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Career Management

Successful career development is more than doing a good job. Dressing for success, business writing skills, career networking – all are vitally important.

Business Management Daily’s succinct, workplace-tested career advice is designed to help you position yourself to succeed in your chosen field.

As another year winds down, the economy isn’t the only thing that’s in a slump. Plenty of workers are in the doldrums, too. They feel stuck in their jobs because new ones are hard to come by. They can’t afford to retire. So they’re not performing as well as employees who look at their jobs as labors of love. Here's how HR can help get them back on track.

When she first stepped into a leadership position, Anne Berkowitch, co-founder and CEO of social-networking company SelectMinds, believed she should be like a military general. Now, she says, she envisions the way you steer a boat. “If you think about how you steer a boat, it’s always from the back,” she says, “and I’ve moved toward the back of the boat.”

The economy isn’t the only thing that’s in a slump these days. Plenty of workers are in the doldrums, too. They feel stuck in their jobs because new ones are hard to come by. They can’t afford to retire. So they’re not performing as well as employees who look at their jobs as labors of love. Here's how HR can help get them back on track.

Finding out that someone with your title and job description makes more money than you can rattle your nerves. Here’s how to handle it:
The EEOC has just issued final regulations implementing the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), the federal law that makes it illegal for employers to use genetic information to make decisions about health insurance and employment. Download the final regs here, and then use them as the basis for reviewing your wellness program and other work processes that might violate GINA.

Administrative pros looking for a way to stretch their skills often turn toward certification. But do the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) ratings help you advance your career? Or command a higher salary? Are they worth the work and cost?

Millions of companies and entrepreneurs are jumping into the social media world only to find their efforts aren’t capturing the results they’d hoped for. Half the battle is knowing which mistakes not to make. Here are the top 10 pitfalls companies make, according to Barry Libert, author of the new book Social Nation:
Become an effective networker even if you’re an introvert, writes Devora Zack, author of Networking for People Who Hate Networking ... Know when to use—and when to skip—skycaps while traveling ... Track your personal spending with two free online tools ... Give your “audience”—the people around you—a new, great story.

Social media can help you collect industry-based knowledge, reach new customers and build your brand. But those benefits come with their fair share of legal risks. You need a comprehensive social media policy to guide employees on your expectations about their online behavior, especially when that conduct occurs in the name of the organization.

Diplomacyposter A good piece of conventional wisdom for leaders used to be to never do, say or write anything down that you wouldn’t want to read on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.  Times have changed though. As this week’s WikiLeaks release of more than 250,000 U.S. State Department documents shows, there’s a pretty good chance that your recorded thoughts and actions can end up all over the internet in no time flat.

As reported in the New York Times and other major publications, the State Department memos contain some rather embarrassing details of how diplomacy gets done and some very candid assessments of individual world leaders.  For example, according to a summary in the Financial Times, the documents describe French president Sarkozy as having a “thin skinned and authoritarian personal style,” Russian president Medvedev  as “Robin” to Prime Minister Putin’s “Batman,” Afghan President Karzai as “an extremely weak man who does not listen to facts,” Italy’s PM Berlusconi as “feckless and vain,” and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il as a “flabby old chap.”

Since most of those observations could be made firsthand by anyone who follows international news, you sort of have to wonder what the value was in writing them down.  In any case, they were and now the apologizing is underway.  While it’s unlikely that your closeted skeletons will suddenly appear on WikiLeaks (although the probability of someone’s Facebook page or blog is much higher),  you’ve likely faced situations as a leader where your true thoughts inadvertently come out (You’ve probably learned the hard way that the recall button on that e-mail you just sent by “Reply All” doesn’t actually do anything).  In spite of all the lessons you’ve learned, it will probably happen again in the future.  If not that, then you may end up on the receiving end of someone else’s unintended candor.

Here are some suggestions on how to apologize in the first instance and why and how you should accept the apology in the second: