Avoiding Negative Optics

Avoiding Negative Optics
Recently, President Trump arrived 20 minutes late for a Gender Equality Advisory Committee meeting at the G7 Summit in Quebec. His entrance was disruptive and rude, and it was documented in news reports around the world. The optics were especially negative. Think back to a recent meeting at your workplace. Was anyone late? Were you late? If so, what optic did your lateness provide for others? A few possible scenarios include: 1. You were viewed as someone who thinks she is self-important. ... Read more
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What’s Your Hurry?

What’s Your Hurry?
“What’s your hurry?” “You have plenty of time to get ahead in your career.” “Take some time for fun.” “Why would you change jobs when you can coast in the one you have?” “Don’t be so competitive.” “Stop pushing yourself so hard.” Perhaps friends and relatives have made statements like those above  to you. Perhaps they are well meaning and they do feel like you are working too much. Or, perhaps they ... Read more
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Would You Promote You?

Would You Promote You?
Most promotions are not automatic, and, generally, a variety of factors enter into the decision making process. Sometimes there are annual quotas such as the number of open positions for tenure decisions at a university. Sometimes a business is quite small, and there is a very short career ladder. Other jobs, like many in government, require a certain score on a civil service exam in order to be promoted. And, it is a reality that not all promotions are fair. For example, a family member of ... Read more
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Are you Managing Your Career?

Are you Managing Your Career?
Remember how you felt at the start, when you were looking for your first job? All you wanted was a toehold, a way in, a chance. But it felt like everyone else had control of your future. I got my first job out of college because I could type. And yes, I was taken aback when the hiring manager later told me the reason she interviewed me. Typing wasn’t supposed to be what got me a job—my BA in Spanish was supposed to be wildly appealing to the Pan American Health Organization! Years later, I ... Read more
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Would You Hire You?

Would You Hire You?
Most employees hope to move up the career ladder to become a supervisor, manager, or administrator—in short, a boss. When that move occurs, you may be in a position to hire your own staff, or, at least, contribute to the hiring process. Finding and employing good staff is a significant undertaking. Sometimes you are successful; sometimes not. What would your boss say, if after your first year, you were able to ask her if she still thinks her decision to bring you on-board was a good one? ... Read more
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If You Want to Be Heard, Listen

If You Want to Be Heard, Listen
You are in a staff meeting with your boss. She details a possible situation that might occur and is asking for ways to address it. You have an idea that you think might work. Your hand quickly goes up and you speak forcefully. Two of your colleagues begin shaking their heads “no.” As soon as you finish, the negative responses start. There are some things you hadn’t thought about—a couple of weaknesses in your plan, but you still feel the need to defend your idea. The ... Read more
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Use Your Difference to Your Advantage

Use Your Difference to Your Advantage
Quick, think of a woman at work who is “different.” Why did she come to mind? What made her stand out? Is her difference positive or negative? Now think about yourself. What makes you different, and how can you use your difference to your advantage? Too often we put “difference” in a negative category. We note someone’s weight or other physical attribute (height, pink hair, tattoos) or what they wear (4-inch heels, sweatsuit, nose rings). Sometimes, we include  ... Read more
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The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?

The New Job Didn’t Work Out: Now What?
For weeks you have been in the running for a new job. Things looked positive. You completed two or three interviews and you made the short list. There were a few negatives, but as the process moved forward, you tended to overlook that long commute or the fact that you would be back in a carrel rather than an office. There was a momentum that seemed to signify you would soon be moving on. Psychologically, you began to envision yourself in the new job. At the same time, you mentally ... Read more
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10 Ways to Introduce New Ideas at Work

10 Ways to Introduce New Ideas at Work
You have been at your job for a few months. While things are going fairly well, you have discovered several areas that you believe would streamline effort (including your own) and help the organization save money and be more effective. You have mentioned some of your ideas to your immediate supervisor, and they were met with a lukewarm response. Now you are thinking of trying to get to the actual decision makers. Wouldn’t this help others recognize your expertise and value. The answer ... Read more
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Are you Really Unhappy at Work?

Are you Really Unhappy at Work?
Individuals often speak about being unhappy at work? When they do so, it frequently is a broad statement that seems to incorporate and color all aspects of their job. If you fall in this generally unhappy category, it might be useful to consider how you are you defining your situation? What does the word “unhappy” actually mean to you? Take a few minutes and make three columns on a sheet of paper. Title one “Unhappy about,” one “Tolerable,” and one ... Read more
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