40 Quick Tips for Career Happiness and Success

Tips for Career Happiness and SuccessThere is no magic formula for attaining instant career happiness and success.  Happiness and success in the working world is more of a strategic goal one must progressively work toward.  It’s kind of like building your dream house.  You architecturally map out a plan, research all your options, pour a solid foundation, and begin building from the ground up.  There are, however, plenty of steps you can take to make your venture a bit more proactive.  Here are 40 quick tips that should help push you in the right direction.

  1. Understand that career happiness involves doing what you love.
  2. Understand that career success is excelling at doing what you love.
  3. Invest your emotions into your trade but detach your trade from a specific employer.
  4. A higher salary buys temporary comfort, not prolonged happiness.
  5. Be social and friendly with your boss, but do not attempt to be his or her best friend.
  6. Make at least one good friend at work you can trust.
  7. Follow in the footsteps of a mentor you can learn from.
  8. Be the expert.  Never stop perfecting your trade.
  9. Always accept a challenge, especially if your superiors are watching.
  10. If you are really miserable, do not be afraid to make a drastic career change.  Just make sure you plan for it.
  11. When it comes to your colleagues… Be patient.  Be tolerant.
  12. When it comes to your boss… Be respectful.  Go out of your way to assist him or her any chance you get.
  13. You will make mistakes.  Learn through each of your mistakes and never allow the fear of making one hold you back.
  14. Do not stall on taking the first step in any task.  The first step is always the hardest, and once taken, it sets up the momentum needed to more easily knock out the remaining steps.
  15. Make your own career choices.  There is no good reason to let someone else do this for you.
  16. Work for an employer that provides you with the potential for future personal growth within the company.
  17. Employers can have vastly different corporate culture models.  Have an open mind and learn to embrace the corporate culture.  If you have a solemn distaste for it, you might want to switch employers.
  18. If you are ready for more responsibility, tell your boss you are ready.  Also, always ask for performance feedback on your current responsibilities.
  19. Never struggle with reinventing the wheel unless you have to.  Most of the time adding your own personal touch on top of the successful ideas already being used by your employer is the best way to go.
  20. Maintain a positive attitude even in moments of stress.  It makes you appear confident and in control.  Your colleagues and superiors will notice this.
  21. Avoid being entrenched in foolish office gossip.
  22. Get outside and take a walk at lunch time.  Also, try to get in a little exercise before or after work.  Exercise strengthens both the body and mind.
  23. We are all born with certain strengths and talents.  Leverage these against your career goals and objectives.
  24. Learn to communicate effectively with your colleagues and always be honest and clear.  “Yes, I can do it.” or “No, I need to complete another task first because…”
  25. Always be cognizant of what people are doing around you.  Be vocally grateful if they assist you and assist them when you can.  Your superiors will perceive you as being a team player.
  26. Smile on the job every time the opportunity permits.
  27. Take full advantage of your employers 401K retirement match from day one.
  28. Prioritize your objectives every week and enter them into a calendar or planner.  Try to split your tasks into two categories: “Must Do This Week” and “Will Do When I Can”.
  29. A super high salary is not the key to a successful career, but you should still feel comfortable with what you are paid.
  30. Have your employer direct deposit 5% – 10% of every paycheck straight into your savings account.
  31. Get enough sleep.  You will give up a considerable fraction of your potential ability to successfully do your job if you are exhausted.
  32. Never give up on a task.  Instead, learn to readjust your approach when necessary.  It is okay to take a break if you are overly frustrated.
  33. Start on your most difficult tasks for the week first thing Monday morning.  Once complete, the rest of your week will seem like a breeze.
  34. When you are on deadline for a deliverable unplug your network cable and stay offline.  This should help you avoid time sinks like aimless web browsing, instant messaging, and reading miscellaneous emails.
  35. Only attend meetings if you are on schedule with the tasks that are required of you.  If you are behind, kindly ask your boss if you can skip it.  Just make sure the results you produce are visible.
  36.  Network with other people in your industry.  Attend conferences.  Create a LinkedIn page and maintain it.  Regular professional networking will open the door to future career opportunities.
  37. RTFM (Read The F***ing Manual).  Whenever you start a new project at work the first thing you should do is read every piece of written material you can find on whatever you will be responsible for.
  38. If it makes you happy and you can maintain productivity, listen to music while you work.  Most managers won’t complain about it if you continue to deliver quality output.
  39. Try to keep your commute time to a minimum.  One of the most stressful parts of any job is the commute.  If possible, find a job near your home or move near your job.
  40. Set realistic, achievable career goals for yourself.  Work diligently with the end in mind.

I would love to see some comments with additional tips for career happiness and success if anyone has them to share.

What is Morality? Fact or Opinion?

What is morality? Fact or opinion?What does it mean to be moral?  The topic of morality can easily be dissected from multiple view points among compassionate people of similar societal backgrounds.  Once the variables of divergent culture, religion, and personal circumstance get tossed into the equation the analysis of moral rights and wrongs will produce an infinite list of possible values.  Every moral value will be true in the eye of the beholder, but may be completely incongruent to that of the next contestant.

So who is right?  They all are.  None of them are.  The key is to realize that there is no universally right moral value system.  Broken down to the most basic constructs, morality is simply the system by which living beings treat one another.  Moral beings hold a sense of empathy and consideration toward others, thus forming more successful and steadfast societies with vigorous rates of reproduction and growth. 

Any explanation more complex than this tends to be instilled with ideas of universal morality containing bold judgments on absolute moral rights and wrongs.  These so called universal moral standards usually incorporate numerous baseless declarations often used by organized social circles as justification for whatever agenda they are endorsing at the time.  Outside of a general compassion for fellow peers, moral values are based entirely on opinion.

Of course… this is just my opinion, and that’s a fact.  😉

11 Practical Ways to Spend Your Money

Practical Ways to Spend Your MoneyI know, I know.  Saving and investing your money for the future is one of the most practical things you can do.  This is solid advice, but when you do decide to spend your hard earned money it should be spent on something practical, useful, and meaningful to the wellbeing of your existence.  So many people either save their money or blow it on worthless crap.  Here are 11 practical ways to spend your money on something useful:

  1. Travel to See the Significant People in Your Life – There may be no better way to spend your money than to use it to nurture and rekindle personal relationships with the most significant people in your life.  As time quickly passes, we sometimes forget how essential strong personal relationships are to our mental wellbeing.  The older we get the more we need true friends and family to be regular parts of our lives.
  2. Hire a Personal Trainer – Your health is your life. Without it, all the success and affluence in the world is meaningless.  Committing yourself to a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to maintain the health of your body and mind.  Sometimes it’s hard to tackle this endeavor on your own.  Spending money on a knowledgeable personal trainer who can set you on the right course creates priceless results.  Make sure you stick with the trainer until you are committed to exercising on your own.
  3. Fix What Is Broken – Have you been ignoring your screeching brakes?  What about the excessively loud hum from your AC compressor?  Or the scratching noise coming from your computer system?  Sooner or later these small annoyances will wear down the reliability of the product and you will be left with a completely broken product instead of just a halfway broken one.  Use your money wisely to fix and maintain your belongings.
  4. Educate Yourself – Use your money to purchase educational courses or books pertaining to your career, or to a miscellaneous topic that interests and intrigues you.  Remember, knowledge is power and your brain is the container of that knowledge.  There are few options for spending money on something more practical than the development and facility of your brain.
  5. Add Value to Your Home – Your home should be your sanctuary, the place on this planet where you feel the most comfortable.  Adding value to your home, be it personal value or increased monetary value, is always a practical choice for spending your money.  If the additions you make increase your level of comfort for years to come, you win.  If they increase the value of the home to a third party someday when you sell, you win.  If both occur, you win big.
  6. Take a Healthy, Relaxing Vacation – A vacation revitalizes your mind by pulling you away from the daily stress factors in your life.  It can spark creative thought by stimulating your brain with new material.  And finally, a vacation allows you to be yourself without the external influences present in your typical surroundings.  Does that sound like something worth spending money on?  It should.
  7. Upgrade Something You Use Regularly – There is nothing wrong with splurging on a practical item that you actually use on a regular basis.  If you are a hardcore movie buff that loves to watch movies on Saturday nights with your family and friends, having a 65 inch HDTV and a Blue-ray player makes sense.  If you love computer games, purchasing a powerhouse laptop gaming rig makes sense.  The idea is to never waste money on stuff you don’t use.  Spending money on upgrading your hobbies is one of the reasons you work so hard in the first place.
  8. Buy Meaningful Gifts for Key People in Your Life – One of the most rewarding acts in life is the act of giving; especially to those key people you truly care about the most.  Spend a little money every now and then on a sensible gift for some of the key people in your life.  Surprise them.  It doesn’t have to be their birthday or a holiday.  Remember, there is no better gift than an unexpected gift.  You will make them feel special.  For instance, my buddy Donny brought me back a cool souvenir from Amsterdam a few months back and it just made me feel good.
  9. Update Your Wardrobe – You don’t have to waste money on the latest overpriced fashion line to look good.  However, if you are still wearing the same ratty shirts, slacks and shoes from 5 years ago, it might be time to go shopping.  While appearance isn’t everything, it can make you look older, smarter and more emotionally mature.  First impressions for job interviews, dates, and the like are heavily weighted on the way you look.  Sometimes it is practical to dress to impress.
  10. Buy Healthier Food – “You are what you eat.”  There is a great deal of truth in that statement.  It is impossible to maintain a healthy body and mind if you pump your body full of junk food.  Fresh, healthy food is usually more expensive, but this is an expense with priceless benefits to the longevity and wellbeing of your future.  Eating healthy goes right along with bullet number 2 about hiring a personal trainer.  Your health is your life.
  11. Pay Down Debt – This one is a no brainer, so I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it off the list.  If you have a great deal of high interest debt it would be foolish not to pay it down before you go off and splurge on additional purchases.  There is nothing less practical than being a slave to your debts.

10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone

Handy Numbers for your Mobile Phone“Always be prepared!”  That’s the Boy Scout motto.  Here are 10 phone numbers we could not care less about until the moment we need them, at which point they save us time, money and general peace of mind.  Do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to program each of these handy numbers into your mobile phone.  I promise you, the convenience you will gain from it someday is priceless.

1.  Lost or Stolen Credit Card Hotline – Sure, the number for your credit card issuer is conveniently located on the back of your credit card… that is until the card gets lost or stolen.  It’s nice to be able to cancel a credit card the minute you realize it’s missing.  That way you can solve the problem before it starts by avoiding the need to deal with expunging malicious charges.

  • Visa: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-847-2911)
  • MasterCard: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (800-622-7747)
  • American Express: 1-800-992-3404
  • Discover: 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683)
  • Diners Club: 1-800-2DINERS (1-800-234-6377)

2.  Car Insurance Claims Hotline – Pretty much the first number you should call when you get in a car accident.  Or the second number if the accident was severe, just after calling 911.  Here are a few of the major provider’s claims department numbers:

  • Geico: 1-800-861-8380
  • Allstate: 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828)
  • Nationwide: 1-800-421-3535
  • Progressive: 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737)
  • Liberty Mutual: 1-800-2CLAIMS (1-800-225-2467)
  • State Farm: Depends where you live (find your agent’s number).
  • AIG Direct: 1-888-244-6163
  • Travelers: 1-800-CLAIM33 (1-800-252-4633)

3.  Health Insurance Provider – Should tragedy strike and you find yourself headed to the emergency room for medical care, you will want to be sure that your medical bills are covered by your health insurance provider.  Have someone make a quick call to your provider to make sure you’re approved for full coverage. It’s certainly more productive and a lot cheaper to address this before the medical care, unless of course you enjoy paying for medical bills out of your own pocket.  Find your provider’s number on your health insurance card and program it into your phone as ‘Health Insurance’.

4.  Free 411 From Anywhere – It’s always nice to have the ability to find a phone number or address to a specific business of interest when you are on the road.  If you don’t have an internet ready mobile phone 1-800-GOOG-411 is you next best bet.  It’s Google’s free nationwide 411 information hotline and it beats the heck out of paying your mobile service provider 75 cents for their sub-par directory assistance.

5.  Local Locksmith – There’s nothing worse than being locked out, especially at night.  Save yourself the hassle of trying to find a reputable locksmith with reasonable prices when you are locked out and stressed out.  Do a little homework now and find yourself a reputable locksmith that has a 24 hour emergency call service.  Find a local locksmith on YellowPages.com.

6.  A Friendly Colleague’s Direct Line – You can use this person as a messenger to pass an important piece of information on to your manager or someone else at the office when you are on the road.  Or you can call them if you accidently left an important phone number or piece of information behind at the office.  Tell this person that you would be happy to return the favor anytime.

7.  Local Towing Service or AAA – When your car breaks down in an inconvenient location this number will make your life a lot easier.  The company with the largest geographic service area is always your best bet.  Find a local towing service on YellowPages.com.  If you have AAA, congrats for being wise.

8.  Home or Work Entry – You should always have an entry for Home and/or Work in your mobile phones.  Each entry should point to your direct corresponding number at each location.  These entries are not there to help you call your home or your work.  They are there just incase you lose your phone and someone with a little honesty and compassion finds it.  It gives this person an easy way of getting in touch with you.

9.  Primary Care Physician – If you are on the road or out of town and a non-emergency medical issue arises, it’s always nice to be able to run the information past your primary care physician or one of his/her nurses.  After all, this is the medical team that has familiarity with all your recent personal medical history.  They may be able to give you more insight into your problem by weighing your symptoms against your historical medical files and profile.

10.  Airlines Reservations Hotline – Obviously this one helps out more when you’re traveling, but believe me someday it will come in handy.  When you’re on a trip far away from home and your rental car gets a flat tire on the way to the airport, or your luggage is lost, or you are running late and need to check your flight status… these are times when having your Airlines on speed dial saves you some serious peace of mind.  Airlines reservation hotlines usually bring you directly to a human being, so it’s a good number to use to get a hold of someone that can transfer you in the right direction if necessary.  Here are the phone numbers to some of the major carriers:

  • American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
  • Continental: 1-800-525-0280
  • Delta Airlines: 1-800-221-1212
  • JetBlue: 1-800-538-2583
  • Northwest Airlines: 1-800-225-2525
  • Southwest Airlines: 1-800-435-9792
  • Spirit Airlines: 1-800-772-7117
  • United Airlines: 1-800-241-6522
  • US Airways: 1-800-428-4322

Bonus: How many minutes do I have left before I’m broke? – Dial the following numeric and symbol combinations into your mobile phone to find out how many minutes you have remaining on your plan for the current month.

  • AT&T: *646#
  • Sprint: *4
  • T-Mobile: #646#
  • Verizon: #646

I know there are numerous other important phone numbers out there, but I believe these 10 numbers are applicable to almost everyone.

Also, check out these best selling books for more handy lifehacks:

Fun with Just a Stick and Your Imagination

A Stick and an ImaginationDo you recall the countless hours of fun you had outdoors as a child with just a wooden stick and your imagination?  As we grow up we tend to lose track of our ability to dream without reason.  If we do not dream we will never see beyond today’s reality.  It is our imagination that drives both our dreams and our curiosity to chase them.

Maturity is a natural, essential evolution in one’s life.  As we mature we become more educated, organized, responsible, and serious.  General personal progression seems to be the obvious trend during this cycle, but our ability to let our imagination run free is lost somewhere between 9 and 5.  It seems that the more we learn here, the more we forget there.

We should never stop learning, but we should also never stop dreaming.  What good is educated progression if we lose sight of our natural human instinct to imagine, or to chase this imagination equipped with nothing more than a stick.  You had zero to lose then and you have zero to lose now.  Life is short.  Have fun.  Don’t forget to dream.  Don’t forget to use your imagination.