Category: Career

The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days

Michael D. Watkins hit the nail on the head with his book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.  When you make a move, the ability to transition and get to the break-even point (where you have contributed the same amount of value you have consumed) as quickly and effectively as possible is critical in your new role.  If you’re taking on a new role, pick up this book.  It’s geared toward those in management, but is great for everyone.  It’s one of the best investments you can make in your growing career.

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Know Your Worth: Negotiate Your Salary

Know Your Worth: Negotiate Your Salary

Always ask for what you are worth.  If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table that can add up to hundreds of thousands in lost lifetime earnings.  Just a missed $2,500 from not negotiating your first salary means a missed $100,000 over 30 years, excluding bonuses and assuming a 2% annual raise.  It can be intimidating, but there are plenty of tricks to scoring a great pay bump.

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Optimize That Resume

Optimize That Resume

New year, new job?  If one of your goals is a new job or change in career, now is a great time to start your search.  While your competition is busy with the holidays, you can get a leg up and potentially fill an open spot before they even have a chance to apply.  You have less than 20 seconds of a hiring manager’s time, so here’s how to make them count and get that interview.

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The Best Advice My Mentor Gave Me

The Best Advice My Mentor Gave Me

My company has a formal mentorship program aimed at pairing young professionals with senior level executives who commit to meeting once a month for an entire year, after which it’s up to the individuals to maintain the relationship.  Since I knew the benefits of having a mentor, I definitely wanted to apply, and I’ve continued building the relationship over the last three years.  I regularly ask questions that lead to thoughtful discussions.  My mentor continues to offer invaluable advice in all areas, but three things have benefited me the most.

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The New Wardrobe When Starting or Shifting a Career

The New Wardrobe When Starting or Shifting a Career

It’s important to dress for the job you want.  People have more confidence in individuals who look well put together.  When you dress like a professional, doors will be opened for you.  Fortunately for the frugal crowd, there are plenty of opportunities to find free or low cost clothes, and most business environments have gone a business casual route.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is a one of the best books I’ve read on communication and relationships.  Dealing with people is one of the most difficult challenges in life.  Carnegie summed up years of research both thoroughly and succinctly to help you navigate your own relationships, whether they are professional or personal.

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How I Moved Across the Country in an Edge

How I Moved Across the Country in an Edge

I hate cold.  I survived Michigan with at least three layers of clothing at all times and an electric blanket.  A new job opened up in my company down in Florida, and I secured it with a phone interview and a recommendation from my mentor.  The new job was a promotion right up my alley and located somewhere warm, so of course I jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.  I managed to make the move in a Ford Edge.  I’ve since learned that moving across the country in one car is pretty common for the single younger crowd.  The time to make these career moves is while you are young and not yet tied down.

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The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit

A very quick read, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier was helpful in learning how to mentor others through the use of questions rather than directions.  The goal is to work less hard while having more of an impact.  Good leaders and managers must be able to coach through mentoring.  I have started using the questions with my coworkers.  I have also been using the questions in personal relationships, including with my partner.  All my conversations have improved in quantity and quality through saying less and asking more.

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