Composite image of businessman holding his jacket

How much money to ask for in a salary negotiation?

How much can I ask for in a salary negotiation without leaving a bad taste in the employer’s mouth or losing the job offer?

When you’re finally down to the wire on your impending job offer, there will come a time to talk numbers. That one last conversation — where you negotiate salary — can unnerve even the most savvy job seeker.

While most employers expect you to come back with a counteroffer, many job candidates avoid the practice and leave money on the table. You don’t have to be one of them. You’d be well served in your career to become comfortable with the process. You get one chance to accept a final compensation package at your company, so be prepared to make a persuasive argument.

So how do you stay true to your target without alienating the hiring manager or hurting your prospects?

First, to prepare for that discussion, you’ll want to do your research ahead of time and figure out what someone with your experience and skills typically makes in this particular role.

Once you hear their offer and it’s time to negotiate, you should keep those numbers in mind, but also consider the nature of the first offer and how much bargaining power you think you have. And think about whether you’re currently under- or overpaid.

As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s usually appropriate to ask for 10% to 20% more than what you’re currently making. 

That means if you’re making $50,000 a year now, you can easily ask for $55,000 to $60,000 without seeming greedy or getting laughed at.

If the original offer is on the low side of the scale, you have more leverage. If you get an offer for 20% over your current salary, you can still negotiate for more — ask for an additional 5% — but know that you’re already in good stead.

The bottom line: Do the math (and your research!) beforehand — know what a 10% to 20% pay increase would total, and what the going rate for someone with your skills is — and ask for that amount. Worst case scenario, the employer says “no.”

Written by Jacquelyn Smith of Business Insider. Based on an interview with Lynn Taylor, a National Workplace expert.


4 Ways to Test “Cultural Fit” During the Hiring Process

As workplace structures evolve, finding candidates who are the right “cultural fit” is now a top priority of recruiters.

In the business world (and in life), we tend to gravitate toward people similar to us. Our hiring practices are no exception — if you’re an introvert, you might find extroverted candidates off-putting. A detail-oriented recruiter might be uncomfortable hiring an abstract thinker.

However, seeking cultural fit doesn’t mean hiring clones. In fact, research shows that diverse teams actually perform better than like-minded ones. It’s vital to be able to recognize a strong fit for your company, even when a candidate’s personality and ideas might be far different from your own.

Finding the right cultural fit

There’s no denying that cultural fit is important but make sure you actually know what it is before judging candidates. It’s easy to mistake cultural fit for personal biases — just because you wouldn’t mind being stuck in an airport with a candidate doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a great fit for your company.

A candidate’s approach shouldn’t be so divisive that it creates rifts among employees, but you shouldn’t be afraid to hire somebody whose personality clashes with your own. If you perceive that a candidate would make a meaningful contribution to your company while maintaining decorum, that candidate might be a cultural match.

Here are four ways to determine whether a candidate might be a good fit for your company:

  1. Differentiate between the person and the job.

Your applicant is not interviewing to be your best friend; they’re interviewing to be a great contributor to your company. Never lose sight of this during the interview. What you like about a candidate personally cannot trump their potential as an employee.

  1. Have candidates take a personality assessment.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can offer you concrete metrics by which to judge candidates for a particular position before they ever set foot in your office.

For instance, if your company wants to hire confident individuals with strong leadership skills and the ability to make objective decisions, you might take a close look at candidates’ Myers-Briggs results. The assessment can reveal whether somebody is an introvert or an extrovert, how they process and interpret information and whether they make decisions through logical reasoning or intuition. The Myers-Briggs provides a quantitative basis for making hiring judgments based on personality.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask off-the-wall questions.

As long as you don’t ask prohibited questions during the interview process, it’s your prerogative to ask candidates about anything from their appreciation for soccer to their favorite foods.

Interviewees prepare for interviews by rehearsing boilerplate responses to conventional questions. Get a real impression of who they are as people by steering conversations toward unexpected topics. The ability to take the unexpected in stride is a plus, even if their hobbies and interests are different from your own.

  1. Give applicants a chance to lead the conversation.

We’ve all been to interviews where the interviewer sticks to an approved list of 10 questions and treats it as a strict Q&A session between the interviewer and interviewee. While this might be the most efficient way to churn through questions, it can only tell you so much about the person.

Instead, hand the interviewee the keys. See how he communicates without prompts or guides. This is certainly a greater challenge than offering a distinct question to answer, and it can provide an opportunity for vibrant personalities to shine. If interviewees have difficulty conversing with you of their own accord, that can be a sign that their personalities don’t fit the position.

Cultural fit clearly plays a pivotal role in today’s hiring process, but that doesn’t mean you should hire clones of your existing staff. Differing backgrounds lead to positive, productive innovations and exchanges of ideas. Once you truly understand your company’s culture, make sure you’re focused on it — not your personal biases — when vetting candidates.

Article written by Sathvik Tantry, CEO and Co-Founder of FormSwift. 


Businesswoman Getting Interviewed

Top 10 Questions a Candidate Should Ask in an Interview

Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important: You are there to ask questions, too.

Asking the right questions at an interview is important for two reasons:

First, when done correctly, the questions you ask confirm your qualifications as a candidate for the position.

Second, you are interviewing the employer just as much as the employer is interviewing you. This is your opportunity to find out if this is an organization where you want to work.

3 Things You Want to Achieve

When you ask the right questions, you want to achieve three things:

  • Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
  • Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

There are an infinite number of questions you could ask during a job interview, but if you stay focused on those three goals, the questions should come easy to you.

I recommend preparing three to five questions for each interview, and actually ask three of them. (I like to have more prepared than is needed because some of my questions might be answered in the course of the interview.)

10 Questions You Might Ask In a Job Interview

Here are 10 interview questions you could ask, and why:

  1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.
  1. What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.
  1. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
  1. What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit? This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.
  1. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? I love this question because it’s gutsy. Also, you’ll show that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.
  1. Do you offer continuing education and professional training? This is a great positioning question, showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.
  1. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.
  1. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth? This question should be customized for your particular needs. Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service it’s launching to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of where the employer is headed.
  1. Who previously held this position? This seemingly straightforward question will tell you whether that person was promoted or fired or if he/she quit or retired. That, in turn, will provide a clue to whether: there’s a chance for advancement, employees are unhappy, the place is in turmoil or the employer has workers around your age.
  1. What is the next step in the process? This is the essential last question and one you should definitely ask. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.

With luck, the answer you’ll hear will be: There is no next step, you’re hired!

About the Author: Joe Konop is the founder and principal of One Great Resumé, a resumé creation and career service provider. His website is 

portrait of senior worker with an hardhat

Build a Corporate Culture for All Ages

We live in a unique time. It’s getting more and more difficult to predict trends in the labor force. We have Generation Z at one end of the spectrum, the youngest of which are just starting to graduate college and enter the job market (depending on where the generational line is drawn). On the other end, we have the 65-to-74 and 75-and-older demographics, which are expected to grow significantly in the workforce between now and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Millennials have taken the business media by storm the last couple of years. There’s no shortage of articles about how the younger generation demands a good work/life balance from the first days of their first internships and entry-level jobs. But what about the older generations? What’s work like for them?

65 Is the New 50

In American society, we tend to think of 65 as retirement age, but as the BLS statistics show, more people are working well past the time when they can start collecting their retirement.

“The biggest reason is probably financial, given the fluid perceptions and realities swirling around Social Security benefits, 401(k) value in shifting markets, and medical care and costs,” says Greg Karr, executive vice president atSeven Step RPO. “In general, I think a lot of people know or think that they can’t afford to stop working and maintain their desired lifestyle. The extra income, combined with a more robust Social Security benefit if you defer even a couple of years, makes a big difference.”

“Also, given an overall supply and demand imbalance in the workforce and shifting workforce characteristics, there is more opportunity for meaningful work – for example, being able to work from home versus having to commute and sit in an office all day,” Karr adds. “Lastly, the average life expectancy continues to rise, so people are healthier at 65 and aware that there are a lot of years left. Not working at all from age 65 to age 85+ is a lot of years. Many folks like what they’re doing for work and are still valuable contributors. I think some would just as soon keep working and contributing for a few more years, with the knowledge that they’ll be better set financially.”

ConferenceMeanwhile the birthrate is increasing again in the United States, millennials hold most of the entry-level and lower management jobs, and Generation Z is hot on everyone’s heels, arriving soon to grab up those internships and entry-level spots. As upper management reaches standard retirement age and stays on the job, upward mobility and opportunities for younger generations become limited.

It’ll be up to companies to figure out how to integrate both the old and the new to create corporate cultures that appeal to all ages. Employers will also have to find ways to keep valuable employees from leaving when they see that the corporate ladder is too crowded for them to advance as high as they’d like to right away.

“In an environment where the workforce will shift continuously, you need to be able to retain key talent and use a winning culture to attract new talent,” Karr says. “This is not a marketing activity, but rather a set of persistently and authentically executed strategies to make your company a great place to work where people like what they do and who they do it with. No matter how the workforce evolves, top candidates always want to work in an environment where they are valued and rewarded for their contributions, where they have a chance to learn and grow, and where they are treated with respect. Structured, plentiful time invested in building and maintaining an environment where people want to work is time well spent.”

There is a middle ground to be found somewhere between the suit-and-tie boardrooms of the ’90s and the untucked shirts and sneakers of the recent college graduates. Companies that can find a way to appeal to both sides of the coin (and everyone in the middle) will never find themselves struggling to fill open positions.

For the complete article please visit,

Young businessman presenting his idea at meeting. Teamwork at office.

10 Signs You’re a Real Leader (even if your title doesn’t reflect it)

We often feel that to be a leader you need to be born a leader, or be drawn to leadership, or have a leader-ly position.

We think of leadership as a title that has to be deserved or earned. But leaders are rarely, if ever, born. If we had to isolate a factor that creates leaders, it’s probably some combination of circumstance and persistence.

Many, many leaders walk among us—in all kinds of people, places, and positions.

Some of the greatest leaders you’ll ever meet aren’t even aware of their own leadership.

Here are 10 signs that you may be one of them:

  1. You Have an Open Mind and Seek Out Other People’s Opinions

If people are drawn to you because you are open to others people’s opinions, you are a leader.

  1. You Offer Advice and Counsel

If you find yourself advising your colleagues, and your friends are asking you to counsel them—if people seem to seek out and value what you say—then your empathy is strong and your perspective has real-world usefulness to those around you. If you often help those around you navigate their rough patches, you are a leader. 

  1. People Count on You

If people rely on you, it follows that they trust you to follow through and deliver on your promises. If you hold yourself accountable and demonstrate the kind of day-in, day-out responsibility that leads others to trust you, you are a leader.

  1. You’re a Good Listener and People Confide in You

Being able to listen to others, having people speak to you frankly without worrying about who you’ll tell or how you might use that knowledge against them, are signs of strong leadership—not to mention of being a nice person. If you understand that listening is more important than speaking, and if people know they can confide in you, you are a leader.

  1. Others Follow Your Example

The most powerful form of leadership isn’t persuasion or argument or force, but example. Whether times are good or bad, people notice who’s present, who’s effective, who’s working hard without distraction. When that person is you, others naturally follow you—and you are a leader.

  1. You Insist on Excellence

As Aristotle said, we are what we repeatedly do, and therefore excellence is not an act but a habit. When you are in the habit of standing up for excellence and you hold yourself and those around you responsible for quality, you are telling others that you act rather than talk, show rather than say, deliver rather than promise. If you are not making excuses or blaming others but holding up the standard of excellence and quality, you are a leader.

  1. You Have a Positive Attitude

Positive, optimistic people make people around them happy. A positive outlook doesn’t blind you to problems or issues but allows you to seek out something good in almost every situation and to know that eventually things will be all right. It’s the kind of spirit that keeps people motivated and spreads optimism, and it means you are a leader.

  1. You Treat People With Respect

Knowledge may give you power, being smart may give you an advantage, but when you give respect you will always receive respect in return. If you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect them for who they are, it’s likely that they hold you in high esteem and that you are a leader.

  1. You Genuinely Care About Others

If you spend time supporting, guiding, and sharing your knowledge with those around you, giving them the opportunity to achieve success, and if you care about their well-being and do all you can to help them attain their own success, you are a leader.

  1. You Are Confident and Passionate

Most people are always watching each other, looking for cues about how to behave. Being confident means moving with assurance, being passionate about what you believe and refusing to let anything get in your way. If you work consistently toward a cause with vision and confidence, you are a leader.

Are you failing to see something important within yourself? Weigh yourself against these traits, reconsider what you think you know, and recognize yourself for the leader you may really be. 

Article written by Lolly Daskal of Inc., founder of Lead from Within, a global leadership, executive coaching, and consulting firm based in New York City.

For the complete article please visit,

Essence Recruitment and Consulting Firm Saskatoon Career Opportunities

The Importance of Soft Skills in Leadership

What used to be called “soft” skills are now some of the most coveted skill sets in the business world — now and for the foreseeable future.

As Boomers retire for next decade at a rate of 10,000 per day, they will be replaced by female leaders — many of them Millennials.

Both women and Millennials put a premium on communication, community, and meaningful connection. We are entering a whole different era of leadership with millennial female execs as the new powerhouse leaders.

Many modern female leaders naturally spend time mastering the “people” process. Their business experience and inherent personality traits give them the ability to connect with and motivate people. They can easily advocate and facilitate between different groups, sectors, and departments, and run interference between technical and creative parties to launch major products.

Soft skills — the ability to be compassionate, empathetic, sensitive, and human, creating a safe psychological space — are a sought after combination lead by companies like Google. The company recently commissioned a three-year study called Project Aristotle that attempted to determine the factors of a productive team. What distinguished the good teams from the bad was the way people treated each other. High-performing teams had high social sensitivity characterized by trust, mutual respect, and real connections.

Most of these soft skills are innate for thoughtful female leaders. You probably already possess most of them, and can easily master them. Because of this, you are the most coveted type of leader in the workplace today. These are factors recognized by leading CEOs, like The Container Store’s Kip Tindell. They have been ranked for 16 years as one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, and Tindell is enthusiastically supportive of his workforce … 70% of them women.

This is the perfect time for female leaders to embrace these strengths, and seize the “soft” skill leadership advantage at their fingertips. In fact, if you are suppressing your natural skills and trying to emulate traditional “tough” leadership skills, you might even be feeling stunted, frustrated, or unwell.

The interesting reality is that when we don’t exercise this side of the work balance, we see a lot of illness, burnout, fatigue, conflict and missed opportunity. Embracing and developing these characteristics is the most important way you can shape your career right now. Here’s how to embrace and use your “soft” skills masterfully.

Communicate with clarity

Women are innately good and intuitive communicators, so use your voice. Don’t let old-fashioned leadership thinking stop you from leaning into your unique leadership style. You will become more effective if you embrace your comfortable communication ideals, and explain to others how they can best work with you.

If you need a meeting agenda and a day to think about your points before attending a meeting, say so. If you do your best brainstorming work in a small group of 2-3, set up that situation.

You will develop this type of authentic communication by practicing daily. Start with friends and coworkers who are receptive to your message, and then work up to people who challenge you more. Connections start when people are authentic and feel safe enough in a group to share. By creating this dynamic with your own example, you will strengthen your team and help it perform better.

Practice emotional intelligence

Show empathy — starting with yourself. It begins with understanding your working style, and supporting yourself to create a stable base. When I coach MBA grads, I give them the assignment of creating an “internal” personal leadership strategy for “their eyes only.”

It becomes a great roadmap to navigate daily chaos at work. Much like a business plan, a personal leadership strategy outlines how you plan to work with subordinates, colleagues, and supervisors in a variety of situations. Think of it as an internal operations plan comprised of policies and processes for daily management, as well as getting through tough issues and dealing with conflict.

Your personal leadership strategy is a living document that details the DNA of your approach, and it will change as you grow as a leader. When you put your ideas to paper, you will feel much more confident and secure in your ability to handle leadership challenges as they arise.

Apply diplomacy to conflict

Your thoughtful nature can make you a wiz at handling conflict, even if you don’t really enjoy it. It all comes back to empathy, ease of communication, and the gift that many women have for reading people.

When conflict arises, start by listening before you speak. The more you understand about the other person’s side and the emotions or preconceptions that are leading them, the better you can present your argument. Try mastering a tem plated approach to conflict management and applying it when drama creeps in.

When there is conflict between teams, you can use your skills to facilitate a conversation with clear action steps between groups. Being the person who runs interference is a powerful leadership skill.

Keep score

Keeping a daily journal of what went well and not so well each day can be a very insightful tool. This process allows you to separate the emotion from the situation, and to see business successes and failures for what they really are. It also shows progress and is an opportunity to celebrate your wins, instead of holding yourself to standards that are unrealistic.

A journal like this also helps you identify your gaps, and make a plan to fill them. Some people use it as a means to shut the door at the end of the each day, and to get the day’s activities out of your system, putting you in a neutral space of innovation for the next day. And as you develop solutions for recurring conflicts, you will find that you can bring some of these ideas into the general business agenda as well.

When you begin to practice and master the soft skills you innately possess, you will see a shift in your effectiveness and overall satisfaction. And when you match these skills to the business agenda, the ROI will be obvious and measurable.

Article written by Courtney Feider, Global Leadership Consultant, Creativity and Brand Strategist at Adrian + Sabine.

For the complete article please visit,

Essence Recruitment and Consulting Firm Saskatoon Home Page

Close Your Interview on a Positive Note

We’ve all been there: It’s the end of the interview, and after nearly an hour of pouring your heart (and work experience) out to a potential employer, the hiring manager asks if you have any last questions before wrapping up.

It’s meant to be a formality, of course—a way to end the conversation without kicking you out right then and there. But it’s also an opportunity, intentional or not, to make one final impression and give your interviewer something to remember you by.

As Marshall Darr points out in his short piece on Medium, this final remark is actually a moment to “add value to the conversation” before you both head your separate ways. It’s especially noteworthy when you do manage to pull that off, since so many other candidates, having already asked many questions throughout the session, mindlessly shrug off this little last thing at the end.

But if you play your cards right, he says, it can turn a completely lost cause into a foot in the door. According to Darr, you should wrap things up nicely with this question:

“Actually yeah, I was wondering what your best moment so far at [Company Name] was?”

This simple ask, cleverly masked as innocent curiosity, can give you many important insights—on your interviewer’s values, the company, and how well you might fit in with a position there. Think about it: There’s no higher note to end on than with your interviewer’s fondest memory of the company, a feeling that can now be subconsciously associated with your prospects as a future employee.

And aside from being an emotional plus for you, it’ll also give you an idea of what your future co-workers might value, and the kind of culture that company cultivates for its team members. If your interviewer struggles to come up with a meaningful memory, that’s a helpful red flag for you to keep in mind if you end up with an offer.

So, the next time you’re hard-pressed for something to say in those awkward few moments before the door closes with you on the other side, give this question a shot. Odds are, it can only help.

Article written by, Caroline Liu, freelance writer, graphic designer, and computer programmer studying at Wesleyan University.

For the complete article please visit,

Essence Recruitment About Us FI

Advice To New Graduates Still Looking For The Right Opportunity

College graduates who packed up their dorm rooms last month but still haven’t found a job may be beginning to feel nervous about their prospects. Liz Wessel, cofounder and CEO of student-focused job and internship match site, WayUp, has some advice for those who may be imagining the future as permanent residents of their parents’ basement.

“I see so many recent grads freak out when they don’t have a job lined up for graduation. Just breathe! ” says Wessel. “ You are NOT alone.”

Wessel says that grads who still haven’t locked down a job are still in a strong position to find full-time employment over the next several months, and a few small tweaks to their job search and an open mind about available opportunities can make all the difference.

1. Take a a moment to reassess your application plan.
Grads without an employment plan may be feeling the pressure, but Wessel says not having work lined up when you don your cap and gown is not at all uncommon and no reason for panic.

Many of the companies that hire during the school year are large organizations looking to snag top talent before their competition has the chance, while companies with less robust hiring mechanisms often wait until after graduation so that applicants who are hired are available to start work immediately.

“Most new grads in the country will not work for employers who use these tactics, so there’s no need to assume you’re behind. Look for smaller and younger companies (who prefer to hire one to three months in advance), or even local businesses.

2. Missed your chance with your dream company? You might have another shot now.

If you missed the recruiting season for one of the bigger employers or applied and didn’t get an interview, you may have another opportunity. “Some of these larger players often underestimate their head count because they attempted to hire so far in advance,” says Wessel. “Their HR teams will quickly try to fill up spots starting now.”

3. Employers know you don’t have “one-to-three years of work experience” yet, and that’s OK.

Don’t be deterred by job descriptions that require applicants to have one to three years of job on the job experience. According to Wessel, most companies won’t rule out hiring a new graduate for this type of position, provided they have a relevant background and internship experience.

“We speak with businesses all the time who say that ‘one-to-three years of work experience’ still means that the role is entry-level, which means that new grads are OK to apply,” she says. “Employers are more than aware that recent grads have been in college and do not have 1-3 years of experience in any field.”

4. Evolve your search.

At this point in your job search Wessel says it may be time to expand your horizons. This may mean seeking roles in a city you hadn’t considered or exploring different types of companies or applications of your skill set. In particular, she recommends considering smaller operations where a new graduate can get lots of training and experience right off the bat–and which are likely still hiring.

“Working at a small boutique firm or a smaller-scale company can often push you to learn what you’re good at and how you’re going to excel,” says Wessel. Further, she says, “Look for training or rotational programs, which give you the opportunity to be in a somewhat structured environment where you still get to try out different roles to see what you like.”

Article by Kathryn Dill, Staff Reporter, Forbes.

For the complete article please visit,

Essence Recruitment Who We Are

It’s All About Finding The Right Fit For You.

The number one reason why employees change jobs varies depending on the source you’re reading. One list says its “appreciation and recognition,” while another says that “dissatisfaction with upper management” is to blame.

But whatever reason is given, one thing’s for sure: It can be grouped under the overarching category of “cultural fit”.

What Is Cultural Fit?

When we talk about cultural fit in a business setting, we’re talking about a common understanding of expectations. These expectations may relate to the times at which employees arrive at work. They may relate to the standards of dress required during business hours, or the office setup, or how formal or casual conversations should be. They may even include expectations about how quickly employees should respond to emails and phone calls.

Often, we assume that we can work in any environment. Or, we may feel that if there’s a problem with the environment, we’ll be able to fix it. It may never cross our minds that different offices operate with different sets of norms than we might be used to.

These details may seem insignificant at first, but the reality is that they can greatly influence your happiness at work.

What Do You Want in an Employer?

When I meet with a job seeker, I ask them to outline their future employer wish list. Often, however, they produce a list of what they want to avoid, rather than a list of what they want. At the top of the list is generally something like, “I want to work in a respectful environment.” This is the sort of requirement that seems incredibly basic – until it’s not.

Unfortunately, many office environments turn out to be unhealthy places to spend your time – but you often don’t learn this until you’ve already quit your old job and started at the new one.

This is a lesson we should all keep in mind when we interview. Rather than getting caught up in whether or not a company chooses us, we should spend more time thinking about whether we choose the company.

Finding the Right Fit for Yourself

There are a number of ways to determine whether or not a company is right for you. First, how do your priorities stack up against what the company has to offer? Is this a promotion over your last position? Does it offer more money or better benefits? The answers to these questions will be vitally important in evaluating any job opportunity that comes your way.

Then, you can look at sites like Glassdoor, where employees are encouraged to rate their employers in much the same way that customers rate hotels and restaurants.

Some of the information you can gather will be very direct and straightforward. Other information must be uncovered through thoughtful observation and research.

At the end of the day, it’s far less important that you receive an offer for every job you interview for. It’s more important to find a job that fits you. This will ultimately lead you to fewer jobs, but the ones that do surface will be much more closely matched to your skills, background, and preferred company culture. This will increase your chances of happiness and, therefore, success.

After all, you aren’t made for every job. Wait for the best fit.

Article written by Angela Copeland, Career Coach and CEO, Copeland Coaching.

For the complete article please visit,

It’s Graduation Season – 5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Career

Welcome to the workforce, Class of 2016! Not two weeks ago, you were posing for tasseled cap pictures with your shiny new diplomas, packing your bags, and moving out of your college digs. But now it’s time to get down to business and put that hard-earned degree to good use. It may be stressful and even intimidating at first, but the job hunt you embark on now is not just a paycheck search. In fact, if you play your cards right, your first position out of college can be much more than just a job. It can actually be the first step of your career—the beginning of all your future professional endeavors.

We spend our days talking with experts, reading the latest research, and leading discussions and training sessions worldwide, in all types of organizations. And one thing we’ve learned is that there a few basic practices any employee, even recent graduates, can do to cultivate a fantastic career.  Time and again these practices are shown to accelerate your climb to the top.

1. Ask more questions. Years of school have already taught you that there are no stupid questions. As you jump into your career, this mantra still rings true. Regardless of how thorough your orientation and information packet are, it’s unlikely your employer will cover all you need to know. You won’t be able to fully understand team dynamics, objectives, and office culture unless you ask for clarification when something is unclear. The HR department, your manager, and your new co-workers are all great resources of information. Once you’ve got your footing, start asking probing questions whose answers can add new ideas and business value. Questions that are curious and thought provoking, and explore how to develop and improve products and processes, have been proven to be the starting point of great work. Making a difference people love is a fantastic way to gain momentum and respect throughout your career.

2. Find a mentor. We recommend that every new hire seeks out a mentor at their organization, but this is especially crucial for recent grads. Whether it’s a senior leader in your department or even your funny coworker one cubicle over, you’ll find your professional world expands vastly once you find a great mentor. But, be mindful of your choice—negative people, will hinder your growth, while positive and supportive people will boost you. Not only will your mentor be the perfect sounding board for your questions, but they will also introduce you to new contacts, expand your business understanding, and impart their knowledge and skills. Many of the greatest entrepreneurs and leaders credit their success to a fantastic mentor who shared their insights. One day, you may too.

3. Work smarter. Conventional workplace advice tells you to be the first to arrive and the last to leave at your new job to demonstrate to the team that you’re dedicated from day one. But we’ve written about conventional advice and why it’s often wrong. So instead of working harder and longer, aim to work smarter. Before you step foot into your new office, educate yourself on the tools of the trade. Whether you read up on new programs or phone apps designed to integrate into your industry’s work, or the latest research pertaining to your specialty, get smart on how you can be more productive. It’s a fantastic way to show initiative and intelligence. Think of it as the professional version of doing your homework.

4. Get in the thick of the action. The majority of award-winning work happens when people step out into the world where their work is utilized. So if you want to take your next project from good to great, follow this simple piece of advice: go see for yourself. Witness how your product, process, or solution is used—and by whom. Discover its ease of operation, benefits, and possible shortcomings. You may be amazed at how different your perspective becomes when you’ve interacted hands-on with your work. Seeing for yourself is a great way to gain knowledge and experience—and to show you’re invested in the project. Then, take your project to the next level by checking out the other proven steps to great work.

5. Communicate clearly. In work as in life, most misunderstandings can be avoided by better communication. Learn to communicate clearly and concisely—whether you’re writing a department-wide email or leading a small meeting. Ask close friends or family members for feedback on how you can improve at your communication skills before you arrive in the office and take their words to heart. And once you get to work, remember to communicate your appreciation when you see a job well done. Nothing conveys professionalism like a sincere, meaningful expression of gratitude.

Regardless of your industry, starting position, experience, or company, these tips hold true. Hang up your cap and gown and try this advice on for size instead. You hold the future in your hands—and it’s up to you to mold your own fantastic career path from day one. Congratulations, Class of 2016!

Article by David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, writers and contributors, Forbes.

For the complete article please visit,