Communication: Avoid 10 Phrases to Improve Your Image



Many professionals unknowingly undermine their careers. That’s right. They either self-destruct or limit their career potential by giving away their power in communication.

How? They do it by communicating certain phrases either verbally or in e-mails.

By eliminating the use of such phrases, you’ll look and feel more successful. Seriously? Yes, you’ll project stronger self-confidence, intelligence and credibility.

ID-100270901So avoid using these 10 phrases:

“I hate to ask” or “Sorry to ask” – You’re giving away your power if you’re asking for something that’s part of someone’s job or is reasonable.

In essence, you’re apologizing. Don’t apologize unless it’s necessary.

“Does this make sense?” – There two possible ramifications from using this phrase.

The other person might be insulted because the phrase implies the person doesn’t have enough intelligence to understand your point.

The other possibility – it makes it appear as though you are inadequate in explaining something.

“This is probably a stupid question, but …” – Understand that there are no stupid questions. If you don’t know the answer to something, simply ask your question. You run the risk of looking as though you don’t have self-confidence.

“I wanted to ask …” — Always aim to use an economy of words. This phrase is unnecessary. Just ask your question. People who get to the point quickly also accelerate their careers at a faster rate.

“I may be wrong” – In business, many ideas are worth millions of dollars. Don’t devalue or lessen the impact of your ideas before you even mention it.

“I think” – This phrase introduces a thought in the other person’s mind that you’re really not certain. Be confident and use a phrase like, “My sense is that …”

“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”

-Christopher Lasch

I’m looking for another job” or “I don’t make enough money” – If either is true, it’s no longer a secret.

“I hate her/him” – Never complain about one of your peers or your boss. Sooner or later, it will get back to the other person and it will only hurt your reputation. Plus, carrying around a bag of resentments will only wear you out emotionally. Positive, enthusiastic people earn promotions and raises.

“He/she is hot” – Again, don’t ignite the rumor mill in your office. Keep your conversations and e-mails on a professional level.

“I want a raise” – It’s OK to make your case in person for a raise, but never ask your boss for a raise in an e-mail. Always discuss money in face-to-conversations, after you’ve laid the groundwork to ask your boss for a pay raise.

Finally, if you want to accelerate your career, you can do yourself a favor by using two thoughtful phrases in the majority of your conversations and e-mails.

The phrases are “please” and “thank you.” Think I’m kidding? Try it for a month and you’ll experience a positive difference in how people respond to you.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional career tips:

The Professional Way to Disagree with Your Boss — If you value your job and reputation, there are productive ways and unproductive ways to disagree with your boss. Here’s how to do it professionally.

Workplace Bullying – Tips for Victims and Bosses — Workplace issues include bullying. It’s a widespread problem for employers and employees, alike. Here are valuable tips for both employers and workplace victims.

Having Trouble Breaking through the Glass Ceiling? 5 Tips — If you’re having trouble breaking through the glass ceiling, you probably need a change in strategies. There can be several reasons for your struggle to break through the glass ceiling.

Responding to Negative Criticism Requires Professionalism — No one likes being criticized in their work. It’s difficult to hear and it’s understandable why many people make the mistake of being defensive. If you get negative feedback, it’s in your best interest to remain calm and receptive. It’s actually your responsibility – to yourself and the organization.

5 Personality Traits for Personal and Professional Success — Five personality traits are important for overcoming stress and achieving goals academically, professionally an d in personal relationships.

Checklist to Build Self Confidence for Career Success — Everybody occasionally struggles with self-confidence. But some people have continuing low self-esteem. Their lack of confidence serves as a big obstacle.

“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”

-Christopher Lasch


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy patrisyu at www.freedigitalphotos.net

The Professional Way to Disagree with Your Boss


If you value your job and reputation, there are productive ways and unproductive ways to disagree with your boss.



As a Seattle business consultant, I’ve been the boss. Prior to my consulting practice, I was in management and also had been an employee always looking to advance my career.

So I’ve experienced both sides – that of the employer and employee.

Always an efficiency expert as an employee, candidly, I did a lot of things right but I also learned some valuable lessons along the way.

ID-10081495For example, often it’s more important how you convey an opinion than what you what state your opinion is.

That’s especially true when you disagree with someone who has authority over you.

With some perspectives and lessons learned from my career, here are professional ways to disagree with your manager:

1. Prepare for negotiations

Make sure you’ve built a solid foundation for approaching your boss.

That means having good office relationships. Use proper business etiquette daily.

Create opportunities for success by working for a better relationship with your boss.

2. Assess your risks

You must be aware of the risks to your organization and you, if you fail to broach the subject. Then, you must appraise the consequences of approaching your boss.

3. Seek commonality in goals

Project an image that you’re a humble team player.

Assume that your boss wants the company to succeed. Plan to connect your points to benefit the overall welfare of the organization.

Position your argument so that you don’t appear to be a malcontent. You want to appear as a congenial employee who merely wants to achieve the company’s objectives.

4. Pick the right time

Timing is everything. Depending on the topic, there’s a good time and a bad time. If you face significant opposition, you really need to gather all pertinent information first.

Egos can be a hindrance. Whenever possible, it’s best if you wait to discuss your topic privately.

5. Ask your boss to present an alternative

You must ask your manager for the permission to disagree as in “may I present an option.” That’s an important step as you make it clear to your boss that you acknowledge the person’s authority.

If the boss says, OK, then you’ve gained an upper hand psychologically.

6. Remain detached and calm

Watch your tone of voice and body language. Don’t be aggressive or cocky. If you fail to stay relaxed, you will defeat your purpose in approaching your boss.

So rehearse your argument. When the time comes, take deep breaths and speak softly.

7. With humility, acknowledge the boss’s authority

Always know your place in the organization and acknowledge it. Use phrases, like: “You might wish to consider…”

As an employer, my favorite employee of all time was a personal assistant who possessed an MBA and had previously been a consultant herself. She worked for me part-time in order to devote maximum time to her young family.

With her credentials, she commanded a great deal of respect. She was always humble and confident, too.

There were times when she disagreed with me – with a smile. She always mentioned the phrase, “It’s your call.” Inevitably, she often persuaded me.

8. Acknowledge your manager’s opinion and empathize

Demonstrate you understand your boss’s point-of-view. Re-state your boss’s position:

“If I understand you correctly, you feel…?”

Empathize:  “I can see how you feel that way”…or “You know, our chief competitor has the same challenge.”

Overcome the boss’s objection with facts.

9. Don’t be judgmental with labels

So don’t be accusatory with negative adjectives, words or phrasing such as: “You’re being narrow-minded.”

Keep the focus on the principles at-hand, not your boss’s personality. Instead, stay with the facts and tie them to the benefits of your proposition.

“The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.”

-Eli Broad

If you face opposition in trying to get a promotion, here are important steps to take:

1. Seek feedback on your performance

Don’t be afraid to ask for your boss’s opinion. Either you’ll learn manager’s negative point-of-view, or you’ll set the stage for a positive outcome on your promotion request.

2.Look for opportunities to solve your boss’s challenges

Even if you have a lot on your plate, work on your manager’s concerns first. This will enhance trust from your boss.

3. Be a visionary

Consider challenges outside your comfort zone. Your new expertise will serve you well with your current employer as well as your future jobs elsewhere.

4. Be assertive – ask for the promotion

If you believe you’re eligible for a promotion, state your case and ask for it.

5. Be aware of your best timing in opportunities

If a promotion will be held up because the next level for you would be your boss’s job, help your boss as much as possible to advance.

But if it’s obvious your boss won’t be promoted or if you’re laboring in a toxic environment, look outside the company for a new job. Make sure you leave for a promotion. Avoid making lateral moves.

Good luck!

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related career tips:

Having Trouble Breaking through the Glass Ceiling? 5 Tips — If you’re having trouble breaking through the glass ceiling, you probably need a change in strategies. There can be several reasons for your struggle to break through the glass ceiling.

Responding to Negative Criticism Requires Professionalism — No one likes being criticized in their work. It’s difficult to hear and it’s understandable why many people make the mistake of being defensive. If you get negative feedback, it’s in your best interest to remain calm and receptive. It’s actually your responsibility – to yourself and the organization.

5 Personality Traits for Personal and Professional Success — Five personality traits are important for overcoming stress and achieving goals academically, professionally and in personal relationships.

Do You Want a Better Break at Work? Here’s How to Get it — Here’s news that benefits both workers and managers: If you want to maximize workday breaks to boost concentration, energy and motivation, here’s new thinking on the subject.

36 Tips: Develop Confidence to Win an Office Tug of War — For people lacking in self-confidence, winning an office tug of war is easier said than done. Unlike leaders, they unknowingly give away their power. One sign is whether you’re winning hearts and minds at work. For instance, in the event of disagreements, are you able to persuade others?

“The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.”

-Eli Broad

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Looking for a Job? Get a Personal Web Site for an Edge


Are you ready for this? If you’re looking for a job and competition is tough, human resource professionals say a personal Web site can be a valuable asset.

In fact, 67 percent of HR respondents to a 2015 survey say a site can differentiate you compared to someone who only submits a resume.

“The survey shows that, while recruiters continue to scan social posts for red flags, they view digital assets as tools to better understand candidates and to help them make more informed hiring decisions,” says Predrag Lesic, CEO of Domain.ME.

ID-10089550 imagerymajesticA market research firm, Research Now, conducted the study for Domain.ME, the provider of the .ME domain extension. By underwriting such a topic, the sponsor of the survey obviously has skin in the game.

But it’s worth noting the change in recruiters’ attitudes about digital content. For years, we’ve only been warning about being careful what you write in your social media. That’s still apropos. Again, your social media comments must be in good taste.

Some 300 U.S. human resource professionals, who regularly manage staffing and recruiting for their organizations, responded to the survey.

Key findings:

Sixty-eight percent of HR professionals are looking to assess personal qualities that aren’t perceptible from a traditional resume.

Half of survey respondents believe a personal Web site helps to “humanize” a candidate.
Nearly one third of the HR professionals surveyed agreed that a personal Web site can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.

Four-in-ten recruiters would be more inclined to contact a candidate with the personal Web site when considering two candidates with seemingly equal qualifications.

To illustrate the high level competition among jobseekers, HR professionals get 100 applications for each open position. That’s according to Beyond Academia, a conference that shows U.C. Berkeley Ph.D. job hunters how to get a job outside of higher education.

Courtesy of Domain.ME, here’s an informative infographic:

From the Coach’s Corner, more tips for job hunting:

Are You Struggling to Write Great Cover Letters? Here’s How — If you want to write a cover letter that will entice employers to consider you, there are several precautions to take. Otherwise, you risk sending a letter that employers won’t want to read. Here are seven strategies.

Checklist to Build Self Confidence for Career Success — Everybody occasionally struggles with self confidence. But some people have continuing low self esteem. Their lack of confidence serves as a big obstacle.

Looking for Your 1st Big Job? Think like a Boss — What do employers really want when they hire young college graduates? The key for you is to think like a boss. So put yourself in their shoes to cut through the clutter of your competing applicants.

After a Tough Job Hunt, Ease Your Burnout before Starting Your New Job — Any time you endure the pressures of a career move, you must recognize the signs of a burnout. So, you have to guard against burnout. If you get burned out, it’s best to alleviate it.

Dress for Success in Job Interviews – Tips for Women, Men — First impressions are lasting impressions. They really count in your job search. This is especially true if you’re working your way up your career ladder to management or any other important position in a conservative or traditional business environment.

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

Fred Astaire

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Are You Struggling to Write Great Cover Letters for a Job?



If you want to write a cover letter that will entice employers to consider you, there are several precautions to take. Otherwise, you risk sending a letter that employers won’t want to read.

In applying for a good job, you must write a cover letter. The trick is to use the right methods.

You can always respond to posted job listings. But it’s best to tap the hidden job market or to reach out to employers for which you’d like to work and create an opening.

adamr applicantA company will often make room to hire outstanding people. That was my favorite tactic years ago prior to my consulting practice. I looked for needs to fill so I could introduce myself.

For instance, by researching the company, you can anticipate the issues over which the company might be struggling.

Another method is to congratulate the company for an achievement reported in the news media.

In any event, a strategic cover letter will increase your chances over your competition.

Here are seven strategies:

1. Assess your talents

“Know thyself,” a great admonition by Socrates. So begin by doing a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses.

You must fully understand the competencies you will provide to employers. From your list of talents, develop a strong elevator pitch.

2. Follow instructions

If you’re applying for a published opening, read the directions and follow them explicitly. If the employer does not mention a cover letter is required, write one anyway. This will help you to stand out.

3. Tailor your approach

Even though you’ve assessed your strengths and weaknesses, customize each letter. Align your strengths to the job requirements by using the same keywords mentioned in the posting.

… a strategic cover letter will increase your chances over your competition.

4. Personalize your letter

Demonstrate your resourcefulness. Find out who the hiring person is. Don’t send a “To whom it may concern” salutation. Learn all you can.

Go to the organization’s Web site or to LinkedIn to search for the department’s information. Google the job title or the department.

If all else fails, consider a novel approach: For example, I’ve made cold calls to desirable employers and persuaded the receptionist to give me information I needed to write a letter.

5. Be creative for a favorable first impression

Your opening line is important. Don’t start with a boring, mundane statement such as “Please find enclosed” or “Attached is my resume for…”

Your best two options:

— Use a value proposition from your elevator pitch but be sure it relates to the organization’s requirements.

— Begin with a recommendation-quote that mentions your capabilities that relate to the opening for which you’re applying.

— If you know one of the organization’s employees who has a good reputation, consider using a name-dropping approach.

6. Explain your motive for applying and why you’re a good fit

Especially if you’re successful in touting your qualifications, the hiring manager will want to know why you want the job. So research the company well.

Use Google Alerts, research press releases and do a thorough search-engine search to learn as much as you can.

In the second paragraph: Explain why you want the job and market yourself on why you’d make a great employee (without being ostentatious).

Take the high road. Explain with an introductory phrase, such as “You might wish to consider…” Then display an attitude of service and insert a bulleted list of your talents.

7. Close well

The third paragraph should include an attitude of gratitude. A thank you for their consideration is important.

Repeat your strong interest and insert a statement that will prevent buyer’s remorse. Reassure them you’re a strong candidate with a collegial, teamwork attitude.

Indicate what you’ll do next to follow up. Make sure you follow-through.

After you’re granted a meeting, run to the nearest post office to mail a thank you letter – using the same philosophy – so your letter arrives the next business day.

From the Coach’s Corner, here related strategies:

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations. A lack of writing skills will can hold you back or even hurt your career.

11 Tips to Enhance Your Career as an Effective Writer — As a career — whether you’re writing as an author or to generate content to market your business — effective writing requires two attributes. They are dedication and passion.

Don’t Know How to Write? Here Are 7 Tips to Write Well — So you think you don’t know how to write? You have more potential than you think. However, the more important need you have for writing, the odds are higher that you either freeze from writer’s block or that you’re uncertain about grammar. Don’t let that stop you. In all phases of business, communication is vital.

Your Career: 10 Tips for Writing Better Business E-mails — Do you want to be a standout as a business e-mail writer? To enhance your career, it’s important to write effective e-mails and memos. You don’t have to be an English major to write effectively.

Need a Career Change? 10 Steps for a Career Makeover — So you think you want to change careers. Or perhaps you need a career makeover. You’re not alone. Professionals of all stripes have found they need to retool their careers or re-engineer themselves. There’s a myriad of reasons. It’s usually related to technology and a changing marketplace.

Is Your Career Stalled? Turbo Charge Your Personal Brand — Perhaps you’re struggling in a job search. You’re ambitious but underemployed, or worse – unemployed. You’re not alone. Millions of professionals are trying to solve similar puzzles. The good news is that you can rebrand yourself for a rewarding career. That is if you lay a foundation for liftoff with the right tools and fuel to turbo charge your career blastoff.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” 

-Eleanor Roosevelt


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of adamr at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Men Involved at Home Benefit Families and Their Employers



Research shows fathers who are more involved with their families enjoy their careers more and so do their wives who work outside the home. If a wife has a husband who is more engaged as a dad, this in turn, benefits the companies for which the women work.

A study shows it’s a winner for everyone – each of the parents and their children, as well the parents’ employers.

Fathers are happier at work, think less about quitting and balance their family and work better – if they’re spending quality time with their families. That’s according to a 2015 study by Northeastern University.

stockimages fatherIronically, past studies indicate just the opposite for women. The more career women spend time with their children, the more stressed they are at work.

The study’s lead author, Professor Jamie Ladge says women feel more pressure because they sense they’re being watched more closely by bosses and their peers.

That’s because they’re judged differently. Moms are expected to care more for their families, but they elicit different reactions than men.

True, some women are out to show they can handle work and domestic responsibilities. However, they often pull back and accept less-paying jobs.

“It’s like, ‘There she goes again,’ ” observes Professor Ladge.

Dr. Ladge is a Northeastern professor of management and organizational development.

So this double standard helps explain the well-known wage disparity between men and women. For generations, a dad was expected to be the breadwinner and not a family caregiver.

Dr. Ladge says men aren’t as threatened in their work as women. Men don’t aren’t challenged over whether they can balance their responsibilities at work and at home.

Also, fathers aren’t perceived as being less focused at work.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

 Frederick Douglass

“We find that involved fathering has positive work-related outcomes that can benefit organizations,” wrote the authors. “More involved fathers experience greater job satisfaction and work-family enrichment and less work-family conflict, and they are less likely to think about quitting their jobs.”

The only caveat:

“Although we find that more involved fathers have lowered career identity, this is offset by perceived managerial support,” added the authors. “Our findings offer important practical insights into the benefits of fostering supportive workplaces for fathers.”

The bottom-line: True family partnerships work.

By encouraging men to get more involved in parenting, it frees up the parenting responsibilities for women. It enhanced career opportunities for women. Children benefit. Organizations become stronger. This means every stakeholder benefits.

For more about co-parenting fathers, you can follow Professor Ladge @jladge, and read her study, entitled “Updating the Organization Man: An Examination of Involved Fathering in the Workplace,” in the Academy of Management Perspectives.

From the Coach’s Corner, it’s obvious that mutual support reduces stress – here are related articles:

Your Career Success is Determined by your Spouse’s Personality — Study — Your spouse’s attitude has an indirect, powerful impact on whether you succeed in your career. That’s the conclusion from an important study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. “Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse’s personality matters too,” said Joshua Jackson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and lead author of the study.

Proof Positive: How Supportive Spouses Help in Work-Related Stress — First, it was the book, “The Millionaire Mind.” The book by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley revealed several traits of millionaires. One important statistic from his study of millionaires: They were successful largely thanks to a supportive spouse.

13 Tips on Coping with Change at Work – Conquer Your Fears — Fear can be a great motivator. But more often than not, fear is an inhibitor and a stress factor. Here are 13 things you can do about it.

10 Strategies to Overcome Stress and Energize Your Career — If job stress is slowing you down, you can jump start your career with these 10 reminders.

Checklist to Build Self Confidence for Career Success — Everybody occasionally struggles with self confidence. But some people have continuing low self esteem. Their lack of confidence serves as a big obstacle.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

 Frederick Douglass


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Discouraged from Low Pay? Perhaps it’s Your Cynicism



Cynics – people with a distrustful nature and who appear to be selfish – earn less money than their co-workers, according to a 2015 study involving three large research projects in Europe and the U.S.

Such employees probably haven’t been popular in the workplace, either.

Frequently, they’re not cooperative and they’re defensive. They’re too worried about protecting themselves.

ID-10041353 AmbroThis disrupts their focus on their work and affects their performance.

Missed opportunities

This means they miss opportunities for personal growth afforded in teamwork and helping others.

“While previous research has associated cynicism with detrimental outcomes across a wide range of spheres of life, including physical health, psychological well-being and marital adjustment, the present research has established an association between cynicism and individual economic success,” says Olga Stavrova, Ph.D.

Dr. Stavrova is a research associate at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Cologne, Germany, and lead author on the study (“Cynical Beliefs About Human Nature and Income: Longitudinal and Cross-Cultural Analyses.”), which appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study included thousands of employees in the two continents. For example, 16,000 cynical German workers were shown to earn $300 less a month than they could have.

Altruism pays

Altruistic employees earned more. The link between cynicism and low wages was evident in nations that had the most altruism, less cynicism and lower homicide rates.

“For example, employees who believe others to be exploitative and dishonest are likely to avoid collaborative projects and to forgo the related opportunities,” says Dr. Stavrova.

There is a caveat in the research. Not all the employers in certain regions preferred less cynical employees. Ostensibly, cynicism is considered vital in those countries.

Researchers are hopeful workers learn lessons from their self-destructing.

“Occupational success and economic prosperity represent important life goals for many people and promote life satisfaction and psychological well-being,” says Dr. Stavrova.

“Our findings may help in achieving these goals by encouraging people to adopt a more benevolent and idealistic view of human nature and trustful attitude towards their peers,” she adds.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are tips to earn more money at work:

18 Tips for Productive Behavior to Win in Office Politics — Most people troubled by office politics are too focused on the behavior of their adversaries. Stop giving away your personal power. Don’t think or act like a victim.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips – In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

Acting, Speaking Coach: How to Improve Communication with Others – Do you know when you marginalize others? If you’re having communication problems with someone important in your career or life, chances are one or both of you will profit from tips in honest communication. This is also true if you want to get a job. Savvy employers know poor communication skills hamper efficiency and productivity.

11 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Boss — Whether you want a happier work environment or lay the groundwork for a raise, promotion or transfer, you must create opportunities for success. That includes, of course, being on good terms with your boss and often your boss’s boss. For a better relationship with your boss, take these 11 steps.

13 Tips on Coping with Change at Work – Conquer Your Fears — Fear can be a great motivator. But more often than not, fear is an inhibitor and a stress factor. Mahatma Gandhi provided the best advice: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

-Stephen Hawking

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Looking for Your 1st Big Job? Think like a Boss



What do employers really want when they hire young college graduates? It may or may not be what you think.

The key for you is to think like a boss. So put yourself in their shoes to cut through the clutter of your competing applicants.

Intentional or not, employers are drawn to young grads who will help them make a dollar and fit into their culture.

Not to stereotype employers and they might not be consciously aware, but in general employees want new-hires who have at least five salient qualities.

ID-10089550 imagerymajesticTo land your first big job, here’s how to think like a boss:

1. The three A’s

Paramount to managers: Attitude, appearance and then ability. The bosses’ first inherent consideration is to recruit for the basics.

By way of explanation, they want to know if you have a positive attitude, which includes soft skills for teamwork and desire to perform well. Appearance-wise, they don’t want to be embarrassed by tattoos or poor manners. And, obviously, ability is important but isn’t as important as the other qualities.

2. Job experience and/or internships

By being able to list jobs on your resume, you’re demonstrating you know the ins and outs of workplaces. Employers don’t want to hire people who need training wheels to ride the proverbial bicycle of work environments.

Unpaid internships are good, but having earned a paycheck is often better received. The latter is preferred because it shows you were ahead of the pack in college.

3. Courses of study

Certainly a relevant major in many jobs is important in certain sectors such as technology or healthcare. However, in many other fields, employers will give you high marks for taking relevant courses.

If you find yourself seeking a job without a relevant major but you have taken a relevant course or courses, highlight the lessons you learned or skills you developed. Why?

Bosses often consider your other factors or attributes. Sans a relevant college major, employers are more impressed with your relevant work experience or even a variety of jobs.

Many employers put young graduates, who have demonstrated success in a variety of jobs, on a faster track in promotions and raises – as long as the employers feel the employee has serious career ambitions.

4. Volunteerism

Employers are increasingly concerned about their brand reputation. More and more, they’re engaged in cause-related marketing and helping their communities. Some even pay employees for time off in charitable work.

It demonstrates to your prospective employer that you’re a team player, not arrogant or narcissistic. If you volunteer your services for an organization related to your career goal, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.

Volunteer work will improve your outlook on your life and career.  It is very satisfying.

5. Extra-curricular activities

The icing on the cake for your candidacy will be more appealing if you demonstrate your participation in activities and clubs. This also demonstrates you have the soft skills companies want.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Career Advice for College Grads Facing a Firewall — Some lessons in the disparity between expectations and reality: Are university graduates overly optimistic about their career options? Yes. Apparently, they have mistaken perceptions. Worse, a major consulting firm is seemingly contributing to the problem. Increasingly, new college graduates are bewildered why they’re under-employed, according to research by Accenture.

Dress for Success in Job Interviews – Tips for Women, Men — First impressions are lasting impressions. They really count in your job search. This is especially true if you’re working your way up your career ladder to management or any other important position in a conservative or traditional business environment.

Praying for a Job? Key Questions to Ask Interviewers — Employers prefer inquisitive applicants. It shows their interest in a company and communication abilities. There are two benefits if you ask the right questions in a job interview. Firstly, you shine compared to your competing job seekers. Secondly, you get the right information to make the best decision.

Career Advice — Avoid Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time. If you must apply for jobs online, you can take steps to stand out from the competing applicants to sail through human-resources filtering systems.

Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Here are proven tips to be hired for your dream job.

With a Mentor, You Won’t be Alone in Making Career Decisions — You don’t have to be alone in making career decisions. No matter what you do for a living, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career. Plus, it won’t cost you any money. Huh? Yes, you can get a mentor.

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.”

–Brian Tracy

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of ImageryMajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

A 15th-Century Role Model Will Propel Your Career



Michelangelo (1475 to 1564) was a famous Italian artist.

He was brilliant in several ways. He was an architect. He was knowledgeable about anatomy and engineering, and he was renowned as a poet and sculptor.

He was also well-known for saying “I am still learning.”

A Renaissance Man: Michelangelo Bell-Ringers

Michelangelo’s quote is apropos today for people who want to be successful. A positive attitude about learning in the job-seeking process leads to success. The concept has been confirmed by a University of Missouri study.

Attitude study

“Attitude means a lot,” says Daniel Turban, a professor of management at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business.

“In our study, we found that job seekers who have a ‘learning goal orientation’ or a natural disposition to learn from every situation in life, tend to be more successful in achieving their career goals,” he adds.

“We also found that this disposition is not just influenced by genetics; it can be acquired,” he explains.

Dr. Turban and the study’s lead author, Serge da Motta Veiga, queried college seniors who were looking for a job.

Job seekers who had LGO, a strong learning goal orientation, fared better during adversity than those who didn’t. They successful people were able to sustain their intensity.

Stress

“It’s not that people with a high LGO have less stress, but they deal with the stress better than others,” says Dr. Turban.

“We always think stress is bad, but that’s not the case,” he adds.” Feeling a moderate amount of stress can be very motivating.”

The authors say genetics aren’t the only attribute of the LGOs. An LGO mentality for tenacity can be learned with the right training.

“Such training could help them realize that the stress and failure they experience while searching for a job is not a bad thing, but instead represents an opportunity to learn from the process and determine how they can be successful at it,” says Dr. da Motta Veiga.

Self-reflection

The researchers recommend that job hunters invest in self-reflection. In other words, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

The study was conducted when Professor da Motta Veiga was a doctoral student at the Trulaske College of Business. He’s now now an assistant professor of management in the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University.

The study, “Are affect and perceived stress detrimental or beneficial to job seekers? The role of learning goal orientation in job search self-regulation,” was published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

From the Coach’s Corner, here related career tips:

Career Advice for College Grads Facing a Firewall — Lessons in the Disparity between Expectations and Reality Are university graduates overly optimistic about their career options? Yes. Apparently, they have mistaken perceptions. Worse, a major consulting firm is seemingly contributing to the problem. Increasingly, new college graduates are bewildered why they’re under-employed, according to research by Accenture in 2014.

Career Advice — An Alternative to Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time. If you must apply for jobs online, you can take steps to stand out from the competing applicants to sail through human-resources filtering systems.

8 Tips to Boost Your Career with Shameless Self-Promotion — Some of the best tips ever given to me – at a pivotal point in my career – were given to me in the 1980s by one of the nation’s pioneers in radio and TV. At the time, he was the president emeritus of a major broadcasting company, Bonneville International.

With a Mentor, You Won’t be Alone in Making Career Decisions — You don’t have to be alone in making career decisions. No matter what you do for a living, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career. Plus, it won’t cost you any money. Huh? Yes, you can get a mentor. Despite being a complimentary basis, a strong mentor will pay big dividends.

Dress for Success in Job Interviews – Tips for Women, Men — First impressions are lasting impressions. They really count in your job search. This is especially true if you’re working your way up your career ladder to management or any other important position in a conservative or traditional business environment.

Praying for a Job? Key Questions to Ask Interviewers — Employers prefer inquisitive applicants. It shows their interest in a company and communication abilities. There are two benefits if you ask the right questions in a job interview. Firstly, you shine compared to your competing job seekers. Secondly, you get the right information to make the best decision.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”


-Henry Ford


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Hate Your Job but Can’t Quit? 7 Proven Tips



From managers to clerks, job dissatisfaction seems to be globally rampant.

If you hate your job but can’t quit because you need the money, you’re not powerless. There are ways to enjoy your work and improve your situation.

You must understand the real reasons for your displeasure.

Usually, there are two reasons:

— You’ve got a bad manager

— You’re unhappy because you’re in the wrong job and have burnout

If you have a bad manager, you probably don’t feel valued or you don’t trust your boss.

If you’re unhappy because you’re in the wrong job, you might have poor self-awareness and might not be good at finding or landing the best job for you.

Whatever the reason for your dissatisfaction, it’s important remove the stress factors and enhance your motivation.

If you don’t, you’ll continue to be miserable. Worse, it’s possible your situation will deteriorate until you find yourself standing in line at the unemployment office.

Believe me, it’s a waste of time to network for a great job at the unemployment office.

If you do remove the stress factors, you’ll enjoy your work until you can improve your situation.

Here are seven proven tips:

1. Call out the cavalry

You don’t have to be alone in making career decisions. No matter what you do for a living, including if you have a nightmare for a boss, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career.


That’s a mentor. Plus, it won’t cost you any money. So get a mentor.

 

“Kid, every experience is a learning experience.”

Del Sharbutt (my beloved mentor when I was a young broadcast journalist)

 

2. Embark on a quest for professional improvement

Many employers won’t finance education or training for you, especially if unrelated to your current responsibilities.

So take charge of your own career development. It’s your responsibility, not anyone else’s.

Identify your strengths, weaknesses and interests. Strategize about a long-term goal. Then, identify and use the right tactics to help you reach your objective.

3. Expand your internal networking

Instead of being stuck in a quagmire of unhappiness, be assertive and reach out. Make more friends in your organization.

You’ll find it easier to get a new job in your company or develop references for a job elsewhere.

If you identify an job within your organization, convince your boss to give you a different job.

However, if you have a bad relationship with your boss, note this bottom-line:

In difficult relationships, both people contribute to the problem. You might be only 2 percent of the problem, but it’s up to you to clean your side of the street.

4. Enhance your internal profile

Identify problems to solve, solve them and tell your boss afterward. Volunteer for extra work or for duties outside your realm of responsibilities.

Become known as a problem-solver and the go-to person in your department. Get more active in the community or join your local Rotary Club.

You’ll gain immediate personal satisfaction, your motivation will improve and likely open new opportunities.

You’ll probably feel more valued by your boss. Even if you don’t, you’ll feel better and your job self-confidence will improve immeasurably.

5. Capitalize on any of your company’s wellness programs

Deal with your stress by improving your mental and physical health. Get fit physically and mentally.

Go for walks, get a physical and start working out at the gym or start jogging. Consider yoga or meditation routine.

It almost goes without saying that too much caffeine, sugar and fast food are hindrances physically and mentally. Start a healthier diet.

Use your mind to its full capacity. Read, study and write more.

6. Learn to toot your own horn diplomatically

It’s an inside job. Once you’re confident about your achievements, speak with conviction.

If you feel good about your work and don’t suffer from too much immodesty, your peers and bosses will notice and feel your conviction, too.

When you successfully complete a project, solicit a compliment from your boss, such as “Do you like how the work turned out?”

There are at least eight great ways to boost your career with shameless self-promotion.

7. Make certain you’re paid equitably

Long-term employees, especially, often find they’re paid less than new hires. Do your homework. Research salaries and benefits.

Lay the groundwork for a talk with your boss to discuss money and ask for a raise. If you’re a productive employee, an honest boss will do something about it.

From the Coach’s Corner, related career advice:

Is Your Career Stalled? Turbo Charge Your Personal Brand — Perhaps you’re struggling in a job search. You’re ambitious but underemployed, or worse – unemployed. You’re not alone. Millions of professionals are trying to solve similar puzzles. The good news is that you can rebrand yourself for a rewarding career.

11 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Boss — Whether you want a happier work environment or lay the groundwork for a raise, promotion or transfer, you must create opportunities for success. That includes, of course, being on good terms with your boss and often your boss’s boss.

Discouraged in Job Hunting? Powerful Tips for the Best Job — Whether unemployed or under-employed, a person needs two things: A sense of hope and the right tools to negotiate a job. Here are both.

Career Advice — An Alternative to Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time.

To Enhance Your Career, How to Quit Your Job Professionally — OK, so you’re fortunate to have worked several years for the same employer. Perhaps your working conditions have worsened or you’re ready for a vertical move, and you’ve been offered a better job. Congratulations. Before you resign, however, take precautions to make sure your resignation enhances your career, not hurts it.

 “Kid, every experience is a learning experience.”

Del Sharbutt (my beloved mentor when I was a young broadcast journalist)

 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Career Advice — Avoid Applying for Jobs Online



As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time.

If you must apply for jobs online, you can take steps to stand out from competing applicants to sail through human-resources filtering systems.

However, admittedly, in my situation, I’m not in the job market. However, if I were, I’d never apply for a job online.  My preference would be to bypass the filtering systems. I’d capitalize on a self-marketing approach.

entrepreneur-593356_1280Applying for jobs online is too impersonal.

It’s tantamount to the entertainment industry’s audition cattle calls in which there’s one winner and dozens of losers. I believe in a proactive approach and maximizing my potential for success by minimizing competition from others.

Another important strategy:

No matter what you do for a living, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career.

It works for any situation and won’t cost you any money — get a mentor.

Bypass HR

When I was a young job-hunter here was my mindset:

Whenever possible, I’d want a presence in the hiring room before applying. In other words, I’d use strategies to make sure the hiring persons were already familiar with my work. At all costs, I avoided the human resources department.

As opposed to HR employees, executives more readily spotted my strengths and potential to help them save time and money while contributing to the welfare of their companies. That enabled me to minimize my competition from competing jobseekers.

As a college student, I often contacted executives to get advice on courses to take. Executives were delighted to give their opinions. The strategy worked better than expected. I’ll never forget getting immediate consideration for an announcing job by the executive at an ABC television affiliate station.

That’s probably when I first realized it was better for me to bypass the HR department. I would ask such managers to meet with me.

Boss’s boss

While job hunting after college, I used the same approach. I did my homework on companies. My practice was to contact a manager two levels above the level that I’d hoped to work — my prospective boss’s boss.

Such people were usually impressed by such an assertive approach when I asked for advice. Good executives were honored to share their opinions. I wanted to know their perspectives regarding their industry issues and what they wanted in talent.

In meeting with an executive, if it was obvious I wouldn’t get a job offer, I asked for two referrals – “Thank you for sharing your insights – who are a couple of your peers who wouldn’t mind sharing their insights, too?”

Whether or not the executives were considering me as an employee, I headed directly to the post office to mail a handwritten thank you note on my monarch-size stationery. The notes arrived the next day and created a favorable impression.

Sometimes, there were subsequent meetings. In the second interview, executives spent the first five minutes thanking me for my thank you note.

Another thing I learned:

It helped to have a relationship with my potential boss’s boss. Such managers would typically offer me higher wages than lower-level supervisors. It also accelerated my promotions. As the executive moved up, so would I.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Here are proven tips to be hired for your dream job.

15 Tips to Improve Your Odds for a Job — If you are unemployed, you are probably feeling desperate. But take heart. Here are 15 proven strategies.

Is Your Career Stalled? Turbo Charge Your Personal Brand — Perhaps you’re struggling in a job search. You’re ambitious but underemployed, or worse – unemployed. You’re not alone. Millions of professionals are trying to solve similar puzzles. The good news is that you can rebrand yourself for a rewarding career.

8 Career Tips to Unlock Your Potential as a LeaderIt’s important to note that leaders aren’t necessarily born. They develop themselves. They don’t settle or languish. They evolve by constantly assessing their progress to improve.

Career Strategies: How to Get a C-Level Job — If you’re climbing the corporate ladder and have designs on a C-level job, a noted Stanford University professor has some excellent advice.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Vince Lombardi

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.