9 proven ways to improve your career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

06:00 PM

Amanda shares her most popular career tips for the successful professional. [TWEET]

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed a pattern in my updates. Every day, at approximately 11 a.m. EST, I share a small tidbit of career advice with my followers. These can range from building your professional network to preparing for your annual review.

Below are some of the most popular career tips I’ve shared over the past few months.

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Here’s a great tip to help you work smarter. I originally came across this suggestion in an article by Fast Company.  The idea is pretty simple: Instead of putting off that important – or possibly least desirable – task until later in the day, start your morning off by doing it first. This small act will set the right tone for your day and improve your overall productivity. For more productivity tips, check out Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog!

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Management

Improve your presentations in 60 seconds or less

Posted by Amanda Augustine

11:33 AM

Instantly improve your public speaking skills with these simple tips. [TWEET]

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Most of us aren’t naturally gifted public speakers. In fact, many avoid speaking in front of groups whenever they can. However, this fear of presenting can have adverse effects over the course of your career.

David Blum*, a communication skills trainer at Well-Spoken Joe, explains that people who are uncomfortable with public speaking are at a disadvantage in the workplace.

“It does very little good to be a ‘technical expert’ or ‘marketing master’ if you cannot effectively communicate your ideas to an audience,” says Blum.  Skilled presenters are usually the ones who get the job offer, who get the plum project, and who get the promotion. In fact, one study found that people who present at work earn $9,000 per year more than their counterparts who don't present. [TWEET]

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Management

Build a better career with big data – here’s how

Posted by Amanda Augustine

12:00 PM

Big data is changing everything. From how we do our jobs to who we date, the numbers are now dictating what to do – and we’re better for it. In business, organizations are using big data to do everything from identify customer pain points to predict when employees will quit their jobs.

But does big data affect the average professional? The answer is yes – and more than you’d think. In fact, here at TheLadders, we believe the most successful professionals are those who arm themselves with data. [TWEET] So we harnessed our 10+ years of career data to develop an exciting new tool to make you a better job seeker now, and a more informed, successful professional throughout the course of your career.

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Topics: Ask Amanda, Salary, Professional Development

Ace your next performance review with these top tips

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:27 PM

Go into your next performance evaluation prepared to wow.

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Performance evaluations can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you’re unsure how you fared over the past year. However, when done right, your review can be a valuable tool for receiving constructive feedback and taking your career to the next level. [TWEET]

As a career-driven professional, it’s up to you to make the most of this evaluation. Here are some tips to help you optimize your review and enter the New Year on the right foot.

Familiarize yourself with the process.

Check with your boss or human resources to find out if anything’s changed about the process since last year. If you’re new to the company, look on Glassdoor and speak to your HR department and colleagues to learn how the company conducts their evaluations and what is expected of you.

Perform a self-assessment.

Set aside time to honestly evaluate your performance for the past year. Which goals did you meet, exceed or fall a little short on? Even the top performers have room for improvement. What areas would you like to improve in the coming year?

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Workplace

The New Year promotion plan

Posted by Guest Contributor

09:00 AM

Earn your next promotion in the New Year with these five simple steps.

By Frances Cole Jones

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There's a crispness in the air and we’ve all got that back-to-business, “wow, I’d forgotten about this sweater!” vibe that keeps our energy and career motivation high. [TWEET]

Unfortunately, as the days get shorter and holiday madness sets in, it’s all too easy for this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed attitude to fade away.  But there’s one sure-fire way to keep yourself on-track and focused in your career over the holidays: Begin to plan today for a promotion in the New Year.  Below are five items to check off your list to keep you on the New-Year promotion tract:

Topics: Salary, Goal Setting, Professional Development

How to find the right mentor to advance your career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

12:00 PM

The right mentor can take your career to new heights. Here’s how to find the right one for you.

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The right mentor can be a powerful tool in your career arsenal, whether you’re new to the working world or already well-established in your industry. In fact, Sheila Wellington, former president of Catalyst Foundation and author of Be Your Own Mentor, believes it’s one of the main reasons why men tend to rise higher than women in the workplace – men are more likely to have mentors throughout their careers than women. [TWEET]

Mentors can propel your career in innumerable ways. They can help shape your professional skills, teach you the ins and outs of your industry, help you navigate corporate politics, overcome adversity, and introduce you to the right people and resources to advance your career. Check out these five different types of mentorship below to find out how you can reap the benefits of professional guidance throughout your entire career.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Professional Development

The one thing successful professionals do to get ahead

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:50 PM

Why you need to make networking a priority – even when you’re employed. [TWEET]

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Networking isn’t just for job seekers. In fact, the most successful professionals are often superb networkers. With that said, it can be difficult to make networking a priority when you’re happily employed and other, more pressing activities are competing for calendar space. If your business cards have begun to gather dust, it’s time to brush them off and get back into your networking groove.

Need more incentive? Here are four reasons professionals at the pinnacle of their careers continuously network (and why you should, too!).   

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Professional Development

It’s time for your mid-year career checkup

Posted by Amanda Augustine

09:00 AM

Keep your career on the right track with this evaluation.

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When was the last time you sat down and thought seriously about your career?

It’s not uncommon to get so caught up in your day-to-day work that you lose sight of your long-term career goals. Or perhaps your fast-paced career that has you traveling all the time has lost its appeal and it’s time to reassess your goals. Use the list below to give your career a mid-year check-up and make sure you’re on track.

Revisit your goals

What you desired at the beginning of your career – or perhaps only a year ago – may no longer hold true today. As our lives change, so do our career plans. Dedicate some time this week to reevaluate what leadership expert Jim Collins calls your Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development

Are you becoming obsolete at work?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:07 AM

Stay competitive in the workplace with this top advice.

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You’re well-established in your career and you have the track record to prove it. You’re comfortable at your current role and management seems content with your work. All is right with the world.

But as Millennials flood the job market, you get a little anxious. What if your experience is not enough? While this concern is reasonable, take heart. A survey by Adecco found that hiring managers are three times more likely to hire experienced workers than their Gen Y counterparts.

That said, it’s in every professional’s best interest to take steps to remain relevant and competitive in the workforce. Below are some tips to help you accomplish just that. [TWEET]

Topics: Ask Amanda, Age and Your Job Search, Professional Development, Workplace

Three steps to writing your professional WILL

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:00 AM

Create a career “I WILL” list so your dreams will never die. [TWEET]

WILL_bucketlist_notepadFact: I am a huge fan of the television series NCIS. In a recent episode, one of the characters unearthed an “I WILL” list she wrote when she was a young child. It contained the kinds of dreams you’d expect a young girl to have: “I WILL be a ballerina, ride a horse, live in a castle, have a boy and a girl…”

Topics: Ask Amanda, Goal Setting, New to the Workforce, Professional Development