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Putting It All on the Line at the U.S. Open

WSJ Careers - 12 hours 7 min ago
Line umpires at a Grand Slam tournament, such as the U.S. Open, are all but invisible most of the time; that is, until they get the call wrong.

Size Matters for Corporate Boards

WSJ Careers - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 22:39
Companies with fewer board members outperformed their peers, while those with more directors underperformed, according to data analyzed for The Wall Street Journal.

3 Reasons To Say “No” At Work …

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 11:02

When you are tired and you just can’t take it anymore do you give yourself permission to disconnect? Whether it’s from your job, your family, or from your computer, learning how to say “No” when you are not feeling it is vital step in honoring who and what you are no matter how tempting the invitation to “join in” may sound.

You may like to please others more than you like to please yourself but learning when and how to put up the boundaries at work will save you not only time, but your sanity when the going gets even too tough for you. The next times you feel compelled to say, “Yes” but are stopped in your tracks, think about what is motivating you and respond accordingly.

  1. It’s Not Your Job. Knowing when it’s appropriate to be a “team player” and pitch in and knowing when you are being asked to stretch well beyond your limits signals a time when it may be okay to just say “No”. It’s not that you are trying to be insubordinate or problematic, but knowing that you are working and focusing your attention on the job you were hired to do does not mean you are a traitor when you are being asked to do twenty other things that will take you off your game. Saying no to handling extra work assignments or pitching in on a regular basis to help out a co-worker will prove to be your down fall if you don’t know when and decline in a way that does not alienate your team mates and piss off your overly demanding boss. Outlining your job priorities when asked to take on extra work means you are open to considering it but need to find something else to give up if you are truly needed to pitch in elsewhere. Don’t over extend your self to the point of no return. It’s okay to say you can’t handle more work if you really can’t- you are not a slacker if you can’t.
  2. Trying To Impress: We all want to make a good impression at work whether you are up for that promotion or just a new kid on the scene trying to score some points with the powers that be. You are up for a challenge just like the next person but when your sole motivation is to impress regardless of how much work you are piling on, maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities. Raising your hand and volunteering for everything and anything does not mean you are a team player and a rock star at work. What it does mean is that you either have too much time on your hands, or you are not sticking to the job you were hired to do. Make sure you understand the scope of what you are volunteering to help out with and whether earning a few more brownie points is worth the stress and aggravation that may come from your inability to say no to the next new thing that comes your way. You can be impressive without being oppressive.
  3. It’s Not in Your DNA: Some people just don’t have it in them and say “Yes” to everything feeling like they will a disappointment or will be left out of the mix. Crowd pleasing is one think but saying “No” does not mean you are retreating, It does mean you have enough common sense to know when and how to expend your energy and resources so you maintain a high level of consistent job performance without stretching yourself too thin. It may take practice, but there is nothing wrong with declining an offer that extends your limits even if that includes after work drinks with the team or taking on extra assignments when your plate is already too full. Knowing when to balance your wants with others asks is the first step in gaining confidence and learning an artful way to decline an invitation without offending anyone.

You don’t need to be a martyr when it comes to sacrificing what’s good for you vs. what’s good for the crowd especially if all you are craving is a bit of down town to recharge the batteries. If you are not able to stand up for your self and your own needs and what makes sense for you without feeling like you are letting everyone down, then you will likely run a ground and peter out way before it’s time to raise a glass to toast anyone’s success let alone your own.

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In Negotiations, Everyone's an Amateur

WSJ Careers - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 13:49
Executives master the art of the deal when negotiating on behalf of their companies, but many stumble when it comes to landing a raise or promotion for themselves.

Sneaking Away to Email? Why CEOs Loathe Vacation

WSJ Careers - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:32
Many top bosses say they can't afford to unplug even for a short time. Some balk at the thought of putting big projects on hold. Others don't want to miss face time with important clients or investors.

Kickstarter Closes the 'Funding Gap' for Women

WSJ Careers - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 21:55
Women tend to launch businesses with less financing than men and have more difficulty raising funding. But early data suggest that women are outperforming men in raising money via crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

5 Ways To Negotiate A Job Offer or Raise….

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:11

Whether you need to sharpen your skills to negotiate a job offer, a promotion or a raise, knowing how to ask for what you want may not come easy for some. You may have learned from an early age the best way to ask for what you want came when you completed a chore or a task. You may have also discovered that the ultimate decision was left in the hands of your parents, teachers or guardians. Feeling that your destiny is not in your control and that from a young age you needed to learn other ways to boost your confidence and adapt survival skills if you wanted to move ahead.

It may be hard to know how and when to ask for something for fear you may alienate your friends, bosses or co-workers. It’s time to learn to stand up for what you want and here are a few ideas to keep in mind that may prove to help you along the way:

  1. You Deserve It. Nothing screams confidence more than knowing what you are worth and standing up to make sure you are compensated for it. If you are in a job you love but feel you are getting less than you deserve, do your homework and find out what the rest of the world thinks. Going on informational interviews to see what other companies pay for your skill set is not a sign that you are not being loyal to your boss. Doing some market research online to understand what your compensation range should be signals you are aware of how your position is valued on the open market and if you are performing at the desired level, maybe it’s time to have a little talk with your boss to determine the best way to navigate a raise.
  2. Know Your Facts: No one wants to feel like they are being put on the defensive when it comes to negotiating a job offer or a salary raise. Besides, the person in the position of your boss or hiring manager may not be the final decision maker when it comes to approving your request. Making your request known by stating the facts based on your research which should include, market salary data, comparable position ranges, years of experience and education should be used to build your case. You should not discuss what your peers make, what your boss makes or any other confidential information that you may have gotten access to and try to use to your advantage as it will NOT help your case.
  3. Engage Support Everyone likes to help someone they believe and trust in even if they have no control over the final decision. Learning how to build your allies and support network actually does come in handy when it comes to your ability to negotiate for yourself. Making sure you have the best offense enables you to move towards your desired goal whether it’s a job offer or a raise. Having others on your side that can speak on your behalf and support you sends the message that others think you are a valued member of the team.
  4. Keep it Simple: Don’t over complicate your negotiation by making demands that are unreasonable or make you appear greedy. We all want what we are worth but make sure you have no more than three (3) asks in a negotiation and that you are clear on the priority and importance of those asks otherwise you may lose credibility. Not getting caught in the details and having a clear plan of action and specific goals, i.e., title, salary increase, timing, etc. helps you move through the negotiation process with ease and confidence.
  5. Seal the Deal: You may get so caught up in the tactics or the details of the negotiation that you forget to close the deal and come to a conclusion! Remember any good negotiation ends with both sides feeling good about the results. Make sure you allow yourself time to do the dance but remember to close the deal and accept the offer one way or another. Leaving the deal hanging whether you are thinking about a job offer or timing of a raise or promotion should not make or break the deal for you. Close the deal even if you don’t get 100% of what you want on the first shot keeps the game fair and room for you to come back again in the future.

Negotiation does not have to be a painful process. It’s a dance and you are either the choreographer or the principle dancer. Knowing your part and learning the rules of engagement helps you to ask for and get what you want no matter how absurd the demand.

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Returning to Wal-Mart: Human Cashiers

WSJ Careers - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 21:01
In an attempt to lure more customers this holiday season, the world's largest retailer is promising to staff every cash register from the day after Thanksgiving through the days just before Christmas during peak shopping times.

Tweets on Israel Cost Professor a New Job

WSJ Careers - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 18:45
An outspoken critic of Israel on the verge of taking a new tenured university post has learned a tough lesson about academic freedom: It doesn't necessarily apply when you are between jobs.

Art-Inspired Shoes Take BucketFeet to Next Level

WSJ Careers - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:55
BucketFeet's Raaja Nemani talks about how the footwear company was able to get into major retail stores and the benefits of 'shameless' self-promotion.

Cisco Plans to Cut 6,000 Jobs as Profit Slips

WSJ Careers - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:52
Cisco Systems announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, as the technology bellwether reported another quarter of declines in its recently completed fiscal year.

BossTalk: TaskRabbit Chief Is Recasting Freelance Work

WSJ Careers - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 23:39
The CEO of online marketplace TaskRabbit, which matches people willing to do odd jobs with people seeking them, says startups in the fast-growing peer-to-peer economy need to do more to protect workers.

Can 'Warcraft' Skills Help Land a Job?

WSJ Careers - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:08
A handful of job seekers are betting that listing their achievements in videogames such as the role-playing platform "World of Warcraft" on their résumés will impress managers in real life.

Enjoy Your Vacation, Already!

WSJ Careers - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:42
Companies deal with employees who refuse to take vacation days by mandating time off and in some cases paying them to go away.

Ever Thought, 'How Did He Get Promoted?'

WSJ Careers - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 02:33
Those co-workers with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks may possess "dark" personality traits.

3 Reasons It’s Time To Quit Your Job…

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:08

We all have those days when we just think we can’t take any more criticism, phone into one more conference call or just make that endless drive into the office. It’s not that you have any issue with working it’s just that you didn’t sign up for the nonsense that has become your every day job life. It’s a little like the movie “Groundhog’s Day” when each time you hope for a different outcome you get the same predictable results.

Quitting your job may not be an option, but challenging yourself to know when it’s time to make a change may be a first step in knowing when it’s time to move on.

  1. Boredom You may be good at what you do you may even like what you do, but when you are no longer challenged by what you do it might be a sign it’s time for a change. No one is saying you need to make each day of your job like a competition or a great race to the finish line. But learning, growing and being challenged by new and different ways to think and apply your skills is necessary if you want to keep your brain from going dark. Making sure you stay alert to new business applications, new methods of work and understanding that you are as good as your last big project, all are signs that it’s time to look elsewhere if your current work environment does not offer up those opportunities.
  2. Your Boss: You may love your boss you may hate your boss but can you remember the reason you took the job in the first place? The people we work for and we work with are as important a part of the job landscape as the work you have chosen to do. Like a marriage or any committed relationship, your boss or co-workers make up your job family. You may not always see eye to eye and like any good family dynamic, you have a whole host of characters and personalities you have to manage. But the fact is, you need to decide whether the relationship is worth saving or, when it’s just time for a professional divorce. Making that decision after you have tried to patch up any disagreements is not always easy especially if you like the company and you like the work. Before you decide to pack your bags and end your job marriage over irreconcilable differences, make sure you have given it your best shot and you have no regrets about making the break. Breaking up may be hard to do but turning back may be impossible.
  3. It’s Always About Money: Whether you think you are compensated well or just well enough, feeling appreciated in your job is not always taken care of with a pat on the back or an employee of the month award. In our society, one measure of success is determined by the amount of compensation you receive as an employee and the value that dollar amount signifies. Money is not a dirty word and you should not feel badly if you think you are shallow because you are motivated by money. It’s not always right and it’s not always fair but learning to stand up for yourself in terms of compensation and fair pay plays a big part in whether it’s time to move on from your current job or simply ask for a raise.

You know better than anyone when the job you love no longer loves you. It’s always hard to break up with someone or something but learning to take care of yourself and your needs is not a selfish act when it comes to your career survival. Self-preservation and your own sanity should be driving you to make the right choices when it comes to your next career move. Something to think about when you are stuck in traffic.

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Teens Get Diplomas on Factory Floor

WSJ Careers - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 17:29
Hundreds of teens are working on Southwire Co.'s factory line four hours a day, earning $9-an-hour and spending eight hours a day in the company's classrooms -- part of a program to build a skilled workforce.

Dim Future for Europe's Youth

WSJ Careers - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 12:18
In Europe's weaker economies, many people in their 20s and 30s have little hope of achieving the careers, wealth and economic security enjoyed by their parents and are dependent on short-term contracts.

DynCorp Dismisses CEO Walsh

WSJ Careers - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 23:03
DynCorp said it dismissed Chief Executive Gordon Walsh, who joined the company last month from L-3 Communications, a rival defense company that last week disclosed accounting problems involving a U.S. Army contract.

Malaysia to Bail Out Airline

WSJ Careers - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:56
Malaysia's embattled flagship carrier may soon face layoffs and changes in the boardroom as part of a restructuring that Prime Minister Najib Razak said would involve 'painful steps and sacrifices from all parties.'