How Proposed Overtime Rule Could Impact Your Workplace

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While a lot of what we talk about here on the blog tends to relate most with those who have a salary, a huge sum of Americans work for an hourly wage – and they often work overtime with no pay increase during their extra hours.

President Obama plans to change that, as he recently proposed a new law. Per this article:

A proposed new rule regarding overtime pay would mean increased paychecks for up to 5 million workers, according to the Obama administration. A proposed adjustment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — establishing the 40-hour workweek and rules to provide employees with a minimum wage and time and a half of their regular rate pay for working overtime — would raise the salary threshold for overtime. While it has been occasionally raised, the threshold has fallen behind its historic levels since it wasn’t regularly adjusted for inflation.

Now, I’m not here to make political commentary. But I think we would all agree that this new rule would impact both hourly wage workers and their salaried employers in their workplace. And not surprisingly, there are a lot of opinions on the positives and negatives of such a rule.

Educate yourself by checking out this article, which features different points-of-view that we should all consider if this new rule does indeed go into effect.

And as always, please comment with your thoughts!


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9 Tips To Help You Get a Job Promotion

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Let’s get something straight right off the bat, here – if you want a job promotion, none of these tips will help you unless you first DESERVE it.

I’m not in the business of giving people quick fixes to get the title and salary promotion they simply “want.”

But if you are driven, know the value you deliver to your organization, and are confident you are worthy of a promotion, then I want to point you to the tips outlined in HR Pro Kevin Delaney’s article, “How To Get Promoted: 9 Things You Need To Do.”

I like Delaney’s advice because each thing maximizes the value you already deliver vs. gives you “tricks” to make other people think you are worthy of something you’re not. Here’s a sneak peek at the tips:

  1. Get around the right people.
  2. Stop hanging out with the wrong people.
  3. Attitude is everything.
  4. Communicate.
  5. After you communicate, communicate some more.
  6. Participation is highly recommended (read: required).
  7. Invisibility is great if you’re Harry Potter, but it won’t get you promoted.
  8. Don’t fixate or obsess – myopically focus on getting promoted.
  9. Go with the current, not against it.


Read the whole article for a breakdown of each tip, and comment with any advice you have from your personal experiences!

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Don’t Take This Job Search Detour

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When you’re looking for a job, it’s only natural to want to open yourself up to as many opportunities as possible. However, applying to all the seemingly relevant help-wanted ads you see is a major career detour.

Only one in ten jobs is actually advertised, and only one out of ten of those are any good. Newspaper ads especially represent the bottom of the barrel: entry-level jobs, high-turnover positions, straight-commission sales, scams, government agencies paying lip service to EEO hiring…the list goes on.

But most job hunters devour the Sunday paper and online job postings as if they will actually provide something. Don’t feel bad if you’ve done this – no one’s probably told you otherwise. But the world’s changing, and so are job-search methods.

If you are in a job search, my suggestion is to spend no more than five percent of your time with want-ads. You can do this by narrowing down your list to the top 10 jobs that seem desirable to you, and then really going after them. Don’t just send a cover letter and resume, call them to find out what the position really is, and go from there.

Learn more about this topic in my book, From Roadkill To Roadmap.

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3 Tips To Help You Manage Millennials

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Of all the generations out there, “millennials” may have secured their reputation the fastest (fairly or unfairly is up for debate)!

Some call this group entitled, stubborn and overly confident.

Others call them independent, revolutionary and inspiring.

Whichever side of the millennial fence you sit on, I believe every generation has value that others have not yet considered. It’s up to everyone else to figure out how to maximize their possibilities, and maybe even turn their weaknesses into strengths.

That’s why I want to share a Mashable article titled 3 Truths About Millennials That Will Change The Way You Manage Them.

The article does a great job of showcasing the opportunities with millennials – not just the millennials themselves, but how MANAGERS can get more out of their investment in this demographic.

The article identifies 3 specific things you can do to better be in touch with – and get more from – millennials:

  1. Ask “why?” –  Millennials are a collectively inquisitive group. Don’t expect them to just follow marching orders. Give them the “why” behind their responsibilities, and their understanding of the end goal will make them – and you – better for it.
  2. Envy startup culture – Help make your millennial team members part of process, rewarding their desire to have real, tangible significance in their job.
  3. Give feedback early and often - Helping your millennial team member move forward without stripping away their ability to do the job “their way” is essential in setting everyone up for success.

Read the article for more insight into this topic, and let me know what your experiences working with (or as) millennials is like!


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Surprising News About Managers’ Influences on Career Development

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I recently read some startling statistics in this article about career development:

A recent survey by Right Management found that two-thirds of managers are not actively involved in employees’ career development, and just one-third of employees reported having regular career conversations with their managers.

This is discouraging news to say the least. Career development is essential, and as I tell managers whom I coach, they are in prime position to make the most impact on their team members. But obviously, that isn’t a priority to a lot of managers!

So if you’re wanting development – be it through training, mentoring, more responsibility, etc. – what should you do? I tell my clients that they need to pursue their goal, and that often means talking to your manager about your desire for them to help guide you forward in your career.

On the flip side, it’s also the role of companies and organization to better educate their managers on the importance of helping their teams develop professionally. In the article, Tim Loche, a Regional Practice Manager at Right Management, is quoted:

Organizations “need to assist managers in two key areas: Provide them with training about human motivation in the workplace so they have insight into what drives performance; and provide them with a framework to drive effective career conversations.”

What is your organization doing to invest in career development? It’s an important question to ask – because the answer might help you understand if you are in the right job or not.



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When Interviewing For a Job, Tell The Truth Intelligently

career, advice, counseling, coaching, job search, career currency

The following is an excerpt from my latest career column featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Read the whole article here.


Among the most critical of interviewing skills is telling the truth intelligently.

The best way to explain what I mean by this statement is through a story. In an interview, Jose found himself caught telling a lie about the reason he left one of his previous jobs. He said he was laid off, but the truth was he was fired. When the potential employer found out, Jose lost all chances of getting the job.

By honing your interviewing skills, you can learn to plan carefully what information to communicate and what is appropriate to withhold. After all, interviews last only a short time and you want to be sure you leave the right impression and communicate the right message.

Here are just a few of the “telling the truth intelligently” pointers I give my Career Coaching clients in interviewing skills training…

Read the whole article here.

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5 Signs Your Job Search Is In Trouble

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We often have a feeling that our job search is in a bad place – and not just because we haven’t gotten a job.

There are a lot of signs that your search is in trouble, but this recent Mashable article features 5 such signs that are – unfortunately – very relateable:

  1. You lack credentials, but apply anyway.
  2. You assume instructions don’t apply to you (following company requested job application processes, etc.)
  3. Your entire strategy involves “apply and wait.”
  4. You’re machine-gunning out unfocused applications.
  5. You’re applying for out of town jobs without explaining why.

Do any of these signs look familiar to you? Read the whole article for advice on what you should be doing instead!


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3 Intangible Traits That Will Boost Your Job Search

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There are a lot of tangible things we talk about when it comes to a job search – things like a networking strategy, a personal brand statement, a resume, portfolio, etc. These are the things we usually attribute to getting us a job.

But we cannot forget the intangibles.

I was recently reminded of this when reading this article about job search-boosting personality attributes. The article calls out three intangibles that can make the difference on whether or not your job search is successful:

  1. Confidence.
  2. Discipline.
  3. Determination.

Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “But I’m just not naturally a confident person,” or “Discipline is jut not one of my natural abilities!” Here’s the good news – these traits can be taught.

You need to be able to identify the things you can be confident about and focus on them. With help, you can draft personal processes and deadlines that hold you accountable to discipline in your job search. And you can find what that one thing is that makes you determined to achieve a goal (be it your family, financial motivations, helping others, etc.), again focusing your mind and heart in this one area.

As a Career Coach, I don’t just deal with the tangible side of a job search – I work with clients on their intangible needs, too.

Do you have someone in your life who can help you achieve confidence, discipline and determination?

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How To Return To Work After Staying Home With Kids

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Below is a re-post of my monthly blog post for Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.


After three boys and 15 years outside the job market, Susan decided to go back to work. Like a lot of women in this situation, it took time for her confidence to grow. Her courage and persistence served her well as she pursued a fulfilling position. The process she followed will work for you or anyone wondering what’s next. Knowing what you can do and where you’d like to do it makes the rest of the path clear.

Internal Work

Susan first faced her internal confusion and fears. Delving into her past, she identified accomplishments and the skills she demonstrated before and after starting her family. She continued despite her inner “voices” of doubt and doom which whispered (and sometimes screamed) “Give up! No one will hire you! Who are you kidding?”

She remembered her creative efforts from her short career in marketing, her success in juggling countless tasks to maintain order in a house with children, the joy she felt from teaching and nurturing her sons, and activities she had been drawn toward: Cub Scout den mother, active member of the school P.T.O., and a volunteer reading instructor.

She reached clarity about her skills as a leader, organizer and teacher.

What’s Important? Next, she asked herself what really mattered to her. She felt troubled by the pollution which seemed to close in on them. Her family faced it every day–and couldn’t escape it even on long camping trips. She got in touch with her passion for protecting the environment for her children and future generations. Having that decided, she felt good, but Susan was still terrified because she hadn’t a clue about what to do with this decision.

Givers Gain

Recognizing the importance of contributing first, she volunteered with an environmental agency. Although the routine tasks the office manager initially gave her weren’t usually very stimulating, Susan put her best foot forward. She was always interested, personable, dependable and did impeccable work. So several weeks later, when the group badly needed help organizing their annual convention, Susan stepped up and impressed everyone with her leadership in recruiting, organizing and directing volunteers.

Upgrading Skills/Knowledge

While helping with correspondence and updating the agency’s database, she upgraded her computer skills. She also educated herself on environmental policy, reading voraciously about current issues and talking to agency staff and others about their activities and what other environmental organizations were doing.


The word has become almost trite. Everyone knows you’ve got to do it, yet few do it well. Instead of just passing out resumes and telling everyone she was available for openings, Susan got to know people. She took advantage of opportunities to meet people who came into the office, went to hear environmental speakers and attended events and fundraisers of environmental organizations. She took full advantage of the convention to make new contacts and make sure those she’d met remembered her. As she became a familiar face and became more confident, she let people know about her goals, and got advice on how to achieve them.

Planning for the Future

One contact alerted Susan to a grant-funded position on environmental education. The hiring decision-maker was a woman Susan had met–and impressed–at the convention. Soon, Susan had a position she loved: traveling to area schools teaching and organizing environmental projects. Still, she knows that her position will only last two to three years, and has a plan to advance herself, ultimately to become director of her organization or another one like it.

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A Concerning Stat Re: Change For Workplace Managers

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When change hits the workplace, everyone reacts differently. But per recent research featured in this Human Resources blog post, managers should really be concerned about their BEST employees leaving due to the change.

The article states:

According to a study by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in 2013 there are three areas for concern when managing change:

  1. Employee performance during change.
  2. The disengaged stay.
  3. High potentials more likely to quit.

CEB found that disengaged employees are 36% more likely to stay during periods of change, while 25% of high potentials are more likely to quit. This is alarming to change projects requiring high-performing talent.

Why would disengaged employees be more likely to stay during times of change? Because by nature, disengaged professionals don’t care what the company does. They are simply there to collect a paycheck.

On the other hand, high-performing employees are likely to have goals and desires – and the introduction of change could be perceived by them as a threat to those goals.

The article does a nice job of giving tips and ideas to managers on how they can invest in high-performing talent to keep them around during times of change. Read the article, and realize who you need to focus on!

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