Tag Archives: hr

What We Can Learn About Work From The Hunger Games

21 Nov

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Because I’m beyond excited to watch Catching Fire this weekend, here’s a post in honor of my role model in life, Katniss Everdeen. In case you missed it, I wrote this post over at University Ave last year. This is why the Hunger Games series is my absolute favorite… only after Harry Potter.

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So by now I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing about the Hunger Games. But too bad. I’m still going to write about it. Yea, there are a lot of people annoyed by yet another teen love triangle but I have to say, I picked up some essential business lessons while watching the movie and paying $17 for popcorn and a soda.

Here are some of them:

Get people to like you, or you’ll die

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the main characters in the movie have to compete in a fight until the death. Yes, children, because their ancestors rebelled against the capitol, are selected to enter an arena and kill each other in hopes of having one remaining victor. How lovely… Sponsors however, while watching the tournament, assist the tributes in providing them with medicine and food to help increase their chances of winning. But who do they help? THE PEOPLE THEY LIKE. And that’s how it is in the business world. We do business with people we like. We help other people who we like. We do favors for people we like. Is it fair? No. But that’s how it is. So if you want to survive in the workforce, do yourself a favor and make sure people like you.

Be yourself so that people like you so you don’t die

The goal is to get people to like you. We’ve established that. But how do you do that? In the movie, Katniss Everdeen (the main character that has the oh so terrible misfortune of having to choose between two deliciously good looking men) says that she doesn’t know how to make people like her. That’s when her advisor tells her to just be herself. To not try. Look, most people know when they’re being BS’ed. Most people don’t like it when they have to interact with people that are fake. So just be yourself, be relatable, be friendly, and you’ll find that people like you a lot better like that than if you pretend to be someone you aren’t. Besides, being fake takes too much effort.

Be memorable or you’ll die

Before the tournament begins, each competing tribute has the opportunity to show off their skills in order to attract Sponsors. In this case, twenty-four tributes compete for the attention of the Sponsors. So how do they get that attention? By being memorable. Katniss understands this. What does she do? She shoots an arrow into the food that the Sponsors are eating. Catches them off guard… Shocks them. But one thing is for sure, she gets noticed. She gets their attention. In the workforce today, there are so many people competing for the same positions, competing for advancement, etc. The only way to get yourself to stand out of the crowd is by being memorable. By taking some risk. Which leads me to my next point…

Some people will like your guts but others won’t

After Katniss almost decapitates the Sponsors with her arrow, her group of advisors fear that she won’t receive a high rating from the Sponsors. However, she does. For some reason, it appears the Sponsors liked her courage and how out of the ordinary her performance was. She was memorable and they liked that. But at the same time, President Snow (the president of all the districts) was not amused. When he realizes the impact Katniss has on the members of the districts, he feels threatened by her. He understands that she poses a threat to the way things have always been in their society. What does he say? “A spark is fine as long as it’s contained.” You’ll encounter in the workforce that some people are open to new thoughts and ideas. Some management will like that you are the kind of employee that takes risks and thinks outside the box. But some won’t. Some managers will feel threatened by this and will do everything in their power to contain that spark. Don’t let them.

A good mentor will help increase your chances of survival

Each of the tributes competing in the games is given a mentor to help train them and guide them through this terrible process. Each of these mentors has already been in the games and has managed to survive. So they use their past experiences to help these new tributes in hopes that maybe one of them won’t end up crushed by a rock. I don’t think that there’s anything more helpful than finding someone in the workforce that is willing to help guide you during your career. Someone that will push you and help expose you to other people that will help you. The workplace is hard. That’s something that I learned at a very young age. So find yourself a mentor and that should make it a little easier. Or don’t. But then, as a drunken but quite attractive Haymitch says, “embrace the probability of your imminent death.”

Good luck to all of you entering the workforce and may the odds be ever in your favor :D

Other stuff you might like:

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Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
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Some people never take vacation.

Worse yet, some people complain when OTHER people take vacation.

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The belief, these days, in the lovely corporate world -which P.S. I have no patience for- is that if your butt isn’t glued to your desk Monday-Friday 8 hours a day, you’re not a hard worker.

It’s a concept so sad that just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Then, it makes me want to punch someone.

In the face.

Repeatedly.

We’ve somehow gotten to the point where people are scared of taking vacation. People are scared of taking time off.

Why?

Because they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll be considered a slacker.

There’s Amy…she’s going on a cruise next week…OBVIOUSLY she’s not very committed to her job.

*Shake my head*

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s very possible to be a hard-working super-awesome employee

AND

Someone who enjoys using their allotted vacation time.

It’s a beautiful concept, work-life balance.

Some people really ought to try it.

You know, I’m pretty sure we can go to work and be efficient and get things done and STILL have time for a life.

STILL have time for ourselves.

And STILL have time for our families.

I don’t think we should have to choose between work and a life, and I certainly don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it.

So now that the holidays are quickly approaching, talk to your boss about taking a few days off.

Even if it’s just one day.

Eat.

Travel.

See new things.

Enjoy a quiet day by yourself to unwind.

Make time for your family.

Make time for your friends.

Laugh at something ridiculous.

Yes, it’s important to do good work.

But it’s important to do good life too.

Other stuff you might like:

 

5 Really Simple Leadership Lessons from Bar Rescue

26 Aug

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This weekend, I did nothing.

I mean, ZERO. Nada. Zilch.

It was awesome.

I just sat on my couch and binge-watched TV shows.

I was trying to take advantage of some quality TV time, given that starting this Saturday my TV will play one thing and one thing only…  Alabama Football.  Roll Tide, everyone. My man friend WILL hide the remote, for sure.

So anyway, one of the shows we like to watch is Bar Rescue.

It’s a highly-entertaining show where disastrous bars and nightclubs seek the advice of nightlife-expert, Jon Taffer, in order to make a come-back.

Some of these bars have maybe 3.5 customers.

Others are, like, $100K in debt.

The worst ones have fungus growing on the walls.

And that’s disgusting.

But what I really love about this show is that the cause of most of these problems is poor leadership. 

Yep, even the fungus.

So here’s a list of 5 leadership lessons I’ve learned by watching the show. Sure, Jon Taffer nearly punches people, but hey…he gets his points across.

1. You can’t lead if you’re never there.

On the show, a lot of bar owners have been in tears. They’ve cried because they owe so much money and they’ll have to close their doors in a month if things don’t get better. And then when Jon asks them how often they come around to their business, they usually respond, “Oh, I don’t know…once or twice a month.”

OMG and your business is failing? What a shocker!!!…not.

In order to lead a successful business, you need to know what’s going on. And you can’t do that if you’re never there. It’s that simple. Employees need a leader that they feel comfortable talking to and they need someone who’s actively engaged.

Visibility is crucial.

2. If you don’t care, your employees won’t care either.

A lot of times, these bars have closed due to an overwhelming sense of apathy. AKA… no one really cares. There is ZERO passion. There is ZERO pride. And most of the time, it’s the owner’s fault.

If you own a business and you yourself don’t have a sense of pride in your work, guess what?! Neither will your employees. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it’s hard for your employees to want to give 100% all the time. I mean, think about it? Why would you work extra-hard at your job if your boss doesn’t even care?

So as a leader, it’s up to you to develop a culture of wanting to give 100%…a culture of pride in your business…a culture that leads to success.

3. You should be able to pick up the slack when your employees are drowning.

I love the episodes where Jon and his team set up “test-runs” to see how the bars usually function- or well, DON’T function. Most of the time, they end in complete failure because EVERYONE is doing EVERYTHING that they shouldn’t be doing. Hence why they’re on the show.

But my favorite thing to watch is when the staff is completely drowning at the bar. There aren’t enough glasses…there aren’t enough bartenders…there are tons of people waiting on drinks and food…and the owner is just hanging out… leaning against a wall…doing NOTHING.

So Jon screams at him….with good reason.

As a leader, you should be able to help your staff when they’re overwhelmed. Okay, so you own a bar. Does that mean you can’t wash dishes? No. You have hands. That task is not beneath you. When employees see that their leader is willing to help them out, even with the smallest of things, it’s always appreciated. And more often than not, the difference between successful organizations and those not-so-successful, are leaders who aren’t afraid to clean fungus off the wall. 

4. You ultimately set the example.

One of the things that I’ve learned from this show is just how much alcohol goes to waste at a bar. If bartenders don’t pour drinks correctly, they spill the alcohol all over the counter and there goes a lot of money. On top of that, there are a lot of bar owners who just give away tons of drinks to customers.

I guess they think it’ll make them seem cool.

So I love it when Jon shows the owners footage of the bartenders giving away free drinks. Then he shows the owner how much that costs his business. Then the owner freaks out and has a drama-queen tantrum.

“THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!”…  “HOW CAN YOU BE GIVING AWAY MY MONEY??”

And then Jon shows footage that they’ve captured on hidden cameras showing the owner giving away free drinks all night. Shots…champagne… to everyone.

You can’t hold people to a certain standard if you don’t even hold YOURSELF to it. As a leader, you set the example, like it or not. So if you’re behaving poorly, guess what?! Your employees are going to think it’s okay. And they’re going to behave just the same…. or worse.

The good news is that as a leader, you CAN set the bar high…you just need to know that the bar is for you, too.

 5. Empower your employees for better results.

Some of these bars have epically failed JUST because the owners refused to listen to their staff.

Because, well… if you’re the owner, you obviously know everything, right? Your ideas are obviously the best, right?

Definitely not.

Sometimes, Jon makes a suggestion and the staff says that they had recommended that years ago…but the owner wouldn’t listen.

The staff had taken the initiative to change something that wasn’t working… but then the owner changed it back to how it used to be.

As a leader, you have to know that the greatest asset you have is your staff. So you need to learn how to use their knowledge…and their talent…and their ideas…to make your business better.

Essentially, they’re the ones doing the job on a day-to-day basis. They know what works. They know what doesn’t work.

So empower them to make decisions, and you might see much better results.

I could ramble forever, but I won’t bore you today. What else, though? What other simple leadership lessons do you wish that more “leaders” would learn?

For more on leadership, check out these posts.

Leadership and Influence at All Levels

8 Jul

When you think of leadership, what comes to mind?

A senior manager?

A CEO?

A closet full of perfectly-tailored suits?

I guess the notion of leadership often coincides with this pretty crazy idea that leaders are always at the top.

Leaders are the ones who go to meetings…

Leaders are the ones who tell us what to do…

Leaders are the ones with fancy titles…

But really, it doesn’t work that way.

Because it’s simply just not true.

Leadership has absolutely nothing to do with position.

Leadership has nothing to do with age.

And because of that, leaders can be found at all levels.

Actually, I’m pretty sure that best leaders are the ones that don’t even realize that they’re leading.

They don’t have a corner office.

They don’t attend hundreds of meetings.

And they don’t wear the perfectly tailored suits.

But they DO want to make a difference.

And they inspire OTHERS to make a difference.

And because of their passion and determination, they’re successful.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m a huge fan of Rotary.

Because they believe that everyone can make a difference.

Through their youth programs that emphasize service and leadership, they focus on building the leaders of tomorrow.

And I think that’s really cool.

Because they acknowledge the fact that even young professionals can be leaders.

And they give young professionals the opportunity to make this world a better place.

Take Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, for example.

We’re SO close to completely eradicating polio.

To date, Rotary and its partners have reduced polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide and only 3 countries remain polio-endemic. 

Now, a 99 % reduction is huge! A 99% reduction is significant!

But it’s not 100%, so we’ve got more work to do.

Today’s young professionals have the chance to help finish this fight. Within the next five years, we can make history. We could possibly rid the world of the second disease ever to be eradicated and that, my friends, would be awesome. Because at the end of the day, by joining initiatives such as End Polio Now, and fighting for causes that we’re passionate about, we can all be leaders.

Fancy title, or not. So today, I’m being a leader.

I’m joining the World’s Biggest Commercial because I believe in the cause and it’s my way of making a small difference. I’m officially one of over 31,000 participants from 149 countries!

Look!

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And now it’s your turn.

Find something that you believe in and fight hard for it.

Be a leader and make a positive impact.

Because the world needs good people and the world needs good leaders. And they’re not always on top, they’re at all levels.

YOU can make a difference, so get to it.  

Here’s How You Can Help:

  • Make History. Visit EndPolio.org and take part in the World’s Biggest Commercial in a show of solidarity and raise awareness for the complete eradication of polio. People around the world are uploading their photo making a “this close” gesture to join the commercial, and sharing the news with their blogs and social networks to make sure that we finish the fight to eradicate this terrible—and completely preventable —disease.
  • Generate Social Media Buzz. Tweet using the hashtag #EndPolioNow and including the EndPolio.org URL to help raise awareness.
  • Give Financially. Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation. Just $.60 can protect a child from the disease. Every $1 you donate to Rotary will be matched with $2 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million/year.
  • Share the good news with your community. Inform your social circles that we are “this close” to ending polio, encourage them to join the World’s Biggest Commercial and make history, and share these actions items with them for ways in which they, too, can help.

While this post has been sponsored by Rotary, I’m proud to serve as an ambassador for their End Polio Now campaign.

 

Take a Break! You Need it!

24 May

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I’ve been struggling with a really annoying problem lately and I don’t know what to do.

I’m tired… ALL THE TIME.

And I hate it!

Someone please explain this to me…

I’m a CrossFit junkie three times a week.

I eat pretty healthily (I hope that’s a word).

And I’m 22 years old!

22!!!!!

So where’s all my energy gone?

I see people twice my age going out and having a great time and me…all I want to do is take a nap.

That can’t be normal.

In the three years that I’ve been working full-time, it’s almost like all the life has been sucked out of me.

I kind of want to cry.

But it’s not an unusual feeling, really. Research the negative affects of work and you’ll find the following:

Overload.

Burn-out.

Stress.

And then we wonder why so many people are dropping dead from heart attacks.

We work and we work and we work. And when we’re done with that, we work some more.

Because if we do stop, if we do take a break, we’re not committed.

We’re considered lazy.

We’re not the one the boss wants on her team.

I really wish that this attitude would change, though.

I wish that people would be judged by the quality of what they contribute.

Not by how many hours they work.

Because overload….burnout…stress…

I’m way too young to have to deal with that the rest of my life.

And if proving that I’m committed to my work means that I can’t take a break every once in a while for my own health…

I’ll proudly accept my title as Worst Employee of the Year.  

Now do yourself a favor and check out this AWESOME infographic about breaks and why they’re SUPER IMPORTANT!

And when you’re done with that…go enjoy your weekend! 😀

Being Human in the Workplace: Why It’s Okay To Tell People You Ripped Your Pants

15 May

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I have a big problem with the workplace. Well, I have A LOT of problems with the workplace, actually, but this happens to be rather high on my list.

I guess I’m sort of a creeper, to a certain extent, because I observe people all the time. That’s my thing.

I watch and I listen and I realize how ridiculously crazy people are most of the time while they’re at work.

A lot of people tend to feel that they need to put on some kind of front while at work…they can’t be themselves. Instead, they have to be perfect. ALWAYS.

So they put on their suits and they cary their briefcases and they walk from meeting to meeting, focusing on numbers and on the latest budget reports. They’re serious all the time. They can’t laugh, they can’t joke. Because that would make them unprofessional.

Now, I get that people have to work. I also understand that we have to focus on numbers and on budgets and reports.

But in doing so, we can’t forget there’s also a human side to work. Work isn’t just numbers. Work isn’t just reports. Work isn’t just about the bottom line.

Work is also about human relationships. Work is about BUILDING those human relationships.

Because without those relationships, work is not possible.

It’s okay to show that human side of yourself while you’re at work. It’s okay to have a personality. It’s okay to be nice to people.

We’re not robots.

And honestly, I’ve found that when you share that human side of yourself with others, people are more receptive towards you. People like you more because you’re honest. You’re silly. You’re NOT perfect. You’re just like everyone else. You’re human.

A little crazy. A little messed up. A little not-so-put-together.

So don’t be afraid to open up every once in a while.

For example, I was running into work not too long ago wearing my not-so-hemmed pants which I have to wear my 5 inch heels with. And so I decide to take the elevator to prevent myself from falling flat on my face. So what happened?  I got off the elevator, took 4 steps, my heel got stuck in a crack on the floor, and I fell. On my face. The best part was…I didn’t just fall, I also ripped my pants. Big time.

So I got up, continued walking to my office, and when people greeted me with the usual, “Good Morning! How are you?” my response to them was NOT, “Fine, thanks.”

Instead, it was more like “Wonderful, thanks, I ripped my pants! Isn’t that great?”

And you know what?  People didn’t look at me and scold me for being honest. Instead, they laughed and some of them even shared with me their own embarrassing stories.

So my point is, don’t be the kind of person at work who has the personality of a tree. Be true to who you are, don’t put on a front, and you’ll be much more likely to build those human relationships which are essential to career success.

PLUS… you’ll be wayyyy cooler in my book.

Why We Need To Get Over Our Fear of Rejection

25 Apr

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Nobody likes the word NO.

It sucks, usually, when you want something and you just can’t have it.

No… you can’t have that job.

No… I won’t pay you $70k a year so you can pay off your student loans of a million dollars.

No… you can’t have that slice of pizza.

DAMNIT.

But let’s face it…

NO is definitely a word that we need to get used to.

Especially us young people at the very start of our careers.

Now, I won’t lie… I’ve always been one of those people who hates rejection.

I HATED applying for jobs and getting back that super annoying e-mail…

“Thank you for your interest…blah…blah…blah…but unfortunately, we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates that better qualify…blah…blah…blah.”

Translation: YOU ARE A LOSER.

I hated it SO much that for a long time, I just stopped applying.

Even to jobs that I really wanted.

Because I figured that at the very least, my inbox wasn’t full of rejection e-mails.

Life was good!

But after a while, I noticed that I wasn’t getting any offers either.

How could I? I wasn’t applying!

You see…that scary and vulnerable position that we put ourselves in that quite often leads to rejection…it’s the SAME position that also gets you what you want.

When it comes to your career, you need to learn to love the word NO.

Or at the very least, you need to stop being scared of it.

Because your career is NEVER going to be handed to you.

Nope…sorry.

You can’t just sit back, play X-Box all day, and expect that someone’s going to knock on your door and offer you your dream job.

That’s not the way it works.

You have to WORK for your career.

You have to ASK for what you want.

You have to take CHANCES.

And while you’re doing this, you’re going to hear NO every once in a while.

Maybe even all the time.

But it shouldn’t discourage you…

Because it means that you’re doing something right.

Think about it…

If you’re facing rejection…if you’re hearing the word NO…it means that you’re putting yourself out there.

It means that you’re taking chances. It means that you’re asking for what you want.

Sure, you’re giving other people the opportunity to say NO to you.

But you’re also giving them the opportunity to say YES.

So don’t be afraid of rejection.

Embrace it.

Learn to love it.

Because the more you hear the word NO, the less it’ll affect you.

And in the long run, you’ll take more risks.

And you’ll take more chances.

And you’ll ask for what you want.

And you’ll get it.

 

Other stuff you might like:

Gen Y, Social Media, & How We’re Making A Difference

11 Apr

I’m sitting in class and I feel really bad for my professor. No one’s paying attention to him.

I look around and everyone’s either got a phone in their hand or a laptop open. And I promise you, no one’s taking notes.

Statuses are being updated, pictures are being posted, and I’m sure that at least five people are on Twitter.

Okay, fine. Maybe we should be paying a little more attention.

I hear it all the time, when I talk about Gen Y, that we’re addicted to social media.

Gen Y… addicted to social media…can’t put their phones down.

How awful.

But is it really?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m addicted to social media. I know that one of these days I’m going to leave my phone on my bed and I’m going to head into work and that day is going to be terrible. I repeat…terrible.

Because whether we like it or not, we have this constant need to be connected.

To everything…all the time.

Everything is in our face.

Always.

And that’s not going to change.

So we can do one of two things.

We can either focus on how awful social media is because back in the day people used to actually play outside, etc. etc. etc.

OR

We can embrace the fact that it’s here to stay and figure out how to use it for the better. We can look for the positives. We can figure out how to make the world a better place by using it to its fullest potential.

Companies and organizations that are smart, are choosing the latter….because it makes sense.

Take a look at Rotary International.

They have an amazing campaign to help end polio.

Even though they’ve been active in ending polio since the 80s, right now they’re focusing on raising awareness through their innovative End Polio Now campaign. Since the global initiative began over 25 years ago, Rotary International and its partners have reduced polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide.

That’s pretty impressive.

You see, it used to be that foundations and organizations could only raise awareness through face-to-face events. It used to be that in order for these initiatives to be successful, thousands of dollars had to be spent on direct mailings asking for donations. It used to be that the only people who took interest in philanthropy and good causes were wealthy individuals, who were usually older.

But that’s not the case anymore.

And I’d argue that social media has played a pretty big role in that.

Because today, it’s cool to make a difference. We see it all the time.

Every time I go on Facebook, there’s a post from someone I know asking me to help them raise money for some kind of marathon they’re running. And so I donate because it’s for a good cause (and because dear God I have no idea how anyone can run 26+ miles without losing a lung).

And when I’ve done this, I feel good about it.

I feel good about it and it makes me happy.

It makes me happy because I see that young people are making a difference.

For that reason, organizations like Rotary International make me really happy.

I mean, you just can’t help but be interested when you hear that they’re putting together the World’s Biggest Commercial to end polio- and create a Guinness World Record- and that you can be a part of it.

First of all, I think it’s awesome that we’re so close to eradicating polio. In 1988, 125 countries were polio-endemic. Today, due largely to Rotary’s efforts, only three countries in the world- Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan- have not eradicated the disease.

That’s a huge deal.

But although we’ve come a long way, the fight won’t be over until polio has been completely eradicated. The disease isn’t fun. It’s a cruel disease that cripples children. It’s highly contagious, and until it’s 100% eradicated, polio remains a worldwide risk. If we don’t finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed by polio in the next 40 years. And I don’t want that.

So let’s help end it.

How?

By spreading awareness.

That’s why I’ll be participating in the World’s Biggest Commercial.

Nearly 14,000 people in 144 countries have joined to date!

I’ll be joining other individuals and celebrities worldwide by uploading my “this close” photo.

I’ll use my new wonderful photo app, Picfx, to edit my photo until I look decent.

And then I’ll post it on Facebook

And Twitter…

And Instagram…

And pretty much anywhere else that people can see it.

Because I want people to know that it costs just $0.60 to vaccinate a child.

Because I want people to be educated.

And because more than anything, I want everyone to know that us kids, us young people… we can make a difference too.

Here’s How You Can Help:

  • Make History. Visit EndPolio.org and take part in the World’s Biggest Commercial in a show of solidarity and raise awareness for the complete eradication of polio. People around the world are uploading their photo making a “this close” gesture to join the commercial, and sharing the news with their blogs and social networks to make sure that we finish the fight to eradicate this terrible—and completely preventable —disease.
  • Generate Social Media Buzz. Tweet using the hashtag #EndPolioNow and including theEndPolio.org URL to help raise awareness.
  • Give Financially. Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation. Just $.60 can vaccinate a child from the disease.
  • Share the good news with your community. Inform your social circles that we are “this close” to ending polio, encourage them to join the World’s Biggest Commercial and make history, and share these actions items with them for ways in which they, too, can help.

While this post has been sponsored by Rotary International, I’m proud to serve as an ambassador for their End Polio Now campaign.

4 Day Work Week…Would It Really Be So Bad?

20 Mar

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The workforce is a scary place right now.

Really, it is.

For those unemployed, it seems like it’ll take a miracle of God to find a job.

And for those of us who DO have jobs, we hope and we pray that we’ll be able to keep them.

Even GREAT organizations…even organizations that have been recognized for their financial stability… right now, they’re having to deal with not-so-great stuff like budget cuts and layoffs.

Take a look at the equation below, it’s pretty simple.

Budget cuts + fear of layoffs = unhappy, scared, & unproductive employees

Ask any employer.

I was thinking about this yesterday because I came across the term “Furlough Fridays.”

For those of you who don’t know, the term “furlough” is essentially a leave of absence, a vacation, a holiday. You’ll hear this term a lot these days because many government employers are implementing “furloughs”.

They’re mandating that employees take time off work….with no pay.

Basically, they don’t have money to pay you…so you need to go home.

NOT COOL.

So then I started thinking about it…what would happen if I had Fridays off because my employer couldn’t afford to pay me?

Would the extra time off be worth the pay cut?

And so I came to the conculsion that for some people, it WOULD be worth it.

I’ve written a lot about Gen Y and how we’ve pretty much redefined what success looks like.

Instead of spending our entire lives devoted to a job, 70+ hours a week, we want time to spend with our familes and our friends.

We want time to pursue our other interests, our other hobbies.

We want time to travel.

But we give up a lot of this time because we need to make ends meet. We need to pay rent.

More often than not, a part-time job just won’t pay the bills.

But on the other hand, a full-time job usually leaves us exhausted, with no time to enjoy the other aspects of life that we’re interested in.

But what about an extra day off every week? What about an extra day off every TWO weeks?

I think some people would love that.

Now I’m not trying to say that all employers should send their employees home every Friday. I’m not trying to say that employees should be paid less.

What I AM trying to say is that in SOME situations, rather than having to lay off employees, the budget could possibly be reduced by allowing employees the option of working a few days less each month.

At a time when employers are trying to cut budgets while avoiding at all costs having to lay off employees, I think it might be a good time to think outside the box.

I think we’d be surprised by how many people would jump at the chance to have a little more time off.

To have an extra day to spend with their kids.

To have an extra day to run errands.

To have an extra day to go away for the weekend.

It’s not feasible for all employers. It’s not feasible for all employees.

But in some situations, I think it is.

And I certainly think it’s a much better option than having to lay off employees.

Because laying off employees kills morale.

It kills morale and it can destroy an organization’s culture in two seconds.

But allowing employees to have an extra day of freedom…

That might just do the complete opposite.

Something to think about…

Respect and Gen Y: What’s Age Got To Do With It?

26 Feb

child-boss335

I’m working on an exciting new project. It’s awesome, really, because I get to do something that I love.

I get to teach college students about leadership and about success at work.

Yes, I’m currently in the midst of trying to be productive…even though this is me on most days…

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Alright… so in an effort to find the right topics to discuss and the right stories to share with these students, I’ve had to reflect a lot on my experiences in the workplace.

And well…that hasn’t been fun.

It hasn’t been fun because I’ve realized something.

I’ve realized that although there are a lot of things that I can teach these students, there’s no way that I can control the hardships that they’ll continue to face as young professionals.

There’s no way that I’ll be able to rid them of the label that they’ll often be given:

YOUNG & INEXPERIENCED.

This makes me mad.

You know, I once went on a job interview and overall, it was a great experience.

The people were friendly and made me feel comfortable…something a bit rare for an interview. I was actually having a good time.

Until I wasn’t.

I was totally bothered by something that one of the men who was interviewing me asked.

He said, “I’m going to ask you something…you look very young…how are you going to handle yourself when an executive or a senior employee needs something resolved and doesn’t want to talk to you because you look so young?”

Yes. I was really supposed to answer that.

Now, don’t get me wrong…the man who asked me the question was a nice guy. I actually got a long with him very well and so I know that he didn’t mean this question to be negative or to upset me.

But it did upset me because it made me realize that this is a very real problem.

When we talk about discrimination, stereotypes, diversity in the workplace, etc., we often tend to focus on race and ethnicity.

But what about age?

I mean, in that very same interview, would it have been okay for him to say, “you know…you look a bit Asian….how are you going to handle yourself when an executive or a senior employee needs something and doesn’t want to talk to you because you’re Asian?”

No. Absolutely not. That would absolutely NOT have been okay.

So why is it okay that he asked about age?

Why is it okay for young professionals to receive less respect than we deserve?

Think about it.

So many of us are intelligent. So many of us are driven. So many of us are talented and determined and hungry for the opportunity to make a difference.

Sure, we don’t know everything. No one does. And yes, we have a lot to learn.

But we need people who will teach us and who will treat us as equals.

Not people who feel that we’re beneath them.

Because at the end of the day, we all have a lot to learn from eachother.

So when I think about these students that I’ll  be advising, I hate that I won’t be able to force others to fully see their value. I hate that I won’t be able to delete that label that many of them will get stuck with.

But I CAN make sure that they understand the following…

Each of us…we get the respect that we demand.

Simple as that.

Just because we’re young doesn’t mean that we’re not good at what we do. Skill and ability are not necessarily determined by age.

Experience, not age, is what leads to wisdom.

And sometimes people forget this.

So young professionals…

Demand that respect. Demand that equality.

Don’t let people underestimate your abilities and your talents.

And when they do, prove them wrong.

Don’t let people be mean to you just because they think that they can.

Know your worth.

Be professional.

Do good work.

And always make sure to stand up for yourself.

Because if you don’t demand that respect for yourself, no one else will.

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