10 Major Companies That Are Hiring Big Time

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 4:10am by Site Administrator

By Eliza Morgan

Working for a large company has its benefits. Typically, it may offer employees perks such as cheaper health benefits (with good health insurance<), an established retirement program, effective on-the-job training and additional educational opportunities (on the company’s dime). But, with the economy still in recovery mode, most people are skipping the details because, well, they just want a job. Large companies, which naturally employ larger workforces, require the most new employees when they choose to expand, and therefore make the biggest splash when they announce they’re hiring. Here are 10 that are currently reviewing resumes, doing their part to reduce that unsightly national unemployment rate.

  1. Amazon: The evolution of Amazon started with its expansion from an online bookstore to a full-fledged online retailer. Now the largest of its kind in the U.S., it has garnered praise for its creation of the Kindle and has subsequently built anticipation for its new Android tablet. To keep up with its diversification and overall demand, it announced late last year that it would build a distribution center in South Carolina, creating more than 2,500 new jobs. Additional jobs will be added to already existing operations in South Carolina, North Dakota and Arizona.
  2. Boeing: Projected to add 4,000 to 5,000 jobs this year, Boeing has benefited from growth driven by exports following President Obama’s bilateral trade agreements late last year with countries such as India and China. Production in its Seattle base and Charleston, SC, where the company is building a new factory for its new 787 Dreamliner, is increasing to meet the new demands of the industry. The global aviation leader and military contractor is seeking qualified engineers and technical engineers to design and assemble aircrafts, and interns who’ll develop into full-time employees.
  3. Ford: The American motor giant is on an upswing after the automotive crisis. In the first quarter of 2011, Ford reported its largest first-quarter profit in 13 years. The previous year, it passed Toyota as the country’s second-biggest seller. With its commitment to manufacture smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles and mission to recapture the title as the country’s No. 1 seller, the company will be continually adding jobs to boost its production. Entering 2011, it stated that it plans to add 7,000 positions over the next couple of years, including 4,000 hourly jobs and 750 salaried jobs this year. Currently, Ford employs more than 164,000 people.
  4. General Dynamics: A U.S. defense conglomerate with segments in aerospace, marine systems, combat systems, and information systems and technology, General Dynamics has a bounty of high-tech job offerings for qualified job seekers. Having already hired 100 new positions in the last few months, it’s looking to hire an additional 400 over the next five years. A bulk of those jobs will assist with the construction of Littoral Combat Ships, building and testing their electronic systems. Beyond that, further growth within the company is expected, as it has a track record of rapid expansion.
  5. Google: In 2010, Google added more than 4,500 jobs, mostly in engineering and sales, as it expanded into the mobile, display advertising and cloud realms — only in 2007 did the company experience larger growth. That’s expected to continue in 2011, which is predicted to be the internet giant’s biggest hiring year ever. It got off to a good start, adding 1,900 new jobs in the first quarter while giving all of its already existing employees a 10 percent raise, a reward for their work and an enticement for job seekers to choose the company. A variety of positions are open, ranging from the business side to the tech side — it’s constructing a team charged with building a web-based operating system — so a number of candidates will be considered.
  6. Intel: After struggling through the recession and the resulting global decrease in technology spending, Intel rebounded in 2010 with increased profits and expansion into new sectors. In early 2011, the semiconductor chip maker announced that it would add 4,000 jobs mostly for "permanent, highly skilled employees," according to CEO Paul Otellini. New factories are being built in Oregon and Arizona as its attempts to diversify its technology — specifically, it’s planning to construct its own mobile operating system. The company is targeting young engineers and software developers with only modest experience.
  7. Microsoft: Now that Apple has surpassed it as the world’s most valuable technology company, Microsoft will need to work harder to recapture its former place atop the rankings. People with experience coding in C, C++, C Sharp and using xhtml, javascript, xml and asp.net are most wanted by the company, which is planning to add 2,400 software engineer and research jobs by the end of the year. Additional jobs in operations and management, marketing and human resources are available, and more help will be needed as Cloud Computing continues to emerge.
  8. NCO Group: Known as the world’s largest collections agency, NCO Group handles outsourcing, accounts receivable and customer service for its clients, the latter of which will provide 400 new jobs in its Rockford, Illinois Customer Management Contact Center, the largest of the more than 100 NCO offices nationwide. Positions will be available for customer care associates along with those interested in team management, training and varying specialist roles.
  9. Siemens: Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate is well-established in the U.S., boasting more than 60,000 employees domestically and counting. Just recently, it announced that it’s looking to add 3,000 more jobs over the next few months, and recent college grads stand to benefit from the opportunities. Those who are still in college can secure their futures by participating in the company’s internship programs, which mold potential employees who’ll later occupy leadership positions. Of the 170 interns who participated in this summer’s program, for example, 75 will be offered full-time positions.
  10. YRC Worldwide: One of the world’s largest transportation service providers, YRC Worldwide is accommodating the increasing demand of its customers by adding approximately 1,100 new jobs this year, with many of them going toward the expansion of its sales force. The company is responsible for shipping commercial, industrial and retail goods for its customers, who operate all over the world.

CRM for Freelancers: 26 Tips a One-Man-shop Can Use to Make More Money

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:06pm by Site Administrator

As a freelancer, you’re probably used to managing several projects at once. You’ve gotten the hang of prioritizing, scheduling, and making deadlines. While the overall outcome of your work is vital to your business, maintaining strong relationships with your clients is just as important. To help you out, we’ve put together a crash course in arming yourself with the practical tools you’ll need to stay connected.



  1. Freshbooks: Manage your invoices quickly and efficiently with Freshbooks, an online program that helps you notify your clients of new payments and project updates.
  2. Highrise: With Highrise, you’ll avoid scrolling through massive e-mail lists to find records of all your communication history. Keep track of your client chats with this handy tool.
  3. Salesforce.com: Salesforce.com is a comprehensive toolkit for client relationship management, but it costs much less than traditional CRM packages.
  4. Backpack: Keep track of to-do lists, deadlines, and contact information with Backpack. Activate the alerts option to notify of important dates or appointments.
  5. Essential PIM: This inclusive program offers a free version, so don’t worry about shelling out extra cash just to stay organized
  6. Core FTP: This free download allows you and your clients to take advantage of file sharing, editing, and transfer capabilities.
  7. ProjectStat.us: Sign up for a free account, and start updating clients on each project’s progress.
  8. Box: Allow your clients to access files so you won’t have to keep from faxing and e-mailing all day long.
  9. Jewelboxing: Burn your assignments onto CDs and DVDs with the help of Jewelboxing and send them to your clients. Trust us, they’ll be impressed.
  10. 8apps: 8apps takes online social networking to the next level. Make your clients feel loved by checking in on them frequently, updating them with project information and collaborating on assignments with 8apps’ easy-to-use features.
  11. Goplan: Use Goplan to chat with clients and vendors, share your calendar and to-do list, and more.
  12. eFax: Continue to connect with your clients in a paper-free format. eFax allows you to "fax by e-mail."
  13. Relenta CRM: Forget about all those pricey CRM software tools. Relenta CRM simplifies client management software so that you can afford to connect with your clients.



  1. Free CRM: Gain access to software programs that assist you with managing databases, contact lists, and more.
  2. Up Close and Personal: This resource will guide you through the basics of client relationship management with its training, video tour, reference guide, and support section.
  3. BoldChat: BoldChat offers a fantastic way to keep in touch with customers. More advanced than a generic instant messaging system, Boldchat also offers a live support solution for your customers.
  4. SalesPro CRM: Signing on as a single user will grant you affordable access to SalesPro, one of the best CRM hosting services out there.
  5. The CRM Toolkit 3.1: Follow this link to a free download of The CRM Toolkit 3.1.
  6. Stay Connected SOC: Send out cards to your clients for all kinds of occasions.
  7. Zoho Meeting: Set up Web conferencing solutions with Zoho.
  8. Xing: Search for new customers with Xing, an innovative approach to making online connections.
  9. MindMeister: Let your customers feel like they’re contributing to the creative process with the help of MindMeister. Add as many users as you want and start brainstorming. The basic subscription is totally free.
  10. Biz-Plan: Your customers will appreciate your organization when you use Biz-Plan. Create a separate business plan for each project, or develop an ongoing strategy for your overall freelance career.
  11. Comodo: Give your clients peace of mind with Comodo. This secure e-mail service will assure them that all their creative and financial information is safe from hackers.
  12. Spongecell Calendar: Spongecell features an attractive way to share your calendar with clients and contacts. Invite your business associates to leave comments, RSVP, and more!
  13. Moo: Use Moo to custom-designed postcards, business cards, and other print items for your clients.

Client relationship management can be tough to maintain if you’re juggling several different projects by yourself. Use these tools and resources to help you create solid connections with each of your clients.

100 Niche Job Boards for Web Workers

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 6:26pm by Site Administrator

Looking for a job today is a frustrating, lonely process, even if you’ve got in-demand skills like Web design or networking capabilities. To make your job search a little less complicated, we’ve compiled this list of the top 100 niche job boards that will direct you to the best Web jobs out there. Online forums, staffing services, and government boards are just some of the resources that follow. Online Specific Boards

Your dream job could be just a click away! These websites are devoted to helping programmers, networkers, designers, system administrators, and other Web workers land the perfect job.

  1. 37signals: Employers such as The New York Times and American Express post Web jobs on this site.
  2. Google Directory: Google is now dipping into the job search industry. You can browse through job listings, job fairs, staffing services, or even brush up on your interview skills by reading tips from their team of experts.
  3. FreshWebJobs.com: Find full time, part time, or freelance work in Web design, development, or analysis.
  4. Read/Write Web Jobs: Search for Web jobs all over the world.
  5. Jobpile: Jobpile searches several other job boards for you, and then lists all the announcements that match your search.
  6. Authentic Jobs: Find full time or freelance job openings all over the country when you use this site.
  7. Krop.com: Krop’s simple layout makes finding a job easy, whether you’re looking in London, New York, or LA.
  8. MeFi Jobs: This online community allows members to share tips about new Web job openings, so you always get the inside scoop!
  9. Slashdot Jobs: New Web jobs are posted almost daily. Search by category or location to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  10. CSS Beauty: This job board is a partner of CSS Monster, which "was created to help bring Web Developers/Designers and employers together." This easy-to-navigate site features great jobs in North America and Europe.
  11. Coroflot: Coroflot posts tons of new jobs each day. Check back often or sign up to receive job alerts that will notify you when the type of job you’re looking for pops up.
  12. MinistryCamp Job Board: This job board is designed to help Web workers find job opportunities with churches and othe Christian organizations.
  13. Python Job Board: Detailed posts give information about each job description, the company, and contact directions.
  14. CrunchBoard: Excellent engineering, networking, and other Web job opportunities are posted daily on this site.
  15. GeekUp: Find jobs in "the UK’s Northwest" on this job board.
  16. Dice: Known as the "career hub for tech insiders," Dice lets you search for jobs based on location, skill, and keywords.
  17. ComputerJobs.com: Search hundreds of tech jobs all over the United States. This site also features an IT Resource page, where you can find links to special training programs, relocation info, and more.
  18. DevBistro: Search through directories that post tons of Web jobs daily.

Brick and Mortar Firms

These firms feature job boards posted on their Web sites but also have actual locations outside of cyberspace.

  1. EDI Specialists: This company is based in Massachusetts, but its online job board posts jobs all over the country.
  2. Web Analytics Association: This professional organization, headquarted in D.C., is a valuable source for job seekers.
  3. Winebego Inc.: Winebego, Inc. is located in New York City and has a large department dedicated to finding jobs and maintaining contacts in the technology industry.
  4. Reaction Search International: RSI has locations all over the world. Use their superior services to coordinate an efficient and effective job search.
  5. Bristol Associates, Inc. A large firm specializing in many different areas, Bristol Associates features many high profile jobs in the Web industry.
  6. Kelly Services: This global staffing agency has multiple offices on each continent.
  7. Design Group: Based in Canada, this firm’s website is a great resource for job seekers everywhere. Find engineering and design jobs in permanent or contract positions.
  8. Allyis: This company specializes in finding technology personnel and projects. Based in Washington State, they’re a great resource for anyone in the Northwest.
  9. AdJob.com Located in Ohio, this firm promises to find your specialty and match you with a great job.
  10. Systems Personnel Group, Inc. Multiple offices are located in Western New York, including Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Use this company to take advantage of their contacts with IT and other computer type businesses.
  11. GCS Recruitment: If you’re looking for an IT job in Europe, contact one of the GCS Recruitment offices to ensure a professional search.
  12. TekJobs.com Computer Recruiters: This California firm posts a wealth of Web jobs on its website, including employment opportunities for data and system administrators, software engineers, technical analysts, developers, and security specialists.
  13. Going Ware, Inc. If you’re looking for a job in Santa Cruz, CA, this is a great site to visit. Its computer industry index features employers and job opportunities in the following fields: programming, technical support, Web design, network administration, and more.
  14. SearchFirm.com: This website has its headquarters in New York City, but it connects searchers with jobs and firms all over the world.
  15. The Riley Guide: This Maryland-based search firm provides job seekers with a salary guide and a "how to" tutorial on job searching, as well as a comprehensive job board.

Job Boards Found on Blogs

Bloggers can earn extra cash by posting legitimate jobs on their site. Keep an eye on these blogs to get updates on new job announcements.

  1. Recruiting.com: This site posts articles and sponsors forums about all things related to the job search. Find Web-specific jobs on their job board.
  2. Australian Microsoft Recruitment Web Log: Even if you’re not looking to relocate to Australia, this blog gives readers insight into the recruitment process at Microsoft.
  3. Web Based Recruitment: Several online recruitment blogs are available to job seekers, or you can start your own to post your resume, reveal job openings, or connect with potential employers.
  4. Info World Blogs: This blog features IT and computer news and gossip, but it also has a section devoted to career information.
  5. Tech Crunch: This blog has forums and articles about the computer and technology worlds, but you should visit to check up on their job postings.
  6. Blog Job Board: Read about job boards and search employment opportunities in the Web industry.
  7. Job Board Link: This site hosts links to other job boards, making it an easy reference for job searching.
  8. Online Recruitment – The Bigger Picture: Otherwise known as "Tim’s Blog," this Web site discusses all aspects of online recruitment. Look for links to potential employers or recruitment agencies for personalized help with your search.
  9. Problogger: This blog features one of the most effective job boards on the Web. Browse through listings, which are updated nearly everyday.

Staffing Services and Recruiting Firms

Enlisting a little extra help from the experts is a smart move. Check out this list to see if any of the following staffing services have what you’re looking for.

  1. Web Analytics Demystified: This firm offers staffing support for the brightest Web workers, whether you’re just breaking into the industry or are a veteran looking for a change.
  2. Aquent:This staffing firm has a huge directory of jobs, including those in the Web industry.
  3. CyberCoders: This firm provides great support for Web workers looking for employment.
  4. CyberScientific: CyberScientific is affiliated with CyberCoders. Check out their site for even more postings and resources.
  5. Computer Management, Inc. The recruiters at Computer Management, Inc. "specialize in recruiting for database administration, network administrator and Web development placement."
  6. Spherion: This company boasts years of experience, making them one of the top go-to agencies for job searchers.
  7. Link Staffing Services: Find a job, improve your resume, and more, all on this helpful website.
  8. Executives on the Web: This "award winning global executive job board" supports job seekers all over the world. Check out their special IT department, which posts tons of technology jobs.
  9. Net-Job: Find Web and Internet jobs in the U.K. when you search the posts on this site.
  10. Datascope: This is another recruiting agency based in the United Kingdom. They find jobs in game programming and management, as well as in the internet and new media industries.
  11. Jobabode.com: Jobabode.com directs you to all kinds of Internet and IT jobs.
  12. Sampoorna Computer People: Search the job board to find some of the best IT jobs in India.
  13. Tech-Centric: Computer and other tech jobs are posted nearly every day on this website. Save appealing jobs in your own folder, post your resume, and register for automatic job alerts.
  14. Resumegator.com: This online recruiting agency connects job seekers with IT and computer jobs, as well as lets you take personality tests to find out what IT niche is the best fit for you.
  15. AllEmploymentAgencies.com: Specify your location and browse through the directory to find a multitude of employment agencies in your area.

Government Resources

Whether you’re looking for a job with the government or just want a little help from an agency you trust, these resources provide valuable information for job seekers.

  1. U.S. Dept. of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Learn what you can expect by pursuing a job in the Web industry. This site discusses working conditions, salary information, and the overall job outlook based on the current economy.
  2. GovJobs.com: Search for jobs with the government while you take advantage of relocation information, disability programs, and more.
  3. Military Connection: Research what it would be like to be a Web programmer for the United States military. Browse job opportunities with the navy, army, air force, coast guard, or marines.
  4. Government Job Search: This website posts lots of jobs in the IT field. Search by category or by state.
  5. Government Job Listings: This site will connect you to government jobs all over the country.
  6. Jobs in Government: Read this article to learn what to expect when you work for the government.
  7. The Book of U.S. Government Jobs: Read this book to find job listings and descriptions of Web industry job opportunities with the government.
  8. FedWorld.gov: This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Find out where to search for jobs with the government, no matter where you are.
  9. "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government – 2007:" Read this article from U.S. News and World Report to discover where you might want to consider looking for a Web job.
  10. DisabilityInfo.gov: Learn about your rights as an employee with a disability.
  11. StudentJobs.gov: If you’re still in or just out of college, consider working as an intern for one of these high profile government agencies.
  12. Careers in Government: This site is an excellent resource for those who wish to puruse a career with the United States government.
  13. GovernmentJobs.com: Browse government jobs at the state and local level.
  14. GovernmentBids.com: Figure out how you, as a freelancer, can bid on government projects.

General Job Boards

These job boards post employment opportunities in many different industries, but their attention to Web-specific jobs is so extensive, we felt that we had to include them somewhere on our list!

  1. JobHuntersBible.com: Browse through a multitude of jobs, and get valuable tips on interviewing and resume writing.
  2. Creative Hotlist: This comprehensive job search site allows you to browse job postings by location and industry.
  3. Career.com: According to the homepage, Career.com is "the world’s first recruitment site." Apply for hundreds of Web-related jobs each day.
  4. Job Databases: This resource provides you with all the tools you need during your job search: job boards, links to employment agencies, and other tips to help you land your dream job.
  5. Job Central: Post your resume and wait for employers to contact you, or you can search jobs by U.S. state, metro area, or company name.
  6. Yahoo Hot Jobs: This popular site is bursting with technology job postings, resume tips, and other useful information.
  7. Monster.com: Organize your job search tools by setting up an account in which you can file away your favorite jobs and custom designed resumes.
  8. America’s Job Bank: This site is a great resource for finding websites, staffing agencies, and employers based on location.
  9. USA Jobs: Search IT and computer jobs on this website while reading articles about the different aspects of the hiring process.
  10. WSJ Career Journal: This "executive career site" is full of tools, tips, and job boards that will help you find the job you’ve been wanting. Take advantage of the salary search and career columnists pages.
  11. Craigslist: This famed site is great for finding jobs and housing all over the world.
  12. New York Times Job search: Search the extensive directory on the New York Times directory to find IT and other Web-related jobs.
  13. Jobs.Internet.com: Find tons of tech jobs that "you won’t find anywhere else."
  14. Business.com Job Directory: Click through the directory at Business.com to find internet jobs.
  15. Internet Job Store.com: This site is designed to help you easily and quickly search for jobs in the Web industry.
  16. TrueCareers.com: Post your resume, search for jobs by state, or catch up on industry news, all at TrueCareers.com.
  17. CareerSite.com: Find the jobs you want when you use this Web site for searching.
  18. Internet Career Connection: This site allows visitors to search for jobs and seek general career advice from experts.
  19. Top USA Jobs: "Where Top USA Talent Finds Top USA Jobs."
  20. WebReference.com: The job search directory is listed in alphabetical order, allowing you to search different job boards quickly.

Just for Freelancers

If you’d rather be your own boss, check out these job boards which cater exclusively to the freelance crowd.

  1. All Freelance: Find everything you need to know to be a successful freelancer. Browse jobs, read articles about tax law, and more.
  2. Go Freelance: Learn about freelancing marketing strategy and post your resume online.
  3. Elance: Elance is a great site for finding Web-related freelance jobs.
  4. Workaholics4Hire.com: Search jobs and read articles on evaluating your freelancing abilities.
  5. FreelanceSwitch: This networking community supports freelancers by posting writing, design, and programming jobs.
  6. "How to Win Contracts:" Read this article to improve your branding, marketing, and pitching skills.
  7. Guru.com: This Web site is great for freelancers looking to land top gigs.
  8. CSS Juice: This site provides links to other job boards, allowing you to compare and contrast easily.
  9. FreelanceJobSearch.com: Search by state to find loads of Web-related jobs.

This list will put you in contact with all the right resources during your job search. Link up with staffing services, check out recruitment blogs, or browse job postings on any one of these great sites.

50+ Tools to Change Your Career Path

Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 6:01pm by Site Administrator

Sometimes you come to a point in your career when you realize you’re just not on the right path. It happens to lots of people, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you make a change. These tools offer assistance for finding the best career for you, and how you can get there.


First things first, find out whether or not a career change is right for you, and what’s best for you if you decide to start out in a new field.

  1. Quiz: Should You Make a Career Change?: Determine if the time is right for a career change with this quiz.
  2. A Guide to Going Online for Self-Assessment Tools: Get advice about using online assessment tools from this article.
  3. What Color is Your Parachute: Learn what career paths are best for you with this book.
  4. The Princeton Review Career Quiz: This 24-question quiz from The Princeton Review should offer some good suggestions.
  5. What’s Important to You?: Find out what beliefs and values are important to you, and consider how they affect your career choices.
  6. The Career Interests Game: Play this game to get a broad view of your ideal career.
  7. The Career Key: With this test, you’ll get a good look at yourself and your career options.
  8. O*NET Ability Profiler: Consider your abilities in nine categories to determine careers that are best for what you can do.
  9. Transferable Skills Survey: Use this survey to determine what skills you’ll bring to your new career.
  10. Finding The Perfect Job: Learn about the latest research devoted to matching your interests with a fulfilling career.
  11. The Career Values Test: Check out this test to determine the things that are most important to you in a career.
  12. O*NET Interest Profiler: Determine your level of interest in six different categories with this profiler.

Career Exploration

If you’ve found a new career you think you’d like, delve into it further with these resources.

  1. Career Briefs: Here you’ll find a listing of occupations, and you can use it to find out what appeals to you.
  2. Occupational Outlook Handbook: This resource offers in-depth look at nearly every occupation.
  3. Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Follow this tutorial to learn how to conduct an effective informational interview and discover more about potential new career paths.
  4. Cool Jobs and Cool Life Options: Take a look at this collection of cool jobs to get some great ideas.
  5. How Can I Find a New Career Path?: This Career Doctor offers advice for discovering a new career.
  6. VocationVacations: With VocationVacations, you can spend time finding out if you actually like your dream job.
  7. JobProfiles: Get advice from real people about their jobs with this site.
  8. Finding Your Niche: Read this article to learn how to fit into unconventional career niches.
  9. Career Research Checklist: Use this checklist to conduct effective research on potential new careers.
  10. Passion Pursit: Baby Steps or Big Plunge?: Read this article to learn how to explore and identify your passions, and take action to find a more passionate career.


Take a hint from the experts, and read the advice dished out here.

  1. Changing Careers in Midstream: This article offers advice on changing careers and has a few ideas for developing skills for your new career while you’re still in your old one.
  2. Making a Smoother Career Transition: In this article, you’ll find advice for a smooth career transition.
  3. Career Change Tools for the Mid-Life Woman: Although directed at middle aged women, this career change checklist is great for anyone who wants to shake things up.
  4. Choosing a New Career Path: This article follows the story of a Jane Doe as she transitions from one career to another.
  5. Seven Famous Career Switchers: Get inspired by these celebrities turned their skills into new careers.
  6. Thinking of a Career Change? Five Tips: These tips offer advice on how much you should change, how to find the right career, and landing a great new job.
  7. Is Changing Fields Right For You?: Read this article to discover 10 action steps you should take before embarking on a career change.
  8. Career Transition/Change Strategies: This article considers changes both in job title and industry fields.
  9. 10 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid: Avoid these common mistakes to prevent changing careers without planning, or doing so for the wrong reasons.
  10. Real People, Successful Career Changes: Take a look at these profiles of career changers for inspirations.
  11. Ten Steps to a Successful Career Change: Follow this advice for a step-by-step guide to switching things up.
  12. Do You Have What It Takes to Change Careers?: Consider the reasons why even top performers want to make a change sometimes.

Getting (Re)Hired

Use these tools to get a great job in your new career.

  1. Transferable Job Skills–a Vital Job Search Technique: Read this article to learn how to highlight the skills you’ve learned from your old career in a way that is attractive to new employers.
  2. Experience Works: This program offers paid internships to job seekers 55 and older, as well as training and other services.
  3. Temping Your Way to a Career Change: Check out this article to learn about strategies for breaking into a new field through temporary work.
  4. The Top 5 Things to Consider When Looking for a New Job: Keep these considerations in mind when searching for your new job.
  5. Career Change Letter: This sample letter from Monster will help you explain why you want to change careers and what you can offer your new employer.
  6. Emphasising Your Transferable and Marketable Skills in Your Cover Letter: Learn how to put skills from your old career to work in your job search with this article.
  7. Career Change Resume: With this article, you’ll learn how to write your resume so that you emphasise your new career goals.
  8. Volunteering Can Open Doors to a New Career: Read this article for advice on using volunteering as a way to gain experience and valuable contacts for your new career.
  9. Early Career Change Cover Letter: With this sample cover letter, you can explain your reasons for changing careers early on in the game.
  10. Self-Employed But Need a Job? Here’s How to Interview: If you’re transitioning from a self-employed career to working for someone else, use this article to learn how to highlight your unique skills in an interview.
  11. Work Your Transferable Skills: This article details some of the common skills that are transferable to healthcare positions.


These tools will make the change from one career to the next just a little bit easier.

  1. Take Financial Stock Before a Job Change: Read this article to consider financial steps you should take before you change careers.
  2. Career Transition Touchstones: Take a look at some of the stages of transitioning from one career to the next with this guide.
  3. Prepare for a Job Search: This article runs down a number of things to take care of if you’re about to change jobs.
  4. Stream in to Your New Career: Monster offers some advice on what to do once you’ve started your new career.
  5. Become Your Own Boss or Work From Home: This article offers valuable advice on health insurance, marketing, and doing work online.
  6. Quitting With Class: This article runs down what you should do when leaving your old career, from your strategy to last day.
  7. Adding Up a Career Change: Consider the costs and savings of a career move with this article.

The HR Bible: 100 Articles Every Human Resources Pro Should Read

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 1:30am by Site Administrator

As a human resources professional, you know that you’ve got to continually research job market statistics, the demographics of recent college graduates and new online technologies designed to help job seekers and HR departments find their perfect match. To help you make sense of all the paperwork, new studies and overwhelming number of job sites, we’ve put together the HR professional’s holy grail of resources. Packed full of resourceful guides, posts and more, you’ll find tips on everything from recruiting and interviewing to developing your own career.

Development Duties

Help guide your employees and clients along the right career path using these resources and tips. This list also includes articles about training and general HR development.

  1. Management Development: Training for Managers and Supervisors: This guide provides helpful tips for new employees in the HR department or for small business owners who want a crash course in training their own employees.
  2. Six Tips for Developing Your Employees: From pairing employees with a mentor to encouraging professional development, these tips will help you challenge your employees to perform better.
  3. Tips to Help Ensure Employee Success: The U.S. Department of Justice Worklife Program offers readers great tips on how to develop their employees’ careers.
  4. 7 Things to Do on an Employee’s First Day: HR World’s list of seven things to do on an employees first day includes tips like "get other employees involved" and "get feedback." You’ll make the new recruit feel welcome and engaged.
  5. The Work Environment and Employee Productivity: Learn which factors influence employee productivity and then use them to motivate your workers to perform their duties more efficiently.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Finding Time to Succeed at Both: Let your employees know that they need to spend time developing their personal lives as well as their professional goals. Read this article for tips on how to approach the issue together.
  7. Tips for Setting Employee goals: This article demonstrates how to come up with effective strategies for getting your employees to open up and share their professional goals within your company.
  8. Teams: A Formula for Success: Read this article for advice on implementing team-building and training exercises into your workplace.
  9. Coaching for Improved Performance: This article focuses on the ways in which David Kolb’s Learning Cycle can help HR professionals become better coaches and mentors for their employees.
  10. 5 Steps to Effective Training: Tips include providing new employees with overviews of the training session and giving short quizzes after each lesson.

Managing a Human Resources Department

The following articles have everything you need to know about payroll, sexual harassment laws, unions and other issues that affect HR management.

  1. Legal Guides and Links: hrVillage.com publishes this list of valuable legal guides and links so that you’re never out of touch with employee rights.
  2. The Top 10 Small Business Payroll Solutions: If you don’t have the budget to employ a team of HR experts, check out this article for smart tips on managing payroll.
  3. Discrimination and Harassment: Official discrimination and harassment laws and documents are outlined here.
  4. Holiday Cheer or Holiday Nightmare?: This article focuses on the dos and dont’s of planning a holiday office party, but HR professionals can use it as a guide for planning any social events for the company.
  5. Unions: Business.gov provides resources for HR departments that employ union-protected workers.
  6. Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Learn how to define and deal with sexual harassment issues in your office by reading this informative article.
  7. Conflict in the Workplace: Entrepreneur.com publishes this article full of analyses and resolutions for dealing with conflict issues at work.
  8. Managing an Independent Contractor: If your company prefers to outsource certain jobs, read this article for tips on understanding why managing freelancers and contractors is different than regular, full-time employees.
  9. 6 Tips for Managing Workplace Relationships: If you notice a flirtation emerging in your office, learn how to deal with the issue appropriately and discreetly.
  10. I Thought PTO Was Supposed to Be Easy!: This article has ideas for making Paid Time Off policies more trackable for you and more appealing for your employees.


How can you be sure that you’re tapping into the right recruiting resources? Read these articles for tips on recruiting qualified candidates who will develop into strong, reliable and loyal employees.

  1. Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee: Whether you’ve just opened up your own business or are new to the HR world, check out this government-sponsored website, which has links to tax forms, worker’s comp insurance and more.
  2. Immigration and Employee Eligibility: If your business attracts illegal immigrants or naturalized citizens, take a look at this guide for official information about hiring foreign workers and getting the right proof of employment status documents.
  3. The HR World Recruitment Solutions Buyer’s Guide: Investing in a smart, efficient software program or e-cruitment technology service will undoubtedly help your business in the long run. Use this guide to help you determine which plan is best for your department.
  4. Executive Recruiting: Recruiting a qualified CEO is a completely different battle than searching for summer interns. Discover smart ways to develop executive recruiting strategies here.
  5. How to Find Great Part-Time Employees: Pitch an attractive part-time opportunity to targeted demographics by using the tips provided in this article.
  6. Master Networkers: This article shows how "acquiring clients — and employees — on a limited budget" isn’t impossible. Through networking programs and self-promotion events, small businesses can be successful at attracting top talent.
  7. The Key to Hiring Right: Read this article to find out how to "hire people with a passion for your mission."
  8. Avoid Disability Discrimination When Hiring New Employees: This article has information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, so be sure to check it out before you plan your next hiring and recruitment strategy.
  9. Top Ten Recruiting Tips: Ten Tips for Successful Employee Recruiting: Tips include be known as a great employer, look first at in-house candidates and use your website for recruiting.
  10. Tips for Minority Recruiting: The American Society of Newspaper Editors lists ten great tips for recruiting qualified minority candidates.

Using Online Technology

From utilizing job sites to taking advantage of Web-based tools, find out why online technology can help your career move forward.

  1. Attract New Customers and Employees: Be Findable Online: This article explains why it’s important for companies to maintain a strong presence in the online recruiting industry.
  2. Reasons to Recruit Online: Monster.com’s Solutions page lists several advantages for using online job sites to find employees, including cost-effectiveness and longevity.
  3. Use Online Tools to Figure Pay Raises: This article links to online tools and sites designed to help you calculate pay raises.
  4. Top Job Sites: If you think Yahoo! Jobs is the only job board out there, take a look at this list of some of the best places to find quality candidates online.


More and more companies are turning to freelancers, contractors and even workers overseas to perform day-to-day tasks. What does that mean for the HR professional? Read below to find out.

  1. HR Outsourcing Basics: This article helps small businesses decided whether or not they should enlist the services of an HR firm, rather than employ HR professionals in-house.
  2. Should You OUtsource Your In-House Recruiting?: HR professionals should be aware of this outsourcing trend that eliminates in-house recruiting.
  3. Outsourcing 101: Finding Freelancing Talent: Get tips on finding quality freelancers by checking out this article.
  4. Outsourcing: How to Use Freelancers: This article tackles issues like figuring out when you should outsource, calculating speed, cost and quality and more.
  5. Talent Management and Outsourcing: Sides of the Same Coin?: Learn about the differences in evaluating in-house talent and outsourced workers with the help of this article.


Don’t waste the time of your department or the potential employee by asking illegal or uninformative interview questions. Check out this list of articles for help determining what you should and shouldn’t bring up during the session.

  1. How to Conduct an Effective Employee Interview: AllBusiness.com provides tips like "set the tone" and "prepare a script" to help you get the most out of job candidates during the person-to-person interview.
  2. Ask Right to Hire Right: Effective Interview Questions: Use effective interview questions to more adequately assess each job candidate during the interview.
  3. 38 Illegal, Sensitive, and Stupid Interview Questions…and How to Respond: This article from the Washington Post focuses on the interviewee, but HR pros can use the list as a guide of what questions not to ask.
  4. How to Interview and Hire Top People Each and Every Time: Even HR needs to brush up on their interview skills now and then. Use this article as a guide to help you ask the right questions.
  5. The New-Boy Network: This article asks "What do job interviews really tell us?" Find out whether the interview process is an adequate enough assessment of job candidates and if your hiring strategies need a makeover.
  6. How to Interview a Potential Employee: This article comes with a list of questions interviewers should avoid asking and ones which are worth asking the job candidate.
  7. How to Interview a Prospective Employee and Complete the I-9 Form: This article, from the University of Nebraska, has lots of helpful tips for employers new to the hiring game.
  8. Employee Interview Questions That Get Down to Business: The Washington Business Journal offers various ideas for asking questions that will really expose what kind of worker the candidate will turn out to be.
  9. How to Interview a Prospective Employee: This article from eHow.com covers all the basic tips and questions you’ll need to know to conduct an informative interview.
  10. Employee Interview Questions: Before setting up the interview, make sure you’re prepared to answer this list of questions that the interviewee may have for you.

Retaining Great Employees

After piling large amounts of time and money into finding and training qualified employees, HR departments must continue to invest in their top candidates by providing extra benefits, opportunities and flexibility.

  1. 25 Ways to Reward Employees (Without Spending a Dime): Find economical ways to spoil your employees here. From maintaining flexible work hours to sending them to parties and special events, you’ll boost everyone’s mood.
  2. Tips to Help Employees Cope With Disaster: In times of great stress or family emergency, employees look to the HR department for understanding and leniency. Use this article as a guide for what to do when a worker is faced with a disaster.
  3. Employee Wellness Programs: Consider starting an employee wellness program for your company to " increase productivity, boost morale and vitality, reduce stress, reduce absenteeism, and control preventable healthcare costs within an organization."
  4. Employee Loyalty: How Accurate is Your Perception?: Just because your top employees show up to the office each day on time and ready to work doesn’t mean they’re not planning on leaving you for one of your competitors. Check out this article for help deciphering your employees’ company loyalty.
  5. How to Attract and Retain Great Employees: Simple tips like "treat employees like human beings" and "keep [workers] interested in their jobs" actually go a long way when employees evaluate how happy they are in their jobs.
  6. Ten Ways to Attract and Retain Great Employees: Find out what today’s employees are really looking for in a career with the advice given in this article.
  7. 10 Reasons Why Organizations Are Not Able to Retain Employees: Management consultant and blogger Gautam Ghosh warns employers and HR pros against making one of these ten mistakes.
  8. How to Retain Employees: This AllBusiness.com article maintains that "a high turnover rate is costly in both direct and indirect costs." To retain your top employees, first understand their reasons for wanting to leave.
  9. Manager’s Role in Retention: This post argues that the manager’s role in motivating and retaining employees is vital. Learn how to reinvent your current rewards and review systems to integrate managers.
  10. Why Great Employees Quit: What You Can Do To Keep Them: Ph.D. Carl Robinson explores the many reasons why valuable employees quit their jobs and how human resources professionals can get them to stay.

Parting Ways

When you have to fire an employee or when one of your top workers decides to quit, read these articles for tips on managing the situation appropriately.

  1. Downsizing and Layoffs: If your business needs to lay off several employees, check out this resource to inform yourself about your rights and the rights of your employees.
  2. Firing Employees Who are Hurting Your Business: Don’t be afraid to let employees go if they’re doing more harm than good to your business. This article provides tips on smoothing over the firing process.
  3. Counteroffers: Effective Retention Tool, or Display of Desperation?: The HR Daily Advisor breaks down the pros and cons of submitting a counteroffer in the event a prized employee decides to quit.
  4. How to Fire an Employee: This article includes great tips that often go overlooked by managers when firing employees. Examples include letting the fired employee say goodbye to coworkers and allowing the worker to clean out his own space.
  5. Maternity and Paternity Leave: For ideas on "drawing up a maternity and paternity leave policy," read this article from PersonnelToday.com.
  6. Setting the Proper Tone for a Termination Meeting: Ideas like thanking the employee and letting the employee have a chance to respond are smart tips for dismissing workers with grace.
  7. When Should You Fire an Employee?: If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not an employee’s poor performance is worthy of a dismissal, read this article for help making your decision.
  8. How to Fire an Employee: Use this checklist to cover your bases before firing an employee.
  9. Situations Where You Have to Be Extra Careful When Firing Employees: How do you fire an employee that has previously made sexual harassment or discrimination complaints? What do you do when you want to break an employment contract? This article tackles all kinds of unsavory termination situations.
  10. What if Your Best Employee Quits Suddenly?: This article goes over the pros and cons of an exit survey and how you can protect yourself the next time through employee retention systems that include more communication and benefits.

HR Career Path

Your entire career is devoted to helping others feel comfortable in their jobs, but what about you? Read these articles for tips and advice on developing your own career.

  1. The Path Taken: Two HR Career Roads — Field and Corporate — Present Their Own Distinct Challenges and Rewards: Deciding which human resources career path to take can be difficult. Use this article as a way to help you determine which industry fits you best.
  2. Get Into HR With Three Steps to Success: Monster.com advises those wanting to land a career in HR to work on defining your goals, build a team of resources and mentors and keep your options open.
  3. How Do I Break Into Other HR Areas Besides Recruiting?: If you’d love to work in HR but are tired of recruiting ads, check out the advice given here.
  4. How to Break Into HR (Legally, That Is): The Evil HR Lady recommends different ways in which professionals can cross over to positions in HR.
  5. How to Get Into HR: This article from Personnel Today gives tips on how to break into the human resources industry.

Industry News and Support

HR pros need to stay on top of industry news and competitor’s offerings if they want to recruit the best candidates. Check below for articles and resources that will help you stay current.

  1. Internet and Web 2.0 Creates Unfamiliar Battleground for HR Professionals: Now that social networking sites like Facebook are also used for professional means, human resources professionals aren’t sure how to discipline employees for spending too much time online.
  2. Noncompetes Moving "Down-Market." Are They for Your Company Too?: This article chronicles the trend of noncompetes becoming more and more popular requirements for even blue collar and entry-level positions.
  3. Here Comes Paid Parental Leave: Feel guilty about not being able to afford paid parental leave for your small business employees? This article discusses the trend.
  4. How to Get Your CEO to Lean on You for Advice: Want tips for becoming the boss’s professional confidant? Read these great tips.
  5. Payroll Growth Slows Significantly: Check here for quick stats on payroll growth in U.S. employment.
  6. Firms Step in to Help Dover Employees’ Relocation Costs: As part of a benefits package, should your company start offering relocation costs to attract valuable employees?
  7. Human Resource Executive Online: This website updates news articles regularly so that you’re always informed about industry headlines.
  8. hrVillage.com: Browse newsworthy human resource articles at this site.
  9. Too Much Colleague Spam Inspires New Sorting Tools: Read about these tools and services which will help your office sort through e-mails more easily and remain productive all day.

For Inspiration and Humor

HR pros often feel under appreciated. Check out these articles and video clips for inspiration to keep on going.

  1. What People Want From Work: Employee Motivation and Positive Morale: Understand your employees’ situation better by reading this article. You’ll understand that money and an inclusive, mobile working environment are top factors.
  2. Gen Y Myths Debunked: Whether you’re a young member of Generation Y and feel discriminated against at work, or if you’re hesitant to hire the newest crop of young graduates because of negative stereotypes, read this article to find out why Gen Y has a lot more to offer than laziness and false expectations.
  3. 4 Things That Rile HR the Most: Get a laugh out of this list of HR professional’s top pet peeves.
  4. Why HR Gets No Respect: If you don’t think your HR department or position is getting the attention it deserves, read this article to find out why business execs undervalue their HR teams.
  5. What Do You Do All Day?: According to The Evil HR Lady, "one of the jobs of HR is to understand the business. This means we need to understand what people do all day." Click on the link for a well-deserved dose of humor.
  6. Casual Dress Humor: Send around these pretend memos from HR re: casual dress Friday to get a life from your coworkers.
  7. Top 10 Short Job Descriptions: Take a break from writing tedious job descriptions and check out this hilarious parody of the grueling HR task.
  8. Components of HR That I Sorta Kinda Like: The HR Wench admits that some parts of HR are actually rewarding and fun, like benefits administration, handling crises and generally kicking butt.

Miscellaneous Articles

From popular HR rants to exemplary recruitment campaigns, use this list of general resources to connect with other HR pros.

  1. Leadership Styles: The recruiting animal puts forth profiles of different types of leaders: the power-mad dictator, the expert know-it-all, the presidential coach and the professional. Learn how to spot them during your next interview session.
  2. Lie on the Job Like Ferris: Is It OK to Use Sick Days for Job Interviews?: The HR Capitalist wonders: "do you look the other way when people use sick days to kick back? Do your feelings depend on what the person is using the sick days for?" Check out this post about giving employees a little slack.
  3. "Assist" is the Operative Word: Tired of getting other employee’s chores dumped on your desk? Read this post to find out how to deal.
  4. How to Deal with Liars at Work: No one likes a liar. This post has tips on how to deal with one without causing a scene or seeming to accusatory.
  5. Top 10 Best Recruiting Websites: KnowHR lists its favorite recruiting websites, not for resources to help you find new talent, but for their great examples of how to attract great candidates.
  6. 10 Resolutions for a Healthy Workplace: Forward this post to your entire office for inspiration on how to promote a healthy, happy workplace.
  7. Conducting Employee Reviews: This detailed article from Entrepreneur.com provides excellent tips and ideas for evaluating employees.
  8. Morale and Motivation Checklist: Keeping managers and lower-level employees motivated and happy can be a challenge. Look to this list for ways to improve company morale.

75+ Tips on Becoming a Better Networker

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:26am by Site Administrator

Networking can open you up to new opportunities, relationships, and more. But you have to know what you’re doing, or your attempts may quickly become an exercise in futility. Follow these tips to sharpen your skills and make networking work for you.

The Basics

Before you can become a better networker, you’ve got to master these essentials.

  1. Always introduce yourself: Don’t get caught up in a conversation and forget to tell someone who you are. Be sure to say your name clearly and offer a business card when appropriate.
  2. Shake hands: Create a physical connection and open yourself up with a handshake.
  3. Bring lots of business cards: Never network empty-handed. Always have something to give to others for them to remember you by.
  4. Outline your goals: Have a clear plan in sight for every event or contact, and you’ll be better prepared to reap success through networking.
  5. Be genuine: No one wants to talk to someone who presents themselves awkwardly. Be authentic, and people will trust you.
  6. Stay positive: Be an energizing force to those around you, and others will be attracted.
  7. Keep a generous mindset: Don’t go to a meeting thinking about what you want. Rather, think about how you can help others, and you’ll earn what you’re looking for.

Your Body Language

When you’re meeting with others, it’s important that you convey yourself in a friendly, but professional manner. Make sure you’re communicating the right message with these body language tips.

  1. Maintain good eye contact: This should go without saying, but be sure to look a person in the eye when you’re talking to them.
  2. Smile: You should always convey that you’re a positive person, so smile and be happy.
  3. Learn forward: You don’t need to get in someone’s face, but leaning slightly foward to get closer will show then you’re interested in what they have to say.
  4. Stand confidently: No one wants to network with a person who lacks confidence. Present yourself proudly by throwing your shoulders back and standing up tall.
  5. Walk like you know where you’re going: Walking around aimlessly will just make you look silly. Even if it’s just to the bar, make sure you look like you’re going somewhere.

Choosing Groups and Contacts

You can’t, and shouldn’t, attempt to join every group possible to talk to every person you possibly can. Rather, focus on the ones that matter using these tips.

  1. Define what you’re looking for: Do you want to attend meetings for pure networking, or would you like to learn and volunteer at the same time?
  2. Visit a variety of groups: When you’re just starting out or even if you’re shaking up your networking routine, try out a number of different groups until you find a handful that work for you.
  3. Be strategic: Consider the value that each group brings, and only participate in those that offer something useful.
  4. Join a news group: Seek out a group that will keep you updated on the latest news and developments in your industry.
  5. Get targeted: Look for trade groups and meetings that have a narrow reach so you’ll be more likely to meet the right people.

Conversational Skills

Keep others engaged and interested by developing your conversational skills with these tips.

  1. Ask open-ended questions: Don’t ask questions that can be answered with yes or no-keep the conversation going with questions that beg more information.
  2. Have a concise description of yourself: Even if you’ve got your hands in a number of different industries and projects, make it easy for others to understand you in a nutshell. This will make it easier for them to refer you to others.
  3. Ask lots of questions: By asking questions, you’ll actively engage the person you’re talking to, and you just might learn something new.
  4. Be clear: Don’t make people read your mind. Ensure that the person you’re talking to knows exactly what you do and what you want from a relationship with them. Otherwise, they aren’t likely to help you.
  5. Start small: Discuss the event’s turnout or current events, and move on to more interesting topics once you’ve broken the ice.

Relationship Building

Once you’ve made inital contact, use these tips to forge strong relationships with your new networking partners.

  1. Make good: If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Whether it’s a referral, phone call, or favor, your actions reflect your strength as a networking contact.
  2. Always follow up: When you meet someone that can be a valuable networking resource, give them a call and express how much you enjoyed meeting them. This will give you an opportunity to further develop your relationship and discuss ideas that you may not have thought of in your initial meeting.
  3. Find common ground: Forge a relationship through something you have in common, whether it’s personal or professional, to stay visible.
  4. Offer something: Give people something they want, whether it’s an idea, contact, or other resource, to stay visible and helpful.
  5. Share your contacts: Become a networking node by introducing two people who can benefit from each other, and you’ll be able to both reconnect with them and deepen your relationship at the same time.
  6. Focus on quality over quantity: Don’t worry about talking to everyone in the room. Rather, seek to build relationships with the people who have something of value to offer.
  7. Go slowly: Don’t force your relationship to move too quickly. Get to know your contacts before asking them for huge favors.
  8. Offer introductions: Flatter your networking friends by taking the time to introduce them to a group of people.
  9. Form an inner circle: Once you’ve found a number of contacts, determine your inner circle and work to cultivate relationships and ask for referrals from these people more than anyone else.
  10. Find the right person: Your intial contact isn’t always the right person for what you want. Don’t be shy about asking them to introduce you to someone more appropriate.

Looking Inward

Much of networking takes place with people you don’t know too well, but strong relationships can be built upon with people you already know. Use these tips to help build your network through those that are already close by.

  1. Go to company events: You may not be crazy about golfing, but participating in your organization’s annual tournament can give you time to socialize one on one with people you may not have considered networking with.
  2. Seek out a mentor: Find an experienced friend within your company to help you build relationships and meet new people.
  3. Start a happy hour group: By organizing social events like happy hour outings, you’ll have a chance to connect with others in a relaxed setting.
  4. Organize a company picnic: Create an internal networking event with your coworkers and encourage everyone to invite their favorite clients and other contacts.

Shaking Nerves

Networking is a little daunting for introverts, but these tips are designed to make you feel a bit more relaxed at networking events.

  1. Be a volunteer: Give yourself an official reason to be at an event as well as something to do by signing up to help out.
  2. Dress comfortably: Wear something that makes you feel good about yourself to boost your confidence.
  3. Call when your energy is highest: Save conversations for when you’re more upbeat.
  4. Show up early: Networking is often intimidating because there are just so many people, but if you get there earlier, you’ll be able to chat with just a few people in a more intimate setting.
  5. Remind yourself of your worth: Think of the people who aren’t as capable and talented as you are that are mingling and making connections with the contacts you should be working with, and use this competitive ammunition to motivate yourself.
  6. Bring a friend: If you can’t face the crowd by yourself, bring a friend from your industry and work the room together.
  7. Go to events with a purpose: Events that are purely based around conversation can be intimidating, so go to gatherings like seminars, interactive classes, and workshops.
  8. Know what to say: Create conversations in your mind and think of key points to bring up to help train your brain and calm your nerves.
  9. Take a break: If you’re attending a long networking event or have plans for both the day and evening, make sure you take some time to yourself so that you can recharge.
  10. Go one step at a time: You’re not going to become a master networker overnight, so don’t try to be. Focus on baby steps to ramp up your networking experience.

Getting Connected

Use these methods to find new people to network with.

  1. Stand close to the entrance: Make small talk with new arrivals while they’re alone and looking for someone to talk to.
  2. Pick a nametag: Stop by the registration table to see who will be attending, and if you see someone you’d really like to speak with, ask if you can put a note on their name tag to ask them to find you.
  3. Seek out loners: Open up the shy and nervous types to get quality one-on-one networking.
  4. Hang out near the grub: People are generally accessible around food and often linger near the food table, so seek out new contacts in this area. You can even use food conversation as an opener.
  5. Diversify: Investors do it and so should you. Speak to a variety of different people to improve the quality of your contacts.
  6. Don’t sell at meetings: Selling your services at a meeting is generally inappropriate and usually a turnoff. Instead, focus on developing relationships and schedule a time to get together later, at which point it will be appropriate to sell.
  7. Differentiate yourself: Stand out from the crowd so the people you connect with will remember you after the event.
  8. Stay active: Don’t stay too long in one place. Keep moving to meet lots of people.

Online Networking

Take your networking efforts online with these tips.

  1. Keep an updated profile: Make sureyou’re offering the right impression about yourself by keeping information current.
  2. Avoid inappropriate material: Don’t post photos of you and your drinking buddies in a place where networking and business contacts can see them.
  3. Keep a moderate number of contacts: Be aware of the number of contacts on your profile. Too many will make prospective associates wonder how they’ll fit in, while too few will make you seem like you’re not connected enough.
  4. Be connected to appropriate people: Make sure you’ve got your bases covered where contacts are concerned. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you should be connected with venues, florists, dress makers, and others in the wedding industry.
  5. Check in with school: Check out your alumni organization’s website to see if they have an online community.
  6. Find an industry-specific community: Build higher quality contacts by joining a group specifically made for people like you.

Following Up

Keep things going with these follow-up tips.

  1. Say something interesting: Don’t just send a generic email to everyone you meet. Bring up something you discussed or share an anectode instead.
  2. Make future plans: Following up is useless unless you have a clear plan for how you’ll help each other or build your relationship in the future.
  3. Follow up quickly: Don’t let too much time lapse between your meeting and follow up, or your contact just might forget about you.
  4. Call just to say hi: If someone pops into your head for some reason, call and say hello, even if you don’t have an agenda.

Cashing In

Once you’ve got strong networking relationships in place, take advantage of them using these tips.

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute: Make sure you’ve built relationships before you actually need them. People will be turned off if you’re desperate and have nothing to offer.
  2. Reciprocate: If you’ve helped someone in the past, don’t be shy about asking for their help in return.
  3. Don’t be selfish: You shouldn’t always be the one looking for a favor in the relationship. Offer to do something for your contacts once in a while.
  4. Ask for advice, not favors: Go for the soft sell. If you’re looking for a job, ask for their opinion on how to get the job you want instead of asking them who they know that would like to hire you.

Business Cards

These are just a few ways you can use business cards more effectively when networking.

  1. Make notes: When you receive a person’s business card, make notes on it about follow up items, or just items you’d like to remember.
  2. Never deal out cards impersonally: Always wait until it’s appropriate to hand a business card to a contact and avoid giving them out before you’ve even started making conversation.
  3. Get creative: Business cards are generally boring and don’t spark a second thought. Make your business card interesting with an engaging design, and contacts may be more receptive to remembering you and giving you a call.
  4. Carry them everywhere: You never know when a networking opportunity will pop up, so always be prepared.
  5. Be generous: Give out two cards at a time-one for your new associate to keep, and one to pass along to someone you should get to know.

Going Further

Take networking to the next level with these tips.

  1. Be a leader: Hold a visible position within a group so you’ll be more noticed and respected.
  2. Become a resource: Make yourself knowledgeable in your industry, and other people will come to you for advice, ideas, and connections, which will strengthen your relationships and make you more visible.
  3. Go low tech: Email isn’t always the best way to communicate. Pick up the phone, send a handwritten note, or arrange for a face to face meeting, and your message will come across stronger.
  4. Create a newsletter: Keep your contacts updated on new developments in your professional and personal life with a newsletter on a yearly or quarterly basis.

10 Ways Lazy Stupid Coworkers Can Help Boost Your Career

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 1:26am by Site Administrator

Lazy coworkers may seem like a nuisance, but in reality, they offer a number of excellent opportunities to improve your professional life. Whether you’re simply outshining them, or being forced to innovate, those dolts you work with might actually be doing you a favor. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 ways they’re giving you a hand.

  1. You’ll look better in comparison: First and foremost, a lazy coworker makes it easy for you to look good. Assuming you’re not just as lazy and stupid as your coworkers, having a few fools around can raise your perceived value. Yes, your boss really does notice.
  2. Picking up the slack: By doing the work your coworkers are too incompetent to do, you’ll shine and be praised for your willingness to help out the team. Just be sure to make sure this doesn’t go unnoticed.
  3. They’ll motivate you to do better: Chances are, your lazy, stupid coworkers of today were just like you yesterday-they’ve just become accustomed to a routine of slacking and underperforming over the years. You can use their attitude as a motivator to do better things, whether that means working harder to advance yourself, or breaking out of the rat race to create your own business.
  4. They don’t bother recognizing opportunities: If your coworkers are too stupid and lazy to even do their own jobs, you can bet there’s a good chance they wouldn’t notice or care if an opportunity smacked them in the face. That means that you’re more likely to stumble upon and take advantage of a great idea, such as volunteering to head up a new and much needed committee that will grant you high profile success.
  5. You’ll be able to work less: Working with slow coworkers often means that your work tends to trickle in as well. You should be able to run laps around them, freeing yourself up for career-advancing special projects.
  6. Your suggestions for improvements will be noticed: If no one else cares enough to say anything about improving your workflow, bringing these issues to your boss can raise you to the level of confidant, and it shows that you care. These are great seeds to plant for future advancement.
  7. You’ll become everyone’s new best friend: Again, underperforming coworkers often give you an opportunity to do things beyond your normal job scope. This leaves you open to help out in other departments and become more helpful and visible to your entire organization.
  8. They’ll fill you in on the latest gossip: There’s one thing lazy coworkers are great at keeping up with, and that thing is gossip. Use them to keep informed about who’s leaving, what positions are opening up, and where your company is going in the future.
  9. They’re open mikes: Another way gossip-loving lazy coworkers help is through their gift of gab. Pass along a rumor that you’re doing well or that you’re expected to receive a specific promotion, and this information just might land upon and influence ears that matter.
  10. Sharing credit makes you look like a leader: When you swoop in to save the day after your stupid coworker did something inept, you’ll be the hero that got the job done. This is especially useful if you share credit with the dummy that started it all, because you’ll be perceived as the leader that brought everything together.

Balancing Work and Family: 100 Resources for Pregnant Career Women

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:10pm by Site Administrator

Congratulations! Now that you’ve found out you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot of exciting planning to do: set up the nursery, notify friends and relatives and start saving your paychecks for all the added expenses your new family will accumulate. Career women, however, have extra responsibilities when it comes to prepping for the new baby. How soon should you tell your boss the good news? Do you qualify for paid maternity leave? What if you’re currently searching for a new job and aren’t sure how your pregnancy will look to potential employers? Read below for all those answers and more in our list of 100 resources for pregnant career women.

Blogs and Websites

During your break time, check out these helpful blogs and websites, which are full of valuable resources for working moms and moms-to-be.

  1. PregnancyandBaby.com: This website has all kinds of resources for pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and women who have recently given birth. If you’ve got a quick question about morning sickness or just want to update your "countdown to baby" calendar, jump onto this site during work for a quick and easy search.
  2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Blog @ Suite101: Read the pregnancy and childbirth blog at Suite101 for resources to help you estimate the cost of your pregnancy, how your professional life will affect your pregnancy and more.
  3. WebMD Health and Baby Center: The Health and Baby Center at WebMD.com has lots of articles, tools and other resources to help busy women celebrate pregnancy.
  4. Black Pregnancy Blog: This blog focuses on pregnancy issues for black women. Read posts about health conditions, managing your life after the baby comes and more.
  5. BlueSuitMom.com: This blog has lots of "advice to help executive working mothers balance work and family." Browse through existing posts or submit a question of your own.
  6. Work and Maternity Leave: The Work and Maternity Leave resource on Babycenter.com is full of posts and advice for pregnant career women.
  7. iVillage Work and Pregnancy: The favorite women’s website iVillage has a special page with articles, resources and links that are all about managing pregnancy in a busy office environment.
  8. Pregnant at Work: The website Pregnancy-Info.net hosts a Pregnant at Work section to help pregnant professionals figure out maternity leave, discrimination suits and more.
  9. WhatToExpect.com: The author of the bestselling book What to Expect When You’re Expecting posts articles and tools on this site to help prepare moms-to-be.
  10. Type-A Mom: Busy women now have a place to go to get advice, support and ideas on how to balance work and family.
  11. RollerCoaster: This website is all about general pregnancy and parenting issues, but frequent posts and message board chats from working moms make it a must-read.
  12. YouandMeKid.net: This site is an excellent resource for single pregnant women and single moms. Find out how you can manage a career and a baby, all on your own.

Career Advice and Support

These resources are full of tips and ideas to help you survive the work week when you’re pregnant, from beating morning sickness to figuring out how to break the news.

  1. Working During Pregnancy: Before you make an official decision to continue working or to quit your job because of pregnancy issues, take a look at this post from Families.com to help you evaluate your situation.
  2. Sharing News of Your Pregnancy: This post gives tips on when to tell others (including your boss) the good news and what to expect when you do.
  3. Investigating Maternity Leave Options: It’s important to have a solid plan in place when deciding how and when to take advantage of maternity leave. Let this guide help you figure things out.
  4. Quick Food Fixes for Moms-to-Be: Hopefully, your boss will make some allowances for you during pregnancy; however, if you have to show up to work late everyday due to morning sickness, you might get yourself into trouble. Use this list to help you beat morning sickness and get your back on track.
  5. 40 Healthy Snacks for Moms-to-Be: Keep several of these healthy but appealing snacks in your desk to curb overwhelming cravings.
  6. When to Tell the Boss You’re Expecting: Use this post to help you find the right moment to tell your boss that you’re pregnant.
  7. How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work: This post from eHow.com has more advice for pregnant moms with morning sickness.
  8. Being Pregnant at Work: BabyCenter.com answers questions like "What should I do if I work around toxic substances?" and "How can I stay comfortable on the job?" to help pregnant women manage their professional careers amidst a changing lifestyle.
  9. Working During Pregnancy: Check out this guide designed to help career women safely and comfortably continue working while pregnant.
  10. Working During Pregnancy: The Proudly Pregnant blog encourages women who can’t take extra time off from work to "look for ways to ease the burden of working" by working only 40 hours a week and taking advantage of breaks.
  11. Planning for Working Mothers: Getting Pregnant and Dealing with Work: Use this resource to help you plan for your pregnancy by negotiating maternity leave, reworking your schedule and being prepared to face discriminatory comments and coworkers.
  12. Pregnancy and Your Job: This post from the Monster Career Advice website walks pregnant women through the process of creating a new work/life balance.

Legal Advice and Discrimination Resources

Make sure you’re aware of your rights as an expectant, working mother.

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act: Writer Alison Doyle discusses the details and eligibility issues for the Family and Medical Leave Act in this post. Find out what benefits your employer provides and whether or not you will be able to take time off during your pregnancy.
  2. Women Filing More Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Nationally: The South Carolina Lawyer Blog explores why more pregnant women have been "filing pregnancy discrimination claims with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" in 2007.
  3. National Advocates for Pregnant Women: This national organization posts articles and information about the legal rights, advocacy events and other important resources that affect pregnant women.
  4. Verizon Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement: Verizon Wireless was ordered to pay over $48 million to female employees who filed discrimination suits against the cell phone company.
  5. Just Found Out You’re Pregnant?: Dawn Rosenberg McKay writes this post for career women who aren’t sure how to discuss their pregnancy at work. Check it out for legal advice and other discrimination issues.
  6. Terminated While on Maternity Leave: One woman seeks advice after being let go while on maternity leave.
  7. How Long Can I Wait to Tell the Boss I’m Pregnant?: CNN Money’s Ask Annie column advises that "the sooner you break the news, the better — especially if your boss can keep a secret."
  8. Maternity Rights: TotalJobs.com shares information about maternity rights in the UK, answering questions like "what terms and conditions apply during ordinary maternity leave?" and "what rights do I have as a pregnant employee?
  9. Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publicizes information about pregnancy discrimination here.
  10. It’s Hard Being a Pregnant, Working Mom — Even if You’re Elizabeth Vargas: After former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas revealed that she was pregnant, she voluntarily gave up her anchor position and agreed to continue only a co-hosting job after giving birth. This editorial explores the ins and outs of her decision, as well as ABC’s position on pregnant employees.
  11. Pregnancy Discrimination: PregnancyEtc.com posts valuable information about "accommodating pregnancy in the workplace," including issues regarding maternity leave, telling your employer about the pregnancy and more.
  12. Dealing With Unfair Treatment at Work While Pregnant: The BabyCenter doles out advice for pregnant women who are discriminated against at work.

Pregnancy and the Job Search

Looking for a new job is tough enough without having to worry about discriminating hiring managers. Use these resources to prepare yourself for the questions, rejections and eventual successes that are sure to come your way.

  1. A Pregnant Pause: Career Pregnant Women at Job Interviews: "Can being visibly pregnant during a job interview hurt my chances of getting hired?" This Q & A from Black Enterprise discusses how pregnant women can prepare themselves for an in-person interview.
  2. Why is Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise?: The Monster Blog publishes this post in an attempt to figure out why pregnant women are still discriminated against in the workplace.
  3. Pregnancy and Your New Job: What do you do if you get pregnant soon after starting a new job? This post explains why some women may not receive paid time off if they find themselves in this situation.
  4. When Will I Start to Show?: If you’re wondering how to plan your pregnancy around your job search — or vice versa — read this article for help predicting when you will start to show.
  5. Advice for Women Trying to Balance a Career and Pregnancy: ABC News publishes this report that helps pregnant women survive the job search and figure out when to tell the boss the big news.
  6. When to Tell Employer That You’re Leaving: Find out what advice this career coach has for a woman who receives a great job offer while she’s on maternity leave from another company.
  7. Pregnancy and Mothers in the Workplace: JobDig posts this Q&A about looking for a job while several months pregnant.
  8. Tips for Job Seeking When a Pregnancy, a Handicap or Other Personal Needs are Part of the Package: The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes this article to help pregnant women and those with disabilities conduct a successful job search.
  9. Job Hunting While Pregnant: Writer Liz Ryan offers advice for pregnant women in their first, second and third trimesters as they try to find employment.
  10. Can Pregnancy Hinder a Job Search: Northeastern Illinois University Coordinator of Career Counseling Dr. David P. Helfand reviews legal options and office culture trends for pregnant women looking for a job.
  11. Interviewing While Pregnant: Find out how to master a face-to-face interview and conquer discrimination even when you’re several months pregnant.
  12. The Pregnant Job-Seeker: What to Say, and When?: This article from the New York Times considers several questions pregnant job-seekers may have as they are about to begin the interviewing process.

Taking Time Off

Read below for resources on maternity leave, figuring out how much time you need or want to take off from work and finding support when it’s time to return to the office.

  1. Will You Work or Stay Home with Baby?: Families.com helps pregnant moms make the decision to stay at work or take extra time off after the baby comes.
  2. Pregnancy and Your Career: Taking Maternity Leave: This post helps women prepare for the conversation they’ll have with HR about taking maternity leave. Find out how to research the affects of maternity leave on the rest of your benefits, outline your salary and pay schedule for when you leave and more.
  3. Proposal for Part-Time Work Schedule: If you need advice on pitching a part-time work proposal to your boss during or after pregnancy, check out this post.
  4. Career Breaks: Find out if it’s time for you to take a career break and spend more time with your family with the tips and advice listed here.
  5. Family-Friendly or Freeloader-Friendly?: This article from CNN Money questions how family-friendly companies need to be when making allowances for their employees.
  6. Taking Leave After a Miscarriage: Most pregnant women know about maternity leave, but what about taking time off to grieve after a miscarriage? This article explains the rights of parents who find themselves in this situation.
  7. Should You Go Back?: After taking time off, do you know whether or not you should go back to work? Let this article help you make the best decision for you and your family.
  8. Extending Maternity Leave: When your maternity leave is up, you may or may not be ready to get back to work. This article provides "tactics to stretch out that precious maternity leave with your new baby."
  9. U.S. Stands Apart From Other Nations on Maternity Leave: USA Today explores why the U.S. has such a bad reputation for being chintzy with maternity leave.
  10. Maternity Leave: The Basics: Find out everything you need to know about taking maternity leave from this resource, from dealing with denied requests to details about short-term disability leave.
  11. Returning from Maternity Leave: Tips for Working Mothers: After spending a couple of months at home with your new baby, going back to the office can be jarring. The Mayo Clinic provides this guide to help working mothers make the transition as smoothly as possible.
  12. 7 Tips for Keeping Your Career on Track During a Maternity Leave: If you’re going crazy being away from the office for so long, check out this list of tips that will help you keep close contact with the outside, working world.

Work/Family Balance

Read these posts to find out how other parents have managed to maintain a healthy work/life balance after welcoming a new baby.

  1. Life After Birth: Blending a Career and a Family: Career counselor and author Robin Ryan reveals the challenges of combining a professional career with life with a new baby.
  2. Working Mom Secrets to Happy Evenings: This article is a valuable resource for helping working moms who want to make the most out of their evenings with the kids. Get tips on keeping your energy up, maintaining an after-work schedule and more.
  3. Balancing Work and a New Baby: Time Management for New Parents: Revolution Health offers detailed tips for adjusting your work schedule once the baby comes.
  4. Work/Life Balance: This article from the Washington Post reveals current trends in American office culture and how companies may or may not improve their employees’ work/life balance by making allowances for families with young children.
  5. Negotiating Work/Family Issues: Women concerned with taking extra time off once they give birth should read this article for tips on proving your value at work, setting goals and priorities and more.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Pipe Dream or Possibility?: This blogger takes a look at those professionals who have successfully mastered the art of a work/life balance. Read the post for tips on how you can incorporate their practices into your lifestyle.

Finding Child Care

If you’re unsure how to decide where to keep your kids while you’re at work all day, use these guides to help you determine what form of childcare is best for your family.

  1. How to Choose the Right Childcare for Your Baby: This post from About.com lists several questions parents should consider before deciding where to drop their kids off each day.
  2. Child Care Options: The What to Expect website has lots of great tips for finding an appropriate, cost-effective child care solution for working moms.
  3. Daycare Coping for Working Moms: This article helps new moms go back to work by getting used to the idea of dropping their kids off at daycare.
  4. Child Care Checklist: How to Find the Best Option: It’s never too early to start searching for adequate child care services, especially if the centers you want your baby to attend have wait lists. Take this checklist with you when you start researching day care facilities around town.
  5. Tips for Staying Close to Your Children When You’re Away: If your job takes you out of town or overseas, read this article for tips on coping with separation anxiety.
  6. Day Care: Choosing a Good Center: FamilyDoctor.org lists questions that new parents should ask day care centers before dropping their kids off for the day.

Staying at Home

Whether you’ve decided to quit your job or you operate a business from home, check out these resources for tips on balancing your pregnancy with other responsibilities.

  1. The Office Plan for Pregnancy: This post reveals how one woman started her own Virtual Assistant business so that she could stay home during her pregnancy.
  2. Working From Home: Read this testimonial from a mother who managed a home-based career during her pregnancy and continues to work from home while raising a daughter.
  3. Work at Home Ideas for Pregnant Women: If you’d like to start working from home during and after pregnancy but aren’t sure how to make ends meet, check out this article for tips on how to get paid for working from home.
  4. Should I Work or Stay Home?: This article helps moms-to-be make "the decision on where to work after baby."
  5. Confessions of a Pregnant Work-at-Home Mom: This stay-at-home mom gives tips on finding reputable job opportunities that allow her to work from home.
  6. Mother Guilt: This post explores the sense of isolation and guilt that many stay-at-home moms feel after giving birth.
  7. FrugalMom.net: Read this blog for ideas on how to make money from a home-based business.
  8. Help for Pregnant Moms Who Can’t Work and Need Money: Pregnancy.LovetoKnow.com provides links and information for moms who need financial and rental assistance during pregnancy.
  9. HireMyMom.com: This website specializes in connecting businesses with stay-at-home moms looking for outsource projects.
  10. Mommy Enterprises: This work-at-home blog offers moms and moms-to-be support and advice for maintaining a work/life balance and finding great job opportunities.
  11. Daycare vs. Being a Stay-at-Home Mom: Check out this chart of the pros and cons of daycare vs. being a stay-at-home mom to discover which balance works best for you.

Medical and Safety Information

Even if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, there are certain safety issues that you should consider when working in the office or out in the field. Check out this list for health information that will keep you and your baby healthy and comfortable during the entire pregnancy.

  1. Night Work Linked to Increased Risk of Late Pregnancy Loss: This post from PregnancyandBaby.com reports the findings from a study that links miscarriages to a late-night work schedule.
  2. Pregnancy and Work: Dr. Robert Warnock from WebMD writes about the health risks and stereotypes associated with women who decide to work during pregnancy.
  3. Pregnancy and Work Safety: Parents.com details what you can expect if you’re a pregnant woman who decides to continue working as long as possible before giving birth.
  4. Working During Pregnancy: Stay Healthy and Productive: CNN.com publishes this article full of tips and ideas to help pregnant career women avoid nausea, stay alert and comfortable and reduce stress.
  5. Health Hazards in the Workplace: Pregnancy-Info.net details "what you need to know for a healthy pregnancy," including chemical and physical hazards in the workplace.
  6. Working During Pregnancy: The Caremark Health Resources site answers questions that pregnant career women may have, including "Is it okay to work right up until I go into labor?" and "How can I keep comfortable and safeguard my and my baby’s health on the job?"
  7. Working While Pregnant: This guide from PregnancyEtc.com lists tips for staying comfortable and healthy during a busy day at work.
  8. Mommy’s Minute — Working While Pregnant: Watch this AOL video to get tips on how to manage a healthy pregnancy while still retaining your professional responsibilities.
  9. Coping with Stress While Pregnant: Managing a work/life balance when you’re pregnant can be difficult. Use this guide from Yogaholistics.com to help you reduce stress and focus on the positive side of pregnancy.


From buying an appropriate pregnancy wardrobe to being prepared for pre-partum depression, these resources will keep you prepared for anything that comes your way.

  1. Seven Tips for Creating a Pregnancy Work Wardrobe on a Budget: Buying an entirely new wardrobe during pregnancy can cost a bundle. Use these tips to make the most out of your shopping trips so that you look and feel good at work.
  2. Pregnancy Over 40: This blog is full of support and advice for women who become pregnant after the age of 40.
  3. How to Work During Pregnancy: Your office and work schedule may need a makeover once you find out you’re pregnant. Follow these tips to help you remain comfortable at the office.
  4. 10 Tips to Working While Pregnant: These tips from AskDr.Sears.com include "explore your options," "know your rights" and "review your company’s policy."
  5. Flying While Pregnant: If your job requires you to do a lot of traveling, take a look at this post to find out at which point in your pregnancy you should stop flying.
  6. Pre-Partum Depression: Discover ways to guard yourself against pre-partum depression so that your professional and personal lives don’t have to suffer.
  7. Working Around Your Pregnancy: Tips like "expect good and bad days" and "think comfort and safety" will help career women prepare for pregnancy.
  8. Guidelines for Working During Pregnancy: Use this list of guidelines to make sure you don’t injure yourself or your baby at work.

The Planet Express Guide to Management – 33 HR Lessons from Futurama

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 1:37am by Site Administrator

While you might not actually work with a rag-tag group of aliens, robots and incompetent but well meaning former pizza delivery boys, sometimes you feel like you might as well be. Turns out that in the future, managing employees hasn’t really gotten any easier, but you can take away a few lessons on what works-and what doesn’t-from Futurama. While this isn’t a replacement for real management training, it can help to give you a little insight into employee relations and, if nothing else, a few laughs. Here are a few lessons, in no particular order, that you can bring to your next HR meeting.

  1. Always have a disaster plan. While the Planet Express crew usually sets out with the best intentions, things more often than not quickly degrade to the worst possible scenario. Whether it’s fighting off giant Amazonian women or a planet full of human-hating robots, the team always comes up with a plan to get out of harm’s way unscathed. Your worst case scenario for a new product launch or a corporate reorganization may not be quite as dramatic but you should always have a "Plan B" just in case something should go wrong so you won’t be left high and dry.
  2. Diversity is important. You would think that it would be difficult for a robot, a cyclops, a human from 1000 years prior, a doctor from Decapod 10, and scores of others to work well together, but Futurama proves that it is possible. While there are few cases where the team remains entirely conflict free, their individual talents, from sewing hands back on to bending just about anything, each help the crew to ultimately be successful on their mission. Your own crew can benefit from this kind of diversity, something you should consider when you’re hiring your next batch of employees.
  3. Support good communication. One thing that remains virtually unchanged in the future is the importance of communication when working with employees. Make sure employees have all the details about how to do their jobs, what you expect, and how they are doing so they won’t accidentally open a box that leads to another dimension, forcing you and your team to close all portals to other universes. That’s just good common sense!
  4. Plan fun company sponsored events. The Planet Express crew took their company outing to a remote campground, but you could plan company picnics, trips to theme parks and much more that could be just as fun and may not result in the alien abduction and mutilation that the Planet Express trip did. Employees appreciate being rewarded and motivated for their work, so do your best as management to get them moving and working as a team.
  5. Develop strong work relationships. Bender and Fry are the best of friends even though they are as different as they could be. This relationship carries over positively into work where each has saved the other from a variety of perils numerous times. While your workers don’t need to be willing to lay down their lives for each other, they’ll likely be happier if they can be friends with coworkers and more willing to help each other out if need be if there is a friendship behind it. Don’t discourage employees from chatting with each other and even taking their friendships outside of work.
  6. Encourage teamwork. The members of the Planet Express crew would likely never complete a mission if it wasn’t for their dedication to teamwork. Instead of ending up like previous Planet Express crews who perished trying to retrieve space honey, this team worked together to successfully steal the sticky, golden goodness from the bees. Get your worker bees to work in harmony by promoting teamwork, even between areas with different specializations. You’ll get better and more cohesive results when everyone is on the same page.
  7. Be willing to give to get. Employees aren’t going to work for nothing, nor are you going to find great new hires by offering half-baked benefits and paltry salaries. What it takes to keep or get new employees will vary. Like Bender, some might be satisfied with a broom closet and a steady supply of energy providing alcohol while others may want recognition and compensation for their work like Leela.
  8. Support continued education. Whether your employees are returning to college after a thousand year hiatus like Fry, or just want some additional training, you should support their decision to improve themselves. After all, they’re not only helping themselves out-your business will benefit from having more qualified and better trained employees. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always hire a super intelligent monkey instead, providing those get invented in the next few years of course.
  9. Check references when hiring. While someone like Zapp Brannigan might look good on paper, a quick background check would reveal his destruction of a $400 billion dollar headquarters, lack of respect for the lives of subordinates, dislike of wearing pants, and propensity for sexual harassment. It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter someone so grossly incompetent in your search for new staff, but don’t just go by what appears on a resume. Make sure to check around to see if your potential employee really is what he or she professes.
  10. Make clear rules about office romance. One of the key elements of Futurama from the beginning is Fry’s constant and often unrequited love for Leela, which makes for some awkward moments at work and also some reckless decision making. So whether it’s human to cyclops, robot to robot or any other combination, make sure the rules about employees dating one another are clear so you won’t end up with a pickle of a situation on your hands if things turn sour.
  11. Give employees personal time. All work and no play makes for some bored and seriously stressed out employees. Whether it’s taking time out for a space cruise or a trip back to their home planet, make sure employees have a little balance in their lives. It will make them happier and healthier when they are at work.
  12. Establish retirement plans. As Fry learns when he checks his bank account from a thousand years prior, even the tiniest bank accounts and investments can add up if left alone for long enough. Help your employees secure their financial future by setting them up with 401K or other IRA plans. They may not end up billionaires, but they will get to spend their retirement years relaxing instead of taking on part time jobs.
  13. Make sure you and your employees know the product. Don’t have a "poppler" disaster on your hands. Before you release any new products or services make sure you know them forwards and backwards and that your employees do too. You wouldn’t want to be caught later, realizing that your new snack was made of baby aliens from Omicron Persei 8, and that they have very, very angry parents. Do your research ahead of time, no matter how great the product seems.
  14. Don’t abuse your power. If Futurama can teach us anything it’s that the universe is full of opportunities to go mad with power, whether by drinking the liquid ruler of a planet or becoming a robot celebrity. You might have the ultimate say over who stays and who goes at your work, but you don’t have to act like it. It’s good to have employee respect but you don’t want them to be terrified you’ll fire them for the slightest infraction.
  15. Emphasize employees’ strengths. At first glance, delivery personnel Fry and Bender would appear to be entirely inept and overall pretty poor at doing their jobs. True, they are lazy, abusive, and sometimes not the brightest. But both have qualities that make them great employees as well, including loyalty, determination, and the ability to bend large metal objects. You likely have employees that are weaker in some areas than others. While you should definitely try to help them improve, make sure you play up their strengths as well when assigning them to projects.
  16. Hire good management. When it comes to leading a team, good or bad management can make all the difference. Half-witted managers like Zapp Brannigan tend to lead their missions into disaster through incompetence and treat their underlings with a complete lack of respect. Other managers like Leela, while not perfect, bring their teams together to succeed and work well under stress to get out of a jam. Make sure you’ve got managers on your staff that are more like the latter than the former or you may find your business headed for a black hole.
  17. Encourage curiosity. While curiosity has gotten the Planet Express crew into many a jam, it has also helped them to learn more and discover things about the universe, themselves, and human (and robot) nature that they wouldn’t have otherwise. While you don’t want employees who sacrifice getting work done to their creative nature, it’s better to have those who are curious about new business ventures, ideas, and applications than to have those who simply drone on through their day-to-day actions without questioning anything.
  18. Promote innovation and streamlining. Whether it’s coming up with new inventions like the Smell-o-scope and the Finglonger or just finding a faster e-mail client, encourage your employees to help you find a better and more efficient way of doing business. After all, who better to come up with ideas than those who use your existing processes and program on a daily basis?
  19. Trust your staff. In one episode of Futurama, new employee and Bender look-alike Flexo is blamed for the theft of an atom of a valuable substance, which in actuality was stolen by Bender. You most likely won’t face any robot espionage in your line of work, but you might have to face cases where an employee adamantly denies wrongdoing in a situation where it looks clear that they’re lying. Before laying blame, make sure you have all the evidence and that your own biases aren’t clouding your judgment.
  20. Develop a conflict resolution program. Like any business with such a diverse staff, disagreements are likely to occur eventually. Your employees will likely be lucky enough never to have their head grafted onto the body of another employee they were trying to avoid due to the skills of a lobster-esque alien doctor, but you can help them find much less painful ways to resolve their differences. Enlist the help of a mediator and set up places where employees can feel safe talking about disagreements.
  21. Respect the environment. While your business likely won’t face environmental issues like giant honey bees, oil spills in a penguin sanctuary on Pluto, or a planet full of delicious but adorable "popplers", you can still have a bigger impact on the environment than you think. Encourage paper recycling and the use of electronic documents. While you won’t have to face the wrath of the aliens of Omicron Persei 8 for eating their young, you will make your office greener and also save some money in the process.
  22. Know your competition. In one episode of Futurama, a recently suspended clone of Professor Farnsworth and the son of Hermes decide to create their own delivery service that ends up being so good it overtakes Planet Express. While in the end the boys’ success is the key to their ruin, you might not be so lucky with your competitors. Make sure you know what the other guy is up to in selling, hiring and advertising so your business won’t fall behind and be overtaken.
  23. Make sure the punishment fits the crime. To an alien, the flag might look like a delicious treat. After all, freedom is quite tasty. That was the case for Dr. Zoidberg who unwittingly ate an Earth flag and was sentenced to death as a result. Many mistakes employees make will be just as unwitting and just as stupid as Dr. Zoidberg. Just make sure the reprimand for these mistakes fits the magnitude of the mistake. Do you really need to fire an employee for not catching a typo in your monthly newsletter?
  24. Train employees on new technology. Even in the future, new technology can be overwhelming. With spaceships, robots, and constant new inventions from the Professor, the staff of the Planet Express has a lot to keep up with, especially Fry, who has a thousand year disadvantage. Don’t just expect employees to know how to use the latest software or gadgets. Give them a little training instead, it will save you time later and multiple calls to IT when they can’t figure it out on their own.
  25. Cultivate loyalty. Whether it’s between coworkers or for the business as a whole, you’ll be better off if you make employees actually want to be loyal to your business. The employees of Planet Express aren’t without their faults, but at the end of the day their loyalty is always to the company and to each other. Give employees benefits and incentives to keep them happy and loyal to your company.
  26. Keep good records of personal data. The owner of Planet Express, Professor Farnsworth, keeps impeccable records of the identity and doings of his employees with samples of every bodily fluid, their identification cards, personal records and even their DNA on file. While you can’t legally go this far, and probably shouldn’t anyway, you should keep track of what is going on with your employees inside and outside of work. Learn their work history, special needs, and a little about their family lives to make work a little friendlier and also to make sure you’ve got them in the right job for their skills.
  27. Respect generational differences. You may not have to deal with the complications of being a 160 year-old company owner with everything from 12 year olds to people from the last millennium running around, but you more than likely will have to deal with older and younger workers within your company. Generational gaps can sometimes be hard to bridge, as older and younger employees struggle to understand one another. Realize that each age has its own wisdom to offer and incorporate both into your plans for your company.
  28. Help improve leadership skills. Whether it’s taking the initiative to save another employee from giant bees, seducing the evil leader of a competing corporation, or saving the world from giant bouncing brain invaders, the Planet Express crew have all exhibited their leadership abilities. If you have employees that exhibit good leadership skills, don’t take it for granted. Help them to develop these abilities.
  29. Realize that even your lowliest employee can make a big difference. Leela’s pet Nibbler might seem too tiny to do much besides sit around and look adorable, but as viewers of the show learn, he’s actually part of a super intelligent race, the Niblonians, determined to protect Earth from a scourge of evil-knowledge hungry brains. While your corporate underlings may not mastermind a plan to save your company, that doesn’t mean you should ignore what they have to say. Take stock of what every employee has to say.
  30. Bring in fresh blood with interns. Planet Express has Amy Wong as its resident intern, and while she is partially kept around because she shares the Professor’s blood type, she also has successfully piloted the Planet Express spaceship a few times and helped out around the office. You can get some low-cost work done, and help a young mind get some work experience by bringing in interns to your office through a program or on an invitational basis.
  31. Always motivate your workers. There are many ways to motivate your staff. From fear of annihilation or takeover by hostile aliens, to a free trip on a luxury space-liner, the Futurama crew is familiar with a wide variety. Don’t forget to give your employees a little motivation now and then too. Offer incentives to those who work hardest or reward a job well done with outings, free lunch, or even just a pat on the back.
  32. Help prevent sexual harassment. Zapp Brannigan just can’t seem to get it through his head that Leela isn’t interested in his advances. But that doesn’t stop him from coming on to her, even when the two end up being coworkers. Make sure your staff have the ability to fight back if they are caught in this situation whether they are a man or a woman. No one should have to feel uncomfortable coming to work, and it’s your job as HR to make sure they don’t have to.
  33. Make sure employees leave on good terms. When Fry and Bender take a joyride in the Planet Express spaceship, it leads to them as well as Leela losing their jobs. If you do have to fire employees or employees decide to leave of their own accord, make sure everything is done in a highly professional manner. You don’t want angry former employees bad mouthing your business and you don’t want to lose out on getting a great employee back if he or she decides to return.

Futurama may take place in the future, but little has changed when it comes to managing a staff and taking care of a business. While many of the examples set by the show shouldn’t be followed, you can use it to learn a little bit about what it takes to be a good leader and a good boss.

20 Fail-Proof Ways to Expose Lazy Employees

Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:32pm by Site Administrator

If you have a lazy employee in your office, you could find yourself working overtime to make up for missed deadlines and wondering if you should give your lackluster worker either a little extra motivation or the pink slip. While some employees simply take longer to perform certain tasks and think things through, this list is devoted to exposing those employees who purposefully show up to work late, waste time on the Internet and skip assignments, all in an effort to shave minutes off their work day. If you’re through putting up with it, check out this list of 20 fail-proof ways to expose your lazy employees.

  1. Monitor their arrival and departure times: The easiest way to find out if your employee is deliberately trying to cut out time spent at the office is to monitor the exact times they show up to work in the mornings and duck out each evening. If they are arriving late and leaving significantly early each day, confront them, and ask if they will be willing to work out a new schedule or make up the time they’ve lost.
  2. Cameras: If you’re having trouble tracking the arrival and departure time of your employees, or if you want to see exactly what they’re up to when you leave the room, consider putting a hidden camera somewhere in the office. You’ll have hard evidence of any slacking off, but just remember to be reasonable. No one wants to be known as their office’s Michael Scott.
  3. Spectorsoft: If you have suspicions that your employees are playing on the Internet all day when they should be researching or typing up reports, install one of the spy software products from Spectorsoft onto their computers. These products will let you know who your office’s "worst offenders" are after analyzing which websites, chatrooms and keystrokes are used.
  4. Send in an undercover customer: If you’re worried about how your lazy employee treats your customers, send in a fake client to request information or schedule a meeting. Have the undercover customer report back to you, detailing the employee’s efforts to make he or she feels welcome, give the correct information and adequately promote your company’s image.
  5. Recruiting tests: Sometimes managers can expose a lazy employee during the recruiting process, saving them time and trouble down the road. This article describes how one hiring manager weeds out lazy workers by asking them to fill out two applications: one online before the interview, and another one during the interview. The manager ultimately "finds that people who skip the parts on the second application that they had previously filled out online, will eventually turn out to be lazy once hired."
  6. Monitor lunch hours: Just because you work through lunch each day, don’t expect your employees to consistently do the same; however, if you have one or two employees who make a habit out of strolling back into the office twenty minutes after their hour was up, you have reason to expose their negligence.
  7. Track them with a GPS system: Lazy employees love running work-related errands out of the office because it gives them more control over the way they spend their day. If, however, you suspect them of running non work-related errands, install a GPS tracking system on the company vehicle, which will help you in "catching employees shopping, working out at the gym or otherwise loafing while on the clock."
  8. Schedule meetings early in the day or late in the afternoon: Within reason, schedule a meeting every once in a while at the very beginning of the work day or sometime in the late afternoon. If your employee takes major issue with the scheduling but can’t provide a reason for his tardiness (or absence), you will have successfully exposed their laziness.
  9. Follow through with deadlines: By not enforcing deadlines, you give your employees the signal that it’s okay for them to procrastinate or turn in work late. Strictly follow through with deadlines, and hold employees accountable when they consistently fall behind. Document your efforts to remind them of deadlines, through email or by using the popular Monkey On Your Back tool, so that lazy workers can’t make up excuses.
  10. Demand doctor’s notes: When an employee calls in sick practically every week, start demanding doctor’s notes from workers who have used more than one or two sick days. Just be aware of the fake doctor’s notes that can be bought online to trick managers.
  11. Surf Logger: This "tiny add-on for Internet Explorer" records website history, so that you can track which sites your employees visit when they’re on the clock.
  12. Guardian Software: Guardian Software is an Internet monitoring tool marketed towards parents who want to control what their children do online. Managers can use the same product to effectively expose lazy employees by blocking certain websites, recording e-mails from Yahoo, AOL and other accounts, and even "captures and records keystrokes."
  13. Cyberspy: If your office is on a budget, download Cyberspy to find out what your employees are doing on their computers. Cyberspy even captures whole images of a website or document in case you can’t properly evaluate the content from the file name alone.
  14. Employee Loyalty Acid Test: If your employee isn’t performing his or her duties at your desired level, they could be planning to leave your company for another job. Give your employees this survey to gauge their company and job satisfaction.
  15. Employee loyalty evaluator: If handing out surveys seems too obvious, check out this article to more discreetly evaluate an employee’s loyalty.
  16. Motivate them: This post from Yahoo! Answers discusses the proper ways to motivate a lazy employee in order to gain positive results in the office. Give them a vested interest in the company’s success by talking to them in your free time, limiting harsh criticism and helping understand that their slow pace affects other workers.
  17. Tell your boss: AskMen.com publishes this article, entitled "How to Complain About a Colleague." Readers will find different ways to tell their supervisors about lazy employees without sounding like a tattle tale.
  18. Award productive employees: If you can, set up a merit-based rewards system in your office that grants raises, gift certificates, or other perks to your most productive employees. Lazy workers may be so apathetic that you won’t see any change in their performance, despite the added bonus.
  19. GPS-equip the company phone: While giving your employee a GPS-equipped company car might be way out of your budget, try investing in a company cell phone that comes with GPS. If you suspect your employee of leaving the office early, you might be able to catch them in the act with the GPS system.
  20. Fire them: If you’ve tried to confront your lazy employee but he or she continues to miss work and deadlines, set a precedent in your office by firing them. Let your other employees know that you won’t put up with laziness any longer.

Before spying on your employees, discuss any problems you have with their less than desirable work performance. Laziness could be a reflection of a much bigger issue at home or in the office, and the problem could be solved in a more amicable way. If, however, your employee continues to be lazy at work, use these tips and tools to expose their listless behavior.

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