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PayScale’s Weekly VIP Blog Roundup: Make Big Changes, Forget About Self-Sufficiency, and Stay on the Boss’s Good Side

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.

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.

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(Photo Credit: onnola/Flickr)

Dr. Marla Gottschalk of The Office Blend: Is 2015 a Career Transition Year for You?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Career-themed New Year’s resolutions tend to revolve around getting organized, becoming more productive, or building new skills — in other words, incremental change. But what if you need to make a complete break from your old career path and go on to new things? Dr. Gottschalk, an organizational psychologist, has advice both practical and emotional.

“I often enter people’s lives when they are moving from one career chapter to another,” she writes. “In many cases, this transition can become quite a stressful experience. (But, not for the reasons that you might initially think of.) I’ve found that the ‘nuts and bolts’ of this transition, are often not as challenging as the emotional struggle that occurs beforehand. We clearly fight change, for a multitude of reasons.”

Her post offers tips on how to make this kind of large-scale change happen.

Penelope Trunk: Self-Sufficiency Is Overrated

Career expert and entrepreneur Penelope Trunk muses on self-sufficiency in her latest blog post, which outlines her day of running her family farm by herself when her husband, generally the farmer-in-chief, was called away unexpectedly for the day.

Her discovery? True self-sufficiency might be overrated. Sometimes, a healthy interdependence and good teamwork are more valuable.

“There would be no point in my husband marrying someone who is excited to be self-sufficient on the farm,” she writes. “Why would she need him? It’s better to be married and work as a team. So neither person is self-sufficient. …It’s so hard to see this truth in the city. So often both parents want to be the breadwinners and both parents want to be the hands-on parent. But I’m not so sure that’s what self-sufficiency is. I think self-sufficiency might mean, instead, that you can be a good teammate with someone who does what you don’t do, and you provide support to each other so that being a team makes sense.”

Alison Green of Ask a Manager: How to Respond When the Boss Asks, ‘Are You Busy?’

New year, new to-do list — and if you’re like most of us, it’s already long enough to require scrolling. But no matter how busy you are, sometimes you need to be able to respond pleasantly to a last-minute request from the boss.

Alison Green offers a translation for the most common and nervewracking question from the boss:

“‘Are you busy?’ really just means ‘can I interrupt you or is this a terrible time?'” she explains. “It doesn’t mean ‘are you sitting here with nothing to do?’ or ‘do you have enough on your plate to keep you busy?’ (And of course, from some people it just means ‘I’m interrupting you and softening it by asking this question first, but let’s discuss what I’m here to discuss regardless.’)”

She then goes on to offer a few tips on what to say to indicate good humor and cooperativeness, without making it sound like the speaker has nothing but time on her hands.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best career advice you read this week? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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