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Showing posts with label English for WORK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English for WORK. Show all posts

Core Values Are What You Believe, by Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

πŸ‘‰By Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

What Are Your Most Significant Beliefs and Needs?

Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent an individual's or an organization's highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are the heart of what your organization and its employees stand for in the world.

Core values are intrinsic to form the vision of your organization that you present to the world outside of your organization. Your core values are fundamental to attracting and retaining the best, most contributing employees.

Core values define what your organization believes and how you want your organization resonating with and appealing to employees and the external world. [They] should be so integrated with your employees and their belief systems and actions that clients, customers, and vendors see the values in action.

For example, [...] when customers tell the company that they feel cherished by the business, you know that your employees are living your core value of extraordinary customer care and service.

Core values are also known as guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are, what you believe, and who you want to be going forward.

πŸ“Œ Core Values Form the Foundation of Your Organization
Values form the foundation for everything that happens in your workplace. The core values of the employees in your workplace, along with their experiences, upbringing, and so on, meld together to form your corporate culture. [...]

πŸ“Œ How to Identify Your Core Values
Your goal, when you identify the core values of your organization, is to identify the key core values, not a laundry list of cookie-cutter values that you copied from another organization's list of core values. An organization's employees would have a hard time living any more than 10-12 core values (at a maximum). Four-six is better and easier to hold front and center in everything you do. [...]

πŸ“Œ Develop Value Statements From Your Core Values
Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental core values held by most individuals within the organization. For example, a nursing group of employees identified caring service as one of their core values. When they wrote their value statements, one was, "We will respond to all customer calls within one minute." Another values statement was, "No patient shall ever run out of medication from the drip line."

Values play a defining role in employee motivation and morale. [...] Values such as integrity, empowerment, perseverance, equality, self-discipline, and accountability, when truly integrated within the culture of the organization, are powerful motivators.

They become the compass that the organization uses to select staff members, reward and recognize employee performance, promote employees to more senior roles, and guide interpersonal interaction among staff members.
πŸ“Œ The Downside to Identifying Values

The downside to identifying values occurs when an organization's senior leaders claim to hold certain values and then behave in ways that are contradictory to their stated values. In these workplaces, values deflate motivation because employees don’t trust their leaders’ word.

Remember that employees are like radar machines watching everything you do, listening to everything you say, and watching your interaction with customers and their coworkers. They see your values in action every day at work—or they do not.

Employees want to work in a workplace that shares their values. They want their overall work culture to promote being a part of a whole system that is much bigger than themselves. They experience motivation and engagement when their workplace exhibits their most important core values. Never underestimate the power of core values in creating a motivating work environment—or not. Your choice.

πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in:

How many is a billion? (From Oxford Dictionary – Explore)


πŸ’‘ In British English, a billion used to be equivalent to a million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000), while in American English it has always equated to a thousand million (i.e. 1,000,000,000). British English has now adopted the American figure, though, so that a billion equals a thousand million in both varieties of English.
The same sort of change has taken place with the meaning of trillion. In British English, a trillion used to mean a million million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000). Nowadays, it's generally held to be equivalent to a million million (1,000,000,000,000), as it is in American English.

The same evolution can be seen with quadrillion and quintillion. In British English, a quadrillion used to mean a thousand raised to the power of eight (1024), and is now understood to be a thousand raised to the power of five (1015). A quintillion, in British English, used to mean a million raised to the power of five (1030), and is now most commonly held to be a thousand raised to the power of six (1018).

Even higher are sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, and decillion, some of which are not common enough to be included in OxfordDictionaries.com yet.

Other terms follow the same linguistic pattern (ending with -illion) but do not refer to precise numbers. These include jillion, zillion, squillion, gazillion, kazillion, bajillion, and bazillion. All of these words are used informally to refer to an extremely or indefinitely large number.

How many is a billion? (2:02 minutes)

CV / RESUME WRITING (Posts from Glassdoor Blog + Videos)

Resume Hacks - How to Make a Resume Stand Out (9:00 minutes - By Linda Raynier)


πŸ“ How to Write a Resume (From Glassdoor Blog)

[… This article] will take you through all the essential steps of crafting this career document, from how to structure its many sections to how to make sure a spelling error doesn’t sneak in. […]

How to Structure a Resume

This is what the perfect resume looks like: it's got a simple, clean design and a clear way to contact the job candidate, plus it makes the applicant's experience stand out. You'll need to add your work experience, education — including any specialized training you may have received — your skills, and the best way to contact you. (Adding references to your resume is optional.) […]

For example, professional resume writer Peter Yang told Glassdoor that there's no rule that your education section must come before your work experience section. If your work experience is more relevant to the position for which you're applying—or if your education doesn't match the position's requirements—then your degree should be placed at the bottom of your resume. But if your GPA is sure to wow, or you’re a recent graduate without much experience, put your degree toward the top. In other words, structure your resume in a way that makes sense for you — and that shows off your strongest assets for the specific job for which you're applying.

Lastly, beware of leaning too heavily on traditional resume templates. They may make writing your resume easier, but they also won't help you stand out in a pile of other resumes. "People too often use a standardized resume," said Aikman, "and don't think from a creative perspective."

Instead, Aikman told Glassdoor, "You should consider, 'What does this employer think about? What are they looking for? What can I communicate visually?' You are trying to communicate to someone else, so think about what they want to see. What works for the engineering industry does not work for the marketing industry; [and] therefore, you have to style it toward the person who is going to be reading it."

How to Showcase Your Skills, Education & More

Career experts agree: finding a way to quantify or paint a picture of your skills is the most effective way to show them off on your resume. So, what does that look like?

It means stripping words such as "results-oriented" and "hardworking" from your resume. Why? They're overused, and they're not specific enough. Instead, use verbs "that really pinpoint what was accomplished, i.e. influenced, improved, achieved, etc.," according to expert Susan Joyce. "This way, there is no miscommunication about a candidate’s qualifications."

Job coach Angela Copeland told Glassdoor, "if you want to show that you’re results-oriented and hardworking, share the numbers. Rather than stating that you’re an 'excellent digital marketer,' prove it. Say something that reflects your actual results, such as, "grew online sales and revenue by 200 percent in one year.'"

But when it comes to showcasing your skills, education, and anything else you want to stand out, there are more words you need to focus on than just verbs. Recruiters and applicant tracking systems scan your resume for exact keywords that match the job description. So, one way you'll ensure you can show off those skills is to pepper your skills section with those keywords. For example, Yang told Glassdoor, if the job description for a software engineering position requires candidates have knowledge of object-oriented design and you took a course on object-oriented programming in college, note it on your resume. You can include it in your education or your skills section.

How to Edit Your Resume

You've written your resume, and read it twice, but that's not enough. A good editing job will take a little longer—and some specific tactics meant to catch resume errors.

First, don't attempt to edit your resume until it's done. […]

Next, never try to edit your resume right after you've written it. In fact, you should give yourself a 24-hour break before editing your resume. With time away, you'll see your resume with fresh eyes and for what it really is—not what you meant it to be.

When you give your resume a read, try reading your resume backward. It sounds odd — and it's not always easy — but reading backward forces you to focus on each word, and helps you better catch both spelling and grammatical errors in the text.

Ask a friend or family member to read your resume, too. They may spot errors that you missed or have suggestions for how to show yourself in an even better light.

Then, fact-check your resume. Check the spelling of proper nouns — think: company names, addresses, etc. — and make sure you have the current contact information for any references you've chosen to add. These things might have changed since you last applied for a job.

And lastly, be sure to look for these common resume pitfalls before you press send. […]

πŸ’‘ A few examples:
πŸ’‘ More from Glassdoor Blog:
5 Things Your Resume Must Have To Get More Job Interviews (6:39 minutes - From Work It Daily)
If Your Resume Doesn't Have This, It Gets Tossed by Recruiters | #HelpMeJT (1:54 minutes - From Work It Daily)
Should I List A Short-Term Job On My Resume? - Coaching Moment (2:00 minutes - From Work It Daily)
This Resume Mistake Will RUIN Your Chances Of Getting A Job - Part 6 of 8 (2:06 minutes From Work It Daily)

WEEKLY PICKS - 19

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CULTURE: Images that defined the Soviet Union, by Fiona Macdonald. Red Star Over Russia is an exhibition that offers a visual history of Russia and the Soviet Union. Fiona Macdonald finds out how these images foreshadowed fake news.
“We all live in an age of fake news. But it wasn’t invented with Twitter and YouTube – it was used in the 1930s to make real people disappear,” said curator Natalia Sidlina at the opening of a new exhibition at London’s Tate Modern. Red Star Over Russia, which launched on the centenary of the October Revolution, is focused on the powerful imagery created in Russia and the Soviet Union from 1905 to 1955 – but, inevitably, politics seeps through.
And the relevance of these images today is hard to escape. “We planned the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of the October Revolution, yet it does seem to be inviting comparisons with what’s going on around the world right now,” Tate Modern’s head of displays Matthew Gale tells BBC Culture. (Continue reading)

From CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY: 1066 and all that: How to say years by Liz Walter. Being able to name a year is a pretty basic English skill, but there are a few things that can make it complicated, and there are a number of differences between British and American English.
Let’s start with the (relatively) easy ones. For years like 1345, 1682 or 1961, we say the first two and the second two digits as if they were single numbers: thirteen forty-five; sixteen eighty-two; nineteen sixty-one. If the third digit is zero, there are two possible ways of saying the year: … (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Why English is so hard to learn: silent letters (1:22 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Skills for Work: Interview Skills (6:43 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
10 ESSENTIAL Do's and Don'ts in London (Don't make these MISTAKES!) (14:45 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
English Grammar - comparing with LIKE & AS (9:10 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
Stative verbs in the continuous form: BBC English Masterclass (3:45 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Are you an insecure overachiever? By Laura Empson (From BBC CAPITAL)

πŸ‘‰ Listen to Insecure Overachievers on BBC Radio 4 here. Presented by Laura Empson and produced by Jonathan Brunert.

Decades of research into elite firms identified a particular type of worker: exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, but driven by a profound belief in their own inadequacy.

"It feels like a constant need to prove you should be where you are, and a constant concern, before every meeting that I go to… am I going to make an idiot of myself here and are people going to see through a faΓ§ade and think actually there’s no real substance to this?"

This is Jeremy Newman. Until recently, Jeremy was the global CEO of BDO, one of the world’s largest accounting firms. He currently chairs important government bodies and a range of other institutions. By any measure he is hugely successful in his professional life, and yet here he is, telling me that he privately worries constantly that he is not good enough.

He is not alone. In my 25 years of researching leadership and professional service firms (such as law and accountancy firms, consultancies and investment banks) I have heard numerous brilliant, successful, and apparently confident people describe themselves as insecure. They are ‘insecure overachievers’: exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, but driven by a profound belief in their own inadequacy.

When I wrote about insecure overachievers in my recent book, Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas, I got a phenomenal response from people worldwide, in a range of sectors, saying that they identified with the term. Insecure overachievers are made, not born, and typically in childhood, through experiencing psychological, financial, or physical insecurity. [...]

[…] People know that they are being directly measured against their colleagues. But because they don’t actually know how their colleagues are doing, they set themselves incredibly high standards, just to be sure. And because everyone in the system is doing this, the standards just get higher and higher, requiring everyone to work harder and harder.

For insecure overachievers, this pattern persists. During my research, a senior executive in a consulting firm described two colleagues, who “feel that I will say to them, ‘Sorry. You’re not performing. You have to leave’… So I say, ‘Are you crazy? Why don’t you go home earlier and think about your family?’ And they say, ‘No, no, no, no, I have to work.’” More junior employees see their leaders behaving in this way and assume that this is what will get them ahead. And so, the pattern is repeated and constantly reinforced.

[... Sometimes, it] can be positive. David Morley, until recently the global senior partner at leading global law firm Allen and Overy, likens the senior lawyer on a transaction to the ringmaster of a giant circus that’s going on around them. “And if you’re good at it and you enjoy it, that’s very stimulating,” he says. “You can render a large bill at the end which is paid by a grateful client, and so you’ve got a very tangible number on the page illustrating the value that you’ve added. And then the phone rings and you’re on to the next one... It’s almost like a drug... this flow of excitement… and if you are good at it there are a lot of positive rewards that come from that."

However, taken to extremes, the long hours and being constantly driven to excel can lead to serious physical and mental health problems, ranging from simple exhaustion to chronic pain, addictions, eating disorders, depression and worse.

So, if you are an insecure overachiever, what can you do about it? […]
  1. Recognise your triggers […]
  2. Define success in your own terms, not others'.  […]
  3. Respect the evidence of and celebrate your success.  […]
πŸ”— GO TO FULL ARTICLE πŸ‘‰Are you an insecure overachiever?

πŸ”Ž Laura Empson is professor in the management of professional service firms at Cass Business School, London, and a senior research fellow at Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession. Her most recent book is Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas (Oxford University Press).

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SINGULAR 'THEY' (From Oxford English Dictionary Blog)

πŸ‘‰ An excerpt from "A brief history of singular they", by Dennis Baron

Singular ‘they’ has become the pronoun of choice to replace ‘he and she’ in cases where the gender of the antecedent – the word the pronoun refers to – is unknown, irrelevant, or nonbinary, or where gender needs to be concealed. It’s the word we use for sentences like ‘Everyone loves his mother’.
Since forms may exist in speech long before they’re written down, it’s likely that singular 'they' was common even before the late fourteenth century. That makes an old form even older.

In the eighteenth century, grammarians began warning that singular 'they' was an error because a plural pronoun can’t take a singular antecedent. They clearly forgot that singular 'you' was a plural pronoun that had become singular as well. You functioned as a polite singular for centuries, but in the seventeenth century singular 'you' replaced 'thou', 'thee', and 'thy', except for some dialect use. That change met with some resistance. […]

Singular 'you' has become normal and unremarkable. […] And singular 'they' is well on its way to being normal and unremarkable as well. Toward the end of the twentieth century, language authorities began to approve the form. The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) not only accepts singular they, they also use the form in their definitions. And the New Oxford American Dictionary (Third Edition, 2010), calls singular 'they' ‘generally accepted’ with indefinites, and ‘now common but less widely accepted’ with definite nouns, especially in formal contexts.

Not everyone is down with singular 'they'. The well-respected Chicago Manual of Style still rejects singular 'they' for formal writing, and just the other day a teacher told me that he still corrects students who use ‘everyone … their’ in their papers, though he probably uses singular 'they' when his students aren’t looking. […]

πŸ’‘ GO TO FULL ARTICLE

πŸ‘‰ Dennis Baron – Professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Read Dennis’s blog, The Web of Language, and follow him on Twitter as @DrGrammar.

TOP TIPS for WRITING a SUCCESSFUL SPEECH (From OXFORD Living Dictionaries)


At some point in your life, you will probably have to make a speech. There are many kinds of speeches, including those intended to inform, persuade, instruct, motivate, and entertain. They all share the same goal, however: to communicate clearly and effectively to an audience.

πŸ’‘ Here are some guidelines to make it easier to talk to a room full of people you don’t know.
  1. Know your audience
  2. Narrow your topic
  3. Outline your speech
  4. Get the attention of the room
  5. Organize your speech
  6. Offer examples, statistics, and quotations
  7. Craft a powerful conclusion
  8. Use presentation aids if appropriate
  9. Write for the ear, not for the eye
  10. Time yourself

1. Know your audience

Understand what your listeners care about. Tailor your speech to their knowledge and their interests. If you are an expert speaking to a general audience, be sure to define your terms. If you’re a manager talking to a staff that has recently experienced lay-offs, acknowledge that you understand their concerns.

2. Narrow your topic

A good speech makes a claim. And a good speech is about one thing only. Even if your speech is a wedding toast, your point is that the bride and the groom were meant for each other. Have a specific focus and make sure everything you say supports it.

3. Outline your speech

A conventional organization usually works best. Tell the audience what you’re going to say (introduction), say it (body), and then tell them what you said (conclusion) ⇒ Repetition is a powerful tool, especially in a speech. Audiences tend to absorb only a small portion of what they hear, so it’s good to make your point several times.

4. Get the attention of the room

Your opening should engage listeners immediately. Engage them with a unique personal story that is relevant to your topic. Or try a specific reference to the location. Most people will appreciate a speaker who says she’s glad to be in Australia in January.

Other good ways to begin:
  • ask a question;
  • report a surprising statistic related to your topic;
  • find an apposite quotation.

5. Organize your speech

Structure your speech according to your purpose. If your goal is to inform, try a chronological or alphabetical organization. When your goal is to convince your audience to take a stand, introduce the problem and then propose a solution. Use transitions between your examples, so people can follow your logic.

6. Offer examples, statistics, and quotations

You need evidence to support what you’re saying. Try examples from history, current events, and your own life. Consult government sources for statistics. Use quotations from experts in the field. Don’t overdo quotations, though: most of the words in your speech should be your own. Check your facts—inaccuracies will undermine your credibility.

7. Craft a powerful conclusion

Keep it short, memorable, and to the point. Consider ending with a concrete, vivid image or anecdote that illustrates your topic. Or ask people to take an action, such as promise to write to a decision-maker or to contribute to a cause.

8. Use presentation aids if appropriate

Charts and tables quickly convey data, and photographs can offer compelling support. Incorporate visuals into your speech if they’ll make it more powerful. Know what technology will be available for you to share these visuals. And be prepared to do without them, in case something goes wrong with the equipment.

9. Write for the ear, not for the eye

Once you’ve finished a draft of your speech, practice reading it out loud. You’ll hear anything that sounds awkward. Revise so you are more comfortable giving your speech. You want to sound natural, no matter what the occasion.

10. Time yourself

Have someone else run the stopwatch, so you won’t be distracted. Read slowly and clearly. Include pauses for emphasis or for audience reaction if you’re saying something that might cause listeners to laugh or gasp. If you’re over your time limit, you’ll need to edit to shorten your speech.


πŸ’‘ Go to Oxford Dictionaries for more Top writing tips.

πŸ’‘ You might also be interested in:

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