New year, same old career? If you ever needed proof that January 1 is just a day on the calendar, the week after the holidays might provide it. But just because the beginning of a new year isn't automatically a new start at work, doesn't mean that you can't use the fresh page in your planner to inspire you to make changes, large and small, that can make 2015 the best year of your career so far.
A long time ago -- or maybe it only feels that way -- our careers were at their beginning. Full of promise, ambition, and possibly misplaced self-confidence, we embarked on our journey up the corporate ladder. The luckiest among us received plenty of advice from the wiser and more experienced people in our lives, whether they were our parents, teachers, first bosses, or friends. If we were really fortunate, we were even able to hear it.
Are you going on a lot of interviews, but not getting any offers? The problem might be that you're setting your sights too low.
Whether you're switching careers out of necessity or simply the desire to make a change in your life, searching for a job takes on a new level of difficulty. Because you'll be competing with applicants who've been in the industry for years, you have to try extra hard to show hiring managers that you're the best candidate for the job -- and not just an inexperienced newbie. How do you do that? Your resume is your not-so-secret weapon. Here's how to use it to your best advantage.
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.
If you are looking for a change, it is often possible to look for a job within your company. A cross-functional exposure that enhances your skill-set, or even a move to a different team that performs the same job as you, could help your career. An internal transfer offers you the opportunity to network and work with various colleagues, clients, and partners. It also helps you learn and deal with various leadership styles and team dynamics.
Finally, the new year is here, which means it's time to pull out all of the inspirational hoopla to get those career go-getter juices flowing again. (But this year it will be different! Right? Right?!) We've compiled a list of ways to help kick-start the momentum you need to make 2015 a career success.
Depending on how 2014 treated you, the dawn of a new year is either a welcome chance to start over or an opportunity to continue building on what you're already creating. Either way, it's a good time to engage in a little self-reflection, so that next year brings you more of what you want in your career and your life, and less of what drove you crazy during the past 12 months.
Socializing with new people for extended periods of time can often be draining to introverts. They are most energized by working on their own, or in small groups, with people they know and are comfortable with. It's not to say that introverts are not successful in a business setting where there is a lot of team activity and collaboration. Introverts can be extremely social, entertaining, even the life of a get-together, but they need some downtime to recharge.
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.
Does your manager avoid tough discussions, put her own boss or clients first, or overload the least resistant employee with a ton of work? She may be spineless, to say the least. Such a boss will often try to sneak out of situations as quickly as possible without hurting her chance with the higher ups. Simply put, she cannot take a stand and may have very few opinions of her own. If you are stuck with such a boss, there's every chance that you are being overworked and underpaid. So given the odds stacked against your career, what can you do to help your position?
If you think that December is a month to slack on your job search, you may be seriously mistaken. Don’t lose out on what can be a great month to land an offer. Here, we give you six reasons to focus on your job hunt even while the year comes to an end.
Do you feel obligated to reply to emails during your holiday, because if you don’t, things will fall through the cracks? Given the global nature of business, there's no one time when all employees around the world are out on vacation. You may not be able to completely unplug, but that doesn't meant that you can't enjoy some time with your family. Here are some tips to help you take a few days off without feeling too guilty about 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.
You may have worked on the same team together as peers, been classmates in school, and come up for promotion at the same time. But only one of you made the cut this time, and it was not you who was promoted. Now your peer is your manager, and as much as you resent it, there's little you can do but accept her in her new role. Assuming you’re not in a rush to head out the door, here are a few ways you can handle the transition.
The holidays are a challenging time to be a working person. Half the people you need to talk to seem to be on vacation, or at least mentally checked out, your office is filling up with sugary treats you don't want, but can't stop eating, and the nonstop social whirl seems to bring out the worst in your co-workers. Fortunately, some of PayScale's favorite bloggers and writers have tips on staying healthy and sane during the season -- while maintaining your sense of humor, to boot.
Pregnant and unemployed. The words alone may make you want to cringe. After all, being either pregnant or unemployed could represent a stressful situation in your life. Taken together, it's just a bit scary. All the "normal" concerns of being jobless instantly become intensified when you're looking for a job while also preparing for the delivery of your baby. Just because it's more complicated doesn't mean that it's impossible to find a job that's perfect for you.
You're juggling multiple projects, all on a tight deadline, and are just about managing it. Just as you find a minute to take a break and do your anti-carpal tunnel syndrome stretching, your manager comes over with another super-important project with a very close deadline. You want to refuse, but are afraid it may cost you all future projects, maybe even your job. So what do you do?
If your co-worker does not let you in on relevant information that she "meant to" share with you, takes credit for your work, does not give you the complete picture of projects, keeps all her cards close to her chest, spends a lot of time in the manager’s office, and bags projects you didn't even know about, you may be dealing with a highly competitive colleague.
Whatever you do, don’t blatantly lie -- not on your resume, not in the interview. There are only two outcomes to lying for a job: you get caught and you don’t get caught. Either way, the impact of your lie can be long-lasting. It can surface at any point, during an investigation, a job promotion, even a transfer.