It's Weird Al's world; the rest of us are just living in it. This week, his album Mandatory Fun hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, #8days8videos blew up on Twitter, and everyone's co-workers and Facebook friends began posting links to Tacky and Word Crimes. Speaking of which, it became apparent that Weird Al's goal might not purely be to amuse us. It's clear that there's a lot to learn from the man who started his career with Dr. Demento as a mentor.
When you think about what might keep you from getting hired for your dream job, you probably never consider the possibility that your issue might be too many skills, instead of too few. But broad experience over a range of different areas can sometimes work against you in the eyes of a hiring manager.
Do you feel like you need to do everything at work yourself, or it won't get done the right way? Chances are, you're overextending yourself, compromising both your productivity and your happiness in your career. So when should you pass the baton, and when should you keep running for the finish line?
It's an unfortunate fact of life: the times in your career when you need to be the most levelheaded are also the times when you're least likely to be feeling calm, cool, and collected. Whether it's a big presentation in front of colleagues from another office, or a scary meeting with the boss about a deliverable that didn't get delivered, dealing more positively with anxiety can mean the difference between turning a tricky situation to your advantage and making things worse.
A good mentor can mean the difference between career success and stagnation, but there's a caveat: even the most visionary leader won't be much use to you, if the relationship isn't right.
Noisy neighbors are the biggest disruption at work, according to a recent survey from talent mobility consultants Lee Hecht Harrison. Forty-five percent of respondents to an online poll said that talkative co-workers was the most distracting element at the office.
Some work behavior is poisonous to your career. Do certain things and act in certain ways, and you'll not only tank your own chances at promotion -- you'll destroy the productivity and job satisfaction of those around you, as well. Here's what you need to stop doing, right away, to get ahead without destroying your social capital with your colleagues.
Even if your company doesn't have a dress code, you know you can't get away with wearing what you'd really like to wear to work during the hot summer months. (Example: bathing suit, flip-flops, permanent look of longing for vacation.) Here's how to look professional, without feeling like you just stepped out of a sauna.
Educational psychology is the study of how people learn, but the field's potential to help improve cognitive abilities isn't limited to students. Workers can use these techniques to improve memory and do better in their jobs.
At most companies, the best time to make a decision is yesterday. The problem, of course, is that making good choices takes time. If you're having trouble fighting a corporate culture that puts a premium on speed over quality, here are a few things to keep in mind. Some might even persuade the boss to give you the extra time you need to do things right.
If you have trouble getting through the afternoon without an extra cup of coffee or two, you're either the parent of a small child, an insomniac, or someone who just can't bring himself to go to bed when it's time. All three conditions will wreak havoc on your productivity, but since the last one is under your control, it's the most worth examining, in terms of improving efficiency and job satisfaction. Why do we stay up, when we should go to bed?
If you have a big job interview or presentation coming up, you've probably already thought a lot about how to make a good first impression. You know you need to dress professionally, for example, and make eye contact. Perhaps you've even thought about things like the strength of your handshake or the genuineness of your facial expressions. But you probably never thought about one key ingredient for winning over your audience: the way you enter a room.
Working in an office seems like one of the safer career choices you can make. Unlike medical professionals, you don't have to worry about your mistakes costing lives; unlike, say, firefighters or military personnel, you don't have to be concerned about danger to your own life or limb. Or do you?
If you're feeling less-than-fulfilled by your job, you're not alone: only 13 percent of us are engaged at work. Everyone else is waiting for Friday (and hoping against hope that this weekend, like most, won't be consumed by work emails). Why are things so bad for so many?
Being overpaid is probably not something you've ever spent much time worrying about. After all, real wages are down 7.7 percent, compared with 2006 numbers, and 23 percent of workers were laid off at some point during the recession. Earning too little seems more likely -- and more dire -- than earning too much. So should you even worry about being overpaid, in the first place?
Many of us are our own worst critic, and our careers suffer as a result. It's hard enough to hear negative self-talk when you're going about your business after work, but listen to bad internal chatter during your work day, and you'll start to have trouble hitting your professional goals.
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