Author: padmajag

Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh is a freelance writer and an HR professional with extensive experience in employee relations, talent management and career development. She can also talk endlessly on the merits and demerits of forced distribution and pay for performance. In her free time, she tries to figure out the personality type of people she meets using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. INTJ anyone?

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Shadow Your Way Into a New Job

If you are seriously considering a role or career change, job shadowing your prospective position could get you closest to the actual experience of being on the job. Job shadowing is a technique, not only useful for fresh graduates, but also for experienced employees who are pondering a career move. As the...
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What to Do When You Can’t Meet the Project Deadline

Let’s say your manager has assigned a project to you. You’re already working on a few priorities, but you accept this anyway. Why? Any one of a number of reasons. Maybe you think the project is going to add to your skillsets, or you want your manager to know that you are...
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How to Avoid Miscommunication at Work

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” George Bernard Shaw once said. Miscommunication in the workplace is very common. It’s a big reason for missed project deadlines, postponed meetings, and misunderstood expectations. For example, maybe your boss expected you to be at work today because...
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How to Say No, Even If It Makes You Really Uncomfortable

Why is saying no so hard? Maybe you have the incessant need to please people a la Monica Geller in Friends, or maybe you’re just too scared. Either way, by saying yes to everything, you might be stretching yourself too thin and taking on more than you can actually handle. Even if...
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What to Do When Your Employer Makes a Counteroffer

Your current job is obviously not working out for you. You want something else and that’s just not readily available where you are. Maybe you need more flexibility, a promotion, increased responsibilities … whatever your need, your current company is unable to provide it, and that’s the reason you applied for a...
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5 Tips to Prepare for an Exploratory Interview

It might feel weird to prepare for an interview when you don’t even expect it to lead to a job, but it’s worth your while to do your homework before an exploratory interview, and treat it just as seriously as you would any other job interview. You never know when the situation...
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Work From Home? Here’s How to Keep the Boss on Your Side

Depending on your situation, it could be frustrating or liberating to work with a remote manager. While on the one hand, you don’t have her hovering around your desk and sneaking up on you, on the other hand, you do not have easy access to her whenever you need. You’re also probably...
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Should You Have Friends at Work?

The definition of “office” has changed over the past decade or so, thanks to the rise of telecommuting and virtual offices. Those of us in the non-traditional workplace do not have much 3D interaction with our colleagues. If the way we work and where we work is changing, do we still need...
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How to Set Goals for Your Team

If you’re a manager, you may be spending quite a bit of time right now evaluating goals for your team in the coming year. How do you create goals in alignment with the organization’s priorities, set your team up for success, and most of all, make sure that your goals will be...
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4 Tips to Handle a Bad Performance Review

In an ideal scenario, you go into your year-end review prepared, after 12 months of regularly meeting with your boss and getting her feedback as she observes your behavior on the job. You know what you’re going to get and you’re ready for it. But quite often, this is not the case...
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How to Drop Out During the Job Interview Process

There are a lot of reasons why you might decide not to continue with the interview process, as a candidate: the role is no longer what you thought it would be, you have a huge conflict that’s just come up and you cannot make it to the interview, you have a job...
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What to Do After You’ve Botched a Job Interview

If you’ve ever interviewed for a job, chances are, you’ve probably made some mistakes. It’s what you do afterwards that makes the difference between an embarrassing cautionary tale and a story of triumph. Recovering from serious missteps can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. You need some presence of mind and tact...
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4 Things to Do While You’re Waiting to Hear Back After an Interview

Yes, it is an excruciating experience, waiting to hear back from the company after a job interview. Did you make it? Did you falter? Do they want to move forward with your candidature? It’s a period of thumb-twiddling and nail-biting, but you can do something on your end, instead of just ending...
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How to Be a Real Mentor

If you’ve been approached to mentor someone, you’ve been given an amazing opportunity to guide your mentee’s career, to impart your wisdom, to help them in their aspirations. In addition to being recognized for your achievements, and being valued for your experience, the opportunity to mentor someone relatively new in their career...
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5 Signs You’re in a Toxic Work Environment

Even if you absolutely love your job, there’s always going to be something about it that you wish you could change. That’s the ideal scenario; if you’re lucky, you have an issue or two that you’d like to resolve, but nothing that impacts your job satisfaction as a whole. On the other...
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5 Things to Do When You Drop the Ball at Work

Mistakes are pretty common in all areas of life. The workplace is no exception. The only difference is that the stakes might be higher. Depending on the severity of your goof, your job may be at risk. If you’re fortunate enough to realize your mistake before it causes a major catastrophe and...
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What to Do When You Are Stuck in a Career Rut

There could be several reasons you feel you’re stuck at a dead-end job – your career is not going anywhere, you no longer feel motivated to do your job, you don’t feel this is the field you want to be in, you’ve reached a career ceiling and so on. If you’re struggling...
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8 Signs You’re Getting Burned Out at Work

In the current job market, workers are asked to do more with less, do several jobs at once, and burn the midnight oil more often. That’s what high performers do, right? The problem is that if you’re asked to give a little extra all the time, sooner or later, you’re going to...
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6 Tips to Climb the Corporate Ladder

Want to be the boss someday? In addition to gaining experience and building skill sets, you’ll need to take on new responsibilities and rise to the level of your next job. While ambition is key, there is more to proving that you are ready for the next level, if you want to...
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5 Signs Your Career Has Reached a Standstill

You drag your feet on the way to work. You’re doing the same old job you did an eternity ago. You just don’t know where it’s all headed. If you feel unappreciated or are not challenged enough, you may be stuck at a dead end, careerwise. Here are a few signs that...
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How to Manage a Manager’s Transition

Just when you’ve built a healthy rapport with your manager, shared your career aspirations, and are confident that your progress will be taken care of, your manager quits, is reassigned, or is transferred. You now have to reinvest your time and energy in building another new relationship. Don’t panic: there are a...
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When Your Workload Shrinks, Don’t Panic

You’ve been doing a two-person job. You’re stretched too thin and you constantly find yourself answering an increasing number of queries, working on multiple projects, and giving advice on almost everything. Then, the company hires someone to take some of your workload. Now that there’s a new person to take some stuff...
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When Your Boss Just Won’t Listen

It is very frustrating when you talk to your boss and he or she won’t listen. Your repeated attempts at getting your thoughts across fall on deaf years and you don’t feel respected or valued. If this is a problem you face at work, then you might need to change your approach...
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Too Many Meetings? Here’s What to Do

Frequently find yourself moving from one conference room to another as you navigate a schedule jam-packed with meetings? If your company seems to allocate a lot of time for talking about what needs to be done and not enough time for doing the actual work, it’s probably because that’s what’s actually going...
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7 Tips to Land Your Dream Job, On the Job

You’ve heard the old saying: “Choose a job that you love, and you never have to work a day in your life.” While it does seem ideal, not everybody gets to do what they really love as a job, especially at first. You might need to move into the perfect role by...
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7 Common Interviewing Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

The purpose of interviewing is pretty straightforward: the company wants to see if you’re a good fit for the job, and you want to see if you’ll be happy and productive at the company. But, the interview process is often overwhelming and stressful for many candidates. All that pressure can lead to...
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5 Things You Should Know About Part-Time Work

Part-time jobs are more prevalent now than ever before. Whether you want to manage work and personal priorities, do two different jobs that cater to your varying interests, or there’s no other option but to cut down hours, make sure you know what you’re getting into when going this route. (Photo Credit: Alan...
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How to Tell If That Certification Will Get You Hired

Two people with similar qualifications apply for the same job. Either, both, or neither may get shortlisted. Now, add a professional certification to the mix. There’s a chance that the hiring manager might review more closely the resume of the person with the additional certification. But will it get you the job?...
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How to Get the Job, When You’re Underqualified

When companies put up job descriptions for open positions, they are essentially trying to do two things: 1) get applicants excited about their company, and 2) get the right candidates to apply for the role. The idea is to communicate clearly the role, responsibilities, and expectations from the position. But, quite often,...
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What to Do When You Are Awful at Phone Interviews

If your resume is shortlisted and your recruiter is calling or emailing you to set up a phone interview, you may have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s exciting to hear from someone in the company you are interested in, while on the other hand, phone interviews are often not the...
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How to Influence Without Authority

Ever had to get people to contribute to a project, even though you’re not actually their manager? Tough job, isn’t it? Managing people without being in a position of power over them can be a daunting task, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. But there are ways you can get...
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How To Tell If People Management IS For You

Just because you are doing exceptionally in your current job doesn’t mean you are ready to take on a managerial position. It also does not mean that your career path is only in the individual contributor career track. You won’t really know if you are a good people manager, unless you really...
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How to Network Your Way to a New Job

If you are a job seeker, it pays to look for more than one route to land your job. If you’re lucky and if you’re a perfect match, applying online directly may be the only thing you ever need to do. On the other hand, if you’re stretching to a new role...
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How to Tell If Managing People Just Isn’t for You

You may be an exceptional individual contributor, able to turn around projects in one swift motion, or a subject matter expert, better versed in your area of expertise than anyone else in your office, but neither of those sterling qualities necessarily means you’re cut out to manage people. (Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr) Not...
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When You Are the Minority at Work

It’s the first day of work and you’re meeting with your new team; while it doesn’t immediately strike you at first, you realize soon enough that perhaps you are the only person of color, the only man, the only woman, or the only person of a different faith in the room. It’s...
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About FMLA

The purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to help employees balance work and personal or medical needs. It was passed in 1993 during the Clinton administration as a way to protect the jobs of workers who needed to take time off to care for themselves or family members,...
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6 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Startup

Working at a startup is often quite an attractive proposition – the coolness factor, the chance to work on new projects with new people, the rush and all the excitement that comes with it. But before you take the plunge, make sure you have the answers to these questions at the very...
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7 Reasons Why You Should Work at a Startup

Let me start by saying that working in a startup is a high-risk, high-reward game and not everyone can make that switch. If you click with the employer, the rewards are huge, but if you don’t, well … hopefully you’ve gained something from the experience. If you are willing to take a...
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How to Return to Your Old Employer

You’re casually or seriously browsing through open positions matching your skillsets on job sites and suddenly your previous employer pops up on the screen. Or, maybe someone sent you the opening and you’re really interested in the role. If you want to explore the opportunity but are hesitant about the next steps,...
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Unemployed? Blame Your (Lack of) Social Media Presence

If you’ve been extra cautious about your online presence to the extent of not having any, you may actually be hurting your chances of landing a job. Employers are increasingly resorting to social media to check out a candidate’s profile and see if they are a fit for their organization. (Photo Credit:...
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Overloaded With Meetings? Here’s What to Do

Like it or not, meetings are a part of working life. Meetings are where decisions are made, projects are allocated, announcements are shared, etc. But that’s what an ideal meeting looks like – there’s action, and something moves forward. The reality is that not all meetings are really that productive. Some meetings...
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Salary Factors: Here’s How Your Employer Decides How Much You Get Paid

What goes into determining how much money you make? In most organizations, salaries are determined by mapping roles and job descriptions with similar organizations (competitors) through a third-party compensation and benchmarking service. A typical job is broken down into its responsibilities, criticality, complexity, and market availability to name a few crucial factors....
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How to Get the Job When You’re ‘Overqualified’

One of the reasons that many qualified candidates do not hear back – or do not get shortlisted in the first place – is because they are overqualified. Why would you consider a job that’s beneath your level? The reasons vary. Maybe you took a break and are now looking at reentering...
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your 401(k)

In the United States, 401(k) is a retirement savings plan provided by the employer. The plan provides employees with the option to defer a percentage of pay toward their retirement account, to be withdrawn at a later time. Retirement plans like these can be a major perk, especially if the company matches...
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FMLA: What You Need to Know

The main purpose of FMLA or the Family and Medical Leave Act is to help employees balance work and personal/familial needs. By way of the FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks leave in any 12-month period for personal or an immediate family member’s medical exigencies, expansion of family, or for...
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11 Questions You Should Not Ask at Interviews

Toward the close of the interview, your interviewer might give you an opening to ask any questions you may have. This is a great opportunity to sound intelligent, prepared, and excited about the role. This is a good chance to impress the interviewer with your homework and understanding of the role and...
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10 Tips to Help You Succeed as a New Manager

Maybe you’ve been a great individual contributor, and your stellar performance has made management realize your potential and promote you. Or, you just cracked the interview so well, your new employer was willing to take the risk of hiring you as a manager, even though you’ve not had any people management experience....
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How to Make Friends at Work, When You Are a Newbie

If you are new to your company, in addition to understanding your role, responsibilities, and company culture, you also need to make an effort to get to know your colleagues and make friends. Since you spend most of your waking hours at work, it makes sense to form a healthy bond with...
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Looking for a Higher Starting Salary? Don’t Fall For These Employer Tricks

If you are in the offer negotiation stage, beware. While you want a higher starting salary, your employer wants to get you in at as low a salary as possible. Stay on your guard and watch for these tactics when it’s time to talk numbers. (Photo Credit: borman818/Flickr) 1. Making you feel...
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7 Businesses You Can Start With $100 or Less

Want to work for yourself? Good news. Starting your own business might be easier than you think. Even better news: you can start your business with a very small investment. Here’s a list of ideas that can get your entrepreneurial juices flowing. (Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr) 1. Consultant If you are a...
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Credit Reports and Employment: What You Should Know

Given the rules of your state, your future employer may or may not be able to check your credit report and decide on your candidature accordingly. While experts agree that a bad credit report does not indicate a bad job performance, the practice is still followed by employers much the same way...
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If You Lost Your Job Tomorrow, Would You Be Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

Employees who’ve lost their job through no fault of their own — i.e., were not fired by their employers for misconduct or poor performance, but were laid off — are generally eligible for unemployment benefits. By way of this program, employees are able to receive a portion of their wages, when they...
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10 Signs You Are About to Be Fired

Something’s just not right and you can sense it. Perhaps there’s been a recent acquisition, or your manager keeps talking to HR. Almost everything you say is now documented. If you notice some or all of the following signs, stay on your guard. You may be shown the door soon. (Photo Credit:...
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What to Do When You Find Out That You Are Wildly Underpaid

Through a casual discussion with your colleagues, you suddenly realize that you are making significantly less money than co-workers with the same experience and job title. Or, a clerical error occurs, and you see something you shouldn’t: the new team you are assigned to train going to be making nearly as much...
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8 Reasons Why Volunteering Is Good for You (and Your Career)

Whether you are in-between jobs or looking to change your line of work, volunteering can be a good proposition to keep yourself engaged and busy. If you are considering entering the non-profit sector, what better way to break in than volunteering? (Especially if you didn’t get the interview call, in spite of...
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9 Things to Consider Before Making an Employee Referral

If you work for a well-known company or in a coveted field, you may have already received requests from friends, relatives, acquaintances, and LinkedIn contacts to forward their resumes for a suitable role in your organization. This could put you in a bind if you’re dealing with a good friend who would...
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9 Job Fair Tips to Get You Hired

Job fairs don’t end in offers, but they do help candidates get a foot in the door of their targeted organization. Depending on your experience level, a job fair maybe a good place to meet prospective employers, connect with HR personnel, and expand your network. (Photo Credit: Lee J. Haywood/Flickr) Here are...
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8 Tips to Prepare for a Panel Interview

The recruiter sounds very excited on the phone: “I’ve scheduled you for a panel interview with our managers next Tuesday a.m. I look forward to meeting with you. Do you have any questions for me?” You hear “panel interview” and you freeze. Handling one interviewer at a time is a task, so...
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How Being Funny Can Help You Get (or Lose) the Job

Humor has the potential to ease social situations when used in the right context and in the right spirit, and where do we need that more than in the office? Workplace humor can be tricky, however. While it can help alleviate stress, increase bonhomie, and make you a sought-after colleague, it can...
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The Case for Taking a Real Lunch Break

In a work-obsessed culture, it can seem important to get the job done, and done quickly, even if it that often means putting deadlines ahead of health and happiness. If there’s any free time, a concept that might seem strange to many working professionals, it’s spent in assessing possible project areas to...
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How to Get a New Job, Without Changing Companies

If you are looking for a change, it is often possible to look for a job within your company. A cross-functional exposure that enhances your skill-set, or even a move to a different team that performs the same job as you, could help your career. An internal transfer offers you the opportunity...
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8 Networking Tips for Introverts

Socializing with new people for extended periods of time can often be draining to introverts. They are most energized by working on their own, or in small groups, with people they know and are comfortable with. It’s not to say that introverts are not successful in a business setting where there is...
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How to Work With a Spineless Manager

Does your manager avoid tough discussions, put her own boss or clients first, or overload the least resistant employee with a ton of work? She may be spineless, to say the least. Such a boss will often try to sneak out of situations as quickly as possible without hurting her chance with...
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6 Reasons Why You Should Continue Your Job Search in December

If you think that December is a month to slack on your job search, you may be seriously mistaken. Don’t lose out on what can be a great month to land an offer. Here, we give you six reasons to focus on your job hunt even while the year comes to an...
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7 Tips to Take a Guilt-free Vacation From Work

Do you feel obligated to reply to emails during your holiday, because if you don’t, things will fall through the cracks? Given the global nature of business, there’s no one time when all employees around the world are out on vacation. You may not be able to completely unplug, but that doesn’t...
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Should You Get Your Boss a Holiday Present?

It is the season of spreading joy and merriment around, a.k.a the season of gift giving (and hopefully receiving). You are planning on buying a gift expressing your gratitude to your wonderful manager. It has after all been, one rocking year. So what can you get to the most amazing boss ever?...
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8 Things to Do When Your Peer Becomes Your Manager

You may have worked on the same team together as peers, been classmates in school, and come up for promotion at the same time. But only one of you made the cut this time, and it was not you who was promoted. Now your peer is your manager, and as much as...
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7 Tips to Deal With a Boss Who Yells

Although they are diminishing in number, there still are managers whose first reaction to stressful situations is to yell. Sometimes, it’s the people you’d least expect: something about pressure brings out the worst in them, and they react by chewing everyone out. Of course, the reasons why won’t make much of a...
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5 Ways HR Can Make Your Life Better

Many workers spend the bulk of their career trying to avoid dealing with human resources, seeing it as a combination principal’s office/courtroom. That’s too bad, because there’s a lot that HR can do to better your career, provided that you know how to use this function correctly. (Photo Credit: vuhung/Flickr) First things...
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Here’s How to Say No to More Projects

You're juggling multiple projects, all on a tight deadline, and are just about managing it. Just as you find a minute to take a break and do your anti-carpal tunnel syndrome stretching, your manager comes over with another super-important project with a very close deadline. You want to refuse but aren't sure...
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How to Deal With an Extremely Competitive Colleague

If your co-worker does not let you in on relevant information that she “meant to” share with you, takes credit for your work, does not give you the complete picture of projects, keeps all her cards close to her chest, spends a lot of time in the manager’s office, and bags projects...
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Why You Should Never Lie During the Job Interview Process

Whatever you do, don’t blatantly lie — not on your resume, not in the interview. There are only two outcomes to lying for a job: you get caught and you don’t get caught. Either way, the impact of your lie can be long-lasting. It can surface at any point, during an investigation,...
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7 Resume Tips for Older Job Seekers

Age may be a state of mind, but in many industries it could be the reason you’re not getting the call for an interview. Discrimination based on age is illegal, but sadly, it exists. In many cases, it is factored in even at the resume shortlisting phase. Sometimes, years of experience don’t...
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Here Are the 6 Most Important Parts of Your Resume

Recruiters spend about six seconds scanning through each resume they receive. Of course, this is assuming that your resume has the right keywords and has passed the test of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), if the company you are applying to has one. So once the recruiter gets your resume, what is...
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Don’t Panic If Your HRBP Wants to Meet With You

HR business partners (HRBP) combine several domains of HR, including recruitment, performance management, and compensation planning. They are also involved in evaluating employee engagement and creating smooth conflict-resolution channels. If you get a call from your HRBP, it’s natural then to fear that they’re contacting you in their conflict-resolution capacity. Before you...
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9 Tips to Manage your Body Language at Interviews

Whether you’re going to your first job interview, you’re out of practice, or you’re generally nervous about interviews, make sure your body language doesn’t give away your fear and apprehension. Stay aware of these general body language tips that can help you through your interview process. (Photo Credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net) 1. Take control...
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How to Decline a Request for Recommendation

How do you handle a recommendation or reference request from a person you are not comfortable recommending? While you do not want to jeopardize the chances of the person on the job market, you also don’t want to endorse them when you are not sure of their credentials or qualifications. So what...
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How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You an Interview

Cover letters, although stressful and time-consuming to write, help the candidates tremendously when they are trying to distinguish themselves from the other applicants. If you want to draw the attention of hiring managers to your unique qualifications or even explain something that’s just not possible through the resume, a good cover letter...
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Do You Really Need a Cover Letter?

For many job seekers, the worst part of the job application process is creating a cover letter. In this age of LinkedIn and online applications, it might seem like this part of the traditional procedure is out-of-date and unnecessary. So do you have to write a cover letter? The answer, as expected...
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What to Do When You Are Being Investigated at Work

Your manager wants to meet with you and has set up a time with your local HR contact. There’s been a complaint against you about some action or behavior that violates company policies. Whether or not you’re guilty, your employer is required to conduct an investigation, and you may or may not...
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7 Ways to Survive Working for a Micromanaging Boss

Working for a micromanager is frustrating and stressful, and can make it hard to get anything done. The first step toward improving the situation is understanding why your manager acts the way he does. From there, you can learn how to adjust your own behaviors in order to take back your time...
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Are You Being Bullied at Work? Here’s What to Do

If you're having trouble motivating to go to work in the morning, you might hate your job -- or you might be the victim of workplace bullying. Anyone can be a bully at work, whether it's a boss or a co-worker or a client. If you're a target, it's important to recognize...
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Non-Compete Agreements: What You Need to Know

You’re excited about your new offer. It’s with a good company and in your field of interest. You just need to sign a few documents here, a few contract forms there, and you’re ready for a new beginning. But there’s this one other document, a non-compete agreement, which you stumble upon just...
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8 Ways to Make Your Next Review the Best One Ever

Most companies have a rigorous annual performance review and a softer half-yearly check-in, just to see how things are going. You, as an employee, have a lot riding on the performance management process of your company. That number or letter you get at the end of the year decides your raise or...
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8 Lesser Known Negotiation Tricks

When you are negotiating your salary for a new job, don’t just focus on base pay. Look for these additional factors that could impact your take-home salary and savings. (Photo Credit: borman818/Flickr) 1. Sign-on bonus: Depending on your level and the company’s practices, you could be able to negotiate on a sign-on bonus....
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What Can Managers Do to Address Workplace Bullying?

According to a 2011 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 51 percent of organizations surveyed reported that there had been incidents of bullying in their workplace. In addition to creating a hostile work environment, bullying affects both victims and witnesses, contributing to continued absences, poor health, self-esteem issues, stress, trauma,...
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5 Tips for Handling Office Romance

Spending most of the day at work could lead to relationships beyond the professional kind. CareerBuilder’s annual survey on office romance found nearly two in five (38 percent) US workers have dated someone who worked for the same company, and 16 percent said they have done so more than once. Of those...
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7 Tips to Help You Get That Raise

While some may advise leaving salary up to karma, we think that salary should reflect performance, skills, experience, and your company’s compensation philosophy. Whether you’re a man or woman, it is important to understand your worth and consider factors that influence your magic number, before you make your case for a salary...
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Should You Resign, If Asked?

The majority of states in the U.S. follow the doctrine of “at-will employment,” which means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without incurring legal liability. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time...
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How to Connect With Recruiters on LinkedIn

Whether you’re looking for a job or just want to keep your options open, connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn can help maximize your networking opportunities. Here’s how to approach recruiters to improve your chances of landing your dream job, today or down the road. (Photo Credit: A Name Like Shields…/Flickr) How to...
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7 Things You Should Know About Recruiters

You’ve received a call from a recruiter and the conversation was rather pleasant. You feel the two of you have hit it off and that you now have a potential ally in your job search. But it’s now more than a week, and you haven’t heard back from the recruiter and there’s...
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Didn’t Get That Much-Anticipated Promotion? Here’s What You Should Do Next

You’ve worked long and hard this performance cycle for a promotion. You know you’re going to make it; it’s almost there. You walk in to your performance review looking forward to the discussion, only to be disappointed. Your manager only shares your performance feedback and maybe the increment letter. What happened to...
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What to Do When You Cry at Work

Everyone has a breaking point. A heated argument could push you to the point of tears, from frustration, anger, or helplessness. There could be some personal problem that’s on your mind and it’s just building up to roll off your eyes. The point is, you can hold it all together for just...
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10 Signs You Are Interviewing With a Bad Boss

When you’re interviewing with your future manager, he is assessing you for a fit in the organization and his team. This is also the time for you to get to meet with him and assess if he’s a good boss to work with – for you. (Photo Credit: betsystreeter/Flickr) Here are a...
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Hate Your New Job? Here’s What to Do Next

A few weeks into your new job and you’re already dragging your feet on the way to work. You just can’t come to terms with working at this organization and have a sinking feeling whenever you think of a work day. Is It OK to just quit, or do you have to...
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How to Save a Terrible Job Interview

You’ve done all the prep work for your job interview: rehearsed, brainstormed questions and prepared your answers, planned your itinerary in order to be on time, and gathered your portfolio in case the interviewer asks to see it. By your own high standards, you think you are ready to ace it, but...
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How Should You Choose Your Job References?

Most employers will ask for references, in order to establish that you’re as good as you say you are, and to get a better idea of what you’re like to work with. Here’s how to choose references that put you in the best light and get you hired. (Photo Credit: Stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net) Unless...
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5 Things You Should Know About the Reference-Check Process

Most organizations check the references of a candidate applying for a job, before deciding to move ahead or drop his/her candidature. References essentially serve as endorsements of a candidate’s credentials, work style, and professional conduct. The company wants to make sure they are making the right investment on the right candidate. (Photo...
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How to Bomb Your Job Interview Without Even Saying a Word

When you’re preparing for a job interview, you probably spend the bulk of your time rehearsing answers to common interview questions, or researching the company. These are worthwhile ways to spend your time, but don’t forget that when it comes to impressing a hiring manager, it’s not just what you say: it’s...
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7 Tips to Help You in Your Secret Job Search

Looking for a new job when you already have a job, though common, is a risky proposition. It’s not a comfortable place to be in, especially if your current employer gets a whiff of your intentions. So how can you continue looking for a job without emitting any job-search scent? (Photo Credit:...
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8 Things New Hires Should Do in the First Few Weeks

You might assume that the first few days and weeks at a new job are pretty much a loss, in terms of productivity. Other than filling out paperwork, attending whatever training your organization provides, and meeting your co-workers, there’s not much you can do to hit the ground running, right? Not necessarily....
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8 Tips to Network in Your New Job

Think networking is just for getting a job? Think again. If you are new on the job, it helps a great deal to network and get to know your new co-workers. Effective internal networking not only helps establish strong professional (and sometimes personal) connections, but it also helps your career in the...
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6 Ways You Can Blow the Job Interview Even Before You Meet Your Interviewer

You’ve received the call for an on-site interview and you are all excited about meeting and impressing the interviewers. But the way you behave outside the interview room also makes a big difference to your candidature and can easily impact the hiring decision. Here’s how to make sure you’re not giving the...
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9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume in 5 Minutes

In a time crunch and want to get your CV out the door? Assuming that you’ve been updating your resume with relevant experience as you acquire it, these quick tips will help you spruce up your resume in a hurry. (Photo Credit: flazingo_photos/Flickr) 1. Get rid of the Career Objective: If you’re...
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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say, ‘I Quit!’

You desperately want to move out of your current job, but you don’t have a strong enough reason to justify it. You just very strongly feel it’s time to use your “I Quit” card. Before you take the plunge, hold onto that card just a while longer, as we help you through...
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5 Tips to Ace the Phone Screening Call

You’ve applied for a job and you’re eagerly waiting for the next steps. If your qualifications are in line with the job description and your resume makes the cut, chances are you will get that screening call. But are you prepared to make the most of it? Here’s how to tackle that...
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How to Return to Work After a Long Leave

Returning from a long leave could often be overwhelming, both to the employee and the manager. While the employee is anxious about getting back to work, getting up to speed, and readjusting to working life, it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that the transition is smooth and productive for both the...
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What You Need to Know Before You Take a Long Leave From Work

Going on a long leave is seldom easy. Whatever the reason for leave, it is the joint responsibility of the manager and the employee to figure out a suitable solution to their mutual situation. Here are a few pointers to help the employee and the manager find a good middle ground.  ...
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Interviewing for a Job? 4 Tips to Ensure That You Are Not Leaving Money on the Table

At some point during your interview process, either at the initial screening or during the offer phase, you can expect to hear this question: “What are your salary expectations?” How you handle this question will decide what you earn, perhaps for years to come. (Photo Credit: Stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net) Here are a few points to...
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Before You Take Your Career Break

A career break could range from a few months to a few years. In a previous post, we discussed the reasons that could lead to taking time off from your career track. In this post, we discuss a few factors to consider before taking the plunge. 1. Be sure of your “why”:...
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Is a Career Break Right for You?

“Career break,” or “career gap” — these words almost always elicit strong reactions among working professionals, whether they’re considering the option or not. The idea of taking time out from your career is either emotionally liberating or terrifying, but hardly ever anything in between. There are a number of factors that you...
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6 Things Your Recruiter Expects From You, Even Before the First Contact

The next step after applying for a job is to wait for the phone call from HR, letting you know that you’ve been selected for the first round of screening. The recruiter at the end of the line knows that you are interested in the job. But are you really prepared for...
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Is the Organization’s Culture the Right Fit for You?

Before accepting a job offer, we often spend a lot of time learning about the organization’s structure, compensation and benefits plan, job responsibilities, and so on. But a very important — yet often overlooked — aspect of working for a company is the organizational culture. Would you be able to thrive in...
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3 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Including Career Objectives In Your Resume

Starting a resume with a career objective seems like a good idea. Why not portray yourself as a driven person who is passionate about the job and has a long-term vision, right? The problem is that objectives only work if someone actually pauses to read them. Given the limited amount of time...
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6 Tips to Land that Job Interview Even When You’re Not Seriously Looking

You don’t need to look for a job in order to get one. In today’s job market, many workers are passively job searching all the time. But in order to maximize your chances of landing an unexpected interview with the employer of your dreams, you need to be prepared. (Photo Credit: officialgdc/Flickr) 1....
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How to Negotiate a Job Offer

You’ve successfully managed the interview process, and now the employer of your dreams has extended an invitation to join the company. Now comes the tricky part: negotiating the job offer. If the very thought gives you sweaty palms, fear not: a little preparation ahead of time will give you a better chance...
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Stay in Control of Your Exit Interview

You’ve had a horrible boss, crazy colleagues, and an extremely stressful job, but you’ve finally been able to break free and now have an offer from a new company. You can’t wait to start at your new job. In most organizations, you will be scheduled for one last meeting with HR —...
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7 Tips That Take You Closer to Your Promotion

You’ve been in your current role for at least two years and you know you’re ready for the next level. You need that promotion, and now, but your boss hasn’t spoken about it yet and you don’t know how to broach the topic without sounding too demanding. Here’s what to do. (Photo...
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What If the Boss Wants Me to Do Something That’s Against My Beliefs?

Life and work would be so much simpler if everything was in black or white. Unfortunately, we deal predominantly in shades of gray. So how do you handle work situations with a boss who tests your limits and breaches your belief system? If only choosing your own boss was an option! (Photo...
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7 Things You Need to Do to Land a Contract Job

Moving from a permanent job to a contract-based job could be both daunting and liberating. While you would no longer be covered by company-sponsored insurance or a benefits plan, you may have more control over your schedule and might even make more money. But where do you begin? (Photo Credit: Stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net) Here...
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5 Tips to Make Your Resume Look Good

When it comes to writing a resume, appearances are everything. You can have years of experience, in-demand skills, and be a perfect fit for the job, but if you can’t show the hiring manager that you’re the candidate her company needs, you won’t get that all-important first call. Here’s what you need...
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Making the 6 Seconds the Recruiter Spends on Your Resume Count

According to a study released by The Ladders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. So what are they actually looking for, and what will get your CV through that six-second window? (Photo Credit: William Warby/Flickr) The Ladders conducted an “eye tracking” study on...
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3 Job Search Trends (and How They’ll Affect You)

The job search market is changing and fast. Social media has changed the recruitment landscape, creating a bigger and broader platform on which employers and prospective employees can connect and get to know each other. How do you catch up and stay ahead of the game? (Photo Credit: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/freedigitalphotos.net) “Employers have ever...
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8 Post-Interview Faux Pas to Avoid

You’ve just given your interview and the suspense is killing you. Will they, or won’t they — and what should you do while you’re waiting to hear back? Whatever you do, avoid these eight post-interview mistakes that could affect your candidacy. (Photo Credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net) You don’t send a thank-you note: Honestly, this...
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How to Choose the Right Job, When You’re an Introvert

Being an introvert does not mean being socially reclusive. It does not necessarily mean that you are shy, a loner, afraid of social interaction, or that you have bouts of social anxiety. According to Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types, extroversion and introversion are related to how a person derives energy. According...
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When Should You Think About Changing Your Career?

Your last week on the job has been completely frustrating. Nothing seems to be good enough for the boss. Maybe this is not the career you want to be in; maybe you’d be happier doing something else. Maybe you should get back to painting, or doing theater, something you were passionate about...
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7 Mistakes on Social Media That Could Be Hurting Your Job Search

More employers are checking out the social media profiles of applicants to weed out undesirable candidates. So while you may be proud of your 500+ Facebook friends or your 1000+ followers on Twitter, make sure your awesome virtual social life is not killing your career.   Photo Credit: petesimon/Flickr A nationwide survey,...
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10 Lies Interviewers Might Tell You

You are interviewing for a position and you’re getting a pretty good feeling. The interviewer says, “It was great meeting with you, but we do have a few formalities to go through, before we can make an offer.” So does that mean that you’re going to hear the “good news” soon, or...
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Should You Go Back to School?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 4 million adults who are 35 and older are enrolled in a degree-granting institution. Workers return to school for several reasons: to get a new credential will make them more “marketable,” to help them land a higher-paid position, or just to hold onto...
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The Trickiest Part of the Interview: ‘So, Do You Have Any Questions for Us?’

You’re at the last leg of your interview. You’ve answered all of their questions, because you’ve done your homework, and you’re confident you’ll hear back. Just as you prepare yourself for the inevitable handshake from the interviewer suggesting the end of the conversation, you are faced with a reverse question: “Do you...
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8 Mistakes That Will Get Your Resume Tossed Out and Your Candidacy Terminated

According to a study released by The Ladders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. Six seconds! And how many seconds did it take for you to make your resume? We’ll let you take a deep breath. (Photo Credit: winnond/freedigitalphotos.net) Now, here are some...
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When Can I Go to HR?

Many employees dread going to Human Resources, seeing it either as an extension of their boss’s authority or as a cost-center that takes away healthy productive time from employees for conducting training or surveys. As a result, a lot of employees are unclear on when and why they should reach out to...
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Illegal Job Interview Questions: What Can’t They Ask Me?

Congratulations on the interview call. You’re almost there. But before you sit across the table or pick the phone to talk to your potential employer, learn to recognize questions that could be illegal.   (Photo Credit: Mike Licht/Flickr) Federal and state laws prohibit prospective employers from asking questions around any of the...