Blog Posts by The Daily Muse

  • Why Being Busy Can Keep You from Getting Ahead

    I'm a list person. Call me OCD, a micro-manager, what have you-but jotting down to-dos is my lifeline.

    Every time I do, I get a momentary sense of relief, a mind-cleanse, as I spit out all my commitments on paper. But that wave of relief is quickly followed by sweaty palms. There's so much to do-so little time and only one me to be everywhere, doing everything!

    There's an argument that says staying busy is good. It means you've got a job, and one that's important enough that your boss needs you. It means you've got friends who want to spend time with you. It means you're leaving your mark, and, hey, that takes work.

    But a life that's too busy is a double-edged sword, and it can affect more than just our sanity. Experts have found our frenetic pedal-to-the-metal mentality also could cause us to stall out in our careers. If that comes as a surprise, take a closer look at some of the implications of falling into the "busy trap."

    1. We Don't Prioritize Well

    With too many commitmentsRead More »from Why Being Busy Can Keep You from Getting Ahead
  • 7 Ways to Excel in a Male-Dominated Workplace

    You rarely see another soul in the ladies room. On too many occasions, you've been mistaken for someone's assistant.

    Sound familiar? For many young, successful women, "making it" professionally means learning to master male-dominated workplaces where boys' clubs still somehow pervade.

    In college, I lived with seven girls. And so, perhaps it was no surprise that I found the transition to investment banking-where I was the only female analyst in my group's class-to be rather challenging. But from finance, I jumped into sports, and I have yet to look back. And along the way, I picked up some practical tips for thriving in the office-even when the gender ratio isn't in your favor.

    1. The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

    Chances are, your male colleagues are constantly vocalizing which opportunities and projects they want-and you might be sitting there, working hard, and waiting to get what is rightfully yours. Sadly, most bosses are too busy to figure out what the most equitable project Read More »from 7 Ways to Excel in a Male-Dominated Workplace
  • Are You Underpaid? 4 Ways to Find Out

    I still remember my first offer letter after college. My starting salary was right in the middle of the "market range" for my industry, and after comparing notes with peers and colleagues, it seemed like we were all making about the same amount.

    But, 10 years later, our compensation rates diverged wildly.

    This makes sense, because when you enter the job market you're essentially a blank slate. You may have an impressive internship or degree on your resume, but for all intents and purposes, your career and compensation package are yours to build in the years that come. And building a better compensation package is all about knowing what you're worth.

    So how do you figure that out? Well, you could break into your boss' office to check out what everyone else is making-but that might get you fired. Instead, here are four undercover ways to do some research and figure out if your salary is the industry norm-or if you're being underpaid.

    1. Contact a Recruiter

    Recruiters spend all day Read More »from Are You Underpaid? 4 Ways to Find Out
  • The Difference Between Networking and Making Friends

    On the surface, networking and making friends look pretty similar. You're meeting new people, finding common interests, and hoping that the relationship will continue. But the truth is, they're different-and it's important to distinguish between the two. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently put it, "women are really good at making friends and not good at networking." Networking is about building rapport, having substantive conversations, and finding commonalities with other professionals in a limited amount of time. Yes, it's an opportunity to connect with others-but it's more about advancing your professional goals than it is about getting people to like you or boosting your social scene. If you're trying to make friends at every networking event you attend, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Here's a look at some common networking scenarios that can veer toward friend territory, and how to make sure you're approaching them the right way.

    The Situation:
    As

    Read More »from The Difference Between Networking and Making Friends
  • The 3 Career Mentors Everyone Should Have

    When it comes to work, everyone needs advice. Whether you're not sure how to tackle an assignment or want to talk through an interesting job offer that came out of left field, there's nothing better than having a few mentors to help you out along the way. But, unless your company offers a formal mentorship program, it's not always easy to find people like that. Who should you to turn to? And, more importantly, how do you approach them and build relationships with them over time? The process is a little different for everyone-some mentoring relationships happen naturally, while others require extra effort. But there are three types of mentors that everyone should have-and we've put together a guide on how to get them.

    Mentor #1: You in One Year

    Think about your short-term career goals: Where do you want to be at this time next year? Look for a person who's currently there, and seek her out to be your "where I want to be in a year" mentor. Ideally, this person is someone who's Read More »from The 3 Career Mentors Everyone Should Have
  • When Your 'Dream Job' Isn't Your Dream Job Anymore

    You have the perfect job. The one you always wanted-in an exciting industry, for a big name company, with a title that says you get to do what you love all day long. Except for that-well, you hate it.

    Realizing that your "dream job" has become a nightmare is as heart-wrenching as breaking up with someone you were once in love with. And speaking from experience, the grieving and recovery process is almost the same. From one broken-hearted working girl to another, here's an honest look at what happens when you realize that your love affair with your job is over-and more importantly, how to rebound.

    The Honeymoon Phase

    Remember when you started dating your first love-the googly eyes, gushy talk, pet names, and long days spent together? Not only could you two not keep your hands off of each other, but that person could do no wrong. His quirks were cute, his pet peeves funny, and when he slurped his tea, well, that was just adorable. (Never mind that you used to practically punch yourRead More »from When Your 'Dream Job' Isn't Your Dream Job Anymore
  • 4 Ways to Detox from Your Old Job

    Every year, I celebrate my Happy Canniversary. Yes, you read that right-February 22-the day I was let go from a job where I was unhappy and had still stayed in way too long. Best. Day. Ever. Of course, I can say that now, but it did take me some time to truly feel liberated after my pink slip party. From my innermost thoughts right down to my nail polish (previously corporate-friendly pale pink, I now rock out to electric blue, thank you very much), I had to take a serious look at rediscovering who I was outside of that office. Whether you leave on your own terms or someone else's, sometimes the baggage of a old job, not unlike that from breaking up after a fizzling relationship, can remain with you. And unless you do a boyfriend bonfire-or in this case, a corporate cleanse-it's difficult to move forward if you remain stuck in the past. If you're leaving a bad job-congrats. It's breakup time. Here are four ideas to help you to let go.


    1. Ditch the Corporate Costume

    A Read More »from 4 Ways to Detox from Your Old Job
  • 5 Ways to Beat Burnout at Work

    Some projects can really take it out of you. You've been working for 10+ hours a day, brainstorming new ideas as you brush your teeth in the morning, and thinking about the best way to pitch as you climb into bed at night. Your focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities have been put to the test-for hours, days, and weeks on end. And now, it's time for a vacation.

    Well, that is, if you define vacation as a Sunday afternoon to yourself to do laundry and grocery shop, before it's back to the office Monday morning.

    Unfortunately, you don't always get a break when you need it most. So, how do you stay sane at work when you're coming off of a big project or a particularly stressful season? Battle your burnout on those rough days (or weeks) with these five simple ideas.

    1. Take a Lunch Break (Or Better Yet, a Walk)

    When you're exhausted, it can be tempting to just stay at your desk through lunch or spend that extra 10 minutes you have browsing Facebook. But save being glued to Read More »from 5 Ways to Beat Burnout at Work
  • 6 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help Your Career

    Keeping a journal is a great idea-and not just for aspiring novelists and 15-year-old girls. And I'm not referring to the public online journals that many of us (myself included) keep-though there's value in those, too. I'm talking about a private, intimate journal; a daily record of your experiences and observations, particularly at work.

    This type of journal is an unexpectedly great way to help you work through issues, analyze where you're at in your job, and grow in your career. In fact, consider it the easiest (and cheapest) form of professional development you can find!

    So, go pick out a new notebook or journal, and get started writing-for these six reasons and more.

    1. Log Good Ideas

    Brilliance doesn't always strike when it's most convenient. In fact, your next great workplace idea might occur before bed, as you're cooking dinner, or-as mine often do-when you're in the shower (like I said, not convenient). But don't let those ideas fall by the wayside simply because you Read More »from 6 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help Your Career
  • Keeping Cool: 4 Ways to Melt-Proof Your Makeup

    4 Ways to Meltproof Your Makeup4 Ways to Meltproof Your MakeupIt's 105 degrees outside-and it feels more like 150. You've just spent an hour dripping through your subway commute, grateful that someone invented deodorant (though you'd be even more appreciative if everyone chose to use it). Then, you walk in to your office, catching a glimpse of your once-perfect makeup in the elevator mirror.

    Suddenly, you understand the true meaning of hot mess.

    Well, the good news is, tomorrow is a new day. And while you may not be able to turn down the scorching summer heat, you can still look calm, cool, and collected with a few quick tips and genius products.

    1. Skip the Heavy Foundation

    Really-it will get gooey in a flash when it's hot outside. Instead, use a sheer primer or tinted moisturizer like Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($13.69, Target.com) to even out your skin tone with no detectable color. Then, dab a heavier long-wearing concealer, like Maybelline Cover Stick Waterproof Concealer ($4.49, CVS.com), only where you need it. Read More »from Keeping Cool: 4 Ways to Melt-Proof Your Makeup

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