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…
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