Would You Promote You?

Would You Promote You?
Most promotions are not automatic, and, generally, a variety of factors enter into the decision making process. Sometimes there are annual quotas such as the number of open positions for tenure decisions at a university. Sometimes a business is quite small, and there is a very short career ladder. Other jobs, like many in government, require a certain score on a civil service exam in order to be promoted. And, it is a reality that not all promotions are fair. For example, a family member of ... Read more
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Are you Managing Your Career?

Are you Managing Your Career?
Remember how you felt at the start, when you were looking for your first job? All you wanted was a toehold, a way in, a chance. But it felt like everyone else had control of your future. I got my first job out of college because I could type. And yes, I was taken aback when the hiring manager later told me the reason she interviewed me. Typing wasn’t supposed to be what got me a job—my BA in Spanish was supposed to be wildly appealing to the Pan American Health Organization! Years later, I ... Read more
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Would You Hire You?

Would You Hire You?
Most employees hope to move up the career ladder to become a supervisor, manager, or administrator—in short, a boss. When that move occurs, you may be in a position to hire your own staff, or, at least, contribute to the hiring process. Finding and employing good staff is a significant undertaking. Sometimes you are successful; sometimes not. What would your boss say, if after your first year, you were able to ask her if she still thinks her decision to bring you on-board was a good one? ... Read more
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The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?

The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?
For weeks you have been in the running for a new job. Things looked positive. You completed two or three interviews and you made the short list. There were a few negatives, but as the process moved forward, you tended to overlook that long commute or the fact that you would be back in a carrel rather than an office. There was a momentum that seemed to signify you would soon be moving on. Psychologically, you began to envision yourself in the new job. At the same time, you mentally ... Read more
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Complaining at Work

Complaining at Work
During your career, you will probably experience some unfairness, some nepotism, and some favoritism. You will see employees who are considered “the golden girl or boy,” and others who are labeled negatively. It is hard to know what or how to do something about these situations. Note that I am not talking about issues like sexual misconduct or discrimination. Those are so serious that they require action with the help of your boss or human resource department. Instead, I am ... Read more
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Risk Taking is Worth the Risk

Risk Taking is Worth the Risk
When was the last time you put yourself in a situation where you could fail? I don’t mean playing a game of tennis or playing a fun game of poker online. I’m talking about a potential failure with actual consequences. Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not interested in risk, that you like to “play it safe,” that you don’t want to “rock the boat.” Yes, you have heard the self-help advice about the importance of risk-taking. You’ve ... Read more
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Company Loyalty is Still Important

Company Loyalty is Still Important
Years ago, companies valued worker loyalty and rewarded it with gold watches for longevity, hams for the holidays, and company-sponsored family picnics. Today, employees face reduced or non-existent benefits, part-time work, furloughs without pay, and limited career paths. Often times, the only way to get ahead is to change jobs or even change fields of work. While job-hopping, or frequently changing jobs, used to be a red flag for hiring managers, it has become more acceptable, perhaps ... Read more
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The Role of Hope in the Workplace

The Role of Hope in the Workplace
Think how often you hear the word “hope” at work—I hope we win that contract. I hope we get bonuses this year. I hope the boss is pleased. Or, more negatively, that old adage, hope is not a strategy.  Hope may not be a strategy; it is actually much more. Some people equate hope with wishing, but wishing lacks the critical components of hope. The Greek origin of the word “hope” means confident expectation, not merely wishing. The distinguishing factors of hope are a ... Read more
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Don’t Create Your Own Unhappiness in the New Year

Don’t Create Your Own Unhappiness in the New Year
How are you beginning your New Year? Are you energized, forward-looking, and excited? Do you have plans and goals and new ideas? Or are you dragging yourself into 2018 still glancing backward, filled with negative thoughts or regrets, perhaps even feeling some dread? Does it matter? You don’t really have any control, do you? You’ve heard all of the clichés—what you send out into the universe is what comes back; God helps those who help themselves; People are just about as happy ... Read more
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What is a Work Hour Worth?

What is a Work Hour Worth?
In daily life, we seldom give much thought to the value of one hour. We can easily fritter an hour away checking text messages, posting on Facebook, or playing video games. On the other hand, we can multi-task and fill an hour with frenetic activity such as running on a treadmill while listening to a web cast. What about the value of an hour at work? Those 35-40 hours each week are, theoretically, to be set aside for specific work-related activity. Yet, research tells us few people actually ... Read more
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