On Careers

January 2010


How to Respond to an E-mail That Enrages

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Imagine that you are angry, very angry, at a coworker in another department who has just sent you a very irritating E-mail. You believe this person has broken a promise, betrayed your trust, and is playing Machiavellian games. “Livid squared” might best describe you as you sit before the keyboard ...

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7 Questions for Every Career Changer

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I love dreaming about what could be. I love playing with ideas and refining and expanding my vision. Where I run into trouble--more often than I would like to admit--is actually taking the action to breathe life into those ideas. And without that implementation, dreams remain little more than puffs ...

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How Much Interview Follow-Up is Too Much?

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A reader writes:

Just before Thanksgiving, I had an initial phone interview with a company. It went well and in the first two weeks of December I was called back for a second and then third interview, as I was up for two different slots in this company. Since then, I was told I was one of ...

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Don't Encourage the Dysfunctional Defenders

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You have probably met a dysfunctional defender or two in your career.

These are the folks who are convinced that their coworkers and management are giving away the store, and if it weren’t for their dedicated work, the place would fall apart. They believe that they are the defenders of high ...

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4 Steps to Taking Your Career Off Autopilot

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Do you feel like you’re drifting along in your career without any meaningful focus or direction? Do you feel stuck or uninspired, but you keep showing up for work day after day without taking any significant action to jump out of your rut? If you do, you just might be on autopilot. And if you want ...

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Should Subordinates Interview Potential Bosses?

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I just had an all day interview with eight individuals for a director position. I was interviewed by people I would be directly supervising. This is not the first time this has happened to me. Is this the new direction that interviewing is taking--for subordinate staff to have a say in who ...

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9 Tips For Getting Good Career Advice

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A 60-something friend known for her wonderful design sense tells this story:

Since I was a child I’ve loved putting things together—table settings, shelves, furniture, colors. I dreamed of becoming an interior designer. But while still in high school I talked with a professional and she ...

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When Your Interviewer Doesn't Interview You

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A reader writes:

I have noticed that there are some interviewers who don't ask me many questions, but rather they just encourage me to ask them questions regarding the job/company/etc. I realize that every interviewer has a different style, but when I come across interviews such as this, it ...

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How to Turn a Job Application Into an Interview

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My daughter did an experiment for me two summers ago. She applied to job openings she'd found on a couple of big online job boards. She was a recent college graduate and her resume looked similar to those that cross your desk. It was well done--no typos--and the cover letter was nice too,

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Can Volunteering Become "Consulting" on a Resume?

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A reader writes:

I'm eager to get your opinion on a suggestion a recruiter gave me recently. She had me list my marketing volunteer work as "marketing and PR consulting" on my resume to give me more recent work experience. (I was laid off just over a year ago.) I actually have helped ...

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How to Stop the Office Bully

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I'm livid. I overhead our immediate supervisor talking to two other coworkers about a third in the group and she compared her to a pregnant cat. This girl is overweight, but has lost a considerable amount recently and is extremely sensitive about her weight to the point that she has asked the ...

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Why Sales Prevention Departments are a Good Thing

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Do you have a Sales Prevention Department at your company or business? If you do, on behalf of all us entrepreneurs, a big "thank you," and a request to please keep this part of the business flourishing. It is what makes America great—entrepreneurs fixing your impossible and stupid rules and ...

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Why Managers Make Odd Choices

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The organization was in trouble. There was a real risk it could go under. There had already been layoffs. The managers had several choices. They could:

  1. (a) Hustle to develop new revenue-producing products, or (b) Depend on business returning to past levels.
  2. (a) Strive to be more efficient, or (b)
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