Getting Ahead in Hard Times

Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success is showing up. But he’s old. And he doesn’t have to sit in a cubicle every day with the threat of layoffs hanging over his head like a dim fluorescent bulb.

Success during The Great Recession means you need to boost your performance, outshine your co-workers, and more important, let your bosses know what kind of butt you’re kicking without looking like you’re kissing theirs. Here’s some advice from real job experts -- not some crotchety moviemaker -- on how to get it done.

1. Jump ahead a few years
Our economy will never return to the good ol’ days -- and, most likely, neither will your company’s boom times. To survive long-term, you’ll need to think about how your industry is likely to evolve and the ways you can stay ahead of the curve as it does. “You should be setting yourself up now for what your job will be like a few years from now,” says Penelope Trunk, CEO of the employment advice Web site BrazenCareerist. “This doesn’t mean working harder; it means setting personal goals for growth and getting on the right projects for the right experience -- so the right people notice you.”

2. Don’t be a jerk
A startling number of folks at the office have been sent to the unemployment line recently, and your responsibilities seem like they’ve doubled. The urge to let your boss know exactly how hard you’re working -- to get a little credit and to just vent -- is almost too great to resist. Resist anyway and be an enthusiastic team player now more than ever. If you need to complain, do it to your girlfriend, not your co-workers. “You’d be hard-pressed to find an annoying person in the office who’s not getting laid off right now,” says Trunk. “Being kind and gracious, exchanging information and ideas, reaching out to people -- if you do these things, you’ll do better in your career.”

3. Know exactly what doing a good job means
These days, the corporate bean counters are quick to cut any worker who’s not operating at 100 percent efficiency -- and your opinion of what’s efficient may be completely different than your boss’s. Career coach Marie G. McIntyre, author of Secrets to Winning at Office Politics, uses the example of an old client: a quality assurance manager who was so obsessed with perfection on the assembly line that he disrupted production. “He thought he was a high performer,” she says. “Management thought he was an obstacle. You never want to be seen as an obstacle or hard to manage. That’s an absolute career killer.” Ask your boss for occasional feedback, whether you like it or not, and even set up a quick monthly meeting to ensure you’re both on the same page. You shouldn’t need an annual review -- or a pink slip -- to discover your flaws.

4. Self-promote without sucking up
You’re not just another anonymous entry on a “clean out your desk” list if the company bigwigs know you and what a great job you’re doing. The trick is standing out without sucking up. “People can tell if you’re insincere,” says McIntyre, “but you need to do something to get out of that cloak of invisibility.” Find ways to strike up conversations with the bigwigs under casual circumstances -- like maybe in the lunch line or the elevator, or at the company softball game. Over time, drop subtle information that modestly tells them what you’re working on and shows that you’re well-plugged into the job. Adds McIntyre: “You shouldn’t have an agenda with every conversation, but you do need to manage relationships to achieve your goals.”

How to Ace Your Performance Review

Which would you rather face: a sink full of dirty dishes, or your annual performance review? If it’s the former, you’re not alone. In a recent study conducted by Development Dimensions International, sitting through a performance review was ranked ahead of doing housework, paying taxes and having a hangover on a list of situations that employees loathe most. Jazmine Boatman, who has a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology and is the manager of DDI’s Center for Applied Behavioral Research, understands why: “A lot of managers don’t know how to have these conversations. And people dread the unknown.” The fact remains, however, that your performance review is your opportunity to shine … and to be rewarded accordingly.

Prepare All Year Long
The key, says Ford R. Myers, president of Career Potential LLC, is preparation. The more backup you can bring into the meeting, the better. “Keep a success file throughout the year containing notes and information about all of the good things you’ve done for the company,” says Myers, who is also the author of Get the Job You Want Even When No One’s Hiring. He adds that the success file should not be filled with a list of everyday tasks (i.e., the things you’re expected to do) but rather “the things that go beyond, that produce measurable results.”

Typically, says Myers, “an employee gets a job, puts his head down, and his boss has no idea what he’s doing for the next 12 months.” This approach is especially damaging since the average boss is not in the most generous frame of mind at performance-review time. “He has budgets to meet -- and a boss who’s watching him too,” explains Myers. The upshot? “You need to prove you’re worth more money.”

Make Praise Pay
Whether your goal is a promotion or a raise -- or both -- you’ve got to be proactive. Ryan Kahn, a Los Angeles–based career coach and host of the show “MTV Hired,” says you need to “blow the boss away, demonstrating how you’re bringing extra revenue into the company.” Of course, not everyone can prove he’s generated sales leads or helped the firm’s bottom line. What about the poor chap who’s answering phones? “I would tuck away positive emails, compliments you’ve gotten from customers or others,” suggests Kahn. These testimonials, he explains, will do the bragging for you.

Meetings Can Equal Moola

As a means of showing your mettle and your monetary value, Myers recommends that anytime you take a new position, you get your boss to agree to a strategic meeting with you once a week for the first three months, and then once a month for the duration of your time on the job. “You want to be working on the projects that are most important to that boss,” says Myers, “and to be of as much assistance to him as you can possibly be.”

Go Above and Beyond (and Say So)
Another terrific way to stand out is to keep a bullet list of all of the things you achieve each month and send it to the boss as an attachment. “Send it on the 30th of every month, like clockwork,” says Myers. “When your boss sees you coming in for your year-end review, she’s going to say: “This is a strong person. We need to retain and reward him; we can’t afford to lose him.”

The best part of all? Once you get a raise -- not to mention your big, fat promotion -- you’ll be able to pay someone else to wash the dishes.

Starting a Business in a Tough Economy

Whether you’re unemployed, underemployed, fearful of a layoff or just bored with your job, at some point you’ve probably thought about starting your own business. And like most people, you’ve probably been held back by a host of concerns: whether your idea is good enough, how to get funding, whether you can live without vacation and medical benefits, whether you even have the chops. Now, there’s one more worry to add to the mix: whether it’s crazy to start a business in the wake of a recession.

Here’s the good news. First, all entrepreneurs face those same fears on the road to building a company. Second, many Fortune 500 corporations, including Procter & Gamble, IBM, General Motors and FedEx, were founded during a period of economic uncertainty. “If you launch your business during a difficult time, you know what you can do on a lean basis,” says James King, state director of New York’s Small Business Development Center. Then once the economy starts to bounce back, he says, you’ll be well-positioned to succeed.

We asked King and Rex Hammock, founder of SmallBusiness.com and CEO of the custom media and marketing firm Hammock Inc. -- based in Nashville, Tenn. -- what it really takes to stop working for the man and become your own boss.

Tip No. 1: Seek input.

For starters, you should run your business concept past a few impartial observers before pouring your whole self into it. “Family and friends are not going to give you an honest answer,” says King. And even if it is a great idea, you must remain open to the possibility that your better mousetrap simply might not catch on. If that turns out to be the case, adds King, be prepared to adjust and compensate.

Tip No. 2: Check yourself.
Feeling ready? Put yourself to the test. This online quiz, created by the Small Business Administration, will help you ascertain whether you truly have the drive, perseverance and skill set you’ll need to see your business succeed. Even if you don’t, the SBA offers tips on how to build those credentials. Take advantage of this advice before diving in.

Tip No. 3: Go it alone.
The simplest approach is a start-up with you as the sole employee. Says Hammock: “For consultants, contractors or freelancers, the opportunities are many. Companies are using contracted services to fill in gaps in their workforce.” Being an independent contractor often means you call your own shots and name your hours and fees. The downside is loss of vacation and medical benefits -- though there are ways around that. For medical coverage, seek out programs offered through industry member organizations or groups such as the Freelancers Union. You may have to forego vacations for a while, but once you have a solid client base, you should be able to afford a few weeks of unpaid leave.

Tip No. 4: Find financing.

Less simple, though not impossible, is the path for capital-intensive startups. Hammock warns that these are tough times for getting a loan. “Banks are requiring more personal guarantees and financial collateral than I’ve seen in my nearly 30 years of owning small businesses,” he says. But King claims it’s still doable. “The money is available,” he argues. “You just have to prove the case for it.”

How? Get your ducks in a row by putting together a solid business plan. If you’ve never written one and need direction, avail yourself of the largely free assistance of organizations such as the Small Business Development Center (or SBDC, which maintains help offices in every state in the U.S.). The better prepared you are, says King, the more likely it is that the major financial institutions will work with you.

Another prospective source of financing is credit unions, which picked up much of the small-business lending slack when big banks put on the brakes in the aftermath of the global financial meltdown. Depending on the amount of funding needed for your venture, you can also seek economic support from friends and family, from so-called angel investors or from venture capital firms.

Finally, King advises that you raise or borrow enough money to provide your fledgling company with adequate cushion funding. It may take you longer to turn a profit than you expect, and you don’t want to be left penniless mere months in.

Tip No. 5: Don’t super-size.
Once you’ve hung your shingle, avoid the temptation to grow too quickly. This is particularly true for companies that start making money sooner than expected. “Say you open a restaurant and it quickly becomes a hot spot,” posits King. Before you know it, you’re excitedly adding seating and staff. But chances are good that you’re merely experiencing a new-restaurant bump, and that customer traffic will soon come back down to earth. “If you misjudge that,” warns King, “it can be a disaster for your business.”

Tip No. 6: Beware of the competition.
When you do start to grow, competitors will likely appear where none existed before. “Someone else is going to try to replicate your success,” says King. He recommends going back to your business plan and adjusting it to respond to the new conditions. This will help you stay a step ahead of any changes that could affect your bottom line.

Tip No. 7: Focus on the right components.

The smaller you are, the more you’ll be building your new company’s reputation on the basis of two essential factors: quality and service. “Trying to compete in an arena where price is the only factor in your clients’ purchasing decisions is a train wreck waiting to happen,” says Hammock. “If you can help a customer or client be better at something they want to be better at, you’ve cracked the formula for long-term success.” In other words, make your clients look good, and you’ll look good too. And if that prospect doesn’t have you thinking about punching in your current job’s time card for the final time, nothing will.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/Zemdega

The Classic Mistakes in Preparation of Curriculum Vitae

Easy to get lost on your CV will be scary, but when it comes to resume into the hands of a company to one that is difficult to correct the error.


Avoid such errors in a critical condition, so we made you very usual, wanted to inform you about the major errors.

Spelling and Grammar
Even if that does not require a highly developed ability to post messages to the position you are applying for, make careless errors in spelling, and no one shows that you prefer to keep one of the executive team does not like. Never rely on your computer and your eyes may not have control of spelling errors, in order to find errors in your resume to someone else Scan two definitely. Reading aloud the written grammar errors can occur, there is an error if you do not hear pleasing to the ear.

Write a lot, really nothing to say
20 words why your business görecekken 5 words that use it? Companies, do not wait for you to describe everything that you have made earlier in your life, a few important things to explain, to show he can do the job will be enough. Instead of using redundant sentences by a long shot the attention of companies collect points.

Not doing the necessary changes
To fit each situation, if the stereotypical prepared a resume, edileceksinizdir neglected by companies. Each company presented its position, a curriculum vitae and a letter of intent beklentisindedir suit. Job vacancies offered by each company will differ from each other, instead of your CV for this position would bring to the special requirements of small changes that have to do. Show them that you understand exactly what is required of you.

You did in our achievements rather than responsibilities to emphasize
Responsibilities imposed on you instead of the previous business, are there try to find a way to show what you have achieved. All the roles in your business that you may not be expressed in numerical data, but the companies never just sitting there as you do not pay a salary. He's always something to have you add to the company. Activities that lead to time saving, new procedures, consider performing a successful campaigns and sales performance, and on occasion rise to what extent they do not forget to percentages of increases.

Subvert the rule of two pages
One of the potential for your company that you are worth to be called a job interview with two pages on A4 size is sufficient to convince the bread. People are busy people who will review your resume and career five or six pages to read an article about the timings of your date is. Preparing a CV, the line spacing drop enough to make it easier to read as much as possible, make sure that all departments had left a significant way, and only include information that will kapman?za work. Your eyes will be even less visible than probably anything.

Provide the missing information
Some people just prefer it because they forget or can not add to the previous Bios of some jobs, it seems as though the work will cause a gap in your life. What you are doing at the time to guess, since your boss will think the worst of all. Whereas you, even if you work at that time, in working life will increase your chances of winning may have special features.

Patterns to use cliches
"Very well do I contact a", "The most important distinguishing features in the very best since the team Çal??mamd?r", "'m a committed", they prove the information is there if sunmad???n?z "Kem, sand, evil, the sand," as you write it will not be much of a difference. If the rest of your resume in our achievements listelemi?seniz effectively, it has already proven that you'll be qualified. If you feel the need to use these phrases must, indeed, at least contact that you have shown success. For example, "Communication skills to set up a customer data base and used it to ensure the continuity of it," you might say.

Hang in the balance
"Professional will help you progress in a difficult position am in search of" ineffective sentences reads as it would mean nothing. Both them and the company must present something special to suit your needs. For example, "In the beginning vas?flar?m? personal progress and give me experience in working for a charity foundation looking for a marketing position," you might say, for example.

Not a bad design
If you reference the designer, the content of your resume the second phase of the design. If you design your resume if you have an absurd, and each paragraph consists of various sizes and shapes of the characters, so it hurts a reader's head is. You just need a clean design and a white-on-black text, so much overdo it. Scan two others that your resume before sending it to the necessary places, companies do not leave a bad impression.

Incorrect personal details
Do nothing, but that does not return a great resume? The reason for this may be a very simple, for example, typed the wrong phone number! Now e-mail is a communication technology is more widely used, this may not be a huge problem, but still e-mail address and home address, make sure you typed correctly. If you have an e-mail address if you like pastasever@myhouse.co.uk, more professional-looking resume, use e-mail.


This content is presented in collaboration with AskMen.com.

Photo: @ iStockphoto.com / kemalbas

10 Ways to be indispensable for your business

Do not just sit there, enjoy your current position ...

Layoffs are through the period, or perhaps the company declined to collective redundancies. In any case, you are among the lucky.

Most of your friend or your family on the contrary, the unemployment office kablolunuzu shutting down or you do not have to deal with - for now.

But instead of sitting at your desk so smug yourself what you can do to make yourself indispensable to consider (?imdi!).

Having a job is not a civil right. The company that makes herkesetkilenebilir savings. Is not the time to be comfortable.

The good news is, there are many steps to get your position to provide. And who knows? Maybe even get promoted!

If you want to be the last person you should consider when dismissal, 10 ipucumuzu follow.

Savings and make 1.Firman?za
Do you have an idea about how to reduce your company's expenses? For!

Whether you get the printer to save paper, whether it be a great idea as replenishing your supply chain, showing the time to understand the essence of the management of work. Plan to implement a great trust in you and your dedication in making the savings will come to appreciate.

Be 2.Pozitif
No one wants to work with a negative one. Never. And especially under these circumstances. I already hear plenty of bad news, and frankly it really b?kt?lar. So the state of the economy, rising petrol prices, or focus on what is positive instead of complaining kay?nvalidenizden. Share job-related success stories. Be optimistic about the company and focus on steps you can take to create a positive impact on the future of your company.

Jobs can not be so bad for you. One of those who were still there, remember?

3. Work Longer
I'm not saying that you stay until midnight. In fact, do not miss out, even conversations. I want to say is that you have, be prepared to stay at work until the job is finished.

Work in the past 5 o'clock, before completing a thing (in the morning and finish the thought he) may have moved. Now, to finish the job at work, spend the extra half hour or an hour is better.

In addition to work 15 minutes before you come to prepare for that day. Time for the computer to open the meeting 9'daki no you do not want to be that person seeks.

4. Become a Leader
You do not have the title of the administrator, but this does not mean pretending davranamayaca??n?z.

To be the leader, is to help others. Means to see the big picture. Developments likely to express, not only for yourself and your position, your company and its objectives are to observe.

Firms need leaders. Currently, you need a need. If you have the qualities of leadership, now is the time to expose them.

5. Avoid gossip
News spread quickly. Especially intriguing news. If you if you heard, the administrator must have felt. If you also play a role in the process of dissemination of news, if the administrator has probably become aware of it.

Although the office gossip may seem attractive not let you pull into the. It now becomes a part of which is not allowed, acquires enemies and become a non-professional one. If you insist on one to tell you something, do not tell it to someone else.

Although sometimes it is not the workplace, such as high school (thank God!). The results of office gossip, taking out the invitation to a birthday or missed a much more serious.

6. Skills
You have everything you would need to do your job. This is very clear. But the reason to be a member of your team's skills are more valuable geli?tirmeyesiniz? Or make your business better? Faster? Maybe your company is with the basic knowledge of HTML or Photoshop, more sections may be responsible.

Regardless of your industry, to always be improved. To acquire additional skills that will transform you an indispensable employee was a period of extremely favorable.

You can do this by doing a low level of spending. Night course you do not have enough funds to meet, get a book (or borrow it from the library!) Or get private tutoring via the Internet.

Once you've mastered all the skills you choose to give a seminar on the team can offer. You have a leader!

7. Transition Well with Others
Think of it as bad it sounds strange but a family of colleagues. After all, you spend the day with eight hours of work for more, and you are connected to each other at least tolerate each other more than to have a chance.

Adaptation is the key to success, now more than ever. Then the years, infrastructure and interests, and leave aside differences about how to effectively communicate with your teammates learn kurabilece?inizi.

It is not only for the continuity of your company, you must do for the continuity of your company.

8. Be Careful
All those personal phone calls to your employer did not notice you're supposed to? Or all the time you spend on Facebook or Twitter? Think again. Employers usually give much importance to it than you think. And if they think the times çald???n?z? easily by phone, e-mail or the Internet are able to check records.

This is no time you'll careless about personal ileti?iminizle at work.

Depending on where you work, the occasional phone call or a quick lunch molan?zda may seem normal for one or two e-mail to send. However, each side of your desk when your employer Gmail'deyseniz, is looking for trouble.

9. Allow as little as possible get the
A?r?yorsa throat stay home. Sister is getting married? Let's take a few days off. I'm not saying take the old permit. But the more notable reasons to get permission to use a spade, especially the way to cut your company. To the hangover that day, saying that patients do not take time off from work or a long, extravagant vacations do not (at least until the road works). Sounds good, but a week's holiday in the Bahamas when you lack a business is not good at all.

10. Be Visible
Humility is a good feature. Of course, except the time of economic recession.

Up late working, helping others and / or are developing new and important ideas, someone (your mother, someone else) make it to the difference.

Inform about progress with your manager on a regular basis. E-mail sent to your accomplishments on a weekly or even a summary of a half weeks will be sufficient. Do not say this to brag, you provide only to know what you are working on.

The fact is: if you own düdü?ünüzü öttürmezseniz öttürmez others.



This content is presented in collaboration with AskMen.com.