Welcome to aeclp.org

Working Smarter – Planting Seeds to Earn Employee of the Year To be awarded with the employee of the year and maybe even having your own plaque posted on the wall is the highest of rewards for some employees. With all the competition in the workplace, becoming the employee of the year is not an easy task. One of the first steps to becoming employee of the year is to be a good worker. Being a good worker actually includes lots of different strategies. A good worker is always on time and never leaves early without permission. Of great benefit to you as well as to others is to make sure that you have a pleasant attitude and lots of motivation. The lack of motivation in a workplace can slow down productivity immensely and if your boss sees that you are one major motivator in your department, a small seed towards that plaque is already planted. A good worker is also very well organized and works in an efficient manner. Efficiency with high quality results is a great combination to add more seeds to sprout your career and reach your goal of being the employee of the year. In some companies there is an employee awarded every month. The employee of the month gets awarded for his outstanding work and contribution to the company over the course of the month. Sometimes to become the employee of the year, you need to get several or the most of the employee of the month awards. But since you are trying to be the employee of the year, you must already try to be the best employee every month. You should have a chance for one or more of the monthly awards. Becoming employee of the months is one important seed to harvest your crop, the employee of the year award. Often times, it also helps to have a good relationship to your boss. A relationship of mutual respect, somebody your boss can rely on, likes to exchange ideas and just plain small talk with, are all important. Become his ally and best worker, but do not over do it. Sometimes in the effort to become employee of the year, you try too hard to be somebody you are not in order to show off in front of everybody and forget that working in a businesslike or industrial setting also means teamwork. Try to be a leader and show respect for others at your workplace. If you are just trying to take away work and glory from others, you will soon be the person nobody wants to go to. To become the employee of the year, you need to be a resource for others, help with their daily problems and most of all, respect them and recognize their accomplishments. If you are working in the team, everybody needs to feel welcome and feel like he or she is contributing. As you can see, just doing the most work will not get you the employee of the year reward. Accomplishing many other things at the same time is just as important as the amount of work you correctly and timely deliver. That is why the process of getting awarded is more like planting seeds in the field and seeing them sprout. It is not just one action; it takes many different actions to become the employee of the year. Possibly one of the most important facts at the end of the year-- do not expect that it is you that gets the award. Be humble, think of others that did also tremendous amounts of work and tried to be motivated throughout the year. Do not be disappointed if it is not you.

Extra! Extra! Getting into the Newspaper Business (writing news articles) The news is now and those who write it know the stories first. Getting into the newspaper business can be difficult because of the competitive nature of the news. The successful reporter needs to be organized, efficient and able to work under extreme pressure. The flip side is that a newspaper writer is almost always a celebrity. If he or she works for a large newspaper, his name may be known all over the country. If he only works for a small town paper, that town will recognize his name. Writing news articles involves ups and downs, so read on to learn more about it. Newspaper Overview A newspaper office is an interesting place to be. Bright and early at eight o’clock in the morning, the office is quiet and dark. As the rest of the world is counting down the minutes to quitting time, the reporters’ desks start to fill up with hurried typing and flipping through notes. Well after dark, the last stories get wrapped up and put to bed. They may have been changed a couple of time as new developments occurred. Some stories written will make it to the front page. Some stories though will get significantly cut or cut from the paper all together. Writing news articles may be very rewarding, but it also requires a different kind of lifestyle than most careers. Becoming a Reporter If you are interested in writing news articles, you may also be interested in learning a little bit more about what is involved in becoming a reporter. Writing is a very important piece of being a successful reporter. Writing news articles involves close attention to journalistic style. Most full time reporters have journalism degrees. Those that don’t have learned to imitate the style with precision. A good journalist must learn the art of interviewing a subject. Freelancing If the full time reporting job is not for you, look into writing news articles on a freelance basis. It will help if you develop a relationship with the editor of the newspaper you intend to write for. Since so many people want to see their names in print, it can be hard to break into the freelance newspaper business. Writing news articles on a freelance basis requires a good eye for newsworthy topics as well as a thorough and fair representation of the facts. Freelancing takes practice. Don’t be discouraged if the editor doesn’t like your work initially. If you keep trying, you’re bound to stumble onto something great. Once you are in and an editor likes you, you’ll be able to work more freely. What’s News? Before you are ready for writing news articles, you should be ready to judge for yourself what news is and what it is not. Regular reporters are assigned stories to write, so they rarely have to come up with topics on their own. Freelancers write their stories and then try to sell them. The first rule about deciding what is news is that if someone asks you to write about it, it’s not news. You should have to dig up the good stories. If you need inspiration, just start talking to people. Get to know a few of the prominent people in your community. Build relationships and keep asking questions. The stories will come out eventually. You can also take a tour of your community with your eyes wide open. Look for anything suspicious, dangerous or exceedingly beautiful. Take your camera wherever you go just in case you happen to be an eyewitness to something newsworthy. Writing news articles can be done as a career or as a freelance pursuit. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to lead a life with some adventure. The news is always happening and it’s always something new.

Networking Know-How: How to Get Through to the Busiest of People When you are job hunting, sometimes the most frustrating part is just getting your foot through the door to let the right people know that you are out there and available for work. Companies can be like members-only clubs; they tend to be a little distrustful of cold callers and most executives advise their assistants to run interference for them on the phone so they do not get stuck having a protracted conversation with someone they just aren’t interested in doing business with. The thing is that to get an interview, these people can be the very same people you need to talk to. How do you get these busy people to clear some time off in their busy schedule to speak to you? First things first – you have to get the right attitude. If you want busy people to make time to talk to you, you have to present yourself in a way that makes them feel like you are worth the time investment. The trick here is that you have to do this by phone, and often, you have to first convince an operator or personal assistant that your call is one worth putting through to the boss. Your phone etiquette and vocal confidence will be the key here. Consider you basic phone manners first. Instead of launching right into what you want, respond to the greeting of the person who answers the phone with a hello of your own. Animate your voice and always remember that simply saying “please” and “thank you” can go a long way. Be the kind of caller that you would want to talk to if your job was answering the phone all day. People will respond to your positive attitude with a positive attitude of their own. Next, consider your confidence level on the phone. Do you tend to get tongue-tied and stumble over your words? That kind of delivery from you will set all the warning bells ringing on the other end of the phone, and you will find the person with whom you wish to speak always “out of the office.” Instead, work on sounding like you are confident that it is a forgone conclusion that you will get to speak that busy person you want to talk to. Be confident that what you have to say is something that is worth hearing. It may help to write out a framework of what you will say and practice a few times so you sound relaxed and composed when you make that call. Once your attitude is right to make the call, you can then employ a few tricks of the trade for getting through to those busy people. Instead of giving away too much up front, start your call by asking if the person with whom you need to speak is in. If the answer is yes, then you can remove on potential “excuse” for not putting your call through. If your call can’t be taken at that time, skip the message. Let the PA or operator know that you will call back again. That way you have a legitimate reason to keep calling. Of course, you might have to keep calling and calling, and that assistant might start knowing the sound of your voice. If you keep speaking to the same person, it’s time to open up with some person details. Let them know your name, why you’re calling, and if someone referred you, who that person is. Developing that personal relationship can help you get your call through to the boss. Last but not least, don’t give up. Busy people are, well, busy, and not necessarily avoiding your call. Persistence pays off, so keep on calling until you get through.

Four Ways to Create a Better Work Environment and Increase Job Productivity What kind of environment do you think creates the most potential for job productivity – one in which everything is very regimented and the workers perform their work because they are afraid of “getting in trouble,” or one in which the workers are relaxed and allowed a great deal of freedom and flexibility? It is the great working conundrum – to get workers to do more, you have to let them work less. Further, you have to create a work environment in which work is not stressful. In fact, creating an environment in which work is even enjoyable and a pleasure gets the best results of all! If you want to get your employees to improve their job productivity and job performance, forget about cracking the whip. Instead, think about how you can make coming to work appealing for them, so they actually want to get things done for you! The first way to create a better work environment and increase job productivity comes down very much to your attitude and the way you treat your employees. Make sure you create an environment in which your workers can come to you and discuss work related problems they are having with you. The feedback you get from them will enable to make sure the office is working as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it will allow you to stay on top of everything that is happening in the office much easier – instead of employees trying to hide mistakes and problems from you, they will bring them to your attention and work on finding a solution. Above all else, creating a good relationship with your employees will keep the mood in the office positive – no one likes working for someone who doesn’t appreciate them or casts a black cloud over the office. You’ll get more out of your employees if they are happy when they are at work. The next thing you can do is consider “fun” options, like a dress down day once a week or a weekly office lunch get together. These kinds of shared activities increase the team building and the morale among the workers in your office. When everyone feels like he or she is a member of a team, they will be more likely to feel responsible to each other and perform better at their daily tasks. The third idea for creating a better office environment is related to the second, but has more to do with the actual office itself. Open plan offices are believed by experts to increase feelings of belonging and team membership among employees. Try to encourage shared workspaces and a healthy exchange of ideas between your employees at all times. Again, when employees feel like they are part of a team working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to make sure they are holding up their end of the bargain. Last but not least, make sure your employees are well rested and as stress free as possible. Allowing flex time hours in your office is a great way to give employees more control over their time; it gives them time to get rest when they need it or take a day off when they need to recharge. Encourage your employees to disconnect from the office when they are not at work instead of being constantly available, even after hours or when they are on vacation. An employee who actually gets some time off will be more productive when they return to the office. Likewise, make sure that the office has a break room that offers a real respite for employees during the day, and encourage employees to make use of it. Allowing your employees to get they breaks they will increase their ability to deliver for you when they return.