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Archive for September, 2012

September 26th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice

How to Help Others ImproveOne of the best ways to make yourself more valuable on your job, and in your life, is to learn some of the basic skills involved with helping others to get what they want.

You don’t have to make a career of coaching to offer other people significant help in dealing with a crisis, making tough choices, or gearing up to improve themselves.

First Steps

The start of any helpful encounter with another person is to work together to establish both the problem to be addressed, and the details of what a solution would look like.

Is the person out of shape? What would being “in shape” look like? Does the person face a difficult decision? How can he or she know they’ve made a satisfactory choice? Is the person having difficulties at work? What’s the standard for knowing those “difficulties” are over?

In setting these criteria for monitoring improvement, remember to make them as specific as possible. That way, they’re more likely to stay fixed and achievable as the situation improves.

These standards should also be measurable in some way.

You also want to make sure, as a helpful person, that these performance standards are realistic, so there’s a fair chance of achieving - and recognizing - success.

Second Steps

With the problem defined and the goals or standards for success established, it’s important to take some time and clarify the problem situation. Try to identify the important actions the person is taking, as well as the people and the forces in play. Any or all of these may be contributing to the problem or become a pathway to a solution.

The more details that are explicitly itemized about what’s going on in the person’s life and work, the more likely you’ll find the best path to an acceptable solution.
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September 25th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in In the Workplace

Breastfeeding and the WorkplaceIf you’re a working woman who has a baby, is pregnant, or plans on getting pregnant, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with how breastfeeding can work in the workplace.

Those who don’t intend to breastfeed should at least look into the research before making a final decision, because a vast number of studies show that when compared to formula, breastfeeding provides you and your little one with a many benefits, including:
  • Better protection from sickness
  • Reduced SIDS risk
  • Less chance of obesity later in life
  • Few incidences of postpartum depression for mom
  • Protection for mothers against breast and ovarian cancers
By federal law, your workplace is required to provide break time and a private spot (other than a restroom) for you to express your milk as long as your employer has 50 or more employees. Even so, a number of experts - including the Surgeon General - have said that American women have far less support than working mothers in many other countries around the world, so be prepared for the possibility that you may face resistance from your employer.

By getting a little creative and planning ahead, you can find ways to continue to breastfeed. Here are some things to try:

Make your own private space.

Just because the company doesn’t designate an area for breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. If you don’t have an office yourself, try to find a coworker who is willing to let you use their office or a private bathroom - just make sure to clean up afterward! Those who can’t find a space in the office may want to consider getting their car windows tinted and pumping in their vehicle.

The right pump.

If you’re going to be pumping at work, you will almost definitely want an electric breast pump because of their speed and efficiency. Check reviews for reliability, because you definitely don’t want a pump that’s going to break on you in the middle of the day. You may even want to invest in a hands-free pump. Depending on your setup, this could allow you to keep working and not lose any pay for taking time off.

Leak protection.

It’s not fun to think about it, but the fact is that breastfeeding mothers leak milk, which can be pretty embarrassing if it happens in front of your boss or coworkers. Nipple pads for your bra are a must, but it’s also probably a good idea to bring an extra blouse just in case, as well as towels and other cleaning equipment.
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September 10th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice

The road to successWhen Columbus discovered America, when President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, when the U.S. completed construction of the Panama Canal, these events changed the map of the world.

That’s a perspective you can productively maintain when you’re thinking about your own future and how to build yourself a better life.

Missing Advice

There’s lots of advice given about goals, including setting goals, honoring goals, achieving goals, breaking goals down into bite-size tasks, sequencing goals, and celebrating goals.

Those sentiments are all well and good. But we hear nowhere near enough advice about working toward really big goals that - if and when you achieve them - will change the map of your life.

Such large goals should probably not occupy all your time - after all, you have everyday responsibilities and priorities, like eating, maintaining relationships, taking care of mundane business, and so forth. But at least one “map changing” goal ought to be on your “to do” list all the time, because a “map changing” goal deserves to absorb at least some of your time and energy every day.

Map-Changers Defined

Basically, a “map changing” goal is one that will fundamentally change your life for a very long time, if not permanently. There are several important differences between a “map changing” goal and an ordinary goal. For example:
  • An ordinary goal fits into the regular flow of your life. A map-changing goal revises that flow
  • An ordinary goal should be set so you have a reasonable chance of achieving it. Map-changing goals are so large and significant that you need not expect to reach it - ever. It’s like trying to win the lottery: Great if you do; no downside if you don’t.
  • An ordinary goal is generally aimed at down-to-earth interests and objectives.
  • Map-changing goals are aimed at fulfilling your dreams and wishes.
  • An ordinary goal is all about ambition and hard work. Map-changing goals are all about overcoming fears and allowing wonderful things to happen.
The basic idea of adding map-changing goals to your life is to think big, and to take the steps necessary to allow that big thing to happen.
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