Showing posts with label Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skills. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Salary negotiation is something hiring managers are usually a lot more proficient at than the people they hire are. In the interest of leveling the playing field, here is a list of tips for salary negotiation that has worked for many people.
  1. Maximize on your past experience. Understand what you have achieved. Bring your past experiences to the table as a tool when negotiating for your salary.
  2. Make a list of what you have to offer. Know what you have to offer a future employer. Make a list of your skills, abilities, talents, and knowledge. Be prepared to show your employer what capability you bring to their company. Make sure you have some firm basis for added compensation, i.e., skills, abilities, and value to the company.
  3. How badly does this job need to be filled? Find out what you are worth to the employer and how badly (or not) they need to fill this position with a qualified candidate. This gives you more negotiating power.
  4. Wait for an offer. Delay discussing salary until you've been offered the position. Let the employer be the first one to mention anything with regards to the salary on offer. If your are pressed for an answer to a salary question, give a vague range or a vague answer like “The salary I expect depends on the job’s exact specifications.”
  5. Demonstrate excitement for the job. First, make sure you want the job and are excited about the job, then let the employer know that you really want the job, but that you are only hesitating because of salary.
  6. Do not bring personal needs into the discussion. Don't discuss the monetary needs for your family or the cost of living. This will not get you very far in most cases.
  7. Be prepared with salary options. Come up with three salary figures for yourself: the low-ball (not in your life) offer, an offer that would make you smile, and one that would make you jump up and down and call all your friends. Shoot for a salary between your middle figure and your high figure.
  8. Remember that the employer has a budget. Understand that most employers have a range in mind (budgeted for the position) and will actually start at the low end of that budget to give themselves some negotiating room. This does not mean they will try to low-ball the position and pay less than they think the position is worth. This is usually not in their best interest since they are looking for qualified candidates.
  9. Know Your Worth : Compare what you are asking for to what you are worth.  If it is needed, tell the employer what your salary package at you previous company was.  Also mention how much your skills are worth on the market.  Prove to the employer that you know what price tag fits your skills and use it as a bargaining tool.
  1. Employers like negotiating. Remember that negotiating for salary is often looked on favorably by potential employers. It reinforces the idea that they've made the right decision in offering you the position. It lets them feel confident that, because you can keep your best interests in mind, you can probably look after the best interests of the company as well.
  2. Do your comparative salary research. Know the going rate or fair market value for your position. Be prepared to discuss these figures once salary negotiation has come up. Have a salary range in mind.
  3. Understand your geographical area strengths and weaknesses. When tracking down your worth, make sure you look at similar positions at similar companies in your geographical area. Salary ranges vary dramatically across the nation and even from rural to urban areas.
  4. Be prepared to market yourself. Emphasize the reasons you should get the offer and de-emphasize or OMIT any reasons you should not.
  5. Be prepared to explain your salary history. If your previous salary has been at a high rate, be prepared to freely let the employer know what you have been making in a previous position, i.e., a written salary history.
  6. Anticipate the employer's objections. Anticipate that the employer will have objections for the salary range you want, i.e., they can't afford more, don't think you're worth more, etc. Know in advance how you will overcome them.
  7. Make your salary discussion a friendly experience. Assume amiability when discussing salary, not conflict or controversy. You should make the employer feel that you are on the same side and working together to find a compensation package that would satisfy everyone's needs. Anticipate a win-win situation.
  8. Don’t be afraid to walk away.
    Turning down the offer might just be the best negotiation tactic.  Show the employer that you are not scared to walk away from the negotiation table.  This will prove to the employer that you are capable of going somewhere else and getting what you deserve.  Act as if you don’t need it and they might just give it to you.
  9. Dispute any doubts about your suitability for the position. You will have the most influence if salary is the only source for hesitation. Make sure that there are absolutely no other concerns from your employer or doubts that you are the best candidate for the position.
  10. Justify your cost-effectiveness. Try pointing out to the company how your ability will help reduce costs through your performance so you can justify higher pay.
  11. Remain calm and poised. Once the offer has been made, and appears too low, remain quiet as though you were pondering the offer. This will imply your dissatisfaction with the offer and the uncomfortable silence may prompt the interviewer to improve the offer on his/her own.
  12. Be creative. If the company just can't afford a higher salary, try asking for other benefits, a company car or allowances, bonuses, 3-6 month performance raises, stock options, profit sharing, vacation days, or temporary housing.
  13. Be flexible. Consider working fewer hours, on a consulting basis, four days a week.
  14. Consider other options and perks. Sometimes companies offer one-time cash bonuses, or "hiring bonuses," to help entice waffling candidates. Try to find out how the company feels about this issue.
  15. Have a backup plan. When there are indications that the negotiations is not going your way, show the employer additional reference letters. Think about taking a salary cut during the early stages, propose working from home to save the employer the costs of setting up your office. Be ready to improvise and adapt.


If there is one activity that unites professionals from different occupations all over the world, it is meetings. Executives, managers, or software developers -- they all spend a large part of their working hours closeted in conference rooms discussing issues, significant and insignificant.

But the truth about meetings is they are largely a waste of time if not organised well or not planned in advance. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of these congregations.

Time and venue :

The initiator of the meeting must take up the task of sending out meeting requests to all parties who are required to attend, specifying the date, time and venue. If the meeting is a teleconference or a videoconference with participants from multiple locations, it is essential that the meeting request contain the date and time of the various time zones.
This is a common mistake, as a colleague in Tokyo found out when she forgot to specify the time zone in her e-mail, which meant that disparate groups of people were waiting for her to teleconference them at different times of the day!
The initiator must ensure a discussion room or conference room large enough to hold the requisite number of attendees is booked for the scheduled time.

Material :

It is also up to the initiator to arrange for any materials such as a projector, computer, slides, handouts, or even just a whiteboard and markers. A manager at a telecommunications firm narrates how a meeting he was invited to was delayed by 45 minutes because the computer and projectors were not set up, leading to senior managers walking out and requesting a reschedule.

If you are invited to a meeting for which handouts are distributed, make sure you read those notes before attending. It will keep you in tune with the discussions once you are part of the meeting, and will demonstrate your preparedness with ideas and thoughts on the topic at hand.

Agenda :

Once the time and venue of the meeting is fixed, it is vital that the initiator of the meeting decide the points on the agenda. Each of these points must be covered in detail and decisions taken on them before the meeting wraps up.

Preferably, these points can even be enumerated in brief on the whiteboard in the room, allowing everyone to be aware of the agenda and helping the initiator keep an eye on it at all times.

Minutes of the meeting :

In the duration of the meeting, several points and ideas will be thrown up which, if not documented, will evaporate into thin air well before the end. It will be impossible for anyone to retain all the discussed points in memory. Therefore, it is best for the initiator or the meeting-in-charge to appoint one person to jot down notes during the meeting. It is better still if two or three people take notes just in case one misses out something important.
At the culmination of the meeting, it is the duty of the person assigned to note down the minutes to create a document and circulate it amongst all attendees. Such a document typically contains the date and time of the meeting, number and names of attendees, the agenda and, against each of the points on the agenda, the action items.

The focus on agenda :

Often, despite maintaining an agenda and adhering strictly to time and schedule on a few points, the discussion deteriorates into heated debates. At this point, it is the prerogative of the meeting-in-charge or the initiator to ensure an objective discussion. Also, if a member starts rambling for hours without any end in sight, he must be brought back on track. It should be made clear that although brainstorming is acceptable, digression into irrelevant territory is entirely unwelcome.

Conclusion :

When all points on the agenda have been discussed to the satisfaction of all parties, the person writing the minutes or even the initiator can wrap up by briefly reading out the salient points of all that has been discussed, including action to be taken once people return to their work. The minutes of the meeting is a good starting point to follow up with team members in the following days if necessary action has been taken, as discussed.


This meeting minutes tutorial will explain how to compile minutes of meetings.
Minutes are a record of the proceedings of a meeting e.g. who attended and did not, discussion that took place, action to be taken, time the meeting closed. The way the minutes are recorded may differ depending on the type of meeting it is. By this I mean, you may need to record all the discussion as well as the resolutions or you may only need to record the resolution and not worry about the discussion leading up to the resolution. Sometimes, organizations also prefer the action officer is listed so it is clear whose responsibility it is to perform the action in the resolution. This is something you must clarify if the President of a Company or the Manager you are taking the minutes for.
Many minute clerks use shorthand to take notes at meetings. If you're interested in learning shorthand, try the following course or try this alternative to shorthand in this great book for beginners:
All official minutes (with a mover, seconder and that are carried) need to have a minute reference number. Minute numbers carry on from one meeting to another e.g. last meeting had resolutions numbered 21000 - 21050 and the next meeting will have numbers 21051 - 21000.
When you type back your minutes, you must keep all matters in the order they were discussed at the meeting - even if they differ to your agenda. Sometimes items are discussed earlier as someone may not be able to stay at the meeting for the full length of the meeting.
Remember, if you cannot hear, you cannot record accurate minutes and this is the purpose of being the Secretary or Minute Clerk. If you cannot hear, please interrupt the meeting and address the Chairman (as Mr Chairman) to advise you cannot hear. The Chairman will then request the speaker to speak louder and clearer. It is most important that you hear. It is suggested you always sit beside the Chairman so it is easy to answer any questions he may have or you may have.
A handy book to assist you with your minute taking (includes information from setting up the meeting, agenda to recording minutes) is Taking Minutes of Meetings (creating success).

Who will take the Minutes?

Minutes are usually taken by the Secretary or Minute Clerk. If you are the person nominated to take the minutes, ensure you receive a copy of the agenda when it is distributed so that you are familiar with the matters to be discussed. If there are confidential matters in the agenda that are supported by written reports or correspondence, please make sure you receive copies of these pages as well as it will have pertinent information that you may need to record in your minutes e.g. correct names, property descriptions, file number etc. It will save you chasing this information later when typing up your minutes.

Minute Clerk or Secretary's Equipment Check List :

Before you enter the meeting room, please check you have the following tools and equipment with you:
  1. 2 pencils or biros (whatever you are going to use to record the minutes) Paper
  2. Dictaphone (to clarify any uncertainties when typing your minutes up) Agenda

    Also ensure the following have been made available if it is not your responsibility as you no doubt will be the one having to chase up the equipment at the last minute.

    The meeting room has been set up (refer tutorial on this)
  3. Supporting correspondence that has not been included in the agenda but is required
  4. Any maps or plans that will be viewed by those present
  5. Data Processor or Overhead Project (OHP) if necessary and screen
  6. White Board, markers, and duster
  7. Laser Pointer or Ruler
Now it is time for the most important part of your duty - recording the minutes.

Know what to Record

Now that you have already been advised the format of what to record, you will need to ensure you record the following information:
  • Name of Company, Description of Meeting, Place, Date and Time of meeting
  • Those present
  • Any apologies received from Committee members.
  • Welcome - if the Chairman/President opens the meeting with a welcome message.
  • Adoption of Minutes of Previous meeting
  • Business Arising from the Minutes
  • Adoption of Inward/Outward Correspondence
  • Adoption of Financial Statements and Accounts for Payment
  • Agenda Items listed in your agenda
  • General Business
  • Noted Correspondence
  • Date, time and venue of next meeting
  • Time the meeting concluded
Company Name, Description, Location, Date and Time of meeting
Record the time the meeting started - usually included in the heading with the date when typing back the minutes as below:
HELD AT ......................ON MONDAY, 2ND JANUARY 2004 AT 9.00AM
Those present
List the names of all those present. The best way to do this if you do not know everyone is to use an attendance sheet. This sheet will be headed up with the name of the meeting, the date and time of the meeting and use columns so that everyone can print their name, the organization they represent (if do not work for your company) and their position title within the organization. You would then type this information up in alphabetical order - please ensure you always start with the Chairman/President and end with the Secretary or Minute Clerk as sometimes they are not members of the Committee. If you are an elected Secretary of a sporting organization etc, you would be list President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and then other members
PRESENT: Mr J Smith (President)
Ms M Allen (Manager, Allen & Associates)
Mr C Jones (Deputy Manager, Jones Brothers)
Ms T Staples (Minute Clerk) (or substitute your title here)

Any apologies received from Committee members.
The Chairman/President will call for apologies and if you have received apologies from any members, this is when you would advise the meeting of their names or you would have previously passed this information on to the Chairman/President prior to the commencement of the meeting. Other Committee members may also have received some and they too will advise of names. You must record all these names for your minutes. In your minutes, you will type them as follows:
APOLOGIES: Ms M Street (Senior Advisor, Commercial Business Association) etc.
Welcome - if the Chairman/President opens the meeting with a welcome message
This does not always need to be recorded but if the meeting was called for a specific purpose and the purpose does not happen each month, then I would record it. You could use the following format:
The Chairman welcomed those members present and advised the meeting had been called to discuss the merits of introducing a subscription fee so that free advice can continue to be given to clients.

Adoption of Minutes of Previous meeting

As the minutes of the previous meeting would either have been distributed as part of the agenda or tabled on the day of the meeting for members to read, so that they can then become an official record of the meeting of the company or committee, the minutes will need to be moved and seconded as a true and correct record. A standard resolution of this is as follows:
"That the minutes of the meeting of the Records Department held on 2nd December 2003 be adopted as a true and correct record."
SECONDED BY C JONES                                             CARRIED
The above is one format, it could also be as follows:

"That the minutes of the meeting of the Records Department held on 2nd December 2003 be adopted as a true and correct record."
The above format can be used for all resolutions that are moved and seconded, or follow the format that your company, committee or organization uses.
Business Arising from the Minutes :
Once the minutes have been adopted, members present may need further information or resolutions recorded on matters listed in the minutes. Usually, if it is advice you would just record these as sub-headings with brief detail of what was said about it. Example:
Gift Vouchers
Printing had been delayed due to new logo being designed. Estimated time of delivery will be 3rd March 2004.
Adoption of Inward/Outward Correspondence

Usually, companies will ask that members accept the inward and outward correspondence. An example of this would be as follows:

"That the Inward Correspondence be received and the Outward Correspondence be approved."

SECONDED BY C JONES                                             CARRIED

Adoption of Financial Statements and Accounts for Payment

You must record the period and the amount.  You could refer to previous
minutes for wording of this, but below is an example:
"That the Financial Statements for the period 1st July 2003 to 31st December 2003 be approved and the Accounts for Payment for the period 1st December to 31st December 2003 be approved."

SECONDED BY C JONES                                             CARRIED

Agenda Items listed in your agenda
Matters listed on the agenda are usually there because a decision is necessary.  This means you will need to record a resolution detailing action that is required.  You would type a brief heading referring to the matter discussed (could use similar wording as in the agenda), a minute number, a mover, seconder and whether the minute was carried.  Use the same format as listed above, or the format your company or committee uses.
General Business
General Business is where members present at the meeting raise matters that need a formal decision made or inform those present of up to date information about a matter.  Usually every member is asked if they have any General.
Business to be raised.
Once again, you may have to record both the matters raised for discussion and the formal resolution.  If it is a formal resolution, use the same format as above.
Noted Correspondence :
All items listed on the agenda do not necessarily need a decision made but were listed for the information of the members. In this case the matter would be listed as noted correspondence. 

Some agendas already have these items all listed together as "Noted Correspondence" as no decision or action is necessary and you would need to copy this list into your minutes.

If after discussion at the meeting it was decided that a matter listed on the agenda did not need any action or decision after all, this item would then be added to the existing list of noted correspondence as well. Alternatively, you could list the item in the minutes with a minute number and the resolution would be worded "That the matter be noted.".

Date, time and venue of next meeting
This information needs to be recorded but would not have a minute number. This is a format you could use if the venue was moved from town to town:
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Monday, 3rd February 2004 at (location is full address) at 9.00am 

If the meeting was at the same venue each time, you would simply list the date and time of the meeting.

Time the meeting concluded

You always check the time the meeting finishes and this gets recorded in the minutes.  An example would be:
There being no further business, the meeting concluded at 10.30am.
Under this, always make provision for the Chairman/President to sign the minutes.


Maximize your growth and earning potential by using these effective career management tactics.
The job search should be viewed as a lifelong process that does not end with interviewing for and securing a new position. Successful career management involves treating your career as a continuum of opportunities for growth and advancement and constructing a framework for creating, exploring and exploiting these opportunities. Plan for a stellar long-term career by following these simple guidelines for staying 'marketable' as provided by the career experts at the Middle East's #1 job site

Maintain a long-term vision and take control.

Always plan ahead and make sure it is you at the steering wheel of your career. Do not let a job in Marketing dwindle to a position in graphics for example, because of missed opportunities, poor assertiveness skills and lack of direction. Take on projects and assignments that lead you further along your chosen route and try to veer away from others that do not promote your growth and advancement whenever it is possible. Your career should be a learning path and you should always steer towards the track that involves new learning and growth opportunities.

Build relationships both in and outside of your firm.

Get to know people in your chosen profession and make networking both within and outside of your firm part of your job description. The more connected you are with others in the profession, the easier it will be to secure a new position. Follow up with the people you meet on a regular basis and exchange information on your respective businesses as well as on your professional development eg, projects you are involved in, courses you have taken, deals you have landed etc. A close network of friends and/or professional associates is an invaluable career management resource.

Research your industry thoroughly.

Learn about competitors and new areas, products and innovations in the industry. Know who the players are and keep abreast of what direction the industry and the different players are moving in. The more you know about your domain, the more valuable you are to your present employer and the easier it is for you to market yourself to a different company.

Update your skills and develop new unique skills.

Some skills are always in more demand than others and successful research will identify what areas to focus on to make you most marketable in your chosen field. Whether it be taking a course in computer programming or soft skills training, aim to continuously enhance your skills and further your education. Institutions like william penn, offer flexible schedules and night classes for adult education. Plan on taking evening courses, attending seminars and maybe even getting a further degree part-time to stay ahead of the game.
Join professional associations.
These look great on your CV and are a great way to network with others, gain visibility and keep abreast of the changes in your industry. Your boss will be very pleased if you are aware of developments in your industry and if you are making a reputation for yourself that reflects positively on the firm. Try to speak at these meetings if you can.

Read the trade journals and industry literature.

There is no substitute for reading the trade literature to stay abreast of new developments and remain competitive. Always communicate the relevant material to your manager so he is aware of your efforts to keep ahead of the curve and also so that you can incorporate them into your unit's gameplan.


Improve Your Self Confidence in 15 Minutes :

Some people have naturally high levels of confidence but everybody can learn to be more confident. Firstly, it's important to get a clear idea of what self confidence really means, otherwise you won't know when you've got it! So, self confidence means:
1. Being calm : For every situation in life you need to run on the appropriate level of emotion. Too much emotional 'leakage' into a experience can spoil the experience. You make great strides towards confidence when you begin to relax in a greater range of situations.
2. Being cool : The second part of self confidence is about being able to relax with uncertainty. To be 'cool' in a situation really means relaxing with not knowing how things will pan out. If you truly tolerate uncertainty, you can do pretty much anything.
3. Not being too concerned with what others think of you. You know when you imagine what some place is going to be like before you go there but when you get there it is totally different to your imagination? That's how reliable your imagination is! Stop trusting your imagination so much. I've long since stopped bothering to imagine what others think of me because so often I've turned out to be wrong.
4. Being specific - where do you want confidence? 'Confidence' is meaningless until you tie it to something specific. You are already confident that you can read these words or can switch a light on and off. So you don't need more confidence everywhere. To get what you want in life you have to establish exactly what you do want. Where do you want confidence in your life? Think about the specific situations now and write them down. You beginning to steer your brain towards confidence.
5. Understanding that what you expect is what you get. Your brain is an organ that needs clear goals to work towards. When a task has been set in your brain it will do everything it can do to bring about the completion of that task. If you've tried to recall someone's name but can't, hours later you'll often find their name pops into your head.
The 'trying to recall' experience set the task or blueprint for your brain's future subconscious behaviour which eventually produced the name for you - when you weren't thinking about it consciously. You can use this natural mechanism to start feeling more confident. But, to ensure you set the right task for your subconscious mind, the next point is vital.
6. Don't task your mind with negatives. Instead of: 'I don't want to screw up' (which sets the task of 'screwing up' for your brain), set the blueprint for what you do want! Your brain doesn't work towards what to do by being told what not to do. And nature has given you a wonderful natural tool to set the right task blueprints with.
7. Use nature's goal-setter: Now you understand how vital it is to set the right task for you brain, you need to know how to do this reliably. Good hypnosis will strongly 'program' the right blueprint in your mind through the use of your imagination. If you powerfully imagine feeling confident and relaxed while in a relaxed hypnotic state it will be hard for your unconscious mind to do anything else. The blueprint for relaxation has been set firmly into your subconscious mind.
3 simple strategies to get you feeling confident quickly:
1. Think specifically of the time/place/situation you want to feel confident in. Remember 'confidence' doesn't mean anything until you attach it to something specific.
2. Focus on words in your mind right now that describe how you do want to be in that time and place. Maybe words such as 'calm', 'relaxed' or 'focused'. Remember your brain works on clear positive instructions.
3. Close your eyes for as long as you like and think about how those words feel. Then, imagine the situation itself and rehearse it in your mind feeling confident and relaxed. This way you set the right blueprint or 'task' for your unconscious mind.
You can repeat this often to make it more effective and use it with as many areas of your life as you need to. If you listen to a hypnotic cd or download that can make the benefits even more powerful. So if you feel like you'd be blessed with less confidence than some other people you can start redressing the balance by using your mind in the right way right now.


Tips to Improve your Listening Skills :

Etiquette and polish, both in personal and business settings, are linked to how well we communicate.

Most people think communication is all about speaking and devalue the importance of listening. And many others don't realise what a vast difference there is between simply hearing what is being said and really listening.
People who know how to listen learn more, care more, and end up being the ones we want to be around socially as well as professionally.
Want to improve your listening skills?
Understand why you need to listen and remember to practise these tips the next time you conduct a conversation.

Are your eyes listening?

Your eyes are a dead giveaway if you are not listening. When your mind wanders and you begin thinking of something or someone else, your eyes show your disinterest. And the person speaking to you is well aware that you are not paying attention. And this is true even if you don't look away. Blank stares don't conceal boredom!

How can you know if you are a bad listener?
A good listener uses his/ her eyes and mind while listening.
If you find yourself already formulating your next sentence in your mind while someone is speaking to you, you are doing injustice to the conversation. You will get more out of the conversation if you understand, comprehend and assimilate what is being said BEFORE responding.
Good etiquette = listening!

Do you make these common listening mistakes?

The difference between being a good listener versus a great listener is using your heart in addition to your eyes and mind while listening.
Do you do this?
  • If a friend tells you something is wrong, you immediately tend to give advice or criticism.
  • If a friend tells you about something wonderful that has happened, you usually chip in with something similar that you have experienced.
Rarely do we share joy or sympathise with pain. Rarely do we just let others speak. To improve your listening skills, practise with those closest to you. When family members or friends share their thoughts and feelings, curtail the urge to relate what you hear to one of your own.

What if a conversation bores you?

I believe 'interested people are interesting'.
Similarly, 'boring people get bored'.
You don't need to know a lot about a subject to have a conversation. You just need to have a desire to learn, understand and make things interesting.
For example, if someone tells you they are a teacher, instead of saying, "That's nice," and moving on to the next topic, try to find out why they are teaching, how they decided on this profession and what their current thoughts on teaching are.
Dig deep and create meaningful conversations.

How do I get others to listen to me?

  1. Listen more intently, question more, and speak with emotion. Build interesting conversations instead of one-way lectures.
  2. Engage people while you speak. Ask questions like, "What do you think?" or "Do you agree?"

    Try not to speak continuously for long periods. People tend to have short attention spans.
  3. When you do not listen to what others are saying and only care to listen to your own voice, this is an indication that you really do not care for other people's opinions.
Think about who you really enjoy being around, at work or in your personal life. Usually it is those who really listen and care about you. Are you listening?
"We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge. People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.