On Careers

April 2010


40 Topics You Can't Discuss at Work

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You spend a lot of time at your job. Maybe most of your waking hours. Ideally, your boss and coworkers become your friends, which is nice.

But be careful! Never forget that you can’t totally let your hair down with work friends the way you might with family, old schoolmates, your book group, your ...

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Is the Unpaid Internship for Everyone?

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Could unpaid internships be right for everyone? Maybe. Let’s review the options: You have been searching for a new job for some time now. No one seems to be hiring and the process is frustrating because you know you can help some companies. But why should you give work away for free--especially ...

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The 4 Big Career Potholes

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I’m writing this from rural Romania—Transylvania, actually. We’ve spent the last week driving around and have learned quite a bit about Romania. The food is fantastic, the people are fascinating, and the views spectacular. But the roads are abominable. They are covered in potholes.

[See 15 essential ...

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25 Tips for Acing the Lunch Interview

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As if the job interview were not already stressful enough—enter the lunch interview. Not only are you being judged on your skills, qualifications, and experience, your table manners are being scrutinized too!

Never fear. It is possible to wow a potential employer without getting indigestion. Here’s ...

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How to Resign When You Can't Give Two Weeks' Notice

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While it's been drilled into everyone with a sense of professionalism that you must give at least two weeks' notice when resigning from a job--and in some jobs more than that--there are occasionally circumstances that make it impossible: a family member suddenly requires around-the-clock care, or,

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12 Ways to Be Miserable at Work

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A Harvard psychology professor once said that whenever he meets someone who really wants something, he always wonders what they will be willing to do not to get it. Taking another slant, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar believes that the leading cause of unhappiness is trading what we want most for ...

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When the Job Offer is Different in Writing

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What do you do when you your offer letter doesn't match the verbal offer over the phone? Skipping the recruiter is the first step.

A reader recently wrote: After a series of interviews, the HR person calls me and tells me, 'Good news! We decided to give you 10 percent more then you requested… .' it ...

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42 Questions to Ask When You Hit a Career Roadblock

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As you pursue your career goals, you will inevitably come face to face with big, gnarly obstacles along the way. How you deal with them will do a lot to determine where your career takes you. If you bump up against those obstacles, feel the resistance, and decide that it’s impossible, then it will ...

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How to Ask for Help and Still Look Smart

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A professional knows when to ask for help.

Less experienced individuals will keep burning the midnight oil, hoping that the deadlines will miraculously go away or an unrealistic breakthrough will occur. They worry about their image and often are consumed with massive regret that they ever took on ...

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12 Guaranteed Ways to Sabotage Your Career Goals

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Let’s face it, jumping out of your comfy rut and pursuing your dreams can be scary. And who wants to be scared? To save you from actually having to come face-to-face with your potential, here are 12 surefire ways to let the air out of the tires so your dreams never have a chance to gain momentum:

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How to Handle Shocking Criticism and Save Your Job

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Your manager has just told you that she has serious concerns about your work. You're shocked--you thought you were doing a good job and you didn't see this coming. You're questioning whether she's crazy, has a personal vendetta against you, or if there's some other agenda you don't know about.

[See

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3 Reasons You May Not Get The Job You Want

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You’ve learned of a very attractive job opportunity and are tempted to submit your name for consideration.

Go ahead and apply, but recognize that the employment world can be as brutal and unfair as life on Africa’s Serengeti Plain. Some lions and hyenas may be lurking in the high grass. Factor these ...

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How to Make a Big, Impractical Career Change

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A reader writes:

I am a 35-year-old retail store manager realizing that I don't particularly like retailing. Its a little bit late in life to discover this now, particularly since the responsibilities of [being a] breadwinner to my wife and kids remains a given. If I could "swing a magic ...

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