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How to Win Friends and Influence People

In this day of self-help books for just about everything it’s easy to forget that there was once a time when ‘self-help’ wasn’t even in the dictionary.  Before self-help came along if you needed help with something you usually figured it out on your own or possibly asked your clergyman for help, as asking for help was seen as a sign of weakness.

That’s why, in 1936, the revolutionary new book How to Win Friends and Influence People was such an incredible success, because no one had ever seen a self-help book before and this one had some great ideas and tips for getting ahead in life.  In fact, the term self-help was coined due to this very book. The fact that the original sold 15 million copies during a time before computers, before TV, heck even before air-travel became routine is a testament to its author, Dale Carnegie.

In 1981 a revised edition was released that streamlined the book, eliminating sections on effective business letters and improving your marriage. I suppose that, by 1981, there were enough self-help books around that they felt they should concentrate on business answers and leave the marriage counseling to professionals like Jerry Springer.

Now, some may think that because the book was written almost 80 years ago that it would have little relevance today but the exact opposite is true.  Some of the lessons that can be learned from this excellent tome are still being taught today in business schools and boardrooms all over the world.

For example, in the section on handling people the book advises to never criticize or complain, to give honest and sincere appreciation for work well done, and to never show that you’re not interested in what someone else has to say. Wise words indeed if you want to get ahead in today’s business world.

Want to make people like you?  Smile more, remember people’s names (and use them often) and be a good listener. By talking in terms of the other person’s interest and making them feel important you will win them over every time. Sounds like good advice for a wide variety of careers.

The fact is, this book is so stuffed with great info for today’s businessperson that it should be required reading on college campuses and in organizations everywhere.  Mr. Carnegie was really onto something when he wrote the book, and that’s probably why they named a Hall after him. Get the book and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

Career Women – Beyond Financial Rewards

Women today face challenges that their mothers and grandmothers never even had to think about. With many women today balancing family life and a career, they find themselves overworked, spread thin and with a nagging feeling that there is something they have forgotten to do. Actually, there is something they have forgotten: to stop and think about whether their life is all that it should be.

When we say should be, what do we mean?  Well when I say should be I am encouraging women to reflect on why it is they want to have a career at all. The obvious answer to that is ‘I need to pay the bills’ or ‘my husband’s income isn’t sufficient to meet the mortgage as well as our other financial commitments’. Women who say this are basically saying: ‘I have a career because I need to earn money.’

Earning money from a career is a result. It may be the most important material result but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing more to a career than doing all we can to achieve the best financial earnings. After all, we spend a large percentage of our time in the workplace, dealing with the same repetitive tasks and familiar faces. Shouldn’t there be more than just a financial reward to the vast amount of time spent out of the home?

Of course there should be. There it is again. Should be. It’s an unfortunate turn of phrase as women have enough demands on them already. But believe me; this demand of mine is in your favour and strictly for your benefit.

Ask yourself the question. Go on. “Am I where I want to be?” Take the time to think about it. If you could change something about your career path, would you?

While the women of today are working harder and balancing more than previous generations they also have an amazing array of resources available to them to help them achieve the most out of their career in terms of job satisfaction. There is nothing as empowering as taking responsibility for your own personal and professional development. If this means a shift in how you approach your career or even a total career change, women should know that they have so many programs and courses available to them that are specifically catered to the needs of women in the workforce.

I urge you to take charge of your own growth. This might take the form of asking your boss for specific support or advice, but always remember that you have the freedom to achieve your own personally developed plan and goals. These can be developed in your own time and in your own space and driven with you at the helm.

Beyond Career Success is committed to helping people achieve career success. You will find classes that are bundled with powerful and practical career tips that you can apply right away after just one session. So don’t just tolerate the hum drum of your job. Make your career the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of your life – take control!

7 Powerful Ways to Land Your Next Job

1.    The Power of a Good Referral

In regards to a specific or general job search, it is vital to utilize all available resources. This includes people, as well as other tools that may help you in your job search. Use all available resources by contacting friends and family and telling them about your job search. The reality is that most jobs that people get are based on a referral from a friend or a family member. Don’t discount the power of a good referral and utilize them to the best way possible.

2.    Integrating Social Media

These days, it is easier now more than ever to find a job based solely on the internet. Many job boards and individuals are constantly posting available jobs all over the web, and social media is no exception. The most highly effective job seekers realize the true potential in social media and they use it to its best advantage. Post a photo along with specific skills that you possess to increase your chances of finding a job. And, keep alert to any job postings on social media networks that might fit your profile. The best jobs are sometimes the ones that pop up randomly, when you are least expecting it.

3.    Utilizing an Updated Resume

When searching for a job, the most important thing to have on hand is an updated resume. You never know when someone might ask about your job history or ask about your skills in general. It is always good to have an updated resume on hand that looks professional and is comprehensive with recent information listed. An updated resume shows that the individual in question is serious about getting a job and they are a person that takes their career and future seriously.

4.    Formulating a Specific Cover Letter

High effective job seekers always utilize an updated cover letter that is specific to the job and position they are applying for. Most job seekers these days forget the ever important cover letter, and this can damage their chances for securing the job of their choice. To be most effective, a job seeker should present an updated cover letter each time that they hand in a resume to an employer. Presenting a cover letter puts the job seeker in a class above the rest of the competition and shows the prospective employer dedication and attention to detail on the part of the job seeker.

5.    Readying for the Interview

The interview process is one of the most important aspects of securing a job. Highly effective job seekers know the importance of the interview, and that is why they prepare for the interview as soon as possible. Job seekers should research as much as they can about the company they are interviewing with, the position itself, and anything else that might come up in the interview; this ensures a strong focus and a commitment to excellence on the part of the job seeker. An employer recognizes this research done by the job seeker, as well as the preparation that is usually apparent to the employer right away.

6.    Stay Focused and Free of Stress

Although finding a job is very important and should be taken as such; it is not the end all and be all. Staying focused is very important, but so is staying free of stress. Highly effective job seekers know the balance between finding a job and keeping their life free of stress. Job seekers should not let bad experiences or rejection stress them out or worse yet, affect their focus. Job seekers need to recognize how much they can handle and if stress is becoming a problem. If stress seems to be a recurring theme, it is vital to take a breather and regain focus before starting again on the job search.

7.    Realizing True Potential

When searching for a job, it is very important to realize the true potential of all types of jobs. This includes applying for jobs that might not have been the first choice for the job seeker. Sometimes, a job that seems too good to be true is; and other times, a job that does not seem desirable, ends up being a job seekers dream job. It is always advisable to look at a job for what it really is and take an honest look at the qualifications it demands, and then readily determine what the best route to take might be.

How to Interview Like Steve Jobs – 5 Steps to a Perfect Interview

Though known more for his technical brilliance and his hugely popular company, Apple, Steve Jobs was a truly gifted communicator.  Steve Jobs was able to not only listen, but he heard the salient point of any message that someone was trying to convey – this rare skill can be broken down into 5 steps that can help you give the perfect interview and land that dream job.  Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Research.  Research the job, the company, and even if you are already familiar with it, research the industry.  What this will do is show how seriously you take the possibility of working for that company and will show that you respect the interviewers time and that you appreciate the opportunity they are giving you.

Step 2: Practice.  Practice the interview, from introduction to conclusion, have 3-5 questions in mind to ask you interviewer.  Make the questions semi-specific, but refrain from asking anything that would get into technical info or anything proprietary.  Keep the questions fact based and centered on the position you are interviewing for, as opposed to questions about the company in general.  You can and should ask about projected growth, but keep the question general and be prepared for a brief answer.

Step 3:  Show enthusiasm at the interview.  Be genuinely interested and excited at the interview, but at no point should you need to portray over-the-top excitement.  Be interested in what the interviewer(s) have to say, when you can, ask brief follow up questions, and let the interviewer lead the interview.

Step 4: Clearly explain why they should hire you.  Here is a moment when being direct can really benefit you.  Outline skills and accomplishments you have that make you a good fit for the job, mention any industry specific experience you have – from software you are familiar with to protocol that you know how to follow and anything relevant in between.  Keep it brief, you should be able to sum up why you are the best fit in less than 90 seconds.

Step 5: Call to action.  Follow up your brief sales pitch with an action statement like “Contact Me”, “Call Me”, or “Looking forward to hearing from you.”  Let the interviewer know that you are eager to hear back from them and that you are ready and available for the position.  Keep the call to action brief and follow up with the interview within 48 hours, preferably via email.  Thank them for their time and offer to answer any follow up questions they might have.  Always include your contact information at the bottom of the email.

7 Tips for Coping With a Job You Hate

Almost all of us have been there at one point in our lives or another; the job from hell. Whether it’s a boss that is more dim than a broken light bulb or co-workers who bug you like ants at a picnic, there are times in your life when you’ll be stuck with a job that you just abhor and you have no other choice but to sit there and take it.

Or do you?  I mean, a crummy job isn’t exactly the end of the world, and sometimes there are things to be learned even from the worst of them. So if you’re temporarily stuck with job that’s like a bad joke, read on and find out about 7 Tips for coping with it and keeping your sanity.

Tip 1 – Remember that this isn’t the last job you’ll ever have. You won’t be there forever, and even if you are there’s always the possibility that your boss will get hit by falling space debris.

Tip 2 – Primal scream therapy is good for the soul, and if you have a sock puppet that you can yell at while pretending it’s the boss all the better. Just don’t do it at work, especially if you need to take off your socks.

Tip 3 – When you get home at night do NOT talk about work. Ever. Work life and home life should never mix.

Tip 4 – Take a break during the day to do something stupid and wasteful, if only for 10 minutes. Watch a dumb video, or draw a picture of your cubicle mate being eaten by a T-Rex. Fun!

Tip 5 – Stay positive and work hard, even if you hate yourself for it.  You never know if what you do now will pay-off in the future and a glowing review from this job could land you a much better job down the road with a boss that doesn’t remind you of a feral pig.

Tip 6 – Have something to look forward to after work, so that you at least know that when your day is done something you enjoy awaits. Working out, getting together with friends, or drinking until you’re goofy all work just fine. (Just don’t drink and drive.)

Tip 7 – Keep your sense of humor. Studies suggest that having a sense of humor will help you cope with many situations in life.

If you can do these things you will definitely survive any job, no matter how boring, bland, or irksome your boss and co-workers may be.  Best of luck.

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