No one likes being micromanaged, but being a micromanager is almost worse: you know, on some level, that you're the problem, and yet you just can't stop nitpicking everything people do. In this week's roundup, career experts tackle breaking the micromanaging habit, learning how to fight productively, and beating the dreaded cover-letter writer's block.
How can you tell a happy person from, well, everyone else? Often, it's that they spend less time tracking what other people think, and more time paying attention to their own goals. This week's roundup includes the false assumptions happy people don't make, plus a post on why we should thank our high school teachers for those classes we hated, and tips on what to avoid when negotiating salary.
Even if you're not into sports, you can learn a lot about leadership -- good and bad -- from watching the managers of professional sports teams. It all comes down to using data to help you make better decisions. Plus, also in this week's roundup: how depression affects working memory, and thus our productivity, and the best way to answer, "Why are you looking for a new job?"
Even if you're not superstitious, it's hard not to ascribe other people's good fortune to luck. Everyone knows that one person who seems to always be in the right place at the right time, getting more than their fair share of promotions, raises, and desks near the window. (Understanding, of course, that their fair share should be "equal to or less than you're getting.") So how do these folks do it?
How do you start your workday? If you, like many of us, are generally a little bit late, it could be by grabbing the caffeinated beverage of your choice and hurriedly scanning your inbox. But maybe it's time for a reboot.
So, you've got a job. You can breathe a sigh of relief. And, for some workers, just having a job is enough. You're hearing all that great news about the uptick in the economic projections, employment is up, and the job market in general looks more hopeful. But, here's the thing: Just because you have a job doesn't mean you shouldn't be consciously making an effort to improve yourself and your position. The question is, how to do that without sticking your neck out and courting disaster.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment's notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It's the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn't ditching your job; it's learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.
One of the toughest things about life, both personally and professionally, is that there's only so much you can control. You can't change your nature, for example, and become wildly extroverted if you're someone who draws her energy from within, and you can't necessarily make a bad job into a good one. You can, however, learn to make things better by cultivating certain skills and improving your attitude. And sometimes, you can quit your job and go on to another one -- if you go about things the right way.
Maybe you're a hugger, or a back-slapper, or -- in your personal life -- a terrible flirt. Chances are, you know that none of this behavior will fly in the office, no matter how innocent your intentions. No one wants to be referred to HR for remedial training or, worse, lose their jobs because they didn't get the memo that it's 2015, and co-workers don't touch each other. In this, we are probably more with the program than many of our leaders in Washington. Take, for example, America's touchy-feeler-in-chief, Joe Biden.
Your annual performance review is over. Hopefully, you have some new goals to work on and a few pats on the back to keep you motivated. Now what?
Maybe you've been a great individual contributor, and your stellar performance has made management realize your potential and promote you. Or, you just cracked the interview so well, your new employer was willing to take the risk of hiring you as a manager, even though you've not had any people management experience. Either way, you do want to excel in your new role. Here's how.
Wish you felt more passionate about your work? Maybe it's time to make Hallmark's favorite random holiday into a celebration of career love, instead. In this week's very special Valentine's Day edition of PayScale's blog roundup, we have insight into dealing with difficult clients (courtesy of a former professional matchmaker), the financial and emotional risks of starting a business with your own funds, and tips for defeating impostor syndrome.
Is there anything more useless than fear of failure? It's vestigial, like the tailbone or the appendix. And yet, humans seem to have an ingrained discomfort with the idea that their efforts won't succeed 100 percent of the time. Here's why you should keep fighting against your nature.
If you're a reasonable person -- and let's assume that you are -- you probably don't expect to love every single one of your co-workers. On the other hand, unless you're a terrible pessimist, or having a really rough patch in your career, you probably also don't expect to hate them all, either. Now, a new study argues that perhaps your most valuable co-worker is the one who inspires both positive and negative emotions in somewhat equal measure: the office frenemy, if you will. Here's why you need the folks you (occasionally) love to hate.
If you've been on a few job interviews -- or even conducted them yourself -- you know that the most qualified candidate isn't always the one who gets the job. Sometimes, it's a matter of which applicant seems like they'll fit in the best, and sometimes it's just a question of who seems like the person who'd be the most pleasant to have around the office.
Sometimes, the best career advice comes from unexpected places. For example, most office workers wouldn't think to turn to agricultural experts for wisdom -- but maybe they should.