Intern at Any Age

Are you between jobs? At a career crossroads? Trying to transition to another field? An internship may be your best next step, even if you haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in many years. No longer just for college students or recent graduates, internships can be a passport to success for professionals of any

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Interview Small Talk Makes a Big Impression

“Oh, I notice you went to Whittier College. So did I.” “You were at Disney for two years? I worked for Disney, too.” “Toastmasters? I’m in Toastmasters, too.” All of the above are opening gambits that I’ve used while interviewing candidates. They often were greeted with an “uh huh” while the interviewee waited for a

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A Free-Agent Outlook Can Hurt Your Career

In his book “Free Agent Nation” (Warner Books, 2001), Daniel H. Pink focused on the more than 30 million Americans who, for a variety of reasons, have abandoned traditional employment and the idea of a job that lasts a lifetime. The free-agency movement promotes the notion that — because the loyalty contract between employers and

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Why Boards Often Fail To Curb Executive Pay

Last fall, Richard Grasso, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, was forced to resign following disclosure that he had accepted a $187.5 million compensation package. The chairman didn’t set his own salary, however. The board of directors set it. What was their rationale for approving a package of that magnitude? Was he being

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Employees Don’t Respond To Most Performance Plans

It’s no secret that many performance-management systems aren’t working. This goes from the top to the bottom of organizations, from boards who adjust executives’ performance goals so they can receive pay that appears to have no relationship to company results, to levels lower down, where large numbers of employees are indifferent or unmotivated by the

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Executives’ Pay Faces New Tactics

Activist shareholders are trying new tactics to rein in executive pay at U.S. companies, with proposals they hope will appeal to a broader group of investors. The new strategies include simpler, less prescriptive holder resolutions that don’t dictate executives’ pay packages. Instead, the new proposals seek to more closely align executive pay with corporate performance,

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Groups for Gay Employees Are Gaining Traction

For years, companies have created employee-resource groups for women and racial and ethnic minorities, aimed at boosting recruitment and retention. Now, employers increasingly are creating similar groups for gay and lesbian employees. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Morgan Stanley and Intuit Inc., among others, created groups for gay employees in the past year. The Human Rights Campaign,

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A Cheaper Alternative To Outsourcing

When calls to the reservation line at Choice Hotels International Inc. surged after an ad campaign earlier this year, Don Brockway, Choice’s vice president of world-wide reservations, found his call centers short-staffed. So he quickly arranged to add as many as 20 agents per shift.

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One Question, And Plenty of Debate

It is a hot business idea of the moment, a growth formula embraced by General Electric Co., American Express Co., Progressive Corp. and many others. But a growing chorus of skeptics question the value of the “net promoter” concept advocated by consulting firm Bain & Co., market researcher Satmetrix Systems Inc. and author Fred Reichheld.

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Should CEOs Still Get Big Bonuses After a Bust?

Give back that bonus! That angry cry has been heard for years from governance consultants and shareholders seething at the way some chief executives grow rich as investors suffer. Usually, such shouting is futile. Bosses defend their pay or simply ignore criticism. Either way, they keep the cash, perhaps agreeing to take leaner pay packages

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Earning More By Going Solo

In 2000, Les Kollegian resigned from his chief creative officer post at an advertising agency to start his own shop in San Diego with a goal of increasing his earnings. The 36-year-old says the experience was challenging and stressful, but his take-home pay is now approximately $300,000 before taxes — triple his previous annual income.

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Legal Trends: Prevent Now or Pay Later

Recently the Supreme Court issued two decisions that attracted a great deal of attention. These decisions will make it easier for employees to sue and will provide them with an incentive to do so. However, they also give employers insight into ways to avoid harassment or end it before it becomes an actionable offense.

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Workers’ rights on social media extend farther than some might think

Workers’ constitutionally protected right to free speech is generally checked at the doors of private enterprises. However, when it comes to social media discussions about inflexible schedules, ice-cold break rooms or obscenity-laden rants about mandatory overtime, employees have the right to post, share and like to their hearts content. “According to the National Labor Relations

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