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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 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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 Career 
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5 Tips for Getting a Job After College

OSJOBFAIRNow that you’re done with college, it’s time to get a “real” job.

But how can you get the right job for you? The current market is tough, and you will need to make sure that you have an edge. It’s vital that you show potential employers that you are the right fit.

Here are 5 tips that can boost your ability to find a job after college:

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 Career 
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What’s the Difference Between a Termination versus a Layoff?

Employee ReleaseI got into a discussion last week with a friend about the difference between a “termination” and a “layoff.” Fortunately, neither one of us is dealing with it and so it was more of an academic discussion. It was part of a discussion about the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) and how employers with 100+ employees must notify workers under certain conditions if they may lose their jobs. It covers plant closings (if they are planning on closing a site and the shutdown will affected 50+ employees during any 30 day period) as well as mass layoffs.

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 Career 
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How to Decide What You’re Worth

PaycheckOne of the most difficult aspects of almost any job is the salary negotiation. When you’re asked how much you want to be paid, whether you are starting at a new job, or whether you are looking for a raise/promotion, it can be difficult to pinpoint what you’re worth.

Deciding what you’re worth spills over into helping you decide which jobs to take (if salary isn’t negotiated), as well as whether or not you feel as though you can stick with your current position.

Tom Hart is with Eliassen Group, a staffing and consulting company. “We place over 1,000 people a year in temporary and permanent positions,” he says. Hart has a few ideas for how you can figure out how much you’re worth.

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