7 Career Building Gifts for Yourself

It’s that time of year. Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals… Right now everyone is looking for the best deals on something they’ve been hoping for. I secretly think we’re all out shopping for ourselves, rather than for someone else…but maybe that’s just me and I’m a bit too selfish. 🙂

But this time of year isn’t just the time of year to think about tangible gifts for your personal life. It’s also a good time of year to think about your professional development. Whether you have career wanderlust, feel content or restless at your job, why not use this time of year to think of ways to give your career a boost? 

Your Career is Worth Investing In

Here are 7 gifts you could gift yourself to make your career feel fresh, to re-engage with your work, set yourself up for pursuing more challenging tasks next year, or just investing in yourself.

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What are Work Values

In yesterday’s post, I alluded to understanding your work values:

You have to know yourself pretty well and be honest with what you value [out of work].

Okay, so let’s unpack that a bit because I think getting to the bottom of your core work values is critical.

Why Work Values Matter So Much

For the job hunt. For what line of work to go into. For work-life balance. For what kind of environment you’ll thrive in. In other words, if you want career engagement and fulfillment, you’re going to have to know your work values.

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Less Pay, but More Rewarding Work

Good news: I found a new job! Bad news: its pay is less than I make now!

This is the conundrum facing a client today and I’m sharing with her permission. She has been looking around for a new job in higher ed. After months of looking and applying and interviewing for a couple promising leads that didn’t pan out, she finally got an offer. Here’s what she says:

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What to do when you’re bored at work

I am a podcast nerd. I love them. Why? I don’t always have the time or energy to read, but I can still keep up with things by tuning in on my drive or when I’m walking my dog or cleaning my house. I love how they let you eavesdrop on smart conversations, even about dumb things. So podcasts are my jam. And no, they’re not always about work 🙂

I was catching up on an episode of Hannahlyze This, specifically their Time Log Try Out episode, in which they track how they use their time throughout the day. That’s when my ears really perked up. I really recommend tracking how you spend your time because it is particularly helpful for boosting your work productivity. In order to get your stuff done, you gotta know which time slot of the day you’ll best be able to tackle those things and know how you currently structure your day. Anyway, then the discussion took a left turn into therapy and self-care. Here’s how it went:

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Flexible Schedules vs. the 8-5

Many graduate students can find themselves in for a rude awakening when it comes to working full-time due to the work schedule. As busy as you are in grad school, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility when it comes to how you spend your day.  In and of itself, this can be a lot of the appeal of the grad school lifestyle. Even when you have a 9 am class after pulling an all-nighter, you can find time for an afternoon nap. Or if you’re exhausted, you can hit snooze and postpone your workout until, say 2 pm, in the middle of a workday.

But when you land a staff job, at least at my university, the expectation is that you work 8-5. That can be a culture shock. And even though we all know that the 8-5 is antiquated, that’s still the expectation.

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Write a Master Resume

My friend’s husband has a saying (that I can’t repeat) but let’s just say it’s a warning that a choice you make in the moment could be one your future self is going to regret. That’s sage advice. But so is the corollary. You can also do something now that your future self will thank you for! In this case I’m talking about writing a master resume.

What is a master resume?

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