Aihui Ong left her cushy job as a software engineer to backpack around the world. Good move.
“You know what scares me? Being trapped.
I’m not talking about the kind of claustrophobia that keeps people out of crowded elevators. I’m referring to “career claustrophobia,” a stagnation that stifles even the most promising careers. Surprisingly, this dysfunction is so pervasive today that scarcely anyone notices it.”
You can’t avoid this forever: If you have a bad relationship with your boss, Here’s how to speak up for yourself without getting fired.
“I heard this message but thought, I’m young and still have time.”
“The most important advice I would still give — and it may seem crazy because I did lose this job I really loved — you have to be an authentic person.”
“Life does not have a recipe. Then why should you serve up your next business, book, or song following someone else’s recipe?”
“Just like a speaking coach will tell you not to fill empty space with “um,” you should avoid framing your answer as a rehearsed pitch by starting with “so.” Next time you’re asked, “What do you do?” try dropping the “so.” You’ll appear much more confident.”
Some may be obvious, like watching out for typos and misspelled words, but others—like cookie-cutter copies or file names—might be more sneaky mistakes you’re making when looking for a job.
“Very successful entrepreneurs take the time to analyze their lives and to look closely at their vision and their purpose in life. They put their lives on paper. They take the time to construct mental images that guide them on their journey. While most people are winging it, they put their life mission and business vision and goals on paper. Then they go to work executing their plan.”
It might not be what you say so much as how you say it. Your raspy voice, high-pitched laugh, and sloppy grammar could be holding you back.
You wouldn’t show up to a job interview with bed head and slippers. Why sound like you just woke up?
Studies show that vocal fry—the creaking, drawn-out tone that emerges when speaking below your normal register—hurts first impressions of both men and women. Listen to some examples here>
What happens when you’re young, accomplished, and making a decent salary but feel like you aren’t making a difference? You turn to our experts, that’s what. Leadership coach Lolly Daskal and Psychologist Art Markman offer their advice on how to get out of a rut and answer one of life’s biggest questions.
“A manager who knows that you are actively supporting their best interests (and not working against them) can come to see you as a great ally—thereby changing overall working dynamic.”
“I studied journalism at NYU, which was a f**king waste of money,” she told Cosmopolitan’s Jill Filipovic. “You don’t have to study journalism to be a journalist.”
“Sure, successful people work a bit on weekends, but they know that weekends are mostly about giving the brain a break. Even if you’re not religious, challenge yourself to keep a Sabbath of sorts: one 24-hour period where you don’t do any of your usual work. You may find yourself so relaxed you’ll look forward to Monday.”
If you ever think there may come a time when you’ll need your boss to write you a letter of recommendation or make a call on your behalf—and there probably will—then follow these tips for building a better relationship with your superior. She’ll likely be happy to help you out!
[Image: Flickr user Kumar Appaiah]