It's always a plus to exit a meeting having left a positive impression with those you've spent the last chunk of time with. Naturally, unless you are in cahoots with the fly on the wall, you may never know what sort of impression you've left, be it good or bad.

That said, by implementing these 4 tips, you will give yourself a better chance of leaving your meeting with confidence and walk away leaving everyone feeling better for having spent time with you.

These tips can be perfected by anyone as long as you are proactive in prepping beforehand and you keep your cool so you remember to stay on track. Small details as well as the big picture matter and when you've got a firm grip on how you handle yourself amongst others, it shows.

It's time to leave that positive impression behind as you make your grand exit.


1. Be Punctual

Being "fashionably late" has gone out of fashion. Get your act together and show up on time, if not a few minutes early. As per Forbes, "Tardiness can throw off the entire karma of a meeting and nobody wins."

Consider the time of day, traffic congestion, getting the kids to school, weather conditions, etc. Your excuse for being late due to the storm won't go over well when the rest of the group has been waiting for you, dried off and warm for 20 minutes. If they made it in, so can you.

According to MindTools, "Arriving early is much better that arriving late, hands down, and is the first step in creating a great first impression."

2. Be Presentable

Of course, your intellect, personality, wit, and wisdom are what you're aiming to "show off" to those around you, but if they are distracted by your stained slacks or revealing blouse, you may leave an impression, but not the one you'd aimed to.

As per MindTools, "Appropriate dressing and grooming help make a good first impression and also help you feel 'the part', and so you feel more calm and confident." You don't have to be a carbon copy of everyone around you, but stick with what's generally acceptable for the field you are in and the occasion of the meeting.

Forbes notes, "Your style is a signal that you can be trusted to behave and stay focused -- make sure what you wear reflects that."

3. Prove You're Listening

You don't have to be constantly speaking in order to leave a good impression. Listen, process, learn, and communicate with a firm foundation. Unless your meeting is a presentation you're giving, the room should be a place where there is give and take, with an understood takeaway.

Careful listening shows you are in it to win it and believe that your colleagues have valuable ideas you can learn from. As per Bosstaff, "Both colleagues and clients will appreciate you more and trust your input when they see you actually care about the work at hand." MindTools adds, "Good manners and polite, attentive and courteous behavior help make a good first impression." And that means listening intently to show you are a team player.

4. Convey Passion and Confidence

A love for what you do and a go-getter attitude is always looked upon positively. As Bosstaff notes, "If you communicate with passion and believe in what you're suggesting, you will earn the respect of others and managers will remember you when it comes time to make promotions. Be the leader and create a plan of action."

As per MindTools, "Project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile."

A drive to succeed and a plan to make it happen is contagious. Be remembered as the one who strives for perfection and perseveres through even the toughest of challenges.

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Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.

Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.

But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.

Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.

More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.

Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.

Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.

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