My latest collection of hints for making your work life more productive focuses on those things you want to, or ought to do, when starting off a new year. So for January 2014, I cover staying productive with your tools, getting along with your boss, and lots of job hunting goodies. From what I’ve seen, things really pick up speed at this time of year. Seems like December and January are a great time for moving up in your company, or for landing a new gig.
Getting Stuff Done
Staying productive on whatever device(s) you use regularly can be a lot easier with the right tools to keep things clean, moving, or secure.
I know I’ve had my share of difficulties with windows that pop up with cryptic error messages. My own efforts at copying such error messages prove futile, so I must try to recreate the error and then write down the characters in the message really fast before it vanishes again. Fortunately, Rob Schifreen at Tech Support Alert has a suggestion regarding a cool little program that might help.
Most of us use Windows Explorer to move files around, and Rob Schifreen once again offers a tool you can use to simplify this messy and complicated task.
With the work we do with our laptops, the systems get dirty. That’s why I use CCleaner to help me stay on top of things, but we have many choices available to us. Check out Martin Brinkmann’s list of the best free system cleaners for Windows.
Hackers using malware to hold your computer system hostage use tools called ransomeware. That’s because you pay a money to have the hacker deactivate the malware infecting your system. Otherwise, the malware deletes your files at a given time. Martin Brinkmann discusses a tool you can use to identify and remove this malware from your system.
To help start 2014 off on the right foot, Tech Support Alert offers a handy list of how-to articles on computer security.
Dealing With Your Boss
Your plate might be too full, and your head swimming with what work project to tackle first, but here comes your boss down the hallway with “just one more thing” for you to add to your tasklist. You want to tell him “No,” but you can’t. Your work life is in his hands. He decides who keeps their job, who gets promoted, and who is added to the layoff list. But what’s an overworked desk jockey to do? Sara McCord has a few suggestions on handling such situations diplomatically.
It seems as though everyone is hunting for a new job, even if they already have one. But when you’re currently employed, you sure don’t want to let your boss know by posting your new goal on social media. You never know who is paying attention. Sure, he could accommodate your unhappiness in your current position by giving you a pep talk, a raise, or even a promotion. But your average harried boss would probably see you as a liability, fire you on the spot (yes he can do that), and go looking for another, more dedicated candidate to fill your shoes. Fortunately, Susan P. Joyce has a few ideas on how you can look for another job without getting yourself fired.
Job security is gone. Your father might have gotten a gold watch after 40 years of service. Now it’s hard for any of us hang around for even four years. Many companies just don’t want us hanging around that long anymore. The problem seems to be, how do we keep ourselves from being let go, or from being added to the layoff list? Jen Hubley Luckwaldt offers a common-sense suggestion.
Get your job search moving on the right track with these handy tips from Jessica Holbrook Hernandez
If you’re job hunting, follow these guidelines from Jessica Holbrook Hernandez to punch your resume into shape.
Speaking of resumes, follow Alison Griswold’s advice and scratch these overused words from yours.
Want a new job? Learn how to customize your resume to your target job and company.
After you have polished your resume, don’t neglect your cover letter. Jessica Holbrook Hernandez has some suggestions for you.
Congratulations! You landed an interview at your favorite company. But how are you going to answer the dreaded and inevitable question about your last salary? If you really need a job, and you lowball yourself, the interviewer might figure you don’t know your own value. That will get your application dismissed. On the other hand, if you come in too high, the interviewer might see you as too expensive. That won’t end well either. So what’s a job hunter to do? Liz Ryan has the answer.
Don’t know about you, but every time I had an interview, I was sure I behaved just like Deputy Barney Fife on the old Andy Griffith show: Timid, insecure, shy, awkward, and clumsy. I wanted to come across as professional and confident. It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let your nerves ruin your performance. Ariella Coombs has a few tips for you.
It seems as though you *can* Tweet your way to another gig. Joshua Waldman tells you how to find local recruiters on Twitter.
If you’re in the market for a new job (and who isn’t these days?), then you should have accounts with Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, Simply Hired, and LinkUp, to name just a few. But did you know can search most of these job boards all at the same time using Google? Let The Wise Job Search show you how.
Tune Up Your LinkedIn Profile
So you’re on LinkedIn. You opened an account, filled out a few options, saved, and closed. Done. Right? Well, no, not quite. Anyone can do what you just did. You need to look better to get recruiters or employers interested enough in you to give you a call. That’s why you need to work on your profile. And that’s why Laura-Jane Sarkodee has a few tips to help you out.
For those of you who are on LinkedIn but who are befuddled as to how to maximize their presence, Pamela Vaughan has compiled an excellent LinkedIn cheat sheet for you.