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Browse Topics > Work CATEGORIES 
Are you in line for a promotion? Are you ready for your interview? This is a great place for you to practice before the big day.
Write a Situation    
I just read this article on Comcast.net. I thought it was worth posting:

Nine Things Never to Say to Your Boss
By Megan Malugani, Monster Contributing Writer, and Charles Purdy, Monster Senior Editor

“Think before you speak” is always a good policy -- and at work it’s even more important. Saying the wrong thing to your boss can do serious damage to your career -- and some of the things bosses don’t like to hear may surprise you. We checked in with some managers and came up with this list of nine phrases they strongly dislike -- and we’ll tell you what you should say instead:

1. ’I need a raise.’

Never enter salary negotiations talking about what you need -- because of rising costs or a new expense, for instance. Your employer doesn’t care about your financial problems. However, management probably does want to reward success and keep high-performing employees satisfied. A raise request should always be supported by evidence of what you’ve achieved for the company -- along with information about what people with your responsibilities typically earn.

2. “That just isn’t possible.”

Always speak to your boss in terms of what can be done. For instance, rather than saying “We can’t get this done by Friday,” say “We could definitely get this done by Monday, or if we brought in some freelance help, we could meet the Friday deadline.” When you talk to your boss, think in terms of solving problems for her, not in terms of putting problems on her plate.

3. “I can’t stand working with ____.”

Complaining about a coworker’s personality usually reflects more poorly on you than on the coworker. Don’t make these kinds of conflicts your boss’s problem. Of course, management is interested in problems that jeopardize the company’s ability to function. If you have to speak to HR about a problem such as a colleague’s threatening, illegal or unethical behavior, keep your tone professional and the focus on work -- not personal issues.

4. “I partied too hard last night -- I’m so hung over!”

Buck up and get through the day with some ibuprofen, extra undereye concealer and coffee. But don’t share the sordid details of your night on the town with your boss. Even if you have a friendly relationship, he’s just as likely to react with (unspoken) disdain as sympathy. Maintaining a solid veneer of professionalism will pay off when it’s time to discuss promotions.

5. “But I emailed you about that last week.”

Alerting your boss to a problem via email doesn’t absolve you of all responsibility for it. Bosses hate the ’out of my outbox, out of my mind’ attitude. Keep tabs on all critical issues you know about -- and keep checking in until you hear a firm ’You don’t need to worry about that anymore.’

6. “It’s not my fault.”

Are you a whiny 8-year-old or a take-charge professional? Assume responsibility and take steps to fix a problem that you did, in fact, create. And if you are being wrongly blamed for a problem, saying “Let’s get to the bottom of this” or “What can we do to make it right?” is much more effective than saying “It’s not my fault.”

7. ’I don’t know.”

If your boss asks you a question you can’t answer, the correct response is not ’I don’t know.’ It’s ’I’ll find out right away.’

8. “But we’ve always done it this way.’

You may find yourself with a new boss who wants to try new things -- and the best way to present yourself as a workplace relic is to meet change with a ’we do it this way because this is the way we do it’ attitude. When a brainstorming session takes place, be part of it and stay open to new ideas. If you have concerns about a new idea’s feasibility, say ’I think for this to work, we will have to…’ Don’t kill new ideas with negativity.

9. “Let me set you up with...”

Avoid the urge to play matchmaker for your single boss. The potential risk far outweighs any potential benefit. In modern workplaces, hierarchical structures are often less rigid, and bosses will often end up in semisocial situations with their direct reports. Smart workers will draw the line at ’oversharing’ -- definitely something to keep in mind if you’re connecting to your company’s managers on social networks like Facebook.
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We found the following article on CBS News.com What is your opinion. We want to hear from you.

February jobs: Another robust report
By Jill Schlesinger

(MoneyWatch) One month is a fluke, two months is encouraging, but three months makes a trend. The February jobs report showed 227,000 jobs were created in February and the previous two months were revised higher by 61,000. The unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, after falling for five consecutive months.

The jobless rate has remained above 8 percent for three years, the longest stretch since monthly records began in 1948. But the flat rate should actually be considered one of the bright spots of the report and there’s a convoluted explanation of why that is the case.

One reason why unemployment has dropped since last year is that many out-of-work people got so disgruntled, they stopped looking for jobs. The government only counts you as unemployed if you are actively looking for a job. In econo-speak, this is referred to as the ’participation rate’ and it is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. Over the last 20 years, it has been around 66-67 percent and it was 66 percent before the economy entered recession in December 2007.

Economy adds 227K jobs, jobless rate unchanged

Last month, the participation rate rose to 63.9 percent, a slight increase from 63.7 percent in January, which was the lowest participation rate since the early 1980s. While some of the decline in the labor force is due to demographics (as boomers near retirement age, the participation rate has naturally slid by one percent), economists say that a sustained rise in the number of people looking for jobs would be a good sign, even if it pushed up the unemployment rate in the short-term.

The bottom line in February: Despite an increase in the number of people looking for jobs during the month, the rate stayed at 8.3 percent and that is a positive.

So how is this jobs recovery going overall? Since employment bottomed in February 2010, the economy has added just under 3.5 million jobs. However, there are still 5.3 million fewer total jobs now than when the recession started.
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We found the following article on CNN Money. Let us know your thoughts on this article.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. manufacturers, frustrated by a shortage of skilled American factory workers, are going abroad to find them.
Business for factories has surged recently, creating a huge demand for machinists, tool and die makers, computer-controlled machine programmers and operators.

’These jobs are the backbone of manufacturing,’ said Gardner Carrick, senior director with the Manufacturing Institute. ’These are good quality middle-class jobs that Americans should be training for.’
The United States is experiencing a shrinking pipeline of manufacturing talent, said James Wall, deputy director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.
’It’s been in the making for years,’ he said. Factories didn’t feel the labor pinch as much when manufacturing was in a slump. But the latest ’Made in USA’ resurgence has them scrambling.
Wall said some manufacturers have been relying on foreign workers to fill the gaps through H-1B visas.
The popular H-1B program allows high-skilled foreign workers to be employed in the United States for a maximum duration of six years. Each year, the government issues a quota of new H-1B work visa applications, and all industries compete against the quota. Last year’s cap was set at 65,000.
High-tech companies tend to submit the most applications for H-1B visas. Manufacturers typically aren’t big users of the program. Out of all the H-1B applications sent to the Labor Department less than 10% were from manufacturers.
A $100K factory job. What’s uncool about that?
A total of 39,551 foreign workers for manufacturing positions were certified by the Labor Department in 2011 for H-1B visas.
That number was up from 34,830 workers in 2010.
The agency certifies an application after a U.S. employer has demonstrated that it was unable to find a willing and qualified American worker for the job.

The H-1B visa still needs to be approved by the State Department to be granted. So the number of issued H-1B visas could be much fewer than the number of approved applications.
A majority of the applications for manufacturing last year were for architecture, engineering and other non-production related jobs, said Carrick, analyzing Labor Department data.
Less than 100 certified applications were for core factory jobs, such as machinists and computer-controlled machine operators, he added.
So even though manufacturers are going down this path, ’H-1B is never going to be the answer to the skills shortage in production jobs in manufacturing,’ he said.
’The H-1B certainly isn’t the best long-term solution,’ said Carrick. ’We have to grow this talent at home.’
But don’t tell that to Vincent Spinali, general manager with Prattville Machine & Tool Company. The Peabody, Mass.-based manufacturer with 100 employees is a machine shop whose clients are in the aerospace and defense industries.
Spinali said the company invested a year and a ’significant amount of money’ to bring back one of its former machinists from Colombia through the H-1B visa program.
’He was in the U.S. on political asylum. We hired him, trained him and he was with us for 15 years after that. He was a great worker,’ said Spinali.
In 2010, Spinali said the worker’s status changed, and he was sent back to Colombia.
The company got the worker back six months ago. ’We realized he had become invaluable to us, and it would be hard to replace someone with his experience quickly,’ said Spinali.
Spinali said the H-1B program is difficult to maneuver, time-consuming and expensive, but he would consider using it again to hire more workers.
Desperately seeking Americans for factory jobs
’Our business has picked up,’ he said. ’Also, half of our workers are over 50. It’s going to be very difficult to replace them when they retire because there’s a shortage of young skilled workers.’
Meanwhile, the Labor Department is trying to discourage American manufacturers from using H-1B visas, by offering grants to manufacturing associations and companies that train and hire domestically.
The agency recently awarded the National Institute of Metalworking Skills a $2.2 million grant that will encourage members to start in-house apprenticeships.
’We can and should develop our own skilled production workforce through career and technical institutes,’ Carrickn said. ’These schools can provide U.S. manufacturers with the reliable supply of skilled production workers that they so desperately need.’
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Thanks to Yahoo Finance here is a list of the 25 Best Jobs of 2012:

The Best 25 Jobs of 2012 Rankings

These 25 high-opportunity jobs have competitive salaries and strong job satisfaction

By U.S. News Staff
February 27, 2012 RSS Feed Print

All of the occupations on our Best Jobs of 2012 list are outstanding, but the top 25 make for a particularly great career choice. We’ve ranked them by comparing their projected growth up to the year 2020 with the current employment rates of the industry to which they belong. Other components that contributed to each job’s overall score and rank include its average salary, predicted job prospects, and a quantitative assessment of the job satisfaction of those who are currently or have previously worked in the profession. Here’s our list of the top 25 jobs of 2012:

#1 Registered Nurse


Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#2 Software Developer

Salary: $87,790-$54,360

Also ranked in: Best Technology Jobs

#3 Pharmacist

Salary: $82,090-$138,620

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#4 Medical Assistant

Salary: $20,810-$40,190

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#5 Database Administrator

Salary: $115,660-$41,570

Also ranked in: Best Technology Jobs

#6 Web Developer

Salary: $43,190-$119,940

Also ranked in: Best Technology Jobs

#7 Computer Systems Analyst

Salary: $48,360-$119,070

Also ranked in: Best Technology Jobs

#8 Physical Therapist

Salary: $53,620-$107,920

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#9 Computer Programmer

Salary: $40,820-$114,180

Also ranked in: Best Technology Jobs

#10 Occupational Therapist

Salary: $48,920-$102,520

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#11 Maintenance and Repair Worker

Salary: $20,800-$56,090

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#12 Elementary School Teacher

Salary: $34,390-$80,140

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#13 Clinical Laboratory Technician

Salary: $24,210-$56,040

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#14 Speech-Language Pathologist

Salary: $42,970-$103,630

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#15 Paramedic

Salary: $19,710-$51,370

Also ranked in: Best Healthcare Jobs

#16 Meeting, Convention & Event Planner

Salary: $27,090-$76,840

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#17 School Counselor

Salary: $31,630-$86,250

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#18 Social Worker

Salary: $26,170-$68,030

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#19 Sports Coach

Salary: $16,380-$63,720

Also ranked in: Best Social Services Jobs

#20 Sales Representative

Salary: $26,970-$108,750

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#21 Accountant

Salary: $38,940-$106,880

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#22 Receptionist

Salary: $17,560-$36,910

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#23 Financial Adviser

Salary: $32,660-$166,400

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#24 Customer Service Representative

Salary: $19,550-$49,320

Also ranked in: Best Business Jobs

#25 HR Specialist

Salary: $31,110-$89,490
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Are you an Entrepreneur? Are you thinking about starting your own business? .Below is an article we found about ’The Secret Guilty Pleasures of Being an Entrepreneur: Let us know what you think.

The Secret Guilty Pleasures of Being an Entrepreneur.

Fellow entrepreneurs told me that going out on my own had its benefits, but once I took the leap I discovered even more unique perks that no one had prepared me for.

While us entrepreneurs definitely experience our share of hard knocks. Sometimes running a business can be downright hellish. But everyone in Corporate America has also heard about the benefits of working for yourself--a flexible schedule, no red tape, the freedom to follow your passion, and answering to yourself. They’re all true.
And once I actually took the leap, I happily discovered even more fantastic benefits that I had no idea about. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Mini vacations tacked on to business travel. Running an international business allows me to travel to business meetings all over the world. But my destinations usually sound a lot sexier than my actual schedule, which includes long, exhausting flights, meeting after meeting, and then more long, exhausting flights! While there is no way to avoid this grind completely, I have deliberately made an effort to tack on at least one day to explore and enjoy the cities I visit whenever possible. A full vacation would clearly be preferable, but rather than sacrificing the perfect for the good, I’ve learned to schedule and cherish these mini-versions.

2. Quality time with family. One of the most daunting things about running a business is the sheer lack of time you get to devote to yourself and your family. However, now that the quantity of time I spend with my family has dwindled, I find that I use the little time that I do have much more deliberately. Whether it’s dates with my husband, play time with my kids, or brunch with my sister, I am much more in the moment. I could stress out about the fact that I have only 45 minutes before my next business meeting starts. But instead, I’ve taught myself to cherish these precious moments and use them to get even closer to my family.

3. The true comforts of airport lounges. Airport lounges are known for their free drinks and snacks, business centers, Wi-Fi, and quiet and comfortable environment. But lounge access can be even more of a goldmine for us small business owners. For instance, in order to keep costs down and put my kids to bed as many nights as possible, I try to schedule back-to-back meetings and minimize overnight stays. Being able to shower in a well equipped lounge bathroom has allowed me to be alert and fresh in essential meetings, even if they are scheduled immediately after a long flight. And learning that most airlines grant access to their partner airlines’ lounges has been a great find and expanded my access to such comforts.

4. The joy of dealing directly with decision makers. When I was still working in traditional corporate jobs, I frequently longed to speak directly to the movers and shakers rather than wasting time navigating the hierarchy. I just knew that things would be more efficient and effective if I simply had regular access to the people who ultimately made the decisions. And don’t get me wrong--generally, that’s true. But I’ve also discovered another great thing about having access to the people at the top--they tend to be amazingly interesting people. They have usually leveraged their business success to dive deep into all types of fascinating hobbies and interests that give me another perspective on exactly how they are so successful.

I love leading a small, international business, and the adage about membership having its privileges has held true. While there are of course many unique challenges that must be tackled, I have certainly enjoyed discovering the unexpected pleasures of business ownership as well

See the full article at:
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Do you have some free time? Are you looking to volunteer? Meals on Wheels is a great organization.
According to Food Inc. hunger among senior Americans has increased by 80% since 2001! You can get involved today with Meals on Wheels of America to ensure that food insecure seniors receive healthy meals. http://ow.ly/9fuLV

Volunteer - Meals On Wheels Association of America
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Looking for a job. I just found a great website. Check it out:
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A coworker could.use some.new.clothes would it be insulting to bring in hand me downs
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Is it acceptable to leave a sympathy or Mass card on a co-workers desk or should it be mailed. I feel it should be mailed so the co-worker doesn’t have to see it in the office in case they get emotional. What does everyone else think?
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I hate the smell of perfume and a coworker wears something particularly offensive to me. Help, I hate to insult her.
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