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7 Things Your Boss Should Never Say to You

Few days ago, I listed eleven things employees should never say to bosses. A look at the various comment threads shows that a few bosses out there could also benefit from a review of the basics of good workplace relations not to mention a quickie refresher of what constitutes good leadership.

So, bosses, are you listening? Here are seven things you, as a boss, should never say to your employees:

1. “I pay your salary. You have to do what I say.” Have you not heard? It’s the 21st century. Threats and power plays just do not cut it anymore (and they were always a terrible way to manage). Yes, you pay people’s salaries but that doesn’t mean you’re their lord and master. You are their leader, however. Leaders lead by inspiring, teaching, encouraging, and, yes, serving their employees. Good leaders never need to threaten. So keep your word, set a good example, praise in public, criticize in private, respect your employees’ capabilities, give credit where credit is due, learn to delegate, and when you ask for feedback don’t forget to respond to it. (Another sentence to be avoided: “Do what I say, not what I do.”)

2. “I don’t want to listen to your complaints.” Hey, boss, you have this backwards. You do want to listen to employees’ complaints. That’s part of your job. You should be actively seeking feedback, even negative feedback. It may be annoying, even painful, but that’s why you get the big bucks. Complaints point to where your processes and practices need improvement. And even if a problem absolutely can’t be helped, allowing your employees to vent can go a long way toward restoring morale and building loyalty.

3. “I was here on Saturday afternoon. Where were you?” This kind of “subtle” pressure to work 24/7 is a good way to burn out your employees. You won’t get that much more productivity out of them, and you will destroy morale. You may choose to work seven days a week. That’s your call. But your employees shouldn’t have to. If you observe that they are working way more than their job descriptions call for, consider that maybe it’s because you’re overloading them. Look for ways to fix this problem.

4. “Isn’t your performance review coming up soon?” Maybe you’re trying to motivate an employee to do a better job. Maybe this is just a ham-handed way to remind underlings of who has the power. Who knows. Either way, a statement like this is not only tacky and passive-aggressive, it’s ineffective. If you really want to motivate people, consider giving them a stake in the success of your enterprise. Show employees you value them. Let them know what they have to gain by doing a good job. The results may surprise you.

5. “We’ve always done it this way.” Want to crush your employees’ initiative? This is a good way. News flash: Your employees may actually have a pretty good idea of how to do their jobs. Maybe they know even more than you. Your job as boss is to encourage them to have the energy and motivation to be innovative. In fact, employees who come up with better ways to do things should be celebrated and rewarded. (Hint: Cash is nice.)

6. “We need to cut costs” (at the same time you are, say, redecorating your office). Nothing breeds resentment more than asking employees to tighten their belts while you, to their eyes, are living it up. Even if the office redecoration can be totally justified in business terms, or the budget for it was a gift from your uncle, it still looks hypocritical and is demoralizing. Being sensitive to other people’s feelings is good karma. Leading by example is the best way to lead.

7. “You should work better.” Managers need to communication expectations clearly, to give employees the tools they need to do a good job, to set reasonable deadlines, and to offer help if needed. When giving instructions, ask if they understand your instructions. Don’t assume. You may not be the stellar communicator you think you are. If your employees are making mistakes, or not performing up to par, consider that maybe it’s because you’re giving them vague instructions like “you should work better.”

The bottom line is that in the workplace respect, a little tact, and a good attitude go both ways.

What do you think? Anything to add?

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What employers want from you

These days, your academic excellence is almost taken for granted by potential employers. More and more they are looking for hard skills such as writing, literacy and leadership and soft skills such as the ability to communicate effectively.

As well as academic requirements, the jobs mentioned above all emphasizes the other skills that the employers want from Science and IT graduates. And time after time, it’s the same ones:

* Good communication and presentation skills, both oral and written
* Self-motivation
* Team worker
* An interest in and an ability to pick up technical concepts quickly and competently
* Analytical mind
* Imagination and inquisitiveness
* Ability to learn new skills and implement them quickly
* Sound decision making and problem solving skills
* Ability to manage own and others’ time

Remember, too, that many employers require quite a high level of mobility today. This is especially true of the larger recruiters who have graduate training programmes that involve extensive national and sometimes international travel.

A typical example of this is pharmaceutical giant GSK, which is a major recruiter of both Science and IT graduates (www.gsk.com/careers/uk-stud-grad-prog.htm).

Science opportunities are offered within analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology and chemometrics. The development programme involves three 12-month placements in at least two business areas, in different sites mostly within the UK and the Republic of Ireland but occasionally further abroad too. Training and development is divided into four areas: business execution and understanding, technical and specialist expertise, self and high performance behaviors. Note that the latter concerns those all-important soft skills such as working with others and communication skills that every employer is looking for today.

IT graduates at GSK must be prepared to move around, too. Over three years, a series of different IT rotations are conducted, each lasting a year. These can include business analysis, project management, service analysis and systems architecture.

It’s a similar story with BT (www.btplc.com/Careercentre/), whose regime involves IT graduates getting early experience in design and consultancy, software and platform engineering, IT systems engineering, IT technical operations, security and more. As one graduate trainee sums it up on the BT website: “I actually chose BT because it’s so big, and there’s scope to work in so many different areas.”

By Your Career Guide

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You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Build a More Meaningful Career

11,000 days. That’s the number of days you’ll probably work over your lifetime. You’ll likely have six or seven career changes and 11 or 12 jobs in total. You may be wondering if you need a change now.

30 million people go to work each day to a job they hate. The harmful feelings permeate their entire life, putting a negative cloud over the home, their friends and many of their other activities. They may lack the know-how to change, may be afraid of leaving the security of a paycheck, or have a hundred excuses for why it’s okay to be so dissatisfied and stay at their job.

There is a better way to live your life. Meaningful purpose is a driving force that adds enthusiasm to your days. Taking a passion and making it your career, living a dream can be not just a wish, but a true and certain reality. Here are a few steps to get the new career rolling:

Do some self-analysis. Ask yourself What really matters to me? What problem or wrong would I like to fix? What do I enjoy? Where are my interests and hobbies? What are my priorities? What is my secret passion? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Reviewing these questions can give you new insight to where you want to go.

Use your unique genius and talents. Every person is born with a unique set of natural abilities. Talents, such as managing, creating, researching, training others, drawing, can all seem like easy work because you have a natural flair for them. True happiness comes from combining your natural talents, developing and excelling in them, and working in a field, job, industry that you have a passionate interest in.

Others have done it and so can you. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we can change if we really want to. Although she was a prominent lawyer, my client Sarah was dissatisfied in her work, and glad to take a few years off to have two children. She told me she hated “practicing law.” She found it boring, yet she felt enormous guilt at abandoning a career she spent years training for and made great money in. We worked together, focusing on her real interests and natural talents. Sarah landed a terrific new job as an executive director for a nonprofit organization. She leads others, influences policies, develops programs, and is a very happy person. “I even make a great salary, but I love my job so much, I’d do this for free,” she said.

Make a decision. Many people flounder for years and never turn their dreams into reality. They let themselves remain in a negative or stuck place. Only action can change your life. Read a book. Take vocational tests. Use a good career-management professional. Do some career exploration and gather all the information you need. Then make a decision and go forward. Outline the action steps to reach your career goal. The only thing at stake is your happiness. Finding meaning, passion and purpose every day you go to work is the wonderful reward, so don’t wait any longer. Begin right now and set in motion your own plan to live a happier, more satisfying life.

by Robin Ryan
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You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

5 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Personal Brand Online

There have been countless incidents in which professionals have lost their jobs, been evicted, or even been arrested for things they’ve done on social networks. There has never been a more important time to discuss the many ways you can sabotage your personal brand, and how you can prevent these mistakes before it’s too late.
A new report by Microsoft states that 64% of HR managers think it is appropriate to look at online profiles of candidates and 41% have rejected people as a result. Your online presence which may consist of both content that you provide (on your LinkedIn profile for instance), as well as what’s written about you by people you may or may not know is slowly becoming part of the formal recruitment process. It’s also where first impressions occur before in-person handshakes are made, so you have to make sure you are managing your brand online, before someone else does it for you.  The following are five ways to avoid sabotaging your personal brand.

1. Don’t Ignore Brand Mentions

58% of Americans don’t even Google themselves, but employers and potential customers certainly will. It’s safe to say that people are already talking about you, either online or offline.
As you create your personal brand on a variety of platforms, your name will start popping up in search engines and on social networks. This can be both beneficial to your brand or harmful depending on the context. The viral nature of social networks, as well as their new ubiquity, should encourage you to start listening in on what people are saying about you.
Negative mentions will spread fast unless you keep your ear close to the web, so I recommend you setup a Google alert for your name, your company’s name, key competitors, partners, and industry buzz terms. There are many other free tools that can help you monitor your brand. You can also try Social Mention for a more complete solution to brand mentions on social networks.

2. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

A future problem, which some might say is a current problem, is the volume of social networks and the amount of status updates and messages you receive each day. If you’re active on each and every social network that launches, you will start to spread yourself too thin, which can really hurt your brand. You won’t possibly be able to update all of your social profiles, as well as keep track of pictures, profile information, groups, etc. In general, you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), as well as those networks in your industry.
You should reserve your full name on as many of the popular social networks as possible by using a service such as namechk.com, before someone who shares your name claims them and you’re locked out for life. But just because you have claimed your name everywhere doesn’t mean you should expend valuable time and energy maintaining a presence on every social network.
There are some websites that allow you to scale your social feeds so that one status update can automatically spread to other networks, without manually publishing content. You can use hellotxt.com or ping.fm  to spread your status message to many social networks at once, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. You can also go to your LinkedIn profile and syndicate your tweets for your LinkedIn status update automatically or by using “#in” for each tweet (if you want to be selective). There is also a Facebook application for Twitter so you can syndicate your tweets through your Facebook profile.

3. Know Your Audience

It’s really easy to forget who you’re connected with on social networks as they grow. You might start out with high school, college, and summer camp friends, and then add some co-workers when you start a new job. There will be a point where you’re going to have to make a strategic decision, who you accept and who you don’t. The second you add your manager or colleagues is the time when you have to rethink what you publish or what you syndicate from other social networks. One mistake could cause you trouble.
On Facebook, you may want to have a profile page for your inner circle of friends and family members and then a Facebook Fan Page for your professional image. This way, you can make your profile private and hide it from search, while having a fan page that you can point your coworkers to. They will know that you are hiding your profile but should respect your privacy, especially since you’re giving them the option to follow your fan page.

4. Limit Self-Promotion

Certainly, self-promotion is an extremely important part of building your brand because if no one knows of your achievements or the company you work for, then how are they going to do business with you? Yet, I’ve noticed that people often over-promote themselves in various ways across the web.
Successful self-promotion only works in moderation, because if you’re constantly only promoting yourself, many people will unfollow, unfriend, or block you from their network. The best way to build a strong personal brand is to promote other people, which creates goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer: Your expertise. If you’re helping people 80 or 90% of the time, then people will be much more accepting of your self-promotional messages the other 10%. You will also start to notice that other people will promote you and their endorsement is even stronger than your own proclamations.

5. Be Consistent

Consistency is extremely important when it comes to any kind of branding, from personal to corporate.
Selecting a unified “picture” and spreading it across all your social media your website, your blog, your presentations, your press kits, your business cards, etc. will build image recognition in the mind of your audience. Consistency is significant for pictures, your name, as well as the fonts, the colors and the overall message that you communicate through your online properties.
There is no question that you already have a personal brand whether you built it yourself or not. The way to differentiate it from everyone else is through management. By paying attention to mentions of your name online, not spreading yourself too thin, knowing your audience, offering more value than self-promotion, and being consistent, you can be very successful.

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

How Much Are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Worth? (Report)

For the moment, the valuations we have for private companies like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are based mostly on what we know from venture capital investments.

SharesPost, however, is a company that lets owners of shares in private companies sell them to prospective buyers, and it has just released an index detailing valuations of some of the most prominent companies in the social media space.

Here’s what they report:

Facebook: $11.5 billion

Zynga: $2.6 billion

Twitter: $1.4 billion

LinkedIn: $1.3 billion

Linden Labs (Second Life): $383 million

How close are these valuations to reality? Facebook’s most recent investment from DST valued the company at north of $10 billion, while Twitter was valued at roughly $1 billion when it took $100 million in funding back in September. In other words likely not too far off.

SharePost also says that it has been involved “in the negotiations of more than $229MM worth of transactions,” so there is enough activity in its marketplace for it to make rough estimates of valuation. Its estimates also take into account venture capital investments and research reports from equity analysts.

What do you think of the valuations? Let us know in the comments!

 You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Career Assessment Do’s and Don’ts

Here are the keys to a successful career assessment. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this self-discovery process.

  • Do be aware that assessments are available to help guide you toward the right career for you. A qualified career counselor can administer, score, and interpret these assessments. A number of free career assessments also are available on the Internet, though many experts question their reliability.
  • Do compare online career assessments to see which ones might meet your needs.
  • Do keep your expectations in check when you take free online assessments. You may attain some direction and guidance from these tests, but don’t be overly reliant on them for magic answers.
  • Don’t discount the possibility that these free online assessments might suggest to you some career ideas and directions you had never thought of and that are worth further exploration.
  • Do take several different assessments to help you learn more about yourself and to help you determine which tests provide the most reliable results for you.
  • Do print out and retain the results of the assessments you take online. Compare results, and see if you can see patterns — a “career snapshot” — beginning to emerge.
  • Do trust your gut. If a free online assessment tells you something about yourself that doesn’t ring true, disregard that information.
  • Don’t rely on free online assessments alone for self-discovery and career guidance. Meet with a career counselor; college students and alumni usually have free or inexpensive access to counselors. Supplement the results you’ve obtained from free online assessments with other assessments the counselor might administer. Ask the counselor to help you interpret and integrate the results of various assessments.
  • Do use career assessments with a variety of other self-discovery activities, such as examining your strengths and weaknesses and the activities you most enjoy and least enjoy.
  • Do have fun taking career assessments. Self-discovery is almost always an enlightening and often entertaining process.

by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

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