Toxic bosses a career-builder’s worst nightmare

Best advice:  Cope as best you can until you find another job

Toxic bosses a career-builder’s worst nightmareEvery industry has its fair share of toxic bosses. Many are accomplished, and extremely successful. Some are working for or running well-known companies.  Others are geniuses who created breakthrough technology. Typically, they make sterling impressions during the interview process. Unfortunately, their toxicity doesn't surface until you're working with them. Management consultant and author Robert Bacal…

How to avoid being the competent jerk at work

A "competent jerk" runs the risk of losing out on opportunities and being ignored

How to avoid being the competent jerk at workHow easy are you to work with? It’s worth asking and, even better, checking. To paraphrase Bobby McFerrin of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (remember that tune?) fame: In every workday we have some trouble. When you’re difficult to work with, you make it at least double for your colleagues. And if you’re considered a “competent…

Sick of working for others? Launch a microbusiness

Helpful tips to doing it right

Sick of working for others? Launch a microbusinessHankering to go off on your own and start your own business? If you think you've got what it takes, consider launching a microbusiness. Dal LaMagna, a Poulsbo, Wash.-based entrepreneur, says anyone can do it – if they go about it the right way. He speaks from experience. LaMagna launched personal beauty-tool company Tweezerman in…

Why companies can’t be honest with their employees

Doublespeak protects a company's image

Why companies can’t be honest with their employeesYou're summoned to your boss's office and told that you've been "selected out." Strange words. What do they mean? "Selected" sounds positive. But "out"? That's clearly a negative and confusing word. Together, both words are perplexing. An optimist may interpret it as sort of a promotion. A skeptic is worried. The term "selected out" is…

Tips for terminating employees with dignity

Most managers handle the uncomfortable task of terminating employees badly

Tips for terminating employees with dignityMost managers, regardless of level, handle the uncomfortable task of terminating employees badly. The biggest mistake managers make is terminating them in a harsh, unkind and insensitive way. The manner in which employees are fired often fuels lawsuits. Right or wrong, if employees feel that they are being unfairly treated, they perceive it as grounds…

Beat interview hysteria by thinking like an athlete

Instead of wasting energy obsessing about what could go wrong, think like an athlete by psyching yourself for the win

Beat interview hysteria by thinking like an athleteIt's perfectly normal to be nervous about job interviews. For many job candidates, "hysterical" more accurately describe pre-interview jitters – especially if a great job rides on an outstanding interview performance. So it's no surprise that many job candidates suffer severe anxiety before job interviews. They don't eat or sleep. They obsess about the pending trauma…

Show me the money! Downside of counteroffers

Counteroffers can be deadly. Unfortunately, most people don't realize it until too late

Show me the money! Downside of counteroffersBlame the outrageous and short-lived dot-com era of the late 1990s for making counteroffers a favoured strategy for holding onto valuable employees lured by competitors dangling bigger paychecks. During that brief, outrageous blip on the technological innovation timeline, money flowed, company loyalty was abandoned and job-hopping was rampant. Typically, counter-offers are popular during strong economies…

Older workers’ toughest goal: Selling themselves

Picture yourself walking out a revolving door then walking back in with a new attitude and a new take on life

Older workers’ toughest goal: Selling themselvesOlder workers must first understand the realities of the career world as it exists today before they are ready to pitch themselves to employers. Your goal is to convince employers you're not a vestige of a bygone work era but a high-energy chameleon who quickly adapts to any environment. Picture yourself walking out a revolving door then…

Don’t be seduced by high starting salary

Newly minted college grads make the mistake of jumping at any company dangling a high salary and attractive benefits package

Don’t be seduced by high starting salaryDon't be seduced by a high-paying job offer. Newly minted college grads make the mistake of jumping at any company dangling a high salary and attractive benefits package. Compared with a decade ago, colleges are more diligent about preparing grads for the real world, but they still fall short when it comes to teaching them…

How to increase your value as an employee

Just being good at what you do and working hard is not enough

How to increase your value as an employeeOne of the best ways, if not the best, to move ahead in your company is by increasing how valuable you are to your employer. Nothing says you are material for a promotion like coming in day after day and demonstrating your value. But just being good at what you do and working hard might…

Who you calling old?

All the myths about being washed up at age 60 are hogwash

Who you calling old?Planning for life past 65 is more important now than ever before. What with longer life spans, people are not only working longer, they're also changing the way they live. We're in a longevity revolution of a kind that's never been seen before. A hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was 47; today it's…

Reflections on reaching middle age

Is this what life is all about?

Reflections on reaching middle ageI am a middle-aged man. There, I have said it. I have alluded to the not-so-stealthy approach of decrepitude, laughed (ha!) about my declining years, but never actually admitted the awful truth. I don't feel particularly different, except perhaps to feel more isolated than ever . . . and don't get me wrong . .…

Angkor Wat: remote, mysterious and architecturally inspiring

Angkor Wat is an archaeological marvel for the ages

Angkor Wat: remote, mysterious and architecturally inspiringThere are some places in the world that are 'must see' destinations for the global traveller. Machu Picchu the Incan city in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Stonehenge the prehistoric structure on the Salisbury Plain in England and the pyramids of Giza in Egypt stand out. Angkor Wat is one of these, a premier destination…

The dangers of over-extending yourself

There is good stress and there is bad stress. Can you recognize the difference?

The dangers of over-extending yourselfThere is good stress and there is bad stress. Pleasant events can be stressful in a positive way. And bad events can be stressful in a negative way. They can even make you physically ill. The trick is recognizing the early symptoms of negative stress so you can do something about it. The more competitive…

Candidates’ character major hiring determinant

Placing content on social networking sites could spell doom for your career

Candidates’ character major hiring determinantMost job candidates don't consider the power of the social networking Web sites and the impact they have on hiring decisions. If they did, they'd think twice about the information they place on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Companies are more savvy about getting the lowdown on candidates today than they were in the past.…

Passionless workers more likely to be axed

If your goal is just to stay employed, you risk being replaced by someone more enthusiastic and passionate about the job

Passionless workers more likely to be axedIf your goal is just to stay employed, you risk being replaced by someone more enthusiastic and passionate about the job. So says Vaughan Evans, a London-based economist, business strategist and author of Backing U! A Business-Oriented Guide to Backing Your Passion and Achieving Career Success. While the book was written in 2009, its premise…

Tap into your intuition to achieve success

Countless innovators in all fields have cited intuition or gut feeling as the motivator for achieving greatness

Tap into your intuition to achieve successCountless innovators in all fields have cited intuition or gut feeling as the motivator for achieving greatness. Whether it's a life-enhancing invention, a technology that saves lives or turns out products or machines faster and cheaper, this mysterious feeling called intuition fired the creative spark. But intuition also triggers hunches that warn us of danger…

Anyone can learn to sell

Some people are extraordinary salespeople. But it's not because they have an innate knack

Anyone can learn to sellHow many times have you heard someone say, "He's a born salesman"? Or, "She has a gift for sales"? Unquestionably, some people are extraordinary salespeople. But it's not because they have an innate knack, or because there is a genetic component behind the skill. It's simply because they worked hard at honing their skill. At…

14 interview tips that can lead to a job

Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job! by Tony Beshara offers interview tips that can lead to job offers

14 interview tips that can lead to a jobNew books about landing job interviews are published every year. But a chapter in one 13-year-old book, Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job!  by Tony Beshara, is worth re-reading. It lists essential interview tips that can lead to job offers. Here are 14 of them:…

5 steps to optimizing your small newspaper website

SEO is incredibly important to the success of any online news outlet

5 steps to optimizing your small newspaper websiteYou have a great online newspaper, but aren’t getting as much traffic as you'd hope. Ensuring that your website has complete visibility to customers should be your number one priority. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is incredibly important to the success of any online business. Although Google makes dozens of…

Four tips for improving your people skills

Quality people skills are important if you want to be promoted to a management position

Four tips for improving your people skillsHuman Resource professionals and headhunters classify skills into two categories, hard skills and soft skills.  "Hard" skills are easier to define because they apply to a specific function – computer programming, database management, driving a truck, piloting a plane, designing a house or office building (architect), building a cabinet (carpenter) or wiring a building (electrician). Soft…

Consulting is tougher than you think

Romantic visions aside, consulting is not all it's cracked up to be

Consulting is tougher than you thinkMost IT people have a romantic vision of what the consulting lifestyle is all about. What does it take to be a consultant? Consulting is about knowing who to sell your ideas to, coaxing people to think creatively about solutions, and working with many different people to follow through on those ideas and achieve results.…

You think it’s easy being a boss?

A promotion to boss changes relationships with everyone – especially co-workers

You think it’s easy being a boss?A promotion to boss changes relationships with everyone – especially co-workers.  No longer one of the gang, you've joined the other side. There is a boundary line separating bosses from the rank-and-file. Newly minted managers are saddled with responsibilities no one prepared them for. Unlike musical or athletic abilities, which often have a genetic root,…

An effective first-aid kit for your new job

Getting the gig is just the beginning. All kinds of landmines exist and there's a good chance you can injure your chances without a good plan

An effective first-aid kit for your new jobGreat news! You've been through the interview and now you've been invited to sit down (or have a Zoom meeting) with the HR department for a job offer. You like the people, the money is good and the job is challenging. Sure, it's a bit of a stretch, and your potential boss was even kind…

Simple rules to get your busy boss to listen

To get your boss' attention, you need to know your stuff. Be firm and communicate in a way that your boss can understand

Simple rules to get your busy boss to listenIt can be hard to get your boss' attention, even when you need it the most. Listen to this story from ... let's call her Rhonda. Rhonda, a VP of communications, went into the CFO's office for a signoff on the annual report. She made a point of explaining carefully that the report was going…

Hate your boss? Four job-saving tips to mend a bad relationship

No matter how desperate and unhappy you are, you'd be making a big mistake if you followed Johnny Paycheck's lead

Hate your boss? Four job-saving tips to mend a bad relationshipIt's hard to find someone who hasn't had a problem with a boss at some point in his or her career. The higher you go on the corporate power ladder and the more you earn, the more complicated the boss-employee relationship becomes. But no matter how desperate and unhappy you are, you'd be making a…

Six reasons to conduct regular SEO audits

Performing regular SEO audits on your website is key to maintaining organic search engine rankings and online presence

Six reasons to conduct regular SEO auditsSince search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are constantly evolving and adapting to changes and updates in search engine algorithms, it’s important to ensure that your website stays up to date. Performing regular SEO audits on your website is key to maintaining organic search engine rankings and online presence. There are several reasons why it’s important…

Keyword density: making your content count in Google

How much effort you should take in deciding on keyword density is always a popular topic among bloggers

Keyword density: making your content count in GoogleDeciding on the proper number of keywords – the keyword density – to use in a post is always a popular topic among both successful and newbie bloggers. If you are not familiar with the term, follow along as I describe the key ins and outs of keyword density. What is keyword density? Keyword density…

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquette

When it comes to interoffice e-mails, most employees are under the impression that they can be more casual and informal

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquetteThere have been hundreds of stories and several books published about the importance of crafting grammatical, well-thought-out, professional e-mails at work. Yet most people are still under the impression that different rules apply to e-mail. Discipline and planning go into writing letters and memos committed to paper, but most employees think they can be more…

Convert your social media traffic into website visits

Here's how to find the right mix to drive traffic to your website

Convert your social media traffic into website visitsMost companies are still not using social media effectively to increase traffic to the websites. What companies fail to realize is that their new customers are on social media channels that they’re not on. Also, those customers are not captivated by traditional marketing. The best marketing efforts rely on connecting with their community via social…
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