An ongoing series about the work skills that academics and anyone else working in higher ed need to succeed. These are skills that will help you master the workplace so that you can rock your job.

Top 3 Must-Have Workplace Behaviors

In career coaching, we talk alot about KSAs: knowledge, skills, and abilities. These are the traits that a job requires in order for you to do that function adequately. They’re absolutely essential to federal job applications, but you’ll see them on pretty much any job posting anywhere. And they are important, but I also consider a couple of other attributes when I’m coaching my clients. Let’s talk about workplace behaviors and habits.

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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 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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Transferable Skills Talk: Understanding Higher Ed

An ongoing series in which we identify your transferable skills. Today’s edition: your knowledge of higher ed.

When it comes to landing a staff job in higher ed, whether that’s a major university, small private liberal arts college, or community college, one thing you have going for you is your knowledge of higher ed. You might not see this as an important asset, but allow me to disavow any of you of that notion.

When I’m hiring, once we get to the interview stage, there are 3 things I’m looking for in my candidates:

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Work Skills Talk: Overcoming Procrastination

My post last week about impostor syndrome got me thinking. It’s not just impostor syndrome academics who tend to struggle with putting limits around info gathering. It’s common among all academics. And so that made me think about other work skills that us academics all need to work on a bit. These are some habits that we academics – yes, even me! – pick up through grad school and beyond. Note that I’m not labeling these habits as good or bad – they can serve us well, but they can also be our worst enemies at times. But let’s be real: there are some academic habits that I have needed to adjust, work around, or just plain kick to the curb over the years. These rear their heads most prominently when you first start working or when you transition into a whole new career, so if you’re new to your job, listen up. (But that doesn’t mean we can’t all use a refresher.) Let’s start with a REALLY common one: procrastination.

We all know we need to stop procrastinating. WAY easier said than done, though, so we all need to continuously work on this one, unfortunately. I truly think this can be a lifelong struggle. (Sorry, don’t mean to be a downer!). Procrastination can take many forms.

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