Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Forget the regular 9-5 jobs. I was reading the other day about unique career paths and came across this fabulous article and I thought I would share it with you.
Celebrity personal assistant's can make upto $100,000 per year, and enjoy an incredible lifestyle that most people can only dream about. In return for screening fan mail, answering phones, and planning parties, celebrity personal assistants are allowed to enter an exclusive world and live like a star.
After all, celebrities need to buy groceries and schedule doctor's appointments just like everyone else, but unlike everyone else they also have movie shoots, important meetings, and volumes of phone calls to make. The personal assistant makes sure that everything gets done, allowing the celebrity to enjoy a semi-private life. A good "CPA" functions as coordinator, accountant, and just about anything else that a famous person might require. They offer organization and peace of mind to those who need it the most.
CPA perks often include tickets to sold out concerts, first-class air travel, expensive gifts, and great gossip about what other celebrities are really like. Does this sound like a great day at work to you? If so, here are 10 steps to breaking into this growing field of employment, based on the fabjob.com How to Become a Celebrity Personal Assistant.
1. Choose a Type of Celebrity
Actors and rock stars are not the only ones who need personal assistants. You could decide to assist professional athletes, politicians, directors, bestselling authors, wealthy families, motivational speakers, dot-com millionaires… basically anyone with enough money can hire someone to be a personal assistant. It's probably best to work for someone in a field you're interested in, because the more you know, the more you have to offer. Potential employers will find you more appealing as a new hire.
2. Develop Your Skills
CPAs need to know a little bit about everything, and know where to find out more. Celebrities are currently looking for Internet-savvy, technologically competent employees who can show them how to transfer information from their palm pilot to the computer, send an e-greeting to Mom, or keep track of their personal finances.
Most celebrities are also interested in your typing skills, etiquette knowledge, and party planning or gift buying ability. Above all, celebrities need to know that you will not reveal their intimate secrets to the National Enquirer, so make sure you get used to practicing the art of discretion as well.
3. Get Some Training
There is currently no formal long-term education program to become a personal assistant, but you can develop many of the necessary skills in related programs, such as computer courses, household management courses (for butlers and household managers) and event planning courses offered by community colleges.
4. Get Some Experience
One great way to learn the skills of being a celebrity personal assistant is to be a non-celebrity PA first. You may even discover that being a personal assistant to a non-celebrity is more your speed if you really enjoy organizing but don’t like the stress of the celebrity lifestyle.
5. Find a Job Opening
Networking is an important first step: let everyone know that you are a CPA who is looking for work. Think about all of the people you know, family and friends alike. In that vast network, is there anyone who is closer to a celebrity than you are? You can also meet celebrities through volunteering, working as a production assistant on a movie set, and job listings.
6. Contact a Celebrity
Although you may not speak with the celebrities themselves, you can usually get in touch with their publicist, agent or even their current personal assistant. Even if they aren't looking for an assistant immediately, they may have an opening in the future or know someone who does. There are many books and websites available that list addresses and contact information for celebrities.
7. Avoid Common Mistakes
It would be great if you could just strike up a conversation with someone like an agent and get an immediate referral to a celebrity. However, most people who are starting out don’t find it easy to say the right things off the top of their head. This is when having a script can be a tremendous help. A script is simply an outline of what you want to say. To sound like a professional avoid disclosing too much personal information about yourself, sounding too eager, or mentioning that you are hoping to launch your own showbiz career. Instead, focus on what you have to offer the celebrity.
8. Join an Agency
Most CPAs agree that this is a great inroad into the industry. Once you’ve located one (more than a dozen agencies are listed in the fabjob.com How to Become a Celebrity Personal Assistant), send a brief email query asking who you should contact about becoming a CPA for one of their clients. Sign up with as many agencies as possible.
9. Ace the Interview
According to Jonathan Holiff, former personal assistant to several celebrities, "Assuming you have the skills and the temperament, it really comes down to a personality match." You will more than likely have to go through a number of interviews before you get to meet your celebrity. Don’t let it faze you; just be honest and direct with everyone you meet. And when you meet your celebrity? Don't gush. Concentrate on being professional and establishing an immediate rapport with them.
10. Join Professional Organizations
There are professional organizations that assist celebrity personal assistants with their career development. Once you start working as a CPA, you will be able to join these organizations and they will become an invaluable source of support and information.
FabJob.com publishes e-books that can help you break into a "fab" job. Visit www.fabjob.com for information.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Not hiring: pretending you didn't get their resumes is no way to deal with rejection. Applicants need to know when it's over - Staff Smarts
For growing companies, finding the perfect person for a job is just another thing to check off the to-do list. If one resume doesn't look good, keep rifling through the stack. You have plenty to choose from, and you only have to call the best people. The rest should get the hint when the phone doesn't ring.
But for unemployed job seekers on the other side of the fence, applying to your company is a serious endeavor. Ignore them, and you could be encouraging some desperate job seekers to become what Carole Martin, an interview coach in Danville, California, and the interview expert for Monster.com, calls "Tasmanian devils": overly aggressive job "stalkers" who hound you with calls and e-mails, or stop by the office hoping for some face time to find out where they stand.
These applicants don't know when to quit, says Martin. "They're thinking 'If I call just one more time, they'll take my call.'" Add to this a cultural message that tells applicants to be aggressive and persistent with employers, and you can end up becoming the hunted if you don't know how to handle the situation.
In this fragile hiring climate, some applicants are mistaking professional courtesy and friendliness--in the form of "We'll call you"--as a sign you like them, says Martin.
It's crucial for you to give firm messages instead of mixed signals. If a candidate is not in your top 10 percent and won't be interviewed, say so. If you won't be hiring this person but want to keep the resume on file for future openings, let the applicant know. "You have to close the door," Martin says.
Of course, doing it is the hard part. Brian Barth, CEO of SideStep, a 21-employee online travel search company in the Silicon Valley with annual sales topping $3.5 million, hears a few times a week from aggressive job hunters and recruiters who contact him directly rather than going to the company's Web site, which lists job openings, accepts resumes, and generates an automated e-mail response letting applicants know their applications have been received. "We prefer that people send their resumes to our e-mail address," says Barth, 36. "Some people don't want to follow the process."
Barth forwards the unsolicited messages to his HR person, who screens up to 25 new resumes every day. With such volume, getting back to people who won't be interviewed is impossible for one person to do, Barth says. But if a rejected applicant follows up after a job has been filled, the company tries to offer closure. "When you're clear with people, you don't have a problem," he says.
Take some simple steps today to make the rejection process easier for everyone involved. Start by minimizing the things you don't need to do. A lot of small employers interview every person who applies, a mistake because it only encourages applicants while making it harder to get back to all of them. Instead, select the top 10 percent of the resumes for phone screenings and narrow this field even further for in-person interviews.
Also, limit "mercy interviews"--interviewing friends of friends--which can easily lead to unreasonable expectations. If you feel obligated to speak with someone who doesn't seem right for the job, set it up as an informational interview where you answer basic questions about your company and your industry, but make it clear that it's not a hiring situation, says Patrick J. Lennahan, principal consultant of P.J. Lennahan & Associates, a career consulting firm in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. That way, you fulfill an obligation without leading the person on. "Don't build up people's hopes if there's no opportunity there," he says.
If you're deluged with applications, consider bringing in an extra person for a few hours a week during a hiring phase to send out rejections and arrange interviews. Also think about setting up separate voice mail and e-mail boxes for applicants so their inquiries are easier to track. While a stock e-mail reply isn't as nice as a letter or a phone call, it's a cheap and easy way of letting applicants know they didn't make the cut.
Of course, a form letter rejection won't be enough for the occasional applicant. What should you do with someone who calls wanting to know why they were rejected? In many cases, employers aren't getting back to people they've rejected because they're worried about potential legal liabilities. Take the time to resolve the issue, but keep the conversation away from specific information that can get you into trouble, such as a personality fit. "Say 'We found someone with more skills and experience,'" says Martin.
Furthermore, letting applicants know where they stand is a good public relations move on your part. The people you come in contact with during your hiring efforts are more than just job seekers; they're also potential consumers who will run and tell their friends how your company treated them. Besides, it's a small world out there, and the applicant you ignore today could someday end up working for your main competitor or biggest client tomorrow.
Whatever interaction you have with [applicants] is going to bespeak your reputation," Lennahan says. "You've got to make a good impression."
Written by CHRIS PENTTILA
Freelance journalist, NC
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
- Salary.com had a wide range of job descriptions.
- SalaryExpert.com, I found was a little better as it asked you relevant questions. Made sense. It gives you a Salary Report Summary at the end of it all.
- Monster.com has a great salary calculator.
Try them all to see what you get.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I found this podcast by browsing on Podzinger.com This podcast is managed by Mark and Mike. They have great tools for managers and to-be managers. So if you are on that path this is a great podcast to listen to. Also, I think this is has a great conversational quality and that they give "real-life" tips for managers. So try them and see if they can help you.
This is what they say :
Manager Tools is a weekly podcast focused on helping you become a more effective manager and leader. Each week we’ll be talking about new tools and easy techniques you can use to help achieve your management and career objectives. If you’re tired of a lot of management theory and would rather learn specific actions you can take TODAY to improve your management performance, we think you’ll enjoy the manager tools podcast.
5 Must-Have Books that they recommend
They love Peter Drucker books - which are awesome.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Being out of work for an extended period is certain to erode even the most confident job-seeker. That's why it's so important that you stay focused on your strengths and how your special qualities, skills and abilities can benefit a potential employer. Remember you are the only person in the world who knows everything about what you know!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
by Steven Robert Heine.
In my dreams
all wrongs are righted,
all sins are forgiven
all wounds are healed.
In my dreams
all lost friends are found
all loved ones are united
all pain is forgotten.
In my dreams
laughter replaces anger
smiles replace frowns
and love replaces hate and fear..
But then I awaken
and I realize that I cannot fix
everything that is broken in the World.
And I decide to try to make it just
a little better somehow.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
If you lost your job and have a question about unemployment benefits, your local state Employment Office is where you get your questions answered and register to receive benefits. Make this state office your first stop the day after you lose your job - they have many resources and help for you in your job search. These offices provide support for both job seekers and employers. Each state employment office is named and organized differently from the others, but the essential services are the same.
State Employment Offices
AlabamaDept. of Industrial Relations
AlaskaDept. of Labor & Workforce Development
ArkansasEmployment Security Dept.
ArizonaEmployment Security Admin.
CaliforniaEmployment Development Dept.
ColoradoDept. of Labor and Employment
ConnecticutDept. of Labor
District of ColumbiaDept. of Employment Services
DelawareDelaware Dept. of Labor
FloridaAgency for Workforce Innovation
GeorgiaGeorgia Dept. of Labor
HawaiiDept. of Labor and Industrial Relations
IdahoIdaho Dept. of Labor
IllinoisDept. of Employment Security
IndianaDept. of Workforce Development
IowaIowa Workforce Development
KansasKansas Deptartment of Labor
KentuckyOffice of Employment and Training
LouisianaLouisiana Dept. of Labor
MaineMaine Dept. of Labor
MarylandDivision of Employment and Training
MassachusettsDepartment of Workforce Development
MichiganMichigan Career Portal
MinnesotaMinnesota Workforce Center
MississippiDepartment of Employment Security
MissouriDepartment of Labor & Industrial Relations
MontanaDept. of Labor and Industry
NebraskaNebraska Dept. of Labor
NevadaDept. of Employment Training and Rehabilitation
New HampshireEmployment Security
New JerseyWork Force New Jersey
New MexicoNew Mexico Dept. of Labor
New YorkNew York Dept. of Labor
North CarolinaN.C. Employment Security Commission
North DakotaNorth Dakota Job Service
OhioDept. of Job and Family Services
OklahomaEmployment Security Commission
OregonOregon Employment Dept.
PennsylvaniaPenn. Dept. of Labor and Industry
Rhode IslandRI Dept. of Labor and Training
South CarolinaSC Employment Security Commission
South DakotaSouth Dakota Dept. of Labor
TennesseeDept. of Labor & Workforce Development
TexasTexas Workforce Commission
UtahDept. of Workforce Services
VermontDept. of Employment & Training
VirginiaVirginia Employment Commission
WashingtonState Employment Security
West VirginiaBureau of Employment Programs
WyomingWyoming Dept. of Employment
Friday, November 17, 2006
I came accross a great site - JobStar.org
I usually like to check out the sites and really see if they are useful as there is way too much info on the web nowadays.
Anyway, JobStar is a California based website which offers job search information and community resources for California. (only certain counties) Mary-Ellen Mort, M. L. S. is the Project Director & Webmaster. Although the site targets CA I think it has very useful information that can be used anywhere.
Here are 3 Articles I found that will help the job seeker.
- Step-by-Step Plan for Using the Internet to Go "Beyond the Want Ads" has 6 steps that will help you plan better. They are 1. Focus on your selling points. 2. Focus on one position and one target industry. 3.Develop a custom list of targeted employers. 4. Use your network. 5. Make contact with the employer. 6.Get help
- INDUSTRY RESEARCH - Tips on Industry trends, areas of growth, leading companies, companies in your geographic area, "insider" tips on skills in demand, products or services in greatest demand, new technologies.
- COMPANY RESEARCH - Lists resources to keep up with the latest news about the company you are interested in.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
"You have to leave the office, but you're waiting for a crucial and time-sensitive email from a client. You could wait a few hours until you return to get your email, or you could drop into a coffee shop, enjoy a cuppa joe and check your messages from the road.
If you're not already a hotspot user, this guide will show you how to start reaping the benefits of the abundant wireless opportunities that exist in more and more public places every day." Link
Sunday, November 05, 2006
You can upload your PowerPoint and OpenOffice presentations, tag them, embed them into your blog or website, browse others' presentations, and comment on individual slides. It's a great way to share your ideas with others, or to learn from other people. And it's free.
After you upload a slideshow, you can view the small version or go fullscreen (which looks really good), clicking through slides one at a time. Looks like a great tool share presentations.
Slideshare is the work of Uzanto - a small startup based in Mountain View, CA and New Delhi, India. There is more on their FAQ page
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
"No matter how secure you think your job is, every once in a while you should conduct a "fire drill" and go over your own safe exit strategy. Don't wait for rumors about lay off at your company. Be aware of the conditions of other companies in your industry and your state. Here are some ABC's for staying flexible like the trees that make it through storms.
These make perfect sense.
- Asses your job skills
- Asses your strengths
- Acknowledge your deficiencies
- Figure out which ones could get you fired
- Decide what to fix
I think it is easy to criticize oneself as we think we are perfect. I love "constructive criticism" but its hard to acknowledge your weaknesses...forget working on them :) But it sure becomes critical when you have a family to feed. So its best to follow the advice given by the experts in the field like Ms. Tzougros.She also says that "Be aware of your spending habits. Before any crisis hits, you should know how much money you really need to live on. That must include saving for days when you have no work, and paying on your debts."
I think we should all do this - "Don't carry more credit card debt than you can pay off in three months."
When she mentions about staying connected with people I have seen that it REALLY WORKS. What works is to "NEVER BURN BRIDGES"....however much you feel that you want to get back after you have been let go...don't go around saying bad stuff about the people or company...remember if you were let go it was no a "good fit" for both.
I think this article is a good read. Link
Copyright ©2003 Wealthy Choices
Saturday, October 28, 2006
A resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview.
Stuck ? Its hard to start especially if you have not worked on one for a while. There are many Resume Templates out there. Here are a 3 resources.
- Quickstart Resume Templates by CollegeGrad.com has over 200 templates. I downloaded a few and found them very impressive. You have to agree to the terms and conditions and then you are able to download the template of your choice.
- At JobBankUSA.com I found several resumes which were industry specific. Scroll down once you are on the page to see the list.
- At ResumeTemplates.org I found an impressive number of high level job resumes as well as resumes for a disk jockey, camera operator etc. I think its a well managed site and has many helpful links.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
This article written by Bud Smith tells you how to make body language work for you. Keep in mind that these are subtle yet strong indicators. So the next time you are conversing with your colleagues....not only observe them but also try and conscientiously improve on your body language.
Body language is fascinating. People rarely recognize how much information they give off and how noticeable it is to the human eye. Even to the untrained human eye. It is said that no less that 50 percent of information on a person's character, impact and credibility is conveyed through no verbal communication.
The following is a list of some common body postures and states the persons position.
- Arms crossed: Defensive and cautious.
- Resting chin on palm: Critical, cynical and negative towards the other person.
- Dropping eyeglasses onto the lower bridge of the nose and peering over them: Causes negative reactions in others.
- Slowly and deliberately taking off glasses and carefully cleaning the lens: The person wants to pause and think before raising opposition or asking for clarification.
- Pinching bridge of the nose: Communicates great thought and concern.
- Nose-rubbing or nose-touching: A sign of doubt, it often reveals a negative reaction.
- Rubbing around ears: Performed while weighing an answer, commonly coupled with 'well, I don't know'.
- Resting feet on a desk or chair: Gestures of territorial hegemony.
- Swaying back: Weak ego.
- Retracted shoulders: Suppressed anger.
- Direct Eye Contact: Interested, likes you
- Smiling Eyes: Is comfortable
- Relaxed Brow: Comfortable
- Limited or No Eye Contact : Lying, uninterested, too confined, uncomfortable, distracted
- Tension in Brow : Confusion, tension, fear
- Shoulders hunched forward : Lacking interest or feeling inferior
- Rigid Body Posture : Anxious, uptight
- Crossed arms : Can be just cold, protecting the body, or defensive
Tapping Fingers : Agitated, anxious, bored
- Fidgeting with hands or objects (i.e., pen) : Bored or has something to say
- Leaning forward : Interested
- Fingers Interlocked placed behind the head leaving elbows open and armpits exposed : Very open to ideas, comfortable
- Mirroring you : Likes you and wants to be friendly
- Still : More interested in what you are saying than anything
- Eyes open slightly more than usual: Gives people the impression that they are welcome.
- Breath faster: Nervous or angry
- Inhaling loudly and shortly: Wants to interrupt a speaking person
- Loud sigh: Understand the thing that is being told.
- Twisting the feet continuously : A person is nervous or concerned, but can also mean that a person is stressed or angry and that he don't want to show that to everybody.
- Legs wide apart or Sitting straddle-legged: Shows that a person is feeling safe, and is self - confident. Can also show leadership.
- A big smile that goes on longer and disappears slower.: Unreal or fake smile
- Crossed legs with highest foot in the direction of the speaker.: Relaxed and self-confident and they are listening very carefully.
- Rapidly nodding your head : Shows impatient and eager to add something to the conversation
- Slowly nodding: Shows interest and that they are validating the comments of the interviewer, and this subtly encourages him to continue.
- Dangling the loose shoe from the toes : Signals physical attraction
- Rubbing your collar: Nerves
- Adjusting your tie: Insecurity
- Pressed Lips: Pressed lips convey disagreement and disapproval. It communicates a desire to end the discussion. A raised chin implies aggression that may be acted on if the conversation is not ended.
- Pursed Lips: This is also a sign of disapproval. It indicates that the person has fixed views that cannot be changed. This usually reveals an arrogant and superficial character.
- Biting the Lips: The person expresses embarrassment when he bites his lips. He also communicates a lack of self-confidence.
Reading Hand Signals
People have been granted with two hands: the left and the right hand. The left has been dubbed as the "emotional hand" since an imaginary line can be drawn from the third finger leading directly to the heart. This is why the wedding ring is placed on this finger. The right hand, literally on the other hand. has been named the "proper hand" since it is with this hand that people communicate a blocking or stopping signal.
- Open Hands: Open hands may be demonstrated by showing the palm of one's hand, especially in a conversation or an argument.. This expresses a trust in other and an interest in their opinions. It also offers an opinion and invites the sharing of the other person's view.
- Covered Hands: This is expressed by raising the back of one or both hands against others. This indicates the setting up of barriers or the keeping of distance. It is an act of concealing feelings and covering insecurity
- Clinging Hands: Those who cling to objects, such as handbags. files or tables. show a need for support. This action conveys confusion or insecurity. It expresses fear and difficulty in coping with the current situation.
- Twisted Hands ( crossing both hands then clasping the palms together) : Expression of a complex personality. It may indicate a difficult emotional life. The way the palms are held together conveys a need to hide something.
- Clasping the hands : indicates defence.
- Shrugged shoulders: You can recognize stressed shoulders by the fact that they are a bit shrugged, which does make the head look smaller. The meaning of the signal comes from crouching in dangerous situations.The meaning of this posing depends on the combination. In combination with big eyes it means that someone is concerned about something that is going to happen. In combination with a face that is turned away it means that the person wants to be left alone. An introvert person has nearly always those stressed shoulders.
- Difference in level of both shoulders: By most of the people the left and the right shoulder are of the same height. When they are not, it often means that someone is doubting about what he is going to do. With this movement we simulate (unconscious) that we are weighing the possibilities. Sometimes when someone makes this movement, his head will move a little like he is looking above.
- Crossed arms: There are a lot of different explanations of the meaning of crossed arms. When someone has crossed arms and he is shaking his head it means that he does not agree with you. But he can also cross his arms when he is frightened, then his arms give him some protection. Another option is that he is feeling cold and he is trying to hold his body-warmth with him. When someone is sitting in a chair with his arms crossed, it indicates that the person is relaxed.
- Making a fist from your hands: A fist is a sign for aggression. It comes from hitting someone. But it is seldom used with a threatening meaning. Most of the time it is used to indicate that you are angry or irritated.
- Holding the hand before the mouth: Holding a hand before your mouth means that you are hiding something. In western countries it is impolite to belch or to hiccup. So someone can hold his hand before his mouth to hide that he is hiccuping. When someone puts his hand before his mouth when he is talking it indicates that he is saying something or has said something that he did not want to say.
- Making the eyes look larger: The meaning of making the eyes look larger can be that someone is astonished. In that case he opens his mouth a little. It can also mean that he is happy or that he likes the thing that is talked about. And because it means that you like something, you can use it on purpose. It pleases people when you have your eyes opened a bit further.
- When people open their eyes a bit further it can also mean that they are unhappily surprised. Then they will frown their eyebrows.
- Raising the eyebrows: Raising the eyebrows shortly means that people are surprised. They raise their eyebrows to allow them to look better. But it can also mean that somebody is looking at you, and that he likes you.
- Raised forehead: A raised forehead often means that someone is remembering something he has seen. This often happens very quickly. It can also be a sign of a certain emotion. It is a biological reflex that you raise your forehead a little when you are crying so the tears can move easier.
- Pursed lips: When somebody purses his lips it means that he has to make a decision and is thinking about that. Sometimes he also moves his lips, like he is saying the possibilities. When somebody purses his lips, he often looks a bit upward.
- Firm Handshake: The strong, firm handshake usually is given by a person who is sure and confident of themselves.
- Weak hand shake: People who give these types of handshakes are either nervous, shy, insecure, or afraid of interaction with other people.
- Cleared your throat: Nervousness.
- Bitten your fingernails: Nervousness.
- Wring your hands: Nervousness.
- Paced the floor: Nervousness.
- A person is bouncing their legs and their arms are crossed over or their torso is slumped: Closed off
Written by Bud Smith, a co-webmaster of http://www.infoweb.co.nz/. Infoweb is the place to go for information on musical instruments and creating websites.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
I have already kept it in my library for my daughter who will need this soon. I am a believer that "Forewarned is Forearmed" Some of the things highlighted in this book that I liked are the week-by-week resource to help you find and keep the job. Learning about and having the right tools under your belt makes all the difference. Most of all I loved their writing style. It is casual and yet goal oriented.
- Goal Setting
- Time Management
- Knowledge Management
- Team Player
- Professional Image
Just like Milo said " Whether you are fresh on the job or a more experienced work force veteran, Sink or Swim offers you the resources and a week-by-week guide for how to apply each skill."
J. Levitt of CA writes "At last, a practical step-by-step manual for mastering the new job. Writing with energy, style, and conciseness, the authors have come up with a first rate guide for making a splash (pun intended) at your new company. Their advice is broken up into bite-sized pieces: a really doable action plan for each week of the first 3 months on the job. I wish someone had given me something like this when I was first starting out; however, I'm planning on using it the next time I change jobs. It really ought to be handed out in new hire orientations; it would be good both for the company and the newbie."
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
She has been writing about money for more than 10 years. Her articles have appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, the Boston Globe, Reader's Digest, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, and Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Kiplinger.com, where she writes the popular "Ask Kim" column.
This is what she says about "Negotiation Tips from a Professional Mediator"
Good negotiation skills have a huge impact on your career -- whether you're a salesperson making deals or an entry-level employee trying to get good assignments or cube neighbors to quiet down.
In this article she points out how to be a good negotiator. Sometimes I use these tactics to get things done by my kids. ! Here she talks to Tammy Lenski, a professional mediator who helps universities and businesses nationwide with conflict management.
Tammy Lenski's tips are very insightful.
- Tactic Is Dictated by Situation
- Ask Good Questions
- Deal with Issues Up Front
- Do the Right Kind of Homework
Believe me these tactics can be useful in any kind of negotiating !
Monday, October 16, 2006
There are tons of opportunities on the web to start new businesses. An online business is not so different from a "brick and mortar" business model. For your start-up venture; the same principles apply.
If its a product you want to sell, Ebay is a great starting point.
Set aside several hours to browse around the site. Click on all the different buttons to access and learn about eBay's various features. Read the news announcements, check out the help pages, surf the discussion boards, take the online guided tours, and study the listings. A great place to begin is with the eBay Learning Center, which offers free audio tours and online courses.
Learn all about eBay University They have sessions that are held across the country 30 weekends a year. One of those sessions of eBay University is likely to come to an area near you. eBay is a huge site, but it's well-organized and easy to navigate. Take the time to get familiar with it before you get started, when you're not under any pressure to buy or sell.
There are many Seller Forums on Ebay that you can participate in. Once you're familiar with ebay, you can start planning your business on eBay. Decide if your goal is a full-time operation or something you can do part time. Start with partime and don't be discouraged if you do not sell your product at first. There are many veterans of Ebay, so if you are just starting out then you have a lot to learn.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
- "Do what you like and the money will follow." If you do something you like, you know you will take interest and try to be the best at it.
- "Planning is key". Planning your next move and keeping your ears and eyes open will make all the difference.
- "Big brother is watching". Remember you are being watched all the time at your work place. So if you are aiming at the manager's position, start taking that role in your mind and dress for success.
- "Research and conclude". The more research you do about your next career move, the more likely you are to end up in the right place. One advantage of having been in a job you dislike is that you know what to avoid.
- "Effective time management is an art form". Spending quality time on your next career move is essential. So if you are surfing the net make a word doc and start putting all your findings in one place. And PRINT IT ! The next time you want to find that great resouce, and in case the internet is down you have the list of important things right in your hand.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Nowadays all colleges have both online and local classes. Whether you would like to get a Professional Certificate, Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree they will be able to help you pinpoint the best classes that meet your interests.
Another way to learn is by reading the free online tutorials. One of the best sources for FREE EDUCATION ONLINE is http://www.free-ed.net/free-ed/
There are tutorials and small lesson plans. The courses, tutorials, and skill-building activities are made for today's most important vocational and academic disciplines.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
- Sell your product
- Sell other people's products
- Drop Ship
- Offer your experise and services
and more. All of the above can be achieved via the internet. Set up a website and go. first, you must choose and register a domain name. Keep your domain name simple. Because you would like as many people as possible to visit your site, use good judgment and pick a name that is easy to remember. Next, you must choose a web hosting company to host your site for you. Hosting prices vary from $10/month on up depending on the nature of your site and the amount of traffic you expect; extremely popular sites can expect to pay for a more expensive plan, or to pay extra bandwidth charges.
If you are going to build your Web site yourself, you might find that HTML (hypertext markup language) editors and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) composers, such as the Microsoft FrontPage Web site creation and management tool, are extremely helpful. WYSIWYG editors let you create your site's look and feel while they create the HTML code for you.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Ask Career Directions
A service to assist job seekers in finding the best possible career opportunity - Career Directions
Mastering a Career Change - Meg Montford
California Career Coach - Shweta Khare
Find A Job Today
Resume and Job Hunting Advice - Otis Collier
Being Bold Blog
Be bold! Take charge of your career - Ian Christie
My 2 cents.....
Always keep up with what is going on in your industry
Keep up with your industry leaders and learn from them how they got where they are
Did you hear me say....Network ! Network ! Network !
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Words do matter. Sometimes we hear what "we" want.
Haven't we all done that with songs we hear on the radio ? :)
Using the correct business language will show how much you know and how you can be an asset to the company you are trying to join. Here are a couple of great resources to brush up on your business lingo.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
1. Find out about these job openings
2. How do you apply for the jobs that are not advertised anywhere
Well the answer is simple. Network Network Network !
Its a matter of letting everyone you know what you do and that you are looking for a new opportunity. You will be surprised with the responses.
Don't limit yourself to business contacts.
Here is a list of people you can talk to :
- Family friends
- Local politicians
- Business executives
- Non-profit directors
- Your physician
- Former employees
- Your hair dresser
- Former co-workers
- Prominent community members
- Public relations officials
- Members of professional organizations
Now you ask where are you going to find these people
Well start with these places
- Local alumni association
- Class reunions
- Club meetings
- Cocktail parties
- Neighborhood parties
- Internet list-servers
- Volunteer opportunities
- Business conferences
- Continuing education classes
Make every opportunity count. Treat each meeting like a mini interview.
Make an impression that sticks !
Saturday, September 30, 2006
- Arrive on time.
- Introduce yourself in a courteous manner.
- Read company materials while you wait.
- Have a firm handshake.
- Use body language to show interest.
- Smile, nod, give nonverbal feedback to the interviewer.
- Ask about the next step in the process.
- Thank the interviewer.
- Write a thank-you letter to anyone you have spoken to.
I hav found that although this sounds simple it is important to think about these things before hand.
Having no questions prepared sends the message that you have not been thinking about the job.
Avoid asking questions that are clearly answered on the employer's web site and/or in any literature provided by the employer to you in advance. This would simply reveal that you did not prepare for the interview, and you are wasting the employer's time by asking these questions. Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer.
Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. For you, the interview has two purposes: One, to sell yourself, and two, to evaluate the position. After asking questions, the interviewer usually invites you to ask questions.
By asking informed questions, such as the following, you not only gain knowledge about the potential employer, but you also make a good impression:
- What is the size of the division, sales volume, earnings?
- Does the company plan to expand? What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
- What are the significant trends in the industry?
- Could you explain your organizational structure?
- Can you discuss your take on the company’s corporate culture? What are the company’s values?
- How would you characterize the management philosophy of this organization?
- Are any acquisitions, divestitures, or proxy fights on the horizon?
- What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future? The biggest threat?
- How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? And by whom? How often?
- Would there be opportunities for advancement, and, how long before I might be considered for one?
- What qualities do you prize the most in those that report directly to you?
- How does the organization rank within its field?
- What is the reputation of the department (or facility) to which I am applying?
- How is this department (or facility) perceived within the organization (or corporation)?
- What have been its goals in the last year, and, did it meet them?
- What would be the goals of the department (or facility) in the coming year?
- Do you think those are aggressive or conservative goals? Who set them?
- What problems or difficulties are present in the department (or facility) now?
- What are the most important problems to solve first?
- What will be the greatest challenge in the job?
- What are the greatest strengths of this department and company?
- What would you expect me to accomplish in this job?
- What is your management style?
- How often would we meet together?
- What responsibilities have the highest priority?
- Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
- How might these responsibilities and priorities change?
- How much time should be devoted to each area of responsibility?
- What qualifications are you looking for in the person who fills this job?
- What are some examples of the achievements of others who have been in this position?
- How many people have held this job in the last five years? Where are they now?
- Why isn't this job being filled from within?
- What is the history of this position?
- What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within the organization?
- If this position is offered to me, why should I accept it?
- Why did you come to work here? What keeps you here?
- What do you see in my personality, work history or skill set that attracts you to me?
- How soon do you expect to make a decision?
- If I am offered the position, how soon will you need my response?
When the position involves management of other employees, you may also wish to ask some of these questions:
- How much authority will I have in running the department (or facility) ?
- Are there any difficult personalities on the staff?
- Have you already identified staff or staffs that should be let go or transferred?
- Have you already identified staff members that are stars and are in line for promotion?
- How many employees would I supervise?
- What condition is morale in, and why?
- May I see an organizational chart?
Finally, you may want to discuss issues of compensation.
Following are some suggestions for questions pertaining to salary and benefits packages:
- What are the benefits and perks?
- What is the salary range?
- What is my earnings potential in 1, 3, 5, and 10 years?
If commissions are involved, ask about the median salary of a person holding a position comparable to that which you are seeking.
Article by Pam Pohly http://www.pohly.com/
Most employers have busy schedules and will arrange interviews during meal times. Sometimes, an applicant may share breakfast with one group, lunch with another and still another for dinner. All the while, the applicant is expected to answer questions well while the interviewers eat. You could be critically scrutinized on your table manners and conduct in addition to your answers to the interview questions.
Employers may want to see you in a more social situation to see how you conduct yourself, particularly if the job for which you are interviewing requires a certain standard of conduct with clients and superiors. Many times, meals are the only time that certain groups of workers can find to assemble together for an interview.
Tips for Interview Dining Etiquette:
Follow the lead of your host or hostess. You should wait for your interviewer to ask you to sit down before taking your seat. If he/she doesn't ask you to sit, wait for him/her to be seated, then sit. During the meal, sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the floor or cross your legs at the ankle. Crossing your legs during the meal can cause you to slouch, and looks too casual. As soon as everyone is seated, unfold your napkin and place it across your lap, folded, with the fold toward you. Do this discreetly. If you need to leave the table, place your napkin on your chair, folded loosely. Only after the meal is over should you place your napkin on the table to the left side of your plate (never on your plate!). You should not push your chair back and cross your legs until the meal is completely finished.
What to Eat & Drink During Interviews:
Here are some general tips on what to order. Let your interviewer order first and order a meal for yourself that is less expensive than his or hers. Pick a meal that is small and easy to eat. Try to steer away from sandwiches, shellfish, spaghetti, pizza or any other foods that are messy and may require a lot of handling. You want to eat quickly so that you can focus on your interviewer and answering questions. It is a good idea to drink water, tea or juice, steering away from alcohol, even if your interviewer has ordered alcohol. Even if the food you are served is not cooked correctly or not to your liking, never criticize or state a dislike for a food that is served to you. You could be evaluated for your grace in such situations.
How to Eat During Interviews:
Take small bites so that you can quickly finish chewing before speaking. Never speak with food in your mouth! You may not have much time to eat if you are being asked a lot of questions; remember that the main point of the meal is to interact and eating is secondary. Unless you are eating a sandwich (try not to order a sandwich), you should keep your left hand in your lap and bring it only to the table when operating a fork and knife together. Never rest your arms on the table.
More Tips for your Interview Meal:
Remember the purpose of the meal. While the interviewer may engage in more casual conversation during a meal, remember that this is still an interview. You will be evaluated on this meeting. Be prepared at any moment for the interviewer to ask serious questions - you will want to be as thoughtful and concise in your answers at a meal as you would sitting in front of the interviewer's desk. Typically in an interview, you are the guest and so the meal is paid for by the company. Your host will most likely pick up the check so you won't have to deal with it.
Remember to thank your host for the meal at its conclusion. A thank you note will be a nice touch as well.
Article by : Pam Pohly Associates http://www.pohly.com/
Make sure you come up with a good reason for asking for a raise. Perhaps you're working harder than everyone else. Maybe you're bringing in more money than others. A good reason for a raise does not include the reason that "you've been there a long time." While time of service is important, you need to prove your worth.
Think carefully first about when the best time is to approach your boss. You don't want to ask for money the day after your company is going through some downsizing. Wait for good news. If you've recently had a run-in with your supervisor for one reason or another, now is not the right time, either. You want to be asking for a raise when conditions are right both for your particular situation and for the situation of your company. Try to strike at a time when profits are up, or just after you've finished a major project that made the department look good.
Approaching the subject
Have a basic plan ready. Focus on all your accomplishments, any new business that you have brought to the company, how you've made your department and, ideally, your boss, shine. Have you put in a lot of over time? (we don`t mean the week before you are about to be asking for a raise).
Important Your raises and promotions will come more quickly if actually have a good track record and you've put in long hours and shown the creativity that fuel raises.
The question of money
Take your time and do your research before you even think of asking for a raise. The worse thing you can do is ask for an unrealistic pay rise or worse still not know how much to ask for.Do your researchResearch salary information. Find out how much other people in your position would or do make. Know how much you should be paid. If you can take any kind of documentation or maybe even a quote in with you when you approach your boss for a raise, that may prove helpful.
Check newspaper ads, the Internet or even the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as simply talking to people to find out how much you deserve to be earning.
Don`t sound desperateYou are asking for a raise so you think you deserve one. But what ever you do don`t sound desperate. Be aggressive. When you talk with your boss about a raise, talk as if you absolutely, undoubtedly deserve the raise. Above all, never talk about any debts that you have this will make you come across unprofessional.
Most important Don't use an ultimatum, unless you're prepared to follow through. If you are going to say you'll quit if you don't get the raise, be prepared to quit.
Once you are in the interview room then, you got to look at the interviewer in the eyes, smile, and with a FIRM handshake, tell them how happy you are to be there. Once you start talking to the interviewer, keep your physical gestures minimal. I have tried to bring up a set of 7 ( its my lucky number) very Frequently Asked Questions and sample answers for them.
1. How would you describe yourself? / Tell me about yourself ?
This is the most frequently asked or should I put it as, the first question that any interviewer would ask the candidate. The interviewer prefers to know about you from your perspective. Need not give personal details, until or unless asked for. Start with describing what you want to become? Your previous work experience if any, your academic background to support your job? What are your strengths? What will be your contributions to the company? Etc.,Sample replyMy background to date has been centered on preparing myself to become the very best Recruiting consultant. Let me tell you specifically how I've prepared myself. I am a graduate in MBA (HR) from the prestigious university.... My past experiences have been in Technical Consulting Company and Internal recruiter for a leading blue chip company. Both aspects have prepared me well for this career…
2. What are your strengths?
This seems to be a easy question to be answered, right? Assure that you do not miss out pointing the strengths that will present you to be the best fit for the position applied.So to know what your skills are first assess your skills, and you will identify your strengths. This is an exercise worth doing before any interview. Make a list of your skills, dividing them into three categories:
a. Knowledge based skills: Acquired from education and experience (e.g., computer skills, languages, degrees, training and technical ability).b. Transferable skills: Your portable skills that you take from job to job (e.g., communication and people skills, analytical problem solving and planning skills).c. Personal traits: Your unique qualities (e.g., dependable, flexible, friendly, hard working, expressive, formal, punctual and being a team player).
When you complete this list, choose three to five of those strengths that match what the employer is seeking in the job posting. Make sure you can give specific examples to demonstrate why you say that is your strength if probed further. Sample replyI am technically very strong in Java, XML, etc.I posses good written and oral communication, have participated in various debate competitions and won awardsI have the ability to identify potential problem areas, skill to solve them and produce result.Team member to the core and have the ability to lead the team.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Probably the most dreaded part of the question. Everyone has weaknesses, but who wants to admit them, especially in an interview?. The best way to handle this question is to minimize the trait and emphasize the positive. Select a trait and come up with a solution to overcome your weakness. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate more on professional traits.
Sample reply"I pride myself on being a 'big picture' guy. I have to admit I sometimes miss small details, but I always make sure I have someone who is detail-oriented on my team."
4. How do you handle pressure?
To survive in this competitive world we need to develop the ability to handle pressure. Firstly give your view on stress and then explain a situation where you handled pressure well.
Sample replyStress is very important to me. With stress, I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive. Then give an example of a time when you handled stress with ease.
5. What do you expect to be doing in five years?
Wow this is a 90% sure question that I end up answering in almost all the interviews I attend. I remember having given some bizarre answers to this question. Once I told my interviewer that I would like to be in his position in this company in next five years, which brought a smirk on the otherwise dreary interviewer. Always think BIG here, tell him that you have always wanted to climb up the career ladder at good pace and you would be in a senior or Top management level, provided there are opportunities for growth prospect in the company.
Sample responseAlthough it is hard to predict the future, I sincerely believe that I will become a very good Recruitment Manager. I believe that my abilities will allow me to excel to the point that I can emerge as an entrepreneur and may even end up opening my consulting company. My ultimate goal continues to be, and will always be to be the best at whatever level I am working.
6. Evaluate your ability to handle conflict?
Honestly I know, I have not had any conflicts in my career. But then the interviewer will not accept my answer if end up telling the truth. So I have to weave a story to convince him that I do have the ability to handle conflict with ease, if any would arise in future. You need to provide couple of points that can convince the interviewer that you have skills to solve problems and conflicts.Sample responseI am good at handling conflict.
Working in a team, there are times when members of a team have difference of opinion. Being a good listener, I make sure that the member is given opportunity to defend his opinion. My decision-making skill helps me to hanle the conflict and solve the problem. I would always make sure that I fully explained the situation, the policies behind my decision, and why those policies exist. Usually by the end of the conversation, the person could see the other side of the situation.
7. Given the investment our company will make in hiring and training you, can you give us a reason to hire you?
You can always expect this question to be fired, if you attend an interview at some MNC’s. They invest to hire and train you, if selected. So they demand to hear the answer from you as to why should they hire ‘you’?
Sample responseI sincerely believe that I'm the best person for the job. Not only do I have the ability, but also bring an additional quality that makes me the very best person for the job, my attitude for excellence. Not just giving lip service to excellence, but putting every part of myself into achieving it. I think my leadership awards from my college, and my management positions are the result of possessing the qualities you're looking for in an employee for this position.
These are some of the very frequent questions i have confronted in various interviews I attended.
By Bindu Vijayakumar http://writeurresume.blogspot.com/
Preparation is Key
When preparing for an interview, take the time to research the company and industry before hand. This shows that you are resourceful and have a genuine interest in the position. You can utilize the internet to learn about their product and services, history, mission statements, etc.
If possible, drive by the company the day before - getting lost can make you late for the interview, in addition to making you nervous and anxious. Make sure to take with you names, addresses, and dates of employment from previous employers along with extra copies of your resume. Make sure to fill out the application completely - do not write "see resume."
It is important that you reflect a positive attitude - do not dread the interview. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Take a deep breath and relax. Remember the interview is not an interrogation - it is an opportunity to present your work history and personality as it relates to the position. Remember that professional dress is key. For women, a nice blouse, blazer and skirt/slacks are suitable. For men, a dress shirt, tie, blazer and slacks are appropriate.
Arrive 10 minutes early, and be positive and friendly to the receptionist and other people in the office. They could be your future co-workers. Never chew gum or smoke before, during, or after an interview, even if offered. When you are introduced to the interviewer stand up straight and give a firm handshake.
Let the interviewer set the tone and pace of the interview but not necessarily control the interview. It is your responsibility to express to the interviewer your qualifications, work history and why you are the best person for the job. Sell yourself! Answer the interviewer's questions directly, but give details.
Q: Have you worked on MSWord?
A: Yes, I have used MSWord for the last 3 years and I am very comfortable with it.
Make sure to relate your answers to the position you are applying for.
If you are interviewing for a customer service position, talk about your experience dealing with people and problem solving.
Remember to never offer personal information (unless directly related to the job) or talk negatively about previous employers.
At the end of the interview, be ready to ask some questions. You need to show your interest in the company & position. We suggest that you do not ask questions related to salary or benefits - they are not appropriate at this time.
Why is this position open?
Please describe the personality that fits this description.
Please describe a typical workday.
If you are interested in the position, be sure to let the interviewer know, even if they don't ask. Say - "I appreciate the time you have given me and I am highly interested in joining your company.
What is the next step?
Always send a hand written thank you note as soon as possible (if you met with more than one person, send one to each person individually). Include again that you appreciate their time and why you feel you would be the best person for the job. Be short and simple. If you haven't heard from them within a week, call to politely inquire. Do not call too often, as you do not want to pester them, but do call to express interest.
Always remember to be yourself and answer all questions honestly
You should feel confident that no matter what the outcome may be, you presented yourself to the best of your abilities. If one job doesn't come through, it probably wasn't the right one for you and there is another out there that is!
Source : OCjobSite.com.