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5 Tips for a Successful Career

The politics and the requirements for having a successful career are changing in the wake of the Internet revolution. Certain things such as privacy and separation of the work and home life are not as important any more. Many more people are performing well in careers that have less to do with their college degree and more to do with their personal skill set.

Below are five tips for a successful career in the modern era.

1) Love what you do

In times of recession, employers want to know that you want to be there working that job. The worst hire is the person who is doing it for the money.

If you limit yourself to apply only to jobs that you truly enjoy, you will find that your selectivity will pay off with a much more positive response. Even if you do not get the first job that you apply for, this positive response will keep you going until you actually land one.

2) Specificity in your skill set is an asset

In past generations, people had to wear many hats. However, now your resume should detail your specific certifications and skill sets, especially when you are dealing with the IT industry.

Employers do not want to train employees any more. They want to know that you can step right into the position and do the job at hand immediately. In order to make yourself the most attractive to employers, be specific in your presentation of what you can do.

There are direct paths to a successful career. But there are plenty of indirect paths, too.

Clayton M. Christensen

3) Do not expect long term employment

You should begin looking for your next job from the second that you get your first one. No matter how good your performance is, the very task-oriented nature of the business market today means that an employer may let you go after a superb performance because they simply have no more need for your skill set.

4) Learn on the job

If you like a company and want to stay there, take it upon yourself to learn other aspects of the job and make yourself irreplaceable. You will need a great deal of self-discipline to do this.

The boss will not necessarily want to take the time to teach you other skills, but if he or she sees you taking this responsibility on your own, it will definitely be rewarded. This is really like looking for another job (tip 3) within the same company.

5) Learn the politics

The bottom line is that people want to work with people they like, especially in times of recession. Learn the internal politics as quickly as you can and find your place within it. Make it a point to make yourself likable.

Guidelines for Working During Maternity Leave

Many new moms imagine maternity leave as a relaxing time to bond with their new baby. You might picture spending your maternity leave taking long walks with your baby, gazing into his precious eyes and reading your favorite children’s books over and over as he drifts off to sleep.

However, many moms face the reality of feeling pressured to work during their maternity leave. Conversely, some moms are disappointed that their office does not remain in contact with them during their time away. Each mom has different expectations when it comes to maternity leave. It is important to discuss both your needs and your employer’s needs long before the baby arrives.

Pre-planning and clear communication are the keys to a successful maternity leave. Several months before your due date, request a meeting with your supervisor. During this meeting, discuss the details of your upcoming maternity leave. How long will you be away from the office? Are you willing to accept phone calls or e-mails? Who will cover your normal duties during your leave? What paperwork needs to be completed? Does your supervisor have any concerns regarding your absence? Acquiring clear answers to these questions will align your plans with your employer’s expectations regarding your maternity leave.

Every time a woman leaves the workforce because she can’t find or afford childcare, or she can’t work out a flexible arrangement with her boss, or she has no paid maternity leave, her family’s income falls down a notch. Simultaneously, national productivity numbers decline.
Madeleine M. Kunin

As you approach your last day of work, compose an e-mail to send to your supervisor outlining your plan for maternity leave. Once your supervisor approves the plan, forward the e-mail to each of your colleagues. The e-mail should clearly state the start and end date of your maternity leave. It should also give guidelines for communicating with you during this time. For instance, you could state that you are unavailable by phone, but you will be checking your e-mail around 10:00am each Tuesday and Thursday to deal with any pressing issues.

Your e-mail should also give information regarding the contact person for your projects while you are away.

Once you, your supervisor and your colleagues all understand your maternity leave plan, you are free to relax and enjoy the most important thing: your new baby! Be polite, but consistent about your communication guidelines, and be sure to keep up with your end of the communication plan.

Work projects will be there when you return to your job, but you only get to spend the newborn days with your baby once. By planning carefully and practicing open communication, you can enjoy your maternity leave without alienating your workplace.

Is Mental Work Better Than Manual Work?

Creating a quality resume that sells your astonishing talents and proficient skills can be a harrowing task. Add other elements to the process, such as switching career goals, and you get an agonizing situation that surely perplex your already staggering nerves. Never fear, you can highlight your talents in a skilled way via the resume, even if switching from one style of work to a completely different professional endeavour, such as manual work to mental, or in some cases switching to mind over matter.

Manual work requires a complementary personality emphasized by the proficient use of tactile skills, plus an excellent sense of detail, use of physical strength and the desire to remain dedicated to laborious job repetition and hours. Building a solid work history in manual work is significant but making the transition into a career path that allows you to tap into that other side of your mind takes a whole other realm of skills. Conversely, those with a strong history of mental work like social workers in mental health or medical counsellors, might find that physical labour does not come as easy, and making the switch over could pose a daunting burden. To say one form of work is better than the other is truly a moot point because each field requires a personal dexterity, acquired talents and job specific adroitness. No matter the case, you can make a switch from manual work to mental work with a smooth transition that is completely accentuated by a solid, shining resume.

Things to keep in mind when formulating a resume that differs from your foundation of work history include specific education and competencies that make you a viable candidate for the intended job. Research the exact education requirements for the job before submitting a resume and if you meet the qualifications, impress upon the similar qualities you have in one type of job that transcend into the other field. For instance, manual work is detailed and emphasizes use of tangible sensory skills whereas mental work utilizes detail orientation too, but through intangible means. In clarifying your attentiveness to detail, you want to thoroughly outline the ability without overselling it or embellishing on a skill you cannot deliver.

I’ve always been amused by the contention that brain work is harder than manual labor. I’ve never known a man to leave a desk for a muck-stick if he could avoid it.”
John Steinbeck

Colourful adjectives, simple phrasing and concise explanations are valuable on a quality resume. Sell yourself but remain truthful. If your work experience in the manual job does not in any way complement your pursuit of a mental job, that does not mean you are not a good candidate, it just means you need to find a bridge between what you know and what you want so a potential employer takes the time to meet the person behind the writing.

How to Work Around Your Sleep Schedule

Finding a job that accommodates your unique sleep schedule can be hard. Most employers are going to want you to work when it is convenient for them. However, working during the day might not work well for those who are night owls. Working a night job might not work well for those who prefer to be up early in the morning. How do you find a job that works around your sleep schedule?

Scout Your Employers Well

The first step is to specifically look for jobs that offer hours that fit your schedule. A night owl might prefer to work the overnight shift. This can be a good thing as employers often have the most trouble filling that overnight shift. Your pay check might even be a little bit bigger if you find an employer that pays more for working overnight hours. Those who are awake early in the morning might want to babysit kids while their parents are at work.

Find A Flexible Career

There are many careers that allow you to work from home. Self-employment can be a great way to work the hours that are the easiest for you. Writing on a freelance basis is one such job that allows you to work on your own terms. If you cannot write, there are other jobs in which you can make a living while working from home.

Compromise with Your Boss

Find out if working a swing schedule might be possible. This would mean working some hours that might not be palatable, but it would mean that you could maintain some semblance of your preferred sleep schedule. As an employee, you cannot always dictate your schedule to your boss. You should be available to work when the work needs to be done.

Night time really is the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone is asleep.

                                        Catherine O’Hara

Working hours that you would usually spend sleeping isn’t always a bad thing. You might find that you get used to a new sleep schedule after a few weeks. Once your body adjusts, you will be used to being awake when you used to spend your time sleeping. However, there is always coffee and soda to keep you going if you decide that you would rather still be sleeping.

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