Character as Well as Capability

Character as Well as Capability
Recently, an employment consultant was discussing a new trend in job interviewing. She noted that in this age of cookie-cutter, online resumes and responses, employers are looking for a way to differentiate one capable candidate from another. The answer may be character. How can character be defined and determined? How can you, as a candidate for a job prepare for this new interview thread? Several questions may provide some guidance: • Tell me about an autobiography you have read? What ... Read more
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How to Leave a Job…and Your Work Friends

How to Leave a Job…and Your Work Friends
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” —Joseph Parry (1841-1903) You knew the time was right to leave your current position, and you worked hard to find a new job that moved your career forward. Despite the rightness of your decision, it does mean change, and even positive change can be difficult to manage. You’ve adjusted your schedule, your commute, and your work content.  Now what do you do about your work friendships? • First of all, ... Read more
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Are you a Conflict Avoider, Enabler, or Intervener?

Are you a Conflict Avoider, Enabler, or Intervener?
Each of us responds to conflict in our own way. Many people are uncomfortable with conflict. They try hard to avoid it, sometimes even denying that it exists. Others see conflict as a necessary part of everyday life, especially work life, and they become fairly adept at defusing it or negotiating compromises. Others are excellent manipulators, and they attempt to resolve the conflict by manipulating others or the situation, sometimes in an underhanded way. Still others use the power of ... Read more
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Every Pitch Has a Purpose

Every Pitch Has a Purpose
Recently I was watching a high school baseball game. One young pitcher was quite talented, and several people were talking about how well he used and sequenced different types of pitches (for those of you who don’t follow baseball — curved balls, change-up, fast balls, etc.). One man made the statement, “Every pitch has a purpose.” That made me think about the various types of pitches and how important they can be in our professional careers. We have all heard ... Read more
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Tell Me About Your Health Insurance

Tell Me About Your Health Insurance
You have just been offered a new job. You ask about the salary, the probation period, and vacation time. The human resources representative mentions there is also  a health insurance plan, but you are young and healthy, and it doesn’t seem nearly as important as the other benefits. Aren’t most health plans fairly alike any way? Actually, no. Health plans are quite variable. As someone prominent said quite recently, “Who knew health insurance was so complex?” You may ... Read more
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Surviving a Lunch Job Interview

Surviving a Lunch Job Interview
Job interviews are hard. You should  be at the top of your game  regarding good communication and careful self-promotion. You should research and choose astute and insightful questions. You need to appear interested, but not overly eager, and you need to blend respect and engagement. No matter how hard a regular office interview is, being interviewed during a meal adds a layer of stress and caution. Interaction during a meal may appear less formal, but you should never think it is less ... Read more
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Is Your Stress Real or Manufactured?

Is Your Stress Real or Manufactured?
April is Stress Awareness Month (who knew?). I am a bit surprised that we need a special month to highlight stress. It seems like stress is front and center in our lives on a daily basis. In addition, there is a huge anti-stress industry out there that bombards us with options and products from massages to gyms to meditation to essential oils. There are many causes of stress — financial stress, relationship stress, and work stress are big ones. Often  stress in one area compounds ... Read more
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It Was Your Idea. Why Is He Getting the Credit?

It Was Your Idea. Why Is He Getting the Credit?
I recently saw a cartoon about a woman sitting at a conference table with a group of men. The caption said, “When will Lisa’s suggestion be heard?” The answer was, “When Jeff repeats it.” Does that happen in your workplace? Do you ever hear yourself saying (usually quietly), Didn’t I just say that?” Would it make any difference if your boss were a woman (or vice versa)? What can you do to be more of a force at a meeting? What would it take to be ... Read more
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Don’t Overlook Office History

Don’t Overlook Office History
You have just begun a new job. While it is new to you, several other individuals have held the position previously. All that’s left of their efforts and time of employment are a few file drawers of old documents and some files stored on the hard drive. You are anxious to get settled in and make the office space your own. You would like to get rid of the saved files. Can you just toss them, or can they be put in a file box and stored somewhere? The leftover files may be useless—or they ... Read more
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Joining a Board of Directors (Part 2)

Joining a Board of Directors (Part 2)
You finally were asked to serve on a board of directors for your favorite cause. You are excited to have the opportunity, and you want to do a good job. What do you need to know and do to stand out. First of all, recognize that a board does not manage the day-to-day activities of the organization. That is the job of the staff. The Board’s role is governance (setting overall direction), fiscal oversight (are the donations being used for the proper purpose) and evaluating the executive. ... Read more
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