Do these New Year resolutions sound familiar: I’m going to lose weight, start exercising and find a new job.

The “USA Today” newspaper was introduced on Sept. 15, 1982. Management described its innovative approach of reporting news as a short overview of major news events going on in the world. They believed people didn’t have time to read lengthy news stories and that consumers were looking for a short description of the biggest stories in 10 minutes or less. The approach has proven to be successful, and I find it ironic that we now have “tweets” which is an even shorter version of sharing one’s opinion about the news.

When I was twenty years old my mom told me, “Before you get married look at your girlfriend with both eyes wide open. Once you get married close one eye because you’ll see things you can’t change.” When we’re in love, we’re extremely optimistic. We overlook our partner’s flaws and some people even believe they can change their spouse once they get married. I can almost hear you laughing. I’m going to take my mother’s advice, close one eye and describe why this story has relevance to your career.

It’s not that unusual for people to have a personal trainer, nutritionist, financial advisor, physical therapist and chiropractor. When we’re younger, a family physician is sufficient; as we grow older, the list begins to expand, and often includes, a cardiologist, dermatologist and optometrist. Before I turned 50, I made fun of the seniors who constantly talked about their physical ailments — and now I’m one of them!

How many people are unhappy in their jobs? Would you estimate 30 percent, 40, maybe 50? The Pew Charitable Trusts reported that 30 percent of people feel their jobs are “just a job to get them by.” According to Forbes, 52.3 percent are unhappy at work, while 63 percent are not engaged in their jobs. And, finally, the New York Daily News reported that 70 percent of U.S. workers are unhappy with their jobs.

Oh, it feels good to get promoted. We all enjoy the obvious benefits that come with a promotion such as a pay raise and a new job title. But I think it’s the recognition that feels the best. Our culture is all about winning; that’s why we enjoy TV shows like "American Idol" and "The Biggest Loser." On weekends we watch sports and nothing is bigger than the Super Bowl. Let’s face it, we’re obsessed with winning.

Ask someone for help and they’ll be glad to help you out, but don’t tell me what to do. There’s a reason our parents taught us to say please and thank you. As kids we grow up being told what to do by our parents, teachers and other authority figures. Once we become adults, we want to be independent and make our own decisions.

I’m a baby boomer, and I grew up in the 1960s hating the establishment. I never wanted to “work for the man" but having a family and paying the bills forced me to compromise and work for a large employer. Or, as my parents called it, I got a "real job."

I’m a Baby Boomer, and I grew up in the 1960s hating the establishment. I never wanted to “work for the man,” but having a family and paying the bills forced me to compromise and work for a large employer. Or, as my parents called it, “Get a real job.”

Imagine receiving this phone message from your boss when you get home: “Hey, could you call me back at your earliest convenience? Thanks.” It’s safe to assume this would make most of us feel a little anxious. Did I do something wrong and will my boss assume it was my fault before he listens to both sides of the story?

Before the 1990s it was not unusual for someone to work more than 30 years for one employer. We use to make fun of the fact that they would receive a gold watch at their retirement party. I think it’s ironic that today many of us don’t even wear a watch, we check our cell phone or Fitbit if we want to know what time it is.

Here’s an “Aha” moment in the employment business. Most people are looking for a new job because they’re unhappy with their current circumstances. They either don’t like their boss, their co-workers or in the worst-case scenario they’ve been fired. If they were really happy with their current circumstances, why were they surfing the internet looking for a new job?

Someone once said everything is negotiable. My mother bought and sold antiques, and that was definitely her philosophy. But when it comes to negotiating your salary the picture is far more complex.

The job market can be a confusing place. If you believe the data, the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in decades. But, the experts suggest this is because many people have stopped looking for work and millions more are underemployed. So, has the job market really improved or should people continue to be anxious? You could research this question, but today I’m going to suggest we apply a little bit of common sense.

Some of my best ideas have hit me when I’m walking the dog, playing golf or driving a few hundred miles in my car. My worst moments are when I sit in front of the computer at 9 a.m. Monday and I tell myself, “OK, it’s time to write a good column.” Creativity doesn’t follow a schedule. It happens when it happens, and you need to pay attention or else you’ll miss some great opportunities.

It may not be accurate to call a computer a machine, but it seems like computers will soon operate every machine in the world. The internet isn’t a machine, but I would be lost without it. I own a hybrid car, and a few years ago I parked it in the airport parking lot for several days, and when I returned it wouldn’t start. I called Triple A and when the truck arrived the young man told me he never jumped a hybrid car before, and he wasn’t sure what to do. Before he could call his office, my wife had a video from YouTube on her computer and she taught him how to jump-start my car. He was embarrassed, but we got our car running.

People lose jobs for a wide variety of reasons. In a majority of cases it’s through no fault of their own.

I am lucky to be part of a small group of homeowners called “lakers.” It’s reasonable to assume that a laker owns lakefront property, but simply owning lake property is not sufficient justification to be designated as a laker. This is a title you must earn, and during my third year on Cayuga Lake, I was provided the opportunity to earn my stripes.

It’s no secret that our infrastructure in the United States is in need of repair. The most widely accepted rating is a D-minus, and that’s both good news and bad news.

Career Advice

Leadership qualities are some of the most difficult soft skills to assess. Everyone has their own style, and “leadership” is already a pretty subjective term—it can mean everything from just having a fancy title to inspiring team members who are your equals. But even if there’s not one true definition, there are some core qualities […]

The post Are you a good leader? Answer these questions to find out. appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

At some point or another, on a frustrating day at work, we’ve probably all muttered, “I could run this place so much better.” But what does it actually mean to be the president of the company? If your long-term goals include ascending the executive ladder, it’s important to know what this important figure does. What […]

In your career, you are always your own best advocate when it comes to promotions, professional development, and salary. It’s so important to be aware of the value you bring to your role, as well as the market value for your position and your experience. When you go into a negotiation for a raise or […]

Let’s face it—the rules of the work world have changed drastically over the last few years. Everything from widespread technological innovation to an uncertain economy, globalization, and rapidly shifting cultural norms have all led to seismic shifts in how we think about work and professional etiquette. No one has all the answers about how to […]

There’s a common question that pops up whenever we decide to move on to newer and hopefully greener career pastures and leave a job in search of new opportunities: What exactly is my former employer allowed to say and share about me now that I’m gone? It’s a valid question, and one that can kick […]

In a perfect world, the notion of being involuntarily “in-between jobs” wouldn’t exist. We’d all have our ideal dream jobs with the exact salaries, benefits, and responsibilities we wanted—and nothing would ever go wrong to threaten our positions throughout our professional journeys. It’s a nice dream for sure, but we all know that it’s not […]

As various hashtags and dispiriting headlines have shown in recent years, workplace harassment is unfortunately common—in every industry, at every level, for every type of person. From the highest-paid executive to the newest intern, it’s essential for every employee to understand the different kinds of workplace harassment and be able to identify them. What is […]

The post What are the different types of workplace harassment? appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

When you think “summer,” you probably think of the long days and warm nights willed with outdoor fun—vacations, beach, campfires with s’ mores. Sure, you should revel in all the good stuff the season has to offer. But summer is also a time to think about picking up a new job, especially for students, teachers, […]

The post The top 5 summer jobs of 2019 appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

If you’re thinking about a career in customer service, you’ve probably already picked up on the fact that it’s a pretty broad field right now, with a lot of different types of jobs: agents, representatives, coordinators, specialists, managers, etc. But if you’ve got the people skills and the service skills to make this field part […]

The post 8 high-paying customer service jobs: What titles to look for in your job search appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

When we’re on the job hunt, most of us focus the majority of our time and energy on getting our foot in the door for interviews and making sure that we make a lasting and positive impression while in the room. We pour untold amounts of blood, sweat, and tears into crafting the perfect resumes […]

When it comes to job hunting most of us are in the same boat, regardless of the position we’re seeking or the field we’re in. We’re eager to convince the gatekeepers—those who have the power to make the hiring decisions—that we possess the full suite of skills and abilities they need for their teams. We […]

At various points during our professional lives, most of us find ourselves on opposing sides of the leadership coin—we play the roles of both leader and subordinate, which gives us a first-hand, multi-faceted look at what leadership styles work in which situations and where they come up short. Another truth is that most of us […]

Are you currently on the hunt for your next great job, or are you seriously thinking about making a job change? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you really should be asking yourself if you’re doing everything you can to reach the next rung on your career ladder. Sure, most […]

Choosing that first job out of college can be a daunting process. (What if you’re wrong, and the future is ruined?) It can also feel like a big commitment like you’re choosing the path you’ll be on for most of your career. In reality, your first job is just that—a first. College grads leaving their […]

When you’re preparing for an interview, chances are you’ve got the usual stuff down: your resume, talking points, stellar eye contact, and small talk. Those are easy—you can practice them in the mirror or with a trusted interview prep buddy. But what happens when you get a bit of a curveball, like difficult behavioral interview […]

As my senior year of college started to wind down, I saw many of my friends scooping up job offers that would match their fancy new engineering and business degrees. Things were a little different for me, as an English major. There were no tech or finance companies out there picking up recent grads who […]

The 9-to-5 grind in an office or cubicle just isn’t for everybody. And if you have a number of demands on your plate (like taking care of a family or going to school), that format just may not work for you at all. More and more employers are accommodating their employees who need a different […]