Don’t say any of these 6 things during a job interview, and expect to get an offer

By J.T. O’Donnell

Each and every little thing you say (yes, even just one sentence) during a job interview shapes whether or not a hiring manager thinks you are a strong fit for the job.

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And sometimes, it may be tempting to give an answer that felt right at the time, but in hindsight was extremely poor and made you seem weak or average. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself in advance of what to resist saying.

Here are six responses to avoid if you want to boost your chances of landing an offer, along with tips and examples of what to say instead:

1. ‘I’m a motivated self-starter.’

I’ve heard so many candidates say this in response to questions about their professional strengths or notable characteristics.

It’s a wildly overused answer, and if you find yourself saying it, the best case scenario is that your interviewer will ask you to elaborate. Worst case (and likely) scenario? They’ll be unimpressed because they’ve heard it so many times, and move on.

A more appropriate response might be: “I’m not afraid to take the lead on projects, and I can do so with little guidance,” followed by an example of a time when you successfully did this.

2. ‘In five years, I hope to be in your position.’

Don’t think that your potential boss will be flattered by this answer; they’ll just find it lazy and thoughtless.

And even if they are at an impressive level in their career, they might assume that you envision being where they are — just at a different company. This indicates a lack of commitment.

Instead, outline potential ways you see yourself growing at the organization. Start with the position you’re interviewing for and highlight some key skills required for the job, and how you can build upon those skills.

This shows that not only do you care about your career advancement, but that you’ll also be dedicated to helping the company grow in the long-term.

3. ‘I didn’t like my previous boss.’

Never speak badly about a former boss, no matter how bad of an experience you may have had.

When asked about why you left a job, it’s okay to admit that it wasn’t a right fit. Honestly is a valuable trait, but be careful with how you phrase things.

Instead, you could say that you realized your passion and want to switch career paths. Or maybe you’re looking for something more challenging. It’s also good to mention at least one thing you learned from your previous job that can help you succeed in the role you’re applying for.

If you were fired, explain the situation without taking or assigning blame. Talk about what you could have done differently to change the outcome. This displays self-awareness and an ability to grow from negative experiences.

4. ‘My biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist.’

Nobody is perfect, so this answer is essentially another way of saying, “I’m too weak to admit any weaknesses.”

This is a behavioral question that managers take seriously, so have an in-depth response prepared. I always recommend turning to former bosses and co-workers that you trust for feedback.

Send them a list of the top skills required for the position and ask them to rank it based on what they think is your strongest to least strongest.

Ultimately, it comes down to being honest about what you need to work on, giving some examples, and then discussing how you plan to work on those weaknesses.

5. ‘Can you tell me more about the company?’

Believe it or not, I’ve seen even the most qualified candidates ask this question in various ways (e.g., “What are your company’s main goals?” or “What does your company do?”).

The hiring manager took the time to read your resume and learn more about your background, so you’re expected to do the same and make time to research them.

It’s okay to ask them to elaborate on a very specific questions (e.g., “What are your team’s monthly goals?”), but going into the interview with little information about the company is insulting and will lead to a poor first impression.

6. ‘What do your perks and benefits look like?’

Yes, it’s unwise to take any job without knowing what your employee benefits will be. But you should never bring it up early in the interview process, because it will only make the employer question your true intentions.

Remember, the first few interviews are meant to determine whether you should continue to be in the running for the position. So topics involving perks and benefits are irrelevant if you don’t even make it past those early rounds.

Source: If you say any of these 6 things during the job interview, don’t expect to get an offer: Career expert (

Careers where women earn more than men

By Juliet Bennett Rylah for Cheapism©

Slide 1 of 12: It's common knowledge women typically make less in the workforce — around 81 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts, according to Labor Department statistics. But how accurate that number is and the reasons behind it are widely discussed and debated. Some suggest that women often make less because they are more likely to hold lower-paying jobs. Data from the National Women’s Law Center states that women make up 47% of the workforce, but account for 69% of employees in jobs that pay $10 an hour or less. Meanwhile, Glassdoor found that nine out of the 10 highest-paying college majors (such as engineering, physics, and computer science) are dominated by men, while women are more prominent in six of the 10 lowest-paying majors (including in liberal arts and social sciences). But even men and women with the same majors often split into different job titles within industries where men wind up in positions that pay more.There's good news: Women often make higher wages than men if they are in male-dominated fields, especially when joining unions within those fields. As the gender pay gap persists, these jobs are few and far between and subject to a wide variety of variables, but they are out there.

 © SolStock/istockphoto

Well Heeled

It’s common knowledge women typically make less in the workforce — around 81 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts, according to Labor Department statistics. But how accurate that number is and the reasons behind it are widely discussed and debated. Some suggest that women often make less because they are more likely to hold lower-paying jobs. Data from the National Women’s Law Center states that women make up 47% of the workforce, but account for 69% of employees in jobs that pay $10 an hour or less. Meanwhile, Glassdoor found that nine out of the 10 highest-paying college majors (such as engineering, physics, and computer science) are dominated by men, while women are more prominent in six of the 10 lowest-paying majors (including in liberal arts and social sciences). But even men and women with the same majors often split into different job titles within industries where men wind up in positions that pay more.

There’s good news: Women often make higher wages than men if they are in male-dominated fields, especially when joining unions within those fields. As the gender pay gap persists, these jobs are few and far between and subject to a wide variety of variables, but they are out there.

Wholesale and Retail Buyers

Gap in women’s favor: Less than 1 cent more per dollar
Women in this profession, who work selecting and buying goods or services a company needs, are not going to make much more than their male coworkers, but with very few professions giving the edge to the ladies, this one makes the cut. Interestingly, the 2019 Glassdoor Progress on the Gender Pay Gap report notes that, as a whole, male professionals in the retail industry are paid quite a bit more than women.

Postal Service Clerk …

Gap in women’s favor: 2 cents more per dollar
Those ladies behind the counter at your post office make, on average, 2 to 3 cents more than those dudes standing next to them, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interestingly, however, the same is not true for mail carriers, where men are paid a whopping 18 cents more an hour than women. Not cool, USPS.

… And Lots of Other Clerks

Gap in women’s favor: 2 to 11 cents more per dollar
This is admittedly rather vague, and that’s because, according to BLS, female clerks of all types — billing and posting clerks, reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks, office clerks, production, planning, and expediting clerks, and receptionists and information clerks make more than men. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks saw the biggest payoff — the ladies there make an average of 11 cents more an hour. The problem here is that none of these jobs are very high paying to begin with.


Gap in women’s favor: 3 cents more per dollar
Female wordsmiths are making a few cents more per dollar than their male counterparts, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that, in 2018, women editors made an average annual salary of $59,176 to the men in their same profession, who pull in $57,408.


Gap in women’s favor: 5 cents more per dollar 
The study of body movement, a college major similar to exercise movement and one you might pursue if interested in becoming a personal trainer or physical therapist, is one of Glassdoor’s lowest-paying majors, tied with criminal justice. Still, the wage gap here is in women’s favor according to the website’s 2017 economic study — women’s $43,000 annual average salary to men’s $41,000. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as BLS’s 2918 statistics note that male physical therapists are paid more by a margin of 2 cents per dollar. 

Chemical Engineering

Gap in women’s favor: 5 cents more per dollar 
It’s not surprising this STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field is lucrative. It’s also one that typically attracts more men, although women who pursue it excel, making an average $63,770 a year in chemical engineering to men’s $60,480, according to Glassdoor.

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Gap in women’s favor: 5 cents more per dollar
The BLS notes that women’s average weekly pay in this career, where workers perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents, is $953 versus men’s $917.

Advertising Sales Agent

Gap in women’s favor: 10 cents more per dollar 
The gap among advertising majors is in women’s favor by an average $54,756 to $49,400. Women also hold 60% of professional positions in advertising, says Avi Dan, a contributor to Forbes, but black employees are poorly represented and still make only 80 cents for every dollar earned by a white colleague.

Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician

Gap in women’s favor: 10 cents more per dollar
Women who have a passion for the laboratory and can stomach bodily fluids can earn more than men in this profession, BLS reports. They make an average of $47,372, nearly $5,000 more per year than their male counterparts.

Food Prep and Food Service Worker

Gap in women’s favor: 14 cents more per dollar
It might not be the loftiest of career goals, or pay the most, but women who work in food prep and service, which includes fast food workers, make a fair bit more than their male coworkers.


Gap in women’s favor: 93 cents more per dollar 
This is one job where the wage gap is completely reversed. Female models make quite a bit more than male models. Looking at a Forbes report released earlier this decade that compared the 10 highest-paid female and male models over two years, women made a total of about $105 million while the men clocked in at about $7.6 million. Women’s fashion is a bigger market, and the work is higher-paying and more abundant. However, as French model Baptiste Nicol noted in a Huffington Post story: “You have to take into account that a male model will have his best earning years between 30 and 50” — by which time, the outlet went on to write, “most female models’ maximum earning potential is behind them.” Sigh. But, it should be noted, that this is an industry in which even the non-super contingent of female models are paid about $13,000 more per year than the rank-and-file male models.  

Source: Careers where women earn more than men (

Critical Thinking Skills [Infographic]

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Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going.

Here is a simple infographic offering questions that work to develop critical thinking on any given topic. Whenever your students discover or talk about new information, encourage them to use these questions for sparking debate and the sharing of opinions and insights among each other. Together they can work at building critical thinking skills in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.


How Does It Work?

Critical thinking is thinking about purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving with freedom from bias or egocentric tendencies. You can apply critical thinking to any kind of subject, problem, or situation you choose. We made the Critical Thinking Skills Graphic for you with this in mind.

The Critical Thinking Skills Graphic includes categories for Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Each section has eight questions that begin with their corresponding word. The questions are meant to be versatile and broad, and applicable to a range of topics.

In these questions, you’ll find great potential conversation starters and fillers. That said, this is obviously not a definitive list! Let them inspire your students to come up with their own questions for critical thinking skill-building.

Source: The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic] – Wabisabi Learning

Lose These 8 Common Words

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One way confidence is judged is by an individual’s behavior, especially verbal behavior. That’s according to Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Professor Tannen has been researching the influence of linguistic style on conversations and human relationships since 1974. She has also studied how ways of speaking learned in childhood affect judgments of competence and confidence in the workplace for several years.

How we speak, she says, determines who gets heard, who gets credit, and what gets done. Tannen gives the following example: one publishing company executive said, “I’m hiring a new manager. I’m going to put him in charge of my marketing division,” as if he owned the corporation. In stark contrast, women were saying “we” when referring to work they alone had done. One woman explained that it would sound too self-promoting to claim credit in an obvious way by saying, “I did this.” Yet she expected—sometimes vainly—that others would know it was her work and would give her the credit.

You might think that your way of speaking is natural, but the words you use and how you use them can determine how your confidence is judged. While there is no such thing as right or wrong words—results vary depending on the context—some common words we use in conversation really just put us at a disadvantage because they are weak and make us seem less confident.

1. “Um” and “Ah”

Many people throw in an “um” whenever they are temporarily lost for words. But there is a reason you won’t hear these crutch words, as they are known in public speaking, in news bulletins and TV shows. “Um”s and “Ah”s make people seem not only less confident, but also dumb. If you are guilty of this habit, stop it. Instead, take a brief pause when you are temporarily lost for words.

2. “Like” and “You know”

Some other people can’t go three sentences without appending a “like” to the beginning of a sentence. This is not a good if you want people to take what you say seriously. “Like” and “You know” are close cousins to crutch words. They make you look silly and incompetent when overused.

3. “Just”

Saying things like, “Just wanted to ask a question” or “Just checking in” weakens your statements and waters down your requests. You seem less sure of yourself and less confident than you probably are. Drop the extra word and speak like a boss. Talk like you know what you want.

4. “Kind Of”

The words “kind of” or “sort of” used in conversations make you come across as vague and ambiguous. You look like you have no idea what’s going on or are afraid of committing. Unless you want people to think you are timid or clueless of what’s going on, don’t misuse these words.

5. “Hopefully”

If you are always saying “hopefully” to everything in conversation or that you’ll hopefully get something done, you’re actually telling people that you don’t have control over situations. This can backfire on you because it can communicate that you are weak, powerless or even unreliable.

6. “Actually”

“Actually” has become the new “basically” or “literally.” People use it even where it doesn’t stylistically make sense. For example, the phrase “but actually” is terribly misused. This particular usage is often unnecessary (fluff) and can make you seem uninformed and pitiful.

7. “Sorry”

99% of the times people use the word “sorry” in conversations where no apology is necessary. Saying things like, “Sorry, can you come visit me?” or “Sorry, can I take you out?” can be misinterpreted to mean you’re not confident. Drop the “sorry” and say what you mean confidently. If you want to apologize for something, say sorry like you really mean it.

8. F-bomb

Dropping the occasional f-bomb (curse words) can add emphasis to what you are saying. But, often curse words are unnecessary and plain offensive. They suggest you are insecure about what is being discussed or are simply a rude and brutish individual. Cut curse words from your conversations.

Possible solution for glitches in conversation

Admittedly, getting rid of these communication glitches is not easy. The mistakes creep into your conversations before you realize it. However, a technique you can use to curb these errors (suggested by improvement thinkers like Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, and also bloggers like Scott H. Young) is to keep a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you make a communication blunder (say, using um’s and ah’s), switch the rubber band onto your opposite wrist. If you can go seven days with the band staying on the same wrist, you’re making progress.


Ways to manage burnout during a long job search

By Jennifer Liu for CNBC

Today’s job prospects are a far cry from early 2020 projections that the year would put job seekers in the driver’s seat of finding new work. Across the country, tens of millions of Americans continue to receive unemployment benefits seven months into the pandemic-induced economic freefall. And according to the latest available data, there was roughly one job opening for every two people out of work in August.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop

© Provided by CNBC

Studies have shown that extended unemployment and underemployment can have a longstanding impact on a job seeker’s physical and mental health. And during a triple health, economic and racial justice crisis in America, the stress of being without a job and steady income can feel even more staggering.

CNBC Make It spoke with experts for guidance on how to manage feelings of burnout while job searching during the pandemic.

Limit your job-hunting hours

There are plenty of things out of your control that are probably contributing to everyday stress: the economy, the job market, news of the election, enduring examples of racism in the country — not to mention the presence of the coronavirus itself.

While these issues can’t be ignored, Austin-based therapist Melody Li and founder of the Inclusive Therapists community says it’s crucial to focus on what you can control in order to ease stress and burnout. When it comes to the job search, while you can’t control how long it will take you to find new work, you can control how much time you give to the process on a daily and weekly basis.

Dan Black, global recruiting leader for the consulting firm EY, recommends spending between 1 and 3 hours a day during a typical work week actively job hunting. Block out a time of day when you’re most productive, whether that’s first thing in the morning, or in the afternoon when you’re done caring for kids doing virtual learning or another time. And like other experts, he says sticking to a routine — making your bed, showering, getting dressed — can put you in a more focused mindset.

Give yourself a ‘win’ every day

For the remainder of your day, Black recommends you schedule in tasks to complete that can give you a sense of accomplishment. That could mean doing another hour or two of career-related tasks, such as completing an online training course or attending a virtual conference. Or it could even be things you need to get done around the house.

“If you spend an entire day doing something and it doesn’t yield results immediately or soon thereafter, it’s a blow to your ego no matter who you are,” Black says. “Carve out pieces of your day that you can count as successes.”

Pay attention to your surroundings

Another part of your job search you have control over is your environment. Sending off emails from your couch in front of the TV for hours on end isn’t sustainable and can be hard on both the body and the mind, Li says.

“Some people may think, ‘This is temporary, so I don’t want to invest the time to create a nice environment,'” Li adds. However, she explains that this kind of thinking can put undue stress on your expectations that you’ll find a job immediately. Being intentional about your surroundings “will help with your sustainability and general energy while job searching.”

Improvements can be simple: Try putting on some joyful music during your job search hours, lighting a scented candle, wearing something that makes you feel good and setting up your laptop so you have something nice, such as the view outside a window, to look at.

Plan something to look forward to every week

With much of daily life now relegated to online activity, Li says it’s crucial to break up the monotony mentally as well as physically.

“Our minds are not wired to thrive on monotony. Our minds are wired to thrive on variety,” she says of being constantly attached to devices. “So when we start to starve out parts of our mind, like creativity and activity, which is common now during Covid, we may feel sluggish.” This, in turn, can make an already depleting job-search experience even worse: “We may feel our brains aren’t as sharp or we’re having a hard time finding words during an interview.”

Instead, make a commitment to yourself to do something active and creative at least once a week, such as going on a long weekend hike or adding a new plant to your garden. Plan it in advance.

“Give yourself something to look forward to every week,” Li says. “Some folks are holding out on kindness to themselves until they find a job. They think they’re not deserving of joy, but that’s self-punishment. On top of feeling rejected, that accumulates and can become anxiety or depression.”

Instead of feeling guilty that you’re taking time away from applying to jobs, remember that prioritizing your well-being will help you feel recharged when you get back to it.

Build a job-search buddy system

For many people, a paradox of the pandemic is that they need support from friends and family more than ever, yet interacting in person brings its own set of risks. And with so much going on, you may feel that you don’t want to burden others when they have their own struggles to deal with.

Still, there are other ways to find support from people in a similar situation as you, says Claire Wasserman, founder of the Ladies Get Paid career-development community and author of a forthcoming book. She suggests forming a group of five or so people, whether in your own network or through an online platform, to talk through your experiences job searching during the pandemic.

Sharing your experience can keep you from shouldering the challenge, and burnout, on your own. Wasserman says being honest can help others feel less alone in their experience, too.

“Being transparent about what you’re going through is helping another person,” she says. “Shift your mindset and know, it’s not about demonstrating weakness or like you’re being a burden. Everybody at some point has to figure out how to find a new job or negotiate your salary.”

The positive reinforcement of others in a similar boat can also keep you motivated when constant non-response — or flat-out rejection — can feel like a reflection of your self-worth.

Additionally, such networks can help you power up your job-search process by providing networking opportunities; resume and cover letter help; interview feedback and so on. Regular group check-ins on progress can also keep you accountable to hitting your job-search goals.

Remember that none of this is personal

As bleak as things are across many parts of the job market, it’s hard to not take it personally when you don’t hear back from a hiring manager. But each expert reiterates that it’s crucial to try and get out of this mindset. The outcome of your application is dependent on the complex ecosystem of the job market, down to how each organization has changed its hiring process in light of the pandemic.

Also remember that, if an opportunity outside your normal field presents itself, how you earn income isn’t a reflection of yourself.

“If you need money and need it now, there’s absolutely no shame in that,” Wasserman says. “Maybe on your resume it doesn’t make sense, but no one will look at your job in this year and think, ‘Why did you work this random customer service job in 2020?'”

Li says it can be helpful to write out a list of the things you’re good at and display it as a reminder. Check in with friends and family about non-work-related things.

And finally, “Take into account this is a tough time for a lot of people,” Black says. “But just because you haven’t heard back yet doesn’t mean you’re not qualified, or that you’re never going to find a job, or that you’re no good. Give yourself some forgiveness.”


The 9 Best Jobs for Introverts

by Andre Sólo (Note: Written in 2018 pre-covid)

The Best Jobs for Introverts

I believe these strengths are the best guide to finding a happy career for an introvert. Here are my top nine recommendations for careers for introverts:

1. The legal profession

When you hear “lawyer,” do you picture a strong-voiced extrovert who’s always up for public debate? That image is far from accurate. According to the data, the majority of attorneys are introverts. And that makes sense: Even trial lawyers spend most of their time researching, writing, and preparing for cases — all of which are areas where introverts excel. (Plus, many practice areas don’t involve arguing in front of a judge at all.) Introverts also make great paralegals, a detail-oriented profession that’s big on research and writing, keeping you out of the spotlight.

2. Business-to-business sales

Most salespeople sell to consumers, forcing them to be “on” to hook people with their charisma. But business-to-business (B2B) sales is a very different profession. While personality still matters, no profitable business is going to spend tens of thousands of dollars (or millions) just because you made them laugh. Instead, it’s all about listening to their needs, customizing what you offer, and working with them to get a solution that fits. Introverts can be amazing in these positions; it’s a job that prizes knowledge, listening skills, and meaningful discussion — and it’s often heavy on written communication.

3. Creative professions

We live in an age fueled by content, whether it’s video, photo, or written. That means there are more jobs than ever before for full-time professional creatives, as well as endless freelance opportunities. Since introverts tend to be creative in general, any of these can be a fit, but photographer, video editor, and animator can be particularly good positions — all involve a lot of solo work. Just look carefully at the company culture when applying, because some agencies focus entirely on collaboration, while others understand the need for focused work time.

4. Researcher (any kind)

This is a broad category, because there are researchers in just about any industry. While each field will have its own idiosyncracies, all researcher positions require two things that are introvert strengths: written communication and extensive solo work. In some cases, these positions can be easy to transition into from your existing career, which is a godsend for introverts who feel “stuck” doing something draining. Just be aware of your preferred work style: some research positions, like marketing research, are likely to involve big-picture thinking and spotting trends, while others (medical researcher) will be much more repetitive, requiring you to follow the same procedures every day.

5. Self-employed

A huge number of introverts have found happiness simply by making the switch from regular employee to self-employed. This can take many forms, whether you’re an entrepreneur striking out to start a new business (which isn’t for everyone), or you’re a freelancer doing work on a project-by-project basis. Introverts thrive as freelancers because they love working independently and getting to use their own insights. It also means you can set your own schedule, control your environment, and lower your stimulation level (no more introvert hangover, at least from work). If you’re looking to transition into self-employment, it’s often easiest to keep your day job while you build up clients as a side-business, then go full-on freelance once the numbers make sense.

6. Working outdoors

Anytime you see a list of professions for introverts, you’re likely to see at least one or two “nature-y” positions — and for good reason. Whether it’s landscaper, park ranger, forester, or botanist, outdoor work tends to involve a lot of long quiet periods. There’s no question that some jobs involve working with teams, but with the physical and unconfined nature of the work, it’s easy to be the quiet one or to simply stay lost in your thoughts. In many of these jobs, you’ll also be surrounded by natural beauty, which is good for mental health and helps imbue a job with a sense of meaning.

7. Anything IT

The burgeoning technology field is still a growth industry, especially in roles like systems administrator, software engineer, data analyst, or web developer. But these jobs aren’t just in demand (and generally well-paid); they also involve plenty of focused, individual work — often with an emphasis on creative problem-solving or building something new.

8. Social media marketing (SMM)

In most of history, it’s been almost impossible to command a large audience without putting yourself personally in the spotlight. Social media marketing has changed that, however, and it’s a highly valued skill that creative introverts excel at. SMM combines business sense, creativity with words and pictures, and the ability to pay attention to an audience and their needs. It’s also a career path that you can either get formally trained in or simply master through practice and offer on a freelance basis. As a bonus, this is a skill you can easily apply to your own projects or causes you believe in, so it can help introverts pursue their own passions as well as build a career.

9. Counselor

Out of all the caring professions, working as a counselor or therapist might be one of the most perfectly suited to introverts. While it requires people time, much of it is one-on-one or small-group — a situation where introverts are at their best. Likewise, much of the therapist’s role is to listen, listen, listen, then put those deep-thinking introvert skills to work by helping someone come to their own realizations. Almost nothing is more meaningful than helping others and seeing the result.

Of course, there’s no one “best” career for introverts. Even in the right field, your job happiness will depend on the culture, your boss, and your coworkers — as well as simply knowing what you want in life. One of the best ways to do that is to think about what energizes and drains you, and narrow career options down from there. 


5 daily exercises that will make you a better communicator

business meeting
Sandra Mu/Getty Images

The most successful people listen more than they speak.

That’s according to legendary industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who passed the lesson on to Napoleon Hill for his 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich.”

He meant that people who excel use conversations to learn from others rather than inflate their own egos.

Speaker and author Julian Treasure gave a popular TED Talk in 2011 about the ways in which we are more distracted and worse at listening than ever before.

Studies have found that about 40% of one’s time spent communicating is spent listening, and by a wide margin more time is spent listening to others than reading, writing, or speaking.

Treasure recommends practicing focused listening as much as any other communication skills. He offers five simple exercises to become a better listener.

Immerse yourself in silence.

Treasure says the brain develops filters for sound so that it doesn’t become overwhelmed by stimuli. For example, if you’re at a noisy party, you’ll still likely be able to recognize someone shouting your name.

In order to “re-calibrate” your ears, Treasure recommends a period of meditation in complete silence, even if it’s only a few minutes each day. You may as well use the opportunity to quiet the cacophony of thoughts in your head, too.

Break soundscapes down.

Treasure recommends taking a moment to think of your mind like an audio mixer, breaking down every sound you hear in a setting in the same way a producer would isolate different instruments and vocals when working on a song. You can try selecting different channels of sound in a café, the office, or even in a song itself.

The exercise will allow you to enhance your selective listening.

Enjoy the mundane.

Focus your mind on sounds you would normally ignore, like your washing machine or a car driving by. This can help you break a habit of drowning out sounds around you when you become distracted.

Adjust your listening positions.

Treasure says this exercise is by far the most effective.

In the same way you imagined your mind as a sound mixer, practice jumping among each of the sound channels around you. If you’re listening to a song, try listening only to the drums before listening only to the bass line, for example.

Similarly, practice jumping among different perspectives. Try listening to a speech from a critical perspective, rapidly processing the validity of statements and their meaning, and then try listening from an empathetic perspective, focusing more on the emotion of the words and how the speaker is delivering them.

Practice engagement with another person.

And finally, learn how to be a better conversationalist.

Treasure says to remember the acronym “RASA.”

“Receive” by making eye contact with and focusing on the other person; “Appreciate” by giving indications of acknowledgment through cues like head nods or short vocal replies; “Summarize” by getting the other person to clarify the point of anything that doesn’t register; and “Ask” by giving follow-up questions to whatever you just learned.


Your Next Career Move

By Kathleen Furore, Tribune Content Agency

An early September poll from Monster shows that candidates are optimistic about the jobs market moving forward. In fact, 90% of respondents said they’re ready to reassess and reflect on their goals at this point in the year, and 64% said searching for a new job is at the top of their to-do list.

a person holding a sign: If you’ re one of the myriad people considering a job switch soon, looking at job categories that are poised to grow is a good place to start.

© Dreamstime/TNS 

When I read those statistics, I immediately wondered: If you’re someone considering a job reset, how can you make sure your next career move is one that will meet your personal as well as your professional goals?

Keeping the right fit top of mind will help ensure your values and the company’s values align, according to Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, who notes that the “right fit” can encompass many things: job responsibilities, title, salary, room for growth, company culture, employee benefits, perks, camaraderie and relationships with your potential boss and colleagues, the commute and/or ability to work remotely among them.

Outlining goals and prioritizing what you need most, then conducting what Salemi calls “copious research on employers” before you begin the job search are other important steps.

“For instance, if the job seeker needs more balance between their personal and professional lives and wants to work from home a few days each week and in an office the remaining days, this should be a priority in their must-haves for their next job — and they must remain steadfast during their job search to ensure the new role meets this requirement,” she says. “[Then] leverage the interview as an opportunity to interview employers the same way the employer is interviewing them.”

According to Monster’s Jobs & Hiring Report: Trends for Fall 2020, these are three questions you might consider asking in your next job interview — particularly if you are concerned about the safety of the workplace and/or if working remotely is important to you:

  • Have you needed to alter the workspace to make it easier to maintain proper distance?
  • Have many people returned to the office full-time or is telecommuting more the norm right now?
  • Have you found your current work from home/flex time policies to be successful?

If you’re one of the myriad people considering a job switch soon, looking at job categories that are poised to grow is a good place to start. Monster’s Jobs & Hiring Report: Trends for Fall 2020 shows the following jobs demonstrated consistent growth from June to August 2020 and are predicted to offer the best opportunities through the end of the year.

  • barber/cosmetologist
  • insurance underwriter
  • laboratory technician
  • loan processor
  • medical biller
  • personal care aide
  • pet care worker
  • quality inspector
  • registered nurse
  • warehouse worker
  • web developer

Good hunting!



 By J&C Team

We take a look at how you can use social media to help find the job of your dreams!

Searching for your dream job – or any job, for that matter – can be overwhelming in today’s digital age. With so many job-hunting options available, including recruitment agencies, online searches, social media and work experience, it’s hard to know which route to take.

Gone are the days when you just sent out your CV and sat back, waiting to be called for interview. Today’s jobseekers need to be proactive and use all their skills – and more – to get recruiters to sit up and take notice of them.

Most employers use social media as a tool to find the best staff, and it should form a major part of your job-seeking plan too. The right social presence will ensure recruiters see your profile and skills, and give you opportunities to network online and be well positioned should an opportunity arise.

But there’s so much information out there it can be hard to know where to start. Read on to find out how to make social media work for you.


This short and snappy media channel is a good tool for following companies, individuals and influencers. Most companies use Twitter to talk about what they’re doing, promote their services, advertise jobs and encourage people to click through to their company website.

Think about following people or companies you might like to work for – individuals often tweet when they’re changing jobs. But don’t follow everyone. Choose 10-15 companies, then add the rest to a list on Twitter you can check back on. This way you’ll avoid being inundated with messages from hundreds of feeds.


Snapchat is one of the fastest growing media platforms, with 200 million active users, 39% aged between 25 and 44.

If you’re yet to use this instant-communication tool, the basics are this: photos and videos can be shared with friends for up to 10 seconds, after which they’re removed; or they can stay up for 24 hours if you put your snaps together into My Story. Images can also be saved in the Memories section of your account, there’s a chat function and it now also lets you replay snaps from friends.


You may not instantly think of using Instagram for your job search, but it’s a good resource that shouldn’t be ignored when searching for a job.

This app is all about using pictures to tell a story. Just as with other social media platforms, you can connect with and follow companies that interest you. See what they’re up to and find out what their company culture is. This will help you learn about the company from the inside out, and may give you an advantage should you get an interview. 

When posting pictures, think about who is going to see them and what kind of image they portray. It’s fine to tag a conference you’ve been to or a screenshot of something you’ve done professionally, as well as uploading personal photos that you wouldn’t mind a potential boss seeing.

As with Twitter, engage with photos and posts that employees are talking about, but only if you’re adding to the conversation. You don’t want to seem like a stalker.


Facebook is great for sharing events and photos with friends, but it isn’t the best when it comes to job hunting. It’s very easy to portray the social you, but not the professional you – and this is the bit you need to be selling.

Are you LinkedIn?

If you’re not, you should be. LinkedIn is the top social media site for jobseekers, used by more than 500 million people worldwide – with a staggering 10 million active job posts.

The site works a bit like an online CV, with the added bonus that you can connect with other like-minded professionals and build up your network. You can also use your contacts to help connect with other people who might be useful to know.

People on LinkedIn can also build up endorsements from people they’ve worked with or know, which helps to create a fuller profile and give prospective employers a good idea of your skills and credibility. Colleagues or clients can also write personal testimonials describing you and your work to further enhance your profile.

Connecting with the right people will increase your online presence. James Caan, for example, boasts nearly three million followers, and uses his page to post blogs about business and recruitment.

If you ask to connect with someone you like/admire/think could be useful, it helps if you have already connected with someone else in their network. That makes you less of a stranger and more of a networker.

How to make your CV stand out!

The average recruiter spends six seconds looking at a CV.
Here’s what you can do to make sure they notice yours

Be relevant

There are four key areas recruiters scan for when reading a CV: past jobs, previous employers, start and end dates and qualifications. Make sure these are near the top of your CV.

use keywords

Just like using search engine optimisation for a website, you need to select those keywords on your CV that will bring it up in search results. Identify the right words and phrases used in the industry you’re applying for and make sure they’re embedded in your CV – but don’t overdo it.

include a photo

While what you look like shouldn’t influence whether or not you get an interview, putting a photograph on your CV will make you stand out from the crowd. However, some recruiters believe that while it may help attract attention it’s a bit of a no-no. The decision is yours.

make a video

Video CVs are still fairly rare, so sending one will definitely get you noticed. If you want your applicaton to make a real impact, consider giving it a go.

link well

Embedding a link to your CV on your profile on social media sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter – or your own website or blog – will help prospective employers find out more about you. Just make sure they find something that will impress!


The Top job-hunting apps and websites designed to make your search easier


Create an account and as soon as a job comes up that you like the look of, apply with a couple of taps or save it for later.


Allows you to search thousands of jobs and apply for them direct from your mobile.

Total jobs

One of the leading job boards in the UK allows you to seach for jobs by location and use the in-app map to help refine the results.

Interview Prep Questions

This does what it says and prepares you for interview. It also gives suggestions as to how to answer tough questions. Available for iOS

Pocket Resume

Need to whizz off your CV straight away? This app helps you create and maintain your CV, and has a handy layout guide. Available for iOS and 


Are you constantly moving?

Tom Dixon

© Tom Dixon 

Tom Dixon, OBE, is a British designer who specializes in lighting, furniture, and accessories.

Millennials aren’t really in the market for high-end furniture, according to renowned lighting and interior designer Tom Dixon. Why? Because they move so often.

“People are moving 14 to 15 times in their lifetimes rather than what used to happen, which was two or three times,” Dixon told Business Insider. “Now they want more vintage pieces, more natural materials; they are buying a lot of cheap furniture because they’re not investing in interiors because they’ve moved so many times in their lifetimes.” 

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, however, because millennials only own about 4% of American real estate. Spending thousands of dollars on a couch that will eventually just be lugged from one Brooklyn apartment to another seems gratuitous when one can spend a quarter of that on a decent couch that they won’t feel too badly about tossing to the curb once they move (where it’ll almost undoubtedly get scooped up by another millennial looking for a furniture bargain).

And of course, the majority of millennials don’t have the financial security to feel comfortable splurging on high-end furniture. The generation was notoriously hit by the blunt end of the economic stick: the Great Recession, skyrocketing housing prices, student debt, stagnating incomes, and now, another impending recession spurred by a global pandemic.

With many millennials unable to afford the down payment required to purchase a home for decades, it’s easy to see why the appeal of luxury couches has become lackluster.  

Of course, that’s not to say millennials won’t splurge on what matters to them.

“There has been slightly less interest in interior design and more interest in investing in technology,” Dixon told Business Insider. “People are less inclined to invest in the future of permanence and certainty of what is going to happen next and that has an impact on the type of objects that they buy.”

Instead, Dixon says, high-end and heritage furniture are more likely to be seen in hotels, bars, and restaurants — places, he notes, where people like to be “comfortable” and which have, over time, become less technical and more domestic in purpose.

Article by (Dominic-Madori Davis for Business Insider