Quitting Is on the Rise: How to Retain Quality Employees

According to a recent article on Monster.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in October that the number of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs had eclipsed the number terminated through layoffs and other types of discharges. As we come out of a long recession, the job market is changing–which is, of course, a good thing–and more opportunities are opening up for worthy candidates. That means that there may be more choices for job-seekers but also a greater need for employers to inspire, engage and retain quality talent. Whereas a couple of years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, we could say to our staffers, “Well, really we should all just feel lucky to have a job,” nowadays that rationale no longer works. Across the board, people are being asked to do more with less and, now that the market is improving, we need to make those folks feel valued and recognized for their hard work.

According to a recent study by HR consultancy Right Management, four out of every five workers are planning to, or at least contemplating, leaving their current employer. Hiring and training employees is time- and money-intensive so it’s vital to focus on retaining quality people so they don’t leave for other opportunities.
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Learning From Lindsay: Part II (AKA Dress to Impress)

What a strange power there is in clothing.~Isaac Bashevis Singer

We don’t mean to pick on Lindsay Lohan. Lord knows, she has had a lot going on.

But, when we saw her don the now oft-talked about white dress that she chose to wear to court last week, we knew it would be a popular subject in the Twittersphere and beyond.

Why?  Because the dress spoke volumes, though clearly not about what she had hoped it would.  (She claimed to have worn the virginal white frock to proclaim her innocence; various pundits speculated that it illustrated everything from a rebellious spirit to poor judgment. And then there was the manicure…)

But, whether you were on Team “White” or Team “Not Right,” most would agree that she just didn’t dress to impress – particularly in light of the gravity of the situation.

Poorly chosen clothing can, at a minimum, be a distraction and, at a maximum, a barrier to entry, so it’s important to be super clear about what your clothing says about you.  So what can you learn from La Lohan’s wardrobe dysfunction?

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What Happens When Buzz-Building Backfires

It was a huge step for a company that had started less than three years ago and has grown into one of the most successful social shopping sites around: Groupon was launching its first-ever ad campaign on the most-watched television day of the year — Super Bowl Sunday.

Unfortunately, while designed to be comical, their commercials offended many and ultimately were pulled off the air less than a week later. The campaign, created by ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, aimed to build buzz. And it did — just not the kind they had wanted.

What happens when your attempt to create attention backfires and how should you deal with it? Whether you flubbed a major presentation (hello, Christina Aguilera!), got the green light for an expensive project that fell flat, or you made an off-color comment in a meeting, there are lessons to be learned from the Groupon situation that you can apply to your own career missteps:

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Learning from Lindsay: Lessons To Glean From The Actress’ Missteps and Mistakes

News came this morning that Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan will be charged this afternoon with felony grand theft for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace.

Whether or not she’s convicted for this incident (or others stemming from the allegations from her melee while at the Betty Ford Clinic), there’s no doubt that the starlet is guilty as charged when it comes to damage to her reputation and, subsequently, her career.    While she’s an extreme case, there’s still a lot that one can all learn from Lindsay and her significant fall from grace:
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How to Avoid Simple Career Mistakes

In an interview we did with personal branding expert Dan Schawbel for our blog, he said that he’d recently “received the worst PR pitch…ever seen. Instead of saying ‘Dan, would you be interested in interviewing the CEO of XYZ,’ they made it very impersonal and said ‘Hi [FIRST_NAME|Colleague].’ What this does is notify me that I’m on their list without permission, that they didn’t take the time to speak to me personally and that they are careless.”

Everyone makes mistakes but when you’re trying to impress people in the workplace, you want to do your best to avoid those that are simple to sidestep.  Here are a few tips to dodge common errors that can derail your career goals:

1. Check your work (twice!): In our book, Be Your Own Best Publicist, we share multiple stories of people who made careless mistakes that cost them a potential job. One anecdote we didn’t include in the book is about a young woman who interviewed well in person and put a lot of effort into her writing/editing test, which was printed out in color and hand-delivered to Jessica’s office. Only problem: She forgot to proofread her work, along with the “press release” she wrote to go along with it, the headline of which read, “[Her name] Hired as Publicity Maganger of Heast Magazines.” She obviously hadn’t spell-checked because as far as we know, the words “maganger” (we assume she meant “manager”) and “Heast” (instead of Hearst, the company where Jessica runs PR) are not found in the dictionary. Lesson: Before you send an important letter, presentation or memo, ask someone else to proofread it. If you can’t get another person to review your work, set it aside for a while and then look at it with fresh eyes. You’ll be amazed at what you might catch on the second round. Reading it aloud also helps you catch mistakes in grammar and style.

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We Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Party

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~ Mark Twain

Monday night, we celebrated the launch of Be Your Own Best Publicist with about 75 of our closest friends, colleagues and contributors at the lovely private wine bar, Rouge, located in NYC’s wonderfully charming Paris Commune restaurant.

To be surrounded by people who are so proud of our accomplishment in writing this book and seeing it come to fruition was extremely rewarding and touching. Thank you to everyone who came and everyone who wanted to but couldn’t make it due to work, prior commitments, distance and other valid reasons. There were a number of folks who helped make our book bash possible and, for that, we must give a special shout out to the following:

Hugo, Jamie and their awesome staff at Paris Commune: You were so easy to work with and so genuinely happy to host the party at your space that we felt like we had it in our own living room (if we had a living room as fab as your wine bar!).

Everyone at Double Cross Vodka (especially Jason and Andreina), Veuve Clicquot (Christine in particular, who also shares her wisdom in our book), Ecco Domani and Sam Adams: Thank you for generously donating your product so we could offer our guests an amazing bar selection. We loved our signature Double Cross cocktail, “The Publicist,” by the way!

Matthew Carasella, our fantastic photographer: You not only take great photos but are always a true professional and one of the nicest guys around.  Please visit Matt’s site, www.socialshutterbug.com, to see more photos from the party.

Eftihia Thomopoulos, Jessica’s superstar intern: You were so kind to offer to help us sell books at the event and you must have good sales skills because we sold a lot of copies!

Hunter Fine at BBDO: Thank you for designing our invitation so quickly, particularly when we know how busy you are.

We decided not to make remarks during the party because we didn’t want to interrupt everyone’s good time. So here’s what we would have said:

We hope you have as much fun reading the book as we did writing it. We feel incredibly grateful to have the love and support of so many people in our lives, and we appreciate you all spreading the word and being our best publicists!

Please enjoy this selection of party photos from the night — it will be an evening we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Rouge Wine Bar

With Seventeen Editor in Chief Ann Shoket

Jessica with Matthew Hiltzik, one of our contributors

Meryl with her closest pals (L to R) Carolina, Amy, Amy and Hadley

Jess with Bazaar's Laura Brown & Kristina O'Neill, O Mag's Adam Glassman

With Christine Kaculis and Shant Petrossian