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5 Signs of a Great Employee

People who want to find work will equate to millions, but people who know how to value their jobs are much rarer. If you want to reduce your turnover rates, giving the best job incentives is just half the trick. The other half is finding people who deserve to receive the incentives your company is offering. When hiring employees, it would do you well to look for the five essential signs of great employees listed below.


Don’t just consider the quantifiable aspect of employee productivity. You should also do what you can to find out how employees are making use of the occasional periods of downtime that will take place at work. Do they use it as an excuse to rest or do they at least make an effort to find far more effective uses for the hours they are receiving compensation for.


The best employees don’t idly wait for orders. They can work with or without supervision because they know when to step up their game, put on the mantle of leadership, and take initiative when others are unwilling to do so.

Perhaps the simplest way to define initiative in employees is when they volunteer to take on tasks that they may not actually directly receive compensation or benefit for. They do so because they care about their work, and they equate the company’s success with their personal success as well.

Positive Attitude

No matter how cramped, dreary, or tedious a workplace is, it always becomes marginally more bearable when the people around you have a positive outlook on life. Optimism or a half-glass-full look at life is something you should also seriously look for in a prospective employee. Better things tend to happen when this type of person is around simply because they always believe things will get better. More importantly, they are willing to do their best to make things better as well.

Honesty and Integrity

The second most important quality to look for in a prospective employee is honesty or – more specifically – integrity. It is not just a matter of always telling the truth. Sometimes, people can be too blunt for their good. Other times, people can easily end up lying without even saying anything – such as when you lie by omission for instance.

Most types of problems that frequently erupt in the workplace are rooted in deception. A small, simple, white lie can easily balloon into an insurmountable challenge for the entire company. It’s important to look for honest employees with integrity because any kind of deception put up by your employees would eventually become a barrier to your company’s success.


You need to look for dependable employees or those who are able and committed to maintaining a professional attitude when it comes to their work. More often than not, dependability can be seen in the small but important things that employers take for granted from their employees such as:

* Being always courteous and reasonable to deal with
* Arriving punctually at work and all work-related events
* Submitting work well ahead of deadlines

Lastly – showing a willingness to learn new things when a situation presents itself is extremely valuable and should never be taken for granted.

Desperately Seeking Employment

If you’re looking for a new job the last thing that you want to do is appear desperate when being interviewed.  Eager yes, excited yes but desperate never. Think about it; have you ever been really desperate to find an available girl in a bar and left alone at the end of the night?  It’s the same thing when you’re in an interview. Hot girls and hiring managers can smell desperation and see it in your eyes and, unfortunately, nobody wants to hook up with, or give a job to, a desperate person.

So with that in mind here are a number of different tactics for hiding your desperation when you’re going through that all important job interview. Remember, being desperate isn’t a sin but showing that you’re desperate is.

Never use the ‘U’ word.  Referring to yourself as ‘unemployed’ is almost as bad as saying “I have leprosy”.  It has a negative connotation and makes you seem lazy and shiftless (and contagious).  If asked, make up something interesting (preferably true) that you’re doing with your time like writing a play, taking night classes or something of that sort.

Don’t beg.  Telling a hiring interviewer that you’ll “take any job they have, even if it’s scrubbing the toliet” is not going to make you more desirable as an employee and will probably make the person interviewing you a little queasy.

Never, ever complain or cry. Employers want someone who is stable and in control of their emotions.  Honking your nose into a tissue and telling them that “everyone just seems to hate me” is going to paint you as an emotional wreck and kill your chances of being hired.

Don’t put the blame on something else.  If you start blaming other people, the economy or your industry, or outsourcing for your situation your prospective employer is going to sense that you don’t take responsibility for your actions.  That’s not good and won’t help you get hired.

Don’t become a pain in their butt. Calling or emailing every day, to see if you got the job is just going to make them really dislike you as well as think you’re a pain in the neck.  Better to set a time to follow up just before you end the interview and stick to it.

There you have it, 5 great tactics for hiding your desperation when you’re interviewing for your next job.  Learn them, take them to heart and use them wisely and soon your desperation will turn to happiness when you get that job you need so, well, desperately.

Now the only thing that’s left to do is go back to that bar and land yourself a cute date.

Hop To It! Tips For Self-Motivation

Whether it’s working out in the morning, starting a creative project, or simply cleaning up around the house, at times we all struggle with finding self-motivation. Some find issue in the actual doing while others simply struggle with remaining consistent and accountable. At the end of the day, though, all it really boils down to are your goals, mental fortitude and desire.

In my personal struggles with self-motivation and procrastination (the two are kissing cousins!), I have discovered that just a little bit of organization combined with action, goes a lot farther than perhaps you could ever imagine. These tips also helped me to help myself stay on task while battling the early stages of, well, hopping to it.

Define Your Goals

If you don’t know what you want, then how can you ever achieve it? Sometimes, it is not a matter of simply knowing what we want but more about organizing our thoughts. Maybe there are several projects that you have been meaning to start but you can’t really focus on any one of them. I would suggest performing a bit of task-related triage. Prioritize the perspective projects in order of importance and pour all your focus (at least, for now) into the primary. When you accomplish the primary, move on to the secondary, and so on. This will help you to actually finish one project instead of getting bogged down by the details of many.

Be sure to write down your goals, establish a timeline, and use very specific language. Pretend as if you’re writing step-by-step instructions for yourself. This tactic is especially helpful for visualizing success.

Eliminate the Noise

When my friend was finishing the dissertation for her PhD, she seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet. That is, she merely disabled her Facebook account for several weeks and went into hiding until she met her deadline.

Maybe Facebook is inconsequential to you. Perhaps your distraction is a television show, a chatty friend, a video game, texting – the list could literally go on. The point is, know your distractions and eliminate them while accomplishing your goal.


A good support system is key to the self-motivation process. Surround yourself with positive, motivated, and like-minded people. These folks will not only hold you accountable to yourself but they will also inspire you to do and be more. Once you’ve publicly acknowledged a goal, it becomes that much harder to give it up.

Keep the Finish Line in Sight 

Sure, doing is much harder than not doing but the rewards of the former far outweigh the latter. By focusing on the bigger picture, instead of getting weighed down by all the tiny details, you’ll keep the finish line in sight. While there is merit in focusing on the bits and bobs of a plan, sometimes it threatens to down you in the day-to-day minutiae. It’s important to remember the payoff, because that’s what got you excited in the first place.

This is a guest post contributed by Victoria Labalme, a company that helps people become more effective communicators.

Take Responsibility For Your Job Search

One of the most important aspects in finding a job is to take responsibility for your own job search. This is also defined as not being a victim in any way, shape or form. One of the ineffective ways to engage in a job search is to victimize your search. Don’t blame discrimination or gender or anything that you cannot prove.

This victimizing mentality can ruin your job search even before it has even started. Don’t victimize yourself for the reasons you did not get the job. This is obviously easier said than done, but it is vital to take this into consideration.

The problem with many job search candidates is that they don’t take full responsibility for their job search in the way that they blame others for their lack of prospects, they don’t do all that they can to get the job, and frankly, they don’t try hard enough.

The secret to a fruitful and successful job search is to stay hopeful and positive, all the while doing everything in your power to attain the job of your dreams. And, this responsibility for your job search relates to everything and everyone in your life.

Don’t get into the habit of blaming others for your lack of prospects by saying phrases like, all the good jobs are taken, or, I don’t have the time or ability that others do. These phrases are completely victimizing to you and your job search and will do nothing positive for your endeavors.

Instead, look at your job search as an exciting challenge that you, alone must win and achieve. Don’t victimize your search by thinking that you are not good enough to get the job. The truth is that you are better than enough and the reality is that the perfect job is still on the horizon, rapidly approaching.

How to Structure Your Day While Looking for a Job

If you’re really interested in finding a new job you have to first realize that, like finding a home, a car or a date for Friday night, you’re going to have to put in a good bit of leg work and accept a little rejection along the way.

You’re also going to need to make a plan of action and stick to it.  Structure your job search like you would any task and you’ll find that it becomes less stressful and more productive. Of course if you’re lousy at organizing and finishing tasks you might already have a problem but, lucky for you, there are a few great suggestions below to help you in your search.

For the unemployed job seeker:

Your new job is now to find a new job. I’m dead serious and you should be also.  A new job will not fall out of the sky or be handed to you on a silver platter.  You’re going to have to get out there and get it.

The first thing you should do is polish your resume.  This is your ‘introduction’ to any potential employer and should be well-written, up to date and printed on high-quality paper. If it’s not you need to get it ready first.

Once your resume is finished it’s time to hit the streets (or the internet) and start actively looking every single day. Your goal should be to find at least 3 possible jobs every day and give or send them your newly polished resume. 

While doing this you also need to follow up on the jobs that already have your resume.  The best thing to do is structure your day so that part of it is spent searching and part of it is spent following up.

For the employed job seeker:

Welcome to your new part time job!  If you thought finding a new job while you were still employed was going to be easy think again! In some ways it’s even harder because of the extra stress and challenges of interviews and searches as you try to handle the requirements of your current job.

Your day needs to be much more structured now because, unless you want to be forced to leave your old job ahead of schedule (if you catch my drift) you’re going to need to keep you current boss happy.

Like the unemployed job seeker you should be actively looking every day (during the morning, lunch time, evening and weekends) and following up too. It’s also a challenge to keep the fact that you want a new job a secret, and it should be.  Try not to let too many people in on your plans unless you want to find yourself being asked to do the most unpleasant assignments.

Whether employed or unemployed you have your work cut out for you (pun intended) if you’re looking for new work.  Treat your job search seriously and keep at it tenaciously and you’ll soon find yourself in a new position at a job that you (hopefully) deserve.  Good luck in your search and keep at it!

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