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Many professionals seek and achieve a higher standard of work in the office place. They put in long hours, reply promptly to their emails, and at the end of the day help create a good product. They may even bring their officemates bagels or donuts to keep everyone smiling, but somehow it is not enough to be promoted or receive a raise. What follows are some suggestions, dos, and don’ts as to how to better achieve your goal of moving up the ladder in your workplace.

Speak up. Send out relevant interesting articles to staff. Try to become someone that people know, beyond your boss.

Seek out advice as to how to achieve your goal from others who are higher in the company hierarchy.

Offer to take on greater responsibilities. It is vital to prove that you can already do the job that you want. However, as you will see in the Don’t section of this post, don’t go too far with taking on other people’s responsibilities. Remember that you need to prove you can do the job you already have. You will not get a promotion if you make many mistakes, and prove that you are not up to the responsibilities, as mundane as they may be.

Recognize that despite your efforts it may not be so easy to attain the promotion you desire. It may take an additional year of work or it may require that you take your experience to a different company. Hard work, motivation and positive thinking will not necessarily get you noticed at your current company. Don’t quit to early though because the time you have spent in your current job may be a factor in a looming promotion.

Let your boss down. The easiest way to get promoted is for your boss to feel extremely confident in your abilities and in your devotion to your work.

Exceed the limits of your position. This is not a time to come across as wanting to usurp control from your boss, instead you are trying to impress him or her.

As trivial as it may seem to some, appearance counts. Do not take casual Friday to far, or too early in the week.

Try not to be deterred by initial failure, for many working their way up the corporate ladder is one of the most difficult parts of their career and there are sure to be bumps along the way. But if you work at it, if you become a better employee, a better manager, as well as more knowledgeable, you are likely to succeed in the future. Through following some of the advice above, you will increase your networking potential both within your company and beyond. Attaining the promotion you want is possible; it may simply take patience and drive.

Posted on March 19, 2008 by Manhattan Review

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The outlook for first and second year MBAs seeking summer or permanent positions in 2008 is still bright. The mortgage crisis and talk of recession may cause aspiring MBAs and those currently enrolled in MBA programs anxiety. Job cuts, especially in the investment banking, private equity, and corporate finance sectors might also contribute to concern among current students and applicants.

However, thus far, early indicators do not suggest gloom or hiring freezes. On the contrary, hiring for summer internships as well as for first-year associate positions is up from last year. Salaries are also up.

But why are salaries for MBA graduates increasing? Why is hiring up even in times of low economic growth? Why do businesses continue to place such a high value on those who have completed an MBA, even in times of recession? These are valid questions to ponder in today’s market for those engaged in the MBA process.

Why are salaries for MBA graduates increasing, and why is hiring up?

Companies tend to look into the future when they, for example, give a summer intern an offer at the close of the summer. Firms are sometimes looking as far as 4 or 5 years into the future. Thus, the hiring decisions of firms are not always verdicts on the health of a current economy, but rather verdicts on the economy’s future. Since firms predict that they will need these new recruits later on, they must hire, train, and pay them now. According to the Wall Street Journal, $300,000 USD (including bonus) is a rough average figure for a first-year associate’s salary at top investment bank in 2007. In 2008, this figure is growing.

Why do businesses continue to hire MBAs in volatile economic times and pay them often more than a non-MBA candidate for the same position?

According to certain business people, business school provides only formal training in management. In concentrating so heavily on formal training, they fall short of its proclaimed end of producing talented and prepared businessmen and women. These critics charge that although MBA graduates have studied the game, they in reality are quite unprepared to play it. Though such a theory gives increased legitimacy to pursuing a part-time MBA in which a student works while studying or the short-term executive MBA traditionally for the seasoned businessperson, hiring trends still show that corporations value MBAs, and even in times of weak growth recruit and hire them. This can be attributed to another interesting aspect of corporate hiring: companies view MBAs as possessing formal skills that with time will combine with sufficient experience creating better leaders and executives for the corporation’s future.

What does this mean for all of you?

- It is not necessarily time to worry about the impact that a possible economic recession will have on hiring levels this year
- Holding an MBA can dramatically increase your salary and your marketability to potential employers
- As a new employee you are an investment and investments typically produce future financial gains. That being said, even though the economy may be faltering now, the near future could require many talented new employees for major companies
- Even though the MBA degree has its naysayers, salaries and hiring levels should speak for themselves

A Word of Caution

Finally, it is undisputable that a potentially turbulent period is looming. There is no downside to being more cautious and to working more diligently. We still remember: eight years ago so many MBA graduates were tipsy with their McKinsey or Merrill Lynch offers, and found that after graduation they were left idling for a year to take the job later, or taking a package to leave.

Learn the most you can at school! If there are many sharpened tools in your toolbox, there will always be some bright spots for you regardless what happens to the market.

Posted on February 21, 2008 by Manhattan Review

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We are busy preparing for our Year-end Holiday Party today. It’s an exciting time of year when most people are reflecting on the year past and make projections or resolutions for the upcoming one. Many of our readers are located internationally, but this post pertains mostly to the US market.A recent survey conducted by Milwaukee-based global staffing firm Manpower (MAN) found that 12% of companies expect to reduce employment in the three-month period starting in January, while 22% plan to add jobs. Fewer than a quarter of employers expect to add positions in the first quarter of the new year, almost the same as a year ago, according to this survey of 14,000 companies.The numbers show a slight drop from hiring intentions during the same quarter last year, when 23% of employers said they’d increase hiring and 11% expected a decrease. They also show more pessimism than last quarter, when 27% of employers planned to increase hiring while only 9% said they planned a decline.The numbers, overall, do not represent big changes.

Construction companies expect one of the larger drops, with 23% of employers saying they expect to curtail hiring, compared with 16% in the same quarter last year. Seventeen percent of employers in this sector say they expect to increase hiring, down slightly from 18% last year.

Wholesale and retail saw a slight drop, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 23% last year. Eighteen percent plan a decrease, up from 17% last year.

In the finances and real estate sector, plans to increase hiring remained steady at 21%. But the number of companies in the sector that planned to hire less than last year grew to 9% from 7%.

Hiring levels are also projected to vary regionally.

Nineteen percent of companies in the Midwest reported they would increase hiring in the first quarter, down from 26% during the previous one. Thirteen percent of companies were planning a decline, up from 9% last quarter.

The West continues to have the best outlook, with 29% of employers saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 33% last quarter. Eleven percent of employers said they planned to decrease hiring, up from 10% last quarter.

The South dipped slightly, with 23% of employers expecting to increase hiring next quarter, down from 26% last quarter. Eleven percent expected to decrease hiring, up from 8% last quarter.

The Northeast also saw a dip, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase staff, down from 25% last quarter. Thirteen percent of employers in that region said they planned a decrease, up from 10% last quarter.

The survey doesn’t ask why employers choose to increase, decrease or maintain their staffing levels. The mortgage crisis or possibility of a recession could be reasons, but the survey can’t say for sure.

Posted on December 18, 2007 by Manhattan Review

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