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How to Rebuild Your Credit History After Overcoming Debt


Picking up the pieces after falling into serious debt or financial trouble can seem like a daunting task, but repairing your situation is not impossible. It simply takes time, patience and work.

Understandably, people with bad credit may feel ashamed and embarrassed by their situation and believe theres no way to fix it, said Michael Sullivan, a personal financial consultant with Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. But they can and will if they focus on the necessary steps to change the way they approach their money and credit.

Sullivan shares these steps to rebuild your credit:

  • Pay bills on time “ every time: Payment history makes up a big part of your credit score. So, be sure to pay your bills on time, follow any payment plans and bring any past-due accounts current. Consider setting up automatic payments to ensure theyre never late.
  • Become an authorized user: Ask a willing loved one with good credit to add you as an authorized user on one of their cards. This can help improve your score by allowing you to piggyback on their credit history.
  • Dont max out your cards: Using your cards helps build your credit, but you want to be careful not to max them out. Your credit utilization ratio, which compares your total amount of credit to how much you’re using, plays a big part in your credit score. Try to keep it as low as possible by paying off your balances every month.
  • Be careful with new credit: While opening a new card may help lower your utilization ratio, too many new credit applications can negatively impact your credit score. Plus, new cards may be too tempting if youve struggled with spending in the past.
  • Review credit reports: As you rebuild your credit, youll want to keep tabs on your credit reports. You can get one free copy annually from each of the major credit bureaus at Look for inaccuracies and file disputes for any errors you find.
  • Credit counseling: Consider seeking assistance from a credit counseling agency such as Take Charge America. They can help you create a customized budget to manage your debts and daily living expenses.

For more financial tips and guidance, check out Take Charge Americas Financial Education Center or take a free online debt review.

About Take Charge America, Inc.

Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a nonprofit agency offering financial education and counseling services including credit counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling and bankruptcy counseling. It has helped nearly 2 million consumers nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more, visit or call (888) 822-9193.

Taylor Holmes

Aker Ink

(602) 616-3781

[email protected]


Kincentric Best Employers in Malaysia Embrace the Next Normal in Extraordinary Ways


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Media OutReach – 14 January 2021 – Never in history have employee engagement experiences played a more crucial role than it has in 2020. The unprecedented challenges that businesses have undergone have shown us that it is people, more than any other factors that carry a company through a crisis towards success.

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With decades of expertise in culture and engagement, leadership assessment and development, and HR and talent advisory services, Kincentric (a Spencer Stuart Company) helps organizations to be the best in the business through their Best Employers program, a leading employer benchmarking program measuring and recognizing extraordinary employers demonstrating workplace excellence.

For 20 years, the Kincentric Best Employers program has recognized leading employers across the world who are committed to realizing great workplace experiences. Selected by an independent panel of judges, these organizations are leading the way in aspects that are crucial for success — employee engagement, agility, engaging leadership and talent focus.

In 2020, Kincentric Best Employers in Malaysia have consistently found new and innovative ways to empower and motivate their people throughout a very challenging year, creating a work environment where people feel appreciated, highly connected and inspired to do their best, every day. As we begin 2021, we look at how our Best Employers in Malaysia have applied an agile approach to strategy, measurement and delivery of the Employee eXperience to prepare for the next normal.

edotco Group Sdn Bhd

  • Best Employer in Malaysia and recipient of the Commitment to Engaging Leadership special award, the integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company employed three key strategies, namely timely and empathetic communication, personal involvement of senior leadership and people managers in employee development programs, and activation of people managers as informal mentors.
  • Apart from regular and prompt updates to employees on business and COVID-19 related developments, the organization focused on sustaining employee resilience through financial, mental and physical wellbeing in 2020, doubling down on employee development investment by 50% to future-proof its workforce via digital competencies.
  • “At edotco, we believe in never letting a crisis go to waste. The COVID-19 pandemic had bought home 2 new values into our organization (Resilience and Empathy) as the anchor that keeps our ship grounded. While we had shifted some of our priorities, adopting these principles helped our leadership team remain laser-focused in engaging our employees in a united manner and provided us with a framework to navigate through these turbulent waters. I believe we will emerge stronger as an organization come 2021,” says Adlan Tajudin, Chief Executive Officer.


Hartalega Sdn Bhd

  • As one of the world’s leading glove manufacturers, this second-time Best Employer was an integral part of the support system for the fight against COVID-19. Due to the supernormal demands, the company had to adapt quickly to ramp up production capacity amidst the freeze on migrant labor for which the glove industry is highly dependent on.
  • In a bid to attract locals to meet its production challenges, Hartalega quickly improved its value proposition for operator level jobs and accelerated the implementation of new automation systems throughout their production facilities.
  • Reflecting on the company’s journey in the program, Kuan Vin Seung, Chief Human Resource Officer shares “In year 2017, we decided to participate in the Kincentric Best Employers program to put Hartalega up against the best companies, not to win it but to learn how to be better. Having won it for the second time is really motivating and a testament that we are on the right path to become the best in people’s practices.”


Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad

  • At the core of this home-grown organization’s value system is C.A.R.E. (Competitive, Action, Responsible, Ethical) – the belief that the spirit of caring is integral to the prosperity and survival of its business. Inculcating an inclusive, non-discriminatory work environment, Kulim continually capitalizes on employee growth potential by grooming and preparing its workforce to meet the needs and changes in their current jobs, with a view of the future.
  • Promoting a high-performance work culture that runs parallel with its human capital initiatives, the company motivated and challenged employees to raise their performance through a highly-structured performance-based reward system.
  • As Tuan Haji Amran Zakaria, Head of Corporate Services Division explains, “Our people are our greatest asset. We must develop the right people, with the right caliber, skills and mindset. All of these must come together. If we do not develop people, then a lot of things are left to be desired. So, people are the fundamental factor and we need to continuously inject fresh mindsets and new thinking to drive the company forward.”

Roche Services (Asia Pacific) Sdn Bhd

  • A pioneer in healthcare, Roche combines its strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to drive personalized healthcare. While some organizations found the transition into remote work quite challenging, the company executed this seamlessly, enabled by their existing agile ways of working. Through a creative mid-to-long term communication and engagement plan to enable meaningful and proactive interaction, Roche kept team spirit up by organizing activities such as zoom cooking classes and mental well-being talks, as well as encouraged team sharing of hobbies and games.
  • Adopting flexible working policies such as the one-time Ergonomics Assistance Programme for the purchase of furniture, tools, devices or equipment to enable smooth work from home, the company fostered a supportive and inclusive workplace culture to retain and attract the best talent. The approach paid off as Roche successfully employed 180 talented individuals during the pandemic.
  • Delighted by the honor, Martin Kikstein, General Manager says “the Kincentric Best Employer Brand Award 2020 is an endorsement we are honored to receive as we truly believe any organization is only as good as its people. It is a meaningful award for all of us at Roche Services & Solutions (RSS) APAC, further reinforcing our people-first philosophy. Our collective passion to foster diversity and inclusion made this award possible for our organization. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of my team, congratulations RSS APAC!” 

American Express (Malaysia)

  • American Express won Kincentric Best of the Best Employer in Malaysia 2020 by delivering an exceptional people-centric experience through three key areas — trust, open communication and top team alignment.
  • Recognizing the importance of a health and wellness culture from the start of the pandemic, they embarked on key initiatives beginning with the launch of a telehealth service for colleagues and their immediate family members to consult doctors and access expert medical care.
  • American Express Malaysia shares its success story here


Organizations that are looking for valuable, insightful and actionable data to identify areas to better understand employee engagement, positively influence morale and enhance brand reputation in the next normal can visit


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Marine Stewardship Council: Assortment of top chefs combine for sustainable seafood cookbook


The collaboration aims to encourage shoppers to make the best environmental choice when buying the seafood they love


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 14 January 2021 – The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) — an environmental not-for-profit — is launching its first sustainable seafood cookbook in collaboration with top sensational chefs from across the globe. It is part of an initiative to encourage and inspire shoppers to commit to making the best environmental choice when buying the seafood they love this year, and beyond.


The Blue Cookbook is a digital collection of delicious recipes featuring a variety of species and styles which appeal to a range of preferences and tastes. Options include seared king prawns, haddock and broccoli bake, hake with cantonese glaze and steamed halibut with rice wine. Also contained within its pages is the environmental story behind the fish we eat, showing consumers how their actions can have a big ripple effect on ocean health.


Some of the contributors to the project are culinary director Lucas Glanville from Grand Hyatt Singapore and Executive chef Otto Goh from the Shangri-La Hotel Group in China.  All those involved are strong advocates for sustainable fishing and responsible sourcing.


Anne Gabriel, Programme Director for Oceania and Singapore at the Marine Stewardship Council said: “A new year has arrived, and with it a chance to make better choices for ourselves, our planet and our oceans. We’ve teamed up with incredible chefs to launch a unique sustainable seafood cookbook which features delicious, healthy and future-friendly recipes from across the globe. By choosing to buy from sustainable sources, everyone can help make sure the seafood we love can be enjoyed for years to come.”


Chef Lucas Glanville, who has contributed a Seared King Prawns said: Singapore diners and consumers are ready to embrace sustainable seafood as a way of life. The people are savvy, and the market is articulate about what is good for the environment. Our hotel has seen amazing growth in business due to our sustainable philosophy. This is all thanks to the support of our diners. We are all accountable for the future, we should do our part to protect the oceans for our future generation.”


The ocean is a vital part of human life on our planet. It provides a major source of protein to more than 3 billion people1, and millions rely on fisheries for their livelihood2. However, the oceans are under threat – 34% of global fisheries have been fished beyond sustainable limits, with this trend continuing to worsen slightly3.


For more than 20 years, the MSC has been tackling the problem of overfishing by incentivizing people to change their behaviour when buying seafood, through its certification and labelling program. Its international collaborative of partners including scientists, NGOs, fisheries, seafood companies, retailers, and restaurants work hand in hand to ensure seafood is wild, delicious, and above all else, sustainable.





1 UN FAO — State of the World’s Fisheries and Agriculture Report 2020 page 67

2 UN FAO — State of the World’s Fisheries and Agriculture Report 2020 page 95

3 UN FAO — State of the World’s Fisheries and Agriculture Report 2020 page 7

About the Marine Stewardship Council:

The MSC ecolabel on a seafood product means it is fully traceable to a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for sustainable fishing. Fisheries representing more than 17% of the world’s wild marine catch are engaged in its certification programme and more than 18,000 different MSC labelled products are available on shelves across the globe*. (*figures correct as of 31 March 2020). For more information visit or visit our social media pages:

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YouTube: [View Image]

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CUHK Business School Research Finds People Adapt and Grow More Conscientious When Promoted to Supervisory Roles at Work


HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 14 January 2021 – “It’s not who I am underneath, it’s what I do that defines me,” so says the titular hero from the 2005 blockbuster, Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale as the billionaire caped crusader. Instead of the hero Batman, a group of academics were inspired by what is probably one of the more profound lines in modern cinema and sought to find out whether people, as the quote suggests, do shape fundamentally who they are.


Specifically, it led Wendong Li, Associate Professor at the Department of Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, to team up with seven other academics to examine whether taking on a leadership role — along with the added job responsibilities — can actually change people’s personality traits.


Prof. Li and the other researchers involved in the study, Can Becoming a Leader Change Your Personality? An Investigation With Two Longitudinal Studies From a Role-Based Perspective, hoped to find evidence that, rather than personality traits remaining relatively stable as traditionally assumed, they could change and develop during a person’s adult years.


“One of the crucial factors in driving adult personality development is taking on new roles at work,” he says. “As they take on wider responsibilities and play more important roles in organisations, novice leaders are expected to be more conscientious than when they were employees — more efficient, organised, vigilant, achievement-oriented, and dependable to subordinates.”


“Fulfilling the expectations and responsibilities required by leadership roles also means leaders must deal effectively with uncertainties and changes. Therefore, leaders need to be able to remain calm, and handle negative emotions in response to stress.”


The Big Five

The academics looked for changes in two of the so-called “Big Five” personality traits: conscientiousness, the tendency to be dependable, achievement oriented, reliable, organized, and to carry out one’s job or duty well and thoroughly — one of the best predictors of both leadership and job performance — and emotional stability, another desirable trait among leaders, which means a person can remain calm and deal with stressful situations and handle adversity effectively. The other traits in the Big Five are openness to experience, extroversion and agreeableness.

Prof. Li carried out the research alongside Prof. Shuping Li of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Prof. Jie Feng of Rutgers University, Prof. Mo Wang of University of Florida, Prof. Michael Frese of the Asia School of Business and Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Prof. Chia-Huei Wu of the University of Leeds, as well as CUHK Business School PhD candidate Hong Zhang.


They tested their ideas in two studies using publicly available U.S. and Australian databases, which compared the personality development of individuals at different stages over lengthy periods. People were split into a “becoming leaders group”, for employees who were promoted into leadership roles, and a “non-leaders group” for those staff who remained as employee across time.


The research found that moving into leadership roles led to an increase in a person’s conscientiousness, and found no significant changes in people’s emotional stability in either study.


“The results of the two studies supported our hypotheses regarding the relationship between becoming a leader and the subsequent small, but substantial increases in levels of conscientiousness over time and the mediating effect of changes of job demands,” Prof. Li says.


They shed light on what, how and why personality traits change over time after a person takes on a supervisory role, and why the characteristics develop after people take on jobs where they face increased demands.


Prof. Li said insights gained from this research will help businesses better manage career development and plan leadership succession — a crucial issue for the sustainability of organisations.


“We suggest organisations consider assigning staff with informal leadership roles as a way to encourage them to develop management capabilities,” he says. “This may help them to develop the types of behaviour and traits associated with conscientiousness and prepare them for their future tasks.”


“We also encourage organisations to broaden the scope and content of training to include personality development and also focus on more holistic forms of leadership development.”


Personality Shifts

One study consisted of 61 people in the becoming leaders group and 128 in the non-leaders group and used U.S. data selected from three different time periods — firstly between 1995 and 1996, then after 10 years and finally after 20 years. The other study comprised 342 people in the leaders group and 675 in the non-leaders group, and used Australian data selected at four-year intervals from 2005, 2009 and 2012.


“Consistently, results from both of the studies showed that after becoming leaders, individuals enhanced their levels of conscientiousness and became more dependable, organised and efficient,” Prof. Li says. “For them to carry out these leadership roles successfully over time may lead them to become so used to adopting such behaviours that they become a habit and then ingrained as personality traits.”


He says the study could stimulate further research into the idea that “people are both producers and products of social systems”.


Earlier studies had examined influences of major life events, such as nailing a first job, marriage, and unemployment on personality development, and the influences of job satisfaction, characteristics, insecurity, income and occupational status. But the latest study extends this line of research by examining personality development after becoming a leader and, more importantly, a change in job demands, Prof. Li says. “Although personality traits are relatively stable, they were also prone to change — even if the transformation is not always dramatic.


“Not all people react to a change in the same way and what we discovered in this paper was a general trend. Future research can examine individual differences in the speed, timing, and magnitude of personality changes.”


The researchers highlighted two concerns. Firstly, previous research suggests that highly conscientious staff may not be able to adapt well to new environments and will lack the necessary creativity. Secondly, companies may need to provide training to leaders to help them balance the benefits and possible disadvantages — such as a more volatile working environment and reduced flexibility — associated with increases of conscientiousness.


The latest research, therefore, has important implications for employees when managing their future careers. “People need to weigh up the benefits and costs of taking on a management role,” Prof. Li says.


“Although promotion will lead to them developing greater levels of conscientiousness at work over time, it can also see them become less adaptable and creative. Taking on extra job demands may also increase the levels of stress they face and have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing.”



Li, W.-D., Li, S., Feng, J. (J.), Wang, M., Zhang, H., Frese, M., & Wu, C.-H. (2020). Can becoming a leader change your personality? An investigation with two longitudinal studies from a role-based perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication.


This article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School:

About CUHK Business School

CUHK Business School comprises two schools — Accountancy and Hotel and Tourism Management — and four departments — Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Established in Hong Kong in 1963, it is the first business school to offer BBA, MBA and Executive MBA programmes in the region. Today, the School offers 10 undergraduate programmes and 18 graduate programmes including MBA, EMBA, Master, MSc, MPhil and Ph.D.

In the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020, CUHK MBA is ranked 50th. In FT‘s 2020 Executive MBA ranking, CUHK EMBA is ranked 15th in the world. CUHK Business School has the largest number of business alumni (40,000+) among universities/business schools in Hong Kong — many of whom are key business leaders. The School currently has more than 4,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students and Professor Lin Zhou is the Dean of CUHK Business School.

More information is available at or by connecting with CUHK Business School on:

Facebook: [View Image]


LinkedIn: [View Image]

WeChat: CUHKBusinessSchool

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