Category Archives: Workplace Help

What Should You Include in a Resignation Letter?

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By ELIZABETH GARONE

I am often asked, “What should I include in my resignation letter?”  The more important question to be asking is what not to include, say the experts. “Less is always more,” says Roy Cohen, a Manhattan-based career counselor and executive coach. “This is not the time to set the record straight. Know that it’s a small world.” By leaving on the best note possible, you also keep open the option for a return to the company should your circumstances change.

By leaving on the best note possible, you keep open the option for a return to the company should your circumstances change.

Rather than airing your grievances with the company, you should set a positive tone from the start, says Marilyn Puder-York, a psychologist and executive coach in the New York metro area. One way to do this is to include a sentence or two at the top that shows your appreciation for the opportunity to work at the company and the experience it has given you.

Small courtesies are also important. This includes giving enough notice: a minimum of two weeks but preferably one month, says Ms. Puder-York, who has seen people give as much as six months, a move that she wouldn’t recommend. “You lose a lot of power and credibility in six months,” she says. Your preferred last day should also be included in the letter.

Both Mr. Cohen and Ms. Puder-York recommend that you don’t list reasons for your resignation, no matter how tempting it might seem. “Once you’ve made the decision to leave, the reasons are superfluous,” says Mr. Cohen. One option is to include the following sentence at the end of your letter: “I would be happy to discuss my reasons for resigning as well as any particular support I can give you during the transition,” suggests Ms. Puder-York.

“Make the letter clear, direct and simple,” she says. “You should always wait to give additional information in a verbal discussion. The letter ends up in your file. You don’t know where it is going to go.”

At some companies, a formal resignation letter may not even be necessary, says Ms. Puder-York. But she still recommends submitting one, equating it with the increasingly rare written thank-you note. “It is the smart, respectful thing to do, and it’s a gracious thing to do if you do it well,” she says.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018

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By Richard N. Bolles

With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world’s What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by [Bolles, Richard N.]most popular job-search book is updated for 2018 and tailors Richard Bolles’s long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today’s job-hunters and career-changers.

In today’s challenging job-market, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. Recent grads facing a tough economic landscape, workers laid off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change all look to career guru Richard N. Bolles for support, encouragement, and advice on which job-hunt strategies work–and which don’t. This revised edition combines classic elements like the famed Flower Exercise with updated tips on social media and search tactics. Bolles demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing to networking, expertly guiding job-hunters toward their dream job.

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Stealth Persuasion Techniques for Job Hunters

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Expert Author Stephen Young Before your interview, you will have completed the basic research. You will have visited your potential future employee’s website, understood their culture read their mission statement and plans for the future. You may have matched their corporate vocabulary on your CV, prepared some questions and have a list of bullet points of the crucial information you wish to impart about yourself

Subliminal Tactic No: 1

You are invited into the interview room, and you are on stage, as with all performances it is imperative to make an impactful entrance, the last thing you want, is to leave the meeting thinking will I ever get a second chance to make a better first impression? This means that from the outset, you need to be thinking about developing rapport.

A different method of establishing rapport is to create within yourself a mindset that you already have it. Think of your interviewer as a good friend and visualise how you greet those with whom you are familiar; please hold off on hugs and kisses, we do not mean your very close friends.

As you imagine yourself greeting people you know, notice how you are more confident, and your body language is more inclusive. You are subliminally radiating messages of acceptance and liking to those around you; who cannot fail to respond positively on a basic instinctive level. By initiating rapport in this manner, you are proactively taking the first steps to take control of the meeting.

Smiling is important too, as you enter the interview room present a neutral face and progress to a smile as you walk forward and acknowledge your interviewer. We suggest this because people notice “difference” more than “sameness,” If you enter the room smiling, presumably you were smiling outside of it too. When you smile gradually at someone, they sense they are being greeted warmly.

Subliminal Tactic No: 2

Next, while maintaining good eye contact allow the interviewer to take your lead again as you raise your hand first for the handshake. In an entirely natural way; you have from the outset subliminally assumed control of the meeting.

Subliminal Tactic No 3

Controlled experiments conducted on the word because proved it to be one of the most influential words in the English language, because as youngsters, we are programmed to believe whatever is said after the word “Because.” as the truth.

Do you recall asking “why must I go to bed now? Invariably the response was “because it is your bed time or because I say so” or you questioned “why must I eat “X,” only to be told “because it is good for you. Thankfully, for those who wish to further their influence and be more persuasive, most people are unaware of the power of “because.”

Let’s review how to covertly enhance your powers of influence and say what you want to say by strategic placement of the word “Because.” Many candidates proffer a single response when answering interview questions, and often interviewees can detect the competency of their interviewer and concern mounts if the right questions are not posed.

Presuming you want the job, your sole aim for attending an interview is to progress to the next stage; you are there to help the interviewer to make the correct decision by channeling them to ask the right questions.

Below are examples of interview questions, both candidates are equally qualified:

Interviewer What experience do you have handling a major crisis?

Candidate 1 In my first job a decision made by an experienced college turned out to be wrong and resulted in a significant interruption to the business. I took control and resolved the situation saving the company a lawsuit and many thousands of pounds.

Candidate 2 Because I have studied and qualified in Crisis and business continuity management, I am up to speed on all issues that can affect organisations such as this. There was an example at XYZ Ltd when, and so on.

Candidate one’s response answers the requirement of the question, but what makes candidate two’s answer more compelling?

Interviewer What is your biggest weakness?

Candidate 1 I occasionally find the pressure a little stressful, but it is not a problem as I can manage in most demanding situations.

Candidate 2 Stress used to be an issue but, Because I completed a Time Management Course at X, I now work well in most pressurised environments.

This is a tricky interview question as it is not in anyone’s interest to draw attention to their weaknesses. Candidate two has not only placed the weakness in the past but also verbally reinforced relevant information.

Interviewer Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Candidate 1 I want to be in a more senior management role as based on my experience I see managing a team is the next logical step

Candidate 2 Because I am highly career focussed, I have a five-year plan, my promotion was steady in XYZ Ltd. The next five years are crucial as I see myself moving towards a more people management role.

The second candidate has reinforced that they are career centred, one of the reasons for asking this question, they have highlighted the existence of a five-year plan and that previously their career progression was steady.

Having heard candidate two’s answers, an astute interviewer is likely to ask:

  • What evidence in your background indicates you are highly career focussed
  • Tell me about your five-year plan
  • What do you mean “moving towards” a more people management role, what timeframe do you have in mind?
  • Talk me through your progressive roles in your previous company.

Candidate two is expecting the questions he/she wants, following their “because” lead response, because they have planted the seed and have controlled the interview.Tactically use of the word “Because” enables the interviewee to reinforce information verbally, offer fuller answers and crucially, direct the interviewer forwards towards asking the right question.

Recap

  • Meet new people as if you already know them because you radiate subliminal messages of liking and acceptance that they cannot fail to respond to favourably
  • Gradually break into a smile when you acknowledge others
  • Everything said after the word “because” is presupposed to be true because it is
  • By adding “because” to a request, you are guaranteed to increase your compliance rate because it happens naturally
  • Using the word “because” heightens your level of influence because you will appear more influential.
  • Use “because” more often to answer questions
  • Practice by preparing a list of questions and remember your answers

Enjoy these techniques they will unquestionably give you considerable advantage over those unfamiliar with their use and remember its always a good idea to practice them in a stress-free environment because the more you practice, the more proficient, you will become.

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Interview Guides – What They Are and How You Can Be the Candidate That Gets the Job

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Recommend ArticleHow many times have you gone to an interview only to stutter and stammer your way through the questions they ask about stories about your experience, ultimately costing you the potential “dream job”? The company used an interview guide to help them come up with the questions to ask you, so why shouldn’t you have one to help you prepare? In this article, we will discuss what exactly an interview guide is, how it is used to benefit a company for hiring purposes, and how this resource can be used to help you prepare for that big interview. First, let’s get to what an interview guide is.

An interview guide is a series of questions that guide an interview for a prospective employer based on corporate values and key attributes of a position. This guide helps the company to ensure that they have hired the best person for the position. If used properly, this can help you prepare and be the best person for the position! When written by a reputable source who has conducted hundreds of interviews, this type of guide can be an invaluable resource. This leads us to how an interview guide is used to benefit a company for hiring purposes.

An interview guide helps a company by curtailing hiring based on gut feelings and adding to hiring more on company values and finding out which person most fits the attributes of the position based on certain key questions that are asked. Questions asked are often about several sections like background information, whether the person can tell a complete story about core values, questions to determine whether the person matches the attributes of the position. At this point the interviewer will say goodbye to the candidate and fill out a ratings worksheet to rank the person being interviewed. This ensures that the process is fair and impartial. You may be wondering at this point, “How can an interview guide help me?”

An interview guide written by a reputable person can help someone who is looking for work land the job they are looking for by preparing them for the questions they will face in the interview process. If you have been looking for work and been getting turned down for jobs, this guide may help. When you know the questions that will be asked, you know how to answer. It is like studying for a test. You wouldn’t go and try to take a test without studying beforehand, would you? So why would you go for an interview unprepared? But how to know if this source is reputable? Look at the author. If they have worked for a major corporation and interviewed hundreds of people, if they have success with the people they have coached, that should speak for itself. Be discerning. This is for your future.

We have now looked at what an interview guide is, how it works for companies, and how it can help you get hired on to the job of your dreams. All that remains is you. Get out there and reach for the stars because the sky is the limit!

Having difficulty with the interview process? This interview guide tells you what you need to say to get hired! Why go in without confidence when you can go in knowing the answers you need? Check this interview guide out and learn what employers are looking for today. http://talkguides.net/

Creative Hiring: The Pinnacle Model for Spontaneous, Imaginative, Collaborative Interviews

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“Creative Hiring is a must read for any recruiter, hiring manager or human resources professional.”

Creative Hiring introduces The Pinnacle Model which describes the job interview in which both parties mutually enjoy, learn and improve themselves. Most importantly, it aims to accomplish this while elevating and improving the interviewer to see behind the mask of business formality, and decipher the competencies and qualities of the candidates with a high degree of precision.
Creativity. Curiosity. Collaboration. Genuineness. These are the central concepts the model is built upon.
It is a unified theory of in-depth human interaction that can be used both in and out of the business setting.

“A tool for better human-centered decisions.”

The ability to see ideas, beliefs, intentions, ambitions, expectations, values and personalities of other people is the single most valuable, lifelong asset anyone can have.
Those who achieve an analytical understanding of how people think, act and behave, gain great insight to make the best human related decisions possible in the workplace.

***

Inside the Book:

“Part One: The Theory” discovers the underlying determinants of human behavior with respect to the job interview setting. For an insightful understanding, The Theory lays down the theoretical foundation on which practical suggestions are built upon. It uses the science of Sociology; Psychology and Communication Studies on the one hand, and the author’s professional recruitment field experience on the other.

“Part Two: The Practice” details the Pinnacle Model itself. Its 7 unique principles which can be seen below are placed within the symbolic analogy of ascending up to and descending down from a Pinnacle.

The Ascent, Principle 1: Enable Mental Comfort
The Ascent, Principle 2: Earn Respect
The Ascent, Principle 3: Surprise (Pattern Break)
The Pinnacle, Principle 4: Show Genuine Interest
The Descent, Principle 5: Side with the Candidate
The Descent, Principle 6: Know Yourself
The Descent, Principle 7: Let Them Know
Also includes a Hand Guide of Key Takeaways and Skill Building Tips for Interviewers.

Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life

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Do you have a career worth loving?

Do you want to kickstart momentum, attack bigger possibilities, and get excited about Monday mornings? Do you cringe at the conventional formulas? These 100 Radical Truths will inspire you to push your potential:
# 15: Aspire to be the dumbest person in the room
#19: Being in a crap job isn’t your fault, but staying in a crap job is
# 31: You can be comfortable, or outstanding, but not both
# 67: Mistakes are tuition
# 100: Make your memoirs worth reading

With groundbreaking research and thoroughly untraditional design, Radical Careering speaks to today’s “entrepreneurial class.” Whether you’re an employee stuck in a rut, or a business owner wanting to turbocharge success, this book will spark ideas every time you pick it up. Flip open to any page for an immediate jolt, or immerse yourself cover-to-cover with the interactive online tools. Radical Careering is every bit as smart, daring, and vibrant as a career itself should be.

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The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like

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by Michelle Tillis LEDERMAN

We all know that networking is important, and that forming relationships with others is a vital part of success. But sometimes it seems like networking removes all emotions from the equation and focuses only on immediate goals…whereas the kind of relationships that have true staying power, give us joy, and support us in the long run are founded on simply liking each other. This book, featuring activities, self-assessment quizzes, and real-life anecdotes from professional and social settings, shows readers how to identify what’s likable in themselves and create honest, authentic interactions that become “wins” for all parties involved. Readers will discover how to: • Start conversations and keep them going with ease • Convert acquaintances into friends • Uncover people’s preferences and tweak their own personal style to enable engaging, reciprocal interactions • Create follow-up and stay in others’ minds long after the initial meeting The worst thing we can do when trying to establish a personal bond with someone is to come across as manipulative or self-serving. Authentic connections go much deeper—and feel much easier—than trying to hit self-imposed business card collection quotas. This book presents a new paradigm that shows how even the most networking-averse can network…and like it.

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How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination

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Sally Hogshead believes the greatest value you can add is to become How The World Sees Youmore of yourself.

Hogshead rose to the top of the advertising profession in her early 20s, writing ads that fascinated millions of consumers. Over the course of her ad career, Sally won hundreds of awards for creativity, copywriting, and branding, and was one of the most awarded advertising copywriters right from start of career, including almost every major international advertising award.

She frequently appears in national media including NBC’s Today Show and the New York Times. Hogshead was recently inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest award for professional excellence. Her advertising work hangs in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

The science of fascination is based on Hogshead’s decade of research with 250,000 participants, including dozens of Fortune 500 teams, hundreds of small businesses, and over a thousand C-level executives.

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Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win

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“Bold, bossy and bracing, Fail Fast, Fail Often is like a 200-page Fail Fast Fail Oftenshot of B12, meant to energize the listless job seeker.”
—New York Times

What if your biggest mistake is that you never make mistakes?

Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz, psychologists, career counselors, and creators of the popular Stanford University course “Fail Fast, Fail Often,” have come to a compelling conclusion: happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting. They get out into the world, try new things, and make mistakes, and in doing so, they benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities.

Drawing on the authors’ research in human development and innovation, Fail Fast, Fail Often shows readers how to allow their enthusiasm to guide them, to act boldly, and to leverage their strengths—even if they are terrified of failure.

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How to Have a Plan B – Job Market Analysis for Career Transition

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Often when I chat as a manager with employees about their future career goals and aspirations, the impression given is of some nebulous future end-state. Perhaps this is due to the awkward manager-employee relationship, especially during the semi-forced conversations around annual appraisal time. Or perhaps it could be attributed to misplaced feelings of betrayed loyalties towards the current employer if one admits to personal and/or professional goals beyond the present organization. But even for those employees with whom I would claim to have good rapport – even when allowing for a certain percentage of people who are perfectly happy and genuinely content with their current positions – the future remains non-descript.

This seeming indifference is alarming. It is as if we are leaving one of the single biggest slices of our lives up to some natural, evolutionary process over which we have no say, and, even worse, a sense of ennui.

Jeffrey Pfeffer, an American business theorist based out of Stanford, argues quite convincingly that those of us who are dependent on our monthly paycheck should always be prepared to move on if needed, a Plan B ready to go. How critical is that Plan B? Here are six essential questions you should be able to answer when it comes to the topic of job security and future employment.

1. What are the current trends in my industry? Current trends project out 1-5 years. Industry magazines, networking events, even company town halls and year-in-review mass emails from senior leadership provide a general picture of the immediate challenges and opportunities with your employer. When leadership communicates news related to budgets and strategic reallocation of resources, take note. Andrew Soergel, an economy reporter for U.S. News, likens economic systems to a living organism, a metaphorical garden that goes through natural stages of growth and decline. The next logical step for any member in the system is to extrapolate how growth and decline may impact one’s position. If your department is truly non-critical (even though we all like to think that we are indispensable), then keep that information tucked away as you think about your long-range career goals. No one wants to be the low hanging fruit. Things brings us to the next point.

2. What does the far-distant future hold? Disruptive technology is the new norm, but in itself is not new. From telegraph operators to phone booth manufacturers, industries have always had a natural evolution – and even extinction. One of the challenges facing the pro-active, self-directed professional is envisioning just how much an industry can change in the far-distant future and the skills that you – the employee – will need to keep up with the changing times. This amorphous skill set challenges educators and policy makers alike, so don’t feel too bad if you have no idea how the 2040 landscape will unfold.

One strategy to develop an idea of the distant future is to follow industry leaders. These are pioneers, frequently capable of providing a glimpse of tomorrow. While their vision admittedly is still based on conjecture, theirs is a well-informed conjecture. Conjecture with gravitas. Through plenaries, editorials, even blogs, industry leaders paint in broad strokes a bold vision. These are the individuals involved in the macro-level discussions with thought-leaders across fields, from both the public and private sectors. They are the best positioned to imagine what the next several decades might bring. Believing that the job you are doing today will be the job you (or someone else in a similar position) will be doing 20 years from now – same skills, same expected work productivity – is foolhardy. Find and follow these leaders – literally on social media or blogs – because being in tune with major evolutionary shifts in your respective field will help you guide your inevitable career transitions.

Once you have a grounded, realistic impression of your current position and the future of your industry, then you can move on to more of the nuts and bolts issues related to the job market – wherever it may be.

3. Where do current job openings in my field tend to be geographically located? Relocating is stressful. Unemployment is stressful. If it came down to one or the other, however, it would be an easy choice.

Companies establish themselves in a particular geographic region strategically – corporate tax breaks, a capable workforce, and even infrastructure play a role. If yours is a service field, jobs will logically move to where the growth is. Identify those regions by identifying where companies are hiring. If you have a general awareness of where development is happening, targeting your professional development activities (e.g., conference attendance or industry fairs) for that region makes strategic sense, and now is the time to build that professional network. This general awareness also serves as part of the mental process of preparing yourself and maybe your family for a move at some future point for either career advancement opportunities or continuing employment (hopefully the former).

4. What is the starting salary for someone with my level of experience? One of the challenges mid-career professionals face is that they are no longer entry-level employees. Doing a bit of market research on the going rate for someone in your position with your current skills set means that you will have an educated guess for position announcements that have a salary range listed as “Commensurate with Experience”. What you think you are worth and what a new employer is willing to pay to recruit you may be two significantly different sums, especially if you are transitioning from a long stint with one employer where you have enjoyed years of steady pay bumps.

If you have ever been involved in the hiring process, you already know that employers are inclined to hire at the lowest salary level possible for an open position. That means that if you are moving from the higher-end of your current pay scale for your industry, there is the real risk that you will be seen as too expensive, and therefore dismissed by a hiring official. Keeping an eye on salary scales within your field can help you plan a strategic move between positions and also negotiate offers and counter offers with employers. Related to this issue is knowing the positions for which you are currently competitive.

5. What are the essential skills and abilities for my current position? Employees are the single biggest asset of an organization – also the single biggest expense. With an eye towards maximizing productivity, employers will seek out those individuals who have honed their skills, demonstrating the ability to grow and meet the changing demands of today’s workplace, who are capable of doing more with less. The skills that were required of a new hire 5 years ago are arguably not the same set of essential skills and abilities a new hire will need today. The question is: Do you have those new skills?

During a contraction in my unit, one of my most experienced employees realized that in order to keep his present salary on the current job market, he would need to apply for a position that required administrative and budget experience. This came as an unpleasant surprise. His continued employment in the field meant a significant pay cut if he accepted a position equivalent to his current job and lost seniority with a new employer. Had he proactively identified these two skill areas as professional goals some years prior, our organization could have provided stretch projects to give him this experience.

Information about the essential skills generally required for your next position are readily available by signing up for job announcements through any job board. This information needs to be paired with your knowledge about your industry’s trends. If the minimum requirement is a B.A., but the market is saturated with experienced M.A.s, the candidate with the B.A. – no matter how phenomenal – will not be competitive.

Retooling takes time. If you know what the market is asking for now, you can strategically build your CV. Your current employer is the best resource to help you accomplish this task, whether through on-the-job training, education benefits, or even mentoring. The larger the company, the greater the opportunity to take advantage of ongoing professional development and skills-building. At this point, if you are thinking of transitioning to a start-up or even self-employment in the future, go forward with the knowledge that smaller, cash-strapped organizations will probably be unable to support professional development. Take advantage of every training opportunity you may need in your future toolbox. This brings us to the last question.

6. What is my career path? Each industry is unique; not every industry has a clear career path. You may find that advancing requires transitioning from a for-profit, to an NGO, to the public sector, and back again. Unfortunately, you don’t have the advantage of a high school career counselor to help point you in the right direction. This does not mean that you are directionless. Career coaches offer counseling at a price to help you explore possible job options and clarify what will satisfy your professional itch. Each of us, however, can do a part of this exploration on our own with a little time investment. Approach your career path strategically by identifying individuals who are 10-15 years ahead of you in their careers. Often you can then work backwards and extract the education, skills, and professional experiences that have led them to those positions. If career progression is the goal, then you should be working towards building similar experiences.

In sum: Know thy industry. Current and future trends, paired with a critical analysis of employment opportunities can help prepare you to transition to Plan B, not if, but when it comes.

Erin N. O’Reilly currently serves as the director of the Intensive English Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interests include program administration and professional development.

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