Should You Work for Free?

Some of the factors to consider:

  • Do they pay other people who do this work? Do their competitors?
  • Am I learning enough from this interaction to call this part of my education?
  • Is this public work with my name on it, or am I just saving them cash to do a job they should pay for?
  • If I get paid, is it more likely the organization will

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Unemployment Rescue Kit

When IT program manager Andrew Makar found himself the victim of unexpected downsizing, he mapped out a strategy for finding a new job – and it worked. The tips, tactics, and contact matrix tool included in this download will help you build your own plan of action.

Mass Career Customization (MCC)

Mass Career Customization (MCC) is a way to enable a corporate lattice organization that allows employees to both dial up and dial down. The MCC framework articulates a definite, not infinite, set of options along the four core dimensions of a career – Pace, Workload, Location/Schedule, and Role – as well as the trade-offs associated with choices across four, highly inter-related dimensions. In collaboration with … [ Read more ]

Get Written References

Before you leave a job, always ask your supervisors for written references. You can add your letters of reference to your career portfolio, and they may come in handy during your job search. You can even add letter excerpts to your resume to show how much your previous employers valued your performance.

Obey the Rule of Three

Have three points to drive home and an anecdote to support each one. If you’re applying for a sales position, maybe the points are: “I’ve sold before,” “I have great contacts,” and “I understand this business.” “This may seem obvious,” says the former McKinsey recruiter, “but you’d be surprised how many people come in with zero structure to what they’re saying. If you’ve thought ahead … [ Read more ]

Top 10 Blunders of Online Job Hunters

When it comes to using the Internet to find a job, a lot of very smart people are making some very stupid mistakes.

The following is a list of the top 10 online job-search blunders gleaned from the job-hunt horror stories and other howlers I’ve encountered in recent years. Having seen plenty of candidates navigate their online search with ease, I’ve also … [ Read more ]

What to Do When You Get Laid Off

Following these steps will help you get back to work as quickly as possible.

  • Don’t Burn Any Bridges
    This is the number-one post-layoff rule, and it applies to almost every layoff-related situation. In all your dealings with the company, your supervisor, your human resources representative, and your former coworkers, use “don’t burn any bridges” as your personal mantra. You never know when contacts you

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Coaching Strategies—Ways to battle your own Achilles’ heels

Following are James Waldroop’s 12 Achilles’ heels, along with short descriptions of them and some ways to begin grappling with them.

Acrophobe: Never feels good enough.

  • Stop the damage.
  • Prioritize and think about how to let yourself succeed.
  • Buy yourself time to grow into a job.
  • Act “as if” you belong. Acting “as if” will start to make you feel naturally more comfortable in

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Q: My biggest frustration as an unemployed executive is potential employers telling me that I am “overqualified.” How do I counter this accusation? The fact is, I am generally guilty as charged. Nor does it work to argue that I’m not really as qualified as I appear to be. Short of shortchanging my credentials and accomplishments on my resume, which is probably unethical, how can … [ Read more ]

Getting the Interview

A proactive approach to your job search can improve your chances of landing interviews. Listed below are six tips to maximize your success.

  1. Make Contact Before Sending Your Resume
    Unless you’re responding to an ad that requests “no phone calls,” try to contact the hiring manager before you send your resume. Even if you don’t know the name of the person handling the search,

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Career Changing

Herminia Ibarra proposes a “test and learn” career change model, in which action trumps introspection. It’s an admittedly crooked path: Knowing what you want to do comes from experimenting with various possibilities. In this strategy, the goal is to try on alternative work identities to find the most satisfying fit, and choices are constantly refined as the process evolves. This method has several advantages. The … [ Read more ]

How to Catch Common Grammatical Errors

Know What to Watch For

Christopher Simmons, president of Send2Press Newswire, a Redondo Beach, California-based news distribution service, has been proofreading copy for more than 23 years on a daily basis. The most common mistakes he finds in business releases include:

It’s vs. Its: “It’s” is short for “it is” or “it has” (“it’s raining”), whereas “its” is a possessive pronoun, as in … [ Read more ]

Interpersonal Skills to Develop/Highlight

  • Ability to listen
  • Ability to give proper recognition
  • Ability to share—whether it’s information or credit for a success
  • Ability to stay calm when others panic
  • Ability to make midcourse corrections
  • Ability to accept responsibility
  • Ability to admit a mistake
  • Ability to defer to others, even (especially) those of lesser rank
  • Ability to let someone else be right some of the time
  • Ability to say thank you
  • Ability to resist playing favorites

This quick list of attributes, while attractive … [ Read more ]

Building Structure and Keeping a Journal

Regardless of the time you take between jobs, it’s important to build an interim structure to your day in order to replace the old patterns of work. The brain functions best when there’s structure. Make a schedule that you honor every day. Get up at a regular hour, get dressed, exercise, get adequate sleep, and keep a journal. The journal is particularly important as a … [ Read more ]

Key Attributes Employers Look For When they Recruit

Froma speech to the 1996 Dean’s Associates Conference by Gordon Myers, Chief Operating Officer, ISSC (Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation, asubsidiary of IBM)

  1. Competence and Knowledge
    • You must be knowledgeable in your chosen field.
    • You must have a familiarity with business finances. The odds are high that, regardless of the field, within the first year of work you will be asked to estimate future costs, look at

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How to Fool the HR Bots

It’s hard to trick the “applicant management” software, but here are a few tips that might get your resume to the top of the pile.

  1. Lift key phrases from the job listing on the website and put them in your resume. Also be sure to use them when filling out online questionnaires.
  2. Be sure to mention your critical job skills early and often. That way,

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What companies are looking for:

    • Earn respect of colleagues
    • Passion = Winner, Aggressive
    • Future potential to grow and make change, not just manage
    • Problem solver and implementer
    • Persuasive abilities
    • Strategic thinker
    • Goal orientation and execution
    • Ability to achieve
    • Engaging business discussion
    • Professional Ethics
    • Self-confidence to take a dissenting position if it is a better way
    • Accept changing roles
    • Adapt to dynamic environment

Know yourself: Strengths and weaknesses and how they apply to the above. Know specific examples in … [ Read more ]

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

Will You Get Ahead?

True or false?

  • You add more value to your organization than most of your coworkers.
  • Colleagues often seek your counsel.
  • Your department is well-regarded.
  • Your boss is well-regarded.
  • You do important work.
  • You’re upgrading your skills.
  • You’ve cultivated important allies in and outside your organization.
  • If you were the boss, you would hire yourself.

The more true answers you gave, the more likely it is you’ll move up.

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