In 5 Minutes: 5 Ways We Can Improve our Career

Five-MinutesA report from McKinsey On Society found that in 2012, more than 120,000 young people took jobs they didn’t want. ThinkProgress did the math and, sadly, found that number equates to one young professional every five minutes.

The brutal details:

  • 48 percent of college graduates took a job that required less than a four-year degree
  • Four to five times as many graduates are working in the retail and restaurant industries than would prefer

Apparently, all it takes is five minutes to send us in the wrong direction. The upside, though: in just five minutes you can also give your career a lift by doing some very simple things. To get you started, here are five of those little tasks that can make a big difference:

1. Update Current Job Details on LinkedIn

When is the last time you refreshed your list of duties/accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile and resume? Take five minutes and see if you should reset your job description. And when you do, remember to include targeted keywords that highlight specific (and in-demand) skills which employers often use to find passive candidates.

2. Write a Short Note on a Handful of Your Business Cards

Take out a stack of business cards and write a quick note on each one. It could be an additional Web site, phone number or short sales pitch. You could even just circle the phone number you want others to use. People find cards with actual handwriting more valuable and may hesitate to toss them out.

3. Visit

Do you work from pretty much anywhere? Starbucks, your couch, your desk…wherever you go, that’s your office. Visit Mobilegear for nearly 4,000 smart mobile office and technology accessory products. I use a memory foam wrist pad along with my mouse that I got on It’s like a pillow for my lower arm. The company’s selection and quality are top-notch so go find something to make your workday easier.

4. Watch This TED Video About Setting Goals

Derek Sivers quickly explains why you should never tell anyone your goals because it could keep you from reaching them at all. The video is certainly worth a look, although it may take more than 5 minutes to digest all the great advice.

5. Words You Always Have to Look Up

You never know when one spelling mistake or typo can negatively impact your career, and some mistakes are worse-timed than others. Ragan Communications assembled a list of words we can never remember to spell correctly. ‘Separate’ — that’s a tricky one.

I realize this entire list would take you about 30 minutes to accomplish instead not five. If you work quickly, though maybe you can get it done in 20. So I’ll stop writing so you can get to work… right after I ask:

Do you agree with Derek Sivers’ talk on setting goals? Comment below… in 5 minutes or less!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!


News to Live By


Danny Rubin headshotAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.


Image courtesy of Thank you!



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