Your friendships have a big influence on your experiences. Relationships help to define who you are and what your future will be like. Having a strong and supportive social circle enhances the quality of your life, and may even help you to live longer.

Find partners and companions who will support and validate you. Follow this formula for choosing friends wisely.

Laying the Groundwork

Identify what you’re looking for in any relationship. That way you’ll have a plan to guide you in deliberately choosing friends instead of letting things happen to you. Friendships are too important to leave them up to chance.

Consider these aspects of friendships:

1. Recognize the challenge. Close friendships are demanding. They require time and effort. They make you vulnerable to frustrations and disappointments. You’ll be more resilient if you have a realistic view of both the responsibilities and the rewards.

2. Establish priorities. Your boss and your family will probably hold you accountable for most of your obligations. However, you may be the only one keeping track of your friendships. Ensure you give them adequate attention.

3. Focus on quality. A few close friends are far more valuable than hundreds of superficial acquaintances. Think about the depth of your connections rather than the volume.

4. Seek balance. Friendships involve give and take. Avoid one-sided relationships that could leave you feeling drained.

5. Consider your values. Surround yourself with others who share your core beliefs. You’ll be able to inspire and guide each other to greater success.

6. Be authentic. Studies show that social media tends to trigger anxiety when we compete with each other to have the most likes or retweets. Enjoy greater peace of mind by giving others the opportunity to accept you for who you are.

Making Your Choices

Put your knowledge into action. Use your friendship criteria to decide when you want to get to know someone better. Reach out to others and work at maintaining the relationships that add meaning to your life.

Take advantage of these strategies:

1. Take risks. Making new friends may mean taking a chance on being rejected or feeling awkward. Remember how much you have to gain so you’ll know the effort is worthwhile.

2. Accept invitations. Kicking your social life up a notch is sometimes as simple as being more grateful for the hospitality you receive. Go to a party even if you’re tired or you feel uncomfortable. You might have a great time, and you’ll certainly get to practice your conversation skills.

3. Develop your interests. Connections often form naturally when you have a mutual love for tennis or watercolors. Meet others at the places you enjoy going to.

4. Volunteer your services. Working side by side for a good cause fosters friendships. Join the board at a local food bank or clean up a park.

5. Stay in touch. Keep your contacts warm. Schedule frequent coffee dates and weekend brunches. Call or text to say hello or when you have interesting news to pass on.

6. Share encouragement. True friends cheer each other on as they work towards their goals and celebrate each other’s victories. You can accomplish so much more when you team up with others. Select friends who will be happy about your success and compassionate about your struggles.

7. Communicate on a deeper level. Be willing to move beyond small talk. When you have friends you trust, you can know the joys of being known and understood.

Choose friends who will help you to fulfill your potential and do the same for them. In many ways, your friends are a reflection of you, so ensure that you’re creating an image that’s satisfying for you.

Have you ever lost yourself in a relationship to the point that loved ones had difficulty recognizing you? It can happen.

Losing yourself because of your close relationship with someone is dangerous and unhealthy.

Pay attention to these warning signs before you’ve gone too far for your loved one:

1. You’re unhappy but scared to say it. One sign of an unhealthy relationship is that you’re unhappy but too afraid to mention it to your partner.

* Being unhappy during a relationship is common, and it often occurs after an argument or other major event. However, if the unhappiness lasts for weeks or months, it’s a warning sign.

* You want to be able to talk about your feelings freely, so not being able to share them shows that you’re losing yourself.

* The fix is to calmly and kindly address the unhappiness with your partner. Avoid blaming them or using guilt. Instead, focus on how you want to improve the relationship and how you can move forward.

2. You give in to all of their demands. From changing your work schedule to please them to never cooking your favorite foods because they don’t agree with them, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always meeting their demands. However, this is a big warning sign that you’re losing yourself.

* Compromise is a normal part of a healthy relationship, but it has limits.

* If your identity and other things that make you unique are disappearing in the relationship, then it’s no longer healthy.

* If you’re always giving in, it may be a way to cope with the partner and keep the peace.

* Unfortunately, this means that your own dreams and wishes get left behind. You may start to lose everything that makes you special because you don’t want to upset the other person or make them angry.

3. You indulge in distractions. Watching television or checking social media can be a fun distraction. A small amount of these things is fine, but living in a distracted world is unhealthy.

* Do you indulge in distractions to avoid thinking about your relationship?

* Distractions can range from watching too many shows to reading tabloid magazines. They vary from person to person, but you can recognize them in your own life.

* Many distractions are used to avoid thinking or dealing with difficult situations.

4. Your own goals and dreams are gone. Do you look at your current life and feel like you’ve lost all of your passion or dreams?

* Each person has specific goals, dreams, and passions that make them unique. It’s your greater vision that inspires you to get up and move forward.

* However, if you’ve lost yourself in a relationship, your dreams and goals can disappear.

* You may be pushing your own dreams down to lift up your partner. You may also feel that there isn’t room in the relationship for your dreams or goals. However, your dreams can’t take a backseat forever.

* The reasons for ignoring your wants and goals may include fear of upsetting the other person. You may also want to get their approval, so you may be afraid to share things that they may not like or agree with completely.

Heed these warning signs that you’re losing yourself in a relationship. If you feel like your own identity is getting lost for the sake of your partner, try to work out some new ways to communicate with each other. If you’re struggling, couple’s counseling may provide a solution.

Many relationships run into trouble because one partner seeks more closeness while the other seeks more distance. It’s a cycle that psychologists call a pursuer-distancer dynamic.

Typically, during the initial infatuation stage, you both want to spend as much as time as possible together. Then, reality sets in. One partner feels like they’re not getting enough attention, and the other feels suffocated. The more the pursuer clings and nags, the more the distancer criticizes and pulls away.

To make things more complicated, the roles can sometimes change during the course of the relationship. For example, when the pursuer decides to move on, the distancer may suddenly start trying to win them back.

Minor fluctuations are natural in any relationship, but this cycle can become destructive if it becomes too intense or persistent. If you see such warning signs in your relationship, try these more effective methods for staying close.

Steps to Take When You’re the Pursuer:

1. Meet your own needs. Be honest with yourself about how much you’re expecting from your partner. You may be exhausting them if you’re placing excessive demands on the relationship. Try making new friends, cultivating outside interests, and fixing your own dilemmas.

2. Ask for what you want. Your partner is more likely to respond to polite and reasonable requests than nagging and vague hints. Make it clear that you’re asking for something, rather than putting them down.

3. Level the field. Who texts more in your relationship? A slight disparity may be insignificant, but if you’re reaching out too much, you may need to exercise some restraint. Resist the impulse to leave repetitive messages just because you want assurance. Try to match each other’s communication frequencies.

4. Back off. It’s essential to talk things over, but you also want to choose the appropriate time. If your partner seems overwhelmed, encourage them to take a break. Schedule your sensitive discussions for a time when you both feel up to the task.

Steps to Take When You’re the Distancer:

1. Build trust. You’ll miss out on love if you try to protect yourself by holding back. Instead, learn to trust by remembering that you’re strong enough to deal with disappointments. Notice how your partner shows their concern and good intentions, and treat them with compassion when they make a mistake.

2. Share your feelings. Risk being vulnerable. Start small and work your way up to the deeper issues.

3. Show affection. Let your partner know you appreciate them and find them attractive. Hold hands at the movies or give them a hug when they come home. Make eye contact when they’re talking and ask questions that prove you’re listening.

4. Spend time together. Share your time. Plan a romantic weekend if you’ve been working extra hours for the past month. Wake up early on weekdays so you can get together for breakfast.

Steps to Take in any Relationship:

1. Hold yourself accountable. Focus on how your behavior contributes to the dynamics in your relationship, rather than blaming your partner. You have more control over your own choices.

2. Spot your triggers. Increase your awareness of how you may be inadvertently sabotaging your happiness. Notice when you’re trying to get your own way by checking in too often or withholding affection.

3. Work together. Remember that you’re on the same side. Support each other as you’re trying to develop healthier patterns of interaction.

A healthy relationship allows you and your partner to balance your needs for autonomy and intimacy. Replace the pursuer-distancer cycle with more open and respectful communication so you can both enjoy more love and satisfaction.

Why is it so difficult to ask for help, especially at work? Maybe you worry about appearing weak or incompetent. Perhaps you think you’ll wind up owing favors that you’ll need to pay back.

The truth is that your reluctance to reach out for assistance could have a negative impact on your career. You could be missing out on opportunities to learn from your colleagues, develop valuable relationships, and enhance your job performance.

Stop trying to tough it out alone. Run down this checklist for when and how to ask for help at work.

When to Ask for Help at Work:

1. Seek clarification. If you’re unsure about how to complete an assignment, asking for help is more effective than trying to bluff your way through it. Any temporary embarrassment is less risky than making a serious misstep.

2. Starting a new job. It’s natural to consult others when you’re a recent hire. You may even make friends faster.

3. Tackle an unfamiliar project. One of the greatest benefits of reaching out is the opportunity to learn. Ask your boss for some one-on-one time to discuss strategy together. Invite more experienced coworkers to join you on a high-profile venture or engage a consultant who can show you the ropes.

4. Fix a mistake. If you take enough risks, you’re bound to have a project that turns out differently than you hoped. A wise boss will evaluate you based on how you handle the situation. Impress them by acknowledging your errors promptly and looking for a solution, even if that means bringing in additional staff members.

5. Manage a heavy workload. Maybe there’s too much on your plate. Arrange with a coworker to cover each other’s calls on days you have back-to-back meetings.

6. Promote collaboration. Even if you excel at a certain task, it can be illuminating to see how someone else would handle it. Develop a reputation for being a team player.

How to Ask for Help at Work:

1. Try it yourself first. Before telling anyone that your computer is broken, check that it’s plugged in. Test the obvious solutions before you approach others, especially your boss.

2. Act promptly. On the other hand, once you know you’re stumped, seek help quickly. Minimize delays and downtime.

3. Be specific. Make your request clear. Let your colleagues know what you need and any related details and deadlines.

4. Exude confidence. Rehearse your request if you feel nervous. You can feel comfortable about asking for help because it shows that you are strong enough to be vulnerable and you care about your work.

5. Show respect. Let others know that you value their time. Be brief, and tell them that you’re happy with whatever method is convenient for them. Respond graciously even if they turn you down.

6. Know who to approach. Figure out who is likely to have the answers you’re looking for. Consult the staff directory or use your network to find a referral.

7. Express appreciation. Thank others for their assistance. Follow up so they know how their efforts made a difference.

8. Be willing to reciprocate. Giving generously is a powerful way of showing your gratitude. Volunteer your services before a colleague even has to ask. When you’re consistently eager to lend a hand, your coworkers are more likely to do the same for you.

Knowing how to ask for assistance is a vital soft skill that’s just as important as any official credential on your resume. Transform yourself into a more valuable team member by giving and getting help on a regular basis.

Cold and dark winter mornings might make you feel like pulling the covers over your head, but the last months of the year could be a productive time. Leave hibernating to the bears while you spend the winter making positive changes in your life.

The possibilities are endless. Start with this list of ideas for your professional and personal makeover, and add some projects of your own.

Changes to Make in Your Professional and Financial Life:

1. Learn new skills. Modern workplaces undergo rapid change. Continuous learning helps you to remain competitive. Take a class that will certify you for project management or a popular software package. Shadow another employee who has a job that interests you.

2. Attend networking events. Browse online or check the calendar in industry publications to find events that can help your career. Your employer may be willing to pay the expenses if it’s related to your current responsibilities.

3. Reach out to former colleagues. When is the last time you talked with your former supervisor? Staying in touch keeps your network strong, so send them an intriguing article or invite them out to lunch.

4. Tidy up your office. Banishing clutter makes it easier to think clearly. Develop a filing system that works for you, and clear off your desk at the end of the day.

5. Use your vacation days. Many employees fail to use their leave time even though studies show it makes us more productive. Plan an exotic adventure or a family getaway.

6. Update your resume. Keeping your resume current is a smart move even when you’re not actively searching for a job. It will be easier for you to track your accomplishments and think about your career path.

7. Pay off debts. Becoming debt-free reduces stress and raises your future standard of living. Pay off your most expensive debts first and talk with a counselor if you need assistance.

8. Increase your savings. Put money aside from each paycheck. You’ll feel more secure preparing for your retirement or your children’s college education.

Changes to Make in Your Personal and Spiritual Life:

1. Meditate daily. Mindfulness helps you to feel peaceful and accomplish more. Set aside time each day for quiet contemplation. Even a few minutes makes a big difference.

2. Eat more vegetables. Consuming more vegetables and fruits is one of the simplest and most effective changes you can make in your diet. Try adding one additional serving a day for a week.

3. Limit processed foods. Replace processed foods with whole foods. You’ll avoid excess sugar and salt and unhealthy fats.

4. Exercise regularly. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy. Buy a gym membership or go running in the park. Lift weights or play volleyball.

5. Sleep well. Give your body good quality rest and sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Darken your bedroom, and block out distracting noises with a fan or pink noise machine.

6. Manage stress. Stress can lead to chronic inflammation. Experiment with relaxation practices like yoga, massage, or listening to instrumental music.

7. Enjoy family dinners. It can be difficult to carve out family time in a busy schedule. Designate at least one night a week when you can sit down together and talk over a nutritious meal.

8. Make new friends. Maybe you moved to a new city, or you find that you now have less in common with your old college buddies. Expand your circle by meeting others who share your current interests. Start a book club or join a neighborhood association.

Greet the spring with a sense of optimism and a host of constructive new habits. Your future will look brighter when you spend the winter taking steps to make your life more healthy, joyful, and meaningful.

How you deal with a breakup can make a big difference in being able to heal from it and move on. Breakups are devastating enough without unintentionally adding to the suffering afterward. How can you get past the breakup without creating more pain and scars?

Use these strategies to rebuild your life:

1. Avoid chasing your ex. Once a relationship is over, it’s usually better to just move on.

* Although it’s hard to move on, it’s important to avoid living in the past. You may be tempted to continue communicating with your ex. However, to heal your mind and spirit, a clean break is the best option.

2. Avoid checking up on your ex online. Social media and other online networks can make it easy to check up on your ex. However, you don’t want this to turn into cyber stalking. You need the space to get past the breakup.

3. Focus on friendships. After a devastating breakup, your friends can help you get past it. They can listen to your issues, offer advice, and encourage you.

* During a relationship, you may have lost touch with some of your friends. Now is a perfect time to focus on your friends again.

4. Give yourself time. It takes time to get over a difficult breakup.

* You may feel like you’re not making enough progress to get over your previous partner.

* You need time to get over the relationship and move on. Avoid pushing yourself to date again or find a new relationship right away. It’s crucial to create the space and time to heal.

* It’s normal to cry, be upset, or want to be alone after a hard breakup. Avoid stifling or hiding your feelings.

5. Create new memories in old places. You may have memories of being with your ex at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant, making it hard for you to go to these places again. However, an important part of moving on is to create new memories in old places.

* For example, you can visit the coffee shop where you had your first date with an ex and replace the memory with something new. Turn it into a different memory by taking your friends.

* In the beginning, it may be easier to avoid places that have deep memories of your relationship. Over time, visiting these spots will become easier.

6. Find new hobbies. One of the positive aspects of a breakup is that you get more free time. Fill this free time with new hobbies that don’t have anything to do with your ex.

* What are some of your favorite activities that you’ve neglected because of a relationship?

* What do you enjoy doing by yourself and haven’t had the time to do recently?

* What new hobby would you like to try?

A breakup can affect you in multiple ways, but there are things you can do to make it a little easier on yourself. Follow these strategies and soon you’ll find that you’re looking forward to new experiences in your life.

Is an emotional affair just as harmful for a relationship as a physical affair? Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to save a relationship after any type of affair. It can destroy trust between partners and create an enormous amount of pain.

Learn more about emotional affairs, the risks, and the damage they cause:

1. Understand the differences between affairs. There are clear differences between emotional and physical affairs:

* A physical affair requires that you or your partner become intimate with another person and cheat.

* An emotional affair might not have any physical components. You may never even meet the person in real life. However, you share thoughts and feelings with that person that can hurt your current relationship.

2. How emotional affairs affect relationships. Emotional affairs can negatively affect relationships in many ways.

* First, an emotional affair creates a rift between you and your partner. Your partner will most likely feel betrayed and hurt by the affair.

* In an emotional affair, you may confide intimate details with a stranger that you don’t share with your partner.

* You may consider ending your current relationship and leaving your partner permanently because of the affair.

* Children can be hurt too, and they may feel betrayed or scared.

3. Why emotional affairs are dangerous. Some people think that emotional affairs aren’t dangerous because they’re not physical. However, there are other aspects to consider.

* If the affair occurs online, you may be sharing intimate and personal details with a stranger who can exploit you, your family, or one of your other connections, like your boss.

* You can be blackmailed because of an emotional affair.

* You may destroy your marriage or relationship because of this affair. Your children may turn away from you.

* You may become emotionally invested in someone who isn’t interested in you.

* You may jeopardize your career and hurt your chances of a promotion. Your boss may discover the affair and fire you.

4. Risks of emotional affairs. There are many risks involved with emotional affairs.

* The biggest issue is that emotional affairs introduce secrets and lies into your life. Deception takes hold, so your relationship suffers. You worry about your partner finding out about the new person. You try to hide them and the affair.

* There’s a risk that you may fall in love with the other person. If you do fall in love, how will your family react? Will you be able to continue in your current relationship, or will it end?

* Another risk is that you may be tempted to turn an emotional affair into a physical one. This can create many dangers, such as the possibility of blackmail, the transmittal of diseases, and the chance of pregnancy. You may come between the new love’s relationship with a different partner, which can lead to jealousy and revenge.

* The risk of losing your current partner is high because of an emotional affair. They may not be able to forgive you. Are you able to handle a separation, divorce, child support, or alimony? Are you prepared to end a relationship because of an emotional connection to another person that may not be real?

Emotional affairs can be devastating for a relationship. They can create wounds that take time to heal, and sometimes the relationship may not survive. Before you’re involved in an emotional affair, think through the risks and consider the consequences.

The night before a job interview is usually a bit stressful. You might be thinking about what would happen if you forget the responses you’ve been practicing or get lost on the way there. You might be wondering how you stack up against the other candidates or whether you have enough relevant experience.

At the same time, you want to show up confident and prepared so that you’ll make a positive impression. To increase your chances of receiving a job offer, run down this checklist for what to do on interview eve.

Preparing for an Interview – Managing the Logistics:

1. Set your alarm. Showing up on time is a must. Even if you usually wake up naturally, take the extra precaution of programming your alarm.

2. Lay out your clothes. Make the most of your appearance. Select clothes that are flattering and professional. Try each item on to ensure it’s in good condition. Decide on your accessories too.

3. Organize your materials. Bring along anything you might need, from a good quality pen and notebook to a mini sewing kit and breath mints. Write out a list so you’ll know you’re ready for anything.

4. Minimize stress. Try to avoid distractions and conflicts. Postpone any sensitive discussions or unpleasant tasks for another time.

5. Work out. Deal with any remaining tension constructively. Go to the gym or take a run around the park.

6. Eat well. Give your mind and body the fuel they need to function well. Eat a balanced dinner early in the evening. Start assembling your breakfast so it will take just minutes in the morning. Mix up a smoothie or bake a casserole.

7. Check the directions. Confirm the address and any instructions the company gave you. Check on road construction and weather conditions that might cause delays. Look up your exact route online.

8. Budget extra time. Create a buffer so you’ll have time to spare. If you arrive too early, you can check your hair or walk around the block.

9. Get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy relaxing activities that help lull you to sleep. Read or do needlework. Turn off the TV and computer at least 2 hours before bed.

Preparing for an Interview – Enhancing Your Performance:

1. Develop some small talk. One way to show that you’d be a pleasant colleague is to brush up on your conversation. Scan the news for interesting topics or find something unique about the local neighborhood that you can mention.

2. Update your research. You’ve probably read plenty of material about the company by the time you schedule an interview, but it helps to know any breaking news. Check their website and social media pages.

3. Outline your agenda. Create a rough draft of each item you want to cover. If the interview stalls, you’ll be able to help guide things along. If the meeting goes smoothly, you can refer to your notes at the end to ensure you have no remaining questions.

4. Rehearse your part. With relatively few hours left, focus on your top priorities. Review your answers to tough questions or polish one of your success stories.

5. Print out your resume. However many times you’ve submitted your resume, be sure to bring at least one hard copy along. Someone may ask for it or you can take notes on it.

You can use the night before your job interview to lay the groundwork for success. Take care of important details and put last minute touches on your performance. You’ll feel more assured knowing that you’ve prepared yourself to be on top of your game.

One of the ironies of modern life is that we can spend more time being connected, and yet, sometimes wind up being less present for each other. Maybe you’re in the same room with a group of your friends, but each you is busy texting or talking on your phones. Maybe you’re sitting down to a family dinner, but your mind is still back at the office or looking ahead to the chores you need to do this weekend.

If you feel like you’re missing out on something, you could be right. Relationships are more fulfilling when you give others your full attention and share the real you.

Try these ideas for becoming more mindful in your personal and professional interactions.

Being More Attentive:

1. Slow down. Take your mind off your to do list and become more aware of what’s going on around you. Build some down time into each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

2. Stop multitasking. Studies show that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, for the most part. Let that be the individual you’re talking with.

3. Set priorities. Make your days more manageable. Strike the tasks that give you little in return off of your agenda. Devote your time and energies to the activities that you find meaningful.

4. Turn off your phone. Try to create some technology-free zones. Make it a rule to turn your phone off at meals or at least silence the volume if you’re expecting an urgent call. Stay off the internet for at least an hour before bed.

5. Listen closely. In conversation, show others that you care about what they have to say. Listen actively by nodding and offering appropriate comments and questions.

6. Make eye contact. You communicate with your eyes as well as your words. If you feel awkward, try rotating your gaze between someone’s eyes and mouth every 5 to 10 seconds while you’re talking.

Being More Authentic:

1. Clarify your purpose. If you want others to know you, it’s important to understand yourself. Identify what matters to you and what you want out of life.

2. Trust your intuitions. Listen to your body. Let your inner wisdom guide you towards making decisions that are appropriate for you.

3. Ask for help. Be willing to ask for support and assistance. Tell others what you need, whether it’s encouragement or an extra hand with doing the yard work.

4. Provide validation.Communicate your acceptance and acknowledgement. Even when you disagree, you can show others that their opinions and feelings are valid and worthwhile. Try to see a situation from their perspective.

5. Express gratitude. Remember what you have to be thankful for. Keep a gratitude journal and tell others about the positive impact they have on your life.

6. Extend forgiveness. Let go of past resentments and disappointments. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationships and resolve to move forward. You’ll feel peaceful and happier.

7. Hold deep conversations. Be open to moving beyond small talk. When you reveal personal information about yourself, you give others the opportunity to be more vulnerable too. Find friends who want to explore philosophical and spiritual subjects.

8. Engage in challenging activities. Research with married couples shows that working on new and demanding tasks together tends to increase satisfaction with the relationship. Sign up for cooking classes or learn a new sport.

Discover the rewards of being fully attentive and authentic. When you reduce the distractions that come between you and those around you, you’ll change the dynamics of your relationships so that you feel more centered and loved.

Have you ever wondered why some people get promoted, receive raises, and are more respected at work? It’s not a secret. Successful people do a few things differently than others and do them consistently. You can enjoy the same level of success by adopting the same behaviors. You must find ways to stand out and project professionalism.

If the people that matter believe you can contribute more, you’ll be provided with plenty of opportunities!

Reach a new level of success at work:

1. Be on time. Be on time for everything, not just the beginning of the work day. Be on time for meetings. Avoid leaving work early. Complete your work on time. When you’re late, you’re viewed as unreliable, untrustworthy, and unprofessional.

2. Dress like your boss. Most employees dress at the same level as their peers. Take it up a notch and dress like your boss. You’ll be viewed as more serious and professional.

* Your daily attire can have a significant impact on your ability to secure promotions.

3. Build the skills you need for the next level. What do you need to know to be successful at the next level? Prepare yourself for a promotion by acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge.

4. Solve challenges. In a work environment, people are as valuable as the problems they solve. Be someone that finds and creates solutions. The best problem solver is a valuable employee.

* Figure out a current challenge for your company and seek a solution.

5. Ask for feedback. By asking for feedback you accomplish several things. You can gauge the opinion of your boss and other relevant people. You can enhance your performance at work. Finally, you show that you care about your performance and your career.

6. Know the people that matter. Who is most respected at your workplace? Who has the big boss’s ear? Who make things happen? Get to know these people. They can do a lot to help your career.

* The right mentor or advocate can do more for you than you might be able to do for yourself. Get every important ally you can.

7. Look for opportunities to go above and beyond. It’s pretty easy to show up and do just enough to keep from getting fired. That’s what everyone else is doing. Rise above that mentality. How can you stand out? Volunteer for unique opportunities.

* Better yet, offer a few suggestions of your own.

8. Act professionally. Be on time. Avoid gossiping. Avoid cursing. Be reliable. Do good work. Answer emails in a timely fashion.

9. Update your resume monthly. Record your accomplishments on your resume while they’re still fresh in your mind. Keep your resume posted online at sites like LinkedIn where headhunters can find it. You never know what opportunities might come your way.

10. Participate in meetings. Avoid using the time as an opportunity to daydream and relax. Find a way to be noticed without being annoying. Provide useful comments and ask questions.

Enhance your image at work by doing the small things that matter the most. You can stand out in a positive way by adopting a few, simple behaviors. Consider the impression you’re currently making at work and begin to enhance it. Soon, the right people will take notice.