Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Office Party Dos and Dont’s

Dec 07 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Tis the season for office parties, and many of us will be attending one in some facet in the coming weeks. Some may involve food. Some may involve alcohol. All provide a way to get to know one another in an informal setting and let loose. It is about celebrating the year behind you and looking forward to what is to come. And you should have fun. You should let loose. You should not, however, forget about etiquette and professionalism.

Here are a few tips to make sure you leave the party with your reputation in tact.

Don’t Have Too Many Drinks

The goal is to have fun. The goal is not, however, to drink your coworkers under the table. You are not at a party with your friends; you are there with your colleagues. You want them to respect you afterward. Alcohol is dangerous at office parties, and in general, because it can impair judgment. What seems like a really good idea at the time may prove disastrous the next day.

Don’t Act Like You’re in a Bar

There may be fun to be had and it may be a party, but the office party is not—we repeat—not a single’s bar. Sure, you’ll see a new side to your coworkers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer the same in office respect. Save the pick up lines and resist the temptation to act on any romantic feelings.

Do Watch Your Language

Again, just because you can relax, doesn’t mean you should get too relaxed. Foul language and off-colored remarks may just land you in the hot seat on Monday morning. At worst, it could get you fired.

Do Keep Your Guard Up

Part of successfully achieving all of the above is by relaxing, but not relaxing too much. You should relax, of course, but always keep your guard up and understand how your behavior reflects on yourself and your company.

 

 

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How to Handle Mistakes at Work

Nov 30 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

We are all human. And humans make mistakes. Even so, mistakes at work can seem monumental. You may be embarrassed. You may have caused a headache for human resources, or even legal problems. A mistake is not as bad as you may think, as long as it is addressed and handled in the appropriate way. Here is how.

Admit the Mistake

Once you are aware of the mistake, you should tell your boss about it as soon as possible. Of course, if the mistake is miniscule and can be corrected quickly before it causes a problem. This does not mean that you should hide your mistakes, but applies only to those small errors with little impact. Hiding other mistakes will make you appear dishonest if uncovered by someone else in the office, whereas being upfront and honest about your mistakes makes you appear professional—just as you are. And integrity is a trait admired by employers.

Offer Solutions

For those larger mistakes, think about what can be done to correct the mistake and have this plan in mind before you confess to your boss. This shows that you have thought about the problem and are taking the initiative to correct your mistake. With this in mind, your possible solutions should include one primary, along with a few alternatives if necessary. Your plan should be clearly thought through and include costs involved in implementation.

Accept Blame

Part of accepting the blame means to resist the temptation to blame anyone or anything else for your mistake. In the event that the mistake was done as part of a collaborative effort with coworkers, you still shouldn’t point fingers.

Yes, you should admit and accept blame. Yes, you should offer ways to fix the problem. What you shouldn’t do, however, is beat yourself up over your mistake. This doesn’t help correct the mistake in a meaningful way and can make you seem unstable.

Ultimately, use your mistakes as an opportunity to grow in your job and in your career. Let those around you know that you are not afraid to handle the good and the bad.

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Valid Reasons to Call in Sick

Nov 23 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Thinking of calling in sick to work? Most of us have done it before. Sometimes, it is because we are actually physically ill. Sometimes we need a mental health day. Yet most of us have a certain amount of guilt when we do, regardless of our reasons.

Sometimes, we are afraid that the work will not get done without us. Sometimes, we know we need to finish a particular project and simply cannot afford to miss the work that has to be done. But, if you are sick you are sick, and studies show that an employee that is sick is not productive. This means that going to work when you are sick is not helpful to anyone, nor is it a good use of resources. And, it also means that you could potentially spread your sickness to your coworkers who will then be faced with their own calling in sick dilemma.

If you still are not sure whether or not your sickness warrants a day in bed, this list of common sickness and symptoms are all valid reasons to pick up the phone and stay in bed.

Upset Stomach

If you’ve ever had a stomach virus you know that it can be rather violent. You may have diarrhea or you may be vomiting. While it could be a bout of food poisoning, it may also be a dreaded stomach virus. And a stomach virus is VERY contagious.

The Flu

If you were completely fine only to wake up with a fever, aches and chills, it’s highly likely that you have the flu. There is no “cure” when it comes to the flu, since it is a viral illness. In order to recover, you will need to rest. Also, just like a stomach virus, the flu is highly contagious. Why subject your coworkers to your misery unnecessarily?

Fever

When you run a fever, it means that your body is hard at work fighting an infection. While it may not be a viral infection, a fever guarantees that you feel horrible and will be pretty useless even if you did venture into the office. It’s far better to give your body rest and the strength to fight.

Sore Throat

While a sore throat may seem innocent enough, it could be a warning sign of something much worse, such as strep throat. We aren’t talking about your every day hoarseness, the kind of sore throat in question results in swollen glands and is usually accompanied by lethargy and fever. In the event of strep throat, an antibiotic will do the trick, but you’ll need to take the day off and visit the doctor for the treatment and the all clear.

While these three things are not a complete list of valid reasons, they are legitimate reasons to call in sick guilt free.

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Ready to Quit Your New Job?

Nov 16 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

So you just started that new job or internship and you are already thinking of ways to quit. It happens. Should you give it time, or follow your instincts. If you choose the latter, how do you even begin to leave before you have really even started?

As with everything in life, leaving one job and beginning another is full of risks and rewards. Quitting one job is not without consequence. It is only natural that the idea brings feelings of concern and panic. Put simply, quitting your job can impact both your immediate and long-term career potential. And leaving a job after you have just begun? It can be all the more troubling.

Before you make the move and quit your new job, consider the following:

You’ll Make Enemies of Your New Boss and Coworkers

Sure, they have only just started getting to know you, but what they will know of you will be less than pretty. They took the time to welcome you. The took the time to interview and hire you. And therefore, they made an investment in your potential. If you quit before you ever have a chance to prove your potential and provide a return on their investment, it will guarantee they think negatively about you for years to come.

You Can Forget About Future Opportunities with the Company

Obviously, you should not apply for any future job openings with the company. You will have burned that bridge completely. Even if the people you worked with have long since left too, you’ll likely find yourself on a company “no hire” list that will seal your fate.

You May Reflect Negatively on References or Colleges

You know those people that gave you a reference? You know your school where you earned your degree? Each of these things factored into the hiring decision. Your quick abandonment will not only reflect negatively on you, but on these people and institutions as well.

You Could Make a Habit of Quitting

You did it once, why not do it again? If you quit without ever starting, you can easily establish a pattern of behavior that can be hard to break and leave you unfulfilled.

 

These things are not a death sentence in the job world, however. If a job simply isn’t the right fit, it may be better for all parties if you quit before even more time and energy is wasted. In order to mitigate the negative consequences above, we recommend the following:

  • Do it in Person
  • Be Honest
  • Be Apologetic
  • Offer to Stay Until a Replacement is Hired

 

In order to keep yourself from finding yourself in the same position, remember to be realistic in your job search and commit yourself to evaluating job openings and offers. Make sure one mistake doesn’t become a lifetime of bad decisions.

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How to Stay Positive During the Job Search

Nov 09 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Everyone says to stay positive. But staying upbeat and happy go lucky during a job search can be challenging. Really challenging. In fact, it is especially as the time goes on and on and your luck is running dry. Yet, a positive attitude helps you land a job.

As Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Of course, this is easier said than done. Unless, of course, you have a plan in place for success. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to stay motivated and maintain your enthusiasm during your job search.

Eyes on the Prize

Instead of obsessing over every missed opportunity, keep your eyes on your goal. You want to win the war, not the battle. And each stop along the way to achieving your dreams is an opportunity. Learn from it. Embrace it. And above all, stay focused on the end-game. You left your old job for a reason. Remember what that was and envision your life once you find that happier, better place and then make it happen. Dream it and do it.

Positive Thinking; Positive People

A simple smile or laugh can work wonders on your mental health. Yes, thinking positive can be difficult, which is why mindfulness is important. Practice meditation techniques and other exercises that can filter out the negative and keep you in a positive place. Externally, you want to surround yourself with positive people that encourage you and cheer you on along the way. These internal and external forces working together can help you overcome any obstacles along the way and keep you motivated.

Set Acheivable Goals & Act on Them

While your end goal is established, make small goals along the way to ensure success. Network and reach out to people you know within your industry. Take advantage of social media, particularly job related platforms like LinkedIn. Take some time to develop your brand.

Once you have these goals listed, start knocking them off one by one. Celebrate each and every achievement made. You will feel accomplished—as you should, and ultimately, you will feel more in control of your life and your future.

 

 

 

 

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Answering Tricky Interview Questions

Nov 02 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Interviews can be tricky. But some interviews can be trickier than others. If you have been on more than a few job interviews, you know this is true.

Why the need for tricks? Because a prospective employer knows that they will be taking a gamble on you. Put simply, you are an investment. If they do not choose wisely, that investment may not pay off. And those tricky questions? They separate the great from the mediocre. Some of these questions may seem simple, but do not let that fool you. Here are three examples and how to answer those tricky interview questions and maximize your hire worthy potential.

So, tell me about yourself.

Ahh, the question asked and answered many times over a lifetime. Yet employers aren’t just looking for any answer. They want to hear keywords. They want to hear in your explanation things that matter in their decision making process—your skills, education, experience, good qualities and achievements.

This is a chance to introduce yourself in a way that brands you as the person the company not only wants, but needs.

What is the biggest challenge when dealing with others?

In life there are bothers. There are challenges. If you tell them that you get along with everyone and anyone and life is a happy place, they likely won’t take you seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to use this opportunity to unload your grievances.

Speak in generalizations, not specifics, and speak calmly. For example, “I find that negative attitudes in the workplace can be challenging.” Once you state a challenge, be sure to conclude with a resolution so that your answer is based on solutions as opposed to the problem.

I see you’ve been out of work for some time.

In this instance, the employer is essentially asking why you’re still on the market—if you’re that great, that is. Success in answering this question is dependent on calming whatever fears or reservations they may have about hiring you.

Let the employer know that it is your choice. Perhaps you haven’t had the right opportunity or found the right fit. Or, perhaps you opted to take some personal time after your last job, prior to starting over. Wrap it up with a sense of urgency, however. Yes, you took some time for whatever reason, but now that you are invested in the job search, things are moving along quickly. (Read: better snap me up!)

 

 

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Connecting with Coworkers

Oct 26 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Connecting with your coworkers can be easy or hard. It may be more difficult for some than others, and vice versa. Yes, to an extent it is much like high school, but on a broader scale, connecting with your coworkers is really just a matter of creating a positive relationship.

All too often, we view our coworkers as friend or foe. While competition can drive you, it can also be your Achilles heel if not careful. You want to play nice and work well with your coworkers, because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Here’s how:

Think Outside the Office

Chances are, you can’t quite go up to an already established work group (especially if you are the “new guy/girl”) and approach making friends preschool style. This can be seen as intrusive and well, strange, and isn’t likely to score you any points. Instead, simply make a concerted effort to mingle out of the office. Grab a quick coffee, a quick bite to eat, a quick drink after work. Ask them about their life and interests, but stay away from anything too personal. Signal you want to know them on a personal level in a casual way.

No Complaining

Sometimes, yes, you will complain. So will your coworkers. It’s common. It’s natural. It happens. What you want to avoid is doing just that, all the time. Yes, work may be stressful, but you want to avoid dumping all your worries and troubles on those you work with. It may make them uncomfortable and distant. Focus instead common ground you have. What begins as small talk can easily build a lasting relationship.

Collaborate

You can’t do everything on your own. The same goes for coworkers. Ask them for help and offer yours. Don’t say, “oh, can you do this for me.” Instead, ask them to review something for you and signify you value their input and opinions. This will earn their respect and make them feel valued, further cultivating a friendship. Collaboration is a key factor in workplace success. Period.

Above all, remember to be nice and sincere. Don’t be pushy. Don’t be a know it all. Don’t hog all the glory. Treat your coworkers as valuable team members and they will do the same.

 

 

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No Experience? No Problem.

Oct 19 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

No experience? No problem. Except, if you been in the job market you know that it is actually a problem. To get a job, whether you’ve been working for years or just entered the market after graduation, you have to have experience. And in order to get experience? Well, someone has to hire you.

It’s quite the paradox and incredibly frustrating. So what do you do when you lack the experience, but need and want the job? Here’s where to start.

Resume Awesomeness

Recruiters put job requirements up to weed out weak candidates. It doesn’t mean that the list is absolute. It’s all about how you market yourself. And the first step to marketing yourself in all the right ways is in writing a winning resume and cover letter.

To do so, you’ll need to show your value. Tailor your resume to what they are looking for. If they want 5 years of experience and you only have 3, make the most of that 3 years. Chances are, they aren’t counting the dates on your resume. Instead, they’re using it to learn about what you’re bringing to the table. You don’t want to sound unreal and you certainly don’t want to lie, but be clear on your goals and your achievements.

Dynamic Introduction

Focus on your introduction. Sure, you may have experience in something that is unrelated to the job at hand, but it’s all about presentation. Don’t spend your introduction going on and on about real estate when the job at hand is marketing research. Mention why you’re changing careers, link the two, and explain your connection to both and how your past career gives you unique perspective and separates you from other applicants.

Work It

Typically, all those requirements are simply an HR wish list. It’s the best case scenario. Realistically, few will meet all requirements (and not be overqualified). So don’t get intimidated by the details. Many times, your resume is simply skimmed. So make those sticking points count. If you’re missing some key job requirements, be sure to structure your resume in a way that highlights the bits and pieces that do make you a prime candidate.

Education

Remember that degree you have? All that studying. All that hopeful optimism that it would help you land that great job. You may not be looking for employment in the area of your degree, but hey, you have one. Be proud of it. You are driven and that degree proves it. Plus, you never know if that person reviewing your application might relate. Maybe they went to your school. Maybe they were in your fraternity or sorority. Maybe they were in that honor society. That diploma. That school. All may be the luck you need to get you in for an interview.

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The After Interview Waiting Game

Oct 12 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

If you are lucky enough to have landed an interview, and are around to tell the tale, you know how stress inducing the interview waiting game can be. Did you get the job? Did they like you? Or worse- is it all bad. Bad, bad bad.

Before you give up hope and resign to live your life unemployed and alone, relax and take a deep breath. Don’t drive yourself crazy. Here’s what to do after your interview to keep your sanity.

Stay Focused

Yes, you’ve had an interview, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve got the job. It’s okay. You simply need to stay focused and stay sharp. Until you get that job offer and accept, you’re still on the market. Act like it and keep looking. This will help you keep your wants and needs in sight and keep you from daydreaming about a job you don’t have. And, in the event you don’t get a call back from that interview or, ultimately a job offer, you’ll be well on the way to securing other prospects.

Network

I know, I know. We say it time and time again- network, network, network. But it works. Companies and workforces are comprised of people. Even if you work alone, people have to pay you. You have to have some interaction with people to have a job and make money. Sure, some career paths require less interaction with other humans than others. Getting a job doesn’t mean an end to networking.

If you’re unsure where to start, look for job fairs that are in your area. Turn to social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are especially good. Build your brand. Build your online presence. Exude professionalism. This will help you tremendously- whether you get the job at hand or not.

Personal Development

Whether you are looking for a job or have a job, it’s important to take time whenever possible to work on you and build upon your skills and just “do you.” It is what keeps like fulfilling. Blog. Go for a hike. Meditate. Exercise. Invest in personal development. Do the things that make you happy and keep you motivated and at your peak. This will help you stay grounded and keep you from stressing out about this job or the next.

All in all, take a deep breath and remember that you are awesome. Life is too short to spend it stressed out.

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Want to Get Paid to Travel?

Oct 05 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

If you love to travel, getting a job can sometimes be, well, limiting. After all, you can’t exactly take off at a moment’s notice to travel the globe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the best of both worlds- traveling the world while also making money.

That is why we’ve put together these travel-friendly jobs:

Teacher

What language do you speak? Want to teach others to speak it? If so, go forth and live the life you’ve dreamed. Going abroad to become an English teacher is a pretty common job. All you need is a certificate saying you are qualified to teach English as a foreign language. It’s as easy as that. You can even take the course in the comforts of your own bed.

Travel Guide

One of the more obvious ways to spend your work days traveling is to become a travel guide yourself. Go on a cycling tour through France. Visit museums. Talk to tourists and locals alike. Learn about history. Absorb the culture. Experience what it means to discover people and places. Oh, and get paid to do it.

Diving Instructor

If you love the ocean, you may want to consider becoming a diving instructor. Spend your days in the sun and sand and tropical blue waters, living life to its fullest. The Asia pacific area is where most opportunity is in this area, so if you love the water and adventure- this could be your dream job.

Nurse

Nurses are awesome. Traveling nurses? Just as awesome, but meant for those who love their profession, but equally love to travel and enjoy a change of scenery. Stay stateside taking temp jobs in different areas. Go abroad and do the same. Help others. Travel. Get paid.

Stage Hand

If you love music and think of yourself as a roadie, pay day or not, consider helping out (paid, of course) as a hired hand. There’s lighting, instrument care, and more. Honestly, there’s a lot to be done each day on each stop to make sure things go as planned. Why be a roadie for free when you can be a roadie and get paid.

All five of these are a few of many awesome jobs available if you think outside of the box. If you telecommute, you might even consider being a digital nomad of sorts. Travel, work as usual, it’s all in a day’s work.

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