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Ten Top Things That Make for a Great Employee If there is one thing that everyone can agree upon in the job market it is that great employees are hard to come by. Whether you are an employee yourself and you feel like you are always pulling the weight of the other people in the office or if you are a boss who is wondering how you can actually get some people on board who can do the job, you know that great employees are at a premium. But what exactly makes an employee great? These ten top things are guides to bosses looking for greatness in a new hire and for employees trying to get noticed in the workplace and be the kind of employee who has the potential to move up in the company chain. The first thing that makes an employee great is that they are always dependable. Great employees do the job they are supposed to do every time, and no one has to worry that they don’t deliver the goods. A great employee can be counted to always have their work done right, when it is supposed to be done – it is a forgone conclusion that they will, and no one else has to spend any time worrying about it. The second thing to look for in a great employee is that they are a team player. A great employee isn’t one who is constantly looking for attention or hogs the spotlight. Instead, a great employee works with everyone else to make sure that the things that need to get done do get done, for the good of the company. The third mark of employee greatness is that they know how to take direction. Great employees know how to take criticism, direction and advice gracefully and make it work for them when doing their job. Fourthly, a great employee can be trusted. They don’t spread office gossip and they don’t dish company dirt. Likewise, they always tell the truth to their employer, even if it lands them in hot water. The fifth sign of greatness in employees is linked to the fourth – a great employee always guards the confidential nature of their business dealings and protects everyone’s privacy. The sixth thing that makes an employee great is that they participate in the day to day life of the office. They don’t bow out of meetings or skip the office birthday celebrations. These things may not be a fun part of working life, and everyone involved knows that everyone else has some place they would rather be – but a great employee wouldn’t be any place else. In seventh place comes the fact that a great employee gets along with other employees. Every office has one person that is in everyone else’s business and talks to loud on the phone and generally stirs things up and gets under everyone’s skin. This kind of employee zaps office morale – a great employee is a good co-worker to everyone. The eighth thing a great employee has is good working skills. It may sound obvious, but a great employee has the abilities needed to do their job, and they constantly seek ways to improve, like going to training seminars or seeking further education. Great workers have great skills. The ninth thing that leads to employee greatness is tact and decorum. If there is a problem in the office, a great employee doesn’t make a scene in front of everyone else. A great employee will deal with such issues with privacy and diplomacy. Further, a great employee doesn’t tell tasteless, political or religious jokes, nor do they send emails that tell these kinds of jokes. Last but not least, a great employee has a great attitude. Bad attitudes bring everyone down. A great employee helps make work great for everyone else by having a good spirit about their job.

How to Avoid Spam and Junk Email and Still Enjoy Freebies Free stuff is great, but when you are facing an inbox that is literally choking on spam, than you may find yourself wondering just how free your freebies really are. Spam and junk email are the unwanted consequences of cashing in on great free deals online, and it is enough to keep some people away from freebie offers entirely. Here’s the good news, however – you might not able to stop the spammers in their tracks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to keep the annoyance caused by junk email to a minimum. Get on the defensive and reclaim the control you have over your inbox. Rule number one for cashing in on freebies is to set up a separate email account that you use only for your free stuff hunting. There are tons of web based email programs that you can join for free, and you can use these new email accounts as your point of contact for the companies from who you get freebie offers. After all, giving your email address to a company is simply part of getting freebies – that is why the company is giving away freebies in the first place. They want to collect your email address so they can email you about their products and hopefully convince you to shell out some cash for them in the future. By protecting your main email address, you can easily control the amount of spam you have to wade through when you just want to read your personal or business emails. You know that a company wants your email address in a exchange for a freebie, and you know why they want it, but what you might not know is that not all companies are created equal when it comes to it how the treat your email address. To know this, you have to check out a company’s privacy policy. Some companies will allow you to opt out of all future emails, including the ones from them, meaning in theory that your email address should never end up on any junk email solicitation list after your get your freebie. Other companies don’t let you opt out of their emails, but they let you choose whether or not they can give your address to partner companies who have products to offer that you “might be interested in.” With these companies, at least you can keep the amount of solicitations to a minimum. Still other companies follow a “no holds barred” kind of plan, in which they are allowed to share your email address with anyone they choose. These last kinds of companies are the kinds that end up loading you up with the spam, because they often sell the lists of email addresses they collect to companies that send out spam messages. Proceed with caution when a company has a policy like this one. If you can’t find a privacy policy at all on the website from which you are getting your freebie, then it might be best to move on to a different free offer. Another spam reducing trick that a lot of people miss out on is ignoring spam completely. Don’t open your spam messages, and whatever you do, don’t ask to be removed from a mailing list. That might seem like the logical way to stop the spam, but all you do when you do that is confirm to the spammers that their email is going to a real, live person. Last but not least, if even your dedicated freebie email address is gasping under the pressure of the spam, abandon it and start a new one. If you collect freebies on a regular basis, the word will eventually get out and the junk emailers will find you. Start a new address and get a clean slate.

To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn’t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn’t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant’s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won’t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.

Events of copyright infringement The Events of Copyright Infringement: Innocent People Infringing Accidentally Copyright infringement is in the news a lot lately – it’s hard to miss stories about kids being carted off to jail or seriously fined for downloading music or movies off the internet. I’ve even heard about a lady was fined for tens of thousands of dollars because of the events of copyright infringement – her grandson downloading music, and she couldn’t prove it wasn’t her. The events of copyright infringement are complicated – and not easy to define. Surfing the internet has its advantages and disadvantages, that’s for sure. We’re able to find useful information quickly, but how close are we pertaining to copyright laws? Do we even know what is and is not acceptable? A couple of the more pertinent questions have been asked below: If you hear a great new band, and then download a song from MySpace, is that legal or not? The events of copyright infringement are not only limited by Kazaa, Morpheus, or some other file sharing peer to peer (P2P) service. If you download a song - no matter if you’re on a website or a MySpace page - and it isn’t coming from the artist themselves, you may want to think about downloading it. Chances are, if it’s not coming from them, you can’t have it – unless it is under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons gives the exact ways in which you can use the license – and many times those are completely free and legal to download – so make sure you check if it’s under a CC License. If I’m writing a paper, or article, and I want to quote another website, can I? First of all, did you know the minute you write or create something, you hold the copyright to it? ESPECIALLY if you’re writing it online – it’s very easy to track things in the internet page. So, if you’re writing a blog, all the things you’ve written (no matter good or bad) are there permanently, thanks to archive.org, and you can review last versions of your web pages. Sometimes, people we can use – rather heavily – someone else’s work in our own, and think we’re small and anonymous. That no one will notice by the time you get it down – you’re just ‘borrowing’ it. Before you begin quoting anyone’s website – from CNN to your local neighborhood hardware store – you need to ask the person who holds the copyright if you can. Usually, they’ll let you if you attribute to them. Depending who you talk to, you’ll either have to pay royalties or license rights to republish. If you don’t ask before you quote, you’re beginning the events of copyright infringement and you are opening yourself up for a lawsuit. As you can see, the events of copyright infringement can begin at any time, beginning with normal ‘everyday’ activities. It’s just as easy to infringe on as it is to be infringed upon. Make sure you check your copyright using CopyScape or some other service, and you can check your work against other works on the internet, and make sure that you’re not infringing someone or vice versa. In this day it’s easy to protect yourself from getting infringed upon, and the events of copyright infringement are easy to track. It’s easy for innocent people to get caught in copyright infringement, like children they didn’t know what they could and couldn’t do. Make sure, in all you do, that you’re striving to do the best you can, and you’ll be certain not to fall victim to your own infringing demons.