Monthly Archive for August, 2006

Do You Work With Liars and Thieves?

Career Advice

Only one out of 10 employees own up to stealing from their employers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com; but 38 percent of managers reported they have fired employees for office theft. Somebody is lying!

Office supplies top the list of hot loot. Fifteen percent of manager report catching employees making off with these items. Money ranked second at 14 percent; merchandise placed third at 11 percent.

Other items that thieves find attractive:

• co-workers’ belongings
• computer or phone equipment
• office decor, including paintings and plants
• coffee packets, tea bags and condiments
• toilet paper
• Band-Aids
• confidential files
• faxing or shipping services for personal use

Employers’ reactions varied. Forty-five percent said they would automatically terminate the culprit. Just under 50 percent said “it would depend on the object (stolen) and situation.” Seven percent would not fire the thief.

What’s going on where you work?

Ramon

Is Your Career Path Blocked?

If you are between the ages of 20 and 40–known as Generation X–there is a major roadblock standing in your career path, according to FORTUNE magazine.

The magazine tags it as “The Gray Ceiling” and goes on to declare that “A generation of younger workers can’t get ahead…because the (baby) boomers above them won’t budge.”

“In today’s leaner companies, executive jobs are fewer, and boomers who have hung on to them are in no hurry to let go,” FORTUNE concludes. In fact, one survey found that nearly half of them are planning to work past 64.

“The senior managers in their 40s and 50s are paranoid about keeping their jobs, so they do everything they can to keep you down,” says a Generation X ad executive.

How To Break Through “The Gray Ceiling”

Here are eight job tips for ways you break through “The Gray Ceiling.”

1. Address this urgent issue now. Recognize that if there is a “gray ceiling” where you work your career path and career rewards are limited.

2. Recognize you are working under a “gray ceiling” if your company or industry does not require a steady infusion of up and coming managers.

3. Master your present job. Expand your knowledge and skills so you are ready to handle a bigger job.

4. Have a strategic plan for your career path; include timelines. Share your career goals with your boss; let him know you are working to be promoted.

5. Make your boss look good, so he will be promoted, opening a rung on your career ladder. Solve problems that are giving him fits.

6. Make sure your accomplishments are recognized by those above you who can advance your career. Promote yourself as you would a product.

7. Expand your network of contacts inside and outside the organization.

8. Push for increased responsibilities.

Career Advice: “The Gray Ceiling” is not going away any time soon. Begin to deal with it today.

Has Your Employer Increased Your Benefits Package?

Now that the competition for skilled employees is heating up, more employers are offering added benefits to improve recruiting and retention of their workforce. A survey by Jobkite.com shows that 56 percent have recently sweetened their benefit packages

Is your employer keeping pace?

Priorities have changed among employees, according to Jobkite. “They’re more focused on longevity and a work/life balance,” says Heather Galler, CEO of the firm.

Nearly nine out of 10 of those firms that say they are improving benefits are adding life, vision or increased health insurance. Sixty percent are now providing increased compensation by way of stock incentives, bonus plans or more money for savings plans.

Forty percent are increasing vacation time. Thirty-nine percent are offering new telecommunicating perks.

Some employess are going off the chart with unique benefits such as concierge services to run errands from shopping to pet-sitting so their employees can relax after work.

How do these findings compare with what’s going on at your place of work? What new perks, if any, has your employer added to your benefit package during the past year 18 months? Do you have any unique benefits.

Help others by sharing your experience.

Here’s to your success…Ramon

7 Tactics That Lead To Career Success

I’m always surprised to see how many careerists ignore or at best underuse seven simple tactics that provide a competive advantage in the career chase. After all, they are just common sense and they require relatively little effort.

1. Thank you. Make a practice of offering a simple “thank you” to those who help you and the organization that employs you. Written “thank you” notes are particularly effective.

2. Admit mistakes and apologize for them. Then correct the errors.

3. Ask for help when you need it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength and desire to improve your performance.

4. Compliment your associates on the good work they do and their achievements on and off the job. Again, written notes are really appreciated.

5. Listen. Encourage others to tell you about themselves…their ideas, what they do, their aspirations, their victories and their problems.

6. Help others. Respond when your help is requested. Volunteer to provide assistance where you see a need.

7. Share credit. Be sure your associates share the spotlight for goals attained.

Give these seven simple tactics a try for the next 30 days. I guarantee you will see a positive change in your career.

I wish you success!

Ramon

Saying "No" Can Accelerate Your Career

You must learn when and how to say “no” if you really want to accelerate the journey on your career path. Because so long as you say “yes” to every request for your time and talent, you are allowing your friends and associates to consume your most precious asset–your time–to serve their agendas rather than advancing your own.

I know. It not easy to say “no.” “Yes” gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. Your ego is really stroked when you are asked to lend your abilities to solve someone else’s needs. You become convinced that you are the only one who can do the job. You believe that taking on more and more assignments is the road to success. You are reluctant (i.e. afraid) to use “no” with your boss.

Three Job Tips For Saying “No”

There are three steps to mastering the art of saying “no.”

(1) Recognize that if you continue to agree to every request for your time and talent you are certain to become overloaded and burned out. You will lose your focus on those things that are important to achieving the career rewards you crave. The quality of your work will inevitably suffer. The positive qualities that caused people to ask for your help will erode.

(2) Understand that the more you value your time the more other people will value it, too.

(3) Learn when to say “no.” That time comes when you start missing deadlines; turning in less than your best work; showing signs of burnout.

(4) Learn how to say “no.” Be brief, direct and honest. Don’t beat around the bush when you have more on your plate than you can digest. Say, “I’m sorry. Although I would like to do that job for you I am so overloaded right now that I simply can’t deliver the kind of quality you and both want on the schedule you need. Can you give me a little more time or can we delay delivery of another one of my assignments?”

Most people will respect your honesty and will try to set a new schedule or lighten your workload by reassigning the task or getting some help for you.

If the requests that overload you comes from an associate you value offer to help that person learn to do the task himself. Suggest trading tasks. “You help me with X now; I will help you with Y next week when I have more time.”

Resist those chronic complainers who want to burn up your time telling you about their problems and asking you to hold their hand or intercede on their behalf. It’s okay to be Mr. Nice Guy for a brief time. But when that role begins to cut into your productive time, gently and firmly put a stop to it.

By learning to say “no” when necessary you make more time to say, “yes” for those tasks that accelerate your career.

Career Tip: If you are fully overloaded and your saying “no” doesn’t get relief, perhaps it’s time to look for a more accommodating environment.

Are You A User or An Abuser of The Internet?

Watch your backside when it comes to using the Internet on the job.

I don’t know anyone who quarrels with the fact that the use of E-Mail, blogs and web surfing have grown like wildfire. So has the abuse of these media in the workplace.

A study by Websense, Inc. shows that the average total Internet usage is almost 13 hours per week. Just over three hours of that time is spent surfing for sites not related to work. Then there is time spent playing video games, watching porno, gossiping, passing on rumors and making plans for the weekend. Add time spent looking for a new job, which 23 percent of people do on company time.

Nobody should be surprised that employers are getting tougher in cracking down on employees who use the Internet for non-work purpose on the job. Many are installing software that blocks access to the Internet. One survey reports that 26 percent of have fired workers for misusing the medium.

Blogs do offer an enticing opportunity to blow off steam about your boss and the outrageous behavior of the co-worker in the next cubicle. Just remember everything is indexed and Googled. In other words, nothing really disappears forever in Cyberspace. There’s a record out there that can come back to haunt you with a lawsuit or a reprimand.

Beware! “Big Brother” is watching for Internet abuse in the workplace. Besides every hour spent at your keyboard with non-work related subjects is time taken away from the focus on accelerating your career.

What’s going on with you and your workplace?

Here’s to your success!

Ramon