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Quick and Effective Career Boosters

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Launch a regional job search. If you’ve targeted a city and industry to work in, check regional Web sites. In San Francisco, new media companies announce job openings via the List Foundation (www.listfoundation.org). In Boston, get leads for biotech jobs from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (www.massbio.org) and Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org). Check with the local chapters of professional associations.

 

Protect your seedlings. A staff meeting is the worst place to float your idea. Even if your firm wants you to speak up, don’t. The best ideas have usually been agreed upon ahead of time; the meeting is simply the place to codify them and get the group’s blessing. If you’re introducing an idea to a crowd, odds are someone will misunderstand or shoot down your message. Pitch your ideas ahead of time.

 

Test yourself. If you’re groping for a new career, take a 20-minute Self- Directed Search inventory by Psychological Assessment Resources Inc. It’ll suggest jobs based on your “type”: realistic, conventional, investigative, artistic, social or enterprising. Cost: $8.See www.self-directedsearch.com.

 

Network without bragging. When meeting a high-level contact, don’t try to brag your way into a job offer. Boasting will drive away a potential ally. Also beware of volunteering details of a sexy project. You may reveal proprietary data. It’s safer to mention how an assignment you’ve completed solved a vexing problem.

 

Muzzle your negative opinions. Trashing your company or boss—even indirectly—is a career killer. Give positive views with evidence to support your opinion. But if you have nothing good to say, keep quiet. There’s nothing to gain and everything to lose by saying something you’ll regret.

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