Career Advice

Dorigan & Associates | Career Advice

Guest Post: Do You Speak Color’s Secret Language?

By Joy Overstreet, Portland’s personal color analyst

Try this quick thought experiment: think of the color red.
What adjectives, associations or symbols come to mind when you think of red?

Did you think of passion, courage, valentines, anger, blood, energy, a politician’s tie? No doubt you came up with other associations as well.
Why does color matter to someone seeking career advancement?
Color matters because human beings respond strongly to color, though usually it’s at a subconscious level. The good news is that if you understand the psychological power of color you can communicate very particular messages in your choice of clothes.

Advertisers do this […]

Could Humor Be Your Key to Success?

If the best part of your job is that the chair swivels… sadly, you’re probably not alone.

We’re an overly serious lot when it comes to work.  According research noted in Harvard Business Review 

The average 4-year-old laughs 300 times a day, the average 40-year-old — only 4!

Far less during the week than on weekends

Yet the downside to this dearth of happiness is no laughing matter.  Seriously, good fun at work is good for business.
Funny Business?  No Joke
Here are some salient stats.

Humor gets hired. 98% of 737 CEOs surveyed preferred job candidates with a sense of […]

Review Disaster to Career Turnaround

Is it possible to believe you’re making all the right moves at work, while in reality you’re at best treading water while your career’s stalling out?
One Woman’s Illuminating Career Transformation
A query for a recent post about “Terrible, No-good, Bad Boss Survival Strategies” prompted this inspiring career turnaround story from Megan Bigelow, President & Co-Founder, PDX Women in Tech. 

She recalled this painful experience….

“After asking my boss for two years for a discussion about how to take my career to the next level, she did — on her last day with the company. She chose to do so during my annual […]

March 27th, 2017|Career Advice|0 Comments

Do You Need to Quit?

Terrible, No-good, Bad Boss Survival Strategies

Do You Need to Quit?
Are you in need of bad boss survival strategies? Half of us quit our job because we didn’t get along with our boss, according to a 2015 Gallup Poll. As veteran recruiter, Gallup supports my observations — bad bosses are the number one reason why otherwise happy employees leave their job.

Got a boss from hell, and wondering if you should stay or go?

To get an answer to that burning question I recently took a poll from the trenches of the workplace. These true stories offer seven different options on how […]

September 27th, 2016|Career Advice|0 Comments
  • Are you over-sharing your political views.

Are you over-sharing your political views?

Who will lead our county in the not-too-distant future is a hot topic. Maybe too hot!

Politics are a divisive topic, especially these days with partisanship at an all-time high. Thus, when engaging in political workplace debates, generally you’ll find you have nothing to gain, but everything to lose. Why?

If you disagree, whether you “win” the debate or not, you may well find yourself sacrificing your working relationship.
The reality is, you’re unlikely to change anyone’s mind. Those with strong opinions are rarely interested in being confused by the (contrary) facts, which are often bent more acutely than your average […]

August 21st, 2016|Career Advice|1 Comment
  • What are your compensation expectations.

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Interviewing? What are your salary expectations.
Interviewing?  Get the Salary You Deserve. 
The interview’s just about over.  You’ve done well, you think.  Your heartbeat’s slowly returning to normal.  Your interviewer’s glanced at their watch, and is packing up their notes.  You follow their cue.

They pause, cock their head, look you straight in the eye while at the same time feigning a casual approach.  You know what’s coming next.  It’s that dreaded, seemingly innocent but in reality often a final make-or-break question.…

“What are your salary expectations for this job?” […]

Marijuana @ Work. What you need to know. 

Recreational pot smoking is now legal in four states in the US. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 (and counting) states. The trend seems clear – if medical and/or recreational marijuana is not currently legal in your state, it’s likely to become so in the relatively near future.

But what does that mean for employers and employees in those states?

Is it a free-for-all?  Can you legally smoke or consume marijuana, more commonly referred to as “pot” any place, any time?  What are employee “rights”? Are employers now required to hire and retain employees even when they test positive for marijuana? […]

  • Pay raise? Are you ready?

Pay raise? Are you ready?

Before you ask your boss for a raise…
Today the job market is hot.  Unemployment is down.  Compensation is up.   Given these conditions you may find yourself thinking there could not be a better time to ask for a pay raise.  You’re probably right.

However, regardless of employment market conditions, raises are given to those who earned them and are qualified for them.  Think before you ask. If you want your employer to “Show you the money,” not the door, follow this simple two-step process.
Part I: Internal Assessment: Your contribution to the bottom line
Ask yourself, “Have I…”

Contributed to the company’s bottom line in […]

June 26th, 2015|Career Advice|0 Comments

Is Your Resume Recruiter Friendly?

It’s no secret that your resume is your most important professional document, and the key to your career success.  A good resume opens doors for you.  A not-so-good resume will keep you out of the game entirely.

But how do you to stand out in a sea of qualified applicants and catch the attention of a recruiter, headhunter or other human resources?

What’s the Recruiter Friendly Test and will your resume pass?

A recruiter’s job is to identify, attract and land the best talent available for their clients and companies.  Headhunters* are under pressure to do their job with speed and accuracy.  Resumes are […]

  • To Do List_Do It Before Noon

Do It Before Noon!

Time is tight. The pressure is on to be highly productive at work in the shortest amount of time possible.


Follow these 5 tips to succeed.

Make a list and do something nice for yourself. It’s tempting to keep your brain tuned out until you actually sit down at your desk but you’ll be a lot more productive if you think and plan before you start your day.  The night before or during your morning commute visualize the day ahead and make a list of the most critical “To Dos.” Do something nice for yourself before you start your day.  Take a […]

December 16th, 2014|Career Advice|1 Comment

Group Interview!?! Succeed!

Group interviews are more of a norm these days. In the past they were reserved mostly for candidates seeking positions at the “C Suite” level (CEO, CFO, CTO, etc.) and executive directors in non-profit organizations. Because group interviews are no longer confined to these lofty roles, it’s essential for job seekers to understand, prepare for and navigate them successfully.
Group interviews are more challenging than one-on-ones.
It’s a bit like the difference between practicing basketball free throws versus a new player to the team joining a game in progress with an established team.

In one-on-ones, it’s a little easier to read an individual, […]

November 16th, 2014|Career Advice, How to Interview|0 Comments
  • work place interruptions

Interruptions vs. Your Productivity Groove

Work Place Interruptions
Interruptions: the unexpected demand for your attention that distracts you from the tasks at hand.  Shifting your focus, even for a short time, affects the quality of your work, increases stress and reduces productivity.

They will happen.  Your boss comes by with some paperwork just as you’re settling in to your big project.  A client calls.  Your colleague comes by to discuss next weeks meeting.  Your smartphone pings with some funny update about tonight’s plans.

Before you flip out (or flip someone off ;-)), take a breath.  Remember that work place interruptions will happen.  It’s how you deal with them […]

October 22nd, 2014|Career Advice|2 Comments