When you're a kid, the message about apologies is clear: when you're wrong – or even if you hurt someone by mistake – say you're sorry. The problem is, as kids grow into adults, one half of the human race seems to retain the message ... while the other half reserves their apologies for special occasions. (You know which is which.) Why, exactly, do women feel that they must apologize all the time, and how can they curb the impulse, especially at work?
If you've ever tried to up your listening game, you know it's harder than it seems. It's not a matter of simply cultivating interest in what the speaker is saying, or suppressing the tendency to wait for your chance to talk. This week's roundup includes insight into why you can't become a better listener, just by listening harder – plus, how to improve, the right way, and an explanation of why all those productivity hacks aren't helping you to get more done.
If you're close to your dad – or another beloved father figure – you've probably got big plans today to show him how important he is to you. Of course, if you really want to make his heart soar, the best thing you can do is listen to him. It might even be in your best interests: while dads tend to be on their kids' side, and thus far from neutral, their perspective is pretty valuable and could give your career the boost it's been lacking.
For the most part, today's workers are used to the idea that they'll have to jump through some hoops to get a job, up to and including a background check. Generally speaking, however, the privacy-invasion part of the job search process happens once the offer is on the table. What would you do if a prospective employer insisted on digging into your background ... before you even had a job interview? That question, plus "Tinder for job seekers," and the little resume mistakes that really matter, in this week's roundup.
Women, amirite? When they're not weeping or scheming, they're tearing each other down at work. Or, at least, that's how the theory goes. It's called Queen Bee Syndrome, and it's occupied a place in workplace lore for as long as women have been represented in the labor force. There's just one problem. A recent study shows that it's probably not true.
Whether you're just starting your career, or have been working for years, one thing is certain: it's harder to find a job when you don't have one. That's helpful to know if you're considering quitting a job without having another one lined up, but if you're a recent grad, newly laid-off, or just plain between gigs, well, there's not much you can do, right? Not so fast.
Ah, summer, season of endless, lazy days by the pool or at the park, decompressing from work and enjoying life ... unless, that is, you're the poor sucker that's stuck back at the office, while every teammate, client, and vendor is away having a good time. Before you use these fruitless hours to write your modern Cinderella story (and you're welcome, by the idea, for the idea) take heart. You can still get your job done, with a little planning and a lot of creativity.
Even if you're the shyest or most introverted person in the world, you're probably already networking, without even knowing it. That's because "networking" is a terrible word for a thing most of us do anyway: build relationships. The goal is to maximize what you're already doing, plus look for additional opportunities that fit with your personality and lifestyle – in other words, to network painlessly, in a way that will build your career and not drive you crazy.
When we were in school, guidance counselors checked in with us to see how we were progressing. As adults, well, let's just say we could go a long time without thinking about whether we're still headed in the right direction. This week's roundup looks at a simple quiz to help workers be their own guidance counselors. Plus: how to kill collaboration, not that you'd want to, and how to work with those co-workers you wish would find another job.
One of the toughest parts of transitioning from being a full-time student to a working professional is the lack of framework. All of a sudden, there are no tests, no grades, no clearly defined projects with a beginning, middle, and end. Success is harder to define, and while the sky's the limit, the goal posts can seem to toward the horizon with every step you take. The good news? While your working hours belong to the company, your career belongs only to you.
Meetings are a mystery. Everyone claims to hate them, and yet they proliferate on our calendars like Tribbles on Star Trek. The explanations for why that happens are many and varied, including different goals for management and staff, ineffective communication techniques, and just plain old ego. (If you've ever had a boss who loved to hear himself talk, you're familiar with this issue.) Here's how to keep meetings short and get back your time.
Hard skills will help you get the job, but if you want to keep it (and excel) you need soft skills as well. Knowing how to communicate effectively, rebound from a setback, and express commitment to your work will impress the boss, your co-workers, and your company's clients – all of which will make it easier to show off what you can do.
Chances are, by the time you start your first "real" job, you've had bosses before. But what was appropriate at the ice cream stand or landscaping gig might not be OK in your new office environment. Even if you've had tons of internships and lots of practice dealing with corporate culture, expect a learning curve when you begin your first professional job. Every company and manager is different. If you want to be a success, you'll need to learn how to adapt and communicate with your particular boss.