a pokemon back pack

What a Pokemon Backpack Taught Me About Organizational Culture

It started off as an uneventful morning.  Wake up. Brush teeth. Hustle the kids out the door.  On that day it was my turn to drive my son to school.   He was surprisingly ready and in my car as I was pouring my morning coffee.

My wife Sherri reminded me to grab his Pokeman backpack.  I barely nodded acknowledgement and muttered something about not being as forgetful as she thought.

Yea….. I forgot the backpack.

I could see the school driveway in the distance when I finally made the realization. We were barely on time as it is. I announced to my son:

“Hey bud! I forgot your backpack. No worries though. I’ll drop you off and go back home and bring it to you so you won’t be late.” Easy solution! Win-win, right?

Not so much.

My son suddenly became worried and upset. He talked about how if we walked into the classroom without his backpack (and more importantly the homework folder in it) that he would get in a lot of trouble.

I reminded him that he’d have the backpack in 12 minutes.

He became more upset. “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU DON’T BRING IT IN DAD!”

Maybe I’m a softy. Maybe my son scammed me into an extra twenty-minute round trip journey so he could attend less school that day. I really don’t know.  

25 minutes later, I dropped him off at the office, signed him in as late, and as I drove to my speaking engagement had this realization:

What are we emphasizing that is important to people and what is the effect of that emphasis?

On some level I am sure my son was overreacting but the fear was real. I’ve received the notes about remembering to bring in the backpack and the much prized folder that holds the secrets of the universe. No wonder he was freaked out. 

That day when he got home I tried to walk that fine line of teaching my son to respect the rules and not letting trivial things get to you…..but it was hard.

I thought about my experience working in office culture.  The things that were often emphasized and prized as important.

·        Attendance over engagement

·        Perception over productivity

·        Deadlines over everything else in your universe that can’t wait either

I am not saying things like attendance and meeting deadlines aren’t important. Of course they are. 

As you go back to your organization think about what is emphasized and rewarded in the lived experience. Focus on the actions that occur instead of the rhetoric. What impact does it have on the workplace culture? How do people react? Pay attention to the subtle cues. You will be surprised at what you notice.

A Pokeman backpack and a faulty memory taught me that.

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Paul Artale is a motivational speaker and organizational culture expert. He is also the author of the book “The 2-Year-Old’s Guide to Work-Life Balance.” For more information visit www.paulartale.com

#leadership #shrm #organizationalculture #management #employees #retention

a piece of metal in the shape of the number 7

7 Habits of a Positive Work Life Balance (Part 1)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People had such a great impact on me and the Franklin-Covey training I received years ago shaped me as a leader and a person.  In honor of Covey,  the next few blogs will show how his 7 Habits can be used as a cornerstone for positive work-life balance.  This week deals with the first 3 Habits or the Habits that deal with going from Dependence to Independence.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Aint this the truth.  Work-life policies and opportunities often do not fall into place.  We have to work at them.  Proactivity in this area means educating, advocating, and negotiating your way to a better work-life situation.  Proactivity carries the mindset of “I impact the world” vs “the world impact me.”  Being proactive means looking for alternatives and positive outcomes and by doing so we grow our circle of influence.  Remember, most family-friendly and positive work-life policies come from employees taking the initiative to ask and create these opportunities.  They also come from managers who go to bat for their staff because they want to keep them on as happy and effective members of their team.  In either case, the improved situation did not magically appear; someone made it happen.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.  Simply put, what’s your end game?  What is it you want to achieve on your work-life balance journey?     Are you interested in a compressed workweek as a short term or long term goal?  Is telecommuting something you want to do for a year or two so you can spend time with your young children or do you want it to be the standard norm?  When you know what you want, you will be in a better position to clearly communicate that supervisors, policymakers, and coworkers.  This will lead to less conflict or at the very least, misunderstandings about expectations.

Habit 3: Put first things first.  Amen!  Not all jobs are created equal in terms of work-life balance so you have to sit down and prioritize what is most important to you.  Are you a work-centered person?  A family-centered person?  Are you trying to be balanced between the two domains?  Add to the mix your hobbies, side jobs, ambitions, etc and things can get sticky in a hurry unless you rank and prioritize what is most important to you.  Doing this not only gives you a better sense of who you are (and who you want to be) but allows you to put forth a constant effort towards achieving those goals.  This habit also focuses on committing your time to activities that progress you goals.  Spending your time on tasks that are not urgent and not important becomes an illogical choice, especially when compared to working on tasks that are not urgent but extremely important (this is where the good long term planning is done).

Final Thought….

What is awesome about the first three Habits is their ability to help us define what we want and lay a foundation to go out and get those things.  Mastery of these steps takes us from dependence on a system, a boss, or life circumstances and moves us towards independence.  Independence gives us much more control over our lives and our situations and in the case of this blog, work-life balance.  As a leader moving from dependence towards independence means you are someone who makes things happen and does not use company policy or culture as the framework for all decisions.  Authentic leadership makes you a rockstar!   As great as independence is the next three steps move us even further along towards interdependence.  We” touch on that next week.

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Paul Artale is a motivational speaker who specializes in Labor and Industrial Relations.  He is also a keynote speaker and facilitator.  Please visit http://www.paulartale.com for more information.

a team working at a table

Managers: The Key to Positive Work-Life Balance

A job in itself does not sentence a person to long hours, family conflict and a generally unhappy life.  Sure, some lines of work require more hours or intensive types of work but the boundaries and expectations related to our jobs are influenced heavily by one group of people: managers.

Managers are the ones who regulate hours, workload, and set the tone as to what is appropriate in terms of work and personal life.  Sure, we have company policies but quite often it is up to the manager to interpret that policy.  Beyond policy, the standards employees are evaluated on (whether they be billable hours, output goals, clients called etc) are created by some level management.  At some point, somebody in the hierarchy said “we value this if people want to get promoted or raises.  Spread the word.”  Once that word is spread then a culture begins to form.

Here are some things for those in managerial roles to consider as it relates to their ability to impact work-life balance for employees.

1) Controlling the schedule is power: use it wisely.  Consider the effect of calling an earlier or later than normal meeting has upon your staff; especially if it is called at the last minute.  Is it essential that all personnel are there?  Can some employees Skype/conference call in if appropriate?  When you’re in an authoritative role “Yea boss…no problem” doesn’t necessarily mean employees are ok with the extra meeting.

2) Educate yourself!  Knowing company HR procedures, benefits in addition to some basic law can go a long way in improve employee work-life balance.  This is definitely the case when it comes to major issues such as parental leave.  Many employees do not take full advantage of parental leave policies because they are worried about stunting their career advancement or flat out retribution.  What a shame!  Becoming an advocate for your staff will go a long way in terms of retaining staff and improving morale which both saves and makes the company money.  Now that’s a Win-Win situation!

3) Analyze: What do you reward? I recently read an article where a woman would show up to the office once a week at 2 am because her manager applauded the effort and it helped her get a promotion.   This woman admitted she usually worked from home at that time but she received such a favorable reaction from her boss that she decided it was better to get up earlier and come to work.  She also admitted that it was putting strains on her personal life but felt she had to do this in  order to succeed in her job.    As a disclaimer, this was a very driven software engineering firm that was accustomed to strange and extremely long hours.

Nevertheless, the point is: what behaviors and efforts do you and your company reward and what can you do to make sure that they are more conducive to a better quality of life for your workers?

4) Be flexible!   If we expect employees to be able to work longer hours or adjust their schedule with little notice then at some point as managers need to be flexible about things that may occur in their employees lives.  This could mean allowing people to work from home on occasion, allowing them to leave early or come in later, or even compressing their workweek.

5) Vacation!  As in let them take it.  Every year many employees don’t take all of their alloted vacation time and in many cases, lose that time altogether.  Encourage your employees to take time off and to maximize that benefit.  This may require being more strategic or strongly encouraging employees to take time off during certain times of the year.  One of my former supervisors allowed me to leave during an extremely busy time so that I could attend an important family function.  It took some discussion, lots of work before I left, a little work from the road, and communicating with those who would pick up the slack.  In other words it wasn’t easy but we made it work.  Not only did the company achieve their outcomes but I was able to take part in an important part of my family life.  I was very appreciative to my boss and the company for letting me have that precious time.

Final Thought:

Arthur Miller once wrote: “You can’t eat the orange and throw away the peel.  A man is not a piece of fruit!”  As a manager one is in a position of power and influence.  Managers often have the power to create culture and expectations that directly impact their employees and quality of life.  At other times managers have the ability to inform, educate, and guide their workers in a direction that leads to a better quality of family and professional life.  There are also occasions when being in a supervisory role means advocating for a more positive work-life balance.  Deadlines and organizational goals are important.  We all want the company to stay afloat.  Every once and a while, though, we need to unplug ourselves from the grind and recognize the human element that is behind facts, figures, and bottom lines.  By doing so we take great strides not only towards long-term productivity from employees, but we also decrease chances of employee stress and illness.

Dr. Paul Artale is a motivational speaker, author, and organizational coach who helps organizations create high performance culture through understanding employee needs and leveraging their strengths. 
For more information visit www.paulartale.com

#shrm #hr #humanresources #worklifebalance  #leadership #manager #teamwork

the words success go get it

Motivating Employees for Success

here is no better feeling in the world than achieving a goal.   Imagine this: you plan something, put in the hard work, and at the end of the journey you achieve success.  Sweet, isn’t it?  Of course things do not always go so smoothly but when they do…BOOYA!  You feel like you a rockstar.

Success is a whole other beast, however, when we are managing others.  Sure we can still apply that same 3 step formula described above but the addition of another element (a human element) means that we are responsible for managing more than just our own attitudes, actions, and emotions.

There are several managerial styles and perspectives but quite often, it feels like there are two dominant philosophies: cut them down or build them up.   Quickly, the cut them down philosophy says “let’s throw “Sandy” into the fire and see how she does.  If Sandy is strong and capable the she will prove herself worthy of my praise, promotion, and better compensation.”  Going through misery will make them stronger and thus a better employee in the long-run.  There are times when this perspective is unavoidable but generally I do not subscribe to it and this is about all I have to say on this perspective.

The “build them up” philosophy focuses on developing the employee and putting them in positions to win.  It focuses on building upon strengths, improving weaknesses, and developing a win-win strategy.  When I coached football I did not always have the biggest, fastest, or most talented players.  My challenge as a coach was always to maximize and improve the talent I had.  I could have easily said “my nosetackle is only 5 foot 1, if he’s any good he’ll find a way to make plays”  but that would have been counterproductive.  Instead I worked on strategies and drills to utilize his talents (low center of gravity, aggression, and feet that kept on moving) to turn him into an All-Star player.

Beyond organizational success we need to remember that as managers we hold the keys to much of our employees happiness (read my previous BLOG for more on this topic).  Have you ever come home from a rough day at work or negative encounter with a supervisor and had those events ruin your personal/family time?  Of course you have, we all have.  It’s called work-family conflict and managers are often a key component of that.  Although managers can’t control everything (employees  think we do!) one thing that we can control is whether we have done all we can to make someone successful.  Here are some managerial considerations when trying to lead your employee and team to glory:

Dumping vs Delegating: When delegating tasks to others are you just taking work off one plate and plopping it onto another?  Are you assigning tasks without thinking about employee strengths, mindset, or current projects?  Do employees have input into what new duties come their way or do you just hand out extra tasks because you are the boss and you know best?

Skills training: There are times when that unsexy task needs to be given to someone because of circumstances outside of your control.  In other cases, employees will be asked to perform tasks that are new and possibly strange to them.  As a manager are you giving them the skills training and tools they need to be successful in these new roles?  Although there may not be time for a lengthy training or skills session, some effort towards ensuring that the employee has the right tools to succeed must be ensured.  Sometimes this skills training can be as simple as a discussion about time management or how previous priorities and deadlines may shift with this added workload.

Context matters.  What is the current company climate?  If you’re working with “Bob” then what prior experiences and backgrounds shape Bob’s thinking and actions?  What have Bob’s performance and interactions been like in the past week, month, or quarter?   I am not suggesting
having weekly counseling sessions with workers but having a basic understanding of organizational and personal contexts can assist managers in understanding behaviors and performance.  Bob will likely act and operate very differently if he came from a regimented and highly regulated company before working for you as opposed to a creative “come when you want, just get the job done” environment.  Factors such as layoffs, departmental shuffling, or that fabulous staff retreat may also impact how Bob acts.  No matter what the specific details are, context cannot be ignored.  Plugging into personal and professional context will also fill a lot of gaps regarding your staff on several levels.

Different workers have different styles.  This is where you get to apply all of those fun and fancy personality tests that inevitably become part of staff development sessions.  All organizations have their fair share of introverts and extroverts; of highly organized individuals and free spirits.  No one style or personality type is better than the other and a balanced staff is needed for optimal performance.  Working with an employee’s style quickens goal achievement and will have a positive impact on morale.  It also opens the doorway of communication and makes it easier to foster employee growth in areas of weakness.  Just demanding that a quieter, more introverted worker be more outgoing and social is not as effective (it’s actually quite stupid) as discussing ways that the employee could take baby steps towards involvement in the company community as a whole.   Scientifically speaking, job demands that are starkly different to ones personality type will freak an employee out.  Why cause that undue stress?  Managers should also consider aligning tasks that play towards worker strengths and comfort whenever possible.  Remember: there is a fine line between pushing the comfort zone in the name of development and eroding an employees sense of self and worth.

Just because you went through it…: One of my mentors when coaching football was brought up “old school.”   As a poor grad assistant he slept many nights in the film office, as an assistant coach he was brought up under tough men who would rip into their staff in front of players and the public.  He prided himself on this experience (and rightfully so) but his old school approach was not always relevant to new age staff.  As an aside, I liked the old school approach but I saw how other staff members hated it.  We are often proud of what we have accomplished and gone through.  That being said, trying to simulate your experience for other employees is usually not very effective.  As a manager you are likely in a different time, a different context (see how that works?), and too many variables are different.  Be proud of the path you took but do not let that path cloud your judgment.  Even when situations are eerily similar to your past do not assume that your employees will or should react in the same manner you did.   Let go of the past and work towards finding methods that fit your current situation.

Final thought….

Being a leader is more than just giving rah-rah speeches and powering through.  Like a good quarterback, you have to have a good feel for the team and what their limits are.  Push them too hard and you lose their trust.  Don’t push them and you will get dismal results.  Finding that balance can be difficult but as managers we have to have an open mind.  We have to think of employee success as a vehicle to our own personal and organizational goals.  Covey’s Habit “Think Win-Win” is the ultimate metaphor for this week’s message.   All parties should come out of a situation energized and proud of their success.  The bulldozer mentality can only get you so far.  Likewise, relying on your favorites or workhorses really does little to improve team strength.  Anybody can manage a team of all-stars- there is no skill in it.  More importantly, working with employees to improve their skills and abilities will make them feel valued and energize them to come to work.  They will also feel content when they clock out at the end of the day paving the way for them to spend their family time in a positive and life-giving way.

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Dr. Paul Artale is a motivational speaker, author, and organizational coach who helps organizations create high performance culture through understanding employee needs and leveraging their strengths. 
For more information visit www.paulartale.com

#shrm #hr #humanresources #worklifebalance  #leadership #manager #motivation

a cup full of jelly beans

What’s Your Work-life Personality Style?

It’s 10:30 AM and you are on the treadmill at the gym.  It is your late day at work and are not due to check into the office until noon.  Your exercise program beeps at you and you begin to kick it up a notch.  You’re starting to work up that good sweat when your phone rings.  You glance down at the screen and see it is the office calling.   Do you:

a) Pick up the phone: it must be really important if they are calling you during your off time.
b) Ignore it:  you will deal with whatever it is at 12 PM when you get in.
c) Finish your workout and call your office back afterwards:  this is your time and 15 minutes probably won’t hurt the situation one way or another.

Your response to the above question can reveal your preferred boundary style.  Boundary management in the workplace is becoming an important issue for both employees and managers.  The integrated use of digital and cellular technology in our lives has often led to the blurring of
lines between work and family time.   Add the fact that alternative work arrangements such as tele-commuting or compressed work-weeks are becoming more common and we can see how the landscape becomes hazier.

So… does a phone call or email after your office hours count as overtime or comp time?   A recent law in Brazil states that workers who answer emails on their smartphones can count that as overtime.  Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed at several levels.

3 Boundary Styles

Regardless of what policies might get constructed from the “higher ups” it is important that we all know our own boundary style.   Most people fall into one of three distinct boundary styles.

1) The Assimilator.  Assimilators love to mix work and family time and are comfortable with an irregular schedule.  Assimilators love the freedom that comes with shifting work and family demands and relish in the fact that there are no clearcut hours for work or play.  Flexibility is important to them so that 10pm email is not a problem if that means they can leave early one day to catch their child’s soccer game or meet some friends at a restaurant.

2) The Divider.  Divider’s have a more traditional approach to work and family.   When they are not at work or at a company sponsored  function they do not want to be bothered.  Work time is work time, personal time is personal time and the two should never ever cross.  Getting emails or calls at off hours frustrates them and often feels like an invasion of privacy.

3) The Chameleons.  Chameleons enjoy the best of both worlds.  They generally like to have a separation between work and family time but also recognize that there are times when work seeps into personal time and that is OK to them.  Emergencies occur, coworkers sometimes need help, and some times of year are just plain busy.  An intrusion of personal time is OK in small and predetermined doses but a return to regularity is preferred at the end of the day.

Why is this important?

Knowing which boundary style you are and which boundary style the organization prefers is vital in determining whether a place of employment is a good fit.  Both employees and managers should take note which styles their employees prefer or are more comfortable with as this may eliminate workplace conflict.   Everybody has a different perspective on how work and family/personal life should mix and thus the key to eliminating conflict and maximizing employee morale is open and honest communication.

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Dr. Paul Artale is a motivational speaker, author, and organizational coach who helps organizations create high performance culture through understanding employee needs and leveraging their strengths. 

For more information visit http://www.paulartale.com

#shrm #hr #humanresources #worklifebalance  #leadership #manager #boundaries #flexstyle

a paper with the word time burning

What’s the Deal with Comp Time?

ave you ever had that crazy workweek where your contracted 40 hours turns into 60?  Have you ever been comforted by the fact that the extra time you put in can be banked as comp time/bonus time somewhere in the near future?   Weeks later you find a great deal on a 4 day weekend getaway to Vegas and you decide “I am going to cash in my comp time and take a long weekend” only to have your boss or an HR manager tell you that you can’t do that.   They utter the words that I so often hate to hear “Comp time does not officially exist at our company.”

*cough* bullcrap *cough*

I think the idea of comp time has its origins in an innocent and simple truth: people were willing to trade hours that were supposed to be worked at a later date in order to complete a task that requires an immediate effort.  It’s a fair trade off.  Most businesses have a slow time and trying to fit everything into the 9 to 5 bubble doesn’t always work.  Fair enough.

So why then can comp time be such a difficult thing to peg down?  Does being a salaried employee automatically mean we should accept working longer hours with no reward except for  a company tshirt or smoked meat at the holidays?

I don’t think so.

If the same person was an hourly employee they would be paid for those extra hours.  Comp time is not illegal is it?   No, it isn’t.  According to the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) time off can be substituted for extra pay when an employee exceeds working the standard eight hour day.  The parameters of this policy are subject to state and/or county law, institutional policy and contracts with unions or other labor groups.

Companies: what’s the big deal about making it official policy?   I know why an organization may keep the rules grey but that does not mean that I agree.  We know that stress and overwork (a topic of future blogs) leads to poor employee health and higher turnover.  If companies don’t want to run their employees into the ground (and according to most official policies…that is not an objective) then I would like them to ponder these points of consideration:

1) If comp time is arranged between a manager and employee then keep it that way.  Whether it is official policy or not I am always frustrated to hear about a comp time arrangement being interfered with by a superior.  For tho who manage managers, trust that those directors/deans/vice-president’s etc will make the right decisions regarding their staffs.  They do know them better than anyone else in the company.

2) Have a policy.  I know that the “P” word can be a dirty word to some but some policy is better than no policy.  Although I don’t personally like the “no comp time, some weeks you work more, live with it” mentality at least I can respect the honesty.  Keeping things grey is shady in my opinion….and we all know how many shades of grey there are.

3) Give employees choice.  I love it when comp time is an open policy in a company.  That being said, I am not a fan of the “hey you worked hard this week, take Friday off if you want comp time” approach.  Don’t get me wrong, some comp time is better than no comp time but I recommend giving employees the ability to choose when they can use those hours.  Maybe this Friday or a two-week window doesn’t work.   As long as it does not conflict with essential duties then what’s the harm?

4) Don’t rob the bank.  Managers often ask employees to record extra hours to keep tabs on how many comp hours are in the bank.  If  this is the system then respect the hours recorded.  A colleague’s supervisor once asked him to record all his extra hours which he gladly did.  During their weekly one-on-one session, the boss looked at the hours and declared: “that’s too many.”  In the end, my colleague lost some hours.   As a manager, if you’re going to ask someone to officially document the extra time they put in then be prepared for the reality that the results could be very high.

*The above example is based on HONESTLY recording hours.  Inflating the hours you work can get you fired and it is just bad practice.  Likewise, use some common sense when recording hours.  If you worked an extra hour one day but breaks went a little longer than expected then you may be best off not claiming that time.

5) Ebb and flow approach.  If counting hours is not your thing then consider the ebb and flow approach.  Hours aren’t counted or stored but if an employee needs to take half a day here or there or work extra hours earlier in the week in order to get another day off then go for it.  This may actually cause less conflict than haggling over hours or over an unofficial policy.  Beware, it is more art than science but in healthy working relationships may be a strong tool.

Unless you work in a highly unionized or systematized environment comp time will be an issue in some form.  Addressing the issue up front and clearly will help define expectations and avoid conflict.

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Dr. Paul Artale is a motivational speaker, author, and organizational coach who helps organizations create high performance culture through understanding employee needs and leveraging their strengths. 

#shrm #hr #humanresources #worklifebalance  #leadership #manager #virtualwork #comptime

For more information visit www.paulartale.com

5 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU ANALYZE YOUR CAREER PATH IN STUDENT AFFAIRS

Most of us come into student affairs through some happy accident. Quite often, we were engaged as student-leaders and somehow discovered that we could get paid to do similar work.  My foray into student affairs came through athletics where I started as an assistant coach/hall director at a small private liberal arts college in Kansas. At the time I was going on the track to being a head coach. After a few years, athletic director seemed like a better fit. A few years after that I was just confused about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to stay in student affairs, I just wasn’t sure where I fit in. It wasn’t until a mentor of mine posed these five questions to me that I was able to focus in on what I wanted and was able to make clearer career choices.

Question 1: Do you have any experience not related to your undergraduate interests? In other words, are you getting out of your comfort zone. I came into student affairs because of my experiences in athletics and helping to manage a fraternity house. I hadn’t done much outside of the athletic space. For me I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a position in academic advising to gauge fit and to expand my knowledge. This would prove to be critical experience for me years later when I ventured out of athletics and into graduate student success work. Continue reading “5 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU ANALYZE YOUR CAREER PATH IN STUDENT AFFAIRS”

WHAT MANAGERS, SPORKS, AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE HAVE IN COMMON

s a child of the 80s one of the commercials I remember most are for Campbell’s Chunky Soup.   The commercials were centered around a heated debate over whether Chunky Soup should be eaten with a fork (because it is so meaty you see) or a spoon (because that is what soup is meant to be eaten with).  My favorite of the ads featured WWE Superstars because as a child I was a WWF fanatic.   You can view that commercial here:
As much as I loved the commercials I never could decide until one day I saw a utensil that was both fork and spoon.  Enter: The Spork.    To me the Spork is the ultimate symbol of efficiency and adaptability.   It can do the job of 2 utensils and takes up less space.  More advanced models even have a small serrated knife blade on the side which increases its efficiency by 33%
.
Managers have to be Sporks as they are called to do more with less and constantly seek out new ways of achieving results.  Spork management requires you to take two seemingly different things, find their commonality and blend them together.  A spoon is used to hold liquids, a fork to spear solids and yet they are both eating utensils so combining them makes sense.  A fork and chainsaw (Chork?  Fainsaw?) probably wouldn’t work as well.

Continue reading “WHAT MANAGERS, SPORKS, AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE HAVE IN COMMON”

3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB

*Originally published in NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students Newsletter

Student affairs work is great. I have always found it interesting, challenging, and rewarding. There are a multitude of job types within our profession that require different skillsets and abilities. As diverse the working world of student affairs is, finding the right job for you can be difficult. A job may seem fantastic on paper but once we start doing it….well we may quickly regret our choice. Conversely, we may agree to a job or project that we think is not ideal and discover that we love it. Six years ago, I would have never considered working with graduate students and yet I now find myself enjoying everything working with that population brings. Moreover, I also enjoy the culture of working in a graduate school and have found it is largely a better fit as it relates to both my professional and work-life needs. I was fortunate to find my optimal fit. To help you find optimal fit on your professional journey, here are three types of fit you need to consider during your career. These fits can help you in your current roles as much as it can during a job search. Continue reading “3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB”

FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES

Have you ever felt like your professional and personal life overlapped in a way that bothered you?  Do your job duties interfere with your ability to have a balanced life (however you define it)? Almost all of us know how we want work and life to interact, but creating the ideal blend in reality can be difficult and frustration.  To aid you in this process, here are four quick tips to help you better define your work-life boundaries.

Continue reading “FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES”