How to Write a Resume Concisely and Clearly

All writing should be clear, concise, and correct. Good writers use plain language to express clear meaning. They write in a simple style that uses every day words. They do not use showy words and ambiguous expressions in an effort to dazzle or confuse readers. They write to express ideas, not to impress others. What do you think this manager meant in the following message?

Personnel assigned vehicular space in the adjacent areas are hereby advised that utilization will be suspended temporarily Friday morning.

You would probably have to read that sentence several times before you understand that you are being advised not to park in the lot next door on Friday morning. Clear messages contain words that are familiar and meaningful to the reader. Whenever possible, use short, common, simple words to say what you mean. This applies not only to resume writing, but also email etiquette and letter writing.

Don’t be redundant.

Have you ever seen a sentence like, “I watched the colorful sun set in the west,” or, “I took off the purple colored shirt”? Now, if the sun were setting in the east, that would be something to comment on, but we all know that the sun sets in the west. Likewise, you can safely assume that your readers know that purple is a color.

Similarly, watch out for words that mean the same in your resume: “We drained and emptied the tank,” could be replaced by, “We emptied the tank.”


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A Critical Analysis of the Long Term Dynamics of Capitalism, by Matthew Coppola

The following paper studies the opposing and unifying theories of two economists, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Robert Malthus, on the long term dynamics of capitalism, which entail aspects of growth, development and accumulation of a capitalist economy. The key topics studied by Malthus and Mill include labour, consumption, population growth, agriculture and property rights. These will be discussed from both a theoretical and empirical perspective in the following paper.

A major topic discussed by Mill and Malthus is on unproductive and productive labour in contributing to wealth creation in a capitalist economy. According to Malthus, a worker did not have to just produce wealth to be productive, but rather it is the value of what the worker produces that makes them productive. To Malthus, productive labour:

“should be susceptible to some sort of definitive valuation… [And] must add to the wealth of the country an amount at least equal to the value paid for such labour” (Malthus, 1836 p.46).

Thus according to Malthus, the worker is not productive unless the worker adds to society more than was paid their services, namely, labour.

In comparison to Malthus, the notion of value to the productive process was also adopted by Mill, as he saw value in objects produced by workers. Mill saw workers engaged in the manufacturing sector as being truly productive:

 “We should regard all labour as productive which is employed in creating permanent utilities, whether embodied in human beings, or in any animate or inanimate objects…[And] labour expended in the acquisition of manufacturing skills, I class as productive” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

In reverence to human capital, Malthus also put forth the idea that one must produce an object to be productive:

“no small portion of it is employed in acquiring the skill necessary to the production and distribution of material objects, as in the case of most apprenticeships” (Malthus, 1836 p.37).

However unlike Malthus, Mill was ignorant of the idea that unproductive labour has a positive impact on economic growth in capitalist economies. Those individuals in society who are identified as unproductive labour include those who attend to activities in the private service, such as capitalists, landowners, government ministers, executives, musicians, teachers, priests and so on. It also includes those who perform activities in the home, such as menial servants and child rearing. According to Malthus, ‘unproductive’ workers are valuable to the welfare and development of Society:

“that kind of labour which highly useful and important…may conduce indirectly to the production and security of material wealth” (Malthus, 1836 p.35).

Therefore, to Malthus, those who perform activities in the home, such as the upbringing of children and the maintenance of the home are valuable to society and have an indirect impact on production and development.

Having been a cleric from the Church of England, Malthus appreciated the value religious activities have to the development of society. For instance, the Catholic religion exemplify strong “pro-natalist ideologies” with teachings forbidding artificial forms of contraception and abortion. In particular, studies have shown that religious participation by youths has been linked to “a lower probability of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency [and] a lower incidence of depression among some groups” (Lehrer 2004, p.16).

However, Mill was sceptical of the impact religion has on the development of society. Mill is quoted for saying:

 “It is…evident that the greater number of missionaries or clergymen a nation maintains, the less it has to expend on other things; while the more it expends judiciously in keeping agriculturalists and manufacturers at work, the more it will have for other purposes” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

To Mill, spending on the unproductive labour of clergymen will receive no return or benefit to society, whereas maintaining a class of agriculturalists and manufacturers will generate a higher return, which can be allocated to other productive activities, which will again generate a positive return to society.

In terms of the role of government in a capitalist economy, both scholars viewed government as being productive indirectly. In comparison to Malthus, Mill was a right wing economist and believed that the government has an important role to play in society:

 “The labour of officers of government…is indispensable to the prosperity of industry, [and] must be classed as productive, even of material wealth, because without it, material wealth, in anything like its present abundance, could not exist. Such labour may be said to be productive indirectly” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

Thus both acknowledged that some form of Government was critical to the long term dynamics of capitalism. Without government, society would not have been able to generate such high material welfare and gain. Empirical evidence has indicated that non-military government capital is a significant input in the production function and has a high output elasticity of .39 (Karras & Evans 1994).

With respect to labour, both Mill and Malthus distinguished between productive and unproductive (U/P) consumption, including their effects on growth and development in capitalism. Mill made a distinction of productive and unproductive consumption to the labourer being:

“What they consume in keeping up or improving their health, strength, and capacities of work, or in rearing other productive labourers to succeed them, is productive consumption. But consumption on pleasures or luxuries, whether by the idle or by the industrious, since production is neither its object nor is in any way advanced by it, must be reckoned unproductive” (Mill 1848, book 1, chapter 3).

Mill saw unproductive consumption as having an undesirable influence to the wealth creation and growth of society, regarding U/P consumption as being undesirable and will only impoverish society:

“Whether they like it or not, the unproductive expenditure of individuals will pro tanto, tend to impoverish the community, and only their productive expenditure will enrich it” (Mill, 1886 Vol. 1, p.5).

Malthus on the other hand regarded U/P consumption as necessary to capitalism, particularly when productivity and innovation are at their utmost levels, which would ensure value and profit to expand:

“It would at once confound the effects even of production and consumption, as there is certainly no indirect cause of production so powerful as consumption” (Malthus 1836, p.45).

Another major topic studied by both economists was decreasing returns to agriculture and its effect on growth and development in a capitalist nation. This idea that agriculture would be subject to increasing returns, due to rising population unless supported by an increase in productivity, was adopted by Malthus.

Malthus contended that when the less fertile soil is used, the marginal product declines, while the rent increases due to inequality in the lands. Thus, the marginal expansion declines and output increases arithmetically, but at a diminishing rate.  Therefore due to decreasing returns to agriculture, and population rising in a geometrical progression without any checks to it, society would not be able to survive in a population-food supply struggle.

In regards to population and food supply, Malthus said:

The power of the population being…so much superior, the increase of the human species can only be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence by the constant operation of the strong law of necessity, acting as a check upon the greater power” (Malthus 1970, p.21).

This ‘subsistence’ level is the minimum level to reach survival. Malthus’ population dilemma posed a theoretical question on the checks to population and a practical question concerning solutions to the problem. There were positive and preventative checks. The positive checks to population growth included war, famine and pestilence. These tended to have an adverse impact. According to Malthus, the ultimate positive check to population is limited food supply. In Malthus’ own words:

 “It has been inferred, that and increase of population in any state, not cultivated to the utmost, will tend rather to augment than diminish the relative plenty of the whole society…a country cannot easily become too populous for agriculture; because agriculture has the signal property of producing food in proportion to the number of consumers” (Malthus 1809 Vol. 2 p. 275).

The preventative checks included moral restraint, contraception and abortion. These tended to have a positive impact on procreation. Mill also believed that contraception needed to be encouraged to keep a hold on population. However, Mill was against abortion or immorality, even having been jailed for distributing birth control pamphlets.

Malthus believed that the tendency to procreate would in fact rule over the cumulative effect of the checks to population growth. Therefore, unless the positive checks were greater than the preventative checks, the human population would thus be brought to a ‘subsistence level’ or just to a means of survival.

In Scandinavia for example, poverty has been eliminated locally, and even death from infectious disease is rare. This would not have occurred without low birth rates that have characterized the region. Not only in Scandinavia, but in other regions, low birth rates and death rates, strong education, a stable population, control of infectious disease and elimination of poverty and war are linked together in a “mutually re-enforcing circle of cause and effect” (Avery 2005, p.25). By contrast in many third world cities, contaminated water, polluted air, high birth rates, increasing population, poverty and resurgence of infectious disease are linked in a “self perpetuating causal loop” (Avery 2005, 25) with the result being a vicious circle.

Malthus failed to look at other checks that may have forestalled his gloomy conclusion. He had failed to separate sex and procreation. In the second half of the 20th century and well into the 21st century, advances have been made in modern birth control. Couples can have less constraint in regards to sexual activities. Therefore these additional checks can reduce the disparity between multiplication of the species and growth of the food supply.

Mill also adopted Malthus’ population principle, adding further that the population must:

 “work harder, or eat less, or obtain their usual food by sacrificing a portion of their customary comforts” (Mill Vol 4, p.109). 

Mill here was saying the reality is, if society wants to maintain their usual way of living or maintain their ‘customary comforts’ they must sacrifice either their time, consumption of goods, or activities that they have become accustomed to.

Malthus, like other classical economists of his time, was a pessimist. He envisioned that the capitalist system in the long run would face “pressure of population…decreasing response to human effort to increase supply of food and basic materials, limits to technical progress, subsistence wages, and falling profits” (Zweig, 1979 p.511) believing that in the end, technological improvement would not be sufficient to counteract the law of diminishing returns and depletion of natural resources.

Mill however was less sceptical about the capitalist system coming to a means of subsistence. Despite the classical economists such as Malthus and Smith realising that the growth of wealth could not continue indefinitely, only John Stuart Mill believed that a collapse of the system could be avoided and a stationary state achieved.

Economist Adam Smith described the stationary state as a situation of zero growth, in which the stock of goods is always the same, that is the quantity consumed is equal to the quantity supplied in the same time period, and rewards to the factors of production are at a minimum. The idea that the capitalist system would come to an end at the stationary state was feared by many classical economists including Malthus and Smith

According to Mill, once the stationary state was reached:

 “every increase in the demand for food, occasioned by increased population…unless there is a simultaneous improvement in production, diminish the share which on a fair division would fall to each individual” (Mill Vol 4, p.109).

Here Mill was saying that the demand for food must be balanced with supply. Mill described his ideal stationary state in book 4 of his Principles of Political Economy:

“The density of population necessary to enable mankind to obtain all advantages of co-operation and social intercourse has in all the most populous countries been attained. It is no good for a man to be kept perforce at all times in the presence of his species. A world from which solitude is extirpated is a very poor ideal . . . With every rood of land brought into cultivation . . . every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted out, every flowery waste or dell ploughed up . . . there is no satisfaction in contemplating the world with nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature. If the earth must lose that great portion of pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compels them to it.” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).

However to reach the stationary state required extensive social changes and reforms, which Malthus and the other classical economists did not realise. Mill is quoted as saying:

“improvement here must be understood in a wide sense, including not only new industrial inventions…but improvements in institutions, education, opinions, and human affairs generally” (Mill, 1886 Vol. 1, p.105).

Mill argued that we need to educate society about contraception; that we need social reform and change.  He further added:

 “It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. . . Only thus can the conquests made from the powers of nature by the intellect and energy of scientific discoverers, become the property of the species and the means of improving and elevating the universal lot” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).

Assuming that the capitalist system keeps a restraint on population, Mill held a relatively optimistic view of the stationary state, in that it would be characterised by technical progress and past capital accumulation, which Mill extends into in his book, further saying:

“I am inclined to believe that the stationary state would be, on the whole, a very considerable improvement on our present condition. I know why it should be a matter of congratulation that persons who are already richer than any one needs to be, should have doubled their means of consuming things which give little or no pleasure except as representative of wealth…It is only in the  backward countries of the world that increased wealth is still an important object: In most advanced countries, what is economically needed is a better distribution to relieve poverty, of which one indispensable means is a strict restraint on population” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).

In his autobiography, Mill admits that this will all require a transformation of society and a character change in all classes of the population (Zweig, 1979 p.519). For instance, Mill was a strong advocate of contraception and safe sex attitudes of society. The only way to change people’s attitudes according to Mill was social change.

An idea that many classical economists held was that supply creates its own demand, known as Say’s Law. Attributed to the French economist, Jean-Baptiste Say, this law states that a market-capitalist economy will tend towards full employment of resources if there are flexible prices, interest rates and wages. Thus, according to Say’s law, it is inherently impossible that there will be long term crises of a market capitalist system.

Malthus rejected the idea of supply creating its own demand, arguing that supply reduces profit:

“It is impossible that the increased quantity of commodities, obtained by the increased number of productive labourers, should find purchasers, without such a fall of price as would probably sink their value below that of the outlay, or, at least, so reduce profits as very greatly to diminish both the power and the will to save” (Malthus, 1836 p.315). 

Mill, like most economists, attached great importance to the role of capital and capital accumulation. Mill argued that given Say’s law, increased levels of output and employment depend on the accumulation and investment of capital. The portion of investment in capital, that is, result of saving, is required to tide labour over a “discontinuous production period” (Ekelund & Hebert, 1990 p.170). This was known as the wages-fund doctrine:

“It is often forgotten that the people of a country are maintained and have their wants supplied, not by the produce of present labour, but of past. They consume what has been produced, not what is about to be produced. Now, of what has been produced, a part is only allocated to the support of productive labour; and there will not and cannot be more of that labour than the portion so allotted (which is the capital of the country) can feed, and provide with the materials and instruments of production” (Mill 1848, p. 64).

Stated simply, it was not a temporary state of affairs, but rather the unemployment of resources, was not considered probable because of Says Law (Ekelund and Hebert, 1990, p.170). Saving would automatically be turned into investment, another form of spending and a general glut would not occur. Thus the saving of those who do not consume all their income will be otherwise utilised by capitalists in purchasing factories, machines and the like to an expansion of value. Saving then becomes net investment:

S = In

So Mill agrees with Say’s Law, that what is saved will be invested. Mill only assumed a system whereby the supply curve was vertical, where we are always at full capacity.

Mill also argued that a general glut of goods from under- consumption was not possible. This ‘general glut’ was a general excess supply of commodities. To Mill, a lack of aggregate demand was not possible in the economic system. However, Malthus rejected the argument set forth by Mill and others that there could not be a general glut of commodities and gluts could only be in specific sectors:

“This doctrine [of gluts]…appears to me to be utterly unfounded, and completely to contradict the great principles which regulate supply and demand…M. Say, Mr Mill, and Mr. Ricardo…have fallen into some fundamental errors in the view which they have taken of this subject” (Malthus, 1836 p.315). 

For Mill, Ricardo and Say, the emphasis is on accumulation, supply, productive labour and capital. Malthus believed that emphasis on supply leads to the development of periodic crises of capitalism.

Malthus appropriated in his Principles of Political economy, that the promotion of supply and innovation can stimulate considerable wealth and value. It needs to be, however, balanced with demand:

“An inordinate passion for accumulation must inevitably lead to a supply of commodities beyond what the structure and habits of such a society will permit to be profitably consumed” (Malthus, 1836 p.325).

Mill argued that the passion for accumulation needs to be equalled by the passion for consumption:

“Saving in short enriches and spending impoverishes the community along with the individual; which is but saying…that society at large is richer by what it expends in maintaining and aiding productive labour, but poorer by what is consumes in its enjoyments” (Mill, 1886 Vol. 1, p.91).

In contrast Malthus argued that consumption and demand were not enough to promote accumulation and investment:

 “It has already been shewn that the consumption and demand occasioned by the workmen employed in productive labour can never alone furnish a motive to the accumulation and employment of capital” (Malthus, 1836 p.315). 

In terms of saving, Mill does not believe that saving is hoarded, but rather passed on to capitalists for investment. This was also adopted by Malthus who saw saving as desirable to the progress of wealth:

“If saving be allowed to be the immediate cause of the increase of capital, it must be desirable in all questions relating to the progress of wealth…No political economist of the present day can by saving mean mere hoarding…If the labour of menial servants be as productive of wealth as the labour of manufactures, why should not savings be employed in their maintenance, not only without being dissipated, but with a constant increase of their amount? (Malthus, 1836, sec. 2, p.39).

Thus both economists agree that saving is not hoarded by capitalists but rather employed into maintaining the productive labour force with a view to generating wealth and progress.

In Mill’s law of the increases of capital, he contends there is a tendency for investment to expand due to greater productive labour and expanding surplus:

“there will be no greater number of productive labourers in any country, or in the world, than can be supported from that portion of the produce of past labour which is spared from the enjoyments of its possessor, and is called accumulation [net investment]” (Mill 1871, vol.1 p.203)

Mill further added that the desire for accumulation is critical for capital expansion:

“All accumulation involves the sacrifice of a present for the sake of a future good…Durability is one of the chief qualities marking a higher degree of the desire of accumulation…accumulation depends upon uncertainty” (Mill 1871, vol.1 p.206). 

Eventually however, a stationary state is likely to come about due to diminishing returns and population increases, although this state is a fine one for Mill because stability and certainty exist at it.

Thus under capitalism, investment is a function of uncertainty:


A rise in Instability has occurred since the second half of the 20th century in the global political economy, partly due to a lack of viable markets with increased uncertainty and a rise in competition with falling profits due to globalisation again this has increased uncertainty. The USA and USSR have also lost part of their hegemony. For example, the USA has lost part of its industrial hegemony to China, which has further contributed to uncertainty.

Another key area both economists agreed upon was that of property rights. In answering the critical question of what propels the nation’s growth and what limits it, Malthus included the sub-principle of security of property rights as a key factor:

“Security of property, without a certain degree of which, there can be no encouragement to individual industry, depends mainly upon the political constitution of a country, the excellence of its laws and the manner in which they are administered.” (Malthus 1836, p.309).

According to Malthus, without a minimum level of property security in a capitalist economy, business will have little incentive to conduct business activity and individuals will be discouraged from inventing new products, unless however effective laws and regulations are in place to prevent forfeiting.

In a Brazilian survey, 80 percent of 377 firms agreed that if better legal protection were available, they would invest more in internal research and would improve employee training. Survey evidence also suggests that in the United States alone, protection stimulates innovation and the social rate of return is higher than the rate of return to the innovator (Gould & Gruben, 1995).

Mill also agreed that property rights are important to encouraging economic activity.  He offered a number of ideas to private property rights, one being contracts in securing property rights:

“The right of property includes then, the freedom of acquiring by contract…The right to each to what has been produced, implies a right to what has been produced by others, if obtained by their free consent” (Mill 1848, p.26)

In regards to individual property, such as new ideas, products and process which one may invent, Mill further adds:

“Nothing is implied in property but the right of each to his (or her) own faculties, to what he can produce by them and to whatever he can get for them in a fair market; together with his right to give this to any other person if he chooses, and the right of that other to receive and enjoy it” (Mill 1848, p.28).

Mill concludes here that what one produces in a capitalist economy they should have the right to benefit from it and allow the market to value the product.

In light of the many ideas put forth, both economists differed in approach to their studies of political economy. Malthus tried to develop a pragmatic and practical form of political economy. Mill’s goal was to synthesis and summarizes all the economic knowledge up to his day. It is ironic since Mill did not read all of Malthus’ works. Malthus tried to relate his principles to the evolution of political economy, whereas Mill was less original in his works on political economy.

This paper has outlined the major economic ideas mirrored by the thoughts of two past prominent economists: Thomas Malthus and John Mill. Both economists could not foresee conditions pertaining to the long term dynamics of capitalism during the second half of the 20th Century and well into the 21st Century, had they occupied today’s mathematics and computers. Despite this, their views are far from irrelevant to today. Even though both scholars had their positions on key topics such as population growth, agriculture, labour, consumption and property rights, both believed that growth and development were desirable objectives to pursue. As we move into the 21st Century, it will be interesting to see Mills’ and Malthus’ views fulfilled.

Is the Stereotype of the Typical Australian of the 1940’s/50’s Correct? By Matthew Coppola

In the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s, the typical Aussie ‘bloke’ could be seen as rugged, fair minded, egalitarian, supportive of his mates in times of need, hard working, hard drinking,  honest, a competent bushman who could survive in the harsh Australian bushland, was critical of Authority and critical of those who put on “airs and graces”.

Is this statement stereotyping the true Australian in the 40’s and 50’s? Or is it true? The validity of this statement will be discussed.

After World War Two, Europe was pretty much devastated,  many people in Europe came and seeked refuge in Australia as illegal immigrants. So after a few years, or by the end of the 1950’s, Australia was very diverse in its culture. Australians enjoyed new foods, languages and religious beliefs. But did this change the stereotyped Australian or that statement really stereotyping Australians in the 1940’s and 1950’s?

To validate the statement, it is best to look at each quote and assess it as to whether it  was true or false. In the 1940’s and 50’s an american newspaper had fostered this belief that that the typical Australian lived out in the bush and was very rugged. The idea of Australians being “rugged in appearance” was because Australia was a very dry country and narrow minded Americans only saw Australia as just one big country outback with kangaroos hopping around, not realising that in Australia during that time, there were flourishing cities and towns, Australians were actually civilized.

The belief that Australians are “critical of Authority” has its roots dating back to the war whereby Australian soldiers were fighting alongside the British to invade Turkey. The Australian soldiers were known for not accepting the British commanding officers authority.

How to Effectively Build Credibility With Others, by Matthew Coppola

If we want to build our credibility with other people, we have to first of all be credible to ourselves. That means selling ourselves on our products or our services first. If you believe you are selling a good product, or offering a valuable service, you won’t have much difficulty selling that product or service to other people. Your body language (open, confident) and your tone of voice (positive, enthusiastic, pleasant) will tell them that you believe in what you are selling.

The first impression goes a long way to establishing your authority. You want a clean vehicle; polished shoes; trimmed, clean fingernails; clean, groomed hair; no heavy scent or body odour; and preferably only one bag. Women must have their briefcase and purse under control to prevent a cluttered look. (If you can, scale back to just a briefcase.)

As well, be aware of body movements. Don’t fiddle with your hair, tug at or adjust your clothing, play with your beard or moustache, or otherwise fidget. Fidgeting detracts from your credibility and your confidence.

If you have a demonstration, this can add to your credibility. However, ask permission first, and know exactly what you are doing. A demonstration that goes wrong sells nobody.

If you have testimonials, you can have several written up and ready to pass out, or you can have the names of people willing to be called. Please, make sure you ask their permission first and get the correct contact information for them. Keep any testimonials or contacts up-to-date.

How to Effectively Change a Client’s Emotion, by Matthew Coppola

Emotion has on a large effect on a person’s behaviour and by learning how to identify the clients feeling will help you provide a suitable solution. By changing the client’s emotion you may be able to help the client see your solution more clearly without the emotion that controls their behaviour.

E- Motion is contributed/created by motion

Several tips to help change or deal with emotion:

  • Change the client’s position- If they are sitting ask them to stand, or if they are standing ask them to take a seat. By changing the client’s body language the emotion will also change.
  • Ask the client several questions to lead them into a positive emotion. For example ‘sir I want to confirm your name is it john?” answer is “yes”. Several questions like this will help the client become more positive.
  • Use your volume to diffuse situations or anger. Slowly lower your voice.
  • Slow down your speech to help clients breathe and panic less.
  • Ask questions to help change what is on the clients mind.

Experience + MEANING= Feeling

Change the meaning of the situation for the client and the feeling they have towards it will change.

I’m out of a job. What now by Matthew Coppola

Think about the following scenario. You’re sitting in the manager’s office and he tells you he has to let you go, giving you two weeks to find another job. Just like that. How do you think you would feel? For many of us, the possibility of losing our job can seem very disheartening, especially if we have financial commitments. When it does occur, it certainly does hurt and can be a stressful time in anyone’s life. Being out of a job and having to deal with the consequences of being unemployed is hard to manage.

How unemployment affects us

Unfortunately it’s common for some people who are unemployed to resort to stealing, but for those who don’t steal, there are other damaging effects. Majority of the time people will people will feel depressed and lack in confidence and self-esteem. During the Great Depression, almost 25 percent of the American work force was out of work. Being longer term unemployed can turn enthusiastic, successful and optimistic people into being emotionally shattered and feeling as though they are failures.

How you can cope

First thing that you should do if you become unemployed is seek any available financial assistance from your previous employer or Centrelink. Some employers may provide severance pay to employees they let off, but you can’t always guarantee they will. Also make sure that you seek any back pay or entitlements that are yours. The simple truth is that if you don’t seek you won’t find! And finally go to your nearest Centrelink office and report to them your current employment situation and see what benefits are available to you to help you cope financially while you are looking for another job.

Your next step should be to sit down with your family or partner and critically assess your family finances and devise a budget. If you have trouble budgeting, there may be free financial counselling assistance available to you. Speak to your nearest Centrelink office for more information. In the event a financial crisis occurs in the household, budgeting should really be done well before in anticipation. By being prepared, you will be well equipped to handle your finances in the event you do become unemployed.

When budgeting, work out how much you will be receiving from Centrelink benefits or any entitlements from unemployment insurance. Also look at your savings and what you have available. Also are there any assets that you can sell to help you cope? For example, is there a second car that you can sell which you don’t really need?

Next work out all your essential expenses, how much do they come to each week or month? Work out how you can cover monthly expenses by cutting it down and living to the minimum expense. You might actually be surprised how much you can save each week by removing any unnecessary expenses!

Lastly don’t feel bad if you need to seek further assistance from family and close friends. If you keep your family in loop with your situation, they should be more than willing to help you out given that your relationship is sound with them. Sometimes it’s best to not have the attitude that you don’t need help or would come across as weak or a failure if you sought help from your family and friends.

Don’t lose sight of the dangers of unemployment

When the effects of unemployment hit the household, the results can be devastating. Financial problems can rip apart families and turn a once happy family life into one which has family members who are irritable and bitter. Tensions can start to grow in the household, and if you are married, can even cause marital problems.

Over the past years, households which have coped the best in a time of crisis with a member being unemployed are the ones who stick together with every member of the family supporting one another and each family member showing deep love towards the unemployed member. By supporting an unemployed member of your household or seeking support from other family members if you become unemployed, will give you the strength and confidence to find another job immediately.

How do I get along with my colleagues better?

The following article is written by Matthew Coppola,  Australian Career Coach and Employment Consultant. If you are interested in inviting him to speak at any events/conferences, please feel free to contact us.

Do you sometimes feel that no matter how hard you try to be friends, you manage to turn off some of your co-workers? What then do you need to do to be able to get along with your colleagues better? The truth of the matter is, not everyone is going to like you. This is a sad reality of life that we must all accept. If you try too hard to have your colleagues like you, it may actually work the opposite, actually turning them off. Your colleagues will be able to sniff out the insecurity from you. So how do you then deal with this dilemma?

The answer is to treat your co-workers as you would treat yourself. Although you have your own flaws, recognize your own worth as an individual and how much you have to offer to your workplace. By valuing yourself better, it will enable you to be able to value your co-workers better. For instance this would help in dealing with the occasional co-worker who puts forward a cold shoulder whenever you try to be friends with them on a professional level. In saying that, steer away from automatically assuming that “the other person has the problem” it may be that your personality and approach in communicating to others needs refinement.

There are two ways that can help you in making a goal of getting along better with your colleagues. These are:

  1. Try and improve your conversation skills
  2. Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Improving your conversation skills

People like those who can converse well in meetings, networking functions, and amongst co-workers. Improving your conversation skills starts with having something worthwhile to say, that is, to think before you speak. It is good to be able to talk about a wide variety of subjects. For example, you might want to keep up to date with news and current affairs or innovations and changes in your industry. Reading industry focused magazines and newsletters are a good way of having something to talk about. Whatever you speak about, try and avoid three things – making your conversations more about yourself and not the other person, negative talk and gossiping about other staff members.

Another important skill is to be able to keep the conversation flowing. If a co-worker or manager asks you a question or says something to you in conversation, don’t kill the discussion with a yes or a no answer, instead reply in full. For example, if a colleague asks you how your weekend was, reply in saying how it was and what you did. This then opens the door for further discussion and allows the opportunity for you to ask your co-worker a similar question. Do you ever find that people bring up subjects that you are either not interested in or have little idea about it? Even so, the other person will think favourably upon you if you ask them questions and show interest in what they have to say.

Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Personal interest on a professional level, by definition, is about being attentive to the concerns and being curious about your fellow colleagues. You can show this through making yourself available to help and using encouraging words such as ‘you should be proud of yourself’ ‘That’s impressive’ or ‘Wish I was as good as you’ and so forth. If you make it a goal of genuinely expressing praise to your co-workers, you can expect them to do also to you.

The basic principle to making others like you is to tell them what they want to hear and Show them what they want to see.

You tell your colleagues what they want to hear by praising them and their work, saying things like “I wish I was as smart as you” and “You’re going to go far in this company” this is what they want to hear! They also want to see you praising them to the boss, making mistakes and asking them for help and not trying to seek attention from others in the office. They want to see genuineness, accountability and respect from you.

Make it also a goal of giving your time and energy to your fellow colleagues. This will impress them greatly. If you are working, and your colleague comes up to you and explains how they solved a work-related issue, sacrifice five minutes of your time to listen to what they say, by dropping everything you have in your hands and turn your body towards them. Of course, if you are really busy at work and cannot spare 5 minutes, explain to them that you are flat out but would be interested in hearing about it possibly over lunch or at another suitable time.

You can get along with your colleagues better!

Often times the reason why we have a hard getting along with certain people is simply because there is a clash of personalities. Generally, personality clashes centre around two colleagues with strong personalities. If you find yourself having a hard time getting along with someone at work that has a strong personality, remember that blaming the other person will only result in a vicious circle, with each individual not giving in. Best thing to do in that situation is to realise that it takes the stronger person to back down and show humility.

Clashes between individuals with strong personalities at work usually begin like a tiny leak on a submarine submerged underwater. Sooner or later the crack becomes bigger and bigger, finally bursting a hole in the vessel and flooding it. So likewise if you find yourself about to explode with angry words, it would be best for you to physically walk away. The potential for personality clashes to occur are always going to be there, so therefore it is your responsibility to avoid it all cost.

Every colleague is different, so it can be very challenging at times to build a relationship with them all. But trying your hardest to get along with all of your colleagues despite differing personalities, some more extreme than others, will make an impression on your colleagues and they will go out of their way to get along with you too. It just takes the bigger person. So it might as well be you!


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