Your Job is Hard Enough

Your Job is Hard Enough
Almost every office has an informal caretaker. I don’t mean the evening cleaning service or the executive assistant who manages the work life of the boss. What I am referring to is the person (most likely a woman) who oversees non-work issues and activities. This person may volunteer to bake or bring in refreshments for office celebrations. She may organize purchasing gifts, hanging decorations, and being certain everyone else has a good time. If someone misses the party, you can be ... Read more
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How Do You Work with the Office Tweaker?

How Do You Work with the Office Tweaker?
You probably know someone who can never let well enough alone, who always has a way to do something better or differently or more? These individuals drive friends, family, and coworkers crazy because their projects and plans never quite get finished. They are continually tweaking things. Tweakers struggle with minutiae. For them, the big picture gets eclipsed by the details, and instead of controlling the project, they get stuck trying to control relatively unimportant tasks. These are the ... Read more
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Management Perks and Pitfalls

Management Perks and Pitfalls
Management looks easy. You have a staff. You make assignments and tell others what to do. You make more money. You get credit for all that your direct reports accomplish. If that sounds too good to be true, it is. A promotion to management requires some additional–perhaps new–skills. Most important among them are leadership and supervisory skills. For every perk of management, there is a accompanying pitfall. For example, your salary might be higher, but you also have increased ... Read more
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Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Don’t Wait for Inspiration
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper. –E.B. White The most prolific artists, writers, and otherwise productive workers do not wait for inspiration in order to begin their work. They simply begin. They may adhere to a schedule they’ve set for themselves to sit down and paint, practice, or put pen to paper. They may reward themselves once they’ve reached specific goals. They often set boundaries with friends and families and ... Read more
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Are You Really Asking for Feedback?

Are You Really Asking for Feedback?
One of the criticisms that we hear repeatedly is that the millennial generation wants constant feedback. Frequently, an accompanying statement is that they can’t handle criticism. So what are they really looking for? Praise? Direction? Attention? Mentoring? Access? Clarity? Context? Validation? All of these? Something else? While generalizing about any group is always dangerous, are there some commonalities that can be identified? We know that those in the younger workforce tend to be ... Read more
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Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career

Are Self-Imposed Boundaries Imprisoning Your Career
We are all subject to boundaries of many types—geographic boundaries, legal boundaries, various rules and regulations, and the boundaries of good taste. All of these are essential to a well-functioning society. There are other boundaries, though, that are not essential, nor even useful. Many of these are self-imposed. Think, for a moment, about personal boundaries you have erected for yourself. Do they help or hinder you?  Do they have a positive effect, or are they limiting? Sometimes we ... Read more
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Reading Through the Lines of Corporate Speak

Reading Through the Lines of Corporate Speak
You are sitting in an all staff meeting. You know business has been slow, and you are worried about your job. The CEO begins ok, but them he starts talking about the need for furloughs. Each staff will have to take two weeks of unpaid leave. He emphasizes that you will have flexibility in “choosing your time off.” He makes it sound like a vacation. He doesn’t apologize or acknowledge that you are giving up a half month’s salary. You are happy you still have a job, ... Read more
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Do You Really Know Yourself?

Do You Really Know Yourself?
To slightly paraphrase psychologist William James (1890), “Woman has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize her and carry an image of her in their mind.” Does that mean that our social selves differ from our “real” selves? If so, how different are they? We tend to think that when it comes to ourselves, we are experts, that we know how we will respond to a topic or react to a situation. We also believe we have some sort of “inner eye” ... Read more
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Moody Judy and the Terrible Workplace

Moody Judy and the Terrible Workplace
It’s extremely challenging—and all too common—to work in an environment where the tone is set on a daily basis by the boss’s mood. Most of us have been in work situations where we know when the best time to approach our supervisors is—when they are more likely to say yes, give helpful feedback, or respond positively. We also know when to stay away from them, tiptoe around their office, and remain invisible until they come out of their funk. We are all human and it’s impossible to expect ... Read more
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Building Your Power Base at Work

Building Your Power Base at Work
There are several factors that determine your power potential at work. These include relevance, visibility, decision-making ability, and power perks. Keep in mind, the goal should be “power to,” not “power over.” Does Your Job Have Relevance? Most of us begin our careers in entry level positions. While that may be expected, don’t assume that an entry level job can’t be relevant, or that an entry level job can’t lead to job progression. Begin by ... Read more
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