At Work from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 03 Jul 2020 18:01:56 -0700 At Work from Creators Syndicate 822133f134f39cfcd4cd97cc796c2088 The Soft-Glove Reprimand Works Best for 07/02/2020 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I am a department head in charge of my own hiring. I am usually astute in choosing a person to hire, but my new assistant has a personality trait I did not detect. In the interview, she listened attentively and answered each question clearly and completely. She was bright and graduated from a good university. </p> <p>We have several meetings each week. I am the head and lead the meetings with other department heads attending. I have my new assistant there to help her become familiar with the company and the job. The problem emerging is her aggressive and inappropriate behavior. When a department head poses a problem, my assistant jumps in and responds as if every comment at the meeting was addressed to her. She had done this in several meetings, so I can see this is a personality trait showing she does not adhere to any hierarchy. It seems narcissistic, as if she must be the star in every meeting.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">I was taken aback when it first happened and thought it was due to nervousness.</span> It is not. It is the way she is. I said nothing because 1) I did not want to shame or embarrass her; 2) I did not want to discourage her so early on in her employment; and 3) she is bright, and I think she has potential. Now I am stuck with what to do without her taking offense and clamming up and shutting down. She does not want my job; she does not have the experience needed, so that's not the problem. Help, please! <p>Updated: Thu Jul 02, 2020</p> 7983dbbf69d2067774a4626f5987a1fb Too Old for a New Job? for 06/25/2020 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I had a successful work record in accounting for 10 years prior to returning to school for an MBA. My husband had been laid off from his unimpressive job, so he convinced me to temporarily move back to his hometown in Iowa to be near his aging parents. We both looked for jobs, but there were no large companies in the area, so we both looked for jobs that were beneath our education and work experience. </p> <p>The pay was extremely low for these jobs, but we took them knowing we were not going to be making this our permanent home. The interviews were personal and unprofessional, as if they didn't know what they could and could not ask interviewees. I didn't challenge any of the interviewers because I kept telling myself it was temporary.</p> <p>We've been here three years now. His parents are doing fine, and I've had it. I feel if we don't move to a big city, which is what I've always liked, my education would be a complete waste of time and money. Having grown up here, my husband seems to like being back home near his family. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2020</p> 63dc5b8d24b031fc9d870b721116db56 How To Become a Go-To Employee for 06/18/2020 Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A bachelor's degree is not enough for getting a job and keeping it. The degree shows a student has the ability to study and absorb information from each class. Hopefully, the student has chosen a major, though students often change majors as they become more familiar with the field. After graduation, no one will be interviewing and testing students on what they learned in school. Experienced interviewers will judge interviewees on their maturity in providing appropriate responses to their questions. They will also pose hypothetical business situations to determine one's creative and critical thinking skills.</p> <p>Competition is fierce, and the days of entitlement are over, unless one's parents run a family-owned business. Even then, they may want a son or daughter to learn the business before allowing them to attain a management job.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 18, 2020</p> 7d2accf5404f4cf9079fbc3a007e106e Onboarding: Sink or Swim for 06/11/2020 Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The first weeks of onboarding can set the stage for a new hire to either fall in love with the job and the company or wish he or she had rejected the offer. Onboarding is the introductory period for new hires, ranging from one day to one month in a well-prepared company. This is when new hires are fully introduced to the company and the role &#8212; or thrown into the pool and told to sink or swim. </p> <p>According to Jean Juchnowicz, human resources consultant, interim leader, career coach and founder of Human Resources Simplified in Sarasota, Florida, onboarding is critical in helping new hires smoothly and successfully ease into the job, the company and the environment. This is the opportunity for HR professionals to show their warmth, poise and professionalism in introducing new employees to co-workers and key people, as well as the company's policies, procedures, technology and culture. It's a chance to show the new hires all they need to know to feel confident about their new job. This may also be where new hires learn that not all company cultures are open and friendly, despite all the smiling that took place in the interviews.</p> <p>During a good first day of onboarding, new employees should be shown their office or work area, have the technology and equipment set up (if onsite), be given a tour of the operation (physical or virtual), and meet their co-workers and bosses. The HR professional should explain the organization's culture and encourage questions. A well-prepared and organized HR professional may have a "welcome checklist" to ensure everything is covered. After signing all the legal and company-required documents, employment and confidentiality agreements, and payroll and benefits information, the representative should also review the company's mission, vision and values statements. Explaining the company culture is important for quickly integrating the new hire into the company and for knowing how to address people, who to report to and who to never ask for anything.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 11, 2020</p> 64b62a14486c0e79e3e64c4c6fb908da Remote Work Has Changed Communication for 06/04/2020 Thu, 04 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: Our entire company has been working remote since March 15. We have resorted mostly to texting because it is much faster and more efficient than sending an email and waiting for an answer. It allows us to get work done more quickly. </p> <p>Someone complained about being texted often, so management sent an email to employees asking us to use email instead. My department has talked about ignoring the directive because texting has worked out so well. We wouldn't text people we don't regularly work with, but we think texting within a department makes sense. How should we handle it?</p> <p>A: Texting is different than sending an email, and there are reasons for using both, regardless of whether you only text those in your department. The speed of texting is a plus, and so is receiving an immediate response, as long as the person receiving the text has his or her notifications turned on. Texting is perfect for questions that require a brief, yes or no response, assuming the company approves of phones being openly available to employees. But you have to consider the downsides as well.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 04, 2020</p> 57678a3a1f161d443f6565605df2428a Watch as EBT Changes Employee Satisfaction for 05/28/2020 Thu, 28 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The field of psychology has been accepted by businesses and has taken on various uses in the office. As emotional and behavioral problems come into play in the workplace, people can choose between psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies, which focus on patients learning about themselves to change their troubled thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Various types of talk therapies were developed and introduced into the field, all tied to establishing a therapist-client relationship to effect positive changes. The approach is designed to help people fit into acceptable norms. Individuals sometimes went from one model to another, repeatedly seeking solutions to the same problems.</p> <p>The introduction of emotional brain training, or EBT, a science-based program in emotional neuroplasticity, will change the field of psychology. Some think a brain cannot change once it has been programmed by life experience. The EBT process proves otherwise. <p>Updated: Thu May 28, 2020</p> a017419f0d8cb346317c6efff85037c8 Wisely Choose Your Complaints and Reasons to Leave for 05/21/2020 Thu, 21 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I work for the smallest department ever &#8212; we have a boss and two of us co-workers, a man and I'm a woman. The boss is a 40ish-year-old woman; we are late 20s. Our boss doesn't wear revealing or tight clothing, but she comes across as a very sexual person. She favors my male co-worker like I've never seen. Around me, she's normal and acknowledges my work and competence. Around my co-worker, she turns into a different person. She doesn't do anything inappropriate other than to take up a lot of his time, as if she's lonely. </p> <p>My co-worker and I get along well, but our relationship is a work one and nothing over-the-top or personal. We kid around when we have time, and we work steadily when we have to finish a project. When she stops by, she will sit in his office and talk to him forever. I, of course, am left doing more of the work. He doesn't enjoy this situation, but he also won't complain about it.<p>Updated: Thu May 21, 2020</p> 347db27647efd8f04e6ec5da20fb3676 Different People See Different Meanings in Same Message for 05/14/2020 Thu, 14 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: The worst people to work with are those who refuse to learn. I just had a coworker waste 30 minutes of my time because she didn't like me texting her to get an answer on information I needed. Instead of her getting me the information, she walked into my office to ask if I had face-to-face communications problems because I always text her. I know what I wanted to say, but I was polite instead and defended myself for texting. I gave her every reason why I do not have interpersonal communication problems. </p> <p>I like getting things done fast, and texting is the most convenient way to communicate. I don't like being interrupted with phone calls or office visits. I lose focus and it's easier to make mistakes. I can ignore a phone call and answer it later, but stopping in is the worst. I pointed out to her that people keep their cell phones on their desks for that purpose. You can answer when it's a good breaking point and you can respond immediately if you see something's an emergency. Texting respects people's time, even if it's a note asking for a time to meet. I might have gotten a little rude by the end of my defense. <p>Updated: Thu May 14, 2020</p> 0dc6116172b17406786fdbf36b70aa77 Ultimatums Will Get You Fired for 05/07/2020 Thu, 07 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I requested my vacation six months in advance to take two weeks off for my family reunion. We have a large immediate and extended family who all live in several states across the country, so we rarely get to see one another. We have been meeting yearly to stay connected, and it's a blast for all of us. My boss has approved it in the past and also approved it this time, as he knows many families that celebrate with similar annual traditions. </p> <p>We can get better deals by reserving and paying in advance for hotels, our share for the venue and catering, and car rentals. This takes much coordination; my parents both come from large families, and all their children have children. A month before I was to leave for the vacation, management told my boss to cancel all vacations for the next three to four months because the company hadn't met its projections. <p>Updated: Thu May 07, 2020</p> a021d8223d6c7b19a7c8515a0fd46811 Bad Decision: Wife Works, Trust Fund Supports Husband for 04/30/2020 Thu, 30 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I married later, in my late 30s. I offered to support my husband with my trust fund to give him time to focus on his art. He was very good early in life, and having a typical job dulled his creativity and motivation.</p> <p>Instead of my generous offer helping him, it made him lazy, and he produced next to nothing. He always had excuses for why he couldn't get into it. I was working full time while he lived a leisurely life. He has not yet been creative or produced anything. I don't want to be selfish or pushy, but if I can work, he can work. He was talented, but I can't motivate him now that I see him as lazy. I never thought a kind and thoughtful offer would make me feel used. I never thought I would need a prenuptial agreement.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 30, 2020</p> ca9981252140aa06ec84298d7f0698db Small Business Success Focuses on Online Sales for 04/23/2020 Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I have solely run and managed a small business (a distributorship for gourmet and specialty refrigerated foods) for the last 20 years. I've never needed more than 10 employees for the office, warehouse and salesforce to cover restaurants in the local territories. I've never felt the need to expand beyond my area because I've lived comfortably on the amount of money brought in by the business, and I've invested wisely. I've always paid employees on time and used a commission structure for the sales staff, which has worked well. I'm happy to have a financial base to support my family and me, but I don't know how long it will last. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The coronavirus has completely stopped all sales due to the retail and restaurant shutdowns. My business has always depended on face-to-face sales, and I'm not sure how to adapt to this situation. </span>I never foresaw anything like this happening.</p> <p>A: The ability to adapt to new and changing business environments is required for running a small business today. Even without the pandemic, other events could occur that suddenly require your undivided attention and prevent you from being an active, day-to-day business manager. Many employees and business owners have needed to withdraw from day-to-day job duties due to family illnesses, sometimes leading them into early retirement or extended leaves of absence. It sounds like you have a been blessed with a clear path for your last 20 years of business, but resilience is a critical skill you should learn earlier rather than later. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 23, 2020</p> 2bde1907e39200a27f3dbd398fa70b02 Time to Brand Yourself for Happiness for 04/16/2020 Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I was laid off from my job, and I don't know what to do. I have no creative talents to be able to work from home. Collecting unemployment is temporary and not enough to live on. I am open to all ideas except for going to school again.</p> <p>A: Remember the childhood dreams, wants and activities that excited you. Don't limit it to only the activities, because every individual childhood is different. You may have wanted to play piano, but your parents nixed that idea. The things you wanted to do are more important than activities you did, because your parents may have chosen those activities. Did you love and listen to music? Did you watch certain types of TV shows? Look at what you loved doing. Did you prefer being active outside, running, bike riding and playing sports? Or were you content staying in to draw, paint or mold with Play-Doh? Did you like making doll clothes or play doctor with a friend who played the patient? Your creative mind enabled you to choose activities you loved. Even if your wishes were denied by your parents, those desires existed. Those are the memories to help rekindle creativity.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">If you took a job solely to make money or went into a field chosen by your parents, now you have time to review your life choices and choose a more satisfying outcome. </span>Now is the time to explore your buried talents so you can develop them and brand yourself.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 16, 2020</p> 28e69fbfad457dccc87a2c2979333986 No Choice: Financial Pro Now a Home-School Teacher for 04/09/2020 Thu, 09 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I am a financial analyst for a large firm. I am not qualified to plan lessons and teach my first grader, but here I am, with no choice. I am working at home now during the school closure due to the coronavirus. I don't want to be a lazy parent by sitting my daughter in front of a TV or computer and having her play games. Education is important in our family, and she is an intellectually curious child, but there is only so much math I can teach her. Any suggestions?</p> <p>A: Thank you for being a responsible parent and wanting your child to become an active learner. Engaging children early to develop learning routines prepares them for living a successful life. Your daughter is lucky to have a parent capable of teaching her the basics of math, as mathematical ability is an important skill used throughout life, regardless of one's career. The next area of critical importance is reading. </p> <p>According to Time4Learning, "First grade children should be involved in reading worksheets, reading activities, reading games, reinforcement exercises, and assessments." These activities develop a child's vocabulary, along with reading comprehension and writing. These skills tie into listening and speaking skills as well. Though you're not a teacher, you're an educated parent who can serve as a positive role model in your child's learning. Review online children's books, reading programs and reading workbooks, and choose books in your child's age group. Reading is an individual skill that involves an innate brainpower, so some books may be too simple, while others may be too difficult for your daughter. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 09, 2020</p> 31093a319763ba6e1987f1fdeb54959e Pros and Cons of Managing Employees From Home for 04/02/2020 Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Before the coronavirus hit America, employees envied those who were allowed to work remotely one day a week. It seemed that a five-day workweek was one day too many, and people longed for an additional day at home. All those employees were granted their wish, as the quarantine closed businesses large and small across America and workers fortunate enough to still have jobs were required to work at home. The quarantine wasn't what they had in mind, and the adjustment has been easier for some more than others.</p> <p>A Chicago-based professional artist, Pamela Matiosian, says, <span class="column--highlighted-text">"The quarantine is making me search deeper for my authenticity as an artist. </span>Having my studio at home and being sequestered doesn't affect me, but it intensifies my desire to create." Other creative professionals may also agree. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 02, 2020</p> 6a6117996dfdf4b839389d9baa25573d The Heart of Successful Women at Work for 03/26/2020 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>March is International Women's History Month, which, remarkably, began in 1911 and highlights the journey of women who felt destined to accomplish new feats despite their plight in the workplace.</p> <p>Before World War II, women held jobs as secretaries, receptionists, store clerks, nurses and teachers. They accepted societal restrictions, and considered themselves lucky to have the opportunity to work. The war relaxed restrictions, as men to entered the military.</p> <p>Women's Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, were the first women to fly American military aircraft, accumulating more than 60 million flight miles and enabling thousands of male U.S. pilots to begin active duty in World War II. More than 1,000 WASPs served, but with prejudice; they were classified as civil service employees without official military status, honors or benefits. They did not receive full military status until 1977. Not until 65 years later did they receive the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian honors. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 26, 2020</p> e9f415442d5c8268c7286aa856f94107 Don't List Elite Memberships on Resume for 03/19/2020 Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: My wife passed her certified public accountant exam and received her Master of Business Administration from a top school. Her entrance score qualifies her to join Mensa International. She has thought about joining and listing it on her resume, but I think it's not be a good idea. I'm secure about being married to a highly intelligent and competent woman, but I don't know how interviewers would feel about Mensa on a resume. </p> <p>A: Joining Mensa is an excellent way to meet and socialize with people of similar intellectual abilities, but it does not belong on a resume, which will be explained later. This exclusive group is known internationally. It sponsors calendar events, leadership workshops, various intellectual games, annual gatherings and gatherings at the regional level.</p> <p>Mensa offers a two-hour admission test, which "includes two tests featuring questions involving logic and deductive reasoning. If you score at or above the 98th percentile on either of the two tests, you'll qualify and be invited to join Mensa," according to the website.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 19, 2020</p> 2b0e50e9ae4aa326e36dc0d6fc4fdd51 Protecting a 'Techno-Junkie' Workforce for 03/12/2020 Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"It's easy for people to have hours &#8212; and perhaps days &#8212; go by as if they're not mentally there at all. ... You just sat in an hour-long meeting, but what happened is a total blur. " </p> <p>If this has ever happened to you, you are not alone. Your brain is on information overload, and it's warning you by daydreaming, turning off or tuning out without intention. Joseph McCormack, author of "Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus" and founder and managing director of The Brief Lab, enlightens all levels of business leaders about the overcommunication and miscommunication taking place in today's organizations. </p> <p>The book is filled with interviews, real workplace stories, memorable quotes, warnings and east-to-apply skills to prevent the tuning out of employees and managers who lack clear communication skills. McCormack has discovered that "listening without judging is a gift." Much like the Tower of Babel, "people hear an opposing view, and their response is not to listen but to disagree ... People tune each other out instantaneously. One word is a trigger to shut someone off." McCormack concludes, "It takes patience, discipline, and respect from both sides to listen carefully to other perspectives without immediately tuning out." <p>Updated: Thu Mar 12, 2020</p> e680c0a749f83759aff9f8d39bb13db9 How To Change Your Work and Your Life for 03/05/2020 Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I've been in sales jobs, not because I loved them but because I fell into the industry due to a lack of other skills. I actually don't like having to sell people on products or services (I've sold both), even though I am good at it. My problem is that because I don't like sales, I haven't stayed very long in any one job &#8212; one year to three years &#8212; so I never built up equity from any benefits. In fact, the jobs I've had offered very little in benefits other than health insurance, sick days and vacation time. Now I'm in my 50s; I'm tired of this kind of work, but I'm too stressed and down on myself to see my options. </p> <p>A: It sounds like you need to spend a weekend at home with absolutely no interruptions to allow yourself a pity party. Once you quarantine yourself, you need to open up and face your regret. This may come forth in the form of sobbing for hours or sitting in silence to force yourself to review your life. The next step is to pull yourself together and write a list of all the activities and hobbies you remember liking. Digging into your childhood is may be a necessary step for self-improvement, so don't expect to magically heal yourself overnight. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">You've been working in a field you've disliked for about 30 years. You may have tuned out and turned off your discomfort, which enabled you to stay. Now, when you need happiness and comfort the most, you don't know how to find it.</span> It won't come from watching TV shows or movies or dashing out with friends for lunch and shopping. Those superficial activities just prolong the process of numbing yourself to your discontent. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 05, 2020</p> 982bfad856c7c292c7ba8333caefe439 How to Stop a Conversation You Don't Want to Have for 02/27/2020 Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I like to maintain a low profile with those I work with, but I have one co-worker who always has an agenda. She may not realize it, but it's to the point of greatly irritating me. She continually tries to convert me to her beliefs. In doing this, it completely denies me holding my beliefs, which I prefer to not discuss with anyone. I believe in God and Jesus, and she does not. </p> <p>I think this is not an appropriate conversation for anyone to have at work or in personal conversation. There are certain topics that should remain personal. I find her conversation offensive, so each time she brings it up, I politely sidestep it. When I've tried being direct and explaining I have different beliefs than she does, she refuses to hear what I'm saying. </p> <p>I don't know how to shut her up without being rude, speaking loudly or being verbally forceful. I have to work with her, so I will not complain to anyone. I see that as gossip, or worse yet, backbiting, if I report her to the organization. I believe it's wrong to do anything to jeopardize her job. I never try to convert her to Christianity, and I don't want to hear about how I should give her beliefs a chance. I just want to stop her from trying to interfere with and control my life. It's like listening to a salesperson who refuses to stop selling. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 27, 2020</p> 4cab80423f8b2789ff52a2668f3f9321 Workplace Coaching Helps Employees and Companies for 02/20/2020 Thu, 20 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Most people think they are good communicators. But if you ask them if they think most <i>other</i> people are good communicators, they respond, "No, most people are not good communicators." So says Scott Warrick, labor and employment attorney, human resource professional and author of "Solve Employee Problems Before They Start: Resolving Conflict in the Real World." This seems to be the way most people think: They hold an attitude of "I do everything better than everyone else."</p> <p>Warrick wrote the book after 15 years in the human resources field and 25 years in employment law. As both an employment lawyer and human resources professional, he is called into companies to coach and resolve employee conflicts, ranging from poor interpersonal skills, bad attitudes, negative communication styles, belligerent personalities, control and mistrust issues, and poor management abilities. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">As a coach, he is responsible for speaking the truth to troubled or problem employees while maintaining respect for the person who may be difficult or disrespectful.</span> Sometimes, the truth hits hard, especially for employees with a low emotional intelligence level, but Warrick has developed a procedure to put the employee at ease and open his or her eyes to the problem as the company sees it. He is also faced with the assignment of advising the company when an employee is not capable of adapting to appropriate behavior. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 20, 2020</p>