All Articles Tagged "career advice"
The decision to leave your job is a tremendous one. If you’ve worked for a company for even a couple of years, you’ve developed an intimate knowledge about the company, gotten to know your co-workers and accrued a nice chunk of vacation time. Ugh. That would be hard to give up.
But sometimes, the cons really do outweigh the pros of sticking with a job. The Daily Muse has laid out six reasons why it might be time for you to call it quits. Literally.
Right at the top of the list is being underpaid. You have a job to make a living and if that’s not happening, then you need to be elsewhere. (A side gig will help too.) Also on the list, being undervalued, not getting the resources you need to do a good job, and simply outgrowing the position.
Given the economic recession, we want to call special attention to number three: “The Ship is Sinking.” If you work for a public company, which is required to file a quarterly earnings report, your company may give you a heads up when this information is available. Do yourself a favor and read those press releases. These documents give you hard numbers about the company’s revenue, its vision, and its plans for the future. Unlike a company pep rally where the message is always “everything is great,” here is where you get the real deal. If you don’t get these documents sent to your inbox, you can easily find it online.
If you work for a private company, you probably won’t receive a regular notice about the state of the company’s affairs, but alert. Are people leaving the company without being replaced? Are you noticing cutbacks all over the place? Are business plans being put on hold? These are indications that things are either in flux or heading downhill. If the business is doing well, a company leader will crow about it. When times are tough, it’s more likely they’ll go silent.
And speaking of the future, that’s another critical theme of this list. Besides your level of happiness now, which should be a consideration, you should be thinking of how your job is preparing you for the future whether that future is with this company or the next. Your job should be giving you as much as you’re giving it. If it’s not, then it’s time to take your talents elsewhere.
“Its rare to work for someone you like, and even rarer to work for someone whom you respect.” These were the words my cousin stated to me quite coolly as I droned on and on one night about my disenchantment with a supervisor. Her profound words immediately shut me up, forcing me to ponder about supervisor-employee relations. We’ve all been here once or twice in our career. We start a new job that we initially adore, only to realize one day that we are working with the boss from hell. Maybe it’s their bad attitude, or their laissez-faire conditioning, or maybe they are just incompetent — relying on you to do their job for them, holding you back from getting your own assignments done. Whatever it is, you know that if given the chance, you’d be much more reliable and productive in their position than they are. So, such an issue begs the question: How do you maintain professionalism in such circumstances? It’s so much more easier to talk about this conundrum than it is to deal with it. But I’ve found that there are a few things one should try to exercise to make every workday (until a better opportunity comes along of course) more bearable.
One of the first things one should do in such a predicament is to be mindful of your body language. True, you are not going off on your boss á la Evelyn Lozada, and I hope you haven’t told him or her to watch their step around you. But, body language says more than words can ever communicate. Do you turn your back while your supervisor addresses you? Do your eyes pay more attention to your new nail design you got Saturday than his/her’s face or report? Have you caught yourself giving him/her the I-can-care-less-about-what-you-have-to-say-right-now stare and/or rolling your eyes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to check yourself. Although you may have the lowest opinion of your boss, you should always remain professional in your demeanor. In order to avoid conflict, awkward moments, or even losing your job (even though you may feel that that would be a blessing in disguise because things are so bad) you have to keep up a certain level of respect for your superiors. If you feel that you are a better worker than your boss, there is no better way to prove that then in your behaviors and conduct.
Boundaries. You must also set boundaries immediately and reinforce them as much as possible. Setting these confines for yourself will determine how many times you text your bestie or man a message that starts off with, “You won’t believe what they have me doing today!!” If you find that you are taking on too many duties that are not only stressing you out, but that are not within your job description, you must remedy this by redefining for yourself and your boss what your day-to-day activities are. Draft up a document that lists all the things you are responsible for in your capacity. Ask your Human Resources Director for a copy of the initial job posting for your position if need be. During a one-on-one meeting with your boss, respectfully discuss how you would love to take on new projects here and there, but don’t want to become too overwhelmed by tasks that weren’t designed for your title. Provide your boss with a copy of this job description so they won’t forget what it is that you do, or so they could at least find someone to help you. Communicating effectively on paper as well as verbally (i.e., “I am not comfortable completing these tasks as I feel that I am not properly suited to tackle them as of yet”) will allow you to protect yourself, and make your interactions with your boss somewhat bearable.
Americans are known for their career-centered lives. With most of us pushing 40-plus hours on our respective job sites, it’s hard not to build friendships and camaraderie with our co-workers. However, such friendships should not be worthy of us divulging our true feelings regarding our supervisors. I know how hard that can be. Your boss tried to embarrass you in a meeting. You want to run to your office bestie and let her know what you would have done in that boardroom if you weren’t a Christian. But, its not safe nor wise to do so. Your office walls may be solid, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they are not soundproof. You never know who is eavesdropping on your conversation; your boss might be right around the corner as you release your thoughts to your office buddy. And although I know she is your “girl,” you never know who you can trust for sure at work. People are always looking for a leg up, so it’s best not to provide anyone with information that can incriminate you or ammunition to start some drama.
When we’re being lectured about our careers by mentors, professors and parents, rarely do they bring up how to deal with the boss from hell. It’s the subject that’s lampooned on TV and in films, but rarely tackled in serious conversations. In this economy, I know how hard it is to feel stuck in a job where you feel unwanted and borderline abused. That stress is enough to make a sister want to big-chop her hair just to release some tension. Hopefully, these tips will help you from screaming to your boss, “I should be where you are!” as I’m sure that would create a scenario for which you and I both have zero solutions.
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If you are out on the job market trying to get employed, or even trying to begin your own business, you’re fighting an uphill battle if you are not networking. You could send countless “cold call” emails so that maybe a handful are read, or you could send just a handful you know will be read. Networking makes business easy. It’s the networking itself that requires real work.
Most of us want to get paid more for our work. Unfortunately for most of us, we don’t know how to do it. Companies are crying broke and strained finances and you probably feel as though you’re lucky to simply have a job. But if you’re tired of being taken for granted and working for someone else, perhaps it’s time for you to jump out on your own as a consultant or a freelancer. Forbes offers three tips to help you get there and to help you get paid more than you’ve been making on your regular 9-5. But be forewarned: these tips are not for everyone. These tips are for the woman ready to make a change in her life and ready to take the necessary, somewhat scary steps to see a turnaround in her career.
First things first, get downsized. Surprisingly enough, your steady paycheck may be what’s hindering you from earning more money. It becomes so easy to rely on that one regular stream of income that you may stop looking for ways to earn more and to be more. Steady paychecks stop you from finding what truly makes you happy because you fear losing it.
Turn down work. This tip goes hand in hand with having standards for the value of your time and abilities. As the article states, be shrewd. Don’t take jobs that don’t pay enough and don’t take jobs that won’t end in regular assignments. If a job will have you working with someone you extremely dislike, don’t take that job either. Again it will be difficult, but when you begin to focus on getting work that pays wells and provides you with regular income, you will better target what you want to do and get paid for it.
The third tip will be the hardest to perform for some: be an asshole. Be a jerk! As sad as it may sound, women must be tough to get what they want in this world. Being firm and unwavering on how much you expect to get paid is what will lead you to getting paid twice as much as you used to make. America is a capitalist society and you’re not in business to make friends or be nice, you’re in business to make money.
Before you decide to take on any of these tips, think carefully. The road to success will not be easy. A life without risks and challenges may feel comfortable, but it’s the risk takers that find true fulfillment in life.
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We’ve all been there. The first day jitters about starting a new job hearkens back to those feelings you had about the first day of school. In theory, they are no different. New people to meet and a boss (professor/teacher) you’re dying to please. If you can connect with those feelings, hopefully the following tips get you through the first day and beyond.
- Find a mentor, someone who has been where you are and able to “pull you up” when you’re feeling down. This can be a senior coworker,colleague at another company or other professional contact. In doing this, you find in that person someone to discuss your career path, help make important career decisions and problem solve issues that may come up at work.
- Learn the business/organization inside out. Talk to those around you about what worked in the past and what didn’t work and then work to implement based on that feedback a good balance of what works for employees and the organization
- What keeps your boss up at night? This is so important that I must underscore the importance of understanding and aligning yourself with this fact. Discuss with your boss the things that concern them the most and make sure that you’re working to alleviate within your power whatever it is that remains top of mind for him/her.
- Put your stamp on everything that you do. Do such an excellent job so that others around you know that only you could have done this since you went above and beyond what was expected.
- Seek out constructive feedback prior to your first performance review. This way you know early what is to be expected and how to correct it before it goes down on paper in the official review
- Befriend the administrative assistants. You’d be surprised how much power they wield with the higher ups. The worst thing you can do is walk in and get on a power trip. Respect their job just as much as you want them to respect yours.
- Take initiative. Do this and do it often. Nothing is worse than having to babysit a new employee into doing the obvious because they’re still walking around like a dear in headlights during the first few days or weeks. Now isn’t the time to flounder around in wonderment at your new space and new coworkers. Jump in, hit the ground running and get to work!
- First in. Last out. There’s a purpose here. Building equity with your higher ups and coworkers as a hard worker. Show them that you have what it takes to be a hard worker that gets the job done. However, while working hard, work smart.
- Avoid office politics. Every office has drama. Some more than others and often you’ll be forced to form an opinion of someone before you’ve had a chance to experience working with them. Do yourself a favor and avoid it. Employee 101: Don’t align yourself with negative office drama. At the end of the day, when you start being lumped in with the black sheep by your boss, your friends won’t pay your rent should you be let go. Be supportive, listen but shut up and mind your business.
Follow these tips and your first performance review is surely to go well. Not only that but you’ll thank yourself for staying above the fray while winning the praise of your boss.
Written by Ginger, CEO of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds ™- breaking financial ceilings, one stiletto at a time. There she publishes tips and articles that will help women light up their financial lives and take control of their deepest money issues.
Kathy Caprino, a contributing writer for Forbes, highlights some of the worst career mistakes one can make in her article The Worst career Blunder You Can Make. She herself went from “unhappy corporate VP, to marriage and family therapist, to fulfilled career coach and executive trainer” so she knows what she’s talking about. Check out the summary of her suggestions.
1. Don’t Ever Feel So Secure That You Get Too Comfortable
Just because you’re doing super in your position doesn’t mean that your job is secure, says Caprino. Many factors determine job security including the state of your industry, relationships with colleagues, etc. Always invest in your skills, not in your job.
2. Grow Your Skills
This is an obvious point. You should always be looking to learn and grow in terms of your personal assets and skils. “The key is to continually expand your professional toolbox, not just stay put,” Wrote Caprino.”The business world is changing at the speed of light, and we need to keep ourselves current, adaptable and open to these changes to be of continuing value.”
It’s a new year; waking up to work at the same unfulfilling job doesn’t have to be a reality for 2012. This year use these five steps to a more satisfying career to make 2012 the best year for professional development you’ve ever had.
Career Coach Kathy Caprino details on Forbes that the first step to a more satisfying career is to reconnect with early you. Take some time to remember what teenage and early adult you enjoyed and aspired to be. What was your passion, what skills and talents did you embody naturally? These early characteristics and passions are the essence of who you still are. If you are not using these skills in your career, then seek to find a career that utilizes what early you enjoyed.
Caprino next advises that you move away from what you hate. Certain job tasks in our adult life must be performed regardless of the job. But there are other skills that we hate that come with a specific job. Just because you may be good at statistics or public speaking or report analysis doesn’t mean you have to do it. Once you identify the tasks that you hate, find new career options that minimize working contact with these tasks.
The third tip is to always honor your personal values. After you have taken a moment to discover what it is you truly care about and value, search for opportunities that embrace those values. Be it helping others, transforming chaos into order, or creative design, a career that takes on what you value will lead to happiness.
The fourth step is to redefine your relationship with money. Financial security is the reason most of us take on a certain job. Once you assess your own relationship with money, take power away from the dollar and crown yourself the king or queen of your career decisions.
The last step is the most important: actively do something in the field or position you want! This isn’t accomplished by looking up jobs online or crying to everyone about how unhappy your job makes you. Try to actively take on the job you want by volunteering, interning, taking a course or shadowing a professional in your targeted area. Whatever you decide to do, try it and see how it fits.
It is also important to note that your perfect career doesn’t happen overnight. Taking on these steps will put you in the right direction, but patience is also the key to success.
It’s that time of year again. Holiday cheer is in full effect and your company is throwing the annual holiday celebration complete with food, fellowship and an open bar. It’s rewarding to celebrate a long year of putting in work with your co-workers, but beware. When liquor is flowing freely in a festive atmosphere, it’s very easy to let professionalism slip away. A 2010 poll by human resource firm Adecco reveals that 40% of Americans have seen or suffered a major indiscretion at a work-sponsored holiday event. That’s a shocking percentage of messy behavior. Nearly a quarter of folks surveyed admit to drinking too much and a full 14% of holiday partiers have behaved so badly they lost their jobs. In this economy, that’s not a game. Here are some tips to avoid common holiday party faux-pas.
Mikki Taylor is a black fashion icon — who has often shined behind the scenes. A style trailblazer who made her mark initially as an editor for Essence Magazine, Taylor has branched out into books, and is soon to release a stellar style tome called Commander in Chic. In a delicious play on words that describes a woman in charge of style while in the national spotlight, Commander in Chic will focus on the amazing aura of sophistication surrounding First Lady Michelle Obama — mixed with Mikki’s delightful expertise and personal brand of beauty leadership.
How did Mikki make it to the top spot in fashion, and then parlay that into publishing? Our sister site Style Blazer has the inside scoop from Ms. Taylor herself in an exciting exclusive video: “How I Made It.” In “How I Made It,” Mikki gives her personal account on how she forged an amazing career in beauty with impeccable style. Head on over to Style Blazer now, and learn from Mikki Taylor herself: “How I Made It.” May Mikki’s incredible journey inspire your own career development and expression of personal style.
This year’s AdColor Awards were held at the swanky Beverly Hilton out on the left coast and Madame Noire’s very own Victoria Audele was there to capture it all. AdColor is an organization devoted to honoring and uplifting people of color who work in advertising, marketing and media. George Lopez and Spike Lee were among this year’s honorees and a few other familiar faces graced the red carpet such as Soledad O’Brien, our friend in our heads.
Check out what Spike had to say about diversity in America and Soledad’s thoughts on how adversity builds character.