Friday, September 19, 2008

Reality Check: Time to Pay Attention to the Details

Sheesh. My inbox has gotten so depressing in the last week. I've been hit with dozens of queries from experts wanting to explain what has happened on Wall Street and what it means for the average worker.

E-mail subject lines are a laundry list of bad news: depression, recession, job loss, bailouts, financial collapse, panic, layoffs. It's like a bad rap song for someone named "Unemployment Line."

I'm going to go along with all the other experts and give a giant shrug when asked what tomorrow will bring. But I will say this: It never hurts to start honing your interviewing skills. Because if you're not looking for work at another company, then you need to stay sharp and make sure you're on top of your game at your current job.

That means you dress professionally. You don't surf the Internet looking at ESPN or when you're supposed to be working. You focus on making good connections with others in your company so that they see you as a valuable asset, and not an expendable commodity.

That's why I thought I'd end your week with this video that will provide a humorous reminder on what you should be doing -- and not doing -- on the job. We all need the laugh.


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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Babies a Morale Booster on the Job

I spent part of my afternoon yesterday sitting in my basement as the tornado sirens sounded, so I had plenty of time to contemplate what I wanted to put in this Tidbit Tuesday as I asked myself why I have four broken kitchen chairs, a screen door from a house we had 15 years ago and a lawnmower that hasn't run since Jimmy Carter was president.

Baby on board: In the never-ending debate about balancing work and family demands, Time magazine has a story on some offices that allow parents to bring their babies to work, especially as more women move into upper-tier positons. One opponent of such pratices says it's "totally inappropriate," while another notes "I don't think a baby is more distracting that talk about Dancing With the Stars or your weekend." Still , one study suggests that having babies around doesn't affect productivity and can boost morale among colleagues.

Unmasking bloggers: Should bloggers be required to give their real names when they post anything to the Internet? That's the debate raging, as some contend that whistleblowers would never expose any wrongdoings if they had to use their real names, and no employees would feel free to blog for fear of losing their jobs. Many newspapers require that any letters to the editor be verified for real names and addresses, but some contend that some letter writers have legitimate fears about being exposed. Still, the amount of snarky and hateful comments by anonymous posters have led many to believe that if you're going to post such comments, you should have to put your real name behind them.

You crack me up: According to a Ritz Cracker Fun-analysis (who knew?) survey of 1,000 people nationwide, fun is vital to all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to the workplace. Their findings:

• 84 percent of employed people say they have a lot of fun at work
• 77 percent of employed people say the ability to have fun is an important part of choosing a job
• 42 percent say having fun at work is more important than making good money.
A whopping 69 percent of full and part-time employees agree that their boss is fun.

Now, pass the crab dip and get back to work.


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