The B Word

The B Word
When I began my first job out of graduate school I was fortunate to work directly for the CEO of the organization (who also happens to be the co-founder of Start Smart Career Center). We’ve clearly had a positive and valuable working relationship and it was a special connection from day one…which is what led me to make a rookie mistake that took a while to overcome. Due to my close relationship with “The Boss” I found it easy to use her as a fallback. One of my main job responsibilities was ... Read more
Share This

Words and Wisdom

Words and Wisdom
Words have power, both positive and negative. They can be curses, blessings, oaths, and threats. When arranged in a certain way, they can be poetry. Many words strung together on a page or a screen can turn into a great piece of literature or a boring report. One of the powers of words is that they evoke feelings. They can make us laugh or cry. They can convey kindness or bitterness, respect or disdain. They even have the power to give or take away someone’s hope. When mixed with ... Read more
Share This

Mentors are Your Secret Weapon

Mentors are Your Secret Weapon
If you are just beginning your professional career you may not have someone who fills the role of mentor. You may wonder if, or why, you even need one. Things are going well on the job, and you feel comfortable with your boss and coworkers. Is a mentor really necessary? Mentors come in many different forms and they serve a variety of roles. If you participated in organized athletics in high school or college, your coach, in addition to helping you achieve on the playing field, may have ... Read more
Share This

Policy Matters: Family and Sick Leave

Policy Matters: Family and Sick Leave
Policy Matters: Paid Family and Sick Leave The United States trails most countries in terms of the benefits we offer to workers when they need to take time off for family and medical reasons. In fact, we are the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave. On January 15th, President Obama made a major announcement that could change that. He is pushing to make changes in family leave programs, starting with federal employees. This move will have significant ... Read more
Share This

Look Before You Leap

Look Before You Leap
The New York Times Upshot just released a map of the United States which illustrates where working women are most common. Both men and women are unemployed in areas with high, concentrated poverty such as Appalachia, the Deep South, and the interior southwest. There are high female employment rates in areas of New England and the upper Midwest. Approximately 70 percent of women ages 25 to 54 are currently employed and that rate has been rising throughout the past few decades. The majority ... Read more
Share This

Take Your Commute From Boring to Brilliant

Take Your Commute From Boring to Brilliant
The average worker in the United States commutes about 25 minutes each way. That’s 50 minutes each day in “planes, trains, and automobiles.” If you’re like me and work in a major metropolitan city, that commuting time can soar to over an hour each way. If you add that time up, it equals a significant amount of sitting, boredom, and possibly frustration and anger at traffic, fellow drivers, and a myriad of things out of your control. I slugged through my travels on the train and in the car ... Read more
Share This

Networking, the New Professional, and the New Year

Networking, the New Professional, and the New Year
You’ve recently begun your professional career, and you want to do the right things to get ahead in your field. Everything you read and hear is that networking is what it’s all about. Career consultants suggest that you try to make 3 to 5 new contacts each week. To most people, that’s an overwhelming task. It’s even more daunting if you aren’t especially outgoing or if you tend toward shyness. In some ways, it simply seems gratuitous, uncomfortable, even ... Read more
Share This

Be a Better Leader Than Your Boss

Be a Better Leader Than Your Boss
Many people think that being a boss means being a leader. While it’s true that bosses have power, get to give direction, and tell people what to do, that doesn’t necessarily make them a leader. On the other hand, many leaders never become a boss. In fact, some prefer not to be in that position. If you’re just starting your professional career, you may be wondering who wouldn’t want to be the boss. They make more money, they have a staff, they have perks, and they get ... Read more
Share This

4 Easy But Not So Obvious Interview Tips for Twentysomethings

4 Easy But Not So Obvious Interview Tips for Twentysomethings
Rebecca Evans is a writer, communicator, social media strategist, and arts advocate. She resides in Norfolk, Virginia, where she works as the Marketing Coordinator at Virginia Arts Festival. Interviews are tough when you’re new to the professional world. Without an extensive resume and a world of experiences to discuss, whether or not you get the job often comes down to your ability to connect with the interviewer, and showcase a self-starting attitude and willingness to learn on the job. ... Read more
Share This

Caring is a Gift in Itself

Caring is a Gift in Itself
You are trying to manage your new career and your stretched budget. Your leave time is limited and every day seems packed with work and chores. As the holidays quickly approach, shopping for gifts can become more and more stressful, especially when your funds are limited. If time and talent permit, you can prepare and give baked goods or handmade gifts. Perhaps you have a talent for writing or creating artwork and could do a special poem or small drawing for loved ones or friends. Or you ... Read more
Share This