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

Internships are generally shorthand for “newbie getting experience, for no pay.” And they can be a beneficial career step when you’re a student, recent grad, or otherwise starting a new career. But internships are also increasingly problematic: many feel that companies take advantage of interns to provide labor that should be compensated more fairly. Unpaid […]

The post Don’t want an unpaid internship? Here are 5 ways to build your resume appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Getting promoted is (obviously) amazing for the validation, growth, and potentially more money it brings. It’s also one of the biggest challenges for employees: how do I actually get one? But unfortunately, there’s no slam-dunk answer to that question. Promotions happen for a variety of reasons: team realignments, success on a particular project, recognition of […]

The post These 8 traits will make you more promotable appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

In an episode of “The Simpsons”, Homer leaves his longtime job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to pursue his dreams of being a professional bowler. A short time later, reality sets in and he returns to the power plant to grovel for his job back, at the feet of the merciless Mr. Burns. That’s […]

The post What is a “boomerang employee”? Here’s why you should welcome them to your company appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, shown that you’re ready for more, and leveled up at your job. But after all the effort of advocating for yourself and making sure your work is top-notch, getting a promotion can trigger a feeling of, “Okay, now what?” First, of course, you celebrate, and start thinking about how you might […]

The post Congrats on the promotion! Here’s how to navigate your new role appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

The job market right now can feel like a weird place. The Great Resignation is putting employers on the spot, creating more space for employees to get better offers—in theory. In reality, this isn’t always the case. Not every industry is seeing this bonanza market for applicants. Also, people who are dealing with unemployment or […]

The post 8 tips for negotiating a job offer appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Even before the pandemic hit, many companies and recruiters were already struggling to find and keep the top talent in a shifting job marketplace, especially in fields like tech and healthcare. And now, with the Great Resignation in full force and the Covid-19 pandemic in yet another new phase, filling open positions with the best […]

The post How HR can attract top talent in 2022 appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

When you’re job hunting, the job description may feel like a mere blip on your way to applying for the job: you read it, decide whether or not you want to apply, and then move on either way. But how closely are you really reading it? A job description isn’t necessarily a Rosetta Stone for […]

The post Decoding the job description: what you need to know before you continue your job search appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

If anyone has ever said to you, “You shop like it’s your job,” then this might just be your favorite time of year. For those who are looking to start turning the satisfaction of buying things into a more profitable (and personal credit card-friendly) career path in the new year, then there are definitely options […]

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