Information and insight
about your career and the workplace at large
News and Views
Working-class kids face obstacles in the white-collar workplace. Education
brings these "Straddlers" into a larger world but also
divides them from their parents and the people with
whom they grew up. This disconnect begins early (in
school, with depth and breadth of language) and
continues into one's career -- "Straddlers" lack
patience for office politics and have problems
Most workers did not take enough time off
during their last vacation, reports Amy Joyce. The
average number of nights spent away from home was
only four days in 2003, compared with 5.4 days in 1985
and more than a week 25 years ago. All that may
change this summer.
Create a signature life®, a life you're proud
to sign your name to when the day is over just as the
artist or clothing designer signs a finished
piece of work. How? Follow Dianne Booher's principles
for getting a life without sacrificing your career, so that
you can do the things most important to you.
Some companies have learned to listen to their front-line employees -- and have profited as a
result. It's not easy to do -- many companies bypass
the insights of its workers, and employeees aren't
always willing to speak up. Not Joe Perrone of Fed-X,
though. He shared a simple idea about adding a drop-
off box to Fed-X mail trucks, took more than a year
to develop the idea on his own but with the company's
go-ahead, and then was later promoted several times
(the idea was a hit). Not only did the company (and
profit, but they also
created a culture of mutual respect and camaraderie.
Information overload robs us of productivity and effectiveness.
A no-cost, on-demand webinar
(Managing Information Overload: Drinking from the
presented by Ken Braly, president of InfoMastery)
takes a light but serious look at the problem and some
strategies for dealing with it. The webinar is
approximately 50 minutes long and will be available
continuously for 24 hours (whenever you choose to
view it) on 03-Jun-2004 to anyone who registers
before that date.
Make peace with time, says best-selling author Chin-
Ning Chu, whose Chinese name means "making peace."
Chin-Ning says that rather than trying to manage time,
we must learn to manage ourselves in terms of how we
utilize time. "Managing me is so much easier
managing time," she said in a Washington Post
Interview, and points out that the Chinese word for
busy is composed of two symbols: one for death, the
other for heart. American society glorifies being
overwhelmed with work, of always doing more rather
than figuring out how to do less -- and, Chin-Ning
says, deep down, we
all die a little bit because of it. Source: Washington
Post, October 27, 1998 (page D5).
Link to her book here
Reclaim your evenings and weekends, even if
you're a working mom, says Laura Stack in her new
book, Leave the Office Earlier. Granted, getting
out the door is a big challenge, but rethinking your
priorities and sticking to your own rules will help you
get to work on time and get home sooner.
Read her advice
Are you promotable? Even if you've already assumed
some senior responsibilities, which in today's economy
tends to precede title changes, try adding these five
things to your "to do" list if you're thinking about asking
your boss for a promotion.
5 essential to-do's
Making It Work for You
Readers, this is your space—for tips on how
you've solved a problem on the job, "gotten over"
not tooting your own horn, or anything else related to being
your own best advocate in the workplace. Send your "a-ha's"
to email@example.com and watch for your byline in
a future issue.
Editorial comment: We tend to think we can't
demonstrate some skill unless we're already an expert.
This month's contribution from Beth Hand shows that
by volunteering to do the thing we're not yet an expert
in, we not only gain expertise but also visibility and
recognition from those who can help us advance in our
Just DO IT!
Early in my career in a very large organization, I
decided that I wanted to improve my skill at leading
groups and teams. Over several years, (and with my
supervisor's approval) I volunteered as a trainer for the
annual Ethics training, taught a few software courses,
and as my competence increased, served as a
facilitator to senior teams for group problem-solving.
These opportunities gave me an abundance of desired
experience. The bonuses? I got great visibility with
senior leaders and colleagues who saw me in leadership
roles, and I regularly received recognition from the top
executive in our division for my contributions --
something that shone a favorable light on me and
importantly, on my manager and his manager. I also
gained insights into the organization that helped
prepare me for a senior level position.
Not surprisingly, I was then called upon to help other
leaders improve their team leadership and presentation
skills -- something I love to do today, too, in my role as
coach. It is amazing to look back and realize how my
enjoyment of speaking to, training, or leading groups
has its roots all in those voluntary, developmental
experiences. (Yes, my heart still beats faster in front of
a group of 300 than it does a group of 30 but I call
that anticipation or excitement -- not stage fright.) My
only wish? That I'd had Joanne's book Mentor
Me so I could have gotten even more out of my
experience as an employee!
--Beth Hand, Executive Coach, Hand Associates, Inc.,
Workshops and Book Signings
Virginia Business Education Association Summer
, Reston, VA, August 3 - 5, 2004. Contact:
Kathy Waldron, 703.219.2257;
Meet the Authors,
International Women’s Writing Guild, New York, NY. October
17, 2004. Contact: Hannelore Hahn, 212.737.7536; http://www.iwwg.com