Friday, May 25, 2018

8 Things to Do on the First Day of a New Job

The first day of a new job presents a chance to make a good impression on the people you’ll (hopefully) be working with for years to come. Of course, you’ll want to ask smart questions, meet your colleagues, learn the office layout, and get your desk organized, but there are some more subtle ways you can set yourself apart as an exciting addition to the team from the moment you walk into a new work environment.

Here’s the best advice HR pros, executive coaches, and career counselors have on nailing day one at your new gig.

1 Define success in your new role.

The key to doing an amazing job? Knowing exactly what’s expected of you. There’s no better time to find out just what that is than on your very first day. “Ask your boss how your success will be measured and over what time frame,” advises Roy Cohen, a career counselor and executive coach. “Without context and expectations, you will have no clue as to deliverables, the time required to come up to speed, and the resources you will need to deploy to achieve success productively and efficiently.”

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

2 Focus on people, not issues.

You’ll most likely be meeting a lot of new people on your first day, so give them your full attention. This advice is especially relevant if you’re in a management position and will be meeting your brand new direct reports. “Your job is to work on the strategy and execution of the issues, but it is not possible to make an impact or create change without connecting with the people and having them trust and value you,” explains Shefali Raina, an NYC-based executive coach. “Many new managers make the mistake of rushing on day one to talk about the issues without first understanding the players, from a misplaced belief that this will show credibility.” Instead, focus on making connections, making a good first impression, and showing interest in what your new colleagues think and need.

3 Seek out the right reading materials.

“Immerse yourself in reading all that you can about the company’s culture and norms: old newsletters, articles, decks, org charts, etc.,” says Amy Zimmerman, Head of Global People Operations at Kabbage. These types of documents can give you a decent primer on what’s important to your new organization. “If done effectively, you will have far more context and information, which will help you understand the company, your role, and what success looks like.”

4 Shift the focus to your new colleagues.

It can be tempting to tell your life story to new co-workers, but try to spend more time learning about them than you do talking about yourself. “To start gaining respect of colleagues and superiors on the first day, make it about them, not about you,” says Jason Sackett, an executive coach and author of Compassion@Work: Creating Workplaces that Engage the Human Spirit. “A common first-day trap is to talk up your own past accomplishments and future ambitions, which makes people nervous or annoyed because they don’t know you. Instead, get curious and inquire about the roles, talents, and achievements of your colleagues to establish a persona as a listener, learner, and collaborator.” Expressing a real desire to learn from others will also put people at ease and start the work of establishing trust, he says.

5 Confirm how your manager likes to communicate.

“One question you should ask very early on is how your manager likes to communicate,” says Alexander Lowry, a professor of finance and advisor and board of directors member for fintech and financial services companies. Do they prefer that you drop by and talk about things in person? Send them emails or messages via Slack? Text them on their work phone? “Do not wait for the manager to tell you, and do not assume he or she communicates like other managers you’ve had before.”

6 Don’t wait to be introduced.

Your manager will probably introduce you to the rest of your department, but it’s a good idea to branch out beyond that, even if you’re not prompted by a superior to do so. “Reach out your hand and initiate a greeting, especially focusing on those who work near you, on the same team as you, or that you might interact with frequently in the future,” suggests Katie Rasoul, Chief Awesome Officer at Team Awesome Coaching. “This may be a little uncomfortable for some people, but it is temporary, and you will have started relationships from day one to ease that discomfort later on.”

7 Listen for language cues.

“All organizations have their way of talking, and if you can catch some of the lingo and patterns early, you’ll sound like you belong faster,” explains Colin T. McLetchie, HR pro and president of Five Ways Forward. “Ask when you don’t know a term or acronym (every organization has its alphabet soup) and make a list of those. If they don’t have a list for you, create one and share it with HR and new people when they join.”

8 Offer to help during downtime.

The first day—and the ones that follow—are often slow-moving as you get up to speed. “There may be some downtime during your first few days on the job as your boss and team adjust to having you there,” Lowry says. “But don’t sit around waiting for others to figure out tasks for you—volunteer to help your new teammates on a project. You’ll show initiative, build rapport with your boss and co-workers, and learn about expectations, procedures, and how things are done.”

A version of this post originally appeared on Glassdoor’s blog.

More from Glassdoor:

5 Apps That’ll Transform Your Career

8 Expert-Approved Tips for How to Find a Job Today

How to Become an Irresistible Hire

The post 8 Things to Do on the First Day of a New Job appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

9 Must-see Tips for Long-form Writers

Long-form writing is tough. But longer pieces can be enjoyable and rewarding for many readers, giving them a glimpse of an unfamiliar world or insight into new ideas.

You could be producing narrative journalism, an in-depth essay, creative nonfiction, or fiction. Maybe it’s for fun or maybe it’s part of your job. No matter the reason, these tips will help you find ideas and see them through—and to do it all with style and accuracy.

1 Know your audience

Some readers love long-form writing; others need convincing. To make sure your target readers make it to the end, have a specific idea of who they are and write directly to them.

Some writers recommend having a single person in mind to write for—a child, best friend, teacher, ex-boyfriend, you name it. Imagining your audience’s responses can help you write something they’ll want to read.

2 Entertain your audience

Knowing your audience is one thing, but producing content they like is another. If you work for a newspaper or online publication, dig around to see what past articles have high reads, shares, and comments, and model your new content on that.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

3 Get inspired

Many writers say that reading other writers is the best way to learn new stories, discover interesting or innovative writing styles, and find inspiration in general. Reading similar pieces to what you write will also give you a handle on what’s already out there and help ensure you aren’t retreading covered territory.

But there’s more to it than staying aware of the top newspapers, best-selling books, or most-clicked stories on your favorite blogs. Look outside your genre for new concepts, styles, and worlds of creativity. Something that might seem irrelevant could end up sparking your next big idea.

To get a sample of great long-form storytelling across genres, check out Longreads. It shares published fiction and nonfiction longer than 1500 words, so there’s a ton of variety.

4 Try a few ideas

You don’t have to go with the first concept that jumps in your head. It’s always a good idea to outline a few ideas and see which one resonates the most. If you find yourself more passionate about one concept over another, there’s a good chance that you’ll invest the necessary time to bring the tale to life—and you’ll enjoy doing it.

5 Stick to your story arc

“Beginning, middle, and end” may seem like kids’ stuff, but knowing the direction your story is going is important in narrative journalism, fiction, and creative nonfiction alike. If you’re writing an essay, thesis, or dissertation, the argumentative arc is similar to the narrative arc. Both are key to the structure of your writing.

No matter what you’re writing, be aware of how you’re constructing the arc. You want to start strong, keep readers surprised with twists and turns, add new details where necessary, build to a critical moment or climax, and conclude in a way that’s satisfying for the reader, but also leaves them curious to learn more or with a call to action to follow up on.

A strong narrative arc and satisfying conclusion can make the difference between an average story and a story that sticks in readers’ heads for a long time.

6 Get caught up in the details

The story arc is the skeleton of your piece; the details are the muscles, skin, hair, and nails.

If your writing is character-based—whether fictional characters or people you interview for an article you’re reporting—the details that matter are the character traits that make these folks come alive on paper. Get to know the basics, the psychological profile, and the nitty-gritty of a typical day (and an atypical day). Bad habits, tea or coffee, tics, quirks, and more.

Finding the right details to make your readers feel like they’re part of the story you’re in can also apply to a place, time, or idea. It’s all about creating an environment that will lure the reader in.

7 Keep organized

The right tools can help you gather your material, structure your ideas, and finalize your story. Pocket lets you save articles, videos, and more to all your devices. Evernote provides a platform for capturing and curating resources and ideas in searchable notebooks. There’s also Google Keep, Google Docs, bookmarks on your browser, or good old-fashioned sticky notes. Whatever it takes to keep your content organized so that you can find what you need when you need it and focus on writing.

8 Write well

Whether it’s finding the right style, checking whether you need a comma, or hearing what authors before you have done for inspiration, sometimes we all need more resources to do our best writing.

Check out our list of resources to find books, websites, podcasts, and more that will help you perfect the mechanics of writing.

9 Check your P’s and Q’s

No matter how carefully you’ve crafted your story arc, a few punctuation mistakes or the wrong “affect” and you might start losing readers. So, once you’re finished with the bulk of your content—or better yet, throughout the process—watch out for pesky mistakes.

If you need help weeding out these errors, Grammarly provides you with a second set of eyes to catch the grammar, style, punctuation, spelling, and word choice mistakes. It even recommends fixes based on context. Millions of writers worldwide use it—including journalists, authors, and professional writers who specialize in long-form content.

Yes, sometimes unabashed self-promotion is an important part of the writing process, too. But if it helps you avoid mistakes that could bring your writing down, it’s worth it.

The post 9 Must-see Tips for Long-form Writers appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


from Grammarly Blog
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Editing Is Now Easier with the New Grammarly Editor

Are you ready to write something brilliant? If you’ve opened a new document in Grammarly’s desktop editor recently, you may have noticed that all the features you love, plus a few new ones, are wrapped up in a fresh new look. The new UI is part of a foundational update that will enable us to introduce additional types of feedback to our users, including more suggestions on how to improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. Here’s how to use the new Grammarly Editor.

Getting Started

You can start working on a new document by clicking the New button. If you want to check an existing document on your computer, click Upload. You can also upload another document for checking after you’ve started editing. Simply use these options:

Another option for importing existing text is to create a blank document, then paste in text from your clipboard. If you use this option, your document’s original formatting will be lost.

Your Personal Writing Assistant

Grammarly automatically checks everything you type, making it easy to spot and fix errors quickly. While your document is being checked, the Assistant icon moves in a circle to indicate that checking is in progress. You can keep typing, and Grammarly will continue checking.

Grammarly’s checks are indicated by red or yellow underlines. Click on any underlined word to see our suggestions. To accept a correction, simply click on it:

If you’d like to ignore a suggestion, click the trash can icon to dismiss it. If a suggestion is incorrect or you’d like to report it for any reason, click the flag icon and choose your preferred option to proceed. If you’d like Grammarly to stop flagging a particular spelling as incorrect, you can add the word to your personal dictionary by clicking the book icon. To see a detailed explanation of a suggestion, click the three dots at the bottom of the alert. You can also ignore all suggestions in a certain category. For example, if you’d like to ignore all spelling alerts in your text, click the trash can next to “Spelling” to dismiss all spelling suggestions at once:

Goals and Document Type

If you want to achieve a specific goal with your text, Grammarly’s here to help! Simply select your preferred goals in the menu indicated below:

Note: The Domain feature is available only to Grammarly Premium subscribers.

Downloading Your Documents

Once you’ve finished editing, you can copy the text to your clipboard or download the document.

If you started by uploading a document file, Grammarly will export your document in the same file format that you began with (for example, if you started by uploading a .doc file, your Grammarly document will be available to download as a .doc file).

Document Statistics

You can view your document statistics by clicking Correct with Assistant and selecting the Insights option. This section offers useful information about your text, including word count and the number of characters it contains. If you’d like to download a PDF report of your document statistics, go to Insights and select Download PDF Report in the pop-up menu:

If you’d like to download a PDF report of your document statistics, go to Insights and select Download PDF Report in the pop-up menu that will open:

We hope you enjoy the new Editor! We want to continue making the Editor the best it possibly can be, and we want your input. Share your feedback in the comments, or tweet us @Grammarly.

The post Editing Is Now Easier with the New Grammarly Editor appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Ask For Help at Work When You Need it Most

What if you ask someone for help and they say no? What if your query makes you look inept? What if they tire of your repeated requests for advice? Doubts like these can make asking for help uncomfortable.

Let’s make asking for help a little easier. Here are a few guidelines to help you request and maximize your chances of receiving help at work.

What if managers think I’m incapable of doing my job?

Resolution: Let them know you did your research.

Before asking someone to help you, try to solve the problem yourself. Consult any available handbooks, review successful examples, and search the Internet. Then when you ask, you can honestly say you looked everywhere and tried everything and you couldn’t find the information you need.

How It Looks: “Abigail, how do you update client records with the new program? I looked at the tutorial, but I couldn’t find anything on changing an existing record.”

What if they tire of my repeated requests for help?

Resolution: Thank them for their help, and let them know how their contribution benefited your work.

Appreciation can transform duty into pleasure. Show gratitude immediately after receiving help. Thank helpers in person or send a note. Later, let them (and others) know what a prominent role their contribution played in your success.

How It Looks:

Dear Bethany,

The book you lent me is already proving invaluable. Thank you! The first chapter dealt with my exact issue. I’m so glad to have you on the team.

Best,

Carmen

[At team meeting:] “Thanks to Bethany, I was able to fix my issue and complete the project before the deadline. Here’s a copy of the final draft.”

What if they say no?

Resolution: Select an opportune time to ask for a favor.

There’s always a chance that your workmate may deny your request. You can minimize the risk by carefully planning when to ask for help. Of course, wait until he is in a good mood and doesn’t seem too busy. However, one of the best ways—and the only one in your control—is to make sure you are doing high-quality work. If he sees you always working hard, he will be more likely to respect your request.

How It Looks:

[At lunch]: Hey Dave, I liked your PowerPoint.

Thanks, Elise. I worked hard on it. Next time, I’d like to include some feedback from our biggest clients. If I sent you a three-question survey, would you be willing to mail it out to clients X, Y, and Z? I know you have a great relationship with them!

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

What if I get a reputation as a taker?

Solution: Give as much assistance as you can.

Your reputation will be secure if you make sure you give as much as you take. Make a regular habit of offering assistance, and be ready to lend a helping hand when you see someone struggling. Not only will people be more likely to come to your aid if you’ve helped them in the past, but also you will earn a reputation as a valuable member of the team.

How It Looks:

“Fernando, how are you doing with your speech?”

“I’m super nervous about delivering it, Gladys. You know English isn’t my first language.”

“How about you read it to me? I’ll be happy to give you some tips.”

Later: “Fernando, your speech was awesome!”

“Thanks for practicing with me, Gladys.”

“You’re welcome. Hey, by the way, I just got a new client from Argentina. I thought it would be nice to greet him in his native language when he comes for his appointment today.

Would you be willing to teach me a few phrases?”

What if my request is too large or too insignificant?

Solution: Demonstrate the reasonableness of your demand.

First of all, make sure your request isn’t unreasonable. Ask yourself, “If the shoe were on the other foot, would I grant this request?” Map out how long the task will take and how you can facilitate the process. When you approach your coworker, tell her why she’s the right person to help you.

How It Looks:

“Henrietta, will you write a recommendation for me to speak at a conference?. You were one of the best presenters last year so a recommendation from you would be impressive. I made this list of my recent accomplishments, so it shouldn’t take too long.”

“I can have it to you by Monday, Ingrid.”

“Thanks, Henrietta. I’ll stop by after lunch on Monday to pick it up. And here’s my phone number just in case you have questions.”

What if my request is too large or too insignificant? If you resolve your doubts like this one, requesting help will be a breeze. All it takes is following a few guidelines to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

The post How to Ask For Help at Work When You Need it Most appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


from Grammarly Blog
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Here’s the Real History of Mother’s Day

Moms didn’t come up with Mother’s Day as an easy way to get pancakes in bed. And despite how it seems, card companies didn’t invent it as a way to make a few (billion) bucks.

There’s more to the history of Mother’s Day than meets the eye. In addition to the history of the holiday, there’s a whole lot of controversy. There are debates about who came up with the holiday first and lawsuits about who can use the name “Mother’s Day.” One of the founders tried to get the holiday scratched from the books, even after fighting to get it recognized as a national day. Besides all that, there’s the question of where that pesky apostrophe goes.

(Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered on that one.)

Here are the secrets of Mother’s Day and its history. And, for good measure, a few ideas on how to celebrate your own mom on the second Sunday of May.

The Birth of Mother’s Day

The origin of Mother’s Day as we know it took place in the early 1900s. A woman named Anna Jarvis started a campaign for an official holiday honoring mothers in 1905, the year her own mother died. The first larger-scale celebration of the holiday was in 1908, when Jarvis held a public memorial for her mother in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia.

Over the next few years, Jarvis pushed to have the holiday officially recognized, and it was celebrated increasingly in more and more states around the U.S. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day an official holiday, to take place the second Sunday of May.

Anna Jarvis put Mother’s Day on the calendar as a day dedicated to expressing love and gratitude to mothers, acknowledging the sacrifices women make for their children. That’s why she was determined to keep “Mother’s” a singular possessive, as marked by the apostrophe before “s.” Each family should celebrate its own mother, so that individual women across the country could feel the love, even in the midst of a broad celebration of motherhood.

Other Mother’s Days

Before Anna Jarvis worked to get a day just for recognizing mothers, her own mom played an important role uniting women for good causes. Mama Jarvis—also known as Ann Reeves Jarvis—cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the field during the Civil War, and in its aftermath she organized a “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” the goal of which was to foster reconciliation between former Union and Confederate soldiers by having them come together, along with mothers from both sides. With the senior Jarvis’ lifelong focus on caring for children and promoting peace, it’s no wonder her daughter fought for a day just for moms.

At around the same time Ann Reeves Jarvis was working with mothers in the spirit of peace, Julia Ward Howe, another activist—as well as abolitionist and suffragette—worked to have June 2 be celebrated as “Mother’s Peace Day,” and wrote a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on mothers to work toward world peace.

These women and others were responsible for precursors to Mother’s Day in American culture, but celebrations of motherhood go back deeper than that. Such celebrations sometimes involved worship of a mother deity, such as the Goddess Isis in Ancient Egypt, or Cybele and Rhea in Ancient Greece. In other cases, celebrations were only tangentially about mothers: Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom, for example, was originally dedicated to the “Mother Church,” but was later broadened to honor human mothers, too.

Around the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated in a variety of ways and on different dates throughout the year, though many countries observe the holiday on the same day as the United States—proof of the powerful impact made by Anna Jarvis.

The Mother’s Day Controversy

Even after Anna Jarvis was successful in getting Mother’s Day made an official national holiday, she wasn’t satisfied with the way that holiday was celebrated. She had teamed up with florists while she was lobbying to get the holiday recognized, even recommending a white carnation as the symbolic flower of Mother’s Day.

However, in the first few years of the holiday’s official existence, Jarvis observed as florists, candy-makers and card-makers, and even charities used Mother’s Day as a way to make an extra buck. The commercialization of Mother’s Day, according to Jarvis, defeated the whole point of a holiday that was supposed to be about celebrating the personal, individual connection between a mother and her children.

From about 1920 onward, Jarvis fought hard to prevent businesses from profiting by means of Mother’s Day cards, candy, flowers, and other gifts. Although she had fought to be recognized as the one and only “Mother of Mother’s Day,” she later lobbied to have the holiday removed from the calendar of national holidays, and spent piles of her own money in lawsuits against profiteers she saw as using the Mother’s Day name in vain.

The Commercialization of Mother’s Day

Did Anna Jarvis have success getting people to cut down on the consumerism? If you’re considering buying your mother a card or a bouquet of flowers, you’ve got your answer.

The National Retail Federation does a yearly survey to find out how much Americans are planning on spending for Mother’s Day. Here’s a hint: most people aren’t busting out the crayons to make a homemade card.

In 2017, the expected total spending for Mother’s Day in the United States is $23.6 billion. That’s an average of $186.39 per shopper. In the fourteen years the National Retail Federation has conducted the Mother’s Day spending survey, that’s the highest amount yet.

But don’t feel bad if you’re not planning on forking up quite so much. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mom without emptying your wallet. It’s all about making it special.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day Today

For most modern moms, going out to brunch or getting a Hallmark card and a fat bunch of flowers will do the trick. Sure, Anna Jarvis will roll her eyes, but if Mom’s grateful, where’s the real harm?

If you want to go the Anna Jarvis route, make your own card or write a letter to show your love to your mommy dearest. Need inspiration? Use a phrase involving the word “mother” or “mom” or a nice mom-centric quotation. Here’s a good one:

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. – Jill Churchill

More where those came from here.

For some more free alternatives, you can pick up the phone (fun fact: Mother’s Day marks the highest phone traffic of the year in the United States), take Mom for a walk (if you live nearby), or send over something sentimental, like these pictures of animal moms with their cubs, pups, kits, or kids. Irresistible, right?

Most importantly, show your mom that she (and Grammarly) taught you well by putting the apostrophe in the right place when you write “Happy Mother’s Day.”

The post Here’s the Real History of Mother’s Day appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


from Grammarly Blog
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Have a Great Boss? Capitalize on It to Boost Your Career

Your relationship with your boss is key to your sense of fit in your job. It’s difficult to relish your role if you don’t feel comfortable with the person to whom you report. That relationship is a core part of how you feel about the work you perform and the professional culture in which you perform it.

Leadership matters, and those who excel at steering their teams have tangible results to show for their prowess. Forbes contributor Meghan M. Boro writes: “What drives retention? Leaders: the flesh and blood humans in charge. From managers to CEOs, the boss has a huge impact on retention. For all the bells and whistles we create to drive engagement and ensure retention, it won’t mean a thing if an organization’s badly led.”

A Gallup study of more than 7,000 Americans found that “one in two had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” Clearly, having a bad boss can be detrimental; by the same token, having a great boss can be a tremendous opportunity.

Here’s how to recognize a truly standout leader, and maximize the opportunity that working for him or her presents.

The Qualities of a Great Boss

Leadership styles can vary, but when it comes to the core values that most employees seek in their leaders, those look largely the same.

Jay Messner, Managing Partner with Alta Impact, a training and consulting service focused on leadership development and organizational effectiveness, explains: “I often take leadership teams through an exercise where they describe the characteristics of the leader they would love to follow. Every group comes up with the same words: integrity, decisiveness, competency, honesty, intelligence, visionary, empowering, and caring. The consistency of these responses indicates that neurologically and emotionally, we humans desire the same fundamental qualities in our leaders.”

Messner notes that the sum of these characteristics is “the single most powerful quality in great leadership: trust.”

What a Great Boss Seeds

In any great relationship, you don’t just like the person—you like yourself when you’re with him or her. This is also true of a great boss. A true leader understands how to bring out the best in each member of the team. It’s a thrill to work on that team because there’s room to learn, grow, and make the mistakes that lead to self-discovery and reinvention.

Messner notes: “Under the leadership of a great boss, people develop more quickly. By our definition, a great boss is someone who challenges others to be great, and allows them the space to learn from their mistakes along the way.”

A true leader understands how to foster growth on his or her team, and that’s an important professional opportunity. Messner explains: “great bosses create high performers who then get to share in the boss’s reputation for getting things done. It’s a ton of fun to be on a winning team.”

Maximize the Opportunity by Inviting Challenges

Great bosses use their resources strategically. Their team’s skill pool is among those resources. A stellar leader won’t just sit on those resources — he or she will grow them. A great boss is going to help you advance your skills because that best serves the team and the institution. It’s also an excellent opportunity for you.

Messner advises that if you have a great boss, embrace the opportunity by inviting challenges. He explains: “There is nothing more valuable professionally than an environment where you are being both vigorously challenged and unconditionally supported.”

Welcome Input

When you recognize that your boss is a stellar leader, invoke his or her awareness and vision to help shape your trajectory.

Messner advises: “I always recommend individuals identify their personal vision and goals. Vision in this sense is bigger than just career planning, it’s life planning. When you have a great boss who truly wants the best for you, it is highly effective to share your vision and goals proactively with your boss to engage them in helping you succeed.”

Great bosses want you to be happy—they are rooting for your success. They are also seasoned vets in your industry, so cueing them into your vision and your plans is a sound strategy. Messner reflects: “As a personally transformed and hopefully great boss, I love helping my people be successful in all spheres of life. It’s incredibly rewarding for me and their longevity with my organization grows immensely.”

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

Offer Input

Great bosses aren’t ego-driven. They recognize that they are works-in progress just like their team members. Messner points out that they need your feedback to achieve growth too. He writes, “A really great, next-level boss will seek accountability and feedback from their team. If you are offered this chance, lean into it with all you have. It will be a fantastic opportunity to develop your communication and coaching skills at a level well outside your experience. The discomfort will be confirmation that you are growing fast.”

The experience you get from having a great boss can yield more than just a happy fit in your current role. You can stand to learn a lot about yourself, your abilities, and your future. So make sure to maximize your opportunities at hand, and then pay it forward when you find yourself in a leadership role.

A version of this post originally appeared on Glassdoor’s blog.

More from Glassdoor:

5 Apps That’ll Transform Your Career

8 Expert-Approved Tips for How to Find a Job Today

How to Become an Irresistible Hire

The post Have a Great Boss? Capitalize on It to Boost Your Career appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


from Grammarly Blog
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Here’s How to Write an Introduction (with Examples and Tips)

You have fifteen seconds to snag your reader’s attention. If your intro doesn’t draw him in, he’s likely to become one of the 55 percent of visitors who read your post for fifteen seconds or less and then navigate away. Knowing how to write an introduction that hooks your reader is essential to overcoming that daunting statistic.

The Aim of a Strong Introduction

Along with excellent organization, your introduction lets the visitor know that what you’ve written is of interest. For what reasons would someone come to read your post? Craft an intro that shows them they’ve come to the right place. Here are a few tactics and introduction examples to help you accomplish that.

RELATED: 3 Ways to Master the Power of Empathy In Your Writing

1 Answer the question “Why should I read this?”

In the intro to this article, I smacked you in the face with a statistic: If you don’t capture a reader’s attention within fifteen seconds, 55 percent will surf on to something else. Right from the first sentence, I’ve told you why this article matters, which is a powerful way to compel someone to read on.

2 Engage the visitor with an anecdote.

Hook the visitor in with an intriguing narrative that gives a hint as to what the article is about and she’s more likely to continue reading.

Example:

In the summer of 2015, Stan Transkiy was 16 years into a life sentence, and he had finally found a way to occupy his time.

—Colin Lecher, Ghost in the Cell

Here’s a tip: Even how-to articles can benefit from the storytelling technique. Consider the problems your reader might have that caused them to seek out your post, then begin with a brief relatable story to engage their attention.

3 Tell the reader “This is not for you. (But not really. It totally is.)”

When you tell someone “Whatever you do, don’t think of a purple gorilla!” the first thing they do is think of a purple gorilla. (You’re welcome! Don’t worry; he’s friendly.) The same psychological tactic can work in writing an introduction.

Example:

Why do you look so angry? This article hasn’t even begun and already you disapprove. Why can’t I ever win with you? I see it in your face.

If this sounds unfamiliar, good for you. You don’t need this.

—Heather Murphy, Why It Seems Like Everyone Is Always Angry With You

4 Share something personal.

Much like storytelling, sharing something personal in an introduction can pique a visitor’s curiosity. Either he’ll feel he can relate, or the story will be so unique that he’ll be driven to read on to discover more.

Example:

I write to fill the page, preferably with nothing.

This ambition was in me before I could write. I grew up in a family of refugees speaking Russian, a language that, as my teachers and classmates took pains to remind me, did not belong to me.

—Roman Muradov, Art as a Second Language

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

5 Ask a question.

Some may argue that this introduction-writing technique is overused, but now and then a compelling question is the hook your piece needs. It’s especially effective if the visitor has to read on to uncover the answer.

Example:

What do you get when you combine a classic psychology experiment with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?

—Stephanie Pappas, Why We Might Miss Extraterrestrial Life Even If It’s Staring Us in the Face

Best Practices for Writing an Introduction

There’s no one perfect way to write an introduction. Your technique will vary depending on factors like your topic, the tone of your publication, and your audience. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.

  • Do keep your introduction paragraph short. There are no hard and fast rules, but for most types of features and blog posts three or four sentences is a reasonable goal.
  • Don’t waste words. Write lean. Get rid of filler words and phrases. It’s good to practice clean, crisp writing in general, but it’s especially important in an opening paragraph to capture your reader’s attention.
  • Do consider eliminating your first sentence. Your first sentence (or even your first two or three) is often a sort of writer’s warmup. Cut it and see if it makes the intro stronger.
  • Don’t oversell it. Never let your intro write a check your article can’t cash. Whatever you promise in the opening paragraph, make sure you deliver in the post itself.
  • Do try drafting the rest of your article before working on the introduction. Often, writing a piece will reveal the best way to introduce it. If your intro doesn’t flow from the beginning, start with a placeholder and write the opening paragraph after the article is complete.

Take time craft and carefully edit your introduction. It can mean the difference between a reader navigating away to greener digital pastures or staying on the page to read what you’ve written, share, and engage.

The post Here’s How to Write an Introduction (with Examples and Tips) appeared first on Grammarly Blog.


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