Your social network Plan B

Working Girl feels strongly that everyone needs a Plan B.

A Plan B is, simply, a to-do list of the steps you will take if everything you have going for you right now washes down the tubes. As perhaps Mom said to you, if you don’t have a Plan B, you don’t have a plan.

Seriously, it’s good to have some sort of cushion to bounce on when you fall from, or are kicked out of, your current position. A back-up plan. And a big part of any back-up plan is other people. Think about your social network. Is it wide, is it deep? Or does it consist of mostly (or even exclusively) current colleagues?

This week’s Seattle Times post is targeted at folks who’ve recently become unemployed (“The First Thing to do After a Layoff“). But the advice for building better communities of friends and associates applies to us all.

Go forth, and do coffee.

Working hard is not enough

People need to know that you’re working hard. And by people, we mean, mostly, your bosses.

Run, don’t walk, to 10 Tips for Projecting a Hard-working Image.

Surviving a long job hunt

Do you feel as if you’ve been looking for a job since. . .forever?

If the answer is yes, you might appreciate these tips for staying motivated.

P.S. The situation is getting better. In June 2010, the average search was a hefty 25 weeks. Numbers from January show this figure to have dropped to 16. Woo-hoo.

Talking yourself into a job

Last week’s Seattle Times post was all about how to handle nervousness during job interviews.

This week’s post takes the process a step further: If you can train yourself to think of the interview as a conversation — not as a test or interrogation — you will be more relaxed, articulate, and persuasive. Less nervous, too.

It’s a neat trick because this means you only have to brush up on the same conversational skills that work in all other human interactions: make friendly eye contact, listen more than you talk, etc.

There’s a whole list, tailored for the job interview situation, over at the Seattle Times as of today.

Conquering interview jitters

You would not be human if you did not feel nervous at job interviews.

However, at the same time, you don’t want to come off as a bundle of nerves either. Anxiety is catching, for one thing, and to many people it comes off as a sign of weakness. Plus it can make you look needy and people, including potential employers, just hate neediness.

So what you want to do is (a) assure yourself it’s okay to feel nervous (i.e., don’t beat yourself up over it), and (b) manage that nervousness so you don’t display it.

Believe it or not, both of these feats are doable at the same time. All you have to do is break down the interview process into its component steps and make sure you have thought about and prepared for every individual step. How exactly? Check out “How to manage job-interview anxiety” at the Seattle Times this week.

And happy Valentine’s Day!

Are you overworked?

Of course you are.

Seems that the more reliable and better at your job you are, the more work your boss throws at you. But you can do something about it. Check out this week’s offering at the Seattle Times.

Tip for successful telecommuting

Telecommuting. It’s the holy grail for many people but it does not come without its perils.

Some experts say that telecommuters are less likely to be promoted. And, at lay-off time, you should never forget that the “out of sight, out of mind” cliché is a cliché for a reason.

So if you want to be a successful (read “employed”) telecommuter you need to take extra steps to stay visible. Fortunately, it isn’t tough. This week’s Seattle Times offering?

Tips and Tricks for Telecommuting

Try a few. Telecommuting, done right, may suit you and your employer to a T. (Sorry, the “T’s” just took over today.)

Why you still don’t have a job

Like many things in life, job hunting is basically a numbers game. The more jobs you go after, the more likely it is that one of them will pan out. As they say, every “no” gets you closer to a “yes.”

Yes, you’ve heard that one before but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Working on the theory that we can all always profit from a brush-up of the basics, this week’s Seattle Times piece is about just that. The basics. Take a look.

Curb that cursing colleague

You work with someone who curses like a person from Ohio.*

It’s tacky, annoying, unprofessional, and you really don’t feel like putting up with it anymore.

Is there anything you can do? Well, there are a few steps you can take to get your vocabulary-challenged co-worker to clean up his/her act. Check out this week’s Seattle Times post.

*Apparently, Ohio is the “sweariest state in the union.” Followed by Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois. Who knew.

What not to say on the job

This is such a long list that you may wonder what, if anything, is left to talk about at work.