Optimal Way to Structure Your Day

best work schedule

The eight-hour workday is outdated and ineffective. To be more productive, you have to find a new way of working.

A recent study tracked employees’ work habits. They found that the length of the workday didn’t matter as much as how people structured their day. People who regularly took short breaks were much more productive than those who worked longer hours.

The best ratio was 52 minutes of work followed by a 17 minute break. This schedule is more in sync with our body and brain. Our brain naturally works in bursts of high energy (about an hour) followed by times of low energy (15–20 minutes).

Once you align your schedule with your natural flow, expect your productivity and attitude to improve.

Here are 4 tips that should help:

  • Break up your day into hourly intervals.
  • Stop after an hour.
  • Don’t skip a real break.
  • Don’t wait until you’re tired to take a break.

See the original article here.

9 Tips For Acing That Job Interview

job interview

So you’ve passed the initial application stage and have secured an interview for a role you really want. Congratulations! But the hard part isn’t over yet. You still need to ace the interview. And there’s a lot to consider when it comes to job interviews, from wondering what questions will be asked to figuring out what to wear. Plus, it’s as much about using it as an opportunity to find out if they’re a good fit for you, as well as you being a good fit for them.

It’s easy to feel nervous or overwhelmed, but an interview doesn’t have to be a big, scary obstacle between you and your dream job. If you’re prepared, motivated, and confident, you’re already several steps closer to success. Here are some simple tips that will help alleviate your nerves, empower you as a professional, and make your interview a triumph.

  1. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the company you’ll be working for, what your role will entail, and who will be interviewing you. You’ll feel much more confident after building a strong foundation of knowledge and won’t be thrown off if you’re questioned on your understanding of the company.
  2. Look back over your application. That’s what helped secure you an interview after all. The interviewer might draw questions from or refer back to your application, so refresh your memory and identify ways you could elaborate on what you had initially submitted.
  3. Practice questions and answers. There are a range of ways you might do this: you might want to comb through common questions or you might prefer role-playing the interview process with a trusted friend or family member. Either way, anticipate what you might be asked and have strong answers prepared.
  4. Practice the route. It’s not just important to plan what you’re going to say at your interview, you need to know how you’re going to get there! Whether you’re driving, cycling, or traveling by public transport, going on a dummy run will help you plan the logistics of your journey and ensure you won’t get lost. On the day itself, you can concentrate only on the task at hand and not worry about the route.
  5. Prepare your outfit. Yes, you want to wear something appropriate, but it’s not just about what the clothes look like, it’s how they make you feel. Choose an outfit that shows your personality in an appropriate way and makes you feel confident.
  6. Think positively. Practical preparations are important, but you also need to adopt a positive mindset. Meditation, positive playlists, and even visualization exercises can help you envision success. According to a study by The Journal of Consulting Psychology, visualization exercises make a big difference to a candidate’s success, as 66 percent of the subjects who adopted these techniques were employed within two months. Choose a method that will aid your positive thinking and turn your hopes of success into a reality.
  7. Check your body language. From a smile to good posture, open body language communicates that you’re approachable, confident, and capable of doing the job at hand. Make sure you practice techniques before your interview so that any positive habits you adopt feel natural in your body.
  8. Make healthy lifestyle choices. If you want to perform well at your interview, it’s important that you take care of yourself. Eat healthy and nutritious foods and get some rest. That way, on the day of your interview, you’ll feel fresh and energized instead of slow and sluggish.
  9. Warm up. On the day of the interview, make sure that you aren’t going in cold. Stretch, go for a run, meditate — just channel your nerves physically. Even practice speaking aloud to warm up your voice so that when you greet the interviewer, you’ll already sound calm and confident.

Indicators of Success: 5 Personality Traits You Need to Develop

successful personality traits

Intelligence is no longer the main predictor of success. While IQ still carries a lot of weight, personality traits play a much bigger role.

According to a 2016 research paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, grades and achievement tests capture personality traits that are generally more predictive than IQ for several important life outcomes, like income and self-reported life satisfaction.

Personality is also considered by employers. They use behavioral assessments and personality tests to prioritize candidates and predict if their behavior is a good fit.

Even college admissions professionals are looking at a candidate’s personality. In fact, KudosWall conducted a survey of 500 academic admissions professionals between November 13 and November 28, 2017. The research found that 86 percent say an applicant’s personality and character skills assessments play a big role in the admissions process.

There is good news: while there is no evidence suggesting you can change your personality, there is anecdotal evidence that shows you can change how you behave. For example, people who are dissatisfied with their friendships tend to put themselves in situations where they can increase in extroversion.

There is no right or wrong personality type, but there are personality traits and character skills that are beneficial. Here’s a look at some of the traits and skills that influence performance in personal and professional development.

Self-Discipline Yields a Healthy Body and Mind

Your level of self-discipline determines your ability to achieve goals. When you’re disciplined, you’re able to control feelings, overcome weaknesses, and pursue goals despite temptations that can hold you back.

People with high levels of self-discipline are better at sticking to healthy habits, like eating right and exercising. If this personality trait isn’t natural, you can start making changes to develop it.

Look at areas in your life in which you want to make improvements, such as your career, nutrition, social needs, fitness, and more. Determine your big ‘why’ for each goal. When you have a reason bigger than yourself, like living longer or feeling more fulfilled in your work, your motivation will be consistent.

Then, create an action plan that includes specific goals and track your progress. If you’re working on meeting your social needs, start with action (attending one meetup per week), track your progress (number of meetups attended), and reflect on the outcome (mood changes and the feeling of social needs being met). As you make progress, you’ll learn how to stay on course with goal-driven approaches.

Organizational Skills Hone Your Vision

When you think of highly organized professionals, you imagine meticulously clean work spaces and detailed planners. They have color-coded calendars and are fully engaged in their work.

This skill set falls under the big five personality type called conscientiousness. Those with this personality trait are typically considered reliable and dependable. They stand out because they’re directed by what matters most to them. They’re not scrolling social media when they should be preparing for a meeting. They follow a routine that helps them see their priorities and work on them first.

Build these organizational skills by focusing on one day at a time. Start by using checklists during your work day. Then, learn how to prioritize your daily tasks. Give yourself 15 minutes at the beginning of the day to schedule your time, then use 15 minutes at the end of the day to plan for tomorrow.

Optimism is Positivity in Action

If you see the glass as half-empty, you’re going to struggle with facing challenges and overcoming setbacks in your personal and professional life. Optimism – the other side of the coin – is your ability to feel hopeful and confident about your future. This positive outlook is often harder to come by. However, it can actually be programmed with consistent practice.

Start developing optimism by practicing mindfulness. For example, start meditating, mindful walking, and consider enrolling in a mindfulness training program. When you cultivate a present mind, you’re able to allow negative thought patterns to come and go. In other words, you’re training yourself to regulate your emotions, both good and bad.

Combine this practice with visualization. Some of the best athletes in the world use visualization tactics to get into the right mindset. When you visualize a successful presentation or earning a big client deal, you feel more confident in your future.

Strategic Creativity Resonates With Others

Creative people are typically curious, imaginative, and expressive. However, depending on their ability to read an audience, they can get into trouble.

Some people might interpret their expressiveness as risky and divisive, which is why it’s important to be strategic in creative pursuits.

Creativity remains a top skill in the eyes of leaders everywhere. For example, our survey found that creativity is a favored personality trait in online portfolios, college resumes, admissions essays, and online presences for students applying to college admissions. Similarly, the World Economic Forum January 2016 survey found that the ability to think creativity will be one of the most important work skills by 2020 and this is particularly true for high-performing leaders.

Learn how to feed your creativity by getting your thoughts out on paper. Start a journal to reflect on your day. The practice of writing, distilling information, and expressing yourself is a great way to get your creative muscles working. Then, practice expressing yourself to different audiences by creating content on a blog or podcast. You can even make it fun by covering topics you love.

Outgoingness Boosts Your Social Capital

Being socially confident and building relationships in social settings is where extroverts thrive. In fact, extroversion is a great asset in several areas of life.

The KudosWall survey found that 71 percent of admissions professionals say they’re more likely to accept applicants who convey an outgoing, friendly personality than someone who is reserved. Also, a January 2016 study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that extroverts tend to energize the group when team members are getting along.

When you demonstrate social capital and engage well with others, you make a great impression. However, introverts find outgoingness challenging because social situations often drain their energy. Fortunately, this personality trait can be learned. Shift your focus from yourself to others around you. When you’re worried about how you present yourself, it takes you out of the moment. Instead, concentrate on getting to know people in your social setting. Start small by going to new events with people you know.

Intelligence gets you far, but these personality traits bring you the extra mile. If you already possess them, double down. But if they don’t come naturally, start practicing. This shift in your behavior will lead to big success in all aspects of your life.

6 Negotiation Tips for Introverts

how to negotiate

Wise Bread Picks

Some people are natural negotiators. They are the smooth-talkers who always manage to say the right thing to get exactly what they want. Where most of us are at least somewhat fearful about the idea of negotiation, these people seem to enjoy it.

Negotiating can be especially challenging for introverts, not because they lack confidence, but because negotiations can have a confrontational tone, and often require some posturing and bluffing — which are not communication tools introverts typically use. Though introverts may be less comfortable with the act of negotiating, they have many strengths that can aid them in the process. (See also: 6 Smart Money Habits of Introverts)

No one is born a good negotiator. Negotiation is a skill, and it takes a lot of practice. And here are six ways introverts can become stellar negotiators. (See also: 8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master)

1. Research and prepare

Introverts tend to flourish when they have researched and prepared in advance. By researching, you armor yourself with the facts. This is vital, because you no longer have to rely on your opinion or emotions, both of which can be difficult for introverts to openly share.

Figure out what the going salary is for someone in your location and with a similar level of experience. Collect data from multiple reliable sources. Then create a list of everything you’ve accomplished in the last year. If you’ve saved the company a significant amount of money, for example, be sure to include that in your documentation.

2. Consider the outcome

Think about how the other party might potentially respond to your negotiation request. For example, if you are asking for a raise, how will you respond if they agree? What if they disagree? What if they completely blow you off?

Assess every possible outcome and how you will handle it. Consider what you’re asking for. Do you have a bottom line? What would be the bare minimum you hope to gain from having this conversation?

Nothing is worse for an introvert than being thrown for a loop, so be realistic and plan for the unexpected.

3. Cut to the chase and ask

So many opportunities are missed because people aren’t sure how to ask for what they want, or are too afraid. Share your data, get to the point, and ask for what you want. If the other party doesn’t agree with your terms, it is likely because they either didn’t believe the facts, or they don’t have enough resources to sustain your claim. Either way, you never know what you can gain unless you ask.

4. Show them how it’s mutually beneficial

Make your case for why you deserve what you’re asking for, but also be sure to include what they’ll gain by giving it to you. A successful negotiation will showcase how this proposition will benefit both parties. If it’s a promotion you want, for example, point out how you’ll increase the bottom line, or improve the company in this new role. (See also: 6 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Employees)

5. Don’t forget to pause

Typically, introverts love to take their time to think about what they’re going to say before they say it. Because of this, any long pauses or any unexpected questions can instill a fear of the unknown. Long pauses, however, can be used to an introvert’s advantage.

If someone asks you a surprising question, don’t hesitate to pause before you respond. While you’re gathering your thoughts, the other person may even offer further explanation or clarification, buying you extra time to make your point. (See also: 7 Everyday Situations That Introverts Ace)

6. Practice, practice, practice

Rehearse everything, from how you will enter the room, how you’ll greet the other party, and how you plan to take hold of the conversation. Avoid going into in-depth explanations as to why you want what you want. Stick to the facts.

It might feel somewhat silly to practice your negotiation tips, but the more you rehearse, the more your confidence will grow. Notice if you’re fidgeting, stuttering, or speaking unclearly. Remember, keep your responses short and to the point to clearly communicate what you’re asking for.

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6 Negotiation Tips for Introverts

Personal Branding at Work

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.”
~Daniel J. Boorstin~

Stella went out for drinks with a few coworkers after work. Over their conversation, she realized they had no clue what she did or what value she contributed. If she was that invisible to colleagues, she knew she must be invisible to leaders as well. She hopped on the phone with me to discuss how she could revamp her image at work.

Individuals, like companies, have a brand, I told Stella. Those who are proactive at shaping their own brand identity are more likely to be recognized and to get ahead in the workplace.

I then asked her to complete a simple exercise that I recommend to my clients. If you’re working to hone your personal branding at work, complete this exercise yourself:

List the three adjectives that best describe how you’re perceived by others at work.

1) _______________________
2) _______________________
3) _______________________

Next, pick three adjectives that you would like others—especially your boss and key decision-makers—to use to describe you.

1) _______________________
2) _______________________
3) _______________________

Now, here’s the tricky part (but it can be fun, too):

Develop specific, actionable strategies to move your brand identity from list #1 to list #2. This might involve training opportunities, volunteering for special assignments, or even changing your body language or how you dress. Make sure the appearance you project reflects the image you want to create.


For example, if one of your desired brand attributes is “creative,” look for opportunities to showcase your creativity at work. Then grow your personal brand by pitching an inventive new project or consistently offering your creativity in group efforts. Prepare to advocate for your ideas by explaining what they offer to the company—brainstorm on this with someone you trust first if need be.
Finding ways to add value to others’ projects in order to highlight your desired brand attributes is another way to make sure they take notice. Meet with them to discuss what they’re doing, and then make a pitch about how you can help.

As a publishing editor at a magazine, Stella wanted others to perceive her as savvy about bringing in the best talent. Innovation and ability to thrive under pressure were the other two key attributes she most wanted to play up. Currently, she believed others perceived her as highly accurate and organized, along with having strong communication skills—certainly all important qualities in an editor, but, well, pretty boring on their own.

Stella decided to pitch a special issue on a controversial topic, along with a design idea they’d never tried before. Her team loved it, and they hit a new record for copies sold. By revamping her image, Stella increased the success of the whole company.

Reaching out to influencers in your organization can help you make the most of such victories. According to a recent Nielsen survey, the opinions of people we trust are what influence us most when it comes to branding. Use this to your advantage with personal branding. Shifting how you’re perceived by a few key people with strong credibility can turn the tide for your career. Stella’s victory was so visible that leaders couldn’t help but notice, but you might need to make a call, send an email, or drop by an office to share what you’ve accomplished.

Crafting your own distinctive brand won’t happen overnight. But your personal branding strategy will work in due time, if you’re persistent. When you take your “brand manager” role seriously, you’ll be surprised at the difference you can make in achieving your career goals.

Contact Joel, as your leadership coach, to help craft your own distinctive brand.

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Stress Reduction Techniques

“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.”
~Marilu Henner~

Client Elias asks: I feel like my work performance is being compromised by stress. And carrying all that stress is exhausting—sooner or later, I feel like I’m just going to collapse. How can I start dealing with it?

Coach Joel answers: Elias, you’re not alone—work is a major cause of stress for 65% of Americans, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). And none of us should settle for feeling stressed all the time. A little surge of stress can be good—the kind that gets you in gear to meet a deadline—but chronic stress is debilitating.

Workplace stress can come from small, repeated annoyances, or it can stem from major issues with your job role or organizational culture. Many of us suffer from “rush syndrome,” the fear of slowing down. Sometimes we don’t even realize how stressed we’ve been until we learn to relax. These 10 stress reduction techniques will help you start feeling like the superstar you are.

  1. Keep a Journal
    Keep a journal for a couple of weeks to track your stress, suggests the APA. Simply acknowledging your stress and affirming you’re going to address it feels good, and it’s a first step to making changes.
  2. Get Organized
    Clutter leads to stress, because we know it’s something that needs to be dealt with. It’s like seeing little tasks piled up in front of you—it creates a sense of overwhelm. Take a little time to clear out that clutter, and you’ll find your mind is clearer as well.
  3. Practice Good Posture
    Sitting up straight not only projects confidence, but gives you more confidence as well, according to Time. If you get into a crouched-down pose, it will make you more fearful and stressed, because your mind is responding to your body. These techniques for reducing stress can help improve your posture and make your body feel better, which brings more stress-reducing benefits.
  4. Engage in Deep Breathing
    According to Sharon Melnick in Success Under Stress, by regulating your breath, you can break unconscious emotional patterns that persist through short, stressed breathing. Set an intention to consciously take several deep breaths at different points throughout the day, ideally before you feel extreme stress coming on.
  5. Prepare for the Next Day
    Fretting over what you need to do the next day, or how a meeting will go, creates a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, at the end of each workday, create a plan for what you’ll do the next day. Prepare thoughts you want to share at the meeting, along with a manageable “to do” list.
  6. Create Work/Life Boundaries
    If you’re checking email at night, you’re probably carrying extra stress around. Set clear work/life boundaries for yourself, and stick to them, the APA advises.
  7. Get Active
    If you’re not getting regular exercise, make that a daily part of your routine. Even if you work out in the evening, add some physical activity to your workday, as active breaks can lower stress. Take a walk during your lunch break, for example.
  8. Check the Self-Criticism
    Write down your greatest accomplishments and words of appreciation from others on notecards that you can keep tucked in your desk or posted on your wall. When you feel self-criticism coming on, check this self-defeating behavior by reminding yourself of those moments. This will help you stay positive as you work to overcome your inevitable challenges.
  9. Laugh More
    Watch a silly video on your break, or share a story about something funny your kid did. Breaking the tension with laughter will put you in a better emotional state.
  10. Take Charge of Your Career
    Lack of job satisfaction, few opportunities to advance or grow, and unclear performance expectations are major causes of workplace stress, says the APA. If these things are contributing to your stress, make a career plan now. Talk to your boss to enlist support, letting her know you want to grow with the organization.

Furthermore, try not to stress about your work stress. You’re not failing if you don’t address it all at once—implementing coping strategies takes time, as Martha Davis says in The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. Be patient with yourself as you begin using these techniques for stress reduction, knowing no one gets it all right all at once.

Is stress holding you back at work? Contact leadership coach Joel Garfinkle for more support in reducing stress and changing your life.

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September 10, 2018

Unplug from Technology!

“Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master.”
~Gretchen Rubin~

Vincent found himself obsessively scanning email when he was trying to focus on other tasks. Incoming communications were dominating his focus. Then he picked up a book on time management and realized how much time he was wasting.

Being constantly responsive to others’ questions is a huge energy drain, the author said. Most of us don’t truly multitask well, so if you’re constantly connected, you’re disrupting the task you were trying to focus on.

If, like Vincent, you’re staying too connected, consider these tips for unplugging from technology after work or even during the workday.

  1. Understand Why It’s So Tough
    To benefit from time away from tech, you need to understand why it can be hard to unplug. Sometimes we put much more weight on others’ needs than on our own. If we know an email is sitting there waiting to be addressed, we feel guilty, even if we’re doing something important.We may also get FOMO—fear of missing out. We might want to think of ourselves as superstars, being the ones to jump in and solve problems as they arise. However, the urge to save the day for others can keep them from solving problems themselves. The world can get along without you for a while—and it might be better off for it.
  2. Taking Breaks During the Workday
    Try taking mini breaks from technology during work. Leave your email behind when you go to lunch, or handle only personal communications on your breaks—nothing work-related. Better yet, read a book and ignore all electronic communication during that time.
  3. Mentally Unplug
    Unplug from certain types of communication during times you’ve committed to a particular task. Maybe you can’t leave behind technology, but unplugging mentally from email and your phone while researching an idea or writing a proposal will improve your focus. Finishing that project you’ve been wanting to dive into? Set aside an hour or two of text-free, voicemail-free, email-free time while you work. It’s too easy to get distracted by someone’s “urgent” question, or to forget to answer it later if you’ve already opened the email. If you simply don’t check email for an hour while finishing your project, you’ll be able to address it with a clear mind after that.
  4. Set Rules for Using Tech at Work and Home
    At work, set designated times for checking email and responding to voicemails. This will help you stay disciplined, making you more productive.When you leave the office, set aside all work-related communications until the next day. Period. Don’t open an email with the intent just to read it, not to respond. That will only cloud your mind with questions to stew over. You’ll come to work with renewed clarity and motivation if you allow yourself to have true downtime.
  5. Take a Tech Detox
    If you have trouble not looking at work emails while at home, it might be time for a tech detox. If you can, take a “tech fast” for a day or two over the weekend, fully unplugging from all technology. Ignore all texts, unless a real emergency pops up, and don’t even think about looking at email. Spend time with your family and friends, or on your hobbies.Check out mentally from any work-related issues. There’s no sense in mulling over a problem when you’ll come in with better ideas on Monday if you simply let your worries go. Listen to “How to Unplug at Work and Be on Vacation?” This 8-minute podcast interview was with Montreal, Canada’s #1 News Talk Radio Station.

Using these tips, Vincent was able to better structure his workday and accomplish what he set out to achieve. Once he started resisting the urge to check email every ten minutes, the urge became less powerful. At home, he enjoyed a richer family life and caught up on more reading. Best of all, his mind felt clearer, and he felt a renewed sense of purpose both at work and at home.

As an executive coach, Joel can help you unplug from technology so you actually boost your productivity and gain work-life balance.

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September 24, 2018

6 Tips for New Managers

“Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything—for better or for worse.”
~Simon Sinek~

Client Julie says: I’ve just accepted a job as manager of my department. I want to successfully navigate this new leadership role. What mistakes should I make sure to avoid?

Coach Joel answers: Becoming a manager probably marks a dramatic shift from your previous role. It may feel overwhelming. You’re being asked to apply a new skill set, and everyone is gaging your ability to handle the role. But avoid these 6 classic mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a great boss.

    1. Ignoring the Big Picture
      New managers might be tempted to dive into the daily grind before fully educating themselves on organizational vision, mission, and strategy. To guide and inspire their team, however, they need a strong grasp of these concepts. Thus, they should meet with leaders of the organization early on to get briefed on strategy and understand their perspective on these issues. Creating an action plan is important when starting a new role.
    2. Presuming They Know Their Employees
      You might have worked alongside your direct reports for years, but you don’t know them as their manager. Taking time for one-on-ones with each of them is vital to understanding their work performance goals, concerns, and job roles. Communicating that you want their ideas about how your department can improve will also convey that you value them.
    3. Micromanaging Employees
      Because your success depends on theirs, you might be tempted to micromanage the nitty gritty details of your direct reports’ days. Here’s an important tip for every new manager: Relinquish total control. Trying to maintain that level of control signifies mistrust, which is especially harmful to a new manager who might be supervising former coworkers. (They’d be sure to see you as too big for your britches!) After you delegate tasks, let employees handle them.
    4. Assuming Executive Presence Develops Naturally
      Executive presence doesn’t just develop on its own—at least, not for most people. New managers should consciously work to cultivate charisma (because yes, that’s something you can develop). They should also practice regulating their emotions, keeping a couple of stress-reducing exercises in their pocket for critical moments. New managers must show they’re calm and in control in order for others to trust and take them seriously.
    5. Choosing a Leadership Style That Doesn’t Feel Right
      You might gravitate toward a leadership style that your previous boss used. However, if it’s not the best fit for your personality, it will probably feel awkward or ineffective. Read up on leadership styles—such as visionary, democratic, and affiliative leadership—to determine which style or combination is right for you. Then, find a mentor who models that style.
    6. Brushing Off Awkward Feelings
      If you sense any tension from direct reports who used to be your coworkers, don’t ignore it. That will only cause it to fester. Bring it up during your one-on-one meetings, talking about how you can reduce the awkwardness together. Even if you don’t sense hostility or hurt feelings, acknowledging the shift fosters openness that will help you navigate any awkwardness that arises.

If you’re a new manager, you’re sure to make mistakes. After all, you are a rookie, and everyone starts somewhere. For all new managers, tips and advice from a trusted mentor are priceless. Have regular one-on-ones with your mentor to talk through the inevitable questions and hurdles that arise.

Help the newly promoted succeed with an Executive Coaching Program by Joel Garfinkle.

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October 8, 2018

Is your Salary Negotiable?

“The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.”
~Eli Broad~

Nora received a job offer for the position of her dreams. She was ecstatic. She wasn’t even focused on the salary. Fortunately, she shared the news with one of her mentors, who had also been her very first boss. “Don’t accept without a negotiation,” her mentor advised her. He shared these statistics about salary from a recent Glassdoor survey:

  • Three of five employees do not negotiate their salary.
  • Women are less likely than men to negotiate—68% of women vs. 52% of men abstain from negotiating. This is a shame, because salary is almost always negotiable.
  • When men negotiate their salary, they’re over three times more likely than women to succeed. This may stem in part from confidence—men tend to have an easier time asking for what they want—though that’s not to dismiss the impact of sexism. However, it’s getting better: The gender gap is much lower for younger workers than for older ones.
  • Older workers as a whole are also less likely to negotiate salary. As younger employees set the pace for negotiations, the older generations would be well advised to keep up—with their experience, they’re likely settling for less than they could have.

Here are 4 steps to succeeding in your next salary negotiation so you can Get Paid What You’re Worth.

  1. Build Up Your Confidence
    Having confidence is crucial to salary negotiation. Knowing the interviewer expects you to negotiate should give you a confidence boost. Remember that the raises you get down the road will depend on your starting salary.Mentally prepare your spiel about your track record of success. Get ready to cite the specific results of projects you handled in your current or previous role. If you’re asking for a raise from your current boss, prepare to discuss your successes as thoroughly as you would for an interview. Rehearse with a friend to make your answers as eloquent as possible.
  2. Do Your Research
    Whether accepting a new position or asking your current boss for a raise, find out the typical salary range for your position in your geographical area. Remember, this could have changed in recent years. When you’re knowledgeable about salary ranges, you’ll feel much more confident making an offer. Consider the current state of the industry, too. Was it struggling when you accepted your position, but now flourishing? That gives you plenty of room to negotiate.
  3. Hold Off on a Number
    Try not to be the first to put forth a number, says Michael Zwell in Six Figure Salary Negotiation. If asked about your expectations, try to give a less specific answer, such as “My expectations are in line with my experience and abilities,” he adds.If forced to give an answer, factor all the benefits you would like into the number, says Roger Dawson in Secrets of Power Salary Negotiation. Such benefits may include potential work bonuses, health insurance, retirement plan, vacations, and tuition reimbursement.

    If you’re switching careers, request the chance to renegotiate after six months, says Zwell. This gives you a window of time to prove yourself in the new role, and then to request more than you could have initially.

  4. Use Leverage
    If you’re applying for a new position, indicate that you’re considering another offer, says Dawson. At the same time, signal some degree of flexibility about salary. Highball your target salary, but say something like, “I might be able to take a little less,” he suggests. Know the company is almost certainly lowballing you if they make an offer—they expect you to make a higher counteroffer.

As Zwell says, if you’re negotiating with a current employer, you won’t be terminated for aiming much too high, whereas with a prospective employer, it’s possible you could lose the opportunity. However, aiming much too high with your current employer could signal that you’re unhappy with your position, he asserts.

If you’re offered a promotion within your company, remember that salary is negotiable here as well. Bring up the salary question with your potential new boss, not your current one, says Zwell. If made an offer, don’t be afraid to make a counteroffer. Consider what they’d have to pay a new hire, as well as the value added from your familiarity with the company.

Most importantly, have patience. The salary negotiation process can take a little time, and not settling on an offer too soon can benefit you over your entire career.

Negotiate in person if at all possible, says Dawson. It shows you’re serious and gives you a chance to respond to questions as they arise. Ask the company to put your agreement in writing, he adds. This eliminates any misunderstanding, especially when factoring in the benefit and compensation packages. Remember, the company is typically as eager as you to reach a mutually agreeable salary and move on!

If you want to get paid what you’re worth, utilize Joel’s Salary Negotiation Coaching.

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Father’s Day Feature: Meet some of Australia and New Zealand’s most progressive employers


As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, it’s important to acknowledge the role fathers play in a gender-equal workforce. With women typically seen as the primary caregivers, fathers can often be forgotten when organisations create parental leave and flexible work policies.

“More and more young men, and older men, are wanting to have access to flexible work and unfortunately organisations aren’t quite keeping up with the pace,” says South Australia’s Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Niki Vincent.

It is clear that companies not only need to be more progressive with their leave policies, but actively encourage fathers to take time off to care for their children. The Guardian recently wrapped up a series about the power of paternity leave, highlighting the many positives it has on fathers.

In the spirit of celebrating the many fathers in the workforce, we want to shine a spotlight on just some of our Employer Partners that offer progressive leave policies that allow fathers to spend time with their children. We wish we could mention everyone! Because all our partners offer progressive policies and value diversity, inclusion and flexibility.


Father’s day feature: Meet some of Australia and New Zealand’s most progressive employers KPMG

Consulting firm KPMG has generous leave policies as well as many options for flexible work.

  • Flexible work options: options include variation to hours, part-time work, job sharing, working from home and gradual re-entry/exit arrangements.
  • Career breaks: take advantage of unpaid leave for periods from 3 to 12 months to pursue other interests without sacrificing your career.
  • Paid parental leave: up to 12 weeks paid parental leave for primary caregivers. KPMG’s parental leave policy allows up to 18 weeks leave for primary caregivers and 3 weeks for non-primary caregivers.

Thinking of applying at KPMG? Check out their open available here.

Lendlease has continued to be awarded the prestigious WGEA Employer of Choice citation since 2016. You can read more about Lendlease employees’ experiences taking parental leave here.

Some of their employee benefits include:

  • Flexible work options: arrangements such as flexible working hours, moving to part-time hours and/or job sharing
  • Paid parental leave: the parent – whether they’re male or female – is entitled to 18 weeks paid primary carer leave at any point in the 52 weeks since their baby was born. If both parents work for the company they can tag-team their primary carers leave to help look after their child

Thinking of applying at Lendlease? Check out their open roles here.

Father’s day feature: Meet some of Australia and New Zealand’s most progressive employers Commbank

Commonwealth Bank has some generous leave policies, including assisting with childcare.

  • Flexible work options: CBA encourages you to see work as just one part of your active, balanced lifestyle, with multiple flexible working arrangements and leave options to help you juggle your work and personal circumstances
  • Paid parental leave: Primary carers are entitled to 18 weeks of paid leave; secondary carers are offered 4 weeks of paid leave. In addition, they now have the option to switch to a primary carer role and receive the full 12-week leave entitlement. CBA also provides a $1,500 return-to-work benefit for primary carers, and superannuation will continue to be paid to primary carers for 52 weeks
  • Parental support: We provide access to the CommBank [email protected] Program which provides support and resources for parents to help them prepare for parental leave, return to work, manage their career as a working parent and balance home and work demands.

Interested in applying to work at Commonwealth Bank? Check out their available roles here.

New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand employees can take advantage of Aurecon’s benefits, such as:

  • Paid parental leave: Aurecon offers 14 weeks of paid parental leave, although employees can take up to 52 weeks of leave in total if parental leave is combined with other forms of leave
  • Shared Care benefit: if an Aurecon employee takes over as their child’s primary carer when their partner returns to work, they will then be able to access the organisation’s paid parental leave benefit. An Aurecon employee can receive 150% of their salary if they return to work and their partner is the primary carer for their child, but their partner cannot receive paid primary carers’ leave from their own employer. If both parents work for Aurecon, they can both access the organisation’s paid parental leave arrangement. The scheme is available to birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and same-sex parents who have six months’ continuous service at the organisation, and it applies in the first year of a child’s life

Interested in applying to work at Aurecon? Check out their available roles here.

As one of New Zealand’s largest communications providers, Vodafone offers generous benefits to parents.

  • Flexible work options: the Vodafone Way of Working ensures every member of the organisation is equipped with the tools and trust to perform at their best. Vodafone employees work in state of the art buildings that support a flexible and sustainable work culture. You can also enjoy “an outputs, not attendance” approach that empowers you to work wherever and whenever you need to in order to get the outcomes our customers deserve
  • Paid parental leave: Vodafone’s Phased Return to Work scheme gives new parents the flexibility to spend more time with their baby (or babies!). In addition to this, Vodafone adds to the New Zealand government’s paid parental leave entitlement of 22 weeks to top you up to 100% of your normal earning. They also offer two weeks of paid paternity/partner’s leave to our employees supporting their partner in those first weeks

Interested in applying for a job at Vodafone? Check out their available roles here.

Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies and offers generous leave benefits:

  • Flexible working options: As well as the standard sick and bereavement leave entitlements, Contact will be as accommodating as they can because your wellbeing and life outside of work is important. This includes an opportunity each year to purchase additional leave. If it’s practical, they are also open to providing flexible arrangements such as working from home, or flexible working hours
  • Paid parental leave: New Zealand employees are able to receive up to 22 weeks of paid parental leave as of 1 July 2018

Interested in applying for a job at Contact Energy? Check out their available roles here.