Even if you don't observe any of the December holidays, personally, there's almost no way you've made it this far into the month unscathed by the gift-giving madness. Now that all of the bustling and spending has come to end, it's time to turn your attention inward, and ask yourself what you need and want in the next year, in order to get the career you deserve. Good news for your bank account: many of these "gifts" are free.
It's been on your calendar for weeks, maybe months, and now it's right around the corner -- your office holiday party. This is such a busy time of year, so the party might feel like a bit of a burden -- just one more thing you need to do. However, if you are especially friendly with a group of people at work, you might be looking forward to it. Chances are, your feelings are somewhere in between. So, how can you get the most out of this semi-mandatory event with kinda-fun potential?
What is it about holiday parties that makes people think they should reenact their college keggers? Perhaps it's dealing with a number of different stressors all at once, from pre-travel work deadlines to holiday shopping to coordinating with teammates who are increasingly checked out. Then, of course, there's the bad-decision potentiating power of alcohol. If there's one thing the following stories have taught us, it's that everyone would be better off starting their January cleanse a few weeks early. Certainly, their careers would thank them.
At any point in your career, meeting with a career coach could be beneficial. But, most people hire one when their professional lives reach a critical juncture. When you are changing positions, working toward different goals, making a geographic change, or switching industries or professional direction, a career coach can provide valuable insights and strategies that help you get where you'd like to be.
Signing off as "Salty" instead of "Sally." Including 18 line items in your signature block, including your parents' home number. Forgetting that you already pushed "send" on your daily e-mail to your mom, and closing the subsequent e-mail to your boss with, "Love, Sean XOXO." Realizing that upon sending said e-mail to your boss, you accidentally hit "reply all" and thus also sent your hugs and kisses to your entire team. The ways we can bungle a professional e-mail are endless and there is arguably no worse way than how we sign off.
After years of training and education, you've finally landed a great position in your field. But no matter how much preparation you've done, a mentor could help your career, and assist you personally, in profound ways.
Feel like the boss doesn't like you? It might not be paranoia. It's possible that the boss really doesn't care for you. Worse, he might even want you to quit. If that is the case, staying in your current position may not be the best way to advance your career. Sometimes, however, you can find ways to improve the situation and have a good working relationship with your boss. Here are the three biggest signs your boss doesn't care for you, and how to respond.
The five little words, "To Whom It May Concern," have been used to kick off traditional cover letters for decades. We are programmed to begin our formal introduction to companies this way. Having been taught that this was the correct salutation for a business letter of this kind, most of us don't even question it. But, maybe we should. At best, the phrase doesn't do us any favors; it just meets expectations and gets the job done. These days, we can do better.
Ever been about to walk into a meeting or job interview, yet had no idea who you were about to talk to? Most people would tell you to prep for a meeting by looking at the participants' LinkedIn profiles to get a sense of what they do, what they’ve done, and a little bit about their educational background to see if you have anything in common. But what if there was an app that did actually did all that legwork for you?
There is no guarantee that your body language alone will get you a job -- you have to have the right educational background and skill set, too. However, when you are competing for a position with other candidates who look as good as you on paper, subtle interactions during your interview can make significant differences. Avoid mistakes and look your best for your soon-to-be employers.
Work friendships are good to have, but they are different from and do not take the place of real friendships. Recognize the difference between the two and enjoy the benefits of each, but avoid making the mistake of relying on work friends for real, personal companionship and confidence.
You've likely heard these adages before: "Many hands make light work." "Two heads are better than one." "The more, the merrier." There is truth in all of these sayings, but there are other, paradoxical truths as well. Extroverts may look forward to group meetings and talking about their progress on the group's project. However, all of this togetherness may be holding the introverts in the workplace back. The most productive office allows people the flexibility and autonomy individuals need to get their work done, and done well.
LinkedIn is a little different than other social networks, which offer news, community, and sometimes cute cat photos, but lack the laser focus on professionals and the recruiters and companies that hire them. Still, for overscheduled social media users, the question remains: "If I'm on X,Y, and Z social networks already, do I need to go to the time and trouble of creating (and perfecting) a LinkedIn profile, as well?" Here's why the answer is yes.
Think networking is just for getting a job? Think again. If you are new on the job, it helps a great deal to network and get to know your new co-workers. Effective internal networking not only helps establish strong professional (and sometimes personal) connections, but it also helps your career in the long term.