I have read several of the "Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" guides in the past, and I have always enjoyed them. The other books in the series (based on travel, golf, college, dating, life, etc.) are humorous, yet serious enough to make you think, "What if I DO have to jump out of that airplane without a chute?" For example, this book teaches readers how to, among other things, handle a job interview turned bad, sneak out of a meeting, survive a necktie-caught-in-the-copier accident, and retrieve an item stuck in the vending machine.While some of them seem crazy (like the tollbooth survival tips), many of these tutorials can be helpful for us at work. Whether it's a hot and heavy interoffice romance problem or being stuck in a cubicle (AUDIO LINK) with a chatterbox, all of us have to deal with some strange aspect of life while at work. Wouldn't it help if, instead of being helpless, you could learn how to get around those situations that pain all of us in our work lives daily?The … [Read more...] about The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Work
Upper management has the uncanny ability to make us instantly feel like crap. A little snipe on their end can do more damage than they'll ever realize.After completing an internship where I put in 40-plus hour weeks for no pay and no credit (and excelled!), I was sniped on my last day of work.Upon a tiny mistake..."Andrew's letting it all go to s*it on his last day."The 'boss' will never know how much that comment stung. I take pride in everything I do; from Day 1 to endgame.In theory, we're all supposed to let these meaningless comments bounce off of us. (I'm rubber you're glue, everything you say sticks back to you). Reality check: very few people forget. REMINDERS FOR EMPLOYEES:Don't take these uncalled for reprimands personally. The negative comment could simply be the result of a 'bad day.' You have no idea what your boss is wrestling with personally, so try to give him/her the benefit of the doubt. This is assuming these comments are few and far between. If these types of … [Read more...] about The Price of the Uncalled for Reprimand
While career advice is a hot topic these days, it probably was quite a bit different back in the 1700's. Can you imagine what a helpful career tip would look like back then? Maybe "Don't shoe an angry horse," or "Make sure your barber bleeds you often," or how about "Make sure you carry your firearm to work, because you never know when the British will attack."While those may be a bit silly, here are a few pieces of "career advice" from the Founding Fathers that could actually be useful today.Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. -John Adams-Let's get a show of hands. Who out there really wants to sit in a cubicle in front of a computer screen all day? Anybody? Nobody? That's what I thought. Now I want everyone to do something difficult, maybe even painful. Think about what you really want to do in life. Is that life goal a focus of your everyday actions? Read the above quote again. If the freedom to choose a better career and life for yourself is passed up, then the opportunity may … [Read more...] about Career Advice From the Founding Fathers
There are now offcially too many outlets where employees can anonymously rate their workplace. With so many factors affecting each person's work expeirence, the information on these boards are only a tiny slice of the pie, not the whole picture.Getting some of that workplace frustration off your chest can be very theraputic, just be sure to not let the angry exercise become routine.Last year we put together the Jobacle Master List of Job Vent sites. The latest to come to our attention is Jobeehive. What differentiates the site from the pack is that you must submit information about your employer before February 11, 2009 in order to help determine their overall score for 2008.Ratings are 100% anonymous. The majority of companies posted are either U.S. or India-based.Be sure to visit the full list of job rant sites and leave your favorites in the comments section. … [Read more...] about Rant, Rave and Vent About Work…Again
Just about everyone has heard of a 5k, 10k, or marathon. However, ultramarathons are a relatively unknown segment of the running world. In November 2007, I joined the ranks of those dedicated (and slightly crazy) runners when I completed the Dizzy Fifties 50k in Huntsville, AL. For those of us that aren't interested in the metric system, the total distance was 31 miles. Since completing the race, I have looked back and seen the different ways it helped me in my work life.Take a Bold StepI used to be very quiet at work. I sat quietly and worked without interacting with anyone else. When I decided to start training for the race, I started talking with others and becoming more verbose. My supervisor noticed my change in behavior, and I began to ask for more difficult assignments. I took the initiative to increase my value at work.Never Give UpSome of those assignments were difficult. Very difficult. Keeping-me-up-at-night difficult. However, working on a project at work is a lot less … [Read more...] about How Running an Ultramarathon Changed My Work Life
The media—and that includes blogs—love to drop the term recessionproof.News flash: It's impossible to recessionproof anything. That's like trying to stop a world war with a slingshot or hold back the ocean with your retaining wall. If the stuff is gonna hit the fan, it will find you. Sorry if it hurts, but that's life.There is seemingly no escape from the mood of economic doom and gloom that has permeated American society. But I have important news for you: All this recession talk is hurting your career. Jobacle.com urges you to vaccinate yourself against the latest illness plaguing working stiffs: recessionitis.How do you know if you're suffering from recessionitis?Read more of my blog at US News & World Report. … [Read more...] about How to Vaccinate Against Recessionitis
Like many of you, The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie. In fact, it's arguably the greatest film ever to get completely snubbed by Oscar. I'm not usually a movie quote guy, but I think this flick has much career advice to offer. There are some spoilers below, so if you've never seen the movie (shame on you!) stop reading and go Netflix it!"Get busy living or get busy dying" - Andy DufresneAndy utters these words to Red the day before he makes his triumphant escape from Shawshank. We'd never compare work to prison (nah!), but we do think it's a fair question to ask yourself on a regular basis. Are you 'dying' where you are working or 'living?' More..."How often do you really look at a man's shoes." - RedSorry Red, more often than you might realize - especially at the office. While you might not be violating any dress code laws, your shoes ARE noticed by your colleagues (and not just the freaky fetish guy in I.T.). Paying attention to every detail of your wardrobe - … [Read more...] about Career Advice From Shawshank Prison
It's a cardinal sin at work. Even though you know what the person in the cubicle next to you is earning annually, you can never use that information when negotiating a higher salary for yourself.But does the same rule apply to benefits?We're brought up with the workplace mentality that it's 'every person for themselves.' We each have the power to negotiate a better situation: more days off, special hours, and so on. However, I pose the question of whether or not this is fair. Shouldn't it be a level playing field for all? 'What's good for the goose is good for the gander?'(I never realized that a gander is just a male goose, meaning that what's good for the woman is good for the man.)If Judy is getting tuition reimbursement, shouldn't you?If Luke is given time off to study, shouldn't you get it too?When one department leaves early, why can't yours?We're not here to whine or cry about how everyone else is getting major perks while others suffer. Rather, we'd like to gauge how YOU feel … [Read more...] about Are Your Work Benefits Equal and Fair?
One of the most interesting aspects of blogging about careers and the workplace, is the 'people watching.' Everyone has their own unique style. One style, which I personally find quite irritating, I've coined as is 'Mr. Forceful.' You know the type. In fact, there's a good chance he's sitting next to you.He thinks imposing his will on you will help his 'career progress.' He thinks he's slick, but his actions are easily identifiable. Tactics used by this guy are more transparent than he'll ever know. Talking Loud: Particularly at meetings and in groups. As if the louder the decibel the greater the influence.Controlling All Information. You ask for a report and get the runaround. Even the simplest request gets stonewalled.Inability to Assign Tasks. Mr. Forceful has a staff, but you wonder what they're doing. He also likes to surround himself with passive people.Finger In All Pies. He tries to be involved in everything, yet is a master of none. Mr. F doesn't understand boundaries and ends … [Read more...] about Do You Work With Mr. Forceful?
It's early in the new year, and that means that well-intentioned, business-minded folks will be looking to better themselves. One way that is accomplished is by continuing education.My employer offers a pretty generous benefits package, but unfortunately, tuition reimbursement is not among the perks. I've been thinking about how to approach management to make a case for myself. Here's what I have so far. Any other ideas?Ways to lobby for tuition reimbursement...Read the rest of my post at US News & World Report. … [Read more...] about How to Get Your Company to Pay for College