11 Jun 2013
in Employees, Job Seekers
Tags: annual pay, asking for a raise, background checks, benefits, bonus, bonuses, business strategy, career, career advancement, compensation, compensation packages, corporate strategy, day-to-day management, Decision-making, development, employees, Ethics, goal setting, high productivity, Hiring, Hiring top talent, hourly wage, HR, incentive, incentives, Interview process, interviewing, Job hunting, leadership, leadership advice, leadership skills, leading organizations, living wage, making money, Making the right hire, Mentoring, Money, negotiating, negotiating your salary, Negotiation, pay by the hour, pay increase, pay raise, paychecks, people performance, Personal Development, personal value, planning, project management, Promoted to Manager, promotion, Reference checks, responsibility, salary, salary negotiations, screening process, Skill evaluation, strategic planning, strategy, Successful in Management, team builders, team-building, Transitions, wage increase, Winning
A reader writes…
I was fortunate enough to land an interview at a manufacturing plant close to where I live. I am very excited about the possible opportunity to gain employment with this company and want to leave them with a lasting impression. What can I do post-interview to continue to spark their interest?
Dear, Eager to Please:
Congratulations on your interview. Getting your foot in the door and meeting face-to-face with the hiring manager is a huge leap toward gaining employment. Now that you have aced the interview, it is time to seal the deal with a little something extra: a great “thank you” note.
Thank you notes are a great way to show how much you value the interviewer’s time and appreciate their interest in you. It also lets them know that you are serious about wanting to be their next stellar employee. In my personal opinion, thank you notes are a requirement after every interview. Follow these simple steps, and take five minutes out of your day to help land the job you desire!
- Ask for a business card from the hiring manager before you leave the interview. You should always do this at the end of the interview to make sure you have the correct contact information and address.
- Select a professional stationery or card on which to write your “thank you” message. Avoid unprofessional imagery or loudly designed cards. Some hiring managers may prefer email communication. In this instance, it may be appropriate to send an email. If you are unsure on which method is best, do both. Send an email and mail a hand-written letter.
- Address the interviewer using Mr., Mrs., or Ms. For example, if you are interviewed by John Employer you would write Mr. Employer. It is best to be too formal than too familiar.
- If you are sending a card, address the envelope and write the card by hand. This makes the card more personal and shows that you took extra time to write it just for them (not mass-produced).
- Choose a message that resonates with the hiring manager and include some information from your interview. Below are two examples that you can use as a guide.
- Dear, Mr. Employer: Thank you for taking the time to discuss the (Job Title) opportunity with me on (Date). I believe my previous experience and skill set make me an excellent candidate to join your team, especially since you mentioned that (Issue) was a challenge you wanted to tackle. It was truly a pleasure to meet with you, and I look forward to hearing from you. Best regards,
- Dear, Mr. Employer: Thank you for meeting with me to discuss the (Job Title) opportunity at (Company Name). Your insights and additional information about (Job Responsibilities) were very helpful and helped solidify my belief that I am the perfect candidate for the position. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and thank you again for this opportunity. Sincerely,
- Send the thank you card as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the interview. You can either send the card in the mail or hand-deliver it to the reception desk where you interviewed.
To bring these tips together, take a few moments to view this video:
This small acknowledgement will take you very far in the interview process. It will help the hiring manager remember you and serve as a reminder to your professionalism.
Readers: What have you done in the past to make an impression on a potential employer?
Best of luck,
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
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22 Jan 2013
in Employees, Job Seekers, Managers / Supervisors
Tags: alone time, anti depressant, body language, demeanor, employee advice, employees, employer advice, employment, employment advice, energetic, Find your strengths, goal setting, happiness, happy, Happy at work, Have a great day, Health, How to be happy, HR advice, human resources, job seekers, jobs, management, managers, Mental Health, mental health and productivity in the workplace, mental health at work", mental health in the workplace, mental health problems affecting work, mental health problems in the workplace, Personal time, personal well-being, positive attitude, positive environment, positive results, positivity, Productivity, psychological health, selfesteem, Smiling, stress relief, stress relievers, Well-being, workplace, workplace etiquette
I have started to notice that when I am in a fantastic mood I tend to have a much better day at work and get so much done. My positive attitude even has an effect on the rest of the team. From now on, I want to set a positive and proactive tone throughout my office. How can I send my staff and myself down the happy path from the start of the day to the end?
Hello, Happiness Helper,
Thanks for the great question. Nothing makes your day go by faster and better than a good mood. I think it is the number one determining factor of how we act, feel, and present ourselves. Even if we do not verbalize how happy or upset we are during the day, it is easily communicated through our reactions to stress, body language, and overall demeanor. I have seen my share of up and down days during my long life but have come up with a strategy of my own to overcome almost anything in my way.
Every night, I set my morning alarm to go off 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I use this extra time for what I call “positive reinforcement.” It is the time when I can do something positive for myself without any interference. I will usually read some selected positive affirmations, look at the nature outside of my window, or spend some time playing with my cat, Clew-cifer, before any outside nuisance can sour my mood. Choose an activity that takes little effort and gives you something to smile about as the day progresses. Coffee or your favorite breakfast meal can be added in here as well. Doesn’t breakfast in bed sound good to anyone else?
Many people view their commute to and from work as a daunting and unpleasant task. Being behind the wheel, navigating through traffic, and steering clear of worldly hazards sounds stressful. What I have done is switch my mentality on the commuting conundrum. Instead of dreading it, I look at the drive as 30 minutes of ME time! I put on my favorite mix tape (created by yours truly) and get myself excited for the day ahead. It is where I only focus on myself and the things I look forward to accomplishing today.
When you get to the office, be sure to get your work day started with a big smile. Smiling is contagious and will spread like wildfire. Even if you don’t feel happy or in a great mood, research has shown that even fake smiles have a positive effect on how you feel. When someone asks “How are you doing this morning?” or “How is your day treating you?” respond with something positive. I try to stick with responses like “I am great! How about yourself?” or “Today is going great so far!” Be sure to add in that smile! Refrain from telling others all about your troubles or how awful you feel. I’ll bet that 9 times out of 10, a positive response is better received.
Most employers allow their staff two 10-minute breaks throughout the day on top of a lunch break. Get your blood moving and the endorphins pumping by taking a short walk outside. This is and has been a great stress reliever for me for some time now. I find that I am much more productive and more alert, which contributes to my overall sense of happiness and well-being. It gives your brain a break and lets you refocus your energy on the positive.
As the closing bell rings, be sure to leave your work at the office. The evening hours are there for you to partake in non-work activities and do something you enjoy. If that is reading a book on your couch, grabbing dinner with a friend, or catching up on the latest football game, be sure you allow yourself time to indulge in simple pleasures. Before calling it quits for the day, try your best to remove all negative thoughts from your mind and think of what was positive during the day. What were you able to accomplish? Remember a few things that made you smile. It can be as small as enjoying a candy bar after lunch or seeing an improvement in your productivity. Just end your day on a positive note!
A friend of mine shared this great video that I can’t help but smile at. We should all try to be this happy and cheery in the morning.
What do you do to make your days pleasant and positive? I would love to hear them!
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
18 Dec 2012
in Employees, Home, Job Seekers, Managers / Supervisors
Tags: adult learning principles, audience, beyond bullet points, career success, checklist for a public speaking presentation, College graduates, communicating effectively, communication, communication skills, communication techniques, confidence, e- course, effective communication skills, employees, employment, employment advice, eye contact, fear of public speaking, handouts, improve communication skills, job seekers, management, managers, mind tools, mindtools, nervous, oratory skills, Performance Management, Phobias, Power Training Institute, presentation, presentation skills, Presenting, presenting to an audience, public presentation, Public Speaking, public speaking anxiety, public speaking checklist, public speaking classes, public speaking coach, public speaking confidence, public speaking course, public speaking lens, public speaking skills, public speaking techniques, public speaking tips, public speaking training, relax, self confidence, speaking, speaking skills, speaking techniques, Speaking to a group, speech training, Stage Fright, success, trainers, training, visual aids, voice tone
A reader writes:
I need your advice on something. Ever since I can remember I have been terrified of public speaking. Just the thought of it gets my stomach all stirred up. I have goals and aspirations to be an executive someday but know that I need to overcome my fears to get there. What can I do to make speaking in public less difficult?
Dear, Stage Frightened,
Public speaking ranks very high up on the list of people’s biggest fears. According to Live Science’s article “What Really Scares People: Top 10 Phobias,” public speaking and social phobia ranked #4 behind scary spaces, spiders, and snakes.
Being in front of a crowd with all eyes on you can be intimidating and anxiety ridden. I myself have had my fair share of being stage shy. The thought of speaking to a group made me feel like running for my life. I have always been jealous of those lucky individuals that look carefree, unscathed, and darn-right comfortable when they are giving speeches and presentations. Not fair, right? Well, life is not fair and when life gives us lemons, what do we do? Make lemonade.
Before you start even thinking about presenting a topic in public, you have to figure out the key elements. My friend, Bonnie Cox at Power Training Institute, has a great amount of experience in public speaking and has offered her professional advice to us! How lucky are we? Here are Bonnie’s proven tips to become at ease with your presentation skills and make you a pro in no time at all.
- Try to relax. Your audience is there to see you deliver a great presentation. They are not there to see you fail. Luckily for them, you won’t!
- Know your topic cold. Practice it until you are comfortable.
- Remember that everyone has stage fright. Let it work for you, not against you. It can be very energizing!
- Focus on what your audience wants or needs to hear. It’s not about you.
- Stay humble. If you are more focused on what you can give to your audience, you’ll be less focused on yourself.
- Do not draw attention to your hiccups or your nerves. You are probably the only one who notices them.
- Join Toastmaster or National Speakers Association to hone your skills and perfect your ability to connect with your audience.
- Know the room that you will be presenting in.
- Arrive to your presentation at least 15 minutes early.
And from Anita’s bag of tips and tricks, a final piece of advice to leave you with… As scary as it may sound, the only way you are going to be more comfortable with your public-speaking self to is practice, practice, and practice some more. The more times you present, the less anxious you will be and the better you will become. Baby steps are usually the best way to go about it. It may sound silly, but try practicing your speech out loud in front of the mirror. Once you have nailed it, enlist your friends and family to test your skills out on. It should be a
no-judgment environment, one you are completely comfortable with. Then move on to bigger stages and audiences. You will be a master in no time.
Toastmasters has come out with a great video called Five Basic Public Speaking Tips. Check it out here:
Readers, what do you do before and during a presentation that makes you the star of the show?
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
11 Dec 2012
in Employees, Home, Managers / Supervisors
Tags: airlines, airports, bag packing, business hotels, business travel, Business Travel Services, Business travel tips, car rentals, carry-on bags, carry-on luggage, checked baggage, Clear pass, employees, frequent flyer miles, hotels for business, how to pack, how to pack a carry on bag, how to pack light, light luggage, Light travel, luggage, management, managers, on the road, online check in, pack carry on, pack luggage, pack smart, packing, packing light, packing list, packing strategies, packing travel, pre-travel, pre-travel preparations, rewards programs, save time at the airport, suitcase, suitcases, time saving tips, travel accessories, travel accessory, travel clothing, Travel essentials, travel gear, travel light, travel purses, travel tips, TRAVEL WARDROBE, traveler, traveling for work, travelling, vacation, What do you pack for a business trip?, what to pack
A reader writes…
I am heading on a business trip next week and need a few pointers on how to make air travel and transportation as carefree and easy as possible. I feel like I am always super stressed out before leaving and I am in need of some help from the expert herself.
Traveling, whether it is for business or pleasure, can be stressful to prepare for. I find myself running around my house searching everywhere for my missing sock or my go-to purple blouse just to realize that in my fury I had already packed it in my bag. Or on the flip side, you think you are as prepared as you could possibly be and you get to the hotel to find that you left one of your dress shoes on your bed or your cell phone charger still plugged into the wall. Either way, packing and preparing for a trip can be difficult and daunting. I have compiled a short list of items that any prepared professional should have while traveling and still be able to carry it all on the plane.
Before you leave the office, you will want to make what I call a “Traveling Survival Kit.”
- Nothing makes you look more unprepared and unprofessional than arriving with no business cards. Grab yourself a box to bring with you. It may seem like much more than you need, but you never know when you may meet that once-in-a-lifetime contact.
- Slip a notepad and several pens into your bag. This will come in handy when you meet someone and need to leave yourself important notes to remember them by. It also opens up the opportunity to help a potential client out of a pinch. Bonus points for you!
- Breath mints will keep you fresh and stench-free on the plane, after your morning coffee, and after a garlic-rich dinner you have enjoyed. I can’t think of anything more off-putting than bad breath when you first meet a person.
- Keep yourself clean and healthy with a handy bottle of hand sanitizer. While traveling and networking, you are interacting with a lot of people. Colds and illnesses thrive in these types of environments, and sickness can spread like wildfire. I suggest grabbing a small bottle of sanitizer, under 3.4 fluid ounces to comply with TSA regulations, and applying it at least every 30 minutes. Better safe than sorry.
- Bring a few disposable name badges or, if you can, find the plastic name tag holders and print a professional tag for yourself. These may come in handy if you arrive at a conference and they forgot to print you one or if on the off-chance you forget yours in a hotel room or lose it at dinner the night before.
Before you leave your house…
- Double-check that you have your government-issued identification, 2 credit cards, $50 cash, and your itinerary. If you don’t have your ID, I would say you might just forget about the rest of the list. Driver’s licenses and state identification cards work when traveling domestically. Passports are needed when traveling outside of the United States.
- Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest that you bring clothing for each day plus two additional shirts. I know I have made a few food mistakes through the day and wished I had a shirt to change into. For men, bring at least one pair of professional pants and a jacket. For women, bring a skirt and jacket combo or dress pants and a professional top. Be sure to pack at the most 2 pairs of shoes, one for professional outings and the other that are more on the comfortable side. Ladies, I know we love our shoes and would bring the whole closet with us if we could, but refrain. Save the space and the weight for other things. Don’t forget your socks!
- Never forget your cell phone and laptop chargers. For many of us, these are our professional lifelines. Don’t find yourself writing a proposal 15 minutes before it’s due to find you have 5 minutes of battery left and no charger.
- Visit your local drugstore and make your way to the travel-size aisle. With the TSA regulations, you can buy almost anything in 3.4 fluid ounces or less — tooth brush, tooth paste, shaving cream, cotton swabs, band-aids, deodorant, and mouthwash, to name a few.
I hope this list of items and pointers will help you travel safe, efficiently, and without any last-minute packing emergencies.
Readers, what are you “must have” items for when you travel? Is there an airline you think better caters to business travelers? What about hotel?