If you're stuck in a job you hate, you're (unfortunately) not alone. In fact, an astonishing more than 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs.
I, too, was unhappy in the corporate job I took right after college. Like many people, I'd put more thought and effort into getting the job than into figuring out if it was something I actually wanted. There's plenty of research and advice out there on how to write the perfect resume and ace that interview. But when it comes to figuring out what you want to do with your life, the strategies aren't so clear.
I realized that, although I could predict and pontificate about a career path that might make me happier, I would never actually know until I was into the thick of it. I had an idea that I might like to do something related to entrepreneurship, but I didn't exactly know what that meant. Did I want to join a start-up? Start my own? Try to get into venture capital? Join or start a non-profit? Do international development work
Blog Posts by The Daily Muse
- The Daily Muse | Work + Money – Mon, Jul 9, 2012 11:07 AM EDT
If you're stuck in a job you hate, you're (unfortunately) not alone. In fact, an astonishing more than 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs.Read More »from How I Figured Out What I Wanted to Do with My Life
- The Daily Muse | At Home – Fri, Jul 6, 2012 12:05 PM EDT
At one of the apartments I used to live in, the landlord posted a billboard-sized advertisement on the side of the building that read "Cheap & Tacky 2 Beds" followed by his name and number. He wasn't lying-these apartments were in fact totally cheap and tacky. The only thing he could have said to be more honest would have been, "Cheap & Tacky 2 Beds with Irregularly Functioning Laundry Facilities."
Unfortunately, landlords aren't usually so open. So it's up to you-the renter-to know what to watch out for before signing a lease. When you're apartment shopping, keep an eye out for these commonly overlooked red flags.
1. Noise, Noise, Noise
If possible, view an apartment over the weekend, so that your prospective neighbors are more likely to be home. Then, take some time to just listen. Can you hear loud footsteps or voices from nearby apartments? This can be a sure sign of thin walls. Is the apartment above you filled with rambunctious children? Do your windows face out to aRead More »from Renter’s Red Flags: 7 Things to Check Out Before Signing a Lease
Almost every waking moment, you're making a decision. Do you want to eat eggs or toast? Wear the blazer or the cardigan? Take the stairs or the escalator?Read More »from Yes, No, Maybe So: How to Beat Decision Fatigue
And that's just the easy stuff.
While each decision by itself may sound simple, the seemingly endless stream of decisions-and the pressure to make the "right" choice for each one-can really deplete you of time, energy, motivation, and even happiness. A recent New York Times article thrust this daily struggle into the spotlight (NPR chimed in, too): On any given day, we have a finite amount of mental energy and willpower to make choices. And by the end of an especially decision- or action-packed day (or week, or month), even choosing what to eat for dinner can seem like a struggle.
So how are we to save our decision-making energy for the big stuff, like choosing a job or planning for the future? Changing the amount of daily choices in your life isn't necessarily an option-and in most cases, you do want to be able to pick! But
- The Daily Muse | Healthy Living – Tue, Jul 3, 2012 1:52 PM EDT
Grocery Shopping for 1Grocery shopping for one can be tricky. When the only person you have to satisfy with your grocery list is you, it's easy to buy impulsively or buy too much. And on the flip side, how many times have you tried to just buy the bare essentials-only to find yourself having to make daily trips back to the market?
I was always an over-buyer, which resulted in a lot of wasted food (and wasted money). In fact, I'm still surprised that, now that I'm shopping for two, I spend basically the same amount as I did when I was shopping just for myself. (I also buy the same amount of ice cream, but that's a different issue.) But with some careful planning, it is possible to shop solo in a way that's both economical and less wasteful. The big secret: You should spend just about as much time preparing for your shopping trip as you do in the store.
Here's your plan of action to get in and out of the supermarket, and come home with the right amount of food for just you.
1. First, Shop at HomeTo Read More »from 7 Sneaky Secrets when You're Grocery Shopping for 1
Let's face it-we all have those sugary, salty, or fried foods we crave. And we know they aren't exactly the pinnacle of health, but that doesn't make us want them any less. So I decided to consult a few of the best nutritionists in search of food substitutes that might even satisfy Paula Deen (or, well, at least her doctor).
And guess what? They're out there. And in addition to being healthy, they're super tasty, too. Best of all, once you get in the habit of eating healthy, your body stops craving the unhealthy or fattening stuff so much. (Yes-these days I can visit a bakery and salivate for fresh pineapple over the chocolate croissant!) No matter what you're craving, try out one these tasty food swaps, inspired by one of my favorite nutritionists, Renata Petecka.
Try: Zucchini PastaThere's nothing like a big bowl of pasta. For the same effect, minus the carb overload, take a zucchini and use a julienne peeler to shave off long, pasta-like pieces. Read More »from Your Cravings, Made Healthy: 5 Easy Food Swaps
Even if you got stuck with migraines in the genetic jackpot, you might not know this: June is National Migraine Awareness Month. And so today, I'm dedicating this column to the ladies of the migraine. (And, yes, it's mostly ladies. Migraines happen to "three women to every one man," says neurologist and headache specialist, Dr. Larry Robbins, MD. Lucky us.)Read More »from What You Might Not Know About Treating Migraines
Why is this month so greatly needed? After all, if you're a migraineur, you're already abundantly aware of those incapacitating episodes of pain coupled with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision, or dizziness that last for hours (or days). This month is to let the general public know that these (often) debilitating episodes are more than "just headaches"-and the hope is that increased visibility will lead to more research and better treatment.
And as any migraineur will tell you, treatment is a very tricky topic. Take it from Heather Hefner, 29, who started the "War on Headaches" blog
Recently a girlfriend of mine asked me to have dinner. "I'm thinking of leaving my job," she said. "I think it's just time to go, and I thought you would know what to do."
And I did! I immediately started thinking of open positions I had heard of and which of my contacts might be a relevant introduction. I was rattling off names and next step strategies when I noticed the look on her face.
She didn't have to say a word, but I knew I was moving too fast. When friends need help, our instinct is to do whatever we can to "fix" the problem. But, when it comes to something as big, personal, and stressful as looking for a new job, this isn't always the best approach. Instead, it takes listening to her, understanding where she is in the process, and employing a whole lot of tact. Read on for some smart strategies for really helping a friend with her job search.
1. Listen FirstFirst, remember you're her friend-not her job search consultant. So allow her to vent her frustration or express Read More »from The Right Way to Help a Friend Job Search
- The Daily Muse | Work + Money – Tue, Jun 19, 2012 10:51 AM EDT
Speak up! Promote yourself! Network!
It seems like most of the advice out there on how to succeed at work is really great-for extroverts. In fact, much of how the modern workplace is set up is really great for extroverts: Ideas are developed in brainstorming sessions. Offices are increasingly designed with open floor plans. People are encouraged to speak up at meetings.
So, what if you're an introvert?
As an introvert myself-someone who recharges, feels most energized, and works best alone-I've had to navigate jobs that included frequent public speaking, meeting with new people, and performing customer service. And while I've largely had to learn by trial and error, it turns out there are specific strategies that introverts can employ to work effectively (and stay sane) in an extrovert's world. I sat down with Susan Cain, author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts, to learn more.
Find the Right JobPerhaps the biggest key to career success-for any Read More »from Introverts in the Office: How to Work Well in an Extrovert's World
- The Daily Muse | Work + Money – Mon, Jun 18, 2012 11:46 AM EDT
Walking into our first premarital counseling session, my fiancé, Trevor, and I were nervous-more nervous, in fact, than we'd ever been going into a job interview. What if our counselor told us we couldn't get married? That we weren't compatible enough?Read More »from Surprising Career Lessons I Learned in Premarital Counseling
But that's not the point of premarital counseling: You and your intended have already made the decision to get married, and after a few years of dating, know each other well. The point is to take a look at the expectations you're bringing into your marriage, learn how to communicate them, and figure out how to successfully merge them.
Which, if you think about it, is the same goal you have when you're working with a team at work. Everyone brings different backgrounds, experiences, and expectations to the table-and you have to figure out how to make them work together in order to get the job done. So, why not use some of those same relationship-building skills with your boss and co-workers? Here are the three biggest lessons I've
- The Daily Muse | Fashion – Fri, Jun 15, 2012 11:21 AM EDT
Best Dressed Wedding GuestIt's finally June, which means warm weather is here to stay and wedding season is underway. Between bridal showers, swanky soirées, and post-wedding brunches, the next couple of months can get really busy for you and your wardrobe (and your checkbook). And with all of those attendee rules-"Don't be a Pippa and wear white!"-it's hard to keep every occasion straight in your style schedule.
That's where we're here to help. Take a look at our top choices for the season's range of wedding events, and snag some best-dressed inspiration for every occasion.
The ShowerWhether it's a tea party with just the gals or a low-key couple's shower, we love the idea of dressing up a pair of crisp white shorts with cork wedges and a blazer. The trick to keeping this look both sailor-chic and shower-appropriate is girly accessories. Try rosette earrings, a bag in a summery-sweet hue, and a nautical blouse that's equal parts feminine and preppy. Shower Get the look here!
The Bachelorette Party