Sometimes, the best career advice comes from unexpected places. For example, most office workers wouldn’t think to turn to agricultural experts for wisdom — but maybe they should.
(Photo Credit: USDAgov/Flickr)
Penelope Trunk: What Gen Y Can Learn From Farmers
Who’s more valuable to the company — younger workers who know all the latest technology, or older workers who are used to the office environment? The answer, of course, is neither. Both have plenty to offer, and only by working together can we make our projects shine. And, of course, eventually, younger workers become older workers.
Penelope Trunk offers anecdote for Millennials who fail to anticipate their own upcoming mid-career recalibration:
My husband tells me that when the tractor was invented, farmers who spent their lives learning to be great with horses had to rely on young farmers who understood machinery. It was an era when young people looked like experts in farming almost overnight.
Or at least they felt that way. Really, though, they were experts in the machinery of farming, but machinery so quickly became a focal point of farming that being an expert in machinery meant you could get by. For a while. Until a drought. Or a flood. Or until you need to earn a lot more money to support your family.
This is the best example I can think of to explain the situation that Gen Y is in as they enter the workforce already being experts in the digital realm.
See more of her advice, here.
Alison Green: Managing Expectations When You Work Part-Time
A reader writes to Ask a Manager‘s Alison Green with a seemingly easy question that’s complicated by the nature of technology: A project manager, the reader works 20 hours a week, over the course of three days, but can’t figure out how to communicate her availability via autoresponder.
I’m considering setting up an automatic reply in Outlook to let people know my working days and hours, but this is way more complicated than it should be! I either have to manually turn this on and off each day (which I might forget to do) or have the reply on all the time; if I use the standard out of office assistant the words “Out of Office” are added to each message it sends, which I don’t want if I am in the office; and if I use rules and alerts I can remove the words “Out of Office” but then it sends a response for every email, not just the first in the thread.
What would you recommend in my situation? Is there another way of handling expectations I’m missing? Or am I overthinking the whole thing?
Green and her readers offer tips involving tweaking her email signature and working with the oddities of Outlook.
Lindsay Shoemake: Turn a Closet Into an Office Space
Need a home office, and think you don’t have space? If you’ve got an unused (or barely used) closet, That Working Girl‘s Lindsay Shoemake might have your problem solved:
I recently got a new job that requires me to work from home, and initially most of my day was spent working on my laptop from the couch. As you can imagine, sitting on a couch all day in the same position can get to be a bit wearing (both physically and mentally!) after a while. And because I was in the living room, I would end up turning on the TV for background noise, getting up to switch out the laundry, doing dishes that were daunting me in the sink … you get the idea. Working from the couch inevitably became quite distracting, and quickly. I was in dire need of a home office space to allow myself to focus on my work, so I made one. I happened to have a storage closet in my bedroom that I was able to repurpose. If you have a spare closet or nook in your home and are in need of an office space, you’re in luck! Here are a few tips to help you create your own perfect home office.
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