Monthly Archives: April 2008

5 Secrets to Getting Promoted

Earn a PromotionGetting ahead in your career doesn’t happen by accident. If you want to get promoted you need to dedicate yourself to becoming the best employee you can be. The following five tips can help you grow professionally and land a promotion.

1. Increase your skill level. If you’ve been passed over for a promotion in the past, it could be because you’re lacking essential skills needed to advance in your industry. To remedy this, evaluate your capabilities in comparison with those who have recently been promoted. If you determine that your skills fall short in a particular area, take action. This could mean finishing a degree, getting a particular certification or working with a mentor to grow as a professional.

2. Become indispensable. When management is choosing between candidates for a promotion, they’ll review each applicant’s track record. To make sure you stand out above the competition, focus on becoming your boss’s go-to person by volunteering for tough projects and always showing eagerness to offer a helping hand. When a project demands extra time, stay late or work through your breaks will. This will show your boss that you’re dedicated to fulfilling your commitments.

3. Be in the know. Having relationships with the right people is essential to advancing your career. To get ahead, focus on developing a solid group of supporters through networking, both inside and outside of your organization. You can build your network of contacts by becoming a member of professional organizations in your field and volunteering for cross-departmental projects and committees within your company. Remember, moving up is often more about who you know rather than what you know.

4. Excel in your current role. You can show your boss that you’re worthy of greater responsibility by producing higher quality work in your current position. To do this, you’ll need to always complete projects on time, show expertise concerning all aspects of your current position and get along well with your teammates. If you consistently exceed expectations in your present role, you’ll be on the top of the list when management selects a candidate for the next big opportunity.

5. Change jobs. Leaving your current job is generally a last resort to advancing professionally. After all, if you like your job, it makes sense to stick around as long as you can. But, if your employer can’t provide adequate opportunities for professional growth and advancement, it may be time to look for a new job. But remember to always conduct yourself professionally, even as you search for greener pastures. You never know who at your current organization might be able to help your career sometime in the future.

Have you recently been promoted? What do you think caused your supervisors to select you for advancement? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tips for Saving Money While on the Job

Save Money at WorkWith gas prices soaring to record highs, the cost of merely driving to your job each day can be enough to break the budget. You go to work to earn money, not to spend the money you make on work-related expenses. The following tips can help you cut down on on-the-job expenditures.

Pack Your Lunch
If you eat out for lunch everyday, you’re spending a lot of money on food. Depending on where you eat, you’re probably burning through $25-50 a week on restaurant lunches. By packing your lunch, you can greatly reduce your meal expenses and have greater control over your diet. Inexpensive lunch time options include packing a sandwich, bagel, canned soup, salad, frozen dinner or leftovers.

Keep in mind that just because you bring your lunch doesn’t mean you should stay in the office to eat it. Getting away from your desk provides a beneficial break in your day, so pack your lunch and save money, but also get some fresh air and a change of scenery on your lunch hour.

Hitch a Ride

With gas prices well over $3 a gallon, the cost of getting to work creeps higher each day. To cut back on commuting costs, consider using public transportation, carpooling or riding your bike. Even if you have to wake up a little earlier to use one of these solutions, the savings can really add up.

Investigate your city’s public transportation system to see if there are stops near your work and home. Ask around at your workplace to locate co-workers who live near you. Chances are, they’re feeling the pinch of higher gas prices as well and may be interested in carpooling. If you live close to your employer, walking or riding your bike to work may be an economical and environmentally-friendly option to consider.

Shop for Deals on Business Apparel
Purchasing business clothing and accessories can get pretty pricey. Shopping consignment and discount stores can save you lots of money as you build and maintain your wardrobe.

While looking polished and professional on the job is valuable for your career, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In addition to shopping for in-store bargains, consider going online for deals. Websites such as eBay and Craigslist often have great deals on new or lightly worn items.

Do you have any money-saving tips for others? What’s worked for you? Let us know in the comments section.

3 Benefits of Relocating for a Job

Moving to a new city for a job has its perks along with its downfalls. Most often, the career opportunities you find will outweigh the discouraging side of relocating. Here are three advantages to encourage you to take the leap and look for a job in a new city.

A better job market. The job market differs from city to city and field to field. If you’re struggling to find a job in your area, consider looking for an area with a better job market in your desired field. Your chances of landing the job you want can increase if you move to a thriving metropolis or search for jobs in multiple markets.

Career opportunities. Some locations are better for specific careers than others. So, if you’re set on a particular career and there’s limited availability in your area, make the move to an area that offers that job. Not only will you have more opportunities to find a position in that career, you’ll also improve your chances of advancing in the field as more opportunities are available in a city that offers your career choice.

Growth potential. When it’s time for a promotion, relocating may be your only option to stay within your current company or organization. If your company has many locations, relocating can open up career options. Higher-level positions might only be in other cities, especially if you’re eyeing a position at your organization’s headquarters. If you choose not to move, you may limit yourself in the long run. Moving can set you on the fast track for a move into higher management.

Whether you’re struggling to find a job or are ready to take the next step in your career, relocating might just be the best path to new career opportunities and long-term success.

Have you relocated for a job? How has your career benefited from the move? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.

Tips to Make Your Office Environmentally Friendly

April is Earth Month, and it seems like everyone is talking about the environment and ways to become more eco-friendly. You see it everywhere – T-shirts, newspapers, billboards, and television – all promoting environment-friendly awareness. There are even tax incentives for companies who become more environmentally conscious. To help your company get started on going green and preserving the planet, try out some of these ideas.

Be Energy Efficient.
With nearly 7 billion people on the planet, you can imagine how much energy we burn on a daily basis. Cutting back on the energy you use will save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution which contribute to global warming, and save water. To help save energy, try following these tips.

  • Make sure lights are off when they’re not in use.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Replace air filters monthly.
  • Tint your windows or install blinds on your windows.
  • Car pool with your co-workers.
  • Ride your bike to work.

Reuse and Recycle. Reusing and recycling have become a great concern as research has shown that the earth’s resources are rapidly being depleted. People are living for today and not for the future, forcing younger generations to pay the consequences. Recycling is our best defense to counter the overconsumption that has plagued our planet for centuries. Try some of these tips to help in the fight.

  • Put recycle bins in convenient areas for all departments.
  • Donate old computers and cell phones back to their originators.
  • Bring dishes from home to avoid using Styrofoam.
  • Educate co-workers on how to recycle.
  • Reduce your print jobs buy reading research, e-mails or other documents online.
  • Recycle print cartridges and ink.

Taking these steps won’t save the environment tomorrow, but it is a good place to start. If we each do our part in protecting our planet, we can begin to reverse the affects that our resource consumption has had on our surroundings. By setting an example in your company and going green, you just might inspire others to do the same.

Are you environmentally friendly? What steps does your office take to help out the environment?

Moving for a Job: Is it the Right Decision for You?

Many people consider moving out of town, or even out of state, when they’re looking for a job. Relocating can be exciting, and it can bring new opportunities. But, a move can be stressful, costly and put you far away from family and friends. Here are three things to consider when contemplating moving for a job.

The cost of moving. Moving your belongings from one town or state to another can be costly. On top of moving fees, you may incur additional charges for moving appliances, packing supplies, or using an elevator or staircase to load your items. There may also be a charge if the movers hold your belongings for an extended period of time while you’re looking for a new place. Remember, if you’re moving to a new town just to start looking for a job, your moving expenses won’t be reimbursed. But, companies may cover your moving expenses if they ask you to relocate. If you’re planning to move to a new town for a job, make sure to check with the company that hired you to see if any of your expenses will be covered.

Cost of living. The cost of living varies from place to place. A job may sound great because a company offered you twice as much as your current salary, but if the cost of living is three times as high, you’d be better off financially to stay put. Investigate the cost of living in your current town and compare the cost against the place you’re considering. Don’t forget about the extra money you’ll spend on down payments for housing and utilities, and the cost to set up internet, cable or a new phone number.

The tax on relationships. Some people enjoy the thrill of a new environment, but others enjoy the company of family and friends. When you move to a new, unfamiliar place, you often leave behind people you spend your spare time with. Some adapt easily, making a new home in a new environment, while others end up moving back home to be near those they love. If you’re unable to adapt to your new environment and become unhappy, your mood can negatively impact your work and hinder your success. 

Relocating to take a new job can jump start your career, help you move up the corporate ladder and provide you with other career opportunities. But, before you make the decision to move, consider the cost of moving, the cost of living and the cost of lost time with friends and family, to make sure the decision is right for you.

Have you moved to a new town to search for a job? Have you moved across country for a job offer? Send us your feedback in the comments section below.

3 Tips to Fit into a New Team at Work

When you work in a team environment, you’re bound to run into many different personality types, but some temperaments don’t always mesh. If you’re new to the job, you might feel overwhelmed trying to fit in and get along with everyone. Here are a few tips to help you deal with different personality types in the workplace.

Recognize individuality – Everyone has their own unique strengths. Get to know each person individually, and discover what makes them tick. Are they passionate about music, animals or protecting the earth? Once you find something in common, you can better relate to that person and engage in conversations with them. Be sure to open up as well. When your co-workers know more about you, they’ll be more likely to start a conversation with you because they can ask about your interests.

Be open-minded – Different people have different ideas to bring to the table. Just because a co-worker’s personality doesn’t initially click with yours doesn’t mean you can’t get along with them in the workplace. You don’t have to hang out with them outside of the office, but you should be able to remain civil and work with them on a daily basis.

Adjust your attitude – If you’re not getting along with your teammates, take a look at yourself. While you can’t change others’ behaviors, you can change your own. This doesn’t require you to change your personality, but it might call for you to adjust your outlook about the person or situation. Put your personal feelings aside, and focus instead on your teammates’ positive contributions to the team. If you want to continue working in a healthy environment or just want to keep your job, it might be time to change your negative attitude into a positive one.

Successful teams work well together, no matter what personality types make up the group. Working with a new team can be challenging, but if you’re open minded and look for the positive traits in others, you’ll be able to adapt and fit in.

Do you find it easy to fit into new teams? How do you handle working with different personalities? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.

3 Ways to Build a Better Relationship with Your Boss

Boss RelationshipsDo you struggle to connect with your boss? If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that a poor relationship with an immediate supervisor is the leading reason people leave their jobs. But, instead of calling it quits at a job you otherwise enjoy, try using three tips to build a better relationship with your boss.

Take Advantage of an Open Door Policy.
Communication problems contribute to the demise of many relationships. If you and your supervisor always seem to be speaking a different language, try increasing the amount of time you spend talking face-to-face. Remember, practice makes perfect and that includes your ability to communicate with your boss. If your boss has an open door policy, pop in every now and then to touch base. For supervisors who aren’t easily accessible, schedule times to meet together on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you have a problem to approach your boss. Instead, make developing a solid, professional relationship with your boss a top priority.

Pitch in to Lighten Your Supervisor’s Work Load.
If your boss is frequently stressed out and buried in work, chances are, they would appreciate it if you offered to help out. While you might assume your boss would ask for help if it they needed it, that’s not necessarily the case. Some people have a difficult time asking others for assistance. By paying attention to your supervisor’s workload and offering to pitch in, you’ll be recognized as a team player who can be counted on.

Be Supportive not Combative.
Even when you disagree with the decisions your boss makes, it’s important to be professional. Remember, it’s not always easy for your boss to make tough calls. You can show respect for your boss by refraining from criticism or gossip. Not only will your boss appreciate your support, but you’ll feel more positive about your relationship when you make an effort to see things from your supervisor’s point of view.

Taking responsibility for your own job satisfaction by focusing on getting along better with your supervisor can vastly improve your outlook. You may be miserable in a job, but unless you take the initiative to correct and communicate the issues, your boss could be clueless. Developing open communication, offering your assistance and being supportive will show your boss that you care about your relationship and your job.

Do you get along with your boss? How do you think you could improve your relationship? Let us know in the comments section!