Keeping the “Biz” in the Family Business It’s glaringly apparent that my TV-show recording and watching indicates that I need to get a life. A new one I caught this week, “Lone Star”, was about a Texas family in the oil business. It was reminiscent of "Dallas," which for you youngsters was gorgeous rich people cheating, back-stabbing and drinking all while wearing fabulous clothes. At least “Lone Star” had several office scenes where people actually appeared to be making money to pay for those Armani suits.I grew up in a family printing business which my mother ran and she dressed up for work, but I don’t recall her wearing Donna Karan. Although my dad was a design draftsman for a local company, at one point he joined my mother’s business to help out. There were no big dramas, plotting or intrigue in the company as far as I know. The only excitement I remember was my dad bailing a drunken press operator out of jail on a Saturday … [Read more...] about The Family Business
Archives for September 2010
You've received a job offer. It pays more than your current job. But for whatever reason, you have decided that you would prefer to stay put. You have, however, made a decision to use the offer as a bargaining chip. It's a dangerous game, and you should only engage in it if you truly can see yourself walking away and accepting the new position. Many articles on the Web make it sound like accepting a counteroffer to stay with your current employer is a kiss of death--but I'm not convinced.Yes, there was a reason you were looking to begin with (unless you were headhunted). And yes, once you reveal that you are even considering leaving your job, your "team-player" status will be in jeopardy. But truth be told, everyone considers leaving their employer at some point, and sometimes, another job offer is the ultimate bargaining chip.A wake-up call. Your experience is often what gets you hired, but the day after you start, the focus shifts to what you are going to do for the organization … [Read more...] about Accepting a Counteroffer – When to Stay With Your Current Employer
I had a very surreal experience recently related to my work life that has made me wonder about a so-called classless society. A good friend started a cleaning and concierge business, but with a full-time job, she has little time to grow her business. Since I freelance and have flexibility in my work schedule, I offered to do some marketing for her. Because this is a new venture, capital is tight and she can’t hire enough employees. So...she and I have been cleaning houses. I’ve never felt that any jobs were beneath me and I want to help out a pal, but my preference would be to not clean houses - I don’t even like to clean my own.The surreal experience happened shortly after I cleaned her best client’s home. Although I often dread attending women’s networking events, I know they are critical to developing business. So I quit writing at 5:00 p.m., foofed up to look like a grown up and went to the event. Coincidentally, the cleaning client is also a member of … [Read more...] about Classless Society? Aren't We All “Working Class?”
Let's face it. Whether you gig at a fortune 500 company, or a local factory, chances are you're dealing with some, well... undesirables. True?Sometimes “undesirables” come in the form of the inappropriate boss, like Michael Scott in the hilarious sitcom, The Office. Other times it may be the cubicle dweller that “cuts the cheese” more than your neighborhood deli. And rarely is any office environment without your garden-variety “toxic personalities.”Think “Debbie Downer” of Saturday Night Live.No matter how you cut it, they can make every day at work play out like dog years! But there's a way to deal with these pesky devils without being relegated to a life of hell!Why it's important to manage the madness...Besides being down-right annoying, “undesirables” can cause undue stress. And stress can lead to low productivity, illness, work place violence, absenteeism, and staff turnover. In fact, it's estimated that … [Read more...] about 7 Ways to Deal With Undesirables at Work
If you don't feel well, call in sick. It's a simple mantra, one that makes a lot of sense. But in reality, it's not always an option. Sometimes a project requires your attendance. Other times you might want to avoid calling in sick because you know you'll be out (cough, cough) next week for that "vacation" day you forgot to request. Coughing and sneezing around the office is met with disdain. I've seen people go as far as telling a coworker to go home - and absolutely meaning it. As if you didn't already feel crappy enough at work (you would stay home if you felt you could!), now you have to try to mask your flu-like symptoms to avoid being lynched.It's a selfish act to show up to the office sick with a contagious illness, but it's reality. After all, it's you that will have to deal with a pissed off boss, missed deadline, and worse yet - termination. You might like your coworkers and hate the fact that you could be getting them … [Read more...] about Sickness at Work: When You Don't Call in Sick
My job requires me to wear a suit every day, well, every day except for Friday. I wake up in the morning, eat a waffle for breakfast, and tie a noose around my neck. That’s how it goes.On Friday we are permitted to wear a collared shirt that features the company logo. And as much as I hate being a walking billboard for anything, by week's end, its often an attractive trade off. Wearing a suit for work makes no sense. Plain and simple, wearing a business suit sucks. You women have no idea how lucky you are in that regard. (Don't bother complaining that your office requires pantyhose; at least you can still breathe!)Back in the days when my jobs required a business casual dress code or "just tuck it in," I was convinced that the well-dressed dudes in the suits got all the glory. They were the ones that the shopkeeper hooked up with a free cup of coffee. They were the ones who got hit on riding the train. They were the ones bringing home … [Read more...] about Why Wearing a Suit Sucks
When we work toward a certain career path or go to college to land that dream job, we envision a rewarding career and lifestyle. No one in their wildest dreams would ever imagine that feelings inside of themselves could actually make it a daily struggle to cope at work. I'm talking about panic attacks.When I was fresh out of college and working as an ICU nurse in a large teaching hospital in New York City, that's exactly what happened to me. My first panic attack came out of nowhere and hit me at work one day when I was at the nurses' station. I excused myself and went outside the hospital for some fresh air. After a few minutes I felt better so I went back in. But the next day, I had three attacks at work. By the third day I didn't want to go back. My life literally went to hell in the span of 3 days.Unfortunately that scenario plays itself out everyday in workplaces all over the country. In fact, over 19 million Americans struggle with an anxiety disorder every day. What … [Read more...] about Are Panic Attacks Making Your Job Hell?
Congratulations! After years of hard work you have received a well-deserved promotion. But before you even receive that first paycheck and realize that your life is not about to undergo any major economic changes, something happens. Your boss is looking at you differently - and it’s not in a good way. Welcome to the Post-Promotion Punishment (patent pending), one of those foolish and undocumented workplace rites of passage. Getting through this period can be difficult, and we'll talk about how to weather the storm in a bit, but first, let's look at why this phenomenon occurs.NO CONTROL. It is possible that your boss did not want to promote you and was forced into it. Perhaps it was upper-management’s call, or maybe you forced the issue. Whatever the case, you will now be punished for hard work - ironical, ain’t it!POWER PLAY. Bosses feel they need to “teach” you that there are no free rides in life. Of course … [Read more...] about The Post-Promotion Punishment
Lately, it seems I see more women CEOs at larger companies or maybe they are just more visible. Since I am woefully out of the corporate loop, I asked online career transformation coach, Julie Ann Erickson some questions about women’s roles in the workplace. Q. I don’t know stats, but it seems like there are now more women CEOs and women taking on more powerful, visible roles in companies. What are your observations? A. Yes, there are more women in visible roles - it differs by industry as to which roles they play. In more corporate environments (banks, manufacturing, consumer goods - the traditional Fortune 500 type companies), women are more and more prominent in marketing, human resources, legal, and slowly sales. Women have more high-level roles in technology, Internet-based companies and in non-profits and health care. However, men still occupy more of the very technical roles, and still dominate in the CEO front in all industries. Q. I’ve been … [Read more...] about Are Women’s Roles Evolving in the Workplace?
You’re not alone--most people find job interviews stressful. With only one crack at making a good impression to escape your current job, increase your pay, and expand business connections, who can blame you. Aside from quitting your job and giving an anxiety-provoking public presentation, few things in the workplace induce more fear than an interview. Thankfully there are several simple things you can do to reduce job interview stress.1. Sleep well--two nights before. Many people toss and turn the night before a job interview. Since most have no problem running on fumes for a day, aim to sleep well for two nights leading up to your interview. Accomplish this by exercising vigorously and tiring your body.2. Get there early--but not too early. Rushing, getting lost, and the fear oft being late all provoke anxiety. Print out directions to the interview location the night before (get an alternative route as well) and plan to arrive 30 minutes early. But do not enter the building … [Read more...] about 7 Ways to Reduce Job Interview Stress