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October 17th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in In the Workplace

istock_000018695015xsmallWhether you have a cubicle or an office, sometimes your workspace just doesn’t seem big enough. Papers end up cluttered everywhere, you accumulate bits and pieces of old projects, and you can never find the document you need when you need it. But even if you have a small space, there are ways you can maximize it, making you a more efficient and effective employee.

Get rid of your CRT monitor. It’s taking up a ton of room on your desk, and LCDs are so inexpensive nowadays that there’s just no excuse. That extra space can be put to use with organizational systems that will help keep your paperwork in order. Put in a request to your IT department to find out if it’s possible.

Make use of your walls. They can be used for more than just hanging up artwork. You can also use them to organize documents with hanging wall files. You can create wall shelves for additional storage space. And if your desk is facing a wall, it may even be possible to mount a flat-screen monitor there to give you a little more desk space. Of course, one of the most common ways to use an office wall is the bulletin board. It can help keep papers off of your desk and in your line of sight.
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October 12th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice

istock_000012525712xsmallMore than people in most other countries, as Americans, we identify ourselves by our jobs - “I’m a doctor,” “a plumber,” “a librarian,” “a cashier at Kroger.” What we do for a living defines us - both to others and internally - and sometimes our jobs can come to take over our lives in an unhealthy way.

So how do you know if you’re working too much? Read on.

Your friends stop inviting you to things. No one should make you feel bad for missing things once in a while - friends have to understand that life gets in the way sometimes. But when you’ve done it so much and for such a long time that your friends no longer call or email, you might need to rethink your work-life balance a bit.

You grab for your smartphone the second you wake up. Technically, this could also be an internet or technology addiction, but if you’re checking work emails in the shower, it’s a problem.

You can’t focus. Multitasking is often considered a good thing, but there comes a point when everyone reaches diminishing returns. If you have so much going on that you can’t seem to focus on anything, chances are that you are working too much and need to engage in that most important workplace skill: delegating.

You toss and turn at night. If your brain is so focused on work that you’re counting emails instead of sheep when you go to bed, something is going to give. Try keeping work and home life separate and getting into a relaxing routine before bed.

You put off work. Wait, huh? How does putting off work mean you’re working too much? Because often procrastination is our subconscious way of telling ourselves that we need a little rest and relaxation.
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September 25th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in In the Workplace

Breastfeeding and the WorkplaceIf you’re a working woman who has a baby, is pregnant, or plans on getting pregnant, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with how breastfeeding can work in the workplace.

Those who don’t intend to breastfeed should at least look into the research before making a final decision, because a vast number of studies show that when compared to formula, breastfeeding provides you and your little one with a many benefits, including:
  • Better protection from sickness
  • Reduced SIDS risk
  • Less chance of obesity later in life
  • Few incidences of postpartum depression for mom
  • Protection for mothers against breast and ovarian cancers
By federal law, your workplace is required to provide break time and a private spot (other than a restroom) for you to express your milk as long as your employer has 50 or more employees. Even so, a number of experts - including the Surgeon General - have said that American women have far less support than working mothers in many other countries around the world, so be prepared for the possibility that you may face resistance from your employer.

By getting a little creative and planning ahead, you can find ways to continue to breastfeed. Here are some things to try:

Make your own private space.

Just because the company doesn’t designate an area for breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. If you don’t have an office yourself, try to find a coworker who is willing to let you use their office or a private bathroom - just make sure to clean up afterward! Those who can’t find a space in the office may want to consider getting their car windows tinted and pumping in their vehicle.

The right pump.

If you’re going to be pumping at work, you will almost definitely want an electric breast pump because of their speed and efficiency. Check reviews for reliability, because you definitely don’t want a pump that’s going to break on you in the middle of the day. You may even want to invest in a hands-free pump. Depending on your setup, this could allow you to keep working and not lose any pay for taking time off.

Leak protection.

It’s not fun to think about it, but the fact is that breastfeeding mothers leak milk, which can be pretty embarrassing if it happens in front of your boss or coworkers. Nipple pads for your bra are a must, but it’s also probably a good idea to bring an extra blouse just in case, as well as towels and other cleaning equipment.
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August 22nd, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, Resume Writing

How Long Should Your Resume Be?Generally, the answer is: as short as it can be. Some people belong to the school of thought that anything over a page is simply too long. It’s just one resume among a pile of dozens or hundreds more, so you need to make your case fast before they move on to the next one.

But here’s the thing: you also don’t want to leave off key experience because you’re trying to artificially cram everything onto one page. The key is to highlight the relevant experience, skills, education, and attributes, and for some, this may require two pages. In the case of senior executives with a lot of time in the workforce, your resume may even be longer. However, if you’re a recent college graduate or someone with just a few years of work experience, there’s no reason to have a resume over one page.

Some people incorrectly believe that having a longer resume will make them look more qualified or accomplished, but if you don’t actually have the experience, simply making it longer won’t fool anyone. In fact, it will just take them longer to get to the information that is relevant and may end up in you being passed over for the position.

What You Can Cut

So how do you know if your resume is as short as it can be? Look it over to see what’s extraneous. Each section and each item should be a selling point that gives the potential employer evidence that you are the right candidate. Here are a few common places where you may be able to cut down - or remove things altogether.

References

It’s no longer customary to include your references on your resume, so this is a great section to cut. If your employer is interested in contacting people for recommendations, you can provide them on a separate sheet. Similarly, you don’t need to include a line that says, “References available upon request.” The potential employer will assume this is the case.
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August 9th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Resume Writing

Dynamic LaptopThe next time you update your resume, you may want to consider going online - and not just to look for sample resumes to emulate! Some companies, particularly those in the tech and finance industries, are now requesting digital resumes.

What exactly does that mean? Well, instead of sending them a PDF or Word doc attachment, they want candidates for their positions to send along a link (or links) to their web presence. Even if a position you are applying to doesn’t request  a digital resume, sending one along with your traditional resume can help you stand out from the crowd. That’s never a bad idea, but in this crowded job market it’s practically a necessity. It also has the added advantage of showing that you are web savvy, an important skill in most workplaces today.

So what exactly is a digital resume, and what do employers expect you to include? This is a new format, so there are no set standards like there are for traditional resumes. What one company means by “digital resume” can be very different from another’s idea.

While this may seem overwhelming and confusing at first, it’s actually a wonderful opportunity for you to get creative and highlight your particular strengths.  Here are two of the most popular formats for digital resumes.

LinkedIn

The most basic digital resume is LinkedIn, which is a site that allows you to list your work history, skills, etc., just like you would on a traditional resume. It’s also a social network that allows you to easily connect with people in your field. Many people include the URL for their LinkedIn page on their business cards, providing people with an easy way to discover their work history.
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