TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Phrases SEAL Teams Simply Do Not Accept (Nor Should You)

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“Sorry I’m late”

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

While the parallels between special operations and business closely mirror each other in some regards, there are also glaring differences. The most significant difference I’ve found in the year plus that I’ve been out of the military is what is considered acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace.

In a SEAL Team room, for instance, there are (legal) mementos collected from high-level missions, pictures from past training trips, and photos to memorialize fallen teammates. On the other hand, a corporate culture is not likely to hang the suit and tie of the CEO whose company you just acquired, nor will there be pictures memorializing past employees who worked at the company for six months.

Related: The 6 Words That Are Holding You Back

Of the social norms that differ between the two professions, nothing is more apparent than the definition of what “acceptablemeans. What is normal in the SEAL Teams, for instance, is typically considered abnormal elsewhere (go figure). Here’s a quick rundown of 10 sayings I did not hear in the Teams and the reasons why:

1. “I can’t do that.”

If somebody had said this in the team room then he would’ve found himself cold, wet and duct taped. Unless a physical handicap is present, replace your “can” or “can’t,” with “will” or “won’t.” There’s always a way. Find it.

2. “Sorry I’m late.”

You don’t hear this in a culture of accountability because expectations are set, and if they’re not met then there are repercussions. Not to say that expectations don’t change, but it’s not for a lack of effort in fulfilling them.

3. “I don’t know.”

While admitting uncertainty is perfectly fine, the statement alone leaves much to be desired. Instead, try saying “I don’t know yet, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” This latter part is what demonstrates a proactive mindset and a willingness to work, rather than leaving your ambition open to interpretation.

4. “I’m going to HR.”

Nobody cares. Unless the issue is illegal, immoral or unethical, solve the problem yourself. HR is there to facilitate company strategy, not arbitrate turf wars between employees.

5. “Schedule it with my EA.”

While not all SEAL Teams are created equally, there is an equal dispersion of accountability that team members are expected to uphold. Namely, if you take care of your personal business then your personal business will take care of you when it counts. Having unpacked (emotional) baggage only gets heavier the longer you carry it around.

Related: The 2 Words Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

6. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”

Feelings? What’s that?

7. “Let’s talk this out.”

There is nothing like the camaraderie between SEALs. Nothing else even comes close to paralleling the tight bond, unity and cohesion found amongst men who live, eat, train and fight together. Having said that, some people just need a good whoopin’ once in a while to keep egos in check, and teammates are no different. Confronting difficult issues and learning from them is what turns mediocrity into greatness.

8. “Hold my calls.”

The train doesn’t stop for you. Get on or get off, but you are no more important than the guy (or gal) next to you. Once you’re done with your share of the task, see who else needs help.

9. “Let’s hold off on this issue until the next meeting.”

I’m all for collecting the facts, but nothing decides itself. There comes a point where too much data leads to analysis paralysis, and decision-making gets delayed until the elegant solution arrives — and it never does. Pushing off decision-making authority or accountability only leaves a larger snowball of complexity to have to deal with later.

10. “I just found this awesome PowerPoint template!”

Everybody’s “primary weapon” is different — carpenters use hammers, chefs use ingredients, announcers use their voice. Whatever your weapon of choice, make sure it’s always ready to go because second chances don’t come by too often.

What are you favorite office sayings?

MONEY job hunting

The 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You a Job

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Dado Ruvic—Reuters

Jobvite's latest social recruiting poll shows exactly what hiring managers are looking for when they check your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts.

Your Facebook postings might win over your friends—but they could also cost you a job, a new study finds.

Recruiting platform Jobvite has released the 2014 edition of its annual Social Recruiting Survey, and the results might be disconcerting to those who tweet first and ask questions later. The data shows 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision.

And that review matters: 55% have reconsidered a candidate based on what they find, with most (61%) of those double-takes being negative.

According to respondents, the worst thing you can do is make any kind of references to illegal drugs. That should probably be common sense—but in case it’s not, know that 83% of recruiters say doing so is a strong turn off. (Perhaps more interesting: 2% of hiring managers think it’s a positive.) Also on the “obviously don’t do this” list are “sexual posts,” which 70% of recruiters say will count against you (only 1% are fans). Two thirds told Jobvite that posts including profanity reflected poorly; over half didn’t like posts on guns, and 44% saw posts about alcohol as concerning.

“Okay,” you say, “but I keep my nose—and my posts—clean, and I wouldn’t think of making any of the 10 stupidest social media blunders MONEY recently wrote about. So what have I got to worry about?”

Well, you might want to take another read of what you’ve written: 66% of hiring managers said they would hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates.

You might also want to consider keeping your political affiliation to yourself, since slightly over 1 in 6 recruiters said that was a potential negative.

And hey, while you’re revising your LinkedIn profile, polish your halo a little: Jobvite’s survey said that information about volunteering or donations to charity left 65% of recruiters walking away with a positive impression.

The survey also showed what other positive qualities recruiters are seeking on social—although the results aren’t that surprising. Respondents said they try to determine things like professional experience, mutual connections, examples of previous work, and cultural fit.

The study also lends some insight into how recruiters use different social networks. LinkedIn is clearly the king of the hill—79% of respondents say they have hired through the network, vs. 26% through Facebook and 14% through Twitter. Nearly all hiring managers will use LinkedIn for every step of the recruitment process, including searching for candidates, getting in contact, and vetting them pre-interview.

In contrast, Facebook is primarily used for showcasing the employer’s brand and getting employees to refer their friends. About two-thirds of recruiters also use the network to vet candidates before or after an interview. Twitter appears to be the platform least used by hiring managers, and is used similarly to Facebook, but with less of an emphasis on candidate vetting.

No matter what the platform, however, the takeaway for workers is clear: Best be vigilant not to post anything you wouldn’t mind an employer or potential employer seeing. Make sure to check your Facebook privacy settings, but don’t depend on them because they’re known to change frequently.

And remember, just because your social media postings haven’t hurt you yet, doesn’t mean they won’t. When MONEY’s Susie Poppick talked to Alison Green, founder of AskAManager.org, she had a simple message to those unconcerned about their online presence: “To people who don’t lock down their accounts because ‘it’s never been a problem,’ I say, you don’t know whether that’s true.”

Read next: 10 Job Skills You’ll Need in 2020

TIME Careers & Workplace

3 Questions to Ask When You Don’t Know What You Want to Do With Your Life

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Sometimes your dreams aren't what you think they are

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

I started college as a musical theater major, but by the end of my freshman year, I knew I wasn’t supposed to have a career on stage. I dabbled in psychology before finding my calling in marketing.

A friend of mine, on the other hand, started her career as a marketer. But after picking up running, she’s in school to become a physical therapist. Another friend has been a software engineer by education and profession, and he recently transitioned into data science.

The thing we all had in common? At some point, we thought we had it all figured out—until we realized that our dream jobs weren’t our dream jobs anymore, and we had to start all over to determine how we wanted our career paths to look.

When you don’t know exactly what you want to do, planning for the future can feel totally overwhelming. But here are some of the questions we asked ourselves that helped not only point us in the right direction—but also plan for the future of our careers.

What Am I Really Passionate About—and Why?

When I first decided to change my major, I considered psychology, because I’m fascinated by the mind. The thing is, I’m not so fascinated by listening to people’s emotional problems, and when I did some further digging, it looked like a career in psychology probably meant becoming a counselor. After pinpointing what I loved about the mind—the ways our brains make connections, process information, and form memories—I realized that a career in marketing, which is all about understanding people’s motivations, would be a better fit.

Along similar lines, when my friend started running, she thought she wanted to become a fitness instructor, but realized that she wasn’t passionate about motivating people to get in shape. Instead, she was passionate about making the body work like a well-oiled machine, which led her to the more medically based physical therapy.

As you consider your next career move, you should think about what makes you excited to wake up every day—but don’t stop there. For every interest or passion, really try to pinpoint what about it gets you most excited. It’s also helpful to try out some things that will let you explore your interests a bit more—think volunteer projects, side hustles, and informational interviews. Pay attention to what moves you—and what you think might move you, but doesn’t. The goal is to dig until you reach the foundation of the passion. (If you need help with this step, The Muse’s five-day email based “Discover Your Passion” class can help.)

What Does My “Dream Job” Look Like?

Now, this doesn’t mean just the title or compensation—you should consider all facets of a job when thinking about your ideal career. For example, do you prefer a structured and heavily regulated environment, or an unstructured and creative environment? Do you want to wear a suit, uniform, or jeans to work every day? Do you want to work remotely, travel to different cities, or go to an office? Each of these questions significantly impacts the types of roles you’ll be looking at.

You’ll also want to consider what the role might look like in one year, three years, or even 10 years. One of my friends, for instance, is a Navy pilot (she flies helicopters on aircraft carriers!), and she’s at a critical junction in her career. She loves flying, and she loves the next three to five years of her path, which includes training others to fly. But, she’s concerned about her job when she reaches the 10-15 year mark, as advancement means that she’ll be on a ship for most months out of the year.

So, as you consider how you want to advance, take a look at what the career trajectory looks like. Will you stay focused in one specific skill or topic, or would you prefer to be more of a generalist? Will you need to at some point start managing others and give up the tasks of producing yourself? (This is especially important for creative professionals to consider.) Are promotions and pay increases based on experience, or do they require specific skills and credentials, like going back to school?

While you never really know how your role will evolve over time (or even what jobs might be available in the future!), it’s important to explore how the role tends to change as you advance.

How Does This Job Fit Into My Life?

As Rikki Rogers explains in her article, “Does Your Dream Job Fit Into Your Dream Life?” a job that makes you happy doesn’t always lead to a life that makes you happy. In her case, becoming a college writing professor would mean that she’d likely be living in a small town, thousands of miles away from her family, so she opted for a more versatile role in marketing communications.

The lesson: It’s key to look at your career choices in the context of the rest of your life—relationships, hobbies, family commitments, even things like fitness and spirituality. I actually put together a “life satisfaction spreadsheet” that ranks the top five things that made me a happy, healthy person, and allows me to weigh my satisfaction in those areas. It’s particularly helpful each time I consider a career move, allowing me to see how the change would affect me in all areas of my life.

Once you’ve answered the big-picture questions about your career, it’s time to put them into action. Again, it’s often helpful to test drive a career path before jumping in head first—here are five simple ways to do just that. Research what education and credentials you’ll need to advance, meet with people in the field to get their advice for breaking in, and ask for targeted assignments as you look to build your resume.

It’s impossible to plan for every step along the way, but asking yourself big-picture questions about what you want from a career can help you chart a path at any stage.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Why ‘You’re Getting a Bonus’ Is Actually Horrible News

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Sounds good. Often isn't

So your boss just said, instead of a raise this year, you’ll be eligible for a bonus. Great, right?

Not so fast. Companies today are increasingly turning to bonuses instead of raises, and while it might seem like pretty much the same thing, there are some big potential drawbacks for workers.

According to HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt’s annual Salary Increase Survey, more than 90% of companies now have what’s called, in HR jargon, “variable pay,” a category that can include signing bonuses, awards for individual or team performance, profit-sharing and the like. Nearly 13% of companies’ payroll budget, on average, is going to variable pay this year. This is a significant increase from Aon Hewitt’s pre-recession data and the trend is expected not only to continue, but to grow larger.

In the meantime, companies are still doling out raises with a relative eyedropper; last year, the average was below three percent for white-collar professional workers — a little better than the puny 1.8% it hit in 2009, but not by much.

“Based on historical trends and based on the indicators that we see — both economic and HR indicators — we think the level of spending on salaries will continue to be flat for the foreseeable future, and the level of spending on variable pay will continue to rise,” says Ken Abosch, compensation, strategy and market development leader at Aon Hewitt.

While bonuses have always been a part of the pay structure for certain jobs, like those in sales, Abosch says this trend is across the board. “We’re seeing it in pretty much every sector, including higher education and not-for-profits,” he says. So if you haven’t had your raise replaced with a bonus yet, that could be coming.

For businesses, there are a few advantages to giving bonuses instead of raises in today’s lackluster recovery. The biggest is that it’s not a permanent commitment. They dole out the money once, and they only have to repeat it if certain performance benchmarks — benchmarks which can and do change regularly — are met. Since bonuses and similar performance incentives are often viewed by workers as a sort of add-on perk, they can also be used as a “carrot” to motivate workers, and they can give workers a perception that they’re more in control of how much they earn.

That perception isn’t really based in reality, though: Performance metrics often include company-wide targets. You might be the best help-desk associate or accountant in the building, but if somebody in the corner office makes a bad decision, the company’s bottom line could tank and you can kiss that bonus goodbye.

That’s only one of the problems that switching raises with bonuses has for workers. “It impacts pensions and retirements,” Abosch says. Certain benefits calculations are based on your salary, so even if you’re getting the money in the form of a bonus, it’s not counting towards these important ancillary calculations. And if you lose that job, your unemployment benefits are calculated based on — you guessed it — your salary.

That’s not all. If you’re looking to take out a mortgage, buy a car or obtain any other kind of financing, the lender is going to look at how much you make. Depending on their underwriting practices, bonuses may or may not get the same weight as a fixed salary. The result? You could wind up paying higher interest on your loan, or even be denied outright.

TIME Careers & Workplace

There’s No Such Thing as Work-Life Balance

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Chris Ryan—Getty Images/OJO Images RF

A mixture of the two creates value in a way that neither does on its own

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

As parents settle into the new school year — a time for new schedules, new activities and new demands — the pressure to balance life and work is ever present. But to suggest there is some way to find a perfect ‘balance’ (i.e., to focus equal time and attention on work and home) is impossible in my mind. Or to put it more bluntly – the whole concept of work-life balance is bull.

I’m still a parent when I walk into work, and I still lead a company when I come home. So if my daughters’ school calls with a question in the middle of a meeting, I’m going to take the call. And if a viral petition breaks out in the middle of dinner, I’ll probably take that call, too.

And that’s okay — at least for me and my family. I have accepted that work and life are layers on top of each other, with rotating levels of emphasis, and I have benefited from celebrating that overlap rather than to try to force it apart.

I refer to this as the “Work/Life Mashup.” In tech-speak, a “mashup” is a webpage or app that is created by combining data and/or functionality from multiple sources. The term became popular in the early days of “Web 2.0,” when API’s (application programming interfaces) started allowing people to easily layer services on top of each other – like photographs of apartment rental listings on top of Google maps. There is a similar concept in music, where a mashup is a piece of music that combines two or more tracks into one.

One of the key concepts of a mashup is that the resulting product provides value in a way that neither originally did on its own; each layer adds value to the other.

Now, I’m not suggesting this is a guilt-free approach to life. People – and especially women – who try to do a lot often feel like they do none of it well, and I certainly suffer from that myself. But I have learned over time that how I feel about this is up to me. How much or how little guilt I experience at work or at home is in my control.

I also realize that the concept of a mashup is a lot easier (and perhaps only possible) for people with jobs where creating flexibility is possible. With these caveats in mind, here are some things to think about to create a work/life mashup early in your career: add value and don’t ask permission.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Workplace & Careers

3 Little Words You Should Never Say

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Easy to blurt out, hard to take back

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

You’re in a meeting, just wrapping up your status update, and things are going well. The group seems reassured that you’re on top of things. Then, just as you’re about to close your laptop and head for the door, your boss’ peer asks, “How are projections looking for Q2?” Your boss nods in your direction and suddenly, all eyes in the room are back on you.

Blurting out a panicked “I don’t know!” may seem like the path of least resistance in an uncomfortable moment—but if you want to be taken seriously as an emerging leader, you should ditch that phrase and learn what experienced leaders say when they don’t know the answer.

Saying “I Don’t Know” Costs You Credibility and Influence

I once spoke with a woman who was truly an expert in her field—the only engineer on her software team with a PhD. But despite her technical chops, people kept sidestepping her and going to her boss with questions that she could have answered.

It turns out that the tech-savvy PhD was in a job that required her to represent the department in senior-level executive meetings where it had been deemed acceptable—even encouraged—to interrupt whoever had the floor and fire a rapid stream of tough questions at him or her. No matter how meticulously the engineer prepared for the meeting (and firing squad), she would inevitably fumble, lose her composure, and say, “I don’t know. I’ll ask my boss.”

Just like that, she had inadvertently trained people to go to her boss with their tough technical questions. It turns out that Dr. Phil was right when he said, “We teach people how to treat us”—and that this is especially true when it comes to establishing credibility and influence at work. Every time you say “I don’t know,” you teach people not to come to you next time.

“I Don’t Know” is Not an Answer—or an Option!

Once, while at a professional crossroads, digital marketing executive Dr. Patricia Fletcher reached out to a mentor for help. When her mentor, Jeanne Sullivan, a seasoned investor and corporate board member, asked what Fletcher would do in a hypothetical situation, Fletcher began her response with “I don’t know….”

Sullivan cut her short, reminding her, “‘I don’t know’ is not an answer. The correct answer is, ‘I don’t have enough information to answer your question.’”

Fletcher now looks back on this as one of the best pieces of advice she’s ever received. “When it comes to business, there’s no such answer as ‘I don’t know,’” she says.

Prepare a More Powerful Response

In the business world, a person who speaks with confidence is likely to be perceived to be competent.

Writing for ForbesWoman, negotiation and leadership expert Selena Rezvani suggests, “Rather than turning to ‘I don’t know’ as a default, prepare yourself with some more powerful responses.”

Wondering what your options are? Here are four powerful options I recommend you commit to memory:

  1. “I don’t have enough information to answer your question.” —Jeanne Sullivan, founding partner of Starvest Partners (and Dr. Patricia Fletcher’s mentor)
  2. “Good question. I’ll find out.” —Chris Turkovich, principal program manager
  3. “Based on what we know today, my thoughts are…” —Selena Rezvani, leadership author, speaker, and consultant
  4. “I don’t have the data at hand, but I’ll get it to you later today.” —Senior software engineer

The PhD software engineer from the story above practiced these responses while standing in front of a mirror until she was able to stand her ground when fielding a tough question. Now, when pressed for an answer, she looks the inquisitor in the eye and responds in a way that builds her leadership presence and authority. And now, colleagues and execs alike know to come to her—first, before her boss—with technical questions.

Communicating with confidence is part of a leader’s job. To join the rank of truly exceptional leaders, upgrade your communication toolkit and eliminate your “I don’t knows” in favor of more powerful responses.

TIME Careers & Workplace

42 Ways to Make People Like and Respect You

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Own up to your mistakes… and then explain how you're going to fix them

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

We all want to be liked, yes. But—perhaps more importantly in the workplace—we all want to be respected.

Respect is so important when it comes to your career development. It comes into play when the higher-ups are considering your ideas, when they’re choosing people to participate in projects, and—yes—when they’re thinking about who’s getting promotions or raises.

But too often people associate earning respect with, well, not being very nice. We’re here to tell you that’s not often the right approach. Instead, try some of the ways below that you can make sure your colleagues like and respect you. You’ll be on your way to being seen as a leader in no time.

1. Do Your Job and Do It Well

The most basic way to get respect? Don’t spend your time worrying about getting respect, and instead spend that time doing your job really, really well. Get a reputation for being really good at what you do, and word will surely get around. As career expert Jennifer Winter explains, “It’s hard to ignore results, and when you’re striving for the respect of your colleagues, one of the best things you can do is show you’ve got the right stuff.”

2. Never Be Late or Miss a Deadline

Along similar lines, get a reputation for being incredibly dependable. That means, any promise you make—be it a date to finish a project, an appointment, or anything else—you keep.

3. Dress Up (the Right Amount)

You know the whole “dress for the job you want” spiel? While, yes, you should dress a little nicer than you’re expected to, don’t dress up so much that you look out of place or like you don’t fit into the culture. So if your company has a casual dress code? Avoid the sweats, but avoid the suit, too.

4. Treat Everyone With Respect

In order to get respect, you have to give it—and not just to the higher-ups. People will pick up if you’re nice to the bosses but mean to the receptionist or delivery guy, and think you’re a brown-noser rather than a genuinely good person. Aim for the latter.

5. Make Friends With the Right People

Seek out relationships with others in your organization who are well-respected and well-liked. And we’re not just talking about higher-ups here—think anyone who has a great reputation around the office.

6. Be a Connector

Know someone at another company who may be able to help with a problem a co-worker is facing, a friend who may be a great sales lead, or anyone else who you think could move the company forward? Introduce them! Doing this shows off that you have an impressive network—but also that you’re willing to share it in order to help others.

7. Invite People Along

If you got an invite to a snazzy event or are planning on networking after work one day, consider inviting along someone from work who you think might enjoy it. She’ll be thrilled you thought of her, and you’ll get a chance to get to know one of your colleagues a little better.

8. Use “I” Less

Studies have shown that people tend to use the word “I” more frequently when communicating with people they feel are more powerful than them. Want to level the playing field? Monitor your use of “I.” The people you’re speaking with will view you as more powerful without ever knowing why.

9. Ask for Help

While many people may think asking for help hints that you don’t know what you’re doing—earning you less respect—it can actually work in your favor in several ways (if done right). First, it shows the person you’re asking that you respect his or her opinion. Second, it will show that you’re productive enough not to waste tons of time trying to figure it out yourself. Finally, it shows that you care about your work (and your professional growth) enough to admit when you don’t know something—and then learn from it. For more on how to do this right, check out Winter’s advice.

10. Take Something Off a Colleague’s Plate

Have a little extra time? Ask your boss or another colleague if there’s anything you can help out with or take over for them. They’ll appreciate the lighter load, and your proactive willingness to help will not go unnoticed.

11. Listen—Really Listen

Nothing will make people lose respect for you quicker than if they feel like your focus is always somewhere else when they’re talking to you. So next time you’re in a conversation, make sure you’re really engaged. Adopt open body language, don’t let other things distract you, and ask validating or clarifying questions to show you’re paying attention. For more on upping your listening skills, check out career coach Lea McLeod’s advice.

12. Ask People “How Are You?”

Being all business all the time won’t make you very well liked. So take the time to ask people about their lives as well! You’d be amazed how good a simple “How are you?” can make someone feel.

13. Remember Things About People

Taking note of small details about people—their spouse and kid’s names, what they’re doing over the weekend, their hobbies, where they’re planning to vacation, and the like—and then asking them questions about those things or referencing them in conversation can be a surefire way to up your brownie points. It shows that you really listed, took the time to remember, and overall care about them as people. Have a terrible memory? Try Muse COO and productivity expert Alex Cavoulacos’ trick for remembering anything about anyone.

14. Own Up to Your Mistakes

Explains Winter: “I know, it sounds a bit counterintuitive, given you want your clients to think you’re a genius, but trust me: They know nobody is perfect. In fact, your clients will probably get a bit suspicious if you never, ever, make a single mistake. Admitting when you do, however, shows them you’re confident (and humble) enough to face the music. In my experience, that’s a trait most people respect.” (Hint: This applies to your boss and co-workers, too!)

15. …And Then Explain How You’re Going to Fix Them

That being said, simply saying you messed up and then not doing anything about it isn’t going to garner you much respect. Instead, when you ’fess up, make sure to come with a plan for how you’re going to fix things. And if you’re not sure what to do? Try to at least come up with a few options and then ask the person you’re talking to for his or her thoughts on the best course of action (see point #9).

16. Seek Out Feedback

Show that you know you’re not perfect and are constantly looking to improve and grow yourself by regularly seeking out feedback from everyone around you. And this isn’t just something for your annual performance review: Try setting up monthly meetings with your boss, team members, and even direct reports where you can solicit open and honest feedback from them about what you can be doing better.

17. Give Feedback, Too!

It doesn’t hurt to dole out some feedback from time to time, too. Obviously, you don’t want to become the office critic, but giving colleagues the occasional dose of constructive criticism shows that you’re committed to helping everyone around you grow and be the best professionals they can be. Here are a few tips on how to give this advice without seeming like a jerk.

18. Never Say “It’s Not My Job”

Notice the trash is overflowing? Take it out. See your colleague struggling to carry all the stuff for the conference booth? Grab a bag. Showing that you’re willing to pitch in on small things—even if they’re not part of your job description and may be beneath your capabilities—shows that you don’t think too highly of yourself and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to help the company succeed. And that’s something that people can respect.

19. Anticipate Needs

“‘I’ve actually already started on that’ is music to your manager’s ears,” explains Muse career expert Katie Douthwaite, “It means that instead of waiting for him or her to ask you to do something, you’ve already thought of it and taken action.” You obviously can’t anticipate everything, but thinking of things your boss commonly asks for or that will make his or her life way easier is a good place to start.

20. Do Small Nice Things for People

Whether it’s grabbing an extra coffee on your way to work for your boss (or your intern!) or getting some flowers for your colleague’s desk when you know she’s had a rough day, small gestures like this can speak wonders to your character.

21. Say “No” More Often

Really! While you may think jumping at every opportunity is the way to gain more respect, the opposite is actually more often true—especially when you don’t have time to do what you’re being asked to do right. “When you become known for having the guts to speak your mind, put a stake in the ground for the sake of everyone’s success and find better ways to navigate the rough waters, you’ll land as a person people respect, a leader,” explain leadership trainers Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin. So when you don’t have time, show that you respect your time and the quality of your work too much to agree. Other people will follow suit. Nervous to say it? Try these strategies for turning people down nicely.

22. Have an Opinion

Agreeing with everything everybody says won’t make people think of you as a leader. Instead, have a well-thought-out opinion on things, and don’t be afraid to bring it to the table. Whether it’s an idea about a new product or service or a thought on how a process can work better, people will appreciate you thinking of ways to help the organization improve.

23. Respect Other Viewpoints

Caveat: Don’t dig your heels in the ground too much when it comes to your ideas. Instead, consider other people’s viewpoints, too, and be willing to compromise and work together to reach a solution that works for as many people as possible.

24. Speak Up

Nothing shows lack of confidence in yourself like mumbling. So speak up! PR professional Ashley Colbert explains, “To be taken seriously in a meeting, speak clearly, firmly, and loudly enough so that people can hear you. And avoid trailing off at the end of a sentence or using fluffy language like ‘I hope to have this done’ or ‘I think it will get results.’”

25. Avoid the Gossip Mill

If you’re known for regularly putting down other people, people will start thinking down on you. So don’t waste your time speculating about the lives of others. Instead, spend your time by the water cooler genuinely getting to know your colleagues—you’ll still be involved in the social side of the office, without tarnishing your reputation.

26. Never Waste Anyone’s Time

Get more respect by showing people you respect their valuable time. What does this mean? Don’t ask questions you can answer yourself, don’t plan meetings that you don’t need, and don’t take forever getting back to people. You get the idea.

27. Make Your Meetings Worthwhile

People are pretty skeptical of meetings, and so will likely think less of you if they think your meetings are a waste of time. Make sure you’re following the 21 unwritten rules of meetings to have meetings that people seriously find valuable.

28. Figure it Out Yourself

Instead of always running to your boss for help when faced with a problem, do everything you can to figure it out yourself. Even if you ultimately need approval before moving forward with a solution, it’s better to come to your manager with a plan for him or her to give an OK to than to come asking “what should we do?”

29. Never Say “I Don’t Know”

At least, not on its own. Simply saying “I don’t know” leaves the person asking you a question at a dead end and doesn’t make you seem very willing to help. Instead, offer to help figure it out, get more information, or direct him or her to the right person to help out. See leadership coach Jo Miller’s suggestions for better responses when you’re really not sure.

30. Become a Stellar Public Speaker

Learning to speak well will gain you respect in many ways. First, you’ll have the ability to present more confidently in meetings. Second, you’ll be comfortable speaking at industry events, giving you credit as a leader in your field. But finally, all this practice and training will give you a more powerful speaking presence even in day-to-day conversations.

31. Work on Communicating Both Warmth and Authority

Body language expert Amy Cuddy explains: “When we judge others—especially our leaders—we look first at two characteristics: how lovable they are (their warmth, communion, or trustworthiness) and how fearsome they are (their strength, agency, or competence).” This is a fine line to balance, but Miller has some ideas for how to do it.

32. Have Clear Work-Life Boundaries

People are likely to connect with you more if you understand the importance of not working all the time. So set clear work-life boundaries—and then stick to them! Whether it’s that you never check email on the weekends or you leave work by 6 to eat dinner with your family, if you’re upfront about your boundaries, people should respect them—and you.

33. Don’t Leave Right at 5 PM

That being said, don’t jet out of the office every day when the clock strikes five, especially if there’s work that really needs to get done. Have boundaries, but show that you’re willing to pull extra weight when it’s really important.

34. Learn Your Colleagues’ Working Preferences—and Follow Them

Have a chat with the people you work most closely with about how they work best, and find ways to help them achieve that. Maybe one prefers conversations to emails and will appreciate you coming over to her desk rather than sending a lengthy message. Maybe another needs quiet working time in the morning and will notice if you stop scheduling meetings during that time.

35. Be a Teacher

When a teammate or direct report is having trouble or does something wrong, instead of getting angry, get helpful. Walk him or her through how to do it. You’ll get better employees, and they’ll respect you for helping them grow.

36. Be a Mentor

Take junior employees under your wing—even if they don’t report to you—and help advise them on everything from company politics to career growth. Not only will the employees you’re advising gain more respect for you, but others will notice the gesture, too.

37. Help Out Newbies

When someone new joins the company, make sure to say hello and let him know you’re there if he has any questions or needs help—even if he’s not in your department. People all over the company will start seeing you as a leader in the company from day one.

38. Champion Your Employees

Have direct reports you’re proud of? Understand their goals—and do what’s in your power to help them achieve them! Whether that’s setting up a meeting with your boss because you know they want to grow at the company or helping them find opportunities to grow important skills, look for ways to help them succeed.

39. Manage Upward

By simply waiting around to be told what to do by your higher-ups, you seem like a follower—not a respectable leader. Instead, learn to tell your boss what you need to get your job done well. You’ll improve your performance and command your boss’ respect. Check out some tips for learning this elusive skill here.

40. Don’t Complain

Are you tired after a long day, and still have more to do? Are you sick of one menial task you seem to be stuck with? Never whine about it, at least not in the workplace. Having a positive attitude about your work is critical to making other people think highly of you. And if you really have a problem with something? See if you can come up with a proactive way to solve it.

41. Get Out in the World

People will hold you in higher regard if you don’t just do your job in a vacuum. So make sure to stay up with the latest and greatest in your industry. Go to events and conferences, and report back on what you learned. Get meetings with experts, and maybe even bring them in to talk to your team. Read relevant articles and share them around to help others.

42. Question Yourself

Great leaders are good at self-reflection. Check on yourself regularly with questions like these and always be looking for ways to be better.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Top 10 Inspiring TED Talks for 2014

Google Developers Event Held In San Francisco
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Bill Gates, Edward Snowden, Larry Page, and the inventor of the World Wide Web converged on the year's hottest topics

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

If you’ve yet to accumulate enough frequent-flier miles to dash off to this innovation conference, you can get inspired at home by watching the following top TED Talks of the year.

Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most rewarding thing we’ve done

In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a trip to Africa that changed the way they viewed what was truly valuable. The extreme poverty they witnessed then instigated a lifelong commitment to give back 95 percent of their wealth.

In this TED Talk, the mega-philanthropists talk to Chris Anderson about marrying Bill’s affinity for big data with Melinda’s global-minded intuition to help save millions of children from hunger and disease around the world. The always-ambitious Gates are now trying to persuade other business leaders and wealthy entrepreneurs to give back. Warren Buffett recently donated 80 percent of his fortune to the Gates Foundation.

“These are people who have created their own businesses, put their own ingenuity behind incredible ideas. If they put their ideas and their brain behind philanthropy, they can change the world,” Melinda Gates said.

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the Near Win

Using the plight of painters, archers, and Arctic explorers as an extended metaphor, art historian Sarah Lewis makes a case for celebrating the near win: missing the mark but never losing sight of the target.

“Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be,” Lewis said.

Lewis’s “near win” theory has been the driving force behind some of our culture’s greatest minds, from Michelangelo to Franz Kafka. Almost succeeding gives leaders and competitors the focus and tenacity required to try again. According to Lewis, it is by harnessing these near wins that we can master a more fulfilling path.

Edward Snowden: Here’s How We Take Back the Internet

Famed whistleblower Edward Snowden made a rare public appearance via a “telepresence robot” at this year’s TED Conference. Snowden spoke freely about citizens having a right to data privacy and how Internet companies were coerced into collecting this data on behalf of the National Security Agency.

“…Even though some of these companies did resist, even though some of them–I believe Yahoo was one of them–challenged them in court, they all lost, because it was never tried by an open court,” Snowden said. “They were only tried by a secret court. These aren’t the people that we want deciding what the role of corporate America in a free and open Internet should be.”

Snowden gave a detailed walkthrough of some of the NSA’s tactics and programs, including the ones that were hidden from Congress. He also countered the surveillance argument that “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about” by advocating for not giving up certain rights.

“We have a right to privacy … because we recognize that trusting anybody, any government authority, with the entirety of human communications in secret and without oversight is simply too great a temptation to be ignored,” he said.

TED organizers gave the NSA a chance to respond to Snowden’s talk by inviting deputy director Richard Ledgett.

David Brooks: Should You Live for Your Résumé?

Touching on the rudimentary conflict between external accomplishments and internal fulfillment, New York Times columnist and author David Brooks makes the case that we should strive toward having the better eulogy over the better résumé.

“The external logic is an economic logic: input leads to output, risk leads to reward. The internal side of our nature is a moral logic and often an inverse logic. You have to give to receive,” Brooks said in his TED Talk.

Society rewards the résumé, and according to Brooks, you can’t calculate one’s life value by looking at the bottom line. There’s a reason why we don’t read out résumés during funerals.

Larry Page: Where Google’s Going Next

For those who ever dreamed of sitting in the front row and trying to see what Google has up its sleeve, this TED Talk is a can’t-miss. Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page sat down with Charlie Rose to discuss what’s next for the search giant, including smartphones powered by artificial intelligence, Wi-Fi-enabled balloons, and automated vehicles, and more grounded topics like security and privacy.

“I don’t think we can have a democracy if we’re having to protect you and our users from the government for stuff that we’ve never had a conversation about,” the Google CEO said, referring to Edward Snowden, a fellow TED Talker.

Page also defended the lack of privacy on the Internet by pointing out the good that could come from sharing information with “the right people in the right ways,” such as making medical records available anonymously to research doctors. “If we did that, we’d save 100,000 lives this year,” he said.

Margaret Gould Stewart: How Giant Websites Design for You (and a Billion Others Too)

Facebook’s Like button is seen around the world 22 billion times a day, making it one of the most viewed visual icons ever designed. Facebook’s director of product design, Margaret Gould Stewart, talked about designing digital elements for a sixth of the world’s population.

“We use a lot of data to inform our decisions, but we also rely very heavily on iteration, research, testing, intuition, human empathy. It’s both art and science,” said the self-proclaimed inventor of “Designing for Humanity 101.” “Data analytics will never be a substitute for design intuition. Data can help you make a good design great, but it will never made a bad design good.”

She also explained how the company has handled “change aversion” when even the tiniest of changes create an avalanche of outrage.

“Even though we tried to do all the right things, we still received our customary flood of video protests and angry emails and even a package that had to be scanned by security,” she said, “but we have to remember people care intensely about this stuff, and it’s because these products, this work, really, really matters to them.”

Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

Leadership expert Simon Sinek has written two books, Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last, both about managing a successful team. For his TED Talk, he touched on the innate human necessity to feel safe.

According to Sinek, the business world is filled with danger–be it an unstable economy, the fluctuating stock market, or hungry competitors–and the leader needs to set the tone for survival.

“When a leader makes the choice to put the safety and lives of the people inside the organization first, to sacrifice their comforts and sacrifice the tangible results, so that the people remain and feel safe and feel like they belong, remarkable things happen,” Sinek said.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating

Eat, Pray, Love is the modern-day definition of a literary success: a staple on several bestseller lists when it first came out, the novel became a film adaptation starring Julia Roberts. But soon after, author Elizabeth Gilbert felt stuck, so burdened by her own hype that she considered never writing another book.

“I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its own success,” she said. “And I did, in the end, find that inspiration, but I found it in the most unlikely and unexpected place. I found it in lessons that I had learned earlier in life about how creativity can survive its own failure.”

Gilbert began relating back to her early days struggling to first get published, the six years of rejection letters that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion.

“I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing, which is to say that I loved writing more than I loved my own ego, which is ultimately to say that I loved writing more than I loved myself. And that’s how I pushed through it,” the author said.

Tim Berners-Lee: A Magna Carta for the Web

Twenty-five years after inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee went to the TED Conference to talk about its future. Like fellow TED Talkers Larry Page and Edward Snowden, Berners-Lee talked about issues concerning censorship, privacy, and security.

He also encouraged Internet users to fight for the version of the Web they want to see prosper in the future and shared his vision:

“I want [a Web] which is not fragmented into lots of pieces … in reaction to recent surveillance. I want a Web which … is a really good basis for democracy. I want a Web where I can use health care with privacy … I want a Web which is such a powerful basis for innovation that when something nasty happens, some disaster strikes, that we can respond by building stuff to respond to it very quickly.”

Keren Elazari: Hackers: The Internet’s Immune System

From cyberpunks to political activists, the role of the hacker in society has gone through a monumental shift in recent years. Cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari has traced this shift, and it has led her to refer to hacking as the immune system of the digital world, exposing weaknesses in the system to make it stronger.

“Sometimes you have to demo a threat to spark a solution,” Elazari said in her TED Talk proclaiming hackers as the crusaders of civil rights, government accountability, and Internet freedom.

 

MONEY Careers

Study Shows Americans Slightly Prefer to Work for Male Bosses. But the News is Better Than You Think

Fifty years ago, the majority of people polled by Gallup would have chosen a male manager to a female, but today most people have no preference, and the numbers who'd choose a female are growing.

A new survey finds Americans would rather have a man as a boss over a women, but the results also showed attitudes are slowly changing for the better.

The data comes from Gallup’s annual work and education poll, which took place this August. Gallup asked respondents “If you were taking a new job and had your choice of a boss, would you prefer to work for a man or a woman?” to which 33% favored a male boss, 20% preferred a female boss, and 46% said that they had no preference.

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The fact that so many preferred a male boss to a female (or that there was any gender preference at all) will likely focus attention on the need for increased equality in the workplace. But these results actually offer some good news, since this most recent survey also shows that attitudes have evolved considerably over time. This year’s results represent a modest change from last year, when 35% said they preferred a man, 23% wanted a woman, and 41% told the surveyor it made no difference. And when you look back to when the question was posed for the first time in 1953, you see a serious shift: 66% of respondents at that time favored a male boss, compared to 5% who preferred a woman and 25% who said it made no difference.

So while gender mattered to most in 1953, today nearly half of people do not consider it an important factor. And meanwhile, the percentage of people who’d prefer a female boss has quadrupled.

Back to this year’s survey, women were more likely to prefer a female boss than men: A quarter of women surveyed said they would choose a female boss over a male vs. only 14% of men. However, women were also more likely to prefer having a man as a boss than men. Female respondents favored a male boss to a female, 39% to 25%, compared to male respondents preferred a male boss by a margin of 26% to 14%. Men were also more likely to say their bosses gender made no difference.

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Members of different age groups and political parties also produce slightly different results from the general population. Past studies have shown young people are somewhat more likely to want a female boss. This year’s survey found Republicans more likely to prefer a male boss to a female boss (42% to 16%, a slightly wider margin than last year) and Democrats more split on the issue (29% preferred a man, 25% preferred a woman).

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.48.01 PM
Data from 2013 survey

 

Finally, Gallup notes, employees who currently have a female boss are more likely than those with a male boss to prefer a female boss in the future. “This could mean that as more women enter management, preference for female bosses could continue to rise,” the release speculates.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.49.02 PM

 

 

MONEY Careers

Career Advice for the New Mrs. Clooney

141014_CA_MRSCLOONEY
Robino Salvatore—Getty Images

Amal Alamuddin is now Amal Clooney. Chances are the name change won't hurt the human-rights attorney's career, but less famous wives may want to do some planning before adopting a spouse's name in the workplace.

Just back in the office after getting hitched to an actor in Venice, London-based human-rights attorney Amal Alamuddin is going by a new name: Mrs. Clooney. While the former Ms. Alamuddin, 36, has established a professional reputation under her own moniker, it’s safe to say that being identified as the woman who got the sexiest man alive to settle down won’t damage her career prospects.

But what about accomplished women who aren’t boldface names by marriage or—like Kim Kardashian, who announced earlier this summer that henceforth she would be known as Mrs. West—boldface names in their own right? Suddenly appearing in the workplace as Mrs. So-and-So can cause some confusion among clients and colleagues.

As we noted when Kim made it official, the fact that women are marrying later, often after they’ve spent years establishing a career, can make the change to a new name more complicated—and risky. If you’re considering going by a different handle in the workplace, here are eight steps to ease the transition without hurting your prospects.

1. Hedge your bets. Think about how costly it would be to cut off your connection to the body of work or marketing that’s tied to your maiden name. If that worries you, opt for a more moderate approach. “The easy out is to keep your maiden name at work and in professional contexts, but use your spouse’s last name socially,” says Danielle Tate, founder of MissNowMrs.com, a site that helps women change their legal name.

Another compromise is to use both surnames, either by making your maiden name your middle name, using both last names, or creating a hyphenated last name. Kim took this approach initially. Shortly after exchanging vows with Kayne, she changed the name on her social media accounts to Kim Kardashian West. And just as Kim has done, you can use both surnames for a brief transition period to help people get used to your new identity before dropping your maiden name.

2. Get help from your company. If you plan on making a complete switch, reach out for advice. “You don’t have to figure it out all on your own. You’re not the only who has gotten married or changed your name,” says Michelle Friedman, a career coach who specializes in women’s career advancement.

A good first move is to check in with your HR department, which may have policies in place outlining exactly what changes you need to make to your beneficiary designations, insurance benefits, company email and directory listing, and tax and Social Security forms. Aside from offering help with name-change paperwork, HR may be able to offer advice about managing contacts, as well as insights into how others in your industry have handled the change successfully (ask co-workers too).

3. Don’t make it a surprise. Give co-workers and clients ample notice about your name change to avoid confusion, especially if contact info such as your email address will be updated. Sandra Green, a U.K.-based executive coach, recommends reaching out a week to ten days before the wedding.

One easy way: Put a small note in your email signature in advance, says Julie Cohen, a Philadelphia career and personal coach. It’s an unobtrusive reminder and a good way to get people familiar with the change.

Not everyone in your email contact list needs to know. Run through your list of clients and sort them into groups based on the closeness of your working relationship. Some you’ll just need to include in a quick email blast, while others you should talk to directly.

“Obviously you don’t want to get on the phone with everyone, but in certain important client relationships this may be good to do,” says Friedman.

4. Stay on top of the technology. After you’ve made the switch, set up forwarding on your previous email account, or write an automatic reply that includes your new contact info. This way you don’t miss any important messages, and people have a longer grace period to update their contact info and adjust to your new name.

5. Go back in history. Give former employers and references a heads-up about this change as well. This way if you’re applying for a new job, your background check will go smoothly, and you won’t run the risk of having people mistakenly deny that you worked for their company.

6. Use this as an excuse to network. Send an email to everyone in your work circle. “Whenever someone changes jobs or retires, they send these emails about good news,” says Cohen. “Do the same with this.”

This also gives you a perfect excuse to remind your network what you’re up to. “You always want to remain in contact,” says Friedman. “But sometimes it’s hard to think of a natural reason for reaching out. This gives you a celebratory excuse.”

You could even send this blast twice, says Green. First a few days before the wedding and again after you return from your honeymoon, when the change is in place.

7. Make yourself easy to find. Think about how people locate you and your business. Is it through search, a review website, social media, or all of them? Update all your bios.

When you add your new name on sites like LinkedIn, keep a vestige of your old name. That can help people find you during the transition period. “Include your maiden name on social,” says Cohen. “If people are finding you by search it will serve you best to keep connected to both names.”

If you had a more common name or are making the switch to a more popular surname, adds Tate, having both names online could even help you come up higher in search results.

8. Update your memberships. To further help your new name show up high in search results and build up credibility for your new moniker, Friedman recommends having any professional organizations, alumni associations, company or community boards, or other groups you belong to change your name on their membership roles.

If you hold a leadership position or are listed elsewhere on an association website, perhaps for winning an award, request that the name change appear throughout. Ask to have any older content that can easily be altered, such as a post listing you as a guest speaker at a conference, updated too.

 

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