Keep Your Career Growth On Track Whether working from the office or remotely from home, your career growth can stay on track. Try these tips from the Ladders website to stay on the path to success: • Find a group or a mentor. You can still network, even if it’s through Zoom or email. Find a group of like-minded professionals to exchange ideas with and share support. A mentor can also offer valuable advice as you navigate your career when times are challenging. • Read success stories. Don’t get mired in gloom and doom. Even in the midst of the pandemic, you can still find stories of people who’ve survived and thrived. Use these stories to keep your spirits up and remind yourself that success is possible no matter how dark the times appear to be. • Talk to your boss. Your boss may know you’re doing a great job, but he or she is probably too stressed and busy to think much about your career development. Be proactive. Talk to your boss about your ambitions, goals, and vision. Ask about projects you can contribute to or promotions you may be eligible for. • Take up a new hobby. Don’t let work define your existence, especially if you’re stuck at home. An active hobby can help your mind and body relax and recharge. Yoga or meditation may offer an escape from the stresses you’re feeling now. Even getting out for a socially distanced walk every day can help you maintain a healthy equilibrium. • Find virtual conferences. In-person professional events aren’t likely to come back anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on opportunities to learn from your peers and network with them. Set aside some time to attend an online seminar or conference once or twice a month. It’s a good way to unwind and meet new people while keeping your skills sharp. “It’s the job that’s never started that takes longest to finish.” —J.R.R. Tolkien Brain Teasers Q: According to Greek mythology, who was the first woman on Earth? A: Pandora Q: Which singer’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta? A: Lady Gaga Q: Where were the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights stored during World War II? A: Fort Knox Q: Which two U.S. states don’t observe Daylight Savings Time? A: Arizona and Hawaii Q: Which mammal has no vocal cords? A: The giraffe Q: What was the first toy to be advertised on television? A: Mr. Potato Head Q: Which of William Shakespeare’s plays is the longest? A: Hamlet Q: Before the Beatles were formed, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison were originally members of which group? A: The Quarrymen Q: What country won the very first FIFA World Cup in 1930? A: Uruguay Q: Which two countries share the longest international border? A: The United States and Canada Q: How many hearts does an octopus have? A: Three —Thought Catalog Manage Performance Reviews Positively Managers and employees alike tend to dread performance reviews. They don’t have to be an ordeal, though. Follow this advice from Gallup on how to get positive results from your reviews: • Separate pay and performance. Don’t discuss salary and job performance in the same session. Otherwise the employee will likely focus only on what kind of raise he or she is—or isn’t—getting, and ignore what you have to say about performance. • Open with purpose. Don’t start by telling the employee what he or she is doing wrong or right. Instead, throw the ball into their court. Ask, “What inspires you to do your best every day?” You’ll get a better sense of what motivates them. Urge employees to think about the big picture—what they can contribute, as opposed to just what they can get out of their job for themselves. • Focus on what the employee can control. Many factors are beyond an employee’s influence—schedules, deadlines, supplies, requirements, and so on. Stick to what the employee can control to improve his or her performance—time management, proper training, etc. • Look to the future. Coach employees on how they can get better at their jobs, not just for the benefit of your organization but for their own career growth. Find out what skills they’d like to learn and work on a plan to provide them with the training and experience they’re looking for. • Show empathy. The pandemic has created a lot of stress for employees. You still have to enforce rules and hold people accountable, but remember they’re human. Talk about the problems they’re dealing with that affect their performance, and look for ways to help them cope with the chaos in everyone’s lives.