Policy Matters: Family and Sick Leave

Policy Matters: Family and Sick Leave
Policy Matters: Paid Family and Sick Leave The United States trails most countries in terms of the benefits we offer to workers when they need to take time off for family and medical reasons. In fact, we are the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave. On January 15th, President Obama made a major announcement that could change that. He is pushing to make changes in family leave programs, starting with federal employees. This move will have significant ... Read more
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Look Before You Leap

Look Before You Leap
The New York Times Upshot just released a map of the United States which illustrates where working women are most common. Both men and women are unemployed in areas with high, concentrated poverty such as Appalachia, the Deep South, and the interior southwest. There are high female employment rates in areas of New England and the upper Midwest. Approximately 70 percent of women ages 25 to 54 are currently employed and that rate has been rising throughout the past few decades. The majority ... Read more
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Take Your Commute From Boring to Brilliant

Take Your Commute From Boring to Brilliant
The average worker in the United States commutes about 25 minutes each way. That’s 50 minutes each day in “planes, trains, and automobiles.” If you’re like me and work in a major metropolitan city, that commuting time can soar to over an hour each way. If you add that time up, it equals a significant amount of sitting, boredom, and possibly frustration and anger at traffic, fellow drivers, and a myriad of things out of your control. I slugged through my travels on the train and in the car ... Read more
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Networking, the New Professional, and the New Year

Networking, the New Professional, and the New Year
You’ve recently begun your professional career, and you want to do the right things to get ahead in your field. Everything you read and hear is that networking is what it’s all about. Career consultants suggest that you try to make 3 to 5 new contacts each week. To most people, that’s an overwhelming task. It’s even more daunting if you aren’t especially outgoing or if you tend toward shyness. In some ways, it simply seems gratuitous, uncomfortable, even ... Read more
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Be a Better Leader Than Your Boss

Be a Better Leader Than Your Boss
Many people think that being a boss means being a leader. While it’s true that bosses have power, get to give direction, and tell people what to do, that doesn’t necessarily make them a leader. On the other hand, many leaders never become a boss. In fact, some prefer not to be in that position. If you’re just starting your professional career, you may be wondering who wouldn’t want to be the boss. They make more money, they have a staff, they have perks, and they get ... Read more
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4 Easy But Not So Obvious Interview Tips for Twentysomethings

4 Easy But Not So Obvious Interview Tips for Twentysomethings
Rebecca Evans is a writer, communicator, social media strategist, and arts advocate. She resides in Norfolk, Virginia, where she works as the Marketing Coordinator at Virginia Arts Festival. Interviews are tough when you’re new to the professional world. Without an extensive resume and a world of experiences to discuss, whether or not you get the job often comes down to your ability to connect with the interviewer, and showcase a self-starting attitude and willingness to learn on the job. ... Read more
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Caring is a Gift in Itself

Caring is a Gift in Itself
You are trying to manage your new career and your stretched budget. Your leave time is limited and every day seems packed with work and chores. As the holidays quickly approach, shopping for gifts can become more and more stressful, especially when your funds are limited. If time and talent permit, you can prepare and give baked goods or handmade gifts. Perhaps you have a talent for writing or creating artwork and could do a special poem or small drawing for loved ones or friends. Or you ... Read more
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Self Advocacy is a Required Skill in the Workplace

Self Advocacy is a Required Skill in the Workplace
Sometimes when women stand up for themselves, they are labeled aggressive, or self-centered, even bitchy. As a result, women may be more reluctant than men to take issue with a decision in the workplace that is unfair or that affects them personally. They may want to be seen as a team player or perhaps they are a bit intimidated by an existing old boy’s network and are trying to stay under the radar. Or perhaps they simply are unsure about how and when to speak up.This isn’t a ... Read more
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Missing Home for the Holidays

Missing Home for the Holidays
One of the most exciting aspects of beginning your career is establishing your adult persona. You looked forward to finding and furnishing your own place, to developing new friends and new routines. Your job also may have required a new location. Perhaps you now live in another state or across the country, miles away from your family and long-time friends, and you find you don’t have enough vacation leave or the necessary funds to go home for the holidays. Missing a major family ... Read more
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Don’t Postpone Positive Action

Don’t Postpone Positive Action
When you enter the professional workforce, constantly moving forward is hard work. There is so much new stuff to juggle that it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  Sometimes the desire to simply coast for a week, or month, or year seems attractive, almost seductive. What happens when we find ourselves unmotivated or bogged down in our personal or work lives? Many factors can be roadblocks to success. For example, health issues can sap energy. That cold you can’t kick, that recurrent neck ... Read more
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