On Careers

June 2010


5 Things Your Boss is Thinking as You Ask for a Raise

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In this economy, there's a good chance that you have gone for years now without a raise. And still, you have done your part. You have worked longer hours. You have assumed duties not normally in your job description. You have supported management every step of the way. You have been a positive role ...

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What's in a Nudge?

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The executive went to the retirement party of a woman who’d been his secretary years ago. She’d gotten promoted since then and wound up in an important and rather influential spot. He’d seen her a few times over the years. He was surprised that she was retiring so early, but in those days early ...

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8 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

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In your career, as in the rest of your life, perfectionism can be a huge obstacle to living out your fullest potential. In the perfectionist’s mind, anything short of perfect is instead a form of failure. Perfectionists are fully aware of how greatly the odds are stacked against success (that is,

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When Convenience Rules Decision-Making

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There’s a old joke about a man who was looking for a lost ring in his kitchen. A friend asked him when he had lost the ring, and he replied, “I lost it sometime this morning in the living room.” The friend asked, “If you lost it in the living room, why are you looking for it in the kitchen?” The ...

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Why Fear is Really Your Career's Best Friend

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Think you’re going to do anything worth doing in your career without feeling a healthy dose of fear? Ha! Good luck. The reality is that, if you are stretching yourself to any degree and not just playing it safe, fear of some sort is bound to come with the territory. And that’s not altogether bad.

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How Underdog Applicants Can Win Jobs

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Indulge me for a minute. Yesterday, Switzerland (the country I currently live in) went into their World Cup match against Spain as the underdog. No one expected Switzerland to win. But they did. It's a pretty spectacular thing here and everyone is taking about it. The newspaper devoted numerous ...

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12 Things We'd Tell Our Bosses if We Could

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As employees, we are told to be diligent, to follow through, to be “self-starters,” to have a good attitude, to be flexible and patient and dependable and loyal and respectful. We’re told there is no “I” in “team.” We’re told, “You should just be grateful you have a job.” But surely bosses have ...

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How Etiquette Cops Can Hurt Business

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Is it good business sense to point out rudeness? Or is that just rude? A reader recently wrote to ask my opinion on the issue.

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I made a mistake of putting all capital letters in the subject line of an E-mail, to show this item was still outstanding. I am a ...

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Why You Need to Be a Decent Public Speaker

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You’re at a funeral. Where in the room would you rather be: lying in the casket or standing up front giving the eulogy? Most people pick the casket (at least according to Jerry Seinfeld).

OK, it’s a joke, but it’s true that many people claim they fear public speaking more than death itself.

[See 15 ...

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9 Symbolic Gestures a Good Boss Can Make

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There’s a lot of talk today about the importance of symbols that our national leaders can provide in times of crisis. Think FDR with his fireside chats, telling us there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. Reagan leaving the working man’s bar holding a beer stein as he's cheered by the mostly ...

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5 Tips for Meetings That People Won't Dread

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Meetings get a bad rap for a reason: They're often inefficient; veer unproductively off-track; are attended by people who don't want to be there; and frequently end without anyone being clear on what was decided.

You can give your meetings a makeover with these five tips and eliminate some of the ...

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How to Get a Foot in the Door Before Graduation

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It isn't an easy market for soon-to-be grads. As one reader writes: "I have two quarters left in school, then I will have my AAS in Paralegal [Studies]. I have applied everywhere. How can I gain experience if there is [no one] able to give you a chance? I have spent a lot of money for school and I ...

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Why You Don't Need to Love Your Job

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You hear it all the time--doing what you love, what you are passionate about, is the one true path to career bliss. Many experts go a step further, promising wealth and success, too.

But is this really true? Maybe you don’t yet know what you love. Maybe you know what you love but can’t find work ...

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