July 31, 2014

Career advice? Listen to yourself and believe in what you believe in.

Four Hands
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TweetI was approached by someone recently who was seeking some career advice.  Worn out by the politics of his current environment, he felt under appreciated and at serious risk of being put out to pasture, mostly for trying to do his best, yet misinterpreting the daily “bring me a rock” exercises. His questions clearly caused [...]

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From The Onion: Intern disrespects self

Office_job__stressful_job_by_FriXedAirwave
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A great post on the Onion depicts the plight of interns at Fischer Marketing. According to the article, “Supervisor Encourages Interns To Take On More Responsibilities Of 3 Full-Time Staff Members” the interns were told that the best way for them to get the most out of their internship was to take on as many duties as possible.

although no one will directly state that it’s mandatory, you definitely get the sense that any poor intern who decides not to take on tons more work, with no monetary compensation to begin with, simply isn’t working hard enough to get the most out of the internship.

Of course, the article is a bit of a farce – this is The Onion after all. Nonetheless, there were some all-too-real takeaways that came to my mind. [Read more]

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In the age of engagement, you can’t thwart ambition

ambition_by_tja88
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There are more articles, books and posting out there on engagement, creating engagement, the benefits of creating engagement, and so on than I can count. So, of course, I’m going to write a post about engagement (Once in a while, I do like to suppress my contrarian urges and go along with the crowd). Instead of yet another voice telling you how to generate engagement, however, here’s a tale of how to make sure it gets utterly destroyed. [Read more]

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So long, Ray Lewis, and a tale of two retirements

Ray_Lewis_by_youngandreckless
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If any of you watched the Ravens – Colts football game this past weekend, you were treated to the final home game played by one of the NFL’s all-time greats. Ray Lewis, an iconic figure for over a decade in the NFL, has announced he will retire at the end of this season.

I knew someone who, after spending over 30 years with a company, decided to retire. After a long but unspectacular career, it was time to leave the rat race as just about every single one of us who is not a legendary NFL icon will do. Unfortunately, also unlike those legendary NFL icons, leaving the job with an iota of respect wasn’t in the cards. [Read more]

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Well, OF COURSE no one trusts management…..

Backstabber_by_bat_bat
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In a conversation with a seasoned manager who asked me why I believed morale was so poor in his organization, I stated that the thing most often heard wafting through the cubicles was that people simply don’t trust the management here. “Well, that’s universal.” he stated, and quickly dismissed the concerns people were uttering as just usual, typical, workplace angst.

Upon reflection, however, I realized that this problem was born from different perspectives on management’s role among the age groups in the organization.
[Read more]

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Stranded by the tide, and the return of the water

Stranded by the tide
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Those of you who follow this blog regularly…yes, both of you….are well aware that I haven’t done much with the blog for a while. In fact, I haven’t done anything in over two months. Let’s just say, life’s been busy. We very often don’t know where we’re going, or even how we got where we are, and when we hit these low times it tends to feel as if we’re going to be stuck there forever. [Read more]

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Don’t be a tool

tool of the trade
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And don’t be a tool.

There will be plenty of time to sit in a cubicle, navigate corporate politics, curry the favor of blowhards and nincompoops, and monitor your 401K. For a short time, however, you will have the ability to experiment with life….and your career. Why work for someone else? Start your own business. It can be just about anything, since the consequences of failure are so low. Trust me, as you get older – no matter how smart you get about business – going out on your own gets more and more difficult. Those mortgages and tuition bills are pretty limiting. [Read more]

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Do you envision the ideal?

clear_by_mrszeldalink-d3k78z5
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If, as you encounter problems, you are simply responding to each one in turn without much sense of how to learn and grow from it, you will only find yourself meandering from problem to problem forever. In fact, you will likely find the same problems keep popping up – to be countered with the same solutions. Consequently, a boring, mindless do-loop results. In the end, this dynamic leads only to activity for the sake of activity – and not for purposes of driving towards some goal.

Activity for its own sake will, inevitably, be revealed as a waste [Read more]

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Do you ever just get tired of it all?

burned out
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Article upon article, book upon book, for somewhere around 30 years or more, telling us how to make the workplace……better. Still, the consultants and gurus keep pumping out information, more and more effort comes around to create change in the hearts and minds of business leaders, and still we’re stuck in the quagmire.

Yes, I realize that I am one of those who keep pumping out thoughts on how to change things in my own little corner of the blogosphere. Which is why I have to ask – of anyone who has ever endeavored to change anything – do you ever just plain feel like you’re banging your head against the wall? [Read more]

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I’d like to thank my dog for running away, and the opportunity to think things over

English Setter running
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Friday evening my 7-year-old accidentally left the gate open and our 2 dogs took off into the neghborhood. Neither I nor my son saw them go out, and a neighbor alerted us to the fact the dogs were a ways off from the house, running along the bike path that is next to our property. I spent the next 3 hours walking through the woods, and all over the neighborhood, going many miles in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him but with so many wooded areas between homes and a large, swampy meadow as well, there were just oo many places for him to get off to. I was well aware of how exhausted I was becoming, the blister emerging on my foot, the sharp pain and tightness that was creeping up my back and the incredible soreness that was gripping my legs – but all that time walking around gave me time to think about things that have been on my mind lately. [Read more]

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