Thought For The Day

“Art is a line around your thoughts”

Gustav Klimt

 

How to Refuse a Promotion

Typically, we're inclined to see a promotion as an excellent opportunity to earn more money while impressing our superiors.  Yet, while at first glance, a promotion can seem very appealing, oftentimes people don't actually want to be promoted.

For instance, executive coach Debra Benton surveyed 100 managers and found that two-thirds of them had no desire to advance.  Most people who don't want to be promoted cite reasons ranging from the personal (they don't want to work the extra hours the new job entails) to more professional concerns like not enjoying the work responsibilities of the new job.  If you find yourself in the position of needing to refuse a promotion, here is how experts recommend you handle it:

  1. Take your Time.  When you're offered a promotion, you don't want to commit career suicide by immediately responding, “You must be out of your mind to think I would want that job!”  It's best to ask for some time to think about it so that you can formulate a response that will be beneficial, rather than harmful, to your career.

  2. State your Reasons for Declining Carefully.  After you've had a chance to reflect, carefully state the reasons that you would like to decline the job.  If they're family-related, for instance, you can decline without burning any bridges by being honest i.e. “With an elderly parent to care for, I don't feel like now is the right time to take on additional work responsibilities.”  Alternatively, if the work in the new position is vastly different than the work in your current position, you might say, “I really enjoy my position as an engineer, and I think that it's a great fit for my skills.  I would prefer to continue in my current job, because the new role would primarily involve managing others.  I would have far less time to concentrate on the engineering work that I do best.”  Forbes suggests that rather than disparaging your company or the job you've been offered, this is a good time to fall back on that old dating cliché, “It's not you, it's me.”

  3. Negotiate.  If there are only a few minor concerns that are preventing you from accepting the promotion, don't refuse it outright.  Instead, try to negotiate on those issues.  For instance, if you're worried about work-life balance, you might ask to work from home 1 day a week or to be given additional vacation time.  Asking for these things upfront might make an “undesirable” promotion much more appealing.

C++ Programming: Preprocessor

The preprocessor, in general, is a program that processes its input and gives output which is then used as an input of some other program.  This is called preprocessing, and it is often used in the first stages of code compilation (in many implementations, the preprocessor is invoked by the compiler).  There are many different implementations of the preprocessor, and their functions can vary - for example, some preprocessors can only perform simple plain text substitutions, while some are powerful enough to be considered programming languages themselves.

Specifically, in C/C++, the preprocessor is invoked by the compiler and preprocessing is performed as the first stage of translation.  C++'s preprocessor has the following capabilities: inclusion of header files, macro expansions, conditional compilation etc.

The preprocessor in C++ is given instructions using preprocessor directives: lines included in the code which are not actual program statements but directives for the preprocessor.  All preprocessor directives begin with the # sign, and they only extend across one line of code.

We have already used preprocessor directives - the most common example is including another file in our source file using the #include directive.  For example, if we write

#include <iostream>
int main()
{
  std::cout << "Message";
  return 0;
}
the preprocessor will process the #include directive and copy the content of the included file into our own source file.  Sometimes you will see that the filename which we want to include is enclosed within double quotes - in this case, the search path includes the current source directory (normally, the file is searched for in the standard compiler include paths).

 

Another very common use of preprocessor directives is the #define directive.  This directive enables the programmer to create symbolic constants called macros.  The general form of the directive is:

#define macro replacement
When this line appears in a file, all subsequent occurrences of macro in that file will be replaced by replacement before the program is compiled.  For example:
#include <iostream>
#define PI 3.14159

int main()
{
  std::cout << PI;
  return 0;
}
Similarly, it is also possible to write more complex, function-like macros which can help simplify our code:
#define MAX(x, y) (x > y)? x : y

 

Another interesting feature of the preprocessor are the # and ## operators.  The # operator converts a replacement token to a string surrounded by quotes:

#define TO_STRING(x) #x

int main()
{
  cout << TO_STRING(Message); //output: Message
  return 0;
}
and the ## operator is used to concatenate two tokens, for example:
#define concat(a, b) a ## b

int main()
{
   int xy = 100;
   
   cout << concat(x, y); //output: 100
   return 0;
}

 

4 Tips for Creating your Professional Bio

Regardless of the field that you're in, a professional bio can be a useful way to promote yourself.  Consider it like a written elevator pitch—a bio tells potential employers, customers, and clients why they should want to do business with you.

Unfortunately, while most people can recognize the value of a professional bio, oftentimes they find themselves staring endlessly at a blinking cursor when they sit down to write one.  To make the job easier for you, we have tips on how to create a well-written professional bio:

  1. Determine the Goal of your Bio.  What are you trying to accomplish with your bio?  Do you want to attract more real estate clients?  Highlight your skill at photography?  Knowing the goal of your bio before you begin writing will determine the direction that it takes.

  2. Consider Your Achievements.  Don't be shy!  This is the time to reflect on which skills you have that set you apart from your peers.  Think about how you got to where you are in your career, your educational background, your biggest professional accomplishments, and any other significant honors you'd like to mention (awards, board memberships, charity work, etc.).  These are all things that you're going to want to highlight in your bio.

  3. Choose the Tone.  For most executives, it's a good idea to write bios in the third person (“John attended school at...”).  However, if you're in a more creative field, you may want to write something in the 1st person that is more lighthearted in nature.  Consider your potential audience and write something that reflects your skills in an appealing and appropriate way.

  4. Review Other Professional Bios for Ideas.  If you've never written a bio before, it can seem intimidating at first.  However, look online to get a feel for what other professionals in your area of expertise are doing.  Once you've had a chance to look over other bios and determine what you like and dislike, you'll be able to approach writing your own bio with greater confidence.

Thought For The Day

“It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew.”

Gustav Mahler