Tips for disagreeing with your boss

Some say it’s foolish to disagree with your boss. It is no wonder that many agree to that as they fear that their jobs would be at stake.


We all don’t like others to disagree with us. However, I believe that most bosses and managers welcome different perspectives and ideas. They do not want a bunch of yes-men working for them but encourage their staff to voice out their opinions and concerns.


Disagreements may bring about better solutions and ideas. However, there is a need to disagree positively and respectfully. That would save your career from being damaged.


Clear understanding


Have a clear understanding on the issue that you disagree with. Do not speak to your boss about it until you can put it into words.


Right place, right time


You won’t want to cause your boss to lose face by disagreeing with him in front of everyone. You will surely be ‘remembered’ for a really long time……

Speak to your boss privately where there are no interruptions.

Also, don’t go to him when you see him looking frustrated or just before he goes for a major meeting.


Keep emotions out of the equation


Learn to control your emotions when there is something that you violently object to, even if your boss is a tough nut to crack. Keep in mind that you are addressing the issue and not your boss.


Provide solutions


Disagree, if you must. But you have got to provide alternative solutions. If you have nothing better to offer, you have to go along with what you have now.


Don’t be discouraged when your ideas are not accepted. At the end of the day, it’s your boss that makes the decision.

Appreciating Your Colleagues

Appreciate, as defined by, is to be grateful or thankful for; to value or regard highly. Have you ever appreciated your colleagues? If you have never done so, this is specially for you!


At home, we have our family members. At work, our colleagues play a vital role. We do not wish to work in an office with a bunch of cold hearted and hostile colleagues who show no appreciation to their fellow colleagues at all.


As I was pondering over how to show my appreciation to my fellow colleagues, I came across a book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. (Not trying to promote the book here) It talks about 5 practical ways that we can show our appreciation to our fellow colleagues.


It also points out that different people having different ways of expressing and receiving appreciation. We have to express our appreciation in a language that they receive, so that it is meaningful to them.


Let me share with you so that you too can express your appreciation to your fellow colleagues.



Simply thanking your colleague or writing a note is a very personal way of expressing your appreciation.



A gift need not always be something expensive. It’s the thought that counts. By getting your colleague a gift based on his/her likings or preferences, it shows how much you value him or her as a colleague. For some, gifts may not matter to them. Then, you could consider…..



They just wish for someone to spend time with them or to lend them a listening ear. If so, give them of your time to show your appreciation.



As a way of expressing your appreciation, you could assist your colleague in a project or work together with him/her to complete a task.



You’ve got to be careful with this. While some may abuse it, we want to do so appropriately. A pat on the back after a work well-done is a way to appreciate your colleague through touch.



Our colleagues are the ones around us at work every day. We do not want to take them for granted. Show your appreciation through these practical ways!


how to reduce stress at work

Having a certain level of stress at work can be good to motivate you to perform better and improve your productivity. However, excessive stress can do just the opposite. Having to meet multiple deadlines, heavy workload and the fear of being laid off are common causes of stress.

Are you feeling stressed at work? Good news! You are not alone (Maybe not that good after all). The colleague sitting beside you right now may be feeling the same way too.

Thankfully, there’s just the perfect remedy for you. Here is a list of 7 practical ways that you can use to reduce stress at work.


Number one: Relax….. Take a deep breath…..

There is nothing simpler than this. When the amount of work is overwhelming, relax and take a deep breath. It’s that simple.


Number two: Get your priorities straight

Complete tasks according to their relative importance, with those of high priority at the top of the list.



Number three: Learn to say ‘no’

Consider the tasks that you have at hand before taking on more tasks. It is alright to decline taking on more tasks when you already have a lot on your plate.


Number four: Laugh it off

Haven’t you heard ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? Laughter can help reduce stress. But of course, don’t burst into laughter at your desk suddenly. Share a joke with your colleague and get a good laugh together!


Number five: It’s perfectly fine to be imperfect

When you strive to attain perfection, you place unnecessary stress on yourself. Set realistic goals for yourself and do your best in every project.


Number six: Have a healthy diet

When feeling stressed, many turn to snacks and coffee. However, avoid junk food or any unhealthy snacks. Instead, have healthier alternatives like almonds or fruits and reduce your intake of caffeine.



Number seven: Take a break, have a rest

Take short breaks. 5 to 10 minutes would be good. Do something apart from work and get away from your desk. A short walk can help reduce stress and increase your productivity.


High levels of stress can have undesirable effects. Being able to handle it well is very important.

What to do at career fairs copy

Many career fairs are organised in Singapore each year. Job seekers all flock to these fairs but many are at a lost as to what to do at career fairs. These are great opportunities that you should make full use of. Here are tips that you can use to make the most out of career fairs.


  • Dress well. As always, first impressions count. Dress professionally like how you would when you go for an interview. 


  • Preparation is vital. Prepare copies of your resume. Ensure that your resume is in the proper format. Participating employers are shown on the websites of the career fairs. Use this to find out information on those companies before attending the career fair.


  • Speak to as many people as you can. Do not just aim for the big companies, but speak to even those companies whose name you have never heard of.


  • ‘Promote’ yourself. Prepare a pitch that summarizes the information that you have provided on your resume. It should not take longer than a minute.


  • Ask good questions. It is always good to ask relevant questions to show your interest in the job and the company.


Examples of good questions to ask

–          What are the types of training programs offered by the company?

–          What opportunities are offered for advancement?

–          What skills do you look for in candidates?



  • Leave with each recruiter something. No, not your unwanted sweet wrappers. Leave behind with each recruiter your resume and a lasting impression.


  • Manners matter. Of course being polite while speaking to the recruiters at the career fair is important. Take a step further by sending a thank you note or email to the people you have spoken to at the fair. This leaves them with a lasting impression.


Use this as a checklist to ensure that you make full use of the next career fair that you attend!

Being the New Employee

Welcome on board! The journey of a new job has just begun. It would be another replay (for some) of the whole process of meeting new people, adapting to a new environment, handling new tasks and pleasing your new boss. Be it your first job or tenth job, you would want to start it right.

Here are seven tips to getting through your ‘honeymoon’ period at your new job.

Dress appropriately.

You don’t want to be seen as dressing too casually or formally. Even if you see others dressing casually to work, you shouldn’t do so, at least, in the first half a year after you started on this job.


Be friendly.

Smile. This is a simple way to be friendly to your new colleagues and superiors. A friendly disposition would make others more willing to help you.


Listen more.

Although we always hear that it is better to give than to receive, it is better to receive (listen) than to give (talk) as a new employee. It is so important to listen to understand more on the company. Have an open mind; do not insist your way.



Being a new kid on the block, it is only normal to be unfamiliar with the company’s operations, culture and processes. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your colleagues.


Don’t talk about your previous jobs.

No one really bothers what you have done in your previous jobs. If they do, they would ask you. Don’t make comparisons with your previous companies or talk about how things were done there.


Don’t ‘socialise’ too much.

Yes. Don’t go around introducing yourself to everyone working in the same building. You are hired and paid to work, not to socialise. Avoid using Facebook or talk on the phone with your five-year-old while working; your boss isn’t going to like it!


Do your best……and more!

Work as if you are being watched all the time. Don’t be seen ‘eating snakes’; you are expected to have a good lunch break! Do beyond what is expected to get into your boss’ good books. Rest assured that your hard work would pay off one day.

Start well and you will have a positive work experience.

How to negotiate for a pay rise copy

Who would not want a pay rise? Everyone wants an increase in their pay, but no one dares to ask for it. We dare not do so as we fear being seen as money-grubbers. So, how do we go about approaching our bosses to request for a pay rise? Let’s do it the SMART way!


Specific and realistic

Be specific. Know the amount of increase that you wish to see. With that in mind, be realistic. Don’t ask for more than what the company is able to pay you.


Make sure to ask at the right time

Right timing is key. Asking for a pay rise when your company is struggling to stay afloat or laying workers off will only result in failure. Rather, ask at a time when the company is doing well.


Ask yourself ‘Why do I deserve a pay rise?’

Your boss won’t accede to your request just like that. You have to be ready to list out the reasons why you deserve an increase in pay.

Think about the contributions that you have made to the company, your accomplishments and the increased responsibilities you have taken on that you can present to your boss.


Rejection is possible

There is a possibility of getting the answer ‘No!’. Stay positive even if you are rejected. Ask what is needed to be done to qualify for a pay rise the next time.


Threats aren’t going to work

When your request is rejected, don’t threaten to quit. That would be unprofessional. Also, do not use another job to hold your boss hostage. Your boss isn’t going to like it and that would most likely make things worse.


As you can see, it does take some form of ‘skill’ to ask for a pay rise. You can’t just walk up to your boss and tell him that you want a pay rise. Preparation is needed. And of course, confidence and politeness cannot be left out.

Reasons for not getting promoted

You’ve been working in this company for many years. You could consider yourself to be doing a rather good job all along. You’ve remained at this position for a long time. The last time you remembered getting a letter of promotion was a decade ago. Everyone else seems to be getting promoted except you. Why is this so?

Check out these reasons that unfold possible reasons why you are not getting promoted.


  • You are not good enough

After all these years, you have not developed the skills that are necessary for promotion. You did not get the chance for promotion as someone else had the necessary skills.

  • You are not a leader

Let’s just say the position of a manager. You need to possess leadership qualities to take on that role. If you do not have leadership skills that are vital for the role, definitely you would not be considered for the role.

  • The company can’t promote you

The company cannot afford to promote you, especially when the company is affected by the bad economy.

  • There are no positions for you

It is possible that there are no positions above you that you can be promoted to. In such cases, it would be good to speak to your boss to let him know of your goals so that he can consider you when a position is available.

  • You do the minimum

You are doing “just enough”. Your boss expects you to go the extra mile, beyond simply following instructions.

  • You are not visible

You may be doing well in your current position. However, your efforts are not noticed by your bosses. Volunteer yourselves for activities or tasks or contribute actively to the company through opinions or ideas to make yourself ‘visible’.

  • You are a slacker

Last to come, first to go is your ‘trademark’. You like to give excuses all the time for your mistakes. Who is going to promote someone like this?


Maybe you have already spotted yourself in one of the seven above. Don’t just sit and wait for something to happen. Do something to make your promotion happen!

Facebook could cost you a job copy

The next time you wish to make unnecessary comments or post inappropriate pictures on Facebook, think twice. You never know if your bosses or prospective employers are making use of it to ‘check’ on you.

As the popularity of social media platforms increases, employers are taking advantage of this to screen their applicants.  Earlier in 2013, a survey revealed that 3 in 4 of employers make use of online platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to check on the candidates. Such platforms make it easier for them to eliminate the candidates for consideration.

It is very common now for people to post pictures, voice their opinions on certain issues or simply vent their anger online. But how many have considered the implications these have?

When looking for a job, all of us want to put our best foot forward. Many spend all their effort ensuring that they submit a model resume, but neglecting the contents on their social media profiles.

In the event your prospective employers see any inappropriate comments or pictures on your Facebook profile, a poor impression is formed straight away. You may even be eliminated from the list of applicants. That is a very high price that you may have to pay. Is it worth it?

Those with a job now may think that you are off the hook. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Your online posts could cost you your job too. I’m sure that you can recall an episode which took place last year where a NTUC employee posted a racist comment on her Facebook. She lost her job as a result.

Surely we do not wish for such things to happen to us. So, what can you do? Stay away from posting inappropriate comments and pictures or badmouthing your boss and clients on these social media platforms.  ‘Clean up’ your social media profiles before applying for a job or adjust it to privacy settings so that only your friends can see.


internships - making the most out of it

Rarely have I heard of anyone going for an internship without any complaints. Despite all the complaints, they still have to go through it. Why not make the most out of this opportunity?

An internship is more than just for beautifying your resume. It is a learning opportunity. For an internship to be purposeful and fulfilling, it all begins with you.

Here’s how you can make the most out of your internships.

Ask questions. As an intern, you aren’t expected to know everything. It is fine to ask questions when in doubt, which is better than making a mistake at the end.

Have a positive attitude. Be it doing mundane tasks like photocopying, filing or perhaps even being an office boy, complete them with a positive attitude. Give your 100% in all the tasks you are handed.

Learn as much as you can. Seize every opportunity to learn. Don’t belittle small tasks, there are still learning points from them. Even from making coffee, you may just learn more about your innate talent!

Network. At times, “it’s not what you know but who you know” that matters. All the knowledge you have can only bring you so far. Your personal network is going to be of a great help, especially when looking for a job. Take time to build relationships with your supervisors in the company.

Leave a good impression. Coming to work on time, submitting quality work and meeting deadlines is expected of you. You aren’t just representing yourself, but also the school that you come from. Don’t forget to thank your supervisors at the end of your internship, even if it had been an unpleasant experience for you.

Now, stop all that complaining and whining and make your internship count! Remember! It all begins with you!

5 things never to say to your boss

Your boss isn’t your friend. Many tend to forget this point when they get too familiar with their bosses. Still, your boss is your boss. It pays to speak with tact, as the words spoken cannot be taken back. Saying the wrong thing can ruin your career.


What exactly does your boss not want to hear from you?


  1. “I just can’t stand working with…..”

That is going to backfire. You may think that by complaining about your colleague, it is going to get him into your boss’ bad books. However, that isn’t true. Complaining about your colleague will most likely ruin your reputation rather than his.


  1. “It’s not my fault…”

Your boss is going to see you as a childish 6-year-old if you were to make such a statement. Take full responsibility for the mistake you have made. Even if it isn’t your fault, avoid saying this. Take an active role to be part of the solution instead.


  1. “I can’t……”

When you are not able to complete certain tasks that your boss hands you, never say you can’t do it. You may be in a situation where you have other tasks at hand. Explain the situation to your boss and ask which is more important.


  1. “That isn’t my job….”

The tasks asked of you may not be limited to what is in the job description. As long as it is asked of you, it’s part of your job.


  1. “I emailed you about it last week.”

Your responsibility does not end when you have sent that email to your boss. When you do not get a reply, it is your duty to follow up on the matter.


Just remember this: always think before you speak.