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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Follow These Steps For Productive, Worthwhile Meeting

You've just received notice of an upcoming meeting. "Ugh," you cry. "Not another meeting!" You roll your eyes and wonder how you'll survive yet another hour of useless babble.

Why are meetings so detested? Simple. Many are so poorly planned and executed they are a waste of time. That's a shame. Done properly, a meeting is a very effective way to disseminate information to a group. Follow these steps so that your next meeting is a success.

Review need for meeting Do you even need to call a meeting? A memo or an e-mail can be just as effective, and doesn't pull your employees away from their desks. Don't call a meeting out of habit. Have a purpose in mind.

Consider who should attend Invite only those who can either contribute to or gain from the discussion. Don't include every Tom, Dick, and Harry merely because they regularly attend meetings. Those with just a passing need for the information can be informed via e-mail or other form of communication.

Select appropriate person to lead Choose the person with the most experience or knowledge. Meetings do not have to be lead by a manager or supervisor. Junior personnel can gain valuable experience by leading a discussion. Doing so will free up your supervisor (or, perhaps, you).

Limit your topics Keep to at most three subjects. Any more, and you may overload your audience. Consider calling another meeting for the other topics. Review your audience again. It may be different for those topics.

Keep it short Thirty minutes is good; twenty minutes is better. Use more time only if it's necessary. Remember that time is valuable. Your employees are more productive when they're at their desks and work-stations.

Review your material, and practiceEdit your text so you get right to the point. Review to ensure you cover your topics thoroughly. That will minimize misunderstandings and questions. Rehearse so you cover the material smoothly and confidently. Make certain any equipment you use works flawlessly.

Be punctual Lead by example. If you say you'll start at 2:00, do so. Don't stand around waiting for the stragglers to arrive. Be courteous to those who are there on time. The others will learn soon enough that you mean business.

End with conviction When you're done, you're done. Don't drag out the meeting just to fill the time. And don't open the floor for general questions. You'll never get out of there.

Meetings have their place in any business. Make the effort to ensure yours are a meaningful use of time.

Word Tip


Irregardless is one of those non-existent words that pops up in usage from time to time. The less in regardless indicates a negating action. The proper word is regardless.

The project will be finished regardless of cost.

You may find it helpful to use the word whether in your sentence.

Regardless of whether we renew their contract....

The team approach works best regardless of whether....

Copyright 2008, Thomas R. Fuszard

Monday, July 21, 2008

Essential Information About a Career in Banking

Careers in banking and related fields are hot careers today, but before you decide on your career path, you may want to learn a bit more about the banking field and what it has to offer you. This particular field offers a great deal of diversity and is well paid as well, but the field is not for everyone. Read on to find out the essential information about careers in banking and decide whether or not a career in banking is the right choice for you. Career Choices in the Banking Industry

While you may only think of bank tellers when you think of the banking industry, there are actually a variety of different career choices available within the banking world. Of course, probably the most obvious is the bank teller, who deals with cash and customers. You may also want to consider a career as a customer service representative or a new accounts clerk in a bank as well, which involves opening and closing accounts, answering customer questions, and dealing with any customer concerns.

Another side of the banking industry includes those who deal with the loan process. There are loan clerks, loan officers, and loan processors that deal with various parts of loan processes within a bank. There are also banking jobs available in collections, accounting, and support areas like office managers, secretaries, and data entry.

The careers that many people have in their sights when they think about banking are management positions. There are many different management careers in the banking industry, including bank managers, financial managers, investment managers, and trust officers. While these types of positions may be better paying, they also require a great deal more work as well.

Education Needed

The education that you will need for a career in banking will highly depend on which particular career you are planning on pursuing. Some jobs, such as bank tellers or customer service managers only require that you have a high school diploma or a GED. Other jobs, such as loan officers, and investment officers, will require that you become certified within your state to sell special products such as IRA's and Annuities. Some careers in this field may require that you have a degree in business or another similar type degree as well. The great thing about a career in banking, is that once you start out in this field, many times the bank you work with will help you get the education you need to advance in your career, which can save you a great deal of money and make you an extremely valuable employee.

What You Can Expect to Earn

The earnings that you can expect in this field are quite diverse, and depend on your specific job within the field. Tellers are generally the lowest paid people in the banking industry, but still they usually will make between $8-11 per hour, and sometimes more if they have been with the same company for a long time. Clerks and secretaries can expect to make between $10-12 an hour, while customer service reps and bookkeepers will make $11-13 per hour. If you are able to climb the ladder to become an executive secretary or even an administrative assistant, you will see a significant rise in pay and will probably make between $15-17 per hour. Loan officers and financial managers usually make the most in this field, with loan officers making around $20 per hour and financial managers making about $30 per hour.

Quality Companies

If you decide that you would like to pursue a career in the banking industry, you will want to be sure that you find a job with a quality company that will pay you a competitive salary and offer you quality benefits, such as health insurance, vacation days, and 401K as well. If you are looking for jobs in banking in the United States, several companies to consider are Wachovia, SunTrust, Chase Bank, Morgan and Stanly, and Bank of America. In the event that you are looking for a banking job in Canada, some companies you may want to check into include The People Bank, Bank of Canada, and the National Bank. Once you find a quality company to work for, you can start working on advancing your career in banking and working your way up towards success.

Fei Lim is the manager of Flizard Technologies web hosting and owns job search and jobs informations site.

Friday, July 4, 2008

How to Know If You're a Successful Leader Using the Leader Scorecard

By Sam Miller

Being a good leader does not happen by accident, nor does it happen overnight. It is a series of concerted efforts on your art and the cooperation of the people working with you. How sure are you of your abilities to lead your organization or company? How will you know how effective you are as a leader without resorting to the awkward task of asking your colleagues' opinions? You can create your own leader scorecard for this endeavor.

This type of scorecard is not your ordinary scorecard at all. It zeroes in on certain areas that would measure your performance. And everything is done step by step. It is important that you observe closely your ability to affect changes. You have to start with small scale changes then go up to large-scale improvement in your organization. Rate yourself from a scale of 1 to 10 for this.

First, observe how effective you are in convincing a certain subordinate to do new things that would improve the organization. Second, try influencing a colleague to act or think differently. You can do experimentation with at least three subordinates and another three colleagues. Then, rate your success and make notes. Then, you can proceed to the next step, albeit a bigger one.

Now, try experimenting with someone who holds a higher position than you. Your boss would make a good choice here. You can try selling a new idea to him perhaps. Observe how he reacts and try to convince him that your idea is beneficial to your company or organization. Then, score your success and take note of how fast you are at convincing your boss.

After experimenting with your subordinates, colleagues, and your boss, it is time to see how well you are with convincing your whole department to affect changes. This time, you will be convincing a considerably larger number of people. Initiate a change in one small but significant procedure in the department. And if they agree, see if you can convince them to do some changes in a larger scale. Again, make notes and rate yourself.

Now, for the ultimate test in your scorecard, convince the whole organization to undergo a major shift in direction. But first, you have to do a lot of consulting and brainstorming before you propose such change. If you can get through this test in a breeze, then you are a very effective leader. Evaluate the whole process you went through and browse over your notes. It is time to identify your weak points and decide on how you could improve your leadership. Remember, the scorecard is not merely intended for checking your performance, but for improving it as well. And besides, your bosses could be creating their own scorecard and evaluating you, too.

There has been enough evidence to show that people tend to change easily if they measure their own success. This is one of the most important purposes of the leader scorecard: changing the leader so he could lead the organization towards a better direction over a period of time.

If you are interested in leader scorecard, check this web-site to learn more about leader dashboard

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Career Concerns - Selling Points For Overcoming Changing Jobs Too Often

If you're like many people you may have had a period of time in your Career where you had too many job changes. You feel that you may be perceived as chronic job hopper, a negative to many companies who perceive a stable job history with a dependable, quality employee.

Selling Point number one is to consider your job hopping as paid training for this new position, paid for by past employers.

Selling Point number two is that with your diverse experience you will bring many other Skills, Knowledge and Abilities to the table none of their other candidates could possibly bring.

Selling Point number three is that by being new you have no preset habits and you can update your training by participating in all of the newest courses which will benefit the Team immediately.

Selling Point number four is that you bring new and fresh insights from a diverse set of employers and industries.

It is important that you begin with understanding the Selling points, often those who have been job hoppers tend to feel inadequate. They tend to look upon their Career as having some problems, due to the lack of stability. When in fact your job hopping is your value, however you need to believe in yourself, and you need to know how to sell yourself, because if you don't believe in yourself no one else will either.

When discussing your previous positions observe how you describe that experience. When asked about it do you complain, or criticize your former employer? Do you defend yourself? Did you get hurt by the experience and feel disgruntled enough to complain about them? If you do any of these you need to stop IMMEDIATELY because your doing yourself great harm. Even if you were fired you still have immense value to thousands of employers, employers who are hungry to higher people just like you.

Again you have to believe this fact yourself, if you are ever going to sell it to someone else. Begin by collecting stories of experiences that you enjoyed and times when you actually contributed significantly to your employer. Stories that would have them ask you 'How did you do that' that's when you will get employers and yourself to look past your job hopping and see your value. Tell them stories about the many programs you worked on, and the machines you helped build and the software you worked with. This gets you focused on what you can do for your next prospective employer and steers you away from your hurt and disgruntled feelings.

Look inside yourself and find the excitement when you consider all the opportunity ahead of you. When you find it share it with others, friends, family and prospective employers, that's what they want a hungry and highly motivated employee, someone like you.

Paul Godines from Adapt on a Dime Consulting wants to ask you if you have career goals? If so tell me about them I'm interested to here how I might be able to help.