May 28, 2004
Here's a reminder for those of us who have never served in the military: Keep some perspective about the stress you're experiencing at work. Missed deadlines, cranky coworkers, clueless bosses, technical glitches and long commutes, while frustrating, pale in comparison to life-and-death situations. Remember that when your coworkers return from a tour of duty.
May 27, 2004
Revive Your Job Search
The economy is showing signs of life, so if you're looking for a job, now is a good time to reexamine your strategy. Maybe all you need to do is rethink how you're approaching potential interviewers. Or maybe you need to do something more radical. Either way, it's a good idea to take a fresh look at your job hunt.
May 26, 2004
Do We Need to Have This Meeting?
Most of us have been frustrated by meetings that:
--Shouldn't have been called
--Don't produce any results -- nothing is clarified, decided or resolved
--Don't include the right people who need to be informed about the projects at hand
And so on. Here are some tips on how to make sure your meeting is a good one.
May 25, 2004
Sorry, You're Too Good For Us
As many job seekers can attest, being told by an interviewer that you're overqualified isn't really a compliment. It's often a more polite way of saying either "We can't afford you or don't want to pay for your experience" or "We think you'll be bored and leave as soon as something better comes along."
I had this experience last time I was interviewing. In fact, one HR person followed up the "overqualified" comment with: "Do you really think you'd be happy in this position?" And I realized that the answer was no -- so she had a good point.
For many people these days, though, being happy isn't nearly as crucial as bringing home a paycheck, and they'll work hard regardless of the level of the position. But nobody can (or should) say to a skeptical interviewer "Hey, I'll work my tail off, because I need the money."
Here are some tips on how to handle your abundance of qualifications on your resume.
May 24, 2004
Changing Careers after 50
So you're in your 50s and you're thinking about making a career change? You're not alone. Here are some tips on how to make the transition less scary.
May 21, 2004
Coping with Dyslexia at Work
I've known a lot of people with dyslexia (and a lot of people who make jokes about someone's spelling because they don't realize it's a learning disability). Here are some tips on how to cope with dyslexia at work.
May 20, 2004
I once worked in a company where people did things like initiate new employees by making them crawl into mini-cubicles ("This is where you'll be working") that featured 4-foot cardboard ceilings. Another favorite office prank around there was TP'ing the boss's office when he was on vacation (OK, looking back on it, we weren't that creative).
May 19, 2004
Worthwhile magazine's Halley Suitt wonders whether or not Americans work too much.
She cites some recent books and articles on the topic and notes this Web site which advocates for people to celebrate "take back your time day."
I guess in terms of hours put in and vacation time, we certainly work more than most nations in the world. But it's so subjective. I know people who are well-paid but don't seem to do much work at all, and people on government salaries who work themselves into exhaustion. And that doesn't even go into the numerous time demands on people who have spouses and kids to go home to.
May 18, 2004
As someone who has commuted in LA, DC and Boston, I feel I have enough experience to say that LA is the hands-down champion of carpooling. Out there, people actually do it. Vanpools stretch from Riverside to San Diego to Santa Barbara.
Of course, it's partially because they have longer commutes (if you're living in LA's desert suburbs like Palmdale or Lancaster, you might be looking at a commute of more than three hours roundtrip daily) and they just have better, newer, wider highways with inviting carpool lanes.
Here in the Boston area, there are no real carpool lanes; the only extra lane is the shoulder, which it's actually legal to use during certain hours on certain highways. That's right; our roads are so crowded we're willing to risk collisions with broken-down vehicles in order to gain a quarter mile here and there.
There are a lot of plusses to carpooling, and more people might be considering it now that gas prices are crawling back up. You get to rest/read/look at the scenery, do the morning crossword, and save money and stress. But you also have to conform to other peoples' schedules.
Here are some tips on how to carpool.
May 17, 2004
Know When to Hold 'Em
If you're about to accept a job but still need to clear that final salary/benefits negotiation hurdle, check out these poker-inspired tips on how to do it the smart way.