If you’ve been working in the business world for any length of time, chances are that you’ve had a boss who absolutely hates you. You know the boss I’m talking about—the condescending jerk who won’t listen to a single one of your ideas and criticizes everything you do. You can’t do anything right, and every muscle in your body contracts when he or she walks into the room.

If your boss is making your life a living nightmare, there are a few things you can do about it before you start crafting your resignation letter.

1. Make Yourself Indispensable, not Invisible

If your boss yells at you as soon as he sees your face, your first instinct might be to hide, but don’t—it will only make the problem worse. Instead, make a list of the things your boss complains about, and make sure you do those things preemptively, before he checks.

Then, make yourself indispensable to your boss by anticipating his needs and acting to make his life easier. If you know he’s doing a presentation on Friday with a client, go ahead and pull the data he needs on Monday or Tuesday and set it up in a PowerPoint slide. If he has to put in a supply order on Thursday, don’t wait until he asks what you need—email him a list on Tuesday.

The point is, don’t just show up to work and do the bare minimum. Bosses hate that. Besides, there has to be a reason why your boss is being nasty. His boss could be pressuring him. His personal life could be falling apart. You don’t know, and at the end of the day, your job is to support your boss and his/her initiatives, so do the best job you can.

2. Be Kind

You can’t control your boss’ actions and attitudes, but you can definitely control yours! Choose to be kind. When your boss throws negativity your way, end the conversation by asking if there is anything else you can do for her today.

Make thoughtful gestures. When you pick up your morning coffee, spend a little extra to buy the Coffee Traveler at Starbucks to bring the good stuff for the entire office. Be sure to pour the boss a cup and take it to her. If she’s not a coffee drinker, figure out what her “thing” is. It might be chocolate, donuts, tea, or soda. It’s a small gesture, but it can go a long way in changing your boss’ attitude towards you.

Think about the small talk you have with your boss. Are you an active listener? Do you know her kids’ names? Is there a sports team she follows? Is she planning a trip somewhere exotic? Always be interested in the things going on in your boss’ life. While it may not seem important, remembering the details shows the boss that you truly listen to her and have her back.

3. Inspire Camaraderie with Your Coworkers

When the boss goes on a tirade, it’s tempting to trash him behind his back with your coworkers. However, you have more class than that (right?). Trashing your boss makes you look petty, and your coworkers will remember it. Save your vent session for after work, with your friends or therapist.

However, you should create professional camaraderie with your coworkers. It will help you on the hard days to be surrounded by positive relationships. You can inspire camaraderie by supporting your coworkers, because the chances are good that the boss who hates you also hates them, too.

If you see the boss berate a coworker for not finishing a task, offer to help your coworker catch up. If you see a coworker working through lunch, offer to bring her back something to eat from the café down the street. If you notice a coworker working late, ask if there is anything you can do for them. Even if you can’t stay late, you may be able to pick up dry cleaning on your way or make an important phone call for them when you get home.

Creating a supportive office environment can make weathering the storm of a negative boss a lot easier for everyone.

4. Gather Your References and Update Your Resume

Of course, if you’ve tried absolutely everything, and your work situation is simply unbearable, it’s time to clean up your resume and gather your references.

If you’ve worked towards creating a supportive office environment, you will have a wealth of coworkers who are willing to write reference letters for you. Start gathering them, and as you do, offer to do the same for your coworkers. If you have three strong references you can use throughout your job search, you will do fine.

As for your resume, make sure it is up to date and looks modern. Make sure you customize it for each job advertisement’s keywords, too.

5. Let Recruiters Know You’re Open to other Opportunities

LinkedIN has a feature you can turn on to let recruiters know you are looking for opportunities. Start talking to recruiters as soon as you can. Be careful, though—they will ask why you are leaving your current job, and the last thing you want to say is, “my boss hates me.” Instead, tell them you are looking for a new challenge. It’s not a lie—you are looking for a challenge besides contending with a boss that hates you.

Know Your Options

When your boss hates you, your options are generally to either stay in the job and make the best of it or look for a new job. However, if you are being harassed, be sure your first stop is the HR office. No one has the right to abuse you, even if they are your boss. If you don’t feel comfortable reporting your boss, find a new job. Don’t stay in a toxic situation—your health and wellbeing must always come first.

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For so many of us, work is something of a love and hate scenario. When work is going well and our career seems to be set on soaring it can feel like the best thing in the world and well worth that daily investment of time and that awful commute. When it’s going badly, however, it can feel like every part of you is suffering as you drag yourself into work ready to face another day of feeling unfulfilled and desperate for change.

Unfortunately, this can be made all the more unbearable if, for whatever, reason you suddenly find yourself caught in a legal dispute at work. Perhaps your rights are being trampled over or the terms of your contract are not being fulfilled. Whatever the case, the very best thing you can do is to make sure you are armed with the best in legal advice and with a team of excellent representation on your side whether that’s solely from a lawyer or with the help of your union representative.

Take a look at what you need to do to make sure you get the best lawyers in town and some of the mistakes to avoid when appointing someone. Our guide will take you through the process.

Get A Recommendation

Whether you’ve got friends and family in the business or just someone in the know, you’re going to want to cast your net far and wide to get the best workers’ compensation lawyer. Ask around and find out who your colleagues have used or who friends would tell you go to and find a recommendation that checks out when you do a little research on them.

Remember that your company will be well versed in hiring and firing and everything in between so having someone experienced and capable is going to be crucial. In an ideal world you’ll be looking at resolving the issues before they progress to a court or a tribunal scenario but you if they can’t then someone on your side with a stellar reputation is going to show the other side how very serious you are at getting the case settled in your favor.

Search online, look for positive outcomes of cases similar to yours and who was representing the worker. Get in touch and see if they are free and willing to take you for an initial consultation to discuss your case.

Talk It Through

Most firms will give walk-ins sometime between fifteen and thirty minutes to talk through a case before they start charging, usually by the hour. Make an appointment for a free short consultation and go armed with the outline facts of your case, any documents you need to back it up and any questions you might have to start taking the case forward. Use this time wisely and at the same time see if you feel your lawyer will be a good match for your case.

Find out about any relevant experience they have on cases similar to yours and if you feel they would be effective at communication with you effectively. Do you feel inspired by their confidence or that they fobbed you off with answers you wanted to hear. In a relatively short time you will be able to make an assessment of your compatibility and make a decision if you want to proceed.

Research Before Deciding

You don’t have to make a decision to appoint straight away, instead go away and do some research. Although time is important and you want to give your lawyer as much of it as possible to prepare, you want to double check that they are everything they say they are before you sign them up to your case.

Many court cases are a matter of public record and you should be able to find some references to wins and losses online. Read the reviews, read around any articles they’ve written and in short do your due diligence into the person handling your case

Person Of Character

What type of person are you looking for in a lawyer? Are you looking for someone dogged and determined, prepared to win at any cost, which might end up being significant, or are you looking for someone logical and straightforward with an eye for detail and getting the job done? They may not be charismatic but they are solid and reliable.

The lawyer you choose will end up being very much a question of your personal taste and how well you can relate to them during your meetings. The one thing you will need to make sure is that they have experience in your particular case and in the individual circumstances surrounding it.

Your lawyer is working for the best outcome for you, so make sure it’s someone you find relatable and reassuring as well as highly skilled and capable of taking your case all the way to the best conclusion they can get for you.

Don’t Forget the Money

Money can very quickly disappear when it comes to ongoing legal fees and trial expenses. It’s easy to sign off for a stream of work and very quickly see the bills mounting up. Your lawyer, or their team, should be able to explain to you very clearly where your money is going, what it’s being used for and how much you are going to be likely to spend on your overall case.

The good news is that while lawyer fees are expensive there are several ways you can approach paying them. You might go for a pay-as-you-go approach, paying monthly as your lawyer bills you per hour. You might instead be able to negotiate an upfront retainer then pay the rest from any payout you receive by way of compensation. Your lawyer may have all their legal fees paid by the opposition if the case does go to trial or tribunal, in which case you’ll either be able to claim the money back or have them settle the bill with your lawyer.

Often lawyers will accept a bit of both and will be able to offer you advice on any legal aid that you may be entitled to meet your costs. You might also need to consider a loan to cover the costs so talk to your lawyer about the various options.

Feeling Confident

If you’ve followed this advice up to now, you probably do have something of an idea of who you’d want to have on your team. You’ll know whether you’re looking for a large company with access to a large team of lawyers or to a small firm that is niche enough to focus on exactly your type of case with zero distractions.

Whoever you choose you’ll want to concentrate on getting one key component right: communication. How confident are you in your lawyer communicating effectively with you? How well and how clearly do you work together? You might want to talk to your lawyer on a daily basis. On the other hand, that might feel like too much and you’ll be happy with a weekly catch up call, confident that they’ll be in touch with you straight away should there be a development or a need to produce some more paperwork.

Either way, these are decisions that need to be decided upon during your discussions to everyone’s satisfaction.

Make sure that you have everything you need and keep an organized file of your paperwork for the smooth running of your case and to help your lawyer have the best chance of fighting your corner, armed with all the facts.

When you’ve spent all your life working and experiencing the ups and downs of pursuing a career, it can feel like a major blow to have to go down the litigation route against your firm but, while the cost is high both financially and emotionally, resolving the issue is going to feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

Start your research today and find a lawyer that ticks all your boxes in terms of experience, great communication and a clear desire to win your case on your behalf. Ask around for recommendations but ultimately you’ll want to go with your gut instinct and appoint someone you can instinctively trust.

Think carefully about your budget and how much you are willing to risk to have someone take the case on, think too about the result you’re looking for. Are you hoping to resolve the matter out of court and return to work or are you hoping to draw maximum publicity and therefore damage to the company while also receiving some form of compensation. Both come at a cost and you will have to weigh up which path is for you.

Taking on a lawyer can feel stressful and overwhelming but when you’re out of your depth you need someone who can take the matter into their own capable hands and guide you through the rough waters of litigation. Finding the right lawyer is worth its weight in gold so begin your search today.

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It doesn’t matter what job you end up in, you will probably need to have some very strong pitching skills. This is especially the case if you want to find some freelance work for yourself. You will have to continually pitch to companies and clients in the hope that they assign their various projects to you. Even if you end up working full-time, you might still be involved in pitching as lots of businesses have to sell themselves in meetings in an attempt to try to sign new clients.

As you can tell, it’s always important that your pitching skills are up to scratch. They will help you win new work and climb further up through a company’s hierarchy. Here are some of the most important things to remember when you are trying to nail your next pitching meeting.

Create An Engaging Presentation

First of all, you will need to create a presentation to go along with your pitch. This can help to further engage your audience, and it’s also a great way to add some additional textual information that people can read. You don’t just want to make another boring old PowerPoint presentation as you can be sure that everyone else who is pitching will be doing the exact same. So, instead you should use a presentation software with smart templates and plenty of ways you can customize the slides. It needs to look good or else it just won’t be enough to catch your audience’s attention and they will very quickly get bored.

Do Your Research On Who You Are Pitching

You also need to spend a bit of time before the pitch researching these potential clients and anyone else who you may be pitching to. Once you have done your research, you will have a very good idea of who your audience are and the various ways you can target them directly. Plus, you will probably know what they are after a lot better too. That way, you can showcase your company or yourself in a way that really appeals to the people who are sitting in front of you throughout the meeting.

Practice Your Pitch

Practice makes perfect! We all know that, and you need to put these words of wisdom into practice. It is highly advisable to have a couple of practice run throughs of your pitch before you actually step into the pitching meeting. If possible, you should do this practice run in front of someone. They will then be able to give you any feedback on what they thought went well and what you could improve on. This also gives you the chance to know your pitch inside out and a lot less likely to make any mistakes.

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Try To Stay Relaxed

It’s perfectly normal to get nervous before you head into your pitch. Lots of people will feel like this as well! However, you don’t want your nerves to get on top of you or they could lead to you ruining the pitch. It is really important that you try to relax before and during your pitch so that you can deliver it as well as possible. There are various relaxation methods and techniques that many people use, so it’s worth taking a look through some to see which might suit you and your nerves.

Don’t Forget To Introduce Yourself

As soon as you walk into your pitching meeting and see who you are pitching to, you should be sure to introduce yourself straight away. Even though this might sound slightly obvious, it is remarkable how many people forget to introduce themselves and simply walk straight and start pitching straight away. Your audience will want to know who you are and what your role in the company is.

Always Follow Up

The pitch doesn’t end as soon as the meeting does. You should aim to follow up with who you were pitching to a day or two later. All this takes is a quick email to say that you hope they enjoyed your presentation and seeing more of the company. It’s important to always follow up as it makes it less likely that you are forgotten about. Lots of companies call in many freelancers or other firms to pitch to them, and it might be the follow up that makes all the difference in setting you apart from the others.

These are just a few of the tips you can use to help you nail your next big pitching meeting. Good luck with it!

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Making the most of every single day at work can be a hard task. When we work in a fast paced office environment it is always important for us to take the time out to arrange our day and also to name sure we can fit everything into our schedule. Today we are going to take a look at some of the changes you can make which will allow you to make the most of every minute of your day.

Get up early

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to make your day count is to get up bright and early and start off your day in a relaxed way. When we wait until the last moment to wake up and get ready for work it can make us grumpy and we don’t truly allow ourselves to wake up until a few hours into our shift. If you can pull yourself out of bed even half an hour earlier than usual this can make all the difference to your mind and your body, and it will allow you to be ready for action when you get into the office.

Big then small

The hardest thing about trying to make the most of your days is working out which jobs are the most important ones to do. When we have several different tasks to do every day it is important for us to prioritize the big tasks over the small ones. Take a look at what you have to do and think about who needs you to complete the task and how urgent it is. This will allow you to arrange your tasks in order of importance.

Write a list

The most important thing you need to have if you are trying to be more organized at work is a work schedule. Make sure that at the end of each day you take 10 minutes to write out what you need to do for the next day. Doing this will save you time figuring out where to start each morning and it will allow you to make sure you never miss out something important on your to do list. Keep your list somewhere prominent on your desk or even hang a small whiteboard up and write your tasks down on there.

Say no to meetings

Meetings can either be the best use of your time or the absolute worst. It is crucial for you to know as a worker that you are entitled to say no to meetings if you have more important things to do with your time. If you feel that you could better spend your time on a task, learn to reject a meeting request and get on with your day. Meetings can pull us out of our rhythm for the day and it is often hard for us to get it back once it’s gone.

Zone out

Sometimes the best thing you can do during a busy workday is to put in your headphones, listen to some great music and zone out for a while. When you have people talking to you throughout the day it can be a nice way to pass some time but when you need to concentrate it is important for you to zone out completely and get it done. Once you do this you will likely get the task done twice as fast and be able to join back in the conversation in no time.

Have regular breaks

If you don’t want to completely burn out and crash this year the best thing you can do for yourself is take a break every hour or so and walk around for a couple of minutes. Of course, if you are in the middle of a job you don’t need to stop and stand up, but otherwise this is good for your mind and body. When we stand up and take a break we can release tension in our muscles and release any stress in our minds too. It is always good for us to do this now and again and it allows us to refresh and be more productive as a result.

Work in small shifts

Another great way to make sure we don’t burn out when we are trying to work hard is to work in small intervals and make sure that we can keep up a good momentum with working. If we work in small slots and move onto something else for a while it can stop us from getting bored and being unable to continue.

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Many people these days struggle when it comes to their career path. There are too many people these days working jobs they don’t really enjoy or want to do. It’s high time that you focus on making sure you get the most out of your job. You have plenty of things to consider when it comes to improving the way you do your job, and this is something to keep in mind.

Enjoying what you do is not the be all and end all, but it is certainly important. There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind that can impact the way you enjoy your job. You have to make sure you are getting the most out of it, and that you are happy in the job you are doing. This is why you should consider the tips here, and use them to ensure you are more fulfilled at work.

Adjust Expectations

It is important to adjust your expectations of your job role every now and then. It can be easy to get carried away with the sorts of things you want to get out of the process, but this is something that plays a hugely important part in the process of job fulfillment. You are going to need to look at what you want to achieve from your career, and it might even be an idea to consider changing jobs. This is something you have to get right as much as possible, and this can help you achieve more.

Make Sure You are Looked After

Making sure you are looked after is so important if you want to make the most of your career path. This means finding a business that values you as an employee and takes care of you in the right way. But, you also want to take steps to look after yourself in the event that you might be off work through illness or injury. This is why looking into workers compensation is so important, and there is a lot that you can keep in mind. This will give you much better peace of mind and will allow you to focus on enjoying your job rather than worrying about it.

Talk to Your Boss

The best thing you can do when you want to start enjoying your job more is to speak with your boss. This is something that you need to make sure you start doing as soon as possible. There are a lot of benefits to this, and it is important that you speak with your boss about any problems or issues you might have with regards to your job. This is something that needs to be sorted out moving forward, and it is something that you have got to keep in mind. Airing your worries or issues can have a majorly positive impact on your job role, and your enjoyment of the workplace.

As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to enjoying your job and finding it more fulfilling. There are so many things that can play a part in the process of improving and enhancing the working experience, and getting the right career path out of this is so important. Assess how much you are enjoying your job and try to make some changes where possible.

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When you first go to college, deciding what your major should be seems like a hugely important decision. But the fact is that many people end up in careers that are only very loosely related to their major, and sometimes don’t have anything to do with it at all. If you find yourself doing a job that doesn’t have much to do with your degree, you might find that you miss it. Perhaps you’re thinking about getting back to your academic background and making use of those years that you spent at college. But how can you start making use of your degree again?

Find Opportunities to Use Your Degree in Your Current Role

For some people, there could be ways to use your degree in your current role. Maybe there are opportunities for you to apply the skills and knowledge that you learned at college to your job, even if it’s not strictly under your job description. Maybe you’re a manager with a background in psychology who could apply the knowledge you gained from your degree to help your team. You might know things about keeping up morale or how to be more productive or have the skills to read and understand the latest research.

Refresh or Expand Your Knowledge

Your college years could feel like they’re long behind you. If you have a useful degree, but you feel like it needs to be updated, you could refresh your knowledge or add to it using a number of means. Perhaps you could just do some reading to refresh your memory or get up to date. Or you might decide to go back to school to gain a new qualification. If you studied pre-law before, maybe you’re interested in getting a paralegal degree or certificate to begin a new career, or even in going back to law school to become an attorney. It will help you to show potential employers that your knowledge is more up to date.

Look for a New Role

Whether or not you decide to go back to school, you might be interested in looking for a new job. When your current role doesn’t offer you any opportunities to use the skills from your degree, there could be better jobs out there for you. You might want to think about how you have used and built on the skills and knowledge from your degree so far, especially if you graduated many years ago. It will demonstrate to employers that you still know your stuff.

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Use Your Skills on a Volunteer Basis

If you’re not interested in a new job, you could think about using the skills you gained from your degree on a volunteer basis instead. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that require professional skills and specialist knowledge. If you’re finding it hard to find something suitable, try reaching out to charities and nonprofits to see if they might be able to offer a volunteer role for you somewhere in their organization.

You might not be using your degree currently, but it’s never too late to put it into practice.

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The need for personal boundaries is eternal, but all the more vital when it comes to the workplace. After all, when at work, you want to work – and ideally, as efficiently and productively as possible. If your boundaries are transgressed, then maintaining a high standard of work is incredibly difficult.

However, maintaining personal boundaries can also be incredibly difficult. If you have struggled in this area in the past, then the tips below may help you to establish and maintain the boundaries you need.

Trust Your own Feelings

Many people find themselves conforming to a kind of peer pressure in the workplace. Say, for example, your colleagues are making sexually-explicit jokes; you may feel that you have to at least smile and nod, because they’re enjoying themselves, and you don’t feel you can disturb that. Some people even find that when they complain of this kind of behavior to their supervisor, the supervisor suggests they are the one with the problem, and it’s all just good-natured fun.

So, let’s be clear: if something your colleagues are doing is making you uncomfortable, or causing you to feel like the environment at your workplace is hostile, then that’s all the evidence you need. Ignore the peer pressure, the insistence it’s just harmless banter; you have a right to feel safe, protected, and at-ease at work. If your employer doesn’t help resolve the situation, then get a harassment lawyer to examine the matter in more depth; you simply do not have to tolerate unpleasant behavior from your colleagues under any circumstances.

Look for ways to Establish Physical Boundaries

Often, physical boundaries help to reinforce personal boundaries – but the popularity of open-plan offices can hugely complicate matters in this regard.

If you find a lack of personal, physical space difficult, talk to your manager, emphasizing why the issue is impacting your ability to work as you wish. You could suggest that you be allowed to erect portable screens between you and your colleagues, or use strategically-placed pot plants to create a space that is just yours. Finally, it’s also worth seeking permission to wear headphones while you work; you can just listen to white noise, and hope that your colleagues see the headphones as a sign you are not looking to engage in conversation.

Related: 10 Ways to Establish Better Work-Life Balance

Be Straightforward if You’re not Willing to Discuss a Topic

Colleagues sometimes become friends, sometimes even best friends – but the desire for a working relationship to become a friendship has to go both ways. If your colleagues are asking for more information about your personal life than you are willing to divulge, then say so: “I don’t really feel comfortable talking about that at work.”

The idea of being so blunt may make you wince but, in most cases, honesty is the only way of dealing with intrusive questions. If you try to be more subtle, hoping that others will take the hint that you don’t wish to discuss that topic, then there’s every chance these hints will be missed or – worse yet – ignored. By being blunt, you’re establishing your boundary and making it clear that you will only provide non-work related information if you want to. If they continue to ask, speak to your manager as soon as possible.

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It’s easy to end up going with the flow and losing all meaningful control over the course of your life, both professionally and personally. All you have to do is… well… nothing.

There’s a saying that goes something like “either be the main character in your own story, or you’ll be a side character in someone else’s.” When you fail to take responsibility for your own career and life paths, all you’re doing in practice is ensuring that other people’s actions dictate where you end up. In practice, this always means that you end up being maneuvered and overlooked in the manner most convenient for those around you.

Taking ownership of your own career path is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It’s one thing to already be well-embedded in a career you find meaningful, and to then pursue something like an online MBA in accounting. But what if you’re more or less nowhere, with more or less no plan of what to do?

Here are some suggestions.

Take stock of your skills and experiences — and be broad in your definitions

To take control of your own career path, you need to be acutely aware of your skills and experiences, and develop a keen sense of how these can be leveraged, either in your current job, or as a side-hustle.

Be broad and optimistic in our definitions here. You might not immediately think you have any meaningful skills or experiences. But maybe you speak two languages, or are a decent cook. Perhaps you could tentatively explore international food journalism?

Even having spent years playing video games may be relevant experience for exploring certain opportunities and niches.

Approach this task with an open mind. You may be able to begin exploring more avenues than you previously thought.

Understand that what you achieve in life is largely going to be in proportion to the sacrifices you’re willing to make

There’s a pleasant but naive notion going around these days that you can expect to have your cake and eat it too. Not only can you be successful in multiple fields at once, says this view, but you can also juggle massive professional success with a rich family life, constant vacation, and dozens of active hobbies.

The age-old reality is that in life, you will largely enjoy success in a given area in direct proportion to the sacrifices you’re willing to make for that thing.

What are you willing to sacrifice for your professional success? Maybe fewer weekends spent watching TV. Maybe earlier morning wakeups. Maybe fewer vacations. Maybe no time spent idly surfing the web during the day.

Always be working on a project or side hustle at any given moment

Comic-creator Scott Adams has gone on the record advising everyone to have at least one side hustle going at any given time, in addition to their day jobs.

In Adams’ reasoning, this keeps the fires of hope and optimism alive, and helps you to get through your day job without becoming resentful or complacent.

It also continually expands your skillset, deepens your experience of the world, and makes you a more interesting person. Of course, any given side hustle may also make you rich in and of itself.

It’s hard to argue with that advice. Want to take ownership of your career path? Get some side-hustles going when you’re out of the office.

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Take Ownership of Your Career - #careeradvice