How to Handle a Workplace Bully

CV: structure/recommendations

“I’m only a freshman. I don’t need a resume, and wouldn’t have anything to list on a resume anyway. Right?” Wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, a resume isn’t a summary of your past experiences, but rather a document that is a work in progress, listing your goals and accomplishments as they develop. There is no better time than your first year on campus to begin writing this document that you’ll be rewriting before (and after) you earn your degree.

Below are three myths about resumes, followed by categories to help you write your resume, and a sample resume to help you in the process.

Myth #1: “I just started college; I don’t have anything to list on a resume yet”. Listing high school experience is permitted. Coursework, clubs, and part-time jobs are fair game. Use your high school events as building blocks for your college accomplishments. Next year, the high school information is dropped in favor of fresh college material.

Myth #2: “Only people applying for full-time jobs need resumes.”
It’s true that your full-time job search doesn’t start for a few years. And it’s also true that many part-time jobs have standard forms for job seekers to complete. But imagine the positive, professional appearance you’ll give by attaching a resume to that form. You’ve just leaped ahead of other applicants who don’t take this extra step.

Myth #3: “I’m not applying for any jobs right now, so I don’t need a resume.” You might not be applying for paying jobs, but you may be applying for internships or volunteer positions. And you will be applying for jobs in the future. Remember, a resume is a work in progress. Many graduating students stress over their one page resume more than a 10-page project because summarizing four years of experience in retrospect is much more difficult than editing the paper as you go. Practice now makes for an easier time later.

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Interviews can be scary experiences and the only way to quell your fears is to follow the advice of the girl guide movement and 'be prepared'.

The best place to start is by finding out as much about the company as possible. Ring the company's marketing department and get them to send you a copy of the annual report. You don't have to be a whizz with figures. Use it to find useful nuggets of information that you can drop into conversation at your interview. Another good tip is to look up the company's website which is likely to be full of background information, history and up-to-date news. The more you know before your interview, the more confident you'll feel and appear.

Think of the questions you're likely to be asked and brainstorm some answers. One way to do this is by mind-mapping - a system developed by neuro-psychologist Tony Buzan in the 1970s, which recognises that we don't think in a linear way. In simple terms, it means taking a piece of paper and writing a central theme in the centre, out of which irradiate several little lines. Then, for each line write down a question that occurs to you and think about how you'd answer it positively.

It's also a good idea to get some practice under your belt. Ask your nearest and dearest to run through a mock interview with you and give you honest feedback on how you look and sound.

You may be more knowledgeable about the company than the managing director, but when it comes to the interview itself no amount of preparation can prevent the butterflies in your stomach, the dryness in your throat and the pounding of your heart.

A little adrenalin is healthy, but you don't want to appear like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights. So try to keep it in perspective: an interview is not a firing squad. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job. Take sensible precautions: wear something comfortable, leave yourself plenty of time to get there, use the toilet before you go in and ask for a glass of water (in case your lips stick to your teeth). A few quiet deep breathing exercises will make you look and feel less agitated.

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Finding a job online

The internet and online job hunting has transformed the way we look for jobs, making our searches quicker, easier and often a lot wider. If you want to avoid checking through hundreds of vacancies, it is important to make your search as targeted as possible. But there’s an art to looking for work: check the deadline or closing date for applications. Most sites are good at removing vacancies that have passed. But it is always a good idea to double-check the deadline. Don’t waste time sending an application that might not be considered. If you’re not sure, email the employer or phone the company to check that the vacancy still exists.

Opportunities can spring up in the least expected places. If you’re not finding the right vacancy for you, try browsing related categories and searching by alternative job titles, or widen the geographical area of your search.

If a job sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Some recruitment sites overplay the vacancies they have on offer, just to try and get people to sign up with them. Look behind the pound signs before handing over your information or cash.

Business networking sites such as LinkedIn and Spoke are very popular among jobseekers who want to promote their skills. These sites allow you to develop relationships that can lead to finding unadvertised vacancies. A little bit of self-promotion can go a long way. Find out how to tap into the hidden jobs market in our beginner's guide to networking.

Online applications are quick and easy. You could find five vacancies and apply for them all on the same day. But don't send your CV to every company you come across. Employers look for applications that link your skills and abilities to the requirements of the job. Think quality, not quantity.

Many legitimate and genuine recruitment sites will keep your CV on a database, which employers can then search through when they have a vacancy. But, as with everything you do online, be sure that a site is secure and reputable before posting your personal details. Some sites have been known to publish CVs to the web in an effort to attract employers. Read the terms and conditions or the ‘about’ section of the site before you hit ‘subscribe’.


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Business Etiquette


Appointments are necessary and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance, although it is often possible to schedule them on short notice. Confirm meetings one day in advance by telephone. Many businesspeople eat lunch between 1 and 3 p.m., so this is not the optimal time for a meeting. Quite often it is not until the third meeting that business is actually conducted. During the first meeting your Greek business colleagues will want to get to know something about you as a person. The second meeting is used to develop trust and mutual respect. By the third meeting, business may begin. Have printed material available in both English and Greek. Meetings are often interrupted. Several people may speak at the same time. Greeks will deviate from agendas. They view agendas as starting points for discussions and will then follow the discussion to the next logical place. Although some business people speak English, it is a good idea to hire an interpreter.

Forming a personal relationship is critical to developing a successful business relationship. Companies are hierarchical. Greeks respect age and position. Business is conducted slowly. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled. Demonstrate how your product or service enhances your colleague's reputation. Do not lose your temper or appear irritated during business discussions. Greeks are skilled negotiators. They quite enjoy haggling. Decision making is held at the top of the company. Imposing a deadline on reaching a decision may end the negotiations. Contracts are often quite simple since the personal relationship dictates that accommodations will be made on either side should the need arise.

Business dress is as in most of Europe. Men should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits. Women should wear either business suits or tasteful dresses, preferably in dark or subtle colours.

Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. Have one side of your business card translated into Greek. Present your card so the Greek side faces the recipient.


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Writing an e-mail

1. Use a descriptive subject line. Say what the email is about in a few words. Instead of writing "Urgent", write, "Meeting at 10am about pay rise". Use a subject line each time you reply to an email, to avoid subject lines starting Re: or R:R: Be careful to avoid writing general subject lines, such as "Hello" or "Hi", as some email providers automatically delete these as spam.

2. Keep your emails short. Try to keep to only one point in each email. If necessary, you can send more emails on different points. If you write a descriptive subject line for each email, it's easier for your reader to understand the content of your email. You don't need to quote all the previous messages in the one you send. You can selectively quote (only including the previous question, for example) by using the angle brackets < < quote here >>.

3. Write simple, direct English. This is especially important if you're writing to someone whose first language is not English.

4. Make sure your reader knows what to do next. Help your reader act on your email. For example, if you want your reader to find some information for you, write "Please can you find me the sales figures for 2009" instead of the vaguer "I'm going to need the sales figures for 2009".

5. Reduce the amount of email you send. Most people receive more rather than less email every day. Here are some ways you can reduce the number of emails you send to people:

– make a phone call rather than write an email. This is particularly effective if you only want a quick piece of information

– only send an email to the people who need to see it. Don't automatically click "reply to all" if only one or two people need to read your message.

– don't take part in chain emails (when you have to forward something on to five of your best friends, for example)

– don't reply to spam

6. Be careful what you write in your email.
Try to make your emails informative and polite, and use a neutral tone. Remember that your reader could forward your email to other people, so only write what you would be happy for other people to read. (No gossip, no personal comments, no confidential information and no ambiguous English such as sarcastic humour.)


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How to Handle a Workplace Bully

Half the population has been bullied at work and may not even be aware of it. Both superiors and subordinates can be bullies using tactics like verbal abuse, harassment, discrimination, abuse of power and physical assault. This mistreatment need not be chronic to be considered bullying--one incident is one too many. Read this article for steps toward handling your workplace bully.

1. Recognize that you are being bullied and that you did not seek nor do you deserve the abuse. Bullying says much more about the bully than it does the bullied. The problem is not about you, but it is up to you deal with it.

2. Document abusive incidents involving the workplace bully. Record dates, times, behaviors and contexts. A generic statement like "she was mean to me" will not be taken seriously; however, the more specific "she yelled loudly and used curse words" identifies concrete behaviors that will back up your bullying complaints.

3. Know your rights. Consult your Human Resources department for company, state and federal policies regarding a hostile work environment. If the department throws up roadblocks or fails to respond, seek outside legal advice and/or representation. Legal action may be required.

4. Expose the bully. File a formal complaint and provide your documentation. In your case, explain that the bully is too expensive to employ because not only does his or her performance suffer but so does every other victim of the bully. State that you will leave your position unless the bully is removed. Stand behind your statement.

5. Prepare for one of two responses: eagerness to get rid of the workplace bully (along with gratefulness that a strong enough reason has finally presented itself) or reluctance to get rid of the bully. If the bully will be removed, offer support and assistance for how the transition will affect those left behind. If the bully stays, follow through on your promise to get a new job.

6. Assess the bullying environment at future employment opportunities. Before taking a new job, avoid stepping into another and possibly worse bullying climate. Ask about the turnover rate and why the previous person left the position now open. Actively look for signs of overworked, defensive or aggressive behaviors during the interview and when meeting with employees.

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Story of success


Things are changing in the world's billionaires club. Traditionally dominated by Americans and Europeans, the list of the world's richest people now developing world. At the top of the list is Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim.

Today, Slim, the titan of mobile phones in Mexico, was crowned as the richest person in the world by American business magazine, Forbes, which calculated his net worth at $35.5bn (35.7bn). Helped by an increase in the share price of his America Movil empire, Slim's wealth moved ahead of Microsoft boss Bill Gates' $35bn fortune, making him the first non-American hold the top spot since 1994.

In third place was the legendary Nebraska-based investor Warren Buffett with $47bn. Britain's top entrant into the global rich list, the Duke of Westminster, was in 45th position as his landownings gave him a net worth of $12bn.

Below the top few people, the lower ranks of Forbes' annual list showed a big change in the distribution of wealth. The number of billionaires from Asian and Australasian nations leapt from 130 to 234 last year, with the net worth of the region's super-rich doubling from $357bn to $729bn.

"Asia is leading the comeback," said Forbes' editor-in-chief, Steve Forbes. "There are remarkable changes taking place in the global economy".

He pointed out that as the number of billionaires in the world increased from 793 to 1,011, the proportion of Americans dropped from 45% to 40%: "The US still dominates but it's not doing as well as the rest of the world in coming back from the financial crisis."

Asia's richest man, Indian, Mukesh Ambani, became the fourth-richest person on the planet with $29bn, from his textiles-to-petrol Reliance Industries empire. Pakistan also produced its first billionaire, banking magnate Mian Muhammad Mansha, and the number of Chinese billionaires leapt by 27 to 64.

Among those enjoying an increase in fortunes was Robin Li, founder of the Chinese internet search engine, Baidu, whose wealth reached $3.5bn when Google withdrew from China. Another Chinese tycoon, property magnate Wu yajun, is the world`s richest self-made woman with $3/9bn from her London Properties empire, which inclusest apartaments, town houses, luxury villas and commercial property across China.


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