All Articles Tagged "career advice"
With the average worker spending 4.6 years at one company before moving on, changing jobs is becoming more and more common. And people are also moving between careers as well. What if you are thinking of making a change? What can you do? Here are 10 tips if you want to make a change.
It is a tricky situation. What do you tell a friend who has been laid off? “People mean well, but especially in times of crisis or grief, they say some pretty nonsensical things,” notes Paolina Milana in The Daily Muse (via Forbes).
Your friend is mourning the loss of her job, so like with a death, tread carefully when dealing with her.
Don’t try and “fix” things with unsolicited advice. “People need time to get used to the concept of moving on. When you’re let go, you suddenly no longer belong, you’re no longer part of a team, and you no longer have a place to go from Monday through Friday. Replacing this comfortable routine with suggestions of the unknown doesn’t really help,” notes Milana.
Instead, give your friend some concrete examples of successful people who have been let go from jobs but when on to make it big, such as Walt Disney who was fired from the Kansas City Star for not being “creative “enough or Oprah Winfrey, who was pulled off the air and labeled as unfit for television” by a Baltimore producer. “Reminding your colleague of people we all respect and admire who triumphed in spite of their dismissals can help him or her focus on possibilities without having to look inward at the current circumstances. It gives a bit of perspective, helping this person to realize that he or she is not to blame for the layoff—and that this, too, shall pass,” Milana points out.
Give quiet support to your friends. You don’t always have to fill up dead air with saying how sorry you are for them. Let them vent without saying anything. According to Milana, when a person loses a loved job they will go through five stages of emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Also, they will have worry about their finances, societal standings, and self-worth. “During such times, your co-worker, your friend, or your family member needs you to be there, but he or she doesn’t necessarily need you to say anything,” explains Milana. “Remember: While the worst thing you can do is disappear from someone’s life and shun him or her (which often does happen), the second worst thing is to say something that creates an even deeper wound.”
Give a hug, listen and offer advice when asked.
Have you had to console a friend who was fired? What did you do?
It’s important to get your point across, but sometimes it pays more to listen to what is being said rather than speaking. A person who is good at listening will be valued in the workplace. And good listening isn’t just being quiet. Nor is it “simply waiting for your turn to say something or show off your brilliance, but engaging with what’s being said, building on it, reacting with thoughts and emotions, and showing that you understand or want to know more,” as blogger Janet Choi notes in iDoneThis.
In this digital age the art of listening is disappearing. But for business, good listening is always critical. Bad listening results in incomplete information and poor decisions. “When you don’t take care to listen and pay attention to the people around you, you miss out on crucial information,” according to Choi. “And bad listening is ultimately a waste of time. If poor listening leads to misunderstanding, disengagement, and poorer decision-making, that means more time is required to arrive at accurate information, good decisions, and a righted course,” explains Choi.
Here are 9 tips on how to become a better listener in business.
Looking to move up in the ranks? According to Donald Asher, author of Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t, And Why, there are some tricks to landing a promotion. And it takes more than just hard work.
There are several factors that can help you land a new title that are unrelated to the skills themselves. For instance, timing is also essential, reports Forbes. Flexibility is also helpful. If your company is opening another office in a different city, your willingness to move you might more you more likely to be considered for a promotion. And adding to your skill set is always a good idea. Learning new skills, Asher told Forbes. will help you get plum assignments and help you surge ahead.
Sometimes despite all your hard work your boss won’t want you to advance. After all, what would she do without you? Finding a replacement might just be too difficult. So you’ll want to do a good job, but it might not be in your best interest to make yourself indispensable. If you do, your boss will want to keep you in your current position. And, give your boss some props to her boss, notes Asher. “Tell senior managers how much you and your supervisor learned and accomplished at that Chicago trade show,” explains Forbes.
And most of all, don’t turn away offers. According to Asher, if you are offered a promotion within your company, always take it. “If you don’t, you will run afoul of the unwritten rule that if you turn down a promotion offer, you will not get another,” notes Forbes.
For more suggestions on how to ask for a promotion, check out our story here.
Yes, you’re entitled to have strong opinions. But does everyone have to know about them?
According to Black Enterprise (and many other people), it’s probably best if you keep some of your personal opinions under wraps.
“The workplace is usually made up of people from various cultures, religious backgrounds and geographic regions and it’s not good for business to offend a coworker with a comment that caters to your personal opinion and experiences,” the article says.
This should be pretty basic, but it’s worth reiterating. The article goes on to discuss the possible professional repercussions of constantly sticking your foot in your mouth. These are words you should heed. Click through to BlackEnterprise.com for more.
If you’ve ever worked a day in your life, and particularly been in a position to manage or oversee other people, you’d know there are a whole lot of people who talk a good game when it comes to their career ambitions, but can never back it up. These are the folks who just know they want to be an entrepreneur but have no clue what business they want to start, or who think they could do a better job running the company than everybody else but can’t even name two things they would do to improve revenue. Essentially, they’re just BSing.
Climbing the corporate latter and achieving your career goals is no easy feat for a number of reasons but it’s quite easy to weed out the people who really want to make it and who just think they want to. In case you’re not sure where you fall, check out these signs you’re not really serious about what you do.
In the world of business your reputation is everything. If a bad reputation proceeds you from job to job, you may soon find yourself without one. According to career consultant Emily Bennington, author of Who Says It’s A Man’s World: The Girls Guide To Corporate Domination, there are seven ways you can ruin your profession career. She listed them for Forbes. Here they are plus a few of our own suggestions.
1) Making Excuses: Don’t make yourself a “work victim” by constantly coming up with excuses when things don’t get done. If you don’t have all the info you need to do your job, ask questions and find the answers, says Bennington.
2) Missing Deadlines: If colleagues and clients can’t count on you to meet deadlines, then you will be passed over for projects and increased responsibility.
3) Not Being Prepared For Meetings: According to Bennington, “too often people prep for meetings at the last minute, making them appear disorganized and, well, less-than-brilliant.”
4) Being Too Tit-For-Tat: If you’re always trying to bargain with your boss for the job to fit your needs and not the company’s needs, you will come off as not being a team player.
5) Being Unresponsive: According to Bennington, not responding to people sends a confusing message. “[I]t makes coworkers wonder if you received the message at all, if you’re waiting to make a decision or if you’re just avoiding them,” she says in Forbes. Plus, it is just plain rude.
6) Making Self-Deprecating Jokes: This can cause two things to happen, says Bennington. “First, you may gain the reputation of the office clown, meaning not a serious person and a distraction to serious work,” she writes in Forbes. “Second, you affirm your faults in the eyes of others, showing that you don’t respect yourself. It’s one thing to know how to take a joke and another thing to make yourself a joke.”
7) Underestimating The Details: Not paying attention to details can cost you a client or blow a deal. It also shows you don’t take the work seriously.
We like to add a few of our own:
- Behaving Inappropriately with Clients and Co-workers: Having a lack of respect for the people you work with will make you an office pariah.
- Making Promises You Can’t Keep: Saying “no” sometimes is a good things. Don’t take on more work you can handle or offer to do a task that you are not qualified to do.
- Being a “Yes” Woman: Your boss doesn’t need someone to always agree with them. If she hired you for your experience then she wants your input and opinion.
While many of the New Year’s resolutions out there focus on things to change, there’s also something to be said for making what you have better. That includes your job. Sometimes it’s not a matter of finding a new company, but making the situation at the one you’re with better.
Black Enterprise takes a look at three things that you can do to improve your current job situation.
“Take some time to really reflect on what you do for a living. Do you have a meaningful job? Are you doing something fulfilling?” the story says. Both very important questions. There is also some forward-thinking included in the story. After all, you have to make the most of the present to set yourself up for something good in the future.
For more detail about making the most of your current job, click here to visit BlackEnterprise.com.
During a job interview, you expect to be asked a lot of questions. However, you shouldn’t walk out of a job interview without asking a few questions of your own.
“Not only will these questions show how well-prepared you are, they will also make your interview memorable and put you a notch above your competition,” writes Black Enterprise.
Moreover, accepting a job is like signing on to a brand new relationship. Asking questions ensures that you’re right for the job and the job’s right for you.
To learn the three questions that you should ask in a job interview, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
At first glance, you’re probably thinking that this is about teaching you how to kiss some major behind. No, not quite, you will not have to buy a new stick of Chapstick to follow the guidelines here. This is not about kissing butt or giving unnecessary compliments to your boss that you don’t really mean, but rather about drawing attention to your skills and learning how to get credit for your hard work. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself in situations that will display your character and what it is that you have to offer. Here’s exactly how to do it:
Don’t miss deadlines
Don’t squeeze in that stop at the coffee shop when deep down you know you’re running late. First and foremost, before you can go the extra mile, it’s important that you are at least satisfying the minimum requirements of your position. There’s no point in trying to impress your boss if you are constantly showing up late to work, slacking on your assignments, or missing deadlines. You have to be a good employee before you can be a great employee. Follow the rules and regulations set forth by your company.
If you see one of your co-workers struggling with a task, don’t just walk away because it’s your lunchtime…take initiative. You shouldn’t have to be told to do something needed before you offer to do it. Not only would you want the same help if you were in their position, but as the saying goes, what goes around comes around. If you lend a helping hand to your colleagues, or ask your boss if there’s any extra tasks that they may need help with, you will not only be showing what you’re knowledgeable about and what you have to offer. At some point, you will receive credit for your hard work whether it be through receiving a promotion or using what you’ve done as good experience for future opportunities.
Don’t worry; this isn’t as bad as it may sound. Yes, it is most ideal to be paid for your work, but what if the things you are volunteering to do don’t feel like work at all? These include organizing social events for coworkers or planning fun activities for staff members. In most workplaces, something like this would be called a “social committee.” What’s most beneficial about being an employee with spirit is that rather than show off your work-related skills, it will draw attention to your amazing character. What a great way to show that you’re a kind, friendly and fun person to be around then to help plan fun things for the office. Sure it might not get you a raise, but it will definitely put you in a position to ask for a raise later. Plus, it will get your name out there to those at the company who matter that might not have known that you existed before.
Quality over quantity
It’s one thing to make deadlines, but it’s another thing to actually hand in something that deserves to go straight into the trash. You’ve heard this saying time and time again…”quality over quantity.” There’s no point in taking on extra tasks if you’re doing them all wrong and constantly making mistakes. Yup, your boss will put an end to those extra tasks pretty fast if you can’t do them properly. Make sure you are doing things right by checking them over, and using proper guidelines.
Ask for feedback
Sometimes when you want something, all you have to do is ask. It’s important that you regularly ask your boss for feedback. Not only will this help you to improve your skills by knowing what to work on, but it will also show your boss that you are eager to learn and want to be the best employee you can. By speaking to your boss regularly, you can go from being just a regular employee who meets expectations to an extraordinary employee who exceeds expectations. This will help you gain that competitive advantage that will help you move up the ladder.
Love your job
There’s no point in following any of these tips if you don’t love the job you’re doing and the work environment that you’re in. If you actually care about your job and the well-being of the company, you will naturally find yourself doing the things that will prove how great of an employee you are and what you’re capable of. If you don’t actually love your job, you’re not going to care to do any of the things that will help you impress your boss. Even if you somehow manage to trick yourself into thinking you like your job, your real feelings will be reflected in your mood and in your work, by making careless mistakes, or by even trying to cut corners. In other words, the odds will be stacked against you. Do yourself a favor and put yourself in the right mood to succeed. You can create the atmosphere you’re in.
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