Career Advice

Below, find some of our recent career advice stories. Have a question for Kat? Check out the Contact page.

How to Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

If you type in the phrase “is LinkedIn still relevant” on Google, the autocomplete suggestions include “is LinkedIn still relevant 2015,” “is LinkedIn still relevant 2016,” and so on — and since the answer for 2018 is still yes, it’s worth knowing how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. The recommendations in our 2016 post on the best LinkedIn settings for job hunting are still relevant, and you can also take a look at LinkedIn’s video guide on adjusting account and privacy settings.

Psst: We’ve also discussed resume rules for 2017, job searching when you’re super busyunusual ways to get your resume noticed, and applying when you don’t meet the job requirements.

Here are tips for how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile in 2018:

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How to Track Billable Hours: Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

how to track billable hoursThis question is for the lawyers and others who have to keep track of your time — what are your best tips and tricks on how to track billable hours? If you’re a lawyer who reviews time sheets (either at a firm or in house), we’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s acceptable, what’s NOT acceptable, and what’s a red flag for you… It’s been a while since we’ve discussed time management, so let’s ponder…

Here’s Reader C’s question:

I thought it might be fun to do a post about all things billing. For newer attorneys, or those interested in transitioning from gov’t/etc., it could be really useful to learn the general rules and what more senior attorneys look for on their bills. For others it would be interesting to see tips/tricks for billing, key terms, billing as a way to market to clients and other related things. (E.g., my firm sends out a billing insert of a short article with each month’s bills).

Great question, Reader C! In my experience people tend to fall into two categories here: the obsessive billers who keep track in 6- or 10-minute increments — and the people who will definitely, totally get you those timesheets from six months ago asap. (We’re right on top of it, Rose!) The more cases and billable matters you have to keep track of, the more you have to be the first, obsessive person — whereas if you’re stuck on one never-ending project (doc review, anyone?) you can swing towards the second end of the spectrum.

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Tips for Dealing with Migraines at Work

Migraines at Work: Tips for DealingA migraine striking while you’re hanging out at home is bad enough, but migraines at work are even worse. Not only do you have to deal with debilitating pain and other symptoms, but you have to consider how to handle the situation in a professional way — when all you want to do is go home. Taking a few steps while you’re not in the middle of a migraine can make times like that a little easier. How do you deal with migraines at work? When you have to go home during the workday or call in sick, do you specifically say that you have a migraine? Is your boss usually understanding? 

Psst: We’ve also talked about how to function at work without sleep, how to explain an embarrassing illness (not that migraines should make you embarrassed!), how to handle a client meeting while drugged with cold medicine, and how to handle frequent doctors’ appointments. We’ve also had at least one great reader discussion with advice about migraines.

Here are some tips for how to handle migraines at work:

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The Best Financial Books for Beginners

the best personal finance books for beginnersIt’s been YEARS since we’ve talked about the best personal finance books for newbies, so we figured today we’d discuss the best financial books for beginners. Paying off debt, saving for retirement, and managing your money in general can seem overly complicated and intimidating no matter what your age — but especially when you’re a young professional — and these books use simple rules and straightforward concepts to educate people who are new to personal finance. What is your favorite personal finance book (or blog, or magazine, or podcast)? What was the best advice you took from it? 

Psst: In the past, we’ve shared our money roadmap, offered financial tips for women lawyers, pondered how to make a budget, discussed the pros and cons of cash savings vs. retirement savings accounts as well as paying down debt vs. saving, and much more. We also included several recommendations for finance podcasts in our podcasts for working women post.

Here are six of the best financial books for beginners:best personal finance books for beginners - image of book covers including Get a Financial Life, You are a Badass at Making Money, You Need a Budget, The Financial Diet, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and The Total Money Makeover

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Do You Have to Give Your Salary History?

Do You Have to Give Your Salary History?When you’re applying for a job, do you have to give your salary history? How can you avoid providing it without taking yourself out of the running? More and more cities and states (NYC, California, Oregon, Delaware, etc.) have moved to target the gender pay gap by preventing employers from asking for salary history during screening and interviews, while Amazon and other companies are making the change on their own. (Note that, depending on the particular law, it’s still legal for companies to ask for your salary history post-offer.) So let’s talk about it today! What are your strategies for answering salary history questions on job applications and in interviews? What do you think about these new laws, and do you live in a city or state that has passed one?

We even got a question recently from Reader F, who had gotten burned by giving her salary history. As she explained:

I had 3 interviews with a large firm. I have 5 years experience in the exact field I was interviewing for. The firm has their 1st year associate salary posted online. At end of the 3rd interview they asked my current salary at my small firm. After pushing I gave it to them — it’s $40k less than their 1st year associate salary. Through the recruiter they then offered me my current salary, and then upped by $20k. I declined, citing their advertised first year being way more. Why would this happen?

That totally stinks, reader F, and this is exactly the kind of problem all of the new legislation is aiming to prevent. (In this exact situation it might have been because she was interviewing for a non-partner track position — without knowing more about the job as listed and negotiated it’s hard to say.)

The best defense is a good offense — and knowing how to respond to salary question. Here are a few recommendations from career experts on how to carefully navigate the salary question:

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Do You Schedule Breaks to Increase Your Productivity at Work?

schedule breaks to increase your productivity at workWe recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things are on your mind, and the best Spotify playlists to help you focus, we haven’t talked a lot about taking breaks throughout the day. Can you schedule when you take breaks at work? If so, do you tend to take a break at the same time every day? Do you schedule breaks on your calendar as appointments so that others know you are unavailable?

Even though breaks were allowed and even encouraged at most full- and part-time jobs I’ve held, I still wouldn’t stop to take my first “break” until 1 p.m. or later. Even then, it might’ve only been break time because I didn’t want to miss out on the last call for the office cafeteria salad bar at 2 p.m. I did, however, almost always take 45 minutes for lunch when I could. I would make it a point to take a long walk, read a book, or meet up with a friend.

We realize that for some of our readers’ high-demand jobs, it’s just not possible to take breaks, at least not frequently. For instance, as a trial attorney, on my docket days or days with back-to-back-to-back client meetings, or when I had trial prep, breaks weren’t always an option. I would often eat lunch at my desk, if I had time to eat at all, and I was lucky if I could get a few minutes to check my personal texts or emails.

Here are some tips we hope you find helpful when it comes trying to schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work:

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