Archive for the ‘life at work’ Category

25 MORE stress tips

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

You may have thought that 25 ways to reduce stress is a lot of ways. Well, here are 25 more.

25 tips for managing job stress

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

You would not think there are so many ways to cut down on workplace stress.

TItle inflation runs rampant

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Chief Fulfiller of Needs?  Vice President of Cool?


Picture having to explain this title to your next boss. Yes, that old “give ’em a promotion instead of a raise” game is back and this time with a vengeance.

Why you shouldn’t care (too much) about your job title

How to take a break

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Are you one of those people who continue to work even while on vacation? You check your office voice and email. You call in. You even bring work along with you.

Do you want to stop this?

You may think it’s not doable but, with a little advance planning, you can take an honest-to-goodness real-true vacation and come back refreshed and ready to go. Here’s how.

Power at work

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Maybe you think you don’t have any. But you do! No matter your level or job title, you have the ability to claim (and enhance) a measure of power for yourself at any job.

Go to “The 7 sources of workplace power” and you’ll see how.

Is your job just a job?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Hey, it could be worse. At least you have a job.

Still, you spend a lot of hours there. Wouldn’t it be nice if you enjoyed it more?

Well, there are actually things you can do to take your so-so job and turn it into one worth getting out of bed for: “How to make an ordinary job extraordinary.”

Beating the Winter Blues at Work

Monday, January 21st, 2013

A lovely and–timely–guest post from Melissa Russell down in Tampa, FL:

The dark and dreary days of winter are hard on many people, both physically and emotionally. And when those winter woes carry over into the workplace, it can make for tough sledding. Here are a few ways to beat the winter blues at work.
Get Up and Get Moving
Exercise is a wonderful way to elevate your mood no matter what the season. When you work out, your body releases endorphins that trigger receptors in your brain, producing a feeling of a natural high. That, in turn, can boost energy levels and ward off feelings of negativity.
Enjoy a Mini-Break
During February and March, when winter can be a real bear, use some of your vacation or personal days to schedule a series of three-day weekends. Use these mini-breaks to plan fun activities to help you cope with the cold season, whether it’s exploring a nearby town’s antique shops or spending some time reading a good book in front of a cozy fire.
For those who have the time and money, plan a winter vacation to a warm, sunny destination. Perhaps it’s a family trip to Florida or a romantic getaway to a tropical island. Regardless, basking in the sun’s warmth and light will melt your winter blues away.
Keep Up Office Morale
If you’re fighting the winter blues, chances are some of your co-workers are battling them as well. Planning get-togethers is a great way to keep morale up and build stronger bonds at the same time.
• Host a Potluck
Organizing a weekly potluck dinner for co-workers is something that everyone can look forward to enjoying. A fun idea is to have a theme for each get-together, and many of those themes can focus on warmer climates. Have a Mexican night or a Jamaican night and serve spicy foods that will warm you from the inside out.
• Plan Team-Building Activities
Plan some fun activities you and co-workers can do after hours. Perhaps you could all learn an activity together, such as taking salsa lessons, learning to cook or joining a ping-pong tournament. Whatever you choose, make sure it has nothing to do with work.
• Start a Book Club
A great way to beat the blues and get to know co-workers a bit better is to start a book club. Book clubs tend to get people involved in engaging discussions, and there’s no better way to get to know someone than to know how they think. The books could be lighter comedies or stories that take place in tropical destinations – something that will get everyone’s mind off the next Nor’easter.
Try Light Therapy
Good ol’ sunlight is just what the doctor ordered. In fact, it is thought that the type of depression associated with winter, which is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is triggered by a lack of sunlight when the days grow shorter. Going for a short walk outside or even opening all the curtains in your home or office to let in some daylight can have a positive effect on your mood.
If the weather makes venturing outside impossible, or clouds are obscuring the sun, it may be time to consider light therapy. Sitting in front of a light therapy box, which is designed to mimic the effects of natural sunlight on the body, for just 30 minutes a day can help alleviate winter depression.
Light therapy boxes range from small portable models that cost about $50 to larger models priced at $400 and more. Although insurance coverage may not pay for a light therapy box, it could be well worth the investment if it helps keep depression at bay.
Remember, if you’re feeling the winter blues, you’re far from alone. Millions of people are fighting the same battle. And some of those people are likely your co-workers or friends. So, band together and try to fill the winter season with fun activities until spring blooms once more.

Melissa Russell works as a writer on marketing and business management. She also writes on topics such as military education and liberal arts for a number of universities through the University Alliance. Find Melissa on Twitter @M_L_Russell.

Look Smarter Than You Are

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

So, after a hiatus of, um, a long time, Working Girl is now blogging over at the Seattle Times Career Center blog.

Today’s offering: “How to look smarter than you really are.

Fortunately, the answer is easier than you think.

It’s the holidays. Don’t celebrate.

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Well, okay, you can celebrate. Just not at your workplace holiday party, should you be so lucky to have one.Why?  Because your boss will be there. Yes, it’s that simple.

If you need one, there’s a better explanation in this week’s Seattle Times post, “Keep the “work” in workplace holiday party.”

Makes you wonder why they even call it a party.

How To Instantly Raise Your I.Q.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The last post collected some interesting reactions re: working independently at home versus working in an office.  Most commenters leaned distinctly in favor of “Just leave me alone and let me do my job.  Please.”

So David Brooks’s latest editorial, “Amy Chua is a Wimp,” struck a chord.  (Amy Chua is the author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” the controversial new book about how strict “Chinese” mothering produces smarter and more accomplished kids–but that’s a whole other issue!)

Brooks believes that interpersonal skills are just as important as (and are perhaps more difficult to learn than) acing math problems or playing the violin.  He cites studies showing that groups are better at problem-solving than individuals, and that a group I.Q. can be higher than the I.Q.’s of even the smartest members.  This makes intuitive sense.  Don’t you “feel smarter” when in the company of smart engaged people?  It’s the same boost your tennis game gets when you play with someone better than you.

We curmudgeonly types enjoy working solo and feel we are more efficient and effective when we do so.  Working Girl counts herself among this number.  But look around you: Most new inventions (e.g., the device you are reading these words on) are turned into realities by groups of people, not lone geniuses.

At the very least, the lone geniuses need collaborators to make up for their deficiencies (“The Social Network,” anyone?). 

However, Brooks does not discuss the trickiest part of all: How/where to find a smart group of people? 

That’s the real problem.