Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why People in Your Dream Career Might Discourage You

There are a number of ways to get the scoop from industry insiders about how to break into their career including: joining professional associations, attending networking events, going on information interviews, or asking for advice on Internet message boards. However, if you are hoping that everyone who works in the industry will welcome you and be willing to help, you may be disappointed. Instead of getting fabulous career advice or job leads, you may be left feeling discouraged about the career and thinking you should consider doing something else with your life. Think again. If you are left feeling less than excited about a career after speaking with someone working in it, you are probably talking to the wrong person. Here are some reasons an industry expert may not be helpful to newcomers:

They want to feel special

Many successful people got where they are today because of their talent and effort. When asked how they did it, however, their story may sound like the one that parents used to tell about walking in the snow for miles every day to get to school and home again - uphill both ways. In other words, they make it sound much more difficult than it is. And while it's possible it really was difficult for someone else, you might have what it takes to achieve success in your chosen career more quickly. Few people will tell others that it's easy to break into their career or that almost anyone with determination can do it, even if that's true. By saying that it takes a rare ability or many years to succeed in a career, someone who is already working in that career validates themself and what they have achieved. Keep this in mind when speaking with someone working in the career, and don't say you hope to get a job like theirs right away. If you acknowledge their success and show respect for their achievements they may be more willing to assist you.

They are struggling

Someone who is struggling in a career may have spent years in the profession without achieving the kind of success they had hoped for. This type of person may try to "help" you by pointing out the "reality" of the profession you want to work in. They will tell you that at least 80% of those who enter their field will drop out or never achieve great success. But that's true for the vast majority of careers. In a recent issue of Harvard Magazine, it was reported that the average person will have six different careers in their lifetime, which means the average person will leave five careers. Why let that stop you from following your heart now? Another reality is that virtually every career - from acting to real estate - has only a few people who reach the top. It is insulting for someone to assume you will not be one of the successful ones. However, someone who has not made it to the top themself after years of struggle simply may not be able to see how a newcomer can. If you can overlook their discouraging attitude, this person may actually be able to help by filling you in on industry jargon, types of employers, and other career information. Just don't waste your time trying to convince them that you will succeed where they haven't.

They have a scarcity consciousness

People with a scarcity consciousness believe there will be less work for them if more people enter the profession. They see newcomers as potential competitors and will do what they can to discourage others from entering the field. The moderator of a message board for one career said in response to our recent posting that if everyone who wanted to enter the career actually did so, "it would stop being a fab job for everyone else as there would be very few who could ever make a living doing this." Fortunately, there are people in every industry who have not only achieved success, but are willing to help others do the same. As Mark Twain said, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great."

I think this article makes you realize that ll the advice out there may not really be helpful.....especially if it is coming from a person who wants to climb the same ladder you are !

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Learn about yourself by taking a personality tests

Considering a career change? If so, you might want to take a test or two to determine what career is the best fit for your type of personality. Some tests are free others have a fee. But if you are serious this might be a good start to finding out about yourself.

The top-rated career tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Strong Interest Inventory are available online.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is a self-assessed personality questionnaire designed to help people better understand themselves, first introduced in the book Please Understand Me. KTS is closely associated with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); however, there are significant practical and theoretical differences between the two personality questionnaires and their associated different descriptions.

There are fees for some of these tests, but, there are also a variety of quick, simple tests like Color Quiz from that offer instant results and doesn't cost you a penny. is also a good one and it's easy to use. There are a series of questions that asks you to select what you like the most and least amongst 3 things. When you're done you'll instantly be provided with a great deal of insight on yourself and the environments you thrive in, as well as the kind of jobs, careers and activities you're suited for. You might be surprised. It's fun, incredibly accurate and no-cost to you. Give a try today.

Also try's Your Perfect Career Quiz

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What motivates someone to buy something?

If you are in Sales then that is something you ask yours self everyday.
Yes, you are trained by your company and are a real good talker.

However traditional sales people force feed their own reasons and do not focus on uncovering what the prospect is trying to overcome, improve or eliminate by buying sooner, rather than later. Prospects really do not want to think about anything, they actually want time to "compare". Compare your features and benefits with that of their current vendor or other competitors trying to get in on that business.

Quite often in the eyes of the prospect your features and benefits are not much different from their current vendor or others competing in your field. Hence price becomes a front end and back end obstacle as they focus on YOUR reasons (features and benefits), not their problems and negative effects that are already costing them time, energy and money by not using your product or service.

So the simple trick to to LISTEN first and reiterate what the customer just said. Listen and then suggest ways to make LIFE EASIER for that particular problem !

You will be the best sales person. Don't forget to close the sale ! i.e Asking for the Money and their commitment to buy.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Are you being listened to at work?

You are at a meeting to discuss ideas for implementing a new program in your department. After some discussion, you tentatively throw out an idea to the group. It is ignored.
Ten minutes later, one of your co-workers says “Hey, here’s an idea ...” and restates your suggestion almost word for word.

This time, “your” idea is met with a chorus of “Great idea!” from your colleagues.
If this has ever happened to you, you are not alone.

Dr. Sonia Herasymowich, Ph.D., a university instructor and consultant on mental diversity, says one reason ideas are sometimes not acknowledged the first time they are stated is because of differences in thinking styles.

Right-brained thinkers (most of whom are women) tend to be intuitive. They may jump to a conclusion and express it before their left-brained colleagues (most of whom are men) have arrived at the same conclusion. It is only after the discussion has logically led to the idea that it is likely to be embraced by the left-brained thinkers.

Dr. Sonia, as she is known to her clients and students, suggests that right-brained thinkers can get credit for an idea by writing it down on a flipchart or white board immediately after expressing it. While the group continues its discussion, the right-brained thinker can be working backwards, writing the steps leading up to the idea.

“At some point, the group will look up and say ‘oh great, you’re writing it down’,” says Dr. Sonia. “At the very least you will be seen as someone who has helped the team reach its conclusion.”
Whether or not your ideas are listened to may also depend on how clearly you express them.
In her book Talking From 9 to 5, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., reports that when it comes to communicating in the workplace, employees who get heard at meetings tend to be those who speak more directly, more loudly, and at greater length than their co-workers.

Trying to be polite may backfire. Says Tannen, “Many people try to avoid seeming presumptuous by prefacing their statements with a disclaimer such as, ‘I don’t know if this will work, but ...’ or ‘You’ve probably already thought of this, but ...’.” Such disclaimers may result in the rest of the communication being ignored.

However, simply telling employees to speak up is not the answer to ensuring everyone’s contributions are heard. Some employees may need time to reflect before speaking, while others may not speak up at all for fear of looking foolish.

Companies that want to take advantage of contributions from all their employees need to teach their managers and group leaders to foster communications.

Says Tannen, “The most important point is for managers to become skilled at observing group process and noticing the role that each group member takes.” The group leader can then give credit where it is due and encourage greater participation from all.

Going around the table and asking everyone to state their opinion is one way to encourage greater participation. However, participants are often influenced by what has been said before them and may not risk disagreeing with someone higher up in the organization.

A better idea, therefore, is to invite employees to submit their opinions in writing either before or at the meeting.

Another option is the Japanese practice of "nemawashi" in which a facilitator meets one-on-one with participants before the meeting. The facilitator can then make a presentation which includes the variety of opinions, thereby ensuring that everyone’s opinion is taken into account and saving face for those whose suggestions are not followed.

To elicit ideas from those who need time to reflect after the meeting, Dr. Sonia suggests managers conclude with a comment such as “If anyone has any more ideas before tomorrow morning, put them in writing and leave them on my desk.”

Companies that follow such practices may be rewarded with ideas and innovations well beyond those expressed during the meeting itself.

Source :

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Top 10 Business Buzzwords

Wondering about the new office phrases? This article by by Megan Aemmer is great...
I learnt a few words that I would have never known.

Whether you office from home or home from office, you've probably heard some of these best-of-breed words and phrases unleashed at you and wondered what exactly your boss or coworker was talking about. Whether humorous or just plain annoying, you'll probably hear some of these dynamic phrases from time to time. This list will help you translate, and maybe even re purpose a few words to grow your own business buzz vocabulary.

Drive: No, it doesn't refer to your daily commute. Drive is a multipurpose buzz word, overused in such phrases as "drive out cost," "drive the project," and "drive the organization." Last I checked, costs, projects, and organizations don't typically have wheels and a chassis.

Incent: A nonword that is often used in business as a verb. Instead of creating incentives, management types may try to incent their team to sell more by offering--you guessed it--incentives. Some other commonly verbed words: office (She likes to office from home), text (Hey, text me the address), google (I googled him before the first date).

Delayering: A newer, more PC term for rightsizing, a.k.a. downsizing. Potato, potahto. It's still a layoff.

Narcissurfing: If your coworker is late to a meeting again, it's probably because he's been narcissurfing all morning. That is, googling yourself to see where, when, and how often you show up on the Internet.

Deep dive: If someone asks you to deep dive (or drill down), they're asking for in-depth information or discussion on a subject. "I did a deep dive on the Chinese market, and I don't think we'll be able to move product there. But I'll drill down on Brazil and see what sell-through potential there may be."

Bleeding edge: The "cutting edge" is so passé. Even better is the bleeding edge. "The program Johnson's working on is bleeding edge. The concept is so new even he's not sure what the product will do yet."

Offline: To take something offline is to discuss something in person or on the phone, rather than via e-mail or instant message conversation. This phrase usually crops up when an e-mail trail gets excessively long and/or involves more people than necessary to solve the issue at hand. Also used in meetings: "We'll deal with that offline, when this meeting's over."

Ping: To get someone's attention, ping them via e-mail or IM. "Hey, ping me when you hear back from her about the London conference." Back in the pre-Internet era, "ping" referred to the sound of a submarine's sonar.

Al desko: To save time, I often dine al desko, usually after five minutes of microwaiting. (In other words, I eat at my desk after heating up lunch in the microwave.)

Defrag: It used to mean rearranging data files on a hard disk, but defrag can also mean "to relax." After a rough day of officing, you may want to defrag in front of the TV.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

5 Items to NEVER Put in Your Resume

5 Items to NEVER Put in Your Resume

We've all read articles about what to put in your resume, but not about things you should NEVER put in your resume. So, double check that resume of yours and remove any of the following from our list of 5 items to NEVER include in your resume. While many of these item may be harmless in reality, if they are posted to the Internet and fall into the wrong hands they could be devastating to your life!

1. NEVER PUT YOUR REFERENCES IN YOUR RESUME. Instead, try something like "Professional References Available Upon Request." References are very valuable to you during your job search, and you don't want an HR dept calling them even before they have called you!!

2. NEVER SHOULD YOUR RESUME CONTAIN A PERSONAL INFORMATION OR A PHOTOGRAPH. The Internet and e-mailed resumes makes it very easy to now include your picture with your resume. DON'T!! Companies legally cannot consider your picture in determining if you are to be interviewed, or hired. This would be a violation of most EOE laws. Many companies won't even consider resumes that are submitted with a picture to ensure that they are in compliance with EOE.

3. NEVER PUT YOUR SALARY EXPECTATIONS OR SALARY HISTORY Salary expectations or history - even if you're applying to a job that asks for it, don't list it.

4. CUTESY GIMMICKS - Employers won't take you seriously


While there are more do's and dont's about resume writing, these few tips should provide some guidelines for making your resume posting online experience safer and more productive.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Are Online Degrees Real?

Drive by any major city and you might see a University Of Phoenix sign. I have always wondered about online degrees. I almost took one, a few years ago but afterward opted to take the class in the local community college. It was a web/html class...quite a few years ago.

But I am looking forward to taking an online class in the future.
OK here is her article.

by Jennifer Mulrean really

Jennifer Mulrean is a writer on MSN Money. She has written articles for the Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, and In Style magazine.

Every day, students around the world are booting up, logging on, and signing in to their virtual classrooms.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there were an estimated 2.9 million students enrolled in U.S. college-level, credit-granting distance education classes during the 2000-2001 school year. And a full 90 percent of the schools with distance-education offerings primarily delivered them through the Internet.

It's easy to see why. Online learning removes geographic limitations, as well as scheduling conflicts such as family or work commitments, that can make attending a brick-and-mortar school difficult or downright impossible. But for many prospective students, questions still linger: How does it work? Will I be lonely? Do I have to be a computer geek? And the biggest doozie of them all: Are online degrees real?

Avoiding degrees-r-usThe short answer, of course, is yes. There are plenty of legitimate online programs that offer everything from undergraduate degrees in engineering to MBAs and Ph.Ds. But the perception of legitimacy is challenged by a number of things, not the least of which are spam offers for fake university degrees. These are from so-called "diploma mills," which churn out as many degrees as they have paying customers--not students. Among the other challenges: the relative newness of the medium and a lack of knowledge about what online learning really entails.

"One thing we had to overcome was that in the minds of a lot of people, it was kind of equivalent to correspondence courses that put content on the Web, but students were pretty much doing it alone," says Brian Mueller, CEO of University of Phoenix Online. The perception, he says, "was that it was a lonely, isolated, content-driven experience."

To combat this, the University of Phoenix and other accredited online schools have modeled their online programs to have small, instructor-led groups with participation requirements and a great deal of interaction between students, and between students and teachers. At University of Phoenix Online, participation in class discussions is required five out of seven days.

"We provide a great deal of interaction with other students, a great deal of access to faculty, and a great deal of access to resources, such as our online library," Mueller says. "Any resistance that's still out there is dissipated when those three aspects are delivered."

And it seems to work: According to Mueller, about 86,000 students are currently enrolled in the University of Phoenix's online program. What's more, employers pay at least part of the tuition for some 50 to 60 percent of those students.

How to vet online programs

But just like offline schools, not all online programs are created equal. Nor are they all as well-known as the University of Phoenix, which launched its online program way back in 1989. To make sure you're not wasting time, money, and brainpower on a poor-quality or useless degree, you need to do due diligence before you enroll.

Probably the most important thing to look for is accreditation. Besides simply checking that a school is accredited, you also need to verify that the accrediting agency is recognized by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which maintains an easily searchable database of institutions accredited by recognized accrediting organizations.

"The key issue here is that it isn't the delivery system that determines if a program is any good," says Alan Contreras of Oregon's Office of Degree Authorization. He should know. The ODA is in charge of investigating the use of bogus degrees in Oregon.

"Oregon is one of four or five states that has a law that says if you have a degree from an unaccredited institution, it is a crime to use that degree as a credential," says Contreras. While many people know to look for accreditation, Contreras says they don't often check on whether the accreditation itself is legitimate and federally recognized. "You'll see accreditation from the 'Worldwide Association of Great Schools,'" he says. "People don't check beyond that and that's where they get into trouble."

Once you've determined the accreditation, spend some time comparing schools and evaluating their reputations. Call graduate schools and prospective employers to see if they're familiar with the program, and if so, what they think of it. A lack of familiarity with a program doesn't mean it won't be accepted, but they may want to contact the school for more information. You can also post messages in online newsgroups to see if anyone has taken classes in the program.

How to spot a diploma mill

Contreras, of Oregon's Office of Degree Authorization, provided the following tips for spotting and avoiding diploma mills:

1. Avoid schools without federally recognized accreditation.
2. Avoid schools that don't require any coursework in exchange for a degree.
3. Look for the school's contact information. It should include a phone number and a physical address where they can be contacted.
Also, try reaching the school at the posted phone number and address. Can you reach a real person who can answer your questions?

The Better Business Bureau further recommends avoiding schools where you pay on a per-degree basis or you can negotiate your grade point average, and being wary of schools with names that sound similar to legitimate, well-known institutions. Also, you can check the ODA site for a list of schools from which degrees are essentially invalid in Oregon. It's a mix of degree mills and schools that are "hard to classify." The list is by no means complete, but is a good place to get started.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ten easy ways to address stress at work...

  1. Take deep breaths.

  2. Take a walk, escape from your environment.

  3. Say no to what you don't have time for or what isn't interesting.

  4. Leave work early (or at least on time)

  5. Relax your demands on yourself a bit ‚ most of us expect too much of ourselves.

  6. Ask questions and communicate with co-workers about non work things.

  7. Do unpleasant tasks in the morning to get them over with.

  8. Simplify things whenever possible. Look at large, overwhelming projects as a series of steps you complete one at a time.

  9. Let yourself laugh, especially when you feel grumpiest.

  10. Live in the present--don't spend time worrying about how much better things were in the past or what might happen in the future.
Most people who are able to manage stress have perfected the art of living in the "now".

Thursday, January 04, 2007

10 New Year's Resolutions for Entry-Level Workers

This article applies to everyone who wants change. Apart form the norm the tips are realistic and I feel that if you can use even one of these tips it will make a huge difference in your outlook at work.

Enjoy !

by Peter VogtMonsterTRAK Career CoachArticle provided by MonsterTRAK

The dawn of a new year can be depressing if you focus on all the things you could or should have done the last 12 months. But if you look to the future, you can turn things around, especially if you are just starting your post-college career.

How? By making a few career-related New Year's resolutions and committing yourself to achieving them in the next 12 months.

Need some ideas? Feel free to borrow one or more of these:

1. Ask more questions.

I will acknowledge that my college degree, while valuable, hasn't taught me everything I need to know to be successful in the world of work. If I don't understand something, I'll say so--and then ask my more experienced colleagues for guidance. This will earn me my colleagues' admiration by demonstrating my curiosity and willingness to say, "I don't know, but I'm willing to learn."

2. Reach out to colleagues I don't know.

I won't wait for people I don't know to welcome me to the organization--I'll seek them out and introduce myself. This will show self-confidence, approachability, and respect for others, which in turn will help earn my colleagues' respect.

3. Find a mentor.

I'll establish a collaborative relationship with a more seasoned professional in my field who can be a sounding board and support my career development, providing me the benefit of new career wisdom.

4. Document my successes.

I'll create a spot such as a box, folder, or file drawer where I can store proof of my professional activities and achievements, such as brochures I've written, budgets I've developed, or educational plans I've created for clients. This will give me organized evidence of my accomplishments for both future employers and myself.

5. Learn a new job-related skill.

I'll pick a skill area like writing, developing Web sites, or presenting to large groups and work on it by taking a course at a nearby college or university or through a local community education program to build on an existing strength or learn how to better manage a weakness.

6. Volunteer to work on a challenging project.

I'll look for or create a way to push slightly outside my professional comfort zone to gain new skills as well as the experience to help me climb the ladder within my current organization or advance elsewhere.

7. Build expertise in my field.

I'll read industry publications and attend professional conferences when time and money allow, expanding my knowledge base and demonstrating my ongoing commitment to my chosen field.

8. Expand my network.

I'll get involved in at least one professional association to meet people outside my own organization. I'll also set up periodic meetings with fellow professionals in my area to learn about what they do and how. This will help me become better acquainted with more people in my industry and help them get to know me so I can get (and give) career assistance when I need it.

9. Spot solutions as well as problems.

I'll go to my colleagues and superiors not just to air concerns, but also to propose ways to effectively address them. I'll cultivate a reputation as someone who both sees and solves problems.

10. Get a life.

I'll revive a favorite pastime or pursue a new one so my entire identity isn't built around my career. This will give me the type of work/life balance that will make this coming year a great one, both professionally and personally.