Is Being the Office Fixer a Good Thing?

Is Being the Office Fixer a Good Thing?
Recently, I was in a conversation with a colleague. We were discussing a problem that we really didn’t own. We both came to that realization at the same time and laughed. How often do we choose to intervene when it isn’t our place or when it isn’t actually necessary. What does that mean? Isn’t being “a fixer” a good thing? In the workplace, I would answer that it depends. The following are some of the pros and cons of being the “workplace fixer.” ... Read more
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Avoid Speaking in Absolutes

Avoid Speaking in Absolutes
“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. I think I’ll go eat worms.” Years ago, the old nursery rhyme above was sometimes used as a teaching moment for a child who was over-reacting to a personal situation. An argument with a best friend or not being selected for a team caused them to generalize or to make the situation seem worse than it was. Using an example that most children found humorous, the rhyme highlighted the exaggeration, and helped the child put things in better ... Read more
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Your Career Will Span Decades—There is Always Time for Change

Your Career Will Span Decades—There is Always Time for Change
We live in a country of choice. As a result, we are told from an early age that we can do great things—almost anything we want—and many of us do get to choose our professional paths. This may begin with an idea or focus in high school that leads to an area of study in college. There may be professors and other mentors who help you follow a chosen path. They may also help you find that first professional job. If you are lucky, your passion, your direction, your career choice, and your job ... Read more
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We are Always Judging and Being Judged

We are Always Judging and Being Judged
We judge people every time we meet them, every moment we are with them. And you are judged in return.  Sometimes our judgments are faulty. Think of a recent example when you misjudged someone. How did it happen. Did you make a quick appraisal—based on your first impression—that they were arrogant, frivolous, not very smart, unsophisticated, inexperienced, or lacking in understanding about a situation? Or did you rely on the previous opinions or labels from others, on what you had heard ... Read more
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Assessing Workplace Conflict

Assessing Workplace Conflict
There can be many types of conflict in the workplace. Work groups, teams, or departments may disagree about the best way to proceed. Employees may disagree about decisions management or their supervisors have made. There can also be conflict between two employees about a project or option. Sometimes conflicts occur because there is a lack of information or data. Other times, conflict results from a lack of resources, and the conflict becomes a zero-sum game. If one side wins, the other side ... Read more
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Honesty is Always Best When Applying for a Job

Honesty is Always Best When Applying for a Job
We all have strengths, and we all have areas in which we are less competent. Usually, these equal out. We eventually hone our strengths with the goal of becoming a recognized expert in several areas. Sometimes, however, when job seeking and wanting to present the best possible application, we may over rate our competency level in some area. For example, did your two semesters of college French really result in your being “fluent in French?” Could you actually design a ... Read more
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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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