As 2019 gets un­der­way, here’s a col­lec­tion of solid ad­vice from 2018

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Classified - — Marco Buscaglia, Ca­reers

It seems that ev­ery­one has an opin­ion when it comes to your job. They tell you how to get one, how not to lose it and why you should con­sider chang­ing ca­reers. And hey, who are we to buck the trend?

Here’s a look at some of the best ad­vice from ca­reer ex­perts and 9-to-5 grunts from the past year.

Reach for more:

Ca­reer ad­viser Niles Smith says don’t ex­pect a pro­mo­tion if you’ve shown you’re ca­pa­ble of noth­ing more than your cur­rent job, even if you’re a high achiever. “It doesn’t mean you’re qual­i­fied by any means to do the job above that one,” Smith says. “If you want a pro­mo­tion, you have to prove that you’re ready for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Sell the ex­pe­ri­ence: Steve Nichols, a re­tired HR direc­tor liv­ing in Burling­ton, Ver­mont, says job-seek­ers shouldn’t count on their skills to get hired. In­stead, they should sell their po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers on the ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with them. “When you look at cars, a good sales­per­son isn’t telling you about the horse­power and the space in the trunk. He’s sell­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. He says some­thing like ‘do you drive your kids to school? You do? Think about the morn­ings — all these cup hold­ers, no climb­ing over seats. You can pre-start it to warm it up.’ You buy into it be­cause you see how that car ben­e­fits you,” he says. “Jobs are the same. ‘Are you look­ing for some­one who can switch gears in an in­stant? I thrive at that. I don’t get frus­trated when we have to make big changes mid­way through a project. It ac­tu­ally gives me a lit­tle jolt.’ Put them in a prob­lem and of­fer your­self as the so­lu­tion to that prob­lem.”

Flip the script: It may seem im­pos­si­ble to im­prove your lot at work, es­pe­cially af­ter you’ve made a huge mis­take, but you might be sur­prised at how quickly you — and your ca­reer — can come out of a tail­spin. “Once you own up to the is­sue, small stones can cre­ate huge rip­ples,” says He­lene Louis, a ca­reer-ad­vis­ing so­cial worker in Char­lotte, North Carolina. “Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize some­thing sim­ple can turn into some­thing in­cred­i­ble. Peo­ple who turn in sloppy work make an ef­fort to get more sleep and then sud­denly, their work im­proves. A waiter stud­ies up on the spe­cials so he can an­swer ques­tions di­rectly and his tips im­prove. Small causes, large ef­fects.”

Too much: When putting to­gether your re­sume, fight the urge to tell your life story. Sure, you can cre­ate a six-page PDF ex­plain­ing how great you are, but why? The re­sume is meant to be a con­densed- yet-thor­ough sum­mary of your skills and your po­ten­tial. Just be­cause you can send a re­cruiter 10 pages of your life’s his­tory, adorned with cool graph­ics, nifty fonts and a well-placed selfie, don’t. In many ways, a re­sume is a re­sume is a re­sume, to para­phrase Lin-Manuel Mi­randa, so don’t over­think it. Es­tab­lish your brand, tell your story and pique your po­ten­tial em­ployer’s in­ter­est.

Men­tor­ing to self-mo­ti­vate:

If you’re try­ing to find the rea­sons why you en­joy work­ing at a cer­tain job, it’s of­ten help­ful to work with a newly hired em­ployee. Proteges are al­ways look­ing for ad­vice and lead­er­ship in their new field of work, so you may find that shar­ing your knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence is help­ful not only to your mentee, but also to you. If you choose this route, keep in mind that be­ing a men­tor comes with a cer­tain set of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. If you plan on bad-mouthing your pro­fes­sion or com­pany to a younger co-worker, you should take a pass. You want to in­spire your pro­tégé, not kill their spirit.

Peo­ple power:

When Mary Hatch lost her job two years ago, the St. Louis res­i­dent stayed pos­i­tive and ac­tive by work­ing at a Star­bucks. She sug­gests tak­ing a part-time job in “a crowded place” while look­ing for a full-time op­por­tu­nity, a strat­egy she says is es­pe­cially essen­tial for those who lose mo­ti­va­tion when they’re alone. “You just have to keep mov­ing. There’s no stag­na­tion, no sit­ting around. That will kill you. It will take away all your en­ergy and am­bi­tion. Go find a place to work where you’ll be sur­rounded by lots of peo­ple. Feed off of that.”

Page turner:

“Read more books. We read a whole lot of Twit­ter feeds but peo­ple need to read books,” says T’Shaka Lee, a part­ner in Deloitte’s Los An­ge­les of­fice. “There’s a lot of great think­ing out there from mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions about get­ting to know thy­self. I think that very early in your ca­reer, you should be ex­plor­ing who you are. Books can help you do that. Read books with ad­vice, bi­ogra­phies, just read more books.”

Signs of life:

When in­ter­view­ing for a job, make sure you’re some­one who can bring a lit­tle life to the of­fice. “No ex­ec­u­tive wants to hire a life­less worker­bot with no pas­sion for any­thing other than sit­ting on the couch. Whether you’re a DJ on the weekend or have some crazy side hus­tle, give them a view that you’re not bor­ing be­cause no one wants to work with bor­ing,” says James Philip, founder, JMJ Phillip Holdings in Detroit.

It took more than one measly alarm to get some peo­ple up and out the door in 2018.

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