Nobody likes Mondays, but for some people, the thought of going back to work after the weekend fills them with dread. These people aren’t able to find joy and meaning in their work, so everyday is a chore. If you are in this situation, know that you don’t have to be. You too can find work that is interesting, challenging, and fulfilling. It may mean a change of career, or it could just be a change of mindset.

How can you find meaning in your work?

Look Inside

Spend some time thinking about what is important to you, and what brings you joy. It may be that the work you are already doing is meaningful, but you need a new approach or a change in mindset. It is also possible that it is not what you are doing, but where. Toxic workplace cultures can make even the best job feel like a chore. You may be able to find meaning in your work by simply finding a better work environment.

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Change can be uncomfortable. Even if you decide to stay with your current employer, you may need to make changes to the way you work. Talk with your boss about what is causing you to feel stressed or unhappy, and present reasonable solutions. Be flexible, honest and sincere. Changing jobs may be unavoidable, and it’s possible that the job that brings you joy doesn’t pay as well as the job you hate. You may have to make some compromises to find work that pays your bills and feeds your soul.

Find Your True Friends

The changes you need to make can be extra uncomfortable if you don’t have the support of friends and family. Make sure that the people around you are invested in your happiness and success. The people you surround yourself with can help or hurt you.

Learn to recognize negativity and toxicity and take the necessary steps to get those influences out of your life. Don’t let negative vibes stop you from achieving your goals.

Set Progressive, Achievable Goals

The best way to reach your goals is to figure out what they are. Set clear, measurable, achievable goals that let you celebrate small victories on your way to big achievements. Reward yourself for the progress you make and stay flexible. Sometimes the path needs to change a little and that is okay. Make it work for you.

Some people create dream boards or lists so they can track their progress along the way. No matter how you do it, checking off small goals can help motivate you to keep going.

Stay Engaged

Remember always to give back. Staying engaged in your community will help you forge a powerful personal and professional network. Use your passion to help others achieve their dreams and reap your rewards.

You can also find great meaning in mentoring others. Nothing can compare to the pride you will feel when you can help others find their passion. These relationships will create a support system that you can draw from in the future. 

You’ve been working in your current position for a few years, and you know your stuff. With your background and education, you feel like you are ready for a promotion, or at least a raise. Talking to your boss about a raise or promotion can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Do your homework first to make sure that you can make a good case for yourself.

Read on for some tips to help you get that raise or promotion:

Know What You Want

What are you trying to achieve? A higher salary? A better title? More responsibility? Figure out what you want before you ask for it. Talk to colleagues and peers about opportunities for growth within your company, and what the requirements are for consideration for these roles. You can even search for a comparable job description and use that to make the case. Using the job description to anchor the conversation can help you to talk about how your skills and experience make you a worthy candidate.

Know Your Worth

What is your value to the company? Talk about what you have learned and accomplished while working for them, and the qualities that make you an excellent team member and colleague. Be prepared to talk about not just your hard skills, but also your soft skills, such as communication and reliability.

Know the Numbers

Demonstrate to your employer that you have done your homework. Your efforts to gather data to support your ask, show them that you are basing your request on real numbers and not just emotion. Your conversation should be supported by facts…facts about you, the value you bring, and real salary data. Check out websites such as Salary.com or Glassdoor.com to see what other people in your field and geographic area are making for a salary. These websites allow you to search by occupation, education level, geographic area, and other factors to help you understand what your skills are worth in your area. Most employers know that if they want to keep their top performers, they are going to have to keep them happy. It is possible that your employer isn’t aware of what other companies and competitors are offering their employees, so the information that you provide, can help them to make proactive staffing and salary decisions.

Know how To Compromise

Most of the time, you aren’t going to get everything you want. Before starting on this path, take the time to think about what is most important to you, and what you might be willing to give up. You can start by asking for everything you want and give up some of those extras during the negotiation to get you what you want most.

For example, if you want a promotion, a raise, and your own office, you might need to be willing to share an office to get what you want – the promotion and the raise. Be flexible and ready to demonstrate why you deserve it.

Many people think that your career path is supposed to lead you to a leadership role eventually. You might think that you need to develop leadership skills to stay relevant in your work, but that may not necessarily be true. You can only have so many leaders in one organization, and leaders need to be able to count on members of their teams to follow directions and get the job done.

The truth is, not everybody is cut out to be a leader, and that’s okay. You may not have the temperament for it, or you may not want to take on additional responsibility. Leaders tend to spend a lot of time on paperwork, or in meetings. For some people, that sounds like a nightmare. They would rather be a part of the team and not have to worry about all the details. Being an excellent team member is an important skill in life and work.

What Makes a Great Team Member?

Have you ever worked with someone else on a project for school or work? Everybody has worked with a few bad team members in their life. Bad team members make everybody else’s job harder because they can’t be counted on.

Great team members are:

  • Reliable – Great team members can be counted on to show up and get the job done. They are consistent performers and produce consistent results.
  •  Motivated – Great team members are self-motivated and don’t have to be micromanaged or pushed.
  • Honest – Great team members are honest and will own their mistakes.
  • Dedicated – Great team members don’t give up, even when things go wrong. You can count on them to give 100%.
  • Conscientious – Great team members care deeply about doing their best work, every time. They are open to feedback and learning new ways of doing things.
  • Hard-working – Great team members have a strong work ethic. They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and to do what needs to be done.

Are Team Members Less Important than Leaders?

Certainly not. If you look beyond the leaders in any organization, you will quickly see that the members of the team are the ones getting the work done. Without them, nothing works.

The way that a team works together is critically important to the success of the organization. For this reason, the leadership you exhibit in your role as a teammate can be even more impactful than that of the actual managers.

It is the best of both worlds in some ways. You get to work closely with peers to achieve goals without having to deal with the paperwork. Your contributions as a peer leader can have a tremendous influence on the final deliverables, but you will have the flexibility needed to step into a different role for the next project.

In this way, you can leverage your strengths to help you bring value to the team without having to worry about dealing with upper management. Take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen your peer network, build your skills, and establish an outstanding professional reputation.

As the saying goes, it isn’t always what you know, it’s who you know. Professional networks are a vital resource that you can draw on throughout your career. Whether you network online or in person, establishing connections with other professionals can have long-lasting benefits.

Start Where you Are

When you start building your professional network, you should start with the people you already know. Colleagues, managers, teachers, clients, customers, and peers are all people you should consider as part of your network.

You can also reach out to alumni from your college. These are people with whom you have already built a relationship, and you can rekindle those connections even if you have been out of school for a while.

LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for building your professional network online. Create a robust profile that highlights your professional and educational experience. Make connections with people you work with currently, have worked with in the past, or would like to work with in the future.

Sending connection requests to colleagues is a job half done. You should also connect with employers and interest groups. Make an effort to contribute to discussions and build a reputation for yourself by starting insightful conversations around current events or issues.

Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor

Can you think of anyone who has achieved the success you seek? You can ask that person to mentor you. A mentor can guide you to professional success. Find a mentor that you admire, and who likes you as well. If you can find somebody willing to invest their time and energy into helping you grow, make sure that you use their time and expertise wisely.

Even being a mentor can offer valuable opportunities. Not only are you practicing leadership, but you are building worthwhile connections that can last a lifetime. Helping others succeed can also be very rewarding, and you never know what impacts you can have on others.

Stay Open to New Opportunities

Remember, the idea of a professional network isn’t just to help you find a new job, it is also to help you grow. Being part of a network means that it isn’t always going to be about you and what you want. There is a lot of give and take needed to maintain professional relationships.

Don’t take these connections for granted. Stay in touch, share opportunities, and provide support to others whenever you can. This will help you avoid feeling awkward if you need to ask for help in the future.

Show Up

Get out there. Get involved in professional organizations and industry events. Talk to people at conferences and seek out experts in the field. More importantly, listen. Use professional events as a way to increase your knowledge, learn more about others who work in your industry, make connections, and expand your network.

Professional networks are all about connection. Maintaining these connections can take a lot of work but can be very beneficial to you throughout your career.

Business meetings are an important part of conducting business, and most companies rely on these meetings to discuss strategy and check-in with other departments. Failure to appropriately manage business meetings can waste a lot of time. You and your coworkers have a lot to do, so let’s figure out how to make your meetings productive.

Some people love meetings. Others hate them. Whether you love them or hate them, you don’t ever want to have the same meeting twice. Having the same meeting more than once to answer the same questions is a waste of time and will hurt productivity. Here is how you can make sure you make the most of your next meeting.

Set an Agenda

It sounds simple, but setting an agenda is an important part of the meeting planning process. Creating an agenda for each meeting lets every attendee know what will be discussed and what the meeting is meant to accomplish. Getting the agenda sent out to each participant before the meeting helps them to arrive prepared.

Gather Your Notes in Advance

Now that you’ve set your agenda and know what you would like to accomplish, make sure you have everything you need. Don’t waste people’s time as they wait for you to get organized. Bring all related documents to the meeting and request that others do the same. Being prepared shows that you are respectful of other peoples’ time and helps you reach your goals the first time, rather than having to schedule a second meeting to follow up.


Be an active participant in the meeting and use your influence to help steer discussions. It can be easy for a meeting to go off track. Some people struggle with sticking to an agenda and raise other topics that are not relevant to the agenda for this meeting. Before you know it, you have wasted 15 minutes talking about something that is not helpful or productive.

If this happens in your meeting, offer to add this new conversation to the agenda for the next meeting, and bring the focus back to the matter at hand. This ensures that you accomplish the goals you set for this meeting while respecting the time of everybody in the room.

Determine Next Steps

Don’t let this productive meeting go to waste. The best way to close out a meeting is with a discussion of next steps. Assign tasks and responsibilities with clear timelines and expectations. Define what success looks like, talk about what the goals are moving forward and set a plan for follow up. Failure to take this step will cause you to lose whatever progress you have made, so create an action plan while everybody is still engaged with you.

If you can master these steps, you will handle your next meeting like a rock star. Your managers and coworkers will appreciate your leadership and value-added participation. You never know, showing leadership in your meetings may get you noticed in surprising ways…and maybe even get you that promotion.

We’ve all had bad interviews. You know, the kind where the interviewer asks you a question that you weren’t expecting, and you babble something incoherent. You know at that moment that you just blew it, but you press on, hoping that maybe you can get back on track with the next question.

Let’s be honest though. That unexpected question has thrown you off and you are starting to sweat. You were nervous before, but now you are terrified.

Don’t panic. There are some easy ways that you can set yourself up for success. Here are some ways you can interview with confidence:

Dress for the Job you Want

Show that you are a serious candidate by dressing professionally. This can mean different things for different companies so if you aren’t sure, you can always look at how employees are dressed on the company’s website. You can also ask the interviewer what the expectations are. They will appreciate that you cared enough to ask.

Both you and your clothing should be clean and neat. Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes. Your interviewer may have allergies and you don’t want that to hurt your chances. Keep jewelry and accessories tasteful.

Don’t Be Late

Many job interviews fail before they even begin because the candidate showed up late. Don’t let this happen to you. If there is any question about how much time you need to get there, try a practice run the day before. Showing up late for the interview sends all the wrong messages about what they can expect from you as an employee.


Look online for common interview questions and practice with friends or family. Have them help you get used to unexpected questions. The key to not getting flustered by a surprising question is to know how to take a moment before answering. Learn how to slow down and think before you speak.


Interviews aren’t supposed to be interrogations. It can be easy to forget that an interview is supposed to be a conversation. You should interview them just like they are interviewing you.

Make sure you research the company thoroughly before your interview. Create a list of 3-5 questions about the company. These questions should reflect your genuine interest in their business and their plans for the future….not just their benefits package. You should avoid discussions about salary or vacation time until you receive an offer.

Remember, the people interviewing you want to know what it would be like to work with you. Nobody is going to hire someone that they wouldn’t want to work with.

Show them that you can be personable, knowledgeable and reliable. Don’t go overboard with personal anecdotes and don’t talk badly about your previous employers. Avoid talking about politics or religion at all costs. Stay on topic and show that you are a good communicator and collaborator.

Above all, be the best version of yourself. Use these tips and you will land your dream job in no time.  


Many women leave the workforce at some point in their career to focus on raising their children. When the children are grown and the time comes to return to work, it can be disorienting and challenging.

The nature of work is rapidly evolving. Every day there are new technologies that change the way we communicate and work with each other. An accountant ten years ago may well be lost with today’s accounting software. A programmer who learned code in the late 90s may find that their programming language is obsolete. Common core requirements have fundamentally altered how teachers teach.

Do not despair. Yes, many things have changed, but many other things have stayed the same. The innate qualities and soft skills that you have to offer are still valuable to employers. Focus on these qualities to set yourself up for success.

Remember, you don’t have to apologize to anyone for choosing to stay home with your children. It is not a flaw that you must make excuses for. Be clear about how these decisions were the right ones for your family at the time, and now you are excited to be returning to work.

Here are some tips for moms returning to the workforce:

Inventory Your Skills and Accomplishments

Be ready to talk about your skills and accomplishments. Are you an excellent communicator? How are your leadership skills? Remember to talk about the qualities that make you an excellent team member and collaborator. Nobody wants to hire someone they wouldn’t want to work with.

Leverage Your Network

You may not think of your connections as a network, but they are. Reach out to past coworkers, peers, and mentors. See if you can touch base with them about what may have changed in the industry since you left the workforce. These connections may even help you get hired.  

Close the Gaps

Remember how we said that a lot has changed? Use the time before your interview to brush up on your skills. Take a refresher course, watch some videos, read a book…do everything you can to catch up on what you have missed. The last thing you want is to get caught off guard during your interview. Learn as much as you can about what has and has not changed. You don’t have to be an expert, but interviewers will want to know that you care enough to take these steps on your own.

Before the Interview

  • Investigate the soft skills needed for the position and be prepared to talk about what makes you a good fit.
  • Learn as much as you can about the company and be prepared to ask insightful questions.
  • Practice your interview with family or friends. Look up some of the most common interview questions and make sure you are ready for them.
  • If necessary, make the drive to the company before your interview, taking note of the commute time and the appropriate places to park.

Returning to work can be stressful. But by following these tips, you can get up and running in no time.


Changing careers can be scary and difficult. In some ways, you may feel like you are throwing away all the hard work you have invested in your previous career path. Maybe you have worked in that field for years and have now reached a level of significant achievement and expertise. Do you really want to throw that away and start something new?

Before making any big changes, take the time to reflect on what it is about your current work that you like and don’t like. Sometimes it isn’t the field that you are unhappy with…sometimes it is the work environment. Would you feel differently if you were working with a different employer?

Remember that changing careers can indeed mean starting over. You may need to begin at an entry-level position, which could have an impact on your financial situation. Make sure that you have thought through all the implications of your decision before you quit your job.  

If you still feel as though you want to try something new, here are some ways you can get started:

Join Online Networking Groups

Look for groups related to your field of interest. There are groups for every possible interest online. Join a few groups and participate in discussions. Ask questions, listen and grow. Build relationships with people that share your interests. You never know if a connection you make online will help you get your foot in the door.

Identify Your Strengths

Remember that we all have hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are those skills that are specifically related to a certain type of work.

You may think that if you are an accountant, you don’t have the skills to be a computer programmer, but not so fast. Being able to balance a budget or write code are hard skills related to those specific roles, but there are soft skills that tie those jobs together.

If you are an accountant, you have learned how to pay attention to small details, to troubleshoot problems when the numbers don’t come out right, and to figure out solutions. Computer programmers also need these skills to succeed.

If you are interested in a new field, look for the skills you already have that will help you succeed in any line of work.   

Get Out There

It can be challenging to land a job in a new field. You are going to have to work harder to show that you have the necessary skills. Without prior experience in the field, you may struggle to get even an entry-level position.

Networking can help. Look for organizations, conferences or talks that are related to the field. Get out there and meet some people. Make connections with people who can help you get started.

It may be tough to change careers, but it can definitely be done. If you are willing to accept a potential decrease in pay and have the determination to start over, you can use the tips here to chart a path to success.