We all have our own bad habits at the office. Maybe it’s gossiping or complaining. Or binge eating or nail-biting. Or checking e-mail incessantly.Whatever the habit, we’d be happier without it. To break and replace those tendencies, follow these simple five steps:Step 1: Identify your bad office habitsRoutine makes us feel safe, but don’t hide under the umbrella of familiarity for too long. The problem with habits is that we let them control us. Our subconscious kicks in and tendencies take over—without us even thinking about them.Monitor yourself for a full week as you go through average work days. Jot down any potential habits in a job journal. Whether it's an arbitrary ritual like tapping your toe three times before you enter the building or sipping on an afternoon diet soda, include it on the list. The point here isn’t to nab every habit and routine, but to find a starting point.Read more of my blog entry at U.S. News & World Report. … [Read more...] about 5 Steps to Breaking Bad Work Habits
Archives for October 2010
Discovering How to Get Paid To Play
Like many things, discovering how to get paid to play sounds too good to be true. The fact of the matter, though, is that it’s not too good to be true. Things that are too good to be true would be things that promise results without any work. You can discover how to find a career you will enjoy each day as long as you put in a little bit of work in finding out what that career is. So how can you discover a fun job that feels like play time and is actually a career? Think About It – I know, it sounds like work. If you put some serious time and thought into figuring out what you like to do, though, you can then put some serious thought into how you can make your hobby into a paying career. Only serious self reflection will tell you what you view as play. So think about your hobbies and don’t leave anything out. If it’s snowboarding, you could be a snowboarding instructor, etc. Take a Test Trial Run – Many ideas have a way of sounding glamorous but when … [Read more...] about Discovering How to Get Paid To Play
Down On Your Luck? How to Become a Freelancer!
Down in the dumps about a job loss? Or perhaps employed, but still "over extended?" Don't despair. Whether you're seeking to create a new income source, or supplement an old one, freelance work could be the ticket!In fact, in a tough economy, freelance work is gaining popularity, due to the Internet world, extinction of "job security" and new business dynamics. Everybody from stay at home moms, to web designers, to photographers, to writers are getting in on the action.And you can too! But, proceed with caution. It's not as easy as some would believe.First, let's dispel some misconceptions... * Being a freelancer doesn't mean that you'll have unlimited “free” time, or a life of leisure. Sure you have some flexibility, can call some of your own shots, and report to work in your bunny slippers from time to time. But, free time needs to be scheduled carefully for optimal results. Especially if it's your only source of income. Too much watching the soaps or playing video games … [Read more...] about Down On Your Luck? How to Become a Freelancer!
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and although this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the level of unemployment for those with physical disabilities is more than twice as high as that of non-disabled Americans.”Nick Gutwein, President of The Braun Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, ramps, and wheelchair lifts offered that astounding statistic. I asked him to address some of the myths about hiring people with special needs that prevail in employers minds.Gutwein shares some statistics, addresses those myths and offers tips for job seekers with disabilities::Statistics show that employers assume it would be challenging to hire people with special needs. But many are simply myths:* Myth #1: The changes and costs associated with accommodating a person with a physical disability outweigh the benefits.Studies by the President’s Committee’s Job Accommodation … [Read more...] about National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Sociopath at Work? 5 Ways to Deal With “Dexter”
How to Tame the Office Sociopath I’ve never watched “Dexter.” Does that make me uncool? Do I get any points for watching every season of “Sopranos?” Sounds like similar themes - lots of blood and sociopaths. I hear people throwing around the word “sociopath” a lot, but I bet not many folks know the actual definition or diagnosis. One thing is certain, if you work with one, you KNOW the behaviors. And we aren’t talking a weird co-worker like Bob, who is just a little odd and annoying, but harmless. Let’s start with the clinical stuff. We shrinks use the DSM IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to diagnose patients. Here’s an overview of the traits of sociopaths and psychopaths, which are now both categorized under “Antisocial Personality Disorder:”There is a “pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others,” such … [Read more...] about Sociopath at Work? 5 Ways to Deal With “Dexter”
Work Dress Code – Try Tailored Clothes
Work dress code is one of those imperfect sciences that will always be a bit wonky. I can't be the only one frustrated from trying to figure out the difference between business casual and semi-formal, right?You already know that I hate wearing a suit to work. So what happened when Tailor4Less, a custom tailoring company stepped in and offered to customize a shirt for me? First, let's back up a second. Years ago when I was working for VH1, I had a brief conversation with Peter Garrett, frontman of Midnight oil (You might recall the 80's at hit "Beds Are Burning"). I don't remember how the conversation came up, but I recall him telling me that the only difference between "famous" people and "regular" folks is that the stars get all of their clothing tailored. (And the frugal ones get it tailored from Asia).That's why they look so fabulous, eh?!If you visualize your own closet of clothes and identify your favorite outfit, I'm willing to bet that … [Read more...] about Work Dress Code – Try Tailored Clothes
How to Say 'No' to the Office Collection
The office is supposed to be a place where we make money, not spend it! But between Girl Scout cookies, holiday wrapping paper, office birthdays and charity races, it seems that I am constantly being asked to crack open my wallet...my very thin wallet!Sometimes I have the money, sometimes I don't; sometimes I want to give, sometimes I don't.And keep in mind that sometimes the collector might have a secret motive and not be as charitable as he or she seems. Even if their motives are 100% pure, I believe that the office is NOT a place for money collections.Here are a few ways to handle office donations and money contributions if you feel like opting out. Read more of my post How to Say 'No' to the Office Collection at US News and World Report. … [Read more...] about How to Say 'No' to the Office Collection
Is Temp the New “Permanent” Job?
It seems that lately, quite a few people I know are working in temp or part-time jobs. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Employers Increasingly Rely on Temps, Part-timers,” Sudeep Reddy examines how usage of temps has grown, citing that “temporary-help payrolls have risen for 11 of the past 12 months, with the sector adding 16,900 jobs in September.” In this uncertain economy, maybe these positions are as good as it gets?If you really need a job, temping might be your only option until something full-time comes along. Quite awhile ago, I temped for a large company for almost three years with the promise of being hired as soon as the department budget expanded. I was finally hired, but I noticed my co-workers had a hard time adjusting to me being a new permanent hire and not “The Temp.” And yes, back then there was a definite status difference.Not having benefits with a job is difficult. Fortunately, my husband had insurance for us through his … [Read more...] about Is Temp the New “Permanent” Job?
Creating Awareness for Diversity Awareness
October is typically recognized as the month for goblins and scary images in celebration of Halloween, however few recognize it as a time for confronting “real life fears” as Diversity Awareness Month. Diversity Awareness brings to the forefront the issues that make us different but equal. The things that make our nation great as a global force.Oftentimes stigmas, stereotypes and fears are byproducts of being “in the dark” about various religions, races, and regions. So this post on diversity awareness seeks to highlight some relevant themes and thoughts to increase your level of consciousness, shed some “light” and broaden your horizons!Let's face it. We all feel more comfortable in the company of those with whom we share commonalities. Right? It's why you'll often find athletes scoring time with other athletes, creative artists hanging out with other cool kats, nerds pondering the complexities of life with one another, or P.T.A. Parents … [Read more...] about Creating Awareness for Diversity Awareness
Thinking Like Your Boss to Get a Promotion
There are quite a few articles out there on ‘interviewing technique’ that suggest you should put yourself in the employer’s shoes and think about what they want from a candidate, thus allowing you to provide much more attractive question responses. This article takes that concept one step further and looks at how to adopt the same principle when seeking a promotion at work.What employers want...SecurityIf you think about it, most of us desire security in our lives. We desire to own a home, have a stable relationship, and have a steady income. Employers are no different, and the more secure they can make their workforce, the more content they will be with the ‘work’ element of their lives. Employers will frequently look to promote those who demonstrate stability and don’t look like they up-sticks in search of a better opportunity once they have been given a better job title. Being at a company for a number of years obviously implies a level of … [Read more...] about Thinking Like Your Boss to Get a Promotion