Saturday, September 29, 2007

Work Behavior that Keeps Your Boss Happy, and Makes Him Like You

What work behavior makes your boss like you? I am not here to discuss tips or tricks that will hoodwink your superiors to like you. Those tricks will only work for the short term but will hurt you in the long term. I'm here to guide you to stand out naturally. If you have proper work behavior, you will impress your boss. However, you do need to be consistent with these behaviors. There are no results without hard work. That said, each of the behavior discussed is not difficult to practice.


Learn to be attentive at work. Your behavior at work should be one of attentiveness. To begin with, you need to be a good listener. Listen to the instructions that are given to you. Make sure you understand what is being said and what is being asked. When you take the wrong instructions you make the unit you are working for inefficient. Attend to details. Make sure every work that you have your hand in is one of excellence. You know the results shine because you paid attention to the details. Never deliver shoddy work. Your shoddy work not just reflects on you but your boss too. When you are attentive at work, your boss will naturally notice you.


I know, this sounds scary. You are a junior at work but yet you need to be bold? Yes, be bold? Being bold means being able to face your fears. You are new and there are a lot of things that are new to you. You quite naturally fear some of the processes. Sometimes, you may even feel intimidated by some colleagues. In such instances, you need to be bold. There is nothing to fear as long as you know your working attitude is a positive one. This also means you are willing to fail and learn from failure. When you accept this work behavior you are willing to take risks and willing to do new things. Someone who is courageous enough to try new things, willing to fail and learn from failure will catch the boss’s attention.


If your personality is quite naturally a calm one, this work behavior is easy. If you have a tendency to panic or you have the tendency to be temperamental then you need to work harder. Be calm and composed at all times regardless of the work challenges in front of you. Remember if something tough is for you to tackle, create a plan to solve it. Everything else short of solid action will be inefficient use of your energy. Your bosses want someone who can help to clean the mess. You shouldn’t be part of the mess. Remain calm and composed at all times. This behavior will have your boss take a second look at you. Soon you will become someone he can depend on


Which brings me to the next work behavior. When you become a competitive advantage for your boss, your boss will like you. He/she will become dependent on you. Strive to become someone your boss can depend. How do you make this work? For starters, be a good listener and be someone your boss can trust. Do not be tempted to get involved in office politics. The best way to stay away from office politics is to shut up. Knowing when to keep your mouth shut should be your work behavior. Do not add to comments. Do not volunteer answers. When your boss can trust you and you have good working attitude, you will become someone your boss can depend on.


This work behavior isn’t just about physical energy. It also means mental energy. It also means infectious energy. This means you have a work behavior that can energize your unit. You are passionate about your work. People like working with you, as you seem to have endless energy. Ever noticed how a person in the office that has energy always gets the better assignments? That’s because their energy is the boss’s competitive advantage. You may already posses these work behaviors. Choose one work behavior that you feel is the easiest to tackle now and work on it. Before long you would have mastered the A to E of how to make your boss like you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do You Have The Right Stuff To Start A Business?

Anyone can start a business. But to start a business that succeeds and continues to flourish isn’t so easy. According to Statistical data, at least half the new companiesin Nigeria and else where in the world go out of business before their third anniversary, and one in four new enterprises don’t survive longer than one year ("Failure Rates for New Firms"). If you’re going to start a business that has staying power, there are some resources that you must have in place before you open your literal or figurative doors. To turn a start up venture into a successful business, you must:

Fully Commit

Successful entrepreneurs are people who are fully committed to their business ventures. You have to be prepared to put your heart and soul into what you’re doing. You have to truly believe in your product or service, and be prepared to work long hours to get others to believe in your product or service, too. You have to be ready to go without treats such as holidays, and even necessities such as salary, for what may seem like an endless stretch of time. And you have to do all this without the safety net that salaried employees are used to, such as benefits and pension plans.

Be a "Type D”

People commit themselves to all kinds of things; causes, hobbies, other people. Just being able to make a commitment doesn’t automatically lead to business success. If you’re going to get where you want to go in business, and start a business that will endure, you also have to be what I call a "Type D” person; someone who has desire coupled with drive, with strong discipline and determination. You have to not only have the business ideas, but be able to execute them. Successful business people are tenacious; obstacles are temporary barriers to work around. They may take “No” for an answer, but only for as long as it takes them to reframe the question from another angle and ask again. But desire and drive alone are not enough to start a business; you don’t want your business to be a temporary comet streaking across the sky. Discipline and determination are what give successful business people the endurance to follow through on their business ideas, and weather the storms and calms of the economic climate. Knowledge is another resource you need to have in place before you start a business. Continue on to learn what types of knowledge and skills you must have if you want to start a business with staying power. The Knowledge You Need To Start A Business

Get The Business Knowledge You Need

Many people have tried to start their own businesses without bothering to acquire the business knowledge they need to make their business a success - and their businesses have failed. To start a business, you have to be knowledgeable about many different aspects of business and have many different skills… or at least have done the research to find and hire the people who have the skills you lack. If you aren’t knowledgeable enough about accounting to keep your own books, for instance, you’re going to need to hire a bookkeeper and/or an accountant. If your business is Internet-based, you’d be wise to hire a company to design your web site and handle the back end, unless you personally are an expert in site development. When you’re creating your business plan, one of your first steps needs to be a frank assessment of your skills and expertise.

What aspects of the business are you qualified or willing to handle, and which aspects will necessitate either more learning.

Managing people is only one skill set you’re going to need to start a business that's going to be successful. You also need to be knowledgeable about sales and marketing. For example, suppose you’ve developed a better mousetrap. Who are your competitors? What are the mousetraps they’re offering like and how are they priced? What makes your mousetrap better? Is there even a need for a better mousetrap out there? Where is “out there”? Do you have the skills needed to identify and contact customers? Are you good at selling mousetraps? Can you develop a feasible marketing plan and promotional material? And what about business operations? Do you have the business knowledge to manage inventory and fill orders? Where all you going to store all your mousetraps and how are you going to get them to your customers? Have you found the suppliers you need and developed relationships with them? Have you set up a customer support policy? Business knowledge before you start a business is critical. All the drive and determination in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t have the knowledge to actually run a successful business and don’t bother to research and plan for your success appropriately. A friend of mine had long dreamed of opening a bookstore. So he did. Unfortunately, he hadn’t bothered to study the competition or the demographics of the market in the area. It took less than a year for his bookstore to fail. He had the desire and the drive, but didn’t have the knowledge he needed to apply them. So let's assume that you are a Type D Personality with all the business knowledge necessary to start a business. Are you a ready for success? Not unless you have the money you need to start a business.

Sunday, September 9, 2007



Negotiating a salary for a potential new job is a task many people dread or feel ill equipped to deal with. Researching salaries First, you need to know the current salary range for the role. Salary surveys on recruitment websites or those published by industry or professional associations are good sources. Grads can also check with an alumni association. Be wary of salary surveys where people can enter their own pay details as they're open to abuse. Salary surveys carried out by established recruitment firms are credible. If you know someone doing a similar role, ask their advice on what sort of money you should be asking for. Obviously you cannot ask them what they earn. A word of warning here too. Some people are very passive when it comes to negotiating a pay rise. They accept whatever the company gives them each year, which could be zero as far as I am concerned. This means that over a number of years, a person could start falling behind market rates. This is one of the reasons it pays to move jobs every few years even if this is just to a new position within your existing organisation. It's also the reason that negotiating the best possible starting salary is so important. If your first interview is with a recruitment firm, you can ask the consultant what the salary range is for the job. Keep in mind that the recruiter represents the employer so they don't have to nominate a salary. Also keep in mind that the hiring manager will have a budget for the role, which means there will be a limit he or she cannot go over without seeking sign off from a more senior manager.
  When to talk salary It's better not to be the first person to raise the salary issue. Ideally, you want to see what the employer is willing to pay before you say what you are willing to accept. The time when you will have the most negotiating power is after you have been offered the job and before you have accepted it but salary often comes up much earlier in the negotiations. In many cases, you will be asked what sort of salary you are looking for. How you answer is a personal issue. You could stall and say, 'I would need to know a lot more detail about the role before I could answer that'. Let's face it, if the role involves having a desk near a window with a great view or having access to a lot of amenities not readily available in our country then maybe you will forgo a few thousand dollars. Or the job might offer a really clear promotion path and being promoted means access to pay negotiations and more money. Pretend you have two jobs to consider. Job A pays N30k more but there is nowhere to go in the organisation so that initial N30k plus soon becomes a minus if you stay a few years as without a promotion, how are you going to justify a decent salary increase? Same goes for subsidised or fully funded training. Gaining further knowledge will add plenty of Naira to your professional bottom line. If you're asked what you currently earn, my advice is to be honest. There are two reasons for this. Your salary could be verified later on revealing you as a liar or, more importantly, the salary range on offer could be so far below what you believe you are worth that to go further with the screening process would be a waste of your time. You don't have to commit to a salary at the interview.You can say 'while I am earning x amount now, this role is more challenging and requires a more unusual combination of skills so is worth a higher salary' without saying what that higher salary should be. If pressed, it's fine to tell the interviewer that you need time to think about the ideal salary range and then move the conversation along. Be warned that if you do commit to a figure at interview then there could be dangers associated with changing that figure after offer. You might be the best candidate at N75k but suddenly asking for N85k when offered the role, they might then see you compared to a more senior crop of candidates and found wanting. Alternatively, the fact you had asked for a specific salary and then asking for more  after offer may leave you looking sly or tricky. If you accept a job you really like but the money is not quite what you're after then it's a good idea to negotiate a pay review date at the time of offer for three to six months after you start to give you time to prove your worth.
The Basic Rule of Job Searching If there is one basic rule of job searching, it is to always act professionally. Communicate, dress and act with class, regardless of the job you are applying for. Believe me, the employer will notice and your chances of getting the job will increase ten-fold!
WORK ETHIC is a set of values based on the moral virtues of hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. A work ethic may include being reliable, having initiative or maintaining social skills. Workers exhibiting a good work ethic in theory (and ideally in practice)are usually selected for better positions, more responsibility and ultimately promotion. Workers who fail to exhibit a good work ethic may be regarded as failing to provide fair value for the wage the employer is paying them and should not be promoted or placed in positions of greater responsibility. One central concept that forms part of the basis of the conservative economic theory of western capitalism is that workers who work hard and play by the rules will be rewarded (eventually) and will move ahead, and that those who do not should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their own poor performance. So while looking for a job remember that having the right attitude (WORK ETHIC)when you get the job can earn you more that just your salary but a quick rise to the top.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Reckitt Benckiser is recruiting for a Commercial Finance Controller RECKITT BENCKISER is recruiting for a Dynamic and Energetic Commercial Finance Controller to further strengthen its Finance team. This is a senior management grade position and would report to the Finance Director. The ideal candidate should be: A Chartered Accountant with at least 5 years of relevant experience in a renowned multinational company. Candidates from FMCG background would be preferred. If you are the right candidate and are interested in an exciting career with excellent growth prospects, send your application with a detailed resume including a daytime telephone contact number and email address to: Deadline for this application closes by Sept 11, 2007


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