Blog Posts by The Daily Muse

  • 5 Reasons to Consider Changing Careers

    Reasons to change careers

    Ever feel like there has to be more?

    That there's a career out there that would better suit your skills, passions, talents, and lifestyle than the one you're spending your days at now?

    Maybe you have-but if you're like many, you also may be feeling held back and wondering if a career change is even an option. After all, abandoning a professional life you've worked hard to build for something totally unknown can be really, really scary.

    But, I'm here to tell you that it can be done-in fact, the average person will change careers at least once in his or her lifetime. So, if you're not totally satisfied on your current path, you shouldn't feel guilty about exploring other options. In fact, here are five scenarios in which it actually makes sense to consider trading in your current profession for something new.


    1. You Fell into Your Current Career

    For some of us, our career "choice" wasn't really a choice at all. Perhaps a family member helped you get a job because you

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  • 6 Ways to Upgrade Your Networking Skills

    What Now? by Kate White

    I don't have to tell you how important networking is when you're looking for a job. And you probably know that it's just as critical to do it after you've already found a position-it's a way for you to meet new people who can open doors for you in the future as well as learn to about what's going on your field.

    But here's something you might not be aware of. In fact, I didn't even quite realize it myself for years. Once you're already established in your career, you need to go about your professional hobnobbing in a much different way. Unless, of course, you want to end up wasting both your time and your best stilettos.

    I call this new approach advanced networking. Here's how to do it brilliantly.


    1. Get Beyond Chit-Chat and Chardonnay

    When you aren't seriously looking for a job or don't have any other type of major agenda, you probably take a fairly casual approach to networking. You'll head to the conference's opening cocktail party and see how the night unfolds. Maybe

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  • One-Sided Love: How to Deal with Office Crushes

    Office crush

    In the movies, workplace relationships usually begin with an attractive woman accidentally spilling coffee on a devastatingly handsome man and end with a declaration of their mutual love in front in of astonished co-workers.

    In real life, combining work and romance can be much messier, especially if the attraction is one-sided. Maybe there's a co-worker who keeps asking you out to lunch or drinks, even though you keep coming up with excuses. Or maybe, someone's getting way too friendly every morning in the break room.

    Whether the advances are simply annoying or they're verging on creepy, we've come up with a few tactics to help you deal with every type of office crush.


    Scenario 1: Nice Guy (or Gal), No Spark

    At one point or another, everyone has been pursued by someone who's perfectly nice but lacks the special something that would make him or her relationship material. In most scenarios, you can simply let the person know you're not interested, and that's that. But

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  • Kick the Sunday Blues! 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Weekend

    Sunday blues

    You know that feeling you get on Friday afternoons? You've wrapped up your work for the week, shut down your computer, and waved goodbye to your cubicle-and you have a whole 48 hours of freedom at your fingertips. TGIF!

    And then Sunday afternoon rolls around and you're overcome with a sinking feeling in your stomach. You can't stop thinking about-and dreading-the inevitable alarm that will go off tomorrow morning, beckoning you to the office once again. And that makes it pretty hard to enjoy what's left of your day off. Ah, yes: the Sunday blues.

    It can certainly be hard to watch your last few hours of the weekend fade away, but it's possible to kick the sadness-and even look forward to the week ahead. So if you're feeling down as Monday morning draws near, here are a few tips to make sure the Sunday blues don't cut your weekend short.


    1. Get The "Life Stuff" Out of the Way

    In my book, Saturdays were meant for fun and Sundays were meant for laundry, cleaning the

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  • Where to Find Free Money for Grad School

    Money for grad school

    When I was considering graduate school programs in the humanities, my undergrad advisor was adamant that the only programs worth attending were those that provided funding options so I wouldn't be paying tuition out of pocket.

    And though I ultimately decided to put my grad school plans on hold, I still think he had a point: If you're already in debt with undergrad loans, paying the full price of grad school is only going to be financially worth it if you're headed down one of the most lucrative career paths.

    So, how do you avoid footing the bill yourself? Check out these resources.


    Your School

    One of the best places to start, of course, is your school or department. Ask your program for listings of internal grant and scholarship opportunities that new students are eligible for. To maximize your chances for free financial aid, apply to your program early-that way you'll be on your department's radar as opportunities arise.

    Already got your financial aid package back

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  • Emails that Land Jobs: The Best Way to Shine in a Follow-Up Note

    Emails that land the job

    110.

    That's how many emails most "working professionals" send and receive every day.

    The bad news? That's a whole lot of noise-and it can feel difficult to pop out from the pile, especially when you're trying to lock down a new job opportunity.

    The good news? Most emails are poorly written, awkward, vague, or just plain boring. And when 99% of the incoming stream is blah-blah-beige, it doesn't take too much effort to shine brighter than a disco ball.

    So, what's the best way to shine?

    Simple: Be unexpectedly generous.

    A quick story: A few years ago, I was courting a local marketing agency for a freelance copywriting position. I'd done a bit of copywriting for my previous employer, but the truth was, I didn't have much of a portfolio to back up my skills.

    After my informal interview, the director of the marketing agency told me:

    "We like your spirit, but we just can't hire you without seeing a few more writing samples."

    We shook hands and parted ways. I felt

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  • That's Your Job! When You're Asked to Do Someone Else's Work

    Someone else's work

    There are plenty of reasons why people ask you to help them out at the office.

    Maybe they need an extra pair of hands, and they think you're the perfect person for the job. Maybe they're feeling overwhelmed and are trying to be fair in distributing their tasks among their team members. Or maybe, frankly, they're trying to get some grunt work off their plates. And you're the one who's been asking to take on new projects, right?

    Whatever the case, it can be difficult to be a team player who's open to new responsibilities without being a pushover who's overwhelmed with miscellaneous tasks and projects on your plate. Even if you do want to take on more around the office, that doesn't mean you want everyone to load up your inbox with their castoffs (or that you should say yes to every request for your time).

    So, what should you do when a peer asks you to take on a project that's technically part of his or her own job? Here's a three-step plan to assess and address the situation.

    Step 1:

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  • 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Job Search

    Kick start your job search

    Whether you feel stuck in your current position, were a recent casualty of a company layoff, or are about to embark on your professional life after graduation, looking for a job can be overwhelming. Between resumes and cover letters, job boards and social media, it's hard to know where to start-and even harder to get motivated to do much more than sit at your desk and daydream about a new gig.

    So to kick off your search on the right foot, it's important to put the right strategy (and some chutzpah, of course!) behind it-by clarifying what you want, figuring out the best way to go after that, and of course, finding ways to stay motivated along the way. Follow these five steps, and you'll find that the job search doesn't have to be as daunting as you think.

    1. Wipe the Slate Clean

    To help you clarify your goals and get energized for your upcoming search, start by assessing what you're looking for and why you want to do that type of work.

    For instance, maybe you're frustrated in your

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  • Feeling Frustrated? How to Advocate for Yourself at Work

    Advocate for self

    "I think I need to quit."

    When my client Sasha came to me a few months ago, these were the first words out of her mouth. She had recently taken a promotion and relocated to a new office for her job in the petrochemical industry, which seemed like an exciting move for her career.

    But she quickly admitted quite the opposite-between demeaning co-workers and a vague manager, she thought she'd made a huge mistake by taking the promotion.

    If you've ever been in a similar situation, you know how daunting it can be. You take a job or new role assuming that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into-but when you get there, things aren't quite what you expected. So most people do one of two things: Flee the job ASAP or sink into a miserable pit of despair.

    Luckily, I convinced Sasha she didn't need to do either. While her concerns were very real, I recognized this as an opportunity for her to flex her muscles, develop the ability to advocate for herself at work, and confront the issues

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  • Yeezus Speaks: 3 Career Lessons from Kanye West

    Career Lessons from KanyeKanye West has never been accused of being subtle. From his very public love affairs (and baby name choices) to his bad award-show etiquette to his most recent headline-grabber, a revealing and ego-packed interview for the New York Times, Ye finds himself ever-present in the spotlight. And, while it may seem like a stretch to compare the career trajectory of the self-titled "Steve Jobs of modern culture" to your own, hear me out. Love him or loathe him, Yeezy has some great insight on career development. Here are three pieces of career advice you can take from West, inspired by his most recent Times interview.


    1. Keep Taking the Shot-Even if You Don't Make the Team

    "I hit every free throw, every layup, and the next day I looked on this chart, and my name wasn't on it."

    Looking at Kanye's career now, it's hard to imagine him ever being out of the spotlight. But, as he recently revealed, he wasn't always at the top of his game. After not making his seventh grade basketball team, Read More »from Yeezus Speaks: 3 Career Lessons from Kanye West

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