Graduation season is here, and that means all of you wide-eyed, fresh-faced students will be spilling into the full-time workforce. I admire your eagerness. Your zeal. Your ambition. Truth be told, I'd much rather work alongside you than the curmudgeon lifers. The influx of youth into the working world is a beautiful thing. It keeps ideas fresh, the corporate environment evolving, and every generation, if willing to play nice, gets to learn from each other. So if you’re new to the workplace, or simply starting work at a new organization, let me lend a hand. Follow these tips to ensure you make a good first impression: Take it slow. It's easy for young workers to start a job with “guns blazing.” After all, the company will be grateful for your ideas, right? Slow down, killer! When starting a new job, it’s imperative to learn the culture and get to know the lay of the land before suggesting ideas or changes. Take several weeks to learn who the influencers are and how the place works … [Read more...] about New Grads: Tips for Starting Your First Job
Archives for May 2011
12 Things to Bring to an Interview
If you are wearing your best outfit and talking to yourself, there's a good chance you're wondering what things to bring to an interview to make sure you are fully prepped. Before your stomach fills with butterflies and your head fills with clever answers to tough questions, it's important to create an interview checklist. These are items designed to make your life easier during the interview. The more prepared you are, the more relaxed you will be. So be a good Boy Scout and make sure you're prepared for any situation by bringing the following with you to a job interview. Bottle of water. You never know if the interviewer will offer you a drink. Answering questions about yourself, coupled with the endemic stress of the interview, will leave your mouth dry. Avoid a scratchy throat and tote a drink along with you. This also makes a nice crutch for folks who find themselves anxious. Water can help save your career. 10 copies of resume. This won't be popular advice with the … [Read more...] about 12 Things to Bring to an Interview
Work/Life Balance – Yeah, Right
A recent life event and some comments from a friend reminded me how we try to reach that work/life balance goal and don’t quite seem to ever get there. As it seems that people really are struggling with this, maybe it’s time to revisit the topic?When Life Trumps WorkI dealt with a family emergency all last weekend. It was my furry family member, but the crisis was just as real. My plans to work and have some downtime were totally disrupted, but that was OK, I did what needed to be done. Critical life events take priority. But that’s different from trying to incorporate personal-life downtime into your schedule.Weekends are For…?I’m self-employed, so I work unusual hours and most weekends. Because of that schedule, though, I can hit Costco on a Thursday morning and avoid the weekend hoards. One recent Saturday morning, I called a friend who works a “normal” schedule. He said he and his wife were shoe-shopping (for both of them, in case you went … [Read more...] about Work/Life Balance – Yeah, Right
Why Is Understanding Employment Law So Important?
Employment law is in place to guarantee a fair and safe working environment for employers and employees. Statutes and strict rules outline, for the employer, how their employee’s should be treated within the workplace. Many employers and employees often don’t realise how many rules and regulations are covered by employment law, leading to confusion for employers and employees alike. There are many aspects of covered by employment law which means employees can take legal action for being treated unfairly. Before recruiting new employees, employers should refer to employment law to ensure they are up to date with all aspects. It is mandatory that employees and employees have a sound, equal understanding of employment law. For instance, if an employee feels they are being bullied or mobbed it is important they realise it is not acceptable and can take legal action against an employer. Employers need to understand employment law so they are providing an optimal working environment for … [Read more...] about Why Is Understanding Employment Law So Important?
6 Steps to Deal With the Office Bully
Were you a victim of bullies when you were in school? If you thought that all the aggravation and harassment would end after graduation, you were wrong. The truth of the matter is that bullying can still go on right into adulthood. Have you encountered bullies in your office? It’s important to equip yourself with knowledge on how to deal with them. The first step in dealing with bullies is to recognize what or who is the bully. First, you must determine whether or not an act is considered bullying. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes; would you behave that way? If you answered ‘no’ then you might have a bully on your hands. If you still don’t know what a bully is, here are some tips to spot a one: Easily gets too close and personal with you in order to find out your fears and weaknesses Will try to isolate you from other workmates Usually roars at you with insults or will try to humiliate you (might use comedy as a guise) Does not act accordingly inside the … [Read more...] about 6 Steps to Deal With the Office Bully
Do You Have the “Soft Skills” Needed for Business?
Is it me or are a lot of people in the biz world talking about “soft skills?” I just saw another article about it today. Business schools are now teaching these along with the “hard skills,” like accounting, that they have traditionally taught. So what are they and why are they important?Soft SkillsMy understanding is that soft skills are focused on the relationship side of business. Don’t be scared, I’m not going to go all touchy-feely, therapist-y on you. Though I admit, I did see the words “sensitive” and “feedback” used to describe soft skills which can conjure up an Oprah moment if you’re not careful.A job interview which I described in this post, "Extreme Job-Hunting Part II" had a bit too much of the soft stuff. It was a marketing position, but the job was at a psychiatric hospital. Therapists were interviewing me. Let’s just say that the soft skills overshadowed any rational discussion of what the job … [Read more...] about Do You Have the “Soft Skills” Needed for Business?
5 Reasons To Choose Welding As A Career…Seriously!
Welding is a fantastic career for the ambitious, patient and steady handed amongst us. While it can be noisy, uncomfortable and even sometimes dangerous, welding as a career is also challenging, fun and rewarding. With all sorts of skills involved, from welding itself to profile cutting and plasma cutting, there’s a host of interesting and valuable skills to be learnt as part of a career in welding. Demand Recent years have seen a vast increase in the demand for skilled welders. Because of this it is not only easy and very cost-effective to learn the required skills but it is also incredibly easy to find suitable and well paid work – an invaluable attribute in today’s economy. Flexibility The demand and general nature of a career in welding means that it is a very flexible vocation to uptake. This means the profession is highly suited to those with a love of travel, and people with few ties who are able to move where the money and the work is. With this in mind, for those who … [Read more...] about 5 Reasons To Choose Welding As A Career…Seriously!
3 Steps to Finding Bliss in the Workplace
Slaving away day after day, anxiously waiting for happy hour and the weekend, and feeling unchallenged and limited? If you find yourself complaining about any of these things—it’s time for a change. The average American spends 8.7 hours of the day in the workplace, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Instead of spending those hours counting down to 5:00 PM, it’s up to you to assess your problems with your work and make decisions based around your workplace happiness. Step 1: The first step is to think about and realize whether or not you are happy at work. Development of job happiness assessments at CareerBliss, such as the BlissFinder, is led by Brad Brummel, Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Based on his research, we found that job attitude can be evaluated based on 10 facets of happiness... • The Person You Work For— the relationship you have with your boss • The People You Work With—the … [Read more...] about 3 Steps to Finding Bliss in the Workplace
sitting kills! fitbit gets you active at work
I recently received the fitBit, a glorified pedometer that wirelessly sends your workout data to the Web, as a birthday present. As a data hound and someone who cares about being active, I have decided that this micro gadget is a must-have for your career toolbox. The sedentary lifestyle that many office workers lead is a recipe for trouble -- even leading to an early death. I'm often amazed to see how corporate life can beat the exercise libido out of anyone, even a wannabe Jack LaLanne. The fitbit can help you hold yourself accountable, pushing you to be more active while on the clock. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to be somewhat physically active at work – even if you are a desk slave. Sit too long and you could be digging an early grave. The fitbit is so easy to use, that it will satisfy the technogeeks and technophobes alike. Upon activation, enter your age, height, and weight on fitbit.com. Wear the device day and … [Read more...] about sitting kills! fitbit gets you active at work
16 Signs Quitting Your Job Is the Right Move
Thinking of quitting your job? Tell me if this sounds familiar. It's 7 p.m. on a Sunday night. You just finished dinner and are starting to settle down for the evening. Normally, this would be a relaxing time. Maybe you take the time to reflect on the past week, or perhaps plan your ambitious goals for the coming days. But this night is somehow different. You suddenly become filled with a certain something. It’s a malaise that doesn’t let you do much more than click the remote control. You can't exactly put your finger on what it is. Let’s call it the Sunday Night Blues. Rather than relax, you actually begin to get worked up, even annoyed. It comes in waves. Then you realize you are grinding your teeth, dreading the predictability of tomorrow’s work day. It might be time to look for a new job. At some point, all of us will reach this crossroads. Maybe you're there now. If you check off more than three items from the list below, it’s likely time to seriously consider quitting your … [Read more...] about 16 Signs Quitting Your Job Is the Right Move