On Careers

December 2009


Do a Year-End Review of Your Career

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As we near the end of 2009 (frankly, a year many of us won’t mind saying goodbye to), now is a good time to evaluate your work and work life. Even if you feel less than great about your career right now, it’s always a smart idea to take a moment and consider how your past actions brought you to ...

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How the Feds Can Keep Improving Customer Service

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Way to go, feds. Thanks for limiting tarmac wait-times to three hours. Can you imagine any American businesses or institutions other than the airlines that would be so tone deaf as to ignore thousands of irate, tarmac-stuck, can’t-use-the-toilet customers? Again, thanks Transportation Department.

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How to Handle Inappropriate Interview Questions

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A reader writes:

I had an interview for a job today. It's my first interview in 14 years as I've been in my present job that long. I was feeling a little rusty. I researched interview questions, practiced answers, and felt well prepared. Then out of nowhere I was asked, "Tell me about your ...

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6 People You Need on Your Career Dream Team

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As I’ve written before, success is not a solo sport. It takes a team of people supporting you along the way. If you take a conscious approach to seeking out the support you need rather than leaving it to chance, your path will be smoother and your success more likely. With that in mind, here are ...

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10 Networking Tricks for Introverts

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If you’re looking for a job, you may be getting tired of the “network, network, network” mantra, especially if you’re a naturally shy or introverted person. Here you are, under the gun, without a job and in need of one, and you’re being told that what you have to do is the one thing that is ...

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What Do We Do Now?

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Everyone pretty much agrees that small businesses will be the salvation of our current employment crisis. Small businesses hire more people than large companies. People are moving away from large companies because they can have more impact and more fun in smaller ones. They want the experience of ...

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How Extra Work Without Extra Pay Can Pay Off

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A reader writes:

I am an administrative assistant at a 10-person marketing company. My new boss just asked me to take on a project that my coworker used to do. I'd be willing to do it, but I wonder if I should. Is it a bad idea to let him give me more work that isn't part of my job description? I ...

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How Good Bosses are Likely to Mess Up

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The bosses' discussion continues from last week:

“Where am I likely to mess up? That’s easy. Taking on too much. You know that old line about how you should never say 'no' to new projects or opportunities? It’s wrong. One of the most important skills you’ll ever learn is the ability to say 'no,'

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How to Energize Your Work by Making a Difference

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Here’s a question to ponder: Aside from ensuring a paycheck, what difference does it make that you show up to work every day? I'm not asking that from a snarky “what’s the point?” perspective. I mean it as a prompt for you to start thinking about an opportunity to bring more of what you care about ...

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What Good Bosses Hate to See, Part 2

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Last week’s post took a stab at what would be said in a room filled with good bosses who had been asked what they hate to encounter on the job. The discussion continues:

“Now that we’ve reconvened, let’s run through what we identified last week: You hate surprises. You hate when people permit a ...

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How to Fight Your Career Fears

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Have you ever wanted to do something, but felt afraid to take action? And then, when you finally did it, you realized there really wasn't that much to be afraid of, after all? Or, even worse, you didn't do it and later realized your fears were unfounded?

If you have, you're in good company. Fear is ...

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Why Your Job is Different Than Your Marriage

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I love to read advice columnists. It always cracks me up when someone writes in about her "boyfriend of two weeks." Honey, two weeks is not a boyfriend, no matter how much he declares his undying love to you. The fact that you are writing an advice columnist about this fledgling relationship ...

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20 Tips for Your Workplace Holiday Non-Party

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With Thanksgiving over, you’re no doubt beginning to see articles listing do’s and don’ts for the workplace holiday party.

Mostly don’ts.

Don’t wear a hula skirt or a lampshade; don’t French kiss your boss; don’t do your hip-hop routine (or worse) on the copy machine; don’t drink five appletinis and ...

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How to Turn Your Business Around on a Dime

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There isn't too much news these days about turnarounds in business, but I'll bet there are plenty of companies that need to be turned around. Too often, however, the rank and file are waiting on someone else to take charge of the turnaround. They are either too timid, or they lack the skills to do ...

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