Create a cheat sheet for emergencies and leave it on your desk. That way, when your personal life calls (sick children, aging parents, etc.), neither you nor your boss will feel as stressed out. And if your manager needs to, say, book a meeting room as you’re flying out the door, she’ll know how to do it.
Monitor spending with online tools Mint.com or QuickenOnline.com. These sites not only are safe, but also do much of the work for you by hooking up with your bank account, populating basic budget categories and tracking your spending.
Reach out to someone who has been laid off. Be a resource and a connector. That way, if it’s ever your turn to dip into the well, it’s more likely to be full.
Be a valuable connection from the moment you invite someone into your LinkedIn network. When you send the invitation, include a personalized offer of help, such as an introduction to a customer or a useful link to a relevant article.
Save yourself 411 charges by calling (800) 555-TELL, (800) GOOG-411 or (800) 2ChaCha, and just saying what you need. It keeps you from banging away on a phone with your thumbs, as well. (You’ll still pay for airtime minutes.)
Crave a new role? Pitch the idea to your manager, explaining how the change will benefit both your manager and the company. Then ask him to pilot the idea for 90 days. “Piloting is a great way to test out the new role and show results,” says career coach Maggie Mistal.
Sound knowledgeable about a potential employer’s business, during an unexpected call. Whenever you send out a résumé, print pages from the organization’s web site, so you can quickly access it.
Determine which restaurant, manicurist or dry cleaner in any city is worth a visit with Yelp.com. It’s the leading destination for local reviews.
Stay on top of the headlines, even when you’re short on time, by scanning “Today’s Papers” on Slate.com. It gives a concise roundup of the major national newspapers’ front-page stories. You can also have it sent to your inbox daily.
Search smarter (and save clicks) by using Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button when you want a page within a major site, such as Amazon. Example: Type “amazon freakonomics,” hit “I’m Feeling Lucky,” and go directly to the page you want. It’s faster than visiting Amazon, typing Freakonomics and clicking on the book title.
Not feeling valued? Consider whether you’ve drawn the right attention. “I ask executive assistants, when they’re not recognized for their abilities, what they’ve done to take recognition,’’ Christine Jackel, president of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, tells The New York Times. Bottom line: Know where you bring value to the company, and draw attention to your excellent work in that area.