Ultimate Networking Tips You Should Do Right Away

Everyone understands how important networking is. We should always be looking forward to networking events, as well as enjoy meeting new interesting people. Yet, not everyone feels that way. They consider networking as a hard task. Do you too?

Well, as hard as networking you think it is, networking is still essential for your career or business. You may have heard tons of networking tips around, but you never really do it right away. Thus, set your mind straight, read these ultimate networking tips, and do it as soon as possible.

1. Relax

Remember that you may still be thinking that networking is a hard task? You may have to be your interesting self, and you have to put a smile on your face, but just relax. Consider it as a new and priceless chance to make new friends in your life.

2. Introduce yourself, interestingly

It is one thing to approach someone first, greet them, and introduce yourself and another by talking in direct ways about yourself which will not make you sound interesting at all. Try to be a little elusive in order to create some interest.

For example, do not mention your job position. Instead, tell people about one fun or interesting task that you do. It is more important to tell people about your skills (and that you have an interesting way to present yourself).

In fact, it may be better off delaying the job-talk for as long as possible. Get to know someone is the main thing to do! Else, enjoy the networking event as much as everyone else.

3. Literally listen

Yes, you met plenty of people on one occasion. It is not easy to put your focus on every single one of them, especially the boring ones. Most people’s concern is how they are prepared to introduce and start a conversation with someone, but do not forget about being a good listener.

Apart from you having to talk to people, you have to listen to what others are saying. Luckily, you should realise that this is the only chance for you to know whether that person is the right one for you to be talking to and connecting with.

Just listen, and you will learn. You will be thankful later when you try to recall what you have learnt!

4. Keep it brief

An introductory meeting will not need an hour to lasts. We can say that 45 minutes is the maximum time for that. Also, coffee talk or lunch ideally take half an hour. No need to waste someone’s time, since networking is not supposed to be aggressive.

Let them have a feeling that they will be meeting you again in the near future.

5. Always follow up

People will forget you even more easily when you don’t follow up. Thus, send a quick follow-up email on the next day, especially if you promise them that you will be in touch with them. Make this one as a priority.

Take a Break, a Nap, and a Vacation

How do you imagine the best employee? Whatever you imagine, most people will not think that an employee who takes a 60 minutes well-deserved break, a nap during office hours, and a vacation while employees that are thriving at work, is one of the great employees.

It is a sad thing, especially any break, nap and vacation is good to avoid employee burnout. Taking breaks can help you live a more balanced life, so instead of thinking of them as guilty indulgences, see them for what they truly are: productivity aids. Let’s talk about it one by one:

  • Break

Those 60 minutes break should help you refuel, refresh, and recharge to make you a better performer at work. It is important and shouldn’t be disregarded. Take a real break, get up from your desk.

Appreciate your free-time, since nobody can turn back time. Leave your desk as soon as it’s lunch break. You may have heard that sitting too long is not good for your health. If possible, go get some fresh air and take a walk.

When you had an hour of well-deserved break, there is bigger chance that you are able to get the tasks done better.

  • Nap

More and more companies are now encouraging naps. They believe that employees will be more productive if they can sleep better. Only 25-30 minutes nap can help. Find an unobtrusive place, such as a break room or unused meeting room, to take a nap in the office.

A nap will make you feel very refreshed and more focus to finish projects. Let this became the company’s acknowledgment, so that no employee would get bad reputation after regularly taking a nap at work.

  • Vacation

It might surprise you, but not taking a vacation hurts employees as well as the company. An employee who is skipping vacation as a way to climb the corporate ladder faster has been found to be ineffective. Conversely, employees who take vacations are more likely to get promoted and get a raise!

Yes, vacation time has been shown to reduce stress and lead to better health, productivity, and motivation for many employees. Here is a tip: take all your vacation time. To be truly engaged, your brain needs a break. This is more than 60 minutes a day, of course. You should spend time to take your mind off work-related stuff.

It is true that if employees take time off, they will perform better. Do not let more than 10 paid vacation days go unused. Book a trip to a nice place, let your brain and body rest. When you are back at work, you will feel more rejuvenated. As the saying goes, ‘One rest for a while to walk a longer journey’.

Small Talk with a New Colleague at The Office

Never underestimate your relationship with your boss, colleagues, or staffs. How well the relationships you have with them will have some effects on how you can stand working there. Thus, always take the chance to know them better.

If you have been working for quite some time with other people, chances are you have already built a good relationship with them. But, how about the new colleague who just start working today? As someone who already works longer than him/her in the office, you should initiate the small talk in order to grow his/her confidence on the first day at work.

Yes, small talks can be boring sometimes. The point is not to make the person say something, but rather, find a common ground to spark up conversations. Keeping a conversation rolling is simple, as long as you learn to listen and ask appropriate questions. You may only need one or two questions in advance.

If you’re completely clueless about what to ask, here’s one question you should ask:

  • How did you come to be in your line of work?

Career path is such a long story, and it could be interesting. Let your new colleagues recall their story to where he/she is doing right now. Most people are excited if someone ask them this question. But, make sure you are listening to what they are saying.

As you are listening to their stories, you might give your opinions about a thing or two. Remember, you should not appear as the know-it-all, since you are most likely more experienced than this new colleague. This is not a debate that you need to win over.

When it comes to small talk, you don’t need to be intelligent every time you speak. People forget most of the things that you are saying, but they will always remember how you make them feel. Are you friendly and warm enough? Do you smile a lot when you are chatting with them for the first time?

Be someone who are genuinely enthusiastic during conversations, especially first-time chats. Guide the conversation from one to another. Make people feel ‘click’ with you. Show this attitude and your working life will be much better with many friends around at the office. Plus, always welcome every new colleague on board! You don’t know how much they can do for you in the future.

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 dictionary.com, 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.

 

Words

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

 

Gift

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…..

 

Time

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.

 

Acts

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.

 

Touch

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.

 

Ask.

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.

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.