Archive for November, 2011

22
Nov

crystal-ballSometimes, I wish I had a crystal ball, to see into the future. I’m pretty fascinated with what’s ahead. And, of course, there’s no certainty. That creates excitement, at least for me.

I remember watching a movie, in grade school, about technologies in the future. I was mesmerized by a scene of people flying in vehicles, like in the Jetsons. I was also obsessed with the idea of shoe phones and wristwatch phones. I suppose many people enjoy getting imaginative about what lies ahead in the future. I bet you like daydreaming about the future, too!

But why is it, then, that so few people take the future of their careers as seriously? I’ve watched people become obsessed with the future of the iPhone (I know, it’s addictive). But they spend a lot less time planning for work that will enrich them, financially and psychologically.

Well, my remedy for that lack of planning for the future of careers is a simple five minute remedy. I prescribe you a viewing of my latest video message. In less time than it takes to slurp down a latte at your local cafe, you can get the skinny on the five trends that can make or break your career.

OK, maybe you want that latte in hand as you watch this:

So, which of these five trends are most likely to impact your career? And what will you do to prepare?

If you don’t know the answer, and you care about your long-term earning potential and career happiness, sign up for my Future-Proof Your Career teleclass on Wednesday, November 30. And let me sweeten the deal. If you type in the coupon code THANKSGIVING2011 when you check out, you’ll get 25% off the cost of the teleclass. Save money and save your career. I like that!

Happy trending,
Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Future-Proof Your Career | Blog
22
Nov

If I could get in a time travel machine, I gladly would. I’d love to visit the 1890’s, when all sorts of inventions, like the telephone, were being popularized. I’d love to talk to the “early adopters” of the day and time. Maybe you’d like to time travel, too?

Well, right now, I’m fascinated with the future. And, I think you ought to be, too. Especially when it comes to your career. Because the future of work is changing faster than ever, and if you hope to continue to have work and income, you’ll need to pay attention to some key trends and how they’re influencing you.

I’ll be talking about those trends over the next 8 days, because they’re so important to you. And also because on November 30, I’ll be teaching a teleclass, Future-Proof Your Career to help you protect yourself against these unprecedented changes. I want you to be prepared, to know what’s forecasted to happen with the economy, demographic shifts, our environment, and technology.

To start you off, I share a few technological trends that are, quite literally, in your hands, and how they affect your career considerations.

What do you think of these technology trends and how will impact your career?

Post your comments on the blog, below, and I’ll be sure to reply.

To your positive future,
Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Future-Proof Your Career | Blog
21
Nov

GRAWGraphicI was downright infuriated by Lindsay Cross’ post in The Grindstone, Emotions at the Workplace:  Which Ones Are Allowed?

Lindsay came out and made these pronouncements about emotions at work:

  • Happiness: Not Allowed.
  • Triumphant: Allowed.
  • Sadness: Only For Others.
  • Anger: Allowed.
  • Fear: Never.

Mind you, Lindsay is not a professor. Not an expert on emotions. Not a psychotherapist. Just an average (whatever that means) person. These are her opinions, although she tries to come off as somehow having some amazing life experience that qualifies her to tell others in the business world how to act.

So, in addition to being able to read my comments on the blog, I’ve also created a video to share my viewpoint.

What do YOU think about making some emotions “on” or “off” limits at work?

Emotionally yours,
Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
15
Nov

Corporate Wellness.

What does that term encompass for you?

For me, I appreciate the physical health aspect, the one that tries to ensure employees are well in a bodily sense. But there’s more that’s missing.

I went on a bit of a rant about the mental health aspects that many corporations seem to be missing. And I don’t mean their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). I mean how they craft their corporate cultures to be supportive places, instead of places full of fear and intimidation and other emotional issues that can ultimately lead to physical illness.

What do think? Can…and should…corporate wellness programs include mental wellness? If so, what defines “mental wellness” in your version?

Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
10
Nov

Today, I was going supremely stir-crazy, attempting to write the latest edition of the Work from Within newsletter.

GRAWGraphicWhen I’m trying to write, I can’t sit too long. My brain starts scrambling. Sometimes, the sedentary position brings my brain to a grinding halt. Creativity jams up. Originality is no where in sight. Coherence disappears.

I kept sitting in front of my laptop, kind of like The Little Engine That Could, telling myself, “I think I can, I think I can!” but barely a trickle of words ran from my cerebellum to my fingers. Sheer force was not working. I had to find another way to write this newsletter.

I decided to GET OUT. For a walk. Well, a 25-minute hike. The steep hill behind my home provides great exercise and great views. I needed a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air.

And when I returned, I decided to share my musings about the value of getting out. You’ll probably do a headnod of agreement, especially if you work in an office or Cubicleland.

I hope this inspires you to get out!
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Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear.

You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Activities to get you moving & changing | Get Real About Work | Blog
9
Nov

I’m worried.

I try not to worry too much. But still, today, my mind focuses on 20-somethings. I feel really concerned about young adults who are just graduating from college, and those just starting college. It’s been said before, but they need jobs.

Here’s my take on the situation

What do YOU think can be done to help make the world of work easier for 20-somethings? How can we help them get a break and share their talents and gifts?

With care,
Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear.

You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
7
Nov

Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I was born 20 years later? Of course, that’s crazy. But it’s fun to think about living at a different time.

In the case of the Millenial Generation, aka Gen Y, I feel much more like a member of that generation than my own Gen X.

Despite being unfairly mislabeled as “lazy” or “bored,” I believe Millenials are bringing positive changes to the workplace. Three value that they broadly espouse have the power to make work more enjoyable. And in a time when the Gallup Organization tells us that 52% of employees are not engaged at work, and 19% are actively disengaged, that’s a noble enhancement.

I credit Millenials with bringing three key values into the workplace:

Authenticity

As a generation who’s grown up on reality TV shows, they are wise enough to know the difference between what’s real and what’s uptight corporate-speak advertising. And they won’t tolerate what’s fake, detached, or cold and heartless. They want to engage and feel connected. They value authenticity. Like me, they want the world to “get real.”

This translates to the working world, where they expect to be able to be themselves. They don’t want to be buttoned-down and put on a mask to hide their true selves at work. In striving to be real in the workplace, they avoid the problem sociologist Arlie Hochschild identified as emotional labor, essentially regulating emotions as part of the job, to fit with the organizational norms and culture. Emotional labor can take an emotional toll, because it takes effort to “put on airs” or “wear a happy face” when that’s not what’s actually happening.

Personally, I think that Millenials are making the workplace more human, less mechanical or robotic. I am refreshed to see their real personalities. I have a better sense of how to respond to someone when they let me see from their perspectives. Sometimes, I think I still have some “unlearning” to do of the corporate behaviors I was expected to display at work:  hiding my emotions, sanitizing my communications into business-speak (”I’ll leverage my abilities to deliver high-value deliverables” instead of “I’ll do my best.”), and speaking in impersonal ways. For example, when I was in management consulting in the mid 1990s, I probably would have taking some flak for writing an article like this and being upfront with my opinions. These days, I find writing like this to be very tame. Overall, when we relax the (often unspoken) emotional regulation rules at work, and allow people to express themselves authentically, more creativity and innovation can flow. And right now, we can use those energies to enhance our world.

Meaning

Speaking of enhancing our world, the Millenials I know care deeply about making a difference in the world. They are hungry to put their talents and knowledge to work in places that are doing good. They tend not to be comfortable working “just for a paycheck.” Sure, some of them have to do that to pay the rent. But by and large, Millenials want to contribute.

I saw this boldly last Wednesday night, when I attended a salon at The Happiness Institute in San Francisco to watch and then discuss the documentary Fixing the Future. Out of a group of 10, I was the only non-Millenial. These impassioned folks were adamant that the world needs to be more connected, and that technology plus caring will allow people to work in meaningful ways to change the world. Their positivity rang out, and they are doing impressively meaningful things like working for SkillShare, which bills itself as “a community marketplace where you can learn anything from anyone.”

After hearing their enthusiasm for using their talents for good, I left that event feeling uplifted about the future.

Flexibility

Sometimes, my Gen X colleagues complain to me about the Gen Y’s who work for them. “Why do they want so much flexibility?” they demand to know. I don’t think that Gen Y is asking for too much flexibility when they want to attend their regular 2 pm on Tuesday Power Yoga class. This is not some New Age-y demand. To me, they are simply doing what makes them feel good. And work isn’t the only thing that makes them feel good.

Additionally, Millenials are looking out for their ROLE, their Return On Life Energy, and seeking to maximize it. If they fuel themselves with activities that feel good, like their yoga class, they are more likely to want to contribute to the organization. My hope is that Gen Y is nudging more and more companies into adopting more of a focus on outcomes, rather than on face-time at work. As we move to more virtual working arrangements, we’ll be losing the “boss looking over my shoulder” phenomenon. Bosses will need to enhance their skills in describing what they want (those deliverables I mentioned before need the details, please), rather than standing over employees, cracking the whip.

I see this need for flexibility as a healthy expression of the desire to create some semblance of a work/life balance, rather than just accepting that they need to work continually, 9-5 (or 8-6 or whatever schedule). Millenials understand the need to work in bursts, and that actually makes it easier to focus and get things done when knowledge work is essentially lumpy, not linear.

In the hands of Millenials, I have a great deal of hope for the future. Oh, and since I see myself as more akin to Gen Y than Gen X, I’ll gladly help them generate more authenticity, meaning, and flexibility in the workplace…and the world.

What do you think of Millenials in the workplace? What good are they bringing? Alternatively, what problems are they creating?

Post your authentic comments, and let’s find out how this generation is faring at work.

Curiously yours,
Susan's signature

Have you future-proofed your career? With changes in technology, the environment, society, and the economy, the world of work is changing faster than ever. Is doing good work, earning decent money, and feeling a sense of meaning important to you? Then join me on Wednesday, November 30, for the Future-Proof Your Career teleclass and discover the four key steps to future-proofing your career. Keep your career in high gear. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about your career, plus get current research on the future of careers, handouts to help you navigate the future, and a copy of the recording! Register now by clicking here.

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
3
Nov

GRAWGraphicI felt a disturbing tickle in my throat last night as I drove in to San Francisco to attend a great event at the Happiness Institute about Fixing the Future. Still, I sat on the comfy couches, with about 8 other people, I felt uplifted about the future as we discussed our current economy and ways to heal it.

Cruising home over the Golden Gate Bridge after the event, I realized I felt feverish and achy. Maybe I would need the healing.

Sure enough, I woke up this morning with a cold. Hopefully not the flu. I’ve got enough energy to type, but not enough to go out in the rain and grab some much-needed groceries.

The thing is, being sick got me thinking about the future of work (OK, I think about that topic all the time, whether I’m sick or vibrantly healthy).

If the future of work includes more contractors and fewer employees (it really looks like business is moving that way), then what happens to employee benefits, like healthcare?

Healthcare costs can be so much more expensive for contractors, freelancers, and the self-employed, because we don’t get pooled into a group to lower the individual costs. And as more and more of us wind up either not working for companies, or unemployed, what are we supposed to do to have affordable healthcare?

What do you think should be done to make healthcare more affordable, especially if you’re NOT affiliated with a company?

Share your thoughts, below, on the blog. I’ll happily respond back. I care about having good health. I hope you do, too!

To your good health,
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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
2
Nov

As the pace of technological, societal, and demographic changes get faster and faster, who will be most nimble?

I doubt it’s the big, behemoth companies. They have huge hierarchies and bureaucracies.

The future belongs to the small, nimble companies, who can turn on a dime.

Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This is a BIG deal to me,

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog
1
Nov

In today’s get real about work series, I share a hairy-scary often debilitating problem that accompanies self-employment. And it’s a problem for virtual workers, too.

It’s loneliness and isolation. Being alone can make you go little cuckoo, you know? Don’t worry, though. I’ve got a few remedies.

Attention all self-employed individuals and people who telecommute: How do you cope with loneliness and isolation.

Here’s to staying connected and healthy!
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PS – Thinking about becoming self-employed? It’s not always glamorous or easy. But I’ve helped many people to successfully master the transition from employee to business owner. I’d love to help you, too! Take a peek at my new Working Well coaching package and let’s get you on the road to positive work.

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Category : Get Real About Work | Blog