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5 Ways to love your job back

5 ways to love your job back

 

By Liz Greene

Not a day goes by that I don’t remind myself how incredibly lucky I am to have a job I love. The company I work for is young, and despite a few hiccups, we’re learning and growing every day. Working for a startup puts me in a slightly unique position — as an individual employee, I have the power to make a huge difference in the success or failure of my company. Obviously, I’m going to do what I can to help us succeed.

If you’re looking for ways to give as much as you get from your job, consider the following tactics.

1. Appreciate Your Clients

We’ve all had those days where we wished clients and customers would just go away and leave us in peace. But, of course, without them, business would grind to a halt and we’d be out of a job. That’s why it should come as no surprise that one of the easiest ways to promote the success of your organization is to be good to your clients.

Clients and customers who have a positive experience are far more likely to continue to do business with your company, recommend it to friends and family, and remain loyal when your competitors lower prices. Every time you have a forward facing interaction, you are being given a chance to make that client feel valued. So, use their name, be sincere, and say thank you. Even these smallest of touches can go a long way in boosting customer loyalty.

2. Go Above and Beyond

When you already have a full work day, it may not be tempting to join the extracurricular activities your company offers. After all, why would you want to add to your already overloaded schedule by taking part in office committees or volunteer work?

However, there are actually a myriad of reasons you should.

Committee work is a great way to show that you both know, and are willing to do, what it takes to get a job done successfully. It allows you to build up knowledge in a number of different areas, making you an important asset to your company as a whole. It also gives you the opportunity to interact with individuals you may not see on a day-to-day basis, and form strong inter-departmental bonds.

Aiding in volunteer efforts enables you to help your organization build ties in the community. The added warm fuzzies don’t hurt either. You’ll feel better about both your company and yourself.

3. Further Your Education

Granted, keeping up with industry news is just another thing to add to your already crowded to-do list, but there are a number of benefits in doing so.

When you know the ins and outs of your industry, you make better decisions. You also develop a keen eye to spot both threats and opportunities early on — giving your company a competitive edge. This allows you help shape your organization’s strategy, and earn the trust and respect of the people around you.

There are many ways you can easily stay up to date on industry news, such as:

  • Subscribing to trade journals, magazines, and other publications.
  • Attending conferences, industry events, and training sessions.
  • Following well-known experts and industry people on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Spending a little time each day to read articles on respected industry blogs.

The more you learn about what you do, the more value you will have not only to your company, but to your customers and clients as well.

4. Spread Positive Word of Mouth

My company loves to give us free schwag — t-shirts, water bottles, sunglasses, etc. While I originally just considered this a nice little perk, I found that wearing branded clothing outside work actually started conversations with strangers wanting to know more about what I did. This gave me the perfect opportunity to spread positive word of mouth, something I had normally only done for businesses I made purchases from.

Word of mouth is a major player in the world of marketing. In fact, 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influence in their purchasing decision. Every time I tell a barista, checker, or inquisitive stranger about my company, I’m increasing the chance of another sale — something you can do just as easily.

5. Care

You don’t have to like your job to do it adequately — but if you want to excel, you better start caring.

We all like to feel as if we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, and caring deeply about the work you do is the best way to cultivate this feeling in your company. Work has meaning when we care, and a caring workforce is likely to be more loyal and engaged at work.

Emotions are contagious. By outwardly showing your love for your job, you can help encourage others in your organization to do the same, transforming your company culture into one of purpose. Don’t just punch the clock — take ownership in what you do, excel at it, and shine. You’ll find your coworkers will start to do the same.

According to Paul McCartney, the love we take is equal to the love we make. I’ve taken this suggestion to heart, and I’ve found that the more I give to my job, the more I get back.

My hope is that all of you are able to do the same.

Liz Greene is a dog loving, beard envying, pop culture geek from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. You can catch up with her latest misadventures on Instant Lo or follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene.

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Should you help get your co-worker fired?

by Kathi Miller-Miller

Is it time to get that inept co-worker fired?

Be honest, you’ve silently wished for the day your co-worker ‘Joe’ (not his real name of course) would hear two little words that would make your life SO much easier.

Once you realize you’ve spent more time dreaming about ‘Joe’ hearing, “You’re Fired” than wondering who Donald Trump will offend next on the campaign trail, it’s time to quit watching ‘The Apprentice’ reruns and start planning your approach.

Offer a Hand.  Offer a What?!?  Trust me I realize the only help you probably want to give ‘Joe’ is to pack up his desk.  But until management decides to take that path, it’s your responsibility as a team member to play nice.  Think of it like this: Being shunned at work sucks when things are going well….and it really sucks when you add performance problems to the mix.

Mind your Own Business.  At the risk of being overly blunt (sorry I’m a direct communicator!) ‘Joe’s’ performance is likely none of your business.  Instead of spending all sorts of time and energy trying to imagine what office life could be like without him, put that same enthusiasm into your daily assignments and you may just be surprised what you can accomplish!

Consider what you Don’t Know.  I know it’s hard to image but it’s quite possible that your boss (and maybe even your bosses boss!) are aware that ‘Joe’ isn’t really doing a great job on your project.  But it’s also quite likely that they have a very good reason for not showing him the door.  Perhaps he has a unique skill set that’s hard to replace.  Or maybe he is having some personal issues and they are trying to be supportive while he works through them.  Regardless, chances are pretty strong that you don’t know everything (or perhaps even anything!) about dear old ‘Joe’!

Tell and Run.  If you absolutely believe that no one in management is aware of the urgent need for ‘Joe’ to be relieved of their duties, then and only then, it may be time to share your concerns with management. But here’s the tricky part, it’s absolutely critical you share your info in a calm professional manner and then…walk away and focus on doing your own job.  Why?  Because while most bosses appreciate a heads up once, continued efforts to get ‘Joe’ fired do one of two things.  You’ll end up looking like a trouble-maker or potentially worse…someone that has no confidence in management to handle the situation.   Neither of which are a quick career path to the C-Suite.

Ignore. These six little letters can certainly be a big challenge.  But sometimes it’s simply best to ignore something rather than be consumed by it.  Once you’ve offered to help, considered what you may not know and talked to management, there may literally be nothing else you can do.  Never a fun option for sure!  But trust me you’re much better off moving on than burning down over something you can’t control.

So what approach will you take?

 

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What you need to know before you negotiate a new salary

Businessperson With Magnifier And Wallet

by Karen Adamedes

You’re going to be offered the job. Or at least you’re pretty sure you are going to be. You’re thrilled and picturing yourself in the big chair and doing whatever it is that you will be doing for this role.

But don’t break out the champagne and dancing shoes just yet.

There’s one more big hurdle that you have to get past before you’ll be in the position where you can accept the job even if it’s offered to you.

You need to negotiate your salary package. (Don’t panic!)

What you earn is important to your career for a whole lot of reasons, our earlier post ‘Why it’s important to earn what you’re worth’ talks about the impact how well you negotiate for yourself has on your credibility (not to mention how much money you make!).

And in ‘What’s negotiable in a salary package?’ we discussed what might be negotiable and the importance of understanding this so that you can make decisions about what is important to you and what you might be prepared to trade off – before you get into the fun and games of the negotiation itself.

Apart from knowing what you are able to negotiate you need to do even more background research before you start negotiating for your salary and benefits.

You need to know the benchmarks of the average remuneration packages for people in your job, your industry and in your organization.

There are lots of credible online recruitment sites where you can research your industry. Talk to people in your network: they’ll know. Most companies have a range or guidelines on what they’ll pay for a position based on an applicant’s skills and experience, not to mention negotiating ability. This kind of research is factual and based on data that is generally verifiable.

But there is another kind of research you can do as well.

Don’t just find out about the published data and guidelines. Find out what is really going on; what others who do the same role are paid, as well as people who do a similar role in another division of the same company, and people in similar positions in other organizations. And you shouldn’t just do this when you need to prepare for a salary negotiation – good preparation comes from continuously collecting this kind of data.

If you ask people will tell you.

Don’t be embarrassed about discussing numbers or afraid to ask questions.

When someone is telling you about their new job or promotion ask some questions and give them the chance to brag and you start collecting really good bench marking data! 

You don’t always need to ask direct questions. Probe to gather information: “That’s great news about the new job! Did they throw in a parking space with that? They did? Excellent. How do they pay the long-term incentive? Oh, right you’re not on the incentive. Sounds like you scored big!”

Without even asking the dollar question you can find out things like if your contact  has managed to get a parking space but isn’t on the long-term incentive. Once you have this type of information you can make some pretty accurate educated guesses about where this person is positioned and the likely value of their remuneration. File it away for later. People won’t necessarily tell each other exactly what salary someone else is on, or use it in an actual negotiation, but if your know some benchmarks and where roles fit in the scheme of things it will help you work out where to pitch yourself when the time is right.

The ‘official’ data you gather about remuneration ranges is of value, but the reality can often be quite different.

It’s not important what the company says it will pay, but rather what they are actually prepared to pay.

If your coffee shop research shows that the company pays people in your area 20% more than the ‘official’ going rate, this is much more important to know.

There is a chance that everyone is considered overpaid compared to the going rate. If that’s the case … you want to be overpaid, too!

In cases like this, there’s a fair chance that you will be successful if you pitch strongly for an amount higher than the official figure suggested to you.

Your likelihood of success increases greatly with the amount of information you have and how confidently you use it. Once you understand how this works (and it does) you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate for you!.

Career Tip To Go: Do your research and find out what companies say they will and actually do pay.

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How should you use coffee breaks at conferences?

Use coffee break at networking events

 

 

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