The past couple of years have been rough on everyone. If you managed to make it through the post-recession landscape without getting laid off yourself, chances are, you know someone who wasn't so lucky. Small wonder, then, that many workers are a bit anxious. This week's roundup looks at how to handle work anxiety and how to tell if layoff fears are justified. Plus: an explanation of why the economy is improving, but your paycheck isn't.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment's notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It's the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn't ditching your job; it's learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.
Doodling, an act as old as note-taking itself, is better understood than it once was. It turns out, there may be some real benefits to this activity that could make you more creative, productive, and focused. Here's why the practice is gaining acceptance and popularity in more and more workplaces.
When's the last time you wrote a letter by hand? If you're like many of us, it was probably the last time you had to write an actual thank-you note -- your wedding, perhaps, or a childhood birthday. If you are already short on time, the idea of adding such a labor-intensive project to your to-do list can seem overwhelming. But taking 10 minutes a week to send at least one handwritten letter can provide a networking boost that email can't offer.
If only we could combine all those five-minute segments of time while we're on hold or idling in a meeting room, waiting for the other participants to appear, we could knock another item off our to-do lists almost every day. (Or, at least, take lunch away from our desks now and then.) Failing major changes to the way time and space work, the best we can do is take advantage of those minutes where we find them.
Race- and sex-based discrimination are such hot topics in the media that one can easily forget that other types of employment discrimination are all too commonplace. While the number of age discrimination cases in the United States is dropping a little bit as the economy improves, the numbers are still shockingly high.
It's not easy to "make it" in this country on your own. Every generation has struggled to find their professional path, to gain intellectual, personal, and financial independence, and establish a life for themselves. But, there is no doubt that the latest generation to enter the workforce, the Millennials, has had an especially difficult time getting started.
The best thing about working with people is that you'll never be bored. The worst thing is that sometimes, boredom seems preferable to what you have to deal with from your fellow humans. For example, everyone's had that boss who was apparently out sick on Appropriate Behavior Day during management training.
Oscar speeches are, for the most part, pretty boring. There's only so much a star can say during the 50 or 60 seconds they're allowed, before the "shut up" music swells. This year, however, Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette chose to make the most of her minute, and used her speech as a platform to call for wage equality for women.
What have you done for your career lately? Chances are, not enough. Much like a relationship, your career also needs proper care and attention in order for it to flourish. If you're guilty of being neglectful, here are five creative ways to help you rekindle the fire and fall back in love with your career.
One of the toughest things about life, both personally and professionally, is that there's only so much you can control. You can't change your nature, for example, and become wildly extroverted if you're someone who draws her energy from within, and you can't necessarily make a bad job into a good one. You can, however, learn to make things better by cultivating certain skills and improving your attitude. And sometimes, you can quit your job and go on to another one -- if you go about things the right way.
There is a lot of talk these days about balancing our work lives and our family time. Parents are torn between professional and personal pulls and too often feel as though one priority is pushing another onto a back burner. Also, family dynamics have changed in some big ways in recent decades alongside increased pressure for workers. These days, both fathers and mothers value a high level of involvement in raising children, and often both work full-time. We are just beginning to explore how these changes have impacted working fathers.
Maybe you're a hugger, or a back-slapper, or -- in your personal life -- a terrible flirt. Chances are, you know that none of this behavior will fly in the office, no matter how innocent your intentions. No one wants to be referred to HR for remedial training or, worse, lose their jobs because they didn't get the memo that it's 2015, and co-workers don't touch each other. In this, we are probably more with the program than many of our leaders in Washington. Take, for example, America's touchy-feeler-in-chief, Joe Biden.