7 Career Basics You Should Already Be Doing

basic building block

There’s always newer, greater, more effective advice when it comes to improving your career. Everyone wants to have the last word on what we should all be doing (and not doing) in order to be successful.

From social media to the latest tech tools—people love the new new thing.

But sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the basics. Do you have your career basics covered before you start to tackle the harder, more advanced techniques?
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So You’re Starting a New Job: A Guide

beautiful hills and cliffs

Congratulations!

For whatever reason, you decided to leave your last job and venture into the great unknown in search of something better. A better salary. Decent hours. Coworkers that don’t make you want to punch yourself in the face every day. A boss that doesn’t keep calling you “Jerry-boy” and stares down your female co-workers as they walk by.

You’ve done all the heavy lifting. You cleaned up your resume with action words and numbers that quantified your true worth. You researched other companies read reviews left by others. You networked on LinkedIn and asked all the right questions. You went on interviews during “doctor’s appointments” and apparently did well enough to convince someone new to give you a bunch of money and take a gamble on you.

So yes—congratulations. You have found a new job and you couldn’t be more thrilled.
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End of Year Reviews: A Waste of Time?

lincoln and grant

Winter is coming…

It’s that time of the year again, and you know what that means. Time to get ready for a most exciting time: the annual review.

On paper, it’s a way to recap what you’ve done, how well you’ve done it, and what you can do next year to do an even better job.

Some of you will drink the kool aid, dig in, and really try to get the most out of it. Others think it’s all crap—a pointless exercise that wastes everyone’s time and serves as a checkbox for everyone to cross off so HR is happy.

The truth lies somewhere in between…depending on what your company is like. Continue reading

Find Time with the Power of a Routine

clock face

We all want to do things we aren’t doing. Some of us want to go to the gym. Some of us want to learn Spanish. Some of us want to crochet more.

Whatever it is, everyone’s excuse is usually the same: I just don’t have the time.

You wake up, take a shower, and head to work.

You get back at 6pm, eat some dinner, and watch a little TV to decompress.

You chat with your significant other, play with your kid (if you have one), and then you’re tired. Maybe you read a little bit to slow your brain down, and by then you’re ready to go to bed again.
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Writing 1,000 Words a Day

writing in open book

I’ve wanted to be a writer for about 12 years now. And it’s a relatively simple field to break into: all you have to do is sit down and write every single day.

Simple enough, right?

A couple of weeks ago, I read this post by Nathan Barry and it convinced me that I needed to get back into a habit that I’d developed almost by accident several years ago. 

It was 2007 and it was my first time participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where you attempt to write 50,000 words in one month (it’s every November, btw).

In order to make the goal, I had to write every day. Which I did, and it was awesome.
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Working in Advertising: The Bad

frustrated at work

Before I got in, here’s what I thought working in advertising would be like: you come up with cool, creative ideas that help a brand tackle a tough problem. You’d struggle to come up with them but eventually you’d find the one you thought was amazing.

The best ideas would always win out and client would thank his/her lucky stars to have you. The rest of the time you’d sit around talking about books and movies (we’re all creatives, after all).

That’s what everyone would like it to be, anyway. Working at an agency has some great benefits, but it also has some serious flaws, and I’m here to tell you about them.
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Working in Advertising: The Good

smiling mug

Before I ever worked at an advertising agency, here’s what I thought it was going to be like: you’ll be surrounded by other young people that want to do creative work. You’ll get paid to come up with creative ways to talk about a product and in between you’ll talk about movies, books, and music. The rest of the time you’ll pat yourselves on the back as you see your work in magazines, on billboards, and on TV.

For me, advertising was a way to get paid to be a creative writer.
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How to Achieve Your Goals: Don’t Just Flip a Coin

Flipping a coin

In case my last post didn’t resonate with you, I’d like to expand a little bit on the whole idea of creating a plan to achieve a goal.

Achieving goals means you have to consistently execute over a period of time. That means you have to put a plan in place that gives you a chance to succeed.

Goals and Coin Flips

When you identify a goal, there are two likely outcomes: you’ll either do it or you won’t. A or B. Heads or Tails.
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