Blog Posts by The Daily Muse

  • Drowning in Career Options: What to Do when You Have Too Many Passions

    Drowning in Career Options

    When it comes to choosing a career, more choice isn't always a good thing. We're constantly told that doing what we love is the secret to a thriving career-but what happens when love comes in multiples?

    RELATED: Help! I Have No Idea What My Passion Is

    If you have too many passions to count on two hands, you're preaching to the choir. Throughout my career, I've wanted to do everything from running a nonprofit to becoming a genetic counselor to teaching yoga. And now? I work to help other people figure out what it is they want to do with their lives.

    Along the way, I've learned a thing or two about dealing with too many career options. Consider the tips below to help if you're dealing with this career conundrum.

    1. Peek at the Job Market

    A great first step is to do some really practical research about the career paths you're considering. Speak to people who've made careers out of your passions, and ask how they did it. Find out what training is involved and how much that will cost you

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  • How to (Nicely) Train People to Send You Less Email

    Less email

    Got a job? One that involves a computer, an internet connection, and a desk?

    Then you're probably going to write a novel's worth of email this year-while dealing with about 100 emails a day.

    I think we can all agree: Email overload is reaching a fever pitch. (And not a good fever, like disco or cowbell. A bad fever. Like typhoid.)

    RELATED: The Secret to Keeping Your Inbox Under Control

    Like most people, I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how to organize emails, prioritize emails, and respond to emails faster. But lately, I've been considering a more interesting question: How can I "train" people (gently and lovingly, of course) to send me fewer emails in the first place?

    Here are three of my favorite techniques.

    Are they revolutionary concepts? Not really. Are they sane, sensible reminders? I think so. And if you agree, I hope you email me and tell me all about it. (Just kidding. Completely.)

    1. Don't Answer Every Email Right Away (Or at All)

    This may sound

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  • Super-Easy Ways to Get More Involved at Work

    Get involved at work

    There are a lot of great tutorials on interviewing for jobs, negotiating a raise, and angling for a promotion. But what's the game plan when you've done all that, and you're finally content with your current employer and your current job?

    What if you don't want a new slew of responsibilities? What if you're just itching for a little something-a better understanding of how the company operates as a whole, a bite-sized taste of an intriguing job, or, frankly, just a friend in a different department?

    Well, here's your cheat sheet. Bonus: There's no stress-and very little time-required for any of these strategies.


    Wanted: New Faces

    Solution: Join the Club

    I recently came across an old spiral notebook outlining the rules of a club I started in third grade, "The 'Sup Coolios."

    The rules were hilarious in retrospect: Listen during meetings (what meetings?), use the club symbols when passing notes (crude drawing of dog meant "wassup"), and always support fellow club

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  • Finally! the 23 Unwritten Rules of Email

    Rules of Email

    It wasn't until I helped my college-aged brother hack (er, set up) his inbox and explained some of the nuances of this ubiquitous method of communication that I realized how many unwritten rules of email have developed over the years.

    Some of them are pretty obvious, but they're worth repeating (because I still see people breaking them from time to time). And others aren't immediately intuitive-but, if universally followed, would help us all better send and respond to email.

    So, I'm putting them in writing. Review the list, and repeat after me: "I do solemnly swear that I will follow the rules of email forevermore."

    1. Your subject line should always be descriptive. "Intro" is not descriptive enough. "Intro: Alex (The Muse) // Jennifer (XYZ Co)" is better.
    2. Keep every email as short as you can; it saves you time and, more importantly, respects the recipient's time.
    3. The faster you respond, the shorter your response is allowed to be.
    4. Always include one line of context if
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  • The Problem with Overnight Success Stories

    You've seen the infomercial before. Men and women prancing around, showing off their rock-hard abs that they supposedly achieved by working out just six minutes a day! Why would you spend hours each week on a treadmill when you could look this good with a super-quick fix?, they suggest.

    Deep down, of course, you know it's all smoke and mirrors. Nobody just wakes up one day, magically looking like an Abercrombie & Fitch model after a few six-minute sessions. While there probably are a few people out there that were blessed with bionic genes, most of us would need to endure years of rigorous training at the gym and choke down more salads and protein shakes than we'd care to count to achieve that level of fitness.

    Not surprisingly, the same is true for a rock-solid career. Yet, many of us still hang on to the belief that overnight success is a real possibility-if only we could find the right idea, the right contacts, the right job, the right approach. And sure, again, there are a few

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  • How Not to Crash and Burn at a New Job

    Crash and Burn at a New Job

    Everyone has experienced buyer's remorse: A shirt that looked great in the fitting room just isn't quite as flattering in your bedroom mirror. Or worse, a job that seemed like a perfect fit during the interview falls flat during your first few weeks.

    Turns out, that feeling of new job remorse is pretty common: According to the Society for Human Resources Management, half of all hourly workers resign within the first four months of a new job, and half of senior hires crash within just 18 months.

    Why such a high dropout rate? It often starts with a weak onboarding process. Although most companies have some sort of initial orientation program, only 7% of the overall training budget is devoted to it. According to Dr. John Sullivan, an expert in onboarding process effectiveness, "Onboarding programs rank high on the list of HR programs that get little respect or attention."

    But, it can make all the difference: When you onboard well, not only are you likely to stay longer, but

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  • How to Deal when Your Boss Resigns

    boss resigns

    These days, it's rare to meet someone who's been in the same position for his or her entire career. But, while most of us understand that transitioning to another role is a near-certain eventuality for any professional, we often forget the fact that bosses move on, too.

    It's disruptive when anyone resigns from his or her post, but especially so when the head honcho is involved-after all, he or she was holding the group together, right?

    In my 14 years of having bosses, I've seen a fair number move on to greener pastures, and I've picked up a few dos and don'ts to help get me through (and even see the opportunity for greener pastures of my own). If your boss has put in his or her notice, remember these guidelines over the next two weeks.

    Don't: Panic

    I'll never forget the first time one of my bosses resigned to start his own business. (Back then, we called it "retiring" whenever someone got the entrepreneurial bug.) While I'd think nothing of it now-I've seen plenty of bosses and

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  • 8 Skills Every New Homeowner Should Have

    Homeowner skills

    I grew up in a really old house-I'm talking built-in ice boxes around the outside because refrigerators weren't really a thing yet. Needless to say, I witnessed a lot of handiwork being done. And while I've never been a homeowner myself, I learned early on the amount of work that goes into keeping a house in good shape.

    RELATED: What You Should Know Before Buying a Home

    If you're making the transition from renter to homeowner, there are certain skills you'll want to make sure to master. Gone are the days of simply calling your landlord to mend a leaky faucet-now, it's either you or the handyman, and there's something oh-so-satisfying (and oh-so-much-cheaper) about fixing stuff yourself.

    To get started taking care of your new digs, read up on these eight skills every homeowner should know know.


    1. Get Acquainted With Your Breaker Box

    One of the first things you should do when you move in is make sure every switch in your breaker box is correctly labeled. Enlist a helper

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  • Do You Really Have to Stay at a Job for One Year?

    Staying at a job for less than a year

    My last job required me to sign a two-year commitment. And while a professional obligation for that length of time might scare some people, I was actually thrilled.

    Because at that point in my career, despite the classic adage that you should spend at least one year in a position, I had yet to spend 12 months at the same company.

    My reasons varied, and to be honest, some were better than others. So take it from someone who has been there and left a few jobs-there are times when you can justify a short stint (to yourself and future employers) and times when you really should stick it out if you can. Unsure which category your situation falls into? Read on to find out.

    RELATED: My Story: I Left My Job for My Boyfriend


    It's OK to Leave When: The Job Won't Make it to Your Resume

    When a former boss gives you a recommendation, you hope he or she will sing your praises, using words like "dedicated" and "professional" to describe you. And, let's face it: Leaving several months

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  • The Foolproof Guide to Finding True Career Fulfillment

    Finding the best job of your lifeI've had a few jobs in my time.

    From selling jeans at The Gap to putting on a Rihanna concert, I've tried my hand at a few different things. I'll bet you have, too-getting far away from the gigs that didn't work out and always trying your best to move on to bigger and better things.

    So, why does it sometimes feel like you still don't know what it is you really want to do? Why isn't it all just coming together? When will you be done with all the seeking and searching?

    RELATED: Help! I Have No Idea What My Passion Is

    While I can't answer all of those questions for you, I can share five things I've learned along the way about long-term job satisfaction. Consider this if you want to find the best darn job of your life.

    Forget the Perks

    Things like job security, company policies, work conditions, compensation, and location can all be great ways to help you make a career decision. But if you're focusing on these factors alone, it's unlikely that you'll find real satisfaction and fulfillment

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