It's a cruel fact of the job search process: just when you need to have your wits about you, the pressure of acing the job interview makes it hard to project calm professionalism. If only you could be as relaxed before the interview as you inevitably will be after -- when all you have to do is think about how much better you'd be, if you could just do everything over again.
The past couple of years have been rough on everyone. If you managed to make it through the post-recession landscape without getting laid off yourself, chances are, you know someone who wasn't so lucky. Small wonder, then, that many workers are a bit anxious. This week's roundup looks at how to handle work anxiety and how to tell if layoff fears are justified. Plus: an explanation of why the economy is improving, but your paycheck isn't.
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.
If only we could combine all those five-minute segments of time while we're on hold or idling in a meeting room, waiting for the other participants to appear, we could knock another item off our to-do lists almost every day. (Or, at least, take lunch away from our desks now and then.) Failing major changes to the way time and space work, the best we can do is take advantage of those minutes where we find them.
The best thing about working with people is that you'll never be bored. The worst thing is that sometimes, boredom seems preferable to what you have to deal with from your fellow humans. For example, everyone's had that boss who was apparently out sick on Appropriate Behavior Day during management training.
Oscar speeches are, for the most part, pretty boring. There's only so much a star can say during the 50 or 60 seconds they're allowed, before the "shut up" music swells. This year, however, Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette chose to make the most of her minute, and used her speech as a platform to call for wage equality for women.
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.
Live by technology, die by technology -- or at least, be forced to deal with inconveniences created by the very tools that were intended to liberate us from extra work. For an example, look no further than email, which can save precious hours of face-to-face meeting time and provide an instant record of conversations, but also become a time-suck in its own right. Here are a few of the biggest problems with the productivity tool everyone loves to hate, and how to overcome them.
Want to impress the hiring manager with your skills, experience, and can-do attitude? First, you'll need to get past the applicant tracking system, the software that scans your resume for keywords to determine if you're a good fit for the position.
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.