5 Career Planning Tips


Know When to Hold (and When to Fold)

An integral part of your working life requires knowing whether to keep climbing the ladder -- or take your talents elsewhere.

Keeping your job or earning a promotion means becoming an indispensable employee. Volunteer to take on new responsibilities without overextending yourself. Show up earlier, leave later and make sure your boss notices the hard work you accomplish in the hours in between. Keep a running record of all your accomplishments, add to it every time you've solved a problem or met a goal at work, and call upon your achievements when you talk with your boss about a promotion.

You should also heed the signs that it's time to move on. Are you spinning your wheels on the same mundane projects while the best assignments consistently go to your coworkers? Is the company in poor financial shape with rumors of looming layoffs? Do you feel you are underpaid? Is the office culture rife with unethical behavior? Do you feel physically ill as a result of your job? Is it simply time for a change to rekindle your enthusiasm? If so, it's time to start a job search.

Need more career advice? Get on the right track with the links below.

Related Articles


  • Burnsed, Brian. "How Higher Education Affects Lifetime Salary." US News and World Report. Aug. 5, 2011. (Feb. 5, 2012) http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/08/05/how-higher-education-affects-lifetime-salary
  • Carnevale, Anthony; Rose, Stephen; Cheah, Ban. "The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings." Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. August 2011. (Feb. 5, 2012) http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/collegepayoff-complete.pdf
  • Clarke, Wayne. "Take Charge of Your Career Progress." The Telegraph. Mar. 18, 2009. (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/5012800/Take-charge-of-your-career-progress.html
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  • Hannon, Kerry. "Know a New College Graduate? Great Career Tips to Pass On." Forbes. April 28, 2011. (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2011/04/28/know-a-new-college-graduate-great-career-tips-to-pass-on/
  • Jansen, Julie. "I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding Gratifying Work." Penguin Books. 2010.
  • Kern, Rebecca. "Online Certificate Programs Offer a Fast Track to a New Career." US News and World Report. March 26, 2010. (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2010/03/26/online-certificate-programs-offer-a-fast-track-to-a-new-career
  • Kiviat, Barbara. "Using Twitter and Facebook to Find a Job." Time. June 8, 2009. (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1903083,00.html
  • Levinson, Meridith. "How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People." CIO.com. Dec. 11, 2007. (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_12_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=2&taxonomyId=3127
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  • Perman, Cindy. "How to Get the Job You Want." CNBC. Feb. 2, 2011. (Feb. 3, 2012) http://www.cnbc.com/id/41391658/How_to_Get_the_Job_You_Want
  • Post, Peter. "For Interview, Don't Arrive Too Early." Boston.com. March 26, 2009. (Feb. 3, 2012) http://www.boston.com/jobs/news/jobdoc/2009/03/not_too_early_not_too_late.html
  • Rich, Motoko. "The Newest College Credential." The New York Times. Jan. 7, 2011. (Feb. 5, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/education/edlife/09certificate-t.html?pagewanted=all
  • Right Management. "Survey Finds Wide Employee Discontent." Nov. 29, 2011. (Jan. 30,, 2012) http://www.right.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2011-press-releases/item22035.aspx
  • Siegel Bernard, Tara. "Making Career Development Pay." The New York Times. Aug. 25, 2010. (Feb. 5, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/education/26TUITION.html?pagewanted=all
  • Taylor, Lynn. "10 Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job." Psychology Today. May 17, 2011. (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tame-your-terrible-office-tyrant/201105/10-signs-its-time-quit-your-job
  • Tyrell-Smith, Tim. "How to Choose a Career That's Best for You." USNews.com. Dec. 6, 2010. (Jan. 30, 2012) http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2010/12/06/how-to-choose-a-career-thats-best-for-you
  • Zappe, John. "Survey: Employee Referrals Are Really More Effective Than We Think." TNLT.com. Feb. 1, 2012. (Feb. 3, 2012) http://www.tlnt.com/2012/02/01/survey-employee-referrals-are-actually-more-effective-than-we-think/


Infographic: Buy vs. Rent

Infographic: Buy vs. Rent

You're a human. You need a house. Should you buy one or rent one?