On Careers

December 2008


The Accusations Employers Avoid

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Stay in the workplace long enough and you're sure to hear these accusations. Sometimes they are true and sometimes the accusers fail to consider how management may be striving to avoid the opposing accusation.

"You sent me to the training workshop because you don't want me in the office" versus ...

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careers

How to Cheer Up This Holiday

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Does this feel to you like the gloomiest holiday since, well, forever?

You’d be forgiven for feeling that Winter 2008 offers us little to celebrate.  The economy’s in the tank.  We taxpayers have to pay for the errors of people who should’ve known better.  Corruption in high places has reached new ...

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careers

Give Kindness to the Workforce This Season

I did something last Friday night that I've never done before.

I answered survey questions from a telemarketer.

When the phone initially rang, my instinct told me to ignore it--or worse yet--pick it up and give the caller a piece of my mind.

But then something happened: A wave of compassion came over ...

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careers

9 Ways to Ruin a Job Interview

1. Answer your cell phone. If you forget to turn it off and it rings, turn it off immediately, apologize profusely and look mortified.

2. Ask questions about the company that could have easily been answered with a modicum of research. I've had candidates say, "So what exactly do you guys do?"

3.

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careers

Why I’m Recounting the Kindness of Colleagues

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Too often we can readily recount those times when we encountered cruel or thoughtless behavior in the workplace. That is why a periodic review of the kindness that has shaped and boosted our careers is important.

I recall:

  • One of my first supervisors, who patiently permitted me to redo a project ...
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    careers

    How to Enjoy Work Again

    By |

    In my work helping people create careers (and lives) that light them up, one of the ideas I use is something I call "managing your Gain-to-Drain Ratio."

    It's a simple idea. In a nutshell, managing your Gain-to-Drain Ratio means bringing more of what energizes you into your life and reducing or ...

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    TAGS:
    careers

    How to Handle a DUI in Your Job Search

    By |

    I had a misdemeanor DUI 10 years ago and have not had any tickets since then. I was recently laid off from my Hotel Security Director job after 10 years with the same company. I have an interview with another company for the same position and checked ye s to the question of have you ever been ...

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    TAGS:
    careers
    employment

    What to Say When You’re Laid Off

    By |

    More than 1 million people have been laid off this year. If you are one of them and you're looking for a new job, good luck—and remember these five important things:

    1. Before you hit the job-hunting trail, find a way to come to terms with your emotions. People, including employers, are repelled by ...

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    TAGS:
    careers
    recession
    employment

    Bernard Madoff: Big Whoop

    I am of a certain age where I am no longer surprised by much that gets reported. The Siemens bribe scandal? Big whoop. Governor Blagojevich? What, you thought this stuff didn’t happen? Bernie Madoff allegedly swiping $50 billion? Shocking, but am I all breathless? No. Even Minnesota boy Tom ...

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    TAGS:
    careers

    When You're Blocked By the Office Bureaucrats

    By |

    Regardless of your rank, you should never underestimate the power of others to circumvent, delay, and block your decisions.

    Some classic bureaucratic smothering techniques are:

    Mistakes. “The plans for the kick-off were sent to Brussels instead of the Boston office. Don’t worry, we’ll get matters ...

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    careers

    Why the Holiday Party Is Not a Party—It’s Work

    By |

    It's the time of year for Winter Parties! (I mean, seriously—besides skiers—who celebrates winter? With lights and trees? Geesh.) This means you may have a company party to attend.

    Yeah! Free food and alcohol! Prepare to gorge yourself and get plastered!

    Or not.

    I have my cardinal rule of work: When ...

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    TAGS:
    careers

    When HR Is Bad PR

    By |

    HR, PR. PR, HR.

    Most of the time, PR departments have it pretty easy. Press release here, a photo opportunity there. I understand that there are skills that good PR people bring to the team. But . . .

    The latest example of poor PR was the auto executives' flying three separate corporate jets to D.C.

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    TAGS:
    careers
    small business

    The 10 Essentials of Delegating

    By |

    You will not be an effective manager unless you learn how to delegate. The question, "Should I be handling this?" must be asked frequently if you are to develop your associates, build a strong team, and avoid being swamped.

    Delegation does, however, have its ground rules. Here are 10:

    1. Don't delegate ...
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      TAGS:
      careers
      management

      Choosing Fuel for Your Career Journey

      By |

      When it comes to your career journey, how do you fuel up? Do you fill your mind with a high-octane, positive perspective or do you pump it full of toxic sludge? Is what you put into your brain positive and inspiring or negative and demoralizing?

      What you focus on affects how you see the world. That ...

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      TAGS:
      careers

      When a Job Title Means Nothing

      By |

      Money's tight. Everyone knows that. Employers know it, too, and they're looking for ways to cut corners.

      One corner-cutter is that oldie-but-goodie: 

      "Give 'em a title instead of a raise."

      Yup, title inflation is rampant. With so many vice presidents, group vice presidents, executive vice presidents,

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      TAGS:
      careers
      corporate culture

      Dear Santa: Please Bring Better Jobs

      By |

      Dear Santa,

      What's up with Wii? Why can't they just make more? Some kids at school were asking that question, and I thought you might know the answer.

      Mom and Dad need a new car—right now the old one is just parked in the driveway and Mom has to take Dad to work. It is waaay out of the way. And all ...

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      TAGS:
      employment
      careers

      Finish the Year With Gratitude

      By |

      Editor's Note: Curt Rosengren typically posts on Thursdays.

      When it comes to pursuing success in your career (and your life, for that matter), what's going on between your ears is as important as what's going on around you. Your mind shapes your outlook on life, creating the lens through which you ...

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      TAGS:
      careers
      holidays

      6 Ways Managers Mess Up Performance Evaluations

      By |

      Performance evaluations seem to inspire a special sort of dread—not just among employees but also for the managers who have to write them. Here are six mistakes managers commonly make in the process:

      1. Procrastinating. Putting off a performance evaluation sends a horrible message by signaling that ...

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      TAGS:
      careers