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Michael Moffa

Michael Moffa, writer for Recruiter.com, is a former editor and writer with China Daily News, Hong Kong edition and Editor-in-chief, Business Insight Japan Magazine, Tokyo; he has also been a columnist with one of Japan’s national newspapers, The Daily Yomiuri, and a university lecturer (critical thinking and philosophy).

The Case Against Stating Your Target Salary

In recent preliminary discussions with a prospective new employer, a currently well-paid IT marketing pro I know dithered over whether to declare a salary target for himself before any interview with a company that expressed interest in him. His concerns were not just about telling the company his true target, but also about broaching any figure at all—even if only as a high-ball negotiation...

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Applying the 5-Stage Grief Model to Customer Service Crises

Who would have expected that what is perhaps the most widely used, 5-stage clinical model of grieving and "change management" could be applied to stages of  customer service crises? But that's a good model of what frequently seems to happen when clients give customer service staff "grief" (or vice versa). The so-called "5-stages of grief" (or  steps of "the grief cycle") are...

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Misplaced Professional and Other Credit: Giving and Taking It Where It Isn't Due

Praise is a great motivator. But it can also be awfully demotivating—when it is not given when,where and to whomever or whatever it is really due, at least partially, if not primarily or exclusively. You close the deal, your boss takes or gets the credit; you do the genetics research or make the discovery—your faculty adviser publishes your results under his name. You get the...

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The Office Hurtful Helper: Workplace Sabotage Psychology

As a species of "frenemy"—the friend who is, nonetheless, your enemy or your enemy who is somehow also your friend, the office "hurtful helper" is in a complex class of his or her own. The hurtful helper can take many forms, have one or more diverse agendas, strategies and tactics, and be very, very subtle when not utterly obvious and transparent. Among the types are those "hurtpers" (to...

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Multi-Tasking Bandwidth vs. Attention Span: Why You Need to Know the Differences and Connections

You're looking for a wing (wo)man you can depend on to take on, stick with and follow through on multiple tasks and projects or maybe just one big task. The last to occupy that position was a disappointment, because he couldn't keep his eye on the balls to be juggled. What you don't know is whether that was because he had problems multi-tasking or because he had a short attention span in...

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The 6 Rs of Workplace Anger Management

The other day, a friend in China who has been waging a personal battle against anger asked me whether "release", i.e., venting, those feelings is better or worse than "repression" (or suppressing) them. My take on her question was that it represented and was framed as a false, limited choice, because there are alternatives—better alternatives—to popping or sealing the anger cork. For...

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The New Year Urge to Purge: What to Do Before Workplace 'New Beginnings' Become 'New Endings'

The New Year "urge to purge"--or "termination determination"—can be as devastating in its consequences as it is predictable. New Year's Eve and the first days that follow it are all too often exploited to callously or belatedly dump somebody. be it a lover, a co-worker, someone who is both, or, perhaps most painfully, if less frequently, an employee or employer (or, rarest of all, a...

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2015: A New Year's Note of Depreciation

The New Year, 2015, has arrived. So, like a new car, does it immediately begin to depreciate in value the minute you make it yours by shouting "Happy New Year!"? Assuming it does, and that you are now a "shareholder" (along with the billions of the rest of us), what are the consequences—logical and practical—for job and head hunters? And how could the new year depreciate in any way like...

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Dangle the Bait, Not the Bowl: A Tip on How (Not) to Try to Hire and Get Hired

When you're looking to be hired or to hire, ask yourself this question: What am I dangling—bait or a begging bowl? If your LinkedIn, Facebook, other social media profiles or cover letter describe yourself as "actively seeking IT employment" or "eager to consider new career opportunities", read them again and judge whether they sound like enticements, or, instead, like an S.O.S. distress...

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When Applicants Warp Your Bell Curve

Job applications pour in; you sift and sort, and are happy when there are plenty of qualified applicants, worried when there aren't enough. The numbers are that simple to understand and sort—or so you think. You think the detailed statistics don't matter—specifically, you don't care how that talent is distributed among the applicants, e.g., whether or not the truly well-qualified...

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Will A.I. Technology Destroy More Jobs Than It Creates?—Historical vs. Logical Analysis

It has been claimed that A.I. (artificial intelligence), robot and other automation technologies will eventually destroy more jobs than they create—indeed, it has been reported that they and other innovations have already, in the past decade, done that, at least in the United States. The now-famous 2013 Brynjolfsson-McAfee chart showing the decoupling of GDP vs. median income since 2003 has...

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Research with Dogs Proves that a Strong Work Ethic is Natural?

"Clever boy! Dogs prefer to EARN treats by solving problems, rather than receiving handouts."—Daily Mail article headline, June 12, 2014 That was the intriguing headline for a Daily Mail June 12, 2014 article reporting the results of experiments with 12 beagles conducted by Dr Ragen Mcgowan and colleagues from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden. Read it again: "Clever boy!...

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