What to Do About Ambivalence

If I were asked to pinpoint one dynamic that keeps people from achieving career happiness, it is ambivalence. Because so many people ask me how to resolve this, here are some thoughts about what to do about ambivalence: First, recognize and name your ambivalence for what it is. Ambivalence is a psychological condition where you […]

The Truth About Overnight Success

Everyone loves instant gratification, but in reality, success rarely happens instantly. The truth about “overnight success” is that it takes up to a decade to make it happen. Paul Buchheit, creator and lead developer of Gmail, blogged about how overnight success takes a long time. He wrote that it took 7.5 years for Gmail to evolve from […]

How to Recover from a Failed Internship

Dear Dr. Civitelli, For the past eight months, I have been interning at what I initially thought was a dream startup company while taking classes. At first, I was working in an area that matched my skillset. When the grant the project I was part of was not renewed, I was asked if I wanted […]

How to Be an Intrapreneur

If you Google, “How to be an intrapreneur,” Google will inquire, “Did you mean, “How to be an entrepreneur?” In writing up notes for this blog post, Microsoft Word flagged the word “intrapreneur” as a spelling error; TextEdit on my Mac actually changed “intrapreneurship” to “entrepreneurship” in an unwanted attempt to help me. Intrapreneurship is […]

Career Profiles of Reluctant Entrepreneurs

Reluctant entrepreneurs are people who started businesses out of desperation rather than choice. For each of these reluctant entrepreneurs, the journey was challenging but the outcomes were extremely positive. Please enjoy their success stories. Alex Andon, Biotech Data Analyst to Jellyfish Art Entrepreneur Ben Coleman, Propane Truck Industry Professional To Bonsai Author and Inventor Eric B. Heinbockel, Job Seeker To Chocolate Entrepreneur Forrest Graves, […]

Dealing with Narcissists in the Workplace

Sooner or later in your career, you will run into someone whose personality is so difficult, you will despair about ever finding a way to work with that person in any productive way. One of these types of difficult people is the narcissistic personality. Narcissistic personality is characterized by an unrealistic or inflated sense of […]

Entrepreneur Success Story: Origami Bonsai

This interview was originally published in 2010. Today’s entrepreneur success story features Ben Coleman. Ben created a business around his love of origami, the art of folding paper into objects. What type of career did you have before you launched your business? In my previous job, I worked for a manufacturer of propane trucks. I managed […]

How to Use a Decision-Making Matrix

A decision-making matrix is a great tool to compare alternative paths using criteria that are most important to you. This decision-making method is credited to Benjamin Franklin, who called it “Moral or Prudential Algebra” in personal letters in 1772. I adapted his method to decision-making about career paths or job options. For this tool to […]

How to Use LinkedIn: When to Accept or Decline an Invitation

Like many people, right now I have a huge number of pending LinkedIn invitations. LinkedIn advises us to accept connection requests only if we know a person well, but since so many people have thousands of connections, clearly, a lot of LinkedIn users are ignoring LinkedIn’s instructions and are using other criteria to decide whether […]

“I Was Fired”

Dear Dr. Civitelli, I was fired from my last job. Do prospective employers have the right to ask about this? How do I handle this in my job search? What do I say about it if I am asked if I have ever been fired? Signed, Worried Dear Worried, To answer your questions, I consulted […]