Careers

The Cost of Negativity

Several years ago, at my first post-college job, I worked in a small office with three other people. One of them (who I’ll call Campbell) was probably the best co-worker I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. The other (who I’ll call Kathy) made the office environment so poisonous through her constant negativity that …

The Love and Hate of Work

I recently had a conversation with a 66 year old woman who had retired from a fairly lucrative career, only to take on a completely surprising job as her “retirement job.” She’s a grade school lunch lady. Why did she choose to take on such a job? The reason was simple, she told me. Her …

Categories: Careers

Seven Easy Steps to Your Dream Job

A few days ago, I was reading an article in ESPN Magazine (I started getting a subscription to it a while back after I signed up to play fantasy baseball at ESPN.com) by Vivian Chum that talked about what you would need to do to get a job as an NFL coach (you can read …

Categories: Careers

The Zen State of Slog Work

The people that succeed at any job are the people who get the job done effectively, even if the work happens to be incredibly boring. At one of my (many) college jobs, I would spend hours upon hours sifting dirt. I’d scoop a big pile of dirt onto a box with a screen on the …

Teenagers and Careers

I’m going to go a bit off the beaten path here… Why Nerds Are Unpopular by Paul Graham is one of the most thought-provoking essays I’ve ever read. I’ve re-read the thing several times over the years, each time realizing how much it actually hit upon some of the fundamental truths of my teenage years. …

Categories: Careers

Rebooting Your Life

Henry writes in (I edited a few minor details to help with privacy issues, because I think without edits it might be possible for people to easily figure out who Henry is): Six months ago, I lost my six figure job as a database administrator. A month after that, just before Christmas, my wife left …

Review: Linchpin

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest to Simple Dollar readers. The entire argument of Seth Godin’s book Linchpin is that there are no longer any great jobs where someone tells you what to do. That’s not to say there aren’t great jobs out there – there …

Why Work?

A few days ago, my four year old son came into my office when I was finishing up an article for The Simple Dollar. “What are you doing, Dad?” he asked. “I’m working,” I told him. “Why?” he asked. “Well, I have to work so that we can make money, and we use that money …

Categories: Careers

Census Worker: A Brilliant Part-Time Opportunity

One issue that I hear about from readers on an almost daily basis is the issue of how to find work opportunities for all sorts of specific needs. A stay-at-home mom wants to pick up a few hours here and there. A retiree is getting stir crazy and wants to find some work for idle …

Categories: Careers

Trimming? What About Earning More?

During the entire “Trimming the Average Budget” series, the focus has been on spending less money. It’s a walkthrough of every significant financial element of an average American family’s life – and a look at how they can spend less in each of those areas. Saving money is a powerful tool, but it’s equally important …

Categories: Careers

Eight Tactics for Dealing with Professional Burnout

Carlos writes in: I’ve been working at the same job for the last six years. I used to love it but lately I’ve started dreading going to work. I can’t really put my finger on a reason why, either. I’m considering quitting but I am very afraid to take that leap with the economy the …

Categories: Careers

The Best Career Advice: Do Stuff

Yesterday, I read a really interesting article about career choices on Charlie Hoehn’s blog. A quick excerpt: I haven’t really talked about this before, but I’ve failed more times than I can remember. I’ve tried starting up several businesses, tried patenting inventions, tried starting up online communities, tried building several websites, tried to win contests… …

Categories: Careers

Review: The Leap

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal growth, personal productivity, or career book. This is a book I wish I had my hands on about two years ago. I was working at a job I liked, but I also felt that there were several directions in which I was unable to spread my …

Seven Secrets of Good Presentations

Over the last few months, I’ve given a small pile of presentations related to The Simple Dollar, my upcoming book, and other topics. Along the way, I’ve learned several things about what constitutes a good presentation and what constitutes a failure. Here are the seven key things I’ve learned, which you can take away to …

Categories: Careers

Review: On Becoming a Leader

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, career, or entrepreneurship book. Knowing how to be a leader – and using that skill from time to time – opens doors for you no matter what you’re doing in life. It helps your career. It helps your social standing. It creates a positive reputation …

Is Your Work Too Important?

“One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdowns is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.” – Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell When I worked at my previous job, I always felt like …

Categories: Careers

When One Partner Is Self-Employed

Whenever I mention that I’m self-employed and work from home while my wife works outside of the home, I usually receive a question or two from readers who are thinking about a similar arrangement. They want to know about how we balance things. How do you balance household chores? How do you balance parenting chores? …

Categories: Careers, Family

15 Tips on How To Be a Leader

Three years ago, one of my mentors was debating internally about how to handle a personnel situation. There were enough funds to employ one person. The performance of one worker was better overall, but the other worker often showed flashes of brilliance and was trusted more by his coworker. In the end, the decision was …

Review: Basic Black

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, entrepreneurship, or career book. For the first time ever, I’m reviewing a book as a result of an impassioned plea from one specific reader. Susan, however, is one special reader. She started reading The Simple Dollar in early November 2006, right as the …