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Tips to Get Promoted

1. BECOME AN EXPERT – There’s no question that, in every field, specialists earn more than generalists. To stand out from the crowd, and increase your value to your company, you need to identify yourself as an expert in a specific area.

Instead of continuing to build broad knowledge in your field, focus on finding a narrow niche that’s important to your company, and develop your expertise a mile deep. Read everything you can on your subject. Attend conferences. Get to know the established experts. Become the obvious person to turn to in your company when it comes to your chosen subject.

2. INNOVATE! – You don’t have to be in R&D to innovate. In today’s business environment, innovations can come from anywhere. Develop a new spreadsheet, checklist, or quality improvement plan that makes your work easier or your results better. When higher-ups compliment you on your productivity, talk about your innovation and offer to share it with others.

3. BECOME A CUSTOMER EXPERT – Regardless what your job is, go out of your way to get in contact with customers and find out what they want. While it’s often easier and more comfortable to deal with internal functions, personal relationships with customers set you apart from the crowd and make you more valuable to your company.

Find out what customers like and don’t like about your current products. What problems do they think your company should correct? What are their ideas for new products or services? Put your findings in writing, and make sure to get them in front of the people who count.

4. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY WITHIN YOUR COMPANY – Promotions, raises, and coveted assignments frequently go to the most visible people. Increase your visibility by speaking at company or industry meetings. Write articles for the company newsletter or industry trade journal. Look for opportunities to become known to people in the power structure who can help you advance rapidly.

5. BRANCH OUT – Get involved in community or association projects. Volunteer for a leadership position in a professional or volunteer organization. These groups often offer you opportunities to expand your network of influence, both inside and outside your industry.

6. CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES – While doing what’s expected in your job may earn you some praise, going the extra mile to identify ways to contribute to your company will make your superiors really sit up and take notice.

Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Stay alert to the needs and challenges of your company and your industry. When you see an overlooked area, or an emerging market, create your own opportunity by writing up a proposal and description of your ideas.

7. DEVELOP YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS – In business, meetings and presentations are the primary stage on which you perform. Seize opportunities to speak in front of others, particularly senior managers. There’s nothing like being a powerful, effective and willing speaker to label you as someone to watch.

Standing out from the crowd doesn’t depend on luck or talent. It requires strategic planning and persistence, but the results – in the form of promotions, raises, and important career-accelerating assignments – make the effort well worth it.

 

Things You Should Consider when Moving into a Managerial Position

Make new and maintain existing positive working relationships with the staff you will be managing and working alongside. Ensure you know them individually and what their responsibilities are. It is important that this is dealt with in the very first stages of the new role.

When leaving your current position should make sure this is done smoothly. Complete all your outstanding tasks and pass over all aspects of the job to the newcomer leaving nothing unsure or uncertain. This will highlight the standards and be good for your own reputation.

From the outset show trust in your staff, as this will have a positive effect on them individually.

Lead by example as this will help teach your employees the ways of working and they will respect you as a person.

Corporate culture can prove to be a huge issue and hard work for many. Try not to get involved in changing the structures, ethos or procedures too quickly – settle in first and get to know your surroundings before making any drastic or flippant changes.

Being fair to everyone you are managing and consistency means you will gain respect quickly. You do not want to look like you favour certain individuals particularly if they are friends.

It is always important for individuals to receive feedback and advice so you need to find mentors or new peers who are able to help you in this way.

Finally, now you are managing people you may be working longer hours and become more involved in your job. Make sure you maintain a social life and look after your wellbeing ensuring you have a healthy work/life balance.

 

Avoid These Interview Mistakes

1. Poor handshake. The three-second handshake that starts the interview is your first opportunity to create a great impression. But all too often an interview is blown right from the start by an ineffective handshake. Once you’ve delivered a poor handshake, it’s nearly impossible to recover your efforts to build rapport. Here are some examples :

* The Limp Hand : Gives the impression of disinterest or weakness.

* The Tips of the Fingers : Shows lack of ability to engage.

* The Arm Pump : Sincerity is questionable, much like an over-agressive salesman.

Even if you’re a seasoned professional, don’t assume you have avoided these pitfalls. Your handshake may be telling more about you than you know. Ask for honest critiques from several friends who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.

2. Talking too much.

In my recruiting days, I abhorred over-talkative candidates. So did most of my client employers. Over-talking takes several forms :

* Taking too long to answer direct questions. The impression: This candidate just can’t get to the point.

* Nervous talkers. The impression : This candidate is covering up something or is outright lying.

To avoid either of these forms of over-talking, practice answering questions in a direct manner. Avoid nervous talking by preparing for your interview with role-play.

3. Saying negative things about your current or past employers/managers.

The fastest way to talk yourself out of a new job is to say negative things. Even if your last boss was Attila the Hun, never, never state your ill feelings about him/her. No matter how reasonable your complaints, YOU will come out the loser if you show that you disrespect your boss. When faced with the challenge of talking about former employers, make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences.

4. Showing up late or too early.

The first lesson in job-search etiquette is to show up on time for interviews. A lot of job seekers don’t realize, however, that showing up too early often creates a poor first impression as well. Arriving more than ten minutes early for an interview is a dead giveaway that the job seeker has too much time on their hands, much like the last one picked for the softball team.

Don’t diminish your candidate desirability by appearing desperate. Act as if your time were as valuable as theirs. Always arrive on time, but never more than ten minutes early.

5. Treating the receptionist rudely.

Since the first person you meet on an interview is usually a receptionist, this is also the first impression you’ll make. Don’t mistake low rank for low input. Often, that receptionist’s job is to usher you into your interview. The receptionist has the power to pave your way positively or negatively before you even set eyes on the interviewer.

6. Asking about benefits, vacation time or salary.

What if a car salesman asked to see your credit report before allowing you to test drive the cars? That would be ridiculous and you’d walk away in disgust. The effect is about the same when a job seeker asks about benefits or other employee perks during the first interview. Wait until you’ve won the employer over before beginning that discussion.

7. Not preparing for the interview.

Nothing communicates disinterest like a candidate who hasn’t bothered to do pre-interview research. On the flip side, the quickest way to a good impression is to demonstrate your interest with a few well thought out questions that reflect your knowledge of their organization.

8. Verbal ticks.

An ill-at-ease candidate seldom makes a good impression. The first signs of nervousness are verbal ticks. We all have them from time to time-umm, like, you know. Ignore the butterflies in your stomach and put up a front of calm confidence by avoiding verbal ticks.

One of the best ways to reduce or eliminate them is through role play. Practice sharing your best success stories ahead of time, and you’ll feel more relaxed during the real interview.

9. Not enough/too much eye contact.

Either situation can create a negative effect: Avoid eye contact and you’ll seem shifty or untruthful; offer too much eye contact, and you’ll wear the interviewer out. If you sometimes have trouble with eye-contact balance, work this out ahead of time in an interview practice session with a friend.

10. Failure to match communication styles.

It’s almost impossible to make a good first impression if you can’t communicate effectively with an interviewer. But you can easily change that situation by mirroring the way the interviewer treats you. For instance:

* If the interviewer seems all business, don’t attempt to loosen him/her up with a joke or story. Be succinct and businesslike.

* If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his/her interests. Often the items on display in the office can be a clue.

* If asked a direct question, answer directly. Then follow up by asking if more information is needed.

When you allow the interviewer to set the tone of conversation, this can vastly improve your chances of making a favorable impression. You can put the interviewer at ease-and make yourself seem more like them-by mirroring their communication style.

Just as a strong resume wins you an opportunity to interview, strong interview skills will win you consideration for the job. You already know that you won’t earn an interview unless your resume sets you apart as a candidate of choice. Because of this, you commit your resources to present an outstanding resume. Likewise, you should know that polishing your interview skills can mean the difference between getting the job-and being a runner-up.

Start your job search with a resume that creates a stellar first impression, then back those facts up with your extraordinary interview skills. You will have made yourself a better candidate by avoiding these ten interview pitfalls. And no one will have to talk about you as the candidate who “almost” got the job.

 

Why Should We Manage Our Career?

The days of leave school or university, find job, work there for 20, 30, 40 years, is over in almost all sectors thankfully. It may have been a form of security for individuals, but it led to sterility, poor practice, inefficiency, laziness, and hostile resistance to change. Actually, some rare individuals behaved creatively, enthusiastically, took risks, were ambitious, but these few could never counter the millions who settled in, kept their heads down, and looked forward to retirement sometime in the next century.Thankfully, again, those days are over. Now aday, all organisations in the commercial sectors, and most organisations in the public sector, are demanding evidence that each individual is continuously developing, is learning new skills, and is preparing for change positively and enthusiastically.

Years and years in the same job, promotion by stepping into dead men’s shoes, individuals with only the same skills and knowledge that they had when they started, 10 years in the job, 1 year’s experience. These are no longer tolerated, not by the organisation’s senior managers, nor by customers. The organisation has a people development policy, each department has a local staff development plan, each individual is now expected to have a personal development plan. In some professions, such as accountancy, the legal profession, engineering, teaching, nursing (a list that is growing rapidly) the specialist must show hard evidence that they are up to date in the knowledge and skills needed currently, otherwise they risk being prevented from continuing in that role. So for those employed by organisations, career development is now, you guessed it a permanent, part-time, job.

A series of activities, such as being aware of developments in the business sector, planning ahead, identifying training needs, selecting appropriate ways to achieve those needs, finding courses, choosing between classroom and distance learning, and of course, finding a way to pay the study fees. And this has to go on year after year and continuous, professional development. If you are familiar with quality management techniques, you will recognise this as a form of continuous improvement , kaizen as the Japanese call it.

It’s a major, never-ending, personal task and as such, needs considerable thought, considerable effort, a strategy, a plan to ensure that you don’t fall by the wayside and watch others race ahead, beating you to the best jobs, the key roles, the interesting projects, the higher salaries, the better conditions.

And if you are, or are planning to be, an entrepreneur .There’s no escape for you just because you don’t work for someone else you have others in your life who are equally demanding:suppliers, clients, customers, employees, other entrepreneurs, professional colleagues, these groups rely on you, expect you, to be as knowledgeable and skilled as it is reasonably possible to be. If you are not, your suppliers will take advantage of you, your clients will reject you, your customers will disappear, your employees will leave you, other entrepreneurs will take away your suppliers, clients, customers, and best employees, and your professional colleagues will lose respect for you. So there’s no escape from managing your career proactively, if you want to have a successful and fulfilling work life.

 

Strategies to Launch your Networking Plan

CONTACTING ALL THOSE YOU KNOW – The probably most obvious form of networking is done by going through your entire address book and business card collection. Setting up an organized routine of systematically working through your list; communicating with friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, and acquaintances keeps you on track. Make sure to also include association members, church friends, people you volunteer with, and your children’s friends’ parents, coaches, and teachers on your contact list. Stay aware for opportune moments to mention you are looking for work, start with those in similar industry or field so they can keep their ears open and maybe make a few calls to others who can make a few calls to others – and so on – and so on – and so on…

Be honest with those who you don’t usually socialize with and let them know you’re interested in talking with them about your search for the perfect job. Invite them out for coffee or lunch, email if it is more convenient for them and explain what you are looking for and what you have to offer. This is when an Online Resume comes in handy. You can give them your card and write the address of your resume on the back of the card so they can easily pass along the site to other interested parties who can immediately see your qualifications and have your contact information waiting.

REFERRALS – My personal favorite networking clients come from referrals. Working in a service oriented profession; every referral to me, feels like a compliment or award. It means someone liked my work enough to tell others about it and positively pass my name on when someone is looking for assistance writing a resume or preparing for their job search. Referrals like all networking, work in a pyramid fashion, it just keeps expanding and reaching further to more potential clients. The happier my clients are the more they will pass my name to others looking for help and I make sure to keep that in mind with every client or potential client I speak with.

In terms of looking for a job, referrals can be the strongest and fastest way to an interview. The referring contacts can do the selling of your qualifications for you and the employer will assume you can provide a high quality of work because the referral is coming from a reliable source. So, talk with your contacts and let them know you would appreciate them passing on your name to others. Keeping in touch with contacts using a newsletter, emails, phone calls or personal note keeps your name and service in their thoughts.

ONLINE NETWORKING – The newest form of networking is done by utilizing websites specifically designed to promote networking such as www.LinkedIn.com, www.Ryze.com or www.Xing.com. These are a great way of getting in touch with professionals you are interested in working with or for. There are smaller networks for individual industries such as www.nursegroups.com or www.teachersnetwork.org. With sites like www.LinkedIn.com and www.CraigsList.com you can even post your resume for employers to view. More social networking sites are gaining professional use such as www.MySpace.com and www.ClassMates.com. All these sites are free, easy to use and worth your time to cut and paste your resume or parts of it for viewers to see.

 

Careers in the Optical or Eye Field

First of all, you are going to need to know what kind of education you need to have if you want a career in the optical/eye field. Believe it or not, there is not a huge amount of training involved in order to get involved in many of these jobs. Of course you are going to need to have a high school diploma, and many companies will require that you have some amount of college training in a field that is relevant. Some of the courses that will be valuable for you if you want to work in this field include algebra, anatomy of the eye, geometry, drawing, and physics.

There is on the job training offered as well, and many times you can start out as an apprentice to become an optician. Your training on the job will teach you about optical math you need to use, how to use the mechanical equipment, and a bit of optical physics as well. You will also learn how to relate and work with clients, which is extremely important. There are some states that do require that opticians be licensed. Some companies offer great programs for opticians and many of their programs last only a year or so. However, if you want to be an actual optometrist or an ophthalmologist, you will be required to have more training than just a simple apprenticeship.

What Jobs are Available?

There are quite a few different jobs to choose from when you get involved in the optical/eye field. You may want to get the extra training to actually become an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, which means you can set up your own practice or you can work for a specific company. Also, you may want to get a job working for a company under an optometrist. There are also jobs out there for ophthalmic laboratory technicians as well. You may be able to help customers choose frames or suitable contacts. Also, you may help to fit the frames or repair broken frames and lenses as well. Other jobs you may be doing include measuring the eyes of a client, using various tools to verify prescriptions, and recording a variety of important information.

Money Matters

The salary for people in the optical/eye field can vary quite greatly, depending on what specific job you have and the company you work for. However, most people in the field make at least $25,000 a year, and many of them earn closer to $30,000 or $35,000 a year. However, those who go on to be ophthalmologists or optometrists will earn quite a bit more. Usually they will earn anywhere from $65,000 to about $105,000 a year, depending on where they practice. However, some may make up to $220,00 a year as well.

A Few Companies to Take into Consideration

More than likely you are also interested in finding out what kind of companies hire people who have careers in this field. Well, there are a variety of them out there, and many of them have great salaries and benefits to offer you. A few great choices of companies to consider in the United States include Nationwide Vision Laser and Eye Centers, Eyes of Texas Vision, and Lens Crafters. There are also many great companies available in Canada that offer excellent jobs as well, including Pickering Optometric Clinic, Alberta Association of Optometrists, and Dr. Wayne G. Wheeler and Associates.

 

Components of an Effective Self-Marketing for Your Job Search

Create a professional identity.

Job seekers must be able to tell their audience what type of position they are targeting. Sometimes people confuse professional identity with the job title that is listed on a job description. These titles can be misleading and do not always fully describe the nature of the person’s responsibilities. By using such titles in place of a professional identity you run the risk of compromising your self-marketing campaign. For example, in the world of finance, many back office administrators are simply called clerks. Such a title can place severe limitations on your marketing capsule. A more targeted and effective professional identity might be Financial Custody Administrator or Securities Administrator.

Showcase three strengths.

Highlight three areas of competency that show your value add and differentiate you from the competition. Chose traits that can easily be coupled with examples of how you have helped the organizations you have supported make money, save money, save time, maintain the business, or grow the business. For example, being proficient in Microsoft Project can position a project manager as a candidate that gets the job done expeditiously and in turn saves time, money, and resources.

Use accomplishment-focused, metrics-driven examples to support your strengths.

Just like the resume, the marketing capsule must include proof that you have successfully completed job relevant tasks. A good strategy is to marry a strength with a specific example to prove that you are accomplished at what you do. Quantify accomplishments using numbers, percentages, and dollars whenever possible.

Discuss your background as it relates to the target function or industry.

Draw on your past experiences from several positions to solidify the scope of your skill set, show career progression, and build the business case for your candidacy. Also include relevant education such as a job-related or advanced degree, industry certifications, advanced technologies, or leadership roles within a professional organization to showcase the diversity of your experiences and position you as a unique contributor.

Make a match between your experience and the skills needed for a particular job function or industry.

Bring the conversation full circle by relating your traits back to the needs of the employer or the needs of a particular industry. By doing so you prove relevancy and demonstrate why your skills are a good fit for a certain type of position.

 

Tips to Prepare and Settle In Your New Accounting Job

Before you even turn up on your first day for your new accounting job, you need to research as much information as you can about the company and the role you will be doing. Find the information online, via booklets/literature or call up the company to speak to someone. Try to find out what the company expects you to wear so that you turn up on your first day looking smart and professional and not different to everyone else.

Once you have started the accounting job you can then prepare yourself gradually. Introduce yourself to everyone; work out who people are and how you and your role relate to them. Identify the various communication channels that are already established and fit into what the norm is e.g. if your boss emails you about important things, then email him back rather than calling him.

As a newcomer you need to work out what your job role is, what boundaries you have and what your benchmarks are that you must work to. Make sure your role is clearly outlined to avoid any confusion. Find out what your manager expects of you as well as others you work with. Understand your responsibilities and the resources you have to work with. Ask as many questions as you like in these initial stages in order to clear up any issues you may have.

On a final note, always remember to be positive. Do not criticise people straight away, complain or overly talk about your last job. Do not slag off people you used to work with or those you have just met either. You want to make a good first impression that will impress your new colleagues and managers. By taking these helpful pointers into consideration you should find it easy to settle in nicely to your new accounting job.

 

Tips to Build a More Productive and Rewarding Relationship with Your Boss

1. KNOW YOUR BOSS’S PRIORITIES – Your boss’s opinion of you is critical. Linking your activities to what matters most to him or her makes you a more valuable team member. It also helps you make better decisions about how to spend your time.

This doesn’t mean that you need to agree with everything your boss says. When properly handled, disagreements can build your credibility and gain you greater support. Just make sure that both you and your boss are aiming for the same goals.

2. ASK WIIFH? – Before you present ideas to your boss, ask, “What’s in it for him?” Think about how your objectives further your boss’s goals and priorities. If you can demonstrate how your ideas will benefit your boss, you’re far more likely to get the support you want.

3. UNDER-PROMISE and OVER-DELIVER – It’s natural to want to impress your boss by making big promises. However, no matter how much you actually accomplish, if you don’t live up to the expectations you set, you can’t help but damage your reputation. When you deliver or over-deliver on your promises, you build credibility in the eyes of your superiors.

4. DON’T FOCUS ONLY ON PROBLEMS – Yes, your boss is busy. But just because you’re lucky to get a few moments, doesn’t mean you should focus only on difficulties. Make sure you regularly discuss positive performance and future plans.

5. OFFER SOLUTIONS – Never take a problem to your boss without offering 2 or 3 possible solutions at the same time. This gives you an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving ability. And if you simply want your boss’s input on a problem, be sure to make that clear. You don’t want to give your boss the impression that you’re trying to transfer your problem-solving responsbility to her.

6. ASK FOR FEEDBACK – One of the hallmarks of top performers is their habit of seeking out criticism to help them improve their performance. While compliments are always nice to receive, if you want to advance rapidly in your career, constructive criticism from your boss is often more useful. If your boss doesn’t coach regularly, be sure to ask about ways that you can improve your performance.

 

Construction Management Jobs

To be considered a strong candidate for most construction management jobs, it is recommended that you earn an online construction management degree or an online construction engineering degree, in addition to gaining hands-on experience through an apprenticeship or on-site training. Regardless of the degree you select, it is very important to make sure the online university you choose is accredited. This is the only way to ensure your degree will be recognized by future employers and other higher learning institutions, which is important if you ever need to transfer your credits.

The construction management courses that you will be required to take while achieving your degree will give you all of the necessary skills that job site experience cannot provide on its own. Plus, many degrees required for construction management jobs allow you to select different areas of focus you can specialize in. The different types of course work you can focus on include business and financial management, contract administration, cost estimating, building codes and standards, information technology, inspection procedures, site planning, engineering and architectural sciences, construction project management training. Another key focus of your degree can be technical training on how to use the most advanced industry software in the construction management field.

Once you graduate from your online degree program, you can decide which types of construction management jobs are right for you and the skill-set you have worked hard to build. Some construction management jobs will require you to be involved in each project from its inception until construction is finished. This means that you would oversee not only the workforce, but also all of the construction materials, tools, equipment and safety measures that are required for each phase of the project. Other construction management jobs may allow you to focus on the degree specializations you have chosen. For example, if you have completed course work and apprenticeships related to architecture and engineering, you should consider looking for construction management jobs where you would manage or directly interface with the architects and engineers on the project.

 

Careers Opportunities In Finance

Several careers opportunities are available in Finance. Banking is probably the more common position that comes to mind. Commercial Banking, Corporate Finance, Financial Planning, Insurance, Investment Banking, Money Management, and Careers in Real Estate are all related to the field of Finance.

Studies done recently have shown that the need for people in the Finance field is growing. Incidentally, as long as there is money involved, there is a need for finance. Some characteristics of Finance professionals include; Strategic thinking, and the ability to comprehend complicated matters fairly quickly, a new, fresh perspective, and candor.

If you are interested in a career in finance, you should also possess some leadership qualities, have a firm understanding of risk management, and have strong analytical and problem solving skills. Keeping in mind that Finance is a global industry, a second or even third language would be a very helpful skill in this field. Education requirements vary, depending on the career path that you have chosen. An Associates Degree would be beneficial for a few minor career choices, but most companies require at least a Bachelor’s Degree for jobs such as accounting, investment banking, commercial banking, and so forth. You can opt to pursue your Master’s Degree, and expect to earn a much higher annual income.

Income ranges with a Bachelor’s Degree start around $30,000 per year and top out at over $45,000. Starting salaries with a Master’s range from $35,000 to $85,000 annually. Incidentally, if you choose a Bachelor’s degree, your starting title would probably be “Junior Financial Analyst”, as with a Master’s it would be “Financial Analyst”. So, besides the annual income being higher, with a Master’s Degree, you can expect to have more responsibility and a much higher “clout” with companies than if you simply pursue a Bachelor’s Degree.

Whatever degree you decide to obtain, there will be specific courses of study that you must take. Actual course titles will, of course, vary by institution, but an example of your required courses would be: Developing Business Perspective, Management and Leadership, Fundamentals of Business, Marketing and Sales, Human Resource Management, Organization and Communication, Finance and Accounting, Financial Markets and Institutions, Investment and Portfolio Management, Business Ethics, Public and Nonprofit Finance, and Risk Management. Keep in mind that these courses are not the only ones that you will be required to take, depending on your choice of degree, and the institution that you attend.

The Government Finance Officers Association has information, news, and helpful links to help you whether you are in the Finance industry, or just thinking of entering finance. You can find lists of companies that are hiring, as well as their salary requirements and educational requirements. There are also links to local training events, as well as general news that affects the finance industry in the United States and Canada.

A look at some current job openings in the finance field, shows that the need for financial advisors is very much in demand. In California, an Assistant Chief Fiscal Officer, for a county government office, with only 1 year of experience, has a salary range of $81,765 to $99,424 annually. There are many opportunities in the government, if you have a finance degree, and you can expect the salary to be very competitive. Other, non-government companies, such as AIG, American Express, and local banks are a good place to get your start in the finance world. Also, private firms such as Deloitte and Touche Corporate Finance Canada, Inc., Chapman and Cutler, and William Blair and Company, all which serve the US and Canada, and other private firms hire periodically for new positions, and offer competitive salaries.

If you are inclined to seek your career in the finance industry, research companies well to find the best one for you. Educationally speaking, most colleges and institutions offer a wide range of courses, depending on the focal point of your finance choice. You would need to delve into the path of finance that you are planning to pursue, and with a little research and a good head for business, you could well be on your way to a very lucrative career in the ever-growing Finance World.