work http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/305/all en-US 6 Signs It's Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/female_student_working_000052734564.jpg" alt="Woman deciding to make her side gig her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You daydream about it: turning your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-prevent-side-gig-burnout">side gig</a> into your career. Quitting your day job and achieving your business goals on your own terms. But it can be hard to know when the right time to actually make the move is.</p> <p>If you're unsure what's holding you back, but suspect you may be ready, take a look at these six signs it's time to quit your day job.</p> <h2>1. Your Bills Can Be Covered on Side Business Income</h2> <p>Are things going pretty well right now? It's time to do the math. Add up all of your household's living costs. Now, add up your side business's month-by-month revenue over the past year. Can a decent percentage of basic expenses be covered by your side business?</p> <p>Making a big move based on this sign depends on a couple of factors such as how much your spouse or roommate contributes to the household, and whether or not those contributions can be counted on for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>For many people, the answer is a gradual transition. In my business, my partner/husband and I found an arrangement that let us spend 75% of our time on the company, and the rest of the time on freelance income to bridge the gap.</p> <h2>2. You're Leaving Money on the Table</h2> <p>Are more opportunities arising, ones you don't have the time to take? A small business can only flourish if it has enough time to grow the infrastructure and increase client communications and partnerships. If you can only spend nights and weekends on your side business, then you will hit a plateau that is very difficult to break through without hiring help.</p> <p>The best way to learn if you are leaving money on the table is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-write-a-business-plan">reviewing your business plan</a> and making a new <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/76418">year-to-year projection</a>.</p> <h2>3. Your Clients Want More</h2> <p>Surely you've had more ideas on how to upgrade your services. Do you see your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/market-segmentation-to-grow-customers-sales-and-profits">customer or client base growing</a> and becoming more reliable? This kind of stable growth begetting a stable fan base is a good sign that your regular clients are ready to be upsold on more services. If you are B2B, don't let them grow antsy to leave for a bigger company. If you are a consumer-facing business, don't let your customers grow bored with your product offerings. Start with your most loyal customers to show them that your business is growing with their needs and that you value your relationship.</p> <p>In my business, we grew so quickly in the past year that our customers were not able to keep up with our newest releases. So we started a new subscription program for our most rabid fans that allowed them to get everything we make for a monthly fee. When you start with your most loyal, you can work out the kinks of the new program with minimal pain and customer service issues before rolling it out to the public. We wouldn't have been able to plan, set-up, execute, and maintain this new service if one of us hadn't gone full time.</p> <h2>4. You Find Yourself Becoming an Expert</h2> <p>Are friends, family, and peers increasingly asking you for advice or resources on your industry? If so, the outside perception of your company must be good enough for you to be considered a thought leader on the topic.</p> <p>A great way to give back as an entrepreneur is to share your expertise. It's also a great way to grow your business indirectly by inserting yourself in the major ongoing conversations within your industry. Look up <a href="http://www.allconferences.com/">industry conferences to attend</a>, and you could create a Slideshare about what you've learned. When you have become a full-time entrepreneur, others will take you even more seriously. If you were already planning the full-time transition, this sign might be the morale boost you needed.</p> <h2>5. You Need More Time at Home</h2> <p>Is your household changing? Maybe you are planning to have children in the next two years. Maybe your spouse is earning enough money to cover the basic expenses so you can take more time on your business. Staying at home provides you the flexibility to grow both your business and your family on your own schedule.</p> <p>Do it smart: Using your monthly expense calculator and business projections, start mapping out a plan that allows you transition to a home office. Calculate the costs of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/setting-up-a-home-office-on-the-cheap">making a functional home office</a>: desks, computers, office and creative supplies, and storage solutions. You might have to incorporate freelance income in your revenue mix alongside the other services your business provides.</p> <h2>6. You're This Close to Hiring Employees</h2> <p>Are you looking for help to improve workflow? It will be hard to manage employees from a desk at another company. It's time to look at the numbers and see how much more revenue you could earn with an employee's help, versus quitting your day job and doing most operations yourself for a while.</p> <p>People-specific skillsets you don't possess (i.e. coding, graphic design, etc.) might be hires you can't avoid. But what if you just have too much basic upkeep to do? What I have learned is that repetitive, tedious, and time-consuming tasks are great to outsource to a freelance employee for an affordable rate. Core work like business development and creative should be left to you until you go full-time, so you can properly manage your employees and give them the one-on-one time they need to grow within your company.</p> <p>Make sure you have what you need to <a href="http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2013/10/top-7-tips-for-hiring-managing-your-1st-employee.html">hire your first employee</a>, and learn about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-take-the-pulse-of-your-employees">managing staff</a>.</p> <p><em>How's your side gig doing? Ready to make the leap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right">Freelancing: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing It Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">6 Financial Questions You Must Answer Before Going Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Extra Income business self employment side jobs work Tue, 19 May 2015 17:00:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1416883 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/unhappy_male_employee_000059722000.jpg" alt="Man at work deciding if he should speak up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are times during anyone's career when it's preferable to stay quiet, and avoid confrontations or drama. And, there are other times when staying quiet may be the easy thing to do &mdash; but not the right thing. You may be put in a situation that requires you to speak up for the good of the company, yourself, or another employee. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">Your job</a> could be put in jeopardy by <em>not </em>speaking up. You could simply be doing yourself a disservice by not speaking your mind, and letting others know just how you feel. Here are 10 of those times. In these situations, speak up, and do it quickly.</p> <h2>1. Any Time You Are Being Harassed</h2> <p>Whether sexually, physically, racially, or emotionally, the workplace should be harassment-free. Most employers require you to take harassment training courses these days, and with good reason. Harassment is not only disruptive to the work environment, it can lead to deep psychological scarring, lawsuits, and in the worst cases, suicide. The moment you suspect anything has gone from playful banter to something much more serious, you must arrange a meeting with someone from your HR department. If you don't have one, then you need to talk to your supervisor, or someone else in a position of authority. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get.</p> <h2>2. When You Witness Harassment</h2> <p>Look out for fellow employees who may be too afraid to take action against harassment themselves. If you notice that someone is experiencing any kind of harassment that could be contributing to a hostile work environment, follow the procedures set in place by your HR department, or superiors. This is not just a &quot;nice&quot; thing to do &mdash; it's actually your responsibility to the people you work with. Again, this needs to be nipped in the bud quickly, before it gets out of hand and creates a very serious situation.</p> <h2>3. During Brainstorming Meetings</h2> <p>If you work in an environment that requires brainstorming sessions, be they about finances, advertising, engineering, or just the holiday party, you must not make the mistake of staying quiet in these meetings. Whether it's from shyness, self-doubt, or preferring to listen instead of contribute, your lack of involvement will only be viewed in a negative light. You will be seen as someone who doesn't contribute, has no ideas, or is apathetic to the task at hand. To combat this, speak up early; ideally within the first few minutes. This is a great way to make sure you break the silence, boost your confidence, and avoid searching your brain for an idea that is not already on the table.</p> <h2>4. When You Don't Understand the Assignment</h2> <p>There's a famous episode of Seinfeld (&quot;The Bottle Deposit&quot;) that involves George receiving a very important assignment from his boss, Mr. Wilhem. As George is getting briefed, Mr. Wilhelm enters the bathroom, and George stays outside. But when he eventually follows him in, Wilhelm has finishes the briefing and thinks George heard every word. The comedy comes from George trying to figure out what on earth Wilhelm wants, without asking him to repeat the instructions.</p> <p>Don't be like George. If you misunderstand any part of the brief, go back and ask questions; explicit questions. This is not the time to beat around the bush, and your boss will appreciate you making sure you are going in the right direction. Of course, there is one caveat; don't continue to ask the same questions over and over. Getting clarification is one thing, but if you have to be told something five times before it sinks in, you may not be in the right career.</p> <h2>5. If You're in Physical Pain</h2> <p>It doesn't matter if you do a desk job, or you're out doing hard labor. If you're in pain, you must speak up, and quickly. Experiencing pain on the job can severely impact your performance, and also make the cause of the pain even worse. If it's a migraine, take the day off if you have sick days. If you don't have sick days left, see if it is possible to work from home after the pain has eased a little. If you're experiencing physical pain, like a bad back or shoulder, explain it to your supervisor. It could be work-related, in which case the company may be obligated to help you eliminate the cause of the pain. These days, many office workers find it better to stand at their desks, and your employer could provide you with the appropriate desk and equipment.</p> <h2>6. When You Witness Something Illegal</h2> <p>Your company's code of conduct will likely cover compliance issues, and how to make sure you are not breaking any laws (even accidentally) while at work. If you should notice someone breaking these rules or laws, you need to speak up. Your employer should have a whistleblower policy to cover this, and you will be able to report the incident anonymously. If there is something systemic going on, like the Enron scandal, your quick action could save hundreds of jobs. If you believe you, yourself, may have inadvertently broken a law, you must also speak up. It is far better that it comes from you, than someone who notices your genuine mistake and reports it to your superiors.</p> <h2>7. As Soon as You Know Something is Wrong</h2> <p>Wrong? How? Well, it all depends on the kind of job you have. If you're in accounting and you notice a mistake in the numbers, don't wait until the financial report is at the printers. Say something when you first notice the mistake. If you're in advertising, don't stay quiet when something is clearly wrong with the ad (or bottle&hellip; as <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/john-oliver-mocks-bud-lights-creepy-ad-campaign-if-a-nickel-could-urinate-it-would-taste-like-a-bud-light/">Bud Light found out recently</a> to much blowback). If you're in engineering, and see something that could cause major problems later on (such as <a href="http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2015/05/approved_death_claims_related_19.html">GM's poorly-made ignition switch</a>), for goodness sake speak up. These mistakes can cost lives. Staying quiet because it's easier than causing a fuss is not good enough. Be brave, speak up, and do the right thing.</p> <h2>8. When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work</h2> <p>It happens a lot in businesses all over the world. You have a great idea, you say something to someone, and the next thing you know, they're claiming ownership. They get the pay raise, the new account, the promotion, the accolades, and you're left holding with a whole lot of bitterness. These &quot;leeches&quot; work everywhere, and are quite happy to take the credit and climb the ladder, be it in a Fortune 500 company, or the local bakery or autoshop.</p> <p><em>How </em>you speak up is important though. It can't come down to whining and complaining. Make sure you approach your supervisor, show them the work you had done beforehand (if you have it) and calmly discuss the fact that this was your idea. You may want to approach the person who stole the idea first; sometimes, they may be unaware of their mistake. In those rare cases, they may be quite happy to speak up on your behalf. Either way&hellip; take what's yours.</p> <h2>9. If Anything You Own Goes &quot;Missing&quot;</h2> <p>Make no mistake: there are sticky fingers in offices and businesses around the country. It can be as small as someone using the milk you brought in for their own cup of tea. Or, it can be more expensive items, including money, electronics, clothing, or even collectibles. When you start noticing that your things are going missing, report it immediately to HR or your superiors. It's important to at least get them alerted to the problem. It could be an internal person, someone from the cleaning staff, or anyone else trusted to walk around your business or office. HR can even install security cameras if it is serious enough.</p> <h2>10. When Rumors and Gossip Are Running Riot</h2> <p>You can't avoid water cooler chats and idle gossip in businesses. It happens in kitchens, bathrooms, conference rooms, and anywhere else people congregate to chat. However, when this gossip goes from a little harmless griping, to something much more toxic, you need to speak up. You can either put a stop to the chat instantly when you hear it (i.e. &quot;No, she didn't say that, and was never even in that meeting&quot;) or you can take your concerns to your superiors so that they can address the issues. Gossip can be very destructive, and needs to be stopped.</p> <p><em>When has speaking up at work made you most proud?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-signs-that-youve-been-at-the-same-job-too-long">25 Signs That You&#039;ve Been at the Same Job Too Long</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-money-by-demanding-it">Earn More Money by Demanding It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree">4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building harassment Office speaking up theft work Mon, 18 May 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1421691 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_luggage_000020489884.jpg" alt="Woman with business travel that&#039;s helping her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business travel is a love/hate relationship for many people. On the one hand, you get to visit new cities and live on the company's dime. On the other, you could be away from home &mdash; and friends and family &mdash; for an extended period of time.</p> <p>One of the bright sides of business travel, however, is that you have the chance to save the money you're earning &mdash; sometimes a lot of money &mdash; because you don't have to spend your own dough on transportation, lodging, or food while you're working. And those are just the obvious savings. Take a look at several more budget-boosters that may have you looking at business travel in a whole new light:</p> <h2>1. Saving on Gasoline</h2> <p>Gas is in a sweet spot at the moment (enjoy it now before the summer season inevitably drives the price up), so you're not saving as much money as you were a few years ago, but <em>any</em> money you can keep in your pocket and away from the pump is a win. Let your company cover the fuel costs while you're on the road, while your vehicle takes a breather in the garage.</p> <h2>2. Giving Your Car a Break</h2> <p>Speaking of taking a breather, the downtime your vehicle gets thanks to your business travel means that you're not putting as much wear and tear on it from everyday use. You might not see savings from the reduction in use right away, but statistically your car should experience fewer issues since you're not pitting it against the elements (and crazy drivers) on a daily basis.</p> <h2>3. Potentially Lowering Insurance Rates</h2> <p>Since your vehicle will be safely cooped up in its cocoon while you're traveling, there are less opportunities for accidents, not to mention you're putting fewer miles on it over the course of the year and its lifetime. Some insurance companies reward drivers for clean records over a period of time, which is just one more way you can slash your transportation budget.</p> <h2>4. Expensing Road Items on a Rewards Card</h2> <p>Not all companies require business travel expenses to be paid for with a company-issued credit card. In fact, many companies allow you to put your travel expenses on your own card, for which you're reimbursed after you submit an expense report at the end of the month. If that's the case, it's important to choose a really great credit card with a generous rewards program. Think about it: You don't have to pay for anything you're charging out of your pocket, and you can essentially make more money as a result of it, depending on how you cash in your rewards. It really doesn't get any better than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Racking Up Air and Hotel Points</h2> <p>An important rule of business travel &mdash; as those in the know will tell you &mdash; is to always sign up for loyalty programs. If you're flying the friendly skies or staying in hotels frequently, the points will add up quickly. Unless you're working for a cheap-o who requires you to use points for future business expenses &mdash; which is a jerk move, no bones about it &mdash; you can treat those points as your own. Fiji, here you come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Best Hotel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Reducing Your Grocery Bill</h2> <p>Since the company will be picking up your meals, your grocery bill will be significantly reduced &mdash; though this does require careful consideration to maximize the savings. First, if you know you'll be on the road for a few days or more, limit your purchase of fresh produce that you may not have time to eat; you don't want your money rotting away in the fridge. Second, limit your trips to the supermarket altogether if you can make do with what's already in your pantry or fridge before you embark on a trip.</p> <h2>7. Pocketing the Food Stipend</h2> <p>Instead of using your meal stipend on food, try to take advantage of free eating opportunities. There's generally food available at conferences and more intimate meetings &mdash; especially breakfast and lunch &mdash; that you can consume in lieu of finding something on your own. In those cases, if your company allows it, you can pocket the difference.</p> <p>I have a friend who works for the government who uses this tactic when she's abroad for weeks on end, and she often comes home with a hefty sum pocketed.</p> <h2>8. Lowering Home Energy Costs</h2> <p>This savings typically only applies to single people, as they leave their homes alone during periods of travel. To shave a little more off the bill, unplug non-essential appliances so they're not sucking out unnecessary energy, and turn the heat down to 55 degrees. If you have a family or a roommate, you're SOL in this scenario. Sorry 'bout it.</p> <h2>9. Spending Less Disposable Income</h2> <p>What do you typically do after work when you're not on the road? Probably run errands, go shopping, and engage in recreational activities &mdash; all of which cost money. There are fewer opportunities for this kind of downtime while you're traveling for business, because there's generally no need for it. If you're not spending money, you're saving money &mdash; and it'll help you feel less guilty when you get home and splurge on that impulse buy you just <em>have</em> to have.</p> <h2>10. Stocking up on Toiletries</h2> <p>Save money on shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste &mdash; basically whatever small toiletries the hotel provides &mdash; by taking them home with you. Build up enough stock and you won't have to buy these items for quite a while.</p> <h2>11. Pushing All That Extra Money to Savings</h2> <p>Since you've saved a decent amount of coin during your business travels, it's easy to go home and start spending without caution, but that totally negates the in-the-black path you've forged. Make smart moves with that stashed cash &mdash; like investments &mdash; and you might be able to retire early someday. One can hope, at least.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas on how business travel can boost your budget? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-local-discounts-for-a-trip">How to Find the Best Local Discounts for a Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort">10 Times at Work You&#039;re Just Wasting Effort</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Travel business trips expenses mileage rewards work Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1410071 at http://www.wisebread.com Fired? Here's How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_fired_000052937386.jpg" alt="Guy got fired and doesn&#039;t want it hurting his career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting fired can destroy your self-confidence and devastate your personal finances, and that's just the start. Handled wrong, getting fired could have a long-lasting negative impact on your career, depending on the circumstances.</p> <p>But don't become discouraged, or think that no one will hire you. Keep your chin up, and check out these five ways to minimize damage to your career after getting fired.</p> <h2>1. Get Creative to Minimize Employment Gaps</h2> <p>It's vital to minimize gaps in your employment history. Even if you can't find a job right away, you might be able to volunteer with a local organization or offer your skills to companies on a freelance basis until real employment comes along. You don't need a lot of freelance clients &mdash; just enough to keep your skills sharp and show employers that you're active in your field.</p> <h2>2. Choose References Carefully</h2> <p>If you were laid off or downsized and left the company on good terms, getting a good reference from your old job likely won't be an issue. But if you were fired because of a bad attitude or poor work performance, your immediate supervisor might not put in a good word. However, if you had a great working relationship with another manager or a team leader, ask this person to provide a letter of recommendation or reference. With so much competition in the job market, the last thing you need is a bad reference slowing down your efforts.</p> <h2>3. Avoid the F-Word</h2> <p>Some people use the word &quot;fired&quot; regardless of the circumstances of their departure. Technically, &quot;getting fired&quot; can apply to any type of involuntary termination. But if you weren't let go because of poor work performance or because of anything you did wrong, avoid the F-word and use more accurate terminology, such as &quot;I was laid off,&quot; &quot;My position was eliminated,&quot; or &quot;The company downsized.&quot; These explanations sound better and might alleviate some of the stigma associated with being unemployed.</p> <h2>4. Be Honest</h2> <p>While it's understandable to downplay getting fired, it's important to be honest with the interviewer. Don't say you were laid off or downsized if you were unmistakably fired for misconduct or subpar work. The interviewer will mostly likely contact your previous employer, and if he learns that you lied or even slightly exaggerated the reasons for leaving the company, this can hurt your chances of getting the job. However, you don't necessarily have to go into extensive details. Keep your answer simple and short to avoid raising additional questions.</p> <h2>5. Exit Gracefully</h2> <p>The way you conduct yourself after getting fired can also affect how fast you're able to bounce back. If you make a scene by yelling, cursing, or acting unprofessionally in another manner, your employer will take note of this behavior. And when future employers call the company for a reference, your former employer may provide all the dirty details about your rude departure. If you exit gracefully and remain professional, this might persuade a former employer to provide a good reference, even though you weren't the right fit for the position.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been fired? Do you agree with these tips? Do you have any tips of your own to offer? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-improve-your-resume-today">Great Ways to Improve Your Resume Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-times-new-roman-on-your-r-sum-is-like-wearing-sweatpants-to-an-interview">Using Times New Roman on Your Résumé Is Like Wearing Sweatpants to an Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting fired laid off resumes unemployed work Tue, 05 May 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Mikey Rox 1408957 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office_coworkers_000053393492.jpg" alt="Group of students utilizing low-cost options to four-year degree" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Education is about self-discovery, personal improvement, and professional development. And there are a whole host of ways to achieve those things outside of the traditional four-year college experience. Read on for our roundup of some of the most viable alternatives to a four-year degree.</p> <h2>1. Start a Business</h2> <p>Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney are just a sampling of names on the list of America's uber-successful entrepreneurs who never earned a college diploma. Their legacies are proof that higher education is not a prerequisite to building a profitable business, no matter what anyone tells you.</p> <p>Today, the barriers to launching a one-person enterprise are lower than ever. With dedication, drive, and an Internet connection, you can <a href="http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/05/24/six-figure-businesses-built-for-less-than-100-17-lessons-learned/">start a thriving business</a> for less than $100. After all, the best way to gain experience in business is by launching one of your own. Even if it flops &mdash; 8 out of 10 <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/">new businesses fail</a> within the first 18 months &mdash; the practical experience you gain will help you become more successful in your next endeavor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso">Starting Your Dream Business Isn't as Hard as You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2>2. Learn a Trade</h2> <p>How many college grads have you met who have no idea what career they want to pursue in life? This is rarely the case with trade school students, who graduate with a clear path to gainful employment.</p> <p>Trade and vocational schools offering programs in fields like information technology, culinary science, construction, woodworking, and hairdressing will set you on the fast track for a skilled and potentially high-paying job. They're also usually much more reasonably priced than a four-year college and typically have more lenient acceptance requirements.</p> <p>In fact, vocational schools are so successful in placing graduates in high-earning jobs that they have become the norm in countries like Switzerland, where young adults view the practicality of learning a trade as much more valuable than a more traditional college education. Whether your passion lies in auto mechanics or makeup artistry, you can launch a successful career by enrolling in a trade school that will help you hone your skills in a specific pursuit &mdash; without all those liberal arts requirements.</p> <h2>3. Go Straight to Work</h2> <p>The benefit of moving into the workforce rather than the college dorms is that you'll be honing new job skills, racking up experience, and &mdash; this is the big one &mdash; actually making money. That's pretty huge, considering the average college graduate is responsible for $30,000 in student loan debt. Loan officer, firefighter, web developer, retail or restaurant manager, commercial pilot, and criminal investigator are just a sampling of the bright and lucrative careers that don't require a four-year degree. Among the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_107.htm">highest paying gigs</a> that don't require a diploma are purchasing agent ($59,000), insurance claims adjuster ($60,000), and construction site supervisor ($60,000).</p> <h2>4. On the Job Training</h2> <p>Many employers provide educational credits and on-the-job training that can help you develop valuable skillsets without investment in a college degree. Others will offer financial support or rebates for continuing education at local colleges. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn for free or at a reduced cost.</p> <p><em>What other alternatives to a college degree have you enjoyed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">6 Signs It&#039;s Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-jobs-that-offer-college-loan-forgiveness">7 Great Jobs that Offer College Loan Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training business college degrees entrepreneurs job hunting trade schools work Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1400877 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_boat_000034795992.jpg" alt="Man taking the opportunity to use his vacation days this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly everyone recognizes the importance of taking a break from work. Time off makes workers happier, helps them rest, allows them to do things that they love, and improves their attitude and focus at work when they return.</p> <p>Why, then, did 41% of American workers plan to <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/overwhelmed-america">not use their vacation time</a> in 2014?</p> <p>There are a zillion reasons, and some of them are even good. However, most of these have some easy workarounds, assuming you give it a little thought and put in a little effort. You shouldn't have to compromise on the breaks you've earned &mdash; and deserve.</p> <h2>1. Plan Ahead</h2> <p>Sometimes, people don't take their vacation days because they can't get the weeks off that they want, or because they don't have time to plan the trip that they'd really like to take. This doesn't have to derail your vacationing efforts, though.</p> <p>If the days you really want are days everyone else is going to want off too, make your best effort to accommodate this. As an example, some workplaces have a lottery for these days, so make sure you participate. Avoid the most congested vacation weeks, and opt for nearby time slots. For instance, it's usually easier to get the week before Christmas off than the week of Christmas.</p> <p>When in doubt, get some vacation days on the calendar even if you don't know what you want to do with them. If nothing else, you can play tourist in your own town and sleep in every day!</p> <h2>2. Work Ahead</h2> <p>Many people don't take their vacation days because they're worried about getting behind at work and returning to a mountain of tasks. While you can't completely counteract this, it's possible to complete most work in advance, or to otherwise plan around your absence.</p> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to plan your vacation during a slow time of year at work, in order to avoid a backlog while you're gone. You can also plan your schedule and make budgets, schedule events, meet with clients, etc., before you go so those tasks aren't hanging over your head when you return.</p> <h2>3. Empower People Around You</h2> <p>If the people around you know that you have confidence in them, they will work just as well when you're gone as they do when you're in the office. This will hold true even if you're a manager or own a business.</p> <p>Make sure that the people you work with know that you trust them to make good decisions even if you're not there. Explicitly explain your trust and expectations. Doing this may also mean that they'll have your back while on vacation, taking care of pressing tasks in your absence.</p> <h2>4. Stop Saving</h2> <p>About 38% of the people who don't use their vacation days are saving time off in case they need it. While it's good to be judicious with your vacations, most companies won't let you save your vacation time forever (and increasingly, many companies won't let you save much at all!). This means that you either use your vacation time, or you risk losing it.</p> <h2>5. Be a Great Employee</h2> <p>Employees also worry about being seen as expendable or as not committed to their jobs when they use all of their vacation time (or worse, when other people don't use theirs). The truth is, your employer is not allowed to fire you for using your allotted vacation time. Still, people worry that this will happen to them.</p> <p>Nip this in the bud by being a superb employee. If you're good at your job and clearly focused and committed when you're there, no boss will begrudge your well-deserved time off. Most companies know that employees who use vacation time are <a href="http://www.today.com/money/importance-taking-vacations-1D80097348">happier and more productive</a> on the job, and taking time off doesn't imply disloyalty.</p> <h2>6. Open Communication With Your Supervisor</h2> <p>Some supervisors seem to discourage employees from taking the time off that they've earned. If this is your boss, talk to him or her about it. You don't have to make it into a confrontation. Simply say something like, &quot;Hey, I'd really like to take my kids to go do X, but I've noticed you seem a little stressed. Is there anything I can do to help you out so that my leaving won't make things worse?&quot;</p> <p>You can also offer to coordinate time off with other employees or with your boss, in order to ensure all bases are covered and everyone gets their due vacation. The goal here is to make this a topic you and your boss can talk about, rather than one that everyone tries to avoid.</p> <h2>7. Remember: A Job Is a Job</h2> <p>In the end, your job is not your life. Your job is your job, and a vacation can help you remember that when you're tempted to put all your time and energy into work. Even if you love your job and it's one of the most satisfying parts of your life, it's still a job. Remember this, and it will help you choose to take every single bit of vacation time you're entitled to, without worrying about what might happen later.</p> <p><em>Do you plan to use all of your vacation this year? What do you want to do with your time off?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-money-by-demanding-it">Earn More Money by Demanding It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-getting-what-you-want-at-work">What you need to know about getting what you want at work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building job time off vacation days work Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1380880 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Job Offers That Are Too Good to Be True http://www.wisebread.com/8-job-offers-that-are-too-good-to-be-true <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-job-offers-that-are-too-good-to-be-true" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/job_offer_000020361617.jpg" alt="Man accepting job offer that&#039;s too good to be true" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, any job offer is one worth considering. Although the <a href="http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000">unemployment rate</a> is under 6%, the <a href="http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150310/News/150309315">median household income</a> in the U.S. actually peaked over 15 years ago. That means in real terms, the average family was better off in 2000 than it is today. So when a new job offer comes to the table, it's always worth taking a look at.</p> <p>However, some of these job offers can be fool's gold. On the surface, they look great. They seem to have everything you'd ever want. But sadly, the grass is always greener until you actually take the job, and see what life is like on the other side. Here are eight job offers that are often too good to be true.</p> <h2>1. Heading Up an Ailing Department</h2> <p>Sales have been low. Performance is down. Customer complaints are at an all time high. The company looks to you to save the day. Now, you're going to head up a department that has more than its fair share of troubles, and you will be the hero who saved the day. Or will you?</p> <p>The problem with this kind of job, whether it's an internal promotion or an external hire, is that it's all risk and very little reward. Say you do work day and night to fix all of the problems; will the company reward you with anything more than a thank you? Will they even acknowledge the part you played?</p> <p>With ailing departments, the problems are usually systemic and ingrained. The chances of you fixing anything in a reasonable amount of time, without requesting sweeping and disruptive changes, are slim to none. You are going to be very unpopular, and are basically accepting the job of &quot;fall guy.&quot; Do you really want that? Think back to all the sports managers who came in to turn around the success of the team. Most don't even come close.</p> <h2>2. Well-Paid Dead End</h2> <p>The good news is, you're getting more money. The bad news&hellip;it's a job no-one else wants &mdash; and with good reason. Dead-end jobs are often disguised as great opportunities, but if you look closely, the signs are there. How long has the job posting been up? Months? Years!? How many times has someone left the role in the last few years? What kind of daily work will you be doing? And most important of all, where does the job lead?</p> <p>Dead-end jobs are the top rung of a ladder you do not want to climb. The only way out is to go to the bottom of another ladder, and that will mean a significant reduction in pay and benefits. Once you've got used to the money, it will be hard to step away.</p> <h2>3. Work-at-Home Job</h2> <p>Is it possible to make a lot of money working from home? Absolutely. However, the vast majority of people who become successful spend a lot of their own time and money making it work and grow. And most importantly, they start the business themselves. If you see a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2011/12/13/16-work-at-home-scams-to-avoid/">work-from-home ad</a> online stating that you can make six, or even seven figures every year just by mailing a few envelopes or making a few calls, it's purely for suckers.</p> <p>These jobs will lure you in with big profits and testimonials, but there is always a catch &mdash; you have to put some money into the business up-front, and then you'll see the profits roll in. No, you won't. You're only going to make someone else rich. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs?ref=seealso">The 5 Worst Work-From-Home Jobs</a>)</p> <h2>4. Big Promotion to Upper Management</h2> <p>This is it; the offer you've been waiting for. Finally, you get the chance to rub shoulders with the decision makers, and earn the kind of salary you always dreamed of. But not so fast; before you accept the job, look carefully at the position, the hours, the workload, and the stress that may be involved. You could soon find that the extra money is not worth all the extra hours, and additional pressure. In fact, your hourly rate may actually go down when you go from 40 hours per week to 70.</p> <p>Not only that, but when it comes time to trim down the workforce (which sadly happens annually at many companies), you could now be directly in the line of fire. You earn more, but you don't yet have the experience and expertise that comes with time served in that role. Suddenly, that job offer is looking more and more like a promotion to Stress City.</p> <h2>5. Job With Everything &mdash; Except Money</h2> <p>So many people in my industry &mdash; advertising &mdash; get suckered into this one. But it can apply to a vast array of professions. The basic premise is this; you are offered the world on a plate. It's a great company, with awesome people, in a very desirable part of the city. You can walk to work, it's so close. You get to actually have fun at work, and how many people can say that? There's only one tiny drawback&hellip;the salary is horrendous. You'd actually be taking a huge pay cut to get the job, and the chances of making any decent money in the next few years, well, they're slim to none.</p> <p>I have done this. I went from a great paying job with average prospects, to a very poorly-paid job with great prospects. If you did it early on in your career, it can work. Later on, you may find yourself struggling to pay bills and eat, and then you will resent the job that had everything.</p> <h2>6. X-Rated Promotion</h2> <p>This one comes from a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, obviously). Several years ago, he was working as a web designer in real estate when a client approached him with a better offer. He said &quot;Come and work for my new business, it's the same hours for a lot more money, and you could really make a name for yourself.&quot; He figured it was real estate, but was surprised to learn that it was creating websites for adult entertainment stars. Even though he knew it could be a black mark on his resume, he took the job. With that industry, once you're in, it's hard to come back into the clean-cut world. He was there for years, and had to take a job with much lower pay to get out. He regrets it to this day.</p> <h2>7. Morally Questionable Endeavor</h2> <p>There is no getting around this; if you take a job with great pay and benefits, but know deep down it is something you don't agree with, you're in big trouble. I experienced it personally when I was offered a cigarette account in my first advertising job. I took it, knowing it would lead to bigger and better things; and to be fair, it did. But the whole time I was working on the account, which was advertising cigarettes to poor people in India, I felt hollow. Don't talk yourself into a seemingly better job if it is going to conflict with who you are as a person. The money may be better, the hours may be shorter, the travel may be insane. However, if you can't look yourself in the mirror when you get home, it's just not worth it.</p> <h2>8. High Turnover Opportunity</h2> <p>Do you have a certain place of business near you that is always changing hands? First it was a pizzeria, then a donut shop, and then a barber's. Now, after a brief stint as a Mexican restaurant, it has become a nail salon. And you know it won't be long before it changes again.</p> <p>For some reason, some locations just never find success. It can also be the same with certain jobs. If you are being offered a lot more money, and benefits, to take a job that five other people have had before you in the space of six years, then you know something is very wrong. Sure, maybe you'll be the one to finally make things right. But more often than not, you'll be interviewing for your replacement soon enough.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken a job offer only to regret it later?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-job-offers-that-are-too-good-to-be-true">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">6 Signs It&#039;s Time to Make Your Side Gig Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">6 American Cities With the Highest Minimum Wage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview">5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree">4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting business employment job offers scams work Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1367860 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired-businesswoman-office-Dollarphotoclub_64335712.jpg" alt="tired businesswoman" title="tired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I see you. Yeah, you. The one sitting in your cubicle, frustrated because the job you wanted, the job you killed yourself to get, is driving you crazy right now.</p> <p>And I see you, too. The one working hard at a job you don't really like. Maybe you need to pay the bills, or you need the benefits, or you know it's a stepping stone to something better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-fight-burnout?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Fight Burnout</a>)</p> <p>No matter the reason behind your flagging motivation, you can get out of that funk. You can push through that wall. You can get yourself back on track. Even better, you can blow the track out of the water. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. See Your Goals</h2> <p>Most jobs have goals built-in, but even if you don't, you can at least outline some goals for performance, projects completed, and so on with your boss. (If you don't currently have any goals at work, by all means, sit down and produce some.)</p> <p>The thing is, having goals isn't, in and of itself, enough to keep you motivated. Like a high-performance athlete, you need to envision yourself meeting your goals. Include all the details of what it will be like to succeed in order to better understand the concrete steps you should take to get there. This visualization will also put you in a positive frame of mind and increase your motivation to succeed.</p> <p>For instance, imagine what it would be like to make your current project a huge success. Think about how your team would celebrate, what it would be like to get your boss's commendation, and how you'd talk about the success to others.</p> <p>All of this imagining helps you stay positive and work with sustained energy towards your goal.</p> <h2>2. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>In addition to having goals for the year or for a long-term project, make short-term goals for yourself, too, and reward yourself every time you meet them. Your brain is wired to respond positively to regular successes and rewards. Every time you succeed, it releases dopamine, which is tied to happiness and motivation.</p> <p>Break your long-term goals down into short-term ones by figuring out what's next. What is the very next thing that needs to be done to help you reach that long-term goal? When you determine that, you have your short-term goal. And when you meet that goal, give yourself a small reward. Over time, your brain will become wired for success.</p> <h2>3. Make It Fun</h2> <p>It's not hard to understand why doing fun things is more motivating than engaging in boring tasks, but making work fun can be quite a task. Usually, the jobs you're not motivated to do are the ones that are boring, repetitive, or just plain difficult.</p> <p>Try thinking of ways to make the hard parts more enjoyable, such as doing the most tedious parts of your job alongside a friend or coworker. You don't have to work on the same thing and you don't have to talk, but having another person around might make the whole thing more enjoyable.</p> <p>Focus on making work a place you enjoy in general. Then, ask yourself some questions about how to make the hard parts more fun, and you could see your motivation will soar.</p> <h2>4. Remember Your Reasons</h2> <p>If you're looking outside of yourself for motivation, sometimes there's none to be found. Instead, look inside yourself for the reasons why you want to do the job at hand.</p> <p>Internal motivation can come from many different places. Maybe you want to do well at work so that you can get a promotion. Maybe you need to do well to support your family or to care for someone close to you. And maybe you simply value doing the job well, even if it's not a job you adore.</p> <p>When you know your reasons for doing the job, your motivation comes from inside yourself. No one can touch that. They can't take it away from you, no matter how bad things get.</p> <h2>5. Only Control What You Can</h2> <p>Whether you're working with a team or by yourself, every job comes with circumstances that are outside of your control. Instead, think concretely about what you can control, and put all of your energy into controlling those&nbsp;areas. So, go ahead &mdash; put your heart and soul into making the best presentation you can, but understand that your clients still may not like it (and that this may have more to do with what they had for breakfast than with the presentation itself!).</p> <p>Putting boundaries around your energy and where you'll invest it can boost your motivation, because you won't be exhausted from running around like a headless chicken &mdash; nor will you feel beholden to every Jack or Jill's opinion.</p> <h2>6. Design a Plan B</h2> <p>Motivation plummets when you feel like you've failed &mdash; especially when it happens at work. Instead of viewing projects that aren't successful as failures, though, see them as simply one option that didn't work. And every time you find a way that doesn't work, you're one step closer to finding a way that does.</p> <p>Failing doesn't mean that you don't have a good idea. Even if you fail many times, it doesn't mean that what you're working on is a flop. If something crashes and burns, just check that way of doing things off your list and try another.</p> <p>When you see life through these glasses, you'll find yourself more motivated. Looking at things this way allows you to stop taking failure personally, to continue to believe in your ideas, and to work really, really hard to make things come together the next time.</p> <p>Finding motivation on the job is more about your mindset than anything else. When you change the way you think about your duties, you'll change the way you approach them; and you'll find yourself happier and more motivated at work.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated on the job? What works for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-ahead-at-work-are-you-a-hammer-or-a-swiss-army-knife">Getting Ahead At Work: Are You A Hammer Or A Swiss Army Knife?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity burnout motivation work Fri, 06 Mar 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1320888 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Improve Your Work Reputation http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-your-work-reputation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-improve-your-work-reputation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-businesspeople-team-office-Dollarphotoclub_78278791.jpg" alt="businesspeople office" title="businesspeople office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Developing a strong work reputation is a bit like tending a garden: Your commitment to maintaining it over time is what yields the best results. If your work rep needs some fine-tuning, however, it's not too late to make a few improvements. Here's how. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won't Make You Feel Slimy</a>)</p> <h2>1. Prove Your Intent to Be Taken Seriously</h2> <p>If you've earned a not-so-flattering reputation around the office, it's time to do damage control. In other words, take Missy Elliot's advice: Flip it and reverse it.</p> <p>&quot;The best way to improve your work reputation is to prove your desired reputation with actions,&quot; advises Michelle Burke, marketing supervisor for WyckWyre Food Industry HR Systems. &quot;Are you looking to be reputable in project management or leadership? Take a project and over-deliver on all expectations to prove yourself. Have you been late a lot and want to change that view? Show up extra early continually to prove you are working on past mistakes.&quot;</p> <p>It's not easy to undo some of the more unsavory work blunders in your past, but it's also not impossible. Dedicate yourself to changing your actions and attitude, and others will start to see and respect your efforts.</p> <h2>2. Consistently Meet Your Deadlines</h2> <p>Just like Rodney Dangerfield, you'll get &quot;no respect&quot; if you're always missing deadlines &mdash; especially if it's because you tend to manage your time poorly. Get back on track and start turning things in on or before the due date, without exception.</p> <p>The quickest way to improve your reputation with your peers and supervisors alike is to execute successfully on the timeline you have laid out &mdash; and if you can't, to openly and proactively communicate the cause behind the delayed execution,&quot; says Kathryn Prusinski, VP of integration and development at Vision Alignment. &quot;Reputation in large part is based upon two things: One, your style &mdash; the way you approach your job, and two, whether or not you do what you say you will. Failing on the second half instantaneously impacts your credibility, regardless of how charming you may be in your approach.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Under Promise and Over Deliver</h2> <p>&quot;Man, when he say he be there; he be there.&quot; That's a quote from an old episode of Spencer for Hire, which means, in essence, keep your promises &mdash; no excuses.</p> <p>Words to live by according to Boston-based photographer Matt McKee.</p> <p>&quot;Under promise and over deliver by delivering the goods the day before you promised them, under budget, and better than they expected &mdash; because you set the expectations,&quot; he says. &quot;And always say thank you. It doesn't cost anything and makes everyone feel appreciated.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Criticism to Yourself</h2> <p>It's easy to be a Negative Nancy (or Ned) when things don't go your way at work, but the office is the last place you want to let your salty attitude show.</p> <p>Money Crashers' David Bakke agrees.</p> <p>&quot;Save your complaints for when you get home &mdash; no one at work wants to hear them and you come off as a whiner,&quot; he says. &quot;Get all of your assignments completed without mistakes and on time. On that note, don't take on a new responsibility unless you're confident that you can deliver. Don't always be the first one to take credit on a job well done, even if it mostly came about because of your individual work. Be humble and mention anyone else who might have helped.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Invite Your Coworkers to Activities Outside of Work</h2> <p>This is one of my favorite suggestions on how to improve your reputation at work because it's totally how I roll.</p> <p>&quot;Someone can improve their reputation by being involved in activities outside of work and by letting your coworkers know about it,&quot; says Brian Vanderlip, director of compliance analysis at Zenith Education Group. &quot;Being part of a non-profit, starting a side business, or even having interesting hobbies can increase someone's work reputation by saying 'Here is something I'm passionate about, talk to me if you want to know more.' Not everyone can be an expert at something within their company; generally those individuals are already identified, but you can establish yourself as an expert on something outside of work.&quot;</p> <p>Yes, yes, and yes. I'm definitely that guy who will invite you to after-work activities so we can form a better work bond. Besides, if I'm spending most of my waking hours with my coworkers, shouldn't we know a little more about each other than what flavor coffee we like?</p> <h2>6. Engage in Active Listening</h2> <p>Guilty, party of one.</p> <p>I have quite a bad reputation about never remembering anyone's name the first time I meet them &mdash; usually because I just don't listen. It's in one in ear and out the other, and then I have to embarrass myself by asking a second time. Thus, active listening is as much a lesson for me as it may be for you. And Timothy J. Trudeau, active listening enthusiast and CEO of Syntax Creative, is about to school us.</p> <p>&quot;The most important thing someone can do for me is to make it clear to me that they understand (not necessarily agree) what I am saying,&quot; he says. &quot;Active listening &mdash; which is simply repeating back to the person what they said and how you understand it, as part of your answer &mdash; will either help the person you're talking with feel listened to (which is one of the best ways to build a relationship) or it will allow the person to try again, and differently, to help you understand what they're saying. This is important. Things don't get done, and people are not motivated when they don't feel heard or understood. When someone has a history of making you feel heard or listened to, that's the person you go to when you have a choice.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Be Firm But Kind</h2> <p>You want your coworkers or employees to respect you if you're in a position of responsibility, but that doesn't give you authority to be a jerk. Try to be firm but flexible, and always come from a positive and genuine place.</p> <p>&quot;Disciplined kindness requires a broad approach,&quot; says writer and editor Susan Froetschel. &quot;For example, don't brag about vacations or gifts or possessions when colleagues might be struggling or worried about losing their jobs. Listen to others and offer your best professional advice to keep them calm while supporting the overall organization. Do not gossip, and try to tamp down gossip by other employees by gently pointing out how observations might be unsubstantiated. Work hard, look for solutions, and be positive &mdash; because colleagues, competitors, or any of their acquaintances can someday be in a position to hire or extend special recognition.&quot;</p> <p>Words to live by.</p> <p><em>How do you brighten up your reputation at work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-your-work-reputation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-signs-that-youve-been-at-the-same-job-too-long">25 Signs That You&#039;ve Been at the Same Job Too Long</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-money-by-demanding-it">Earn More Money by Demanding It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building image reputation status work Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1315215 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Times at Work You're Just Wasting Effort http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-working-late-Dollarphotoclub_44503005.jpg" alt="businessman working late" title="businessman working late" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans work hard. Very hard. About 1,800 hours a year, no guarantee of vacation time hard. And some of that, unfortunately, is just spinning the wheels. Here are 10 times when we're simply wasting effort at work.</p> <h2>1. Working Very Late or Coming in Super Early</h2> <p>When I first started working in the advertising industry, several of the old guards told me &quot;Be the first one in, and the last one to leave.&quot; There's something to be said for that, especially in the days when you are young and hungry and looking for that first promotion. But those guys also added an addendum later on, and I never forgot it &mdash; &quot;Just make sure people notice the effort.&quot; If you're getting in at 6:00 a.m., and the next person doesn't arrive until 8:30 a.m., how much of that two and a half hours was necessary? If you stay two hours past the last person, who will know? If you have to do it to get some work done, fair enough. If you do it all the time to show your loyalty and work ethic, it's wasted effort.</p> <h2>2. Having Drawn Out E-mail/Text Conversations</h2> <p>It's astonishing that so many people in workplaces across America can go a whole day without actually physically talking to someone. It's all about e-mail, instant messaging, texting, and social media. The problem with all of those is that tone and mannerisms are lost. It can take many e-mail conversations to get across something that a simple five-minute phone call or face-to-face meeting could have cleared up. If the first few e-mails are not getting things done, pick up the phone or walk a few minutes to that person's office.</p> <h2>3. Setting Specific Meeting Durations</h2> <p>We have 15, 30, 45, and 60-minute meetings. Usually, it's the latter. There's some chitchat, a little passing of time until everyone gathers, and then there is that &quot;Hey, we still have 10 minutes, how's your dog doing?&quot; time. This is wasting time and effort for all involved. Get the meeting started, quickly, and get to the point. Rule out jokes and nonsense, and if the 30-minute meeting is over in 11 minutes and 32 seconds, end it and get on with your day. Remember, there are no one-hour meetings. There are at least two people in attendance, and every person in the company loses an hour. Make that time count.</p> <h2>4. Having Meetings Without Key People</h2> <p>Everyone in your company, be it a massive multinational corporation or a local business, knows who the right people are. They're the decision makers, the knowledgeable workers, or the people with the latest intelligence. If you are organizing a meeting without including these people, you are going to have to have another meeting. Yes, it's not always possible to include them, but if that means you're going to spend 45 minutes talking in circles, you should reconsider. Make these meetings smaller, or bring other action items to them. There is little point in spending an hour in a meeting only to have a puppet tell you they'll get back to you.</p> <h2>5. Working With Unclear Directives</h2> <p>When you begin a project, know exactly what it is that you are being asked to do. If you are in any doubt at all, you are about to begin hours, or days, of wasted effort. Unclear directives and fuzzy strategies lead to meetings that have people scratching their heads and asking for additional work. If the person asking for the work does not specifically know what they want, try and send them back to the drawing board to get more information. It isn't always easy, especially if that person is the boss, but if you point out that you will be wasting time and money without those facts, you should be fine.</p> <h2>6. Overwriting</h2> <p>There is a quote that many of you know. &quot;I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.&quot; That came from Benjamin Franklin in 1750, to the Royal Society of London. Basically, he apologized for the length of the letter, and if he had time, he'd have made it shorter. This is lost on many today. Some feel that quantity is better than quality. After all, who looks like they have spent more time on a report: someone who hands in a 10-page document, or a three-page document? But people have little time to read those 10 pages. It's wasted effort to keep bloviating about a subject for page after page. People won't read it. Cut it down.</p> <h2>7. Hiding the Truth From the Masses</h2> <p>Whether you are a small automotive chain in Colorado, or a massive company spanning the world, people will gossip. You do not want to add fuel to that fire by taking a lot of time and effort hiding things. The truth will eventually come out, and that wasted effort will result in a lot of gossiping and ill feeling. Be honest &mdash; it will save you in the long run.</p> <h2>8. Networking With the Powerless</h2> <p>We all know that a certain amount of our job revolves around dealing with other people. Whether they're in the same company or a different one, we have to find time to grease the wheels and make connections. However, be careful how much time you spend with people who really cannot do anything for you or your company. It may seem ruthless, but wining and dining the wrong people can be a complete waste of time and lead to some awkward silences. These people may tell you they have power, but it's easy to probe and find this out. Look at a company org chart, find out who has the bosses ear. You'll soon know the truth.</p> <h2>9. Working When You're Sick or Tired</h2> <p>It seems as though Americans don't like taking sick days when they're actually sick. Coming in to the office when you are a physical wreck may make you look like a glowing employee, but it's a waste of time and effort. You are not at your best. You are not thinking clearly. You are probably infecting other people. And, most likely, you'll be off the next day. The extra effort of driving in, trying to do your job, and driving home will take it out of you. And the work you did will most likely have to be redone. Don't waste that effort on being a golden employee.</p> <h2>10. Taking the Initiative Without Doing Your Research</h2> <p>Eager beavers are great employees&hellip; unless they dive into projects without first learning about a few basic facts. Recently, I heard of someone who spent five months developing a new app in his spare time, only to discover the company was scrapping the entire project. That guy would have saved a lot of time and heartache if he had simply done a little digging to see if the project had legs. So, do yourself a favor. By all means, take the initiative. But do not spend all that time without first knowing if that will be effort that could be rewarded, or wasted.</p> <p><em>What causes you to waste time and effort at work? Share your frustration in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">Find work worth doing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-2-boost-income">Getting by without a job, part 2--boost income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/replacing-a-crappy-job">Replacing a Crappy Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income meetings networking time sink time wasters work workday Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:00:13 +0000 Paul Michael 1284261 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Ways to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Workday http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-morning-494373053-small.jpg" alt="businessman morning" title="businessman morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As Plato wrote in 380 B.C., &quot;The beginning is the most important part of the work.&quot; It's a truth that still stands today: How you begin your work day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you do your morning right, you're apt to have an overall day where you accomplish more, stress less, and earn more recognition for your productivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-successful-people-do-every-morning?ref=seealso">13 Things Successful People Do Every Morning</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top tips and tricks on starting the work day off right.</p> <h2>1. Don't Check Your Email</h2> <p>Julie Morganstern's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743250885/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0743250885&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=B5W2ELQZKCNTSVID">Never Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work</a> preaches the near-unfathomable: Don't start the day by checking your inbox.</p> <p>Email is often a black hole and our number one time suck. Checking it never feels like much of an accomplishment because while you're reading, deleting, and responding, more and more messages are piling up. Instead, Morganstern suggests we begin the work day by crossing off a task with a single focus &mdash; something we can truly feel accomplished about.</p> <p>If you fear a vitally important email might slip through the cracks if you delay checking your inbox, we recommend <a href="http://www.awayfind.com/">AwayFind</a>, a program that cuts through the clutter, notifying you on your cell phone about only the most urgent messages.</p> <h2>2. Clear Your Desk of Clutter</h2> <p>Throw out yesterday's empty disposable coffee cup and that stack of memos from last week. Studies show that a cluttered workspace actually hinders our ability to process information and concentrate. We aren't aware of it, but <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228167">clutter competes for our attention</a> in much the same way as a whining child or a barking dog does.</p> <h2>3. Organize Your Day</h2> <p>Just like school children who attend a homeroom period at the start of the day, adults in the workplace should carve out a few minutes in the morning to review schedules, assess priorities, and set goals. A little organization can go along way to getting your day on track.</p> <h2>4. Make Big Decisions</h2> <p>Research shows that morning time is when we're best equipped to <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/25/1/95">make clear-headed decisions</a> relating to ethics and tough situations. So it's best to pull the trigger on any hiring, firing, financial, or otherwise important quandaries at the very start of the day, before your mind gets strained or overwhelmed.</p> <h2>5. Take Advantage of a Clear Mind</h2> <p>Decision-making isn't the only task a clear mind is good for. A focused mind helps us complete tasks of all sorts more quickly and accurately. &quot;In considering the <a href="http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/01/05/the-benefits-of-focused-attention/">limitations of attention</a> imagine the following scenario,&quot; writes Jamie Hale for PsychCentral. &quot;You find a parking spot that is tight and requires parallel parking. One of the first things you will probably do is turn the radio down. You turn the radio down so you can focus on getting the car in the parking space.&quot; So while when your brain is at its sharpest, begin working on the most important assignments of your day.</p> <p><em>How do you start your day for maximum productivity? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-lists">Why I Love Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-useful-things-you-can-do-in-15-minutes-or-less">101 Useful Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity getting things done mornings to-do work Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1211249 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Score a Raise http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-score-a-raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-score-a-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-networking-465028591-small_0.jpg" alt="businessmen talking" title="businessmen talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on ways to score a raise, how to never make a late payment again, and paying off student loans smarter and sooner.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Get-Raise-35304639">14 Tried and Tested Ways That Will Score You a Raise</a> &mdash; If you want a raise, approach the conversation like an interview and have a number in mind. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneymanifesto.com/never-pay-a-bill-late-again-how-i-keep-track-of-my-bills-7037/">7 Simple Tips to Never Make a Late Payment Again</a> &mdash; To avoid making a late payment, pay bills when you receive them instead of waiting until their due date. [Money Manifesto]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pennypinchinmom.com/student-loans-start-smart-pay-sooner/">Student Loans: Start Smart and Payoff Sooner</a> &mdash; Did you know the average student graduates with around $29,400 in student loan debt? [Penny Pinchin' Mom]</p> <p><a href="http://www.wellkeptwallet.com/2014/08/dont-let-the-fine-print-bite-you-in-the-rear/">Don't Let the Fine Print Bite You in the Rear</a> &mdash; It is important to check exclusions and expirations when purchasing something. [Well Kept Wallet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/dont-be-a-hoarder-easy-steps/">How to Stop Being a Hoarder</a> &mdash; When trying to break your habit of holding on to things you shouldn't, start small. [20's Finances]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-dorm-room-essentials-for-college-students">6 Dorm Room Essentials for College Students</a> &mdash; All college students should have single use laundry pods and a basic first aid kit in their dorm room. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/7-action-steps-to-uncover-your-lifes-possibilities/">7 Actions to Uncover Your Life's Possibilities</a> &mdash; To uncover your life's possibilities, change your thoughts and take a risk. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartasset.com/blog/money-saving-tip/summer-money-pitfalls/">Top 4 Summer Money Pitfalls</a> &mdash; Try not to eat out too often this summer, it's a major money pitfall! [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/need-cash-now-job/">What to Do When You Need Cash Now But Have No Job</a> &mdash; Selling unnecessary items can help you get cash when you have no job. [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetblonde.com/2014/08/04/leaving-your-job/">Three Tips for Leaving Your Job on a Good Note</a> &mdash; It is important to help create a smooth transition when you leave your job. [Budget Blonde]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-score-a-raise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">Find work worth doing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income best money tips career raise work Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1177177 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Career Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-career-edition-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-career-edition-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/job-interview-166671683-small.jpg" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on everything related to your career!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/50-ways-to-make-money-and-increase-income/">50 Ways to Make Money: Maximizing, Creating, and Increasing Your Income</a> &mdash; Asking for more benefits or perks at your current position can help you maximize your income. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cover-Letter-Introduction-Templates-31929718">How to Start Off Your Cover Letter Right</a> &mdash; To get your cover letter started off right, begin with a compliment. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/what-should-i-do-if-ive-been-passed-over-for-a-promoti-1558813533">What Should I Do If I've Been Passed Over for a Promotion?</a> &mdash; Were you passed over for a promotion? Remember that all promotions are not necessarily a good thing. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/choices-401k-leave-your-job/">Don't Forget Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job! Here's What You Can Do With It</a> &mdash; When you leave your job, consider rolling your 401(k) money into an IRA. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneywisdom.com/control-the-job-interview-by-asking-all-the-questions/">Control the Job Interview by Asking All the Questions</a> &mdash; If you are able to ask the majority of the questions in a job interview, you have the upper hand. [Free Money Wisdom]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/tips-to-stay-a-valuable-employee/">Tips to Stay a Valuable Employee</a> &mdash; Being an innovator can help you keep your status as a valuable employee. [Sweating the Big Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.centuryni.com/blog/approach-job-hunt-differently/">How to Approach the Job Hunt Differently</a> &mdash; Volunteering while you look for work may open some new doors for you. [CNI]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/5-keys-to-full-time-employment-for-young-people/">5 Keys to Full-Time Employment for Young People</a> &mdash; When starting full-time employment, young people should expect to work like they've never worked before. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/career/is-it-time-to-find-a-new-job-4-signs-its-time-to-quit/">Is It Time to Find a New Job? 4 Signs It's Time to Quit</a> &mdash; It may be time to find a new job if you wish you had more challenging assignments. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/from-the-playroom-to-the-boardroom-5-steps-for-returning-back-to-work">From the Playroom to the Boardroom: 5 Steps For Returning To Work</a> &mdash; If you plan on returning to work after time off as a parent, make sure you stay informed of trends in your profession. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-career-edition-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">Find work worth doing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income best money tips career job work Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1147494 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Career-Threatening Work Habits That No One Will Tell You About http://www.wisebread.com/14-career-threatening-work-habits-that-no-one-will-tell-you-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-career-threatening-work-habits-that-no-one-will-tell-you-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frustrated-worker-465449949-small.jpg" alt="frustrated worker" title="frustrated worker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Passed over for a promotion? Feeling stuck in your job? Maybe you are feeling invisible. There could be a reason &mdash; or reasons &mdash; your career is going nowhere. And the worst part? Nobody is telling you what you're doing wrong. Does any of this look like the work you?</p> <h2>1. You Don't Dress Professionally</h2> <p>We started out with &quot;Casual Friday,&quot; but that seems to have expanded to Tuesdays, alternate Wednesdays, and the occasional Monday.</p> <p>If you have started wearing jeans or really casual clothes a few days per week, chances are, your boss (and his or her bosses) have noticed, too. Determine first what is appropriate. Is there a dress code at your workplace? That is your starting point. Next, observe what the &quot;movers and shakers&quot; are wearing. While you do not want to completely copy them, try choosing some similar conservative pieces and adding your own touches. How is your hairstyle? Are you dousing yourself in perfume? How much makeup are you wearing &mdash; too much, or too little? Guys, a little aftershave goes a long way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-dress-like-don-draper-on-the-cheap?ref=seealso">This Is How You Dress Like Don Draper on the Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>If you have a friend with good style, ask them to come help you sort out your closet and possibly take you shopping. You don't need to break the bank to do this &mdash; check out thrift or consignment stores for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-dress-for-success-and-still-spend-less">bargain work clothes</a> that look like you're ready to take the next step in your career.</p> <h2>2. You Have Bad Breath</h2> <p>This is such a difficult thing to bring up. In fact, it's so embarrassing, that many bosses and coworkers would much rather avoid you than tell you that you have bad breath. A good rule I heard once: If someone offers you a mint or piece of their gum, take it and say thank you. That may have been a gentle way to tell you that you have bad breath. Our love of coffee drinks can be problematic, too. Coffee breath is not pleasant!</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your drawer at work (just be sure to clean the sink afterward) as well as mints and gum. There are plenty of <a href="http://www.popsci.com/article/science/how-cure-garlic-breath?dom=PSC&amp;loc=recent&amp;lnk=5&amp;con=how-to-cure-garlic-breath">cures for garlic breath</a> and plenty of <a href="http://www.therabreath.com/articles/news/oral-care-industry-news/coffee-breath-is-easy-to-get-hard-to-get-rid-of-2201.asp">coffee breath cures</a>, too.</p> <h2>3. Your Hand Never Goes Up</h2> <p>There are always those annoying tasks that nobody wants to tackle. They are usually tedious, boring, and there may be very little recognition for a job well done. But somebody needs to do them! Maybe you have always managed to avoid eye contact when the call for help went out, thus branding yourself as the person who isn't a team player.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Be a hero and volunteer for a few projects that need ownership. Handle them to the best of your ability, and your boss will be grateful and know that you are a go-to person.</p> <h2>4. Your Voice is Problematic</h2> <p>There are some people who do seem to have loud, or booming voices. That's fine in a bar, or outdoors, but in an office, you need to use your inside voice. Sometimes, we may not want a conversation shared with our entire group of coworkers. Have you ever worked with people who speak in a monotone? That can be off-putting, as well as the worker who mumbles. Also, watch your speech patterns. In a recent job interview I conducted, a candidate used the word &quot;totally&quot; 26 times. She may have been qualified to do the work, but she will not get the chance.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>If you think you might have issues with your <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323735604578440851083674898">voice or speech patterns</a>, try to get some feedback from a friend, or see a speech pathologist.</p> <h2>5. You Don't, or Won't, Think Outside the Box</h2> <p>&quot;That isn't the way we do things.&quot; Ever heard that one? Does it make you a little crazy? It should. Even in work situations with many layers of bureaucracy, we need to cut costs, work more efficiently, and try new methods. If you are resistant to trying new things, your boss is probably exasperated, and won't come to you for help.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Volunteer to set up a focus group to examine the problem. Try mapping, clustering, whatever &mdash; give your boss a list of possibilities. Even if a solution is not readily available, be the person who tries to solve it.</p> <h2>6. You Once Complained That Something &quot;Wasn't in Your Job Description&quot;</h2> <p>And, by doing so, you marked yourself as a problem child. Assuming that the request was not immoral or illegal, it may have been a great opportunity to help out, learn something new, and add to your skill set. But now, having complained, your boss will probably steer clear of asking you again.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Turn over a new leaf and give it a go. You might need to talk to your boss, explain the reasons for your previous reaction (likely anxiety), and ask to be considered next time there is a need.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Network</h2> <p>There are employees who clock in, clock out, and that's it. They may do their jobs competently and thoroughly. But when promotions are handed out, they are passed over. Has this been you? It might be because you do not network. Do you attend classes or seminars in your field, or attend community events to promote your company? If you think just showing up for work is enough, you're wrong. Companies need good ambassadors.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Start small. Try volunteering to represent the company at a college fair or school career day. Attend a Chamber of Commerce mixer. Join a company-sponsored sports team. You'll enjoy yourself, have fun, meet nice people, and boost your profile at work and in the community.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Promote Yourself</h2> <p>Promoting yourself is tough to do, and in some cultures, it's especially difficult, because it is considered to be bragging or immodest. However, if you don't show your boss what it is that you do all day, your boss may only have a vague, or incorrect, perception.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Show your boss what you do. Put together a succinct report and send it to your boss each month. Here is your opportunity to illustrate what you did: &quot;Our new system enabled us to process 35% more applications per week&quot; or &quot;Streamlined office supply list, saving 20% this month.&quot;</p> <h2>9. You Gossip (More Than the Usual)</h2> <p>Office gossip is part of office culture. It is certainly pervasive everywhere I have ever worked. Beware, though, of becoming <em>the</em> &quot;office gossip.&quot; You probably can identify this person. Conversations stop when you walk near, and fake smiles appear. This person relishes spreading gossip and is probably not repeating anything interesting or possibly beneficial, but something purely spiteful. Also, they do this repeatedly. If you're that person, chances are, your boss will want nothing to do with you, because you have successfully labeled yourself as a troublemaker.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Before you succumb to gossip, think about how you feel when you do it (crummy). My trick? Change the subject.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Continue Your Education Voluntarily</h2> <p>Even highly-educated people cannot rest on their laurels. Continuing to take courses keeps you sharp and up to date. Your boss may not be able to force you to take classes, but might wish you would. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Classes do not have to be expensive. Check with your local library or community college; try <a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a>, or contact the national association for your profession for continuing education. Join a book group, which will get you to read really good literature and meet people. Try <a href="https://www.youtube.com/">Youtube.com</a> for mini-classes. Don't forget to mention what you have taken in your report to your bosses!</p> <h2>11. You Don't Handle Yourself Well in Social Situations</h2> <p>If you have not been asked to represent the company at a conference, luncheon, college fair or cocktail party, there may be a problem. You may be somebody who is not perceived as being professional or capable of presenting a positive company image. It could be your manner of dress, or your social skills. Maybe you attended something with your boss and did not handle the situation well. Do you know how to shake hands, make small talk, or pay for lunch? Are you approachable? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-things-people-with-good-social-skills-never-do?ref=seealso">18 Things People With Good Social Skills Never Do</a>)</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.toastmasters.org/">Toastmasters</a>. Besides teaching you to be socially comfortable, they have a leadership program. Or, invite a friend to lunch; explain you need to practice and ask for feedback.</p> <h2>12. You Aren't Aligned with the Company Mission</h2> <p>Do you even know <em>what</em> your company's mission <em>is</em>? If so, what do you do to support it? Your boss is not likely to promote a person who cannot describe the company mission, vision, goals, etc.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Learn what your company's mission is, and use your monthly report to demonstrate how your projects promote and align with your company.</p> <h2>13. You Aren't Dependable</h2> <p>A big report was due, and you called in sick. Your team had a project due, and you forgot to turn in your data. Word gets around about a person's dependability. After a while, though, a boss may just give up. If it's a civil service situation, you may be difficult to fire, so it may be that you will be ignored, and not given anything to do.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Unless you are happy just sitting around for eight hours a day, start being a better employee. Show up, turn in reports, play your part, do your thing. Apologize for past transgressions, if necessary, and let your coworkers and boss know you're going to do better. You may have to work at it for a while to re-build trust.</p> <h2>14. Your Skills Aren't Up to Par</h2> <p>Are you faking it? Do you really have no clue how to run software, assimilate a report, or write a good memo? Odds are, your boss has noticed, and she probably isn't all that interested in educating you on the company's dime.</p> <h3>The Fix</h3> <p>Get the training, now, on your own. Find a class, hire a tutor, read a book, ask a friend. You do not want to have to rely on someone else to help you do your job (and if they are doing it, they ought to be getting credit, not you).</p> <p><em>Anything I've overlooked? Please tell us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-career-threatening-work-habits-that-no-one-will-tell-you-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years">9 Office Politics Goofs That Can Set Your Career Back Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-you-were-raised-by-parents-with-bad-social-skills">5 Signs You Were Raised by Parents With Bad Social Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/congratulations-on-your-promotion-or-maybe-not">Congratulations on Your Promotion… Or Maybe Not!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-at-work-youre-just-wasting-effort">10 Times at Work You&#039;re Just Wasting Effort</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income etiquette promotion social skills work Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Marla Walters 1154566 at http://www.wisebread.com STOP: 10 Words to Never Use at Work http://www.wisebread.com/stop-10-words-to-never-use-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-10-words-to-never-use-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessmen-talking-176880948-small.jpg" alt="businessman talking" title="businessman talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Assuming you have a place of work right now, you likely did something very right in an interview. Maybe you even successfully avoided these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a>. So that's the good news.</p> <p>The bad news is that minding your tongue still matters now that you've got the job, and the wrong word still has the power to separate you from said job. Though none of the below words and phrases will necessarily get you fired on the spot (like obvious slurs and profanity might), they may be even <em>more</em> insidious: you very well may be using them, hurting yourself with each utterance, and not even knowing it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming?ref=seealso">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a>)</p> <p>So take a look at the list, and remember that even if you have a good reason for using one of these words, others may be perceiving something negative every time you use it. Nobody said this was fair.</p> <p>Speaking of which&hellip;</p> <h2>Fair</h2> <p>You may be treated exceedingly fairly at work. You may not be. But pointing out the &quot;fairness&quot; (or lack thereof) of any given situation in the office isn't an effective way to bring about change. This is because it misses the point, which is that a business place is about creating value. If you feel something's unfair, better to analyze the ways in which said injustice hurts the company, and then present those in a measured argument.</p> <p>Even in cases of customer service, &quot;fair&quot; doesn't have much relevance. Is it fair for any angry customer to take out frustration on a service rep? No. And would it be fair for the service rep to hang up on said customer? Yes. But again, &quot;fairness&quot; isn't the goal of the interaction &mdash; protecting the company's reputation (and by extension, furthering its value) is.</p> <h2>Try</h2> <p>There are no certainties in the workplace, and everyone understands this at some level. So from a logical perspective, explaining that you'll &quot;try&quot; something instead of that you'll &quot;do&quot; something is redundant. Everything is a try. And from a rhetorical level, the word communicates a lack of confidence in your ability &mdash; a hedging of bets, preparing for possible failure. Better to &quot;do&quot; everything and then apologize when you can't successfully &quot;do&quot; one thing down the line than &quot;try&quot; everything. Yoda said it best, &quot;Do or do not. There is no try.&quot;</p> <h2>Whatever</h2> <p>This word is an insult, and it's a lazy one at that. It's a one-size-fits-all exasperated gasp that communicates to the other person, &quot;I can't think of a more intelligent response,&quot; or &quot;you're not worth hearing my more intelligent response.&quot; Either way, the word demeans you, them, and the conversation. If you have a problem with someone or something, and you think it's an appropriate time to communicate the problem&hellip; then communicate! Don&rsquo;t use a passive aggressive word like &quot;whatever&quot; to show you're unhappy without explaining why.</p> <h2>I Guess</h2> <p>See above. At best, this phrase communicates dissatisfaction without communicating its cause. Like &quot;try,&quot; it also expresses a desire to shirk off ultimate responsibility &mdash; to establish that you agree with something, but not so much that you stand up for it if it fails.</p> <h2>We'll See</h2> <p>While seemingly an indication of a coming decision, this phrase actually does the exact opposite: it's a placeholder, delaying a decision indefinitely. Clearly, all decisions aren't ready to be made as soon as someone asks, and telling someone that you're not quite ready to make a certain call yet is acceptable. But &quot;we'll see&quot; is often used in place of an explanation as to why or when the decision will be made, effectively giving the other person nothing to go on.</p> <h2>I'll Get Back to You</h2> <p>Like &quot;we'll see,&quot; this phrase is often used as a stalling technique. It communicates nothing about <em>when</em> you'll get back to them, depriving them of the ability to plan or prepare. Further, it's dismissive &mdash; it acknowledges that you're not giving the other person a timetable, which can come off as demeaning. Give the person a timetable, even if you can't be exact on a date and time.</p> <h2>You Guys</h2> <p>Even if your workplace is informal, this can come off as particularly unprofessional. More to the point, it's shorthand that addresses a group less precisely than things like &quot;your team&quot; or &quot;your company,&quot; which are easy and effective substitutes. And finally, if women are present, it's inaccurate at best, and offensive at worst.</p> <h2>I May Be Wrong, But&hellip;</h2> <p>Just like &quot;try,&quot; there's a redundancy here. Of course you may be wrong. Everyone may be wrong, always. So it goes without saying. But if you're making a statement, you should have some confidence that you're right. And if you're unsure of something, that's fine too, but then it'd be better to ask a question than offer an uninformed opinion.</p> <h2>Okay?</h2> <p>As an acknowledgment, this is fine (as in, answering &quot;Can you take care of that?&quot; with &quot;Okay&quot;), but when used as a question, it's problematic. Tacking on &quot;okay&quot; at the end of a declarative statement is validation-seeking: it implies that your statement only holds true if the person you're making it to agrees. So lose it &mdash; it's okay to be wrong!</p> <h2>Impossible</h2> <p>The idea that &quot;nothing is impossible&quot; may seem cheesy for a work setting and may not even be true&hellip; some ideas in the workplace are impossible. But it's very unlikely that you've really exhausted thinking about all possibilities, so it's not your place to deem someone else's idea. As such, &quot;I can't see a way to make that work right now&quot; is more accurate.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joe-epstein">Joe Epstein</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-10-words-to-never-use-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fired-heres-how-to-keep-it-from-hurting-your-career">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-success-if-you-dont-know-what-you-want-you-wont-know-when-youve-gotten-it">Defining Success: If You Don&#039;t Know What You Want, You Won&#039;t Know When You&#039;ve Gotten It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-signs-that-youve-been-at-the-same-job-too-long">25 Signs That You&#039;ve Been at the Same Job Too Long</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Personal Development words work Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:00:22 +0000 Joe Epstein 1140960 at http://www.wisebread.com