6 Things You Need To Do Early On In Your Career For Long-Term Success

Destiny Lalane

Completely on a whim, I decided to book a one-way Megabus ticket from New York City straight to Boston. Seeing that I’ve always lived in a city, I had never taken one before. My ticket was $20 and would prove to be the most influential experience I have experienced in a very long time. But I’ll save that story for another post.

I sat across from a bright Pace University student who was on her way home to surprise her family for Mother’s Day. The bus wifi was down (surprise, surprise) and I was completely thrilled when I struck up a conversation with the student in front of me. We’ll call her Melissa.

Melissa was bright, inspired and eager. She wanted a mentor but felt completely stuck. She had been applying for internships in her field for months with no luck.

She started to ask me questions about my transition from college into this magical place we call the “real world.” As I started to share my advice, I realized transitioning is hard for some. But some of the pieces of advice I was giving Melissa were also some of the tips that helped me the most. They can help you land an internship or even a job.

Here are a few career hacks you should implement now:

1. Starting using LinkedIn more than you use Facebook.

Think about it. Being tagged in photos of you partying is lovely and all, but leveraging your network is how you become successful not only socially, but also professionally.

No matter where you are in college or your career, any time is the right time to start building up your LinkedIn presence. Connect with peers, teachers and industry connections you meet along your college and professional journey. It’s the easiest and most organic way to beef up your network.

4. Make business cards.

Business cards are still a networking game-changer and are now cheaper than ever to make. I use Moo or Staples.

See all 6 things and the complete article

Six Tips To Help You Change Careers

2) Test out your career idea before making the leap

Career changes can be time-consuming and expensive if you need to retrain, so you have to know you are committed before making the move. “Test out your idea on a small scale first,” recommends Sarah Byrne, career coach at Careershifters. “For example, take a short course before enrolling in a time-intensive course; work shadow or volunteer to see if the reality matches the idea in your head.”

Corinne Mills, managing director of Personal Career Management, agrees that you should test out a new career before committing. “Ask to get involved with a project group at work. Or try to find a mentor in your chosen industry. There are lots of opportunities where you can learn more while continuing to develop your experience,” she says

5) Match your CV to the role you are applying for

On your CV, you need to stand out as the best person who can fill the vacant position, rather than someone who can do their current job, says Lis McGuire, founder of Giraffe CVs. “When you are making a career change, every line of your CV needs to work as hard as possible, showing how you meet the target role requirements and have the necessary skills to do the job. Don’t be afraid to rip your CV up and start again from scratch for each role you apply for to achieve the best results,” she says.

Katherine Burik, founder of The Interview Doctor, agrees: “Hiring managers don’t want to [have to] work hard to determine whether someone is qualified or not. So if your job search materials aren’t exact they will discard your application in favour of people who more obviously meet the criteria.”

Likewise Victoria McLean, founder of CityCV.co.uk, adds that you should match your CV as closely as possible to the hiring manager’s job description. “Your CV should be elegant, impactful and persuasive, with a laser focus on skills and achievements relevant to your target role.”

See all 6 tips and the complete “The Guardian” article

Executive Coach Reveals Best Career Advice Ever

Kristi Hedges

Executive coaches are sometimes called corporate shrinks. And while most of us would argue vehemently that what we do doesn’t approach psychological therapy — and we’re careful to steer clear of it — we will admit that we hear lots of private thoughts. Our entire job is predicated on intimacy, trust, and shared confidences.

We also see, in real time, how career strategies play out. We collect feedback on all sides about how commonly held wisdoms work — or crash and burn.
The reality is that a whole lot of this career stuff is situational. What works for one person, or in one company, doesn’t do so well elsewhere. That said, there are a few, consistent pieces of advice I’ve heard through my work that hold up anywhere, for any level of professional. Follow these, and you’ll fast-track your own career.

1. If you see a fire, run into it.
This was shared recently by a client (told to her by her Dad), and it echoes a sentiment I’ve held for years: in chaos, there is opportunity. Most major career accelerations happen when someone steps into a mess and makes a difference. In the technology sector, people will remark that one year in a start-up is like five years in an established company. There’s ample opportunity to stretch your wings, wear many hats, and create a name for yourself when there’s not a set plan to follow. You can find the same opportunity in any organization, if you seek it.

2. Follow up.
If, as Woody Allen made famous, 80% of life is showing up — then 90% of career success is following up. Our organizations are rife with lack of accountability, whether by intention or incompetence. Be the person who meets deadlines, holds others accountable, and heck, even remembers to say thanks when it’s due. Following through on your commitments is trust-building, and the opposite erodes it quickly and indelibly.

3. Tell the truth.
Truthfulness seems a bit obvious to be on this list. However, companies are rife with damaging  lies of omission. In an effort to look good, and not cause waves, we don’t express our truthful opinion. Being brave enough to respectfully state the truth in a politically astute way sets you apart. Most CEOs I know want to hear dissenting opinion; they crave more information not “yes” people. As Joann Lublin discussed in the Wall Street Journal, expressing a difference of opinion actually helps your career.

Tips 4 – 7 and complete Forbes article

The Top 75 Websites For Your Career

In early August, Forbes Leadership put out a call for nominations for our inaugural list of the best career websites, largely inspired by ForbesWoman’s annual list of Top 100 Websites For Women. We endeavored to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging sites. To accomplish this we challenged you, our readers, to submit your picks for the best online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.

We received a wealth of comments, emails and tweets with your choices–about 1,500 of them, naming roughly 700 different websites. To taper the list down to 75, my colleague Susan Adams and I combed through the stack and hand-picked the sites we thought our readers would find most compelling and useful for things like job listings, facts and figures, and career insights and guidance.

Susan has written an accompanying post with our picks for the ten best sites from our list of 75. She reminds readers that while there are some great resources on the web, they shouldn’t spend too much time on the Internet scouring listings, reading career advice or blasting out their résumé. Especially for those in job search mode, it’s better to spend time researching companies, networking and meeting people face to face.

Our full list of the Top 75 Websites For Your Career is not a ranking and there are no winners or losers; it’s simply a compilation of nominated sites that we believe deserve some special recognition. The list includes blogs, job aggregators and boards, personal career coaching pages, and traditional media outlets’ career sites that could be useful to those in traditional 9 to 5 office jobs, Federal workers, work-from-home professionals, entrepreneurs, college students and retirees.

Here’s our first-ever list of the Top 75 Websites For Your Career (in alphabetical order):

Owned by The New York Times, About.com offers a wealth of free information for job seekers and those looking to advance their careers, including articles about everything from how to get along with your boss to questions not to ask an employer during an interview. About.com also links to other sites focused on specific careers like advertising or criminology, that have articles on topics like copywriting or the day in the life of a police officer. Users can also read up on the history of various fields, find a list of schools where they can study for a particular degree, or peruse an article on the most popular jobs in a given field. The site links to job listings powered by Indeed.com. Job search and employment expert Alison Doyle has been About.com’s job search guide since 1998.

Betts Recruiting
This is the site for Betts Recruiting, which searches for talent for the business side of venture capital-backed startups in New York City and Silicon Valley. The focus is on sales, marketing and business development staff from the junior level through vice president.

Big Interview
Co-founded by career coach Pamela Skillings, who used to work in human resources at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and MasterCard International, Big Interview offers online interviewing tutorials where users pay $197 for a package of three installments. Users can prep for industry-specific interviews like pharmaceutical sales or advertising. The prep involves an on-screen interviewer asking questions like, “tell me about yourself,” and “why are you interested in this position?” The user then records her answer and watches it back onscreen. The site offers numerous tips for different stages of the interview process (sample answer, in part: “I love managing teams and solving customer problems.”)

Blogging4Jobs.com is an online workplace resource for managers, leaders, human resources, and recruiting professionals.  They take their audience to “uncomfortable, yet necessary,” places exposing them to the realities of the workplace without the “corporate sugar coating.”  The site was launched in 2007 with a goal of helping job seekers learn the unwritten rules of job searching.  The site has since expanded to offer insights into the world of work from a corporate and operations no-nonsense point of view.

Boomer Job Tips
Boomer Job Tops offers ideas, hints, tips and how-to’s for the growing baby boomer population to help them find a job, win an interview or move their career forward. The site has hundreds of articles from experts in the career area on résumés, interviews, strategy and tactics with a “boomer focus.”

CareerBliss is all about helping people lead happier lives by finding happiness in the workplace. The job information-hub offers free resources, like its “happiness assessment” developed by experts, a database of 6.5 million salaries, 600,000 company reviews, and 3 million job listings.  Using its large database of reviews and survey results, the site regularly releases lists like, “The Happiest For Working Dads” and “The Happiest Companies to Work For.”

Founded in 1995, CareerBuilder is one of the biggest online job boards. Its scope is international, with a presence in more than 60 markets worldwide. The site helps employers refine and target job descriptions to attract talent. Users can post résumés on the site and for a fee, get help writing résumés ($180-$300), cover letters ($50), thank-you notes ($15) and compiling references ($10). The site also offers paid online courses in different fields, like marketing and dentistry.

Career Change Central
The days when people spent decades in the same job before retiring are basically over. Career Change Central says the working public now has a new model: “One that encompasses multiple careers, a variety of job opportunities, and productive self-employment.” So whether you’re trying to get ahead in your current job, wanting to change directions completely or get a job after retirement, this is your resource. Bettie Biehn, a career human resources and not-for-profit management professional, launched the site in 2004 and provides career coaching services, résumé writing tips and cover letter advice.

Career Copilot

The people behind this career blog believe that when it comes to your career, you shouldn’t fly solo. Dan Keller, the sites owner and editor, has over a decade of recruiting experience, including retained search, contingency search and corporate recruiting. As a certified résumé writer, he also owns and manages ProResumeWriter.com. Keller provides advice on everything from interviewing to social networking to career development on the blog.

Career Girl Network
Career Girl Network provides information and resources to women, as well as the opportunity to build a network invested in their success. With hundreds of original articles each month from writers who know the world of personal branding, dressing for success, interview tactics, and other tips for success, the site combines its in-house expertise with valuable aggregated content for women in business from around the web.

Careers in Government
CareersinGovernment.com aims to match job seekers with careers in the government and the public sector. The site also includes resources like a basic salary calculator, tips for using social media to find a public sector job and a comprehensive list of professional associations for public sector employees.

Come Recommended
Come Recommended is a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. Simply put, they help companies get found, get clients, and get the recognition they deserve. The site was founded in 2008 by Forbes contributor Heather R. Huhman, a thought leader and expert in the careers space with a decade of experience as a hiring manager and public relations specialist.

See all 75 sites and complete Forbes article

12 Ambitious Career Resolutions to Kick-Start Your 2012

By now, you’re probably chipping away at your New Year’s resolution: go to the gym more often, learn a new language, start a garden, stop biting your nails, etc…

Those are all worthy goals for 2012 and with enough dedication, you’ll be speaking Mandarin and shedding pounds in no time
But the New Year is also a perfect opportunity to take stock of your job or your pursuit of one. Like a car in need of an oil change, we too often forget about the basic maintenance required to stay sharp.
In case you haven’t added any career-related goals to your resolution list, here are 12 that will help you gain momentum professionally in 2012:

1. Update your resume

Even if you have a job and don’t plan on leaving, you just never know. Your resume should always be fresh and presentable. Once you update it, have a friend with a sharp eye look it over for errors. That way, when an exciting opportunity comes along, you’ll be ready.

2. Back up your computer files

Put all your files on a backup hard drive or server like Dropbox. If you have a job, make sure you ask about your company’s server and how to use it. That way, if your computer crashes this year, you’ll have a plan to fall back on. Don’t be that person who forgot to back it up!

3. Ask about or reassess your 401(k)

See if your company offers a 401(k) retirement plan. If you can’t afford to max out your 401(k), at least contribute enough to get your employer’s matching contribution (aka “free money”).

4. Network, Network, Network

Set a goal to meet with 1-2 people in your industry each month, or folks who could help connect you to the industry you want. Again, even if you’re in love with your job and could never imagine leaving, maintaining and growing your network is one of the best things you can do for your career. Keep your options open and your contact list robust. If setting up 1-2 lunches a month is too taxing, join a business networking group and attend monthly meetings.

5. Learn a new job skill

In between Mandarin verb conjugations and your flourishing garden, find time to add a technical skill to your repertoire and make yourself more valuable professionally. Most people like being asked for their knowledge and expertise, so sidle up next to a friend or co-worker and gain a new skill for free.

Danny Rubin is a national news consultant for media research firm Frank N Magid Associates. He is a former television news reporter, lives in Washington, D.C. and tweets as @dannyhrubin.
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Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work — this isn’t your parents’ career-advice blog. Be Brazen.
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5 Critical Career Moves You Need to Make Now

It’s January, the time of year when you once again resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less and recycle more. All worthy personal and altruistic goals. But what about career resolutions? Whether you are happily employed, a disgruntled employee, or out of work positioning yourself for the next great opportunity should be among your top priorities. So make room on your list for the top 5 critical career resolutions you must make regardless of your employment status to give you the best chance of long-term career success:

1. Focus on your personal brand. You are unique. Who you are, how you think, how you project yourself, what you have to offer is what you are selling to an employer. Starting on the outside then looking in – be honest with yourself. Is it time for a make-over? Men, this applies to you, too. From hairstyle to shoes, do you look current, confident and professional? Are you self-aware about how others perceive you? Are you the type of colleague that others want to be around, work with, trust, respect, can count on? That means being solution-oriented, positive, collaborative, collegial and accountable.

2. Update your Internet profile. Is your resume and profile on Linkedin and other social and professional media current? Do you even have a Linkedin profile and know what it is? And that’s just the bare minimum today. Many professionals have their own career page and twitter accounts. You’ve got to work on your profile and get yourself out there…speaking of which…
3. Network, Network, Network. Networking is to the Job search as Location, Location, Location is to the house search. Need more convincing…two-thirds of all job opportunities are never advertised and are filled through networking. Resolve to ask everyone in your network to introduce you to just one new person in the coming year and watch your network and prospects grow accordingly.