Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Career Resolutions

10 Career Resolutions
By Dan Miller, Monster Staff Writer

Like the saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life," it's never a bad time to start moving your career in a better direction. Here are 10 New Year's resolutions that can help.
Pay Attention in Class

Treat every workday like a school day. Be sure you learn something and use it to make yourself more productive. It doesn't have to relate to your skills set. It may be as simple as understanding how to work with specific peers or improving your emotional intelligence. Take mental notes. Don't sleepwalk through the day.

Look for the Next Rung

You need to excel at your job. This is how you gain credibility. But understanding your next step is key to career happiness. Career pathing is critical to remaining engaged on the job. Schedule discussions with your manager to get clarity on the next challenge. If you don't get it on your team or in your company, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Understand Company Goals

Make sure you understand how your job contributes to your company's business objectives. Are you in a revenue-generating role? A brand-awareness role? Is your mission to delight the customer? Knowing how your job fits into the big picture will give you inspiration and a sense of accomplishment -- and will help you understand your job's impact.

Be Ethical

Bring integrity to your job. Whether you're running the company or cleaning its restrooms, be honest in all you do. Don't call in sick just to get a day off -- that's stealing. Put in an honest day's work. Be accountable. If you're working remotely, be sure you are. Do what you say you're going to do. Honesty and reliability mean a lot to your manager.

Stay Fit

OK, this was probably on your last New Year's resolutions list, but that's because it's so important. Try to break a sweat for 20 minutes, three days a week. Go for a walk at lunch. Join a gym. Lift weights. A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain and gives you ideas. You'll be more productive at work, and best of all, you'll feel better.

Stretch Your Role

Occasionally think how you can go above and beyond. Are there projects outside your defined role you could help with? Be proactive; ask to join. Come up with your own ideas, and work with your manager to implement them. If you're a hamster, step off the wheel and poke your head out of the cage. Stretch a little. This won't go unnoticed.

Manage Up

Make sure you and your manager are in firm agreement on what you're doing. Be proactive and get on his calendar to ensure you're meeting or exceeding expectations. Don't assume he's paying close attention. There are bad managers. If there's a disconnect between what you're doing and what your manager wants, you're partly to blame. Don't wait until your annual performance review rolls around.

Manage Across

Even if you work primarily alone, be sure to make time to understand your peers' roles and how they go about their jobs. Show an interest. Don't just choose a few friends and become part of a clique. High school is over. You never know when you may need people -- or be reporting to them.


Don't leave people waiting for answers. If you're in an email environment, return emails promptly. Let people know what you're doing. If you're working on a project, always ask yourself who needs to know about it, then tell them. Talk to people; give them a heads up. And when someone helps you out, be sure to thank him. It's amazing this item even needs to be on a list, but bad communicators abound. Don't be one of them.

Make Time for Play

Have fun. Work hard, but smile while you're doing it. No one likes a grump. Approach each day with a positive spirit and stay loose. Enjoy your family and friends as well. Make time for them -- and you. It's called work-life balance. All work and no play makes life a chore.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas...

Teach the children...
(Found at

Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn't help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn't long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn't alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the "jolly old elf" of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

"Santa, what's wrong?" I asked, "Why are you crying?"

"It's the children," Santa replied sadly.

"But Santa, the children love you," I said.

"Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them," Santa said, "but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault. It's just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children."

"Teach them what?" I asked.

Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. "Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in
Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind's thoughts should turn heavenward as well."

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. "The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him."

"Red," said Santa, "is the first color of Christmas." He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. "Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift."

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep."

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. "The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ's foot steps... to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God's precious children, their light shining for all to see."

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. "The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God's promises. The candy cane is in the form of a 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd's crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life."

"Teach these things to the children."

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. "The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children."

I asked, "But where does that leave you, Santa?"

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face. "Why bless you, my dear," he laughed, "I'm only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I'll ever be forgotten."

"I think I'm beginning to understand."

"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're an adult. If you don't teach the children these things, then who will?"

(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being Thankful...

Being Thankful…
By: Melissa Stilley, Salem Solutions

These days it’s easy to look around and find negatives to dwell on in the world… we see the current day world, the fast pace, the lack of money and jobs, the political issues and unrest, and the day-to-day negativity as posted in the papers and on the TV and internet news. What we often forget is to open our eyes and see the things that there are to be thankful for…the advances that we have made, the opportunities that are presented to us, and those little things that (if we just look) make our lives more positive than we realize. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade…and even though it seems cliché, it’s often true…life is all about how you look at it. So take a moment to be thankful for the positive things that you don’t often think about. Here are just a few…

More Free Time:
Believe it or not, we actually have more free time than our ancestors had. Yes, we rush and rush around, but often that rush is of our own making. In Victorian England, life expectancy was only about 50 years and most workers worked at least 60-hour weeks from the time they were around 10 years old until they died. These days life expectancy is around 77 years, most of us work 40 hours a week, and most youth don’t begin working until they are at least 16…and then with limited hours per week. This leaves more free time to spend shopping, going out to eat, watching our children at their sporting or other events, and with family and friends.

Today, around 80% of the world’s population is literate…in 1970 that was true of only about ½ the world’s population. You may hate having to read such things as bills, junk mail, and fine print, but be grateful that you are able! Imagine having to rely on others to tell you everything, from what’s on the menu at a restaurant to street names as you’re driving, to what you need to bake a cake…

Yes, times are tight and most people cannot afford to dine on steak every evening, but at least the options are there. In the time of Versailles, France was one of the richest countries on earth, but even the King of France didn’t have the choices that we have today. Oranges in Winter? Seafood in towns far from the coast? Specialties from other countries? Unheard of – back then! Now we have the option to walk into most grocery stores and purchase whatever we can think of, from wherever it can be found, at most times of the year. Not to mention that food storage has improved to the point that we are able to buy things a week or so at a time that previously had to be gotten fresh every day, such as milk, meat and eggs.

Most of us hate being stuck in traffic, smelling exhaust and paying the high prices at the pump over and over again, but think of what people throughout history have had to endure to get where they wanted to go. Riding in a horse-and-buggy may seem romantic and quaint, but it was usually way more than that! Imagine a cold winter’s night with no heater, no defroster, and often at least one open point in the buggy to let cold air in! Brrr! Imagine having to go out, harness the horses, then drive them for hours to get somewhere that now only takes 30 minutes to get to…then having to unharness them, but the buggy away, feed the horses, and clean up after them. Automobiles have made travel much easier, and much much more comfortable!

As mentioned earlier, the life expectancy rates have greatly improved, mostly due to better healthcare and more knowledge of important factors like hygiene. In 1918 and 1919 the Influenza Pandemic was responsible for the deaths of more people than World War I. It has been estimated that 675,000 people in America alone died from the flu…ten times the amount that died in the war. Today we know that washing our hands with antibacterial soap, not eating or drinking after others, and getting enough Vitamin C can help prevent many viruses, and we are able to get flu shots as an added preventative. If we do get sick, we have the ability to go to the doctor for medicines and IV fluids, if necessary, to help us get well again. We have vaccinations against many of the illnesses that were once considered to be very deadly. Sitting in a waiting room may be an inconvenience, but just think how much better that is than being sick!

Homes have changed drastically over the centuries. While throughout history there have been those with bigger homes and those with smaller homes, one fact remains…housing has come a long way! In ancient times, Celtic families had one-room homes where all family members shared the same space without electricity or heat sources other than an open fire. They often shared this space with their livestock as a way to keep them safe from predators, thieves and the weather. Victorian families had much larger homes with rooms for each family member and quarters for their servants..but no indoor plumbing! Today, most of us have electric heating, central air conditioning, bathrooms inside the house, and electricity. We also have more options…instead of only being able to have what you can build yourself, you may choose to live in a house, an apartment, a condo or townhome. You can build it to suite your needs and decorate it the way you like, or you may rent a space that is ready to move into. Whatever your choice, there are now many options that didn’t exist in previous times…

Life may have it’s ups and downs, it’s trials and tribulations, but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture to realize that, overall, life is good! Today we have so many things to be thankful for in life…our homes, our health, our families and friends. When things start to get you down and all you see are the difficulties, take a moment to reflect on what those who have gone before us had to deal with. We may not have as much as we would like to have, but overall we are living longer and better lives surrounded by those who care and love us…and with heat and indoor plumbing!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being Thankful In Your Job Search?!?

Being Thankful In Your Job Search?!?
As posted on

What??? Many of you read this and think that's nuts… right?

Being Thankful in the process of having to look for a new source of income for your family? Being Thankful while hoping that your career progression hasn't been set back years? Being Thankful while one potential job opportunity after another seems to be going up in smoke? Being Thankful while savings that were hard to build are slipping away day by day?

Yes… Thankful!

Here's what I mean…

Attitude First! Chuck Swindoll writes… "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." As I've often said… One of the toughest, yet most important things to do in a job search is to maintain a positive attitude. Many people have bad things happen to them. Some people seem to be crushed by relatively minor bad events in their lives while others seem to go through severe difficulties with cheer and a bright outlook on life. Attitude is not the result of someone's circumstances, but rather the result of how they choose to look at life regardless of their circumstances. Choosing to be thankful even in your job loss will make all the difference in the world in your networking calls, meetings, and interviews. Decide that you will be thankful and you just might find your job search effort start to produce better results.

You're learning skills! You are learning what it takes to conduct a job search in todays market. You may think… "Thanks, but no thanks." However, learning how to find a job in this tough job market may be one of the most valuable long-term skills you may ever learn. In the world today, you will likely have to look for a job again in a few years… and possibly every few years for the rest of your career. Lifetime jobs are extremely rare anymore. Building a network now, and learning how to be more proactive in your search (as is necessary today), you will be much better prepared and more quickly successful the next time around. If you had not been forced into learning it now, you may have had to learn it down the road when it might be even tougher. Be thankful for the lifetime skills you are gaining!

You're evaluating yourself! When things are going along relatively smoothly, few of us ever take the time to take a look at ourselves much. We don't think about what makes us tick. We don't evaluate our strengths or weaknesses. We don't evaluate our successes and failures, and what factors contributed to each. We don't spend much time thinking about what job we would like to do most… or least. We don't think about what's most important to us in terms of income, career progression, family, faith, or other interests. Generally, in a job search, we are compelled to consider all these things. The result of this evaluation is usually a better sense of self, that can create a greater sense of confidence and conviction in whatever we decide to pursue. It also can enrich our lives greatly if we determine to balance our lives more appropriately than we may have before. Much to be thankful for.

It's a whole new world! Most job seekers tend not to look at the opportunity their circumstances present. A job search is a chance to break out of old ruts and patterns. It's an opportunity to gain new experience in a new environment, with new people, and with new leadership. It's a chance to re-invent yourself, or prove to yourself that you can add value to others in a different situation as well. It's a chance to explore the possibilities, to find opportunities you didn't know existed, or to finally jump into an opportunity you've been eying over the fence for a while. Focus on the opportunity that lies before you rather than the lost past and you will find there's a lot to be thankful for.

Being thankful in your circumstances is key to maintaining a positive attitude as well as a happier life. Take stock of the opportunity you've really been given and decide you will look at things in a more productive light!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ensuring New Job Success

Ensuring New Job Success
Posted on the First 30 Days Blog

“I felt like I won the lottery,” says Melissa Luckman, a New York City public-school teacher, after landing a new job as a guidance counselor. “I applied to more than 250 jobs and only got one interview prior to this one. The interview went well. I got a call the very same day, offering me the position.”

Melissa’s excitement came with a nervousness about starting something new and unknown. “I was jumping out of my skin. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was so excited,” Melissa notes. “But I was also nervous that I couldn’t live up to what they saw in the interview.”

Whether this is your first job or your tenth, starting a new job comes with many emotions, fears and questions. “It’s a whole new environment,” says John Challenger, workplace expert and CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an international outplacement consulting firm. “It’s common for people to question ‘will I last? Will I be able to fit in? Will my boss be good or bad? Will it be what I thought it was or what was promised? Am I going to be successful here?’”

Don’t let that bring you down, though. There were more than 1.3 million new jobs created in 2007 alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, 1.3 million people faced similar questions and uncertainties.

Some anxiety also comes from the pressure people put on themselves about the image they will portray. When starting a new job, it’s important to make—and continue to make—great first impressions. “Go to work everyday as if it were your first day on the job,” suggests Susan Morem, president of Premier Presentation, a training and consulting firm, and author of How to Gain the Professional Edge: Achieve the Personal and Professional Image You Want. “Really think about what you’re wearing and how you are acting. Everything that you would do on an interview still applies.”

While this doesn’t mean you need to dress in a three-piece suit everyday, you should keep your attire a notch above the rest for at least your first 30 days in a new job. And, make sure your actions show you as a professional individual ready to work with the new team. Melissa took this advice to heart and bought herself a few new outfits to go with her new job. “Having something new that I felt great in helped ease some of the anxieties I had about starting something so new,” she remembers.

Remember, it’s OK to be nervous, but focus on the exciting journey of starting a new job. The important thing is to take this time to learn all you can about your new workplace, your co-workers and your boss.

Learn Your Environment

Starting a new job is a great opportunity to absorb everything around you. Even if you held the same job at a similar company for 10 years, your new job will be different. Begin each day at your new job with an open mind ready to learn everything you can—and start with the office politics.

“You want to make sure you understand the power structure as quickly as possible,” says Sunny Bates, president and CEO of Sunny Bates Associates, an executive search firm, and author of How to Earn What You’re Worth: Leveraging Your Goals and Talents to Land Your Dream Job. “Try to be Switzerland. Listen to everyone, be pleasant and you’ll quickly be able to pull together the structure.”

Your greatest allies here are your co-workers. Go ahead and chat them up. Setting up informal meetings for lunch or coffee is a good way to get started. Understand what each person does and where he or she sits in the overall company structure. And, don’t forget to use your co-workers as a resource and find out the other key people you should meet.

“From day one, begin building 360-degree relationships. You want people to be saying ‘that was a good hire. She really fits in here,’” says Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. Frankel is president of Corporate Coaching International, a firm specializing in executive coaching and organizational development, and author of numerous job-success books, including See Jane Lead: 99 Ways for Women to Take Charge at Work and Stop Sabotaging Your Career: 8 Proven Strategies to Succeed—in Spite of Yourself. “Ask lots of questions related to how things are done in the company. Don’t assume how you did it in your last job is how you will do it here.”

It’s also important to get some insight from people who have worked for the company for a long time. They will have some great insights into the politics of your new office. This helped Jennifer Neilsson, who recently landed her dream job at a top-notch law firm in Boston as an associate in the tax-and-benefits group. “Both of my legal assistants have been with the firm for a long time,” she says. “It was helpful to come to them with a sense of humility because they really do know more about life at the firm than I do, even if I may know more about the tax code.”
You can also connect with people through some of the major social-networking sites, like Facebook or LinkedIn, says Challenger. But, be sure you clean up your profile before connecting. You don’t want Suzie from HR showing your boss the pictures from your trip to Cancun.

New Job, New Boss, New Rules

Seeing eye-to-eye with your boss is crucial in the first 30 days of starting a new job. You need to make sure you are both on the same page from day one, if possible.

Get off on the right foot by having a meeting with your boss to discuss his or her expectations. You want to keep your boss up on everything you are accomplishing in your first 30 days, even if you’ve simply learned a new computer program. It’s also important to connect with your boss on a personal level. Perhaps you can do this over coffee or tea.

In the first 30 days at your new job and beyond, you’ll want to exceed your boss’s expectations consistently. And, figuring out how you both like to communicate will allow you to update him or her without being a bother. “It’s important to communicate with your boss in the method the boss finds easiest,” says Pamela Mitchell, CEO and chief vision officer of The Reinvention Institute, which is dedicated to helping successful professionals and corporations transform their businesses. “Some like written reports and others like meetings. Provide what they need in the format they want.”

Ruth Roberts, a human-resources manager at the Big Brothers Big Sisters in Philadelphia, completed a lot of online training before getting started and had a feel for how to communicate with her boss. “In the first week, my boss checked in on me a couple of times,” she says. “I met with my boss once a week and called with questions, as needed. I had a three-week orientation plan. It was almost too much direction.”

Not all new job experiences go as smoothly. “I actually had very little personal communication with my boss in the first 30 days,” say Melissa. “It is very busy in our department and we only had time once to sit down for 10 minutes and talk. And, that didn’t happen until my fourth week.” She did find communicating with her boss via email to be very effective, and her office mates and the school secretaries filled in the rest.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a new job is not keeping your word. “Don’t be someone who over-promises and under-delivers,” says Mitchell. “If you say you are going to get a report done by Tuesday, then you get it there on Tuesday.”

Coupled with that, though, is managing your boss’s expectations. You have be honest with what you can do in a given time period. Jennifer admits that it took some time to manage her bosses’ expectations. “I needed to be quicker to say that I would not be able to get something done that day or even that week because another attorney had given me an assignment that for whatever reason was going to take precedence,” she recalls. “There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day.”

Everyone Makes Mistakes

It’s inevitable. You will make a mistake at your new job, and chances are it will occur in your first 30 days.

Instead of waiting around to make a mistake, admit that you don’t understand things as they come up. “If your boss asked you to do something and you make a mistake, it’s OK,” says Mitchell. “Tell your boss and restate the fact that you have the capabilities, but you are learning. Ask him or her to please have patience. It gives people a lot of wiggle room when going through the first stage of a new job.”

And, if you do make a mistake, admit it. After all, no one is perfect and you will get more understanding if you just admit something went wrong instead of trying to hide it, which only makes things worse.

“For the first couple of weeks, I felt overwhelmed. Thankfully there’s a learning curve involved with most jobs,” says John Daley*, a marketing coordinator for an up-and-coming test-preparation company in South Carolina. He recalls being overly stressed out in his first 30 days because he was afraid to make a mistake. To ease the anxiety, John learned as much as he could about the position and marketing in general. “I even practiced Microsoft Office applications in my off time,” John recalls. “If you focus too much on trying to get everything right and remembering everything, you’ll only open yourself up to increased anxiety and possible errors.”

Also, be aware of any slights you might make on your co-workers. “If you realize you didn’t make the impression you wanted, it’s important to acknowledge that,” says Morem. Try to reach out to people and reconnect. Take responsibility for those relationships and first impressions. If they don’t go well, it’s your responsibility to regroup and reconnect.”

Onward and Upward

While the first 30 days on your new job sets the stage for your career with the company, the fun really begins post-30 days when you are given more opportunities to really shine.

“Continue to dive in and immerse yourself,” advises Bates. As you begin to see what success at your company looks like, strive for that. Remember that will differ for each job.

And, don’t forget to have patience as you continue to learn the inner workings of your new employer. “It will take you a year to figure out all the landmines and another year to understand the ins and outs of the corporate culture,” says Mitchell. “You have to live through things and see cycles in an organization. Until you’ve observed and lived through them, you don’t have the knowledge. ”

John admits to feeling he'd gotten in over his head, because he didn’t pace himself. “My advice to someone starting a new job would be to ask a lot questions, be confident and willing to learn,” he says. “And, remember they hired you for the position because they had confidence in you.”

* name changed

Friday, August 19, 2011

Your Job Is A Gift - Act Accordingly


Posted by Chris on the Smart Path to Happiness blog

The US was built on strength, courage, and a lot of sweat. Somewhere between our remarkable beginnings and today, all of that has changed. Rewind to the 20′s and you’ll find countless people who had a job and were proud to be employed. These people poured out their souls for their employer. One could argue that these folks gave too much with the frequently dangerous jobs (coal mining, logging, etc..) without OSHA to keep them safe. Why was it so so common to work that hard in those days? There was a better work ethic; people took pride in delivering stellar results regardless of their job function. We even had folks like Henry Ford whose main goal was to provide greater service to his employees, community, and country. Becoming wealthy was the gift he received for helping everyone else first. You can read more about Ford in an attachment on Brigadier General Greg Zanetti’s blog.

Fast forward to today. You’ll find kids straight out of college demanding higher salaries just because they have some degree. You’ll find people who only give 10% of their effort to their job; they feel their boss is lucky to get that much. People are showing up later, taking longer lunches, browsing the internet more, and leaving earlier. There is a new mentality where employees feel they are owed something just for showing up. Even personal appearance is an afterthought.

Unfortunate Truths

I hate to think about it, but we’re all replaceable. Even me, the guy who makes it a point to work a little harder than everyone else can get replaced. I just started a new job. I like to think my old colleagues were sad to see me leave, but they’re getting along just fine without me.

Believe it or not, most of us are paid what we are owed and we probably don’t deserve a giant raise. There seems to be an expectation that a raise is warranted just because a year has passed. While a small raise is necessary because of inflation, most people expect to beat inflation. Next time someone complains that their company is underpaying them, remind this person that they are free to leave at any time. If there are other companies out there that pay more for the same service, then he or she should change jobs. If all of the other companies have similar benefits for that same position, then unfortunately that person is probably earning a fair wage.

A job is more like a symbiotic relationship. Employees are supposed to provide value to a company and get rewarded for it. Employees receive a fair and steady paycheck for honest effort. It is a company’s responsibility to honor their side; unfortunately their job is not to make you rich. If you want to be rich, you’re going to have to do more than work a job…but that’s a story for another day.

Continuing about salaries, the value of your reward will be lower than the value you provide. It stinks to know you may provide your company with $60,000 in value but you’ll only get $40,000. It seems unfair but that’s why we have companies in the first place. People usually start businesses with the hope of making lots of money; and unfortunately, tools you use eat into that money. The bathroom around the corner, the light over your desk, and the pens your coworker took home are all a drain on a company’s revenue. In the end, if you’re not giving $60,000 in value to your company then you’re costing them when you show up. You’re shifting the burden to your coworkers who now support you.

Be Grateful

If you act as though you are happy to have your job, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish. You will get more done in one day than your peers and your boss will notice. Eventually you should expect a raise or certainly have some irrefutable evidence when asking for one. When you go to your next job interview, you’ll be able to talk about all of the extra things you accomplished or the awards you have received which will make it more likely for you to get hired and paid even more.

Above all, remember that if entrepreneurs didn’t take chances to start companies then we would never have job opportunities in the first place. Working hard is how we tell the owners of our company, “thank you for putting your money, time, and future on the line to start your company so I can have a consistent income to feed my family.” If the consistent salary isn’t enough, we’re free to quit our job and start our own company. Sound too scary? Appreciate the sacrifices others have made.

When you shift your priority from saying, “when I get more, I’ll do more” to “I’ll do more now because I know I’ll get a lot more later”, you’ll notice much faster results. The first option is a passive approach and basically means you’re waiting for someone to take a chance on you and say, “if I pay this person a little more, I bet he/she would be grateful and work a little extra.” Just like everything else in life, if you take the initiative and show your boss why you’re worth more than everyone else, your chance of getting that raise just went up. As you gain a proven track record of keeping your boss happy, he or she will start to go out of their way to make sure you are happy. Good employees are hard to find after all. Developing a group of folks who have the mission to keep you happy (because they want to, not have to) is another step towards infinite happiness.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Interview Cheat Sheet

Interview Cheat Sheet
By Carole Martin, Monster Contributing Writer

Relax -- a cheat sheet is not really cheating. It's a checklist to make sure you stay focused before, during and after the interview. Creating a cheat sheet will help you feel more prepared and confident. You shouldn't memorize what's on the sheet or check it off during the interview. You should use your cheat sheet to remind you of key facts. Here are some suggestions for what you should include on it.

In the Days Before the Interview
• Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left side, make a bulleted list of what the employer is looking for based on the job posting. On the right side, make a bulleted list of the qualities you possess that fit those requirements.
• Research the company, industry and the competition.
• Prepare your 60-second personal statement.
• Write at least five success stories to answer behavioral interview questions ("Tell me about a time when..." or "Give me an example of a time...").
• List five questions to ask the interviewer about the job, the company and the industry.
• Research salaries to determine your worth.
• Determine your salary needs based on your living expenses.
• Get permission from your references to use their names.

Prepare Your Interview Answers
Be ready to answer common interview questions such as these:
• Tell me about yourself.
• Why did you leave your last position, or why are you leaving your current position?
• What do you know about this company?
• What are your goals?
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• Why do you want to work here?
• What has been your most significant achievement?
• How would your last boss and colleagues describe you?
• Why should we hire you?
• What are your salary expectations?

Before You Go to the Interview
Do you look professional? Check yourself in the mirror; part of your confidence will come from looking good.
Carry these items to the interview:
• Several copies of your resume on quality paper.
• A copy of your references.
• A pad of paper on which to take notes, though notes are optional.
• Directions to the interview site.

Upon Arrival
• Arrive early -- enter the building 10 minutes before your appointment.
• Review your prepared stories and answers.
• Go to the restroom and check your appearance one last time.
• Announce yourself to the receptionist in a professional manner.
• Stand and greet your interviewer with a hearty -- not bone-crushing -- handshake.
• Smile and maintain eye contact.

During the Interview
• Try to focus on the points you have prepared without sounding rehearsed or stiff.
• Relax and enjoy the conversation.
• Learn what you can about the company.
• Ask questions and listen; read between the lines.
• At the conclusion, thank the interviewer, and determine the next steps.
• Ask for the interviewer's business card so you can send a follow-up letter.

After the Interview
• As soon as possible, write down what you are thinking and feeling.
• Later in the day, review what you wrote and assess how you did.
• Write an interview thank-you letter, reminding the interviewer of your qualities.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hot Tips for a Summer Job Search and How to Find a Job in 2011

By: Elite Resumes

Heating up your job search this summer should be top priority! Of course the cottage is very inviting during the summer season and many will be suspending their job searches to take vacations. The result is a dramatic decline in the number of individuals seeking employment and should you choose to stay in the running, you will have a significant advantage. It is estimated that as many as 70% of job seekers will abandon their job search in the summer months increasing your odds substantially!

Check out these hot tips for a summer job search:

•Update your online profiles regularly to ensure decision makers are aware of your presence and availability.
•Outdoor events are abundant during the summer months and excellent opportunities to NETWORK!
•A professional resume, business cards and your one page marketing document; be prepared to hand them out.
•No signal for your cell in cottage country? Forward your calls to a land line. Recruiters and HR professionals are rarely limited for potential candidates and a missed call could be a missed opportunity.
•Continue your follow-up calls to decision makers regardless of who is on vacation. Becoming familiar with administrative staff and maintaining your visibility will highlight your eagerness and competitive spirit.
•It’s hot out there but your job interview is almost guaranteed to be in an air conditioned office so don’t lose the tie or jacket. A professional attire does not become an option during the summer months.
•Catch up with more receptive colleagues during the summer months to obtain testimonials. It is very likely they have reduced their workload increasing their availability and willingness during the summer months more so than any other time of year.
•Follow current affairs related to business news closely. You could be the first to introduce yourself to a corporation announcing an expansion within your city.
•Subscribe to online job sites and submit your professional resume whenever and wherever possible. Many potential job candidates could be discovered online but the number available to attend a job interview could be drastically reduced providing a greater probability of being selected despite not being within the top qualifiers.
•Take advantage of the hot summer months, follow hot leads and succeed in a job search with limited competition!


By: Jessica Dickler

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Good news: The job market is improving and employers are starting to hire again. But the rules of landing a job have changed.

There's still a lot of competition out there. If you want to get a foot in the door, you'll need to use every tool available to you.

If there's one thing that's different in the post-recession job market it's this: "Submitting your resume and cover letter is not going to get you a job."

That's according to Jennifer Becker, managing director of Ajilon Professional Staffing, a division of Adecco Group, the world's largest staffing firm.

So what works? Experts say making connections, adapting to each potential employer and promising results are the only ways to get hired.

Making Connections

"Networking is the only game in town right now," said Ford Myers, executive career coach and author of the book "Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring." "Everything is built on personal connections, nothing else works."

With nearly 14 million people currently looking for work and job openings still relatively scarce, Gerry Crispin, co-owner of Careerxroads, a New Jersey-based consulting firm, said an employee referral is the best way to increase your chances of getting a job.

Crispin advises job seekers to connect with people within a company and ask them for a referral. "It may be as much as 10 times more effective" than simply applying, he said.

To that end, social networking has carved out a crucial spot in today's job market. Seekers must be on board with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as smaller industry-specific sites in order to connect with more people, and employers, in their industry.

"There's no way you can be effective in your job search without embracing social media," Becker said.

Still, most career counselors, coaches and recruiters say it's the face-to-face connections that really boost a job seeker's chance of getting hired.

"There's still no replacement for getting out in your community and shaking hands," noted Becker.

Social media tools should be used to make real connections, Myers cautions, not just virtual ones.

"Tons of people use social media all day long and they are communicating with tons of people but they're not connecting with anybody. Build the relationship from there so it becomes a real world relationship," he said.

Stretch To Fit

Once job seekers connect with a company, then the real work of getting hired begins. Gone are the days of impressing a hiring manager with experience and education. These days it's identifying what results you can deliver that will ultimately get you an offer.

"In the current world, the employer cares about one thing: 'What can you do for me today, how are you going to solve my most pressing problems, how are you going to take away my pain?'" Myers said.

Crispin recommended using the tools that are available to find out more about the company and what the company's needs are.

"Read blogs by recruiters explaining how you can compete, download a job description and watch videos on YouTube of employees in the company," he suggested.

Promise Results

Once you are well versed in the company's particular constraints within the current economic climate, identify what you can bring to the table.

To do that, Myers urges job seeks to provide measurable results. Focus on the results you produced in your career so far: "here's how, here's when, here are the percentages," Myers said.

"If you can't add value, they're not going to hire you," he added.

The experts also recommend being open to the pay, position, location and schedule of any position that is offered. Consulting, or even volunteering for an organization, although it may be several steps below a job seeker's previous position, is a great way to ultimately get hired.

"Think more broadly, look at all the possibilities," Myers said. "Otherwise, you'll be looking for a long, long time."

Copyright CNN 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Thing That Matters Most

(This article was recommended by Patricia Drain…and written by Charmaine Hammond.)

Written by: Charmaine Hammond

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams.

There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he’d died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him, he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’, as he put it”, Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in”, Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most’,” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I’d better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day, Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, thanks for your time! – Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was….my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant, asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

“Life is not measure by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

If you read this, then I am sure you feel like I did. Take some time today to tell the people around you they matter!

Monday, May 9, 2011

College Graduates Are Turning to Temp Agencies For Their First Big Break

College Graduates Are Turning To Temp Agencies For Their First Big Break

Written by Regan Kohler

The optimists are saying the recession is losing the race. The numbers are looking especially good for college graduates, if reports are to be believed, with employers likely to hire 19 percent more new graduates this year.

This prediction comes from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, who conducted a survey in April that concluded this is the first year since 2007 there is a “double-digit increase” in spring hiring.

Still, conflicting reports say graduates are facing a tough market in 2011, made more competitive by the fact that the older population is returning to work. Graduates are being encouraged to visit temp agencies as a jump-off point for their job searches.
The Seamless Workforce references a Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute study, where blogger Anna McMenamin found that 76 percent of employers who didn’t hire new graduates in 2010 were highly unlikely to hire any this year, either.

McMenamin, who reports on workforce trends for The Seamless Workforce’s blog, points to the staffing industry as a valuable resource for new graduates, saying this industry has grown while others are experiencing downfall in new jobs.
“With the possibility that temporary employment could become the new norm in the workforce, it is an avenue that can’t be overlooked by today’s young workers,” McMenamin said.

Graduates flocked to temp agencies throughout the recession, according to a survey released by Adecco Staffing US. Nineteen percent of these graduates, dubbed Generation R (recession graduates coming out of college between 2006 and 2010), were seeking temporary employment not long after leaving school.

William E. Burns, of the Marietta Times, discourages graduates from “mindlessly” applying to job postings on sites like CareerBuilder, saying instead that working for a temp agency will increase the chances of eventually finding a permanent job by building your resume, giving you an advantage over an unemployed applicant with the same degree.

Burns said temp agencies could be especially valuable to those holding freshly inked degrees in engineering and technical fields.

Tyler Coates, however, mentions in his blog that temp agencies have been a source for graduates with humanities degrees. After discovering his English major was useless in the face of those carrying business degrees, Coates visited 11 temp agencies.
He feels they were generally unsuccessful in finding him a permanent job, though he still recommends that graduates to go this route.

No matter the economic climate, it seems college graduates have at least one longstanding option when it comes to job seeking.

(This article was originally published on

Friday, March 4, 2011

Proper Interview Attire

When interviewing for a position, you should always strive to look your best! This includes making the appropriate choices for clothing, footwear, hairstyle, cosmetics and jewelry. Below are a few tips to help you make the right decisions while getting ready for your interview:


Unless told otherwise, you should dress professionally for your interview. No jeans or shorts, no “clam-diggers” or corduroy. For both men and women a suit is the preferred choice. For men, dress slacks, dress shirt, suit jacket and tie. For women, either a skirt or dress slacks, a tailored blouse and suit jacket. No “club” attire – if your clothing choice is something that you might wear out on the town, you should rethink your choice. Choose colors and patterns that are conservative – navy, dark gray, black or wine (for women) in either solids or a very subtle pattern. Avoid extremes in color and pattern. Be sure that everything is clean and well-pressed and check over your clothing for stray pet hairs, picks, tags, missing buttons, etc.


Choose professional-style dress shoes; do not wear sneakers, clogs, flip-flops, or other casual types of footwear. Shoes should preferably be of black or brown leather.


Choose a slim leather belt that goes with your shoes. No big buckles, no canvas and no funky patterns.


Jewelry should also be kept conservative. A simple watch with a metal link band, for instance, instead of a large or bulky watch or one that is made of plastic or has a rubberized band (such as a dive watch). Rings should be kept to one or two, not one on every finger. Necklaces and earrings should be tasteful and discreet, not large and clunky. If you have piercings anywhere other than your ears you should remove the jewelry before your interview.


Should be washed, dried and styled before leaving home. It should be cut neatly, not shaggy. Avoid the over-use of styling products.


Use cologne or perfume sparingly, if at all. If you do use a scent, be sure that it is not a strong scent and that you do not smell like you “took a bath in it”. Some people have allergies to perfumes and colognes, so forgoing the scents may be the best bet. If you smoke, avoid doing so after your shower or bath – smelling of cigarette smoke may not be appealing to your interviewer, and you want to make a good impression all the way around!


Be sure that nails are neatly trimmed and filed.

Tips Specifically for Ladies:

· Skirt Length – Skirts should be knee length or longer. Try to avoid billowing skirts, go for a more tailored look. Avoid high slits.

· Blouses – Be sure that cleavage is covered; avoid plunging or low-cut necklines.

· Hosiery – Choose a sheer style of hosiery with no pattern in a neutral color.

· Purse – If you choose to carry a purse, opt for one that is small and that’s color coordinates with your shoes. Avoid large bags, or anything that looks like it belongs at a party or the beach.

· Shoes – Preferably avoid open-toed shoes, especially in the colder-weather months. These may be fine on the job if allowed by the employer, but for an interview try to pick a pair that are close-toed. If you plan to wear heels, choose a modest heel (1”-2”) that you can walk well in. No teetering around in stilettos!

· Cosmetics – Choose a neutral color palette and avoid over-doing it. Makeup colors should compliment your complexion, eye color and clothing choice. Avoid bright or overly dark eye colors and blushes. A little makeup helps to give you a polished air, but you do not want to look like you are on a hot date or going to a club.

· Fingernails: If you wear polish, choose a conservative shade and be sure that it is in good repair – no chips, nicks, or crescents showing at the cuticle.

Tips Specifically for Gentlemen:

· Facial Hair – Facial hair should be neatly trimmed and well groomed.

· Ties - Ties should be good quality, conservative, and be in colors that do not clash with the rest of your suit. Avoid “character” ties and ties with novelty patterns.

· Socks - Men should wear dark, mid-calf length socks so that no skin is visible when you sit down.

· Shoes – Shoes should be polished and buffed to shine.

· Shirts – Shirts should be fully buttoned and long-sleeved, even in the summer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 'Terrible 10' Behaviors in the Workplace

Compliments of Yahoo! HotJobs

Think you can get away with leaving coffee grounds in the sink, or taking that handicapped spot? Maybe. But according to a new study, even if coworkers don't say anything about such rude behaviors, they are likely to harbor resentment about them.

Through an informal online survey with Yahoo! and Survey Monkey, researchers at the Civility Initiative at The Johns Hopkins University and the Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore identified workplace behaviors that irritate people the most.

More than 600 workers and college students in the Baltimore area ranked bad behavior on a scale ranging from 1 (not offensive) to 5 (most offensive).

The 'Terrible 10' List

1. Based on those rankings, the "Terrible 10" behaviors are (from most to least offensive):
2. Employment discrimination.
3. Erratic/aggressive driving that endangers others.
4. Taking credit for someone else's work.
5. Treating service providers as inferiors.
6. Mocking race, gender, age, disabilities, sexual orientation or religion.
7. People who behave aggressively or who bully others.
8. Littering.
9. Misusing handicapped privileges.
10. Smoking in nonsmoking places or smoking in front of nonsmokers without asking.
11. Using cellphones or text-messaging in mid-conversation or during an appointment or meeting.
12. Some actions, such as discrimination, may be illegal; but even more subtle behaviors, such as making a sexist joke or not asking before lighting a cigarette, still add to the stress of the daily grind and can actually lower productivity.

"The research suggests that people are bothered more by the transgressions of coworkers and strangers than by those of family and friends," says P.M. Forni, director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins.

Civility Helps the Bottom Line

Forni added that, although the survey did not explore the prevalence of these behaviors, years of anecdotal evidence suggest that taking credit for another's work, and texting or using a cellphone during meetings are widespread annoyances.

"These behaviors have a big impact on the quality of life for coworkers and on the bottom line as well," Forni says. "If we had better relationship skills, it would diminish the amount of stress in the workplace and eliminate a lot of misery."

The survey is backed up by increasing evidence that shows workplace rudeness taking a toll on both employees and on a company's bottom line. A previous study of rudeness in the workplace by the Jacob France Institute found that 67 percent of respondents feel society is ruder than in the past, and 83 percent stated that it was "very important" for them to work in a civil workplace environment.

Dealing with Rude Coworkers

In his book, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude, Forni suggests using the S.I.R. (state, inform and request) approach to deal with incivility. "First, you state the problem to yourself, so you understand that it really is a problem," Forni says. "Next you inform the person of the bad behavior. Give them a way out and the benefit of the doubt by saying, 'Maybe you didn't realize you did x, but ?.'"

Finally, Forni suggests making a request of the perpetrator, politely of course. "Say something like, 'I hope you can refrain from doing this in the future.' If you present your grievance in a way that's nonconfrontational, you're likely to get positive results."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Five Ways to Stay Positive in Negativity

compliments of

It's easy to be positive in a positive environment. It's when things are emotionally draining and negative that you're challenged to behave differently. But you have the opportunity to be the beacon of light for others around you. By your actions and responses, you can demonstrate and teach others how to behave in an appropriate, positive and professional manner.

Positive energy catches on just as quickly as negative energy. Sometimes people are simply stuck in a habit or pattern of behavior and are accustomed to acting a certain way. If the environment is really caustic, then it's what people are used to and may be all they know.

It takes some time and effort as well as a commitment to do something differently to create sustainable change. You must be willing to identify and stop tolerating what's not working, do the right thing even if it's initially unpopular and then teach others to do the same.

Here are five ways you can be a positive force in your workplace:

The First Step Is Awareness
Recognize the negativity around you. Sometimes you can even feel your energy being drained by the words being spoken. If it feels bad or uncomfortable, then it's negative. These feelings are a form of intelligence similar to a tap on the shoulder letting you know something is not right. If you can identify what is happening, you can make good choices about handling it.

It All Starts with You
In what ways are you contributing to the negativity around you? Are you listening to gossip or participating in conversations where the only focus is to denigrate, diminish or criticize? Language matters. Everything you say has an impact; saying something negative not only dishonors the person you're speaking about and the person you're speaking with, but it also makes you feel bad even if you don't realize it. Learn to respect people's humanity and their right to be themselves. Complaining without end does not focus on creating solutions; rather, it perpetuates and magnifies the problem, wasting everyone's precious time and energy.

Speak Up
Tell the other person how you feel by saying, "This doesn't work for me." It's nonjudgmental, since you're making it about you, not them. Also, people often don't realize they are being negative. Point it out in a gentle, caring way: "Do you realize you are complaining?" Just bringing it to their attention can be enough to shift the conversation. Over time, people will learn what they can and cannot discuss with you, and it will stop being an issue. If you say nothing, your silence conveys permission to continue.

Be Constructive, Positive, Meaningful and Beneficial
What is the point or purpose of what you're saying? Is it to hurt or help? And at the end of the conversation, is there an action step to take? Constructive conversations are empowering and leave people a little better off from having participated in them. Become the kind of person who takes your time and words seriously.

Praise and Acknowledge
It's amazing what a few words of praise and acknowledgement can do. You want to be the kind of person people gravitate to because they know they will be uplifted by you, not put down or drained of life-sustaining energy. In short, you want people to feel good after being in your presence.

No matter what is going on around you, you control your inner environment and how you choose to respond to external events and situations. It's your responsibility to become the kind of person you enjoy being and with whom others enjoy being around.

It takes a true leader to walk a path different from the crowd. So when others are negative, stretch your boldness muscles and be positive in spite of what others do or think. It's the only way to create a ripple of change

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Work Efficiently

Enhance Your Mood to Create an Efficient Attitude and Efficient Work

compliments of

To be efficient is to be able to produce a desired effect with a minimum of effort and waste. When we witness or experience efficiency it can create a pretty good feeling inside. We realize that the energy that was expended was used very selectively and we appreciate the foresight of such an undertaking.

Working efficiently and not hard is just a dream for many people. Too often we have our minds focused on hard work and not efficient work. How can you increase the efficiency of your work? Here are a few great strategies that you can implement immediately:

  • Take Breaks: Just 2 to 5 minutes of doing something different or taking a brisk walk will give your focus a break and you will return to your work with a fresh attitude and more energy.
  • Breath: It's always amazing to learn how many people hold their breath. When you are experiencing tension anywhere in your body take a deep cleansing breath. This will give you a boost of oxygen in your bloodstream and your mind will relax into your work more easily.
  • Smile: Think of something that makes you smile. I bet you're smiling right now aren't you? Smiling is an immediate mood enhancer. A genuine smile makes you feel good. It leaves you feeling enriched. Smiling a lot can make a big difference in how your day goes. The next time someone asks you "What are you smiling about?" tell them that you're smiling to make sure your day goes as you'd like.
  • Laugh: They say that laughter is the best medicine. If you're a fan of social networking sites, such as Twitter, go there... that is sure to give you a few good laughs while reading others Tweets. The thing is to be open to moments of laughter in your life. If you're on the stiff side, then loosen up. Laughter tends to dissipate tension. Find something to laugh at and enjoy the release that comes with it.

When you take the time to implement these strategies you will come back to your work with a fresh attitude and more energy to get the job done with fluidity. These strategies are mood enhancers and when you enhance your mood you will get the job done in less time and with a far better attitude!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to be Successful

compliments of suite

The New Rule to being Successful Today

The rules for how to be successful in today's world are different to those of yesterday. The rules of success have changed from competitive ones to cooperative ones.

In the past, people learned how to be successful according to the Darwinian principle, known to most by the phrase "survival of the fittest".

In other words, to be successful, one had to be stronger, smarter, faster, or more cunning than another, and achieve their success at another's expense. Today, this is no longer the requisite formula for success, according to Kabbalah theory.

Darwin's Formula on How to be Successful No Longer Works

Today, a different principle for how to be successful is at work: successful people are those who work together with others.

"Working together" in this context means more than, say, just being business partners, where one person might ruin the other as soon as a better opportunity arises.

Instead, Kabbalah explains that "working together" requires people to add consideration and mutuality in their relationships, in which everyone is equal and no one surpasses anyone else.

The Need to Renew Human Relationships

The need to renew human relationships is not a new idea. Kabbalah is one of many voices addressing this need, and the idea that today's rules for how to be successful have changed.

Even political leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama and England's Prime Minister Gordon Brown have spoken out about the need for people to connect with each other. Political leaders have suggested that the world's troubling situation demands that people forge connections in order to advance toward positive change.

Moreover, political leaders are not the only ones voicing the need to increase awareness that the connections among people are global ones. There are thousands of people working on figuring out how to use this new rule of success to humanity's advantage, and how to implement practical measures to make certain that humanity begins cooperating, instead of egoistically exploiting (and thus, destroying) one another.

However, as much as the leaders manage to insert moments of hope in the public, and as much as people continue to research the multitude of problems facing humanity, beneath the surface, the problems remain. And that is because the greatest tool capable of making the change for success possible is not being used to its fullest advantage. According to Kabbalah, that tool is education.

Education - That's How to be Successful!

Kabbalah states that education is the means for solving all of humanity's problems.

Education, in Kabbalah, means teaching mutual dependency, consideration and cooperation as society's greatest values, and as the true path to success for everyone. If the billions of dollars being spent on helping banks and enterprises would be spent on creating a worldwide education system, and education system focused on raising a new kind of person - one who knows how to consider the whole global-scale society in one's attitudes and relationships - then humanity would literally "grow-up" beyond these problems and dramatically improve quality of life.

Kabbalists state that humanity now faces the revelation of the law of nature, which is a law of mutuality and cooperativeness. Global unity is a concept still unclear to the majority of humanity's very survival and well-being.

The moment people will begin to understand the rules of success pertaining to living in accordance with this law of nature, the world's situation will improve on all levels - personal, social, and global. And according to Kabbalah, as soon as people begin cooperating, nature will provide its support.

Kabbalists believe that be replacing competitive attitudes with a cooperative mindset, everyone will grow and find success, while also discovering a while new world full of perfection and fulfillment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 Most Secure Jobs in 2011

compliments of

How secure is your job? Whether you think you're indispensable or totally expendable, if there's anything the last few years have taught us it's that nobody really knows what to expect. But job security doesn't have to be a total game of chance, as research and statistics do point out some jobs and some industries as being more stable than others. Using the U.S. Department of Labor as our guide, we've compiled this list of the top 10 most secure jobs for 2011.

  1. Nurse - Nursing is a field that runs perpetually lean anyway; but as health care demands expand in every direction, opportunities for both LPNs and RNs will continue to expand along with it. With job growth predictions hovering in the 21 percent-22 percent range by 2018 the already very large industry is expected to see more new jobs over the next several years than any other occupation.
  2. Physical Therapist - Driven primarily by again baby boomers and technology advances that improve survival rates for trauma victims and children with birth defects, the demand for physical therapy is on the rise and expected to continue growing by as much as 30 percent by 2018. The greatest needs are in departments where geriatric patients frequent ( acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic) as well as in rural and low-income areas.
  3. Pharmacist - Employers have already been reporting difficultly finding and keeping enough pharmacists and as the population ages demand will only continue to increase. The Department of Labor predicts job growth for pharmacists will rise a total of 17 percent by 2019, which when added on top of the current shortage, makes for a very favorable job market in the field.
  4. Physician and Surgeon - Tighter health care budgets and cost-cutting measures may keep the demand for doctors and surgeons at a more modest growth rate compared to other health care jobs (22 percent by 2018), but the fact remains that the expanding health care industry will keep the jobs coming. The job forecast is positive for all physicians and surgeons - but especially those will to work in rural and low-income areas.
  5. Computer systems and analyst and Administrator - Technology is at the center of both business and pleasure these days, so it's no wonder technology analysts and administrators are in high demand. All areas of the field are growing, but the most expansion (53 percent growth by 2018) is in network systems and data communications (network architects and engineers, Web administrators and developers) as more companies upgrade technology and as the Internet and wireless systems gain traction in the business world.
  6. Computer Software Engineer - Our increasing dependence on technology is purring demand for not only those who can analyze and repair high tech systems but also those who can make the most of them by creating new and improved software applications. Software engineers with expertise in mobile and wireless technology, networking, and the Internet are in especially high demand and overall the field is expected to boom by 32 percent by 2018.
  7. Biomedical and Environmental engineer - As a whole the engineering field is expected to grow at an average pace; but those specializing in biomedical and environmental engineering can expect to see significant increases (31-72 percent) in the demand for their skill set as an again population and growing health care industry call for improved medical devices and an ever-increasing environmental awareness spurs companies to seek help meeting new regulations and heading off environmental problems before they arise.
  8. Accountant, Auditor, and Financial advisor - Due to ever-changing financial laws, business growth, and an again population nearing retirement, job prospects for financials experts are estimated to grow by 22-30 percent by 2018. Also, helping to boost job security in the financial field; the increasing push toward transparency and accountability when it comes to high-stakes money matters and business management.
  9. Veterinarian - Not only are more people making animals a part of their family (cats especially) but they're placing a higher value on their pets and are willing to pursue and pay more for advanced and intensive veterinary services. Due to the rise in demand and the limited number of accredited veterinary schools (there are only 28 in the United States) veterinarians are predicted to have 33 percent more job opportunities by 2018.
  10. Lawyer, Paralegal, and Legal Assistant - The law is only getting more complex and jobs for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants aren't going anywhere. Projected to grow 13-21 percent over the next decade as other industries boom and require additional legal services, the legal field will produce the majority of new jobs in health care, intellectual property, bankruptcy, corporate and security litigation, antitrust law, and environment law.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Importance of Attitude

What is more important to a prospective employer – skills or attitude? The answer is that both are very important! If you do not have the appropriate skills for the position chances are that you won’t have been scheduled for an interview, but even if you meet every requirement for education, work history and knowledge your attitude can make you or break you – both before AND after a job interview! Below are some do’s and don’ts for before, during, and after your interview that will help you succeed in your search for an exciting new job.

Before Your Interview:
• When writing your resume and cover letter, avoid any negativity towards yourself or others. Make your resume honest and positive. The resume is often the first contact that a new employer will have with you, and first impressions, even on paper, do matter. If you include information about why you are currently seeking new employment in your cover letter, do not say something to the effect of, “My current/most recent boss was too demanding/unrealistic/etc”. Instead, either leave this section out completely or word it in a way that comes across as positive rather than negative.
• When you receive a phone call requesting an interview keep in mind that the caller may be your prospective boss or someone that they have delegated to call you on their behalf. It does not matter what title this person holds, you should treat them as you would the employer – with respect and politeness. If you act offended that the boss didn’t call personally or act as though the person calling doesn’t matter because they are not the one hiring you, you can bet that that information will be shared and will be a part of the hiring decision.
• Arrival – when going for the interview itself, plan ahead. If you do not know exactly where the office is located, drive by the day before (at approximately the same time as your interview if possible) in order to get an accurate feel for traffic flow and how long it will take you to arrive. You do want to arrive early, but not grossly so. Planning to be there about 10-15 minutes early is a good rule of thumb. If you arrive 30-45 minutes early it may be an inconvenience to the office staff, if you arrive last minute it shows that you may have punctuality issues. Remember to dress for success – be sure that your clothing and footwear choices are appropriate to the office setting and the season and that they are clean and pressed. Dressing too casually or in wrinkled clothing gives the impression that this position isn’t all that important to you.

During Your Interview:
• First, remember that your attitude and behavior in the waiting area is very important! How you treat the receptionist actually does have an impact on the employer’s feelings toward hiring you. Again, be polite and respectful. Do not act as though the receptionist is there to serve you, or is beneath you. Negative behavior of this sort will most definitely be passed along – as will positive behavior and a pleasant attitude. While waiting for your interview, do not fidget, talk or text on your cell phone or repeatedly glance at your watch or the office clock. You do not want to appear inpatient or engage in unprofessional behavior. Instead, turn your phone off before entering the office and if you are asked to wait, glance through a magazine or brochures that the office has in their wait area. If you are flustered due to something that happened before you left home or traffic on the way to your appointment, take a few deep calming breaths before you enter the office. Appearing flustered will make your prospective employer think that you are unable to handle stressful situations.
• Remember to relax! Nervousness can come across as incompetence or being unprepared. To help settle your nerves, try researching the company before leaving home. The more you know, the calmer you will be. It also shows your prospective employer that you are serious in your interest in their company. Prepare a few logical questions about the company and/or position in case you are asked if you have any questions – that way you do not feel put on the spot and unprepared. Breathe calmly and slowly during your interview, show enthusiasm and interest and try to give clear honest answers to the questions you are asked. Remember to keep your facial expressions friendly and open. Do not scowl or frown, even if asked a question that is difficult to answer.
• At some point in your interview, you will inevitably be asked about your previous employment experiences and why you are no longer with those companies. How you handle the answer to this question will say a lot about you! Do not speak badly of your former company or former boss. Problems with other employees or a lack of organization might suggest that you are uncooperative or are unable to adjust to different situations. A prospective employer, upon hearing you degrade a former employer or company, will believe that you will do the same to them. No one likes to be talked about negatively! Instead, keep your answer neutral – do not lie, but do project a positive and move-ahead attitude. It is better to say, “I am searching for a position where I am able to focus more on helping my patients/customers/clients to meet their goal(s)”, than to say, “My former company didn’t know what they were doing and expected me to do too many different things at one time”.

After Your Interview:
• As your interview is ending, smile and shake hands with the interviewer, thank them for the opportunity to interview with them and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them in the future. Remember to remain professional all the way to your car no matter how you feel the interview went. Smile, say “Have a nice day” to those you encounter along the way, and walk with your head up and your back straight.
• After your interview it is acceptable to send a polite Thank You note to the interviewer, again expressing your gratitude for their time and the opportunity to learn more about the company, along with a hope that you will speak with them again soon. Do not be too long-winded about it – a simple thank you mentioning those points will suffice. Also, do not beg or grovel for the job. If the decision of who to hire comes down to yourself and another candidate, your post-interview attitude may help make the decision – you want it to be a positive factor, not a negative one!
• Remember that the wheels of hiring sometimes move more slowly than you might like. Be patient! Most likely, the interviewer has several candidates lined up and must meet with each of them, even if they really liked you. Once the interviews are completed, they will review resumes and interview notes on each candidate, and then make their decision. In some companies these items will be shared with another individual or several individuals before a decision is made. If you have not heard from the company after a week, it is okay to call once and politely ask if there is anything else they need from you, but check your attitude before you pick up that phone! You want to appear friendly and helpful, not disgruntled or aggravated about how long their decision is taking. Remember that you will most likely have to leave a message either on voicemail or with a live person, and your attitude towards that person or machine or about leaving a message in general, will be noted. Do not call back repeatedly to find out the status of the position or have an attitude when you do call. Employers do not want to feel as though they are being bullied into making a decision, or making a decision before they are ready. Impatience is not a desirable quality!

To be successful, remember that attitude is just as important (and often more so) than all the degrees and titles you can collect! Before any contact with any potential employer be sure to give yourself an attitude check and be sure that you are projecting a friendly, outgoing and pleasant attitude. Put a smile in your voice, even if you are only leaving a message. Treat everyone in the office or on the phone as though their feelings about you are extremely important to whether or not you get the job – because they are!