Want to make your parents (or grandparents) roll their eyes all the way back into their heads at your next family gathering? Tell them that it's now OK – at a few companies, at least – to wear sweatpants to the office.
Hollywood would like us to believe that everyone goes to school, works hard, and quickly winds up in their dream job. From pauper to Wall Street, shy guy to leading man, or mailroom clerk to CEO, it's all about that fairytale ending. Now brush the popcorn from your lap and let your eyes readjust to the light, because the movie's over and we're heading back to reality.
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.
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?
If you could go back in time and give your younger self career advice, what's the one thing you'd say? For some, it would be to negotiate a higher salary or start investing more heavily in a 401k. Others might go all the way back to college and follow their dreams -- or pick a career with a better occupational outlook, and fund their personal projects that way.
When you feel confident, the people you interact with in your career are more likely to reward you with the things you want, whether it's a job or a promotion or a raise or a parking space closer to the front door. This is potentially pretty unfair, of course, since anyone who's worked with other humans for more than a day knows that confidence isn't always an indicator of competence. So what can you do, if you're deserving, but underappreciated -- and not burdened with an excess of self-regard? Game the system, and fake it until you make it.
Humans are fascinated by the worst-case scenario -- the blown job interview, the botched salary negotiation, the bad college choice. It's not always schadenfreude, either. By analyzing the bad things that could happen, it's easier to prepare and avoid them. This year, PayScale's most popular posts were the ones that helped readers dodge disaster.
Have your social media feeds been filling up with thankfulness over the past few days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? If these public statements of gratitude make you roll your eyes rather than count your blessings, never fear: we're not here to convince you to join a movement, or even start a journal or buy an app. However, focusing on the positive and remembering the ways in which you're lucky can be good for your career, if you go about things in a way that works for you.
One of the best, tried-and-true ways to excel at what you do is explain it to someone else. Oftentimes, we go through our jobs -- which can include detailed systems and processes -- without realizing what we are actually doing. If you are years or decades deep into your career, much of your expertise may be "all in your head" -- and you may not even realize there’s a better way to do something, opening up the opportunity to excel more and even advance higher up the ladder.
Most companies have a rigorous annual performance review and a softer half-yearly check-in, just to see how things are going. You, as an employee, have a lot riding on the performance management process of your company. That number or letter you get at the end of the year decides your raise or your next promotion, and possibly the next career move you want to make. So how can you make the system work for you?
You've worked long and hard this performance cycle for a promotion. You know you’re going to make it; it’s almost there. You walk in to your performance review looking forward to the discussion, only to be disappointed. Your manager only shares your performance feedback and maybe the increment letter. What happened to your promotion? Before you take any drastic steps, here’s what you can do to help your career.