Career Column

Your career is probably one of the most important aspect of your life. It helps define who you are, who you want to be, and what you’d like to be remembered for. As a young professional who has worked at two companies and dealt with two different corporate personalities, I try to impart my perspectives on the working climate today.


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 Career 
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How to Find the Right Roommate

RoomiesNow that you’ve graduated from college, and have a job, you might decide it’s time to move out of mom and dad’s house.

Unfortunately, living on your own can be expensive. Even though you’re pulling down a regular paycheck, you might have trouble affording a place to live. Or, even you can make rent, you might not have enough left over (after your other bills) to do anything else.

If you are looking to strike that balance between living outside your parents’ house and saving money, one of the best ways is to get a roommate. You can split the cost of rent, as well as the utilities, and have a little more at the end of the month to spend on fun stuff or — better yet — to save for the future.

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 Career 
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How to Find a Mentor to Help Your Career

Mentors with their Mentees“Mentors can provide valuable advice, counsel, advocacy and networking assistance,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of Northeastern University’s MBA Career Center. “They can be a valuable career resource. Family and friends may want to help, but they often lack experience in the field.”

On top of that, Sarikas points out that many of our loved ones lack the objectivity needed when you are serious about improving. “Professional mentors can provide support, encouragement, and career-related guidance, while identifying and maximizing networking and career exploration opportunities.”

So, if a mentor can be such a help to your career, how do you find one?
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 Career 
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Unemployed? Your Benefits May Be Smaller than You Think

unemployment benefitsOne of the most frustrating things in life is being unemployed. This is especially true if you want to work, but you are unable to find a job. Even though the unemployment rate is falling, many people still find it difficult to land a job.

Many states administer unemployment benefits to help support those who can’t find work. If you don’t have a job, it might be worth it to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits.

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 Business, Career 
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5 Signs Your Dream Job is Actually a Scam

work from home scamOne of the great things about technology is that you have the opportunity to make money in new and different ways. You can even find work at home jobs that pay reasonably well. At the very least, you can start a home business as a freelancer, or doing some other type of work.

Since the dream of working from home is so strong, you need to watch out for scams. Whenever something seems very attractive to a wide swath of the population, there are scammers out there trying to take advantage. If you’re not careful, you might find that the dream job advertised online at places like Craig’s List is actually scam. Here are 5 signs your dream job is probably a scam:

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 Career 
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The Secret to Making a Suit Last Forever

Suit & TieBack when I worked as a consultant in the defense industry, I was expected to wear a suit every single day into work. I was fortunate in that I had just made a trip to China and came back with five suits (at around $80 a piece – they were very nice quality too) so I was well equipped to wear one every single day. (I would later learn that you just left a jacket behind your door and only wore a full suit to meet with clients) Even with five suits, I wanted to make sure I maintained them properly so that I could get the most out of them. While they were under $80 a piece, a great price for a great suit (that’s what happens when you go straight to the tailor), I knew they were worth two or three times that and wanted to treat them that way.

So I read up on how to maintain a suit and was surprised how simple it was.

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 Career 
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Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Slow Down Your Career

MASK and bookMy husband is reluctant to apply for full-time professor jobs. One of the things holding him back is something that, as someone with a Ph.D. in Psychology, he is well aware of. It’s called Impostor Syndrome.

“I feel like I’m wearing a mask,” he says. “My students, and even many of my colleagues tell me I’m great, but I sometimes I feel like a fraud. What if I’m not as good as they say I am?”

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 Career 
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Signalling, or Why Salespeople Always Drive Expensive Cars

LamborghiniDan Ariely is a behavioral economist, which is to say he mixes human behavior, psychology and economics together to give us a deeper insight into why we do the things we do. Each week, he does a Q&A column in the Wall Street Journal but I usually catch it on his blog. A little while back, Ariely fielded a great question that I think you guys would be interested in.

Dear Dan,

I don’t care about cars, never have. But I’m a sales executive, and people tell me I should own a nice car (BMW, Mercedes, etc.) to enhance my credibility to both my customers and sales team. I can afford either but would rather save the cash and buy a Honda. Does it matter?

—Cody


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 Career 
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Is Fear of Success Holding You Back?

Thumbs Up!Often, we talk about how fear of failure can hold us back. However, in recent years we’ve heard a lot about how failure can precipitate growing experiences. In our careers, and especially in entrepreneurship, failure is an accepted part of getting ahead.

A bigger problem might actually be your fear of success.

As crazy as it may seem, there are those who are afraid of the consequences of success. The Chronicle of Higher Education (P. Monaghan, “Nothing to Do with Brightness,” 1989) pointed out at one time that half of those who went in for Ph.D.s didn’t finish. Instead, they stopped at “all but dissertation” (A.B.D.) status.

This fear of success might affect you more than just not finishing a degree. It could hold you back in your career, or keep you from achieving the success you want with your business.

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