Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
I love driving a certain route to work in the morning. It is not the most direct route, nor the quickest. However, on this route, I will likely see someone who will brighten my day, without even getting out of my vehicle. Having a brief interaction with this person makes me smile, and gets my day started on the right foot.

Who am I excited to see? Read below to find out.

I dread Wednesday mornings! Mornings are convoluted enough, making sure we are out of the house on time, with lunches in hand, and ready to kick off another day in the middle of the week. Wednesdays are the day that my housekeeper (who I pay well) may or may not decide to come to the house. I wait somewhat anxiously, having cleared off the countertops, wondering if I will need to track her down, if she will be on time, or if I will wait until one of her relatives eventually calls, usually 20 minutes after I expect her, to advise me that she is sick/has an unexplained emergency, or otherwise cannot get there. 

Who is the stranger who sets my day right? He is a garbage collector, on the side of the road, who stops, just for a moment to wave and smile, wishing me a good morning. He has a great attitude, even though he has a dirty job, cleaning up garbage that others have left on the road without concern. He is a government employee, and likely is not making a whole lot of money.

Meanwhile, an employee who I pay more per hour than I made 3 years out of a Masters program, who also cleans someone else’s garbage, is not able to advise me when she is or isn’t going to be showing up. And when she loses the gig at my house and wonders why, I hope it is clear to all of my readers: she lacks work ethic. This is someone who does not take responsibility for her job. Many job seekers out there feel entitled to keeping their job, and never go above and beyond the minimum expectation for your job requirements. That will get you fired/laid off/excused/outsourced, or any other number of words meaning that you will not have a job.

Be the guy on the side of the road: go a step beyond! You won’t regret it!