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5 Tips to Deal With Difficult Colleagues

Spending hours working in close proximity with others can often lead to tension in the workplace. Whether working on a large-scale project or in a small group setting, people can often find themselves having trouble positively relating to their coworkers. If you are in need of assistance in dealing with problems in the workplace, here are a few tips to help you out:

1. Stay calm and let go of your anger. One of the worst things you can do when confronting someone in the office is to approach them with anger. While it is often difficult to get past your own emotions, keep in mind that they will only prevent you from solving the situation at hand. Instead, write your feelings down in a letter to yourself or in a journal entry. This will allow you to let out your anger completely without making the situation worse.

2. Inform your coworkers of the impact of their actions. If your coworker’s actions are decreasing productivity or causing you to miss an important deadline, let them know how they are affecting everyone professionally. When you put the impact of their actions in a better light, you may have an easier time getting your point across.

3. Make sure you stick to the point. When confronting a difficult coworker, always be sure to clearly address the points of your argument. This will help you to get your point across with less chance of creating any more hostility. To help organize your thoughts, write out a detailed list of your points before approaching your coworker.

4. Keep an open mind. Before addressing a situation with a coworker, make sure you look at it from both perspectives. Be open to any criticism that you may receive, and find out any ways that you could improve your own performance and/or relationships. Your open-mindedness could be a great opportunity for growth within the workplace.

5. Set goals to ensure progress. Once you have viewed a situation in its entirety, work out realistic goals with your coworkers to ensure that the situation improves. Be careful not to set your goals to high, or you may be unhappy in the long run. Setting small, measurable goals will help you to track progress overtime and will be beneficial for any interactions in the future.

Whatever your problems in the workplace may be, these tips will help you to deal with difficulties that arise with your coworkers. Building healthy relationships at work is essential in guaranteeing your success.  

How to Rise Above the Competition in Your 2013 Job Search

With the New Year just beginning many people are looking to make changes in their life, and for some of them finding or changing jobs is a big part of that.  Whether you are currently unemployed or you’re just looking for a new and exciting career, it is important to know how to set yourself apart in a job search.  With unemployment so high today employers often see dozens or even hundreds of resumes for each job opening.  If you want a chance at getting that job you need to know how to rise above the competition.

Improve Your Skills

While a decade ago employers would often consider people who don’t have every skill they would like for a job, today they are able to be much pickier.  Every skill you can learn and add to your resume will help distinguish you from the rest of the crowd.  Look into getting certifications in your field.  If you have an interest in other fields, branch out and get certifications or other skills.  You can often do this in your spare time or if you’re currently unemployed you can make this a priority.

Networking

Today more than ever it is critical to use your network of friends, colleagues, former co-workers and even previous employers to help you find that next job.  Asking your network of associates for a recommendation when looking for a new job can really give you a big advantage.  There are many times when a job is not even posted online because the company likes to hire based on the recommendations of their current employees.  Don’t be afraid to ask around for help, most people are very happy to assist whenever they are able.  

Creativity

Try to come up with things that will help get your resume noticed. This can be a difficult balancing act between being creative and being unprofessional.  Using a cover letter and resume you have the opportunity to set yourself apart.  Make sure you do it in a creative and effective way.  A great idea is to create a blog where you showcase your work or previous projects.

Improve Your Interview Skills

If you manage to land an interview, make sure you are ready to impress them.  You can no longer expect to walk into an interview unprepared and get the job you desire.  Before arriving make sure you study up and learn as much as possible about the company and the position you’re interviewing for.  Asking intelligent questions and having engaging answers to theirs will help demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job.

Don’t Go Overboard

No matter what type of job you’re looking for, it is important to be able to stand out in a positive way.  Unlike in show business, not all attention is good attention when searching for a job.  Make sure you think about everything you do during your job search to make sure you are remaining professional and come across as someone you would want to hire.

What To Do Before Starting Your New Job

Once you have landed the job, you can give yourself a pat on the back and breathe a sigh of relief. The stress of looking for a job is over. However, now you have a new type of stress called starting a new job. Instead of worrying and being anxious about whether you can do the job, whether your boss and colleagues will like you and whether you will be able to add any value to the company, you should start preparing. The period between acceptance and the day you actually report for duty are a critical time for you to prepare for your new responsibilities. Use this time wisely and productively because it does not come by that often.

Let us say there are two weeks to go before your start date; it is during this phase that you need to jump start working relationships and prepare and learn.

An executive recruitment company in New England thoroughly recommends beginning your new job by identifying the work colleagues who will be crucial to your effectiveness at the office. It is not just the obvious suspects either; sure, your boss is important, but what about those who will be working under you and the main customers and clients, these are people who will play a pivotal role in your new work life.

Have coffee or lunch with these people to try and connect with them during this period when there is little pressure. You will get to know them as human beings rather than colleagues first. If you meet with your boss prior to starting the new job, you can ask him/her about their expectations of you and the job. You want to know how they measure success in your position. If you meet with your peers, you can get a better understanding of company culture and insights into how your new colleague behave and view their jobs, the company and the industry. Based on these insightful meetings with your boss and colleagues, you will have a pretty good idea of what you should do to prepare properly for your first day at the company.

This period is also a good time to read up on information that the company would not have normally shared with you before bringing you on board; such as strategies, products/services in development and future projects. A quick search on Google will bring back a ton of information about the company’s history, industry trends, competitors and the marketplace that you will soon be working in. You will be demonstrating how you are engaging with the company and show commitment and passion for the job.

Top 10 Words to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile

If your profile is on LinkedIn because you’re searching for a new job (or even your first job) there is something vital that you need to know in order to avoid sounding like the millions of other people doing the same thing.  What that is, in simple terms, is overuse of the same adjectives or ‘buzzwords’

For example, if you write that you’re creativeinnovative or responsible you’re using three words that have been used so much that a recent survey of 187 MILLION LinkedIn users put all 3 in their Top 10 list of most popular buzzwords. That means there’s a LOT of people using the same 3 words to describe themselves.

In effect, by using these buzzwords (and several others that are far too common) you’re doing nothing to make yourself sound unique, attractive or different from the rest. In fact, using these words can make you appear boring, bland, dull and ordinary,  a few adjectives that you surely want to avoid if you’re trying to land a job offer.

When you post your profile to LinkedIn your goal should be to write something that makes you stand out from the crowd.  Yes, by all means use some adjectives to pump a little life into what you write but, better still, instead of using the same tired buzzwords why not give an example of what you have done.

For instance, if you’re creative, write a line or two about how your creativity helped your last company.  If you’re innovative describe how that trait paid off during a recent project. The objective on LinkedIn is not to wow readers with your inventive use of buzzwords but with your actual skills. (Assuming of course that you actually do have said skills.)

What most managers are looking for is real-world experience and honesty.  If you have the experience then you really don’t need to wrap your profile in buzzwords but just talk about what it is that you’ve actually accomplished and let those accomplishments speak for themselves.

The Top 10 Buzzwords,  by the way, are below.  If you really are ‘creative’ then you should have no problem skipping over them and putting together a profile that defines who you are and what you can do without all the fluff.

  1. Creative
  2. Organizational
  3. Effective
  4. Motivated
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Track record
  7. Innovative
  8. Responsible
  9. Analytical
  10. Problem solving

Practice Makes Perfect – How To Find Job Success and Earn that Promotion You Have Always Wanted

There is a very old expression that talks about how practicing something can make a person absolutely perfect at it.  Though when most people hear this famous old saying about practice makes perfect, they usually picture something like playing an instrument or even something like cooking or carpentry.   However, the one thing no one imagines this famous quote referring to is their job.  Believe it or not, the faster and more efficient someone is at his or her job, the better the chances are of that person getting promoted.

How can a person improve their skills when it comes to their job?  The answer to that question can depend on what he or she does in their profession, but the chances are that there is some kind of software involved.  Though a person probably went through some kind of training when they were first hired, learning a new skill takes a lot of practice.  Once training is over, the company is relying on their new employee to be good at what they do, and the customers that this employee speaks to are also depending on the representative to be able to help them.

What software was the person trained on?  Sometimes a company may have their own special software, but sometimes there may also be programs involved that are available to the general public like Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.  Anyone can get access to both Word and Excel, so this may be a golden opportunity to practice.

The success that a person finds in their job can be in their own hands. Though the company that hired a person may have the tools to do their work, it is up to him or her to take those tools and turn them into gold.  By practicing their job both at work and at home, a person can get so good that they are guaranteed job success, that promotion they have always wanted, and a salary that will give them the life that he or she has dreamed of.

How Your Online Presence Can Boost or Lower Your Job Chances

Firstly, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope 2013 will be a successful year for you and your family.

One of the most important aspects of our lives is our online presence. What you do, or do not do, online has a major impact on your chances to get the job you want. Even if you are qualified and look great on paper, what is available online may tell another story, or it may give you a far better chance of being accepted. If you want to take advantage of what a good online persona can offer, you need to know what to do as well as the steps you should take to ensure the results you want. If you put the time and effort into doing this, you can find yourself in the job you love and continually viewed as someone who brings more to the company on a regular basis.

Understanding the possibilities of a great online presence is a big thing. When you use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites intelligently and contribute something to the community at large, you can see your chance of jobs and promotions go up. Employers want to know that the people they hire are working to better themselves and give their company a good name, regardless of the position. This is what either brings in or sends away potential customers. When a person is attracted to a business and the employees present themselves professionally, people are more likely to choose them, which ultimately help the company.

Without an online persona, either entirely or one that is good, you cannot experience the types of benefits possible. More than likely, you will see less interest overall and more problems in the workplace. Any person who uses this account solely for social purposes and acts highly unprofessional might not get the interviews or jobs they want. Some people who have acted in this manner have also lost their current job. If you think you can avoid these troubles by not having an account at all, you are mistaken. Many employers might see that as a problem or red flag, causing them to go elsewhere for their employee.

To avoid the dangers and make the best out of your account, make sure it is professional and mature. This is something people are going to be looking through and viewing, making it very important that present and/or future employers like what they see. If you are filling your pages with inappropriate behavior and language that would not be wanted in the workplace, you may not be viewed as a possible candidate or permanent employee.

When you have everything looking decent, try to bring in readers and followers. By posting links to blogs, articles, and various web pages related to your area of work, you can start bringing in an audience that will want to hear what you have to say. This gives your employer a boost, as well, whenever you mention them, something that many want.

Putting the time and effort into not only creating a professional, clean online persona, but also maintaining it can help you reach your dream career. This gives you the ability to reach people and look like someone who will be a productive, rewarding member of the company.

5 Tips to Make a Great Impression on Your First Day at Work

Congratulations!  You’ve just landed a new job and you’ll be starting very soon!  It’s an exciting time! (Especially if you sold yourself on a bunch of ‘skills’ that are actually still in development.) Now, lest you think that you’re sitting pretty, let us casually remind you that making a solid first impression with your new boss and coworkers on the first day is still an important task to accomplish.

With that firmly in mind we’d like to take a moment to give you 5 tips on your first day at the job. If you’re keen to start your new job on the right foot take a moment to read them and then take them to heart.

1) The Introduction.  OK, first things first.  Everyone is going to be asking you who you are and what you do.  Your best bet is to practice your introduction, like your elevator pitch, so that you can rattle it off at a moment’s notice. Remember that you have a job now and are, in effect, a different person and customize your spiel accordingly.

2) Take advantage of your status as the ‘new’ guy or gal and ask as many questions as possible. Remember that, after a few days and certainly a few weeks some of the questions that you have now will seem foolish or even ‘dumb’ so get them out of the way as fast as you can.  Heck, you can always blow over a dumb question asked by simply saying ‘sorry I’m new’ and shrugging your shoulders but keep in mind that this won’t last for long.

3) Speak up and speak clearly.  There’s no shame in being a little shy or taken aback when you first start a new job but, on the other hand, you can also take the opportunity to let people see your confident, passionate side as well. They don’t know you from Adam and so, if you like, you can recreate yourself in whatever image you wish. Communicating firmly and clearly is a great way to start.

4) Of course another part of communication is the listening part so, when appropriate, shut your pie-hole for just a sec and take in what people are saying without replying. You can certainly give intelligent responses to show that you are following the conversation but the fact is that people like to hear themselves talk and love a good listener.  As long as you don’t let them push you around with their words you’ll do good to just listen until you’re ready to really speak up.

5) Finally, if it’s possible, take notes.  This will not only help you later when it’s time to remember a key phrase, name, or whatever but will make the people talking to you feel more important because you’re noting down what they’re saying. Taking notes lets you feed their egos and make yourself some important ‘info snacks’ to munch on later when you have a moment to gather your thoughts.

And there you have them.  5 Tips that will make your first day(s) a little more pleasant and will leave a pleasant taste in the mouths of your new coworkers. Use them well grasshopper and good luck in your new position.

100 Best Jobs for 2013

Are you planning to get a new job or start a new career in 2013? Well you should head over to US News and World Report‘s website. They just put out their ranking of the 100 best jobs in 2013. The top 10 jobs are either healthcare-related or computer-related. I see this trend continuing for at least the next 5 years. What is interesting to me is that the # 1 job is dentist. I really didn’t even imagine this as being in top demand just because I only see my dentist twice a year. But I can tell you that every time I try to make an appointment, it is very difficult since they are booked solid.

Getting a Job is an Inside Job

Firstly, I want to take a moment to wish everyone happy holidays.

With the economy in a slump and the unemployed rate steadily rising, many people are finding themselves jobless and searching without any luck. Having a degree and experience sometimes just isn’t enough. You can have a perfect resume, but that does not mean you will find employment. Many people nowadays rely solely on sending out applications online or submitting their resumes to employees with little to no interaction with anyone who works at the company. While that may work with some people, it doesn’t always guarantee success for landing a job. It is important to develop personal relationships with the appropriate people in order to find proper employment. In the end, it is those relationships that will have employers coming your way and will expose you to more job opportunities.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many are suffering from long term unemployment. Even those with experience in a certain field and/or a college degree are finding their job inquiries unanswered, are not being called back for interviews, or are having their resumes ignored in general. This is because companies aren’t likely to hire people they don’t know. The only way to solve this problem is to get involved with those people who are affiliated with these companies and make connections. In order to do this, you will have to do some in person marketing and try to “hang out” with people who have connections, and make connections of your own. By knowing the right people, you can get your foot in the door so to speak. Companies are more likely to hire people they are familiar with, than people who blindly send in resumes or apply online. It is also easier to make an impression during an interview this way.

You will be more likely to get an interview if you are referred to the company by someone who works for the company and has the trust of the manager. By gaining the trust of people affiliated or employed by a company, you are also indirectly gaining the trust of the higher-ups in the company, increasing your chances of getting hired. It is important to make these connections that will get you recognized by employers. Sending in a resume online isn’t enough.

Many people go by the assumption that using websites to get jobs is the best choice. It certainly is the easiest. It doesn’t require going on any interviews and it is much faster and impersonal. However, most employers don’t thoroughly review all of the applications they receive online, and that certainly will be a high number considering the amount of people who rely solely on searching for jobs online. If the hiring manager of a company is familiar with the type of work ethic you have based on accounts from people whom are employed by the company, then your chances of being hired have been increased. You are more likely to get hired by knowing the right people than by depending on the internet alone.

6 Tips on Writing a Thank You E-mail After a Job Interview

In today’s culture, writing a thank you e-mail after a job interview is a lost art. Most people would rather text or tweet a ‘thank you note’ than take the time to do it the traditional way. I would argue that writing a thank you e-mail would be looked upon more favorably because no one does it anymore. Below are 7 tips that you should follow when crafting your thank you -email.

1. What’s the purpose of writing a thank you e-mail?

It shows you’re interested in the job and gives you an opportunity to express gratitude to interviewers who take time to talk to you or to meet with you.

2. What’s the content of a thank you e-mail?

Keep your thank you e-mail short. However, you should express appreciation, reiterate qualification, highlight values you’ll bring to the position, ask for the job, or ask for the next step of the interview process in your thank you e-mail.

3. What else should I pay attention to besides the content of a thank you e-mail?

Spell check your thank you e-mail and ask a friend to proof read your e-mail prior sending it. A thank you e-mail is a reflection of you. A thank you e-mail is full of spelling and grammatical errors will reflect you poorly.

4. How soon should I e-mail a thank you e-mail?

A thank you e-mail should be sent within two business days after the interview.

5. How do I e-mail a thank you e-mail if I don’t have hiring manager’s e-mail address?

Ask your recruiter to forward the thank you e-mail. Ask the contact person who sets up the interview to forward the thank you e-mail.

6. Should I send a thank you e-mail after a phone interview?

Yes, everyone loves a thank you e-mail as long as you convey your sincere appreciation towards interviewers in your thank you e-mail as long as you don’t come across as desperate for the position.

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