Keep Your Work Family in Perspective

Keep Your Work Family in Perspective
You spend 30 to 40 hours per week with colleagues at your workplace. You also may carpool with them, eat at least one meal per day with them, and socialize with them after work and perhaps on weekends.  It’s easy to think of your coworkers as a “work family,” and, similar to your actual family, there are competitions, slights, disagreements, and disappointments, as well as loyalty, support, encouragement, and concern. In addition, there is comfort in the status quo, with ... Read more
Share This

Find a Problem and Be Part of the Solution

Find a Problem and Be Part of the Solution
You are a hard worker in a good-sized office. You have been there for almost a year, but you don’t think you have made much progress yet. You get along fairly well with your manager but are uncertain she fully recognizes your talents. You are rereading a report that you had previously reviewed and that your manager has already signed off on. You weren’t responsible for the project, and you weren’t the staff member who wrote the final report. But during this reading, you ... Read more
Share This

Moving Forward by Looking Back

Moving Forward by Looking Back
You have been in your new job for a few months now. You are starting to settle in and are feeling comfortable. You are eager to make more of an impact and you have some ideas you want to put forward. Before you rush ahead, be certain you do the necessary homework. You researched the organization and its staff before you interviewed for the job. Now that you have some first-hand experience, dig a little deeper. You probably have legitimate access to reports that were not available to you as ... Read more
Share This

Comparison Can Be Risky for Your Career

Comparison Can Be Risky for Your Career
One friend just came back from a business trip to Iceland. Another was accepted for training as an FBI agent. And a third is working at a large PR firm, a job that appears to come with many fun perks. Why isn’t your job more exciting? Is this what you signed up for? Is this all there is? What happened to “chasing your dreams and following your passion?” It’s not unusual to sometimes feel that you aren’t keeping up with your peers, or that your life seems boring ... Read more
Share This

It’s Not About You

It’s Not About You
Recently, at a graduation ceremony, two speeches stood out. It wasn’t because they were funny or contained remarkable advice or insights. Instead, they stood out because they were boring at best, and perhaps even inappropriate. The first speech was from the class valedictorian. She began by describing her childhood and what had impressed her to go in a certain direction later on in life. A statement or two about that topic might have been interesting, but the rest of the speech ... Read more
Share This

Try Surprising Yourself More Often

Try Surprising Yourself More Often
When was the last time you actually surprised yourself—when you did something “out of character?” Maybe you were spontaneous about an event or a trip. Perhaps you made a quick decision or purchase, foregoing your usual time for deliberation. Maybe you spoke up at work when you disagreed with someone. Was the action or outcome positive—perhaps even exhilarating—or were you upset with yourself for “throwing caution to the wind”? Take a few minutes to think about your ... Read more
Share This

Does Being Bold Work at Work?

Does Being Bold Work at Work?
She likes bold colors. He has bold handwriting. That was a bold move. “Bold” has its place, but how well does bold fit in your workplace? What does “bold” actually mean anyway? Is it the same as being aggressive or outspoken or simply standing up for yourself and your work? Is it challenging the status quo or your boss? Is it being creative and doing things differently? Synonyms for the word “bold” include “fearless, courageous, brave or ... Read more
Share This

When Work is Life

When Work is Life
How important is your job? Or, conversely, how important are you to your job? Oftentimes, both of these statements are oversold. When we are committed to our jobs, we assume others see and appreciate our dedication. They often do, and you may find yourself rewarded for your excellent work during an annual evaluation. That doesn’t, however, mean you are indispensable. If you find yourself thinking the place would collapse without you, it’s time to get real. Few places are solely ... Read more
Share This

Baby Micro-Aggressions

Baby Micro-Aggressions
Dear Colleagues: In the last week at work, I have been told no less than three times that I should hurry to have kids. Two of those comments came from male coworkers, and one came from my female boss who has several children. What is wrong with people that they feel this is an appropriate work topic, much less any of their business? I understand that sometimes people make these comments from a “good” place or with “good” intent. For example, they waited too long and had ... Read more
Share This

Listen to Yourself

Listen to Yourself
  Recently I attended a dinner function with a dozen colleagues. The venue was lovely, the company was engaging, and the food was delicious. Our server was attentive and efficient. She had only one fault. Every time someone ordered an item or asked her something, her response was “absolutely.” By the end of the three hours, her “absolutely” became absolutely annoying. The word “absolutely” also has caught on with tv and online reporters who now use it (in place ... Read more
Share This