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February 2010

Advice on Being Successful in Your Job, from the 1940s

1940'sWe were recently excited to come across a “Secretary’s Guide and Office Worker’s Manual” which was published in 1944.  It is packed full of useful advice for secretaries and office workers of the time, with the slogan “Get Ahead; Improve Yourself; Earn More Money”.

What we found interesting was that the advice given in the manual regarding career advancement has not changed over the intervening 60 years.  The basic principles of being successful in your job still exist today.  So although technology may have radically changed the way we work, social attitudes have not.

Chancel Repair Liability: That Sneaky Little Law

Chancel Repair LiabilityThe United Kingdom is renowned for its established legal system. There are laws governing just about everything, and even some obscure laws that only affect a handful of people, particularly when they least expect it! One such law is the Chancel Repair Liability Law.

Before the Reformation of the churches in the 15th century, vicars and rectors were responsible for repairs to their churches. At this time the land around the church was also considered to be chancel land, on which many parishioners dwelled.

Changes to Your Consumer Rights – Part 1

Consumer RightsThe New European Proposals

You may not be aware, but last year the UK government introduced a wide-ranging white paper called “A Better Deal for Consumers – Delivering Real Help Now and Change for the Future”. The proposals made in this white paper follow hot on the heels of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The 2008 Regulation marked the biggest shake-up in consumer law in 40 years. It now appears that the government is going to go even further.

Employee Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits

Training and DevelopmentKnowledge and skills development is vital to the health of organisations.  We live in an information age today, and organisations are routinely valued not just on their physical but on their intellectual capital.  Training is one of the chief methods of maintaining and improving intellectual capital, so the quality of an organisation’s training affects its value. Untrained or poorly trained employees cost significantly more to support than well-trained employees do.  Training affects employee retention and is a valuable commodity that, if viewed as an investment rather than as an expense, can produce high returns.

Oral Wills: Restricted Areas Where They Are Valid

Oral WillsWhen it comes time to think about writing a will, the stereotypical image conjured up is that of sitting down with pen and paper or making an appointment with a solicitor to draw up the document. We then rattle off how we want our property and assets to be divvied out and we sign the document, usually with a couple of witnesses signing it at the bottom.

Problem-Solving Skills

We are problem-solving animals. Our brains are designed to find solutions to enhance our life. This applies as much to practical problems of which we are very much consciously aware – such as how to deal with that difficult matter, colleague or client – as it does to problems that need addressing in one or more areas of our lives of which we are often only subconsciously aware – a nagging thought, perhaps, that something is not really quite right.

Using Emotional Intelligence in Presentations

Emotional IntelligenceYou may be surprised to learn that 60% of people rate fear of public presentations even above the fear of death. This comes from an ancient fear of ostracism from the tribe, abandonment and vulnerability, which remains part of our inheritance in the emotional brain. The emotional (subconscious) part of our brain evolved for life in the wild, whereas our intellectual (conscious) brain evolved much later.