Saturday, October 1, 2011
I hope the article I wrote, on how to work better with your boss, helps you. It is in Chinese and then in English. I did not write the Chinese version, lol, a friend translated it.
1776 East Lancaster Ave. #306
Paoli, PA 19301
Pr. 17:15 箴言 17:15
Version 1.0 十种与老板更好共事的方法 December 18, 2007
By Calvin Sun
—阿兰·杰克逊, 吉米·布菲特, "此时下午五点整"
老板: 你没有办法和他们一起生活，但是离开他们你又没有办法生活. 不管喜欢不喜欢, 我们大部分人都要和老板打交道, 而我们打交道的方式不仅影响了我们的职业生涯和工资，更会影响我们的心理健康。下面是一些如何更好地和老板相处的建议。
觉得你有一个一窍不通的老板? 记住马克吐温的话, 他曾经说过，他14岁的时候, 他的父亲是令人无法容忍的愚蠢. 接着，当他21岁的时候，他惊奇地发现他父亲在7年里学到了如此多的东西。你的老板也许比你想的要聪明, 也许在你职业生涯的后期,你也会认识到这个事实. 不管怎样，一个糟糕的老板也能给出一些好的建议. 我记得几年前一个老板和我谈起工作的时候，他说我应该更有闯劲，主动找出人们需要的是什么而不是坐在那里等着别人下任务。
这样子想: 你从糟糕的老板那里也可以学到一些东西. 分析什么样的老板是糟糕的老板，然后如果当你自己成为老板的时候就可以避免这样的行为。就好像犬儒主义者提醒我们的那样, 就算是坏掉的钟一天也会正确两次.
同样, 广义上来说，你要知道老板期望你做的事情（看我的下一个建议）。 但同时，你要知道你的工作如何可以帮助老板。确保你所做的，不仅仅是你自己份内的事，而且可以帮助老板达成他的目标。
当我年轻的时候, 我有一次向我的母亲抱怨说我无事可做。“Calvin”，她回答道，“你为什么不练练钢琴呢？” 那是我最后一次向她抱怨这个事情。
如果你是个小孩的话，忽略你父母的愿望没有什么大问题。但是忽略(有意或无意) 你老板的要求就会毁了你的事业. 你如何能指望一个很好的绩效评估如果你根本不知道你要被如何考评？如果你知道了目标，他们是否可以被量化？如果可以，你和你的老板在评估的时候会轻松很多. 偶尔要和老板交流一下你在做的和已经完成的事, 确认你的老板有相同的想法. 如果老板对你的工作有看法，那么早知道比晚知道好。至少你还有时间来做出调整。
理想状态下, 在绩效评估的时候不应该有意外情况发生. 如果是这样，要不然老板没有很好地让你知道工作目标，要不然你没有理解好。不要让它发生在你身上。
你在工作中会做到完美吗？当然不会. 你至少会犯一个错误或者有一问题。然而，当问题发生，你去找老板（你也必须去，就像下面说的那样）不要仅仅带着问题去. 想一些解决问题的办法，并且准备好向老板提供你的建议。
重要时刻终于来临: 你站在你们团队前面, 从你的老板或者你老板的老板那里接过奖励或者是别的什么。这时你应该要做的事情是感谢所有帮助你成功的人，尤其是你的老板。如果你的老板真的帮到你了，这很容易。但如果是那些“不好对付”的老板呢？你也要说些什么，当然你最好也必须保持诚实。
还记得我们之前讨论过的吗？即使是糟糕的老板也可能提供好的见解。你的老板是不是让你沮丧，使事情更难办?也许，在这种情况下，你可以感谢老板帮助你 "看清问题" 或者是 “保持理智” 或者是“帮助你从多个角度看问题”. 不要给人家难堪，要不然你会听起来很狡猾或者是不诚实。不管怎样，说一些关于老板帮助你的话。
因为我们大多数人都工作都很投入, 以至于很难把我们和工作分开. 所以当有人批评我们的工作的时候，我们会觉得那是人身攻击。这样的反应会阻碍我们的工作进度。下一次你的老板（或者其他的任何人）批评你的工作，试着假装这个工作是别人做的。然后，从第三者的角度看这个工作，再想想批评是否有道理。
一个聪明的老板会意识到你的成功是关系到他自己的成功。所以，你做的好坏和老板利息相关。进一步来说，老板的批评也是他对你有很高期望的表现。当我刚开始工作的时候，我很不高兴因为老板给了我一个在我看来是过难的任务。我和我父亲的一个也在同一领域工作的朋友讨论这件事情。虽然已经好几年前的事情了，我仍然记得他的建议。 "Calvin," 他说, "[老板的名字] 给了你这个任务因为他觉得你可以把工作做好。"
抢老板的风头会让你的职业受到很大限制. 所以，在公众场合纠正老板错误一定要小心。有人有曾经这样对我父亲过。当他对一个团队演讲的时候，他提到了伍斯特理工学院. 演讲中，他正确的把它的发音说为"伍斯特." 这个人突然间大声说, "Wellington, 你错了. 那个是‘伍-切-斯特.'" 幸运的是，我父亲很聪明, 用下面的回答把话岔开: "不好意思，请原谅。英语只是我的第五语言." 我的父亲幽默的化解了这个情形. 然而，时隔这么多年后我还听到这个故事，这就说明了我父亲是怎么看待那个人和他所做的事。
有一种情况是可以在公众场合下纠正老板错误的: 当你的老板误以为自己犯了错误，但实际上没有. 假设你的老板在演讲的时候引用了一个数据。他然后停下来，并说：“不好意思，我想我错了。”如果你知道老板其实没有错，那么完全可以打断他说：“不，（老板的名字），你是正确的。”
10 ways to work better with your boss
Takeaway: I’m gettin’ paid by the hour, and older by the minute My boss just pushed me over the limit I’d like to call him somethin’ I think I’ll just call it a day… – Alan Jackson, Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” Bosses: You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. Like it or not, most of [...]
I’m gettin’ paid by the hour, and older by the minute
My boss just pushed me over the limit
I’d like to call him somethin’
I think I’ll just call it a day…
– Alan Jackson, Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere”
Bosses: You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. Like it or not, most of us must deal with a boss, and the way we do so affects not just our career advancement and our salary, but also our mental well-being. Here are some tips on how to get along better with your boss.
Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.
#1: Remember that your boss just might have useful insights
Think you have a clueless boss? Remember the words of Mark Twain, who once said that when he was 14, his father was so stupid it was unbearable. Then, he continued, when he became 21, he was amazed at how much his father had learned in just seven years. Your boss might be smarter than you think, and maybe later in your career, you will appreciate that fact. Regardless, a bad boss can still offer good advice.
I remember what a boss from years ago told me about the workplace. He said I should be aggressive and find out what people needed done rather than sit back and wait for assignments.
Think of it this way: You still can learn from a bad boss. Analyze why that boss is a bad boss and then resolve to avoid those things if you ever become a boss yourself. As the cynic reminds us, even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.
#2: Know your boss’ objectives
Software developers often concern themselves with “traceability.” The requirements for a software system must directly or indirectly be tied, or traced, to the objectives of the company. In theory, therefore, any requirement that lacks such traceability should be considered irrelevant and removed.
In the same way, try to see the bigger picture. You need to know what the boss expects of you (see the next tip). But at the same time, you need to understand how your job helps the boss. Make sure that what you’re doing not only meets your own job description but helps the boss achieve his or her own objectives.
#3: Know what your boss expects of you
When I was young, I once complained to my mother that I had nothing to do. “Calvin,” she answered, “Why don’t you practice piano?” That was the last time I ever complained to her about that topic.
Ignorance of your parents’ wishes may be fine when you’re a child, but ignorance (willful or otherwise) of your boss’s expectations can kill your career. How can you expect a good performance evaluation if you’re unaware of how you’re going to be measured? If you know your objectives, are they quantifiable? If so, both of you will have an easier time during your evaluation.
Every once in a while, check with your boss about what you’re doing and what you’ve accomplished and make sure your boss has that same understanding. If your boss has issues with your performance, it’s better for both of you that you know sooner rather than later, so you have time to make adjustments.
In a perfect world, no surprises should arise during your performance review. If they do, either your boss didn’t communicate the objectives or you failed to understand them. Don’t let that happen to you.
#4: Be low maintenance
Don’t be the “problem employee,” the one the boss always has to check up and follow up on. Instead, try to be the one the boss can depend on. It might not be apparent immediately, but a good boss will recognize and appreciate that trait.
Are you going to be perfect in your work? Of course not. You’re probably going to make a mistake or create a problem at least once. However, when that happens, and you go to your boss (as you should, as mentioned below), try to go not just with the report of the problem. Think of some solutions and be prepared to offer your recommendations to your boss.
#5: Don’t surprise your boss
Don’t let your boss be blindsided by bad news. In other words, “fee up” if you created a problem or made a mistake. It’s better that bad news about you should come from you — not from a customer, not from a co-worker, and absolutely not from your boss’s boss. Did you have a negative interaction with an abusive caller or customer? As soon as the call is finished, call your boss and give a briefing. Tell the boss who you spoke with, why that person is upset, and what the boss can expect to hear from that person. Also give your side of the story.
The same advice applies to good news as well. Let your boss know about your successes. Otherwise, your boss might give the impression of being unaware of them when his or her own boss offers congratulations.
#6: Acknowledge your boss in your successes
The moment has arrived: You’re in front of your group, receiving an award or other recognition from your boss or your boss’ boss. An appropriate thing to do at this point is to recognize the people who made it possible, in particular your boss. It’s easy to do if your boss really did help you. What about the “difficult” boss, though? You should try to say something, but at the same time you probably should be truthful as well.
Remember what we discussed above — that even a bad boss can provide good insights and examples. Did your boss discourage you or make things difficult? Maybe, in that case, you could thank your boss for helping you “keep things in perspective” or for “serving as a sanity check” or for helping you “see the problem from multiple points of view.” Don’t push things, or you may start sounding cute and insincere. However, do try to say something about your boss’ help.
#7: Don’t take criticism personally
Because most of us are so involved with our work, it’s hard to separate ourselves from it. So when someone criticizes our work, we view that criticism as a personal attack. Reacting that way can hinder our development and our progress. The next time your boss (or anyone else) criticizes your work, try pretending that the work was done by someone else. Then, examine it as a third party would and test the validity of the criticism.
A smart boss realizes that your success is tied to his or her own success. Therefore, the boss has an interest in your doing well. Furthermore, criticism from the boss could be a sign that the boss has high expectations from you. When I first began working, I was upset because my boss had given me a task that I thought was too hard. I discussed my concern with a friend of my father, who worked in the same area as I did. Though it happened years ago, I still remember that friend’s advice. “Calvin,” he said, “[name of boss] gave you that task because he thinks you can do a good job.”
#8: Remember your boss has a boss
We discussed earlier the importance of knowing your boss’ objectives. In the same vein, be aware that your boss has a boss as well. You can use that fact to build a collaborative relationship with your own boss, because both of you have a common objective of making the boss’ boss happy and making your boss look good. Having that collaborative relationship gives your boss a better impression of you and gives you visibility to your boss’ boss.
#9: Don’t upstage your boss
Upstaging your boss can limit your career mobility. Therefore, be careful of correcting your boss in public, as someone did to my father once. While he was making a group presentation, he referred to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In doing so, he correctly pronounced it as “Woo-ster.” This person spoke up, saying, “Wellington, you’re wrong. It’s ‘Woo-ches-ter.’” Fortunately, my father was smart, deflecting the comment with the following answer: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. English is only my fifth language.” My father humorously defused the situation. However, the fact that after all these years I still hear this story tells you what my father thought of that correction and the person who made it.
There’s one instance when it’s okay to correct your boss in public: when your boss mistakenly thinks he or she made a mistake but really didn’t. Suppose your boss quotes a figure while giving a presentation. He or she then stops and says, “I’m sorry, I think I made a mistake.” If you know the boss was originally correct, it’s fine at that point to interrupt and say, “No, [boss' name], you’re correct.”
#10: Manage your boss when necessary
Getting ahead in your career requires more than just sitting back and waiting for assignments. You must take initiative, looking for opportunities and problems to be solved. In doing so, take advantage of any organizational power your boss might have. Explain to your boss your plans and why they represent a good business decision. Then, ask your boss to fight any bureaucratic battles that may arise and to run interference for you. In doing so, you recognize the boss is the boss. However, you are directing your boss, in taking advantage of pull that you possibly lack.
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Calvin Sun, attorney at law 孫自成， 律师
1776 East Lancaster Ave. #306
Paoli, PA 19301
Pr. 17:15, Ex. 22:21 箴言 17:15, 出埃及记 22:21
Takeaway: Given the current economy, maintaining contacts with other companies can be critical. Knowing the right people can help you land a better job, one with more pay or perhaps the chance of advancement. But getting that next job often involves an interview. Calvin Sun put together this list of practical interview pointers to help you excel.
Given the current economy, maintaining contacts with other companies can be critical. Knowing the right people can help you land a better job, one with more pay or perhaps the chance of advancement. Getting that next job, of course, often involves an interview. Here are some tips to help you excel.
Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.
#1: Be on timeGive yourself enough time to reach your destination, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. You will have enough stress with respect to the actual interview. Don’t add to it by complicating your travel to there. Consider a dry run prior to interview day, especially if you’re driving. Remember that mapping and navigational services could take you (as they did me) through an empty field or the wrong way on a one-way street.
Don’t get there too early, either. Doing so makes you look as though you have no other job and could hurt you later during salary negotiations. Plan to arrive between 10 to 20 minutes before your time. If you really do get there on the early side, consider joking with the receptionist or your interviewer about your surprise or “anger” over the lack of traffic. Then get serious and say that all you need is a place to sit down, because you have work you can do while you wait.
#2: Occupy yourself while waitingDo bring work with you, so you can do it. There’s always another e-mail or memo to write, or a chance to review your to-do list or project plan. You even could start on the thank-you note to your interviewer(s). (See below.)
Whatever you do, don’t look up every time someone passes by. Doing so makes you look weak and anxious.
#3: Research the companyDon’t worry if people call you a creeper or a stalker because you’re researching the company. My daughters call me that all the time, but I don’t let it stop me. Take time to find out about challenges and problems that company is facing. The simplest method is simply to do a Google search. If the company is publicly traded, you can get additional information from financial sites, such as finance.yahoo.com or money.com.
#4: Dress the partWhen in doubt, dress more conservatively than less. However, don’t go too far, even on the “up” side, because your interviewer might think you are out of touch. The best approach is to find out how people (in particular, the people one level above you) dress, and to follow accordingly.
If dressing that way is noticeably different from how you and your current co-workers dress, you might have a problem. Dressing differently the day of your interview might telegraph your intentions to others, something you may or may not want. If it’s the latter, consider leaving your interview clothing in your car or some other area. If you’re a male, maybe you can appear at your current job without a tie, then put one on, along with a sport jacket, when you go for your interview.
#5: Tie your answers to issues the company/interviewer is facingOnce you have background information on the company and any problems it’s facing, try to tie that information to work you’ve done. If you can come up with solutions based on work you’ve already done, you may make a great impression. You will have shown resourcefulness and initiative in doing research, then demonstrated the value you can bring to the company.
Whenever you can, quantify your accomplishments. Don’t just say, “I wrote a program that streamlined our inventory process.” Say, if you can, “My program increased inventory turnover by 15%.”
#6: Be courteous to support staffA measure of a person’s character, it is said, is the way that person treats those who have no effect on the person’s future. It’s easy to be courteous and respectful to the interviewer or the interviewer’s boss. What about that receptionist, or assistant, or server (if your interview occurs at a restaurant)? Treating them with equal courtesy speaks well of you, and in fact could be something the company is observing. Disagree with me if you want, but acting like a boor to support staff could hurt your chances.
#7: Be energetic but not desperateThere’s a fine line between being energetic and being desperate. Show that you’re interested in the job, but don’t be so interested that the interviewer thinks that this interview is your only one — even if it is. On the other hand, being “coy” can be a good approach, because if the interviewer likes you, he or she might do more to attract you to that company. However, being too coy might come across as aloofness and turn off the interviewer.
The best approach is to have a restrained enthusiasm. Even better, take your cues from the interviewer. If that person is quiet and reserved, you might want to adopt if you can that demeanor. If he or she is more outgoing, you could consider emulating that manner.
#8: Don’t badmouth current/former employerSpeaking ill of a former employer, no matter how bad your relationship, could come back to haunt you. Even if the interviewer asks you what you disliked about your former boss, refuse to take the bait. You can speak about things you learned, even if the context is different from what the interviewer might be thinking.
Let’s say your former boss publicly humiliated subordinates, and that his doing so damaged morale. You could say, for example, “I learned a lot from my former boss about how to motivate people.” Did your boss often fail to keep commitments? You could say, “I learned from my boss about the importance of keeping commitments, because breaking them hurts a project and damages one’s reputation.”
#9: Be clear on the next step(s)Before you leave, get a sense of what will happen next. Will they make a decision? If so, when? Will they ask you to return for more interviews? Who should call whom? By knowing this information, you can get an idea of what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
#10: Send a thank-you note afterwardAfter the interview, take the time and send a “real” (not electronic) note to your interviewer. I know it’s means more time, expense and trouble than an e-mail, but sending a note can make you stand out from any competition you might have. In that note, re-emphasize the points you made, plus any others that might have occurred since that time.
1776 East Lancaster Ave. #306
Paoli, PA 19301
610-296-3947， cell 215-983-3723
Pr. 17:15 箴言 17:15
10 things foreign national workers need to know
Takeaway: These tips and caveats will help foreign national workers in the United States avoid petition pitfalls and status issues.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S. national, and you’re working in the United States, this information may help you with any petitions you are planning to file. It also may help you avoid status problems.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.
1: Your I-94, not your visa, governs your length of stay
Do not confuse your visa with your I-94 document. The former controls the period of time during which you may enter the United States (subject to final approval of an immigration official at the U.S. port of entry). Once you have entered the United States, the visa associated with that entry has no further connection with your U.S. stay. In fact, that visa actually can expire, and as long as you remain in the U.S., that expiration has no effect on the legality of your stay.
The document that governs the length of your U.S. stay as a non-immigrant is your I-94 document. If you came to the U.S. as a student, in F-1 status, you received your I-94 at your port of entry. If you later received H-1B status via a change of status while staying in the U.S., your I-94 was attached to the bottom of your I-797 notice of approval. That document tells you when you must leave the U.S. If your I-94 departure date field has the notation “D/S,” which stands for “duration of status,” as long as you maintain the conditions of that status, you are permitted to remain in the U.S.
2: You need to use an acceptable version of a USCIS form
Always be sure that the form you are working on for submission to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is either the current form or an acceptable earlier version of that form. Regulations and statutes will change from time to time, and forms must change as a result. For this reason, double-check each hardcopy form you are using at this Web site. It will tell you the current version of that form and whether earlier versions are acceptable. This recommendation applies regardless of whether you are submitting forms yourself or whether a lawyer is doing so for you. Lawyers and their staff can overlook this matter, so if you have any doubts, double-check yourself.
3: You should tell USCIS if you move
Most foreign nationals must tell USCIS their new address if they move and must do so within 10 days of their move. Report the new address via form AR-11, available at the USCIS Web site. Foreign nationals in F-1 status (i.e., students) may meet the reporting requirement by telling their designated school official (DSO).
4: Your OPT might be FICA and Medicare exempt
If you are being paid during your optional practical training (OPT) period, take a careful look at your pay stub. If your employer is withholding FICA (known better as Social Security) and Medicare taxes from you, the employer might be incorrect, because you might be exempt from FICA taxes. These taxes amount to 7.65% of your salary. In addition, your employer must pay an equal 7.65%. Because individual situations might vary, consider consulting a qualified tax professional for further guidance.
5: Unemployment period is measured in CALENDAR days, not business days
While you are in OPT, you are normally limited to 90 days of unemployment. If you are enrolled in the 17-month extension because your field of study was science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), your overall unemployment limit is 120 days. Note that in both cases, according to USCIS, these periods are calendar days, not business days.
6: There’s a trick to determining whether you’re STEM-eligible
Some fields of study are clearly STEM-eligible, while others might not be. For example, a friend who graduated with a degree in environmental science said she thought she was not eligible for STEM because her degree was M.A. rather than M.S. When I gave her the following advice on checking to make sure, she discovered otherwise and was so happy she bought me a Starbucks.
On page 3 of your I-20 document, near the top, you’ll see the name of your field of study. To the immediate left of this name is a code number called a “classification of instructional program” (CIP) code. This code, NOT the name of your field — and not whether the degree is “arts” or “science,” or anything else — determines STEM eligibility. Once you know your CIP code, compare it to the information at the Web site of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This site has a page of CIP codes that are STEM-eligible.
7: When to apply for STEM
If you are STEM-eligible, you may apply at any time during your original one-year period for the extension. That is, you need not request it at the time you apply for OPT. In fact, you need not apply for the extension at all. Keep in mind that there is a fee for requesting the extension, and there are issues related to the timing of any intended H-1B petition (see below). If you have applied for the extension on time (i.e., if you applied prior to the expiration of the original OPT) and are awaiting a decision, you may continue to work even if your original OPT has expired in the meantime.
8: Factors to consider regarding OPT to H-1B transition
You might want to stay in F-1 OPT status for a longer time, primarily because you save money by possibly being FICA and Medicare exempt. However, the longer you stay in F-1 status, the greater the chance that the H-1B cap will be filled and the longer you will need to wait to begin your green card process. Because of visa delays and the risk of being denied entry upon leaving and returning to the US, I advise F-1 holders to delay the beginning of their green card process until they receive H-1B status.
In other words, you must weigh the short-term benefits of tax savings versus longer-term benefits of an earlier green card priority date and avoiding issues with the H-1B cap.
9: H-1B LCA is not a “labor certification”
Do not confuse an H-1B labor condition application (LCA) with a green card labor certification. In most cases, the former is vastly simpler than the latter. In most cases, your H-1B employer need not advertise or recruit for your H-1B position before offering you the job. All that employer has to do, in most cases, is certify that you will be paid at least the higher of actual or prevailing wage.
This certification is usually simpler than the advertising and recruiting activities connected with a green card labor certification.
10: Your immigration attorney and you can be in different places
Because immigration is a federal matter, not a state one, you can retain an attorney even if that person is in another state. To represent you before USCIS, that attorney must be admitted to the bar of, and in good standing in, any state of the U.S. or of the District of Columbia. In other words, your attorney can be, but need not be, admitted to the bar of the state you are in.