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New Year, New Trends in Leadership
Friday, December 28, 2012

The onset of a new year makes us evaluate the highs and lows of the one on it's way out. We take with us the good memories and leave the bad behind. In the work world, we do the same kind of evaluations. We look back on the things we did right and find ways of making them even better in the upcoming year.

Leadership is a vital professional skill that always has room for improvement. The best leaders lead by example because they practice and prove what they preach. Everyone has what it takes to put their ideas into action, it just comes down to whether they do or not.

Here are some of the changing trends in leadership approaches that are expected to become more prevalent in 2013:
The perfectly balanced combination of leadership and people skills will be valued more than leadership alone. The best kind of motivation is when the employee feels prompted to do something out of want rather than obligation. If you've ever experienced this kind of leadership, you'll realize that you're doing your job well and with pride because your leader has made you enthusiastic about it.

Leaders who lack these people can often make their employees feel like their work is more of a chore that they are being told to do rather than feeling happy to do so.Training for this people-leadership skill combo focuses on areas such as: coaching a team, thinking like a leader, others producing the company desired results, and getting others engaged.
When you have a group of people working together, the glue that keeps them together is the leader. But a leader without a cooperative group is not a leader. It takes the contributed effort of the entire team in order for the operation to function properly. Essentially, the leader cannot expect to do everything himself nor expect to take all the credit either. Leaders are still just as much a part of the team as anyone else and must pull the weight for which they are compensated for.
Now that the world is more directly connected, there is no reason why anyone should feel alienated especially those in the workplace. Leaders can more easily reach out to their team and get the necessary feedback for building a stronger group--which starts from the top down.
Another trend that among leadership roles is that more leaders are being made from within as opposed to being brought in. The best candidates for taking on more responsibility are those who have honed their skills from that same company. Internal perspectives are often more insightful than someone from another company who has been working in the same position longer.

Whichever way the trends in leadership turn out in 2013, there is one core principle that is sure to stay the same: a good leader can successfully build trust with his team, increase productivity and help an organization grow.

How to Get the Holiday Bonus You've Earned
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Amidst all the holiday spirit, the end of the year signifies a time for giving and receiving. Many well-deserving employees look forward to receiving their holiday bonuses in order to do some giving of their own.

Sadly, this trend among companies has dwindled due to the rough economic climate. If you work at one of these companies where bonuses aren't given, don't despair just yet. Even though bonuses won't be handed out, you can still get your hands on one. The following tips might just help you make your own miracle this year:

Ask and you shall receive, hopefully. This tactic is similar to asking for a raise. It's necessary to prepare a plan of approach and execution. Since rewards and bonuses are meant to motivate you to work harder, it's a good idea to step up your performance in anticipation for this time of the year. Gather all the material and supporting evidence of your work performance that demonstrate how you've earned this bonus. Give your boss every reason for giving you a bonus and  you just might get one.

If you must, settle for the next best thing. Sometimes, companies can't give out bonuses even if they wanted to. You should always be fair in what you're asking but if that doesn't work, you still might be able to work out an alternative. Depending on how negotiations go, you could try to get some extra time off or make use of a company perk such as event tickets.

Avoid turning into a Scrooge. Bonuses are a way for companies to give recognition for a job well done so don't feel entitled to getting anything that you ask for or bitter if you don't. Rewards are given to those who are worthy and still show humility. If getting this bonus is what's keeping you with the company, don't resort to threatening them with that. You won't have to worry about being kept around and you can say goodbye to your bonus and your job. Instead, stick to the making a solid case for yourself to show what they would be missing if you no longer worked there.

The holiday season brings with it many things to rejoice about. Celebrations, family, presents, and of course the hopes of getting a little extra cash. What is important to remember during the holidays is the spirit of giving regardless of getting something special for it, as much as we would like to. Rewards can often in other ways at other times, and sometimes be better than expected.

How to Relocate For a Job Successfully
Monday, December 03, 2012

Relocating for a job isn't easy especially when you have to consider how it will affect your family members. But when it comes to putting food on the table and getting the bills paid, a move doesn't seem like such a bad sacrifice for a worthy job offer.

Picking up and moving after you've settled down for some time is a tough change that can cause a lot of stress. The excitement for the new job is hard to celebrate when you have to think about having to start fresh in a new location.

In situations where the spouse also has to switch jobs the stress level can double the challenges. There's no sure-fire way to have a smooth transition, but these are some of the things you can do to lessen the strain on yourself and your family:

Get acquainted with your new environment. If you have some time before you move to make a visit with the family, this is a good way to get to the know the place so that everything doesn't feel so unfamiliar once you settle in. Doing ample research before heading into new territory helps you ease into the place little by little.

Test things out before making any commitments. Before you decide to buy a new home, find a temporary living situation to start. As a new person to the area you should explore your surroundings for the first few months of living there before settling down anywhere that you might change your mind on later. See if your company offers living arrangements as some will set it up for a certain amount of time to let you get your bearings.

Your moving expenses may be tax-deductible. Your new employer may not compensate your for the necessary costs of relocating, but the government might. There are certain requirements that you have to meet in order to qualify for the deductions which include: your new home being at least 50 miles away from your old home and job; and you work full time at least for 39 weeks during the last year after your move. For more details on this, see the IRS Tax Topic 455.

Expand your social network. Using social media such as Facebook and MeetUp can help you find others in the area with similar interests. Making this sort of transitions can make you feel like a fish out of water so building a network of can help you meet locals easier. It's not easy to be happy with a decision that you feel was necessary to take even though circumstances were not ideal. Surrounding yourself with welcoming faces can reassure you that you made the right choice. A happy person makes for a better worker.