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career advice

Career

3 Things You Should Do When Asking for a Raise

July 13, 2015
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When’s the last time you received a raise? And no, we aren’t talking about the 3 percent cost of living increase your work doles out each year — but a real based-on-how-great-you’re-doing raise.

Think about it, if you’ve been at your job for five years or more there’s a good chance new hires at your same level are getting paid just as much as you – or in some cases more. Continue Reading…

Career, Inside Scoop

Top Management Roles Stressful? Study Says No.

September 27, 2012
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Photo Courtesy: gcoldironjr2003

In a surprising new study from Harvard it seems those folks in upper management aren’t as stressed out as you’d think.

Compared with people of the same age and gender who were at lower career levels, the “leaders” in the study declared themselves less stressed and anxious. And it wasn’t just what they were saying their bodies proved it too — their levels of cortisol (the hormone that circulates when we are super stressed) was in line with what they were reporting.

The study did report that the source of the leaders’ chilled-out demeanor was simply control. The upper management had control of their schedules and financial security. Think about it: top management has the option to come in late or leave a bit early with no questions asked…but the admin assistant would probably get written up for the same behavior. We also think another reason could be the hefty paycheck that comes with being in upper management. When you have the options to hire help in your personal life (chef, household cleaning and pesky assistant work covered) suddenly you’re a lot less stressed.

“Leaders possess a particular psychological resource — a sense of control — that may buffer against stress,” the research team reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Apparently our primate relatives have also shown similar results in studies. According to the LA Times:

“Baboons and monkeys who rise to positions of power in their social groups show lower levels of anxiety and stress, so long as their status is not under constant challenge. A recent study of female macaque monkeys demonstrated that rising and falling through the social ranks not only dialed their stress up and down, it turned genes on and off in ways that can powerfully influence health.”

The study is clear — having a sense of control protects against stress. So if you can’t (immediately) rise the corporate ladder try creating control in other parts of your life—budgets and planning help — but so does creating a career trajectory for yourself. Write out career goals for 3 months, 6 months and 1 year and constantly touch base on those goals.

Career, Career Advice

The 3 Most Important Things You Aren't Doing for Your Career

August 20, 2012
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To climb the corporate ladder (or at least snag the corner office) you’ve got to have the best on-the-job-advice, which is why we’ve culled the three most important things you should be doing at work (but probably aren’t).

1. Transfer to an emerging market. You’ve conquered New York, San Francisco and LA — but what about Shanghai or Tokyo? If you’re willing to move a few thousand miles tackling an emerging market could be the ultimate chance to prove your leadership and create new business development opportunities — go where you are needed not where you’ve already shined. Plus, just volunteering for a big office move could provide the opportunity for big salary negotiations.

2. Move to an industry that is growing.

Jobs in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) are growing faster than any other according to the Department for Professional Employees. You don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to snag a job in STEM — creatives like marketers, graphic designers and writers are also needed at engineering firms, research facilities and computer programming companies.

3. Be honest about your goals.

Think about the job your boss does…come on, we’re waiting, really think about it! Would you want that job? Or would you rather be your own boss? If you’re slowly moving up the corporate ladder take the time to step back and think about your trajectory — is this something you really want to do or could entrepreneurship be right for you?
Photo courtesy of Jono Haysom

Career, Career Advice

Mistakes … the Path to Success!

July 11, 2012
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Once again Dan Rockwell of the Leadership Freak has motivated us to share his insights. This time it’s on the art of mistakes in Five Ways to Get Good at Mistake Making! If you’ve been reading our posts long enough (or even yesterday)  you might have seen one or two typos that make it through our very loose editing system (thanks Melanie and Kieran for sending them to our attention asap!).  We loved this message because it reminds us to appreciate mistakes for what they are: valuable lessons. Enjoy this brief and  slightly edited version of Dan’s wise words.

“Too many mistakes and you lose credibility. Too few mistakes and you’re dead in the water, you can’t lead.”


1. Don’t make the mistake of letting your mistakes defeat you
. Churchill wisely said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

2. Don’t pretend you know when you don’t. Be honest and enthusiastic instead of pretending you know how to create a rocking Power Point presentation, when your boss asks you to take on the task of making the presentation for the upcoming pitch – perhaps you can say something like, “I’m pretty good at figuring these things out and am up for the challenge.”

3. Celebrate your successes and your mistakes. Stories of your mistakes can be humorous, endearing, and most importantly, educational. Most importantly, explaining a good screw-up before sharing a success prevents you from looking arrogant.

4. It’s a mistake to run from mistakes. After owning a mistake, begin the next sentence, “Next time …” Eli Siegel observed, “If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake.”

5. Please don’t be a whining, cry baby. You look weak when you make excuses. It’s better to, “Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them,” Andrew V. Mason.

One more point we’d like to add is Own it!  After working in the same office for five years and again on this blog for a few more -we’ve learned to NEVER try to blame someone for your screw up -the truth always comes out- and who wants to work with their little sister, right?

Have we left anything out?  We’d love to hear your success due to failure stories;)