There are plenty of little mistakes we all make at work constantly, and it’s accepted as part of the human process of learning and improving our skills. But some mistakes can be viewed as much more serious than others, even though all are made with good intentions and an honest commitment to work. Sometimes, making mistakes at work can result into not getting the promotion you would otherwise deserve or even in the termination of your contract. The mistakes we’re talking about affect the way you are viewed by your supervisors and peers, resulting in a bias against you. [Read more…]
One of the best things that can happen in the professional life of an employee is to be required to take a business trip, preferably an awesome one with all the expenses paid. As long as you don’t have to do it very often, traveling for a work conference or for a series of out-of-town meetings can easily become one of the most entertaining and relaxing times you can have. [Read more…]
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We hear this phrase a lot these days: company culture (along with its variations corporate culture or organizational culture). But what precisely does the phrase mean, and, more importantly, is it nothing more than yet another business slang that could just as well not be used? Even if some of you roll your eyes whenever you hear the term, the term is actually well-placed whenever we’re talking about a larger company. Any company with over a few hundred employees will inevitably have a culture of its own, and successful companies take an active stance in building and influencing that culture from the top to the bottom. [Read more…]
In the world of business and the general work market, each niche tends to develop its own jargon, naturally, as a direct consequence of the particular work the people involved handle. But what about that business jargon formed outside any specific niche, the one related to just general activity, which people tend to use thinking it makes them sound more ‘professional’? Well, besides the fact that some phrases can indeed have their advantages, the truth is that few things can be more pretentious than some of the business phrases we’ve all heard around our offices. Here is our list of simply the most obnoxious 15 such phrases (true examples of useless and snobbish business jargon, if you ask us). [Read more…]
Whenever you feel discouraged by the fact that your current career does not satisfy you, whenever you don’t like what you do at all or that you’re not earning enough or that your current job field is much too unstable, rest assured that if you really want to, you can change your career anytime. Yes, our world is abundant with examples of some of the most drastic career changes. Whenever you feel your optimism levels dwindling, we have just the thing to set your spirits up again: this list of completely surprising celebrity career paths. Read on and you’ll see just how much the search for alternative jobs can pay off, or simply be amazed of how some celebrities whom you thought were mainly a pretty face were actually into a hardcore career that you wouldn’t have expected. [Read more…]
Today’s post is all about how to quit your job gracefully and it addresses the question from several perspectives. What is the ideal resignation letter supposed to look like? Is there such a thing as a one-size fits all resignation letter template? (Spoiler: we have a sample resignation letter lined up for you at the end of the post) How much advance notice should you give? And is it ever polite or acceptable to quit via email instead of in person? [Read more…]
Ah, flu season is here at your office again. Isn’t this time of year so delightful? Not only does this nagging ailment spread like wildfire, but it also seems nearly impossible to prevent. Each time the stomach flu season rolls around, it seems like everyone in the cube farm starts coughing, wheezing, wiping their nose, and using up ungodly amounts of Kleenex. Of course, this could just be a result of you simply noticing these symptoms due to a paranoia of catching the flu. Of course, this wouldn’t be so bad if office germs didn’t absolutely ruin productivity rates throughout the company. And with the new year just arriving, you should avoid starting off on the wrong foot by using up a bunch of sick days. To do that, you’re going to need to learn how to prevent the stomach flu and nasty office germs in your work space. [Read more…]
The massive Chinese ecommerce website Alibaba broke an important stock market record last Friday with its initial public offering. The Alibaba IPO now stands as the most successful debut on the market in history. In spite of a relatively poor performance in its second day of trading, the company’s success story begs several questions regarding Chinese-American economic relations. [Read more…]
Remember the title of that popular game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Who doesn’t, really? In this post-recession world (in which the financial climate is not yet entirely stable), dreams of massive affluence still animate the imaginations of many. This interest in forging successful career paths is also apparent from the plethora of online articles which promise to disclose daily habits ‘X’ of these financially successful people.
You’ve probably stumbled upon and perhaps even read at least one such post. Most of them are speculative in nature and rely on two-bit psychology. A recent Forbes article, however, takes a look at the five approaches to career success specifically adopted by millionaires. Let’s take a look at what contributor Ken Sundheim considers to be the five key ingredients of all millionaires careers:
- Open minds and active imaginations. “Tolerance and openness to good ideas breed belief, faith, and courage,” says Sundheim.
- ‘Impossible is nothing’. It seems that one of the keys to millionaires career success sounds a lot like the slogan for a popular sports shoe brand. Indeed, their mindset is more often focused on solutions, rather than problems.
- Unparalleled determination. Millionaires are success-oriented, and they believe they can make their dreams come true (irrespective of the obstacles they need to overcome on the way).
- Sway and influence. This is not to say that all millionaires are conniving and manipulative. Rather, they are positive, enthusiastic, and far more likely to inspire and gain favor with others than the average employee.
- Optimism in the face of hardship. Truly successful individuals will fail, pick themselves up, and try harder. They understand that no one is failure proof and would never let one small setback deter them from their course in the long run.
That being said, let’s take a look at the career paths of millionaires. Here are some of the world’s most famous rich people. We’ll also discuss the ways in which they have been applying the aforementioned tactics over the course of their careers.
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad
The Swedish man behind the world’s largest furniture retailer is massively rich. He wasn’t always so wealthy. In fact, his personal history includes quite a lot of hardship along with some rather controversial episodes. The young Kamprad saw World War II sweeping across Europe. Legend has it that he associated with the Fascist movement. Without a doubt, Kamprad is a man of immense open mindedness: how else would he have grown a business that started out from the need to store a table in a car trunk? The build-it-yourself philosophy that became synonymous with Ikea is also a prime example of focusing on solutions, not on problems. Kamprad managed to convince the entire world that it’s better to assemble your own tables and chairs instead of buying them pre-assembled. His renowned frugality is further proof of his determination; he recycles, drives a twenty year-old Volvo and reportedly buys his gift wrapping paper in post-Christmas sales.
PayPal co-founder & Facebook investor Peter Thiel
Thiel is another millionaire with a famously open mind. Not only is he involved in two of the world’s most successful online businesses, but he continues to look even further off into the future. The Thiel foundation is a charity. Running a charity attests to the man’s optimism and belief in a better tomorrow. But, the truly interesting thing is what kind of initiatives the organization chooses to invest into. Among the projects that it has helped fund thus far, there’s research on immortality, artificial intelligence, and ocean-borne floating cities. Talk about a man who’s sure of his forward-thinking vision!
Media mogul Warren Buffett
Buffett is 83 years old. That hasn’t stopped him from continually signing lucrative deals and turning profits. For instance, in 2013, Buffett bought out the Heinz ketchup and condiments company for $23.2 billion, invested some $4 billion in ExxonMobil, and purchased NV Energy for $5.6 billion via one of the subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway. Throughout it all, he remained a consummate optimist and philanthropist. He did not shy away from donating an impressive $2 billion in stock for Berkshire Hathaway to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett, a notoriously self-made millionaire, also happens to be one of the world’s most generous donors. Throughout his lifetime, he has donated $20 billion. And he’s also incredibly open to new ideas. When asked what the best investment he ever made was, he responded by saying it was the 1949 purchase of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. Nowadays, he’s revered by all in the business world. Analysts have jokingly nicknamed him The Oracle of Omaha. Among his most recent pieces of advice was that of focusing on potential profits accrued in time (instead of just riding a momentary wave of market enthusiasm).
You know how it is around the office, right? Someone makes a quip, it sounds funny, and, next thing you know, it becomes the catchphrase at the water-cooler, the mot du jour, and the buzzword that everyone’s using, without really knowing why they do so. A recent survey, undertaken by the Dave TV channel polled Twitter, its own viewers, and the Internet at large, in their quest to unearth the top 10 most annoying office slang terms. If you haven’t heard them in conversation – or used them yourself, we would rather you didn’t. Or do so – but at your own risk. Interestingly enough, the poll also revealed that men are far more likely than women to use office slang: 43 per cent of them admitted they do this on a regular basis, as opposed to only 11 per cent of women. Without further ado, here are
The 10 most annoying office slang terms of the moment
1. Social notworking
You know it, you do it, and it only makes sense that it should rank at number one on the list of the most annoying office slang terms of the hour. It’s not about professional networking, as some of the most naive of you out there might presume. It’s about procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or any other form of social media you can think of, during office hours. Proof to its wide spread is the fact that about 25 per cent of the people polled voted for it.
2. Déjà Brew
Just as sneaky as the previous item on the list, only this one is about being sneaky toward coworkers, not the management, déjà brew, this one is disguised as an act of (feigned) kindness. It also amassed a large number of votes and it refers to offering a cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee to a colleague, when you know full well they’ve just had one and will turn you down anyway.
3. Blue sky drinking
Everyone (except perhaps company management) loves a good office party. But the best kind of office party? Certainly the one which also offers an open bar, as attested to by the heavy use of the above phrase. That’s precisely what it refers to, presumably because an open bar office party will get you flying high in the blue skies before you know it.
Brainstorming is an idea generation technique whose benefits have been often touted. It’s used in meetings at the office, workshops, and generally all around the corporate environment. It sometimes works – but the focus is rather on that ‘sometimes’. Just as often, it seems, it leaves participants feeling drained, deflated, and with all their energy spent.
5. Human desourcing
The above phrase, as you may have already guessed, is the exact opposite of human resources, i.e. it refers to sacking people. Not a pleasant situation, so the humor of the phrase is understandable.
Everyone hates a paper jam at the office, which explains it why no one ever rushes to fix it. So days on end go by, with the paper still stuck in the printer and no volunteers for taking care of the situation. This situation is called a ‘jambivalence’, because it’s ambivalent to figure out whether or not anyone is actually responsible for fixing a printer paper jam.
7. Google naps
This is one of the most specific office slang terms, since it specifically refers to people who work remotely, with colleagues in a significantly different time zone. Since the poll was made in the UK, it refers to using Google for figuring out what time the colleagues in the US are sleeping. This, of course, to avoid having them reply to your emails.
In mainstream Internet slang, the above term is slightly offensive, but as far as office slang terms go, it simply has to do with realizing it’s only Tuesday. You still have to work through WTF: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
9. Stock home syndrome
A play upon the popular ‘Stockholm syndrome’ phrase – it refers to coworkers who will knick office supplies to take them home, effectively stocking their own home in the process.
It’s common courtesy to announce partners and co-workers that you’re on holiday via an automatically generated email reply. It’s rather poor form, however, to give a shout out in the entire office building, informing everyone of your leave of absence.