Summer hours are nearly over. If you were fortunate enough to enjoy shortened workdays on Fridays, or a seasonally lax dress code, the gravy train is about to end. The relaxed vibe of summer is about to expire, bringing forward a plethora of patio furniture sales and the countdown to the winter holidays. Don't fret that all of those vacation days have been used up. There are a few small things to do to ease the transition between seasons.DO SOMETHING NOW. The season is really nothing more than a series of calendar dates. Don't put off what you can do today until next year. If that mountain bike expedition you promised you'd tackle never came to fruition, you still have several weeks left until the weather turns.USE STRATEGIC SICK DAYS. I know the Jobacle Sick Day Calendar gives managers and HR professionals a serious headache, but let's be honest, only suckers lose days at the end of the year. Use them scarcely, use them wisely, but above all, … [Read more...] about Coping With the End of Summer at Work
Resume Writing Challenge: Enter to Win
Attention professional and amateur resume writers...It's been a full year; it's officially time to update my resume. Despite writing this blog and staying ahead of the curve on online career resources, I realize that I've hit a wall. It's time for fresh eyes to come in and give my resume a tweak - or an overhaul.Over the years, we've received many e-mails asking if hiring someone to re-write your resume is worth the money. Here's the answer: I have no idea, but I'm about to find out.Welcome to the Jobacle Resume Challenge. The mission, should you accept to choose it, is simple. Take my current resume and rework it as you see fit. Make your changes and the results will be featured on Jobacle.com. A winner will be chosen by our panel of Jobacle writers. We'll explain the process of working with a resume writer to our readers and provide your link and contact information - even if you don't win.The winner will receive bragging rights, an approved Jobacle icon to place on their Web site, a … [Read more...] about Resume Writing Challenge: Enter to Win
A Moral Dilemma: My Boss Is My Friend
Recently I started a new job, and last week I was introduced to my boss, who happens to be an old school friend. Upon seeing him I felt happy about the whole situation, but then I started to get a bad feeling about working under someone whom I know quite well. There are a number of positives and negatives outlined below. 1. It’s nice to know that I have someone who I can trust, and someone who will have my back. Then again, it’s not fair on the new members of staff who can see the obvious benefits I am receiving.2. I am basically getting a free ride because I’m getting all the easy jobs that everyone else wants. I don’t mind this too much, but I can feel a tension building in the other members of staff, especially the ones who have to do the “newbie jobs” I should be doing.3. During work hours I am around my friend/boss a lot and we tend to joke around quite often and take lunches together. I do not want the other members of staff to think I am brown nosing all of the time, but … [Read more...] about A Moral Dilemma: My Boss Is My Friend
Returning From Vacation Sucks. 6 Ways to Ease the Pain.
You're tan and relaxed, and your mind is a million miles from work. The problem is, you ARE at work. You've just returned from an amazing vacation where you did everything except think about the office.Changing mindsets is a difficult task. This is why it is essential to give yourself every possible opportunity to ease back gracefully. Here are a few tips how...BE ORGANIZED BEFORE YOU LEAVESet your 'out of office' reminders well in advance. Forgetting to take this step could result in a larger number of e-mail/calls to respond to when you return.Empty out your inbox by archiving all older messages. This will help you feel less overwhelmed when the vacation ends and keep your mailbox from exceeding the size limit, since most companies have a low threshold.Give your desk and general office space a quick clean. There's nothing like returning to a lemony-fresh workspace.ARRIVE EARLY UPON RETURNEfficient workers know that it's easier to get things done … [Read more...] about Returning From Vacation Sucks. 6 Ways to Ease the Pain.
Quick Ways to Be Green at Work
Some of us hopped on the green train back with Al Gore, some of us bought a ticket in the early 2000’s, and the majority of us begged to get on once gas prices skyrocketed. Regardless of when you realized that we all have an impact on the environment, it can prove difficult to translate your lifestyle changes to work. Certain changes are individualistic, while other may require approval by the company to transform. Here are some quickie reminders:1. RECYCLE. This can be done on both an individual and company level. As an individual, you can recycle the cans or plastic bottles of pop you purchase from the vending machine (or steal from the fridge; if you do steal, see the blog entry “Mind Your P’s and Q’s At Work"). At a company level, encourage your employer to put out recycle bins for the employees, bins for paper, and encourage them to recycle computers as well.2. UNPLUG THE CHARGER. Whether at home or work, if you use a cell phone charger, be sure … [Read more...] about Quick Ways to Be Green at Work
5 Ways Your Boss Stops Time (and you in your tracks)
Time might heal all wounds, but it certainly doesn't solve all business problems. In the working world, most of us are at the mercy of the clock: punching in, lunch hours, time cards and so on. Early in our careers we are trained to be as efficient as possible, cramming our hours to be multi-tasked to the max. One lesson seldom taught in the power of inefficiency. I've already talked about how the 'experts' waste time at work. Today we're going to look at clock stoppers. These are bosses who know how to get your projects stuck in quicksand, and in the process, stop you in your tracks - or at least slow you down to a tortoise's crawl.Here's how they do it...DROWNING IN PAPERWORK. Paper has power. It can make things move forward or grind them to a halt. Usually, the more of it there is, the longer the delay. Any boss worth his/her salt knows the best way to get an employee off their back is to ask them to produce more paper. It could be a memo that … [Read more...] about 5 Ways Your Boss Stops Time (and you in your tracks)
How to Treat the New Person at Work
Ever have a new person start at your office who within a week is acting as if they own the place? Don't blame the person, blame the organization (or your co-workers).Sure we want to make the rookie comfortable. Gone are the days of office hazing. (You know, stapling shrimp under a person's chair). The same way we train a dog, it's important to establish ground rules with the newbie early on, and enforce them consistently.This might sound cruel, but it's especially important for people who work closely with the new hire. The logic is simple - assuming you aspire to grow within the organization, you will need the respect of your peers. Plus, you'll make the transition easier when you finally get that deserved bump. Redefining roles is a cumbersome workplace challenge. Why make things harder on yourself? Including the rookie in every conversation and bringing them up to speed on every in-joke is a mistake.We leave breadcrumbs in all relationships, yet … [Read more...] about How to Treat the New Person at Work
4 Strategies to Look Into My Eyes
Some sales men are hilarious. Yesterday, this dude was trying to sell me a 40" LCD television, even though I showed no interest what-so-ever. He had obviously just read some “how to” pop-psychology book on sales techniques, and was practicing his new found knowledge. His first “great idea” was to maintain eye contact, but in reality he just freaked the sh*t out me, because he was staring so much. At one stage I actually thought he was going to morph into Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and slaughter me. Much to my pleasure...he didn’t. Anyway, this whole idea of eye contact is the basis of this article. Here is what I could find: Fixed Eye Contact: This is the gaze our nutty salesman adopted. The problem with this gaze is that a lot of the time it can make the other person feel very uncomfortable. It is almost as if they are literally looking into your brain. This type of eye contact can often be seen in people in a position of power (or those who wish to be), and can be … [Read more...] about 4 Strategies to Look Into My Eyes
Are You Batman? Your Boss The Joker?
I am not a huge comic book/superhero fan, but I did enjoy The Dark Knight this past weekend. While a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger might be a bit much, there is no doubt that strong acting, coupled with violent outbursts of action, made the film a smashing success.But I'm not here to lobby for Ebert or Roeper's old job. Rather, I'd like to tell you why you are Batman and your boss is The Joker. Or the other way around.The prevailing theme throughout The Dark Knight is the dependency between the hero and the villain. Without each other to fight, where would the other be? The question to ask yourself is: how good would you be at what you do without a boss?The answer might seem simple: 'I'd be better off with no one to answer to!' But let's look a little deeper. Take a crack at these questions:Without a boss...- Who would you fight?- Who would motivate you?- Who would hold you accountable?- Who would you rally against?- How would you fill the time?- … [Read more...] about Are You Batman? Your Boss The Joker?
Things to Do at Work When You’re Bored
For those of you who work in an office environment, you will of course be aware of the concept of boredom. Me, myself, my imaginary friend Barry the horse, and George the office-plant are becoming more and more stir crazy by the boredom that exists in the realm of the office. If this boredom is allowed to persist, it will inevitably lead to a fully fledged psychosis, in which everything and anything becomes possible. Due to this fact we have taken it upon ourselves to stand up to this tyrannical concept, and come up with ways to overcome it. Here they are: IKEA: Browse through the new improved IKEA website. Those Swedes have come up with some fantastic home decorative concepts that have left their furniture rivals weak at the knees with squirting orgasmic jealously, and throbbing blue veined temple region anger. Recently I bought a toaster from them. It’s lovely. Buy a Pet: Animals are cute, and my dog always cheers me up. It doesn’t matter if its been 10 … [Read more...] about Things to Do at Work When You’re Bored