Feb 28 2013

How To Get A Promotion

A recent article in Women's Day listed the things YOU can do to impress your boss. I thought the information was too good not to post! 
1. What you do outside of work matters.
Your boss doesn't watch your every move -- unless you give her reason to -- but she is keeping tabs on you. Ask yourself, "Would I want my boss to read this?" every time you post something on Facebook or any another social media site, suggests Edith Onderick-Harvey, president of Factor In Talent, an Andover, Massachusetts-based corporate consulting firm. "Be careful about how much you share about your weekend or what a jerk [you think] your coworker is," she urges. Otherwise, your boss may start seeing you in a less-than-professional light, and that could carry over to how she values you as an employee.
2. Your attitude is as important as your assignments.
Like 'em or not, office politics matter -- both day to day, and in the long run. "What your manager won't tell you is that what may be even more important than completing tasks and following directions is your ability to work with her and your coworkers," says Onderick-Harvey. Even if you're getting the job done, if your coworkers find you to be abrasive, rude or just unpleasant, it will be hard for your boss to promote you.
3. Speak up!
Don't be afraid to make yourself heard. The most valuable employees take initiative, says Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Public Relations in Raleigh, North Carolina. "I like having an employee who isn't afraid to show her personality," she says. "I don't want someone to just fill a spot at a desk." If you want a promotion, ask for it, says Briguglio. Also, let your boss know what you need to succeed, urges workplace consultant Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University, whether it's training, time or money.
4. Follow our lead.
if you're not sure whether your boss prefers to communicate in a meeting or via email or phone, ask, suggests career and executive coach Lauren Mackler. Also ask what she wants to be consulted on and what she prefers you handle on your own. And take cues from her personality, says Mackler: If your boss is introverted, don't keep pushing for face-to-face time.
5. Toot your own horn.
Your boss can't possibly keep tabs on what every employee is doing every day -- it's up to you to let him know! "When you wrap up a project, send a congratulatory email to your team and CC your boss," suggests Mackler. You might also send him a monthly overview of the projects you've completed and other accomplishments, and have these month-to-month emails on hand at your annual performance review. And speaking of performance reviews...
6. We don't like performance reviews, either!
"They're just as painful for your boss as they are for you," says Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple, a web-based feedback tool. "But you can help make them easier." Rather than trying to recall the details of a project from 10 months ago on the day of your review, keep track of your successes as they happen, suggests Debow. You should also try to connect with your boss regularly throughout the year -- not just on review day.
7. Dress like you mean business.
"Dress every day as though it's possible you'll be called into the company president's office for a meeting," urges former business manager Sue Thompson, a consultant and speaker with Set Free Life Seminars. Even though your manager has more important things to focus on than your clothes and your business etiquette, if you fall short in either category you're just asking not to be promoted -- and you may be on the verge of a very uncomfortable conversation.
8. We appreciate positive feedback, too.
if you make your boss look and feel good, you'll reap the rewards, promises Stefanie Smith, head of executive consulting and coaching firm Stratex. Generally your boss is the one doing the encouraging and nurturing, but you can turn the tables to your advantage. Compliment your boss in front of other people, suggests Smith. Just be sure to keep your kind words sincere -- and brief.
9. Be a problem solver.
"Most employees bring up problems and expect the boss to solve them," laments Jennifer Prosek, CEO of consulting firm CJP Communications. "The employees who stand out are a part of the solution." If you're struggling with a project or a client and aren't sure what to do next, present your boss with three possible options. Even if she instructs you to do something entirely different, she'll appreciate that you're thinking ahead.
10. Take responsibility for your actions.
Whether you're running late ("The traffic was terrible!") or botched a big time project ("Well, she sent the email late!"), don't try to push the blame elsewhere. Instead, acknowledge your mistake and take care not to repeat it. "Even if you're a nice person with decent skills, I can't promote you if you refuse to accept the blame when you mess up," says Deborah Becker, the owner of a State Farm Insurance agency in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. And when you make a mistake, keep your apology concise. "The phrase 'I'm sorry. It won't happen again,' goes a long way." 
- Mike
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Feb 27 2013

Disappearing For A Cause

Slavery in America came to an end decades ago, or did it? 

Today all of K-LOVE is disappearing from all of social media, in honor of the 27 million who have disappeared into slavery. Women, men and children are being held captive all over the world. And would you believe us if we told you that of the 161 countries where this is occurring, the United States is one of them? 

It isn't just a worldly issue. It's something that is happening in our own cities, on our own corner - to our own people. 

You can help. The first step is to watch the video below. Change your social media images to the blackout images (can be found on our Facebook page) and update your status: 

Today, I am disappearing for the day from social media in honor of the 27 million who've disappeared in slavery. #enditmovement


Together, we can raise awareness. 

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Feb 27 2013

Life's Little Health Dilemmas

Some of the biggest health dilemmas are answered by the experts who tell us the best ways to handle them:

1. Indulging at a restaurant - bread or dessert? Once people make the choice to have the bread they are subconsciously choosing to let the whole meal go and they ultimately end up eating dessert too. If you save it for dessert (eating clean the whole meal before and skipping the bread), you'll save a ton of calories.

2. Stressed about your to-do list? Should you tackle the biggest or the smallest item first? You need something positive - So pick something, but not the biggest or the most difficult; instead, something that can realistically be tackled and done. Then congratulate yourself for doing that and pick another, then another, then another.

3. We all know how important sleep and exercise are for our health -- so if you got a bad night's rest, is it better to sleep in for an extra hour, or push through your morning workout? One of the most important recovery, mental and immune system boosting activities for the human body is sleep. If you're short on sleep, you experience higher levels of inflammation and a decrease in the hormones that help you lose fat and stabilize your appetite. For this reason, you should never sacrifice sleep to exercise -- as you're likely to put your body into an unhealthy state.  

4. Ideally we'd be prepared -- but if you're stuck in an all-morning meeting and the only food choice is a pastry, is it better to eat it or skip breakfast? SKIP IT. There is nothing actually filling about a pastry -- no fiber, no water -- so it wouldn't help my hunger. In fact, many times eating something high in sugar like this will lead to an energy crash, so I wouldn't be full and it makes me tired.

5. Pounding headache? A weird pain in your side? When you have an unusual system, is it a good idea to Google your symptoms to be a better informed patient, or does searching the internet only lead to problems? So, yes -- Google your symptoms.  But do so reasonably, and humbly.  Reasonably means prioritize credible sites- not those devoted to conspiracy theories.  One very good portal is healthfinder.gov.  Humbly means to remember that an hour of Internet surfing is NOT a substitute for four years of medical school and several more of residency training.  So, use a Google search to generate good questions- but not to cultivate a passion for any given answer. Informed is empowered, and is much better than uninformed.  But misinformed and unwilling to recognize it may be the worst of all.  


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Feb 26 2013

Ways to adjust your budget without feeling the pinch

The hardest part of budgeting is worrying how it will affect the everyday life that you're used to living. I found an article on ways to slightly cut your budget, without having to give up too much.

Change the way you shop: Cook according to what’s on sale. Plan your meals in advance with the week’s brochure from your local grocery store. Consider shopping at multiple stores to get most of your groceries at a discount.

Stockpile: Everything from cereal to chuck roast! If it’s on sale and you have the space, get it at rock-bottom price and buy multiples.

Rediscover the library: Your local library has way more than just books. Check out DVDs, audio books, and tap into activities for preschoolers and up (like story time and other fun crafts.) Your library might also have fun classes for date nights that are way cheaper than dinner and a movie.

Shop for clothes seasonally: And by that, we mean the opposite season. Bathing suits are way cheaper at the end of the summer than they are in May. That winter coat? Get it in March for a fraction of what you’d pay in November.

- Amy

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