On Careers

October 2009


4 Myths About Career Passion

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I make my living helping people figure out how to create careers that light them up, so I end up having a lot of random conversations about career passion. While the idea is appealing to everyone (because who wouldn't want to love their work?), it can also kick up a fair amount of skepticism.

[See

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Why New Hires Need a Culture Lesson

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A month ago, we signed a new apartment lease. As part of the paperwork, we had to indicate the names we wanted on our mailbox. Today a man appeared at my door with the mailbox nameplate—and a bill for nearly $50.

Now, I admit the engraved nameplate is nice, but for $50 I'd rather just keep the ...

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7 Tips for Chatting With Your Job Interviewer

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One of the hard truths about job hunting is that jobs don’t always go to the best candidates. They go to the candidates employers like the best.

Yup, it’s about chemistry. And a big part of chemistry comes from that time-honored social lubricant: small talk. Most adults know the basics of chitchat,

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Why the Airline Pilots' Excuses Aren't Cute

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Do you have a grandparent like this? A middle aged friend of mine recently visited her 90-year-old grandma in a local nursing home. “Oh my God, Joan,” Grandma said. “What happened to you? You are so fat.”

The older we get, the less we can count on the filtering system that allows us to think before ...

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5 Management Books for a Deserted Island

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OK. The ship is going down and you're paddling toward a small island, while hanging onto a mysterious trunk. When you get to the beach, you search in vain for other survivors and realize that it may be some time before you’re rescued. You remember the trunk. You haul it under a palm tree, slowly ...

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How to Change the World and Your Work

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One of the great untapped resources we have today is our individual potential to make a difference. Imagine if everyone woke up and asked themselves, "What difference do I feel called to make today?" What kind of positive impact could that have?

I'm excited by the possible cumulative result of ...

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How to Address Your Layoff in Your Job Search

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I was recently economically separated from my former employer. Should that information be included on a resume or cover letter? Should it wait for the interview?

Your resume is what you use to market yourself. Think of it as advertising. Everything you put on your resume must be true.

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5 Ways Volunteering Can Save Your Job Search

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You know, of course, that volunteering is good for your community. You may even know that it’s good for you personally. Research has shown that people who volunteer tend to live longer, have lower rates of depression, enjoy better physical health, have more friends, and are more self-confident.

What ...

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20 Temptations To Fight at Work

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It’s so tempting ...

  1. To complain when others are complaining.
  2. To believe that your social media skills will pay off in more pay and more responsibilities.
  3. To believe that upper management is clueless.
  4. To yearn for days gone by.
  5. To manage with the same carrot-and-stick approach that has proven repeatedly ...
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    How to Handle Defensive Coworkers

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    If you've ever worked with anyone who is chronically defensive, then you know how difficult it can be to talk to these individuals about practically anything. They argue, they don't hear what you're saying, and, sometimes, they even lash out at you or others. As a result, most people end up ...

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    10 Things to Do While You're Unemployed

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    Sure, while you're unemployed, job No. 1 is to look for another job. However, job hunting should not be the only thing you do while out of work.

    You should also devote a bit of time and energy to doing something interesting that you can talk about at job interviews. Ideally, this "something ...

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    9 Tips For Being Happier at Work

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    You’d think that anyone who still has a job in this economy would be necessarily happy. But, guess what? It’s still possible to be miserable in your job, even if you are grateful to have it.

    Since most of us spend a sizable portion of our waking hours at work it’s important to try to optimize that ...

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    5 Ways Managers Fail at Delegating

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    Delegating effectively is one of the most important things you can do as a manager, and it's also one of the most difficult.

    Here are some of the most common ways managers fail at delegating:

    1. Delegating without making sure that you and the other person are on the same page. Managers often forget ...

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    What Kind of Maverick Are You?

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    There are positive mavericks and negative mavericks.

    Positive mavericks courteously challenge policies and practices and propose reasonable alternatives. If they lose, they keep trying to string together the arguments and alliances that will permit them to win. Negative mavericks are discourteous,

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    Try Doing What Doesn't Come Naturally

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    If you had to choose, which would feel more comfortable to you, a structured life or a fluid life? Would you prefer a sense of order, or a sense of flow?

    Most of us gravitate to one or the other. Unfortunately, too many of us get stuck there. Why? Because we’re too lopsided in our approach. Just ...

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