Embrace the Unk Unks

Embrace the Unk Unks
It’s easy to say no. It takes up far less time and energy to take the easy way out. It may even be human nature to try to avoid the difficult, time consuming, challenging choices. However, very little is truly impossible. More importantly, you will never meet your potential or create something important by immediately refusing to take on big tasks and daunting projects. Think about it—what are your big picture goals or your personal moonshot? You won’t get there by being the person who ... Read more
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Job Hopping Your Way to Success?

Job Hopping Your Way to Success?
The 2014 Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the government’s Office of Personnel Management found that millennials who accept a position with a government agency stay slightly less than four years. If you are in your 20s or early 30s, four years might seem like a long time to you. You may fear getting locked into a job or missing new opportunities. You may have been told that the only way to get ahead is by changing jobs so that you continue to grow both your salary and your ... Read more
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How Not to Introduce Yourself

How Not to Introduce Yourself
By the time you snag your first professional job, you’ve heard the advice about introducing yourself a million time. Stand up, have a firm handshake, make eye contact, speak clearly, use titles like Ms. or Dr. until you are invited to do otherwise. You know the routine and you’ve mastered it. What you may not be as prepared for is how to introduce yourself at a meeting. Your introduction, of course, varies with the meeting. If the facilitator requests that each participant give ... Read more
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How to Survive That First Mediocre Job

How to Survive That First Mediocre Job
Most of us are always looking for direction in our lives, especially our work lives. This search starts in high school when parents, school counselors, friends, and others begin asking what you plan to major in when you go to college.  Few high school students can answer this question with clarity. You finally select a college, but it may take a year or two to nail down a major. The sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. Even within a major, there are choices to be made about ... Read more
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Presence Has Consequences

Presence Has Consequences
In a recent article by Christine Bader posted on FastCompany, the author speaks about the need for businesses to broaden their scope and to look beyond their corporate walls to the people and communities they affect. She further notes that the MSW (master’s degree in social work) might be the new MBA. I would argue that it shouldn’t be one or the other, but a synergy of the best competencies of both professions. Social workers do bring a unique perspective to their work. Their ... Read more
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Curb Your Enthusiasm

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, 100 Ways to Start Smart and Stay Ahead in Your Career. Many of us have heard about Pollyanna, the little girl who always saw a silver lining for every situation, who always found something to be glad about even in dire situations. Today, the word itself is used to refer to a person who is unusually upbeat and optimistic, perhaps overly so. There is even a concept in psychology literature called the “Pollyanna Principle” ... Read more
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The Positive Side of Power

Recently, I attended a conference on women and power. It brought together 600 business women and provided a wonderful opportunity for networking and learning. The keynote address was given by Katty Kay, the anchor for BBC World News America, and was based on her recent book, The Confidence Code. Katty spoke about the differences in confidence levels between men and women and she discussed how women can gain self-confidence by taking more risks and daring to be authentic. In her book, Katty ... Read more
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Mind Your Own Business

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, 100 Ways to Start Smart and Stay Ahead in Your Career. There is a fine line between being energetic and helpful and being obnoxious. Your colleagues are all adults. They have managed to conduct their professional lives for many years without you. If something is far outside of your job description, leave it alone. For instance, you don’t need to remind your coworkers about meetings, email them weather warnings, or keep them up to date ... Read more
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Put it Behind You

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, 100 Ways to Start Smart and Stay Ahead in Your Career. Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. -Ralph Waldo Emerson We all have them—bad days at work.  We don’t do our best. We say things that are stupid, or our ... Read more
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Mentoring Matters

Mentoring Matters
Start Smart Career Center is offering our free e-book, “Mentoring Matters” to individuals who are interested in learning about all aspects of the mentoring process including how they can seek a mentor, how they can enhance their own skills as a mentor, and how to strengthen a mentoring relationship. Simply visit our homepage and sign up for Start Smart Career Center email updates at the top of the page. You will receive your free e-book today.  How important is it to have a mentor? Is it ... Read more
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