#Leadership : How To Deliver Your #Presentation In Half The Time You’d Allotted…Talking Faster During a Presentation is a Bad Idea. Here are a Few Better Ones.

It’s the day of your big presentation. You’ve spent the last few weeks fine-tuning every detail. You rehearsed last night, and you were flawless. You’ve never felt more prepared.

But then you hear something that makes your stomach drop: “Sorry, but we’re going to need you to keep this to 10 minutes.” You’d planned for 20. How can you possibly pull it off in half the time?

Your first instinct is to just try and talk faster and maybe breeze past a less-important point or two–hopefully you can still cram in everything else, even if it’s a little rushed? Nope, wrong strategy.Nobody can be effective speaking in hyperspeed. Here’s what to do instead.


Related: How To Nail The First 90 Seconds Of That Big Meeting


GIVE YOUR CONCLUSION FIRST

If you have only one takeaway from this article, make sure it’s this one: Always state your conclusion first. Running out of time before getting your key message across is devastating. So don’t wait. Get to the point right away, no matter what. You may worry that your core message is kind of complicated and takes a little bit of background to spell out. Even so, get it out there first and then use your remaining time to fill in the context. If you can’t put your finger on what that essential conclusion actually is, though, you may have a bigger problem (but here’s how to solve it).


Related: The Only Three Notes You Need To Write Before Speaking Off-Script


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SPEAK EITHER IN “LAYERS” OR “MODULES”

Sometimes you may have a hunch that things could change and your talk might get cut short–which is great, because it gives you a chance to line up some contingency plans. There are two methods you can use to design your presentation with flexibility in mind so you can still manage to get through everything, even if you’re given less time:

Layering. This approach simply means designing your presentation from the inside out. The inner “layer” is your key message–the most important takeaway you want your audience to leave with. The next layer consists of your other major points that directly support that key message. Then you have the details that support those key points–which together make up a third layer. Think of it kind of like dressing for cold weather: If you get too warm, you can always take off a layer. Similarly, if you get short on time, you can take off one of the outer layers. What’s really important is that you communicate your inner layers effectively.

For example, let’s say you’re presenting about a project you’d like to get approval for. With the layering approach, you’d first deliver your key message about seeking approval for your project, followed by the supporting arguments and fundamental issues–the main benefits to approving the project, the outcomes it will deliver, and the challenges you may face. If you’re pressed for time, you’d simply leave out any additional details beyond that and stick just to those key points.

Modularizing. This means designing your presentation in “modules” that you can eliminate if necessary. While you still give your key message first, you don’t share all of your key points right away (even if they’re all relatively equally important). Instead, you leave out some of the points altogether, depending on how much time you have. The thinking here is that it’s better to do a great job spelling out just one supporting argument, than doing a mediocre job rushing through three of them. Think of it like going to dinner: You may want to skip either appetizers or dessert if you’re worried you’ll be late for the movie you bought tickets for.

So to continue the example from earlier, you’d deliver your key message, followed by your first key point (the reasons why the project should be approved) along with any relevant details. Then, if you have time, you can go over your next key point (intended outcomes of the project), along with those details. If you’re pressed for time, you’d drop the “challenges” point entirely.

ADJUST YOUR SLIDES ACCORDINGLY (OR MAKE MULTIPLE VERSIONS)

Finally, if you sense your presentation time might get cut down, you should design your slide deck to adapt–reflecting either a layered or modular approach, depending on which one you’d prefer taking. Or you could just save a couple different versions of your deck so you can pick the right one depending on the circumstances. At any event, when your time gets cut short and you’re forced to give an abbreviated presentation, having your slides out of order is going frustrate you as well as your audience. It’s much better to create either a few different slide decks or one that will work in any situation.

While time is one factor you may not be able to control, how you use it is.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anett Grant is the CEO of Executive Speaking, Inc. and the author of the new e-book,CEO Speaking: The 6-Minute Guide. Since 1979, Executive Speaking has pioneered breakthrough approaches to helping leaders from all over the world--including leaders from 61 of the Fortune 100 companies--develop leadership presence, communicate complexity, and speak with precision and power.

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FastCompany.com | January 5, 2018

Your #Career : Six Steps To Get Promoted This Year…This is your Guide to Fast Track your Career in 2018.

It’s a brand new year, and you’ve decided that it’s time to kick your career into high gear. Whether you’re gunning for a promotion or simply want to improve your performance, these six steps can move closer to your goal.

CHECK YOUR DIRECTION

Before you commit to moving forward on your current career path, take a moment to review where you are. How do you feel about your work? Are you happy?  It’s harder to be successful in an area for which you don’t feel passion or a sense of purpose, says New York City-based career counselor and executive coach Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.

“No matter what advice we give ourselves, if we really don’t enjoy the work itself, these tips and tricks won’t necessarily work for the long term. They won’t have staying power,” he says.

 

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BUILD YOUR PLAN

A career plan includes your short-term (three- to six-month), medium-term (six months to several-year), and long-term (five- to 10-year) goals, as well as a list of tasks or actions you’ll need to complete to achieve them, says Cheryl E. Palmer, owner of Colesville, Maryland-based career coaching firm Call to Career. Looking at where you want to be 5 or 10 years from now can be overwhelming, she says. But when you think about what you can accomplish in the next three to six months, it becomes easier to visualize and accomplish, and builds the foundation and direction for more long-term achievements, she says.

“They all tie together but it helps to break them down like that, so that you actually know what it is you’re trying to accomplish and within which time frame,” Palmer says.

Angelina Darrisaw, founder of The C-Suite Coach, a New York career coaching firm, advocates planning quarter by quarter. When you build your plan that way, you can see the natural progression, but it also shines a light on what needs to happen for your plan to be fulfilled, she says.

“You start to make a list [and see] what am I missing, are there any gaps in relationships I might need to have, and stakeholders at work that I might need to be engaging and developing a relationship with. Maybe there are some credentials that I’m lacking, and I need to see if my company has some training that I can take advantage of or tuition reimbursement programs that I can leverage to fill in those gaps,” she says.

UNDERSTAND–AND ENGAGE–SPONSORS AND MENTORS

Finding someone who can give you advice and help you move your career forward can be invaluable–but those two roles are often misunderstood, says Kim Powell, principal with Chicago-based leadership and change management consulting firm ghSMART and co-author of The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors That Transform Ordinary People Into World Class Leaders. A mentor is someone who can give you advice and act as a sounding board with the added benefit of experience. A sponsor is someone who is in a position to take action on your behalf, she says.

In research findings detailed in her book, Powell says she looked at “sprinters”–people who got to the C-suite faster than average. Roughly half had sponsors. “They worked with these individuals thoughtfully. They shared aspirations, not problems. They linked to what was relevant to the sponsor. They made requests easy to fulfill, and most importantly, they followed through relentlessly. Meaning, they’re very reliable. So the sponsor made an introduction or did something for them. They didn’t let that ball drop,” she says.

Mentors, on the other hand, can give you guidance and add an objective, experienced voice to help you make decisions. When looking for a mentor, be sure to choose someone who can devote the time you need, Cohen advises. Even well-intentioned mentors who are too busy may not be effective.

LOOK FOR RESOURCES YOU ALREADY HAVE

Depending on the culture of your company and what you hope to achieve, Darrisaw says it may be a good idea to share your goals with your manager to help you advance your career. “For the most part, most managers do want to see their people succeed and do well and achieve what it is that makes them happy,” she says. “They’re able to look at where you are with a different perspective and can be very helpful in engaging with you in filling out those gaps that you might have. So, making sure that they’re aware of what it is that you want so they can help present opportunities to you.

Palmer adds that it might be time to become more of a “joiner.” If you’re part of a larger organization, look for committees, projects, or task forces you can get involved with. If you’re part of a smaller organization, look for ways to take on new responsibilities and make a difference. She shares one caveat, though: Be sure you’re working in areas that matter to the company and will move you toward your goals. It’s easy to find ways to be busy that either aren’t aligned with what the leadership values or that won’t develop skills or visibility you need. So, choose these added efforts wisely.

LEARN HOW TO SHOWCASE–WITHOUT SHOWBOATING

In order to be considered for promotions or other advancement, it’s important that leaders know your abilities and accomplishments. But, being braggadocios isn’t the way to win. “We call it the self-interest torpedo. If you come across as trying to self-promote, it can be a torpedo from a career perspective. So, the trick around building visibility is really around how you go about doing it,” she says.

Finding the right sponsors who will toot your horn for you helps, she says. In addition, if it’s possible to be thoughtful about the boss you have, choose someone who is generous about sharing credit. Building a reputation for being reliable and for following through was also common among the fast-track CEOs she and her team studied. With the right approach, you can let people know your contributions without overselling yourself.

RALLY SUPPORT AT HOME

One area that rising professionals often overlook is support at home, Cohen says. Putting in more time at the office or being more focused on your career may mean that a partner or family members need to make sacrifices. Discuss these potential changes and be sure that the people in your life understand or work out compromises for work/life balance. Resistance or conflict at home or within your support system can be distracting and drain energy that you could be devoting to your goals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gwen Moran writes about business, money and assorted other topics for leading publications and web sites. She was named a Small Business Influencer Awards Top 100 Champion in 2015, 2014, and 2012 and is the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010), and several other books.

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FastCompany.com | January 5, 2018

Your #Career : Four Reasons Resumes No Longer Work…Today, 87% of #Recruiters use #LinkedIn to Vet #Candidates during the #HiringProcess , & Traditional #Resumes are Becoming Obsolete. According to Experts, “Titles and Years of Experience are No Longer a Person’s Number-One Currency.”

When you’re job-hunting, a resume used to be the quickest way to get your foot in the door, but that’s not necessarily true anymore. Today, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates during the hiring process, and traditional resumes are becoming obsolete.

Technology has changed the marketplace, and HR is the only vertical that hasn’t seen a rapid transition, says Carisa Miklusak, CEO of the algorithmic hiring platform tilr. “Right now tech isn’t giving people a fair opportunity to compete,” she says. “Before you blame the resume, you need to understand that they’re a byproduct of old employer values. Titles and years of experience are no longer a person’s number-one currency.”

Traditional resumes have four issues that can make it difficult to win a new job:

1. THEY FOCUS ON EXPERIENCE OVER SKILLS

Past generations valued years of experience, and traditional resumes convey this information by offering a chronological snapshot of your employment history. Today, however, candidates are being judged and employed based on their ability to perform–something that doesn’t easily come across on a resume, says Miklusak.

“Employers are interested in skills and the results someone can generate, rather than titles or previous employment,” she says. “Focusing on skills provides a fuller understanding of the candidate’s experience and capabilities, and opens up more opportunities.”

 

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2. THEY’RE ORGANIZED BY JOB TITLES

Traditional resumes use job titles as headings, but these aren’t always as clear as employers would like. Creative names, like “success ambassador” and “office ninja,” make it difficult to understand what a candidate does, and there is no uniform use of titles.

“When resumes are uploaded into employer databases, crawlers can have a hard time with titles and keywords,” says Miklusak. “New titles are used every day that didn’t exist prior, and they don’t always give a clear picture of someone’s skillset.”

3. THEY’RE STATIC

Candidates have to acquire new skills to stay current, and employers are often purchasing new technology that employees need to master, but resumes are static, requiring frequent revisions.

“Unless you update it each week, a resume becomes outdated by the time you need to submit or forward it,” says Miklusak. While updating your LinkedIn profile provides real-time ease, it’s flawed, too. “You’re still subject to your last job title leading off your experience,” she says.

4. THEY’RE CUMBERSOME IN THE GIG ECONOMY

Using a resume to find workers for on-demand positions is inefficient and costly for companies. “There is a skill gap in the economy, and we don’t have enough workers to fill current jobs,” says Miklusak. “Resumes slow the process down, and we have unemployed people who still can’t find jobs.”

In addition, a lot of qualified workers don’t want to be bothered. “A gig worker isn’t going to create a resume for a $15/hour holiday work,'” she says.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

For now, resumes are still the standard way of conducting a job search, so make the most of yours until new technology catches up to hiring. If a company requires that you submit your resume online, it’s a good idea to use traditional methods of putting yourself out there, suggests Miklusak. “Submit your resume online and mail it in, including a short paragraph that describes how you can add an immediate benefit to company,” she says. “Summarize your skillset that is relevant to the role and rate your proficiency.”

You can also cold call the hiring manager or HR department to bring attention to your application. “They might receive thousands of resumes, so do something to help cull yours out of that pile,” says Miklusak. “If you’re interested, you’re forced to do something to set yourself apart.”

For gig work, companies are moving to platforms like UpworkShiftgig, and tilr. “They’re a better tool to find new candidates instead of wading through resumes,” says Miklusak.

Finally, get out from behind your resume by expanding your network. “When you meet someone who works for a company that interests you, ask if they’re hiring any more people,” says Miklusak. “You still have to have a resume, but presenting it live or over a phone call can help you cut through the noise.”

Employers are starting to reassess their talent strategy moving forward, says Miklusak. “Based on the type of business and type of workers they need, they are finding new ways to recruit and deciding where resumes are relevant and where they aren’t,” she says.

 

FastCompany.com  | January 5, 2018 | BY STEPHANIE VOZZA 3 MINUTE READ

 

 

Your #Career : Three Questions You Must Ask If You Want The Job…The #JobSearch Today is more Competitive & Time-Consuming than ever Before. Given this Environment, the Only Recipients of Job Offers are the Applicants who Interview Well & Manage their Job Searches.

At one time or another, we have all made the leap from high school or college to the real world and have likely spent some time on the interviewing circuit. As I recall my first interview experiences, I vividly remember my father’s advice on the art of interviewing. My father, Paul Micali, was a sales trainer, manager, author and public speaker. It’s fascinating to me that his words of wisdom, three decades ago, are even more relevant today.

Through our many interviews, we hopefully all learn the basics: a firm handshake, strong eye contact, smiling, proper posture, body language, tone of voice, key questions, answers and stories. But my father’s advice was all about “how" to end the interview; that time when the interviewer and interviewee have no more to say and look at one another across the desk in awkward silence.

It was at that point that my father explicitly instructed me to ask that all-powerful question — that question that no interviewee ever wants to ask.

“What are my chances of getting this job?”

 I couldn’t imagine being so brazen and presumptuous! To make matters worse, I was instructed to ask the question three times in three different ways:

1. What are my chances of getting this job?

2. How soon will you be making a decision?

3. Based on your timeline, can I plan to hear from you in one or two weeks?

 It took every ounce of courage I had to muster up the confidence to ask these questions. However, I’m so glad that I did. The answers to these questions provided me with the roadmap to guide and jumpstart my career. Fast forward 30 years, as a talent acquisition consultant and a career coach; I see the absolute necessity for every candidate to ask these questions in an interview.

The job search today is more competitive and time-consuming than ever before. With job postings on LinkedIn, Indeed, Zip Recruiter, company websites and alike, companies are deluged with resumes. Today, each position commands between 250 and 300 applicants with a mere 2% being called in for an interview. A job seeker in today’s market must put forth a patient and disciplined approach in applying for positions online, networking and directly reaching out to companies. Given this environment, the only recipients of job offers are the applicants who interview well and manage their job searches.

Assuming your interview has gone well, you have arrived at the point where “how” you handle the ending can be crucial to your outcome.

Here are three reasons why asking this infamous question, “What are my chances of getting this job?” are crucial to your interview.

1. You will show the interviewer that you are serious about this position and that you want this job. 

When someone visibly shows through their words and actions that they want something, they tend to work hard to get it! As the interviewee, you will be displaying to the hiring manager that your meeting has a definite purpose and that you mean business. It may have taken you four weeks to get to this point in the process, and you deserve to know your position in the lineup!

 

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2. You will send the signal that you have a productive jobsearch underway. 

And that you are weighing different opportunities. In other words, you are interviewing with other companies. You have been proactive in your job search, not waiting around to hear from companies. If you are as good as you think you are and the hiring manager agrees, they won’t waste time and will quickly move your candidacy forward.

3. You will overcome the hiring manager’s potential objections, turning a “no” into a “yes."

When you ask this question, an honest answer from the interviewer provides you with a snapshot of how he/she sees you in the position. If the hiring manager mentions an area where you may not reach the expectations outlined in the job description, this is your opportunity to overcome their perspective with specific results and stories. If you don’t ask the question, you will miss the chance to turn a “no” into a “yes." In fact, you will leave the meeting not knowing where you stand in the interviewee lineup!

Of course, if the answer is that your chances are good, then you can continue your pursuit with, “How soon can I expect to hear from you?” and “Can I look forward to speaking with you in two weeks?” These questions will further convey that you remain very interested in the position and would like to know the timeline involved in securing the job.

From the perspectives of the hiring manager, recruiter and career coach, when the interviewee doesn’t ask for the job, we question if the candidate really wants the position.

We have all heard the expression, “Ask better questions and get better answers.”

I challenge you to ask yourself: “Do you want this job?” .....  If the answer is yes, then ask for it, three times!

 The answers will give you the roadmap to guide and jumpstart your career and your life.
Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?
Author: Donna Poudrier - Career coach and recruiter Donna Poudrier helps job seekers and new grads find the “right job” to jumpstart their careers.
 
Forbes.com | January 4, 2018 

Your #Career : This Is How To #ChangeCareer Without Spiraling Into The Unknown…Visionary Designer Albert Lee has a Method he calls “Flooring the Downside” to help him Navigate the Uncertainty of making Big Changes.

Our careers have a momentum to them that is self-perpetuating. But what happens when we take dramatically different paths? How do you do it without risking it all or starting from zero?

The ability to make these dramatic nonlinear moves is a defining characteristic of many careers of Fast Company‘s Most Creative People In Business, from Genevieve Bell (Most Creative 2009), an anthropologist in a room full of technologists, to Albert Lee (Most Creative 2014), an architect and designer in a room full of investors.

The career paths of these individuals can seem out of reach to most of us because when we read about them, we don’t hear the practical not-talked-about ways people deal with the fears of failing, losing security, and spiraling into the unknown when making nonlinear moves–until now.

Lee is a soft-spoken individual who has become a trusted behind-the-scenes adviser for some of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley. His nonlinear career has taken him from summers working at Alice Waters’s restaurant Chez Panisse to apprenticing as an architect at Frank Gehry’s Studio. Early in his career, a mentor told him to “always do the other thing in the room,” and he has taken that to heart.

When Lee reached a moment of stasis, he would shift. He left the architecture world to become an art director at a design agency, and from there, to business school, where he was the sole designer in a room full of executives. Lee’s actions seem to have a sense of gravity, but he wasn’t always like this. To feel comfortable going against the grain, he uses a technique he calls “flooring his downside.”

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“Flooring the downside” means writing a story that explains failing and returning to what you were doing before you even consider making the transition. These stories prevent you from imagining the bottomless failure that awaits if the transition doesn’t go smoothly.

There are three specific types of stories that you can craft that will not only put a “floor underneath your risk,” but will help propel you forward in your career, even if you return from a nonlinear transition within the first few months.

FIGURE OUT WHAT QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER

Before you take a new path, ask yourself, What question you are trying to answer by taking this new path? In your story, explain how you were able to answer that question as a result of your nonlinear experience. How are those new answers going to help you do your old job in a better way? Answering and pursuing a question expresses a directionality to your career trajectory that people respect, envy, and see as a marker of success, regardless of now nonlinear it may be.

IMAGINE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE LOOKING BACK

The learning story grounds your career in a continual pursuit instead of a series of endpoints that can be compared to each other. Imagine yourself in the future looking back on your experience—what has changed? What have you learned? People spend tens of thousands of dollars on formal educational opportunities and thus understand the value of being paid to learn will be easy to understand. Regrounding your story in terms of learning gives you more power when coming back to renegotiate in your old industry in the same way a person who gets a graduate degree returns to a promotion.

EMBRACE BEING THE OTHER

It takes a certain level of mastery in both fields to confidently embrace being the Other. If your nonlinear stint was too short, don’t fake it; instead, concentrate on telling the other types of stories above. As the Other in the room, you have the opportunity to either be a translator or a synthesizer of ideas.

A translator is responsible for sharing perspectives and views that are a given in one world in a way that is accessible to another, while a synthesizer’s primary goal is to combine perspectives in fresh ways informed by different bodies of knowledge. Being aware of which way of thinking is needed will help you find a unique voice you can confidently own.


Dev Aujla is the creator of 50waystogetajob.com and author of the upcoming book 50 Ways to Get a Job: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Work on Your Terms due out in April. He is the director of talent for Juxtapose, an early-stage venture fund based in New York City. 

 

FastCompany.com | January 4, 2018 | Dev Aujla

Your #Career : Exactly How To Decide Which Skills To Put On Your #Resume …Don’t just List every Software Program you’ve Ever worked With. Take these Four Steps instead.

You know what your goal is when you’re writing your resume: You’ve got to capture recruiters’ and hiring managers’ interest in a way that separates you from everyone else in the stack.

But while you’re hopefully savvy enough to avoid listing “Microsoft Office” in your skills section, you may be missing your chance to show off what you’re really skilled at–by bragging about skills that aren’t as valuable as you might think. Here’s why, and how to fix it.


Related: How To Trick The Robots And Get Your Resume In Front Of Recruiters


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What Skill Sets do You have to be ‘Sharpened’ ?

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Our national obsession with STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) skews job seekers’ thinking about what counts as a resume-worthy skill. Even for semi-technical and non-technical roles, many proudly tout the programming languages they know, their experience with design programs, and their work with particular databases. They hope the accretion of these skills makes them seem like modern “digital natives” (a term often burdened with ageist assumptions) worthy of landing an interview.

It’s no doubt that technical skills are crucial for jobs across many industries. Indeed, some reckon that even tech candidates tend to lack the hard skills employers require; if your coding job requires a lot of Java-based programming, you’d better know your Java. But a lot of what separates the good employees from the great is not their technical expertise–it’s their ability to work together with their colleagues. People skills, also known as “soft skills,” matter a lot. So one of your main goals in writing your resume should be to show off how great your people skills are.

Consider the familiar rap against liberal arts majors. How many college students majoring in history, philosophy, or literature get harangued at family gatherings by well-meaning relatives who think they’re pursuing a worthless degree? Because who needs a historian, philosopher, or literary critic at a business meeting? Actuallylots of companies do.

I run a program at the University of Texas called the Human Dimensions of Organizations. At the undergraduate level, we work with students to understand the soft skills underlying courses in the liberal arts. A class about the history of the Camp David Accords also teaches strategies for mediating disputes. A course exploring the philosophy of belief also teaches about the ways people’s knowledge can be affected by arguments. A semester exploring 19th-century English literature creates opportunities for empathy and for recognizing the roots of modern industrial practice.

The point here isn’t to argue for the value of a humanities education. It’s that every job seeker needs human-based skills to land a job offer. People’s collected workplace (and classroom) experience leads them to develop skills beyond the technical abilities mentioned in a job listing’s “requirements” section. Which means your resume needs to demonstrate that you’ve done exactly that.


Related: These Are The Skills You Should Exclude From Your Resume


SO WHAT ARE MY SKILLS, EXACTLY?

Figuring out which of those skills you should highlight comes down to these four steps:

  1. Identify one or two of the biggest projects you’ve worked on since taking your current job.
  2. Reflect on the biggest challenges to success in those projects.
  3. Ask yourself what you had to do (get specific–which specific steps did you have to take?) to overcome those obstacles. Those skills are the ones that you need to highlight on your resume. Some of them may be interpersonal, and others might be more technical, but chances are, none of them are “Excel.”
  4. Find the clearest, most concise way to describe those skills in terms that show off your abilities with regard to what the job listing calls for.

For instance: Did the team disagree about how to pursue a project? Did you play a role in helping your coworkers arrive at a common vision? If so, you’ve developed skills in mediating disputes and building a collaborative environment. Or did you have to take a poorly defined problem and turn it into a series of discrete challenges that you could tackle with individual projects? If so, you’ve honed your skills in project design and implementation, not to mention your team communication skills.

One benefit to going through this process is that it helps you understand your skills in practice. They won’t be these diffuse, abstract things you’ll struggle to talk about on job interviews. Instead, you’ll be able to discuss exactly what role you took in the project that inspired that line on your resume–and why, thanks to your amazing skill set, you’ll be able to meet similar challenges on your new team.

A final word of warning, though: Don’t oversell your abilities. If you’re generally not that good at resolving disputes, don’t put yourself in a position where you  may be forced to do that on a regular basis. Yes, highlighting your soft skills is key to actually getting noticed. But you (and the people you work with) won’t be happy in a position that doesn’t match what you’re actually best at.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Art Markman, PhD is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Art is the author of Smart Thinking and Habits of LeadershipSmart Change, and most recently, Brain Briefs, co-authored with his "Two Guys on Your Head" co-host Bob Duke, which focuses on how you can use the science of motivation to change your behavior at work and at home.

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FastCompany.com | January 4, 2018 | BY ART MARKMAN  4 MINUTE READ

Your #Career : Look Out For These Warning Signs Before You Take That #NewJob…As Much as you Want to Make a Change Right Now, Take the Time to Make Sure it’s the Right One.

Think about it: Have you ever landed a coveted job only to feel miserable mere weeks later, lamenting at your cubicle that if only you had listened to your gut–to have seen your boss’s disheveled desk for the warning sign it was–you could have saved yourself a lot of trouble?

In other words, you ignored a red flag. “A work-related red flag is basically a warning sign, either overt or even a gut feeling you have, that the job won’t be a good fit for you,” explains career coach Hallie Crawford. “It can also be a possible issue you sense with the company, why the job is available, your prospective boss, or a team member you’d be working with.”

work-related red flag can be something you witness during the interview, read about in a company review, or hear about through the industry grapevine. But no matter the source, listen to your reaction to the news. “Trust yourself,” Crawford encourages. “If you sense something might be off, listen to that gut instinct and ask about it during the interview.”


Related: How To Become Indispensable At Work This Year 


1. YOUR INTERVIEWER (OR HIS SPACE) LOOKS A MESS

Picture a disheveled desk, stacks of folders strewn about, a trash can overflowing with crumpled paper—in other words, an office or a person that screams anything but I’ve got it together. This is a red flag you can’t chalk up to a bad day or a sense of disorganization, warns millennial career expert Jill Jacinto. “How we choose to visually express ourselves is part of the interview process. That is why we wear a suit, blow out our hair, or get our shoes shined. We want to show that we have it together.” And trust us: You want your future employer to put in the same kind of effort. “A few loose papers is one thing,” Jacinto concedes, “but a desk covered in papers or garbage is another.”

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What Skill Sets do You have to be ‘Sharpened’ ?

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2. YOU GET OFFERED THE JOB DURING THE INTERVIEW

It may seem like a very good thing if you if get offered the job before you even leave your first interview–but in reality, “this could be a red flag because there could be underlying issues,” warns Crawford. Think about it: Why is the company so desperate to fill this role? “Perhaps they aren’t able to keep someone in this position for very long, or maybe they fire employees regularly,” Crawford says. Instead of saying yes in this situation, “ask them why the position is available, and listen carefully to their answer. Ask to meet your manager and ask him what his ideal employee would be. This will give you insight into their management style and anything that may be going on.”


Related: You Can Do More Of What You Like At Work And Less Of What You Hate


3. THE JOB DESCRIPTION IS NOT CLEARLY DEFINED

Leaving a job description loose-ended is a recipe for work disaster. Why? Because, as Crawford points out, if an employer can’t clearly define exactly what they want you to do, they may be keeping it vague so they can ask “employees to handle a variety of tasks for little pay” after they’re hired, says Crawford. Or, “They may be just trolling for possible employees to test the market versus actually really intending to hire someone.” If you’re still interested in the job, don’t leave the interview–and certainly don’t accept the position–until you “let the manager know you would like a clarification of the job description,” she says. If they can’t do it when asked, Crawford says, “beware.”

4. THE HIRING MANAGER SAYS HE WORKS 24/7–AND SO DOES THE STAFF

Recalls Jacinto, “I was advising a woman a few years ago who said she regrets not picking up on her current boss’s eccentric behavior. He had said during the interview that if he could, he would sleep at the office and spends all his time there. She agreed to come in on weekends for training–but the ‘training’ never stopped. She–and the rest of the staff–were expected to march into work over the weekend to have team meetings and catch-ups. Needless to say, she found a better job.” If you see similar red flags during the interview process, “run,” Jacinto warns. “If a boss all but sleeps at the office, he’ll expect you and your team to bunk down, too.”


Related:This New Site Lets You Try A Job For Six Months Before Committing


5. THE COMPANY LOWBALLS ITS OFFER

You know what you’re worth–and you know what others make who work in that same job–because you’ve used tools such as Glassdoor’s company salaries search tool to find out. And “if you are offered less than the salary listed in the posting or lower than what they said their range was, this could be a red flag,” says Crawford. If you find yourself faced with this red flag, “Ask about benefits, but if they aren’t offering benefits or can’t define them, they [may just be] trying to take advantage of you.”

FastCompany.com | January 3, 2018 | BY JILLIAN KRAMER—GLASSDOOR 4 MINUTE READ

Your #Career : These Eight Phrases Are Killing Your Chance for a Promotion… Sorry, But I Honestly just Think you Should Read This.

Words matter more than you might think, especially if you are one of the 43% of employees who works remotely. If coworkers or your manager can’t see your body language, they have to rely solely on conversations you have over email or the phone, and certain phrases could cost you a promotion, says Crystal Barnett, senior human resource specialist for Insperity, an HR service provider for small to medium-sized organizations.

“While most of us manage to avoid making comments that result in a punishable offense, some common phrases can hurt your chances for advancement in the long run,” she says. “You have to choose words carefully to get your point across without being negative or self serving.”

Here are eight words and phrases that can derail your career if they’re uttered at the wrong place or time:

1. “HONESTLY …”

Starting a sentence with the word “honestly” when speaking about others can come off as an attack, and it’s one of the easiest ways to damage your career, says Barnett. “Telling a trusted boss how one truly feels is expected and encouraged at many companies,” she says. “However, in some organizations, giving an unvarnished assessment can be dangerous if done without careful consideration beforehand.”

Using the word “honestly” before offering a critique of another team member’s work in a public setting, for example, can damage your relationship. It can also create the impression that you’re willing to promote yourself by attacking others.

“Only use ‘honestly’ when it applies to you,” says Barnett.

 

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2. “I THINK”

When you use the phrase “I think,” you immediately lose credibility, says Barnett. “‘I know’ or ‘Based on my experience my recommendation would be’ are much stronger,” she says. “In our world if you don’t know you lose credibility. It can demonstrate your weakness in certain environments.”

3. “I”

Taking credit for your work can be like walking a fine line of what’s appropriate. Instead, always defer to the team when sharing your success, says Barnett.

“It’s better to see ‘I’ in context of we,” she says. “For example, ‘I was part of a team that accomplished this.’ You can use ‘I’ and give yourself credit for being part of team, but touting yourself alone comes across as being arrogant and most companies don’t find that appealing.”

4. “YEAH, BUT…”

If you’re given an instruction or request from a supervisor or manager that leaves you with questions or concerns, starting your response with “Yeah, but” could come off as being combative.

“Asking clarifying questions or proactively identifying issues is not a bad thing,” says Barnett. “However, doing so in a negative-sounding way suggests an unwillingness to follow instruction or, worse yet, a challenge to a leader’s authority.”

Avoid the phrase altogether. If you need to revise the request, start by saying, “I understand your point of view. Let me provide you with another perspective of what we can accomplish,” suggests Barnett.

“This shows that you’re open to listening and you want to following instructions,” she says. “Offering different perspective is a much better way to get that out.”

5. “JUST”

“Just” can be a loaded word in some contexts, says Barnett. “For example, if a manager says to an employee ‘I just want you to finish those reports before the end of the week,’ the comment sounds highly negative on the receiving end,” she says. “It’s a filler word that diminishes your confidence and the importance of the message.”

A better approach might be to say “Be sure to get me those reports by the end of the week,” which is clear and direct.

6. “YES”

Saying “yes” to a request from your supervisor is usually looked at as being a good thing, but it could cause you to stretch yourself too thin, says Barnett. “You can’t produce quality work if you’re saying ‘yes’ all of the time,” she says. “The danger of burnout should always be considered before you answer.”

Instead of saying “no,” answer with “We can do this. Let’s make a list of priorities and see where it can go.” “This way you share responsibility of where the task goes in order of completion so you don’t feel like everything is a burning priority,” says Barnett.

7. “SORRY”

Transparency goes a long way, but simply saying “sorry” isn’t enough, says Barnett. This is particularly important when speaking with someone who has authority.

“You need to follow ‘sorry’ with an offer of a solution,” she says. “For example, ‘I dropped the ball, but here’s what I’ll do to fix it’ is much better than just saying, ‘I dropped the ball.'”

8. “THAT’S NOT MY JOB”

Passing the buck in today’s work environment can be extremely toxic, especially if you’re working with customers or clients. If you receive a request that’s outside your scope, wheelhouse, or expertise, connect the person with someone who can help.

“Say, ‘I have a colleague who knows about this. I’ll get in touch with them,'” suggests Barnett. “It shows that you have confidence,” she says. “You’ve let them know you don’t have an immediate answer, but you’re not leaving them hanging.”

 

FastCompany.com | January 3, 2018 | Stephanie Vozza

#Leadership : The Three Biggest Leadership Mistakes I Made In 2017, And How I’ll Fix Them In 2018… Mistake #2: I Allowed my Stress and Anxiety to Set the Tone for the Organization

For years, I’ve preached the value of self-awareness to anyone who will listen. Whether in your personal or professional life, the ability to confront your strengths and weaknesses head-on is essential for personal growth.

Now that we’re starting a new year, it’s a perfect time to take a moment and reflect on the mistakes we’ve made in the past and how we can fix them going forward.

For me, 2017 was a wild year, full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It was, perhaps, the most transformational year in my company’s history.

Over the past 365 days, we have closed down old product lines, merged with another company, shifted industries, divested business lines, hired and fired people, recapitalized the business, and launched all new products.

Throughout all of this, I’ve seen my role as CEO evolve from a technology startup founder to the leader of a complex, multi-channel business.

With so many things happening in such a short period, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and lose perspective.

That’s why I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on my performance over the year. I want to call out the mistakes I’ve made, share them with the world, and explore how I’ll fix them in 2018. 

Mistake #1: In trying to empower my team, I adopted a hands-off management style.

I was just 24 years old when my co-founder and I started BodeTree, and the only thing that exceeded my lack of knowledge was my arrogance.

I had found a fair bit of success in my career up to that point and as a result felt that I knew everything I needed to know about leadership.

In reality, I knew hardly anything about true leadership. In fact, I was a bull in a china shop when it came to managing people. I forced my opinion on others, closed myself off from criticism, and dictated plans from upon high.

It didn’t work.

I owe a lot to my co-founder and mentor who finally pulled me aside and helped me to understand the error of my ways. From that time on, I took measures to listen to others, let them take the lead, and adopt a much more gentle leadership style.

Like everything in life, however, problems arise when the pendulum swings too far in any one direction.

Throughout this past year of change, I wanted to do everything I could to ensure a smooth transition and integration. The best way to do that, I reasoned, was to adopt a gentle, hands-off leadership style with the hopes of empowering my team’s leaders.

The problem was that this hands-off style doesn’t equate to empowerment.

Empowerment is about giving people the guidelines, accountability, and resources to achieve the team’s goals. Sitting back and letting people run in their direction doesn’t do them any favors. In fact, it causes organizations to diverge in an ever-accelerating cycle of frustration.

My goal for 2018 is to bring my leadership style into balance. This entails taking a more hands-on approach to empowerment, serving as a coach and coordinator for the leaders on my team.

There’s nothing hands-off about it; I’ll be involved in every step, supporting, encouraging, and holding people accountable.

 

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Mistake #2: I allowed my stress and anxiety to set the tone for the organization

Change and stress go hand-in-hand, and in 2017 our organization experienced its fair share of change. To say that it was a stressful year would be an understatement.

Leaders set the tone for the organization. As I’m writing this, I have a list on my desk with two columns. The first column is the list of positive and exciting opportunities we have in front of us. The second column is the list of things that terrify me.

As the leader of my organization, I get to choose which column we focus on. Last year, I allowed the stress and anxiety I was facing to leak into the company at large.

I wore my emotions on my sleeve, and as a result, unconsciously chose to focus on the negative aspects of our situation - the risks, fears, and uncertainty - rather than the tremendous opportunity in front of us.

Since I was fearful and stressed, the rest of the team followed suit. This caused a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since we focused on the negative, it seemed as though negative things happened.

Fortunately, the opposite also holds true. When we focused on positive things, miraculously it seemed as though positive things happened.

Morale has a certain momentum to it inside of organizations. You fall in the direction you lean, so it’s important always to be aware of how you’re leaning.

In 2018, I’m personally committing to controlling my emotions better and focusing on the positive things in front of us. I know that if I lean toward the light, my team will as well.

Mistake #3: I focused on long-term strategy and neglected near-term tactics

I come from a background in finance and strategy, and as a result, I tend to focus on the “big picture.”

My co-founder and I share this trait. We jump to the conclusion quickly, but often fail to pay attention to the tactical steps that are needed to reach said conclusion.

This past year, I focused on the potential that our newly-combined business had to bring about massive change to the franchising industry. However, I underestimated just what it would take for us to achieve this ambitious goal.

Strategy is great, but it is worthless without tactics. The devil is in the details, and it’s important to focus on the day-to-day operational tactics if there is to be any hope of bringing strategy to bear.

Going forward into 2018, I’m going to spend my time focusing on the tactical aspects of executing against our strategy, while my co-founder will keep an eye toward the future.

The path forward

2017 was a difficult year in many respects, but the adversity and uncertainty we faced transformed me into a more mature leader.

I’m finally finding the balance I’ve sought after for so long. BodeTree is no longer the scrappy tech startup; instead, it’s a complex, deep, and multi-faceted business that requires a more mature leadership style.

Honestly reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made is the first step toward becoming the leader that my organization needs.

I don’t know what 2018 has in store for us, but I know one thing for sure; I won’t be repeating the mistakes of the past.

Author:Chris Myers is the Cofounder and CEO of BodeTree and the author of Enlightened Entrepreneurship.

 

Forbes.com | January 1, 2018

Your #Career : What You Should Know Before Asking For A #Raise In 2018…Keep the Following Things in Mind in Order to Raise the Odds of Increasing your #Salary .

In an ideal world, you’d get offered the salary you want right off the bat. But if you’ve been working or job hunting for a while, you probably know that very few people receive their perfect offer right out of the gate. Most of the time, you have to ask for what you want, make your case, and hope that the company you’re negotiating with has the bandwidth to give you what you’re looking for.

Whether you’re negotiating for more money or perks at your current company or trying to secure the right offer somewhere new, here’s the best advice we heard this year for getting what you deserve in 2018.

1. BE SURE YOUR PERFORMANCE MERITS A RAISE BEFORE YOU ASK FOR ONE

If you’re going to try to negotiate for a bump in your current salary, be sure you can show that it’s warranted. One of the biggest mistakes that can ruin a salary negotiation is not having proof that you’re indispensable to your organization. “The biggest mistake I’ve seen from employees over the years is asking for a raise when their performance is average or sub-par,” says Joanna Buickians, vice president of operations for JBA. “For example, I’ve had sales people asking for raises when they are in the red and not able to close–or worse, people who take frequent vacations, use all their sick days . . . who have a general sense of entitlement and an attitude of, ‘I deserve a raise because I’m just awesome.’ If these employees had shown they’re really worth their salt, by showing up to work on time and working as hard as they could, I would have given a them a raise.”

 

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What Skill Sets do You have to be ‘Sharpened’ ?

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2. TREAT IT AS A COLLABORATION, NOT A FIGHT

By approaching a negotiation as a way to work with with your hiring manager or HR department rather than against them, you’re more likely to be successful. “Never engage in negotiation as an ultimatum–an either/or–but rather as a collaborative process and a unique opportunity to create a compensation package that makes sense for both you and for them,” advises career coach Roy Cohen. “Establish priorities as to what is most important to you and what items you are willing to trade off.” Then, make your case and say that you’re looking forward to “working together” on this–one of the best phrases to use in a salary negotiation if you want to succeed. “Unless you know for sure that you are indispensable, and few of us ever are, successful negotiation should never become adversarial. That is a bad sign that the process has broken down or will,” Cohen continues.


Related: Your Cheat Sheet To Negotiating These Five Perks With Your Next Job Offer 


3. DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO SHARE YOUR CURRENT SALARY

It’s super common for recruiters to ask what you’re making at the moment and what you’re looking for in terms of compensation in your next job. You do not have to answer this directly, and it’s actually one of the things you should never say during a salary negotiation, according to Josh Doody, author of Fearless Salary Negotiation. “I call this The Dreaded Salary Question, and it’s tricky because it usually comes up early in the interview process, and most candidates don’t think of it as part of a salary negotiation, even though it is,” he says. “Answering this question by disclosing numbers can make it very difficult to negotiate effectively later on, because it can box the candidate in. Once they disclose current or desired salary, the offers they get are very likely to be tied to those numbers. That can be very expensive if the company might have offered them a much higher salary than they disclosed.”

4. WAIT AS LONG AS YOU CAN BEFORE DISCUSSING SALARY

This one is especially true if you’re trying to score a great salary at your first job, but it’s applicable to all job seekers. In addition to avoiding naming a number that you’re looking for in terms of salary, “you also want to defer the salary conversation as long as possible, because the longer you can defer that discussion, the more time you have to impress them in your interviews and convince them that you should be paid at the higher end of the range they have budgeted for the role,” Doody says. By leaving the money talk until the end of the job application process, you’re more likely to nab a higher paycheck.

5. THINK BEYOND DOLLARS AND CENTS

It can be tempting to focus on the dollar amount you’ll be taking home each month or year, but if your prospective employer isn’t open to changing how much money they’re offering you, don’t forget about benefits negotiation, which can actually be one of the most important parts of figuring out your salary. Consider what might be worth bartering for, whether it’s extra vacation days, better medical or dental benefits, a gym membership reimbursement, or even commissions.


Related: Four Ways You’re Messing Up Your Salary Negotiations Early In Your Career 


6. LET THEM KNOW YOU WANT TO ACCEPT THE JOB

In the final stages of negotiation, another helpful phrase is something along the lines of, “If you can do x, I’m ready to accept your offer.” This lets them know you want to accept the job, but you need a little something more first. “When you get to this phase of the negotiation, you want to make it clear to the recruiter or hiring manager that saying ‘Yes’ will end the negotiation so they’re more comfortable acquiescing,” Doody says. For example, you may want to say, “I understand you can’t come all the way up to $60,000. It would be great to add an additional week of paid vacation along with the $55,000 you suggested. If you can do that, I’m on board,” he suggests.

7. DON’T USE YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES AS A NEGOTIATION TOOL

While it might feel logical to explain your personal financial situation as your reasoning for needing to earn more money, experts say this can also ruin your salary negotiation. “One of my employees requested a meeting to negotiate their salary,” says Lori Bizzoco, cofounder of NV Media, Inc. “They came into the meeting and right off the bat started to discuss their personal financial situation at home: She was getting married and the wedding was costing more than she and her fiancé had anticipated. She used the wedding as a bargaining tool to ask for a raise. At the risk of sounding less compassionate than I really am, I must express the importance of leaving personal issues out of the conversation when asking for a raise. As much as I empathize with financial struggles, an employee can create a more compelling argument for a raise by providing evidence of his or her hard work.”

8. KNOW YOUR WORTH

One of the simplest and most effective tools you can use in a salary negotiation is information about what others in your position make. That’s why our Know Your Worth tool is so useful when you’re looking for a new job or trying to up your pay at an existing job. By inputting some basic a information about yourself and your job history, you can get a better understanding of your market worth. Armed with this knowledge, you can negotiate confidently.


Related: How To Negotiate Your Salary When You Have No Obvious Leverage


9. USE YOUR NETWORK FOR RESEARCH

Another tool you can add to your research arsenal is your business contacts. Journalist Jillian Kramer did exactly that when recovering from a lowball salary offer at a magazine: “I spoke with contacts and coworkers until I found a connection between one of them and a former employee at the magazine. And after a quick introduction, that former employee was happy to dish on what he’d earned when he’d worked in the exact position I was going to fill.” With this in mind, Kramer was able to make a more informed counter offer to the hiring manager, and ended up with a salary that she was much happier with.

10. NEVER APOLOGIZE

According to Doody, “sorry” is another thing you should never say in a salary negotiation. Why? “Negotiating is uncomfortable, and our natural tendency is to try to smooth the edges on a difficult conversation. Saying sorry could signal to the recruiter or hiring manager that you might be willing to back down, and that could be expensive. Don’t apologize for negotiating.”

FastCompany.com | January 2, 2018 | BY JULIA MALACOFF—GLASSDOOR 7 MINUTE READ