All Articles Tagged "Professional"
When you go to work, you go there to do well..work. However, sometimes getting all of your work done in a set amount of time can be difficult. From distractions to randomly called meetings, there are all sorts of things that throw off our work and productivity balance in the workplace. However, if you want to become one of those ultra-productive employees, there are some tips you’ll want to keep at hand, like these.
Know when your day ends
Instead of coming in at 7:00 am each morning and leaving at whenever pm, you’ll want to give yourself a specific working schedule each day. If you arrive at 7:00, make it clear to yourself that you must be out of the office by 4:00 at the latest. Having a time when you know you need to be leaving work puts a bit more pressure on you to get your work done in a certain amount of time. Otherwise you can slack off all day and not head home until 7:00 pm.
I never had any hesitation that Andy was the one for me or that we would spend the rest of our lives together. After six years in a monogamous relationship — including two cross-country moves, economic upheaval and layoffs, career changes, and a six-month stint living with his parents (no easy feat) — it felt like we’d already made our relationship official.
But, like most women who are single well into their 20s, I felt pressured by girlfriends who insisted, “Everyone wants to get married” and, “You’re just saying you don’t care because you haven’t been proposed to yet.” As most of my friends plotted their way to the altar, Andy and I enjoyed years of blissful cohabitation without ever worrying about if and when we’d tie the knot.
Over the years, we attended weddings by the dozen. Eventually he and I were one of the last unmarried pairs standing. Still, I wasn’t compelled to demand a ring. We were content. Certainly, people in our lives thought there had to be something wrong with our relationship, but we didn’t care what anyone thought.
Even during my years as an editor at a major wedding magazine, my bridal instincts failed to kick in. Sure, I felt the twinge of “something missing” every time a new coworker announced her engagement and was met with loads of fanfare, but that didn’t change how I felt deep inside: Andy and I didn’t need a piece of paper to affirm our commitment.
I wasn’t until my 30th birthday approached that I began to feel the first real impulse to get hitched. My career was thriving, but still, I sensed a barrier. It soon became apparent that my unmarried status was preventing me from being taken seriously as an adult and a professional. I was trapped in relationship purgatory.
Read more on YourTango.com.
To Friend or Not To Friend? Guess Who Should Not Be Your Facebook Friend, According to A New Survey…
This probably is a no-brainer. But according to a new survey the one person you do not want to befriend on Facebook is your boss.
A survey of 722 people conducted by survey site SodaHead and anonymous feedback site YouTell, found that 81 percent say you should not be Facebook friends with your boss. But there was a gender gap; slightly more men than women said it was okay to friend your boss, and those aged 25 to 34 (who were college-age kids when Facebook debuted) were the most comfortable with the practice, reports the The Huffington Post. When asked if you should be friends with coworkers, a parallel survey found that 55 percent said yes it is a good idea, while 45 percent said no.
Why? Because you might not want your boss to see all of your personal photos, your social life, your comments. “People generally like to keep a professional distance at work, and when your boss and coworkers can see every photo taken of you in the past 5 years, things feel a lot more personal,” notes HuffPo. And imagine your boss checking out last night’s party picture when you called in sick today. It can have an adverse affect on your career or your working relationship with your boss.
And people have actually gotten fired for Facebook posts. According to HuffPo (and seriously, WTF?), a Swiss woman was fired from her insurance job in 2009 because she had told her boss that she couldn’t work at her computer and needed to lie down in the dark. When her boss saw that she had been active on Facebook, she was let go. She shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.
The issues of friending folks at work have even been dealt with my some state governments. According to HuffPo, a bill was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives that prohibits employers from forcing their workers to friend or “like” them on Facebook.
Even without an official “friending,” many bosses may be actively checking out your page, so it is best to make your information private and viewable only to friends.
Sometimes when you’re around completely unpleasant people, you grit your teeth and bear with them and their antics. It’s hard, but it’s worse when they’re a person that you see on a regular basis. It seems like even their presence can sometimes make time stop, and make things like your home, job, or classroom seem like a dreadful place to be. But, even though you hoped and prayed for it, there it is: a light at the end of the tunnel. You and this odious person are about to part ways! Through your excitement you might count the days until you don’t have to see that “nutcase” again and for some, you might even plan an extravagant exit strategy. Like George Costanza, you can’t just leave this person without doing something big. You have to bring the same frustration on them in a matter of seconds that they did in a matter of days/weeks/months/years. Or at the very least, let them know what you think about them.
Well, while you’re imaging going off on your mother, kicking the student behind you in the shin (who always kicked your chair) or flipping your boss’s desk over, can I intercept your daydream for a minute? While it’s fun to imagine getting your payback, can I interest you in only keeping it a daydream and implore you to not act on it?
Why? Life has a funny way of having people you completely despise re-emerge in your life, and sometimes they are the people who you need the most for something. As we all know, sometimes to succeed in life, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know; and that person you were literally about to give the boot, might be the same person who helps you get to the goal of your dreams. See what I’m saying?
Yes, idiot people have friends and resources too. So when you leave the job that made you decide to go back to college to get a completely different major, you might need that douchebag of a boss to write you a recommendation. That husband you divorced who you went off and told him you didn’t want to have anything else to do with, might have cheaper and reliable connections to help you with the house repairs you might have (seeing that you’re going from two incomes to one and that does take some adjusting).
As much as people want to roll their eyes and throw in a, “Whatever,” situations like this happen all the time. I once read an article about a guy who was bullied in high school, but when he got older he was in a position to hire people. When the resume of one of his former bullies came in, though he had the perfect credentials, he ripped the resume up and threw it away. Though this is illegal, the people who you are dealing with are humans who have hurt feelings, the same way you have, and along with those hurt feelings, they have memories like elephants. They won’t remember all the horrible things they did to you, but they’ll throw everything you did to them right back in your face.
If that’s not enough of a reason not to burn that bridge, think about your ego. Some people’s pride is so large, that it feels almost impossible to go back to a person you ripped thinking you’d never see them again and say, “Hey, sorry for saying how I really felt about you…could you help me with this?” If you’re one of those people, don’t even burn the bridge.
I’m saying all that to say this: Just because someone seems that they’re out of your life now, doesn’t mean that it’ll always be the case. Yes, you have a right to be upset if someone has hurt you, but retaliation might not be the right track to take. No one’s telling you to be fake and pretend like the entire time you knew this jerk-wad it was a dance in the clouds. What I’m saying is, you don’t have go down the same petty route they took the entire time they were around you. You can be cordial, because even when you’re snapping and hurting the person who hurt you, you could be hurting yourself in the future.
Not only does Kendra Koger try not to burn bridges, she tries not to fall off of them either. Fall into her twitter account @kkoger.
No doubt, if you’re building a career, you’ve got a profile on LinkedIn that you include on your resume and in your email signature. What is your profile saying about you? Apparently, in the US, a lot of us are saying we’re “creative.”
The professional social network has just released this year’s list of overused buzzwords from around the world; words that pop up in far too many profiles found on the site. And the number one buzzword in the US and around the world is “creative.” Again.
“If you want opportunity to come knocking, you’ve got to make your LinkedIn Profile stand out from the pack,” Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert said in a press statement about the latest buzzwords. “Millions of professionals say they’re ‘creative,’ so set yourself apart by describing and linking to projects you’ve worked on that truly were different, unique, and compelling.”
This is the third year that LinkedIn has published this ranking and the second year that “creative” has topped the list. In the first year, the phrase “extensive experience” was number one in the US. Other words appearing on the overused list for the US this year are “organizational,” “effective,” and “motivated.” “Extensive experience” is number five. Many of these words are also commonly used in profiles from around the world.
The site suggests three things to help improve your profile: take a look around the network to determine what you like and don’t like about other profiles; make sure you fill in the skills portion so people can endorse you; and re-think your professional headline to make sure it grabs eyeballs.
Still, we wondered why so many people keep coming back to that word “creative.”
“Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be artistically inclined or an inventor of new gadgets,” Williams told us in an email. “It is the ability to see things differently and come up with new solutions. My personal thought on the matter is that when creative is looked at from that lens, it is a trait that is valued in almost any field, hence the reason so many people use the word to describe themselves as a professional.” But people tend to use the word rather than explaining what exactly makes them creative. In journalism, we say you should show, not tell. The same idea applies here.
“It may take a bit more work, but describing specific projects that you’ve worked on where you moved the needle will help you stand out from the millions of ‘creative’ professionals on LinkedIn,” Williams added. For more on the overused words list, check out the LinkedIn blog.
You and your work buddy do everything together. Except get a promotion. Sometimes there can only be one. And that one might not be you.
Black Enterprise offers a couple of tips for getting over your work friend’s advancement up the ladder. Step one: Accept that you’re going to have all kinds of feelings about the situation.
“Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but don’t wallow in your feelings. Sinking into a work depression or acting in anger won’t help you advance,” the story says.
For more on how to handle this sticky situation, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
Maybe the feeling’s been brewing for a while. Maybe you realized that you can’t go on another vacation, and that the nagging feelings of fatigue and discontent are more than symptoms of curable burn out. Maybe you realized that you can’t grow any more or that you’re bored and need a challenge. Maybe one day, you just got fed up. Whatever the reasons for deciding to leave a job, you’ll need to find ways to do so gracefully, without burning professional bridges that you may need to cross later in your career.
Just don’t be like Greg Smith who after 12 years working with investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, submitted his resignation notice in the op-ed section of the New York Times, noting:
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look [interns] in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work…I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
Even if you’re ready to offer your best “take this job and shove it,” here are some tips on how to leave a job with grace and tact.
Be discreet about your search
During work hours, quell every urge to check the status of an application to a new position on your current employer’s computer. The same goes for updating your resume and trolling the job posting board of your dream company. Employers are able to track your Internet doings and whereabouts, and many have policies about using computer networks to search for new employment. Getting caught could mean leaving a job sooner than you plan — and not on your own accord.
Scheduling interviews with prospective employers before and after your own work day may be ideal, but it may not always be feasible. You might find yourself in your car one afternoon, contorting yourself to change out of your current company’s business casual look into a suit for a midday interview. Consider taking long lunches or taking a personal day off to attend interviews without the stress and pressure of having to hide your plans from your current boss and colleagues. And remember to stay mum about your plans. Keep every “I need to find me a new job” to yourself, not even uttering the thought of a departure to your most trusted work friend. There’s no telling how a should-be secret could become fodder for the water cooler and put you in a precarious position.
Give at least two weeks’ notice – or the required minimum
Doing so is not only in good taste, it also may ensure that you’re eligible for re-hire should you desire to work for the company again. Submitting proper notice could also possibly enable you to cash out the remainder of your sick days and vacation days. If you’re a middle or upper-level manager, submitting your resignation three weeks to one month ahead of time is good form, since you’ll likely be tying up the loose ends of not only your position, but of multiple projects or an entire department.
See the job through
Once your boss and colleagues are aware of your impending departure, don’t check out mentally until the job is complete. It’s likely that your final weeks will be your busiest, as you won’t only be finishing your work, but training your staff and co-workers on procedures so they can continue the job after you’ve left. You may also be assigned to train your replacement. Be sure to notify vendors, clients and others outside of your company with whom you may work closely. And remember, you didn’t put in years of work to establish a legacy of leaving everyone hanging.
Refrain from gloating and speaking ill of your past employer
Keep any negative opinions about your previous employer to yourself, regardless of how warranted they may be. When asked during interviews why you’re leaving your job, a simple “It’s a great company and while I’ve learned a lot, I’m looking for new opportunities to grow” should suffice. Refrain from offering the glee of leaving a job on social media sites, too.
Be mindful when considering a counteroffer
Let’s say you announce to your current supervisor that you’ve opted to take a position elsewhere. What should you do if he or she offers you more money and clout to stay put? There are a number of considerations at bay when weighing a counteroffer. Assess the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place. Will those issues be addressed? In an article from MSNBC, one expert noted that 85 percent of those who accept a counteroffer from their current employer were likely to leave the company in six months.
Everyone leaves a job at some point, but just as important as how you start is how you finish.
While there are a million reality television shows out there, I still enjoy the comfort of the cinematic experience and a good sitcom here and there.
Nowadays, things are on the up and up, as there are many great black actors who are bringing serious talent to the big and small screens. Take for instance the very fine Michael Ealy in the buddy-cop comedy “Common Law” (one of my favorite shows of the summer), and Jamie Foxx in the new Tarantino western Django Unchained (dropping this Christmas). But while very talented black actors and actresses are getting the chance to flex their acting chops and do so very well, there are still some actors that seem to fall short on the big and small screen.
Here are a few seasoned actors who should work on their craft, and really try to break form the norm so they can end up in A-List bliss instead of the black hole that is reality television, or even worse: Doomed to being seen solely in Thursday night BET movies.
I don’t know if doing Player’s Club held Lisa Raye back creatively, but every performance I see of the star seems to be Diamond all over again (talking like she’s reading off of a cue card). You might be able to blame it on the lack of diverse roles, but it seems that the all-white lover only plays the sassy sista, and even on her show, “Single Ladies,” it’s more of the same. If you’re going to be the sassy sista every time, at least put your foot in it and make us want to keep watching! Oh Lisa, you’ve been in the game since ’95 and there still hasn’t been much evolution. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed…
My mother is not an entrepreneur. She is not a self-made millionaire with her own company. She does not own a home with a vacation property on the side. She is not rich or has any inheritance to her name.
She did not discover a new product for consumers, invest in any stocks or networked her way to the top. My mother is a normal African-American woman born and raised by a single mother in one of the country’s most dangerous cities. She has been your average blue collar worker for as long as I can remember, and now because of the economy and job market, she is in between careers. And yet, she is the wisest, wealthiest person I know.
I know this because I have always had high standards for my mother. As an only child of a single mother, I knew her worth, I felt her struggle firsthand, and through her struggle came wisdom, something I knew to cherish.
I am appreciative to reflect on this Mother’s Day from a new angle: in my early twenties with a college degree, no children and a successful, growing career in the media industry in New York City. These are all manifestations of my mother’s hopes for me, since she did not have the same. She became a mother at my age and knows the importance of youth, especially when it comes to achieving your professional goals.
As the wisest, most business-savvy person I know, my mother has imparted many lessons that I still remember in my everyday life, especially in the corporate workplace. Although I still remain like a deer in headlights sometimes when it comes to being an African-American female professional in the workplace, I revert back to her teachings and never stray far. Some of my favorite quotes remind me of her lessons and past experiences…
Thanks to the release of the romantic comedy “Think Like a Man,” inspired by Steve Harvey’s similarly titled self-help book, everyone seems to be talking about how women can benefit from taking on a masculine approach to life. The film and book address personal relationships, but can this concept be applied to the boardroom?
The number of working women has increased to 72 million (up from 44 million in 1984) and accounts for nearly half of America’s workforce according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, the executive suite remains a man’s world. Women make up only 2.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
The gender gap in the corner office is often attributed to unwritten rules of the workplace that favor men. Today’s workplace is fueled by old principles based on masculine norms. Masculine attributes like self-confidence, assertiveness and dominance are more valued than those associated with women. Women find themselves in a catch-22: when they exhibit these “masculine” characteristics, they often fall victim to backlash for being bitchy or less socially skilled.
There’s a stigma carried by female leaders. Leadership requires a person to be decisive and in charge. When a woman takes on this role, they are deemed undesirable. A Work & Power Survey conducted by Elle and MSNBC.com found that the vast majority of respondents who expressed a gender preference for their leaders felt men were more likely to be effective leaders.
The workplace values the traits of men more, but doesn’t want a woman to embody them, lest she be deemed unfriendly. How can a woman win? Researchers at the University of London found that women who suppress their nature in favor of aggressive management styles were less likely to have a cooperative staff. Women fared better when they embraced feminine qualities of sensitivity and good communication. The secret to success is a balancing act, adjusting behavior for each situation with the right mix of male and female traits.
As work becomes more global and collaborative, many companies are turning away from old values in favor of a fresh, feminine approach. Women are more intuitive to bringing in all points of view and are stronger with networking and supporting each other. Rigid hierarchy and top-down management are being dismantled in favor of a more inclusive, collegial style that women are naturally adept.
The face of business is changing in step with how business is done. American women are receiving more college diplomas than men, and are more likely to pursue an advanced degree. Education is a key factor in determining who gets hired. It is inevitable that there will eventually be more women than men in the workplace. In the very near future men will be asking how they can think like a woman to get ahead.
Cortney Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.
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