Category Archives: career

The Real Clash: Stay or Should I Go?

Burn outs are kinda cool in a hot rod. Not so much on the job. How to stay cooler.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — …career of 12 years…What constitutes “burn out”? How do you know if you are actually burned out and it would be wise to find a new course to pursue, or whether you just need a long vacation, and should stay put in the industry you spent so much time developing skills, contacts and your reputation in? Path Trekker

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Dear Path Trekker,

Check out what we told Miller Time about his job exhaustion.

As for what constitutes “job burn out,” as usual, I suggest you do review columns. This time, list all the things that first ignited, attracted and fueled you to and on your job. Second column, quickly jot all the things that frustrate you on the job and about your workplace. I’d rather you list emotions/feelings elicited than nit picky line items like “broken water cooler,” which may or may not translate as “dehydrated, listless and angry.” Half joking. Cross-check the two columns. This one is more a highly subjective look-see between the two columns to see which is: larger/longer, which items may be completely negated by something in the other column, and overall how each column makes you feel. Do this exercise again same time for the next four weeks. See if recognizing and shifting what you can has changed anything for you. Own what’s yours, weigh what you can’t control against your overall life needs and peace.

Meanwhile, a well-deserved, fun-filled (whatever that means to you) vacation away from the office is always a rejuvenating, reenergizing treat our culture doesn’t take as seriously as it should. Go expedia.com, orbitz.com, or Travelocity.com (among others) — do a staycation — but go forward, Path Trekker!

Stop and smell the rose essential oil,

BadWitch

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Dear Path Trekker,

Follow the tickle. The question is what inspires you and leads you t wan to spend your time in the activity.

The truth is whatever you choose to do will, no doubt, use some of the very skills and contacts you have honed over all these years. Though, you may decide the field you are in no longer serves, skills are transferable.

To start, yes, schedule a vacation. Give yourself time from the pressures of everyday to get a read on whether you enjoy the duties and opportunities available to you in your everyday career. Then it’s time you play Blue Sky/

What would you do if there were no limits? If money, security, social pressure and guilt were taken out of the work/life/career equation, what would you do with your time for work, fun, joy?

The questions to such answers may be unrealistic when normal life circumstances are applied, but it will start to point you in the right direction. You will see more clearly where your interest lie.

The key is to rest up and give yourself the time and space to figure out how you feel and what you want.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Squeezed: Ethics in Middle Managementland?

Trippin’ like Lewis Carroll, or could even you see it on this side of the looking glass?  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Myth or reality? Conscientious and ethical middle management? Stuck in the Middle

 

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Dear Stuck in the Middle,

I’ve not seen anything contrary in my experience, but top-down thoughts > choices > actions. Ethics are top-down. In a company with questionable (let’s call them) ethics, being a sometimes less-than-powerful middle manager often adds the pressures of ambition to excel on the career track. I tried to, but found I couldn’t answer your question without editorializing — here’s some more: if you find yourself working in a firm whose ethics (often easily spotted identified in its average lowest/smallest client treatment practices) frequently don’t jibe with your own (maybe you dread going to work, or feel sick or unduly tired when you come home. Check in with your own Body Wisdom), I would seriously consider looking for a new place to be a middle manager.

So in a nutshell: “Conscientious and ethical middle management?” not always but absolutely, and if your firm and you are in alignment that possibility is all the clearer.

Middle up,

BadWitch

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Dear Stuck in the Middle,

The real question is whether people at any level of management, especially the higher echelons, can act with respect for fellow man, righteous perspective and yes, conscience. For those in middle management often have little recourse to follow the guidance of their conscience when those above have different priorities.

As a middle manager, I suggest getting very clear with yourself about what you believe. Be clear with yourself about where your moral compass points so that you know what you will and will not do to get ahead. Realize also, that although great, loud moral stands work great in the movies, they are far less effective in real life. If you find yourself asked to do something that dips below the line of your conscience barometer, do not make a scene. Find a way to offer the goal through less nefarious means. Of course, chances are no one will ever point blank ask you to break the law. It will be shrouded in concern for the company or the bottom line.

Conscience comes with every soul. Whether we choose to listen or not is up to each of us. The myth is that business cannot be moral and survive, much less make a profit. The reality is love of capitalism has over shadowed love of fellow worker, fellow man and the environment we need to live and grow. Each of us in these days must find our own way of acting in an upstanding fashion so others can see it modeled.

Good luck,

 

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Surrender: How to Do It (BW)

Typically, “surrender” is one of those elevated life art forms that most (“normal”) people don’t even attempt to approach because they “already know” they don’t know how to. Surrender just feels like a far-off hazy concept and maybe even worse, of the guru on the mountaintop variety — scary or difficult for mere mortals to attain. Still, whether adorably or superstitiously, many of us put it on some future To Do list…just in case. But in our war culture, it’s the ideas about what surrendering mean that trip us up: 1) letting go of control is weak (self-delusional) or a failure (misnomer), 2) fear of the unknown (all of it is that; more delusion), and/or 3) being fatalistic or lacking faith (more ironic when paired with #1 as it often is).

Surrender is very different than giving up.

To give up, we give away our power, and just *sigh! * stop working, being present – check out. To surrender is about being even more present and alive, engaged with detachment, filled with hope and faith that what is and/or will be, is for our best interest, despite what the façade may appear like or to be. I’ve been called an Alpha more than once, and so certainly don’t have a pacifist personality, but more and more try to cultivate a conscientious objective character. My sweet spot: to be as speedy as ever and peacefully accepting and in flow about what I cannot control in life.  God laughs when we make plans! —BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


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Newbie Out of College Needs Right Resume

Solid resume writing can be daunting even for the experienced or…a writer. Getting the right help writing.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m graduating from college in a couple of months. Are resume services a good idea? Why are there so many kinds of resumes out there anyway? The Graduate

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Dear The Graduate,

Congratulations on a long job completed, Graduate. Sadly, I can relate to your question more than I wish I could. While I spent well over a decade reviewing others’ resumes with an insightful eye, when a Fortune 500 client requested I attach my own for a RFP (I hadn’t had to write a resume for 14 years), it came out like my near-post-college version, despite my cross-industry and senior management experience. Not a pretty thing, to say the least.

There are plenty of resume writing services out there because, while some people can write, they can’t always do an objective good job on summing up their own experience. And selling oneself in a logical and dynamic way without sounding like either an egomaniac or self-loathing, isn’t easy! Try writing one yourself first. Show it to at least five working and objective people who count (i.e., favorite mentor, professor, peers, an HR professional willing to help a student) and see what they suggest for improvements. If your effort was too hard-fought and/or yielded unsatisfactory results, I say research and use a resume writing service that speaks to you (if it’s a sole proprietor or small business, the language will very likely be reflected in your document). Google online for your locale as well as any that industry-specialize (i.e., financial services, etc.). Weigh the cost with your valuable time and your CV-representation.

Good luck!

BadWitch

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Dear The Graduate,

Resumes are meant to reflect your knowledge and experience in a particular field. It tells an employer why you are the best person for the job—in bullet points and action verbs.

A resume writer may be a good idea. First, however, read through some resume books in the Career section of Barnes & Noble. Get a sense for the different styles of resumes: subject vs. chronological, etc. The issue is to find the style that best represents you. The resume is your press sheet. Put a good spin on it from the top.

Once you feel like you’ve educated yourself enough, possibly taken a few passes at writing out a draft, then start interviewing resume writers for the job. What style would they suggest and why? How would they best describe years of learning and side jobs to demonstrate a focused and linear progression preparing you for “this” job? You have to educate yourself enough to hire the right person and to manage them.

Good luck and happy writing,

GoodWitch

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Image: found at NeoHide.com – thank you unattributed illustrator

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Weakest Link: When Strong Team Needs Management

When a usually strong group is taken down by one bad apple, manager needs to lead by management. Basic steps to help team member get back on track.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Help a new manager out, I’ve never received training and it doesn’t seem readily available to me. I’m really stumped. I have a team that was working productively and harmoniously until one member started brining her personal business into work in a way that has been disruptive to the others’ productivity. No one has complained (although I’ve seen some eyes roll, still no complaints filed), but as their manager I see negative overall effect in output. Do you think speaking to her alone without complaint will make her even more sensitive or is otherwise de-motivating? I appreciate any help. Manage This!

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Dear Manage This!,

Meet with your problem employee alone and first (document it). Express your concern that she may be bringing her personal problems to work, and that may be what is negatively affecting her work performance of late. Identify with her issue that is affecting her choices and behaviors such as chronic tardiness, absenteeism, or uncooperativeness, etc. (you may or may not note that it affects the whole team’s morale, but tread lightly, keep the focus primarily on her performance (something she has power to change). Then identify your performance expectations of her as solution (i.e., take X time off and don’t return without a medical doctor’s note; or work benchmarks she can achieve by X-deadline(s)). Be specific. Get her agreement. Document. Follow up with her in scheduled benchmark meetings agreed to. If everything proceeds well, (unless your corporate policies require it) no need to bring HR into the mix at this point, but it’s there if you need formal documentation or another back-up tool.

As for the team, it can be brought up in team meetings (namelessly) as productivity issues or similar, and challenge them to solutionize as a team. Sometimes a manager needs to be a leader. Peer pressure can be a beautiful thing in deft hands.

Lastly, research online or in-house managerial training resources and classes you can get approved to attend. Build your own skills toolbox.

Inspire your people to succeed not just work,

BadWitch

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Dear Manage This!,

Here is the hard part of leadership. You can’t avoid it. Sometimes you just have to pull an employee aside and say, “WHEN!” You are in the role of Big Picture Holder, so if you see the big picture going off course because of one person’s attitude, it’s your job to step in and try to get things back in the flow. It is clear that one person’s bad attitude can affect the productivity and morale of an entire company.

As the manager, you have the right and should have the impetus to talk to the troublemaker. But start with a single idea: compassion and understanding breed compassion and understanding. We don’t know what nuclear disaster has taken over this worker’s personal life to cause the negative shift in her. Connect her with company sponsored counselors, stress management professionals  or other mental health support.

Realize that for the legal safety of your company, you don’t want to get embroiled in her issues, but you want to compassionately let her see how her behavior is affecting the entire office and the productivity and subsequent profitability of the company. This conversation is also your opportunity to document the issue should further intervention be needed. Keep and eye on things. Take notes documenting when and where issue reoccurs after your conversation.

Managing employees can be like parenting children— but with Child Protective Services watching over your shoulder. Remember, you are the boss, not the best friend. However, there is no reason that you cannot be a compassionate, empathetic boss who mentors his employees (yes, even the problem employees) to greatness.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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A Degree in No Meaning 101. Son Most Likely to Be College Dropout

When the going gets tough…this son wants to stop going…to college. Is a college degree worthwhile in today’s job market? Is a degree from Harvard as valuable as one from Online Masters Degree or your local community college? How much effort should be spent on higher education?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our son wants to drop out of college. He’s a senior but since most of his junior year, this former high school straight-A student has been barely passing his courses. He feels getting a degree in this market is meaningless as there are no jobs. What do you think? Pre-qualifier

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Dear Pre-qualifier,

All things equal, this is what I believe: to go further in life, finish what you start. While I’m fully aware that there may be many reasons to dropout and that  college is not for everyone, this doesn’t seem to have been your son’s case as he qualified with a strong GPA, kept his grades up for his previous three university years, and only now seems to have decided he’s done and is throwing in the towel (attitudinally if not literally, yet). Investigate to make sure something else (that wasn’t his choice) hasn’t happened to him that triggered such a behavioral change — something that may require your (or professionals’) help — like an illness or abusive incident. Barring such external situations, your Pre-qualifer needs to slow down to step up and look at his real motives against the long road before him that is his future.

Yes the job market is down and college loans are expensive to pay back, but both are achievable with his diligence and tenacity. He’s so close now, why handicap himself needlessly (an undergrad degree (BA/BS) is a minimal requirement for most jobs today)? I picked up a great life character assessment tool inadvertently from a long-ago writing workshop: Character isn’t what he says, but what he does. Your son has barely made his appearance in Act 1.

Stay in school,

BadWitch

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Dear Pre-qualifier,

Your best bet is to help your son move beyond apathy. Basing your future on a pessimistic outlook is betting on failure. And why play the game without a winning hand of cards?

Your son is so close to the finish line. maybe he’s not a star ‘A’ student anymore, but if he’s still passing it’s worth completing the journey. The future available to a college graduate has more possibilities than one without. No matter what the economic future is in this country, it is better to be more prepared for greatness rather than less.

Help your son see the possibilities he may be giving up. It’s time to realize that the future starts now. If you want all the opportunities, you have o take the one’s available to you in the now. Cause really that’s all any of us have—now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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UPDATED Bottomless Office Pit: Cake, Gifts & Money Collection

Money collection for office gifts, cakes. Funding co-worker celebrations. Fun, yummy, good or bad idea?  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — If I never have another slice of office birthday cake, I’d live! These constant money drives for other people’s gifts has gotten on my last nerve. Yesterday (she) asked me for money for someone’s baby shower gift in our Utah office who I never even met! This is nuts, crazy, just wrong!!! Give me some good lines.  — Cham-pain Hater

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Dear Cham-pain Hater,

I love cake, I love presents — for me! — so I hear ya, but figure out and clearly state your policy for all to understand about you, and stick with it.

Back in college while working at a major department store, my manager came around at Christmas time to ask for donations to an equally major charity. Coincidentally, this charity had been in the news for administrative financial abuse to fund schmancy lunches and lavish personal travel, and such. I was already consistently giving to an organization of my choice, so when she first asked then attempted to strong-arm me for my hard-earned money (mockingly, “What?! You can’t even give up a dollar?”) — her attitude alone underscored to me that she was only pimping to win a department managers’ contest. That manipulative sort of crap only served to make me stand even firmer in my convictions and state, “Nope. Especially not “even” a dollar.” I freely give to what truly stirs me, and not to earn kiss ass points with a manager competing in a peer contest for a personal gain prize, via my dollars while supposedly campaigning for a charity I didn’t even believe in.

Knowing what you stand for lets you know what you want to fund in life, and keep the change from the rest in your own wallet. In the game of office politics, only give when you expect nothing in return (never give a present to get a present, whether retail or brown-nose points), or all you’ll get is disappointment. Nothing more bitter than a low-carb flourless cake of guilt and shame.

Do-goodahs, pleeeze,

BadWitch

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[No, your RSS and e-Mail subscriptions are not broken. Here’s GW’s added Reply.]

Dear Cake-Champain Hater,

Truth works better than any excuse you can come up with! I would start by asking for a general pool with once yearly contribution (say $20) that is split for all employee presents, like a Christmas Club. I have heard of employees being asked to give $20 a month for other employee gifts. Maybe a $10 a month fund for cake and office morale isn’t asking too much.

My question is, as an employee, don’t you appreciate when your birthday is noticed?  Isn’t that an unrecognized benefit of your work environment? It sounds like you’ve got an office that has taken the time to create a more family like environment. This makes for a comfortable place to work. Believe me, not all offices give a damn whether it’s your birthday, wedding or baby—just do the work.

It is really nice to be appreciated. Your office culture has found a way to give each other recognition of the lives lived outside the cubicle walls. Say thank you and throw in $10. If money is really tight right now, tell your co-workers that truth. They’ll appreciate it. Then throw in $2 or $3.

Family may be a pain in the ass sometimes with their little rituals, but that is the good stuff you remember and appreciate years later. Quit bitching and have some cake.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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