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The Complete Resume Checklist
Consider these odds: Most employers will receive more than 100 resumes for a single job opening. These same employers then spend...
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10 Bad Habits That Can Cost You Your Job
We all have bad habits. And while one bad habit, on its own, might not be the end of the world and can often be overlooked by your boss...
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When An Employer Says You’re Not The Right Fit … What Does That Mean?
When employers interview candidates for jobs, they are trying to answer three questions: 1) Do you have the necessary hard skills to do the job? 2) Is your past experience suitable for the job? ...
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The Top 15 Things To Remember When Starting A New Job
Starting a new job can be exciting and stressful at the same time. And it’s natural for doubts to creep in. Will you like your new job? Will your co-workers like you?...
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Should You Interview For A Job You Know You Won’t Take?
By Gerald Walsh ©
I know of many people who would happily go on job interviews “just for the practice.” They argue that you shouldn’t worry about wasting the company or interviewer’s time. They claim that many companies...
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Buzzwords And Clichés That Make My Head Explode
By Gerald Walsh ©
Many of you will know from previous blogs that I am a strong advocate of using plain language on resumes and in interviews. Simple, clear words – that say what you really mean – are far more effective than confusing, overused jargon...
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Will My References Help Me Or Hurt Me?
By Gerald Walsh ©
While some people downplay the value of reference checking, most employers still check them. Knowing this, there are steps you can take to ensure your references work in your favour, not against you...
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What To Look For In A Job Offer
By Gerald Walsh ©
I read in The Globe & Mail this week about a person who was made a verbal job offer in the morning, only to have it rescinded that same evening. Unfortunately, in the interim, he resigned from his current job...
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Why Accepting A Counter Offer Can Be A Bad Idea
By Gerald Walsh ©
Quitting your job to take a new one is seldom easy. Even if your new job pays more money, reduces commute time, and offers more room for growth, it can still be difficult to leave your current employer...
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How Your Fears Prevent You From Reaching Your Career Potential
By Gerald Walsh ©
For some time, I’ve been curious about why people do not pursue career paths that will make them happy and then end up – at the end of their careers – regretting their choices...
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We Are Products Of Our Past But We Don’t Have To Be Prisoners Of It
By Gerald Walsh ©
That title may sound familiar. It is a quote taken from Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life. I've chosen it because understanding your past is vital to moving ahead in your career. But getting to an understanding of who you really are...
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How To Tell If You Have New Leadership Potential
By Gerald Walsh ©
Old style leadership used to be about “command and control.” If you put your head down, did what your boss said, and didn’t ruffle any feathers, you eventually would make your way up the corporate ladder. Your best strategy was...
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Is It Possible To Convince An Employer To Hire You … Even If You’re Underqualified?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Years ago, I met a young environmental engineer, Brad, who had just come from an informational interview with an engineering firm. The firm was meeting him only as a courtesy – as they had no openings...
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The 3 Questions Every Interviewer Wants Answered
By Gerald Walsh ©
When job hunting, you will encounter a variety of interview formats and you should be prepared for each type. Here are the most common ones...
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If Your Job Was Eliminated Tomorrow, Would You Be Prepared?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Scary thought, isn’t it? What would you do? Are you ready to launch a search for another job – one that (hopefully) would give you the same level of satisfaction and reward as your current job?
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Are Your Skills Outdated?
By Gerald Walsh ©
I’d like you to think about your skills and abilities and answer honestly: If you had to change jobs, could you compete effectively against other people in the job market?
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15 Bad Habits That Can Destroy Your Career
By Gerald Walsh ©
I want to talk about some of the bad habits that can cause you to be fired, passed over for promotion, turned down for a job, or refused the raise you wanted. When these things happen, the first inclination often is...
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The Most Successful Job Seekers Do These Things
By Gerald Walsh ©
There are reasons why some people are more successful than others in their job searches. It is not just luck, or because they have better qualifications or more experience. It is usually...
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Tie It Up In A Bow: How To Wrap Up Your Job Search
By Gerald Walsh ©
Job searching – whether you are currently employed or not – can be a long, arduous process. So it’s not surprising that once you land that new job, your attention turns to the future. Understandably, you want to...
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How To Prepare For A Second Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
I received a question from a candidate about second interviews. It seems she hadn’t been having much luck getting beyond first interviews...
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The 6 Worst Pieces of Job Search Advice
By Gerald Walsh ©
Parents, teachers, friends, co-workers – they all share one thing in common. Whether asked or not, they are more than happy to give you advice on your career. Even though they are well-intentioned, sometimes it’s better...
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How Will Your Boss React When You Resign?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Resigning from your job is seldom easy. Even if your new job pays a lot more money, reduces your commute time, and offers room for...
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Should I List My Current Boss As A Reference?
By Gerald Walsh ©
I had an email a few days ago asking if employers consider it a "red flag" when an applicant provides references but excludes their present boss...
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Don’t Be Lazy – Write A Cover Letter That Makes You Stand Out
By Gerald Walsh ©
Some employers like to read cover letters; other employers just ignore them. Personally, I believe they are an important part of the job search process...
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How A Marketing Mindset Can Lead To Better Job Opportunities
By Gerald Walsh ©
Those of you who work in marketing or studied it in school will recognize the 4Ps of marketing – product, promotion, place and price – otherwise known as...
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How To Salvage A Bad Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
Despite our best efforts, interviews sometimes go horribly wrong. Here is a question sent to me which illustrates that point...
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How to Manage Your Career in Uncertain Times
By Gerald Walsh ©
With one in five jobs in Canada dependent on trade with the United States, the election of Donald Trump has injected a lot of angst into the Canadian job market. While no one knows just what the economic impact is going to be, a lot of businesses are...
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20 Signs You May Be In A Dead-End Job
By Gerald Walsh ©
Making the decision to look for another job can be disruptive to your career, your reputation and your family. You may lose friendships and income and run the risk of blemishing your resume if you move to the wrong job. But staying in your present job can be even worse...
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My 2017 New Year’s Wish List for the Workplace
By Gerald Walsh ©
At this time of year – when things are less busy – we tend to reflect on the year gone by, thinking about the highs and lows we experienced and what we have learned from those times. For me, some of the highlights included:
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6 Ways To Manage Your Career Like A Business
By Gerald Walsh ©
Your career is like a business. It has assets and liabilities. It generates revenue and requires investment. It has customers and competition. It has a life cycle and goes through phases...
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Questions From Readers
By Gerald Walsh ©
Q. I was pleased to receive a job offer recently but after thinking about it for a few days, I decided to turn it down. When I spoke to the hiring manager and told her the news, she asked if I would be open to another offer. I told her “no thanks.” I had already made my decision...
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How To Avoid Repeating Past Career Mistakes
By Gerald Walsh ©
We all make mistakes. We forget to call someone. We miss an appointment. We say stupid things in job interviews. When mistakes occur, two things should happen...
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7 Blunders To Avoid In A Job Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
Employers want to hire people with well-developed skills and whom they feel will be a good fit for their organization. But sometimes even the most qualified candidates commit blunders in the interview that rule them out immediately from further consideration. Here are seven big ones you want to avoid.
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How To Be Cool Like Barack Obama In A Job Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
If you are like most people, you’ve experienced some level of interview anxiety. For some, it’s very noticeable like sweaty palms, a flushed face and a shaking voice. For others, it’s less noticeable – but still bothersome – like a feeling in the pit of your stomach, a dry mouth or a pounding heartbeat.
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Why Am I Not Being Called In For Interviews?
By Gerald Walsh ©
How many times has this happened to you? You apply for a job with optimism and excitement believing you meet all the requirements. Then you wait and wait for that call to schedule an interview. But it never comes.
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If Money Was No Object, What Would You Be Doing?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Take a look at each of these scenarios and decide which one most closely describes your relationship to your work.
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How To Prepare For A Job Interview Over Lunch
By Gerald Walsh ©
Which fork should I use? Is that my bread on the left? Is it okay to have a glass of wine? You may not worry about these things if you’re having lunch with friends, but if it’s over lunch with a prospective employer, you better get it right.
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The 10 Best Questions You Can Ask In A Job Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
You should always remember that interviewing is a two-way street. The employer is asking questions of you to learn about your background, experience and skills to determine if you are a good fit for their organization.
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12 Things You Should Leave Off Your Resume
By Gerald Walsh ©
A resume will never get you the job. Its only purpose is to help you make a good first impression with a prospective employer so they will invite you in for an interview.
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Give Smart Answers to Stupid Interview Questions
By Gerald Walsh ©
As if interviews weren’t stressful enough already, interviewers will sometimes lob a bizarre question your way to see how you respond to an unexpected query. How you handle those questions says a lot about you, even though you may think of them as strange or silly. Let’s start with the stupidest of questions (in my...
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How to Look Good and Perform Well in a Skype Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
In my search practice, I conduct a large number of first interviews by Skype. While I don’t keep track of the exact numbers, my guess is that about 25 per cent of my interviews are conducted that way. I can only see this trend continuing as the travel costs to bring candidates in for initial...
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How To Land An Informational Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
In last week’s blog, I spoke about the importance of targeting specific organizations that you might want to work for. Remember, your goal in approaching companies directly is to obtain a meeting – ideally in person – to introduce yourself, learn about specific careers, and generally network with the person you are meeting to uncover...
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Is It Better To Use Telephone or Email To Connect With Potential Employers?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Targeting specific organizations that you feel you might want to work for is one of the most valuable steps in your job search. Ideally, you will have a personal connection – someone who can “open the door” for you – but if you simply cannot find anyone to give you a referral, you will have...
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Is There Really A Hidden Job Market?
By Gerald Walsh ©
The short answer is: Yes! Simply put, it is all those jobs (or potential jobs) that have yet to be publicized. It contains: Jobs that are still in the planning stages; Jobs that will arise due to corporate reorganization or restructuring; Jobs that will open up due to retirements, resignations, promotions, or transfers; Jobs that...
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The Thank-You Note: A Small Thing That Goes a Long Way
By Gerald Walsh ©
When looking for a job you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. There is no sense in trying to blend in and be part of the scenery. You need to be different, hopefully in a positive way, so that employers will remember you. One obvious way to give yourself a leg-up...
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The 3 Most Common Reasons An Employer Will Not Hire You
By Gerald Walsh ©
There are three possible reasons why an employer will not hire you. They are pay, experience and fit. If it’s pay, you’ll hear the employer say something like: We can’t pay you what you want. If it’s experience, they say: You don’t have enough experience or You don’t have the right skills for what we...
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Can You Really Renew Your Career at Mid-Life?
By Gerald Walsh ©
Does this sound like you? You’re now about halfway through your career. You have a decent job with a respectable income, nice benefits and comfortable surroundings. You’re well regarded for what you do and your future is relatively secure. But deep down, you’re feeling less than satisfied with what you’re doing. For some reason, that...
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8 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
By Gerald Walsh ©
Not using social media in your job search today is the same as not using the telephone while job searching in the 1990s. It is an indispensable tool that has to be used intelligently to promote yourself and to engage with the right people. This is particularly relevant because most employers and recruitment firms now...
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How to Use Your Personal Connections to Generate Job Leads
By Gerald Walsh ©
Most people hate the thought of networking. For example, when I ask participants in my job search workshops what comes to mind when I say “networking” or “networker,” they come up with words like ruthless, big-talker, gossiper, slick, devious, tricky, disingenuous, and a bunch of other words I can’t repeat here. No one wants to...
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How to Improve Your Performance in Future Interviews
By Gerald Walsh ©
One of the best ways to improve your performance in upcoming interviews is to dissect how the past one just went. If at all possible, you should try to obtain constructive feedback from the interviewers or recruiter. For example, not long ago, in response to a candidate asking me for feedback, I told her that...
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How to Respond When You Are Asked an Illegal Interview Question
By Gerald Walsh ©
All provinces in Canada as well as the federal government have laws that protect individuals from discriminatory hiring practices. This means that, when hiring, employers cannot discriminate in any way based on age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ethic, national or aboriginal origin, family or marital status, irrational fear...
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How to Know When the Time is Right To Look For a New Job
By Gerald Walsh ©
Making the decision to look for another job can be disruptive to your career, reputation and personal life. You may lose relationships and income and blemish your resume if you make the wrong career move. But the alternative – staying in your present job because you fear the uncertainty of a move – can be...
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8 Strategies to Guarantee Success in Your New Job
By Gerald Walsh ©
Once the initial excitement of accepting a new job has worn off, it’s time to think about how you can start off your new job on the right foot. At this stage – for many people – doubts start to creep in. Will I like my new job? What will the people be like? Will...
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Can You Afford To Follow Your Passion?
By Gerald Walsh ©
It’s hard to argue with Steve Jobs’ success but he certainly sparked a hot debate with his follow-your-passion commencement speech to Stanford University graduates in 2005. In that speech – which focused on three stories from Jobs’ personal experience – he said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and...
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Tips to Build a Relationship With Recruiters
By Gerald Walsh ©
The terms executive search firms, executive recruiters, employment agencies, placement firms, and head-hunters all mean the same thing. These firms work for employers to source and screen candidates for job openings. Now, here’s the problem. Some of you will mistakenly believe that a recruitment firm (a collective name for the above) will find you a...
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6 Sure-Fire Ways to Fast-Track Your Career
By Gerald Walsh ©
We all know people who are quite content working “9-to-5” and collecting a regular pay cheque every two weeks. Now, I am sure most of you reading this blog do not fall into that category. You have the desire to grow both professionally and personally throughout your career and your life, perhaps even stretching for...
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What to Do When You Don’t Get The Job
By Gerald Walsh ©
The part of my role as an executive recruiter that I like the least is calling candidates to tell them they did not get the job. No one likes delivering bad news – me included – but it is a necessary part of the process. Plus, I know it is better to be upfront and...
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The 10 Biggest Job Hunting Myths and Why They Are Wrong
By Gerald Walsh ©
Every day I see intelligent people make serious mistakes when they look for a job. And this doesn’t just apply to young people entering the job market for the first time. I see candidates for very senior-level jobs write inadequate resumes, prepare poorly for interviews and present themselves badly in front of prospective employers. Frankly,...
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Mistakes People Make When Negotiating Their Starting Salary
By Gerald Walsh ©
Salary negotiations can be one of the most difficult steps in a job search process. For some, it’s a natural discomfort with talking about money. For others, it’s a fear about asking for too much (and losing the job opportunity) or for too little (and being underpaid). Mistakes made at this point in the search...
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The 8 Best Ways to Leave a Lasting Impression in an Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
Employers want to hire people they like and whom they feel will be a good fit for their organization. In fact, employers often reject candidates with strong technical skills but come across as arrogant, in favour of candidates who are likeable but with fewer technical skills. Now I know most of you are both competent...
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8 Behaviours That May Be Damaging Your Career
By Gerald Walsh ©
Have you ever felt angry at being passed over for a promotion? Or felt the disappointment of not receiving the raise you wanted? And when you feel these emotions, do you look for someone else to blame? I bet, if you’re like most human beings, your first inclination is to blame your employer. After all,...
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My 2016 New Year’s Wish List for the Workplace
By Gerald Walsh ©
It’s that time of year again – the time when we reflect on the year gone by and plan for the coming year. I’ve decided to join in too and prepare my own list of wishes for the workplace in 2016. I wish …. That businesses start caring for people (their customers and employees) and...
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How to Figure Out What You Want to Do
By Gerald Walsh ©
Some people know – from a very young age – what they want to do with their career. But there are others who never really figure it out. Most are working simply to pay the bills. The hours drag on, the bosses are intolerable, and “living for the weekend” becomes their mantra. It’s easy to...
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10 Essential Things You Must Do Before a Big Interview
By Gerald Walsh ©
Let’s say you have a big interview coming up next week for a job you’re really interested in. You know you want to be at the top of your game and excel in all respects. Here is a list of ten essential things you must do to use your preparation time wisely and to get...
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5 Ways to Keep Good Employees From Leaving
By Gerald Walsh ©
One of the best ways to retain key employees is to give them interesting and challenging things to do. When you expose high-potential staff to development opportunities, you help them learn. In turn, you increase your pool of leadership talent and you reduce the risk and cost of turnover. But with organizations slimming down, how...
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Employers Now Competing for Employees
By Gerald Walsh ©
Not long ago, candidates competed with one another for jobs. Now employers compete with other employers for good candidates. A case in point: Recently, we conducted two searches for senior financial professionals for a client. After a two-month search, the company made highly competitive offers to two early-career, high potential individuals. Only after these offers...
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Why Employees Under-Perform
By Gerald Walsh ©
No organization can afford to have under-performing employees. Yet many managers turn a blind eye to mediocre employee performance hoping that somehow the problems will go away. They rarely do and the consequences of this inaction can be grave. Here are eight reasons why employees under-perform and possible courses of action you can take as...
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The Seven Most Common Interviewing Errors
By Gerald Walsh ©
We know hiring mistakes are expensive. Some say the real costs can range from two to four times the person’s salary. When you add up the cost of under-performance, severance costs to let the person go, recruiting costs to find a replacement, and the overall impact on employee morale, you can see how these costs...
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Seven Strategies to Attract and Retain Engaged Employees
By Gerald Walsh ©
Many companies already know that compensation, while important to employees, is not sufficient on its own to attract and retain the best workers. So what do the top candidates look for when they are thinking of joining your company? What will keep your best employees excited about their work and not looking for another job?...
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Better Reference Checks Lead to Better Hires
By Gerald Walsh ©
Reference checking, like many parts of the hiring process, is a quagmire. Concerns of being sued by former employees, who have been denied employment because of negative references, cause many employers to offer nothing more than “name, rank and serial number” to reference checkers. Despite these frustrations, all employers agree that checking references is essential...
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Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions
By Gerald Walsh ©
Have you ever wondering how so many intelligent people could have been swindled out of billions of dollars by Bernie Madoff? How so many well-educated investors, analysts and bankers could have been duped by the now-convicted criminals who ran Enron? How so many wise world leaders could have be convinced that weapons of mass destruction...
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The Joy of Quitting Your Job
By Gerald Walsh ©
Quitting your job is not easy. Leaving co-workers whom you like and often, several years of emotional investment in an employer is difficult, even if the job you’re going to offers you more pay, is closer to home, and presents greater career potential. In my 20+ years as an executive search consultant, I’ve concluded that...
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Where Do You Spend Your Time?
By Gerald Walsh ©
The theory goes that you spend your time where you receive the greatest return. That’s what good sales people do: they focus their attention on those customers who buy, or will potentially buy, the most products from them. Unfortunately, it seems when managing staff this theory doesn’t hold. In fact, I would venture to guess...
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Create a Workplace Employees Will Not Want to Leave
By Gerald Walsh ©
Companies want to hold on to their brightest and best employees. So why is it that most companies don’t notice that an employee is unhappy until after they give their notice? What can be done to reduce the risk of losing talented workers to other organizations? Here are a few tips you might consider to...
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10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Employees
By Gerald Walsh ©
Many managers understand the worth in showing appreciation to their employees, yet struggle with how to implement an employee recognition process. Why wait to establish a formal recognition program when there are so many informal ways in which you can achieve the same goal? Informal and unexpected acts of recognition are also often more meaningful....
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Why Feedback Is Not Enough
By Gerald Walsh ©
In sports, visualization is used all the time to influence future performance. For example, golfers are told to picture their putt dropping cleanly into the cup. Basketball players are coached to think about their foul shots swishing through the net. Marathon runners are encouraged to focus on what “it’s going to feel like” when they...
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When Being Right Is Wrong
By Gerald Walsh ©
One person that you should never attempt to prove wrong is your boss. Even if you are absolutely right. I learned this lesson the hard way several years ago, long before I entered the human resource field. Then, I was working for a major bank. I had prepared a lengthy report assessing the financial position...
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