On Careers

February 2009


6 Rules for Savvy Office Navigation

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Jack is a close friend of an influential vice president and goes hiking with the VP’s family. Maria was an aide to a governor, and although her job has nothing to do with legislative matters, she is shown enormous deference on the subject. Harold and Gretchen may seem friendly at the department ...

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Still On the Payroll, But Not Getting Paid

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I work for a small-to mid-size company and have been told that I am not being laid off, but I also did not get my paycheck because the company does not have the funds for payroll for their management staff. Can they do that? Would this be a de facto layoff? Can they really just expect me to ...

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What to Do Instead of Worry

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Fear is everywhere. Open up a newspaper, flip on the TV, click over to any political blog, and you’ll be hit smack in the face with reports of the latest layoffs, prognostications on why the stimulus will or will not work, and rants about the bonuses of executives whose companies we are now bailing ...

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Anonymous at Work: When You Don't Want to Stand Out

Over at Chris Brogan’s blog today, I wrote a guest post on how you can avoid being anonymous at work. There are 10 things in my list, but I am sure there could be lots more.

This is an issue that divides. Some want to be anonymous at work, preferring to keep their heads down while they do good work ...

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Should You Switch Jobs in a Recession?

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You hate your job. The work is boring, your boss annoys you, you share an office with someone who insists on taking all her calls on speakerphone, and you're pretty sure the guy down the hall uses your photo as his screensaver.

Or maybe you like your job all right but you saw a higher-paying opening ...

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Fix the Door and Save Yourself

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Over the years, in his many lectures on excellence, Tom Peters has observed that if you lower an airline tray table and find coffee stains, you start to wonder about the condition of the plane’s engines.

I remember that line every time I go to the auditorium of a local government agency. A side ...

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Do You Love 80 Percent of Your Job?

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“Work is a four letter word,” goes the conventional thinking. It’s something to be endured so you can pay for those precious few hours of fun on the weekend.

It’s probably no great surprise that I don’t see things that way. In my world, work is a four-letter word, just not one that gets edited out ...

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Moonlighting: One Way to Outsmart the Recession

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You have a job. Good news! But you don’t like the job. Or it doesn’t pay a living wage. Or it doesn’t offer health insurance. That’s bad news.

Have you considered moonlighting? It’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, moonlighting can be not only the answer to your underemployment woes, it can be the ...

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Paranoia on the Way to the Vending Machine

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The journey from my desk started innocently enough. I was on the prowl for a bottle of water and something sweet. As I traversed the fluorescent-lit hallways, debating between Twizzlers and a granola bar, I couldn't help but notice all of the closed doors.

This was no coincidence. EVERY door was ...

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Beware of Post-Interview Impressions

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The interview went off without a hitch. All the questions were well-handled. Vibrations were positive. A couple of interview panel members even showed the candidate where his office would be and asked him which desk he’d prefer.

He left believing the job was his.

He never heard from them again.

Across ...

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In Tough Times, Take Time to Fill the Well

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One of the most common themes I hear these days is the feeling of stress and anxiety. People are worried about the economy. They’re worried about their jobs, and whether or not they’ll still have them next month.

When that anxiety starts to build, it can be easy to just grit our teeth, hunker down,

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How to Be a Stand-out Job Candidate

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If you’ve looked in a newspaper lately you may have seen a photo of long lines of showered, coiffed, and dressed-for-success people clutching briefcases or laptops and looking very, very unhappy.

They are waiting in line at a job fair.

Their glumness is understandable. Now is not a great time to be ...

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When Your Coworker is Fired

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A reader writes:

How do you deal with it when a coworker is fired? Today I was talking with my coworker and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He went into a meeting with our boss, and next thing I knew he was gone, and an E-mail was sent to the whole department saying that as of today he ...

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Not All Jobs Can Be Fun

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I was once mildly chastised by another consultant for implying that work is not necessarily fun. He noted that all work is--or should be--fun.

Call me a pessimist, but I don’t buy that for all jobs. Some jobs are downright unpleasant. Any attempt to put a happy face on them only adds to the ...

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Develop a Two-Way Help Habit

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I have written here before about the importance of the support of others on the path to your career dreams. This past week, I’ve had the message driven home--just how important that is, not only in our careers, but in our lives.

Since last Wednesday, I have been frustratingly incapacitated. I’ll ...

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How to Be a Good Audience to Creativity

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The first line of today’s Seth Godin is priceless: "Creativity loves a problem, but it hates a lousy audience."

No question, it is difficult being a great audience to creative ideas when the bad times hit and when everyone around you is playing the “ain’t it awful" game.

When you're playing defense,

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Going Home for Lunch: A Recipe for Stress?

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Does anyone out there know what percent of office workers go home for lunch? It's something I always wanted in my work-life, and now that I have it, I'm not convinced it's all I thought it was cracked up to be.

It takes me between 12 and 22 minutes in each direction--short enough to be a viable ...

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