the problems are numerous, you may want a clean slate. That is your choice to make, but be aware that many times it is small grievances and annoyances that go ignored and turn into something much bigger. If you choose to quit, learn from your mistakes and speak up and address any issues immediately in order to avoid a repeat of the past.

Plan for the Worst
Know that despite your best efforts, quitting may be your only option. The importance of perspective in work means also preparing for this and beyond. Don’t wait until after you quit to look for a job. Instead, start the process as soon as possible. Save your money and understand what you will need to do in the days and months ahead if you remain unemployed.

It is important that you have hope, but don’t entertain delusions. While you might land your dream job immediately, it could take a few months or more.  In fact, more than 2.5 million Americans have been out of work for over a year.

Confronting the problem and working through your emotions will give you insight in order to best address the problem and resolve it. Expect the best, but plan for the worst.

Comments Off on The importance of perspective in work

5 people who not to friend on Facebook

Jul 08 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – Social media can be used in many ways, some platforms more than others. But who not to friend on Facebook is as important as who you are befriending. While LinkedIn is built around professional networking, others, like Facebook are used in a more personal way.

Facebook was all fun and games in the beginning, but now it’s much more than a place to communicate with friends. Navigating who to friend or accept requests from can be tricky enough these days with mom and grandma getting in on the action. And once you find yourself censoring your thoughts and words, the whole platform can easily lose its luster.

It’s easy to let your guard down and think, “What’s the harm?” when in reality, the mix of work and personal is still ill advised. One study indicates that Millennials are friends with at least 16 coworkers on Facebook. But is it a good idea?

Let’s take a look at five people who not to friend on Facebook.

Your Boss
This one should be obvious who not to friend on Facebook. It may seem like a good way to get to know him or her outside of the workplace, but in reality, it can be the beginning of the end. No matter how tight you think your privacy settings are set to, the rules and settings are constantly evolving. Posts can be misinterpreted and your workplace integrity can easily be compromised. And all those games you may or may not play on your phone at work? An unwitting update can blast your activity to your boss. For these reasons and more friending your boss is just too risky. Don’t do it.

Need more proof? Here’s a list of 16 reasons, courtesy of Buzzfeed.

who not to friend on facebook

The Office Enemy
We’ve all heard the saying; “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In this case, nope. Nope, nope, and nope. Resist the urge to spy on your workplace “frenemy.” Facebook doesn’t work one-way. You viewing his or her profile means he or she can also view yours. If this person is ultimately competition, they may be looking and waiting on the perfect opportunity to take you down. Don’t give them any intel or ammunition by friending them on Facebook.

Anyone in HR
We often think of HR as always having our best interest in mind, but as we’ve discussed in previous posts, their duty is to work in the best interests of the company. Friending your HR contact or anyone that works in HR may seem safe, but in reality job-complaints or ranting could be grounds for dismissal. In this case, what you say can and very likely will be held against you and result in job loss.

Your Old Boss
This is what LinkedIn is for, not Facebook. If you left your previous job on good terms, you may be tempted to friend your old boss. Especially if the two of you had a good relationship. This could, however, cost you. If he or she finds your online persona annoying or too revealing about your work habits, this could affect his or her view of you and impact future references. It’s best not to jeopardize your relationship and avoid the temptation of friending your old boss.

Anyone You Manage
It’s important to maintain a professional relationship with those that you manage and it’s hard to do that if you become Facebook friends with them. In fact, this friending can backfire in one of two ways: You could lose credibility with your boss or coworkers, or you could lose credibility with others you manage. Make it a policy of yours not to friend those that you manage.

Social media makes it easy to blur the lines between business and personal, but when friending someone from work you should always proceed with caution. Who not to friend on Facebook is as important as anyone you add.

Comments Off on 5 people who not to friend on Facebook

The importance of a vacation while job hunting

Jul 01 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – A quick and easy way to ensure you’ll burn out at the job search is to push yourself too hard without a break. While it’s tempting for employers and employees alike to push harder and do more at work, this mentality can also transfer to those who are out of work. Not taking a break can be detrimental to your health, as well as to the health of your family. This means taking a break is not only wanted, it’s also necessary. The importance of a vacation while job hunting cannot be underestimated.

According to National Geographic, only 14% of American workers take vacation. Although this may seem like a good thing, or as a testament to the endurance and perseverance of the American worker, it undermines productivity and impacts your performance at work, as well as negatively impacting your physical and mental health. If you’re ever tempted to cash in those vacation days in favor of more work, consider the following.

Why Vacation is Good
Just like you need sleep to survive, you need vacation. In fact, the consequences of not taking a vacation are eerily similar to the consequences of insufficient sleep. When you do not a break, your concentration suffers and you are less able to see clearly. This impacts decision-making, conflict resolution, creative thinking, and problem solving ability. Additionally, stress levels increase, heightening anxiety and the risk of obesity and heart disease. A break from the work norm or job search can give you a renewed perspective and energy to accomplish more than before.

Importance of vacation during job search

What Vacation Means
You may think of vacation as traveling, which of course costs money, but think of vacation as a break. You don’t have to go anywhere, you only need to take a break from work or a job search and break your routine. While doing something you enjoy during your time off will provide the most benefits, it doesn’t have to be an expensive or extravagant affair. Even the simple act of turning off the phone and heading to the golf course is beneficial.

How Vacation is More Than You
Vacation doesn’t only benefit you – it ultimately benefits your employer or future employer as well. When people don’t take vacation, morale and productivity decreases and people make bad decisions. When taking a new job, you should be fully aware of the circumstances and not stressed out because of the long search. Work will always be there. Taking a break from the search doesn’t make it disappear. Not taking a break does, however, ensure that you will not be as efficient at your job search, or if you are working you will pay the expense of your own mental health as well as the expense of your employer and coworkers.

Just because you take a vacation doesn’t you are a slacker. The importance of a vacation while job hunting is proven in this fact – other countries like Switzerland and Sweden, who boast strong economies and productivity, embrace vacation time both for those working and those who are not. You work hard and deserve and require a break from time to time. So before you opt out of time off, remember that you’ve earned it.

Comments Off on The importance of a vacation while job hunting