Contributed

Are MBAs Really Worth It?

Ever wondered whether it’s worth investing in a MBA? Professor Terry Williams, University of Hull Business School dean, shares his views on the benefits of investing in your next MBA.

Contributed by: Kaplan Singapore

Since 2008, universities in the United States have reported what appears to be a rising trend in the number of graduate students around the country, as more working adults seek further education to boost their employment chances.

Closer to home in Asia, many adult learners choose to do MBAs in an attempt to get ahead in their careers or shift industries. Nowhere is this truer than in Singapore, where both public and private institutions offer the highly sought after postgraduate degree.

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Have you ever taken leave from work to queue for something?

By Julailah Wahid

If there is one activity that bands Singaporeans together, it must be queuing. The act of queuing has become so commonplace in Singapore that it is surprising how we have not clinched an Olympic gold medal for it.

Take the recent launch of the iPhone 5 for example. Queues at leading telco stores stretched for miles and even poured out of shopping malls.

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Don’t let your ego get in the way of job negotiations

Shew. You finally have an offer on the table, and you’re so excited you could just scream. But now that you’ve jumped through the hoops to get to this point, the real work is still ahead of you. It’s time for negotiations. Typically I think there are two types of people – those who love to intellectually spar and those who would rather play rock, paper, scissors instead.

Luckily, you can overcome that aversion to negotiating by preparing yourself for what becomes crucial to you in a new job and what becomes more of a “nice to have.” As R. William Holland states in his book, you get what you negotiate for, not what you deserve. What’s important to take away from that is you don’t have a third-party fighting for your interests; you must muster up the gusto and self-awareness to enter into negotiations as a skillful opponent.

“Today, negotiation skills are an absolute necessity for successful career management,” says R. William Holland in his book “Cracking the New Job Market.” Most of us go through what he terms the “postoffer honeymoon” where we’re so elated that we just blindly accept the offer without knowing that we have every right to accept it and review it. “The truth is that you are in your strongest bargaining position during the time between when a job is offered and when you accept it.”

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The new grad’s guide to understanding what the boss wants

Graduation was only a few months ago and yet your alma mater is already sending you alumni donation requests, it’s been less than ideal moving back in with your parents and any graduation money you got was burned through a long time ago (why did that new collector’s pack of DVDs seem so cool at the time?). However, the upside to all this is getting your first job after graduation, and along with this new life comes some challenges–one of the biggest being understanding your new boss.

Whether you’re working for a control freak or someone more hands off, there are ways to figure out what your boss is asking of you and how to impress her. From learning the communication style of your boss to becoming a star employee, here are some insider tips for starting your new job off on the right foot.

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Job hunting while employed: How to cover your tracks

As a rule, honesty is usually the best policy when it comes to your career. Don’t lie about your experience, salary or education — you will get caught. Don’t pretend you know what you’re talking about, because you’ll eventually say something that makes you look like a fool. Don’t inflate your job title just to sound important — it will make you look worse.

But when you’re hunting for a job, you might need to stretch the truth a little bit. At the very least, you’ll probably need to get creative when explaining some of your actions. Each job is different, but in most workplaces the boss frowns on employees looking for another job. No one wants to hear, “Hey, I’m running out to interview for a job with a better salary!” at the office.

While we won’t tell you to lie to your boss, we do think you should know about these ways to keep your job search private without harming your current gig:

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Are you too essential at your job?

It’s nice to feel valued by your boss. It’s especially rewarding to be told by her that you’re so good at what you do, you’ve become indispensible. You know you’re lucky to have job security, so you don’t want to complain. But what if you’ve become so essential at your job that you’re no longer growing professionally?

Sometimes, workers find themselves in a situation where they are so specialized that no one else can do what they do. Or, the boss becomes so dependent on them that they can’t seem to move out from under her shadow. If you’re experiencing this, and you’re happy with how things are, that’s great. Some workers prefer to remain specialized and have a lateral career path, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you’re missing out on promotions because of it, or you aren’t able to work on interesting projects outside of your scope of work, it’s time to speak up.

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How secure is your work laptop and its contents?

By Debra Auerbach

Have you ever paid your bills online during your lunch break? Do you go to meetings without locking your computer first? Has your curiosity caused you to click on a link within an email, knowing there’s a chance it might contain a virus?

Any of these actions can create a potential security risk, but many workers aren’t taking the necessary precautions to keep their company’s or their own personal information safe on their work laptop. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, of the 26 per cent of workers who reported having office laptops, 61 per cent said they have critical, sensitive information stored on them.

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Confusing business etiquette explained

In business as in life, there are certain situations where only common sense is needed to have appropriate etiquette. Anyone with decent judgment should know that it’s never OK to scream profanities at your boss, steal someone else’s lunch from the refrigerator or fall asleep in your cubicle.

Yet there are some etiquette gray areas where right and wrong aren’t always as easily defined. And it’s especially tough to crack these protocol codes when you’re new to the working world or you’ve just joined a company.

In these situations, the first step you should take to better understand your company’s business customs is to ask your manager. “As a success and business coach, I find that having a transparent discussion with your boss at the start of your work avoids many of these uncomfortable situations,” says Laura Lee Rose, owner and certified business/life coach at Rose Coaching.

But you may not always have easy access to your boss, or you may not feel comfortable having these types of discussions with your manager. To help, Rose and other career and etiquette experts weigh in on what actions to take in some of the most confusing business situations.

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7 Career Mistakes To Stop Making

You always hear that you shouldn’t lie on your résumé or inflate your salary during job negotiations. Even if you get hired, there’s always the chance that one day you’ll get caught in the lie and lose your job.

Although you’re not lying to anyone, you could still be making subtle mistakes that are actually sabotaging your career. If you feel like you’re in a rut or not advancing as quickly as you think you should be, you might be one of those workers.

So how do you know if you’re making a costly career error? Experts weigh in on some of the common mistakes you might be making and ways you can turn things around today.

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Signs your job is taking over your life

By Debra Auerbach

Most workers have to clock in overtime at some point in their careers, and they do so for a variety of reasons. It could be because of a big project with a tight deadline, the desire to make time-and-a-half pay or the nature of the job. Others work long hours just because they are workaholics. Yet if you’re finding yourself working late into the evening most nights, you may be harming your health.

According to a British study — which looked at more than 2,000 middle-aged British workers for an average of nearly six years — employees who work at least 11 hours per day were up to 2.43 times more likely to experience depression compared with those who worked between seven and eight hours a day.

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