Careers

Fourteen Strategies for Increasing Your Compensation at Work

Several weeks ago, I wrote an article outlining twelve tactics for shoring up your career during work downtime. Those suggestions are perfect if you’re looking to “shore up” your career – in other words, your focus is on improving your job security and maximizing your chance to find another job should this one go away. …

Categories: Careers

“Lock In” and Escaping the Trap

Over the course of my career, my single biggest fear – and obstacle – has been “lock in.” What’s “lock in”? It’s probably easiest to explain it with a story. Early on in my career, I found myself working at a pretty nice job. I enjoyed the work and enjoyed going into the office almost …

Categories: Careers

Twelve Simple Tactics to Shore Up Your Career During Work Downtime

When I used to work in an office environment, my days consisted of working on little projects and tasks that would fill half an hour or an hour or so, then I’d have a bit of downtime. I would either be doing some internal thinking about the next thing I needed to work on or …

Categories: Careers

How to Ask for Truly Useful Career Advice (and Other Kinds of Advice, Too)

During my long and winding career path, I’ve been stuck at many difficult points, uncertain as to what to do next. In those times, I’ve relied on the advice of others to help guide me down the right path. Most of the time, choosing to accept the advice of others has turned out well. At …

Categories: Advice, Careers

Maintaining Professional Bridges

Unexpected twists and turns happen all of the time in our professional lives. A child is born, causing a parent to start staying at home. A side business takes off. A spectacular job offer appears out of the blue. A severe illness occurs. A person is burnt out on their current career and needs a …

Categories: Careers

How Much Time Do You Invest in Your Job?

When I first started The Simple Dollar, I was employed full time in a research environment. My job mostly involved handling and sharing significant quantities of data – I did a bit of data mining and a lot of software development, among other things. One of the first big realizations I made during the process …

The Cost of Decompression

If you work for a living, you know the feeling. You finish a day of earning money. You’re tired – mentally and/or physically and/or spiritually and/or socially exhausted. You go home, drop your stuff by the door, and just head to the couch for a while. You sit there in a daze, watching a television …

Projection and the Spotlight Effect

All of us want to be socially accepted. We want to have people respect and like us in the community and we also want to avoid easy criticism. For many of us, the solution to that challenge is to “project.” We spend time thinking about how we appear to others and then look for ways …

One Hour a Day Keeps the Pink Slip Away

Prior to 2008 (when I made the decision to write for a living so that I could have a much more flexible schedule for my family), I held a job in a research lab where I was involved with the processing and sharing of large quantities of scientific data. This required both computer programming skills …

Categories: Careers

When Work Becomes Overwhelming

As I mentioned a month or so ago, I’ve come to the recognition that time management is a vital part of personal finance. It not only helps your career, it also has an impact on your focus throughout the day and on your other financial choices. With that in mind, I’m writing occasional articles on …

Children, Failure, Careers, and Money

Like virtually every parent in the world, I want to see my children succeed. I love it when they take on something challenging and then overcome it. This is a big part of the parenting philosophy that Sarah and I hold. We regularly encourage our children to take on challenging things, whether it’s a hard …

Categories: Careers, Parenting

Passion and Reality

Passion can be a really tricky thing. For some people, a lifelong passion is something they discover at a young age. I know talented musicians, writers, and scientists who knew what they wanted to be from early childhood. For others, passions are fleeting. They’ll discover something they’re passionate about, but then in a few years, …

You Have a Vested Interest in Your Coworkers’ Success

If there is one lesson I want to teach my children about their professional lives, it’s this one. You have a vested interest in the success of your coworkers. Let’s walk through some of the pieces of that. If you talk negatively about your coworkers, it hurts you. You’re adding a bunch of negative emotions …

Categories: Careers

Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College

For a lot of people, going to a four year college seems like an automatic choice when they graduate from high school. The reason is obvious – more income. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, a college degree accounted for $15,000 in additional income per year versus a high school diploma ($30,000 versus …

Categories: Careers, Education

“Fake It Until You Make It” Isn’t an Excuse to Spend

The idea of “fake it until you make it” can be a very useful one that leads you to success some of the time, and it can be a disastrous one that leads you down an incredibly dangerous path at other times. The trick is knowing which is which. First, let’s take a look at …

Categories: Careers

The First Steps

I received a wonderful question from Jane, a sixteen year old female, who writes: “Last week we had a “consumer education” week at school and our school brought in some financial people to talk to us during homeroom. This made me think about money so I started searching Google and I found your site. What …

The First Steps for Building a Professional Network

I am a huge believer in the value of professional networks. Over and over again during my career years, I saw the value of having positive professional relationships with people both in your organization and in other organizations. Strong relationships can help you survive layoffs. They can help you have a leg up when it …

Categories: Careers

Job Skills: What Are You Learning Today That Your Next Employer Would Desire?

The title of this article is the one fundamental question I would ask everyone who is currently employed and expects to stay that way for more than another year or two. What are you learning today that your next employer would desire? Let’s break down this question a little bit. First of all, it’s a …

Fake It Until You Make It? Another Look

Janine wrote in recently concerning my previous article on “faking it until you make it.” She says I have it all wrong: “The idea of “faking it until you make it,” as I’ve understood it, doesn’t mean turning in bad work in the workplace. It means giving off the constant appearance of success and of …