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2016

Develop Your Skills

March 2016 Previous month Next month

For twentysomethings, growing up in today’s technology saturated world isn’t always easy. Twentysomethings face a myriad of challenges and obstacles that their predecessors never had to face, and yet, they are magically expected to leap over these hurdles with little to no guidance while also facing the judgment of their superiors.

 

However, while it seems like older generations cannot relate to the younger generations of today, in reality, they can actually offer a lot of real world advice that twentysomethings will still find applicable to life today.

 

Older generations look back and recall humorous, entertaining, and thoughtful lessons that influenced their youth and defined who they are today. And while sharing those stories, they cover everything from how to define success and handle heartbreak to following one’s passion and not letting fear get in the way. But no matter what they say or how they say it, twentysomethings can benefit from the encouragement and guidance that can only come from someone who has been there before.

 

Here we share thoughts and advice from authors, CEOs, and community leaders on what they wish they had known when they were 22 years old.

 

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If you are lucky enough to be your own boss, that’s great. But for the rest of us who have to maintain a working relationship with our managers, it can be easier said than done. However, since your relationship with your boss is arguably one of the most important, if not the most important, work relationships you will have, it’s worth putting the effort into.

 

A variety of factors, everything from personality to work styles, can affect the employee-manager relationship. And while it is not necessary to be best friends with your boss, having a good rapport can go a long way in making the time you spend at work more enjoyable and less stressful. The benefits can even carry over into your personal life since the less stressed you are about work, the less stressed you are overall.

 

It’s worth the effort to try to get along with your boss, and there are a variety of things you can do to reap the benefits. To learn more, check out the 10 Myths About Your Employee-Manager Relationship. In it, you’ll discover how to deal with unfair treatment at work, how to develop a good working relationship with your boss, and how to work with your manager to find your own path to success.

 

 

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It’s rare these days that a project goes off without a hitch. Usually, at the very least, there’s some minor conflict or setback that triggers tense moments and fast decisions. It’s easy to write these smaller struggles off as unimportant, but these are exactly the kind of situations that need to be managed with care and finesse rather than quick patch-ups and forced camaraderie.

 

The first defense against conflict is to try and have a solid plan in place that does not allow room for ambiguity or mistakes. However, since we’re all human, mistakes and errors do occur. When that happens, the extent of the damages a conflict causes will be a result of how quickly and effectively the situation is managed. Having an open door and conducting focus groups at the beginning of the project can be a great way to get things off to a successful start.

 

However, when conflicts do arise while working on a project, one of the best ways to manage them is to take time to get to the root of the issues. Spending time with colleagues to understand their concerns and then being sure to follow up after a proposed resolution has been put in place can go a long way to smoothing over hurt feelings.

 

Managing conflict resolution is by no means an easy task, but there are steps leaders can take to ensure they know the best practices of how to proceed when conflict arises. For more information on how to deal with conflict when it rears its head, check out 10 Ways to Manage Conflict in Project.

 

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What does it take to be a successful leader? Anyone can be put into a leadership position, no matter his or her age, but not everyone is successful at becoming a good leader. Anyone beginning their leadership development must effectively grow into the role and work to become the type of leader people willingly want to follow.

 

You might think that if you asked everyone across the world what traits and characteristics the people they follow and respect possess, you would get as many answers as there are people. But you would be wrong.

 

Across cultures and decades, people have gravitated to the same few leadership qualities, showing that these traits are universally admired and desired. But if it really is as simple as adopting a few traits, then why isn’t everyone an amazing leader? It comes down to understanding these traits and implementing them in a way that your team or colleagues will be able to relate to and understand.

 

Studying and employing the characteristics of a good leader can help you to become a respected leader that others admire. To learn more about what these qualities are and how you can implement them into your leadership style, check out the 4 Qualities Every Student Leader Should Have from Wiley.

 

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What to Expect From the GMAT Exam

Posted Mar 31, 2016

The decision to attend business school is one that can affect your entire career. It can propel you to the next level and set you up for future success. However, it can take months of research and preparation to find the school and program right for you. But despite all the best preparation, there is one important milestone to achieve before you can apply to your school of choice—the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).

 

The GMAT is a standardized test required by many business schools as part of the admissions process. The more competitive your score on the exam, the higher the likelihood you’ll be admitted.

 

But standardized tests can be daunting, especially for anyone who has been out of the school environment or learning mindset for several years. Preparing for the exam can be a challenge, but all is not lost!

 

To find out what you need to know about the GMAT, including exam format, questions, scoring, and study prep, check out this helpful infographic, The Official Guide to Your Best GMAT, from Wiley.

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You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who actually looks forward to taking an exam, and you’d be much more likely to find someone cramming in study time at the last minute, trying to absorb as much information as possible before the test.

 

Some people even pull all-nighters, staying up all night studying for a test the next day, all at the expense of proper rest and memory retention. While all-nighters might seem like a good option, they can leave you feeling drained and sluggish and could even hurt your performance on the exam.

 

However, there are many ways test takers can prepare for an exam without having to pull an all-nighter. Besides, your brain is more likely to retain the information when you study in shorter increments instead of cramming the day before the test. But everything from planning study locations to the people you study with can help you to better prepare and ace the test.

 

To learn more tips that can help you stave off an all-nighter, check out the Essential Study Tips to Avoid All-Nighters Before Exams. You’ll be better prepared and feel more in control before your next exam.

 

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7 Common Job Hunting Myths

Posted Mar 31, 2016

Whether you’re getting ready to start your career or hoping to move in a new direction, looking for a new job can be one of the most stressful times of your life. You hover inside a cloud of uncertainty over whether or not your resume made it to the hiring manager, whether or not you said the right thing in the interview, or in some cases whether or not you can even pay your rent this month while you hold out for an offer.

 

While all of those uncertainties press in around you, it can seem like an easy solution to give up your job hunt before you even begin or to take a position that doesn’t truly interest you. But while it may seem hopeless at times, all is not lost. There are a lot of myths surrounding job searches that simply aren’t true. For instance, that being good at interviews is the most important thing, when in reality it is not. There are several steps before that, like writing and editing your resume and getting the HR department to notice it that can be just as important. Some people may say that you’d be a fool not to take the first job offered to you. But if it’s something you know you’ll dislike, taking it may not be your best choice.

 

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of myths surrounding job hunting, but don’t let these dated ideas hold you back from finding the right job for you. For tips on how to ignore common job hunting myths and get yourself back on track while job hunting, check out these 7 common job hunting myths.

 

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If you had to guess what one skill employers look for most in employees and potential candidates, it might take you a few guesses to figure out that it isn’t good interview skills or their knowledge of certain software. It’s actually a skill that encompasses those and so much more because the skill they are looking for is leadership. Employers are looking to hire employees who can work well on teams, take initiative, communicate well, work strategically, problem solve, and guide and inspire those around them.

 

These are the kinds of skills that can take an organization from good to great because they’re the traits that continually drive individuals forward and help them exceed their potential. Moreover, good leaders, no matter their age or level of seniority, can create successful teams, foster loyalty and commitment, enhance motivation, and generate better outcomes.

 

With all the benefits of employing good leaders, it is easy to see why companies and hiring mangers are actively seeking out candidates with this ability. But what can individuals do to ensure that they have the skills it takes to be a good leader? They can start by checking out Leadership Competencies and the Skills Employers Look For. Here we explain some of the top skills that will help you to become an individual others want to follow and believe in.

 

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The Merits of Mentoring

Posted Mar 31, 2016

Today’s workforce has changed greatly from what it was many years ago. Millennials just beginning their careers now share workspaces and roles with older, more experienced colleagues who are often used to doing things a certain a way. This situation could be rife with conflict.

 

However, one key factor can prevent these two groups from going head to head and actually bring real benefits to work and office culture. That factor? Mentoring.

 

Mentoring is a great way to get newer employees onboard with office culture quickly and efficiently. It makes them feel welcome and a part of the team from the very start. It also gives them a resource for learning important information about the organization in a one-on-one setting. Those who have mentors typically experience higher levels of career satisfaction and commitment.

 

And mentoring isn’t just good for individuals; it is also good for organizations. Mentoring programs can help attract and retain top talent, which can have positive impacts on the bottom line. These programs and relationships allow employees to build confidence and be better prepared for their job roles, which move the entire company forward toward a path of success.

 

To learn more about the many benefits of mentoring and why every organization should invest in a mentoring program, check out the Merits of Mentoring infographic.

 

 

 

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What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question often asked of children who seemingly could do anything with their lives. It’s a questions asked far less often of adults. Perhaps now the question they’re asked more is, “What do you want your day-to-day job experience to be like?”

 

When starting a job search, this is a great question to keep in the forefront of your mind because it will play a large role in the types of jobs you will research and apply for. It may even effect the location of the job and the types of coworkers you want around you.

 

Knowing what you are looking for in a job is the first step to helping you find a job you want. Do you work better with people or alone? Do you want to travel? Do you want to be able to work from home? These are all factors that can play into your job search, and knowing the answers to questions like those can guide you to the jobs that are more likely to be a good fit for you. Additionally, knowing those answers will help to keep you from having to start the process all over again when you realize the job you’ve taken isn’t one you’ll be happy and productive in.

 

Looking for a job can be a daunting process, but keeping in mind the ideals you want that job to have can keep you focused and hopeful. To learn more about how to focus your job search and discover the fundamental elements you’re looking for in a career, check out Starting Your Job Search.

 

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What qualities would it take for you to follow a leader, not because you have to, but because you want to? It turns out that what people look for most in a leader hasn't changed over time and doesn't vary across countries, cultures, or ethnicities. Research show there are four main qualities people across the globe look for in the leaders they admire. Learn more in this infographic highlighting the top 4 characteristics of admired leaders.