Tips for Jump Starting your Career

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If you have grown listless with your job search, it's time to jump-start your career or job hunt strategy. Everyone appreciates an energetic and positive co-worker so make sure to BE that person, even if it's against your natural instinct. Take your job search to a place it's never been before!

I love finding "What I Wish I Would've Known..." articles and, trust me, there are plenty out there for those just starting out in your field. Articles like this allow me to reflect on my personal "wish" list. Overall, most 'experts' in a given career give similar advice. Here are some staples I rely on:

1. Be nice to everyone you meet. The receptionist, recruiter, mail room person, and your boss. This is an important lesson; don't learn the hard way that someone disliked you and it hurt your chances at a great opportunity.

2. Network, even when you don't feel like it (especially when you don't feel like it!) I love finding events on sites like if you can't find anything through your town or alumni association. Find like-minded people that will expand your horizons, personally and professionally.

3. Find a hobby - don't make work your life. Many young people feel that they need to show their dedication by being at the office late or coming in early each day. The downside is that you may sacrifice your sanity and your work may look sloppy when you're burned out.

4. Manage your time wisely. DO NOT check email every five seconds at work. It will distract you. If you have to, let people know you check email first thing in the morning, before lunch time, and at the close of business. Do not feel guilty about it.

5. There will be some days that you hate your job, your co-workers and your boss. In my experience, this is inevitable. Try to take a walk or do deep breathing at your desk. Life will seem better.

6. My most important tip is to trust your gut. Whether it tells you to look for another job (or career), move to a new city, take a second job, or take night courses, it is telling you something important. Listen.

I am on my second career since graduating college six years ago. I know I made the right decision to switch careers but I constantly think of things I wish I would've known. You will too.

Questions? Comments? What do you wish you would've known before starting your career?

Amy M worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English and Social Studies teacher. She is also a freelance writer for CollegeJobBank.Com. In her free time, Amy likes to practice yoga. She is a self-proclaimed 'American history nerd.' Read more of her blogs at Find jobs and other information at Nexxt.

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