Thursday, September 1, 2011

Best career tips gleaned from 15 years of experience

Sun Sentinel Columnist

Flexibility is critical to anyone's career these days.

My career has evolved several times. This column, for example, began 15 years ago as "Business Strategies," focusing on management. Later on, it became a career-advice column, and in recent years, the column has offered job-search advice.

This column ends today, and while I'll miss doling out advice, I'm enthusiastic about my new focus: reporting job news, the employment picture and changes in South Florida's workplaces. Readers will see that news online, through my blog,, as well as in print. Email or call me about the job you have, the job you want or your thoughts about working in South Florida.

I've enjoyed writing this column because it was always a learning experience. I hope my readers know more about good management practices, their rights in the workplace, how to find a job and how to deal with sticky work situations.

In bringing this column to a close, I've selected some of the best career advice from my columns over the years. I've found this advice helpful in my own career, and I hope it serves you as well:

Embrace change. A mentor taught me that "change is good." It may be uncomfortable, but in transitional times, we stretch and grow. In today's workplace, change is ever-present. You never want to be seen as resisting it — that marks you as "old school." Instead, embrace it and focus on the opportunity it presents.

Keep your skills up-to-date. In journalism, I've learned Web publishing software, social media and other new tools in recent years. No matter what your field, it's important to stay attuned to industry changes, and to continually update your skills. If your employer is not providing the education you need, pursue it yourself — it is well worth the investment in your current and future employment.
If LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media are not part of your toolbox, you may be falling behind. Don't let that happen; it's not that hard, and you may find some valuable business contacts.

Be innovative. Gain a reputation as the employee who is always coming up with a new product or service idea.
During the recession, cost-cutting was a key initiative. Fort Lauderdale employees at CompHealth, for example, came up with ideas to cut costs that added up to about $1 million in savings in 2009. Today, companies are looking for ways to increase consumer demand for their products or services. Be a contributor to your employer's growth.

Avoid meltdowns.  - More advice and complete article

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