I got an email recently on a topic that always makes me cringe. This one, from an HR representative at a large organization, wrote to say, "What are we teaching job candidates these days about asking for references?" Her complaints were valid: in her experiences, she found that the contacts that job candidates provided as a reference were unprepared, didn't know the candidate, and had not been expecting a call from HR to check in on the job applicant. Don't let this be you! Here's what you can do to make sure that your references support your candidacy for the job you want, and don't detract from it.Read More
It's holiday time, and where I'm currently working, that means we're getting gift boxes in the office and hosting staff holiday parties, and we're generally a bit more relaxed and laid back than we would usually be. We've hosted a retirement party, two Christmas parties, and here, at this university in Australia, that means drinking wine on company time.
This is new to me. I came from a public university in the US, where the alcohol policy was strict and explicit: alcohol on campus is not allowed without a permit, should not even be stored in staff offices, and we would never have a drink even off campus during working hours. You just didn't do it.
Here, we pour champagne at lunch for a retirement party, we pour shiraz at 4:00 pm when we get a little antsy in the week before Christmas. And we sit at our desks with our disposable wine glasses and chatter on about work as we would any other time.Read More
"My girlfriend invited me to go to New York with her next week, for a conference. It's a great opportunity and I really want to go! Can I ask for the time off this close to the date?"
One of the biggest challenges in establishing yourself as a professional with a solid reputation is how to juggle what you reaaaaaallyyyyyy want to do outside of work, with what your workplace needs and wants of you. "But it's my life, I should be able to do what I want," you think, while your boss is thinking "it's our busiest time of year, is he blind? If he asks for one more day off I need to hire someone more reliable."Read More
Before I became "CareerJanet", I was Oil Spill Janet, working for a small environmental consulting firm that contracted with a large government agency that got involved any time someone accidentally broke a pipeline or leaked some sludge. There's a lot of travel in this business. When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened in 2010, I was contracted to go on site to the command post, based in New Orleans, as part of the spill management team, and thus began several months of continuous business travel. I was in my mid-20's. This was heaven.
New Orleans is both the most ideal and least ideal location to put a whole bunch of extremely hard-working, stressed out consultants, scientists, Coast Guard officers, and oil company managers. The city was the most accessible and logical hub of the gulf coast to this particular incident, having enough hotel rooms to accommodate the several hundred personnel stationed there on behalf of the environment. And, the city specializes in helping you relieve that work stress in any way you need to.Read More
We can only wonder about the series of decisions that led to the fateful US-student-stuck-in-a-vagina-sculpture incident in Germany this week. One thing is sure: this kid is famous, but not for the best of reasons. One also might wonder, as soon as his name and personal information are made public, how anyone could take him seriously after an incident like this? We can assume that this guy was studying SOMETHING in college, and probably aspires to be employed at some point in his career. And unless it's performing stunts in movies or comedy routines, this type of famous is not usually a great career move. So, if you find yourself in a similar incident of public shame or embarrassment, how do you recover?Read More